Roderigo al-Dakhil, also known as Padre Cráneo, is one of the few remaining members of the Nagaraja bloodline and one of the surviving liches of the Tal'Mahe'Ra, who had an very active part during the creation of the Sabbat and its relationships with the True Black Hand.
Originally a soldier of Castilia fighting against the muslims in the Reconquista, he Awakened when he killed his first enemy, seeing all of the man's life before him. He was inducted into his arts by a monk, who told him that he was marked by God as one of the secret angels of the world. Together with his mentor, they traveled to India so that he could learn in the halls of the Euthanatoi themselves. Roderigo met ghosts from ancient civilizations, and mystics from all corners of the world. He met stranger figures, as well, including the one who would have the most lasting impact on his existence, the scholar and necromancer called Mokhadaji Ranpur, a vampire of great age. From Ranpur, Roderigo first learned of the soul of a whole city, an ancient city lost in the howling ghost-winds of the Underworld.
When his home chantry came under attack by rival mages, the mages used a ritual to transfer it into northern Spain. Roderigo and Ranpur continued to communicate with each other using enslaved wraiths, and after fifteen years of study, Roderigo was ready to enter the Underworld corporally. However, fate was unkind and Roderigo was slain by a creature of the Tempest. Ranpur could only save his life by Embracing him, destroying all magical capabilities that Roderigo ever had. The process took its toll in the sanity of Roderigo and he had to be contained within the vaults of Enoch, where his sire tried to restore his sanity by talking and philosophizing with him. For almost a century, Roderigo remained in the Dead City, learning at the feet of his master. He read the crumbling libraries of the Tal'Mahe'Ra and spoke with its most learned sages. He listened to the philosophies of the enigmatic Del'Roh and made himself available to the sect's liches for any tasks that might need the attentions of a young and eager Kindred.
When he finally managed to return to the world of the living, he acted as an agent of the True Black Hand to usher the Burning Times, situating himself into the early Inquisition and directing them as good as he could, all the while preventing any other supernatural interference that would undermine the efforts of the witch-hunters. During this time, he came into contact with Bogomilism. Astonished that these mere mortals used liturgies that had a great resemblance to the Guarded Rubrics, he investigated and found among a small cults of heretics in Kiev a nearly complete copy of the Rubrics. Weeks later, however, he discovered the truth of its origins when an ancient Gangrel rose from the ground at the center of the village. Roderigo introduced himself, explaining why he was present in this elder's domain. The Gangrel introduced himself as Mitru and claimed to have stolen the copy from a Ventrue prince. Over time, however, Roderigo earned the ire of the ancient and had to flee. He found cover by a band of Gypsies that revered his sire, who had watched his childe and his efforts and had given him access to his own resources. He arrived in Europe when the Black Plague was at its height and many Princes denied him access to their domains. When a Nosferatu Embraced a member of the Gypsy caravan named Reveka in order to hurt him, he finally left them, taking the neonate with him and teaching her the ways of the undead. The two traveled Europe for a time, though the Black Death scourged all of Christendom. In the midst of the devastation, the two became lovers – a carrion duo, she skulking among shadows and he devouring the flesh of those wretches she delivered to him. In time, however, Roderigo's duties called him back to Spain. The two parted ways then, for Reveka felt that she could call no domain her true home.
|“||We must command them, and shape them. With ourselves among them in ways we never could be among the Inquisition, let us chain this rabid dog rather than put it down, and unleash it upon our foes. Those savaged by the dogs of war will shrink away from us all the more quickly, easy prey for our blades in the darkness.||”|
|— Roderigo al-Dakhil, on the Anarch Revolt and creating the Sabbat|
Creation of the SabbatEdit
During the terrors of the Anarch Revolt, Reveka returned to him, being a member of the coterie that had slain the Lasombra Antediluvian. Terrified, he took ventured to the Black City and proposed the plan to form the Anarchs and bringing them under the control of the Tal'Mahe'Ra. He made contact with the Lost Tribe, a group of Assamites that had left Alamut and would later form the Black Hand, and though Reveka, he was directly responsible for the creation of the Sabbat. Over the next decade or so, younger members of the cult and the childer Embraced for the specific purpose of seeding it with agents were all inducted into the Sword of Caine, while Roderigo continued to see the disciples of the Lost Tribe. His influence, however, waned significantly when Reveka met Final Death. He was named one of the Liches of the Dead City instead. As part of his researches, Roderigo often undertook journeys into the world of flesh. This made him unique among the Liches, and among many elders of the True Hand. He always made it a point to learn the nuances of the world, and how it had changed since he last was there. For decades, he studied the venerable necromancies chiseled into the walls of Enoch, and whispered into the crypts of the Aralu, hoping for a reply. The Tremere fascinated him, as did the blood sorceries of the Tzimisce and Assamites, but the paranoia and xenophobia of those clans prevented his acquisition of any but the most elementary of their mysteries. He made contact with Apacia, aiding the Sabbat when it suited her. By the early 1700s, their goals and obligations took them in separate directions, but the two remain bonded by oaths and vinculi, as loyal as elders of the blood of Caine might ever be said to be.
Ends of EmpireEdit
Roderigo also became one of the foremost experts within the True Black Hand of the Sabbat and its developments, outstripping even the agents that the Del'Roh had sent in this matter. He has even turned into a kind of urban legend among the younger packs of the Sabbat. When the Black City was destroyed, Roderigo was one of the few among the upper echelons who managed to escape. Some among the Tal'Mahe'Ra whisper that he knew of the terrible storm, thanks to his alliance with Apacia, who somehow foresaw the maelstrom's devastation. However it happened, Roderigo was quick to gather those elements of the Tal'Mahe'Ra and establish a new sanctuary for them in the world of flesh. He is something of a lost creature, an elder in his own right with no other power governing or commanding him, trying to preserve the ideals of the Tal'Mahe'Ra in the Final Nights.
|Sire: Mokhadaji Ranpur|
|Demeanor: Eye of the Storm|
|Embrace: 1354 CE|
|Apparent Age: Late 30s|
|Physical: Strength 2, Dexterity 3, Stamina 4|
|Social: Charisma 4, Manipulation 5, Appearance 2|
|Mental: Perception 5, Intelligence 4, Wits 6|
|Talents: Alertness 4, Athletics (Running) 2, Awareness 4, Brawl 3, Empathy 5, Intimidation 3, Leadership 5, Subterfuge 4|
|Skills: Etiquette 4, Melee 4, Performance 2, Stealth (Urban) 5|
|Knowledges: Academics 4, Finance 2, Investigation 5, Law 3, Medicine 4, Occult 6, Politics (Sabbat) 4|
|Disciplines: Auspex 5, Dominate 4, Fortitude 3, Necromancy 6, Obfuscate 3, Thaumaturgy 3|
|Thaumaturgical Paths: Path of Blood 2, Elemental Mastery 2, Hands of Destruction 3, Movement of the Mind 2, Path of Corruption 1|
|Thaumaturgical Rituals: Defense of the Sacred Haven, Devil's Touch, Domino of Life, Wake with Evening's Freshness, Blood Walk, Recure of the Homeland, Clinging of the Insect, Incorporeal Passage|
|Necromantic Paths: Sepulchre Path 5, Ash Path 5, Bone Path 3, Cenotaph Path 5, Corpse in the Monster 5, Grave's Decay 5, Vitreous Path 5|
|Necromantic Rituals: All Necromantic Rituals of up to level 6|
|Backgrounds: Resources 3, Rituals 5, Status (True Hand) 4|
|Virtues: Conviction 4, Self-Control 5, Courage 4|
|Morality: Path of Bones 8|