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Dark Ages Companion, Vampire: the Dark Ages, Dark Ages: Vampire, Clanbook: Cappadocian and Clanbook: Giovanni. Extra thanks to Jakob Klünder and Justin Achilli for their wonderful work on the Cappadocians that predates my own.
Written By: John Dearing
Matters of the Body
The history of your Clan is not as you know it. Records have been falsified and remained that way because, as far as your elders know, there is no one left who knows the truth. But your elders are not the only ones of great age and knowledge. My bloodline runs parallel to your own, back as far as the Second City. They converge on Ashur, sometimes called Cappadocius. You have lived thinking yourself a member of his Clan. You are his stooge. Read and learn the greater truths of the Family of Ashur.
The First City
The history of Clan Cappadocian in the First City is virtually non-existent. What I managed to gather is only from third and fourth hand accounts given to my sire and his sire by elders of the other Clans. I have learned that Ashur was the youngest of the Third Generation, last to be Embraced before Caine’s edict that outlawed the creation of further vampires. He lived as a hermit and a scholar within the city until it’s destruction during the Flood. At times, his brothers Saulot and Malkav would visit him to ask for his opinion on this subject or that; even Caine consulted him on matters of the dead. Aside from advice there was precious little the strange, morbid scholar offered his siblings and elders. He ventured out of seclusion to question Enoch and Caine, Irad and Zillah. One of my references suggests that he even went in search of Lilith. Ashur spoke with the Crone and with the mortal herds, always seeking answers to his eternal questions. That was what drove him: questions. Ever seeking to understand the state in which he found himself and how it functioned. Seeking to understand the world, the worlds beyond this one and everything else. But most of all, he sought to understand death because he thought that by understanding it, he could master it and gain life eternal without the Curse of Caine. He thought that by doing that, achieving that denied to humanity and all others, he could transcend. Malkav was not the only one of the Third
The First Cappadocian
Though no Clan history records her existence, the first vampire Embraced by Ashur still lives. In mortal life she was a simple peasant woman who dwelt in the Second City. She was not spectacular or even interesting. She herself has forgotten her name and her life as a living woman. The founder came upon her without care for her identity, slit her throat with his fangs and allowed the blood to drain from her body into the dirt. Her Embrace was an experiment to see if she would come into unlife bearing knowledge of death if he let her languish, bloodless, for as long as possible before she slipped beyond his grasp. The experiment failed. The young woman was gifted with foresight like her sire, but no special knowledge came to her because of her long sleep before undeath. Through her visions, the woman survived her sire’s rage and the riots at the end of the Second City. She slipped from the city in the nights before the Third Generation slew their sires, disappearing from the chronicles of Cainite history. Nameless and alone, she wanders the world to this night. Generation to be insane. When the Flood came and wiped away the mortals and the lesser vampires sired in secret by the Second and Third Generations, Ashur noted only that his work had been disrupted. At the insistence of his brothers and sisters he went with them to found the Second City.
The Second City
The records you have seen previously, those so carefully tended by Japheth and Constancia, say that during the nights of the Second City our founder sired no childer. He, alone of all the members of the Third
Generation, remained aloof from the mortal herds and ignored the burning desire to sire his own progeny. These tales are lies, as are most stories of the Antediluvians. It was during the nights of the Second City that the true roots of Ashur’s bloodlines were set down. His later childer, that being you and yours, were never told of the events in the Second City for they shamed Ashur and made him appear foolish. Out of sight of the others Ashur sired on a whim, for any need. Most of those sired by Ashur were ordinary folk chosen for experiments. He desired to see what would happen if he attempted to Embrace a man dying of mortal wounds, a woman during a lunar eclipse or if he used blood secretly stolen from his elders. Many of his experiments failed, but a few succeeded and from them, he gained insight. Of those experiments that failed, many of the would-be vampires died as a result of the circumstances of their Embrace or under Ashur’s fangs for disappointing him. Some survived to roam the streets of the
Age and paranoia play a large part in the difficulty of finding the true name of any Antediluvian. Even beings of such great power fear that their names could be used against them and are in a position to see such things do not occur. Virtually all references to the Clan Founders refer to them only by the name of the Clans they have sired. The Founder of the Clan of Death is somewhat different. Cappadocius, as he is called, makes no secret of his mortal name. In life, he was Ashur. Why he would make his name common knowledge when the rest of his Generation go to lengths to hide theirs is sometimes a matter for suspicion. Could Ashur actually be a rival of Cappadocius that the Antediluvian is seeking to direct his enemies towards?
Second City, uncertain of their purpose, without direction. Ashur paid little attention to his childer, so they were free to do as they willed and, of course, they created their own progeny. At first they created few enough, but eventually the discarded brood swelled with lovers, family members, friends and servants. It was a period of confusion, impulse and rash action. It would have spiraled out of control but for the treachery of the Third Generation. Our founder was not, as Constancia’s translations of the Erciyes Fragments say, peripherally involved with the destruction of the Second Generation. My best sources tell he was the leader of those who attacked and destroyed Enoch. Ashur envied Enoch’s powers of perception and his knowledge of things passed to dust before Ashur was born. He envied the favor Caine showed to Enoch and how the Dark Father, one who had heard the Voice of God and seen the visages of archangels, shared confidences with his favored son. Filled with envy, Ashur conspired with the others of the Third Generation and set upon his sire. Malkav was his principal ally, using his unique powers to batter down the elder’s defenses so that Ashur and Set could slay him. As Enoch died at the hands of Ashur and his companions, the other childer of Caine were attacked by their progeny. In the chaos, the children of the rebels ran riot. The elders ignored their children, as busy parents will sometimes do, until the children rallied around a strong leader and dragged down one of the Third Generation. None of my sources could name this leader or even cite his bloodline and only one, a Malkavian, would venture to guess if he survived or was himself destroyed. On the word of a Madman, the leader of that ancient rabble survives to this very night, leading a Clan of his own making and none of us know him from the true Founders.
I have often wondered which one of the Clans that stand today is an imposter. Common knowledge holds there are thirteen clans and I know of only twelve siblings of Ashur. Despite my best efforts, I have never learned which Clan is lead by a usurper, nor have I ever determined why the other Founders did not destroy that usurper. When Caine returned and found his childer dead, he was enraged. Ashur and the other Founders were punished, cursed forever so strongly that their curses resound in the blood of those of us descended from them. After he had cursed his grandchildren and laid down warning that someday he would come amongst them again and punish them if he found they had once more acted in such a way, Caine departed. After the curse was laid upon him, Ashur flew into a rage. Those few vampires who had not been slain by Caine or taken away by the other Founders to serve them in their exile were set upon by the raging Antediluvian. He destroyed them all and then disappeared into the wilderness. From my sire and others of his
The elders of Clan Cappadocian, especially the Eldest of them, are an oddity among vampires for their fitful, restless periods of Torpor. The ancients of other Clans may fall into the deathlike sleep of Cainites for centuries or millennia without rousing. Cappadocians are lucky to sleep a mere handful of years before strange dreams and visions pull them to awareness. These periods of wakefulness may last seconds or even decades. Ashur’s influence on his Clan is stronger than that of most of the other Antediluvians partly because of this fitful sleep. Unlike the other Founders, he wakes from his slumber and commands his Clan to march to the tune of his strange visions and dreams.
age, I have learned that many of the bastard vampires had fled the City long before the night of the Antediluvian’s treachery. These refugees scattered across the world, caring little for the activities of other vampires.
A Slow Progression
Clan Cappadocian is often considered the youngest of the Clans, aside from the upstart Tremere. While our Founder is the youngest of the Third Generation, that is not the source of the belief. In truth, your Clan did not come into being until a scant thousand years before Christ. Until then, only the few remnants of the Second City’s forgotten brood reminded the world that Ashur even existed, for the Antediluvian himself disappeared from the sight of his kind shortly after the fall of the Second City. For centuries after the destruction of the Second City, Ashur wandered without destination, searching out any lead he thought would give information about his ultimate goal, the understanding of death and the unliving condition. In the lands of his mortal life, Ashur found three scholars who became his closest confidants and traveling companions. Caias Koine came first, followed shortly by Japheth and Lazarus. Within the space of a century all three of the recorded childer of Ashur were Embraced. The little gathering of four scholars grew over time as more worthy seekers were drawn into undeath to aid in the quest for knowledge. Ashur himself did no further siring and encouraged moderation among his three chosen childer, but he made no edict against further conversions. The ancient traveled with his progeny for only a few decades before he struck out on his own, leaving yet another brood of Cappadocians to fend for themselves. The travels of the founder are ill-recorded after he separated from the Clan, but what few tales
I have collected say that Ashur roamed far in all directions. There were sightings of the deathpale elder in the heart of Africa, even as far as the homelands of the Ravnos in Asia and along the borders of the territory of the Cathayans. While their sire disappeared into the far reaches of Creation, the childer of Ashur followed the path he had set for them. Each of the three eventually created their own broods and separated to pursue their own version of the quest for understanding. Caias remained close to his mortal home, never straying far beyond what is now the Holy Land. Some say he spent centuries searching for the location of the First and Second Cities, to see what could be discovered among the ruins. Around the 7th century before Christ, Caias and his small group of followers became instrumental in the establishment of the underground cities that would later become the sanctuaries of the Clan. They kept to themselves, ignoring and being ignored by the ruling Cainites. Many of them settled in the underground facilities, finding the lack of sunlight and contained environment perfectly suited for their needs and their experiments. Eventually the rest of the Clan would follow their lead. Japheth traveled into Europe where he explored the Mediterranean coast. He roamed as far as the Iberian peninsula, where he found hospitality for a time with the Lasombra Montano. One of his trips to the mountains of Spain would eventually yield his first and most famous childe, Constancia. The furthest reach of his travels took him to England, where Japheth befriended Mithras, an ancient of Clan Ventrue. Among the people of the small town that would one day become London, Japheth found and Embraced a man you know as Lord Camden, seneschal to Mithras. Of the three Clan Elders, Japheth created the fewest childer. Despite their small numbers, Japheth’s brood was responsible for creating most of the political connections that
would serve to establish Cappadocian as one of the High Clans of Europe. The black sheep of Ashur’s childer, Lazarus, created the largest group of followers. The land of Egypt has never been friendly to vampires other than the Followers of Set, largely due to the presences of the Followers themselves. Somehow, Lazarus came to terms with the Followers or possibly even Set himself. He and his childer made their homes in the lands of the Nile, studying the magic of a culture rich in the lore of the dead. What deals enabled their studies to continue unmolested have never been reported. The Lazerenes were men of faith, many embraced the complex pantheons of Egypt, Greece and Rome as their own faiths. Perhaps those who sided with the Setites in religious matters were able to procure safety and solitude for their brothers. In some ways, the three sons of Ashur represent the three most common faces of your
Clan. Caias, who walked (some say founded) the Road of the Bones, lead his childer in the study of death and dying. Japheth and many of his followers were ardent supporters of the Road of Kings and they forged powerful political alliances in their travels, offering their services as advisors and soothsayers. Lazarus was the only one among the three to walk the Road of Heaven, though rumor says he eventually abandoned it for the Road of the Serpent. Regardless, the followers of Lazarus provided the Clan with a depth of faith and spirituality unmatched among the undead.
A New Home
The First Revelation
After centuries of wandering the world, seeking the answer to the great mystery of death and finding nothing, Ashur despaired. He sank into Torpor and waited for the end of all things to reveal to him the meaning behind his questions. This was not to be. While he slept in the earth of his homeland, he was given a vision. An angel, wreathed in holy flames, came to him in the vision and told him that it was the will of God Himself that Ashur’s quest succeed, that the answers to his questions be made known. Ashur protested that he was too weak to continue on. In response, the angel cut its arm on its fiery blade and let the blood drip down its arm and into Ashur’s mouth. The blood burned him at the same time as it filled him with strength and vigor. He burst from the ground and set about calling his Clan to his side to tell them of this grand vision.
Wakened from slumber by his Revelation, Ashur called to his childer, urging them to gather and hear of the truths given to him in the vision. From across the world, the pallid vampires streamed to Anatolia. Villagers cowered in their homes as hundreds upon hundreds of corpse-skinned monsters passed through their streets. Should this march have been made of any group less dedicated to their purpose, every village along their way would have been drained dry. The deathly army gathered in the lands of Cappadocia, the homeland of the Founder. News of the Revelation spread through the gathered Clan. Hearing that their Antediluvian, and by extension their whole Clan, was protected by God gave many of the Graverobbers a revived sense of purpose and dedication. The faith with which the Founder spoke resounded in their minds and hearts. After the Revelation became common knowledge among the Clan, Christianity became almost universal among the Clan of Death. The followers of Lazarus were a notable exception, for many of them clung to their previous faiths despite the news and departed the Clan once the meeting
was complete. United in faith and purpose, the remaining vampires decided they required a symbol of their dedication and a place to explore their destiny. Under the leadership of Caias Koine, the Graverobbers descended upon an all but forgotten monastery on the slopes of Mount Erciyes. In a single night, all of the more than four hundred mortal inhabitants were slain by the morbid scholars and priests who had been called from their homes. The single Cainite resident of the monastery was unable to resist the massed power of the Cappadocians. The Malkavian named Algol fell, accused of heresy and deception. In truth, he had done nothing except dwell in the wrong monastery at the wrong time. The slaughtered monks were raised as corpse servants and set to work rebuilding their former home. In a matter of months, the monastery at Erciyes was torn down to the foundations, then rebuild to suit the purposes of the Cappadocians. Massive dungeons and catacombs were excavated in the depths of the mountain, the monastery was enlarged to three times its former size and filled with libraries, mausoleums and studies. The new temple became the center of the Clan’s learning. Once the task was complete, the Cappadocians returned to their ordinary ways, though many of the vampires refused to go back to their distant homes. The underground cities that Caias and his followers had helped create swelled with the numbers of relocated Graverobbers. For centuries, the Cappadocians labored in hermetic existence, hiding away in their underground refuges. After hearing the Revelation of their Founder, the leaders of the Clan extended the safety of their havens to the persecuted Christians. The Clan as a whole withdrew from the affairs of Cainites. Once common across Europe and the Holy Land, the pallid advisors and scholars were seen now only rarely.
A Time of Isolation
With the great importance of the Temple at Erciyes, few other enclaves were created during the centuries following the First Revelation. The Lamia, who came into being shortly after the First Revelation, were a notable exception. Their isolated temple is still the second largest outpost of the Clan. After Lamia and her priestesses presented themselves to the elders of the Clan, they retreated back to their home, leaving behind a few bodyguards as a token of respect and loyalty. The Lazarenes largely severed their connection with the main Clan after they retreated from the news of the First Revelation in skepticism, returning to Egypt. Laboring in their underground homes, the Cappadocians pushed their research to new heights. During this period, the Clan reached its greatest heights in many ways, not least of which was numbers. The addition of the Lamia into their ranks was only part of the growth of the Clan. In their zeal to push back the frontiers of knowledge, the Graverobbers brought many into their ranks who offered new perspectives on the great mysteries. Warriors, alchemists, philosophers, even murderers. In many ways your Clan returned to the practices of Ashur in the days of the Second City; experimental Embraces, spreading the Curse of Caine for whatever reason struck their fancy.
than half the Cappadocians who laired in their city. The screams of his dying childer roused the Founder. When he saw the state of his Clan, he flew into a rage. Through his combined mastery of Auspex and Dominate he issued a call to all who shared his blood. They came, more than ten thousand of them. Only a few, scattered far from the center of the Clan, resisted the call. When the ten thousand were finally gathered, Ashur came to them, asking questions. Who among the gathered multitudes did not follow the Road of Heaven? Who among them could not read and write? Who among them had never contributed to the construction or design of a temple or church? Who among them had never sought the answers to the great mysteries? With each question, those who could not answer truthfully ‘yes’ were sent into the caverns of Kaymakli. Eventually the throngs
Exceptions to the Questions
The Feast of Folly
The mortals of the underground cities were driven to desperation by years of morbid experiments, constant feedings and sickness from close proximity to ill-preserved corpses. The weight of the ever-growing Cappadocian Clan was a burden they could no longer bear. Even in the darkness of the caverns, the vampires were still forced into dormancy for at least a few hours each day. The mortals of Derinkuyu rose up during the day and slew more
According to legend, one of the questions asked involved the Road of Heaven, yet some of the Clan’s most powerful elders follow the Road of the Bones and they were not locked in the depths of Kaymakli. Were they all mysteriously absent from the culling, or were the questions recorded incorrectly? No. The simple truth is that Ashur’s punishment was not based on any set of questions, but rather his own inscrutable ideas of ‘worthiness’ and ability to contribute to his quest for answers and power. Did you really expect an Antediluvian to be fair and unbiased about how he decimated his bloodline for the second time?
of Cappadocians displaced the mortal residents of the city. When the last of those who could not answer Ashur’s questions descended into the caverns, Ashur bade Caias and Japheth to seal the city. As the great stone door was rolled into place, the Founder placed a sigil of his blood upon the entrance and laid a curse. By his power, no childe of Caine would ever leave the city and no son of Seth would ever enter.
The Second Revelation
After laying his curse on the vampires trapped in Kaymakli, Ashur returned to Torpor. In his slumber, a vision came to him. He saw the Crucifixion, with himself in the place of Christ. As he hung on the cross, Japheth and Caias probed at his wounds with their fingers while an infinite throng of mortals howled in grief at the base of the hill. Ashur interprets this vision as telling him that he must sacrifice himself for the good of all humanity. He has determined that in order to save the human race, he must achieve Godhead. His researches have revealed to him that if he attains a state of utter peace and partakes of the blood and body of God, he can take the Throne of the Creator. In other words, he believes that if he achieves Golconda and Diablerizes God, he can become God and bring all of humanity into Heaven.
Return to Europe
After the entrance to Kaymakli was sealed, the remaining vampires were horrified. In short order, the remnants of your Clan fled from Anatolia, leaving only the most dedicated behind in the temple at Erciyes. The land that had once been home to thousands of the morbid scholars was almost deserted by them. Once the Cappadocians had been as alien
to European courts as the Assamites, but now they are every bit as accepted as the Brujah or Lasombra. How quickly even immortals change their views. With the unity of Erciyes and the underground cities destroyed, Graverobbers scattered across the world. Alone or in small groups they settled where it pleased them; began their experiments and researches once more. Either as a result of having escaped judgment so narrowly or because the only survivors of the Feast were those whose views matched Ashur’s, the Graverobbers embraced the Church fiercely upon their return to Europe. The number of Cappadocian priests, monks, abbots and friars surged. Unlike the Lasombra, only interested in the highest levels of the Church and the power offered there, your Clan infiltrated every level of the Church, Catholic and Orthodox alike. The various heresies and cults of Europe attract even more Cappadocians than the main stream versions of Christianity. Understandable enough given the dubious status of Cainites under the Gospel. Virtually every church and monastery has at one point or another harbored one of your brethren, if it does not do so now. As Ashur’s childer returned to Europe, they rekindled old alliances. Japheth’s brood had forged strong ties with many of the rulers of the greatest cities and fiefs. Chief among such ties was the famous alliance between Cappadocian and Ventrue. Personified by the friendship between Mithras of London and his seneschal, Lord Camden, the relationship between Graverobber and Patrician is a symbiotic one. In exchange for the shelter of Ventrue courts, financial and political backing, you provide them with counsel, the fruits of your research and expertise in the dark arts. Arrangements are made with other rulers, but the Ventrue and the Cappadocians have a special alliance.
The Those Who Escaped
Those who refused, or were unable, to answer Ashur’s call to the Feast of Folly have become known as the Infitiores. After learning of the events at Kaymakli, those who did not respond to the summoning almost universally severed ties with the Clan. Unsure if they would have been locked away in the city-sized tomb, the Infitiores resented Ashur and those who remained free. The largest group of Infitiores are the followers of Lazarus. Only a handful of the reclusive Lazarenes stirred from their havens in Egypt to attend the convocation and all of them were locked within the city. After the Feast, Caias Koine traveled to the banks of the Nile to learn why Lazarus and his followers had rebelled against the wishes of their sire. What words passed between them are lost to history, but the two clashed in spectacular fashion. There are tales that the fury of their battle caused the Nile to flow in reverse for a full year. Only through the use of the dark arts he had learned from the Setites did Lazarus prevail and destroy his elder brother. Even in victory, Lazarus may have been defeated for he sank into Torpor and has not been heard from since.
During the return to Europe, the Cappadocians settled heavily along the Mediterranean coast, especially in Turkey, Spain and Italy. It was in Italy, specifically in Venice, that the Cappadocians discovered something most fascinating. A merchant family tracing its history back to Rome had parlayed a minor talent for sorcery into a flourishing trade empire. Through the dark art of necromancy, these Giovanni mastered blackmail and espionage through the eyes
The Tragedy of Father Eustace
In the late 11th century, a Cappadocian known as Father Eustace assumed responsibility for the parish of a small town between Toulouse and Tours. He was beloved by his flock, guiding his parish with firm but fair demeanor, and promising the vast rewards of Heaven to those who accepted the bounty of Christ. He also promised the torments of Hell to those who strayed from the path, as any good priest should. As Eustace involved himself more and more in the lives of his flock, they grew to love him. He radiated an aura of calm and piety. Those who attended his midnight masses marked his pallor as a strange stigmata that signified his closeness to God. Even his confessions, held in sacred privacy, induced near-rapture in the confessors. In the end, Eustace’s popularity proved his undoing. At the beginning of a particularly promising harvest, the adoring flock gathered at his church. Convinced that the benevolence of God stemmed from this most pious servant, a crowd of peasants demanded to see the good father. Unswayed by the brothers’ warnings that the father could not be disturbed by day, the throng surged into Eustace’s quarters, taking up the sleeping priest and marching in a gay procession into the street, cheering all the way. Of course, no sooner did the crowd expose the sleeping priest to the sun than he burst into flame, consumed in moments by the touch of its unforgiving rays. To this night, Father Eustace is remembered in the town and revered as a saint, taken back to God’s bosom by the ignorance of the unruly crowd. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.
Matters of Blood
When August Giovanni was Embraced, both Japheth and Constancia protested strongly against giving him the boon of Ashur’s own blood, if he must be Embraced at all. Unheeding of their caution, Ashur ordered them to proceed in harvesting blood from his torpid form and using it to sire the necromancer. Unable to refuse their beloved Founder, the elders complied. Each of them, however, worked a safeguard into the process. Japheth is said to have cursed the blood used to Embrace Augustus, damning the recipient of the blood’s power to be visited by his sins whenever he fed. Constancia oversaw the draining of Augustus’ mortal blood and set aside a quantity of the fluid in a sealed vessel. The Giovanni patron remains ignorant of both actions. If he knew of either the curse or the secret vessel of his mortal blood, surely he would bend all his efforts to undoing the work of the elders, for they represent a grave threat to him. and ears of the dead. Such arts intrigued the Cappadocians who discovered them. Though in the past your Clan has spoken with the dead on occasion, the Giovanni took such things to a level unprecedented in your experience. Excited by the discovery of a cabal of organized, well-educated, fantastically wealthy and ruthlessly cutthroat family of necromancers, the Italian Cappadocians set an emissary to Erciyes to communicate their find. In days, they received a reply in the form of visions that came during their daily slumber. They heard the call of Ashur, directing them to make an offer to the patriarch of the Giovanni. Augustus, as greedy and cutthroat a mercenary as ever walked the Earth, quickly accepted the offer of the Cappadocians and was spirited away to Erciyes. Offered immortality, the blood of an Antediluvian as his sire, power and prestige
unmatched in these modern nights, Augustus Giovanni negotiated. That alone should give you some idea of his personality. The negotiations went on for some nights, but terms were reached shortly once the value of Ashur’s blood was made clear to the proud old merchant. As per the terms of his Embrace, Augustus was allowed to sire several of his closest confidants and relations. Others of the family were brought over by less powerful Cappadocians. With the Giovanni joining the ranks of your Clan, new opportunities have arisen. The research into death and the soul can now reach beyond the moment of demise. The restless dead themselves can offer insight into the great mysteries. Ghosts of scholars, scientists and philosophers long past can be questioned and interviewed. Now your Clan stands divided. Some call the dark arts of the Giovanni blasphemy of the worst sort, others cry that it is the more important advancement the Clan has made since the discovery of Mortis itself.
The Third Revelation
Not long after the Giovanni joined the ranks of Clan Cappadocian, Ashur experienced his third and most powerful Revelation. He saw himself burning, the fire spreading to all who shared his blood. As the Clan burned, he saw mysterious figures standing in the smoke, laughing at the destruction. As the fire consumed the last of him, a single spark rose from Ashur’s body and ascended into Heaven. Startled from his sleep, Ashur fled his resting place and since then has only been seen in the dream visions that he uses to communicate with his most trusted childer.
Now your Clan knows they are doomed, but has there ever been any question? Twice in history, Ashur himself has destroyed virtually all of his bloodline. Is it at all surprising that the third time will be final? Well, some survived Ashur’s first purge through his ignorance. Some survived the second purge through his selfish desire for assistants and servants. Who knows what mechanism might allow some to survive this third doom? Despite, or possibly because of, the lessons of history, your Clan carries on as it always has. Once again your numbers swell, you involve yourselves in the affairs of the world and seek answers to your endless little questions. The Clan buzzes with talk of your impending doom, but unlife goes on. For a while, at least. The knowledge of certain doom taints every endeavor of your brethren, no matter how they struggle to ignore it. The growing power of the Tremere has raised a number of questions among Graverobbers. If such a well-loved Clan as the Salubri can be hunted nearly to extinction, what hope is their for the Clan of Death, misunderstood and feared for their strange ways? Largely the Cappadocians are opposed to the Tremere and their plans, numerous monasteries and churches under the influence of the Cappadocians offer shelter and safety to the surviving Salubri. There is talk of forming alliance with the Tzimisce, who do after all have much influence in Byzantine lands where the Cappadocians once settled heavily. The Giovanni have contributed greatly to the Cappadocians’ tenuous alliance with the Lasombra, providing an alternative to the Ventrue who many Cappadocians suspect will not be there when needed most. The Magisters may not be any more reliable, but at least the Clan will have some options when
the final nights arrive. There are rumors that the Giovanni, so recently brought into the fold, are forging the alliance with the Lasombra to spare themselves the death of their Clan. Given the jealous attitude of Augustus and his cronies, it seems unlikely the Lasombra stand much of a chance of being allowed to preserve the mortal Giovanni family against anything that befalls Clan Cappadocian, but in the end survival may win out over pride. While most of your Clan has borne the news of their fate with equanimity, some have refused to simply accept the news. Many Cappadocians have fled their havens, returning to the ancestral lands of their Clan to hide in long-abandoned underground cities or even spread beyond the frontiers of knowledge, hiding in far away lands where they hope to avoid whatever agency brings about the foretold destruction.
Matters of the Blood
Clan Cappadocian is a disparate group of vampires assembled together by their fascination with understanding. They seek it through God and through mundane means. They survive by their wits and intelligence, offering invaluable advice and a keen insight. While the Lasombra prize personal drive and lust for power and the Brujah prize a philosopher’s soul and a warrior’s heart, the Cappadocians honor the scholar’s mind, the faithful soul and a level head. As a group, the Cappadocians are devoted to understanding what has befallen them. They wish to know the how and why of the Curse of Caine. Not every Cappadocian will be eternally devoted to the grand quest to understand their place in the world, but they all wonder about it and spend some of their time in such deep thought.
Becoming a member of Clan Cappadocian is a harrowing experience, even beyond the normal trauma of the Embrace itself. For reasons long forgotten it is tradition that fledgling Cappadocians are isolated and left by themselves for a night of contemplation. Some suggest this practice harkens back to the night of devotion required for knighthood, others say it comes from some symbolic remembrance of the Founder spending a night in lifeless sleep before rising as a vampire but the elders of the Clan scoff at that. The truth is no one will, or can, say where the practice comes from, but most Cappadocians observe it. Some sires bury their childe under the earth, others lock them in a basement or crypt for the first night of unlife. If anything binds the Graverobbers together and earns them the title “Clan of Death” it is this night they all spend in the
The Long Night
Among the many reasons for the Cappadocian ritual of entombment is that Cappadocians are particularly prone to a delayed Embrace. In other Clans these aberrations are caused by thin blood but even the childer of potent Cappadocian Elders often sleep in Death’s embrace for hours or even an entire night before rising as vampires. In some cases, newly Embraced Cappadocians have rested as if dead for several nights before rising, often leading their sires to believe them truly dead and abandon them. These unfortunate vampires are forced to fight their way out of whatever entombment their sires contrived for them. Some never succeed and remain trapped, a hideous surprise for grave robbers and archaeologists.
darkness, alone with nothing but themselves and the Beast. During the entombment they are forced to wonder how it is they came to be this way, why their heart no longer beats and why they thirst so for living blood. A newborn Cappadocian must face the horror of eternity undead, confined in darkness. If the candidate survives, they are almost always left with strong memories of those deep thoughts and the remainder of their unlife is often shaped by that night. Those who cannot face the darkness go mad and either destroy themselves trying to escape or are destroyed by their sire as a mercy. Rarely a fledgling escaped from his tomb will flee his sire and ravage the countryside until put down by a mob or some other creature of the night. After the night of darkness and silence is over and the sire has determined that his childe has suffered no excessive mental or spiritual damage from the ordeal, the fledgling is considered an accepted initiate of the Clan. That is, they are accepted as the proper childe of the sire, not merely a potential candidate. As far as most Cappadocians are concerned the ritual of entombment is part of the Embrace and the process of becoming a vampire is not complete until after the ritual.
The other Clans would say that every Cappadocian spends the day hidden way in a stone crypt full of skeletons and decomposing bodies. There is some truth to such stories; those Graverobbers with sufficient mastery of Mortis can become, either in appearance or reality, little more than corpses and hide in plain sight among the truly dead. It is difficult for even the most dedicated hunter to locate one corpse among the many that fill a catacomb or graveyard. It is rather rare for a Cappadocian not to seek out at least basic knowledge of the burial places near his haven and equally rare for such sepulchers to
be the only haven a Cappadocian claims. Numerous Cappadocians make their homes in churches and monasteries, either as hidden lurkers or by in some manner inserting themselves into the structure of the Church. It is particularly difficult for the deathly pale Cappadocians to appear as mortals, adding to the already significant problems associated with vampires attempting to take on religious roles. The inability to appear during daylight ceremonies or perform duties required during the sunlight hours makes undead monks or priests the target of much suspicion. Those attempting to pass must, by necessity, make themselves allies through one means or another. Secular residences for those with means are often modified with hidden chambers, secret passages and other contrivances to allow the morbid studies of the Cappadocians to pass unnoticed. Underground facilities are particularly prized in locations where such construction is possible. Not only do underground chambers provide a naturally cool environment for the preservation of research material, which is often so lamentable perishable, but the Cappadocians remember their homes in the underground cities of Anatolia with fondness. Libraries are the most common feature of Cappadocian havens. Collections of ancient scrolls, newly-scribed books, or even just hand-scribbled fragments of notes and personal journals, Cappadocians have an almost obsessive love for written materials. Even those Graverobbers who pursue their knowledge in the field often carry a small stash of research material and notes with them. It is not uncommon for the Cappadocians of an area to establish a shared location where they collect and preserve texts for cooperative use. Such places are not as organized or formal as the chantry system of the Usurpers, but they provide some social stability for the Clan and
a common resource that wandering scholars can have access to. Often the eldest Cappadocian in the region is the keeper of such a library, which can be anything from a series of hidden cellar in a village hut to a series of restored chambers in Roman ruins.
RELIGION AMONG THE SCHOLARS
Overwhelmingly, the Cappadocians are Christian. Once, the Clan of Death embraced a multitude of religions but the Feast of Folly changed that. With the destruction of more than nine tenths of the Clan, almost every one who was left free shared Ashur’s adopted faith. Or claimed to, at any rate. Since the Feast, a sizable minority of Muslim Cappadocians have come into being in the ancestral lands of the Clan. Calling themselves the Qabilat al-Mawt, they embrace their faith every bit as strongly as their Christian brethren. Jewish Cappadocians are an even smaller group than the Qabilat al-Mawt; they are elders who were spared the Feast through deception or exception. A few have been Embraced more recently for exceptional knowledge or skill not found elsewhere by their sires. Cappadocians who follow pagan faiths, or no faith at all, are rare beyond imagination. If any of them do exist beyond the walls of Kaymakli, they hide in plain sight, taking lessons from their mortal fellows. The fear of their fellows deciding to re-enact Ashur’s judgment keeps their beliefs behind closed lips.
STRUCTURE OF THE CLAN
Given the scattered nature of the Cappadocians after the Feast of Folly, there is little in the way of formal hierarchy among the Graverobbers. Honor is given to the elders of
the Clan and the greatest scholars among them, even more to those who have made significant advancements in Mortis. Aside from such common courtesies, the Clan tends to congregate in small groups formed around elders who have settled in a region. This elder will typically be the sire of several, if not all, of the vampires who live in his area. In some ways, the Cappadocians exist as both part of ordinary Cainite society and as a society all their own, with their own domains, Princes and courts. The Graverobbers themselves never speak in such terms and would likely be startled and disdainful should anyone make such a comparison.
Clan Cappadocian is well known for its mysterious convocations, where dozens or even hundreds of the pallid vampires gather to discuss philosophy, share their research and engage in
debate. The other Clans whisper that at these meetings the Cappadocians must surely enact dark rites, horrible beyond comprehension. They may not be entirely wrong; Mortis is a frequent topic of discussion at Clan meetings and attendees are known to share their innovations in that black sorcery, all too often gruesome and terrifying to the unenlightened masses. The greatest gathering occurs every year on the Winter Solstice, at the Temple of Erciyes. Every Cappadocian is welcome to attend the great meeting, but only a fraction of the Clan is able to do so in any given year. The distance to Erciyes and the busy unlives many Cappadocians lead make it difficult to attend with any regularity. It is considered something of a rite of passage for young Graverobbers to attend at least one of the Solstice gatherings, and of course Erciyes lays claim to one of the largest repositories
of written knowledge anywhere in the world. The most complete copy of the Book of Nod known to exist is kept within the archives of the temple, under the protection of Constancia, matron of the Clan. For Cappadocians unable or unwilling to make the long trek to Erciyes for the Solstice meeting, regional gatherings are common. Every summer Lord Camden hosts a meeting in London where Cappadocians from all the British Isles come together under the hospitality of Mithras and his seneschal. In Eastern Europe, the Voivodes of the Tzimisce has a similar arrangement with the Slavic Graverobbers, though their meeting is biannual and the Tzimisce join in the fun as well. The Fiends hold their convocation in an ancient temple to a Slavic death god located somewhere in the dark forests of Romania. Other, less famous, gatherings occur all across Europe and the Holy Land. Without the strange powers of the Malkavians or the sorcerous messengers of the Tremere or Assamites, the Cappadocians rely primarily on ordinary couriers to spread the word of impending gatherings and make arrangements for travel. There are some ghouls who serve the Clan as a whole, taking payment in vitae for their services as messengers. Occasionally a wandering Graverobber or Lamia will undertake messenger duties, there are even a few Cainites who spend their unlives doing nothing but carrying word of various events across Europe and beyond. The recent introduction of the Giovanni and their necromancy into the Clan has lead to a new practice of using the restless dead as messengers.
Aside from the Tzimisce, no Clan makes more extensive use of ghouls and other servants than the Cappadocians. As
with all vampires, the Clan of Death uses the Blood Oath, mental coercion and mundane influence to establish and maintain their hold on mortal servants. Further, the knowledge the Cappadocians hunt so fervently often has great value to mortal authorities. The Church would be astonished how many temporal powers, let alone clergymen of authority, are willing to submit to the power of the Undying in exchange for the secrets of the ages. Cappadocians rarely use ghouldom as a proving ground for the Embrace. Those qualities that make a good servant rarely coincide with those that make a potential childe. The Giovanni, of course, disagree. Virtually all of the necromancers are Embraced only after a trial period of service as ghouls. Some among the Giovanni are referring to this as the Proxy Kiss. The Lamia fall somewhere between, making acolytes into ghouls as a reward for exceptional service. Such acolytes may eventually impress one of the full Lamia enough to earn the Embrace. Given the difficulties of remaining undetected as a vampire among the clergy, Cappadocians often reply upon ghouls to maintain their cover. Those in lesser positions usually create only a few ghouls, just enough to cover for them, making excuses for their absences and trading day-time duties for those that can be performed at night. Graverobbers with more authority, such as those who have become abbots or other religious leaders may choose to limit their servants or to use the Communion wine to spread their vitae among all their followers. Creating so many ghouls carries a terrible risk, for the odd behavior of too many Blood Bound servants draws attention. The risks are especially severe should a Cappadocian priest attempt to ghoul his entire parish. The few Graverobbers so deeply fallen into pride and arrogance often meet fiery ends at the hands of suspicious mobs from neighboring villages and towns, alerted by travelers or roving traders.
THE CIVIC MINDED CLAN
Cappadocians may eschew an overall organization among their Clan like that possessed by the Tremere or, to a lesser extent, the Assamites or Tzimisce, but they still see the use for communal resources. Fellow Cappadocians are a resource as much as any book or scroll; aiding his research may prove the key to your own, in ten years or a hundred. Elders and enterprising ancillae of the Clan tend to amass resources, some of which they pronounce “Clan holdings” and allow any passing Graverobber the free use of. Such holdings can include places to rest, research materials, money, even servants. Somewhere in Germany there is an entire monastery converted over to the use of the Clan, run by an elder who settled in the area centuries ago. Passing Cappadocians avail themselves of the monk’s labor, hospitality and even blood freely, so long as they do not damage the goods. When Cappadocians speak of “the Clan” owning a library, or the Clan’s financial resources, they speak of such ‘public’ holdings. There is always someone who personally manages these resources and offending that manager can easily mean the end of a foolish Graverobber’s right to access those materials. The Clan maintains several ghoul families who provide resources, servants, and wealth to their patrons. These families are not the sorcerous creations, the revenants, of the Tzimisce. They produce no vitae of their own and are ordinary ghouls in all respects. As mortals, the families serve the Clan of Death, brought up to know their place and their duty. The best and brightest of their children are selected for greater service as ghouls. The
mortal Giovanni are the most famous such family, providing their relatives, and the rest of the Clan of course, with all the bounty of their wealth and connections. Another family of note is the Chalkias, a lineage of Greek tomb robbers and thieves who have filled vaults with stolen and plundered artifacts from across the known world. The Chalkias provide a connection to the Tzimisce through numerous alliances, social and even marital, with the Byzantine Obertus Revenants. Occasionally this has lead to a Chalkias displaying the strange biology of Tzimisce-bred Revenants, but such specimens don’t last very long before one interested Cappadocian or another begins experimenting. Beyond ghouls and mortal servants, the Cappadocians have other forms of minions at their disposal. Graverobbers who study the Cadaverous Animation Path of Mortis are able to raise dead bodies as their unthinking slaves. Collectively, the various creatures raised through the dark arts of Mortis are referred to as Zombu. Zombu can take the form of minor homunculi like animated hands, slow-moving and dim-witted corpse servants or the blood-thirsty Athanatoi. No matter the form, Zombu are invaluable tools to their masters for they require no rest or food, they can never take offense at an order or refuse particularly unsavory duties. These reanimated monsters are conspicuous in the extreme and can easily result in an unwary Cappadocian attracting mobs of fearful and outraged humans armed with fire and swords. This same fear can occasionally be used to a Graverobber’s advantage, providing a handy scapegoat should it be needed. Once a single nest of walking corpses has been rooted out, villagers are typically appeased for a time. Some masters shroud their Zombu servants in thick, heavy robes and masks to reduce the chances of their nature being revealed under casual scrutiny. Others put the creatures
to work far from mortal eyes, excavating underground or even underwater havens and complexes. The limitations of Zombu, especially the short span of time the magics animating them last before requiring renewal, makes them virtually exclusive to masters of the Cadaverous Animation Path.
PERMUTATIONS OF DEATH
Considering the distant wanderings of Ashur and his propensity for experimentation, not to mention the dark and unpredictable magics that the Cappadocians work with, is it any surprise that the Clan of Death is as multifaceted as the subject they study? Some of the factions of Clan Cappadocian trace their lineage directly to the founder; others came into being by magical accident or social schism. Sometimes it is difficult to tell proper bloodlines from mere gatherings of like-minded individuals. The blood of the Cappadocians is oddly prone to random shifts and changes, almost as much as that of the Gangrel. This mutability has puzzled many scholars; why should a Clan devoted to Death have such lively vitae? As any Cappadocian can tell you, death is not a single, static thing. The process and understanding of death is part and parcel of the process and understanding of life. The Clan of Death is thus the Clan of Life as well. Lazarenes Historically the Followers of Set have had dominion over the lands of Egypt and driven out or corrupted any other vampires who would dare tread the sands of their kingdom. Rich in the lore of death, the forbidden land of the Nile taunts the Cappadocians with its secrets. Occasionally a brave Graverobber will attempt to settle in Egypt and study its secrets, but such enterprises rarely end well. Only once have the Setites allowed such a foothold. Lazarus, thirdsired childe of Ashur, remained behind when
his brothers and his sire were driven from Egypt by the Serpents. What deal the wily Lazarus made with the Setites is known to few, none of whom are willing to speak. The results, though, are visible to those who look in the right places. Here and there across Egypt are scattered nests of Cappadocians utterly without interest in the affairs of the main Clan, devoted to the unraveling of Egypt’s long history with death and magic. Rumor claims many of these Lazarenes have taken the teachings of the Setites to heart and gained knowledge of Serpentis, though if such tales are true the Lazarenes are unwilling to verify them. Lazarenes almost never venture out of Egypt and they are extremely cloistered even in their dark home. Their propensity for secrecy and silence fuels the rumors that the Lazarenes are up to no good. Mla Watu None of the Cainites who inhabit the Dark Continent are well known to those from Europe or the Holy Land, but through the tales of a wandering Laibon comes word of a group of vile magicians who eat the souls of their enemies and raise the bodies of those who displeased them in life as their playthings. These “ghost eaters” or Mla Watu are what remains of a journey Ashur made into the depths of Africa during his wandering after the Second City’s destruction. It may be that even Ashur himself has forgotten that he created them. They have certainly forgotten him. The Mla Watu share the deathly pallor of their Cappadocian cousins, but their magic is wildly different. The Mla Watu care little for the mysteries of the body, all their efforts are concentrated on mastery over the departed to gain power over the still living, or the still unliving as the case may be. The ghost eaters are vicious, vindictive and manipulative to an
extent that any Lasombra or Tzimisce would admire. It may be a good thing indeed that the Mla Watu are happy to remain in isolation. Nagaraja When Ashur traveled to India to question Buddha he encountered a group of mortal mages as devoted to the understanding of death and the afterlife as he was. These magicians offered to share their knowledge with Ashur and the ancient agreed, tempted by the lore of such a distant land. The magicians were treacherous; they stole Ashur’s blood while he slumbered one day. Using the stolen blood, they enacted a great ritual, an experiment in combining their death magic with the undead vitae of the Antediluvian. From their work came monsters. The vampires produced by the dark ritual were not Cappadocians, they were not even entirely Cainites. Blood alone was not sufficient for their needs; these Nagaraja were forced to consume the flesh of human beings to sustain themselves. Disgusted by these abominations, Ashur abandoned them after learning all he could from the libraries of the magicians. Despite the founder’s neglect, the Nagaraja still survive in India. The magical order that spawned them has disowned them as completely as Ashur did, leaving them alone. In their solitude they set themselves to exploring their new condition. The Nagaraja are masters of the underworld, traveling back and forth between the lands of the living and the dead on a whim. Their Paths and Rituals allow far greater mastery of the restless dead than even the Giovanni have yet to imagine. Thanatoi Among the Cappadocians there are those who are less than a bloodline, but more than an occasional aberration. The so-called Thanatoi are walking corpses far more literally
The Nagaraja are a bloodline proper, having diverged over the millennia from their Cappadocian origins. The black and twisted magic used in their creation may be responsible, or simply the pressures and direction of their native environment in far India. Bloodline Disciplines: Auspex, Dominate, Mortis Bloodline Weakness: The Nagaraja must consume human flesh to fuel their existence; blood is not enough to animate their forms. Human bodies are treated as having 10 “flesh points”, which function the same as blood points. The flesh consumed by Nagaraja can be alive or dead, but it must not have begun to rot. As a side effect of their cannibalistic nature, Nagaraja do not have typical Cainite fangs, rather they have a maw of razor-sharp teeth. Each night that the Nagaraja does not consume at least one point of human flesh, they lose 1 die from all Physical rolls. This penalty is cumulative. Eating flesh will alleviate the loss, one point restoring one die to the pools until the penalty is cancelled. than other Cappadocians. Their unliving flesh rots for eternity, leaving them in a perpetual state of decay and putrescence. Occasionally this curse manifests randomly in the childe of a more typical Cappadocian and, at times, the childe of a Thanatoi is burdened only with the deathly pallor common to the rest of the Clan. Rarely, a Thanatoi sired by another Thanatoi will display mastery of the Obfuscate Discipline in place of the usual inclination for Auspex. Such vampires are envied by other Thanatoi, sometimes to an unhealthy degree. More than one story of a sire Diablerizing his
own childe in an attempt to gain this useful adaptation has made the rounds of the Clan. Even for these fortunate few, there is no guarantee their own childer will be similarly blessed. The workings of the Thanatoi blood have not yet been fully examined or understood, even by the elders of the Clan. Giovanni The most recent addition to the brood of Ashur, the Giovanni are as much a mortal family as a vampiric bloodline. Under the leadership of their patriarch, Augustus, the Venetian merchants continue to ply their trade in material goods and the souls of the restless dead. The necromancy these cutthroat traders have practiced since the days of Rome was the reason for their induction into the Clan, but their value has been seen now and their responsibilities increased. The Giovanni are leaders in a movement toward financial independence for the Clan, lessening the dependent the Cappadocians have felt toward their Ventrue patrons. Outwardly, there are two primary factions among the Giovanni, if such a small group can be said to have factions. There are less than a hundred Giovanni vampires stalking the Dark Medieval nights, most of them residing in Venice, with a few scattered across the most important ports. The merchants of the family are tasked with extending their business connections as far and wide as possible and bringing the realm of the supernatural into their web of economic power. The necromancers, several of whom have relocated to Erciyes, push the boundaries of the dark sorcery that the Giovanni have brought to the Cappadocians. Hidden among the Giovanni is a tiny cabal of the most trusted followers of Augustus himself. Either his direct childer, or those Embraced at his command, this inner circle directs the movements of the entire family. Whispers among the rest of the Giovanni, kept quiet from the ears of their Cappadocian cousins,
say that the inner circle’s goals may be more ambitious than any would believe. Lamia Originally a cult of mortal Lilith worshippers, the Lamia were brought into undeath when Lazarus Embraced their high priestess, supposedly a daughter of Lilith herself. The high priestess Lamia bestowed her blood upon the highest-ranking and most deserving of her followers. For the Lamia, vampirism is simply a new level of achievement and devotion in their cult. The rites of the Dark Mother call for a number of strange practices, not the least of which is their refusal to allow any males at all into their cult either as mortals or as vampires. New members of the cult are either converts or children of current members. When the time is right for new members of the cult
Living Servants of Lilith
The Seed of Lilith, the virulent plague carried on the bite of all members of the Lamia bloodline, is terribly dangerous to any mortal and marks its Cainite carriers as plague-bearers and dangers to the Silence of Blood. Ghouls are not immune to the ravages of the plague, though vitae does offer some resistance to it. Infection with the Seed of Lilith is unavoidable for any Lamia ghoul. Surviving the Seed is seen as the final test of worthiness. Ghouls have the difficulty of their Stamina roll to survive the difficulty reduced by 2. Even if they succeed, as long as they have Lamia vitae in their bodies, they are carriers of the disease. Anyone exposed to their blood or other fluids has a chance of being infected with the Seed of Lilith. A Stamina roll at standard difficulty is required to avoid infection.
to be inducted, an honored Lamia vampire is offered the chance to reward one of her favored male servants with the opportunity to father the new cultist. The only Lamia who are not part of their ancestral Lilith cult are those Embraced as rare favors for Cappadocians who have earned the favor of the high priestess. A Lamia bodyguard is one of the highest honors a Cappadocian can claim. These bodyguards occupy a strange situation, socially speaking. The Lamia do not accept them fully as members of the bloodline since they rarely initiates of the cult. The Cappadocians consider their bodyguards valued servants and companions, but they are not accorded the same respect as a fellow Graverobber would be, no matter their scholarly achievements. The tiny number of male Lamia, who cannot possibly number more than a dozen, are all bodyguards. Very rarely a Cappadocian will convert to the Lamia’s cult, joining the society of the Dark Mother. Such converts provide liaisons with the main Clan and give a status that the Lamia themselves are barred from by their existence as a bloodline rather than a great Clan.
Assamites A study in diversity; some of the Banu Haqim are worthy of respect for their achievements in scholarship and sorcery, others are little more than brutes. Learn from both breeds, scholars and brutes, but the lessons of the brutes are best learned from a distance. Baali Trust nothing a Baali says. Yes, they have great stores of knowledge and answers to many questions, but their cost is always too high. If they cannot be avoided, turn all your efforts to their destruction.
Brujah Sometimes the Brujah are able to overcome their temper and achieve true scholastic greatness, but they all too often allow their passions to cloud their reason. The fatal flaw of the Brujah is their devotion to idealism. They see only the causes they champion and understand nothing up the greater picture. Followers of Set The Serpents have already corrupted one of our greatest minds, give them no chance to do more harm. Whatever they promise, it is never what it seems. They would be a far greater threat if they spent less of their effort on foolishness and debauchery. Gangrel The feral cunning of the Beasts is worth some respect, but far more caution. There is little common ground between ourselves and these creatures, though the mutability of their blood bears some study. If the Gangrel must be dealt with, it is often best to do so through agents, to avoid unpleasant encounters. Lasombra From pirate to prince, the Magisters have always desired to take what they desired by force. They may put a veneer of society over their avarice, but they cannot be trusted. The darkness they claim to master is interesting, but the true darkness is Death. Some few of them have the faith, so their may be the possibility of a temporary alliance. Malkavians There is much talk of madness and genius, but from the Malkavians only madness is assured. Listen to their words, but pay little mind. Any truth in their prattle will reveal itself and, if it does, it may then be examined at length.
Nosferatu While the Lepers know many things, their information is mostly of a worldly nature. Rare is the Nosferatu who raises their attention from the mundane events of the world to the spiritual heights. Their disfigurement is an interesting twist of Cainite anatomy and may bear some study if no other use can be found for them. Ravnos The very existence of the Ravnos suggests some truth in the belief that Cainites are monsters. What other purpose could there be for a group so dedicated to trickery and vice? Stay well away from them, for any offer they make is sure to be just another lie. Salubri Faithful and intelligent, the Salubri are often excellent companions. Their short-coming is that they see the scripture as an end in and of itself, not a guide to greater understanding. It is this same close-minded perspective that has lead to their current fate. If one may be saved, it is likely worth the effort. If not, learn all you can before they are destroyed. Toreador A lamentable group, the Toreador. They have drive and ingenuity, but it is all focused in the wrong direction. The physical world is transitory, the Clan of the Rose has not learned to look beyond it and reach for true greatness. Tremere The Usurpers offer many lessons, some good and some quite poor. While they are a lesson in ambition gone awry, their peculiar skills at magic may be the antidote to their failings. Learn what you can from them, reveal as little as possible in return. Always, of course, be mindful of the fate of the Salubri and see
that the Tremere do not decide that you are best used as a resource. Tzimisce Worthy companions in scholarship, but they focus too much on the means rather than the end. The ‘metamorphosis’ they aspire to may be a worthy goal, it is simply that so many of them lose their way and become mired in temporal matters. Ventrue The Warlords have been our allies since we first traveled into Europe. We have an equitable arrangement: our knowledge for their resources. Such matters, however, are always transitory. Their hearts are set on temporal power and if betraying their vows would earn them enough, our alliance will fade.
The Cappadocian Clan is well known for its connection death and its blood-sorcery of Mortis. They are also known for a particular connection to other worlds and times, expressed through the Discipline of Auspex as well as more arcane powers, some of which are described below. These traits are generally most suited to Cappadocians and their offshoot bloodlines such as the Lamia and Giovanni but sometimes a Storyteller may choose to allow vampires of other Clans to gain access to them.
Prophet: You see the future in clear sweeps that could guide a nation. Oracle: Like the Pythia you see the future with clarity and precision.
Cassandra Complex Those who are able to see into the future, no matter how imperfectly are often confused and troubled by what they see. In some cases the mind of the seer is unable to comprehend their visions and deal with the implications of viewing that which will be. These sad souls become afflicted with a condition called the Cassandra Complex, named for the mythic Greek prophetess who always spoke the truth but was never believed. A person in the grip of the Cassandra Complex suffers terrible doubt and fear of future visions. They are trapped by the uncertainty of not knowing if their actions in trying to avert a vision are what will bring it to be or if it will come to pass no matter what their actions. System: The onset of a vision drives a character suffering from the Cassandra Complex into a depressive state, subtracting 2 dice from all pools and making it very difficult to regain willpower until the vision has come to pass or they somehow come to terms with the future they have seen.
Prescience The Cappadocians, especially their founder, are renowned for their strange and unpredictable visions. Though only a few of the Clan possesses the precognitive faculty, those that do see more clearly and with less distortion than do the Malkavians. They typically do not share the insanity that twists the visions of the Madmen. Oddly, this ability never manifests in the Giovanni family, though the other bloodlines of the Clan have been known to display it. When a character experiences a vision, he rolls his Prescience rating against difficulty 6 (raised if the character is seeking particular information). A botch results in a horrifying vision of death or impending doom, most typically of the vampire in question or some organization closely tied to them. Success on the roll indicates a vision has occurred and passed on information about a future that will come to pass. The number of successes indicates the clarity and usefulness of the information. • •• ••• Fortune-Teller: You have the occasional vague vision Diviner: Insight comes in obscure flashes, but it arrives fairly often. Soothsayer: Your visions can guide the lives of those around you with ease.
Merits and Flaws
These Merits and Flaws are either specifically designed for the Graverobbers and are either exclusive to them or are highly appropriate for Cappadocians characters. As always, Merits and Flaws are optional and Storytellers need never allow min-maxing.
Deathly Palate (2 point merit) Unlike other vampires, those Cappadocians with Deathly Palate are able to drink and enjoy cold blood. They can drink from corpses or wine bottles and gain the same benefit as if they drank from a living mortal vessel. So long as the blood remains liquid, it can nourish the vampire. Deadened Flesh (2 point merit) The Deathly Pallor of some Cappadocians reaches deeper than mere appearance. Their flesh is not merely pale and drawn, but numb and unresponsive. Such characters reduce all wound penalties by 1, but also suffer a 2-dice penalty on all rolls related to tactile sensation. (Un)Stable Corpse Knights (1 or 2 point merit or flaw) A Cappadocian with this trait has either a very easy or a very difficult time controlling the Corpse Knights raised through the Cadaverous Animation Path. The 1 point version of this trait either adds or removes two dice from all rolls to control the Athanatoi while the 2 point version represents that the character is either unable to control summoned Athanatoi at all or requires no roll to do so. Obviously some Cappadocians are very surprised when they master the secret of creating Corpse Knights only to discover their warriors will not obey them. Taking this trait requires at least one dot in the Cadaverous Animation Path. It should be noted that (Un)stable Corpse Knights does not affect the first three levels of Cadaverous Animation, either as a Merit or a Flaw. Mad Visions (1-5 point Flaw) A rare disorder affecting vampires who are able to perceive the future, the Mad Visions often assail victims, presenting terrible
scenes of death and destruction. Those who suffer the Mad Visions are unable to tell their true and false prophecies apart and relate both with the same faith or cynicism. For every point gained from Mad Visions, a permanent 1 is added to all Prescience rolls. If Mad Visions is taken at level 3 or higher, these 1’s can not be negated with Willpower. This flaw can not be taken without some ability to receive true visions such as the Prescience or Oracular Ability traits. Similar effects, however, can be achieved with the Visions Derangement if the character has no true way to read the future. Horrific Appearance (3 point flaw) All Cappadocians experience some decay after their Embrace, resulting in the pallor that marks their Clan and the inability to flush their bodies with vitae. A few unfortunate souls are not revived from the dead soon enough by the morbid vitae used to sire them and are cursed with advanced decomposition for all eternity. These afflicted wretches have Appearance 0 due to their rotting bodies. They made hide this, but treat all attempts to do so as if they were a Nosferatu. The Thanatoi have this flaw as their Bloodline Weakness, but not all Cappadocians with this flaw are Thanatoi. Anthropophage (5 point flaw) Through some mishap of Blood certain Cappadocians are unable to fulfill their need for life with blood alone. These aberrations must consume human flesh in addition to blood, it does not matter to them if the flesh is living or dead but it must not be rotten. A human body contains ten “flesh points”, which function exactly the same as Blood Points. Those cursed with this Flaw are unable to make use of blood alone and are totally unable to subsist on animals. They can, however, drink Cainite Vitae without difficulty and gain the
normal benefits and penalties of doing so. Nagaraja characters cannot take this Flaw; it is already their Bloodline Weakness. Recommended Merits and Flaws: Merits: Concentration, Eidetic Memory, Medium, Spirit Mentor, Potent Aura Flaws: Haunted, Touch of Frost, Eerie Presence, Witch Hunted, Hand of Hades, Flesh of the Corpse, Smell of the Grave
Each success is one dot of an ability that the vampire can ‘borrow’ from his target. Such borrowed dots last for a single scene before disappearing. The character they are borrowed from still has access to borrowed dots, but their difficulty to use the affected abilities is increased by 1 for the duration of the power. Extended use of this power is often an acceptable replacement for training time when raising an ability.
While Mortis is the result of the understanding Cappadocians have gained of their undead state Auspex is the tool they use to achieve that understanding. The powers of Auspex are what gift the Cappadocians with their keen insights and the senses required to explore not only the material world but those beyond it. Graverobbers often use Auspex powers to investigate their personal puzzles and advance their quest for knowledge. Library of the Mind (Auspex Level 6) A far advanced version of the simple telepathy known to less advanced users of Auspex, this power allows the vampire to steal knowledge from the minds around him. He can absorb the memories, skills and understanding of anyone whose mind he can penetrate. These absorbed skills do not last, fading away shortly after they are acquired. Though it is impossible to retain this information for very long, it can serve as a basis for later expansion of the vampire’s own faculties. System: The player spends a willpower point and rolls Perception + Subterfuge, difficulty equal to the target’s Willpower.
Oracular Instruction (Auspex Level 7)
Cappadocian elders have a reputation for simply knowing things, even things they have no business knowing. This power is one of the sources for such tales. Through means of intense psychic meditation, a Graverobber can temporarily gain skills or knowledge he would normally not have. These skills come to the vampire in a flash of vision that offers transitory enlightenment. The origin of these visions is a matter of some debate; certain elders believe the information comes from the collective pool of all human knowledge, others think it comes from the mind of God himself. System: This power grants temporary dots in any Ability that the Cappadocian chooses. To activate the power, the characters spends one temporary willpower point and makes an Intelligence + Auspex roll. The difficulty of the roll is based on what sort of Ability the character is attempting to gain skill in. If the Ability is one the character already has at least one dot in, the difficulty is 6. If the character has no dots in the Ability he is trying to learn, the difficulty is 8. The dots gained through use of this power last until the vampire next sleeps, at which point the knowledge is wiped from his mind.
Osmotic Understanding (Auspex Level 7) Cappadocians with this level of mastery do not need to paw through pages or strain their eyes to gather understanding. They have gained the ability to simply know things by being surrounded by sources of knowledge. Intelligent minds, densely filled tomes, whole libraries are as water that a Cappadocian using this ability can absorb like a sponge. Through intense meditation the vampire can gather knowledge to himself from nearby sources, condensing days or even weeks of study into a matter of minutes. Information simply flows into the mind of the Graverobber. System: To activate this power the player spends a willpower point and rolls Intelligence + Academics, difficulty 7. Each success represents a day’s worth of information gathering which can be compressed into a minute of meditation. This power simply speeds normal research, study or discourse which could be obtained in mundane fashion through use of any and all academic resources within a certain radius of the vampire. The radius of the area the character can draw knowledge from is equal to his Perception + Intelligence in miles.
her undead body to consume itself in order to maintain animation and eventually driving her into torpor. It is possible that by sufficient mastery of the Fortitude Discipline a Cappadocian can sustain herself by pushing herself to the edge of torpor without actually entering that unresponsive state. It requires great mental power to hover at the edge between wakefulness and dormancy. Maintaining this state allows the vampire’s body to conserve its blood supply at the cost of a constant drain of mental strength. System: To invoke this power the character must expend two temporary willpower points. As long as this power is active the character maintains her current blood pool. Instead of expending a blood point upon rising each night she instead expends one temporary willpower point. This power ends either when the character wills it to, runs out of temporary willpower or spends blood points. Diurnal Vigor (Fortitude level 6) When the presence of the sun forces vampires into a deep sleep it deprives them of more then half the day. Several determined scholars among the Cappadocians and dedicated guards from amongst the Lamia have perfected this power which, while offering no protection from the sun’s rays or the touch of flame, does allow a vampire to bear the daylight hours without the normal fatigue and disorientation associated with them. System: The player rolls his character’s Road + Fortitude rating. Each success allows the character to remain awake for two hours of daylight. By expending temporary willpower points the player may extend this time for one hour per point expended. During these hours the character functions as if it were darkest night, suffering no penalties normally associated with daylight activity. Using this power does carry risks, each consecutive night after the first that it is invoked requires an unmodified Stamina roll
To the Cappadocians the Discipline of Fortitude is a way to channel the powers of their undead bodies and gain some of the imperturbable nature of the corpse. They find the resilience granted to them by Fortitude useful in pursuing knowledge, staying up through the day to solve a puzzle and going where others fear to tread when their quests require it. Mourning Fast (Fortitude level 6) Starvation is a deadly danger to any vampire, lack of fresh blood forcing
starting at difficulty 6 and rising by one for each additional night of use. When the player fails or the difficulty reaches 10 the character is unable to use this power again for a full month. Should any of the rolls botch the character will instantly fall asleep and be unable to wake for as many nights as she has been using Diurnal Vigor for. Armor of the Mind (Fortitude Level 7) Cappadocians are known more often for their strength of mind than their physical prowess and this power is one of the deepest expressions of that mental strength. Through sheer willpower, and the Curse of Caine, a Cappadocian can repel physical harm. System: At the cost of two temporary willpower points, the player may add as many automatic successes to his soak rolls for the rest of the scene as he gains successes on a difficulty 8 Willpower roll. The only flaw in this power is that its effectiveness is sharply limited by the traditional banes of vampirism: fire, Faith and sunlight. Against these sources of damage, the power only adds additional soak dice, not automatic successes.
New Mortis Path
Gift of Thanatos This Path is closely related to the Corpse in the Monster Path, but it focuses on the undead nature of the vampiric condition instead of attempting to recall the aspects of life that it once embodied. Through the powers of this Path a sorcerer can control his own undead form, distorting and even dissolving his own body, or exercise power over the death-like slumber of Torpor that Cainites are uniquely susceptible too. This Path is a combination of the powers of the Mortuus Path of Necromancy and Thanatosis, intended to replace both powers. This would leave the Samedi with in-Clan Necromancy and the Harbingers of Skulls with access to the Paths of Mortis, without losing any of their unique abilities. Powers • The Reaper’s Purse Disgusting to some, this power allows a vampire to reach into her own body and manipulate, to some degree, the dead tissues of her skin and flesh. Small objects can even be inserted into the body’s cavities without surgery by means of this power. System: Simply spending two blood points allows the sorcerer to stretch, distort and otherwise model his flesh, increasing the difficulty of any attempt to recognize her by 2. She may also insert objects up to the size
The death-sorcery of the Cappadocians is by no means as expansive and rigorous as the Thaumaturgy of the Usurpers, but it has many permutations and has spawned a multitude of unholy rituals. The study of death magic is spread across all the branches of Ashur’s brood, some of whom have taken their studies in directions far different from the main body of the Clan. Two two greatest of these diverging paths are practiced by the Mla Watu of Africa and the distant, alien Nagaraja of India. Lazarus and his followers in Egypt have their own variant as well, tied closely to the practices of the Followers of Set. These foreign traditions of Mortis are covered in the Appendix.
This Looks Familiar...
Gift of Thanatos is a combination of the powers of the Mortuus Path and the Discipline of Thanatosis. It is intended to be a replacement for both Mortuus and Thanatosis, leaving the Samedi with Necromancy as an in-Clan Discipline and this Path as their Primary.
of a grapefruit into her body, though removing the objects requires another application of the power. •• March of Ages By infusing her own undead form with the energies of either life or death, the sorcerer can adjust her apparent age for a short time. She cannot make drastic alterations to her mass, but she can make herself appear more youthful, or advance her age to decrepitude. Some vampires afflicted with particularly horrific visages, such as the Thanatoi, can use this power to advance their own decay to the point of becoming little more than walking, animate skeletons. Supposedly they can also use it to lessen their particular curse for a short time, taking on an almost human appearance. System: Spending a blood point and making a Stamina + Occult roll, difficulty 6, activates this power. Each success on the roll allows the character to appear 7 years older or younger than her normal age. The effects of this power cannot overcome the Curse of Caine, however, and will be undone while the vampire slumbers. If used by a Thanatoi or other similarly disfigured Cainite, this power can be used to temporarily make them appear as freshly dead corpses, allowing them to look almost human. Their Appearance remains at 0, but they no longer automatically fail Appearance-related rolls. This power is not strong enough to hold off such curses for very long, it lasts for only an hour if used for this purpose. ••• Escape Death’s Grasp This power allows vampires to wrench themselves free from death’s long slumber. One who possesses this level of mastery may throw off the darkness of torpor or aid another in doing so. This power can also be used to rouse mortals from comas or similar states. System: The player spends two
Willpower points and then makes a Willpower roll, difficulty of 10 minus the target’s Road rating. If the vampire wishes to awaken another Cainite in torpor, she must touch that vampire. If the vampire so raised entered torpor because of a lack of blood, she awakens with one blood point in her veins. When used on a mortal, only a single success is required to awaken them. •••• Ashen Rest This power allows the sorcerer to transform herself into a thick, sticky powder, about a double handful in volume (what would be left after a cremation). The ashen form takes no damage from sunlight or flames, and most physical attacks are ineffectual. However, the vampire is only dimly cognizant of her surroundings while in ash form, and separation of the ashes can prove catastrophic when she tries to reform. System: The transformation requires one turn and two blood points. While the character is in ash form, the player must make a Perception + Alertness roll (difficulty 9) for any scene in which she wishes her character to be aware of her surroundings. Reforming from the heap of ashes takes one turn. If the character is in a confined space (such as an urn), she explodes from it as she brings herself back to full size. Should the confining space be too strong to break free from, the transformation fails. If a vampire is scattered while in this form, one health level and one blood point are lost for each tenth (roughly) of the character that has been dissipated. Five blood points are required to heal each health level lost in this manner. At the Storyteller’s discretion, the character may be missing limbs or vital organs (though never the head or the heart) until the missing health levels are healed. ••••• Touch of Thanatos The true mastery of this Path allows the sorcerer to sap the living energy from her
victims, driving them to the edge of death. Mortals afflicted by this power sicken and die within a day and vampires are forced into torpor. System: The character touches her victim, and spends a willpower point and a blood point, which must come in contact with the victim. The player then rolls Stamina + Occult (difficulty equal to the target’s Willpower). Success indicates that the vampire has afflicted his victim and that they will die or succumb to torpor after 24 hours.
New Mortis Rituals Level One
Corpse Light This simple ritual used by Cappadocian scholars to provide illumination in their dusty, often highly flammable, libraries. All that is required for this ritual is a human bone, any bone will do, which must be soaked in a bath of molten wax mixed with a few drops of blood taken from a dead body. The blood for the ritual need not be human. Once the bone has soaked for at least one hour, during which the sun must at no point be in the sky, it will absorb the wax and blood. System: If the roll is successful, the bone is imbued with the ability to burn with a smokeless, violet flame that it cold to the touch and burns nothing but the bone it is conjured on. Any exposure to normal fire will start the corpse light. To extinguish the corpse light, it must be doused in liquid. A treated bone burns at the same rate as a wax candle of similar size would, leaving behind a sticky, chalk-like residue. A botch on the ritual roll produces a bone that is visually indistinguishable from a successful one, but it will explode in a burst of fire when lit, dealing three dice of aggravated damage to anyone holding it and possibly catching nearby objects on fire with flaming debris.
Preservation of Blood While other arts of Mortis can make even fetid blood palatable to a vampire, a properly performed Preservation allows blood to be stored indefinitely without suffering the passing of time or losing its potency. Any water-tight vessel up to the size of a barrel can be treated with this ritual. Natural wax must be heated, then mixed with a few drops of the sorcerer’s vitae and a handful of salt. The wax mixture is then used to seal the vessel’s openings, after which symbols of preservation and stability are carved into the wax. For as long as the vessel is sealed, the blood contained within will not suffer the passage of time and remains as warm and vital as it was when it entered the vessel. System: As long as the ritual is successful any blood preserved by it remains fresh and liquid. Breaking the wax seal also breaks the ritual’s power, allowing time to run its normal course. The preserved blood will start to age naturally as soon as the seal is broken. Vessels can be re-used for this ritual, but the wax used to seal it is reduced to useless gunk shortly after the seal is broken and the ritual must be re-cast with new materials to renew the seal. Preservation of Lore Developed by elderly Cappadocian scholars who grew weary of having to divert their servants to the tedious and often errorprone task of copying their libraries to stave off fading, decay and other effects of age, this ritual preserves items of knowledge. Pages and scrolls remain supple, perfectly legible and all but immune to wear and tear for as long as the magic remains active. In order to protect an item it must be exposed to the smoke from a fire burning a bone from a literate man, a writing tool that has seen at least one month of use and a small quantity
of ink. The smoke causes no damage to the object, instead coating it with a thick, black layer of soot that clears away within minutes, leaving behind an invisible layer of protection. System: Each success on the ritual roll preserves an object from the ravages of time for a decade. If the ritual roll botches, the object being preserved is instantly destroyed, crumbling to dust and ash. This ritual can preserve objects which store information as part of their structure, such as books, scrolls, tablets and even paintings. The limitation is that the object preserved must be a single thing. For example, this ritual can preserve an entire tome, but it could not preserve a folio of loose sheets of paper without multiple castings. Items enchanted by this ritual can still be destroyed by concentrated effort such as burning them, tearing them apart or blotting out their contents, but they will be very resistant to accidents such as spills or rough handling. Draught of Rot The essence of Death itself can be infused into a supply of water, creating a tainted fluid that carries sickness and doom to those who drink it. The water tastes stale, cold and unhealthy to any who drink it, though it seems clear to visual inspection. Mortals who drink the Draught of Rot become vulnerable to plague and disease as their bodies weaken under the influence of the water. The Draught will disperse in large bodies of liquid, making it unsuitable to poisoning much more than a single well and that for only a short time. System: Each success on the ritual roll generates one dose, approximately a pint, of putrescent water. Mortals who drink the liquid have all their difficulty to resist diseases and infections increased by two for a number of days equal to 6 - their Stamina. Small animals and plants who drink or are exposed to the water will sicken and die over
the course of a few days. Large animals have a chance to recover, if they succeed on a Stamina roll, difficulty 8. Large plants such as vast trees usually survive, but are blighted by their exposure. Liquor of Hypnos Named for one of the rivers of the Underworld, the dark drink brewed by this ritual brings deep, death-like slumber to mortals who imbibe it. Cold water forms the base of the brew, mixed with the ashes of a nocturnal creature and two poppy flowers. The ingredients must be mixed together and brought to a boil, then chilled. Afterwards, the draught is prepared. System: Each success on the ritual generates one dose of the sleeping potion. Mortals who drink the liquid will fall into a deep slumber within minutes unless they succeed on a difficulty 8 Stamina roll. During this slumber, only bodily harm will waken the sleeping mortal who will otherwise remain asleep for at least 7 - their Stamina in hours. After the ritual’s effects have worn off, most mortals will remain asleep, though in a normal slumber instead of the enchanted coma created by the ritual. The brew has no effect at all on supernatural creatures, even ghouls are immune to its effects. Vampires are unable to drink the Liquor of Lethe without suffering the same effects as if they tried drinking any other normal beverage.
Dead Man’s Compass The wrath of a murdered victim can be harnessed by proper preparation of their mortal remains and turned to the purposes of a sorcerer. By painting symbols of vengeance and seeking onto a bone taken from the body, a talisman is formed that will point unerringly in the direction of the one who murdered to provider of the bone. Frequently used for blackmail or
revenge on those who have killed friends or favored servants, this ritual has seen a surge of popularity among practitioners of the new Path of Nigrimancy, who use it as a bargaining tool with wraiths. System: Should the ritual succeed, the bone will be drawn in the direction of the murderer like a lodestone draws iron filings. The strength of the pull is proportional to the proximity of the killer. Within the same room as the killer, the bone will be quite strongly attracted but at around one mile away and the pull will be only a general direction. Beyond a mile’s distance, the talisman simply can not find the killer. If the ritual roll botches, the talisman will pull toward a false target. Avenging Poison Even the ashes of the dead can contain the echoes of their feelings in life. This ritual harnesses and enhances the desire for justice and revenge contained in the remains of a murder victim. A mixture of ashes from a victim’s corpse, five deadly poisons and vitae must be boiled over a fire fueled by coffin wood. When the mixture boils down to a paste, the ritual is complete. The paste becomes a deadly poison that will affect only the person responsible for the death of the owner of the ashes. System: Each success on the ritual creates enough of the poison to coat a weapon for one strike or to poison a single meal or drink. No matter how the poison is delivered, once it is in the killer’s body it deals 5 aggravated damage, which can be soaked normally. Applying the poison to a weapon takes a full action, but no roll. Should the poison be hidden in drink or food, it can be detected with a Perception + Medicine roll, difficulty 5 for it has an obvious odor. Flame of the Dead The flame conjured by this ritual burns black and reveals nothing of the physical world,
for the light it sheds exists only on the other side of the grave. Dead things alone are illuminated by the torch, glowing faintly but clearly in its unseen light. Ghosts are revealed and even the walking dead or those touched by their power are outlined by a faint glimmer. This flame must be conjured to a torch made from a human femur, wrapped in grave clothes. System: The torch created by this ritual works exactly like a normal torch would, burning at the same rate and lighting the same area. The only difference is what is illuminated. Ghosts are revealed in the lighted area and creatures touched by death show their nature. Vampires and corpses raised by Cadaverous Animation glow brightly under the torch, where as ghouls show only the faintest trace of ghostly light. Death Ward By drawing a mystic symbol on the surface of an object in a solution of vitae and bone ash a sorcerer can enchant an object to rot the flesh of dead creatures that touch it. Wraiths, specters and the minions created by Cadaverous Animation are all affected by this ward, unable to touch it without suffering great pain. Cappadocians frequently use this ritual to protect important tomes from being disturbed or to ward the entrances to their havens. Like other wards, this ritual affects only the object it is written upon. Scribing it on a door protects only the door, not the entire building. System: This ritual functions identically to the Thaumaturgical Ward rituals. There is also a Warding Circle version of this ritual (Death Warding Circle) which functions the same as Thaumaturgy-based Warding Circles.
Infection Through the use of a sympathetic talisman, a poppet, a sorcerer can fill a foe with deathly energy that weakens their body and invites weakness, illness and infirmity. The poppet must be made by hand, from materials touched by sickness and disease. The final ingredient, the one that connects the poppet to the person it represents, is a piece of that person’s body or an object with great emotional significance to them. Once complete, the poppet is destroyed by soaking it in water, mixed with a few drops of plagued blood. System: Creating the poppet correctly requires either Crafts 2 or Hearth Wisdom 3, without either of these traits the difficulty for the ritual is increased by 2. The destruction of the poppet exposes the target of this ritual to whatever disease infected the blood used in the poppet’s demise. The target can resist with a Stamina + Medicine roll, difficulty 7. If a mortal is infected, the disease progresses as normal. Vampires become carriers of the disease and are treated as having imbibed a number of infected blood points equal to the successes on the ritual roll.
roll creates one blood point worth of fluid. If the roll botches, the fluid produced is poisonous, inflicting an automatic health level of lethal damage on any vampire who drinks it. As many points of poison are produced as ones are rolled. Ark of Pestilence Favored by the Lamia bloodline, this ritual spreads disease and decay through a region by creating an aura of necrotic energy, centered on a specific object. Any box, chest or other container can function as the center of this ritual, so long as it can hold the components required. A human skull taken from a person dead of plague, thirteen feathers from a carrion bird and a dead rat must be placed into the container, then sealed inside. If the container is opened and the objects removed, the ritual is ended. System: For as long as the container is sealed and full, it radiates deathly power that increases the difficulty of all Stamina rolls in its area of effect by 2, to a maximum of 10. The area of effect is 100 yards for each success on the ritual roll. If the ritual botches, the container is destroyed, as are its contents and the performer of the ritual must make an immediate Stamina + Medicine roll, difficulty 6 or have three of their blood points become infected with a disease of the storyteller’s choice. Dead Men’s Tales Originally developed by one of the Mla Watu and transmitted to the main Clan by means unknown, this Ritual unlocks the knowledge contained in the brains of the dead. By extracting and burning the brain of a corpse, the Cappadocian can learn a number of things once known to the brain’s owner. The knowledge is released through the smoke created by the burning, which the vampire must inhale and hold in his lungs while absorbing the information. System: Each success on the ritual roll indicates a single fact is gathered from the dead brain. The number of successes also indicates
Rendering the Dead Flesh A step further than simply using the blood of the dead, a Cappadocian who knows this ritual can draw nourishment from the energy of death trapped in a decaying body. Symbols painted in blood across a corpse, combined with a specific chant will render a cadaver down into a thick, grey fluid. This fluid can feed a vampire just as normal blood would, though it is said to taste foul. Any corpse can provide fuel for this ritual, even on reduced to nothing but bones. System: Each success on the ritual
the general relevance and usefulness of the information gathered, though of course that is dependent on the source. The brain of an illiterate English farmer is not going to produce information about ancient Egyptian literature, no mater how many successes are rolled. Vapors of Lethe The mist of the graveyards, touched with death, is a strange thing. It plays tricks on the mind. This ritual summons a mist charged with the power of the underworld. Those exposed to it find themselves drowsy, forgetful. The mist is unleashed by pouring out an earthenware vase of chilled water, mixed with vitae, over the ground. As the water hits the ground, the Cappadocian chants and the water vaporizes into thick fog. System: The mist spreads out across an area of 100 yards per success on the ritual roll. Everyone within the affected area has the difficulty of all mental actions increased by 1 and must make a Willpower roll, difficulty 7, or fall into a deep but ordinary sleep. The memories of events that take place while a person is within the fog are hazy at best, except for those with a Self-Control of 4 or higher. Vampires are not affected by the memory haze or the sleep inducement of the fog, but they are subject to the increase in mental difficulty. They can opt to spend a willpower to ignore the effects of the fog for a scene. The mist lasts for five minutes per success on the roll.
others, possibly the reclusive ghost-eaters of southern Africa. By destroying an object of great significance to a restless spirit, the necromancer destroys that spirit as well. The object, called a fetter, must be obliterated with fire fueled by a corpse. Fetters immune to fire cannot be used for this ritual. System: Each success on the ritual roll inflicts two levels of aggravated damage on the target wraith. This damage is not soaked, instead it is resisted by the wraith’s Willpower. Each success the wraith gains on a willpower roll negates one success on the ritual roll. Wraiths killed by this ritual are destroyed forever, wiped from existence for all time. If the ritual roll botches, the caster suffers a level of aggravated damage for each one rolled. Undeath Ward By drawing a mystic symbol on the surface of an object in a solution of vitae and bone ash a sorcerer can enchant an object to rot the flesh of any undead creature that touches it. Cainites, risen zombies and the mysterious vampires of the East are all affected by this ward, unable to touch it without suffering great pain. Cappadocians frequently use this ritual to protect important tomes from being disturbed or to ward the entrances to their havens. Like other wards, this ritual affects only the object it is written upon. Scribing it on a door protects only the door, not the entire building. System: This ritual functions identically to the Thaumaturgical ritual Ward Versus Cainites. There is also a Mortis-based version of Warding Circle Versus Cainites. The Reaper’s Passing With a potent curse a Cappadocian can produce a near-death experience in the subject of his choice. The sorcerer spends an hour chanting invocations of dark specters
Unmake the Soul This ritual predates the Giovanni necromancers, though the majority of Cappadocians are unaware of this. In fact, it was the followers of Lazarus who originated this ritual from lore gathered in the dark lands of Egypt. In truth, there are rumors among the Egyptians that their elders learned the ritual from
over a burning brazier containing a sample of the subject’s living tissue and at least seven poisonous substances. At the climax of the ritual, the sorcerer bites off a chunk off of his own tongue and spits it into the brazier. The dead flesh evaporates and the dark power of the ritual is released to seek its victim. System: At the end of the ritual the target suffers a near-death experience of the storyteller’s choice. The subject must roll willpower at difficulty 7 to avoid psychological scarring from the event. A botched ritual roll forces the Cappadocian to make the willpower roll instead as he is confronted with his own Final Death in a horrific vision.
Refuse Death A master of Mortis can condemn both the living and the unliving to death in a myriad of ways and even bring the dead to a semblance of life. With this ritual, a master practitioner can command death itself to turn back from a dying mortal, giving them a short reprieve. A few hours or days can be purchased for one dying of old age, while time to be healed or cured can be bought for those suffering from mortal wounds or a deadly disease. System: Unlike most rituals of this power, Refuse Death takes only a minute to enact and simply requires painting a mystic seal upon the mortal to be preserved in vitae. If the roll succeeds, one hour of life is granted to the target of the ritual per success. This ritual can even be used on those who have been mortally wounded in battle. If their wounds are treated and healed before the duration of the ritual runs out, they will survive. The same is true of poisons or diseases that are cured before the ritual runs its course.
Tonic of Saturn The endless search for the elixir of life is laughable to Cainites, for that elixir flows through their veins. Eternal youth is already theirs, but this ritual offers something else. It offers age. Focusing the power of decay and decrepitude into liquid form, the sorcerer creates a fluid known as the Tonic of Saturn. Any who drink it age rapidly, years passing in moments. The tonic is brewed from the blood of a man dead of old age, cider made from the last fruits of the most recent local harvest and sea water. System: Whoever drinks the tonic will age five years for every success gained on the ritual roll, each year passing in a minute. The ritual produces only enough tonic to affect a single person, and it cannot be mixed with any other liquids, it must be drunk pure. The aging effect is permanent for the living, but for vampires it fades away when next they rise. If they wish, a vampire can spend a willpower point to cause the aging effect to persist for another night. There is no limit to how long the effect can be maintained as long as sufficient willpower is expended. If a permanent willpower point is spent, the effect remains in place for a year and a day.
Shadow of Undeath It is a simple enough matter to pass on the Curse of Caine, a simple replacement of living blood with vitae at the moment of death will suffice. This ritual imitates the Embrace, but it creates an incomplete version of vampirism that is most often used as a curse or a warning. To apply such a half-way curse, the sorcerer replaces at least half of his victim’s blood with his own vitae, infused with necrotic power by the dark chants that must be intoned during the ritual. System: The target of a successful
casting of this ritual finds themselves cursed with the negative aspects of vampirism, but none of the benefits. They are vulnerable to sunlight, suffer from the Red Fear and the urges of a Beast, the hunger for blood, the need to sleep during the day and the inability to eat or drink. These effects last until the next new moon. This ritual has no effect on any target but an ordinary mortal or a ghoul. Craft the Undying Immortal (Cadaverous Animation 4) The corpse knights summoned by Cappadocians have a weakness: they last only a scant few days before their animating magic wears off and they collapse back into motionless death. By forging a connection between the corpse knight or other product of Cadaverous Animation and a source of death energy, a sorcerer can ensure that his creation will survive indefinitely. Such a connection is forged by carving sympathetic symbols into both the target of the ritual and a source of energy, such as an ancient tomb, the remains of an elder vampire or a temple with a history of human sacrifice. System: The symbols that form the connection for this ritual must be applied to an already-animate creation of Mortis. Once the symbols have been carved into both ends of the connection, the animated creature will survive for as long as the object it has been bound to remains intact. There are rumors that some ancient Cappadocians assisted the Setites long ago, binding dead warriors to the pyramids who will survive forever, guarding the tombs inside. If the animated being is destroyed itself, the connection is severed.
power is only whispered of among even the Clan of Death. When enacted, the skeleton of a living human being can be infused with the power of the grave and torn from its owner’s body, made to serve the vampire’s will. To pull the skeleton from a living creature, a sympathetic poppet must be crafted from the body of a small animal and connected to its target with a sample of the target’s blood or a piece of their body. After an hour of chanting dark spells, the sorcerer rips the spine from the body of the poppet, finishing the ritual and rousing the skeleton of his victim to service. Rumor says this power can affect even the undead. System: If the ritual roll is successful, the sorcerer must make the usual roll to create an Athanatos. If successful, the target’s skeleton is torn from their body and raised as a servant of the vampire. Should the target of the ritual be a vampire, they have a chance to resist the effect, rolling their Willpower at difficulty 7. Each one of their successes cancels one of the ritualist’s successes on the Athanatos creation roll. Every success left over deals one aggravated damage to the target, which can not be soaked. A vampire’s skeleton can not be animated by this ritual unless the damage done by the effect sends the vampire to Final Death. Plague Wind Cappadocians who master this ritual are able to unlock the decay in everything around them, The Cainite taps into the death which dwells in all living things, from mortals to beasts to plants. Humans and animal victims waste away in hours, plants wither and die. Even vampires are not immune to the deadly wind. If they are too weak to resist the effects of the ritual, they fall into torpor and even those who do resist are made into plague carriers. To summon the wind, the vampire breathes in the smoke
Skeletal Rebellion (Cadaverous Animation 5) A grotesque and horrifying ritual, this
of a fire fueled by a body killed by plague and holds it in his lungs until he can exhale the putrid fumes on one of his intended victims. Rumor has it that Lamia herself developed this ritual, certainly it sees much use by the elders of her bloodlines. System: The plague wind affects a number of human-sized targets equal to the Cappadocian’s Willpower, plus an additional target for each success on the ritual roll. Each victim must roll Stamina + Fortitude (difficulty of the ritualist’s Stamina + Occult). If successful, a mortal victim has resisted the full effect of the plague, but still loses one point of Stamina for the rest of the scene. Mortals who fail the roll, or are reduced to 0 Stamina even in the case of success, die within an hour. Undead victims who fail the roll fall into torpor within a night’s time. Vampires who resist the effects of the Plague Wind do not have their Stamina reduced; instead they become carriers of a deadly disease for the next three days. Mortals who come into direct contact with the carrier must roll their Stamina (difficulty 6) or contract the disease. Botching the Plague Wind ritual instantly sends the Cappadocian into torpor. Revelation of True Death The Curse of Caine can hold back time and death for mortals who drink the blood of a vampire, but this dark ritual can undo even that boon. A ghoul exposed to the deathly power unleashed by an elder Graverobber finds that time catches up to him in minutes. Even vampires are not immune to the vengeance of death delayed, though they are far more resistant than a mere ghoul. To enact this ritual the sorcerer must write a plea to Death itself on parchment, scribed in vitae, and place the note in the coffin of a man dead of old age. System: Any success at all on the ritual will cause a ghoul to advance to his actual physical age. Obviously, this will result in
death for ghouls who have lived beyond a human lifespan. Vampires who are targeted by the ritual will age similarly, but the effect only reduces their physical Attributes by 1 for each century of undeath. This penalty cannot exceed the number of successes gained on the ritual roll and the vampire’s Attributes cannot be reduced below 2. A vampire will shake off the effects of the ritual the next time they sleep.
Refuse Final Death Beyond simply mastering life and death for mortals, truly ancient practitioners of Mortis can ward off even the Final Death of the unliving. For a short time. Used properly, this ritual can keep a vampire preserved at the edge of non-existence for long enough to allow them to recover their blood reserves and heal. System: This ritual functions identically to Refuse Death, except that it works on the undead.
Detailed within are three traditions of Mortis that exist beyond the knowledge or understanding of the main Clan. The Eastern magics of the Indian Nagaraja, the ancient powers of the Egyptian Lazarenes and the terrifying black sorcery of the African Mla Watu are all explored.
In the Dark Continent: African Mortis
The Mla Watu, or the Ghost Eaters, focus their study of Mortis on the power that the dead hold over the living. Aside from a single Path, their knowledge is entirely spiritual. The powers of rot and decay are as foreign to them as their ghostly powers are to the main Clan.
System: The wraith to be affected by this power must first be found through use of See the Dead. The player then spends a blood point and engages in a contested Willpower roll with the spirit (difficulty 7), each success means the wraith is banished from a specific location for one hour. By expending a permanent point of willpower, this banishment can be made permanent. ••• Command the Dead The ghosts of Africa fear the Mla Watu and for good reason. With this power the ghost eaters can bend the dead to their will. System: In order to command a wraith, See the Dead must first be used to locate it. After that is accomplished, the vampire and the wraith engage in a contested Willpower roll (difficulty 7). Each success on the roll is one action the wraith can be forced to take or one question it can be forced to answer. These tasks can not require a material form or force the ghost risk its own existence. •••• Calling the Dead The spirits of the dead are not all equal, some are little more than mindless drones while others are fully aware. The Mla Watu have mastered the art of summoning to such a degree that they can call up hordes of lesser wraiths to serve them. System: The necromancer spends two blood points and rolls her Willpower (difficulty 7). Each success summons a single drone which will serve the vampire until the next dawn. These drones cannot manifest a fully physical form, but they can carry messages, torment the living or use their weak powers to cause commotion and throw things about. ••••• Walking the Shadowed Path The highest power of the ghost eaters is the ability to step from the world of the living into the world of the dead. There are rumors that
New Path Walking the Shadow World
This Path allows its users to sense and manipulate the dead or even step into the Shadowlands where they dwell. The Mla Watu use their powers to terrorize both the living and the dead, forcing both to do their bidding. • See the Dead The vampire can view the ghosts that inhabit the area around her as shadowy figures. With sufficient skill and insight, the vampire may even be able to determine the mood of the ghosts she perceives. System: The vampire makes a Perception + Occult roll (difficulty 6) and spends one blood point. A single success allows the necromancer to see any nearby ghosts. Additional successes give information on the moods of those wraiths, though the information is general at best. •• Banish the Dead Through this power the Mla Watu can offer safety from a particular wraith. Commonly used when the ghost eater has offended a wraith more powerful than expected or to punish a wraith they are displeased with by barring them from an important location.
the strongest of these dark necromancers can even drag others with them across the Shroud, and leave them there. System: Crossing the Shroud is very difficult; it requires the expenditure of five blood points and a willpower point. The necromancer then rolls her Willpower (difficulty 8) to step across. Only one success is required for the vampire to step across herself, but with three successes she may take one additional person with her when she goes. The vampire is forced to return to the land of the living at dawn, but can choose to do so at any time. Anyone carried into the underworld by a necromancer is likewise returned forcefully by the coming dawn, but cannot return on their own without help prior to that.
Paths of Africa
Practitioners of African Mortis learn a different set of Paths than traditional Cappadocians. Some of these Paths will become more common in the Modern Nights, but for now, they are secrets of the Dark Continent. Despite its spiritual focus, African Mortis does not include the Path of Nigrimancy. Walking the Shadow World serves the same purpose for the Mla Watu. Allowed Paths The Vitreous Path The Cenotaph Path (Path of Abombo) The Bone Path The Path of Haunting
The Great Wheel: Indian Mortis
The Nagaraja claim descent from a sect of Indian mages called the Chakravanti. The entropic magics of their forebears still influence the practices of the Flesh-Eaters, despite their undead condition. Nagaraja Mortis focuses entirely upon the spiritual aspects of death, taking their practice far beyond anything the Giovanni have yet to imagine.
New Path Ebon Mantle of Authority
This dark sorcery is used to threaten and cajole wraiths into doing their bidding. Some aspects of this Path have much in common with Presence, preferring emotional manipulation of the dead to direct impositions of will. This by no means lessens the cruelty that can be inflicted upon the dead by the necromancer, it simply takes a different form. • Gaze Upon the Soul With close scrutiny, an initiate of the Ebon Mantle’s powers can discern the inner workings of a wraith’s mind. The motivations, emotional state, even history of the wraith being studied become clear to those who understand how this power functions. System: The vampire rolls her Perception + Occult, difficulty of the wraith’s Manipulation + Subterfuge. The amount of information gathered through this power depends on the number of successes gained. One success might reveal the wraith’s Demeanor and current emotional state (angry, pleased, amused) while five successes would give the wraith’s Nature, high traits, strong Passions and a specific understanding of the current and general emotional condition.
•• Two Rivers Meet It is possible to use this power to link the mind of the necromancer with that of a wraith, temporarily. Such a connection allows thoughts and emotions to flow between the two easily. If the vampire asserts her dominance, she can impose her authority on the wraith and garner respect, or at least fear. There is always the risk, however, that the wraith will be the one to take control of the link. System: The vampire and the wraith make a contested Willpower roll, difficulty 7. The winner of the roll is the dominant partner in the mental exchange created by this power. There are three possible uses of this power, only one of which can be used per activation: Emotional influence, thought-reading and mental influence. If the emotional influence power is chosen, the emotional state of the loser can be manipulated, increasing or decreasing the difficulty of Virtue rolls by 2. This effect lasts for one hour per net success on the initial roll. If the thought-reading power is chosen, one strong surface thought can be detected per net success. The mental influence power allows the winner of the contested roll to one die to her next social roll involving the other participant in the link per net success on the contested roll, up to a maximum of three. ••• Assumption of Authority The use of this ability imbues the necromancer with an aura of commanding power that the dead find difficult to resist. Wraiths near the a vampire under the influence of this power find themselves drawn to the necromancer and predisposed to obey her commands. System: The necromancer spends a willpower point and rolls Manipulation + Empathy, difficulty 8. Successes on the activation roll are added to all the vampire’s Social rolls against affected wraiths for the remainder of the scene. One wraith can be affected for “free”, affecting further wraiths
requires the successes to be split between the targets. The successes on the initial roll are also added to the difficulty of any attacks made by affected wraiths against the vampire. •••• Eye of Oblivion The necromancer draws the power of Oblivion into herself and focuses it through a baleful stare which can terrify and torment even the strongest-willed of the restless dead. Wraiths affected by this terrible power can be so traumatized by the experience that they may never recover. System: To activate this power the vampire spends a willpower point and rolls Manipulation + Intimidation, resisted by the target’s Stamina + Courage, both rolls are made at difficulty 7. If the wraith wins the roll, the power fails and there is no further effect. If the vampire wins, however, the wraith is affected by the Eye’s power. For each net success the vampire gained, the wraith suffers a -1 penalty to all actions for the remainder of the scene. In addition, the wraith loses 1 point of temporary willpower and one point of Passion for every two net successes. If the wraith is reduced to 0 temporary willpower, it must roll its Courage, difficulty 7. If it fails, it gains a permanent Derangement. ••••• Shackle the Soul Though it is impossible to form a blood bond with a wraith, this dark power comes very close to doing the same thing. Initially, it is possible to dispose a wraith to act politely toward the vampire, but repeated use of this ability forges a long-term link between the wraith and the necromancer, allowing the vampire to make the dead into his eternal slaves if he chooses. The flavor of the bond created with this ability can be altered by the vampire, varying from terrified obedience to respectful trust or obsessive love, whichever will gain the results that the necromancer seeks.
System: The vampire spends a point of willpower and rolls Manipulation + Occult, difficulty of the wraith’s Willpower. If successful, the wraith is bound to the vampire with a bond equivalent to a one-step Blood Bond. A second use of this power upon a specific wraith can increase the strength of the entrancement to a two-step Bond, but the second use of the power must be at least a full week after the first use and the difficulty of the roll is increased by 1. If the second roll fails, the already established bond is shattered and the wraith may very well be extremely unhappy that it was forced into subservience. To create the effect of a full Blood Bond, this power must be used a third time. The third use must occur at least a week after the second use and has the difficulty once again increased by 1, for a total of +2 difficulty to the initial roll. Failure on the third use shatters the bond, just as failure on the second use would.
Paths of India
Practitioners of Indian Mortis learn a different set of Paths than traditional Cappadocians. Some of these Paths will become more common in the Modern Nights, but for now, they are secrets of the Flesh-Eaters Despite its spiritual focus, Indian Mortis does not include the Path of Nigrimancy. Ebon Mandle of Authority serves the same purpose for the Nagaraja Allowed Paths The Vitreous Path The Ash Path The Cenotaph Path The Path of Haunting
Going Forth by Night: Egyptian Mortis
The Lazarenes settled in the lands of Egypt, a place rich in the lore of the dead. Through alliance with the Followers of Set, they studied the ancient practices of Akhu, the blood-magic of Egypt and learned to turn its precepts and practices to the ends of Mortis. Egyptian Mortis displays a broad understanding of both physical and spiritual aspects of death and has a great deal in common with the arts of Akhu.
New Path Torment of the Underworld
This Path is based upon the Path of Duat from Akhu, but it differs in several ways. It functions on necromantic principals to draw dark power directly from the lands of the dead to inflict its torments instead of relying on the power of a lector-priest’s blasphemy shrine and hypnotic effects. As a result of this difference, Torment of the Underworld requires the expenditure of blood and willpower where the Akhu version does not. While the Path of Duat requires use of a hypnotic figured of Sokhar, the Egyptian god of Duat, Torment of the Underworld does not. The powers of this Path require the necromancer to maintain line of sight with his victim and chant continuously to maintain the connection between the victim and the Underworld. Any violent action taken by the necromancer, or any break in the chanting, will instantly end the powers of this Path. The powers of this Path can not be used on wraiths.
• Feel of the Grave The specific manifestation of this power varies wildly, but the results are the same: the target suffers discomfort and terror in the form of a condition of the underworld that she fears most. Some victims of this ability have reported to feel as if they are burning alive, others are chilled to the bone, some are raked with knives. The traditional, Egyptian manifestation of this power is the feeling and vision of being covered in hundreds of coiling serpents. System: The necromancer spends a blood point and rolls Manipulation + Occult, difficulty of the target’s Courage + Self Control. If successful, the target suffers tactile and visual hallucinations appropriate to their fears. Such hallucinations reduce all dice pools by 2 for the duration of the power and may cause a great deal of social awkwardness. Running about, screaming that one is covered in snakes or being burned alive is not typically well-adjusted behavior, after all. •• Imposition of Darkness The lightless black of the underworld falls upon the necromancer’s target, rendering them blind. System: If the vampire spends a blood point and succeeds on a Manipulation + Occult roll, difficulty 7, their target is struck blind. Blinded victims are at +2 difficulty on all Dexterity-based actions related to sight and automatically fail any sight-based Perception or Alertness rolls. Attacks made against blind targets are at -2 difficulty. ••• Suffocation of the Tomb The victim of this power is suffocated by the dark power of the underworld, unable to breathe or speak. System: This ability requires the expenditure of a blood point and a Manipulation + Occult roll, difficulty of twice the target’s Stamina. If the roll is successful, the victim
of this power begins to suffocate. Undead victims of this power are rendered mute, but otherwise unaffected since they have no need to breathe. Mortals or other living beings who need to breathe will suffocate to death if the necromancer’s spell is not broken in time. Each turn this power is maintained, a living target takes a single die of bashing damage which cannot be soaked. Once the target reaches Incapacitated, they survive for a number of minutes equal to their Stamina before dying. •••• The Narrow House Targets of this ability are mystically paralyzed as if their bodies had died, while their minds are trapped within. System: Activating this power requires spending a willpower point and engaging in a contested Willpower roll with the target, difficulty 6. If the necromancer wins, her target is unable to take any physical action for as long as the power is maintained. It is possible for the victims of this power to temporarily regain control of themselves by spending a point of willpower to act for a single turn, but any physical actions taken still suffer a dice pool penalty equal to the number of net successes the necromancer gained on the activation roll. ••••• Banishment to Beyond This power condemns the mind and spirit of its victim to the Underworld, killing mortals and sending vampires into Torpor. System: The necromancer rolls Strength + Occult, difficulty equal to the target’s Willpower, then spends a point of willpower and two points of blood to sever her target’s connection to his body, sending the spirit of the victim howling into the Underworld. If successful, the target begins to feel himself dying and may spend a point of willpower to resist the effects for a one turn, though all actions taken during such turns have a -2 dice penalty. There is no limit to how many willpower points
the target may spend, but the necromancer does not have any cost to maintain her spell. Only by breaking the necromancer’s line of sight or interrupting the chanting can the victim of this power halt its effects. Mortals who succumb to this power die horribly and vampires are forced into Torpor.
Paths of Egypt
Practitioners of Egyptian Mortis learn many of the same Paths as traditional Cappadocians, but there are a few distinctions between the two schools. Egyptian Mortis can make use of deathfocused Akhu Rituals, though these translated spells are treated as if they were one level higher than normal. Allowed Paths The Ash Path The Cenotaph Path Nigrimancy Cadaverous Animation Gift of Thanatos The Grave’s Decay Corpse in the Monster
New Ritual Call the Departed
Level Two Ritual This Ritual has the same system and effect as the level 2 power of Nigrimancy: Summon Soul. It is used by the Nagaraja and the Mla Watu as none of their proprietary Paths include a means to summon the spirits of the Restless Dead.
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