The first lord Tremere was the youngest of King Dios' children; he was largely ignored by his very busy father, and spent much time studying with Setsuna, Keeper of Secrets. In some mystical manner, she apparently wiped out all knowledge of his true name, which is preserved only by the House's leaders, the Council of Seven.
Tremere gathered together many seekers into mystical lore and formed the White Lodge, a secret society for magi and logrus masters, dedicated to gathering mystical lore to use to defend the Courts against the many strange things which lurked in shadow. The White Lodge pledged itself to him, and when King Dios issued the decree which formalized the Great Houses, the members of the Lodge became House Tremere, though they continue to treat themselves as the White Lodge of Hermetic Wisdom in their internal documents.
Tremere himself was known to dislike the hereditary principle, but conversely, he knew it was difficult to resist, and so, instead of his house being passed on parent to child, he decreed that the house would be led by a council of three men and three women, who had recieved the highest level of initiation into the secret rites of the White Lodge. On the death of each Lord Tremere, they would elect one of his descendants as the new Lord Tremere, from among those of his descendants who had also passed the highest initiation. No child below majority could ever be elected to the post. Each new Lord then acted as Chairman for life of the Council of Seven. When members of the Council died, the survivors would elect new members, who would then have to take the final initiation test to join the council.
This method has lasted since then. House Tremere collects and studies magical lore, provides magical training, and builds magical devices and shadows to order for the other houses.
The Seven High Virtues of Tremere Philosophy:
Courage, Foresight, Perseverence, Curiosity, Insight, Wisdom, and Hope
The current Lord Tremere is a somewhat controversial figure in House Tremere, mostly because he has the soul of a used car salesman. While mystically competent enough to pass the highest level initiation, his main goal seems to be to sell House Tremere's services to everyone and rack up vast amounts of tre-stone and favors in the process. This bothers the more conservative members of the council, who are more interested in enlightenment than in making money (It's not like magi and logrus masters are ever likely to have to worry about such things).
He is a cheerful, friendly glad-handler, often seen with his succubi-imitating concubines, rather than his reclusive wife. If she dislikes this, she doesn't seem willing to make a public statement about it. He has no major enemies, although he annoys a lot of Chaos Lords at a subliminal level.
The other Councillars are:
House Tremere's unusual organizational style deserves some mention. Everyone in the house, from babies to people in the Old Folks' Home, has a rank of initiation. The higher the rank, the more privileges the more powerful offices you qualify for. Each rank requires surviving an initiation of some kind, each progressively harder. Usually, the initiation tests one's magical or logrus skills, but not always.
Unlike other houses, anyone can apply to enter the White Lodge and become initiated, although those who do so are expected to obey those above them, and become integrated into the Lodge. This means that many renegades and outcasts from other houses have found refuge in House Tremere. (And many who tried to then use the House as a tool against their foes have been destroyed by it).
The full details of the structure are not known to outsiders, other than that the highest grade qualifies one to sit in the Council of Seven, and some of the lowest grades are publically known:
House Tremere is noted for its magic and logrus use, especially the creation of magical artifacts, the building of shadows to order, and its storehouse of magical lore and secrets.
Tremereways sits about a day's travel from the Courts of Chaos proper, at the intersection of black roads to all the other Great Houses. It is a huge pentagonal building, with each face in a different color of stone: White Marble, Grey Granite, Green Jade, Blue Turquoise, and Red Sandstone. There is a door in each face. A thirteen sided wall surrounds the grounds, which are extensive gardens of various kinds; one gate in each wall leads to one of the thirteen roads leading away. The road to the Courts leads up to what is called 'the main gate'.
It sits on a mesa which rises up from a dusty plain, with the thirteen roads leading up the sides with steep switch-backs.
Most of the interior is known only to the initiates, although a few points of interest have been frequently seen by outsiders.
Ladislaw normally appears as a four-armed, three-eyed, orange-skinned, green-eyed man dressed in purple robes. His job is to organize the seeking of new magical lore by the Tremere. This includes both magical research in the labs and the sending out of magi to study the infinite magical traditions of shadow. Ladislaw tends to favor the the latter over the former and often neglects his research duties in favor of another adventure into shadow.
It remains debatable as to what Lore-Keeper Machetos really looks like, as he never takes off his blue hooded robes for anyone to be able to tell, although he usually has fairly human hands. His eyes often glow blue, and at times he seems to have half-a dozen or more floating inside his hood, which seems to generate a perpetual shadow.
Lore-Keeper Machetos is known to heavily dislike Lord Tremere, as he favors hoarding the lore and not selling magical devices to any freak who has some extra tre-stone. He deliberately cultivates an aura of mystery, which tends to make him very aggravating to deal with.
His main duties are the maintenance of the libraries of lore, and overseeing the training of new magi. He tends to favor the former and largely leaves the teachers to do things in their own way as long as the rules of the house are obeyed.
High Priestess Maria originally supported the accession of the new Lord Tremere, but now seems somewhat more doubtful. She is often frustrated by the tendency of the Tremere to rely on magic, rather than to trust in the Serpent, and thus spends a lot of time lecturing people on how they ought to be behaving, which doesn't win her many friends.
She is short and stocky with short curly black hair and brown eyes; while capable of appearing beautiful (she's noted for tending to become more and more attractive over the course of performance of religious rites as she enters into a religious ecstasy), she's known to dislike people who use their shapeshifting to look prettier than they really are. She spends a lot of time in her avatar form, which is a hawk of green fire.
Castellan Sigrid backs Lord Tremere very firmly, perhaps because the massive influx of wealth has made her duties a lot easier due to a vastly increased budget. She is very much a hands-on manager, sometimes too much so, as she tends to meddle in everything. She is reknowned for her skill with an axe, and for her skill at the crafting of siege engines.
While they hold different political positions, she's known to frequently cooperate with Battle Mage Yulia in staging wars in shadow to practice military methods and tactics. It's rumored she's crafted a shadow which is as near a duplicate of Tremereways as can be managed, which Yulia then tries each year to sack, in order to help develop ways to improve Tremereways' defenses without having to actually sack Tremereways during the test.
Castellan Sigrid is tall and muscular, with long blonde hair in human form; in battle she favors a quadripedal demon form that resembles a frenzied boar. She is a good example of how House Tremere is better than many houses at integrating recruits from other Houses; she is herself originally from House Aesir.
Stanislas tends to waver between supporting and opposing Lord Tremere. He certainly finds the wealth brought in by their sales of artifacts to be very useful. But at the same time, his artificers increasingly find themselves simply pumping out devices for sale instead of creating interesting new items. He also frets about whether these devices may one day be turned against the Tremere (although it's often rumored the Tremere put failsafes in their devices to avoid having them used against them).
Stanislas is very much a hands-off manager; he prefers to simply tell someone to carry out project X, then leave them to do it, assessing the results when they are done. If someone comes for advice, he will usually provide a thorough-going technique, but he largely leaves folk to work on their own if they possess the proper training for the job. He is generally thought to do this so he can use the free time to work on his own projects.
Battle Magus Yulia is noted for spending most of her time in demonform, a gleaming, spiked humanoid form with a spiked tail. She tends to wear red plate armor, and in her more humorous moods (on non-formal occassions) has been known to wear a long red conical hat with golden stars and moons emblazoned on it and a trailing scarf from the top. She has a very quirky sense of humor, and seems to greatly enjoy practical jokes.
She is in charge of casting the spells that make people fall down. She effectively commands the offensive armies of House Tremere, and conducts research into battlefield magics. She is noted for wading into battle surrounded by a giant fiery aura which mimics her actions, enabling her to strike foes with flames from a distance.
Yulia firmly disapproves of Lord Tremere's actions, especially his free-handed selling of magical weapons and battle magics to anyone willing to pay. Unfortunately, she can't stop him doing so.
She's known to be quite friendly with Castellan Sigrid despite their opposed political opinions.
House Tremere has a vast array of mystically inclined subordinate houses and a fair number of not very mystic but useful for mass combat houses as well. House Tremere has no really close allies, but is on good terms with most other houses because they work cheap and provide good service.