"We rise from the darkness of our desires. We hide from the light of day that comforts all those that wallow in mediocracy. We are family, separated from the rest by ambition and perseverance. Inside us, there is a hunger that devours us if we do not feed it with those who are content to be cattle. Now, I say to you, kindred, let them be OUR cattle."
(kindred v's lupine)
The Seven True Clans of the Kindred
BrujahThe Brujah can trace their roots back to ancient Babylon, and the clay tablets of the first scholars. They were the lovers and guardians of knowledge, and the founder of their line was the inventor of written language. However, in their quest for freedom, they slew their founder and were banished from the first city. Today, the Brujah are scorned as riffraff who have lost their heritage and are without pride. For over a millennium they have been rebels among the Kindred, forever questioning and testing the Traditions. The clan is very poorly organised; its members meet only irregularly, and share little in common besides their love of rebellion. They are among the supports of the anarchs, and aiding them is one of the only matters upon which they ever agree. They are often unestimated, as much by themselves as anyone.
GangrelClan Gangrel is said to be the only clan whose founder is still involved in and concerned with the wlefare of here progeny. Her concern for them is matched only by her concern for mortal descendants - the Gypsies. Though many Antediluvians use their progeny as pawns in the Jyhad, the Gangrel pride themselves on their freedom from such manipulation. There is a close bond between the clan and the Gypsies. In recent years, as Gehenna approaches, their interaction has been considerable.
MalkavianThe history of the Malkavian clan is completely shrouded in the past. The Malkavians themeselves have many tales about their origin, but do not believe most of them. A favored egend among the kindred is that the founder of the house was cursed by Caine, and his descendants have lived with the madness since. The Malkavians have always existed on the periphery of the vampire culture, watching, but never truly involving themselves in it. Long ago, before the curse and the madness, the founder was said to be the greatest among third generation. Now it is his madness that keep the weakest of those involved in the Jyhad "alive".
NosferatuIt is the unfortunate plight of the mebers of this clan to display the beast within their hearts upon their countenances. Though their founder was known for his rabid predilections and monstrous impulses, the Nosferatu of today are known for being cool-headed. Though they tend to choose only the most depraved individuals as progeny, some how the members of this clan seem to retain their sanity better than most vampires. The founder is said to have been a man of regal visage who incurred the wrath of Caine for his barbaric activities and was thereby cursed with the face of a hag. The savagery of his soul is reflected upon his face and that of all his progeny. Of course, many clans have legends in which an all-powerful Caine curses their founder just as God cursed Caine. It is not likely that all of these stories are true, but some, such as this, might be. Presently, the Nosferatu clan is estranged from their founder, and do not serve him - at least to their knowledge.
ToreadorThroughout history, the Toreador have been involved in the arts. This tradition is said to have begun with the first progeny of the founder, a pair of beautiful and artistically gifted twins. Their sire was a leader of the cabal of third generation vampires who slew their own sires. Though ruthless, he was very doting upon his progeny, proffering them far more independence than any other fourth generation vampires were given. They used their freedom to nurture the full panorama of the arts, and their sire protected them throughout war and famine. To this day, the Toreador claim that they are watched over by Arikel, their founder. Though the Toreador are not as formally organised as some other clans, they are furiously loyal to one another and to the art they claim to serve.
TremereThe Tremere are unique and no other clan has a history as rich, yet short, as theirs. Long ago, there were others of their line who were not warlocks, nor did the clan have mastery over the discipline of Thaumaturgy. Less than 1,000 years ago, a metamorphosis occurred. Deep in the Romanian mountains, in the district known as Transylvania, a group of magi from the ancient order were Embraced by a foolish clan leader. Combining their new powers with their ancient lore, the magi were quickly able to assume control of the clan. They Embraced many others from their arcane order, and drank the blood of all the elders of their clan. It is even hinted that the most powerful among them managed to hunt down and slay the founder of the line. The Tremere have adopted the most rigid hierarchical system among the clans, and this has allowed them to acheive great power within Kindred society. The other clans distrust the Tremere, both out of fear and a sense that something is not quite right with them. The political center of the Tremere is in Vienna.
VentrueThe Ventrue suspect that their founder has been slain by one of the Brujah clan. Though this is a blow to their pride, it has given them some distance and protection from the chaos and strife of the Jyhad. Without the intrigue and demands of a god-like founder, the Ventrue have acheived a remarkable independence from the Antediluvians. They do not know how much truth is contained in this legend, but it is nonetheless one of the basic tenets of their clan, no matter how much other Kindred scoff at it. Much of the respect accorded to the Ventrue is due to the independence they are preceived to have from the Antediluvians. It is out of pride for this respect they are given that they conceal their presecution of the Brujah clan. More princes and Justicars come from the Ventrue clan than from any other; they are clearly leaders of the Camarilla. The Ventrue have regular clan meetings in various parts of the world, including a Grand Council in London every seven years.
CaitiffSome Kindred do not have a clan at all, but are of bastard blood. This is sometimes because they were abandoned by their sire, or were Embraced an outcast vampire. A combination of thinness of blood and a lack of social training has made them Clanless. This is a fairly recent phenomenon, and thus they are disdained by many of the other Kindred. Though not many Caitiff are considered to be pariahs or anarchs, not all of them are outcasts. Some are accepted among the Damned, but none have yet reched an age where they have acheived any real power. Indeed, it seems as though the greatest explosion of the Clanless has incurred in the last 50 years.
Other ClansThere are many clans besides the ones described above. These clans do not claim membership in the Camarilla, though individual members of any such lines may do so. Some clans are members of the Sabbat, while others are truly independent of any sect. These independent clans include the feared Assamite assassins, the loathsome followers of Set, the mercenary Goivanni family and the rakish Ravnos.
Anarch: A rebel among the Kindred, one with no respect for the elders. Most fledglings are automaticlly assumed to be anarchs by the elder, and are despised as products of the 20th century.
Barrens, The: The areas of a city that are devoid of life-graveyards, abandoned buildings and parks.
Becoming, The: The moment one becomes a vampire; the metamorphosis from mortal to Kindred. Also called "The Change".
Book of Nod: The "sacred" book of the Kindred, tracing the race's orgins and early history. It has never been published in its entirety, although fragments are known to exist in various languages.
Beast,The: The drives and urges which prompt a vampire to become entirely a monster, forsaking all Humanity. Vide man infra
Blood: The vampire's heritage. That which makes a vampire a vampire, or simply the actual blood of the vampire.
Blood Kindred: The relationship between vampires of the same lineage and clan.
Blood Oath: The most potent bond which can exist between vampires; the receiving of blood in an acknowlegdgement of mastery. This grants a mystical power over the one who is bound.
Brood: A group of vampires gathered around a leader (usually their sire). A brood may in time become a clan(qv).
Caitiff: A vampire with no clan.
Camarilla, The: A global sect of vampires in which all Kindred may hold membership. Its rule is far from absolute, and it serves as a debating chamber more than a goverment.
Childe: A degoratory term for youg, inexpernenced, or foolish vampires.
Clan: A group of vampires who share certain mystic and physical characteristics.
Diablerie: The cannibalistic behavor of common among Kindred, involving the coonsumption of the blood of another vampire. The elders do so out of need, whereas the anarchs do so out of desire for power.
Domain: The fiefdom clamied by a vampire, mare often a prince. Invariably a city.
Elder: A vampire who is 300 years of age or older.
Elysium: The name given for the places where the elders meet and gather, commonly operas, theaters or other public places of culture.
Embrace, The: The act of transforming a mortal into a vampire by draining the mortal's blood and replacing it with a small amount of the vampires own.
Fledgling: A young, newly created vampire. Vide, Neonate, Whelp.
Generation: The number of steps between a vampire and the mythical Cane.
Gehenna: The end of the Third Cycle; the impending Amrageddon when Antediluvians shall awaken and devour all vampires.
Ghoul: A servant created by allowing a mortal to drink Kindred blood without the draining that would give rise to a progeny.
Haven: The home of a vampire or the place where it sleeps during the day.
Hunger, The: As with mortals and other animals, the drive to feed.
Inconnu: A sect of vampires, mosty Methuselahs, who have removed themselves from both mortal and Kindred affairs. They state that they have nothing to do with the Jyhad.
Jyhad, The: The secret war being waged between the few surviving vampires of the third generation.
Kindred: A vampire. Many elders consider even this term to be vulgar, and prefer to use a more poetic word such as Cainite.
Kiss: To take the blood of a mortal, or the act of taking blood in general.
Lupine: A werewolf, the mortal enemy of the vampires.
Lush: A vampire who habitually feeds upon prey who are under the influence of drink or drugs in order to experince the sensations thereof.
Life, The: A euphemistic term for mortal blood taken as sustenance. Many Kindred regard this term as "prissy".
Man, The: The elment of humanity which remains in a vampire, and which strives against the base urgings of the Beast.
Masquerade, The: The effort begun after the end of the great wars to hide Kindred society from the mortal world.
Prince: A vampire who has established a claim to rulership over a city, and is able to support that claim. The feminie form is still prince.
Riddle, The: The essential dilemma of a vampire's existence- to prevent the occurrence of greater atrocities, one must commit evil deeds of a lesser nature.
Rouge: A vampire who feeds upon other vampires, either out of need or perversion.
Sabbat, The: A sect of vampires controlling much of the eastern North America. They are violent and bestial, reveling in needless cruelty.
Sect: General name for one of the three primary groups among the Kindred- the camarilla, Sabbat or Inconnu.
Sire: The parent-creator of a vampire, used both as the female and male form.
Vessel: A potential or past source of blood, typically a human.
A clan is composed of all the vampires who descend from the same third-generation ancestor. These groups are like large noble families of sorts, but there is still a lot of internal strife within each and every clan. Still, the members of the same clan share some common goals, and they will often cooperate.
Not every vampire belongs to a clan. There are some bloodlines who trace their ancestry back to some vampire of lesser generation. This vampire was obviously different from the rest of her clan, and was able to found a lesser clan of sorts, although she was not third generation. Vampires of these bloodlines are not very common. Clans who get their third generation progenitor destroyed are from that moment on classified as bloodlines.
There are also those who do not belong to any bloodline. These clanless bastards are called Caitiff. Spitted upon, downtrodden and hounded, they travel the fringes of vampire society. The Caitiff are almost without exception of very poor generation, and the only chance for them to improve their position is to gain power. Because of this many Caitiff are diabolists, and they are therefore always regarded with suspicion, and sometimes killed on sight.
Vampire: The Masquerade The Camarilla Brujah Gangrel Malkavians Nosferatu Toreador Tremere Ventrue The Sabbat Lasombra Tzimisce Antitribu Assamite antitribu Brujah antitribu Gangrel antitribu Malkavian antitribu Nosferatu antitribu Panders Ravnos antitribu Serpents of the light Toreador antitribu Tremere antitribu Ventrue antitribu Other clans and bloodlines Caitiff Independent clans Assamites Followers of Set Giovanni Ravnos Former clans Lasombra antitribu Old clan Tzimisce Salubri True Brujah Bloodlines Ahrimanes Baali Blood Brothers Daughters of Cacaphony Gargoyles Kiasyd Nagaraja Samedi Vampire: The Dark Ages The great clans Assamites Brujah Cappadocians Followers of Set Gangrel Lasombra Malkavians Nosferatu Ravnos Toreador Tremere Tzimisce Ventrue Caitiff The former clans Old clan Tzimisce Salubri True Brujah Bloodlines Baali Gargoyles Laibon Lamia Lhiannan
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