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!r t|t nrrrtãirs r| t|t Ol1 Crrrtr|, Tt |ãrt ã sã|ir] Tt ttãt| rrr t|il1tr. Tãstt rrt, Tãrt rrt!
Known mostly to elders from the Old World,
the Tzimisce are a bloodline infamous for
their unbound cruelty. With their
frightening discipline of
Vicissitude, Tzimisce are
known for their ability to
reshape the flesh as a sculptor
shapes clay. Using this foul art,
Tzimisce make servants into hideous
monsters, and use them to control their
domains. Though there are a few rumors to the
contrary, Dracula apparently has nothing in
common with the Tzimisce except ethnic
background. Still, some Tzimisce have joined the
Order since its inception, though they are usually
held at arms length by more experienced teachers of
the covenant, who find them unpleasant and
This fearsome reputation often seems unwarranted at first.
Many Tzimisce are reserved and perspicacious beings, a far cry
from the howling monsters many would believe them to be.
Most Tzimisce appear as rational creatures, formidably
intelligent, possessed of an inquisitive and scientific bent, and
unstintingly gracious of guests. A Tzimisce childe could show
more compassion and humanity than a Toreador artist could.
An offshoot of the Ventrue clan, the first Tzimisce lords
appeared in the hoary mountains of Eastern Europe near 1000
A.D., and quickly became renowned for their insular nature as
well as for their cruelty. When Teutonic Ventrue tried to make
inroads into the east during the Crusades, they found their
clan-mates to be hospitable to a fault, but also distastefully
strange or corrupt. It is unknown as to whether this was the
cause, but soon after the last of the Crusades, power struggles
erupted in that area between native Tzimisce and western
Ventrue, who came to gentrify the region. A rift has existed
between the bloodline and the clan ever since.
Records on the founding of the clan are few and mostly
anecdotal, leaving their truths vulnerable to normal vampiric
proclivity for exaggeration or subterfuge. What can be certain is
the first Tzimisce, usually called just “Tzimisce” by his get,
probably hailed from the Byzantine Empire, either a prince or a
captain in the legions. Most stories have that the founder was
embraced but fell into dementia and fled to the wilds. The
stories then diverge, but most contain trials of various kinds
which end with Tzimisce surmounting his obstacles and
learning to master his new home, usually through extreme
viciousness, persistence, and guile.
It is these qualities which most Tzimisce take to heart.
Clinging to their ancestral homeland, many Tzimisce say that
mortal feelings of compassion, love, and guilt are chains
to be cast off in one’s unlife, for they shackle what it
really takes to succeed as a creature
of the night, ambition and
wisdom and control of the
Beast. Tzimisce consider the
Beast an ally rather than an
enemy, as it provides the vampire the
will to survive and surpass. Tzimisce
indulge their Beasts in all sorts of games and
diversions. They do not consider this degeneration,
but rather exercising their superiority over
creatures of a lower order, whether they be
humans or vampire trespassers in their domains.
The Beast is less likely to rage if it’s taken out for a
walk now and then, they say.
The Tzimisce have an intricate relation to their
lands. Their bloodline weakness means they don’t travel often.
Overpopulation eventually resulted in a few Fiends seeking
greener pastures. This trickle turned into a flood after the
communists came to power in Eastern Europe. Few Tzimisce
could challenge the established power of Western Europeans
elders though, so many came to the New World. The fugitives
settled on the East Coast, unwilling to travel further. Here they
created childer to seek out new abodes for them if they ever
need to leave again. This means Tzimisce can be found in quite
a few American and Canadian cities.
Parent Clan: Ventrue
Covenant: Though some early Tzimisce saw the light of the
Lancea Sanctum while others walked the Circle of the Crone,
the Tzimisce of the Dark Ages traditionally belonged to
Invictus, as they were understood to be a prestigious Ventrue
bloodline, even if Kindred of other lands did not know much
else about them. After the rift from the parent clan, many
Tzimisce ignored the inner circle of Invictus and parodied their
organization while remaining separate, forming the small, little
known Oradea League Covenant, made up of a council of
Tzimisce princes, or “voivodes”. Little truly changed, as the
Oradea league was simply an organization of oligarchs bent on
holding their domains and keeping the neonates in check.
Some Tzimisce claim that the founder was initiated as an aco-
lyte of the Circle of the Crone and that pagan rites are where
the bloodline gained its discipline of Vicissitude. Since many of
these elders never wrote much down or left any proof of these
claims, they are given little credence. But some Tzimisce learn
the ways of the Circle to better understand their blood’s myster-
A few of the eldest Tzimisce are still members of the Circle of
the Crone. They can shape and change their bodies and create
life, or at least twisted mockeries of it. Since the inceptions of
the bloodline, the Tzimisce have been involved in pagan cults
and their fight against oppression. They will take the place of
the blood gods the Acolytes worship and they will show their
worshipper the true meaning of tribulation. The inhumanity
and cruelty of a Tzimisce Acolyte is almost unsurpassed in the
Danse Macabre. Those who don’t hold themselves to the ve-
neer of nobility masking the beast of the Fiends can most often
be found in the Circle of the Crone.
The Ordo Dracul is an interesting case, there are some ru-
mors of its founder having been Tzimisce. The Tzimisce vehe-
mently deny this, as does the Order. Still, in recent nights,
some Tzimisce have been accepted by the Order because their
signature discipline is considered worth exploring as a method
of understanding change. But many in the Ordo Dracul hold
their Tzimisce brothers at arms length.
Most Fiends are members of the Ordo Dracul. Their scholarly
bent and emphasis on transcending the vampiric condition ap-
pealed instantly to those Tzimisce preaching the path of Meta-
morphosis. Many Fiends flocked to the Dragon’s banner, even
when it was dangerous to do so. Tzimisce can mostly be found
among the Sworn of the Dying Light and the Sworn of Myster-
ies. The Sworn of the Axe hold little attraction to the very cer-
Like all members of the Ordo Dracul, Tzimisce seek to better
themselves. They search for the perfect form, altering them-
selves in strange and disturbing ways. Many study the tradition-
al Coils as well as Vicissitude, hoping that a merger of the two
studies will yield something truly revolutionary.
The undead nobility of the Invictus appeals to most Fiends,
and so the second largest faction of the Tzimisce can be found
among their ranks. The Voivodate styles itself a feudal hierar-
chy and thus the medieval society of the Invictus is a natural fit
for those looking for temporal power. Those rare Tzimisce who
join the Lancea Sanctum embody the very worst of a church of
predators. Sanctified Fiends often serve as priests or spiritual
leaders of some kind. These positions are an outlet for their
No Tzimisce has joined the Carthian Movement. The Fiends
have shed their mortal lives and they no longer see the need to
keep its trappings. Unbound are rare among modern Tzimisce,
but can still be found in Eastern Europe. There they dwell in
their ancestral keeps with no company but their experimental
subjects. While the traditional imagery of a Fiend terrorizing his
subjects from a gothic castle is mostly outdated, a few Tzimisce
still cling to the old ways, masquerade be damned.
Appearance: With their Discipline, Tzimisce can vary wildly
in appearance, often not even looking human. Usually, howev-
er, they represent some extreme of beauty or horror. Elders who
have become insular or deranged may have quite eccentric ap-
pearances depending on their origins, wearing strange or archa-
ic clothing, or in some cases nothing at all. Modern Tzimisce
tend to blend in better, but even they can sometimes be twisted
Haven: Tzimisce havens are very personal things. Tzimisce
share the proclivity with their Ventrue clan-mates for large,
ostentatious havens, and even share the tradition of providing
sanctuary to other Ventrue. They delight in playing gracious
host (though few would choose this option unless absolutely
necessary, as often what might be comfortable and pleasing to a
Tzimisce is not anyone else’s idea of those concepts).
One thing that does set Tzimisce apart from other Ventrue is
their zeal in defending their havens. Bound by their bloodline
weakness (see below), Tzimisce consider trespassing on their
domain a capital offense, and respond accordingly. As a result
of this, most Tzimisce pay a lot of attention to the security of
their havens. If an enemy manage to destroy a Fiend’s haven,
his Final Death is only a matter of time after all.
Most Tzimisce make their havens away from places where lots
of mortals gather. This is partly because of an urge to make a
land for oneself, not bothered by the Kine masses, and partly
because someone might hear the screams.
Background: Tzimisce choose childer who are distinctive and
not necessarily traditionally professional or noble. They look for
traits that make a mortal “worthy” of the Embrace, scoffing at
the notion of it as a curse. They are attracted by exceptional
genius or cunning, or acts of great willpower. Tzimisce are as
likely to embrace a psychopath as a scientist if they think the
mortal has a trait of interest. Whatever their mortal form, the
elders hope, the chaff will fall away and they will become a
more refined, deadly, formidable vampire. Some Tzimisce only
embrace from ghouls whom they have trained for years in prep-
aration. Rumor says that, in the Dark Ages, Tzimisce had whole
ghoul families under careful tutelage.
Most Tzimisce are still Eastern European in origin. Several
families have been manipulated by the Tzimisce through histo-
ry. These lineages were made to be the best breeding stock for
childer. The madness of the Tzimisce took its toll on these fam-
ilies. Subjected to torture and cruel experiments during their
lives, over half the family members turn into fleshcrafted mad-
men. Stories of inbred monstrosities in Eastern Europe still sur-
face from time to time. These failed experiments are sometimes
set free by particularly callous Fiends and roam the countryside
of the Baltic nations.
Character Creation: Tzimisce favor either Mental or Social
attributes over brute strength, but often learn to back up what-
ever weakness they may possess. Ultimately the fiends learn
how to make others fear them, as it is their best defense. Crafts,
Medicine, Science, Intimidation, Persuasion, and Brawl are
common. Social merits are often of great use to a Tzimisce, and
the Haven merit is particularly useful.
Bloodline Disciplines: Animalism, Dominate, Resilience, Vi-
Weakness: Like Ventrue, the Tzimisce are prone to de-
rangements as they degenerate (which is quite common): they
often are haunted by agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disor-
der, or megalomania. In addition, the Tzimisce’s player loses
one die from all pools for every day that the character fails to
sleep in her special earth (“special,” because the earth must be
from an area important to the character — birthplace, grave
site, etc. The specifics vary from Tzimisce to Tzimisce, but any
given character has only one such site). This modifier cannot
grow larger than –5, but once it reaches this point it persists
until the character has spent a full night in at least two hand-
fuls of appropriate soil.
Organization: Tzimisce are not known for working well to-
gether unless there is a common enemy. In that case, they can
be quite effective, but without some kind of overarching need
to combine forces they quickly fall back into petty bickering
and war for power. On the other hand, sire/childer relationships
are quite strong, as the pecking order is usually quite estab-
lished and not prone to changing. Many sires force their childer
into Vinculum early on to secure their loyalty for all time.
Theoretically, every Tzimisce has his place in the Voivodate.
Practically, the need for privacy means the Voivodes don’t have
much say in the night-to-night business of the Fiends. Never-
theless, the old ways are respected. The Voivodes act as spiritu-
al leaders for the Fiends, whether they be Invictus, Acolytes,
Dragons or Sanctified. Under the Voivodes, the other Tzimisce
are considered vassals. The leadership of the entire bloodline
lies in the hand of the Voivode of Voivodes. Regional leaders
are Knézi and the warlocks of the Voivodate are referred to as
Koldunic sorcerers. Powerful Tzimisce have an advisory role in
Voivodate politics. Every Fiend over 150 years old becomes one
of the Szlachta, a noble council advising the Voivodes and
Concepts: Crime lord, sociopath, antiquated nobility, corpo-
rate profiteer, driven professor, obsessive occultist, modern war-
lock, yuppie psycho, cenobite wannabe, butcher, mad scientist.
The myth of their origin is told thusly:
“When the Eldest came to Eastern Europe, the land spit him out.
The beasts hunted him and the forest rose up against him. The Eld-
est was a powerful Fiend, but not equipped to fight the land itself. In
his despair he cried out a name he knew from his mortal life: Kupala.
This was the name of a god, a devil, or a powerful spirit. The na-
ture of Kupala is lost now, because the Eldest was the last one who
knew the secrets of his people, a tribe he slaughtered after his em-
brace. How this tribe knew of Kupala and where they lived is as
mysterious as the name of the Eldest and the nature of Kupala him-
Kupala answered the call and stepped over the mountains that
separated this world from the next. Where he entered this realm, he
left a crater. This crater is still a holy site to the Koldún. He spoke to
the Eldest in a long lost language and taught him the magic of the
elements. And with this magic the Eldest conquered the land, and we
inherited it from him. So it became our land, till the day Kupala
arises and the stars go out.”
J|t )ãt| tr )rTtr
The origin of the bloodline is clouded in myth. The only thing
that is sure about the birth of the Tzimisce is that it occurred
around the Baltic region sometime earlier than 653 A.D. Most
elders point to a document from this year as proof of their an-
cient claim to their lands. The document in question is ad-
dressed to the Camarilla of Byzantium and describes a “mon-
strous and horrifying creature drinking [the] blood of the pa-
gans in Transdanubia” [modern-day Hungary]. This report goes
on to the describe a cult based around this creature, a vampire
that could mold its own body and the bodies of its servants.
The Tzimisce don’t appear in the scant documentation from
the following period, and only gained their infamy far later,
when Teutonic Ventrue from Die Unbesiegt tried to wrestle the
Baltic region from the Fiends’ grasp. This campaign was a land
grab by the Ventrue Hardestadt, who tried to install his own
bloodline in Lithuania. Where the crusaders conquered and
converted the last pagan kingdom of Europe, the Tzimisce
stood fast against the Christian Kindred. Die Unbesiegt didn’t
manage to establish a permanent foothold in Lithuania and the
so-called Omen War ended when the Invictus emperor refused
to give any more resources to Hardestadt.
At least, this is the way the Fiends tell the story. Invictus
scholars point to the total amnesia surrounding the emperor
and doubt that the Tzimisce would remember this so clearly.
Whatever the cause was, the war was over and the Voivodate
reigned supreme in the Baltic States and big parts of
Transdanubia. Their Koldunic sorcerers used rituals to create
many monstrous servants, an army of horrors defending the last
pagan strongholds of Europe.
1trrtirr. Oirt| t|t \rz|1
(Animalism •••••, Vicissitude •••••,
Blood Potency ••••• ••)
Cost: at least 15 ghouls
The vozhd is a war machine not seen since the war between
the Teutonic Ventrue and the Baltic Tzimisce in the Dark Ag-
es. The Tzimisce fleshcrafts the ghouls together, forging the
bodies in a single entity. The Fiend then feeds the mess of bod-
ies a mixture of the ghouls’ blood, creating a kind of proto-
vinculum among them. This bond in place, the Fiend uses An-
imalism to coalesce the minds of the ghouls into one insane and
imperfect Beast that drives the vozhd to crush or devour every-
thing in sight.
System: Roll Intelligence + Crafts + Vicissitude. The stand-
ard time is one year to create the vozhd. Subtract one month for
each success. Subtract one die for every 5 ghouls below 30 used
in the creation of the vozhd. Add one die for every 10 ghouls
over 30 used in the creation of the vozhd. If human ghouls are
used in the creation of the vozhd, the creator automatically los-
es a dot of humanity and has to roll for degeneration.
This power costs 40 experience points to learn.
O H|ãnt|rl 1ttlirt
This wouldn’t last though. The Tzimisce could not exist in
the newly Christened world and slowly the Voivodate ceded
ground to the Invictus and the Lancea Sanctum. From the
North, the Circle of the Crone also appeared. They used the
same practices that the cults of the Voivodate used, but they
weren’t exclusive to one lineage. The numerical superiority and
inclusiveness managed to draw far more members to the cove-
nants and the Voivodate could no longer control the Baltic
Region around 1300 A.D. Transdanubia was lost way before
that time, at the end of the Omen War.
Today, the Voivodate isn’t big enough to be covenant and
membership in it does no longer exclude membership in the
Invictus or any other covenant. The decline of the Voivodate
also has another cause. During the 1700’s, it still existed as a
covenant in the Baltic Region and it was powerful enough to
compete with the other covenants in most cities.
This fell apart when the Ordo Dracul appeared. They were
persecuted in a lot of Kindred domains, but the Fiends wel-
comed them with open arms. They were hungry for their secrets
and their coils. When they couldn’t get to those by force, most
joined the Ordo Dracul. Its methods and ideology appealed to
many Tzimisce, who had their own ideas about transcending
Most Fiends who joined the Ordo Dracul still retained their
vassalage to the Voivodate. Since the Ordo Dracul wasn’t a
fully formed covenant yet, this wasn’t an exceptional occur-
rence. Only when the Dragons became more powerful did
membership in the Ordo become more important than the
The final nail in the coffin for the Voivodes was the power
wielded by the Ordo Dracul in Transylvania and the other an-
cestral lands of the Tzimisce. Many Fiends traveled back to the
domains they were chased out of centuries earlier. Of course
the fog of ages obscured many claims to land, but the Ordo
Dracul welcomed every new ally they could get in those first
decades of its existence.
]trit. \rirr1ãtt Htãtrs (• tr •••••)
Status in the Voivodate acts as social bonus dice against
Tzimisce in some situations. Additionally, anyone with dots in
Voivodate Status can buy the Domain and Retainer merits for
half price. This bonus only applies after character creation and
can only be used in a situation where the Voivodate is distinct
as a covenant. Kindred with dots in Voivodate status have ac-
cess to Koldunic Sorcery, the magic created or stolen by the
Tzimisce in time past.
J|t Jzinistt Ot|tnrt|s
Vozhd are gigantic lobotomized amalgamations of many lesser
ghouls, at least two stories tall and weighing almost six tons.
Their very bodies are implements of destruction, covered as
they are with mouths full of razor-sharp teeth, six-foot bone
spikes jutting out at every possible angle and tentacles to draw
prey into their reach. These creatures have little intelligence,
are notoriously too enraged to control reliably and have but one
use: to destroy everything in sight.
The creation of such a monstrosity requires at least 15 crea-
tures, though some include well over 30. The Ordo Dracul
chapterhouse in Vienna houses an account of a vozhd created
from 100 ghouls contributed by six different Fiends. The pro-
cess of becoming a vozhd invariably drives the component be-
ings insane; to circumvent this, the victims are usually loboto-
mized via Vicissitude before the gestalten assembly occurs.
Animals, as well as humans, can be used to create these
beasts. In the Old World, most Tzimisce who knew the proper
rituals used wolves, goats and falcons, even the horses and live-
stock of their subjects when other animals were scarce. Few
Tzimisce know how to create vozhdi in the modern nights, but
in Riga, rumors persist of a titanic monstrosity composed of
human bodies mingled with household pets, sea creatures and
thousands of smaller animals such as rats or snakes.
To create a vozhd, the Fiend fleshcrafts the ghouls together
into something like a cohesive entity. Perhaps she forms all the
ghoul’s skeletons into one structure then wraps it with the
ghouls’ flesh and organs. Though the process can take months,
the Fiend must hurry because these broken creatures, not yet
one entity, require constant infusions of vitae to prevent death
from shock. Still, a certain amount of prolonged suffering is
necessary to give the resulting vozhd the proper rage.
Once the construction is complete, the Tzimisce feeds the
ghouls a concoction of blood drawn from each of them, in ef-
fect creating a blood bond among all the minds that will even-
tually become the vozhd. Building upon this bond, the Fiend
must coalesce the minds within into a single, albeit broad and
Even at the height of the clan’s dominance in the Baltic na-
tions, few Tzimisce knew the proper ritual and fewer still re-
sorted to the creation of such uncontrollable wrecking ma-
chines. In the modern nights, most Tzimisce think the vozhdi
extinct and too big of a Masquerade violation to recreate.
Attributes: Intelligence 1, Wits 2, Resolve 3, Strength 8, Dex-
terity 2, Stamina 6, Presence 0, Manipulation 0, Composure 3
Skills: Brawl 2, Intimidation 5, Survival 4
Defense: 2 (highest of Wits or Dexterity)
Speed: 15 (species factor 5)
Disciplines: Resilience 4, Vigor 5
Vitae/per Turn: 20/2
Type Damage Dice Pool
Bite or Claw 0 (L) 10
Slam 0 (B)* 10
* Special: Knockdown (See the World of Darkness Rulebook,
Attempts to influence a vozhd with Animalism carry a −3
penalty. This penalty is raised to −5 if the character attempting
the Animalism isn’t one of the vozhd’s creators. A vozhd cannot
use any weapons, but might deal lethal damage, depending on
its parts. A vozhd follows the rules for ghouls laid out in the
Vampire: The Requiem rulebook. Keep in mind that a being
as single mindedly aggressive as a vozhd will get violent if denied
Vicissitude can be found on pp. 35-36 of Vampire Transla-
Another version of Vicissitude can be found on pp. 3-6 of
Mike McConnell’s Tzimisce, which includes suggested success
thresholds for extended actions and penalties for instant ac-
Transviscera can be found on pp. 9-11 of Paul O’Connell’s
The Strigoi, which rebalances the discipline and changes the
fourth and fifth dots into devotions.
(Dominate •••••, Vicissitude •••••)
This power allows a vampire to become insubstantial and
physically enter a host, controlling them from within like an
Cost: 1 Vitae, 1 Willpower.
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Intimidation + Dominate versus
The vampire must be in blood form, and must surround a tar-
get. There is no “discreet” way of doing this other than doing it
in a secluded area, as victims will panic and scream as they fight
back. This facilitates the physical union of the vampire in the
body, as it enters any available orifice.
The Conquering Blood is different from Possession, in that
the possession is rapid and unstable, and leaves the victim some
willpower. The physical presence of the vampire in all parts of
the victim’s bloodstream allows him to overwhelm what’s left.
Dramatic Failure: The vampire becomes a prisoner inside the
target’s body, vaguely able to perceive what he does but unable
to leave. The vampire may attempt to escape with a Resolve +
Stamina roll, maximum of one per hour. Tales tell of foolish
vampires who were trapped only to free themselves too close to
dawn to find safety.
Failure: If the victim acquires more successes, it resists the
Success: If the vampire acquires more successes, it takes pos-
session of the victim for a number of hours equal to its success-
es. Subtract its successes from the victim’s willpower. The result
is the number of times per hour that a victim can attempt to
Exceptional Success: As per Success, but the vampire may
re-enter the same target at a later night without spending a
This power costs 30 experience points to learn.
Note: If using the rules for Transviscera, this devotion re-
quires Body of the Sanguine Humor as a prerequisite.
|i1ir] t|t Hrrl
(Auspex ••, Obfuscate ••, Vicissitude •••)
The Aura is a byproduct of the body. Change the body,
change the soul. The body’s experiences can be summed up in
the aura, but this phenomenon is the product of physical forces.
By crafting certain locations on the body a Tzimisce can “paint”
whatever aura he chooses. Auras summarize the individual,
revealing the emotions, the Curse and even the stain of diable-
This power lasts for a scene, after that time, the aura goes
back to its original colors.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Wits + Subterfuge + Vicissitude
— Change the shade of the Aura (bright or weak)
-1 Change the primary color of the Aura
-2 Change the other colors in the Aura
-3 Conceal the Curse or the stain of diablerie
-4 Conceal the Curse and the stain of diablerie
This power costs 21 experience points to learn.
Crt|ãir t|t urãt||rl Otãst
(Animalism •••••, Vicissitude •••••)
A Fiend with this power may release and temporarily enhance
the beast inside of another Kindred, whereupon it immediately
sets about warping flesh and bone to better accommodate its
monstrousness. The hapless host writhes in agony, skin slough-
ing off and muscles boiling into new and terrible forms. Once
the change settles, the host frenzies as a terrible living weapon,
wreaking a swath of carnage until the vampire bids the beast to
Cost: 2 Vitae, 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Manipulation + Empathy + Animalism versus
subject’s Composure + Blood Potency
The subject is forced to spend two Vitae as an instant action
to painfully transform into the Horrid Form (this takes two
turns if the subject can only spend 1 Vitae/turn) and then at-
tacks all those nearby in frenzy. The physical changes return to
normal after the frenzy calms down. Leashing the Beast can end
the frenzy (and the effects of this power) prematurely, as nor-
This power costs 30 experience points to learn.
Note: If using the rules for Transviscera, this devotion re-
quires Form of the Zulo Beast as a prerequisite.
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