Category:Lancea et Sanctum CofD
The Lancea et Sanctum is, quite simply, the organized church of the Kindred. God cursed vampires to be hungry and dead, and in their damnation they are called to do God’s work. In the Book of Job, Satan is God’s agent in the torment of an innocent man, tempting him to blasphemy. The Sanctified see themselves as doing the same: They torment the innocent, and root out those whose faith is weak.
The Lancea et Sanctum is to the Church Universal what the individual vampire is to a living believer: a parasite; a monster that feeds, and corrupts, and mimics. But in so doing, the Sanctified do the will of God Himself. They produce the trials and persecutions that refine the faithful and weed out the unbeliever. They send the faithful to the right hand of Jesus, a place forever denied to the Damned. A Lancea et Sanctum theologian once called the organization “the Third Version of Judas,” the true betrayers who are too pious to be allowed the consolations of goodness.
The ambivalent relationship of the Sanctified to their living flocks is a case in point. While they have for centuries maintained a strict rule that they do not worship alongside the living, vampiric shepherds do everything they can to make sure these churches survive, pursuing those who would persecute or otherwise harm the living church with terrifying viciousness. On the other hand, the Sanctified believe that they must keep their flocks strong. With fear, a Sanctified monster keeps the wayward children of Mother Church on the straight and narrow: teenagers are terrified into maintaining their virginity by the monsters who hunt at Lovers’ Leap; an abusive priest is fed on, and then driven to suicide; a family is frightened into staying with the church by nightmares and supernatural portents. With temptations, the monsters weed out the weak: A vampire plays on the deep-seated doubts of a nun, driving her to experimentation and addiction, then to prostitution and finally to homelessness and death; a televangelist is given the opportunity to embezzle funds from the Rwandan Orphanage Appeal; a student Bible-group leader is lured to his doom by a beautiful, dark woman. All too often those whom the Sanctified tempt and are found wanting become the next generation of the Sanctified themselves, rising from the grave to atone for the unforgivable.
The devotees of the Lancea et Sanctum consider themselves to be the moral center of the Kindred. They are the clergy who minister to the laity of other covenants, who merely attend services.
The Lancea et Sanctum’s divine monsters are the archivists and librarians of the Kindred. Just as medieval monks were the keepers of knowledge, the Sanctified maintain some of the oldest records of the Kindred, and most cities with a significant Lancea et Sanctum presence have a Black Collection of histories, diaries and sacred texts. A small Lancea et Sanctum printing press even exists — the Society for the Promulgation of Longinian Doctrine — producing printed-on-demand texts for dissemination among the dead (and only among the dead). The most significant of these texts is The Testament of Longinus, the vampires’ Bible. Of course, just like their medieval daylight predecessors, the Lancea et Sanctum’s librarians suppress or destroy as many books as they keep. The Sanctified just as often keep artifacts and texts far away from the prying eyes and grasping fingers of the curious, both living and dead.