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Taking their name from the Latin word for "Unconquerable", The Invictus are a covenant that believes they are the rightful rulers of the race of Kindred. Lords and ladies of the night, the First Estate (as they call themselves) wield money, human pawns and political influence as tools to accomplish their goals.
Daeva and Ventrue make up the bulk of the population, with many a city's Prince being a Ventrue Invictus. Nosferatu more often than not serve as the enforcers and bodyguards of the Invictus. Mekhet are also found as members, but they usually strive to maintain secrecy of their involvement in the covenant. Gangrel usually find the Invictus to be too stuffy and rigid for their tastes, although some do lust for the power that the First Estate can grant.
Nevertheless, The First Estate's members, however varied, are united in one common goal - the acquisition of power.
The earliest Kindred document mentioning the Invictus is a grant of hunting rights, made in AD 84. During this time, the Camarilla still ruled Rome. Those Kindred around at the time claim that the Invictus ruled the Camarilla. When that organisation fell, the Invictus filled the power vacuum with overwhelming speed. Jealous Kindred say the Invictus deliberately overthrew the Camarilla, but found that it was not quite as powerful as it thought.
The Middle Ages - which the Invictus refer to as the "Heroic Age" - were when individuals and dynasties performed great deeds for the Covenant, cementing their place in the Kindred power structure. During this period, the Covenant was known by the Germanic name Die Unbeseigt, rather than the Roman appellation it uses now.
The at the head of each city sits the Inner Circle. This is typically comprised of the oldest (and theoretically most superior) Invictus members of the city, and it is they who direct their colleagues and subordinates to further the First Estate's plans.
- Advisor - An Invictus title for a member of the Primogen.
- Almoner - A vampire who makes it a profession to care for the less fortunate, either in Kindred or mortal society or both.
- Archon - The Invictus title for a Hound.
- Au Pair - A specialist in elementary training for neonates: basic vampire survival and etiquette, Discipline use, and Masquerade preservation skills.
- Commissioner - A vampire trained in the judicious distribution of resources.
- Councilor - A member of the Inner Circle.
- Groom - An Invictus who cultivates Herds for other members.
- Interpreter - A translator and specialist in matters of subterfuge.
- Judex - A judge and arbiter of disputes.
- Knight - An oathsworn soldier.
- Librettist - A professional connoisseur of arts and entertainments.
- Meister - An acknowledged expert and instructor in any field of study who oversees a Guild.
- Minister - The Invictus title for a Herald.
- Notary - A professional witness to declarations and recitations of oaths.
- Player - A professional artist or performer.
- Prince - The city position of Prince.
- Priscus - The city position of Priscus.
- Reeve - An Invictus title for a Sheriff.
- Secretary - The governor of Guilds in a City.
- Senator - a Professional philosopher and advisor; may be called upon to give counsel on spiritual matters or interpret occult occurences.
- Seneschal - The city position of Seneschal.
- Soldier - A professional warrior who is not sworn to an Order of Knights.
- Speaker - A specialist in matters of ettiquette and diplomacy.
- Steward - A preserver of valuable artifacts.
- Technologist - An expert in the study and application of Disciplines, including the experimental development of new Devotions, categorization of bloodline-specific powers, and observations of other "foreign" abilities.
- Whip - The city position of Whip.
Advancement in the Invictus is based on merit. The Invictus who rise to the top are the ones who have done the greatest benefit for the covenant (or who have effectively crushed all their opposition). Gaining influence and power, conquering territory for the covenant, and eliminating Invictus enemies all help the neonate earn advancement. Naturally, the higher one climbs, the more enemies one makes. In fact, an Invictus without a few powerful enemies is probably not an Invictus worth noticing.
Invictus earn power through exchanging favors, shows of fealty and swearing oaths, all in a complicated system of rules and etiquette. Invictus life is dominated by backroom deals, secret alliances and betrayals.
The Invictus is dominated largely by its elders. Consequently, much emphasis is placed on tradition. Young Invictus and most outsiders see the covenant as hidebound and anachronistic. The elders argue that following the old ways make sense - like the covenant itself, these notions have withstood the test of time, which makes them inherently superior to modern ideals.
There is an air of refinement within the covenant, perhaps cultivated by its members to distract them from the realities of being a vampire. Invictus members are typically smartly dressed, well spoken and educated. Very rarely does a member resort to anything as unseemly as brawling. Instead they practice a deadly dance of one-upmanship, acid quips and not so subtle intimidation. Still, it is this veneer of grace and civility that attracts many young members to the covenant, who have had their fill of being rudely shoved around by their fellow Kindred.
Creeds and Heresies
For the Invictus, the highest goal is power for power's sake. The system of courtly etiquette and rules help to enforce order and teach the young their role, but all that is simply to achieve the Invictus goal of absolute and unassailable power over the night.
- The Cherubim
- The Most Noble Fellowship of Artemis
- The Octopus
- The Most Honorable Order of the Thorned Wreath
- Die Nachteulen
Belial's Brood · Brethren of the Hundred Faces · Brides of Dracula · Children of the Thorns · Harbingers · Holy Engineers · Nemites · Sakadagami · Society of the Accord · Southern Cities Alliance · Sun-Walking Knights · VII