The Children of Judas

(Modified from Constantinople by Night, pp. 69-71)

In every garden there is a serpent. Most Cainites in Constantinople are at a loss to explain why the Setites, under the protection of Michael himself, are valued by the Patriarch and of equal status with the other Scion families. Many suggest that Michael’s aloofness and supposed strange behavior of late is partly, if not wholly, the work of the Setites.

The Children of Judas take their name from the legend that all progeny of the traitor Judas were red-headed and cursed to live as vampires. The Setites prize red hair and all family members dye their hair red with henna.

Khay’tall, the high priest of the Setites, was the first of his brood to be welcomed to the city. Before the fifth century AD, the city had been off-limits to his clan. Michael took immediate responsibility for him. this touched off furious infighting among the Triumverate, which threatened the peace of the city for several nights. Then, all went quiet. Soon afterward, the Patriarch announced that the charter of the Setites as an official Scion family under the Toreador, supported grudgingly by Antonius and by the abstention of the Dracon. The Cainites of the city were stunned.

Since then, the Children of Judas, though they hold no official duties in the Dream, have proven to be a constant foil for all of New Rome’s vampires. Their primary interest lies in the nurturing of mortal vices, but they also enjoy playing games of intrigue in Cainite courts and halls of worship. The Setites have manipulated human pawns to thwart the various Antonian plans, corrupted assorted members of the monastic orders to upset the Obertus, and wreaked havoc on the Church of Constantinople just to accentuate the ineptitude of the Magnus Orthodox family.

The hardest hit of the Cainites, however, have been the Michaelites, whom the Children of Judas take particular pleasure in upsetting. Great artists have been lost to wine and hashish, writers overwhelmed in their indulgences, and works of beauty tarnished by last minute changes suggested by Setite patrons. At one time Michael had the presence of mind to undo the damage of his unlikely guests, and so a great dance, or perhaps a passion play, of good versus evil, purity and sin, took place within the walls of the Crossroads. However, as Michael’s grip on reality slipped, and the call of torpor strengthened, so did his advantage in this moral game of chess.

What upsets the city’s Cainites most is the fact that the Setites seem to engage in their actions for the sheer malicious pleasure of it. The Children are thoroughly entrenched in Byzantine society, and the influence that they can choose to assert over the mortal populace is staggering, even moreso because unlike their Trinity counterparts, they are completely united behind their master. Khay’tall is their dark father, Sarrasine is the favoured son, and all follow suit because they know that they can’t keep up with either of them.

ORGANIZATION

Besides Khay’tall being the family’s High Priest, the Children of Judas’ hierarchy is fluid. With Khay’tall at the top, all Children beneath him jockey for position. To maintain their favor in Khay’tall’s eyes, the Children endlessly intrigue and play amongst themselves. However, in practice, they are almost without exception continuously undone by the wily Sarrasine, who is known by the rest of the Cainites of the city as ‘the favored son’ of Khay’tall. Finally, the Setites come and go as they please, and Khay’tall instantly gives them membership in the family as they do so, which means that the Baron’s Gangrel must let them pass, which causes the knights no end of headaches.

A PARTIAL ROSTER OF THE CHILDREN OF JUDAS (who most frequently inhabit the city)
  • Khay’tall, the Snake of Eden (Childe of Nehsi, e. ?).
  • Sarrasine, the Favored Son (Childe of Khay’tall, e. ?)
  • Lady Kari’ansika, the Lady of Silks (Childe of ????, e. ?)
  • Gallasyn, nominal member only (Toreador. Childe of Enasius (d?), e. early 3rd century AD)
  • Rumor holds that a number of Children of Judas travel the ports of the empire as far afield as the Holy Land, North Africa and Marseilles, expanding Khaytall’s influence and doctrines.
ORGANIZATION

Besides Khay’tall being the family’s High Priest, the Children of Judas’ hierarchy is fluid. With Khay’tall at the top, all Children beneath him jockey for position. To maintain their favor in Khay’tall’s eyes, the Children endlessly intrigue and play amongst themselves. However, in practice, they are almost without exception continuously undone by the wily Sarrasine, who is known by the rest of the Cainites of the city as ‘the favored son’ of Khay’tall. Finally, the Setites come and go as they please, and Khay’tall instantly gives them membership in the family as they do so, which means that the Baron’s Gangrel must let them pass, which causes the knights no end of headaches.

RELATIONS WITH OTHER FAMILIES

Hated for who they are, but in power because of their advocate, the Children of Judas are widely believed to have Michael’s ear. Officially, the Antonian Ventrue and the Obertus Tzimisce are at odds with this supposed “lesser” Scion family. However, many Cainites who belong to the Trinity secretly meet with the Children because of what it can provide: regular feeding stock from the Setites huge stable of mortals (necessitated by the need to maintain the Secrecy of the Blood, given the city’s recent Cainite over-population), the fulfillment of interests and desires too shameful to mention publicly, the promise of Michael’s support, and, of course, the dirty secrets of others.

The strongest rivalry, however, exists between the Children of Judas and the Michaelites. The Setites have taken it upon themselves to test the Toreador the hardest because they are all childer of the Patriarch. Since many of the the Michaelite’s elders have already largely succumbed to either their influences or the mad obsessions, Khay’tall has chosen to strike at their Achilles’ heel, their stable of mortal artists, to add insult to their injury.

CURRENT CONCERNS

The Children of Judas ply their craft against the almost hapless Toreador. With only Petronius and Magnus to actively resist their efforts, the Setites have successfully insinuated themselves into the Michaelites’ artisan guilds. Mortal artists of great potential are now being lost to vice. Even Toreador outside the family structure, such as Gallasyn have fallen prey to their games of corruption. The Setites exert such an influence over the Toreador in Constantinople that the Cainites’ efforts may well lie at the root of the debauchery and degeneration for which the clan as a whole is later known. They look with relish upon the newly Embraced Toreador who are being brought into the family and wonder how they can bring these new arrivals down.

RELATIONS WITH OUTSIDERS

Despite the Setites intrinsic desire to corrupt anyone they come into contact with, they have recently found themselves in need of allies. The loss of a number of small avenues of influence over the Antonians and the Michaelites, has led to reconsideration of their role, at least as far as Sarrasine is concerned. While those who associate with them might be tarred with the same brush, great advantage and wealth can be attained by doing so. The Children might even trade and play fair if it will help to preserve their position. Stranger things have happened in their twisted relationship with the Dream.


Much of the work on this page was written by Haligaunt for his chronicle The Concord of Ashes . I have made some minor changes to ensure the wiki’s are suitable for my setting and game. Many thanks to Haligaunt chronicle for all his hard work and allowing me to use his work.

The Children of Judas

Dreams at the Crossroads Burnside