A History of the Luminaries
Les sommités éternels, or the Eternal Luminaries, have existed since the late 1000s AD, formed by an outcast sorcerer named Raulin Mallowburne. After losing his wife due to a rivalry between him and another spellcaster, Raulin desired revenge, but fell too ill to avenge her. Many people remained sympathetic to his cause, but Raulin’s found little solace in their support, his thoughts turning dark and consumed with the thought of immortality. His started as a quest for revenge and went horribly wrong.
Nobody but those who were closest to him knows the details of how it happened, but he disappeared for a few years with a handful of his most trusted friends and was thought dead. During the midst of that, he encountered his first vampire, but upon learning that magical beings lost their magic after being turned, abstained from begging for immortality. Needing a way to merge the two, Raulin found his answer through the dark arts, a perversion of the elemental and arcane magic he and his people had embraced with their former sect. All of his most loyal followers embraced the change from human to blood-drinking creatures of the night.
And thus was another vampire bloodline born.
Because they were bastards of the pure bloodline, they turned out weaker and slower but retained all their magical gifts. When Raulin and his lieutenants returned to their old sect of magicians, they started persuading members to turn and it spread like wildfire. The problems with this were dual: they had skated close to infringing upon the natural order merely by existing and immediately, sought to indoctrinate their recruits into the dark arts. Raulin amassed an army to take out the sorcerers still loyal to his rival and swiftly set his sights upon finally realizing his quest for revenge. A few rival magicians managed to flee, however.
Visions given to his rivals led them to Killian O’Cearnaigh, the man who became the first vampire hunter. He was gifted with the powers needed to become a warrior and amassed his own army with the sorcerers left and other fighters to whom he granted the ability to slay vampires. A big, bloody battle ensued, one which killed Raulin and most of the first generation vampires he turned. This should have obliterated the Eternal Luminaries.
Unfortunately, the first generation had already begun turning people themselves. The remaining sorcerers and their immortal children scattered like rats after those first battles, but the ones still faithful to their master found ways of keeping in contact, mainly through the use of magic and covert communication. Raulin had left them with some tricks and treasures to keep them a step ahead of what became the Supernatural Order, and at that point, even the Order couldn’t snuff out all the vampires who had fallen into league with the Luminaries.
This network is what grew underground, thriving first in France before taking root elsewhere in the world.