The Raven Prophecy
The House of Habsburg
The House of Habsburg was one of the most important aristocratic royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and Spanish Empire and several other countries. Originally from Switzerland, the dynasty first reigned in Austria, which they ruled for over six centuries. A series of dynastic marriages brought Burgundy, Spain, Bohemia, Hungary, and other territories into the inheritance. In the 16th century, the family separated into the senior Habsburg Spain and the junior Habsburg Monarchy branches, who settled their mutual claims in the Oñate treaty.
In the secret Oñate treaty, the Austrian and Spanish Habsburgs settled their mutual claims. The Spanish Habsburgs died out in 1700 (prompting the War of the Spanish Succession), as did the last male of the Austrian Habsburg line in 1740 (prompting the War of the Austrian Succession), and consequently the entire line itself in 1780. The heiress of the last Austrian Habsburg (Maria Theresa) had married Francis Stephan, Duke of Lorraine, (both of them were great-grandchildren of Habsburg Emperor Ferdinand III, but from different empresses) and their descendants carried on the Habsburg tradition from Vienna under the dynastic name Habsburg-Lorraine, although technically a new ruling house came into existence in the Austrian territories, the House of Lorraine (see Dukes of Lorraine family tree). It is thought that extensive intra-family marriages within both lines contributed to their extinctions.
The intra-family marriages that were used to keep the royal bloodline pure led to grotesque birth deformities, mental illness, and sterilization which would eventually bring the royal line to an end.
The vampire house of Habsburg clings to the notion of royal purity despite many of them being so badly marred by physical deformities that most dare not allow a mortal to ever view their faces. The mental incapacity of the line has been even more crippling. The clan is increasingly reliant upon elder vampires and a handful of younglings who still posses the capacity for critical thinking.
Carlos the second of Spain represents a prime example of the internal decline of this powerful house. When the appointed time came, Carlos was embraced as custom dictates that all higher royal be brought over. Carlos suffers from a lower jaw that juts forth so far that he cannot speak clearly and has the mental capacity of a six year old. Now this creature also has a thirst for blood and is wholly dependent upon the more capable members of the Hapsburg house for protection and shelter.
Other vampire houses do not share the custom of embracing those only of royal blood and so escape the problems of being dependent upon a bloodline rife with genetic problems.
Vampires of the House of Habsburg get a +1 to their Strength score. They may not have an appearance score greater than 2.
- Nightmare (Vampire Requiem pg. 133)
- Protean (Core book pg. 167)