Friday, August 17, 2018

20 years on, and it's still a mess

So, I hit one of the volumes in the Clan Novels I remember being problematic, and unlike some of the other ones, Eric Griffin's Tremere remains a train wreck from start to finish. This is not to say that Aisling Strurbridge, Regent of the Chantry of Five Boroughs in New York is a boring character or that her arc is is silly, it's more that the plotting that ensnares her makes no sense and is never particularly explained. Also, more than a few passages appear to be lifted directly from prior volumes, and the entire thing ends before the time frames previous volumes did. Which means it really doesn't progress the timeline at all. Indeed, it's almost as if it should have been an earlier release.

Aisling runs the under siege Chantry of Five Bouroughs, complete with a Regent Secundus who's been investigating Hazimel's other eye. Said Secundus gets killed by an Assamite in the chantry during a ritual gone wrong. (A brief history of the Tremere clan. The clan got its start in a system that predated the modern World of Darkness as a human Hermetic magical order. As the system expanded, they became a House of the Order of Hermes, who were losing access to magick during the early medieval period. As such, Tremere's disciple Goratrix found a way to turn eight of the disciples into vampires. Which was all well and good, until they realized that they lost access to true magick, the Order now hated them, and the rest of vampire society hated them. The seven disciples diablerized themselves up to Fourth generation, while Tremere himself ended up eating an Antediluvian, Saulot, who at the time was Vampire Jesus. [Saulot got revamped a lot the longer the game went on. Indeed, he started becoming much less the Enlightened One, and much more sinister.] Of the Originla Seven, about 4 are still active at this point in the Novels. Goratrix joined the Sabbat in the Victorian Era, Meerlinda runs North America, Etrius runs the Clan from Vienna.)

Anyway, we do fill in gaps as to how Sturbridge got the sketch of Leopold that she presented in Baltimore. But that's really about it in the greater scheme of the plot. For the most part, she (and just about everyone else at the chantry) is dealing with Tremere internal politics and one poorly defined Acolyte who evidently has connections in Vienna.

So yeah. It's readable, but that's about the best I can say about it.

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