Art by Andrew Trabbold
Aristotle de Laurent
Dr. Aristotle de Laurent is a Noddist scholar and the adoptive sire of Beckett. In addition, he is the author of the Encyclopaedia Vampirica, a book whose aim it is to list everything that is to know about the Kindred.
Aristotle was born in the 12th century in Paris, a city where he still maintains his primary haven and library. As the son of a metal trader, Aristotle turned early to scholastic approaches and enlisted in the famed Sorbonne University. He became an adherent of Pierre Abélard's theories and was influenced by his passion for history and antiquity.
The exact date of his Embrace, as well as the identity of his sire, are unknown. As a member of the Mnemosyne (or Memory-Seekers), he spent his entire unlife searching for and translating all fragments of the Book of Nod that he could find. (His sire and grand-sire had followed the same quest before him.) This quest took him all over the world, introduced him to hundreds of different languages and cultures, and put him in contact (and conflict) with powerful vampires from all clans and sects. Several other fragments were assembled by a trio of his agents; his adopted childe Beckett, the Lasombra Lucita and the Malkavian Anatole; who mainly acted as free agents.
Aristotle describes several of his adventures in the commentary of his edition of the Book of Nod. For example, his search for the Cycle of Lilith took him from Venice (where he encountered the Order of the Black Rose) to Boston. In Boston, he met a woman named Selina, who allowed him to continue his search after the "Dark One Herself" gave him permission to continue; he visited a bookstore run by a circle of devil-worshippers who had fragments of the text behind glass; and he encountered a mysterious Kindred woman in a graveyard, who allowed him to view a complete translation of the Cycle of Lilith from a book bound in silver, and whose power of command convinced Aristotle that she was somehow connected to the spirit-form of Lilith herself.
Believing that he would succumb to his bloodline's fatal flaw, madness brought on by thirst for knowledge, he decided to publish his English translation of the Book of Nod, which was at the time the most complete collection of Noddist lore ever assembled. Included in the publication were two forewords by Aristotle and Beckett, as well as considerable commentary on the translation by Aristotle himself. Aristotle intended to publish only about 200 copies, to be circulated only among Kindred, but the manuscript was intercepted by Ayisha Jocastian (who either received a copy from Beckett or stole it from him) and made available more widely.
Aristotle was particularly wary of the Antediluvians and those who serve them. He claimed to have learned the true name of the Brujah clan founder (presumably Troile), and woke the following evening with his own name carved into his forearm, and thereafter foreswore searching for the names of Antediluvians. Nevertheless, he remained somewhat paranoid, particularly shortly before publishing the Book of Nod. The night before writing the foreword to his text, he claimed to have seen a woman with silver-grey eyes watching him while wearing the scepter-sigil of [Ventrue] on her cloak. Aristotle believed that she had been sent by Ventrue himself to harry him, and this spurred him to publish sooner.
Aristotle de Laurent was involved in the transportation of the Shroud of Kaymakli, a previously unknown fragment of the Book of Nod that Beckett and Okulos had brought out of the ruined cave-city of Kaymakli. Aristotle double-crossed Beckett, hoping to study the fragment for himself and possibly suppress it should the fragment contain dangerous information. Using their mutual contact, the D'habi revenant Rhania, Aristotle arranged that the copy would be delivered to Montréal, into the hands of the Noddist Christanius Lionel. When his adoptive childe discovered the betrayal, their relation soured immensely.
He possesses his clan Disciplines of Obfuscate, Auspex and Dominate. He also knows at least three levels of Protean, having been taught the Discipline by his "warrior friend", Karsh. Prince Villon of Paris is referred to as an "intimate associate" of his. In contrast, he is a rival of the Necronomist Sascha Vykos and used to follow the enmity of his bloodline against the Ventrue Bindusara, although their individual grievances were settled after both published the Encyclopaedia Vampirica. Rumors tie him to the Dionysian.
- Aristotle de Laurent is friends with the Tremere master librarian of Ceoris, Celestyn
- His last name is spelled as "deLaurent" in The Book of Nod (the first reference to him) and in Revelations of the Dark Mother, but is spelled "de Laurent" in all subsequent material published for Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Edition or V20. As the bulk of published material (including the most recent material) supports the latter spelling, which is the spelling this wiki uses.