Art by John Van Fleet
Sascha Vykos, born Myca Vykos, is the signature character of the Tzimisce clan in Vampire: The Masquerade and Dark Ages: Vampire. This androgynous character – a Noddist scholar, Tzimisce scientist and Cainite monster – has long been a staunch supporter of Sabbat freedom, and acts as its chief torturer.
A musician with a scalpel, Sascha understands the nuances of every physical sensation and the nerves best suited to receive its ministrations. They are also a creature of learning, with a collection of books and artifacts to humble the halls of all academia.
Sascha's enemies, including the Gangrel Beckett and the Malkavian Anatole, believe they hold cult-status within the Sabbat, wherein sect members emulates their actions. In truth, however, Sascha is a monster beyond their own years. Few could ever understand the grand schemes of the Sabbat's ronin priscus.
|“||I will not make the mistakes my progenitors have made. I will not choose fear or ignorance. I will not cower in terror of myself, of who and what I am. I will not hate myself, nor reject myself. I am Myca Vykos, and one night, the world shall know me for what I truly am.||”|
|— Myca Vykos, in his own journal|
Sascha Vykos, named Myca Vykos in the years before their self-inflicted castration, lived an enviable existence in the glorious Byzantine Empire. Born to royalty in the Carpathians before the turn of the first millennium, Myca seemed destined for greatness from a young age. As a child, his fits and visions brought him to the attention of House Tremere within the Order of Hermes. He learned the basics of spellcraft and proved such an adept student that he inspired jealousy in the magus Goratrix. Goratrix's later attempt to betray Myca to Tzimisce Cainites backfired, and the young boy found himself among the Fiends.
Myca was Embraced by the Draconian Tzimisce Symeon, whose line was enemies with the Carpathian Tzimisce. Eventually, both returned to Constantinople. The great books of Alexandria became Myca's silent teachers while the political juggernauts within the Byzantine courts taught him the subtleties of influence. Myca became a member of the Dream Circle to expand his thaumaturgical knowledge and worked closely with the Keeper of the Faith, but still maintained correspondence with other Tzimisce from the Carpathian line, like Lugoj and Velya, and worked with the Children of Judas for his own ambitions. Like the other Cainites of the city, however, Myca became enamored with the Toreador Michael and the methuselah's delusions of divinity. While loyal to his sire, he was greatly dismissive of his grandsire, for having taken his sire's love from him and for installing numerous restrictive rules for the use of Vicissitude in the service of the Divinity Within. Myca fanned the discontent within his sire's heart against his brother, hoping to drive a wedge between them that would drive Symeon away from the city. In secret, Myca planned to prepare to leave the city behind.
Early 13th CenturyEdit
|“||A soul is just another bit of clay, to be twisted between your fingers.||”|
|— Sascha Vykos|
Alas, neither Constantinople nor Michael lasted. When the Fourth Crusade destroyed the city, both Myca and his sire fled to the Balkans, thanks to sanctuary that Myca had bargained for by Lugoj and Velya. The pair traveled through the various fiefdoms of their hosts, when Myca learned of the ambitions of the Ventrue Prince of Magdeburg, Jürgen von Verden. Seeking to establish a hold for himself in the territory of the Voivodate, he came into conflict with Vladimir Rustovitch, the Voivode of Voivodes. Planning to capitalize on the weakness of the Voivodate, Myca approached the Ventrue to use the conquered territory of Hungary to install a buffer domain between the Fiefs of the Black Cross and the Voivodate, in control of his Obertus Tzimisce. In order to avoid a costly war, both parties relented, forming the Obertus Landholds nominally under the control of Myca's sire. Myca himself acted as a diplomat, often traveling extensively across the land to maintain diplomatic ties with the other Fiends. During these travels, Myca deepened his connection to the Road of Sin under the instruction of his mentor, the koldun Ilias cel Frumos. The two quickly became lovers and traveling companions, with Myca reveling in the freedom from Obertus religion that his new Road offered.
Although the Obertus left Michael's legacy behind, his reach would greatly affect Myca even after the Methuselah's Final Death. During Myca's years in Constantinople, Michael encouraged Myca's thirst for knowledge. It was his intent to make the young Tzimisce a walking record of Constantinople, Michael's vision of Heaven on Earth. During Michael's final nights, Symeon and Gregorius Dimities reshaped Myca's body and mind in a joint effort to make him a copy of the Dracon. The doppelgänger was presented to Michael and they loved each other. Michael perceived the farce, of course, but he did not care. Instead he loved Myca for who he was, and instilled Vykos with his vision and with a need to preserve the Dream's legacy. Myca became Michael's architect, building a new kingdom without the mistakes of the past.
The young Tzimisce had the memories of this event plucked away by his sire soon after it occurred, but he eventually remembered the episode moments before he had a bizarre encounter with another member of the Trinity who used to rule Constantinople, the true Dracon. Inside an Obertus monastery in the outskirts of Brasov, Myca's lover, Ilias cel Frumos became an avatar of the Tzimisce Antediluvian and consumed the essence of his childe, Dracon. He then proceeded to rape Vykos, impregnating the young Tzimisce's flesh, blood and his soul with the very essence of the Dracon.
After this event Vykos changed drastically. He began to carry out the dreams of both Michael and the Dracon, crafting a living empire of flesh rather than stone. His city was to be a community of Cainites founded on pillars of blood and bone.
Following the infusion of the Dracon's essence, Myca fled back to Constantinople, staying in touch with the rest of the Fiends via correspondence.
His participation in the Sabbat's formation was the first step toward that goal. During the antitribu uprising, better known as the Anarch Revolt, the anarchs attacked the elders' strongholds to destroy everything associated with their former masters. Myca, on the other hand, played the monster while torturing Symeon – repeatedly absorbing and regurgitating his sire before the final act of diablerie - but also took the role of scholar when he saved books at risk to his own existence. During the uprising, Myca aided his allies, Lugoj and Velya, and proved pivotal aid to the nascent Sabbat movement as priscus. In 1453, Myca was forced to flee Constantinople and turned to roaming the landscape of Transylvania as a part of several packs. Forty years later, Myca attended the Convention of Thorns, voicing his disagreement of Hardestadt's plans by throwing his own genitals into the Ventrue's face, though later Vykos admitted that "that action… all those years ago… was vulgar and short-sighted".
Myca was responsible for orchestrating the attack at the village of Thorns and renamed himself Sascha Vykos after the event, becoming one of the most iconic members of the early sect. Since that time, Vykos has served their sect as scholar and warrior. In both roles, they act as the wandering priscus, though their manner of advising regional cardinals seems more akin to making strong "suggestions" than polite recommendations. As a scholar, they maintain ancient libraries and repositories across the Balkan states. In this role, Sascha is an ally to the old-guard Sabbat who appreciate the strength of knowledge. As a warrior, however, Sascha is also a frightening tool of retribution. With mastery over Vicissitude and Thaumaturgy, they can best most adversaries. Generally, though, they prefer to capture foes rather than kill them. Many of Sascha's prisoners have endured sessions of alternating torture and ecstatic pleasure that last for decades. Sacha's victims are often unsure whether they are undergoing torture or rape.
In the early nights of the struggle, Sascha remained among the few Tzimisce who did not abandon their Carpathian keeps to the growing Camarilla. Unlike many of their Sabbat colleagues, Sascha appreciated and understood the necessity of employing mortals for Cainite gain. Many sect members, particularly the younger ones, scoffed at the use of kine, but Sascha knew that the Camarilla grew strong in influence and territory because of their reliance on mortal society. Sascha chose to fight Hardestadt and the Camarilla linchpins at their own game, through mortal proxies. They sponsored the Uskoks, Senj corsairs and Habsburg-supported pirates, in attacking the Venetian and Ottoman shipping lanes. Most often, these pirates plundered for greed, but Sascha occasionally employed them to attack Cainite-sponsored vessels in the hopes of kidnapping and questioning the ghouls of rivals. Eventually, however, Sascha’s interests drifted away from playing the Jyhad, only to re-emerge from seclusion during the first Sabbat Civil War.
|“||Sascha Vykos is a monster, long divorced from any lingering vestige of humanity. Her name is spoken in whispers even among Sabbat—her face feared, no matter what shape it takes, and her cold cruelty yet more than the face.||”|
|— Jan Pieterzoon, private journal entry|
During their time away from the political affairs of the Sabbat, Vykos' skill with the witchcraft of the heinous Tremere were stronger than ever, and allied Tzimisce suspected Sascha had grown in knowledge under the tutelage of Kupala during their stay in the Old Country. With the signing of the Purchase Pact, Sascha seemed driven in new directions with a thirst for arcane knowledge and archeology. Throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries, they sponsored (financially) dozens of expeditions into Egypt, Greece and the Middle East. In 1882, Sascha even traveled to the Fire Court of Luxor under the name "Alexei", exchanging services with the local Setites and acting as the local torture master in exchange for secrets. During this stay, Sascha earned their enmity, when he stole himself away from his duty to obtain a piece of the Sargon Fragment, in hopes of learning magical secrets that would have allowed them to surpass Goratrix. To this end, Sascha even dabbled in infernalism and called upon a demon to aid them in studying the tablet undisturbed. Both the Setites of the Fire Court as well as the ancient Cappadocian Constancia were interested in stopping him, and sent a coterie of Kindred headed by Anatole to stop them from learning the greater secrets of the Fragment. Sascha had to flee Egypt to continue their studies elsewhere. On the very rare occasion, they even joined the odd dig in the Holy Land, Lebanon or Syria. This did not distract them from their duty, however, for during the Second Sabbat Civil War, Sascha served Regent Gorchist by eliminating the sect's more troublesome dissenters. For Sascha’s role in the struggle, the signing of the revised Code of Milan also saw their appointment to the position of priscus. As such, they now travel the world on behalf of the Sabbat, dealing with trouble as they sees fit.
In this violent facet, Sascha appeals to the younger Sabbat. Collectively, in turn, the Sabbat is a weapon for Sascha, a living battlement against the rapacious Antediluvians – the adversaries in Sascha's morality play. Every death they inflict strengthens the Sabbat's position; every splatter of blood is part of God's portrait; every agonizing cry is a nail in Heaven's unliving city. That is why they knows how each nerve screams, how much blood flows from specific wounds and how much fat they can rob from a mortal body before death.
Late 20th centuryEdit
|“||Even the lowliest Cainite can sense that all the centuries of waiting will soon be at an end, and that the events that shall remake the world are at hand. I would be terrified, if I still had the mortal blood for it. My bones would be chilled with dread, if the marrow within them had not cooled lifetimes ago. But fear is no longer my way, and all I feel now is anticipation.||”|
|— Sascha Vykos|
When dealing with the Assamite assassin Parmenides, who was contracted to kill the Tremere Regent of Atlanta, Vykos saw through the thaumaturgical safeguards that the Tremere had woven to ensure her survival, and took the assassin as their personal plaything in recompense.
In Atlanta, Sascha also unsuccessfully tried to bear a baby out of curiosity.
In the course of the following Sabbat offensive at the East Coast of the United States, Sascha Vykos was the leader of the Sabbat raid against Washington, D.C. and was granted the diocese over the conquered city in recognition of their deeds.
|“||Even as a mortal, we knew we were more than the sum of our genitalia.||”|
|— Sascha Vykos|
Sascha's preoccupation with archeology and the occult is not an undirected thirst for such vagaries as knowledge and power. Sascha seeks to recapture Michael's full lessons and dreams, which fade further from their thoughts each passing year. When Constantinople fell, its Christian (and later Muslim) invaders scattered much of its wealth and wisdom throughout the Western Hemisphere and the Near East. Sascha surmises that the full scope of Michael’s vision rests somewhere with Constantinople’s stolen legacy. Recently, however, Sascha has come to believe that Michael’s legacy lies hidden in others such as theirself. Now Sascha seeks to recapture that knowledge by diablerizing the few remaining survivors of Constantinople. This includes the Gangrel Baron Thomas Feroux, the Nosferatu Malachite and, most importantly, the Dracon himself. Whether this proves Sascha’s greatest coup or the beginning of their fall remains to be seen.
In Beckett's Jyhad Diary continuation was embryo of the Dracon, grafted inextricably into their being by the Eldest centuries ago, was no longer within Vykos' body. Whether aborted or miscarried, they were free of the maniacally bitter and self-destructive metastases of their ancestor’s consciousness. The second realization was that the Dream whose banner they carried so long was never more than a nightmare to them — a nightmare of violation, first by their sire, then by Michael, and finally by the Dracon.
In his "original" chosen form, Myca had a dusky African skin tone, long black hair, and large hazel eyes. His face seemed all planes and shadows, with his high cheekbones his most prominent feature. Tall and slim, he had very long fingers and pointed, painted fingernails. For years, he affected robes and cloaks of the finest Byzantine quality. His voice was cultured, his manner pleasant. Such was his beauty (enhanced by Vicissitude) that both sexes lusted after him. After the Convention of Thorns, "Sascha" gradually assumed an alien, androgynous aspect, refining his wicked Vicissitude and shaping himself into a beautiful angel of death.
Sascha is an alien beauty. Its limbs are long, slender and graceful, but it moves with power. Its face is like a work by Michelangelo, perfect and flawless in form. Not even the master artist could capture Sascha's cruel countenance, however. The network of scars, tattoos and piercings that cover its androgynous form only add to Sascha's enigmatic beauty. What appear to be thin, black tattoos on its body are skin clefts that open like a babe's toothless mouth. Sascha's skill with Vicissitude allows it to speak through the mouths as well, creating a chorus of its voice to unnerve even the most strong-willed opponent. Sascha displays these marks like trophies, sometimes striking the with tenderness. Sascha's most compelling feature, however, is its eyes. it watches everything around it the way a coroner dissects a cadaver. It never blinks or looks away; it simply stares.
|Sascha Vykos, Caine's Angel (Myca Vykos, Alexei)|
|Embrace: 1002 CE|
|Apparent Age: Indistinguishable|
|Physical: Strength 4, Dexterity 4, Stamina 3|
|Social: Charisma 6, Manipulation 4, Appearance 7|
|Mental: Perception 3, Intelligence 5, Wits 4|
|Talents: Alertness 4, Athletics 3, Brawl 4, Dodge 5, Empathy 1, Interrogation 7, Intimidation 5, Intrigue 4, Leadership 3, Style 6, Subterfuge 4|
|Skills: Animal Ken 2, Archery 2, Body Crafts 6, Etiquette 3, Herbalism 3, Melee (Knife) 4, Performance 2, Research 5, Ride 3, Stealth 2, Survival 3|
|Knowledges: Academics 4, Area Knowledge (Europe) 6, Camarilla Lore 4, Finance 2, Hearth Wisdom 2, History 6, Investigation 3, Law 1, Linguistics 6, Medicine 5, Occult 5, Politics 4, Sabbat Lore 6|
|Disciplines: Animalism 4, Auspex 4, Celerity 2, Dominate 5, Fortitude 3, Presence 4, Thaumaturgy 5, Vicissitude 7|
|Thaumaturgical Paths: Lure of Flames 5, Path of Blood 5, Movement of the Mind 2|
|Backgrounds: Allies 3, Contacts 3, Herd 5, Resources 5, Retainers 6, Rituals 5, Sabbat Status 5|
|Virtues: Conviction 5, Self-Control 4, Courage 5|
|Morality: Path of Death and the Soul 9|