Named for the isle of Patmos, where St. John received his Revelations, the Patmostine Kindred combine several unusual doctrines into a Christian sect with a truly peculiar view of the world.
The Patmostine Kindred believe that the Rapture has come and gone. Not every member of the sect agrees when the event took place, though most concede it was almost certainly after the death of Christ. They maintain the “seven years” that are supposed to pass between the Rapture and the Day of Judgment are symbolic, not literal, much as some people interpret the six days of creation. Thus, no way exists of knowing when these seven “ages” will have passed, but the evidence suggests that Gehenna is almost upon us, and the Patmostines are certain that the Four Horsemen ride closely behind.
The Patmostines also believe that Caine was blessed, not cursed, by God. In fact, the Patmostines believe that the Kindred received their undying status so they could survive all the years from the Rapture to the final judgment, that they might usher the worthy through the Gates of Heaven. They believe the Kindred themselves, not any of the remaining mortals, are those who will be saved on Judgment Day. A worthy soul is permitted to remain; the unworthy are dragged into Hell regardless of the power of the Blood passing their lips. In other words, only someone worthy of Heaven — even if no mortal or Kindred can comprehend why he is worthy — will survive the Embrace. They’d certainly prefer it if all Kindred were as selective as they are in choosing childer, but their unshakable faith that God will not allow an unworthy soul to survive the Embrace forces them to acknowledge any and every Kindred they meet as worthy of Heaven, regardless of how despicable that Kindred may be.
The Patmostines have taken it as their mission to track down and Embrace the most worthy mortals they can find, thus securing them a place in Heaven come Judgment Day. They have to hurry, as they believe the 144,000 figure is a maximum, not a guarantee. Some 40,000 Kindred exist in the world tonight, and certainly no more than that who have met Final Death through the millennia. If Judgment Day arrives before 144,000 have been Embraced, many who might have been saved will instead be damned.
Kindred who meet Final Death are still guaranteed their place in Heaven, of course. But the fewer Kindred who survive to find and Embrace others, the greater the odds that worthy souls will be missed.
The Order was founded during the 1530s, while the repercussions of Martin Luther’s Reformation still rippled across the Western world. A devoutly Catholic French Toreador named Louvel Tarneau, horrified that God would allow His church to be riven asunder, purportedly suffered a crisis of faith. Legend has it that he retreated to his haven and refused to feed for weeks yet, despite all known laws of Kindred physiology, never entered torpor. Finally, after more than a month, he emerged from seclusion and began gathering other Kindred around him. He’d had, so he claimed, a revelation. He now understood the true purpose the Kindred served on God’s earth — and also God’s refusal to protect His church.
God… was gone. The faithful were gone. And it was up to Tarneau, his followers and indeed all Kindred, everywhere, to locate and preserve those who could still be saved.
Despite extreme difficulty in assembling Kindred willing to devote their unlives to finding and preserving worthy souls, and despite the reported Final Death of Tarneau at the hands of an Assamite assassin in 1902, the Patmostine Order still survives and thrives tonight. It maintains contacts and influence in religious organizations, media, universities and communications companies, always seeking those select few mortals whom it believes worthy of preservation. Although the group remains relatively unknown outside its own ranks, it has begun to attract the eyes of suspicious archons with their penchant for Embracing those they deem worthy regardless of the individual’s wishes or their standing in mortal society. It’s only a matter of time before their religious doctrine runs headlong into the Masquerade.
- Vampire The Masquerade - State of Grace, p. 98, 99