Vampire Societal and Racial Info
Detailed Explanation and information over the various Vampire species and Covenants.
Clans - Vampire Races
The origins of the clans are lost to history, but some Kindred theorize that the clans were the first bloodlines, created by the earliest and most powerful vampires before unliving memory.
Newly sired vampires belong only to their sire's parent clan, not their bloodline. No vampire can ever join a bloodline stemming from a clan other than their own.
Each clan exemplifies an archetype or aspect of the vampire myth, and each clan's members share many characteristics: they find it easier to master certain disciplines, and suffer a specific weakness. As well as supernatural similarities, members of a particular clan will tend to Embrace mortals like themselves, further reinforcing the feeling of "family".
Covenants are an organization, religious, or political establishment consisting mostly of Kindred, though human servants and ghouls are often present at covenant meetings and are sometimes members themselves. There are five major covenants; others do exist, but the vast majority of Kindred are members of the major five, who often disregard the others.
Although covenants span the globe, they are not truly global organisations; their power is localized. While their practices and beliefs come from a common source, a Circle of the Crone group in Brittany may differ wildly from their counterparts in New Orleans, for example. In general, though, covenant members are accepted by their comrades wherever they travel.
Daeva - are sensual and seductive social predators. They have great difficulty resisting their vices.
Gangrel - are animalistic savages with a strong connection to the Beast, and find it hard to reason like men.
Mekhet - as masters of secrets and shadows, suffer the pain of fire and sunlight more harshly than other vampires.
Nosferatu - are supernaturally terrifying monsters, hideously deformed, others oddly unsettling- whatever the cause, each finds it nigh impossible to socialize.
Ventrue - are the lords of the undead, rulers with regal bearing and resilience. Absolute power have corrupted them, and as they age they become more prone to insanity.
The Major Clans
The "Daeva" - Succubus, Lusting Vampires
Nicknames: Serpents, Succubi
Disciplines: Celerity, Vigor, Majesty
Coven and/or Family Ties: House of Escourtees, House of Seductees.
The Daeva are a Kindred clan known for being emotional, sensual, and desirable. Predatory hedonists and sensualists, the Daeva are emotionally dying, hollow inside. They are slaves to their chosen vices. Daeva are masters of Majesty, the Discipline of seduction and persuasion. Daeva are often called Succubi.
Daeva are very diverse as a clan - the only common thread is their consuming passions. Fierce brawlers and social butterflies are found there, as well as everything in between.
Within the Trinity - The Daeva within the Imperium of Kindred are usually found where all special needs are wanted. Those with a burning desire for more, and the amazingly talented usually become Seductees, Escourtees, and occassionally among the highest of Vanguards. Despite the low population of non-Ventrues, Daeva would account for most of the rest, being more popularized and common then the other clans.
Significant People: Aphrodite, Lilith (Roman Period)
The "Gangrel" - Beastlike, Animalistic Vampires
Disciplines: Animalism, Protean, Resilience
Coven and/or Family Ties: Lord Knights, Vanguards, House of Levesque
The Gangrel are one of the five clans of Kindred known for being primal, hardy and savage. They embody the myths of vampires turning into animals or otherwise changing forms. This clan is more closely connected to their Beast than other clans. Many Kindred believe that the Gangrel clan is an old one, but due to the Gangrel's bestial nature, few records exist that can connect their origins to any specific time period. While the murky pre-history of the Kindred contains any number of legends about bestial vampires, not all of these things coincide with the hallmarks of the Gangrel.
Within the Trinity - The Gangrel were a commodity amongst the fighting forces all around the Imperium, whether for or against it. Altho they're ranks lay low, they tend to have formed mercenary packs for hire underneath certain Lords and Lieges in the Lord Knights and the Vanguardians.
Significant People: Beowulf, Tera of the Earth, Lilith (The Dark Ages, Europe)
The "Mekhet" - The Scholars, Specialist Vampires
Disciplines: Auspex, Celerity, Obfuscate
Coven and/or Family Ties: House of Fatalis, Sect of VII
Mekhet are a clan with an affinity to darkness, and the attune to intelligence. The hallmarks of the clan are stealth, finesse and wisdom.
There is often a certain amount of finesse and refinement in whatever Mekhet do. Mekhet can appear as stealthy information-gatherers, spies, assassins or scholars; but just as well they can be aristocrats making their mark in the societies of the damned. A Mekhet bodyguard for example is unlikely to rely on brute force, but rather know an ornate fighting style. A Mekhet thief is gracious or invisible, not a sloppy vandal. To the others, Mekhet appear to be the most ordinary of the kindred, the ones who seem to have the least to distinguish them from other vampires. They watch and hide, and the other clans don't seem to take much notice of them. Because Mekhet alone from the major clans have no powers of control over animals or people, they prefer to work in secret behind the scenes, via conspiracies and shadow cults.
Within the Trinity - Very Scarce and seldomly seen before the change of Imperiums- they have become even more a rarity than all of the Clans for fear of instigation, retribution, and they're skill in subterfuge. Some are still kept within the ranks of the Imperium, the Fatalis House, and the Sect of VII; Others are employed as researchers, and specialist at various skillsets.
Significant People: Zassafel of the Woods, Voidwatchers
The "Nosferatu" - Nightmares, Terrorlike Vampires
Nicknames: Haunts, Terrors, Worms
Disciplines: Nightmare, Obfuscate, Vigor
Coven and/or Family Ties: House of Ien Triem, House of Levesque, Sect of VII
A clan of vampires renowned for stealth, brute strength, their unnerving social manner and their hideous physical disfigurements; they each have something less obviously inhuman wrong with them, be it a terrible scent, a broken and screeching voice, a sickly pallor, or something less specific. Stealthy, strong and terrifying. Nosferatu are masters of Nightmare, the Kindred Discipline of fear and terror. They are sometimes called Haunts, or Terrors.
Within the Trinity - Few Nosferatu infects still exist in the new Imperium, usually long-lived veterans and members of power within the counsel and major government positions- Despite the lack of them, the few that remain are formidable and well-feared for good reason and measure.
Significant People: Death (Known as Grim Reaper), Corvus Ien Triem, Dracula (2nd Age), Diablo
The "Ventrue" - The Rulers, Resilience Vampires
Nicknames: Lords, Lieges
Disciplines: Animalism, Dominate, Resilience
Coven and/or Family Ties: House "Of Sphira", Harbinger Occultists, Sphiran Advocates.
Lords and Masters of the Kindred, the Ventrue are the Kindred's most fervent social climbers, frequently seen at Elysium vying with one another to rise to the top of the pyramid. Regal, commanding and aristocratic, yet also prone to falling into madness, this clan gives rise to legends of Damned Lords and rulers in isolated, lofty castles. Ventrue are masters of Dominate, the Kindred Discipline of mental subjugation. They are sometimes called Lords.
Within the Trinity - During the end of the First Imperium lead to the coming Advents, during the 1st and 2nd Advents of the Imperium lead to the annhilation and near mass murder of the various other Kindred Clans- Only a few remain that are not Ventrue.
Significant People: "Lord" of Sphira, Dracula, Alucard, Kain Fatalis
The Major Covenants
The Circle of the Crone
The Circle of the Crone is considered the vampiric equivalent of neo-paganism and witchcraft. It follows the belief that a goddess (the Crone) was cast out from the other Gods and Goddesses for uncertain reasons. They celebrate most of the major Wiccan holidays and practice a "Blood Magic" known as Crúac. There are many differences in belief and dogma between various circles and cities of the covenant. They generally dislike and argue with the Lancea Sanctum.
Main Clan: Gangrel
The Invictus (a.k.a the "First Estate") is strictly concerned with material gain and power within a city. They are heavily involved in city politics and business. The members of this covenant are the most common users of the blood bond for subordinates and as a form of punishment. New members are often attracted with the promise of rank and status; with service to elders and experience, any member could rise to prominence if they are qualified and active within the covenant. However, the majority of new members will never gain any recognition for their acts, and the Elder of the Inner Circle use neonates for their own gain. It is a very corrupted covenant, whose first thought is almost invariably "money and power."
Main Clan: Daeva and Ventrue.
The Lancea et Sanctum
The Lancea et Sanctum (pronounced LAN-key-uh et SANK-toom) (a.k.a the "Sanctified") is the Vampiric equivalent to Catholicism. They believe in redemption and forgiveness (or eternal damnation) through Longinus, whom they believe to be the first Vampire, being considered a vampiric Christ or Saviour. They believe that the Vampiric gift is to be used for the good of man, by only feeding on or killing sinners and scaring the "Kine" in the right direction. Proselyting and Conversion are essential to them, for the Salvation of all Vampires. They practice a Blood Magic known as Theban Sorcery. This Covenant generally dislikes and argues with the Circle of the Crone.
Main Clan: n/a
The Ordo Dracul
The Ordo Dracul (a.k.a. "Order of the Dragon" or just "Dragons") is focused on understanding the vampiric condition and improving upon it, transcending the limitations of their condition. They practice a Blood Magic known as the Coils of the Dragon. They believe their line was started by Dracula.
Main Clan: Mekhet and Ventrue.
The Rare Covenants
Not much is known about Belial's Brood except that they revel in death and destruction. They do not respect the Traditions, least of all the Masquerade, and are considered dangerous by the major covenants. Most stories of the Brood describe them as infernal or demonic. They take their name from their founder, Belial; a Legend of Horror that rampaged the lands.
Main Clan: n/a
The Kindred "VII"
Note: Do not mistake VII for Sect of VII- Sect of VII is a Trinity specific covenant.
VII is perhaps the most mysterious covenant of all; even their name is a puzzle, though most vampires interpret it as the Roman numeral (and so pronounce the covenant's name as "seven"). All that is truly known about VII is that they seek to destroy other vampires; their motives remain impenetrable. They are the subject of many rumours and legends among the Kindred, and so far none of the major covenants have been able to extract any information from captured members.
Within the Trinity- The Sect of VII and The "Seven" are always being confused, which leads in turn a lingering fear that "Seven" might be the Sect, and vice versa- leaving an eerie scare that even officials of the Imperium's Elite, Sect of VII, is capable of mass murder, ulterior agenda, and silence against any and every who may oppose the Imperium - For better or worst.
Main Clan: n/a