Vampire: Elder Kindred NetworkTM is the Official V:TES Players' Organization dedicated to the continued health of V:TES. The V:EKN endeavors to help V:TES grow in popularity through the embracing of new players as well as through the support of the existing fans.
The V:EKN is the organization responsible for sanctioning and regulating official V:TES tournaments, recording V:TES players' ratings (and rankings), and sponsoring the creation of monthly Clan Newsletters.
V:EKN Princes are volunteers who promote V:TES at the local level by, for example, coordinating tournaments and demos.
All players who register with V:EKN shall be assigned a unique V:EKN membership number. Only registered players with an active standing shall be able to hold Volunteer Officer Positions. A player must play in at least one officially sanctioned event within the past 18 months to be considered active. Lapsed players shall be again considered active for the next 18 months after participating an officially sanctioned event.
Organization and Officers of V:EKN
This month I offer a new game format called ‘Rise of the Nictuku’ which uses a special deck inspired by the Nergal deck offered in Infernal Plague storyline from 2004.
Rise of the Nictuku
The Nictuku are dreadful creatures and the childer of the Nosferatu clan founder Absimiliard. Legend has it that he Embraced these monsters specifically to hunt and destroy all of the other vampires descended from his blood. Many modern Nosferatu consider the Nictuku a myth, and a story used to scare fledgeling neonates. However, they are all too real, and are terrible to behold.
This VTES game format presents a special constructed Nictuku Deck, which should be used just like a regular VTES deck, except that it contains a number of special crypt and library cards which are unique to this format (and which are illegal outside of this format).
The Nictuku Deck contains 70 library cards and 4 crypt cards - whoever plays with the Nictuku deck will always start with the same 4 vampires, and these are the only vampires they will have for the whole game.
Only 1 Nictuku deck may be used in each Nictuku Storyline game. When planning a Nictuku Storyline game each player should bring a normal constructed VTES deck.
Before play begins there will be a blind bid for control of the Nictuku deck. Each player will take a number of tokens in secret into his or her hand, and then all players will simultaneously reveal their bids. The winning bid takes the Nictuku deck, and the number of counters bid by the winner will be subtracted from his or her pool before play begins. I.e. if someone bids 4 counters for the Nictuku then they will begin play with 26 pool (instead of the normal 30). If there is tie for the highest bid, then break the tie randomly (e.g. with a coin or a die).
There will then be a second blind bid for the seating of the rest of the table. The Nictuku player will always sit first, followed by whoever bids the least, followed by the next player and so on. Hence, whoever bids the most will choose their seat last (similar to the manner in which tournament final seating is determined). In this bid, all counters bid by each player will be deducted from his or her starting pool. Again, if there is a tie for any bid then break the tie randomly.
During both bidding processes it is possible to discuss your desire to play Nictuku (or not), the contents of your constructed deck, and/or your preferred seating position in advance. However, it is not necessary to be truthful, and no agreements made during this game setup process are binding.
In addition to the above and the normal rules for VTES, for any game where the Nictuku Deck is used the library cards Recalled to the Founder, Nosferatu Putrescence, The Portrait, Whispers of the Nictuku and Petra Resonance are banned and cannot be played. The normal predator-prey relationships should be observed, with victory points and game wins scored as normal.
There is one further special rule for this game format in that once during the game the Nictuku player may shuffle his or her ash heap back into his or her library.
Returned Vampire #6 – Mithras
Mithras is a truly legendary vampire of the Ventrue clan whose birth pre-dates the Roman Empire of antiquity and who for many years literally walked as a god among men. From the Middle Ages to the 20th Century Mithras claimed the great city of London, England as his domain - although for much of this time he delegated the running of the territory to subordinates. Widely acknowledged as one of the most powerful Kindred of the Camarilla, his peers were keen not to anger him, and were eager to seek his counsel.
During the Second World War Mithras’s haven was bombed and the powerful Kindred sunk into torpor, allowing the world to believe he was destroyed. He surfaced again decades later but before he could announce himself he was attacked in succession by werewolves and then by the Sabbat.
The Assamite antitribu Monty Coven came away from the fight believing himself to be victorious, and to have devoured the hearts blood of the mighty Methuselah in the act of diablerie. However, ever since Monty Coven has not been himself, struggling with the will of Mithras that now co-exists within his mind and his veins.
This crypt card of Mithras could be considered to represent the mighty Ventrue at the height of his power. Alternatively, with his extreme levels of Dominate, he may simply have altered the memories of those that attacked him to suit his own ends. Or, more chillingly, the card may represent the complete subjugation and transformation of Monty Coven’s body into a new incarnation of this very powerful Methuselah.
Mike Nudd, VEKN Storyline Coordinator
Last Updated on Monday, 01 September 2014 13:29
We're in the home stretch of work on the new set! We are giving the cards one last review before considering them final. Artwork continues to come in, and we now have 54 completed pieces with work on the rest underway. We remain on target for launch at the 2014 European Championship in Mannheim! We're also deciding on the name of the set and the expansion symbol for it, and we'll announce those soon.
We'll start doing previews about two weeks before the EC, showing a pair of cards every other day or so. We'll also have a Design Team presentation at the EC like we did last year, covering design concepts, goals, and challenges.
The art preview this time is from Ari Targownik of California:
- Ben Peal and the VEKN Design Team
My musings on the Create-a-Clan game format last month led me to think about other Bloodlines, and their unique Disciplines which have not yet received the V:TES treatment.
The Lhiannan are one such example. A pagan offshoot of the Gangrel clan, they are first mentioned in the Dark Ages Companion, and it is implied that they were made extinct long before the modern era. Their unique Discipline of Ogham was a form of Celtic magic linked to the wielder’s environment and home territory.
The Lamia (mentioned last month) were also originally described as having their own Discipline of Deimos (which focused on conjuring nightmares, poisons and doom) before they were re-written in Dark Ages Vampire to possess Fortitude instead.
An ever more obscure reference is that of Bardo, a Discipline formulated by the Children of Osiris who are not a Bloodline as such, but a tiny coalition of Independent Kindred who reject the notion of vampirism and seek to retain their Humanity. First mentioned in the original A World of Darkness: Mummy book, the Children of Osiris were founded by Khetamon, apparently the only surviving progeny of Osiris.
Legend has it that Osiris was made undead in ancient times before his brother Set, and used the dark power of his blood to rule the land of Egypt and to wage horrible war upon his enemies. Set was cast out from his home but after becoming a vampire himself he returned to contest the dominion of his brother. Osiris’s mortal family were caught in the terrible conflict. Isis, his sister and his wife was a great sorceress and when Osiris was torn into many pieces by Set she used her power to reconstitute his body and resurrect him. She perfected her Spell of Life and used it again when their mortal son Horus was slain – he was the first of the living Mummies created by the Cult of Isis.
Osiris was eventually utterly destroyed by Set and it was left to Horus to continue the battle. Horus and his fellow Mummies proved to be formidable adversaries and so Set schemed to learn the Spell of Life to create his own Immortal army. To this end, he turned a priestess named Kementiri against her sisters, and using the incomplete fragments of knowledge she stole from the Cult of Isis he created the twisted Bane Mummies.
The Discipline of Bardo developed by Khetamon is detailed in the book The Hunter’s Hunted, which paints the Children of Osiris as potential enemies of any Kindred coterie. Although primarily interested in the destruction of the Followers of Set, they will align themselves against any vampires that flaunt cruelty and forsake their Humanity.
Here I have enclosed a small set of cards to represent the Children of Osiris and the Discipline of Bardo in VTES. These cards can be used print-and-play style in any game where all players agree to their use beforehand – this includes other Storyline events and game formats (including your Returned league).
Returned Vampire #5 – Montano
Montano is reputed to be the first progeny of the Lasombra Antediluvian, and was allegedly always his favourite childe. As a mortal Montano grew up a tribal warrior of the Massai in Africa. He was Embraced long before the time of Christ and travelled far and wide for centuries before settling with his sire in Italy.
At the outset of the Anarch Revolt Montano was sympathetic to the cause of the rebellion but as soon as it became threatening to the Clan and to Lasombra himself out of pragmatism he sided with the conservatives to crush the Anarchs. It was only after Gratiano’s betrayal and their sire’s destruction that he came to hate them.
Montano retreated from public affairs not long after the formation of the Camarilla. As a master of the energies of the Abyss he has surfaced from time to time to try and teach a select few the same dark arts. Most recently he emerged from hiding to assist Lucita of Aragon in quashing a group of rogue Lasombra who tried to summon the shadow of the clan’s founder from the Abyss.
Mike Nudd, VEKN Storyline Coordinator
Last Updated on Friday, 01 August 2014 22:08
The Inner Circle has undergone a couple of changes:
Vincent Ripoll (Ankha on the forums) has been appointed Ratings Coordinator: As you may already know, he has been maintaining the Tournament Winning Deck Archive and the Hall of Fame since Jeff Thompson (also known as TheLasombra) ceased to maintain both.
Robyn Tatu, former Ratings Coordinator, has been appointed Counselor, a new position within the Inner Circle.
Huge thanks to Robyn for everything she has done so far for V:TES and the V:EKN!
Last Updated on Sunday, 20 July 2014 16:56