History[edit | edit source]
In the early nights of Clan Tremere, before the diablerie of Saulot, a small band of Warlocks made its way into Lithuania. Clan records state that the original goal of this journey was to expand the clan's influence into these lands or to find allies. Some elder Tremere, though, claim that these pilgrims took the journey to escape from the clutches of their clan once and for all.
Whatever the original motive behind the exodus, when the Tremere arrived, they fell in with the pagan peoples of Lithuania and learned of Telyavel, the protector of the dead. The local people saw the vampires — nocturnal, bloodthirsty, and obviously magical — as incarnations or avatars of their death-gods, and the Tremere grew to believe them. They cast off the name “Tremere,” and simply became the "Telyavs". While they had some infrequent contact with chantries outside of Lithuania, for the most party they remained patrons and predators to the villagers.
This was not to last, however. In the late 13th century, the Ventrue warlord Jürgen the Sword-Bearer destroyed one of the last remaining enclaves of the Telyavs under the leadership of Deverra. The bloodline managed to limp along for another few centuries, but by the 16th century, the main body of the Tremere reported that all of them had been destroyed when the union of Lithuania and Poland results in the triumph of the Christian religion over paganism through the Inquisition.
While it is believed that the Telyavs did not survive to see the modern nights, in V20, a small group of them feigned their demise and joined the Sabbat, posing as regular antitribu out of fear of retribution from the main clan. They are also constantly watchful for any signs of Inquisitorial interest in their activities, as their magic deals with spirits that could, combined with their revulsion to True Faith, quickly be interpreted as indications of infernalism.
Culture[edit | edit source]
The founders of this bloodline split from their parent clan when they were sent to learn the magic of eastern European pagans (which resembled Koldunism in some ways). Those Tremere converted to the worship of the deity Telyavel and developed their own animistic branch of Thaumaturgy, taught by Telyavel himself, called Sielanic Thaumaturgy.
Most of the Telyavs used a chantry near Riga as their haven. This chantry was situated in a copse of trees atop a sacred hill, and remained one of the clan's best-kept secrets. While other Tremere knew of its existence, only the Telyavs knew its location. A few other chantries of this bloodline existed throughout Lithuania and Poland, but in addition to their chantries they often maintain secondary homes, which also served as shrines for pagan worship.
Embraces[edit | edit source]
Unlike most Tremere elsewhere in the Dark Medieval world, the Telyavelic actively Embraced women, seeing them as embodiments of the dark mother-goddess figures of local paganism. Although the majority of this group is still male, nearly a third is female, and many of these were created during the middle age.
Candidates for Embrace must come from the ranks of pagans. Many of them are priests and priestesses of the old religion. Although most of the Telyavs have shamanic or druidic concepts and favor mental attributes and knowledge, Lithuania has become a battleground between the pagan tribes and the Christian Order of the Sword, so a few Telyavs also come from warrior stock.
Weaknesses[edit | edit source]
The Telyavs bound their fates so tightly to their pagan herds that they took on some of the same fears and enemies. They are weak against Christian symbols and True Faith. They recoil from the sight of the cross or other symbols of the Christian faith.
Organization[edit | edit source]
The Tremere of Lithuania adhere to a modified Pyramid. Each generation drinks twice of the blood of the previous generation, thus bringing them to the verge of forming a Blood Oath with their sires generation. Typically, a number of Telyavs gather together to oversee the Embrace of a new number, thus ensuring a sufficient supply of elder blood to establish the hierarchical bond between generations.