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Arthur the Lame was born in Ceoris itself, the greatest of the Tremere chantries, in about 1117. His mother was a simple serving maid, albeit one with a particularly comely face and figure. He never knew his father, but his mother always told him it was a visiting Mage of House Bonisagus, and given his formidable intelligence and Gift for magic, the claim has a certain plausibility.
The Tremere named him Artos, "the Bear", a cruel and contemptuous jest on his small frame. The twisted muscles of his right leg didn't really make him lame, despite his other nickname, but they did give him a pronounced limp.
He wasn't much use for manual labour, but fortunately for him, he displayed enough early intellectual promise that lazy apprentices could find a use for him as a sort of ancillary librarian. It was a lot easier to use Artos' extraordinary memory than to go hunting through shelves of musty volumes for one particular tome. When his Gift flowered at the age of thirteen, he'd already spent more than five years reading, cross-referencing and absorbing texts from Ceoris' formidable - if haphazard - library,
He was accepted as an apprentice, but too many of Ceoris' mages were used to thinking of him as a mere dogsbody, and the true extent of his ability was overlooked. When he discovered the secret of House Tremere's transformation in 1140, he was Embraced rather than killed only because his sire thought he'd be a useful pawn in the ongoing war against the Tzimisce. There was no expectation that he'd last long.
For the next fifty years, he was sent into battle after battle against the Carpathian Fiends. Time after time, he was chosen to lead the Tremere's gargoyle and mortal fighting forces because the newly fledged clan deemed him the most expendable Cainite they could send. And time after time, he survived. Survived, and usually, won the day.
In 1193, Meerlinda finally noticed his habit of winning against the odds, and quietly investigated. She found that little Artos - despised, overlooked, invariably selected to handle the dangerous jobs that nobody else wanted - had quietly turned himself into one of the most formidable blood sorcerers in the clan, tested and hardened in the fires of seemingly endless battle. Disgusted by the short-sightedness of her fellow Tremere, she deemed him too valuable to sacrifice to the whims of chance in some piddling, insignificant conflict in the Omen War, and arranged for him to be transferred to her Lion's Gate Chantry in Durham.
When Mithras finally consented to allow the Tremere to establish a chantry in London, Artos - though he anglicised his name to "Arthur" to make himself less conspicuous - was the obvious choice to lead it. Small, lame, youthful-looking, and self-effacing, he cut an unthreatening figure, but he was a powerful blood sorcerer with extensive experience of operating behind enemy lines - which, in essence, was what being the leader of the London Chantry meant in practice.
Since his arrival, he's been moving cautiously, establishing social ties with the city's Cainites but not making any overt moves to exploit them. He knows that the Prince is watching him like a hawk, so his strategy is to start by making himself useful to a few Cainites, and then gradually move on until he's indispensable to a critical mass of them.