Your eyes open slowly as the blindfold is removed and you take your first look around. Kneeling, you notice the well packed earth beneath you first and then allow your gaze to travel slowly upward and around. Figures surround you in black hooded robes. You try to make out faces in those dark depths but the details elude even your new senses.
Ah, those new senses. Your mind goes back to the draining - that feeling of dying and then the taste of blood, at first repulsive and then a sweet elixir. You hungered for more but it was taken away all too quickly. You began to change, to die inside. Fear took you then, despite your efforts to be brave. What if the blood couldn't save you? Were you lost, too far gone to make the change? Death seemed to reach out and touch your very soul...and then it was gone. You had become something different. Memory of that time brings a slight pang of hunger to you but you push it aside in the need to understand just what is going on around you.
Behind the robed figures were stone walls with very little adornment upon them other than one or two lit torches. Water drips somewhere far away and you notice very little movement of air in the room. The musty scent of earth mixes with the woody aroma of incense and you can see smoke rising in a thin trail behind the figure in front of you. This one is different from the others. A band of blood red material hangs around the figure's neck in two strips running the length of the robe.
"You have entered into an immortal brotherhood that has spanned the ages. We have seen entire civilizations rise and fall and yet we remain constant and strong. We embrace our differences, honor our brothers and sisters, protect each other, and strive to grow stronger for the sake of our clan. Will you abide by our laws, lend us your strengths, and respect your brethren?"
You indicate that you accept these rules with the quiet solemnity that the situation seems to demand.
The figure then reaches out a hand and looks towards your own. Slowly you place you hand into the waiting palm before you. Quicker than you thought possible, you hand is turned and a knife flashes before you. Looking down at your palm you notice a red line glistening darkly in the light of the torch flames. An assistant brings a silver chalice and the figure before you turns your hand over to drain some of your life's blood into the cup. She then releases your hand and hands the chalice back to the assistant, cutting her own palm she adds her blood to your own. Then she hands the knife to the next person in the circle and takes up the chalice once more. You watch as this person cuts their own palm and adds their blood to the mix and so it goes throughout the circle. The leader of the ceremony then stands before you once again. The strong scent of blood is intoxicating and you can feel the thirst for it well up like an nearly unbearable pain inside you. There seems to be a sense of knowing amusement in the attitude of the one standing before you. She pauses, chalice in hand, and then moves it closer to you.
"Then drink and become one of us." You carefully place your hands around the cup and drink its entire contents. You've never tasted such potent blood before, the mixture is like a nectar of divine proportions. You pause to savor the last of its flavor on your tongue before handing to chalice back to the one before you.
She reaches out a hand to you and pulls you to your feet.
"You are now Anantya."
This is the traditional ceremony that welcomes new members into the clan. It does not matter what time and place one was brought into Anantya - the tradition has changed so little over the ages that this is the ceremony nearly all of the clan remembers. At one time everyone knelt before their brethren and mixed their blood with their clan in a solemn oath to work for its betterment.