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  1. Strange even by the inclusive standards of the Circle
  2. of the Crone, the Disciples of Silence are an ongoing
  3. example of tradition in transition, evolving from a
  4. relatively conventional mystery cult to a controversial
  5. atheistic modern practice.
  6. Millennia past, a certain point of view emerged within the
  7. covenant, achieving popularity in more than one domain. At
  8. the time, some Kindred believed that the Crone responsible
  9. for creating the material universe from the primordial void
  10. was actually an embodiment of the void itself. When the
  11. creation of the universe was complete, they said, the Crone
  12. allowed herself to dissolve back into nothingness so as to
  13. gift her myriad children with absolute freedom from her
  14. influence. There, in the nothingness of unbeing, she awaits
  15. the eventual return of her creation, and will one day emerge
  16. again to refashion it. Thus goes the everlasting cycle of being
  17. and unbeing: creation, dissolution and recreation.
  18. To worship the Crone, said these Kindred, was to worship
  19. the void and vice versa. To understand the nothingness
  20. is to know her directly. Naming themselves the
  21. Disciples of Silence, these devoted vampires informed
  22. all of their practice with the notion of “Silent Void” and
  23. the primal state of being without consciousness.
  24. Practicing behind the façade of ordinary Acolytes,
  25. the Disciples explored the limits of their minds and the
  26. ability to act without thought, initiating themselves
  27. (and one another) in the deep secrets of being and
  28. unbeing as their studies progressed. Nature was sacred
  29. to these vampires, for the unconsciousness of flora
  30. and fauna. Humans and Kindred were sinful in their
  31. tendency to complicated thought and the urge to deny
  32. natural decay. The immortal static nature of vampires
  33. was, to them, the most unholy state of being, and could
  34. only be justified by active service to the Crone.
  35. For the old Disciples of Silence, any attempt at permanence
  36. was a sin against the Crone. Even stones and the
  37. sea would dissolve into nothingness, they argued, so to
  38. build great works of architecture or to map the bounds
  39. of the sea were to ignore the truth of the Silent Void
  40. and fall to the vice of Pride. Construction, they said, was
  41. futile. Legacies were pointless noise. The purpose of the
  42. Kindred was to know meditative calm and silence, to aid
  43. in the slow and steady destruction of the universe that it
  44. might feed the return of the Crone and to abstain from
  45. the Embrace of new vampires.
  46. For long centuries, it was difficult to tell where the
  47. Disciples of Silence dwelled. Stories were told of their exploits:
  48. the collapse of a great temple here, the seemingly
  49. random destruction of a neonate there. Many low-level
  50. Acolytes of the Circle served the Disciples unknowingly,
  51. ascending to a full understanding of the faction only
  52. when their Hierophant chose to initiate them into its
  53. ranks — most often after the faithful performance of a
  54. damning task.
  55. Despite the reputation they gained and the apparent
  56. ubiquity of the Disciples, the truth is that the faction was
  57. relatively small and unpopular in those dark nights. A
  58. number of Acolytes brought into the fold were incapable
  59. of accepting the message of their elders, and rebelled.
  60. Several cults belonging to the faction collapsed inwards,
  61. destroyed by insurrection. Many of the Acolytes who
  62. worshipped quietly and calmly were stigmatized by association
  63. with the more outrageous destructive acts of
  64. their alleged organization and pushed out of their home
  65. cities. Many did not survive.
  66. By the late years of the 19th century, there were fewer
  67. than a dozen faithful Disciples left in the world of Kindred.
  68. A recent convert from the Carthian Movement
  69. by the name of Jerome Turner brought the philosophical
  70. writings of the anarchist Mikhail Bakunin with him,
  71. citing one particular quote to his fellow Acolytes: “Let
  72. us put our trust in the eternal spirit which destroys and
  73. annihilates only because it is the unsearchable and
  74. eternally creative source of all life — the passion for
  75. destruction is also a creative passion!” Turner’s impassioned
  76. attempt at overlaying nihilist philosophy on the
  77. truths of Kindred existence excited the attention of the
  78. Disciples of Silence, and Turner was quickly (some now
  79. say too quickly) initiated into their ranks.
  80. Before long, Turner brought his vision of “Nihilist
  81. Silence” to the faction and beyond, openly preaching a
  82. peculiarly materialist version of their beliefs. He adopted
  83. and integrated the writings of mortal philosophers such
  84. as Nietzsche, Stirner and Heidegger, relating them to
  85. packs of recently Embraced “new Kindred” and attracting
  86. them to the Circle. Exiled from his home domain
  87. (at the behest of his own Hierophant), Turner found
  88. his way to a new home in Morocco, where his teachings
  89. continued. Once he’d gathered a significant number of
  90. followers, he proclaimed himself Hierophant of that
  91. domain, sparking a battle with the previously entrenched
  92. Acolytes. Turner’s viciousness and the suicidal tactics of
  93. his adherents took the older vampires by surprise, and
  94. the new Disciples of Silence won the battle.
  95. The new iteration of the Disciples of Silence taught
  96. the calm and purpose of the cult’s original adherents, but
  97. added a futility and strangely godless mysticism to the
  98. mix. To these Disciples, the universe was not founded
  99. by a creative Crone, but came to exist of its own accord,
  100. without meaning or purpose. There is no cycle of
  101. creation and destruction, they argue — only the steady
  102. decay of all sense and matter, and the hopeless mortal
  103. urge to stave it off by building illusory structures. The act
  104. of creation, absent in the workings of the older Disciples,
  105. was returned to significance — but only to demonstrate
  106. the act’s futility. Every member of the faction was instructed
  107. to put every effort into the creation of “great
  108. works,” only to arrange the destruction of their own
  109. accomplishments as a manner of fueling ritual magicks.
  110. Meditation was eliminated from their practice as no less
  111. futile than prayer to a goddess that does not exist.
  112. Turner encouraged his followers to travel as emulation of
  113. his tribulation on the road to Morocco, and then to preach
  114. his ways to the Acolytes of the Circle or anyone else who
  115. was willing to listen. Just before scattering, they rose up and
  116. murdered him, demonstrating the fulfillment of his lessons
  117. and their “graduation” to individual understanding.
  118. In the nights of the 20th century, the new Disciples have
  119. spread from domain to domain, turning a surprising number
  120. of converts (as assisted by the prevailing sentiment of many
  121. Kindred in the wake of the great world wars) and spreading
  122. their godless brand of Crúac. In response, the older Disciples
  123. have attempted to denounce the new sub-faction in a bid to
  124. disown its followers. Because of the Disciples’ secretive past,
  125. they have met with little success. Many vampires believe
  126. that the Disciples were always a murderous atheist cult, and
  127. are only now growing bold enough to admit it openly.
  128. Recently, there has been more than one attempted
  129. resurgence of the old ways of the Silent Void, but the
  130. new Disciples have carefully and mercilessly extinguished
  131. them. Where these attempts are coming from and whether
  132. they can be totally silenced is yet to be discovered.
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