Hi, name is Jehan, and I'm a Diedne Tremere...

"Hi Jehan!"

When I started my current campaign, I was new to Ars Magica and it was, in fact, my first time playing. Stuck in a somewhat D&D like mindset, I picked what I thought would be the best way to min/max my character without serious regard for RP'ing concerns. At the time, I assumed Dark Secret was one of those things that was reasonably easy to squirm out of, if it ever came up, which it likely wouldn't. My story guide tried to warn me, of course:
"You know, Tremere really don't like Diedne. Really don't."
"Eh, that's fine. My character can be all cool and conflicted because he doesn't like what his master taught him. He's still a good Tremere and all that."
"...are you really sure about this?"

And so on and so forth. Of course, over time, as I ended up appreciating that Ars=/=D&D to a far greater extent, and got in with the feel of it, I realized that this is a serious problem. It's inevitable that the storyguide will have someone find out, and when my character gets ratted out, he'll spend the rest of his (short) life running from the Broken Mirrors and Burning Acorns Vexillations. Even if he survives, of course, he'll be removed from the game by virtue of being on the run.

Knowing that my character is absolutely going to die at some point in the reasonably near future because the Storyguide has a duty not to reward my twink choice of charachter traits takes some of the fun out of playing him, however, rather then reroll or try to retcon, I've decided to roll with it and cut the GM off at the pass.

I'm going to confess.

Given that their going to find out (and they will find out), my only hope of survival, it seems, is to throw myself on the Tribunal's mercy on the basis that my character has always been loyal to the house. Has had no dealings with other Diedne, dosn't follow their twisted ways, loyal servant who sends regular Vis payments to Coeris, etc. Confessing certainly makes me look far more innocent then being caught red handed.

The problem is, of course, it's extremely likely they'll execute me anyway. I need a way to stack the deck in my favor. The obvious ideas occur -- make a lot of friends first, bribe key officals, etc, but given the Tremere's foaming at the mouth hatred for House Diedne, that seems insufficient.

Is there any way my character could reasonably hope to survive this? Any suggestions to improve his odds? This is, as I said, my first Ars campaign, so I have very little experience with Order politics. Anything you could offer would be helpful.

Don't get found out!
Murder everyone who knows your secret.
Cover your trail.
Have an alibi for everything you do.
Grow eyes in back of your head.
Deny everything.
Find a scapegoat.
Do something super heroic that places you above reproach.
Never confess!

Three rules for secrecy: 1) Shut the #%& up, 2) don't say a #%&ing word, 3) Don't tell anyone.

While an excellent plan overall, that would involve the murder of his Parens, beloved wife, both his kids, etc. It's not happening. Given that there's no reasonable way to ensure these people will never give him away, confessing seems the only reasonable option.

Well, start out by not going to Tremere. Go to Merenita, go to Bjornaer, go to Criamon, but steer clear of any of the following: Tremere, Flambeau, Guernicus, Trianoma (the political branch of Bonisagus).

This will probably mean you will need to go to another tribunal, Normandy or Rhine would be my bets. It probably won't hurt to befriend some ex Miscs, because you will be cast out of your current house.

Well you hit the nail on the head when you say Order politics, for that is exactly what they are. Being thus, all the facts of the matter are of far lesser weight than are group perceptions.

Frankly, IMO, you truly chose the wrong House in which to be a closet Diedne. Regardless of your "loyalty" and your observance of obligations, you would have come to know quite quickly the historic and pervasive hatred for Diedne within House Tremere, almost from the start of your apprenticeship Ive little doubt.

IF this were to come to tribunal - and given the remorseless propensity of Tremere to clean up (read: cover up) their own internal messes and embarassments, Id say that's unlikely even if you wished it so - I think you would, at this stage in your hermetic life, be hard pressed to outmaneuver a Tremere block vote against you.

Unless, of course, you repent of your youthful folly of having allowed yourself to be discovered and honour your Diedne lineage by seeking out other Diedne with whom you might perhaps (SG permitting) share any and all inside information on Tremere in a bid to gather yourself a band of brothers. With such you could strike out at any Tremere hunting you and perhaps down the road find ways to undermine their House on a political level, but that latter is a seriously long term goal at best.

Become the Robin Hood of Diedne magi and you might give the SG sufficient story fodder to keep you alive for a while :wink:.


Hmm, I must say, if any or all of these people know of your lineage, then it isn't much of a Dark Secret, now is it?

If you are a Tremere, it means there is a lineage of Diedne in the House.
Your duty as a Tremere is to make sure no one knows about it, of course.
Otherwise, it would hurt the reputation of the Tremere House !

Now, you know what needs to be done.:smiling_imp:
Choose between being a good Tremere, or a traitor.

It's a matter of saving what you cheerish most.
[Parens, beloved wife, both his kids, etc.]
[House Tremere]
As you said, it's better to consider you're life as forfeited.

(this way of seeing things could be fun to play... ? From D&D to Ars Magica, you could push toward some sort of tragical roleplaying. I'm serious in case someone ask himself... )

I'm with Marko. Kill everyone else to protect your secret. They just do not understand ( and thus must die to protect you).

That's actually probably the easiest bit.

Think of it as a simple human sacrifice in your quest for power, nothing a true Diedne would balk at - House Tremere itself said they were so. :stuck_out_tongue:

House Tremere's hatred of House Diedne is based on the belief they were performing human sacrifice and the Diedne's absolute refusal to allow their holy rituals to be audited for infernalism by others. The simple answer is basically to tell the Tremere, preferably a Quaesitor Tremere, and let them audit you. Now, this may lead to the loss of some or all of your cool, different powers, but it would let you survive and might allow the House to re-emerge.

If you are a "loyal servant" of Tremere, then you have some sort of duty to the House in relation to this.

Your big bargaining chip, if you are willing to use it, is that the other Diedne would never let their rituals be checked. If you will, then you become a useful research resource.

Basicly...Watch 2001 become Hal. Protect them from themselves by killing them.

House Didne were nothing but baby eating pagans. Note that this is not against the code, but there you have it. If you allow them to investigate your rituals, then they will get to watch the part where victims die screaming under your knife blade. You don't want that.

If you are too squeemish to murder your family, then you have to abandon them. Go for a deep cover disguise and pose as a Tytalus magus. If anyone is more evil than the Diedne it is those guys. And they might help you just to stick it to the Tremere :smiley:

The flaw is called Dark Secret not Short Lived Character. A Major Story Flaw is just a flaw that will force you to take action whether you will or nil.

By the description of the flaw, there will be a constant danger of people finding out, people will keep getting clues to your Dark Secret, and you will have to spend in game time covering your tracks.

Nowhere does it say that anyone will find out your secret. As long as you keep making an effort to cover up, you should be OK. After all, it makes for a fun story to watch your character squirm. If your character is dead, all of the fun goes away.

Now if you really want to find a way to reveal your abilities...

Follow his advice, but add to it your willingness (under close scrutiny for baby eating practices, of course) to teach the spiffy "Super Spontaneous Casting Techniques" to other members of the House. I can hear dozens of Tremere drooling already... :wink:

Alternatively, start a major research project to rediscover the "Super Spontaneous Casting Techniques" used by the Diedne. The house has quite a collection of goodies "liberated" from the Diedne during the Schism War to pretend to study. After a suitable period of time and bogus research papers, you can present your findings to the House and become a hero of Tremere for relearning the Diedne's secrets...

Sit vis vobiscum,

Eh, nice.

I agree with ShopKeepJon's asessment - the Major Flaw does NOT mean you will get discovered eventually.

If you approach House Tremere, the response, well, will be up to your storyguide - but most likely he will try to spin a fun tale out of this, rather than simply having you killed. I'll talk it over with him, to see what he preferes for his saga - coming out in front of magi of other Houses (e.g. Criamon & Bjornaer), at Tribunal (that will be one to rememeber!), in confidentiality to a Tremere Quaesitor or Exarch (preferably one you have previously ascertained did not particularly hate your House), or at the House's gathering; tell him you're considering coming forward, and that if he has any preferred path you'll be happy to have the character go down that path. Roleplaying works best as a joint activity.

The easiest way change your Diedne virtue to another one. Speak with your SG about it.

You will be discovered otherwise it wouldn't be a flaw but not by the whole tribunal but by certain magi. You must handle only these situations.
As Timothy wrote a confession would mean the Tremere investigate your powers and your parens, too.
BUT they will supress your story because discovering Diednes were innocent in human sacrifice would cause a big reputation loss for the Tremere.

Such a confession would be a loser move anyway.

If I were your SG I would give your character only a little chance to survive by presenting brilliant tactics and role-playing. You got warnings before the saga!
I would offer changing this virtue however before the danse macabre starts if you ask for it.

"Hi Jehan" Claps hands

Hmm...yes this is certainly covering yourself in honey and then letting fireants walk all over you...

there are different approaches to surviving, some/many which have already been covered.

Another one, as a goal, is to get the House reformed. All houses develop. Are the Diedné in your saga Diabolists? were some? none? Distance yourself sharply from any diabolists. Hunt any known diabolists down, Diedné and other houses. Write (Not Diedné style but what the hell...whoops!) the "true" history of House Diedné, write down all rituals, write down the core beliefs of the Diedné nature religion. When the time is right, the Quasitors can read them.
Steer yourself/and the Diedné legacy into a position, which the other houses cannot live without - make yourself indispensible. Create a major breakthrough, discover an ancient magic unheard of, become a hero.

...and be ready for lots of magic fisticuffs 8)

There is no way the Tremere will let anyone at all stop them from killing you if they find out. To do otherwise would be to admit they were wrong all that time ago, and damage their prestige for another two or three hundred years into the future.

No other house would be willing to pick a fight over just one renegade from within house Tremere, and I sincerely doubt whether your character would be allowed to discover other hidden Diedne to give him sufficient allies / bargaining power for when he is discovered. If hidden Diedne were easy to find, then it would be the Quaesitores and the Tremere who would have been finding and eliminating them.

You could go on a rampage and 'accident' all those likely to find out. However that breaks the stated love of family and house you have expressed and would hurt the rest of the players who I assume play those characters. It's sometimes hard to accept that another player chose to murder your character out of the blue to clean up a flaw in his own character build.

My own solution would be to go for a mind wipe on yourself. It would be too much of a security risk to trust anyone else to do the wipe, so become a mentem specialist and wipe all memories of your characters childhood/apprenticeship etc. Disguise it as a really bad twilight kickback.

Yes you would get a hefty penalty as the levels of your abilties and arts drop. However the character would be playable, and you would not have hurt anyone else you are loyal to.

Effectively you would be buying off the flaw at the expense of xp, and in this case your SG might be generous in how much loss to impose.

Your idea intrigues me. I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

Is there any way I can realistically fake this, or would I have to actually do the research for an ability I already have?

That's actually a little bit brilliant.

Given that one way you can earn insight is by travel to Ancient Magic type places, just go on a long vacation in Africa, blow the heck out of an insignificant mountain, and come back with Secrets that were guarded by Terrible Wards. Or Ireland, or China. Basically go sun yourself on a rock for a few years and..viola!

...hey, that could work. :mrgreen:

The only problem is, what happens if someone demands to see my research notes and, of course, I don't have anything? Could I reasonably say I didn't keep copies? Pass them off other spell fomulae and shout that they don't understand my genius when it doesn't give them breakthrough points?