Proud and deadly, the Assamites - who call themselves Banu Haqim - live by a foreign code. Originating from the Holy Land, the Assamites consider themselves judges and guardians of the night, serving as soldiers and generals of Caine. Although they are militant, the Assamites are not limited to physical battlefields. Their ranks are filled with ancient mystics and revered scholars as well. Few Assamites leave the lands of the Saracen east, but those who venture into the uncouth and barbarian Europe do so as spies and emissaries, relegated to low-blooded status by their foreign ways.
Organization: Thanks in part to the communication powers of its sorcerer caste, the Assamites are organized much more organized than many other clans. The "Old Man of the Mountain" (the eldest childe of Haqim not in torpor) leads the clan from the Black Throne in Alamut, who is currently the sorcerer Sha'hiri. Each of the castes maintains its own figurehead, and it is these three individuals - collectively called the du'at - who are most reponsible for night-to-night clan operations. The most powerful voice on the council is Caliph Jamal, the powerful head of the warrior caste. Viziers follow the dictates of Tegyrus, who once rode with Alexander the Great. The sorcerers have been led for many centuries by the mighty Amr al-Ashrad.
Sobriquet: Children of Haqim; Saracens
Warrior Disciplines: Celerity, Obfuscate, Quietus
Warrior Weaknesses: The warriors are marked by their tradition of ritual diablerie. Any supernatural ability to sense the dark taint of the Amaranth confirms a warrior Assamite as a diablerist, even if the subject has never tasted the blood of another Cainite. (Some also suffer from a bloodcurse laid upon them by the Baali, and have the Blood Madness Flaw - for which they gain extra bonus points)
Sorcerer Disciplines: Assamite Sorcery, Auspex, Quietus
Sorcerer Weaknesses: Sorcerers have difficulty hiding their arcane nature. All mystical attempts to determine magic usage on and around the character are at -2 difficulty and are considered to operate at two levels higher for the purpose of opposed powers and rolls.
Vizier Disciplines: Auspex, Celerity, Quietus
Vizier Weaknesses: Viziers are exacting to a fault. Each character is considered to possess an obsession or compulsion derangement associated with his highest intellectual or creative Ability. While this derangement is active, the character's halo glows in such a way as to provide a careful observer with hints as to the vizier's true Nature, as well as the object of his obsession, upon any successful use of Soulsight (Auspex 2).
Clan Brujah is largely composed of rebels, both with and without causes. Individualistic, outspoken and turbulent, Brujah hold social change near to their undead hearts, and the clan's ranks contain some of the most violent of the Camarilla Kindred. Most other vampires perceive the Brujah as nothing more than punks and miscreants, but the truth of the matter is that genuine passion lies behind their polemics.
Brujah Kindred adopt pet 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. The clan claims a history rich with warrior-poets, and it has adapted this concept into the modern night; many Brujah are glad to have an opportunity to speak their minds, then indulge in a bit of destruction afterward to illustrate their points.
The Rabble's espousal of change unites them, albeit tenuously, in their nightly crusades. Given a common enemy, Brujah with vastly differing ideals will join side by side to oppose their foe. After that foe is defeated, however, all bets are off and it's back to business as usual. A common Brujah theme involves the foundation of a Kindred "Utopia," or the re-creation of a mythical one from nights past, though each Brujah vampire has a different idea of what said Utopia is.
Brujah rely on chaotic behavior and upheaval to get their ideas across, and the Rabble are allowed a certain leeway that other clans do not have. In fact, Brujah are almost expected to be incoherent and bellicose; this stereotype works to the advantage of many eloquent, well-spoken members of the clan, who have no need to resort to violence when making their arguments.
Respected for their martialry and readiness to rally under a banner, the Brujah are the physical strength of the Camarilla. Of late, however, many Rabble neonates see their role in the Camarilla as an institution unto itself, and more than a little unrest circulates among the clan. Other Kindred believe that the Brujah would be the first to leave the Camarilla. The Brujah believe it, too.
Clan Disciplines: Celerity, Potence, Presence
Weaknesses: Fiery passion is at once the Brujah's blessing and curse. Though they are quick to adopt a cause, they are equally as quick to fall to frenzy. Of course, the Brujah rabidly deny this penchant for excitement, and become quite hostile when the issue is raised. The difficulties of rolls to resist frenzy are two higher than normal for members of Clan Brujah.
Seduced and abandoned by their sires, the Caitiff are everywhere on the fringes of Camarilla society. Clanless and unwanted, the Caitiff are the results of one night stands, infatuations, frenzied Embraces and outright mistakes. Most have hazy recollections, at best, of sire and Embrace; some have none whatsoever. Stumbling along in the haze of a new existence, each eventually discovered the keys to survival - usually in the form of another Caitiff looking out for the newcomer - or die trying.
A Caitiff's only identifying mark is a lack of identifying marks. Some Kindred theorists posit that some some of "imprinting" between sire and chylde take place over time, allowing the younger vampire to acquire the physical characteristics of her Sire as mandated by the blood. Caitiff, however, have no such distinguishing marks—Caitiff descended from Nosferatu, for example, may be ugly, but rarely do they show the full-blown monstrosity of their vampiric ancestors. Thus it goes for other Caitiff, ones embraced by Malkavians may be a little quirky but not necessarily prey to full blown derangements, ones embraced by Ventrue may have a feeding preference but not full blown prey exclusions, and so on. An informed observer can generally guess with reasonable accuracy what a Caitiff's lineage might be, but in the end, it's rarely worth even the attempt to do so.
Caitiff fill in the positions in Camarilla society that no one else really wants. While the Camarilla may take the clanless in on occasion out of a vague sense of paternalism, the clans take care of their own first and leave the scraps for the Caitiff. Some Caitiff scorn active participation in city politics as second-class citizens, while others gladly seize any opportunity as a toehold in the establishment. In the meantime, the majority of clanless skirt involvement out of self-preservation, preferring to have the putative benefits of membership in the Camarilla without being drawn into its politics.
Disciplines: Any - Player may select two disciplines, the Staff shall select the third.
Weaknesses: Caitiff can purchase any Discipline at character creation, but thereafter have to pay six times current rating 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.
he natural kine tendency to gather together has been a boon to Cainites. Most choose to follow their prey into the towns and cities of the world, where the feeding is easier. The Gangrel ore the exception to this rule. From the Tartars of the east to the Arabs of the south and the barbarian tribes of the north, the Gangrel make their homes among the wild people of the world. To them, cities are traps wherein once-strong Cainites grow weak and lazy. The Gangrel do not believe themselves to be desecended from Caine, though. In the days before history, they say, the greatest gods chose many to be their children. A pair of twins among the gods became bitter rivals. One twin, Ennoia, chose only the most worthy warriors as her children. The other, Churka, chose the best versed in deception. The broods warred for long years, until Churka coerced two of Ennoia's most trusted children to leave the field of battle. In her anger and despair, Ennoia decreed that all the children of both twins should have to depend on the blood of others for their lives. The other gods approved of her decree, and so Clan Gangrel, the children of Ennoia, came to be.
Members of the Clan believe that their mother will relent one night and call upon them to fight for her once more. Then, and only then, will Churka and his lackeys finally suffer the fate that has been due them since the dawn of time. It is the duty of the Gangrel to ensure that only the most hardy and skilled join their numbers, so that the Clan may triumph when the day of that final confrontation comes. Then they will be welcomed back into their mother's love.
Civilization is a trick of Churka to ensure that those who decieve are better suited to the final conflict then those who fight. The Clan refuses to fall into the trap of their ancient enemy, and instead chooses to recruit and hunt among the nomadic and wild peoples of the world. The chains of master and slave, of lord and lackey, are utter anathema to them, and hierarchical European society repulses them. They see the ability to survive and prosper under all conditions as the greatest test of an individual's worth. They value simple but profound concepts such as bravery, honor, martial prowess, survival skills and knowledge of the land.
Necessity forces the Gangrel to spend periods of time on their own. More then one of them preying on a particular group of humans can quickly reduce the number available to feed on, or rouse suspicions enough that a confrontation is inevitable. A good hunter knows better then to wipe out all of his prey. Many Gangrel learn to survive alone simply because it is all they have ever known since they were chosen. Sires often leave their childer to fend for themselves, to see if they have the mettle of true Gangrel.
Solitude cannot continue forever, however. On the most practical level, there is a value in numbers if only to form hunting packs. But even then, unlife is hard away from the cities. Gangrel face constant dangers. Lupines stalk many woods, and it also requires cunning and stealth to catch human prey without alerting the whole settlement or group to the vampire's presence.
Therefore, most Gangrel spend at least some time among other vampires. Testing themselves against humans and animals is all very well, but they can only truly test themselves against others like them. That means spending at least a little time in the cities, learning the ways of their rivals. A few have even come to live in cities full time, prowling the night when most prey are locked up in houses. But the weak, diseased and ineffectual humans who dwell there with over-complicated, manipulative vampires feeding on them breed contempt in most Gangrel. For most of the Clan, unlife is a seies of long periods of rural solitude and interludes of a few years among the massed herd and rival predators.
Clan Disciplines: Animalism, Fortitude, Protean
Weaknesses: The Gangrel's closeness to their inner Beast tends to manifests itself in their bodies. Every time a Clan member frenzies, they gain an animal feature ((furry arms, cat-like eyes, heavy fangs, wolf ears, etc.)) For every five such features gained, one of the Gangrel's Social Attributes drops by one. Some Gangrel view this as a blessing, rather then a weakness.
The Giovanni are respectful, genteel and well mannered. Affluent beyond imagination, Clan Giovanni traces its roots back to before the Renaissance, to a family of merchant princes. They still maintain their original home in Venice, in a thousand-year-old loggia just outside the hearth of the city. No other clan makes such a spectacle of humility and propriety, as does the Giovanni. And no other clan hides its blasphemous secrets as well.
According to tales whispered in Camarilla salons and Sabbat esbats, the Giovanni's money spoiled the family, and the Venetians turned to necromancy out of perverse boredom. Surprisingly enough, the family demonstrated a great aptitude for a trafficking with the dead, and their newfound abilities caught the eye of a forgotten Antediluvian (Cappadocius). The vampire Embraced the head of family, Augustus Giovanni, and brought him into the world of the Damned. Cappadocius had a profound interest in death, and the Embrace of Giovanni and his family was intended to further the vampire's knowledge of what lay beyond the wall of mortality.
His plan worked better, albeit differently, than he'd intended. Augustus, a cutthroat and mercenary merchant, saw the opportunity to seize his doddering sire's power and did so, hunting and killing all of Cappadocius descendants as well. After drinking the Ancient's blood, Augustus became a member of the Third Generation and founded his own clan, the Giovanni.
Other Kindred reacted in horror, and, for a century, the "Devil Kindred" Giovanni were rooted out and destroyed wherever they went. Finally, the Giovanni sat down with the newly formed Camarilla and formed a mutual truce. This truce guaranteed the Giovanni would not participate in the Jyhad and would leave other vampires to their affairs. The Giovanni agreed, thus averting the genocide they surely would have otherwise met.
Taking advantage of other vampire's lack of involvement with them, the Giovanni quietly continued to amass wealth and power practicing they Discipline of Necromancy all the while. Recent global movement by the Giovanni have many Kindred worried. With all that money and all those harvested souls, something is on the horizon; it is an ill wind that blows out of Venice.
Clan Disciplines: Dominate, Necromancy, Potence.
Weaknesses: The Giovanni Kiss causes excruciating pain in mortals who receive it. In fact, the bite of a Giovanni vampire often kills its mortal victim from shock before the poor soul has a chance to die from blood loss. The Necromancers do twice as much damage as any other vampire to mortals (and only mortals) who suffer their Kiss. Thus, if the Giovanni in question took one blood point from a mortal vessel, that vessel would suffer two health levels of damage. As such, Giovanni vampires are quite likely to feed from already dead corpses or from resources like hospital blood reserves.
From their webs of shadows the Lasombra guide the destiny of the dread Sabbat. Unseen even by mirrors, these lords of darkness glide through the night they rule, orchestrating the rise and fall of Kindred and kine alike. From the Sahara Desert to the Spanish Main, from the monasteries of Seville to the mean streets of New York City, no other clan so embodies what it means to be a vampire.
Elegant yet predatory, the Lasombra honestly think of themselves as the apex of Cainite existence. Firm believers in Divine Right and the rule of the superior, they have little patience, though often much pity, for those Cainites who are (through no fault of their own) inferior.
The Lasombra character is a curious mix of noblesse oblige and healthy contempt. They actively seek power wherever it may be found, from the halls of the cloisters to the corridors of palaces, yet they do not seek the titles and glory that come along with rule. Instead of chasing command for its own sake, Lasombra take the reins of power out of a firm belief that no one can hold them better. The appearance of power is unimportant; what matters is that the decisions are being made by those most suited to make them. Indeed, most Lasombra prefer the role of kingmaker to the title of king.
The Lasombra are loyal to the Sabbat, but they also believe it is their right and responsibility to be the strongest leaders of the sect. Lasombra often fight over who should lead among them, but they prefer other Lasombra to the members of other clans. There is less intrigue in the Sabbat than the Camarilla, but what does exist is found among the Lasombra.
The Lasombra are just as concerned about freedom as the other clans of the Sabbat, but they view the means of holding onto that freedom a little differently. They emphasize the control of mortal political, religious and financial institutions as a way of defending the Sabbat from threats. The Lasombra maintain the largest number of retainers of any clan in the Sabbat. They maintain agents in many positions of power and have implanted spies throughout the world. These agents are loyal to the Sabbat, but they answer directly to the Lasombra. After all, the Lasombra consider what is good for their clan to be good for the sect.
Even more than the Ventrue and Tremere, the Lasombra are masters of intrigue. Rather than erect the genteel facade of the aforementioned clans, however, the Lasombra are openly competitive and warlike. Lasombra maintain their often tenuous control over their Sabbat brethren through a mixture of force, espionage and manipulation, often guiding the other clans without said clans' realization. The word "Machiavellian" aptly describes the members of the clan. Stealth and cunning are second nature to them, to the point that they have developed an affinity with and control of the forces of night and shadows.
The Lasombra clan has fallen from grace - and its members enjoy it. Simultaneously graceful and predatory, the Lasombra guide - and, when necessary, whip - the Sabbat into an implacable force. Turning their backs upon the humans they once were, Lasombra give themselves wholly over to the dark majesty of the Embrace. Murder, frenzy, predation: Why fear these things, many Lasombra ask, if one is meant to be a vampire ? In contrast to the Tzimisce, though, Lasombra generally seek not to reject all things mortal, but to shape, them for their own pleasure.
The Lasombra have been involved with the Church since its inception, and some Kindred whisper that the clan was instrumental in the spread of the Christian faith. In modern nights, however, Lasombra have turned their backs on that divine institution. There are exceptions, of course, but for the most part, Clan Lasombra bears only contempt for the notion of salvation. In fact, the Lasombra brought many of the Church's rites and rituals into the Sabbat sect, twisting them into mockeries of Christian doctrine. The Lasombra ordained many of the sect's auctoritas and ignoblis ritae, so that the vampires of the Sabbat might never forget who and what they are. Lasombra are best known for their Discipline of Obtenebration, a means by which they call forth a tangible "living" darkness, manipulating it at their whim. Clan doctrine holds that this "darkness" is in fact the stuff of the vampiric soul, which has been simultaneously strengthened and corrupted by the Embrace. Through the Curse ofCaine, some Lasombra believe, God has cast them out, and thus it is their duty to build a new order on Earth via the Sabbat. More scientific Lasombra scoff at this superstition, but even they tend to believe that, as vampires, they represent a new and more advanced breed of sentience, one unconcerned with petty human notions of ethics. Let the milksops of Clan Ventrue burn in the solar fires of martyrdom; the Lasombra are happy with what they are.
Naturally, this villainous outlook is not universal among the clan, but many newly Embraced Sabbat Lasombra take great glee in the wanton destruction and vulgar depravity that such a philosophy allows. In striking contrast, some elder Lasombra still maintain their ties to the Church, though even they seem to consider themselves "tools of the Devil." The two groups do see eye to eye on one matter: Members of Clan Lasombra, as consummate manipulators themselves, adamantly refuse to submit to the antiquated whims of the Antediluvians. They fight the Jyhad proudly, but unlike many Kindred, they firmly believe they can win.
The typical Lasombra possesses a gift for manipulation, as well as keen leadership skills. Lasombra are the most common leaders of Sabbat packs, as their motivational and Machiavellian natures make them ideal for orchestrating the movements of the sect. Unfortunately, pride goes hand in hand with this dark nobility, and very few Lasombra acknowledge other vampires as equal, let alone superior.
Nickname: Keepers (as in "my brother's…")
Clan Disciplines: Dominate, Obtenebration, Potence
Weaknesses: Lasombra vampires cast no reflections. They cannot be seen in mirrors, bodies of water, reflective windows, polished metals, photographs and security cameras, etc. This curious anomaly even extends to the clothes they wear and objects they carry. Many Kindred believe that the Lasombra have been cursed in this manner for their vanity. Additionally, due to their penchant for darkness, Lasombra take an extra level of damage from sunlight.
Even other Damned fear the Malkavians. The cursed blood of their clan has polluted their minds, with the result that every last Malkavian across the world is incurably insane. What's worse, a Malkavian's madness can take nearly any form, from overpowering homicidal tendencies to near-catatonia. In many cases, there's no way to tell a Malkavian apart from the "sane" members of other clans. Those few whose psychoses are immediately obvious are among the most terrifying vampires to stalk the streets.
For as long as even the eldest Cainites can remember, the Malkavians have always stirred Kindred society with their passage. Although the clan has instigated no great wars nor toppled mortal governments (at least, to the best of their fellow vampires' knowledge), the very presence of a Malkavian works a subtle change on a city. Chaos nips at the Lunatics' heels, and those who associate with even the most well-meaning Malkavian often find their lives or unlives altered by the Cainite's madness.
Recently, the Malkavians executed their grandest "prank" of all. None can say whether it was worked in a great Malkavian Parliament held somewhere in an isolated European village, or on a bleak and forgotten moor somewhere far from the cities. A few stories speak of a epidemic of contagious dementia exploding among the use of Malkav's blood. Whatever the cause, Malkavians across the world have begun displaying a new, dangerous edge to their madness, accompanied by bizarre events in Kindred cities around the world. A longstanding Malkavian conceit holds the Jyhad to be a joke instigated by the founder of the clan; some Kindred wonder if, in fact, Malkavians have played the joke on them all along.
None can say what exactly makes the Lunatics so dangerous. Certainly, their madness often frees them from fear of pain or Final Death. More than a few demonstrate horrifying murderous urges or a complete lack of emotion, including compassion. But most convincingly, the Malkavians are free from the confines of rationality and may do whatever they like - and this freedom is coupled with an uncanny insight, a strange wisdom that Cannot be perceived by the sane. The Malkavians possess a dark intellect that is often – and increasingly – set to frightening purposes.
Sect: The Malkavians as a clan have an understanding (as much as there can be) with the Camarilla. They also populate the Sabbat in lesser numbers, where they frighten even their packmates with their psychotic displays. But when it all comes down to it, their true loyalties likely transcend sects. When Gehenna arrives, nobody can say for sure where the Malkavians will stand.
Haven: The Lunatics by and large take whatever shelter they like, although more than a few find aging hospitals and poorly funded asylums to their tastes. Many seem to enjoy the company of desperate mortals, and prefer slums and institutions to more secluded havens.
Background: Malkavians take their childer from all walks of life and for all number of reasons. Anyone can be chosen to further a sire's twisted purposes, although most Lunatics prefer Embracing those already close to (or subject to) madness. Most other vampires believe that the Malkavians Embrace their childer on a whim; however, virtually all Lunatics discover themselves subtly championing some barely perceptible "purpose," the full extent of which none - not even their sires - can properly fathom.
Character Creation: Malkavians come in all shapes and flavors, but many have primary Mental Attributes, befitting the clan's reputation for wisdom and insight. Apart from that, it's anyone's guess just what Traits a Malkavian may manifest - with the diversity of their concepts and backgrounds, these made vampires could be anyone. Anywhere.
Clan Disciplines: Auspex, Dementation, Obfuscate.
Weaknesses: Derangement. Every last vampire of Malkav's blood is irredeemably insane in some form or another. Some attribute this to a curse of the blood, while other Lunatics actually call it a special blessing, a gift of insight. When a Malkavian character created, the player must choose at least one deragement for that character at the time of the Embrace; this derangement can be temporarily fought with Willpower, but can never be permanently overcome.
Caine's childer are called "The Damned," and no vampires embody this more fully than the wretches of Clan Nosferatu. While other vampires still look human and may travel in mortal society, Nosferatu are twisted and deformed by the curse of vampirism. Other Kindred speak shudderingly of Caine placing a mark upon the entire clan for the monstrous deeds of its Antediluvian founder. As such, Nosferatu find themselves loathed and osrracized by the other Children of Caine, who consider them disgusting and interact with them only when they must.
Following the Embrace, Nosferatu childer suffer an agonizing transformation as, over the subsequent weeks, they warp from humans into hideous monsters. The horror " of the physical devolution often produces an accompanying psychological trauma. Unable to walk among the kine, Nosferatu must dwell in subterranean sewers and catacombs forever after.
Nosferatu often choose physically or emotionally twisted mortals for the Embrace, seeing in the curse of vampirism a possible means of redemption for the mortals. Amazingly, there seems to be some merit to this belief. Many Nosferatu are surprisingly levelheaded and practical, avoiding the obsessions, fits and rages of their fairer brethren. Not that this makes the Sewer Rats particularly pleasant to be around; indeed, some Nosferatu come to delight in the shock and horror their grotesque appearances inspire in others.
Nosferatu are survivors par excellence. Few creatures, mortal or vampire, know a city's back alleys and dark corners like the Nosferatu do. Additionally, Nosferatu have mastered the crafts of sneaking and eavesdropping; they make a point of keeping up with current gossip and affairs, not merely for pleasure, but for survival. Information brokers without peer, they can command high prices for their knowledge. Using their Obfuscate Discipline, Nosferatu make a point of listening to others' conversations from hiding, or sitting in on "secret" meetings. If a Kindred wishes to learn about the doings and denizens of the city, she would do well to consult the Nosferatu. Finally, millennia of shared deformity and abuse have fostered strong bonds among the monsters. Nosferatu forego the squabbling and feuds ubiquitous to the other clans, preferring to work in unison. They treat each other with meticulous politeness and freely share information among themselves. To mess with one Nosferatu is to mess with them all – and that can get messy indeed….
Nosferatu often avoid destruction by trafficking in information. Their dependency on stealth, rapport with beasts and constant need to travel from fiefdom to fiefdom provide them with access to data unavailable to their less venturesome brethren. Even citybound Nosferatu find that their choices of abodes and victims make them privy to all manner of information and gossip inaccessible to the loftier clans. Nosferatu have learned that the most refined Ventrue prince will often hold his gorge, cover his nose and give up a beggar or two in exchange for information about his Lasombra rival in the next duchy. (And should bargaining prove futile, Nosferatu are not above a little blackmail).
Nickname: Sewer Rats
Appearance: No two Nosferatu look precisely alike, but all are hideous. Gaping fang-filled maws, discolorations, tumors, holes in place of noses, batlike ears, sloping bald heads, twisted spines, claws, wrinkled hides, pustulent sores and webbed fingers are just a few possible deformities possessed by Nosferatu. An existence in sewers and crypts tends to ensure that most Nosferatu smell about as good as they look.
Clan Disciplines: Animalism, Obfuscate, Potence
Weaknesses: As mentioned, Nosferatu are absolutely loath-some to look at. All Nosferatu have Appearance ratings as zero - cross the automatic dot right off the character sheet. Nor many they improve Appearance with experience points. Most Social actions based on first impressions, except intimidation and the like, fail automatically.
The Panders, or Pander movement, represent what the Moderates could become if they changed their focus from greater freedom to greater power. While many Panders share this mindset, not all Panders do(many side with other factions), and other 'moderates' from other clans tread very close to their philosophy of convenience over ideals. The Panders are focused on doing whatever they can to gain as much power and authority within the Sabbat; if it means supporting the Status Quo one week, and allying with the Loyalists the next, they'll do so to save their skin. Generally the power within the sect has lain with the Status Quo, and the Panders have faithfully supported it in lieu of a alternative..
*Support the Code of Milan, will support the addendum depending on who is present
- Will disregard status if they feel it is advantageous; otherwise, they will respect it at all times
- Will probably support the Black Hand and Inquisition if they feel they will not be acting contrary to their plans
- Support any individual with higher status
Although not truly a clan in the strictest sense of the word (as they have no progenitor from the Third Generation), the Panders have made much of the Sabbat’s egalitarian society, carving a niche of respectability for themselves in spite of their bastard pedigree. Like the Caitiff which, for all practical purposes, they are, the Panders have no formal, recognized lineage. Any vampire who joins the Sabbat and doesn’t know what clan she is becomes a Pander, as do those childer Embraced by established Panders. The group consists of a wide variety of Cainites, most of whom are young and untested. It should be noted, however, that Panders are True Sabbat, not just a dumping ground for rejected or unproved vampires of other clans.
The Panders arose in the aftermath of the most recent Sabbat civil war, during the late 1950s. A clanless vampire known as Joseph Pander united the clanless 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.
Of course, the Panders are loose cannons and X-factors, the “rebels of a rebellious sect.” Lasombra in the modern nights consider them threats to security, worrying that their lack of cohesion or millennia of tradition might make them unpredictable. The Panders understand their own position, though, and they accept their cannon-fodder role with resolve. Indeed, at any Sabbat siege, the front line is most often composed of Panders out to prove themselves. As cunning as any Lasombra and as brutal as any Brujah antitribu, the Panders do what needs to be done for the good of the sect. Panders lack the sophistication and the years of formalization held by the other clans; they truly are a motley bunch of rogues and thugs. Unlike some of the other clans, however, they have the Sabbat at heart, and their terrible escapades are often fronts for conquest “for the good of the Sword of Caine!” With the sect’s good-faith gesture in recognizing the Panders, it has earned an ally for the entirety of its existence, but the Panders are still the low Cainites on the totem pole. The Mutts ‘almost invariably draw the worst duties, the most dangerous missions and the riskiest ritae, all because they’re still the newest and least established. Those Panders who are aware enough, accept this “honor” as a badge of courage, while the dimmer ones simply do what they’re told in hopes of getting to feed first from the pack’s kills. It is this reason this devout and reckless drive to get the job done that has paid off for the Pan ders, and they have grown in number and power because of it.
Clan Disciplines: None. Like non-Sabbat Caitiff, Panders may take two Disciplines of their choice, while the last is left up to the Staff.
Weaknesses: Panders have no inherent, Blood-bestowed weakness. Note, however, that the Panders are given only grudging respect, and they generally get stuck with the Sabbat’s shit work.
If ever a clan was renowned for a wickedly black sense of humor, the Ravnos would be that clan. These Cainites are deceivers of the first order, weaving illusion and lies into elaborate schemes to part the foolish from whatever it is the Ravnos might fancy - be it wealth, blood or even their victims' freedom. Like Mephistopheles or Old Scratch, the Ravnos ply their devil's deals with whomever they choose, be it human or Kindred, and woe to those who wind up unable to pay the hidden costs.
Although many Ravnos see themselves as great tricksters, the generally benevolent tricks of Coyote and Raven aren't so much their style. Instead, they draw on a tradition of illusion and deceit inherited from the rakshasas and ghuls of the Middle and Far East. A Ravnos is a highly dangerous being with whom to sup of bargain. And these devils have been making their wagers and bargains for a long time indeed.
The Ravnos are nomadic to the core and care little for permanent havens or positions in a city's established power structure. Even those who have chosen a given city for their home tend to establish and abandon havens as the mood strikes them, taking whatever lairs they like, doing as they please, and moving on when bored. This habit infuriates princes across the world, who resent the Ravnos' disregard for the Tradition of Hospitality. Few punish violators, though, for fear drawing the malice of the clan as a whole.
Although the clan has long-standing ties with the Gypsies, few Ravnos enjoy the hospitality of their mortal kin. Perhaps the Gypsies know these vampires' true natures too well, and are loath to offer friendship to the undying. Perhaps the Ravnos themselves alienate their mortal families through their dangerous tricks. Whatever the reason, a Ravnos typically has no allies he can rely on regularly. His charm may win him a few temporary companions, and clan loyalty may draw fellow Ravnos to his side in times of dire need, but the vampire's path ultimately lies alone.
Naturally, the princes of many cities are leery of allowing such tricksters free rein in their domains. The Ravnos' eccentric code of honor is strong, but rarely coincides with another Kindred's definition of the term. A Ravnos may break her word at will, unless she's spit in her palm and shaken on the deal. She'll defend her "good name" for all it's worth - depending on what she considers slander. And she'll usually come to the defense of a clanmate, and vice versa; the Ravnos may take advantage of one another, but they consider it their privilege. Outsiders aren't allowed the same.
Perhaps the most worrisome thing about the Ravnos is that as a clan, they managed to survive for centuries in Asia, where most Kindred are quickly hunted down and devoured by the ruthless Cathayans. No other Cainites know exactly how they managed this - but now a possible reason is emerging. Rumors filter back to Europe and the Americas of elder things awakening, of ancient vampires shrugging off the earth of millennia and throwing the Cainite courts into disorder. These elder Ravnos - if rumor speaks correctly - have demonstrated terrifying mystical powers, including a talent for illusions so powerful they can affect the physical world. Time can only tell what part the reemergence of these "demon kings" will play in the Jyhad.
Clan Disciplines: Animalism, Chimerstry, Fortitude.
Weaknesses: The Ravnos have indulged in their particular vices so long that they have become addicted to them. Each Ravnos has a weakness for some form of trickery, deceit or mischief, whether it be gambling, lying, theft, blackmail or even cleverly framed murder. When the opportunity to indulge presents itself, a Ravnos must make a Self-Control roll (difficulty 6) or succumb to her compulsion.
There are few vampires who would willingly grant hospitality to a Follower of Set, and for good reason. The Setites, as they call themselves, are servants of darkness and corruption incarnate. The clan's ultimate goal is to corrode the ethics away from humanity and Cainites alike, creating a surfeit of slaves for themselves and their dark master.
Legends name Set, or sometimes Sutekh, as the clan's founder. In ancient Egypt, or so they say, Set was a great warrior and hunter. He hounded the desert nights like a beast and became worshipped by mortals as the god of night. He welcomed such worship and enjoyed the respect of his fellow Cainites. But eventually he was cast out. Here the stories become confused; some say Osiris banished Set, while others claim Horus defeated him. In any event, Set swore to reestablish his rule, but this time from the darkness. And in his footprints walked his childer.
Set disappeared in A.D. 33, promising to return someday to his followers. The Setites therefore work to make the world a fitting place for their master's return. So far, they have enjoyed moderate success. The approve of the widespread disease and imbalance of wealth; the more unhappy someone is, the more likely she will snatch at any chance to better her lot.
Setites work in insidious ways. They believe that the best way to corrupt someone is to give that person exactly what he wants, and watch desire breed even stronger desire. They foster ecstasy and indulgence in their flocks, always encouraging excess, quietly addicting their prey to the pleasures only the Setites can provide. Pity the Thrall with a Setite Master, or anyone else caught in their honeyed snare. The Followers of Set do what they do from religious zeal, and thus can be even more merciless than the inhuman Tzimisce.
Only an extremely small number of Sabbat were originally Followers of Set. They have proven especially gifted in espionage and sabotage. Some have even become members of the Black Hand. The members of this clan seem to enjoy the constant Jyhad the Sabbat wages.
Sobriquet: Serpents, Setites
Clan Disciplines: Obfuscate, Presence, Serpentis. Some rare Setites learn Anku, the Serpents' answer to Thaumaturgy.
Weaknesses: Set lurks in the night and hates the day, which is the domain of the tyranny imposed by Osiris and Horus. Therefore, Followers of Set suffer greater susceptibility to the sunlight, enough so that exposure to the sun inflicts twice as many levels of aggravated damage to them as it would to other vampires.
Serpents of Light
The Serpents of the Light is an independent and proudly heretical sect of the Followers of Set. Its pride lies within its adopted independence from the Setites; the Serpents have no affiliation with their parent clan. While many Setite trace their history to ancient Egypt, the Serpents claim they originated in the West Indies.
The Serpents of the Light came into being when the Sabbat moved into Haiti in the 1960s. Before then, the group that became the Serpents may have been a rogue cult of Setites, studying voodoun and how its mysticism could be used to its undead advantage. Until the 1970s, the Sabbat was too disorganized to pay much attention to the Caribbean, despite some degree of presence there Sabbat activity simply lay dormant. In fact, the Sword of Caine had no idea that this lost tribe of Setites even existed in Haiti. Once the sect became aware of the cult, however, the Sabbat recognized the ruth-less strength in the group and gave protection to it in its infancy. It is possible that the first Serpents were younger Setites, who agreed with the political philosophy of the Sabbat.. When the news of the Sabbats discovery reached the Setites ears, their elders forbade their childers interaction with the Sword of Caine. Citing the Sabbats intent to destroy the godking, they sent emissaries to Haiti who insisted that the cult disassociate itself from the Sabbat.
The splinter sect, out of habit, vampiric wile or otherwise, chose to ignore their elders, and they sought asylum in the ranks of the Sabbat. The rift grew nightly, until the Serpents of Light proclaimed total independence from the Followers of Set. This schism may have been achieved by experimenting with their ophidian Discipline and the local mysticism of the Caribbean. The modern Serpents recognize that they would have been crushed by the Setites if not for the Sabbats intervention, and they give their undivided loyalty to the Sabbat cause.
Because the Serpents chose to ally with the Sabbat, they have earned the enmity of the Followers of Set, and vice versa. Hatred between these two now-separate bloodlines runs deep, and the Setites consider the Serpents traitors to their clan. Indeed, the Serpents of the Light consider Followers of Set to be abominations intent on destroying the world via the resurrection of their undead vampire god. The two groups spare no effort in antagonizing each other, playing out a deadly holy war across the distance of continents. Serpents of the Light also oppose the other Antediluvians for similar reasons, citing a Haitian Voodoo prophecy similar to the Gehenna foretold in the Book of Nod. As Sabbat, their ideology fits perfectly.
Manipulation by seduction is the tool of choice for the Serpents of Light, who play a dangerous game of attack and counterattack against their Setite rivals with mortal pawns. Members of the bloodline wield the weapons of addiction and decay. They are expert at discovering a targets weakness, and using that tool be it drugs, sex, power or whatever to gain control of the target. They relish the opportunity to bring down a princes city from the inside out, like any dedicated Sabbat. A few Serpents set loose in a major metropolis can magnify the drug-trade substantially, entice many innocent victims into prostitution, and much more. They prefer to operate behind the scenes, extending their control through human and Cainite underlings, without becoming an obvious target themselves. Rooting out a Serpent of the Light from a city is much like peeling an onion you must slice away many layers before you get to the core. They maintain an attitude of fight fire with fire when it comes to foiling the plans of the Setites and, to a lesser degree, the Camarilla.
Elder Cobras instill a great loyalty in their childer from the night of their Embrace. The Serpents of the Light compare their struggle to split from the Followers of Set to the history of their West Indian roots. Much of their speech when conversing with each other occurs in Haitian patois and Voodoo references. While they take a sybaritic pleasure in the Jyhad between Sabbat and Camarilla and make superb espionage agents for the Sabbat, their loyalty remains with their patron cult above all. A Serpent of the Light serves the need of her particular chapter of the cult she belonged to before her Embrace above the needs of the Sabbat.
Background: The Serpents of the Light often choose Haitian or North African individuals as clans members, if it is practical. Otherwise, anyone can serve the the Serpents of the Light, as long as they exhibit high intelligence, an aggressive bent and a willingness to learn. All Serpents of the Light must study and practice Voodoo theology, or some form of occultism. The clan has been growing strength and number, due to its desire to become a power-player in the Sabbat.
Clan Disciplines: Obfuscate, Presence, Serpentis.
Weakness: The Serpents of the Light share the same weakness as the Followers of Set. They both hail from primordial darkness, and thus they react identically severely to light. Serpents suffer two additional health levels of damage when wounded by sunlight.
Children of art and beauty, the Toreador are Cainite muses and poets. Although they surround themselves with pomp and beauty, the Toreador can be as fanatical as the Brujah and as cunning as the Lasombra. The clan's bastion is in the lands of France with its chivalrous knights and singing bards.
The Toreador are some of the most beautiful and glamorous of the Kindred. Famous (and infamous) as a clan of artists and innovators they are one of the bastions of the Camarilla, as their very survival depends on the facades of civility and grace on which the sect prides itself.
The Toreador revelled in the Victorian age. The Industrial Revolution led to a phenomenon that only the rich had been previously afforded - leisure time. A heyday of theatre, music and art began in cultural nexsues like New York, London and Paris and spread throughout the globe. While the influence of the Church in people's lives (and consequently, the influence Toreador held over the church) waned, those Kindred that latched themselves onto businessmen prospered. Possibly the one thing most Toreador love with the exception of beauty is money, and it was now accessible from places other than the landed gentry of the time. While the Clan has had peaks and troughs, this was a time that cemented them as a true power in the Camarilla.
Clan Disciplines: Auspex, Celerity, Presence
Weaknesses: Caine's curse upon Arikel is still strong, and all members of the clan are prone to distraction when confronted with a thing of beauty. When as Artisan encounters music, a piece of art, a person or even an idea that meets that criterion, she becomes fascinated with it and enters a reverie that may last for hours. The player is allowed to make a reflexive Self-Control or Instinct roll (difficulty 6) to resist it. Unless that roll is successful, the character remains enrapt until the end of the scene or until the object of the reverie leaves her presence. While under this rapture, the Toreador may not even defend herself, although an attack allows the player to make another Self-Control or Instinct roll.
Whether dreaded, nistrusted, feared or reviled, the insular vampires of Clan Tremere are anything but ignored. Those who have heard of the clan's doings are typically suspicious of the Tremere, and with good reason - for the Warlocks are aptly named. Through their own artifice, they have mastered a form of vampiric sorcery, complete with rituals and spells, that is as potent - if not more so - than any other power of the Blood. Paired with the clan's rigid hierarchy and the smoldering ambition so common among Warlocks, this power is an unsettling thing indeed to those who know what the Tremere are capable of doing. According to some Kindred records, the Tremere came into being as a clan very recently, at least by an immortal's standards. Legend has it that, during Europe's Dark Ages, a cabal of human wizards enacted a great ritual over the slumbering body of an Antediluvian and thereby wrested for themselves the gift of vampirism. War followed soon thereafter- the fledgling clan found itself besieged by enraged Kindred on every side. But the Tremere are nothing if not survivors. Their human magicks lost, they nonetheless managed to alter their rituals and wardings to utilize the power of their vitae. These magical skills, now practiced as the Discipline of Thaumaturgy, have ensured the Tremere's place among the Kindredever since.
The Warlocks gladly play the games of diplomacy and intrigue with their newfound brethren. However, their dealings arealways tinged with a touch of paranoia, for the Tremere know that the elders of no fewer than three clans bear them a terrible grudge that has yet to be repaid. Therefore, the Tremere work to cultivate what allies they can, even as they strive to heighten their magical mastery. No less is required for their survival. As a result, the childer of Clan Tremere are among themost driven and learned of all Cainites; few cross these undead sorcerers and escape unscarred.
The Tremere are vampires of the Old World, but have traveled across the continents to establish footholds elsewhere. The clan's seat of power lies in Vienna, where the Tremere elders convene in council and discuss the clan's future direction. But many larger cities across the globe house Tremere "chantries" - well-defended houses that are equal parts university, monastery and stronghold. There the Warlocks gather to exchange information and study their vampiric witchcraft, safe from the attentions of their rivals.
Sect: The Tremere were more than glad to join the fledgling Camarilla when the sect was forming, and they quickly made themselves invaluable there. In fact, the Tremere are one of the linchpins of the sect. They have a marked interest in keeping the Camarilla strong, of course - I with their hated Tzimisce enemies directing their Sabbat minions against any Tremere they find, the Warlocks require allies. And with the valuable magical power they offer, the Tremere find the Camarilla glad to provide the support they require. With the Camarilla's protection, the Tremere are free to pursue the arcane mastery they so avidly desire.
Appearance: The sorcerous Tremere are typically imposing or sinister in mien. Some favor classic suits; others prefer a slightly more antiquated look, dressing in 1940s-cut suits, Edwardian finery or the simple black turtlenecks of the Beat era. Many wear charms or amulets inscribed with cabalistic or other arcane symbols, as a sign of their learning. Although individual Warlocks may run the gamut from immaculately precise to disheveled and eccentric, the vampiric sorcerers' eyes always gleam with hidden insight and frightening acuity.
Haven: While Warlocks may maintain their own individual havens (often complete with extensive libraries), the clan
maintains a chantry in every city that harbors a strong Tremere presence. A chantry is open to any of Tremere's bloodline and absolutely forbidden to all others. The Warlocks are infamous for their well-guarded havens; almost all boast mystical wards that even other Tremere would find difficult to circumvent.
Background: Many Tremere dabbled in occult or other scholarly pursuits in life. However, a fascination with the unknown is hardly enough to draw a Warlock's attention; clan members seek "apprentices" with aggressive natures and clear thinking, and care little for muddle-headed New Agers or befuddled conspiracy theorists. Clan Tremere has an unspoken tradition of sexism, and most of its elders are male. Tremere ancillae have become rather more open-minded of late, though, and draw ample numbers of suitably ambitious and persistent acolytes from both sexes.
Character Creation: Tremere typically have strong Mental Attributes and a high Willpower to match; dilettantes and churls cannot meet the grueling demands of sorcery. Many have Knowledges as their primary Abilities, although Skills are also highly in demand. Although a few Tremere specialize in one particular area of excellence, many more prefer; a more well-rounded approach to personal aptitudes; after all, a Warlock can typically rely on no one other than himself.
Clan Disciplines: Auspex, Dominate, Thaumaturgy.
Weaknesses: By clan law, all neonate Tremere must drink the blood of the clan's seven elders when they are created. All Tremere are at least one step toward being blood bound! to their elders, and therefore usually act with great clan loyalty - in order to avoid having such loyalty forced on them. What's more, this arrangement means that Tremere are hard-pressed to resist the will of their elders; the difficulty of any Dominate attempt from a clan superior is one less.
Organization: No tighter internal structure exists among the clans. No clan binds its neonates so strictly. And no clan acts with such unity of purpose as the Tremere. Although younger clan members generally are free to do more or less as they wish, occasionally they receive instructions from their elders that they may not ignore. Paranoia keeps the clan well-oiled; and unified. Of course, the Tremere do encourage individual achievement among the group, seeing it as a Darwinian method of ensuring the clan's strength. With such ambitious, powerful young vampires cooperating with such commendable clan unity, it's no wonder the Warlocks have plenty of envious and spiteful enemies among the Kindred. The Tremere's pyramidal hierarchy contains several ranks, each divided into seven mystical "circles" that an aspirant must master if he desires to advance in rank (and nearly every Tremere desires that very thing). The lowest rank, that of apprentice, belongs to neonates. Above the apprentices are the regents, each one the master of a chantry; then the lords, whose domains include several chantries each. Forty-nine Tremere hold the title of pontifex, each bearing great responsibilities. And at the top of the pyramid sits the Inner Council of Seven, some the masters of entire continents, and all whispered to be in constant mental communication with the others.
Bloodlines: The strict organization of the Tremere, as well as their insistence on obeying one's elders, offers few freedoms. No variants of the Tremere bloodline have been allowed to survive to the present night. A small group of Tremere rebels once made its home in the Sabbat, but recent events have seen to that group's destruction.
The Tzimisce is the second most powerful and numerous clan of the Sabbat. The Lasombra hold the top position in both categories. However, the Tzimisce are a driving force behind most of the Sabbat's ideology, goals and planning. The Tzimisce clan appears happy to let the Lasombra believe that the hold the reins of power in the sect.
Organization: The Tzimisce are hierarchical, but they do not follow the rigid feudal chain of lord and vassal. Rather, the Tzimisce are familial, nearly tribal, in nature. Most Tzimisce families consist of a sire and her brood, but each of these families is connected to many others. Therefore, many regions of the east are dominated by networks of blood relations descended from a single individual. Within the family, the elder receives great respect as the natural center of the household, while her childer compete murderously for acknowledgement, advancement and affection. Rival families often maintain running vendettas across the centuries which are similarly murderous, governed by maddeningly complex social protocols.
Sobriquet: Fiends (some koldun and more scholarly members of the clan refer to themselves as Shapers)
Clan Disciplines: Animalism, Auspex, Vicissitude. Though a rarity among the Clan, some Tzimisce are trained in Koldunic Sorcery, possessing it as an in-clan Discipline.
Weaknesses: The Tzimisce are arguable the most territorial of all clans, sharing as they do inviolable ties of blood and spirit to the land they rule. When a Tzimisce rests, he must surround himself with at least two handfuls of earth from a place that was important to him in life - usually either the land of his birth or the soil of his grave. Failure to do so halves the player's dice pools every night that the vampire has not rested in appropriate earth. This halving continues until all actions use only one die. Eight hours rest amid the special soil negates it.
Elegant, aristocratic and regal, the Ventrue are the lords of the Camarilla. It was Clan Ventrue that provided the cornerstone of the Camarilla, and it is Clan Ventrue that directs and coaxes the Camarilla in its darkest hours. Even in the modern age, the majority of princes descend from Clan Ventrue. The Ventrue would, of course, have things no other way. In the tradition of noblesse oblige, the Ventrue must lead the other clans for their own good.
In ancient nights, Ventrue were chosen from nobles, merchant princes or other wielders of power. In modern times the clan recruits from wealthy "old-money" families, ruthless corporate climbers, and politicians. Although Ventrue move in the same social circles as the Toreador, they do not fritter away their existences in frivolity and idle chatter. The Ventrue proudly wear the privileges of leadership, and stoically bear its burdens. Thus has it always been; thus shall it always be.
Clan Disciplines: Dominate, Fortitude, Presence
Weaknesses: All Ventrue have a specific limitation on their feeding habits. They may drink the vitae of only one type of mortal (priests, non-Christians, virgins, Englishmen, and so on), chosen at the time of character creation. While they can physically imbibe the blood of those mortals who are not among their selected prey, they gain no sustenance from it. This weakness does not extend to the blood of other vampires, however. The Ventrue can always gain sustenance from that.