Alternative Names:Sir Joachim of Altheim
Died: circa 1350
Sire: Balthasar Serenius
Known Affiliations: Lydia the Bard, Marylyn, Alyss, Marius, Otton,
Road: Road of Heaven (starting), Road of Humanity (changed after Book One)
Merits: Mortis prodigy
Flaws: Cast no reflection
Quite tall for a farmer. He looks a little bit like a crooked scarecrow in a robe. If he took the hood off you could see his shaved head, skinny face and ghastly pale skin. His eyes are blue as the skies the Lord created and his wide mouth almost always smiles as he walks in His grace. He moves slowly and calmly, without rush, since he is always prepared to meet his Creator, keeping his hands hidden in his sleeves or pressed together, as for prayer.
Born peasant and the eldest of seven sons, his keen mind and faith was recognised by a local priest and so despite his parents’ wishes he left behind his birthright to became a monk in a nearby Benedictine abbey. There he led a peaceful life based on prayer and study. As a son of a peasant he couldn’t become prior or any important political figure, so he dedicated himself to becoming a scholar and a simple priest. He found joy among the common people and monks and tried to bring some relief into their hard life through the gospel of the Lord. When he reached the noble age of our Master Jesus Christ, he was invited by the abbot (a title signifying honour, not power), a very solitary and respected man, who lived a life close to that of a hermit.
It was then when he was embraced. The abbot was, in fact, a Kindred of the Cappadocian clan. It was the Curse of Caine that forced him into his semi-recluse life. Although he was a monster, a living dead, his faith didn’t falter. He still did his chores as a priest and monk, despite the fact he was awake only at night. He was devoted to fulfilling the will of our Father God Almighty and discovering the reason behind the Curse falling on him. He served the servants, praised the knowledge and followed the saints’ example.
Such were his ways. Such were his teaching, which Joachim held dear and intended to follow until the Kingdom comes. It might be a twisty path, full of traps and thorns, but he intended to walk it until the glorious end, when he would be able to stand in the light of his Master.
Joachim was sent by his Sire, Baltazar Serenius, to Vienna, to study under Marius, master of Road of Heaven. He arrived in the monastery near Vienna and met Marcus. He wished to study under tutorage of his Clan elders, the ones his own Abbot respected, but their lessons proved to be quite different from the ones he expected.
First thing he was supposed to learn was how to survive in treacherous world of Kindred. His gentle nature made the lesson hard to bear and his trust towards Prince Valerianus of Vienna faltered as he was tasked to make up a story to explain a political murder without revealing the acutal murderer.
Next lesson was the one about the ancients who are of completely different mindset, culture and power. Joachim had an eye opening experience of meeting count Kalman Apathi of Clan Tzimisce, who has proven to be a honorable and just leader, but following old ways and performing bloody rites to ensure his land’s prosperity. Honorable and just, but it was not christian kind of justice he uphold. There was no forgiveness but revenge, therefore a stray lighting hit haven of the one who murdered his servant. Prince of Vienna wasn’t unsatisfied with the result as nobody died and Tzimisce army was siting idly in Vienna. It was yet another lesson. In the world of Kindred, appearances matter the most.
Given three, most important lessons Joachim was given a right to follow his own goals, but deicded to stay under Marius’ tutorage. He achieved close to master level of Mortis in no time and spent whole nights studying under Marius’ and Otto’s supervision. He was once more put of peace of his study when Alyss appeared in Vienna. She asked Joachim and his friends to go on a journey deep into Hungary, to discuss marital matters with Tzimisce archmage, count Vilmos. Being unable to refuse to his Clan Elder’s request, he ventured far into foreign, strange lands, where old rites were still fresh and word of Christ haven’t reached.
Three lessons he passed have proven to be useful but not necessary to finish the task in a satisfying way, as along the way, Joachim didn’t manage to stop his companions from performing some misdeeds and he himself was made mistakes as well. The company ruined already bad reputation of count Vilmos by spreading gossip about it’s mission. They have managed to antagonise unknown Toreador from Byzantium by killing his ghoul and as later turned out, prospective embrace candidate, on commision of local Tzimisce lord. They have also visited Temesvar, city governed by ancient horror extraordinaire, Ariel of Clan Malkavian. That in turned proved to be another eye opener, but lesson was fully learned only after returning to Vienna, as prince Valerianus shared some stories of Ariel’s past deeds.
Vilmos was furious, but also, unlike most elders, wasn’t vengeful. Instead, he recieved the message – although a badly deformed one – and decided to go to Vienna to solve the matter himself. He has proven to be quite unique compared to other Kindred, much more humane. One Joachim would gladly befriend or study under given different situation.
It seemed the lessons are complete and Joachim was ready to walk his own way, but there was one more and it was the most bitter of all. While he was in Vienna with his friends and Lydia, Alyss found them looking for Eric and Marius, driven by her intuition. There was a threat to their lives, unseen one. It turned out they were nowhere to be found and when they came back to the monastery, it was on fire.
Joachim has made a short appearance during Book Two, when his ghost showed over fireplace in Marcus’ haven in Vienna and shared story of his demise. He declared he can depart in peace now and was gone, supposedly forever.