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House Tremere

From Project: Redcap

House Tremere
Motto "Voluntas vincit omnia."
(The will conquers all)
Symbol Mars incised with a square
Prima Poena
Domus Magna Coeris

One of the twelve Houses of the Order of Hermes, a True Lineage of the Founder Tremere. Tremere magi gather a few days before Tribunal, and every ten years in Coeris; they also hold Ceremonies of Welcome and funerals for their Housemates; HoHTL 116.

The Domination of House Tremere and the Sundering[edit]

Perhaps the most significant fact in the history of House Tremere is their frustrated attempt at consolidating their power over the whole Order of Hermes, which led to one of the most notable crisis in the Order's history. Being politically skilled and benefited by Tremere himself having survived the other eleven Founders, House Tremere began to dominate a fair number of Tribunals early and seemed bound to consolidate its power even more. However, in the event known as the Sundering, an unidentified group of Magi targeted Tremere's lieutenants, breaking their minds and the House's power structure. Tremere the Founder was forced to negotiate with the Magi. While the terms of the resulting agreement are unknown, it seems to have convinced the House to no longer pursue power over the Order as a whole.

Specialties[edit]

While individual members of other Houses sometimes choose to keep rather loose connections to their respective siblings, no other House maintains a level of organization that is as strict as the one kept among the members of House Tremere. Tremere not only organize themselves strictly hierarchically on a House-wide scope, but also cultivate a rather formal parens-fili{us,a}-relationship throughout their lives. If there is one trait that can be applied to-, one label that can be stuck on-, and one drawer that can be used to accommodate the members of House Tremere as a whole, it is most probably ""control"", the House motto being Voluntas vincit omnia (lat. The mind conquers all). Although this might be considered nothing more than an unqualified allegation from members outside the House, it is as likely one that members of House Tremere are unlikely to disclaim.

House Tremere (actively or accidentally) maintains a reputation of being a solid stronghold in the unsteady current of the Hermetic landscape, an insular, completely self-contained corporately construct, whose secrets and treasures are available only to the members of the House -- and even then only the hardiest and most ambitious individuals are likely to quality to reach the ranks of the innermost circles. Contrary to other Houses that, under certain cicrumstances, sometimes accept members from other Houses into their ranks, House Tremere accepts no one but the ones that were raised under the cane and careful guidance of a watchful Tremere parens.

The relationship of other Houses towards the Tremere is twofold, to say the least: on the one hand, nobody outside the House really knows what kind of wind is going to blow next from Coeris, bolstering the stalwart reputation of an untouchable, inbred family of remote Transylvanians. On the other hand, hardly any other House, with the notable exception of the other three True Lineages, matches the unbroken rigidity House Tremere cultivates with regard to the continuous stability of the Order of Hermes.

Members of House Tremere are (in-)famous throughout the Order for their proficiency in certamen. They take a great interest in aspects of the activity, including the various styles, or schools, of engaging in the magical duel.

Members[edit]

The following Tremere magi are mentioned in various Ars Magica supplements:

Living Members[edit]

Famous Members (deceased)[edit]

Fifth Edition Virtue Controversy[edit]

According to the RAW, all members of House Tremere receive the virtue Minor Magical Focus in Certamen as a free house virtue. Since a magus may not have two magical foci, and since foci significantly increase the magus' power within their area, the result is that Tremere magi are at a severe disadvantage as specialists. The virtue also grants them a significant advantage in Certamen, which many fans feel would undermine the fairness of the custom so that it would be unreasonable to maintain it past the Sundering.

For these reasons, many troupes choose to provide an alternative free house virtue through a house rule. Possible virtues include Skilled Parens or equivalents (the advantage of the equivalent is that it allows the magus to enjoy both the Tremre training and a skilled parens), a "Puissant Certamen" providing +3 to Certamen rolls, or allowing Tremere magi to have a second Magical Focus. Some troupes have also expanded the free house virtue of all houses, allowing magi of all houses some (limited) selection of free virtues (note that this is explicitly recommended for Flambeau magi, in HoHTL p.26).

The RAW situation, however, is not without its advantages. By diminishing the benefits of specialization, Tremere magi are encouraged to engage more in cooperation and team-work. While their advantage in Certamen is considerable, Wizard's War is still far more risky and violent, and a poorer reflection of magi's non-martial capacity and cunning, while a Tribunal hearing is even less immediate and simple - so it stands to reason Certamen would be accepted in Hermetic society even given the Tremere advantage, especially as the House is likely to lobby for it.

House Tremere and Vampires[edit]

In earlier editions of the game, House Tremere had vampiric members. This was given as a rumour in Second Edition, confirmed in Third, and explored a little in the Fourth. At fullest flower the idea included statistics for vampires, given in The Medieval Bestiary: Revised Edition, a note that they had been destroyed in Houses of Hermes, and an origin story foreshadowing their return in Triamore: the Covenant at Lucien's Folly. In Vampire: the Masquerade and Mage: the Ascension - games published by Ars Magica's then-owner - this link was developed further. In these games, Clan Tremere was a faction of sorcerer-vampires. In Fifth Edition, the Tremere Vampires were removed from the setting.

I was the author for the Tremere section of Houses of Hermes: True Lineages, but this FAQ isn't the place to justify the change in detail. At its simplest, the vampires had consumed the identity of the House, moving from a plot hook to a defining concept. They obscured many other ideas I had for possible stories, and created problems for other writers. The previous version of the House was evil, expansionist and militant, and so it forced them to design their characters as a response to the obvious threat the House posed to the Order. House of Hermes: True Lineages was an opportunity to reimagine the four Houses it included, and so it seemed the right place to move beyond the Vampiric Tremere.

It's not correct to say that the Tremere have no connection with vampires in the new edition. House Tremere's power is still centred in Transylvania, which as a Slavic country has many faeries which are vampires, and more than its fair share of animated dead who drink blood. Those native creatures that can be subverted to the causes of the House have been. Those which cannot be, or should not be, are destroyed. This makes the Tremere relationship to vampires complicated, but some elements of it have been discussed in HoHTL.

--Timothy Ferguson

References[edit]

Legacy Page[edit]

The history of this page before August 6, 2010 is archived at Legacy:house_tremere


Trademark Notice: Tremere is trademark of White Wolf, Inc.