Portland At The End of All Things
A Psychologist in Life Who Was Embraced into the Tremere Clan
Name: Eric Fletcher
Chronicle: Portland at the End of All Things
Sire: Lynn Carter
Date of Birth: 9.4.1948
Nationality: Mixed European
Height: 5’ 9
Eric Fletcher was a psychologist working in Portland, Oregon. He had turned to the science of studying minds in an effort to understand what was wrong with himself, because as any sane and rational person with a scientific mind can tell you, there’s no such thing as ghosts. The spirits that he could hear and occasionally see would whisper secrets to him, but he knew that these were merely messages from his subconscious mind that his mental illness was translating into a hallucinatory form. Whenever he was walking the streets in public, in shops or bars, or especially in consultation with a client, he would hear snatched words from etheric beings that gave him a glimpse into the psyches of others. Whilst the method of gaining this knowledge was curious and clearly a sign of a deranged mind, the information itself was invariably true. Eric used his presumed subconscious appraisal of other people to assist them and gained a small reputation for being particularly insightful into diagnosing his clients’ problems and helping them through their troubles. All the while he would hide his own dark secret, and continue his research into ways to stop the voices, but to no avail.
A breakthrough came when he took on a new client that preferred evening appointments, Ms Jordan de Baer. For no discernable reason, the voices went completely silent in this woman’s presence. There was nothing particularly startling about her or her problems: quite a banal case about her husband not loving her, and her growing attraction to a female co-worker, although she seemed a little cold and unaffected by the troubled relationship that she reported. And more self-confident then Thomas would have expected. Nevertheless Eric was keen to continue the meetings for the brief respite that they provided. It was at the third of these sessions that the tables turned.
Perhaps the paucity of his notes should have tipped him off that he didn’t remember everything that happened in the sessions. But the tantalising freedom from the constant voices was too great a lure. For Eric, though, the third session was also her last. Ms de Beer whose true mame was Lynne Carter was a vampire and Primogen of Clan Tremere and she had been sent to investigate and potentially embrace Eric. Natasha Rusenova, the leader of the Portland Chantry, and Prtince of the city had sufficient knowledge of Necromancy to summon and control the spirits of the dead on her own. Some of these ghosts had identified a psychologist that could hear their disembodied voices; a fine candidate for study and to disseminate his unusual skill. The use of Dominate in the early sessions confirmed the situation, and Ms de Beer aka as Linda Carter was given the go ahead to induct Eric into the Clan.
“I, Thomas James Fletcher, hereby swear my everlasting loyalty to House and Clan Tremere and all its members. I am of their blood, and they are of mine. We share our lives, our goals and our achievements. I shall obey those the House sees fit to name my superiors, and treat my inferiors with all the respect and care they earn for themselves…”
The swearing of the Code of Tremere went on into the night, with Thomas only half-aware of what was going on. He felt oddly compelled to follow the commands of his former client, not really understanding the implications of the words he mechanically repeated nor what was going on. He was light-headed as though he had lost blood, his neck burned with an insistent ache, and there was an odd taste in his mouth.
“I hereby swear this oath. Woe to they who try to tempt me to break this oath, and woe to me if I succumb to such temptation.”
Drinking the thick liquid from the cup he was handed, Thomas’ ritual embrace was complete. Dutifully following his sire, still under the effects of Dominate, he left his old life forever.
The Clan tidied up the loose ends, where possible rearranging his existing appointments to after sundown. The business was wound down over the next couple of months. Eric’s’ ties to his mortal life were severed one by one.
For his part, Eric went through the stages of denial to acceptance in short order, only too aware of his mental state. Finally accepting this overthrow of his rational assumptions, he attended to the lessons that the new masters taught him: the history of vampires, mages, the Tremere and the Camarilla; the basics of Kindred politics; an introduction into the wider world of the occult, and so on. And all the while they subtly altered his emotional associations through the powers of Dominate, to further reduce any feelings he may have entertained about contacting his family or old friends.
Eric discovered that ghosts too are real, and that he had a gift for communicating with them. He built on this fundament and soon developed an excellent grasp of the discipline of Auspex. Now he could often see the spirits as well as hear them, and having accepted the truth of the matter he began to form relationships with some of these ghosts.
Natasha Rusenova, however, was frustrated in that he found Eric’s’ ability to interact with ghosts was entirely natural, and not a piece of useful knowledge that she could learn herself. Further, this neonate lacked the strength of will that marked the most promising Tremere candidates. Natasha held back from teaching Thaumaturgy to Eric feeling that he hadn’t proven himself worthy to learn the greatest of the Clan’s secrets. And when he found out, from harsh interrogation of dead spirits, that Thomas was actually striking up friendships with them,
“You have been a vampire and a good-standing member of Clan and House Tremere for a year now. You have been reborn into this life. By the age of twelve months, a mortal child will just have begun to walk. So it is with you: now that you have been taught our ways for a year, it is time for you to take your first steps amongst the wider Kindred society. When you have also found your own voice, come back here and we shall see what you have learned.”