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The Cyrodiil Vampyrum Order, referred to as Our Order by its members, is Cyrodiil's native vampire clan.[1] A ruthlessly effective faction, the Order has monopolized Vampirism within the province, ousting all other bloodlines. Members are experts of concealment and political manipulation; having infiltrated almost every other faction in Cyrodiil; the vampires of the Order, under the guise of mortal men and women, infiltrated politics and the highest echelons of society to consolidate their own power and establish themselves as influential entrepreneurs.[1][2] Despite being a powerful bloodline of vampires that have managed to make Cyrodiil their stronghold during the Third Era, the Order's strength is not in physical numbers, but instead the skillful manipulation of Imperial society.[1]

The Order demands a strict code of conduct among its members:[1]

"Firstly, reveal thyself and our Order to no other, for discretion is the greatest of our virtues. Do not feed where you may be found out, or on those who may suspect your passing. Avoid daylight by lifestyle; dispel common belief in our kind, and maintain supple appearance through satisfaction of the thirst. Second, devote your pursuits to the procurement of influence, political and otherwise."

The Order views all other vampiric tribes as inferior, although they remain wary of more "enlightened" clans such as the Glenmoril Wyrd of High Rock and the Whet-Fang of Argonia. The Order honors two main patrons: Molag Bal, the "Kin-father," who brought forth the Bloodmatron Lamae to spite Arkay, and is the source of their vampiric infection. And Clavicus Vile, who taught them the arts of concealment and social manipulation, and who helps them control their blood craving. The Order's bond with Vile makes them unique among other vampiric bloodlines. For Him, they live amongst mankind, and twist them to their will to meet their own agendas.[1]

The true name of the Vampyrum Order was lost in history, likely as a result of their efforts to remain as secretive as possible.[2]

In addition to the texts that exist, the following is the adaptation of historic facts and speculation on the members, methods, organization, and whereabouts of the Vampyrum Order:              

Manifesto and History Edit

The dogmatic creed the of the Vampyrum Order, the Manifesto Cyrodiil Vampyrum,[3] reflects on the most fundamental nature of the vampire: to feed. Vampires are recognized as the strongest type of undead found in Tamriel and are plagued by uncontrollable thirst for blood. A vampire must feed everyday or face progressing down the stages of their respective vampiric disease. Progression down the stages increases their likelihood of getting discovered by mortals and inevitably, the end of their immortal life. For most vampires this means to select a vulnerable target to harvest blood, while also risking the spreading of vampirism. Nobody knows for certain how many vampires exist in Tamriel, let alone in the Vampyrum Order. This knowledge and inevitability is what most likely caused the Vampyrum Order to form in order to provide security to vampires among their ranks and to conceal their kind and their motives. Over time the Vampyrum Order absorbed or destroyed lesser clans in Cyrodiil until they were the only ones left. Although the origin of vampires dates back to the early Merethic Era when the Nedes started to wander Tamriel, the origin of the Vampyrum Order would most probably date back to a few hundred years after the founding of the Empire itself in 1E 243[4], over four thousand years before the oblivion crisis. The Vampyrum Order of course did not conquer the neighboring clans let alone even set their sights on expansion and influence in Cyrodiil until probably a couple thousand years later in the late first century. It took until the end of the second era, when Tiber Septim was crowned the Emperor of Tamriel for the Vampyrum Order to actually set in motion the events to make Cyrodiil exclusive to their own clan.

Recruitment and Initiation Edit

All recruited vampires asked to recite the Manifesto Cyrodiil Vampyrum, led by one of the Nightstalkers or Mistwalkers of the Vampyrum Order. This is done once a month at a location that will be explained in the later sections. After this is done, the recruits, now fledglings, are sent to work for the higher ranked vampires or the vampire that turned them to perform manual labor, trivial tasks, and pretty much anything that their master decides for them to do. Every member of the Vampyrum Order will pay 50% of any earnings to the order.

Rank System and Duties Edit

Vampire Fledgling: Vampire Fledglings provide manual labor of the Vampyrum Order as explained earlier as well as serve as the Vampyrum Order’s vanguard in times of battle. Upon their master being content with the work they provided, they may opt to send their fledgling back the Vampyrum Order HQ to compete for a promotion to the rank of Vampire. These competitions happen once every 3 months. Once they arrive at the HQ, the fledglings are all put into holdings cells that house 20 or 30 fledglings each. The average amount that compete here are anywhere from 100- the maximum ever recorded, which was 693. The fledglings are then chained to the walls of their cells and starved of blood for 4 continuous days. Upon the dawn of the 5th day, the chains are unlocked and the doors to their cells are opened. At this point in time, all fledglings are at the 4th stage of vampirism and more closely resemble beast than man. They are left to fight each other in groups of 7 with rays of sunlight randomly cast into the fighting pits to capitalize on their weakness to sun at this stage. This is a symbolic initiation to symbolize their rising from primitive vampires to intelligent, discreet users of deception and stealth that the Vampyrum Order expects them to be. The winner of these 7-man battles are then given a human to feed on. This competition is made to limit the number of vampires in Cyrodiil and not “overgraze the grass.” It goes without saying that the human is almost always drained entirely. The winners are then congratulated and given the rank of Vampire as well as accepted as full members of the Vampyrum Order and sent back to their masters along with a pin to wear at HQ that confirms their rank. Every rank has a different pin and must be worn at formal meetings. The competition itself is usually a spectacle for the higher ranked vampires to watch if they so choose. This competition is known as the Vet of Blood.

Vampire Edit

The Vampire has proven to the Vampyrum Order that they are formidable in combat and can serve as direct managers of the fledglings for the master when they are away. They are now tasked with the well-being of the fledglings as well as harder tasks that the master can give them. These tasks can include obtaining cattle for the master’s power-base as well as serve as taskmasters for the fledglings as long as the tasks act in the master’s best interest. For promotion, the Vampire must serve a minimum of 5 years of service and receive a sealed letter from their masters to be promoted at the Covet. Unlike the Vet of Blood, the “Covet” can happen at any time provided there are 10 Vampires that are able to participate. The Covet tests each Vampire on their skills in the real world and their ability to reap influence and wealth in a sector that they choose. Ultimately the 10 vampires are given one month to procure 15000 septims for the order. The catch is that upon the start of the Covet, the vampires are stripped of all material items and wealth so that they start from the very bottom of society. They are then cut under their left armpit to serve as a signal for other vampires to offer no aid to them; they must survive on their own, without a master providing for them. ANY vampire caught aiding one in the covet, whether he be fledgling or the Nightlord himself, will be executed. After that it is up to them if they succeed or fail. Every vampire has the opportunity to succeed but failure will result in death. Success earns the Vampire the title of “Blooded Vampire,” and a new pin to be worn.

Blooded Vampire Edit

Blooded vampires are now able to work directly for the order and leave their master’s stead. They are granted access to the HQ to come and go as they please, as they have proven to the order that they are now vampires that can sustain themselves, survive on their own, and prosper at the same time. They may now accept contracts to be completed for the order that pertains to the clandestine: assassination, theft, interrogation, espionage, and protecting higher ranked vampires in the order by serving as personal bodyguards. Many vampires at this rank will opt to stay at that rank and specialize in certain jobs that they exceed in. Specializations can include anything from blacksmith to assassin, from enchanter to merchant. Blooded vampires are now also given the opportunity to start businesses, and join other guilds such as the Dark Brotherhood, Mages Guild, etc. to strengthen themselves and their influence and serve as sleeper agents in case the order should ever require them. Promotion requires 35 years of service to the order as a Blooded Vampire. Those years must be spent in direct service to the order, not merely as a member. At this time the Blooded Vampire can apply to become a Mistwalker. For promotion, the Blooded Vampire is judged based on their merit, recommendations from higher ranked vampires, number of completed missions as well as completion percentage of missions and the difficulty of those missions. If granted the title of Mistwalker by the Nightstalker Council, the newly appointed Mistwalker is given a new pin and many new perks and benefits.

Mistwalker Edit

At this point, the order starts to give back a little for your years of service and hard work. Upon promotion to Mistwalker, the vampire is given a house in the city or town of their choosing, as well as a small power base of 2 newly recruited fledglings and one full vampire to serve their purposes. They gain the benefit of requesting certain jobs to be completed by Blooded Vampires that may serve their personal, business’s, or guild’s purpose as long as it can indirectly aid the order. A Mistwalker may also forgo the material benefits and continue direct service of the order. Mistwalkers can now serve as ambassadors to other clans or countries or even sleeper agents imbedded in other vampire clans. Mistwalkers now have the order’s permission to hold public office at any level and in any nation. They may also apply for funding for a particular interest such as an expedition, an excavation, or a political campaign. Mistwalker specializations include leadership in the order’s affairs such as a taskmaster for the blooded vampires, or Vet of Blood and Covet Leadership. Mistwalkers can also lead Blooded Vampires in complex or dangerous missions. After 70 years of direct service to the order as a Mistwalker, these vampires can then become candidates for the title of Nightstalker. Along with the same criteria that a Blooded Vampire must pass to become a Mistwalker, a Mistwalker will be judged on their ability to lead lower vampires and command respect and admiration from the mortal and vampire masses. One must do something very noteworthy to have a shot at being a Nightstalker. One trait that is a must for promotion is the trait of being able to plan very far into the future. Vampires are granted eternal life, but rarely do they capitalize on the amount of time they have to set things in motion. Mistwalkers are put up for review by the Council of Ancients, and they will decide if the Mistwalker deserves the promotion. If they are promoted, they are given a new pin as well as more perks and benefits.

Nightstalker Edit

Nightstalkers are the powerful, high-ranking field officers of the order. Upon promotion, they are given an estate in the location of their choosing or given a suite to stay in at the orders headquarters, as well as 6 fledglings, 3 Vampires, 5 Cattle, 3 Thralls, and a Blooded Vampire to serve as a personal guard. Nightstalkers serve as the long-term planners and strategists of the order and can be members of the council that selects the Blooded Vampires to be promoted to Mistwalker. From this point on, any promotion that occurs from Nightstalker and up comes directly from the Nightlord himself. If the Nightlord so wishes, a Nightstalker can become a member of the Council of the Ancients provided they are at least 500 years old and have 250 years of total service to the order. Nightstalkers may also become Knights of the Order upon personal request of the Nightlord.

Council of the Ancients Edit

This council exists to run all operations of the order that are directed to them by the wishes of the Nightlord and carry those orders out via long term strategy and direction of the Nightstalkers. All these members are very old, very wise vampires that are trusted for their long years of service to the order and their dedication to its cause. The Council Chairman is the Nightlord’s right hand and serves as the voice of the Nightlord in his absence. This individual is usually the oldest and most trusted member of the council to the Nightlord.

Knights of the Order Edit

There are 7 Knights of the Order. All of them serve as the Nightlord’s personal guards and exactors of his vengeance. They are who is sent when high ranking vampires are out of line, commit treason, or embezzle resources from the order. If these knights are sent to find someone, they are found. If they come to kill, they leave no witnesses. Nobody outside the order knows that they exist. To all mortals they exist through a combination of speculation and fear. They are the strongest and most cunning vampires the order has to offer, and they serve their post until their death. These Knights may not resign from their position or retire. To be a Knight is to embody the order itself. The Knights of the Order have no power base or material holdings save for what is provided for them by the Nightlord himself.

The Nightlord Edit

Little is known about the origins of the Nightlord, and any information is chocked up into hypothesis and hearsay. Some say he is multiple millennia old, a pure-blooded vampire of Molag Bal himself. Others say he is a Daedric Prince, a manifestation of the Night, a serpent with a hunger to swallow the world. His vision and patience are eternal.

References