Francisco Velasco

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Francisco Velasco

“Zeal without knowledge is fire without light.” - Huxley

Tremere Symbol.png

Standing


Acknowledged
by Prince León König of Madrid
Established
as an Ancilla of the Camarilla
Revered
as Primogen of Madrid

Holds a Grandee of Madrid by position

Lineage


The White Line

  • Zahra Blanc
    • Absolan Dieudonne
      • [Failure]
        • Francisco Velasco
          • Ilse Faulkner


Information


Francisco Velasco

Player: David
Sect: Camarilla
Clan: Tremere
Domain: Madrid
VST: VST Madrid

The Tremere

Identity


With a bit of research, one could find tenous details of the life of some "Francisco José Velasco y Torres de Alcalá", a Madrilene gentleman from early 19th century:

  • 1798: Born in Madrid, Spain. Firstborn of a high class family, his mother gets barren after an abortion to his would-be brother two years later, so he's a lone son.
  • 1826: He's a promising, but controversial, scholar in Anatomy and Biology, and as such he's making advances in the new field of Developmental Biology. He starts toying with Occult Science to fuel his interests on human origin and development.
  • 1830: A lengthy scientific paper titled "In progressum in rebus viventibus et essentia hominis" attributed to him is published in Madrid
  • 1835: His reputation damaged by polemic theories and experiments, nonetheless he's formally invited to give a conference about his research in Aix.

There is nothing to be found about this man after that trip (if he even ever made it - at the very least, he requested the needed diplomatic papers of the time).
And this is the commonly known information about the Tremere known as "Francisco Velasco":

  • 1881 - London, England: He attends the Conclave, though his part in it is minimal.
  • 1885 to 1889: He spends this time in sopor.
  • 1936: Notices signs of supernatural origin of the Helplessness. Aids in its study and trace.
  • 1940: He's appointed as the first Tremere Primogen in Madrid, in the Call of Seasons following the Praxis Seizure of Prince León König.
  • 1972 - Vienna, Austria: He attends the Conclave, as Primogen of Madrid. He's on the side of those wanting to tax Giovanni even above the Promise.
  • 1998 - Vienna, Austria: He attends the Conclave, testifying possible causes of the Waking not linked with any "Gehenna".

Given Velasco's lineage, several declarations of him hinting at an age of about 200 years-old, and matching his publicly displayed knowledge in academic fields with what's known about the mortal, it is very safe to assume these two individuals are actually the same person.

Ideology


He's always shown to be an apparent staunch advocate of the strictest control on Thaumaturgy, blood magic of any kind - including Necromancy - and knowledge about any matter that could be taken as even remotely related to these issues, citing the reasons provided by Prince León König when he disavowed the restriction on Tremere in the Primogen Council, and the catastrophic events that Madrid had to endure during the Helplessness due to the unreadiness of the city to confront such things as the foundation of this idea.
He seems to strongly support Prince León König. Velasco was one of the endorsers of the Blood Hunt upon Caitiff in Madrid on action since 1996. He's both one of the most welcoming Madrilene Kindred to foreigners - most often than not, he'll be one of the first to request a meeting with a newcomer, usually at an old café near El Real he seems very fond of -, and also one of the strictest upholders of the intrincate requirements and local protocols to request a hearing from the Prince - which are usually perceived as quite the opposite of a warm welcome and even sometimes get the visitor into deep trouble.
Among the subjects asked about him, those who maintains slight to moderate contact with him describe an open, polite and alluring man; while those who we've seen as closer to him talk of amoral and weird behaviors. His local clanmates, unsurprisingly, seem to unanimously support his Primogen as a great vampire and take great length into explaining how better the position of the Tremere in the city has improved since his appointment.
He's publicly admitted to be "Verdi's #1 fan", though he considers 'The Magic Flute' as sublime.

The Scholar

The following is a transcript of an old recording, featuring a lecture from Francisco Velasco to Ilse Faulkner, apparently adapted from parts of a conference on Developmental Biology


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Fools pretend that "Knowledge is power" is the unofficial motto of the Tremere. Far from it. Admittedly, it might be the case of some of our neonates; you'll have to pity these simple-minded relatives of us, I apologize on their behalf.
"Knowledge is power" is, bluntly put, the prostitution of Knowledge, the rape of Gnosis, the rupture of the Philosopher's Stone.
What is power?

  • Power is a tool, a means to achieve an end.
  • Power is a liar, a trickster, an illusion, a thin veil put onto the eyes of the receiving end of its use.
  • Power is changeable, easily gained and easily lost, malleable and capricious

What is power, then? Power is a whore, judging by that description, isn't it? You could even inferred if you so wish that Ventrue, always seeking, sowing, caring and protecting 'Power' are all a bunch of pimps, madams, tricks and punters. I know, a distasteful joke. I apologize again. But this gag pictures the main difference between the Kings and the Warlocks. I'd like you to write a 2000-word long essay on this bit by next week.
By contrast, what is knowledge?

  • Knowledge is not only an end, but the End. There's no more pure than knowledge, neither more beautiful, and so you shall want Knowledge for its own sake.
  • Knowledge is the reality, the noeton, Plato's world of Forms. This is the superior and fundamental kind of truth.
  • Knowledge is absolute and constant. It's deeply connected to the Everything, and it's an inmutable ideal.

You now understand, right? Not only comparing, but outright identifying such a sublime concept as Knowledge with the lower issue of Power is bare of scandalous.

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You're enlightened now, so I beg you, please, not to spread such despicable phrase.
What about my particular field of study, you ask? How does it relate to Knowledge?
Biology, and of course Developmental Biology, I consider the very finest approach to Knowledge, if applied with my corrections and additions to its discoveries. Of course, that's me saying, and you might disagree - disagreement is the very basis of scientific progress and so I encourage it. Let's see if I can convince you of my thesis.
The idea of a greater, underlying, eager to be discovered meaning in Developmental Biology has buzzed me since my early days. You could see hints at this idea if you've read my "In progressum in rebus viventibus et essentia hominis". Developmental Biology is the study of the processes by which organisms and tissues grow, develop, change. Change is the key, change is Trascendence. Trascendence of the human being, to forms closer to the Knowledge of Everything. Physics? A noble field, indeed, but pretentious and misguided in its aspiration of finding a Theory of Everything out there. For, behold! The Anthropic Principle, which I'm a strong admirer of - it seems time passes only reinforcing my theories. Everything would be Nothing without Us. Knowledge is within Us, not out there, or, at the very least, we are its Conduit.
How we came to be like this?
Is there a parallel waiting to be drawn between a pluripotent cell - which holds all the information needed to differentiate into any of the specialized cell types of an adult organism-, the blank state of newborns - said to be full potential and thus all-capable and all-knowing-, and the deep meaning of "He created man in His own image, in the image of God He created them"?
More importantly, is there any way to have us dedifferentiate, as some specialized cell does, coming back to a pluripotent state? What if can go beyond that, back to the zygote and blastoderm, back to being totipotent? Back to being one with the Infinite Knowledge? Trascendence that ends back at the beginning, like the mythical Ouroboros?
This is only fitting to Developmental Biology. Q.E.D.

The Occultist

Sometime in early 90s there was a meeting held in a private of Café de la Villa where Elder Tamerlane and Francisco Velasco had an exchange.
This is an excerpt of such conversation, assembled from the memories of the best witness we could find.


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While its attributed capability to guide your way into the future and gain insight into your past is highly dubious, a Tarot deck is undeniably full on symbology - each major trump can be traced to one or more Jungian Archetypes, sometimes not uniquely, and the minor arcana provide elements of a story.
Thus, the really interesting thing about a Tarot reading is not the divination performed by the augur, which usually is not about much more than smoke, mirrors, and knowing what you want to hear. I myself see a Tarot reading as a reflection on the reader herself. I use it very alike the modern Rorschach Test, in the sense that you get clearly defined but richly detailed characters and suggestions for the themes of scenes; you can proceed and try to correlate all these elements to give the throw a single meaning, to tell a story by using the trumps. Your story will be very different than mine, because it's your mind which imposes structure and purpose onto the cards. We can get insight, mystical knowledge even, into your identity with such a divination, as long as we allow you to be the reader of it, instead of a passive querent.
Or, on the other hand, we might know a story to start with, and we would like to expose the subconscious thoughts, meaning, knowledge we got from it. This is the most often overlooked use of a Tarot divination. We shall try to tell that story with these elements, picked by our hand, and then grasp beyond the very reason why we chose that trump by using other symbols of the arcana. Let me show you how this would work with a story I'm very familiar with.
Namely, mine.

  • The High Priestess

We're introducing the protagonist of this story. You might have expected me to choose "The Magician" as the opening, but that's poor sense, only uninitiated don't look beyond the name of the arcana for its meaning. The First Trump stands for a stage magician, a person who knows the tricks of the trade - he's an initiated, sure -, but one who shows them in full sight and let others try to pick on them. His hat is in the form of infinity, while his wand points to the sky. He has laid all the suits of Tarot - sword, baton, cup, pentacle - on the table. He looks at you. The Magician is thus a guide, knows the secret, shows it, teaches it, and points you at the path to infinity to get these secrets. The Magician is someone who knows how to get you out of troubles, will act in your benefit with a unique capability of his, or is a tell that you're unaware of a possible solution, by your own hand, to a problem. Captain Sawyer strikes more as The Magician to me, and you for sure can see why.
No, I've chosen The Popess, The High Priestess. She's intelligent, intuitive, knowing, and mystical, very much like The Magician, but with an interesting twist I'm very fond of. This is, The Magician is masculine, a show-off, aggressively taunting you to grasp his secrets; the High Priestess is feminine, she waits, she watches you, she hints at her secrets but doesn't point at them openly, she manipulates you into thinking you know what she's all about only for you to discover further along the road she's guarding much, much more. See it? The High Priestess is the Initiated, the Keeper of Secrets. She holds the TORA, the Word of God, on her lap. Boaz and Jachin, the two pillars of the First Temple of Solomon, frame her throne. A veil, which can be The Empress' veil, stands behind her: The Empress is the Jungian Mother, the Giver of Life, and there was a veil covering the presence of God at the Temple of Jerusalem. What secrets does she guard, then? The High Priestess knows the Secret, like The Magician. But her job is not to guide you to it, but to cover it. She's not to be trusted.

  • The Moon

Here we have our antagonist. As with any good antagonist, it's a twisted version of the hero. The Moon, like the real - or actually, the mythical - moon has always been associated with the Mystics, the Hidden as well as the Primal Fears. The Moon is Hecate - you have a wolf and a dog there, see? -, she's Isis. You're even looking at traces of Ereshkigal in this representation: two tombstones, one at each side, and the crab that rises from below is a guardian of the dead, ascending from the Underworld. The Fear of Death, that lies within human subconscious. We of our nature have Death even more present in our endless nights, always there, hidden beneath the mockery of life we've made of ourselves to pass through the endless nights. The crab joins up with two canids, representing the worst Fear of the higher mind of humans, and that is its own animal nature. The mind is analytical, made of logic and reason, it has such a control of our ego that it has even fooled us into believing "I am my mind"; but its feet are really the paws of a savage beast, it has to struggle with the instincts that arises from the Reptilian Mind or submit to them - specially when it enters the domain of the Moon, that is the Illusion, the Deception, the Fantasy, the Dream. For us, this is the Fear of the Beast you're deeply intimate with. The Moon has grown stronger inside us. There is a path, though it passes by the dogs and the crab, and between the tombstones, going into the horizon. This is the Path of the Mystics The Moon is guarding. You have to overcome your most inner fears, to surpass death and grasp the Beyond. But The Moon doesn't want this, and so she feeds these fears, obscures the Path, tries to deceive you with unrealistic ideas, anxieties and psychological conflicts. She's not to be trusted.

  • The Devil

Anyone who has the slightest interest in Tarot knows two things: "The Death" isn't about real death but the death of the status quo, it talks about change and evolution; similarly, "The Devil" doesn't refer to Satan, other kind demon, nor to any concept of evil. It will play the role of a supporting character in this story, one who's always been besides the protagonist. The Devil is about the obsession, it's the primal force of purpose. This obsession can escalate to the point of slavery, thus the couple of demons chained to its seat. The Devil's usually said to bring a bonding to an idea that is actually an obstacle to the growth of the self, pointing at the known story of the Fall from Eden and the Temptation to Christ as the inspiration behind this idea. The Devil will show you your most inner desires, and it will provide you with the passion, the strength, and force of will to achieve them if you allow it to accompany you, but, are those desires really what would make you a better individual? The common answer is no, you will instead end up chained to the obsession after having eaten from the fruit of the underworld and tasted the darkness, as happened to The Lovers in this trump. I've got a different idea, though. I propose The Devil can bring you Enlightenment, and who's to say you've not become better in the aftermath? Admittedly, it maybe isn't the "better" you foresaw or wanted. But Adam and Eve got to discern between Good and Evil after eating from the eponymous Tree and they became half-gods; Christ came up with deeper resolution after enduring the proposal of materialism by Satan; The Lovers were transform into demons, closer in form to The Devil than they were before. As you can see, The Devil has a torch: It can bring light to us, in a sense, but you can and probably will be its slave and that torch shall become your only sun. He's not to be trusted.

With the characters introduced, we proceed to throw them into scenes and conflicts. These are better represented by Minor Arcana, the little siblings of the famous Major ones, for no other reason than them being less iconic and difficult to attach to. They still bring onto the table a lot of symbology, though.

  • The Two of Swords

This is The Meditation, the inner dialogue to overcome the turmoil of the mind. The blindfolded lady sitting while wielding the two swords both evokes The High Priestess and the common representation of justice. But she's not concerned so much about impartial mediation but about balance. She's been conflicted by two situations, the two swords pointing to different directions, and she's retorted to going inward for a solution. She's blindfolded herself to rely only on her deepest thoughts - hinted by the sea behind her - undisturbed by external stimuli, to get insight into the issue at hand. She's already got the power to act, the dual blades, but is pondering where to apply it.

  • The Four of Swords

The Exile, The Solitude. Imposed by oneself, in looking for something only achievable through contemplation. Also imposed by others, where the warrior seeks distance from the cruelty of the world he's seen. This is a tomb of a soldier, he has fought hard in the past and fall. But he's on a prayer attitude, searching for Enlightenment in his afterdeath. There's noone accompanying him, and no ornament, decoration or flower warming the scene: he's either forgotten or he wasn't loved. But, this card holds within it the promise of the return, this is King Arthur's story.

  • The Eight of Swords

This trump can be seen as both The Blockade and The Ordeal. The woman is in a harsh situation: bound and blindfolded, she has to escape; but if she dares to move a bit, she'll get cut. This is representing those moments of damned if you do, damned if you don't. A way out is pointed obviously by the card, but it's not pleasant. This Arcana is compelling vividly to move, to take a decision, to act. The woman will need to endure the cuts, either figurative or real ones, to get her freedom, lest she's trapped in there forever. "I will greatly multiply your pain in childbirth, in pain you will bring forth children" and "By the sweat of your face you will eat bread", He said. Nothing comes without suffering.

  • The Nine of Swords

With the decisions and actions, consequences shall come. And there are always unpleasant consequences, even from the bestest, most humane acts. The Nightmare talks about this. Fear, doubt, guilt, everything is hanging above the woman, disturbing her in the worst way imaginable. But they're more than what they seem. They are represented by swords, and a sword represents the power of the mind, for you can find strength and determination in these feelings to cut through what's troubling you. Also, they are a dream, an illusion, ultimately only a figment of the mind. What's been done, it's done. Anecdotically, this Arcana is the Lord of Cruelty.

  • The Ten of Swords

The most grim Arcana of all, this is more about death than The Death itself. The Doom or The Destruction awaits at the end, for this story is a tragedy - I'm very fond of this genre.

I've gone and tossed in three Elder Futhark runes for added flavor: peorð, þorn, and take a special note of the last one, the blank. This is gaining momentum and favor recently, even if it isn't obviously part of any runic system. Its interpretation is the deepest, though; just as the numerical '0', which opened whole new avenues of play in Mathematics, the blank rune is about potential, about the Everything in the Nothing, the Divinity making an Apparition, it can be anything.

So, now, what can we get about this story I've just told? Of course! That the story isn't to be trusted, it's all talking about secrets, illusions, and mind tricks - the suit of swords is the suit of the mind. And the storyteller is the worst offender of all: he's deeply biased and unashamedly obscuring details on purpose.
But that's not saying you didn't gain any knowledge or insight by reading between lines, didn't you?

The World

Acquaintances

Quotes

Rumors

  • Velasco briefly travelled to London in 2003 to attend specifically to the Queen of the Night Aria performed by Diana Damrau at the Royal Opera House