Inquisitor Laurence Alfred Blackwell landed on the coast of Maine in the year of our lord, sixteen hundred and forty three. Sent by the Bishop of Canterbury, his mission was to shepherd the first known settlement in the state, and ensure their Puritanical theology was not tainted by native or French influences. This was the first known representative of the Lancea Sanctum in Fallcoast, and he would become the most powerful clergyman the Praxis has ever seen.
Blackwell chose his partners carefully, and an alliance with His Majesty John Coin benefited both the First and Second Estate during the fledgling years of the Domain. The natural alliance allowed the Prince to pacify the settlement, and the Lance gained timely and permanent foothold. The early years were bloody. French and Portuguese Kindred fought the British for influence in the region, but eventually relented. The Puritanical sects of the Lance established churches and aided development to keep their herd healthy and prolific. All the while, subtly guiding them towards their religious views by violent and terrifying coercion. They were ruthless and unfettered in their zealously, buoyed by their alliance with the Unconquered. And Blackwell had a particularly cruel and unyielding temperament towards opposition. Baptist and Methodist churches sprang up inland, where the wild spirit of the pioneers and frontiersmen still ran hot. But the coasts belonged to the Puritans, and Blackwell soon established himself as the first Bishop of Fallcoast. The Lance has reportedly kept records of their first historical conflicts with the Crones who fought for a portion of the Domain. They are marked by several successful pogroms which repeatedly cleansed the lands of their Pagan influence. By the year sixteen ninety eight, the Lance had eradicated the last of the Circle’s presence in the settlement, and enjoyed a long campaign of expansion. For another hundred years plus, the now anointed Archbishop Blackwell led his flock without challenge. He had raised several Bishops beneath him from amongst the clergy, sent new Inquisitors westward along with settlers, and eventually cut ties with Canterbury to allow complete religious independence in the Praxis.
But eventually a new threat emerged from amongst the downtrodden Kindred hunting in the Hanging Hills. Desmond the Taker is well known amongst the Circle as a martyr for their cause, just as he is canonized within the Lancea Sanctum as villain. The Lance had believed the Circle were all but eradicated within Fallcoast, but in the eighteen fifties they returned along with emancipated African and Caribbean slaves. Desmond the Taker was the face of that insurrection, and when their numbers became too numerous to ignore Archbishop Blackwell endeavored to lead a new pogrom to scourge the land of this demonic menace. Desmond was captured and destroyed by the Archbishop’s hand. Though unlike the conquests of past decades, the Circle and the Kine they controlled sought vengeance. The uprising took its toll on the settlement, as Indians and black slaves burnt farms and scalped a preacher in Desmond’s name. But before the Archbishop and his flock could react, his Majesty deemed the campaign too costly to continue. To the Lance’s anger, an understanding was reached between the Praxis and the Circle. And though meager, the Crones were granted Domain in order to avoid further conflict.
The early nineteen hundreds were marked by distrust. It is here the Lance’s influence began to wane. The Archbishop felt his cause betrayed, and his flock grew insular. Slowly the First Estate replaced their religious shepherds with the worship of the dollar, marginalizing the Second Estate in the process. By this time, Archbishop Blackwell had grown old in age, and the potency of his blood demanded much upkeep. In nineteen ten he voluntarily entered torpor, and handed control of his flock over to Bishop Reynard Paxton, a Kindred of prominence amongst the council of Bishops. Bishop Paxton proved more pragmatic than his sleeping predecessor, and sought to rebuild the old alliances that had served the Lance so well. Since that time, the Second Estate has fought hard to return to their rightful place besides the Unconquered. When the twentieth century came near to a close, the Invictus of Fallcoast grew more dependent on their financial structures. The present day is the natural product of this progression. Gone are the Puritanical theologies that kept the young settlements in check, replaced now by abundant resources and attitudes of heretical tolerance. The Lance, and indeed religion itself, continues to struggle to regain its relevance in America, fighting against the influence of the all mighty dollar which forces to its altar the ranks of the living and the dead alike. In recent years, Bishop Paxton fell out of favor with the Praxis, owed to a corruption of the clergy exposed by a fledgling Carthian Movement in the early nineteen nineties. But somewhere in Fallcoast the old Archbishop waits to arise from the long sleep once again, to remind the Praxis of the terrible nights long past.
The importance of rituals is everything to the Lancea and they believe firmly in their Creeds. While their joining process may not be quite as quick as other Covenants, there can be no rushing the will of one to accept the teachings of Longinus into their hearts. How fast or slow a recruit travels on their path to joining is strictly at the discretion of their willingness to accept the tasks before them.
1. Find a mentor/shepherd from amongst the Sanctified and attend one of the Sermons as their 'honored' guest.
2. Read a condensed version of the Catechism and schedule a meeting with any member of the Sanctified to discuss any questions regarding the text. (It should be noted most do not need to read it from cover to cover and really just centering a discussion upon one or two key points will suffice.)
3. The mentor/shepherd will act as a divine counselor to prepare the potential recruit for their Purification Rite. The Rite as well as the standard of Purification chosen will remain up to the highest ranking member of the Sanctified within the town, or their chosen disciple.
4. No less than three nights following the Purification Rite - the newly purified applicant will undergo the final Anointing Ceremony presided over by the Bishop, or their chosen disciple. Upon completion of this ceremonial rite, the applicant firmly joins the ranks of the Sanctified.