Before we go any further, a word or two about our subject matter. The ven were an antediluvian race mentioned in works such as the Voynich Manuscript and Madame Blavatsky’s The Secret Doctrine. Their civilization thrived for a short period of time, but while it did, the ven were the hub of art and culture. At the same time, the amount of blood shed during the reign of the ven rivaled the most brutal cultures the world has ever seen. Houses of the Blooded is not a historical game. I have no interest in re-creating historical ven culture.
Instead, HotB is a literary game, invoking the plays, operas and pillow books that made the ven so famous among historical scholars. (Analogy time. Instead of capturing a historic Greece, we capture mythic Greece. The active presence of Gods and Heroes walking among simple mortal men. That’s what we’re going for here.) So, we assume all the ven mythology is true. They really were magical creations of a great and terrible race of “sorcerer-kings” who nearly destroyed the world. Their blood really was a potent weapon capable of powering magical rituals. And their world—the world they called “the Great Enemy”—really was filled with monsters too terrible to imagine.
This is the world of Houses of the Blooded. A world where a cunning mind is just as deadly as a poisoned dagger. Where the ven Senate was a hotbed of schemes, plots and treason. Where mystery cults worshipped sleeping ancestors and the outlawed sorcery of the Old Ones was practiced in every Great House in Shanri. You’ll learn more about the ven as we go along. Instead of giving you a heedful of history right off the top, we’ll teach you about the game as we go.