The candidates were divested of all wearing apparel, except their shirt and drawers. The drawers were rolled up just above the candidate’s knees, and both arms were taken out of their shirt-sleeves, leaving their legs and breast bare. A rope, technically called, by Masons, a cable-tow, was wound around their bodies three times, and a bandage, was tied very closely over their eyes.
When the candidates were prepared, the Deacon took them by the left arm, led them up to the door of the main hall, and gave three loud, distinct knocks.
The Senior Deacon, who had stationed himself at the inner door, at the right of the Senior Warden, on hearing the raps raised to his feet, made the sign of a Master Mason to the Master and spoke.
“Worshipful Master, while engaged in the lawful pursuit of Masonry, there is an alarm at the inner door of our Chantry.”
“You will attend to the alarm, and ascertain the cause.” The Master replied. The master himself was a very old vampire mage by the name of Warlock Duncan Hall.
The Senior Deacon gave three loud knocks, which were responded to by one from the parties outside. The Senior Deacon then answered with one rap, and opened the door.
“Who comes here?”
“Brother Jonathon Beck and Blake Keith, who both seek to entered apprentice, pass to the Degree of Fellow Craft, and wish to receive further light in Masonry, by being raised to the sublime Degree of a Mason.”
“Brothers, is it of your own free-will and accord?’
“It is.” Both Jon and Blake replied simultaneously.
“Brother Junior Deacon, are they worthy and well qualified?”
“Duly and truly prepared?”
“Have they made suitable proficiency in the preceding degrees?”
“And properly vouched for?”
“Who vouches for them?”
“Sir James Hamilton.”
“By what further right or benefit do they expect to gain admission?”
“By the benefit of the password.”
“Have they the password?”
“They have it not, but I have it for them.”
“Advance, and give it me.”
Sir Hamilton stepped forward, his sheathed sword gleaming from the candle light of the room, and whispered in the Senior Deacon’s ear, “Tubal Cain.”
“The pass is right; you will wait with patience until the Worshipful Master is informed of your request and his answer returned.”
Sir Hamilton then closed the door, walked to the centre of the Lodge-room before the altar, and sounded his rod on the floor three times ,which was responded to by the Master with three raps of the gavel, when the Senior Deacon made the sign of a Master Mason and said aloud.
“Brothers Jon and Blake, who both seek to be, initiated Entered Apprentice, pass to the Degree of Fellow Craft, and now wish to receive further light in Masonry, by being raised to the sublime Degree of a Mason.”
“Is it of thy own free-will and accord?”
“It is,” they both replied again.
Sir Hamilton stepped to the altar, took the compasses, walked to the door, opened it, and said.
“You shall enter, and be received in due form.”
The Junior Deacon advanced, followed by the Stewards, with rods, when the Senior Deacon stopped them, by placing his hands against the candidates, at the same time saying:
“Brothers, on entering this Lodge the first time, you were received on the point of the compasses, pressing your naked left breast, the moral of which was explained to you. On entering the second time, you were received on the angle of the square, which was also explained to you. I now receive you on both points of the compasses, extending from your naked left to your naked right breast,” he stopped to place both points against the candidate’s breasts. “Which is to teach you that as the vital parts of man are contained within the breasts, so the most excellent tenets of our institution are contained between the points of the compasses—which are Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love.”
The Junior Deacon then passed the candidates and took his seat near the door, at the right hand of the Senior Warden in the west, while the Senior Deacon proceeded to conduct the candidates, followed by the two Stewards, three times around the Lodge, during which time the Worshipful Master read the following passage of Scripture.
“Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them: while the sun, or the moon, or the stars be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain; in the day when the keepers of the house shall tremble, and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders cease, because they are few; and those that look out of the windows be darkened, and the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of music shall be brought low. Also when they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way, and the almond-tree shall flourish, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail; because man goeth to his long home, and the mourners go about the streets; or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken at the fountain, or the wheel at the cistern. Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was; and the spirit shall return unto God, who gave it.”
As the Senior Deacon and candidates passed the different stations of the officers, they (the officers) sounded their gavels as followed; when they passed the Junior Warden in the south the first time, he gave one rap , Senior Warden one rap, and Worshipful Master one rap; the second time . Junior Warden two raps, Senior Warden two raps, and Worshipful Master two raps; the third time round, Junior Warden three raps, Senior Warden three raps, and the Worshipful Master three raps. The Master so timeed his reading of the passage of Scripture, as to finish just as the parties reach the Junior Warden’s station in the south, on the third round, when they halted.
Sir James Hamilton approached the candidates, faced them toward the east, toward Warlock Duncan and spoke again.
“Brother, you will step off with your left foot one full step, and bring the heel of your right in the hollow of your left foot; now step off with your right foot, and bring the heel of your left in the hollow of your right foot; now step off with your left foot, and bring both heels together.”
The ritual went on like this for several long moments before they were told to kneel before the altar where several goblets of blood where placed. These goblets held the blood of the clan elders and both Jon’s sire and Blake’s sire. This was the moment Jon had feared, having already ingested all of their blood on two separate occasions. This would be the third time drinking their blood and it would bond him to them. He had heard stories about the blood bond and how its chains were unbreakable. It would mean for the rest of all eternity he would be bound to the clan elders and their agenda. He and Blake were about to become fully fledged Tremere vampires, willing to give their unlife for its cause.
“You will repeat your name, and say after me.” Warlock Duncan said as he approached the kneeling men before the altar.
“I, of my own free-will and accord, in the presence of my elders, and this worshipful Chantry, erected to them, do hereby and hereon most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, that I will always hail, ever conceal, and never reveal any of the secrets, arts, or magic of the Tremere clan, to any kindred or kindred whomsoever, except it be to a true and lawful brother of this clan, or in a regularly constituted Chantry of Tremere, nor unto him, or them, until by strict trial, due examination, or lawful information, I shall have found him, or them, as lawfully entitled to the same as I am myself.”
Duncan paused and looked down to the candidates at which time they repeated the phrase.
“I furthermore promise and swear, that I will stand to and abide by all laws, rules, and regulations of the Tremere elders, and of the Chantry of which I may hereafter become a member, as far as the same shall come to my knowledge; and that I will ever maintain and support the laws, and edicts of the Grand Chantry under which the same shall be holden.”
Again he paused to allow them to repeat.
“Further, that I will acknowledge and obey all due signs and summonses sent to me from a elder, sire or Primogen, if within the length of my cable-tow.”
“Further, I will not cheat, wrong, nor defraud this Tremere Chantry, nor a brother of this clan, knowingly, nor supplant him in any of his laudable undertakings, but will give him due and timely notice, that he may ward off all danger.”
“Further, that I will not knowingly strike a brother , or otherwise do him personal violence in anger, except in the necessary defense of myself or property.”
“Further, that I will abide by the laws of the Camarilla.”
After each pause, Jon and Blake repeated the ritualistic expressions.
“All this I most solemnly, sincerely promise and swear, with a firm and steady resolution to perform the same, without any hesitation, mental reservation, or secret evasion of mind what-ever, binding myself, under no less penalty than that of having my body severed in two, my bowels taken from thence and burned to ashes, the ashes scattered before the four winds of heaven, that no more remembrance might be had of so vile and wicked a wretch as I would be, should I ever, knowingly, violate this my obligation. So help me Tremere, and keep me steadfast in the due performance of the same.” After repeating the lengthy phrase both Jon and Blake looked towards one another. Jon wasn’t sure if he glimpsed fear in Blake’s deep brown eyes, but he was sure that dread was upon his face.
“You will rise and drink to unity?” Duncan asked.
“We shall,” they replied and as they did they took a goblet off the altar and raised it to their lips. Blake didn’t hesitate. Jon did, but only momentarily. He did find the elders blood to be irresistible.
When it was over both Jon and Blake were introduced to Warlock Duncan Hall, while the others in the room feasted on naked mortals who were thrown to the floor against their will. Several younger women cried out for mercy, but received none as the other vampires sated their thirst on the blood of youth.
Duncan sat back and admired the macabre scene before him. The once perfectly shined marble floors were now soaked in fresh blood. The recently drained dead bodies of several people laid about the floor in helpless looking positions. His smile was stolen by the appearance of a mysterious shadowy figure that loomed off to the side of him in an unlit hall.
“I am disappointed that I was not invited to such a fine orgy of blood you have provided.” The feminine voice said with a slithery speech.
“Why would you be invited? You are not Tremere. I am not even sure what you are.” Duncan replied.
“Now is that any way to speak to one bearing gifts?” Duncan could not help, but admire her womanly shape as she approached out of the shadows. Her lean body accented by her long wavy black hair that seemed to ride down her curves like a surfer would a tide. When she was right against him in a seductive stance she raised a book to take his eyes off her breast.
“This is the only gift I bare tonight, Duncan.”
Not hiding his disappointment he responded.”Yes I see. And what is it?”
“Another book that tales an interesting story from the land of Nod.”
“Who is the author? Does the story mention Lilith or Cain?” Duncan’s voice began to rise as he spoke in excitement.
“No authors name is mentioned, but I assure you the book is legitimate. The book also speaks of a polluter who goes by the name of Vutha Jivi. Where ever he traveled the waters were corrupted and the lands soiled. It is a very interesting story, but before I hand it over,” she pulled the book away teasing Duncan. “Don’t you have something for me? I would not hand this precious tome over lightly.”
Duncan produced from his pocket a shiny silver ring, with a red ruby set within it.
“I procured this at the cost of several kindred. I hope what you give me gets me closer to the truth behind all of this and does not open more questions like the last book you gave me.”
“My dear Duncan, all truths would be known if they were not difficult to uncover. Your quest is merely a century old. I have known others to spend several centuries and discover less than you already have.” She gave a coy look as she slowly grabbed the ring.
“And do not forget that most of what you have learned is because of me.”
Duncan quickly grabbed the book and pulled it towards him.
“You play games. You know more than you let on woman. I may be young in your eyes, but do not forget I wield a knowledge that is several millennium old.”
The woman let go of the book and backed away, smiling all the while and never taking her eyes off the warlock.
“You know very little of the knowledge which is eons old actually. Good bye Duncan. Thanks for the ring.” Before Duncan could respond she leaped into the air and flew out the window which she had crept in only moments ago. As she flew through the night sky she smiled and spoke to herself.
“Oh lord Duncan, if you only knew the truth you would shiver in fear and wish you had swallowed the blue pill.”