Art by Craig Maher
She has kept the demon imprisoned within herself ever since and assumed the name Tiamat. Her evil and cruelty are legendary, stemming partly from demonic possession and partly to her legendary Sword of Nul. She – or more accurately Drakonskyr – had her hand in many of the wars and other terrible things that plagued mankind during the ancient times, until she withdrew from the world shortly after the fall of Rome.
|“||To find the greatest darkness, seek within.||”|
|— Erciyes Fragments, IX (Proverbs)|
One night the beatings were particularly severe, and Lantla lay on the floor half-dead, when the witch approached again with a hatchet in her hand. Lantla raised her hand in terror and an ancient word of magic formed on her lips. With a shriek of horror the witch burst into flame and burnt from the inside out. Lantla was called a murderer and worse, and she would have been killed if not for a certain priest called Arakur, who was greatly respected and feared. This priest was said to live in the Ziggurat of Ur with his many wives. He prevented Lantla from being killed and took her into the ziggurat as a new wife. Lantla's murder was forgotten and she vanished from the minds of her people.
In fact, Arakur was a Fourth Generation vampire, and his wives were his vessels. Arakur was greatly interested in how Lantla could summon ancient magic in such a way. Furthermore, Arakur wished Lantla to become his childe and servant in times of crisis. On her wedding night, Lantla was Embraced and became immortal.
Lantla was at first terrified of her new existence and being forced to drink blood. Several times she tried to throw herself into the sunlight, but Arakur prevented this. He forced Lantla to drink his blood and blood bound her into submission. Eventually, Lantla accepted her fate and served Arakur well, learning much about magic in the process.
The Coming of the EvilEdit
In time, Ur came under attack by a warlord called Urlon of Uruk. Like many great figures in ancient times, he was a vampire. He also had more troops than Ur had defenders, and so defeat seemed inevitable. Urlon was one of the first warriors of Jyhad, and this was one of Jyhad's earliest battles. Arakur was resigned to his fate, and retreated to his chambers to wait for the end. Lantla, however, did not give up. Hurriedly she studied her tablets and trinkets looking for aid.
Then she managed to summon a powerful demon, Drakonskyr, which possessed her body. Drakonskyr gave Lantla great strength and power, and further promised to help Lantla forge a magical weapon capable of killing not only the invading soldiers, but Urlon himself. Lantla readily agreed, not realizing the consequences.
Eventually Urlons forces broke through the outer gates and Urlon marched to the ziggurat looking forward to slay Arakur. There he found that Arakur was already dead, and Lantla was standing above the corpse with her sire's blood trickling down her cheeks. Urlon was no match for the two-who-were-one, and Drakonskyr's sword, which became known as the Sword of Nul, slew Urlon with one blow. Then, using Lantla's body, Drakonskyr went on a killing spree through the city, slaying Urlon's followers and citizens of Ur indiscriminately.
When the dawn approached, Lantla found herself standing on the beaches of the river Tigris, sword in hand, wholly covered in blood, with Drakonskyr laughing in her mind.
Now the demon sought to leave her body, which would mean it would be free to unleash its evil upon the world unhindered by a physical body. Lantla realized she could not allow this to happen. When Drakonskyr tried to escape, Lantla held fast to the demon with her will and what magical power she had. The demon was shocked that it was trapped, and in that moment of confusion, Lantla regained the control of her body. She flung the Sword of Nul into the middle of Tigris. The sword would surface many times throughout history, in many places, but it would never again be seen by Drakonskyr.
With the weapon gone, Drakonskyr's power was greatly diminished, but it could still control Lantla's body. It forced Lantla to stand on the beach as the rays of the sun rose over the horizon. Lantla had never known such pain. But Lantla would not relent and Drakonskyr was worried what might happen if she perished while holding their spirits in such close proximity, so it allowed Lantla to crawl back to the city.
Battle and torment without endEdit
The following nights Drakonskyr went on more killing sprees throughout the city, enjoying itself but horrifying Lantla. Every atrocity and act of torture the demon committed, was done by Lantla's hand. The demon tried to tempt Lantla into letting it go, saying she would never have to kill again if it was gone. Lantla knew that these were false promises, as no matter what was done by her hand, the evils performed by an unhindered demon would have been much greater. So she held fast still, as a drowning man holds his last breath.
Drakonskyr continued to perform unspeakable cruelties, from torturing individuals to acts of mass carnage. Over time Drakonskyr organized the fall of Ur to the Elamites, and later on to the Babylonians. Babylonians already had a goddess of chaos, darkness, and evil, and this Drakonskyr capitalized on by claiming it was Tiamat, the goddess of the underworld and chaos upon which the world was built. This became her new name. She was now known even among the undead as a terrible creature capable of anything.
All this time she never slept. Every second of night and day was torment and every second was a chance of failure. Despite all this she never went completely mad. Some vestige of reason existed in a deep corner of her mind where Drakonskyr could not get to. And still she held Drakonskyr prisoner all this time.
Throughout history, when Drakonskyr realized Tiamat would never let it go, it looked for ways to cause widespread destruction by manipulating various nations to war: Babylonia, Persia, Greece, Rome, and many more.
While Drakonskyr was briefly distracted, reveling in the chaos caused by the fall of Rome, Tiamat awoke, and for the first time in thousands of years found the strength needed to take control of her body again. She was so very tired, but she knew Drakonskyr must be dealt with somehow. Tiamat left the ruins of Rome and journeyed north, through the Alps into Germania, all the while Drakonskyr raging in her mind. After journeying through packs of Lupines and the unwelcoming tribes of Germania, she arrived to the English Channel and managed to cross it. She passed from Londinium to the north, and after crossing Hadrian's Wall, left the civilized world behind.
After traveling as far north as she could, she found a small tribe. She slew their chief and abused the men of the tribe, ordering them to build her a great barrow. Once the barrow was complete, she attacked and slew the entire tribe down to the smallest child. After looking at the world one final time, she entered the tomb and closed the door behind her. She and the demon she carried were locked away forever, or so she hoped.
Tiamat is no longer human. She has experienced more than most vampires could ever withstand, and she is nothing like the young girl who was taken by her lord. The tomb has not improved her alien-looking Sumerian features. Vampires do not groom while in torpor. Dust covers her body, cobwebs veil her face and fill her mouth, and her clothes have nearly rotted away.
|Sire: Arakur of Ur|
|Embrace: circa 2000 BCE|
|Apparent Age: 17|
|Physical: Strength 6, Dexterity 7, Stamina 7|
|Social: Charisma 1, Manipulation 1, Appearance 4|
|Mental: Perception 6, Intelligence 6, Wits 7|
|Talents: Alertness 5, Athletics 4, Brawl 7, Dodge 4, Leadership 4|
|Skills: Melee 5, Stealth 4|
|Knowledges: History (Ancient) 7, Linguistics 9, Politics 6|
|Disciplines: Auspex 4, Celerity 6, Dominate 5, Enchantment† 5, Fortitude 6, Obfuscate 3, Potence 4, Presence 5, Protean 4, Serpentis 2, Thaumaturgy 4|
|Thaumaturgical Paths: Lure of Flames 4, Movement of the Mind 3|
|Virtues: Conscience 1, Self-Control 4, Courage 6|
|Morality: Humanity 1|
|Clan Weakness: May only feed on females|
- † Tiamat's Enchantment Discipline is wholly unlike Thaumaturgy. It allows her to enchant objects and create the magical traps that protect her barrow.
Note: Tiamat's Traits would normally be much higher, but they have suffered from her time in torpor. Should she have a few years to recover, she would be far stronger.