Vampire the Masquerade: Endless Night

A Vampire the Masquerade RPG set in modern day in the fictional metropolis of December City, Virginia.
 
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 Clans and Bloodlines G-K

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Margifish
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Join date : 2015-06-26
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PostSubject: Clans and Bloodlines G-K   Fri Jun 22, 2018 8:36 pm

Gangrel


A glint of red eyes in the darkness, the scent of a predator’s musk, a flash of fangs, the sound of flesh tearing: These mark the presence of the Gangrel. More than any other Clan, the Gangrel resemble the beasts associated with the legends of vampires: bats, wolves, and other creatures of darkness. Indeed, the Outlanders develop the ability to transform themselves into these forms.

The Gangrel have other characteristics in common with animals as well. Many shun the elaborate social constructs of both Kindred and kine. A number of them prefer to move alone or as a member of small packs or coteries. Most are tough and, when pressed, ferocious. And when Gangrel succumb to the depredations of the Beast, they are left with some feature redolent of the animal kingdom.

As a Clan, the Gangrel are wary and aloof. Most would prefer to spend their nights stalking prey or wilding on the rooftops than minding Princely edicts or lobbying for recognition of domain. Theirs is a tense relationship with vampire society, and Outlanders are among the most frequent to turn Anarch or Autarkis.

Nickname: Outlanders

Clan Flaw: Every time a Gangrel frenzies, she acquires a temporary animal characteristic (which may replace an existing temporary one). A patch of fur, a brief torpor after feeding, or skittishness around crowds — all of these may mar an Outlander after frenzy. Characteristics acquired in Gangrel frenzies need not only be physical – they can be behavioral as well.
Over time, or in an exceptional situation, a particular animal feature may become permanent, with the next frenzy adding a new feature.

Disciplines: Animalism, Fortitude, Protean

History:

There are many different approaches to the history of the Gangrel. The disparate nature of the Outlanders and their mostly oral recorded histories make an exact depiction of their early history difficult, but it seems certain that the Gangrel were always wanderers, who followed nomadic tribes around, sleeping in the earth to escape the sun. Although some Gangrel tell the myth of Caine and how Ennoia was cast out due to a betrayal of the Ravnos Antediluvian and forced to live with the beasts, there are many other tales. The Gangrel of Scandinavia tell tales of the Einherjar and Canarl, who was cursed by Odin, while another popular myth was that Ennoia and her twin brother Churka were demigods that warred against each other, Ennoia with the most bravest warriors and Churka with the most cunning, at night, so that the other gods would not learn of their feud. After Ennoia, however, was betrayed by two of her lieutnants who left her, she and her army were driven to the East, where Ennoia left them on their own. By battling Churka's get and the demonic giants that served him, they would do penance for the betrayal of their chieftains. After a long series of battles, the Gangrel were driven into the West, in the civilizations of other Kindred. Other stories tell that Ennoia was the mother of Gypsies and both the werewolves and the Gangrel descend from them. Most among the Clan, however, do not know or care any longer about creation myths of their kind, instead focusing to survive in the present. The mystery remains.

The Gangrel shunned many of the civilizations of antiquity, instead roaming the woods and preying on tribal societies who regarded them as evil spirits that were meant to be appeased. They had almost nothing to do with the development of the Roman Empire, though occasionally a Brittaniac, Gaulian, or Gothic Gangrel would nose around Rome in the hopes of catching a young neonate off-guard. If there were any Gangrel in the city itself, they were likely attached to any one of the "slave" races – mainland Europeans, Africans, Middle Easterners, or even more exotic peoples. Gangrel fought on both sides of the Punic Wars, although in the end, most flocked to the Ventrue. In Scandinavia, the methuselah known as Odin, the All-High, held the northmen in a tight grip and ruled as a corporal god, sending them down to raid the civilizations he despised in order for his warriors to earn the right of the Embrace.

Dark Ages:

The northwestern Gangrel during this period, regarded as members of the Low Clans by their high-blooded peers, were experimenting with expansionism and traveled to the four winds to far off lands to conquer, explore and trade. As paganism was on the decline and many Gangrel could not pose as normal humans due to their growing abnormality, they instead prowled the countryside, feeding from peasants and travelers. During these days, the Gangrel allied themselves with the Tzimisce against the nascent Tremere in the Omen War.

The Islamic Gangrel of the period were called Wah'Sheen, and were essentially straightforward nomads, masters of the deserts and wastelands of Arabia and North Africa. A few of the Wah'Sheen felt differently, and eventually split from the main part of the clan, calling themselves the Taifa Gangrel. These were generally more scholarly and adept with civilization than the rest of the bay't.

The Renaissance and the loss of woodland made unlife complicated for the Gangrel. The Masquerade and the heavy decline of pagan religions made hunting difficult for them without drawing notice and the growing anger of the Lupines against human encroachment found more often than not a ventil with a lone Gangrel. Many Gangrel left the Camarilla during this time, instead traveling as Autarkis, leaving Europe completly in search for untouched wilderness or receded into those few tribal societies still existing.

Victorian Age:

In the rapid growth of cities and technology that marked the Victorian Age, very few Gangrel had any interest in staying in towns and hamlets that became industrial centers almost overnight. Additionally, though there were few documented cases of mortals possessing "true faith", the growth of religious influence made many Gangrel cringe, wary of another round of the vicious Inquisitorial practices of the Dark Ages. Only the scholar and theology debater Beckett was known to have any regular dealings with "proper" Kindred society during this period; most other clan members hiked into the wilderness to wait out this newest burst of human ingenuity and religious fervor.

Some claim that the City Gangrel began to evolve during this age, due to urbanization and the desolate situation in most fabrics.

Modern Nights:

Following the Sabbat invasion of the East Coast, the Camarilla suffered another blow with the departure of the Gangrel. The reasons for their withdrawal are unknown; it is rumored then Justicar Xaviar went before the Inner Circle, uttered a single sentence, and left. Word spread through the clan, and over the course of a month the majority of the clan abandoned the sect and became independent.

Organization:

Status in general among the Gangrel is decided by rites, and these rites involve one of two things: combat or boasting. Combat is usually basic and unarmed; two Gangrel who know each other well may simply spar, but those who are strangers battle until one of the fighters is incapacitated or surrenders. Boasting involves the two Gangrel making larger claims until one Gangrel backs down or asks for proof. The challenged Gangrel must then show proof of their claims or lose the rite and their status.

What little formal organization the Gangrel has is placed around the aptly-named Gather, which are occasional meetings at which local and visiting Gangrel can exchange news, information and stories and decide on local matters. Gathers usually involve notice weeks in advance, as news travels more slowly among the limited network of the Gangrel. Once begun, Gathers usually involve the rites demonstrating status to decide on leadership for the meeting. The rites can take days to accomplish, and must be redone for every Gather, as no two will have the same Gangrel meeting under the same circumstances. Once the hierarchy for the Gather is established, the business at hand can be dealt with. No matter the circumstances, Gathers always break up after a week.

Gathers can also be used to form Revels, which are essentially calls to battle. The Gangrel who participate in a Revel form parties to track down and destroy enemies, such as enemy kindred, Garou, or others who have dared to invade the clan's territory.

There are also meetings called Great Gathers. As a Great Gather relies on a powerful Gangrel who is respected by most of the clan to be called, they are extremely rare. When one is called, any member of the clan who can must travel to the meeting place. There, similar rites of strength and status that are found in a regular Gather take place; however, there are no time limits to either the rites or the Great Gather. Even more rare but related are Grand Revels, which are essentially wars and battles involving the entire clan. Both are considered to be signs of bad luck by most Gangrel, and the fact neither have been called in centuries is seen as a good sign.

Clan Variants:

Two main variants exist among the Sabbat; the Country Gangrel and the City Gangrel. The Country Gangrel are largely similar to the main Clan, with the Fortitude, Animalism, and Protean Disciplines. The City Gangrel have adapted to city life, foregoing Animalism and Fortitude for Celerity and Obfuscate. Both are collectively referred to as "Gangrel antitribu."

Given the mutability inherent in Gangrel vitae, the Clan is particularly prone to numerous offshoots, variants and bloodlines, so much so that it is hard to know where to draw the line between what constitutes a proper Gangrel and what does not. Individual opinion among Clan members differs, naturally.

Culture:

The Gangrel are considered the most feral and predatory of the Kindred, and because of their reclusive natures, animalistic tendencies and loose organization, are the least social of the Cainites, preferring solitude to society. They also tend to be extremely territorial and possessive and to enter a Gangrel's territory without permission is to risk certain death. They do have their role and reputation among the kindred as fierce warriors, but to get a Gangrel to agree to work with others, even other Gangrel, can be a difficult, if not impossible, task.

Most of the Clans legends and myths, as well as the ways to garner prestige within the Clan, are done orally. Storytelling and being able to hold a crowd are considered fairly valuable social currency, as there is little else to do in gatherings out in the wilderness besides entertain each other with bravado and song. Most of these stories are true, but a good, satisfying tale is regarded as more important than the facts of the details. Gangrel do not lie, precisely, but embellishing the truth is a good way to sound much more impressive, in the same way a cat puffs up its fur to look more threatening. Keeping to one's spoken word is also highly respected, as when all is said and done, the only thing stopping another vampire from screwing you over is their own sense of honor. This is not to say that the more socially-inclined Gangrel cannot learn to play Jyhad. In fact, many enjoy (or at least grudgingly accept) the great masquerade ball of betrayal, conspiracy, and power struggles that define so much of Kindred existence.

The Gangrel also have ties to the Roma, and therefore will protect and shelter them, especially from other Kindred. The Ravnos would also lay claim to the Roma, however, and as a result the two clans have a mutual hatred for each other that goes back centuries.

Given the distinctly rural nature of Clan Gangrel, the observer may be surprised to learn that many higher-generation Gangrel are adept at managing modern technology such as cell phones, computers, and cutting-edge vehicles. Clan Gangrel has realized that knowledge of technology is an important aspect of survival in the modern nights, and even the eldest Gangrel know how to work a microwave.

The importance of oral history and tradition, including tales of their Antediluvian, puts the Gangrel at odds with the Camarilla party-line that such things do not exist. Especially since the Book of Nod was made available through Ayisha Jocastatian tricking Beckett, the Camarilla quietly persecuted Gangrel lore masters, blaming the deaths on the rising Sabbat activity. Since then, the Gangrel have become more withdrawn, only sharing their stories at clan-intern Althings.

Embraces:

A Gangrel sire often chooses a prospective candidate for the Embrace during feeding. If the mortal prey resists, fighting against what is happening, then his reward after death may be a taste of Gangrel blood. The clan makes many Gangrel this way, dating back to the first warriors selected by Ennoia to fight her war. This method produces a Gangrel with a fierce desire to survive, even if he does not have all the tools. We also find prospective Gangrel through observation. While most mortals remain safely hidden during the night, a few risk the darkness. When one of our clan encounters a mortal like this, they will watch instead of attacking. It takes courage to wander these nights, after all. The Gangrel observes the mortal, watching for any signs of bravery or a knack for survival. Sometimes, a mortal out at night is simply lost – if this proves to be the case, he becomes prey. However, if the mortal shows skill moving about at night, is no coward, and maintains the interest of the observer, he is a good candidate for the Embrace. When we punish, however, there is little effort wasted. A mortal who insults or threatens one of our clan receives a nighttime visit. The Gangrel Embraces the mortal, making the process as painful and terror-filled as possible, and leaves her. Usually the Embrace happens indoors, in the rooms of the person punished, assuring their discovery and destruction. In recent nights, this punishment has fallen into disuse, though there are still some who actively enact it. A choice is almost never offered. This has become a tradition with the clan, since so few of them had a choice. The offspring of these Gangrel are considered by some to be inferior stock, even if they do survive. While not considered outcasts, a Gangrel given a choice rarely receives the same respect of those Embraced traditionally, even after the rites of status. Embracing foes has the potential to backfire on the Gangrel. Should an enemy survive the first nights and develop his power, he could turn his new abilities to hunting the one who cursed him. This is a rare occurrence – part of the punishment is to stack the Odds so that survival is nearly impossible. A new Gangrel who manages to survive has an enviable combination of cunning, raw ability and luck – clearly a dangerous foe to have in pursuit, but possibly one with a bright future in the clan.

The First Nights

After the Embrace, the sire disappears into the night, leaving the new Gangrel on his own. The Gangrel believe that it is better to save the effort of training a childe until after he has proven that he can survive. Thus, the sire completely abandons his new creation in the early nights, leaving him alone to face the struggle of survival. Many do not last beyond even the first night. That first hunger is the strongest, and it brings the Beast quickly to the surface. In the hare of that first wild rage, a childe makes any number of mistakes. If Lupines and mortals do not destroy him, the first sunrise may. If the sire has chosen well, however, the childe quickly grasps his situation and adjusts. The reward for that first night is one of Ennoia's marks. Any Gangrel resilient and capable enough to survive the first few nights soon develops the tools that Gangrel use to survive those that follow. Over time, the childe must learn to grow claws, speak with the animals, and come to terms with our strengths and weaknesses. He must also learn to make decisions on his own, rapidly. The Vampiric condition does not permit long reflection on the proper course to take. Such indecision leads to the Final Death. This is a dangerous time for the childe, lost and without guidance.

Acceptance:

A new Gangrel must survive at least one winter before he is worthy of teaching. "How many winters?" is often the first question a Gangrel asks upon first meeting another in the wilderness. A new Gangrel rarely has the correct answer, and thus reveals himself. Tradition has it that any pup so encountered becomes a responsibility. The older Gangrel must aid him in his survival and teach him the ways of the clan, at least until his nature is revealed. If the pup ends up being from the Cainite broods, the Gangrel leaves him to his fate. Once accepted, the new Gangrel learns the stories and traditions of the clan, particularly the greeting ritual and the rites of status. Instruction in the use of the Gangrel gifts follows. The lessons include descriptions of their relationships with the Ravnos, Lupines and Cainites. After months of this teaching, a close bond forms between the student and teacher, similar to the relationship between a sire and childe among the Cainites. After this training, a Gangrel is officially a member of the clan.





Gargoyles

Note: I never understood why all Gargoyles supposedly HAVE to have an appearance of 0....it makes sense that a Gargoyle directly created  by a Tremere using Nosferatu as a 'base' would be hideous, but not one created from non-Nosferatu vampires or embraced by a Gargoyle sire, so unless your character belongs to the first scenario, I don't require appearance 0. Now, your character obviously can't pass for human, but 'not human looking' doesn't equal hideous to me.


The Tremere unveiled the Gargoyle bloodline in AD 1167, and the Slaves have been a steady, if infrequent, part of Kindred society ever since. Gargoyles might, in fact, be one reason that the Tremere weren’t exterminated entirely in their first few centuries of existence. These odd Kindred often look like their stone namesakes — rocky-skinned, ugly, winged creatures that exist only to serve their masters.

Or such was the case for several hundred years. In more recent times, though, many of the Slaves have thrown off their chains and joined the Camarilla. Why the Gargoyles chose to ally themselves with the Sect that also protected their former masters was anyone’s guess. One of the going theories was that it was meant to be a slap in the Warlocks’ collective face, but most Kindred don't give the Gargoyles credit for being that sophisticated.

More likely, the Rockheads simply realize that in the Camarilla, their talents would be recognized and no one would try and order them around (at least not directly). Gargoyles were originally created out of other Kindred, and this ugly fact made their creation a seldom-discussed topic in polite vampiric society. The Tremere started with a Gangrel, Nosferatu, or Tzimisce vampire and performed obscene, bloody rituals using its blood, heart, and skin. Vitae from another vampire (from one of the other two Clans) was used to provoke a violent mutation, with the result that some Gargoyles looked purely hideous (Nosferatu base), some looked feral (Gangrel base), and some looked more fleshy and sported bony protrusions (Tzimisce base). No Gargoyle could pass for human.

The Tremere tolerated the Gargoyles’ presence in the Camarilla as best they could — it’s not as though they could have easily re-enslaved them, after all. But relations were obviously strained. The Gargoyles’ revolt and induction into the Camarilla had all but doomed the remaining slave Gargoyles though, as their masters monitored them ruthlessly for any sign of betrayal. The Tremere also weren't above planting hypnotic suggestions in their Slaves’ minds, so that if they ever did rebel, they still served a function for the Clan.

Nickname: Traditionally Slaves, though free Gargoyles had been known to crack heads over it. Other common nicknames are Rockheads, Runaways, Freemen, and Grotesques.

Weakness: Due to the origins of their bloodline, Gargoyles are highly susceptible to mind control from any source (such as the Dominate discipline). In addition, while not all are hideous (And even the ones who are ugly are not ugly on the level of a Nosferatu), and some individuals can be even noble-looking or beautiful in a supernatural fashion, no Gargoyle can pass for human, and must keep themselves hidden from most mortal eyes.

Disciplines: Fortitude, Potence, Visceratika

History:

The bloodline was first created via Thaumaturgical ritual in 1167 (or 1121 according to other sources). For the first several centuries after their creation, all their "powers" were in the form of rituals cast upon them by their Tremere masters, and during those early nights, the original gargoyles came into being only in three variants made to fill different roles for their Tremere masters. Those variants were:

The Scouts (Gangrel-Nosferatu) were made to observe the Tremere's enemies and to report any important information to their masters quickly and reliably, and would therefore focus on mastering the art of stealth and Flight.

The Warriors (Gangrel-Tzimisce) were constructed to serve as front-line soldiers, destroying enemy vampires by focusing on Potence and combat abilities which enabled them to deal more damage to their foes.

The Sentinels (Nosferatu-Tzimisce) were crafted to serve as glorified housekeepers, keeping an eye on their masters' havens and areas of interest and protecting them from harm, which led to them focusing on Fortitude and keeping alert for any intruders.

The Gargoyle Revolt:

During the mid-15th-century occurred the uprising in which the bulk of the Gargoyle slaves of Clan Tremere liberated themselves from their masters. It must have ended around 1497.

Victorian Age:

At this point in their history, Gargoyles have "evolved" beyond the need for Tremere rituals, instead having developed their own special Discipline, called Visceratika.

Escaped Victorian Gargoyles were uncommon. They found the world baffling and dangerous. Their inhuman looks did not allow them to pass through the throng of kine easily, and if recaptured they wer inevitably destroyed by their captors.

While travel from Europe to the Americas was not impossible, the logistics of such a task was not easy, and the few Gargoyles who made the crossing found themselves in a world more alien than the one they left behind.

Modern Nights:

These nights, Gargoyle populations seem to be booming; this is largely because older, free Gargoyles are coming out of hiding to join the Camarilla, because more indentured Gargoyles break free from the clutches of the Tremere, and because the free Gargoyles have also begun to Embrace more mortals on their own.

Variants:

Originally, all Gargoyles were created using the blood of three different clans: the Gangrel, the Nosferatu, and the Tzimisce. The blood was combined to form three specific types of Gargoyle: scouts (Gangrel-Nosferatu), warriors (Gangrel-Tzimisce), and sentinels (Nosferatu-Tzimisce). Eventually they evolved into a full-fledged bloodline and became somewhat independent of the Tremere and their blood magic. Those Gargoyles created via the original ritual differ from those that have been Embraced into the bloodline in several ways. For example, Visceratika is an out-of clan discipline for them. While rare since the Montmartre Pact, some of the old variants survive.

Scouts:

Scouts were originally created to advance into enemy territory. They were designed to turn to stone if heavily damaged so that the Tremere or other Scouts could retrieve them later to claim any information they were unable to report back.

When a Scout Gargoyle is wounded, the flesh around it turns to stone, doubling any wound penalties. The flesh turns normal again when the Gargoyle has fully regenerated

Sentinels:

Sentinels are created as protectors, a sentiment that they extend to their fellow Gargoyles. As the most social of the original variants, Sentinels are a lot more friendlier than most would assume.

When alone or without a person they trust, Sentinel Gargoyles find themselves confused.

Warriors:

The Warriors were created for the single purpose of defending House and Clan from its numerous enemies. Inspired by the szlachta of the Tzimisce, they were built to win battles through fear, intimidation, and physical punishment.

Whenever a Warrior Gargoyle frenzies, a part of their body turns to stone. Any associated activity with the petrified body part is considered an automatic failure until the next evening.

Organization:

Gargoyles have a strong sense of community. They often keep communal havens. Sometimes Gargoyles petition the Prince for the release of slave Gargoyles, but more often they just tear slave owners to pieces. With no community, Gargoyles are likely to Embrace and build their own.

Culture:

Gargoyles, regardless of their affiliation, deeply care for each other. New gargoyles are groomed by all to survive and adhere to the Masquerade despite the difficulties. Special focus is on teaching a fledgling to fly, since this is an experience unique to the Gargoyles.

Havens:

Slave Gargoyles sleep wherever their masters allow them — closets, basements, crypts, cells. Free Gargoyles prefer sleeping in havens high above the ground. Bell towers and disused high-rises are favorites. Gargoyles are often muscle for other Kindred, sometimes in exchange for a bare-bones haven.

Embraces:

Most Gargoyles are not Embraced, but are rather created by the Tremere using Kindred from other clans (Nosferatu, Gangrel, and Tzimisce). However, the Gargoyles are still capable of siring childer, and some free Gargoyles have begun to do so.

The process of creation is particularly intense for Gargoyles, especially for those taken directly by the Tremere. The surge of competing strains of vitae, combined with the magical energy inherent to the transformation, serves to wipe away the pre-existing memories and loyalties of a new Gargoyle, leaving a tabula rasa on which the Tremere can work. The process is a trifle gentler for Gargoyles Embraced by other Gargoyles, who sometimes retain at least vague senses of their former lives, but even so most of their past just dissolves under the occult onslaught.

As for what drives a Gargoyle to Embrace a mortal, most times it is a case of simple obsession. There is neither reason nor rhyme to the matter, and even the most eloquent members of the bloodline shrug and put it down to "gut feeling".


Giovanni


The Giovanni are the usurpers of clan Cappadocian and the youngest clan of Caine. Clan Giovanni is both a clan and a family. They Embrace exclusively within their family and are heavily focused on the goals of money and necromantic power.

The clan weakness of Giovanni dictate that when a Giovanni bites a living being, they deal more damage than normal making it difficult to keep people alive after feeding from them.

Nickname Necromancers

History:

The Giovanni started as merchants under the name Ioveanus (later anglicized as Jovians) in the Roman Empire. During this time, the family first attempted to call back the dead in what they called Nigrimancy, as business with the dead was not yet stigmatized and ancestor worship was quite common among the Roman population. When Rome fell, the Jovians maintained the independence of their home in Venice and furthered their own researches of what would eventually develop into newer paths of Necromancy, primarily the Sepulchre Path.

By the dawn of the 13th century, the Jovian family name had again shifted linguistically, this time to "Giovani", spelled with one N. The family name would come to adopt the more familiar "Giovanni" spelling around or before the 15th century.

Dark Ages:

In 1005, in the hollows of Erciyes and under the shadow of Cappadocius's torpid form, Augustus was brought into clan Cappadocian, directly Embraced with the blood of the Founder and under the watch of Japheth and Constancia. While the Embrace is relatively well known, what is not well known is the horse-trading before it.

The Clan of Death, the Cappadocians followed their Founder in a quest to understand the mysteries of death and God, including Cappadocius's plan to diablerize the Almighty. However, lacking knowledge about the soul (the Cappadocians' use of Necromancy focused more on the act of dying than the events afterwards), the Founder began to shop for experts.

Enter the Giovani — "the young ones" — a family of prosperous Venetian traders who had for centuries depended on Necromatic skill to provide a business edge. Interested in expanding his family's power and seeing Vampirism as the route to doing so, Augustus Giovani had been studying the clans and entertaining offers from various vampiric elders for the Embrace. The Cappadocian offer was the most attractive, providing the lowest generation (as well as the most manipulable clan).

As a result, and despite the protests of Cappadocius's eldest childer, the Antediluvian rose from Torpor and provided Japheth with a small vial of his blood. Japheth reluctantly did so, draining Augustus and pouring most of Cappadocius's donated blood into the throat of the drained Giovanni (The remainder was hidden by Japheth, the True Vessel becoming a major element of Giovani rumor).

Following his ascent into the blood, Augustus Giovani immediately began Embracing his own family. In the course of doing so, the Giovani became something between a bloodline and a cult within the Cappadocian clan. Acknowledged as the experts on Necromancy (and rapidly expanding the field), the Giovani maintained themselves slightly separate from the mother clan. This, as the Giovani claim, is because Augustus had planned to usurp his sire from before he was Embraced.

Renaissance Onwards:

In 1444, these plans came to fruition. Augustus Giovanni's childe, Claudius Giovanni formed a conspiracy to diablerize Japheth, the most beloved of Cappadocius's childer. The Conspiracy of Isaac was a criminal force in itself, but ultimately a distraction - since Hardestadt and other founders of the Camarilla had turned their eye towards the diablerie of elder vampires, Augustus wanted a catspaw, an obvious plan to distract them while he went after the greater prize. In 1444, both plans were completed, with Japheth and Cappadocius dead and both leading Giovanni lowered a generation. The betrayal of Cappadocius and his childer was later called "the Bite" among Giovanni family members.

Taking advantage of the chaos of the era, Augustus began a purge of the Cappadocians that, while taking centuries to wipe out the stragglers, would be sufficiently successful that by 1528, he could negotiate a peace with the Camarilla, also known as the Promise of 1528. The Giovanni were left alone and left the Camarilla alone, exactly as the Giovanni wanted it.

The ultimate goal of the clan was outlined by Augustus Giovanni after reviewing Cappadocius's original plan. Clan Giovanni acquired the bulk of its power by the hold it maintained over wraiths, so by tearing down the Shroud, the clan of Death would be able to increase its power beyond conception. Giovanni outlined plans to do so, with the most difficult goal being the acquisition of vast numbers of souls to enact the necromantic rituals necessary.

From 1528 onwards, the Giovanni were basically left alone to pursue their goals. By opting out from the increasingly hot Camarilla/Sabbat wars, their resources were devoted to three goals: increasing necromantic knowledge, acquiring additional financial clout, and eliminating the remaining Cappadocians and Lamia. Each of these goals tied back into their eventual plan to tear down the Shroud: Necromantic knowledge to acquire the souls, finance to increase the soul supply by buying slaves and engineering economic disasters, and eliminating Cappadocians to keep the only possible squealers tightly shut.

During this period, the Giovanni involved themselves in a variety of occult activities, primary through the clan's notorious scholar Ambrogino Giovanni. At the same time, the Giovanni made bargains with entities like The Capuchin to acquire Necromantic information.

Victorian Age:

The Giovanni used the age of discovery and colonialism to gain footholds within new states like the United States through their mortal merchant relatives. As trade got more and more important for the wealth and influence of a nation, many Giovanni were able to accumulate large financial reserves for themselves. It was during this time, that the Giovanni, despite being reviled as incestuous graverobbers, proved themselves to be one of the most influential kindred clans within mortal society and often this gave them the upper edge in Kindred politics.

The Giovanni managed to control nearly every Camarilla and Sabbat city in Italy with their vast financial resources and their wraith servants (except for the Vatican and Malta, as both are claimed by other powerful forces). Many especially young Giovanni traveled in other states during this time in order to further the influence and finding new financial sources and some families who could expand the clan's necromantic knowledge, like the Pisanob that were recruited during the seventeenth century.

During the two World Wars, the plans of Augustus Giovanni were set back, because the two Maelstroms damaged the infrastructure of the Shadowlands and cost them many of their wraith servants.

Modern Nights:

In the beginning of the twentieth century, the Giovanni were riding high. They expanded the clan into other families (notably the Milliners, della Passaglia, Pisanob and Ghiberti), seemingly wiped out the last of the Cappadocians and their Lamia protectors, and prepared to rend the Shroud and bring the dead to the living.

By the end of the century, things had gone pear shaped. Mysterious vampires, the Harbingers of Skulls, claimed vengeance on the clan for reasons unknown; the Sixth Great Maelstrom shredded the wraiths' society; and the apocalyptic events of the Week of Nightmares destroyed their spiritual assets.

Organization:

The Giovanni are a highly organized clan, consisting of a network of interrelated families who share a common culture and fealty to the ancestral Giovanni family. As a result, despite popular conception, not all Giovanni are Italian.

The Giovanni are organized as something between a highly ruthless mafia dynasty and a highly ruthless corporation. Clan operations are overseen by a hierarchy of capos, padrones and maestros. Favors such as financial responsibilities (and rewards), ghouling, and the Embrace are dependent on performance; vicious backstabbing and cutthroat competition are the order of the day in a Giovanni household.

The Giovanni maintain their own internal Masquerade; a member of the family may be aware that his family is into some weird stuff, but beyond the relatively benign (in comparison) incest and high-finance backstabbing, be blissfully unaware that he is a catspaw for cannibalistic blood-drinking necromancers.

Decisions in the Giovanni are made by councils of elders known as the Anziani, with age, rank and competence all playing a role. Elders who are not Anziani are given the courtesy title nonno/nonna instead. Giovanni are highly family-oriented, even after the embrace, and will spend centuries guiding their descendants for the greater good of the family (and themselves).

Clan Variants:

The Giovanni are a new clan compared to other major clans that populate the World of Darkness, and as such, there are no bloodlines originating from them. There are, however, some families that were incorporated into the Giovanni.

Of course, the "pure" Giovanni still think of themselves superior to those who were embraced into the clan, but not born into the main branch of the family - they even have a phrase for it: Unico sangue or "single blooded", while those who come from the subordinate families are called Doppio sangue, or "double blooded". However, the doppio sangue are still considered much more meritorious than other vampires.

The major families brought into the Giovanni are:

  Dunsirn - Scottish bankers and cannibals.
  Milliner - American financiers brought into the family in the 1950's
  Pisanob - Mexican necromancers.

The minor families associated with the clan are:

  Della Passaglia - An Italian family focusing on the Far East.
  Ghiberti - Another Italian family of necromancers with an active interest in Africa.
  Putanesca - Sicilian thugs with a nasty temper.
  Rosselini - Accomplished though forceful necromancers. Considered near equal to the main family.

There are also lesser families related to the clan through marriage. These are:

  Beryn - Flemish traders with inroads into Africa.
  Hidalgo - Another Mexican branch rumored to be wiped out by the Sabbat.
  Li Weng - Chinese geomancers based out of San Francisco's Chinatown.
  Koenig - German arms manufacturers and death-cultists
  St John - Cabal of English Masons.
  Rothstein - Jewish-American Kabbalists centered in Las Vegas.

Premascine Giovanni:

The Premascines are a sort of throwback to the vitae of the Giovanni forebears, the Cappadocians. They suffer from the ghastly corpse-like pallor of the Graverobbers, and are able to learn the Mortis Path of Necromancy without a teacher. The main Giovanni Clan, in particular the older members, are extremely suspicious of the Presmascines, particularly those who demonstrate any proficiency with Mortis.

Culture:

In many ways, the Giovanni are a Ghoul Family with less visibly disgusting parts. This does not mean the Giovanni are not as warped as the Bratovitch clan; the Giovanni are repulsive and degenerate in a more subtle manner. It is said that younger generations of the Giovanni were found to be very attractive. Some even say they put on the irresistible look of a succubi pre-change.

Effective Giovanni are sadistic Giovanni. Controlling wraiths means acquiring fine control over a variety of psychological levers (understanding Passions and Fetters) and then ruthlessly manipulating these tools to make a spirit do what you want. The Giovanni have been cruel, manipulative, and vicious since before the diablerie of Cappadocius, and it bleeds out into everything else they do. The outer shell of the Giovanni clan, the public face is less visibly cruel and horrid, but only because these vampires are explicitly tasked to deal with the outside world.

The most notorious example of this bleed off is the Giovanni Proxy Kiss. Giovanni make an art out of ghouling, since ghouling is a rite of passage for the Giovanni - ghouling means that the Giovanni is now part of the people who make the family work. Not necessarily a mover and shaker, but something akin to a made man: the Masquerade is pulled back and the truth about vampires is revealed. Giovanni tend to make Proxy Kisses aesthetic efforts, and take a point in pride in producing especially memorable or mind-destroying ones - blood received via fellatio, blasphemous masses and the like are all popular choices. In a similar vein, to be made into one of the undead is a great deal, celebrated in a semi-public event within the family to allow the childe-to-be the last pleasures of the mortal world. The Bacio della Morte, the Kiss of Death, is conducted in a ritual matter, with the mortal childe wearing its best clothes before disrobing itself before the sire, offering himself to the undead being before him. Afterwards, the fledgling Giovanni is first inducted into the art of feeding in a formal dinner, likely making its first official alliances with its kind.

The sadism and weirdness of Giovanni internal culture is enhanced by its incestuous nature. Giovanni can spend the majority of their lives interacting with nobody except other Giovanni, and the resulting insularity breeds additional problems. The Giovanni are, in particular, arrogant and prone to underestimating the world around them.

The Giovanni are, if anything, severely lapsed Catholics. Due to their practice of Necromancy, they have seen what "the other side" and "life beyond death" really mean, which tends to completely eradicate any faith in a benevolent deity. Giovanni, in a ways similar to the Lasombra Clan, often present the appearance of Catholicism in ritual and Family culture, but have twisted the vestments all around to better fit a vampiric frame. They may attend a certain kind of Mass, where the holy water is blood and the priest a Family elder, but these sorts of ceremonies tend to devolve into orgies, massacres, or other kinds of deviant practices behind closed doors.

The Giovanni relationship to the spirit world means that they have a very casual attitude towards such things as torture, dismemberment, and death. After all, if your victim dies in the chair, you can always yank his spirit back from Hell and get information out of him another way. What the Giovanni are really focused on is efficiency: bribery, seduction, and all other sorts of under-handed means are taught to new members of the Clan as a matter of course. If all other methods fail, then killing off the competition becomes a very viable alternative.

Embraces:

In 1444, Claudius Giovanni embraced a peasant girl named Marianna into the clan as a distraction and for over 500 years has been a constant thorn in their clan's side.. Marianna is also the only known non-Giovanni to be embraced by the clan and to survive longer than about a month. The Giovanni do not embrace outside of the family; they do not embrace without permission. Not if they know what is good for them at least.

Like everything else in the family, the Embrace is a reward. Promotion for good service, and more than other clans, the Giovanni actively consider factors like generation in the embrace. Being embraced by a lower-generation clan member is considered a performance bonus.

While not uncommon, it is frowned upon to Embrace another of your own mortal family. This would encourage nepotism, and Giovanni much prefer to have the loyalty of their Neonates as divided as possible within the family. For example, while Agatha Milliner might put her own grandson forward for the Embrace, it is much more likely that Stefano Giovanni does the deed. Even better for the Clan if Agatha and Stefano are rivals - the neonate now has loyalty to his own grandmother and his own sire, which forces (somewhat) the two elders to avoid plotting against the other, lest the new childe betray either of them.

Kiasyd


The Kiasyd are a bloodline of the Lasombra founded after a mysterious "accident" involving the Lasombra Marconius of Strasbourg. The "accident", involving faeries and the blood of "Zeernebooch, a god of the underworld", resulted in Marconius gaining several feet in height, turning chalky white and developing large, elongated black eyes.

The Kiasyd are a very sedate clan, noted primarily for their fascination with ancient lore, their solitude, their impeccably good manners, and the fact that they look like 7 foot tall space aliens. Kiasyd are also in some way connected with changelings; they are vulnerable to cold iron and have an inherent understanding of fae tricks. Their Mytherceria Discipline gives them the ability to modify reality in ways not unlike the fae.

The Kiasyd are nominally aligned with the Sabbat, although this has more to do with ancestry than anything else; the Kiasyd do not involve themselves in sect affairs and their temperament is not well suited to the sect.

Nickname: Weirdlings

Clan Flaw: Hurt by Iron

Discliplines: Dominate, Mytherceria, Obtenebration

History:

Dark Ages:

Originally, "Kiasyd" was a term used to describe any faerie-blooded vampire, whether they had successfully survived the trauma of the Embrace or otherwise been transformed by the touch of faerie. These vampires instinctively knew that they did not belong, and most sires immediately disposed of their "freak accidents". Those rare Kiasyd that survived found that they could pass on their curse with the Embrace, creating new Kiasyd. Most of these Kiasyd lineages were scattered, as most Kiasyd could not stand close contact, as it reminded them of what they had lost.

This changed around the beginning of the Renaissance, as Marconius and his brood sought to rule alone, and other Kiasyd started to disappear. The surviving Kiasyd surrendered their name and disputed territory, renaming themselves the Maeghar, leaving Marconius' bloodline as the only Kiasyd.

The Rise of Marconius:

According to legends within the bloodline, Marconius and his sister Hrotsuitha were mages that sought to create a perfect being, combining the features of many supernaturals into one. Marconius was embraced by a Lasombra, which caused his experiments to fall short. His sister, however, showed him the Abyss and brought him into contact with a group of Faeries called Thallain. Within the Abyss, Marconius drained his sister dry after having fed her a conoction of vitae, dark glamour and several other components. When he returned, he was fundamentally changed.

Only the protection of the Methuselah Boukephos saved Marconius from being outright destroyed by the Amici Noctis. Instead, he was banished into an oubliette in Castel d'Ombro. This prison held until the Anarch Revolt. Afterward, the remaining Kiasyd joined the Sabbat. Marconius retreated to Strasbourg, which he claimed as his domain.

Victorian Age:

As an age of learning, this period was to Kiasyd like water is to a fish. Though they made little contribution to vampire society as a whole, they must have considered this time as the epitome of what the world should be.

Modern Nights:

Kiasyd trudged their way through the years as they have since they began, collecting knowledge for whatever reason drives them.

Culture:

Kiasyd culture is polite, formal and a bit Victorian. If one were to imagine a group of well-learned individuals in over-stuffed leather chairs conversing in a gentlemanly fashion, you would have a perfect idea of how they act towards one another when they meet. Every 50 years, the bloodline gathers to discuss new lores and mysteries.

Because of a long-standing love-hate relationship with the Lasombra, Kiasyd are most often associated with the Sabbat. This is not always the case, however.

The bloodline's members are exceptionally tall and heights of over seven feet are not unusual. Their odd appearance includes chalk-white skin (which seems to glow faintly blue in the moonlight after they have recently fed), and solid black eyes. This strange visual impression may account for the clan nickname "Weirdlings". Their symbol is a moth marked with a death's head.

As scholars, the Kiasyd are fascinated by the different tastes of vitae. This does not only include vampires and mortals, but stretches to other supernaturals, as well. Informal cocktail clubs mix these different forms of blood to create new concoctions, using alchemy to catalogue the strange properties of blood.

The bloodline's clan discipline is Mytherceria, which encompasses a heightened talent for acquiring arcane knowledge. The discipline also makes them experts at creating and solving riddles.

Embraces:

Museum curators, talented students, librarians, rare book experts, and academics of all stripes are likely choices for Kiasyd Embraces. The Weirdlings want their progeny to be studious, polite, and educated, and they do not want to take the time instructing them in the basics of erudite understanding.

Organization:

Kiasyd are solitary and at times, perhaps, a bit territorial. If one were to find more than a single Kiasyd in a city, it is either a sire and their childe, or a very brief visit from a colleague.

The Kiasyd do not enjoy each other's company, which is strange, considering how little they have in common with everyone else. After a short period of instruction (50 years at the most, and this period has grown much shorter in modern nights), a Kiasyd childe is released from her sire's haven and is no longer the elder Kiasyd's responsibility.
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