|Disciplines:||Auspex, Dominate, Celerity, Obfuscate|
The bloodline traces itself to an Anatolian philosopher, who despaired at the knowledge lost to the world over the centuries. With the aid of a coven of Mekhet Elders, he entered a ritually prepared Torpor that altered his vitae fundamentally. After returning, he immediately took up what he termed his agon, teaching his fellow philosophers the lessons he had learned in dreams, altering their blood as well, and leading them through their own exegeses of torpor.
The Agonistes at first centered around the Mediterranean, acting as advisors and scribes to Princes who wanted to preserve their glory for the future. Entertaining massive archives in Rome and later Constantinople, the Agonistes carefully transcribed everything they deemed important for future uses. The fall of the Camarilla and the Fourth Crusade in 1204 destroyed many of their documents. The loss of the archives forever altered the path of the bloodline. No longer content to hoard their hoary knowledge, the Polemicists began their vigorous campaign to educate the society of the night. The great struggle of the line, they reasoned, could never be won by amassing knowledge in a single, central location.
Their efforts, however, went not unopposed. The Agonistes used the printing press, invented in the 15th century, to spread their amassed knowledge among the domains of Europe. This sudden spread of previously forgotten history was met with intense distrust, leading to acrimonious conflict and, in some domains, outright violence. Inspired by Kindred of various factions, the Agonistes became a favored scapegoat in certain domains, accused of blasphemies great and small. Perhaps more frightening for these vampires, the Agonistes never considered their torpor-fighting psychological exercises far from complete, and many elders unknowingly become experiments themselves as the Polemicists fine-tune their technique without worry that anyone will notice a problem for centuries, perhaps longer.
The Agonistes bloodline suffers from the unfortunate irony that they desire solitude and companionship in equal doses. Solitude and silence are necessary for serious academic work, yet most Polemicists demand nearby Kindred on par with their intellect to bounce theories and theses off as well as elder Kindred to act as clients. Thus, Agonistes tend to found small, secretive colonies called conservatories in cities with multiple major universities. Similar to university professors, all Agonistes are constantly expected to produce new works on Kindred history, psychology, theology, physiology or mythology. The bloodline is divided into colleges by area of study (the colleges of mythology and theology are the least respected of the colleges, while the colleges devoted to torpor and kindred psychology are exceptionally exclusive), each presided over by a Dean, whose chief duty lies in directing failing Agonistes into new areas of scholarship.
In addition to the standard Mekhet weakness, the Agonistes are addicted to the experience of Torpor. When determining the length of torpor for an Agoniste, treat the character's Humanity as one dot lower than it actually is. Also, when faced with challenges, most Agonistes are more comfortable to retreat into a ritually prepared Torpor.
- , p.16-24
Agonistes · Alucinor · Angustri · Bak-Ra · Brothers of Ypres · Család · Iltani · Khaibit · Kuufukuji · Libitinarius · Lynx · Mnemosyne · Morbus · Norvegi · Osites · Players · Qedeshah · Sangiovanni · Tismanu