The Lancea et Sanctum

The Sanctified

You value tradition. You might not think things are great as they are, but you believe they’ll be worse if change comes. You seek to find meaning in your condition as a vampire. You are curious about the past. You are afraid of Hell.

What They Do

The Lancea et Sanctum is, quite simply, the organized church of the Kindred. God cursed vampires to be hungry and dead, and in their damnation they are called to do God’s work. In the Book of Job, Satan is God’s agent in the torment of an innocent man, tempting him to blasphemy. The Sanctified see themselves as doing the same: They torment the innocent, and root out those whose faith is weak.

The Lancea et Sanctum is to the Church Universal what the individual vampire is to a living believer: a parasite; a monster that feeds, and corrupts, and mimics. But in so doing, the Sanctified do the will of God Himself. They produce the trials and persecutions that refine the faithful and weed out the unbeliever. They send the faithful to the right hand of Jesus, a place forever denied to the Damned. A Lancea et Sanctum theologian once called the organization “the Third Version of Judas,” the true betrayers who are too pious to be allowed the consolations of goodness.

The ambivalent relationship of the Sanctified to their living flocks is a case in point. While they have for centuries maintained a strict rule that they do not worship alongside the living, vampiric shepherds do everything they can to make sure these churches survive, pursuing those who would persecute or otherwise harm the living church with terrifying viciousness. On the other hand, the Sanctified believe that they must keep their flocks strong. With fear, a Sanctified monster keeps the wayward children of Mother Church on the straight and narrow: teenagers are terrified into maintaining their virginity by the monsters who hunt at Lovers’ Leap; an abusive priest is fed on, and then driven to suicide; a family is frightened into staying with the church by nightmares and supernatural portents. With temptations, the monsters weed out the weak: A vampire plays on the deep-seated doubts of a nun, driving her to experimentation and addiction, then to prostitution and finally to homelessness and death; a televangelist is given the opportunity to embezzle funds from the Rwandan Orphanage Appeal; a student Bible-group leader is lured to his doom by a beautiful, dark woman. All too often those whom the Sanctified tempt and are found wanting become the next generation of the Sanctified themselves, rising from the grave to atone for the unforgivable.

The devotees of the Lancea et Sanctum consider themselves to be the moral center of the Kindred. They are the clergy who minister to the laity of other covenants, who merely attend services.

The Lancea et Sanctum’s divine monsters are the archivists and librarians of the Kindred. Just as medieval monks were the keepers of knowledge, the Sanctified maintain some of the oldest records of the Kindred, and most cities with a significant Lancea et Sanctum presence have a Black Collection of histories, diaries and sacred texts. A small Lancea et Sanctum printing press even exists — the Society for the Promulgation of Longinian Doctrine — producing printed-on-demand texts for dissemination among the dead (and only among the dead). The most significant of these texts is The Testament of Longinus, the vampires’ Bible. Of course, just like their medieval daylight predecessors, the Lancea et Sanctum’s librarians suppress or destroy as many books as they keep. The Sanctified just as often keep artifacts and texts far away from the prying eyes and grasping fingers of the curious, both living and dead.

How They Do It

The Lancea et Sanctum tends, in almost everything they do, to try at least to preserve the old ways, to maintain things as they are, or at least as the Sanctified believe they should be. Even if a Sanctified corpse brings chaos and tragedy to a living community, her intention is to prevent larger changes.

The Sanctified preach. They believe all Kindred exist in the context of Longinus’ Church Eternal: the priests and divines (the Lancea et Sanctum), the laity (all those outside of the covenant who respect Longinus and take the sacraments), and the doubly damned heretic (everyone else, but particularly the Circle of the Crone). This is why they behave as a church, organizing services, and why they interfere in the temporal politics of the Damned — all the better to push their agenda, which some consider the most conservative of any of the covenants. This conservatism often brings them into conflict with the Circle of the Crone, whose neo-pagan syntheses of what the Sanctified often see as old heresies and apostasies leaves a bitter taste.

The Sanctified study, and that study is often dangerous, since they are at our most militant when finding and acquiring historical documents and artifacts — or destroying them, and all the traces with them. The truths the Lancea et Sanctum seek are dangerous, and their neonates may be asked to guard, steal, or destroy all sorts of truths without ever finding out what these truths are. A book. A thighbone. A petrified canine tooth, elongated and carved in tiny Latin letters with Malediction 19:6 — “I gorge myself on their hypocrisy.” A vial of dust. An incorruptible apple, two thousand years old. An owl feather in a golden reliquary. A plague jar, sealed for centuries but still swarming with living flies. A clay coffin containing someone old and sleeping, whose knowledge offers a terrible threat to the leaders of the covenant but whose power demands that he must not be disturbed.

One important aspect of Sanctified study is Theban Sorcery, the dark miracles handed down from the most ancient Egyptian cenobites. The greatest secrets of their sorcery are known to the Lancea et Sanctum’s priests — secrets they pass on sparingly, if at all.

The Sanctified also deal with the living, manipulating church leaders and religious congregations for their own purposes. They might send a neonate to put a minister to the test with the temptations of sex, or drugs, or darker things. Or to whisper in an evangelist’s ear at night, the better to control the politics of a city. A church soup kitchen is both a great place to hide and a source of easy blood; a protest in front of an abortion clinic creates a distraction, allowing for blood and drugs to be stolen; a few drops of Vitae in the jar of consecrated wine, and the private communion held with a major gangland figure becomes a means of control.

Human links are especially useful, possibly more than to any other covenant except the Carthians. There is no other way to find the knowledge they seek, suppress, and use.