The King of the Grove[edit | edit source]

"I know your sire, your sire's sire, and sire's sire's sire. The devil took me with his own teeth before he died. As far as I know I'm the last one left who can say that. And that's shit, is what it is. Beautiful, glorious shit, but shit all the same. I know you and your get, and I've walked your path. I came to this grove and I drank the old King up, I drank his soul and everything he was. So I've got all that roiling around inside now too. The world's bigger than you and your suffering, then me and mine, than them and theirs. What'd that Billy boy say? The world is a vampire? He wasn't half wrong for what he was. We don't keep feeding that tree this world will die. That ain't a lie."

Old Tom is more myth than monster, hunkered up in his old grove that may as well be a bunker. Rumor is the God-Machine never even tried to come for him, that whatever he gets up to in there is important enough that even even it didn't want to interrupt. Truth is, hardly anyone outside the Circle of the Crone has ever seen Old Tom more than once, and even within the Circle hardly anyone has spoken to him more than a handful of times.

He is the Rex Nemorensis, the King of the Grove, the keeper of occult secrets even the Circle of the Crone doesn't want to know. Devils and spirits haunt his little woods, and Kindred that cross into it without the proper signs of safe passage are likely to get eaten up. That's against the Traditions, of course, but Prince Thorne seems to have some agreement with the creature herself and doesn't interfere more than she absolutely needs to.

No one talks of Old Tom taking a childe before, but then again, he could have a dozen childer under his wing and probably no one would speak of it lest the devils come hunting for them.

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