Lamiae

PAIN
IS SO CLOSE TO PLEASURE… USUALLY JUST A COUPLE OF INCHES AWAY… YOUR PAIN, MY PLEASURE…

According to the legend of the bloodline, the first Lamia ever was a daughter of Lilith. Lamiae who believe in the Judeo-Christian mythos, speak of a fit of passion between Lilith and Adam after she refused to service him and the child that came from it. Most of them however sneer at this, insisting that the Dark Mother would never open herself to Adam. Naturally, such origins are questioned and doubted by most modern Kindred, but in the end it matters little how exactly the Lamiae came to be. Their connection to Lilith – or the Crone as more conventional Acolytes note – is unquestionable and no Harlot will tolerate even hints of it being a lie. Following the legend, the female mortal descendants of the first Lamia served as high priestesses for Cults of Lilith throughout history. It was an inherited position, passed down from mother to daughter for centuries. Each Lamia upheld the memory of the Dark Mother, venerating her with violent rites and acts of carnage. Each Lamia gathered worthy women to her, instructing them in the Dark Mother's secrets and teaching them the arts of ritual and war. One night a lone unnamed Daeva Acolyte found a hidden temple at which a Lamia performed her vicious rites. He was touched by her erudition and fervor and determined that he would make her his childe. He swiftly bore down upon her and Embraced her by force before she could realize what happened. The Lamia – whose name is lost in the Fog of Eternity – was overcome by dark visions as she sank briefly into death. The Dark Mother spoke to her then in a voice as ancient as the wind, instructing her to prepare for her distant coming. “I am Death,” she said in her reedy voice, “and your new patrons shall be the key to my return to the world. Protect them at all costs.” Or so the legend claims and Hierophants around the globe never doubt it. When the Lamia had completed her transition to undeath, the Acolyte told her that she would now join the Circle of the Crone in their worship. She smiled secretively and whispered in his ear. What happened next varies depending on who is telling the story. According to some, the Daeva asked his childe to diablerize him, so that she would grow stronger and be able to fulfill her duties better. Others say he fled, meeting the sun as soon as possible. Nobody knows what exactly she told him, but whatever took place that night, changed the newly Embraced Kindred forever.

She was now the first of a bloodline – named after her sire even though his only contribution was the Embrace of the Lamia – and ready to do the bidding of the Dark Mother as guardians of her favored children. In an incredible show of resolve, she Embraced five other priestesses the same night she became undying – all of them women, a tradition held even these nights by the members of the bloodline. (For many reasons – including the fact the Succubus was a man – the members of the bloodline erased his name from all records. Most Acolytes abide by their wishes – it is safer after all – and never mention it, referring to them as Lamiae, or in the case of younger Kindred, Harlots. While the Lamiae themselves prefer the former, they accept the latter without dismembering anyone.) The Lamia made her way to the nearest Circle of the Crone coven, where the local Hierophant initiated her into the Covenant. From then on the bloodline remained close to the Acolytes. The Lamiae shared the Acolytes' fervor in worshiping Lilith – an aspect of the Crone – and most of their views, fell right in place with those of the Circle. They reveled in vampirism as a gift from their Dark Mother, the natural evolution of humanity according to them. They fell naturally into their new role as predators, perhaps not so different from their previous activities. The Lamia cult had always emphasized the arts of violence and war, so the transition from simple cult to defenders of the Circle of the Crone was a small step for them. They believe that the Covenant serves the Dark Mother and they are happy to maintain that arrangement. Their exaltation of the female principle is in many cases the backbone of the Circle's beliefs in a domain and the Lamiae make for excellent examples of empowered women. Nowadays, Lamiae can be found all around Europe, Middle East and North Africa, yet there are no rumors of them being present anywhere else. According to some, the bloodline is reluctant to move outside that range and North America in particular seems to be a region they avoid at all costs – whether they know something others don't, or it is because of some superstition remains to be seen. As guardians of prominent Acolytes, it is no surprise that the bloodline crossed paths with the Khaibit many times in the past, or at least with those Khaibit that still remember their duty. While there is no rivalry between the two bloodlines, La-

miae usually consider the Khaibit as inferior – if they were not, they would not forget their duties after all. When possible, a Harlot will try to replace an Asp as the protector of the local Acolytes of note, or will at least try to become the superior guardian. When confronted about the First Estate House Lamia in the Greek co-capital, Thessaloníki, Lamiae say its three members are not their sisters in Blood, but are in fact Embraced descendants of Lamiae that never met Lamiae or any of his childer. How the three Greek Kindred view the bloodline on the other hand, is not known as for whatever reason they have made no comment about Lamiae. If there is a connection, it is not likely to be discovered anytime soon, since Thessaloníki is an Ordo Dracul city. Parent Clan: Daeva Nickname: Harlots Covenant: All Lamiae are members of the Circle of the Crone. More often than not, the members of the bloodline serve as bodyguards to the Hierophant or prominent Acolytes and unsurprisingly, they are rather rigid around Sanctified, if not outright hostile. Appearance: Most of the original Lamiae are of Mediterranean descent; a few Europeans have been Embraced since. They prefer to dress in black and often in ritualistic garments – especially when at the side of the Hierophant. Most are tall and muscular and all are possessed of a feral beauty – in the form of the Striking Looks (••) Merit. Rumors say that after a while, all Lamiae display signs of their inceptor’s blood in ways most peculiar: black lips, pale skin and black hair have been fairly common – something that makes most of them easy to blend in among goth crowds. Haven: The Lamiae prefer solitude in their havens, the better to contemplate the mysteries of the Dark Mother. In ages past, tombs and sarcophagi were favored havens, as were convents. In modern times, Harlots can be found in more conventional havens (apartments and the like) and quite often they share a haven with the Acolyte they are bound to protect. Background: Often into the occult and relatively young, Harlots have a rather narrow background span. In addition, most women that were brought into the bloodline had pretty strong beliefs about the place of woman in modern society and the world in general. The tiny numbers of male Lamiae are all bodyguards Embraced as rare favors for Kindred who have earned the favor of the Hierophant. The Lamiae do not accept them fully as members of the bloodline, since they are rarely initiates of the cult. Character Creation: Even those Lamiae primarily concerned with things ritualistic and religious tend to have Physical Attributes primary – the rites of the Lamiae are violent and strenuous. Each Lamia possesses at least one combat related Skill – usually Weaponry as blades are more efficient against Kindred but Firearms are getting more disciples lately and many are the Harlots that focus on unarmed combat. Bloodline Disciplines: Celerity, Deim o s, Majesty, Vigor Weakness: Any time they bite a mortal (not a vampire), the wounds are blackened and ugly and painful. As long as the wound remains unhealed, the victim suffers a penalty equal to

the vampire's Blood Potency or the number of Health lost to feeding, whichever is lower. Furthermore, while there is no Vinculum between the Lamiae and others, the members of the bloodline suffer a -1 penalty when trying to work against Acolytes with Circle of the Crone Status higher than their own. This is even more crippling if the Acolyte in question is a Yagnatia. Organization: The Lamiae have a cult-like hierarchy. Few in numbers, they are close-knit and loyal to their vision of the Dark Mother's plans for them and the Circle of the Crone. Most Lamiae remain with their sires for at least a decade before moving on to a new haven – or if needed, domain. They zealously serve the Circle of the Crone at Lilith's behest and the wish of the Hierophant comes before that of any bloodline member. Lamiae ghouls – female in their entirety – act as servants to both their regnant and whoever she is protecting. More often than not, they play the role of herd, bodyguards or cultists that use their powers to enlighten others in the mysteries of the Dark Mother and eventually bring new blood into the fold. Concepts: Descendant of Lamia, martial artist, Lilith cultist, active feminist, assassin, modern Amazon, Wiccan lesbo The trademark discipline of the Lamiae, Deimos is focused on pain and corruption. More often than not, the subject of the Harlot’s attentions will be welcoming death before long... and sometimes they get their wish. With Deimos, the Harlots have a potent tool of interrogation or— given their preferences— amusement. The powers of this discipline allow the Lamia to identify a subject’s weakness, to inflict pain— or not— real and even the means for mass murder with the use of toxic clouds.

Deimos

• Smell the Sin
The Harlot is able to virtually “sniff out” the Vice of the subject. This ability is a matter of empathy and has nothing to do with smell, but most Lamiae do exactly that for dramatic effect. This power is the reason the bloodline earned their nickname as they use that knowledge to creep into their subject’s mind and soul. Cost: — Dice Pool: Wits + Empathy + Deimos minus subject’s Composure + Blood Potency Action: Instant Roll Results Dramatic Failure: The Lamia gets misleading information about the subject’s vice. Failure: The Harlot senses nothing and is free to try again the following turn. Success: The power works as intended, revealing the subject’s vice to the Harlot. Exceptional Success: As above but the Harlot gains +2 die when trying to make the subject indulge his vice for the rest of the night.

•• Hell’s Kiss
In order to mock other Kindred and inflict pain to their victims, the Harlots have developed Hell’s Kiss, a power than when used, makes the vampire’s kiss one of the most painful— and sometimes deadly— experiences. There is no change in their

feeding rate, however, just on how bad the effect on their dinner is. Cost: — Dice Pool: Resolve + Empathy + Deimos minus subject’s Stamina + Blood Potency Action: Reflexive Roll Results Dramatic Failure: The Kiss acts twice as pleasant, to the point where even vampires are affected by it. Mortals and others normally affected by the Kiss roll to resist with a -1 die penalty. Failure: The Kiss is normal. Success: After Kissing the subject, even once, the Harlot adds her Deimos rating as bonus dice to any Intimidation rolls made against the subject for the duration of the encounter. Exceptional Success: As above, and the bite of the Harlot inflicts double damage while feeding, meaning one Vitae point consumed inflicts 2 points of lethal damage.

Dice Pool: Wits + Empathy + Deimos minus subject’s Stamina + Blood Potency Action: Reflexive Roll Results Dramatic Failure: The Harlot is hurt instead of the subject, for 2 points of lethal damage. Failure: No damage is done. Success: The subject suffers one point of lethal damage per success, and is paralyzed for a number of rounds equal to the successes. After using this power, even once, the Harlot adds her Deimos rating as bonus dice to any Intimidation rolls made against the subject for the duration of the encounter. Exceptional Success: As above, extra successes only add to the damage.

••••• Breath of the Wicked
Nobody knows exactly how the Harlots earned this power; some say it was pure spite…In any case, however, Breath of the Wicked is a reality. It allows the Harlot to exhale a toxic cloud that can be lethal to mortals, while it distracts and annoys vampires. Cost: 3 Vitae Dice Pool: Resolve + Survival + Deimos Action: Instant Roll Results Dramatic Failure: The Harlot is hurt instead of the subject, for 2 points of lethal damage. Failure: No damage is done. Success: The cloud spreads to cover the surrounding area in three rounds, and lasts for the rest of the scene. The cloud has Toxicity equal to the Harlot’s successes, and all within the area without the ability to see through smoke or fog are effectively blind (see p. 166 of the World of Darkness Rulebook) and everything in the area is obscured to outside observers. Exceptional Success: As above, but the cloud covers the surroundings instantly.

••• Phantom Pain
Upon refining their powers, Lamiae are able to make their victims believe they feel excruciating pain, while all there is is the will of their tormentor. No pain is left when the Lamia stops using this power. In order to successfully activate this power the character must first succeed in a touch attack (see “Touching an Opponent,” p. 157 of the World of Darkness Rulebook) unless the target is not actively defending themselves. Cost: 1 Vitae Dice Pool: Presence + Empathy + Deimos minus subject’s Composure + Blood Potency Action: Reflexive Roll Results Dramatic Failure: The Harlot is affected instead of the subject for 2 points of bashing damage. Failure: No pain is inflicted on the subject. Success: The subject suffers one point of bashing damage per success, which does not wrap around into lethal, and is paralyzed for a number of rounds equal to the successes. If the subject’s Health track is filled by this phantom damage, he immediate falls unconscious or into torpor. Unconscious mortals wake during the next scene, while vampires driven into torpor awaken the next night. After using this power, even once, the Harlot adds her Deimos rating as bonus dice to any Intimidation rolls made against the subject for the duration of the encounter. Exceptional Success: As above, extra successes only add to the damage.

•••• Affliction of the Damned
Taking torture one step further, Lamiae are able to cause physical harm with a mere touch, unlike Phantom Pain, this power can actually kill a vampire, or at least send him into Torpor. In order to successfully activate this power the character must first succeed in a touch attack (see “Touching an Opponent,” p. 157 of the World of Darkness Rulebook) unless the target is not actively defending themselves. Cost: 2 Vitae

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