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> [VtR-2e]Broken Covenants, 过两天再排版精修。
2020-09-30, 22:36
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Broken Covenants

Covenants rise and fall, occasionally. They have done so ever since the Camarilla, first and arguably the greatest of all covenants, fell some 16 centuries ago. Of the Camarilla itself little more needs to be said. It survives in the Invictus and in the Lancea et Sanctum that destroyed it.
从那十六世纪前的第一个,也可以被认为是最伟大的盟会Camarilla(秘盟)开始。盟会偶尔也会兴起或衰亡。而Camarilla(秘盟)是最值得一提的,它的思想传承给了摧毁它的the Invictus与the Lancea et Sanctum。
A few covenants survived for longer than a few centuries. They are gone now, for all intents and purposes, but traces of them survive. The horrors they left behind might still have significance for the curious or unlucky neonate, even now. Some covenants exist as rumors; and while hard evidence of their having existed is relatively easy to find, do they exist now?
Wait for them to find you, and perhaps you may find out.

The Legion of the Dead
The Legion of the Dead originated in the Camarilla. That vampire government dissolved, and most of its military wing joined the Lancea et Sanctum and later the Invictus. But the Legion, the Grim Battalion, continued to exist as a separate body. It was a very different beast, a bloody-handed mercenary band of blood-drinking thugs, assassins, and murderers who thrived in the turmoil of the Dark Ages. By the 9th century, the Grim Battalion's creed had devolved to “profit or die.”
The Legion of the Dead亡者军团在the Camarilla(密盟)时代建立。虽然密盟——曾经的吸血鬼政府,解体了。虽然其军事之翼的大部分力量并入了the Lancea et Sanctum(圣枪教团)以及(the Invictus)永屹王庭。但是军团,冷酷营,仍然独立存在。它是个不同的怪物,一个双手染血的雇佣兵团,内部充斥着在黑暗时代兴盛的饮血强盗,刺客和杀手。到了九世纪,冷酷营的信条转变成了“盈利或死亡。”
Working for the highest bidder carries its own risks; after too many betrayals, too many turns, too many bribes taken, the trust they had earned was gone. The Legion of the Dead, one by one, found themselves eliminated. By the 12th Century, all were gone.
Even now, one can still find pieces of their legacy in museums: a thousand-year-old sword, miraculously preserved but carrying a reputed curse; a rusty suit of armor hidden in a vault, haunted by the terrifying, enraged victims of its wearer; hoards of cursed coins, left by the greed-fuelled soldiers of the Grim Battalion, waiting to be found, and to unleash their horrors upon the dead who still lust after blood, glory, and wealth.

The Gallows Post
In some ways, the late Middle Ages were a golden period for the dead. Plagues and wars swept across Europe and North Africa. People hid in the dark, in their communities, hardly traveling at all. The routes and wildernesses of Europe became dangerous places; stories of the terrible things that haunted the lonely pathways of the North were common currency. The truth lay in the loosely-formed group who would eventually be called the Gallows Post, the creatures who feasted on the lifeblood of lonely travelers. For a price, they arranged safe passage for the other dead, and maintained secret hiding places far from civilization where the Kindred could spend the day. The Gallows Post ensured the lines of communication that made the existence of the vampire covenants possible.
在某种意义上,中世纪对亡者们来说是一段黄金时代。瘟疫和战争从欧洲一路横扫至北非。人们在黑暗中蜷缩在他们的社区里,几乎不可能远行。欧洲的通路和荒野之地变得非常危险;北方偏僻路线上盘踞着可怕之物的故事广为人知。这些故事后的真相是最终被称作The Gallows Post(绞架哨卫)的,在孤独旅人命脉上大快朵颐的怪物。他们为亡者们安排了付费的安全通路,并在文明之外的野地建立了供血族玩乐的销金窟。The Gallows Post绞架哨卫在那时维护着维系各个吸血鬼盟会存在的通讯线路。
As the world of the living became relatively more open, routes became easier to travel, and borders became less inchoate and more effectively guarded, the world of the Kindred closed down; and it became harder for the dead to travel. Having reached a peak in the 16th century, the Gallows Post dwindled, slowly. The last vampire of the Gallows Post met his Final Death in 1892.
随着生者世界变得相对更加开放,长途旅行的难度减低,国家边界变得不再那么原始并被有效地保卫,血族的世界反而闭锁了起来,亡者们逐渐发现自己变得难以旅行。随着亡者世界的闭锁在十六世纪达到了顶峰,The Gallows Post(绞架哨卫)逐渐走向衰败。最后一名隶属于The Gallows Post(绞架哨卫)的吸血鬼死于1892年。
Still, to one who knows the signs and the ancient forms, secret wilderness places still remain where the Gallows Post allowed the dead to wait on their travels. But who knows what else waits there?

The Children’s Crusade
The Kindred — those with some smidgen of human conscience remaining — shy from embracing the truly innocent. It wasn't always the case. For about five hundred years, between the 12th century and the 18th, the Embrace of children was the sole preserve of the Children’s Crusade; and conversely, if children were Embraced, the First and Second Estates in many domains dictated that they were put into the Crusade's care.
(The Kindred)血族——那些仍残留着少量人类良知的——羞于(embracing)初拥纯真的幼童。然而,情况并不总是这样。12世纪至18世纪之间的大约500年间,初拥是唯一能保护儿童十字军的方法。反而说,如果儿童出于某种理由被初拥了,许多领地的the First and Second Estates(第一等级和第二等级, 永屹王廷和圣枪教团的别称)会将其判给儿童十字军照顾。
A child who becomes a monster is a truly terribly thing, denied the right to grow up, and quite possibly lacking the maturity to deal with the physical and spiritual horrors of the vampiric condition. These dead children took care of their own, hunting their brothers and sisters who had fallen into madness with a terrible sing-song glee. But after a time it became apparent to the Invictus and the Lancea et Sanctum of a hundred cities that the Children's Crusade was corrupt in ways that the adult monsters could not fully understand. The Crusade hid the crimes of the maddened dead children who filled its ranks. The children made deals with owls.
Hunts took place. Terrible things were done. The Children's Crusade is gone — outside of a few fog-addled recollections of the older Kindred, a handful of letters, a single book published by subscription in the 19th century. But some are not gone forever. Some, only a few, still sleep, in hidden, lonely places: lost attics, sewers, caves. And if these creatures awaken, these terrible, tragic devil-children could once again try, one by one, to rebuild their traditions and begin the Children's Crusade once more.

The Tenth Choir
If the Tenth Choir existed at all beyond whispered legends, word-of-mouth stories denied by some of the Sanctified with almost excessive force, little evidence remains.
一些口口相传的,被the Sanctified(圣化者)强硬否认的故事,一些耳语和传说,如果The Tenth Choir(第十唱诗班)真的存在于它们的背后,也很少有记录留下来。
Elisabeta the Plague Nun sometimes tells the story of a fraternity of vampires who believed that since their living, hungry death was a curse of God, they must take revenge on the divine. Between the 17th and 20th centuries, the Choir developed a system of blood magic to consort with angels and devils. They drank the blood of angels. They sought to murder God. One story told to a neonate by Ephraim Tench, the Beast of Uttoxeter, describes how a vampire Embraced an angel. Or became a blood-drinking angel (Ephraim's memory isn't what it was). Was this symbolic? Did the Tenth Choir's members deal in metaphor? Did the Tenth Choir exist at all?
Elisabeta the Plague Nun(瘟疫修女伊莎贝塔)有时会讲述某个吸血鬼兄弟会的故事,那个兄弟会认为自生命诞生以来,饥饿和死亡便是上帝的诅咒,他们必须报复做出了这一切的神圣者。在十七世纪到二十世纪之间,该唱诗班开发了一套血魔法系统,用以联结天使和魔鬼。他们饮用天使之血。他们试图谋杀上帝。Ephraim Tench——尤托克西特之兽,告诉了某个新生吸血鬼一个故事,他讲了吸血鬼如何初拥天使,也可能是在说如何成为一个吸血的天使(Ephraim的记忆不如从前了)。这是某种象征吗?第十唱诗班的成员是在使用某种隐喻吗?第十唱诗班真的存在吗?
The last anyone heard of the Tenth Choir was in the London Blitz.
If a diary or a grimoire were to surface containing the ideas and achievements of these blasphemous dead men, what would it be worth? Who — or what — would stop at nothing to retrieve it?
Does the Tenth Choir yet exist?
the Tenth Choir第十唱诗班真的存在吗?
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