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 A-F

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Margifish
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Join date : 2015-06-26
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PostSubject: Clans and Bloodlines A-F   Fri Jul 03, 2015 1:28 am

Note: If you want to play a vampire from a clan or bloodline not listed here, ask me about it first. If you have a good reason and an interesting concept and history for the character I might allow it.

Assamite

The Assamites are one of the thirteen vampire clans of the Classic World of Darkness. Based in their hidden fortress Alamut in the Middle East, they are traditionally seen by Western Kindred as dangerous assassins and diablerists, but in truth they are guardians, warriors, and scholars who seek to distance themselves from the Jyhad. Throughout their history, they have remained a self-sufficient and independent clan.

Due to their inherent clan weakness, Assamites grow darker with age.

Warrior Caste Weakness: The Warrior Caste suffers from an addiction to vampire vitae and an aura stained by diablerie. Even if they have never actually engaged in diablerie, their aura shows their blood lust clearly.

Sorcerer Caste Weakness: Any use of Aura Perception on the Sorcerer Caste reveals that he practices blood magic, even if the character has no knowledge of Thaumaturgy or Assamite Sorcery and even if the observer fails on the static mental challenge required to read the Sorcerer's emotional state.

Vizier Caste Weakness: The Vizier Caste has an Obsessive/Compulsive derangement that is related to the creative or intellectual ability in which he has the most Ability traits.

History:

From the beginning, the Assamites were an isolated lot, centered around Alamut and the Middle East. Lacking competition for certain roles due to the relative absence of other Clans, the clan thus maintained its separation of duties over the millennia rather than becoming specialized to one particular mode of existence. The Viziers tended to the mortal herds, the judges (now the Warriors) tended to the clan's defense, and the Sorcerers pursued their secrets. This division of labor allowed the Assamites to succeed on their own where a clan priding itself on its specialization, such as the noble Ventrue or the socialite Toreador, would have failed. They associated rarely with other Cainites, notably lending assistance to the Salubri during the Baali Wars and paying homage to the Brujah city of Carthage. This was, in no small place, attributed to the presence of the Antediluvian himself, who saw the squabbling over territory and mortal herds as reminders of the ill-fated Second City and tried to withdraw himself and his brood as well as he could. Nevertheless, small cabals supported various mortal nations, entangling themselves within the Jyhad, and this enraged their founder so greatly that he left Alamut, occasionally visiting it, but never staying for long, until he disappeared completely.

Antiquity:

The rise of Western civilization brought the Children of Haqim into close contact with the rest of the Cainite world again. During the time of the Greek city-states and the height of Persian dominance, few clans other than the Brujah, Ravnos, Setites, and the Tzimisce had enjoyed more than sporadic encounters with the Children. However, as Rome expanded and, later, as Byzantium rose, those kingdoms' Cainite parasites moved with them, struggling in vain to control the first mortal institutions that were more complex than they could comprehend. The Children of Haqim never had an extensive role in the Roman Empire’s life or death. Scattered members of all three castes moved through Roman society, particularly in the eastern and southern regions of the empire, and no few Warriors found mercenary employment as bodyguards or household troop commanders for wealthy Ventrue and Malkavians.

After the destruction of Carthage and the growing expansion of the Empire into the Middle East, however, most Assamites abandoned the city and its festering web. Rome was never a place of particular interest for the Children, but the Parthian empire began to become one. Arising in Iran a century before Rome's ascent began. Parthia spread through the Mesopotamian region in the wake of the crumbling Seleucid dynasty. Many Children encouraged the Parthian expansion, save for those who had maintained close ties to the Seleucids. Some saw Parthia as a rich ground on which to sate their particular hungers, whether for vitae, battle, or learning, while others simply welcomed an end to the chaotic infighting that surrounded their homes. Following the destruction of Carthage and the subsequent Roman expansion west, Parthia quickly became all too significant to the Children as the force holding the Roman Cainites at bay. All three castes devoted themselves to reinforcing the mortals who could fend off their undead adversaries.

Dark Ages:

The Assamites of the Dark Ages were strongly unified, following a tumultuous period where the clan was split by those who followed Islam and those who chose not to. Some Assamites even renounced their clan membership, becoming Dispossessed. It took the threat of the Baali destroying the clan entirely for them to come together again. In 636 CE, the demon-worshippers had once again reformed and the Assamites were ready to strike them down. It was during their siege on the tainted acropolis of Chorazin that the Baali unleashed their curse of hunger upon the Warriors, arising an insatiable thirst for vitae within them. Neonate and methuselah alike fell prey to a dreadful hunger that could be satisfied only by the vitae of other Cainites. As the curse spread across the castes, the Sorcerers and Viziers searched in vain for a way to break it. By the end of the 14th century, the entire Warrior caste and no few Sorcerers and Viziers were afflicted. The vast majority of the Assamites became Muslim, but some still followed other faiths.

In the Dark Ages, the Children of Haqim were kept quite busy because of the Western vampire clans. The Crusades enabled the Western Cainites to invade the lands of the Assamites. In addition, their greedy and corrupting ways had hurt and diminished the herds the Assamites had so carefully developed and tended to, as well as the mortal families of the Assamites that many of the clan still held in some regard. In response, the Assamites worked to rid themselves of these invaders and restore their own power.

For centuries, the Children of Haqim also refused to officially Embrace women, although this policy seems to have changed by the time of the War of Princes. Another split had taken place by this time: that of the creation of the three castes of Assamite: Warrior, Vizier, and Sorcerers. Although the Assamites consider themselves noble, the Western vampires saw them as little more than meddling, corrupt, heretic foreigners and placed them among the Low Clans.

The Inquisition never really touched the Holy Land, nor did it extend into the Ottoman Empire or parts farther east. While the Assamites regained their strength from the battles of the Crusades and the aftershock of the Baali curse, the European elders sacrificed their childer for the hope of another night's survival. Too many of those intended victims fled east, preferring to take their chances with the dread Saracens than with their sires' betrayals and the Church's flame-lit crosses. When the sentiments among the childer boiled up and the Anarch Revolt began, the Assamites followed, slaying many Cainites and gaining their reputation as a clan of cannibalistic assassins and murderers, a sentiment that many Assamite Warriors encouraged to flourish.

When the Camarilla was founded, many Anarchs chose to ally with them instead of continuing their struggles. This enraged many Children operating in Europe who saw their erstwhile allies deserting them for the promise of sanctuary that they could have earned for themselves anyway if they had possessed the strength to continue their fight. They turned their attention to the Camarilla with a fury born of betrayal. It was only after a lone Nosferatu discovered the location of Alamut that the Assamites yielded and submitted to the Treaty of Tyre and the blood curse of the Tremere.

In the eyes of many Cainites, however, the Assamite threat was barely contained. This showed itself, when the Ottomans marched against the rest of Europe and the Assamites followed the Turks, hoping to direct them against Vienna to smite the Inner Council of Seven and force them to rescind the curse. The Viziers and Sorcerers hid themselves in Alamut and began to work furiously to break the curse on their own, using alchemical potions made of vitae to simulate the effects of Diablerie. In order to obtain this blood, many Warriors were forced to sell themselves as assassins, further strengthening the picture of the fanatic killer. Many Assamite Warriors began to invent stories over their Clan and Haqim, further concealing the other two Castes.

Victortian Age:

The Assamites did not fare well during the Victorian Age. Still suffering the effects of the curse leveled upon them by the Tremere after the Convention of Thorns and the Treaty of Tyre, the Assamite presence in the larger Cainite community was negligible. Most Assamites stayed on or near Alamut, husbanding their strength for the day when they could travel with impunity through the lands of the brood of Caine once again.

European colonialism had little direct effect on the Assamites themselves, but resulted in significant portions of their mortal herd being dominated by one Western power or another. Egypt, in particular, was hit hard when the British assumed control. The sole good thing to come from Victorian-era imperialism was that disquieted, fanatic humans with a motivation to study the arts of killing were easy to find and recruit. At least the Assamites always had the Ravnos to look down upon, for that Clan weathered the Victorian Age even worse than the childer of Haqim, subject as they were to British domination of India.

Modern Nights:

The awakening of Ur-Shulgi, one of the first Assamite Sorcerers and childe of Haqim himself, brought rapid changes on the Clan as a whole. The ancient methuselah used his tremendous power to break the curse laid upon the Clan, succeeding where other Sorcerers had worked for hundreds of years without success. His harsh views and interpretations of the Laws of Haquim, however, triggered various struggles and discomforts, especially with his own childe, al-Ashrad, which resulted in what is commonly called the Schism.

Assamite Schism:

The Assamite castes split apart during the Schism. Ur-Shulgi demanded that other Assamites give up the worship of other gods and only revere Haqim. This resulted in many Assamites being killed, and many more opting to leave Alamut. Ur-Shulgi was particularly vicious towards Muslim Assamites, and killed several elders for refusing to renounce their faith, including Jamal, the head of the Warrior caste.

Some Assamites joined the Camarilla. Most of those that joined the Camarilla were Viziers and Sorcerers. Warriors that joined the Camarilla are generally seen as loose cannons who must be supervised by their more restrained (and non-vitae addicted) clanmates. Sorcerers in the Camarilla find their skills in high demand as an alternative to dealing with the Tremere.

A small number of Assamites, mostly Warriors, joined the Sabbat. While the Assamite antitribu who had been with the Sabbat for the last 500 years were entirely from Warrior stock, the Warriors opting to join the Sabbat were not entirely welcomed with open arms. Many of the Assamite antitribu elders, particularly in the Black Hand, had defected and left the Sabbat to return to the main clan. This meant the Sabbat was not entirely welcoming because of the recent betrayal. Few Sorcerers or Viziers joined the Sabbat.

Some Assamites chose to go completely independent and avoid all the sects. They also drew away from the main clan, primarily for religious reasons. Few Warriors chose this option. Most Dispossessed Assamites are Viziers or Sorcerers.

Many Assamites stayed with the main clan. Most of these were Warriors and Sorcerers. Most Assamites on the Path of Blood chose to stay with the main clan.  

Organization:

Until recent events, the main Clan was strongly unified, based on their ancestral home base Alamut. Traditionally headed by the Eldest, and supported by the Du'at, the Clan focused inward, sending its assassins out to gather blood for the alchemical potions the experiments of the Sorcerers needed to break the blood curse.

The Council of Scrolls was responsible for introducing new technology into the clan and investigating recent developments outside Alamut, while the Council of Du'at formulated clan policy, and was composed of the representatives of each Caste:

   The Caliph for the Warriors Caste;
   The Amr for the Sorcerers Caste;
   The Vizier for the Viziers Caste;

The protection of the Eldest and the Du'at Council lay in the hands of the Silsila. Apart from that, the Assamites have never formally defined any positions. However, the warriors have evolved a series of ranks that represent an individual’s standing within the caste, and the sorcerers and viziers have cooperatively maintained an academic and professional ranking scheme for centuries, like the Fida'i, the Rafiq, the Da'i and the Aces. On the other hand, the scholars of the clan have their own hierarchy - these lesser officers are the Aspirants, the Associates, the Masters, the Distinguished Masters, the Full Masters and the Emeritus.

Clan Variants:

The three Assamite castes may be considered separate clan variants for the purposes of sire-childe relations – a Warrior will always sire Warrior childer, and a Vizier will always beget Viziers and so on – but all three castes are Assamites. Their vitae is indistinguishable except under the most acute thaumaturgical observation. Arguably, the Assamites have no one caste that is "more Assamite" or "more Haqim's" than the others, at least in matters of descent. Whatever the factors were that first defined the castes, they arose during the time of the Second City, perhaps due to differences between Haqim's broods and the Eldest mastery over his own blood via Quietus. All Assamites are childer of their Ancestor, born of his heart and cursed with his wrath.

Sorcerer Caste

Sorcerers are the smallest caste, but the second most recognizable. They claim to have practiced blood sorcery since the times of the Second City, and to have been created to counter the dark magics employed by the Baali.

Their magic was originally based off ancient Mesopotamian priestly rituals and the Persian cult of Mithras, but modern Sorcerers now incorporate the ecstatic Hindu devotion to Kali and Shiva, Chinese feng shui, and Islamic alchemy and astrology as well. Sorcerers usually need to send themselves into some sort of altered state of consciousness in order to focus their magics. This may involve consuming drugs, whirling themselves into a trance, ritually wounding themselves, or even more exotic methods.

The scholars of the clan have their own internal hierarchy based on age and prestige. This lesser officers are the Aspirants, the Associates, the Masters, the Distinguished Masters, the Full Masters, the Emeritus. The current Westernized forms of address and recognition were adopted in the late 18th century, despite (or perhaps because of) extensive protests from the Assamite warriors.

Their weakness comes from their lust for magical power. A Sorcerer's aura is so stained with magic that there is little way to mistake him for anything else. They also have trouble using powers to hide themselves due to their blazing auras.

Vizier Caste

Viziers are the least known caste of the Assamite clan, however, they are the oldest (according to themselves). Viziers are the scholars and artisans of the clan. In many ways, they are similar to the Toreador, but where the Toreador become lost in contemplation, the viziers explode in frenzied creative activity.

Viziers lust after knowledge or artistic perfection. They suffer from an obsessive-compulsive derangement that causes them to pursue their art with the tenacity of a pit bull. A Vizier in the throes of his derangement will pursue it to the exclusion of all other activities. His aura will blaze with madness. Vampires with Auspex may be able to discern exactly what it is he so doggedly pursues.

The Viziers' "caste culture" may be best described as a very loose affiliation of individualists. Most of the caste is as disunited as the Sorcerers, but without that body's resources for magical communication and coordination. Viziers tend to keep to themselves unless involved in a mentor-protégé arrangement or conducting some cooperative venture. This is a product of both the caste's shared psychological tendencies and the need for secrecy during the Long Night and later periods. However, the Schism and the schismatics' subsequent alliance with the Camarilla has allowed many Viziers to exist relatively openly among the other Cainites, and no few have chosen to enter social and political arenas – with varying degrees of success.

Culture:

As a whole, the Children of Haqim hold themselves apart from the political squabbles of other Cainites. This is due in part to geography, at least before the advent of mechanized transportation, but mainly to a subtle sense of superiority. The Children like to feel that they have no need to resort to politics to achieve their aims. This is not to say that no member of the line is incapable of subtlety – indeed, many Viziers have achieved great success in the political arena – but rather that the clan culture, such as it is, is predisposed toward more direct solutions. Of course, this political isolation has also had its drawbacks. Absence from the intrigues of the Damned means lack of enemies, but also of allies, which resulted in the isolated stance of the Clan after the formation of the Camarilla. Also, most Assamites are inexperienced in the games of power and Prestation other Kindred have played for millennium.

Assamites are divided into three castes, which often have a semi-antagonistic relationship with each other. While all Assamites grow dark with age, have access to Quietus as a clan Discipline, and have a weakness related to some form of lust so powerful that it stains their aura, the different castes also have different Disciplines and weaknesses. The castes are all hereditary, that is a Warrior Assamite will always sire Warrior caste childer and never Sorcerers or Viziers. Despite this, the three castes are considered equally close to the Antediluvian Haqim who is said to have sired Assamites of all three types in the Second City. Among themselves, Assamites use the tradition of the diwa'khana from Kurdistan to settle in the last few hours before the sun rises, exchanging news and discussing events that affect them to form a sense of community. Outsiders are not welcome and to be invited to a diwa'khana is a sign of great respect.

Warrior Assamites are the primary fighters of the clan. They are the Assamites most likely to take assassination contracts and most likely to adhere to the Path of Blood. When other vampires think of Assamites, they are most likely to picture a Warrior.

Younger Warriors typically came from Islamic countries, and may mix the tenants of the Path of Blood with Islamic ideas about holy war. They are often fanatical and ready to die for the cause. Elder Warriors may come from other religions entirely, and see themselves more as judges (and executioners) than as holy warriors or assassins.

Their weakness is an addiction to vampire vitae and an aura stained by diablerie. Even if they have never actually engaged in diablerie, their aura shows their blood lust clearly.

Embraces:

The clan tends to watch potential neonates before allowing an Assamite to sire progeny. Although necessity sometimes demands that a new childe be sired quickly, the Assamites prefer making time for an apprenticeship.

Assamites typically try to Embrace someone who will be "useful" to the clan as a whole. This most often means someone who will be willing to fight and die for the clan's (or at least their sire's) goals. However, during the long period that the clan labored under the Tremere blood curse, people may also have been Embraced for knowledge in a specific (often obscure) area. Typically this had something to do with sorcery or medical research involving blood, but may also have included more obscure areas of research as well.

Assamites typically choose people with somewhat obsessive personalities for the Embrace. As they are typically involved with either hunting down miscreants or conducting obscure research, they tend to be highly motivated individuals. This often results in Assamites picking individuals who are fanatically devoted to a cause, religion, theory, or activity. The various caste flaws and the training they undergo after the Embrace tends to accentuate this even more. Thus Assamites can be said to select childer that will be eager to chase down their prey no matter how long it takes or how far they must go. That prey may be a physical target, an obscure piece of knowledge, or even pursuing the perfection of an art form.

The Assamites draw most of their childer from the Middle East, North Africa, and surrounding areas, but this does not mean they are all Arab. They also Embrace childer from the Indian subcontinent, Persians, Turks, Malays, Central Asia groups such as the Uzbeks and Kazaks, and various Mediterranean groups. Assamites from European or far Eastern ethnic groups are not unheard of, but are uncommon.

When thinking of the Assamites, most other vampires assume they will be Muslim. While they do draw the majority of their childer from the Middle East and other Muslim countries, this does not mean all Assamites are Muslims. While most are, and some Assamites from pre-Islamic times converted, it is not considered the official Assamite religion by any stretch of the imagination. Many elder Assamites come from pre-Islamic cultures practicing some form of animism or ancestor worship. Some are Jews, Christians, or Zoroastrians, as these were also common in the area before the coming of Islam, and are still present in the modern era, though to a lesser extent. Virtually any religious background is acceptable for an Assamite, being a Muslim is just most likely.

Assamites tend to Embrace more men than women overall. In first edition sources, it was even indicated that they did not Embrace women at all until roughly 200 years ago. Later editions refuted this. They still tend to Embrace more men than women. The exact ratios have varied with time and depend on caste.

Warriors typically Embrace far more men than women, and may be the source of the rumor that the Assamites actually banned Embracing women. Women are less likely to have the skills that Warriors favor. They also tend to be physically smaller and less aggressive than men. That they were typically married off young and were raising children also limited the number Embraced as Warriors. Female Warriors thus tend to have unusual skills or backgrounds that lead to their Embrace. Some may have disguised themselves as men to fight, be skilled with more subtle means of assassination (such as poison), or less physical aspects of warfare (such as diplomacy).

Viziers and Sorcerers are less focused on the physical skills of their childer, and thus more likely to Embrace women. The number of women Embraced waxed and waned based on the overall attitude towards educating women. In periods where women were rarely taught to read or write they naturally took fewer women. However, even in periods where few people were educated, a Vizier might take someone for their skill with art or social acumen, even if they were a total illiterate. Similarly, a Sorcerer might Embrace someone who showed some innate knack for magic, even if they could not write their own name. Childer could be taught to read and write after the Embrace, after all. Men typically had a head start on education, however, making them a more likely choice.

Age wise, Embraces were also skewed by caste. With their emphasis on physical pursuits, Assamite Warriors typical favor the young and fit. Thus most Warriors with an older physical appearance were probably Embraced for their skills with leadership or tactics, rather than raw physical might. Older Warriors may also have been Embraced for skill in an area that takes a lifetime to master, such as blacksmithing, constructing siege weapons, or more obscure weapons and fighting styles. It is unlikely that a Warrior would Embrace anyone with a severe physical problem.

Viziers and Sorcerers typically place greater emphasis on learning and mental skills. While an exceptionally smart or artistically talented individual may catch their eye while still young, they are more likely to select someone who has spent a lifetime learning or perfecting their skills. Thus many Sorcerers and Viziers may be of an advanced physical age reflecting years of study before their Embrace. As Auspex can also help compensate for the slow loss of hearing or sight with age, Viziers in particular may consider Embracing an individual with a sound mind but infirm body.



Brujah


The legacy of the Brujah is one of halcyon greatness marred by their own fiery natures. Theirs is the glory of ancient Carthage, but Ventrue treachery in ancient Rome brought the dream to an end. Since then, the Brujah have borne a grudge. In more modern nights, the Brujah are rebels and provocateurs, bat- swinging hooligans and agents of change in a society long crippled by stasis. As rebels, it's in their nature to challenge the status quo—though sometimes, without adequate opposition, they embody the status quo themselves. It works out fine, because there's always a hot-blooded Brujah waiting in the wings to bring down an uppity Clan-mate grown too comfortable in the role of rebel-turned-dictator.

 More so than any other Clan, the Brujah still feel the flames of the passions that once inspired them as mortals. Clan Brujah love a cause and are quick to act on a stirring speech, accusation of injustice, or a call to arms. This connection to passion can be a blessing, but inspiration can also yield to the madness and hunger of the Beast.

 No wise Prince turns his back on the Brujah, and rare is the Brujah who would allow herself to be manipulated or pandered to. A Brujah is her own master, first and foremost, and those who would bring her to heel face a terrible task. A Brujah who thinks she's getting the short end of the stick will tear an enemy to ribbons first and maybe remember to ask questions later, no matter if he was a Primogen or a mortal authority.

Nickname: Rabble

Clan Flaw: The same passions that inspire Brujah to greatness or depravity, left unchecked, can send them into incandescent rages.

Disciplines: Celerity, Potence, Presence

History:

Scratch the surface of a Brujah thug, and these days you are more than likely to find a Brujah thug underneath. However, the clan is a fallen clan, still mourning the death of their Carthaginian paradise and decaying from their era of warrior-scholars to the petty rebels common in the Final Nights.

Early History:

Little consistent knowledge is known about the Brujah Antediluvian because the stories may confuse two individuals: the original founder of the Brujah (named as "Ilyes" in one account and as "Troile the Elder" in another) and his childer and diablerist, Troile.

According to most records, Brujah was a callous and fiercely logical creature. Dispassionate in the extreme, the Antediluvian sired a clan of equally dispassionate childer. Among these, however, was a less controlled whelp: Troile the Rebel. What events caused the Embrace of Troile are unknown, but clan history holds that Troile diablerized her sire and claimed the clan as her own. A small bloodline, the True Brujah, claim descent from Brujah and hold this grievance close in the Final Nights.

Following the death of Brujah in unrecorded history, the clan Brujah lived among the mortals, letting themselves be revered as kings and gods, trying to recreate the glory of the Second City and the harmony between the Children of Seth and the childer of Caine. The first place that became an experiment of the Brujah was Greece, specifically Athens. Learning from and discussing their ideals with the Athenian orators and philosophers, the Brujah found countless impeti to improve society. The Brujah allowed other cainites to enter their city and to share Athens' glory. Conflict with Spartan Ventrue led to discord and the first Brujah War. After that, many of the praedicandi, the rulers of the Clan, left Greece, convinced that the experiment had failed and that they should start again elsewhere. Many of the praedicandi seized the moment and followed Troile's example, diablerizing their sires to leave no witnesses or patrons to what they regarded as a failure.

The clan's next major moment is also its greatest moment. The Brujah built or co-opted a Phoenician colony, Carthage, for another grand experiment. The Brujah say that Carthage was a utopia — a city where Kindred and kine lived in harmony, and where justice reigned. Other clans, and history, tell the story somewhat differently. The Carthaginians were cowed by their gods, offering their children to the flames of Moloch; and, apparently if the blood of sacrifices should flow down the gullet of a methuselah, Moloch did not mind. Exactly what happened in Carthage is dependent on who speaks of it – the Brujah claim Paradise, the other clans claim the presence of the Baali and human sacrifice. Some of those who were present in Carthage admit and acknowledge the truth.

Carthage fell during the Third Punic War in 146 BCE, when Scipio Aemilianus, aided by the Malkavians and Ventrue of Rome crushed the shell of a city hollowed out by two previous wars. The earth was salted (preventing those Kindred who had melded with the earth from rising), the land was plowed and the Brujah experiment ended.

Dark Ages:

During the Dark Ages, the Brujah were considered part of the High Clans, a clan of warrior-scholars noted for their fierce devotion to radical philosophies. The Brujah viewed themselves as the practitioners of a Greek philosophy of total mental and physical discipline (commonly called entelechy), and would often train their neonates in combat and the classics with equal discipline. Brujah of the Dark Ages were associated primarily with politics, especially in Greece. Their historical association with Carthage gave them a dim view of Rome and her heirs.

The Renaissance proved to be one of the turning points in the history of the Clan, when the division between the various ideological strains within the Clan exploded in the heavy infighting that strain them today. The cultural explosion within Europe resulted in ecclesiastical and civic strife, that the Brujah were only too willing to follow.

Victorian Age:

During the Victorian Age, the Clan was divided in those few who lived true to their legacy as the Learned Clan, and those bulk who were mere troublemakers and criminals in the eyes of their sect, as many neonates rebelled against the oppressive and stagnant politic of the Camarilla. The closeness of the clan to mortal passions brought forth the best and the worst of the Age within the clan. Many Brujah started to regard themselves as the proletariat of vampiric society and wanted to change this through revolution.

Many Brujah during this time were fierce supporters of various ideas like Marxism, collectivism, syndicalism and Darwinism and engaged in various revolutionary groups to topple the rising pauperization during the Industrial Revolution.

Modern Nights:

These nights, the Brujah are the clan of rebels. The ancient traditions of the clan are all but forgotten, with a few reluctant throwbacks like Theo Bell and undying artifacts like Critias to remember the clan's history and tradition.

For the Brujah, the twentieth century is marked by a sequence of failed projects. Two daring projects defined Brujah culture throughout the final nights: The Anarch Free State and the Soviet Union. In the first case, California was turned into a new kindred society, led by the Brujah Jeremy MacNeil. The AFS was almost a separate sect for the Kindred for nearly 5 decades. However, under the weight of Camarilla influence, the invasion of the Kuei-jin and the eventual betrayal by Brujah such as Tara of San Diego, the Free State largely collapsed.

The Soviet Union was another, arguably more daring, and ultimately more frightening experiment. In the early twentieth century, the Brujah pitched in with the Soviet Revolution, eventually forming a separate council which managed the entire USSR's vampiric affairs. This Brujah Council was destroyed overnight, however, when Baba Yaga rose from torpor and mystically separated Russia from the rest of the world. Only with the Little Grandmother's death at the hands of a Nictuku have vampires been able to cross the Shadow Curtain and survey the ruins of vampiric Russia.

Organization:

As a clan, the Brujah have next to no organization. Outside of the clan, the Brujah adore building structures, and then other Brujah adore tearing them down. Among modern Brujah, the primary structure is the division between the Iconoclast and Idealist factions of society.

Iconoclast

The Iconoclasts are rebels and almost uniformly young Brujah. They fulfill the clan's stereotypical image as mad, bad, and dangerous to know.

Idealist

In contrast to Iconoclasts, Idealists are the intellectuals and theorists of the clan. They are usually elders or ancillae, and the elders are idealists simply because their habits haven't changed since their embrace.

Culture:

The Brujah of old followed the Olympian Ideal, also known as Entelechy, which predated even Carthage. The Olympian Ideal contained the perfection of both body and mind, and as a result, most of the ancient Brujah steeled and trained their bodies without relent and were well-educated in both metaphysical and scientific themes. The ancient Brujah philosopher Heraclitus placed fire as the ideal that kept the world in motion and enabled perfection even within the stasis that filled the greater universe. As seasons turned and life followed death, perfection was reached. Heracleitus also postulated that the rage and the passion of the Brujah was the result of this fire and that it was the duty of the Clan to enable change and, therefore, perfection. Although his works have been mostly forgotten by the modern rabble and Brujah argued even back then over the exact meaning of his teachings, certain elders and the adherents of the Path of Entelechy, which follows the ancient Brujah ideals, still keep on to the Olympic Ideal.

All that a Brujah does, he does with passion that is both his curse as well as his blessing. Brujah adopt passions and causes, which they support with volume and vitriol. Some Brujah follow charismatic members of their clan, while others prefer stances of blatant, defiant individualism. Many Brujah are glad to have an opportunity to speak their minds, then indulge in a bit of destruction afterward to illustrate their points. As divided as the clan is, all work against each other in some way, and even when some rivalries within are more embittered than in any other clan, they still keep together (after the proverb "I against my brother, my brothers and I against my cousins, my cousins and I against strangers"). If any Kindred not of their blood would oppose a Brujah, they would face the wrath of the whole clan, as even Idealists would defend Iconoclasts in front of the Prince and each Iconoclast is more than ready to beat someone up who humiliated a clan member within Elysium.

Two conventions the clan does support universally are the Rant and the Rave. Rants are just that: informal meetings of Brujah (and other insurgents, Kindred and kine) at which anyone who can scream loudly enough can have her opinions heard. Raves, named after the all-night techno dance parties started in England, are social gatherings in the guise of huge-scale musical or entertainment events. One usually leads to another, and clues to the locations of the events are often hidden in the media of the gathering in progress.
Embraces Edit

The Brujah are infamous for ignoring the Tradition of progeny, and consequently Embrace whomever they feel like whenever they feel like. Brujah are stereotypically the source for most Caitiff because they are presumed to neglect training their childer.


Caitiff

Caitiff is a complicated term with two general meanings. The first meaning is more of a political term: those of a flawed or unknown lineage, who have been abandoned by their sires. It's not so much that they lack a Clan as they lack the support that comes with the Clan structure. It carries the implication that they were a mistake by their sire. Many of these unfortunates are considered Caitiff simply because they don't know which Clan they come from, because they had not been told. It's an arbitrary title and may refer more specifically to any Outcast.

The second and more biologically-oriented Caitiff, also known as the clanless, are rare cainites that do not officially belong to any clan. These vampires have no inherent clan weakness, but no inherent disciplines as well. None of the typical clan markers apply to them. Although the Caitiff have manifested throughout history, they tend to do so more frequently among the higher generations, such that the terms "Caitiff" and "Thin-blooded" are often considered synonymous. While there is considerable overlap, not all Caitiff are thin-bloods.

Caitiff can purchase (almost) any Discipline at character creation, but thereafter have to pay a highter cost for any and all powers purchased with experience points. On a more basic level Caitiff suffer a social stigma from not being a part of an accepted clan. As a result, more established Kindred feel free to snub or denigrate Caitiff freely.

Nickname: Trash, the Unbound (among themselves)

History:

Caitiff have always plagued the clans, abnormalities to the Curse of Cain, without marks of his disfavor on them, leaving some Caitiff to speculate that they are indeed the original vampires, heirs to the legacy of the Second Generation and Caine himself (most of these Caitiff do not survive long after speaking their mind). But in those times, happenings were fewer, as the curse still ran strong in the veins of the undead; even an abandoned childe would normally manifest the marks and weaknesses of their own clan. Some of these vampires, like the Stone Man, still survive into the Modern Nights, but these happenings are few and far in between.

Modern Nights:

Following World War II, the Caitiff population seems to have exploded as more and more began to appear. These Caitiff are typically of high generation, where Caine's blood is too diluted to pass on any consistent characteristics.

The appearance of Thin-blooded have done nothing to soothe the fears of the Elders and many are more happy when there is a Caitiff less to prowl the night. Many cite the Book of Nod and claim that the blood has weakened to the point on which it can no longer establish the clan lineage. The appearance of the special Caitiff-like vampires known as Thin-bloods is also a growing concern and many Elders decide to wipe away every vampire without Clan protection.

In the Sabbat, the works of Joseph Pander led to the recognition of the sect's Caitiff as a "clan" known as the Panders. In 1973, a similar try was made to gain recognition in the Camarilla, spear-headed by Alexi Darba, although they were taken captive by the Justicars and probably killed.  

Organization:

Every so often, someone attempts to organize the Caitiff into a clanlike structure. The attempt inevitably fails, in part because of the innate fractiousness of Caitiff society and in part because the established clans have a vested interest in keeping the Caitiff disorganized. In some domains, Caitiff who fall through the cracks may establish themselves as the lords of broods of their own illicit Embrace. It's no surprise that these unbound rogues continue to give the rest of their ill-sired ilk a bad name.

Some Caitiff cling to any sort of protection and acceptance, while others rebel at being treated as disposable and look to the Anarch Movement or even the Sabbat as alternatives. Still others dismiss politics as unimportant, eking out unlife in the fringes of the Ivory Tower or even becoming Autarkis.

Panders:

The Panders arose in the aftermath of the third and most recent Sabbat civil war, during the late 1950s. A clanless vampire known as Joseph Pander united the Caitiff "antitribu" Sabbat under his own banner and led them against the Moderate faction at the behest of several key Lasombra and Tzimisce. Impressed with his efforts, the elders of the Sabbat rewarded the sect-loyal Panders with a formal recognition, which immediately touched off a powderkeg of ill response from more "legitimate" clans. In the end, though, the Panders won out, earning recognition time and again, through bloodshed and diplomacy. Joseph Pander still exists in the modern nights, but rumors of assassination attempts spurred by disapproving elders run rampant through the Mutts' circles.

Panders have no inherent, blood-bestowed weakness, same as their Camarilla, Anarch and Independent counterparts. Note, however, that the Panders are given only grudging respect, and they generally get stuck with the worst jobs in the Sabbat. Also, no Pander may begin the game at better than ninth generation.

Culture:

The term "Caitiff" is traditionally used by the Camarilla. Whether they were abandoned by their sires or they rejected their own clans, Caitiff exist outside the political structure of vampire society. Without the protection of sire or clan, they are in the lowest social position of any Cainites.

While Caitiff are Embraced normally by existing clans and bloodlines across the gamut of Kindred existence, something seems to happen between sire and childe. Either certain defining traits are not passed along in the Embrace, or some manner of imprinting is missing. As a result, the childe inherits none of their sire's clan's Disciplines or weaknesses. They often only inherit the more common Disciplines. The lack of clan weakness is something which particularly galls the Nosferatu.

Unwanted and abandoned, the Caitiff have swelled the ranks of Kindred society in the past few decades. They are the results of mistakes, regrets, frenzies, and poor choices. Many are lucky to have even a vague recollection of their sire and the Embrace, while most stumble around with no understanding of what they are. Those that find a way to survive are the exception instead of the rule, and some of these Trash grow to become notorious Kindred in their own right.

Their lack of a true Clan Curse and their peripheral understanding of their new undead state lead to the adoption of vampiric weaknesses commonly found in popular culture. Some Caitiff are unable to cross running water, while others are repelled by garlic. On the other hand, Caitiff are also able to adopt any Discipline that seems to tie into their undead being or into their personal strengths, some even turn out to be Inceptors. This doesn't help to better their reputation, as many Elders are fearful of new bloodlines, citing the cases of the Tremere and Giovanni to prove the danger these Caitiffs present to vampiric society. Also, many Kindred take offense when their treasured Clan Discipline is copied by some low-running Caitiff and immediatly ask for his destruction.

However, by swearing fealty to an Elder of renown, it is possible that some Caitiff become adopted by a Clan, although few Elders would confess this and it happens rarely. Most of these Caitiff have worked decades and centuries to prove their worth to the Clan, endured every humiliation and degradation the Elders could think of and have survived safe deathtraps, so that the Elders have no other choice than to accept them into their ranks. Many of these Caitiff are blood bound and develop characteristics of the Clan they are bound to due to the regular infusion with foreign vitae.

There is another possible role for a Caitiff in the Camarilla: that of a small-town "prince". Such a Caitiff can find a small town with no Camarilla presence and establish their own little domain there, ghouling or otherwise controlling the local officials and possibly creating a single childe. The Camarilla acknowledges such outposts as legal, if the Caitiff "prince" swears loyalty to the nearest proper Prince and takes on the duties to report any movement of Sabbat packs, Lupines or other enemies through their territory. Any Masquerade breaches in such an outpost result in the city Prince sending the Scourge or the Sheriff's hounds to remove the incompetent Caitiff.

Embraces:

Caitiff are stereotypically young, thin-blooded (generally 8th or higher generation) and considered persona non grata. Staunch traditionalists are known to send the Scourge after them.

Followers of Set

The Followers of Set (or Setites) are a clan of vampires who believe their founder was the Egyptian god Set. Orthodox Setite belief dictates that Set will one day return to rule or consume the world, and devout Setites prepare the way for his resurrection. To this end, the clan remains independent of the sect of other Kindred, and practice with great skill the arts of corruption, deceit and ancient sorcery. They refer to themselves as the Mesu Bedshet, the "Children of Rebellion".

Due to their inherent clan weakness, Followers of Set are extremely susceptible to sunlight (double damage) and have great difficulty acting while under bright light (spotlights, strobes, etc.). On the other hand, Followers of Set are curiously immune to Basilisk's poison.

Nickname: Serpents

Clan Flaw: Take twice as much damage from sunlight and fire

Disciplines: Obfuscate, Presence, Serpentis

History:

In the First Nights, the Clan was fairly centered around its Antediluvian and, not surprisingly, Egypt. Many different tales are told about his divinity and how he was cursed by Ra in his struggle against his rival Osiris, whom he eventually managed to kill, and his abandonment by his disciples and fellow Antediluvians. In the manner of the Path of Typhon, all these accounts are taken for true, because limitation to just one version is just another sign of the influence of Ra and Osiris in this world.

It can be said that Set's get had a fairly great influence on Egypt as a whole during the days of pharaonic Egypt, although his efforts were always undermined by the Osirian League under the leadership of his eternal enemy Horus. Set himself guided his Clan from his great temple in Ombos and sometimes got involved personally with dethroning pharaohs who were too entrenched by Ma'at and the schemes of the Aeons. In this way, the Followers of Set established their hold on the lands of Egypt on several times: First during the reign of the Hyksos (in an alliance with the Lasombra), then during the 19th dynasty under Ramesses and during the Hellenistic Age under Alexander the Great. During the reign of Rome, the Setites flourished in countless cults among the children of Seth and of Caine, promising ancient secrets and shaping the mindset of their cultists to resist the snares of Ma'at.

All these efforts were delivered a serious blow when Set himself disappeared in 33 CE (the alleged year of Christ's crucifixion, as some Setites note). After the departure of the founder, earthquakes shattered Egypt and many of the old temples sunk and became lost, often taking many of the slumbering methuselahs of the clan with them. However, Nakhthorheb and the remaining Hierophants took the reins of the clan, ruling the progeny of Set in his absence.

Dark Ages:

Setites were rare in Dark Medieval Europe, spending most of their time in Egypt. During this time, the first heresy appeared within the Clan, growing from Constantinople, where the rogue Hierophant Khay'tall had endorsed a philosophy of corruption for its own sake, rather as a tool to break a person free from outside influences in the service of Set. While these "Decadents" or "Typhonists" were originally fairly confined to the Byzantine Empire, the fall of Constantinople in 1204 spread them across the whole known world, where they taught their debased philosophies and sometimes even practiced demonolatry. The Hierophants sought to have the situation under control, by banning these vampires from Egypt. In doing so, they made it impossible for them to learn their true history, leaving them to spread across Europe unhindered.

Setites were known as Walid Set in the lands of Arabia and North Africa, and spent much of their time fighting to keep the influence of Europe out of their lands. Although they claimed to dominate Egypt, they actually only had a few holdings that could rightfully be called theirs; the rest belonged to the other bay't and the Garou of the Sahara. The clan they struggled against the most was the one with the greatest power over the Islamic regions and the Ashirra: the Banu Haqim. A temporary treaty was reached, but relations remained uneasy between the two for years afterward. The Clan had an deep enmity with the Ashirra, who viewed their idolatrous religion as blasphemy, while the Setites saw the faith that the islamic vampires endorsed as a stifling of the natural order Set had sought to restore.

Victorian Age:

The Setites reveled in the Victorian Age: As ancient knowledge was demanded more and more in kindred society, the Setites' clientele rose more and more, as many Kindred discovered the usefulness of their bargains. The Setite presence in Camarilla cities during this time was increasingly high and some Princes allowed them even in their retinue. And within the strict puritan taboos of society, the increasing interest in occultism and the rising opium trade, corrupting mortals to the service of Set was easier than ever.

Despite the occupation of their ancestral homeland, the Setites were able to maintain a great deal of their influence in Egypt and some, like Izzat al-Khunzir, were actively opposing the foreign princes that occupied their ancient cities. Also, the clan expanded heavily into America in this time in order to corrupt and influence the young government of the States.

The advent of learning during the Renaissance only increased the Setites possibilities to subvert the European vampires. Gaining advantage from the trade with goods from the orient and the New World, as well as the new "leisure class" that arose in the cities, the customers for Set's teachings. The expansion of the Ottoman Empire also provided cover for them to travel into Europe and slave trade remained one of the most profitable business from the clan.

Modern Nights:

In the Modern Nights many Setites see the signs of Gehenna as portents that Set will soon arise, and indeed many Gehenna scenarios involve his return. They remain staunchly independent, but since they must still acquire power and wealth to ease the return of their god, they have ventured far from Egypt. Modern Setites frequently live in Camarilla (or, less often, Sabbat) cities, seducing and corrupting other Kindred, staying outside sect politics except to serve their own ends. Few among the other clans trust them, but they have many secrets and are often able to infiltrate a Prince's court by trading information or promising favors. Such deals generally work out in the Setite's favor.

Organization:

Setite organization is mostly local, with a single temple or network of cults representing a city's Serpent presence. Setites in the cities rarely scheme among each other, preferring to face outward threats in unity rather than the schismatic self-interest of the Sects. However, whispers persist among outsiders about a massive temple devoted to Set located somewhere in Africa, ruled by terrible methuselahs who claim to be the childer of Set himself.

The Hierophants or Eternals are the leaders of the Followers of Set in the absence of their founder. They are the oldest of their clan, who have known Set personally and acted as his stewards in the temples dedicated to the god.

Culture:

The mission of the Followers of Set can be stated in a single word: corruption. They seek to subvert and destroy whatever is good, noble, safe or beautiful within both Kindred and mortal society. They are plotters without peer, with an unequalled genius for misdirection and temptation. Their favorite weapons include drugs, sex, money, power, and vice in all its aspects.

But for most of the Followers of Set, this corruption is just a means to an end. They believe in a radical split between the divine, eternal soul and the corrupt, transitory world and body. The laws of their faith say that deep down, the soul knows it does not belong in a prison of matter. Anything that distracts the soul from this knowledge and ties it to the world must be a trap – and if the world is a prison, then the gods must be its jailers. To achieve liberation, a soul must shed all the false doctrines, cravings and habits that bind it and blind it. Such self-awareness cannot come from mere argument or faith. Only direct experience of the most extreme sort can break the hold of the gods over the soul and allow liberation. Through these experiences, the Setites believe they can achieve truly divine power over the world and liberate themselves from every physical and spiritual constraint, as they already have taken the first steps out of the prison when they received the Embrace.

It took the Setites some time to accept that they and other vampires are indeed a related, if not the same, species, and some Elders are still not wholly convinced. Vampires of other Clans were originally seen as pawns of other Egyptian gods, arranged against Set, or the work of evil spirits from the Underworld, who shared nothing with them but the fact that they too existed in both the material world and the afterlife. Befitting a Clan that holds truth as a tool of false gods, multiple explanations for their state were accepted. During the Dark Ages, common doctrine was that their akh, the "essence", has already descended to Duat, but that their bodies, through the waters of death (vitae), were still inhabited by their ba (personality) and ka (life essence). Other systems, mainly used in Akhu, prescribed a detailed system centered around the nine-fold soul, with the khat as the body, the ba as one component of vitae, the ab as Humanity, the khaibit as the Beast, and the sekhem as another part of vitae, along with the other ka (the astral self), ren (the true name), khu (the aura) and sahu (the indestructible part of the soul, rumored by some Setites to later serve Set as a Sebau).

As the oldest of the four independent clans, with a lineage directly traceable to a mighty Antediluvian (though there are those who dispute the clan's account of its own history), the Followers of Set are not without respect among the Kindred. At one point, after long and divisive debate, they were invited to join the Camarilla. This invitation was, by and large, ignored by the Setites (to the great relief of many in the Camarilla). Nonetheless, the Camarilla, and sometimes even the Sabbat, often seek out the Followers of Set in an effort to secure their aid in some complex intrigue or another. For this reason, the Setites are generally regarded as a necessary evil within Cainite society. In recent centuries, the Setites have achieved notable success in the Caribbean, where they are in direct control of many of the most feared and powerful Haitian secret societies and Jamaican posses. These organizations, in turn, control much of the international drug trade. The Setites are also rumored to have absolute control over at least one Near Eastern terrorist group.

The iconic serpent imagery used by the Clan is theorized by some scholars to be only prominent since the ascent of the Abrahamic religions, since Set is traditionally not associated with them. Older Setites are known to act irritated by the constant association with snakes, although several have wholeheartedly adopted the imagery for their own gain.

Cults:

The Followers of Set's emphasis on personal revelation generates dozens of little cults. Setite groups also emerge through interactions with the local culture. Put simply, Setites are not all a bunch of Egyptian migrants. Since their doctrine is flexible to begin with, Setites easily compromise with local cultures, adding still more diversity to the clan. A typical cult consists of a "Founding Temple" and several lesser temples scattered hither and yon. Egypt holds most of the really old and prestigious Founding Temples. A powerful cult's Hierophant, or senior priest, oversees the Founding Temple. The chief priests of important daughter temples are simply called High Priests. A priest who manages a small temple by herself bears no special title that the rest of the clan will honor.

Known cults are:

   Cult of Typhon Trismegistus
   Children of Damballah
   Cult of Taweret
   Cohort of Wepwawet
   Children of Judas
   Hall of Jörmungandr
   House of Eclipse
   Abd'al-Sobek
   Sisterhood of Sekhmet
   Church of the Black Magdalene

Embraces:

Prospective childer for the Followers of Set often spend some time involved with a Setite cult, so they are indoctrinated in the mysteries of the Clan before becoming one of its Kindred. They may come from any cultural origin, though many are outsiders, loners, or otherwise marginalized by society, which is often what led them to the forbidden fruits offered by the cult of Set in the first place. Interestingly, Setites count their generation from Set, so their generation is often stated to be two steps lower than the standard counting method that derives vampires from Caine (a fourth generation methuselah would be noted as a member of the Second Generation within the Clan).

Another facet is that some Followers of Set are not actually Embraced as Followers of Set. Rather, they are vampires from other Clans that have passed all their mysteries, accepted Set as their true god and have been formally inducted into the cult. While such vampires do not shed their original Clan or Clan Curse (a Ventrue converted to Set will still Embrace Ventrue childer and have a peculiar inclination towards his prey), they are taught Serpentis and Setite Sorcery, as well as their Paths of Enlightenment, freely. A convert from another Clan is not treated as a second-class citizen, but rather as a sibling of faith, which is a much more important distinction than blood. An outsider accepting the Dark God is a joyous event, even to the most conservative elder. There are even rumors of non-Kindred supernatural beings joining the cult.
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