unofficial Prince of Antioch
Zarathustra is a Lasombra Methuselah who remains unaffiliated with sect politics and acts as the power behind every prince who claimed to rule the city of Antioch - his Domain since the time before the birth of Christ. He is one of the few examples for vampiric independence.
He is a handsome young Greek man who might have appeared on a tourism poster, but prefers use his shadow form.
|“||If you would command them effectively, you should remove yourself from the realm of individual volition altogether. Did you not heed the scriptures when you were a girl in church? I say to one "Come" and he comes, and to another "Go", and he goes. The centurion understood the principle of command and recognized it working in the Second Caine whom mortals call the Christ. You must be less human, more divine in your operations.||”|
A native Antiochian, Zarathustra was Embraced by a veteran of the post-Thera dispersal while in central Asia with Alexander the Great's army. After a mortal lifetime's worth of wandering, he settled in his home town and set about protecting and improving it. He continues to do so in the new millennium, when not in torpor.
Zarathustra survived the early Sabbat efforts to wipe out all Methuselahs through a combination of prudence and good luck. He allowed his lineage to take part in some Sabbat efforts, if they wanted to, and resorted to bribery as well as intimidation to direct war parties at other targets. He owes much of his success to a single-minded focus: Only events that affect Antioch concern him.
When the Crusades brought invading armies through his city, he learned enough about mortal politics and religion to effectively direct his childer to route marauding hordes elsewhere. When Ottoman forces overwhelmed Turkey's western shores, Zarathustra and his childer studied Islam and learned how to help their favored mortal families adjust.
When Attaturk's nationalism brought Turkey into contact with the Western powers, Zarathustra learned the language of imperialism and oversaw a combination of diplomacy and covert manipulation that protected Antioch, albeit at the cost of leaving other parts of Turkey vulnerable to exploitation. From Antioch, his childer have connections to other great port cities all around the world, even in the Middle Kingdom and other hostile regions of the world.
Once or twice a century, Zarathustra agrees to serve on a Court of Blood. He's adjudicated matters for both the Sabbat and the antitribu. No younger vampire quite understands how he chooses cases, but the other judging Friends agree that each time Zarathustra serves, he acts within the code of conduct accepted by the participants rather than imposing his own views. He also meets with promising neonates.
He can trace his offspring all the way down to 14th generation neonates created since the Gulf War. At various times, his lineage has included more than a hundred active members. Thanks to unsuccessful crusades and a wave of successful vampire hunting by Sunni Muslim nationalists, only forty or so members of the lineage walk the modern nights.
- Some of Zarathustra's friends are: Dexicos (unknown clan); Tegyrius, an Assamite elder; Phaedyme, an elder survivor of the Ravnos clan; Fatimah, a Lasombra of renown native to Cairo. Additionally, he regulary corresponded with the Cappadocian oracle Constancia.
- Curiously, "Zarathustra" is not the real name of this character. He took it as a homage to the man whose teachings he had discovered during his time as a soldier.
- , p. 97