Yes, for a time we were every bit as majestic as Stoker's scrawling or Lugosi's powder-pated mockery suggests. The others dub us "Fiends," and so we were - Princes of the Monsters. A miasmic dread hung over the kine, and soon the eldest Tzimisce did not even need to leave their enclaves to hunt. The kine, fearful of retribution, willingly sent a fraction of their swains and maidens into the spider's lair. And this would prove the elders' undoing, for the line grew complacent. Seated in their dining halls, sating themselves without a finger's motion, they brooded over past slights and reminisced over past victories. But most of all, they forgot.
So lethargic they became that even the minimal tasks of rulership and study become onerous. Rather than turn over all of their responsibilities to revenants, the elders procreated in record numbers. Soon the lands were overrun with ravenous childer... note
—Vampire: The Masquerade - Clanbook: Tzimisce
Yet perhaps we Qartheen are too confined ourselves. We feel safe behind our walls and our laws, which no visitor can hope to follow, and by which any citizen who vouches for a guest always pays with his life. But like a ship in the Summer Seas, a city grows becalmed without fresh wind. "The greatest city that ever was or will be?" An epitaph. I would would prefer: "The greatest city that is".
—Xaro Xhoan Daxos, History and Lore of Westeros: Qarth
Who hustles the hustlers? Even agents of chaos can go rigid. They need a shake-up. I'm the shaker. They're going to like what I've got waiting in the wings. It's going to hurt so good...
—Damon Kiyota on The Dragon, The Secret World
Meanwhile, the rest of Europe and America enjoyed a prosperous peace. What did we gain? Complacency. In 1927, Adolf Hitler toppled the Kaiser and channeled the power of German science and industry into weapons production. The democracies, lulled by decades of uninterrupted affluence, ignored him. The Germans have had a six year lead in the race to unlock the secrets of nuclear fission. Now that the World War has begun, I wonder if the question is not whether Hitler will use his atomic weapons, but when.
If only the past could be changed...
For all their wisdom, our Archmasters forgot Ie Ictus' declaration: reality belongs to those who claim it. And as the witch-folk say, you claim your world simply by existing in it. Hermes' children are no exception. By building worlds to our design, then isolating ourselves within them, we Hermetics crossed The Tower with The Devil. Our stagnation demanded change.
—Mage: The Ascension - Tradition Book: Order of Hermes (revised)