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Clan Curse is a supernatural limitation experienced by a vampire based on their clan. Clan Curses are at the core of the defining traits of a vampire, and are one of the features that sets traditional vampires apart from Caitiff.

OverviewEdit

According to the Book of Nod and the Erciyes Fragments, the traditional Clan Curses are the result of Caine's wrath against the Third Generation after the destruction of the Second Generation. Each participant received a curse to mark him for his betrayal. The Erciyes Fragments also introduce the concept that the original draft of Caine's Curse was the limitation of the Third Generation, as well as their weakening Generation, to supplant another revolt of childe against sire.[1]

These deficits have often a deep psychological impact on the new vampire and often force him to reshape his nightly existence completly. Various Clans, however, rationalize their Curse away, others interpretate it as a hidden gift or the secondary effect of a great enlightenment or advantage to delude themselves. There is no way to fundamentally alter or otherwise affect a Clan Curse, best demonstrated on the visage of the Nosferatu, which stays the same regardless of cosmetic changes made via supernatural means like Vicissitude. The Gehenna scenario "Nightshade" furthermore details how all Clan Curses become more severe and intermingle with signature Disciplines as the End Times progress[2].

Below is a listing of the various Clan curses and their alleged origins. Additionally, the Baali, Tremere and Giovanni (and Brujah) are included for their alleged lineage from a member of the Third Generation.

AssamiteEdit

The Assamites have been cursed multiple times, altering their original Clan Curse. The Erciyes Fragments state: "Behold my most deadly childe/who loved murder for its own sake/Let him be addicted to the taste of /killing, so that all may fear/and loathe him." [3]. Followers of Set describe the Assamite as children of the hunter-goddes Neith, tied to the astrological sign of Sagittarius, and their discipline over the hungry Beast as their gift, but that the tranquility of their Beast is the result of regular feedings with vampire blood[4]. Bahari myths tell that [Haqim] was cursed by Lilith with utmost severity for stealing the secrets of D'hainu after Caine and his grandchildren ravaged it[5].The Assamites themselves, however, claim that Haqim was never cursed by Caine and that the weakness of his descendants stem from his monomanical fixation on one focus or passion or duty to the exclusion of all else. This defining trait carried itself through the Blood, marking his lines with that aspect of his personality[6]: The Vizier Caste, the first of the line, are solely focused on one scholary task, in a similar manner to the Clan weakness of the Toreador[6]. The Warrior Caste was marked with the black stains of Diablerie from the moment of their Embrace, presumably as visible markings of their duty as Judges to other Cainites[6]. The Sorcerer Caste carried an aura that would betray them as blood magicians, in order to differentiate them from other blood mages[6]. As all Castes are an equal part of the Clan, it is likely that their Antediluvian had a personal hand in shaping the properties of their blood, as evidenced in the "Heartblood" in the heart of Alamut.[7]. Indeed, some Malkavians postulate that Haqim has ceased to exist as a corporeal entity, instead manifesting in the blood of his Children[8]. Their mutability and flexibility of their vitae may have played a role in the susceptibility of the Clan to Blood Curses.

The Assamites have been afflicted by two Blood Curses cast on them by their enemies; the Baali and the Tremere. The first curse was levied in 636 by the Baali, with the aid of the demonic Decani, against the Warrior Caste, in order to fill them with a murderous hunger for Cainite vitae, ruining their reputation among the other Clans and transforming the ritualistic Amaranth of a guilty culprit into the desire to consume. The Assamite began to rationalize the curse as a desire to become One with Haqim, but the Elders among them know the curse's origin[9]. The second curse was the result of the Treaty of Tyre in 1496 and imposed by the Council of Seven from the Tremere Clan. It made Cainite vitae poisonous to Assamites, making Diablerie impossible. In order to sate their craving for vitae and Diablerie imposed by the Baali curse, the Sorcerer Caste developed alchemical potions brewed from vampire blood[10]. The Tremere curse was lifted by ur-Shulgi in 1998, using the Heartblood as a catalyst. The mighty Methuselah now searches for a way to end the Baali curse, but had no successes yet[11]. After abstaining for so long from Cainite vitae, most Warriors quickly become addicted to the taste in addition to their hunger of Diablerie[12], something speculated to be the verdict of Haqim himself to weed out the weak of his Clan in preparations for Gehenna[13]. For a long period of time, the blood magic of the Sorcerers had also been weakened as ur-Shulgi used their blood ties to him in order to fuel his awakening, resulting in a need to expend more blood point in order to cast spells[12]. Additionally, all Assamites succumb to the "Darkening" (except Al-Ashrad for unknown reasons), which turns their skin darker with each passing year, until they have the complexion of obsidian.[14]

BaaliEdit

As the Baali have multiple origin myths, so are the explanations for their weakness against the powers of True Faith. The story of the Slave Boy tells how Caine strips Shaitan of his beauty and power, to reveal his wicked heart[15], and Shaitan makes a deal with the forces of darkness to avenge himself. Others describe a nameless Methuselah, whose soul and that of its childer were condemned to the demons of the Pit[16]. Others speak of the Torment within Caine's blood that is further exemplified in the vitae of the Baali[17]. Most pious Kindred insisted that the vileness of the Baali had earned them the ire of God and that they felt his wrath more intense because of this.

The elder Baali themselves were perplexed by the fact that they could be harmed by faiths that they actually predated and ascribed it to an untapped inner potential or even a secret allegiance to forces similar to those of the Baali[18]. Younger Baali often allocate their susceptibility to their dealings with the netherworlds and occupants of strange places beyond the reach of God[19].

BrujahEdit

The Clan Curse of the Brujah is their uncontrollable temper. Most records agree that the Clan Curse was the retribution from Caine for Troile's diablerie of his sire, Ilyes. The Erciyes Fragments state: "He who claimed innocence because/the Beast ruled him/shall be slave to the Beast forever" [20].Bahari myths tell that [Brujah] was cursed by Lilith along [Tzimisce] and [Set], when they slaughtered Lilith's children.[5] Old texts speak of an argument between Troile and his/her (the records are unclear about Troile's exact gender) sire that escalated and ended with Troile's diablerie of his sire. For this, he was cursed by Caine: "Never before has one of my progeny drunk the very soul of another. I curse you ever to aspire your sire's wisdom, but also to be prey to the very diabolic fury that drove you to this act."[21] These texts tell that Troile accepted Caine's punishment and assumed his sire's name to honor what he once had been[22]. Other comment that the tendency to frenzy arouse only after the fall of Carthage and is their founder's legacy for his surviving progeny for forsaking him in his final battle[23]. Some Baali claim that the origin of the Brujah curse is their shame at their collaboration with the Devils in Carthage and their knowledge that all their aspirations to erect the Third City fell when they prostituted their ethics away for power and legend[24]. The Followers of Set remember the True Brujah, who were created by Thoth and placed under the sign of the Libra, and believe that the aggression of the modern Brujah stems from their failure to live up to their founder's legacy[4].

The wild passion in the blood of the Brujah has led to their decline in the Modern Nights, from a High Clan of philosopher-kings and warrior-poets to the dilapeted revolutionaries and rebels against any establishment they can find in the modern Camarilla. Though they're quick to adopt a cause, they're equally as quick to fall to frenzy. This connection to passion can be a blessing, but inspiration can also yield to the madness and hunger of the Beast. Of course, the Brujah rabidly deny this penchant for excitement, and become quite hostile when the issue is raised[25]. Members of the Clan justify their curse with the fact that it allows them to face their Beasts at a much more regular base and support their mortal values, thus retaining empathy that other vampires (and indeed, even Troile's own sire) lacked. Brujah take great pride in their ability to implenting their visions through mortal channels and keep close contacts to their mortal allies.[26] An unfortunate side effect of this passion and idealism is that few Brujah agree on anything and are prone to infighting and mistrust, as they rage against what they regard as wrong or placid, to institute something better, without clear knowledge of the consequences[27].

CappadociansEdit

The Clan Curse of the Cappadocians was their deathly pallor. The Erciyes Fragments state: "He, who loved death for death's/own sake/Shall wear death's coutenance for/all to see and fear." [28] Bahari myths tell that [Cappadocius] was cursed by Lilith along [Ravnos], [Gangrel] and [Saulot], when they feasted on the flesh of her children[5].Cappadocius himself, however, was one the more reclusive Antediluvians, apparently content with reading books, making his execration difficult to understand in Noddistic concepts, especially since other Antediluvians (Haqim, Saulot) were apparently spared from Caine's wrath. Other accords claim that something during Cappadocius Embrace went wrong, that when he died, vengeful shades from the netherworld clung to him and fragmented his soul during the Embrace, causing his obsession with death (due to the unconscious desire to reunite his soul) and the paling of his body. Caine merely cursed Cappadocius' childer to share their founders incomplete Embrace[29]. The Followers of Set associated the Clan with Anubis and the astrological sign of Virgo, who granted them their affinity to the afterlife, but could not shield them from the taint of the death-realms that would disfigure them[30].

With the extinction of the Cappadocians and their devolvement into separate bloodlines, who often have a derived weakness (the skeletal appearence of the Harbingers of Skulls, the rotten appearence of the Samedi etc.), the Cappadocian weakness has nearly vanished. Some Giovanni, however, exhibit the traits of their old Clan and are called Premascine. Most of these are ancient and have been Embraced directly by Cappadocians (Ambrogino Giovanni is one exemple).

Followers of SetEdit

The Clan Curse of the Followers of Set is their higher vulnerability to the effects of bright light. The Erciyes Fragments state: "He who reveled in the darkness/of his own foul hunger/Shall be bound to that darkness/forever, kin to the most vile,/accursed by God"[28]. Bahari myths tell that [Set] was cursed by Lilith along [Brujah] and [Tzimisce], when they slaughtered Lilith's children.[5]The Setites themselves, with their different orgin myth distanced from the biblical tale of Caine, have their own explanations. Their myth retells the story of Set and Osiris as detailed in the various Osiris myths myths within Egypt, but they continue Set's story after he was defeated by Horus and banished into Duat, cursed by Re to never abide his sight again. By accord of the Setite Elder Shenebti, he battled and killed Apep, the Devourer, during his stay in the Underworld. With Apep’s death he took on Apep’s dark wisdom (along with further vulnerability to bright light) and learned secrets hidden from the beginning of the world. When Re created the world, he gave it life through his own semen, creating gods and the souls of human beings alike. Souls differed in size, but not in kind. Set realized the truth: All souls could grow as mighty as their tyrant father and become creators themselves. He returned to the living world disguised as a serpent, vowing to topple Re and his tyranny. He gathered disciples, but was betrayed by the Moon and found himself betrayed again by them, as they pleaded for mercy before the other gods when Re cursed them to flee the light of the sun, becoming unable to carry children and feed on blood only[31]. Other stories among the Clan are similar, mainly that Re is the one who cursed Set. These myths also feature the river of Duat as source of Set's power, in contrast to the heart of Apep, and that he struggles against the falsehood of civilization to lead people back to the simple days of the hunter-gatherer cultures, where no distinction made by moral was made and the Underworld was a much more tranquil place[32]. The Clan's mythology also explains the orgin and weaknesses of the other Clans: In order to combat Set's hold on the world, Re commanded Seker, the god of darkness and eternal death, to take water from Duat and bless it. Then Re poured the water into twelve bowls and gave it to twelve gods, who each added their own immortal blood. Each god chose one of the treacherous disciples and made him drink the divine blood and deathly water, turning him or her into an undead god like Set, with whom they shared the original curses from Re to drink blood, hide from the sun and becoming half-dead. The gods then bade their twelve apostles to sire childer, as Set did, and lead them in war against their creator. In order to ensure continuity, they bound their existence to the Dodecad of the Zodiac, so that even if one of their numbers would be destroyed, another would rise[33]. The Setites are tied to the hidden sign of the Ophiuchus, outside the dodecad and yet a part of it[34]. Even Noddists among the Clan believe that Set suffered from sunlight not because of Caine's curse, but because he opposed Osiris (a vampire in this tale, embraced by an unknown Antediluvian who envied Set)reign, who was favored by his own grandfather, Re (a deified figure).[35]

As a result, few Setites are startled by their weakness, instead, it reassures their existence as the children of a divine being who rebelled against a tyrant. The Modern Nights, however, introduce much more bright light than those of antiquity: floodlights, fluorescent light, glaring illumination of buildings and similar sources of bright light have become ever-present in the modern world, driving the Setites even more into hiding. Some Clan Elders, assembled in the House of Eclipse, have begun to plot to blot out the sun, supporting various figures around the world with similar goals, all the while encouraging the emission of vapors and smoke to generate clouds to achieve their goal at least partially[36].

GangrelEdit

The Clan Curse of the Gangrel are bestial features that disfigure them temporarily after every Frenzy. Characteristics acquired in Gangrel frenzies need not only be physical – they can be behavioral as well. Over time, or in an exceptional situation, a particular animal feature may become permanent, with the next frenzy adding a new feature[37]. As the curse of the Gangrel is difficult to overlook (and the Gangrel are a rather fractured Clan), many stories are told over the origin of these "Beast Marks", as they are called. The Erciyes Fragments state: "She who used the wild beasts for/allies in her killing/Shall become a Beast herself/that all men revile her."[20]. Bahari myths tell that [Gangrel] was cursed by Lilith along [Ravnos],[Saulot] and [Cappadocius], when they feasted on the flesh of her children[5].Different accounts state that the Gangrel Antediluvian, usually called Ennoia, was brougt into the fold of the undead against her will and she fled the First City, only to be pursued by Caine. These sources claim that Ennoia gained her bestial features by feeding only from animals for an extended period of time or that it was a gift from God himself. Other Noddists claim that Caine punished Ennoia for the sin of coupling with animals[38]. Some Gangrel myths claim that Ennoia was the one who spoke the curse upon her wayward children for deserting their duty to fight against Churka, commonly believed to be the Ravnos Antediluvian, with hunger for blood, aversion against sunlight and the loss of their connection to the creatures of the wilds, although she later taught repentant members of her line how to re-access them[39]. Other Clans have other stories that tie into their respective mythologies: The Followers of Set state that the goddess Tefnut, as well as the zodiac sign of Leo, gave the Gangrel their powers. She enjoyed taking the form of a lion and wandering through desert places, losing herself in her beast form until Thoth found her and brough her back. The Gangrel take after her: they love to travel, and with time their appearance and mannerisms become more bestial[30]. The Ravnos of India, however, claimed that Ennoia was created by the gods alongside Zapathasura to fight against the asuratizayya. She abandoned her duty and cursed the gods for bringing her into existence, leaving her to be cursed in exchange to "dwell among the beasts and find no safe haven anywhere in the world" along with marking her with bestial features, so that she could be reckognize by everyone[40]. The Romani Ravnos claim that Ennoia betrayed her progenitor (the Ravnos Antediluvian) after having been accepted into his extended family and that Caine cursed her with restlessness and to become the Beast she had proven herself to be[41].

Other clans speak derogatorily of the Gangrel's animalistic features as the results of "losing control." This is not strictly true: Any frenzy, whether entered willingly or fiercely resisted, inflicts the same penalty upon the Outlanders. Gangrel entering Rötschreck may not suffer this curse; so long as the vampire obeys the "flight" tenet of the Red Fear, she does not acquire an animal feature. A cornered Gangrel who resorts to the "fight" half of the equation will regain her senses to find another feral feature, as even necessary violence brings the Beast bubbling to the fore. Most of the features caused by the Beast are visible and clearly animal or even insectoid in origin. Others can be smelled or heard, like a pungent musk or shrill, cawing voice. In some cases, the Gangrel is left with animalistic impulses and behaviors as result of frenzy. These are psychological aberrations, similar to derangements, but far less crippling individually. The variation of animal features within the clan is astonishing. No two Gangrel have ever developed the exact same set of features, although basic trends may be passed from sire to childe.[42] The pagan Gangrel believed these features to be manifestations of the beast-soul, the shape that the soul assumes after death or during sleep, and that each Beast Mark was a sign that the Gangrel had become closer to the connection to the living world he lost during his Embrace. Lack of any bestial features has been seen as a sign of a weak soul-beast among these Gangrel[43].

GiovanniEdit

The Clan Curse of the Giovanni is their excrutiating painful Kiss. As the family usurped control of the Clan from the Cappadocians in the 14th century, they have not been cursed by Caine (although the Prophecies within the Erciyes Fragments tell about the eventual fate of the Clan, which is not very assuring[44]) When Augustus Giovanni received the blood of Cappadocius, Japheth, arbiter of the Embrace, spoke: "He who partakes of this boon shall forever be judged by this blood and by the will of God. Color this viate with the deeds of its drinker. Let him sup with his soul every time he feeds. Deliver this blight upon him as the Founder delivers this stigma to us."[45]When Augustus betrayed the Cappadocians and diablerized his sire, the curse took hold. Other call the curse of the Giovanni "Lamia's Kiss", claiming it to be the curse from the Lamia bloodline, who were servants to the Cappadocians, when their leader was diablerized by Augustus[46]. During the Dark Ages, some claimed that the pain during a great famine that Augustus had to witness in his mortal days echoed in his blood, although they were still puzzled why certain Giovanni exhibted Cappadocians traits instead[47].

As their feedings is most often lethal and can severely endanger the Masquerade, most Giovanni are discret, feeding from blood banks and other secondary sources like corpses[48]. Also, Giovanni are under no illusion that they are anything but inhuman, as each feeding session proves again[49].

LasombraEdit

The Clan Curse of the Lasombra is their lacking reflection. The Erciyes Fragments state: "Behold my darkest childe, who/killed with shadow./Let the shadows veil his soul, so/that all may know his crime."[3] Bahari myths tell that [Lasombra] was cursed by Lilith along [Ventrue] and [Malkav], when they ignited the trees of her garden and defiled her rivers[5].During the Middle Ages and Lasombra influence in the Church, rumors circulated about the Devil as source behind their curse, who punished all of the Clan of Night for their vanity in daring to call on a power darker than his own, and hence stole all of their reflections[50] or claimed that their true curse was to exist as eternal conduits to the Abyss, that they might perpetually confronted by the inner darkness of the undead form[51]. The Followers of Set tell that the Clan is the creation of Amon, tied to the zodiac sign of Aries, who impressed their lust of power into their blood, and that [Lasombra] cast his own shadow out so that no one could see him approaching from behind [52]. Most Lasombra, however, do not concern themselves with the origin of their curse, instead wearing it as a badge of pride that separates them from other Clans and the Kine.

The lack of a reflection, however, has real psychological consequences most Lasombra rarely speak about. An obsession with one's appearance, using ghouls to keep it unchanging, as well as regularly posing for portraits as the only way to see if they have changed, are regular results[53] and some Lasombra are reported to sit in mirrored rooms for hours, contemplating their apparent non-existence before storming again into the world to prove that they, in fact, exist and that their existence has an impact, regardless what the mirrors tell them[54]. There are, however, some Lasombra who manage to cast a blurry and shadowy reflection, although they appear like Spirit photographies[53].

MalkavianEdit

The Clan Curse of the Malkavians is their madness. As one of the more obvious Curses, many speculations and statements have been made on the subject. The Book of Nod states: "He cursed [Malkav]. when that one/defamed his image/and doomed him to insanity.forever."[55], while the Erciyes Fragments describe the cursing in the following words: "Behold, my most foolish childe./who claims madness for his/pleasure./Let him become mad in truth, so that/all may fear his company."[3] Bahari myths tell that Malkav was cursed by Lilith along [Ventrue] and [Lasombra], when they ignited the trees of her garden and defiled her rivers[5]. Another of the curse include that Malkav was a notorious liar and his lies nearly caused the death of Zillah. Caine, enraged, cursed Malkav with telling an infinite number of "truths" thereafter[56]. Different tales point to Malkavs alleged ties to Lilith, claiming that she revealed a secret to him that broke his mind[57]. Some even say Malkav was visited by an angel or angels of the Lord, who imparted unto him certain revelations that were meant to secure Caine's repentance, and that he then approached Caine and spoke to him and his brothers. Caine, in rage, was said to have struck him down for this attempt and to have then cursed his descendants with insanity[58]. Other Clans try to explain the Malkavian Curse in their own terms, like the Followers of Set; who say that the Malkavians are the creation of Isis, under the influence of the zodiac sign of Cancer, who tried to grant supreme wisdom to their founder, and instead shattered his mind and all his descendants likewise[30], while some Tzimisce compared the Clan to the architecst of the Tower of Babel: The Malkavians have seen Heaven, but they cannot describe it to others[59]. Most others give the Clan's peculiarities a wide berth and hope it is not infectious.

The Malkavians, for their part, seek to utilize their insanity for good use, referring to it as "The Sight" or "The Gift"[16], describing it as the power to see beyond reality, a connection to the primal chaos that would give them a connecton to life that othe Clans lacked. Some claim that Caine had no hand in cursing the Clan, and that their madness is a result of the insight that rushed through Malkav when he drank deeply from the blood of the Second Generation[16]. Others describe their Antediluvian as more than a mere human by the time of his Embrace, as a prophet or divine messenger[16]. Others tie it back to the Malkavian Madness Network and the psychic link between them, something explored by medieval Ordos and Oracles in Antiquity[60].

NosferatuEdit

The Clan Curse of the Nosferatu is their horrible appearence. It is generally accepted even among the Clan as a curse for their founder's vanity. The Erciyes Fragments' state: "He, who sought to hide his/ monstrous deeds/Shall become monstrous in visage/ and doomed to dwell in offal/and darkness."[20], while the Book of Nod states: "When [Nosferatu] was found indulging/his tastes/in foul ways with his own children/ Caine laid his hand on [Nosferatu],/ and told him that he would forever/wear his evil/and twisted his visage."[55] Bahari myths tell that [Nosferatu] was spared from the wrath of Lilith for veiling and burying the corpses of her slain children[5].Noddistic tradition claims that Absimiliard, the Nosferatu founder, bore a tiny scar from his sire in his otherwise perfect face, driving him mad with hate and envy, until he lashed out against his sire, Zillah. Some claim that Absimillard was defeated and Caine cursed him by twisting his visage and banishing him from his sight[61], while others say that Absimillard killed his sire and brutally mutilated her face, which lead to Caine's reaction[62]. The Toreador believe that Caine cursed [Nosferatu] with a hunger for others secrets in addition to his deformed appearence after he mentioned the forbidden First Generation[63]. Other Toreador tell of a relationship between Arikel and Absimiliard and that Absimiliard defaced himself after Arikel told him that she could accept his scar as part of his beauty. Ashamed that his secret was out, the first Nosferatu choose to become the most horrific being in the world, if he could not be the most beautiful[64]. Some Tzimisce claim that the visage of the Nosferatu was the doing of their founder in order to create perfect warriors, and on the night of Gehenna, the Nosferatu will be freed from their disfigurement in exchange for eternal service[65]. The Followers of Set assign the Nosferatu to the astrological sign of Taurus and that the war-god Mont crafted them to endure and strike the final blow, after he made them so hideous that they would be forced to rely on themselves and each other, and develop strength, cunning and ruthlessness in order to survive[52].

The Embrace - also known as the Plague Kiss- has profound reactions on any Nosferatu: In contrast to other vampires, they can never pretend to be something else than a monster. The Embrace is painful, takes nights in agonizing transformation and often, a prospective childe does not make it. In the Dark Ages, the Nosferatu Embrace was often used as a punishment for unfaithful ghouls, believing it to be a fate worse than death[66]. In the Modern Nights, doubts of the "cursed" nature have arisen. Some Nosferatu have proposed that the Clan has its origins in the first life of the oceans[61], while the Tremere researcher Claudius Maximus (who died on the hands of one of his latest test subjects) presumed that the Nosferatu have ties to reptiles and that their deformities are the result of their troglobiontic (probably even incestous) ways- he further stated that no two Nosferatu looked alike and there was no predictable way to foresee what deformities would form[67]. Most Nosferatu rarely leave their warrens to interact with vampire society, preferring to be secluded from those who would shun them. Few vampires suspect anything of the Nosferatu population and culture beneath them[68].

RavnosEdit

The Clan Curse of the Ravnos is their addiction to crime. The Erciyes Fragments state: "He, who took no action, but/abandoned other to their fate,/Shall be himself Outcast and/trusted by none."[20]. Bahari myths tell that [Ravnos] was cursed by Lilith along [Gangrel], [Saulot] and [Cappadocius], when they feasted on the flesh of her children[5]. The Followers of Set attributed the Ravnos to the zodiac sign of Aquarius and under the dominion of Ptah, who granted them the ability to shape mirages of objects as a shadow of his own divine power, but also filling the Ravnos with a desire to gain more material experiences than the illusions they created[69]. The Clan itself, with its many cultural divisions, has many legends and theories. The Indian Ravnos believed that Agni, the god of fire; Surya, the god of the sun and Brahma, the god of creation, cursed Zapathasura when he was created, to fear sunlight and fire and to be cursed with hunger for mortal substenance and a spiritual void that could never be filled[70]. Noddistic tradition speaks of a man named Dracian, a thief, who was embraced by Irad to spy on the Third Generation. He betrayed his sire and Caine cursed him to never know satisfaction, as punishment for his selfishness and shortsightedness. This lead Dracian into the East, following Saulot's footsteps[71]. The Romani Ravnos believed that their condition was a revolt against the ways of the gaje- non-Gypsies- and only those Ravnos not of Romani descent would not be able to control their urges[72]. Other stories told that the curse of tempation under which the Ravnos labor was inflicted as a punishment because the clan founder desired the pleasures of the life lost to him. His need to steal life from mortals, as well as his desire to regain what he no longer had, expanded to encompass all aspects of mortal life. Rather than simply seek out what he wanted on his terms, he was compelled to take whatever he could get as a reminder that no matter how much he had or how he got it, he would never benefit from it[73]. Members of the Yoryari believed that each "crime" they comit breaks the hold of the Antediluvians over weig and further destabilizes the tomb that reality has become[74]. As of Vampire: The Dark Ages 20th Anniversary Edition, the Clan Curse of the Ravnos has been ameliorated in so far that any character trait can become addictive to them. It can be something seen as virtuous, like stepping to defend an innocent, donate money to the poor or speaking against oppression; or sinister, like taking advantage of others, stealing possessions and compulsive lying[75].

The Ravnos curse is highly individual. Ravnos suffer from compulsions that range from the pedestrian habit of kleptomania to the far more exotic and dangerous drive to commit diablerie on fellow Kindred. The Embrace awakens the Beast within every Kindred, but the Ravnos Beast is a bit more cunning, a bit more deceptive and a bit more underhanded than that of other Kindred, in addition to the general dangers of Frenzy and Rötschreck. Its impulses are part of the Ravnos' own deepest self, nearly reflexes. Ravnos develop criminal inclinations based on their activities in life, either a temptation they indulged often as mortals or something they especially despised, as the Embrace is an ironic gift. Some Ravnos develop impulses toward crimes they never would have considered in mortal life. The Kindred form and its powers provide opportunities to commit acts that no mortal would attempt, and the Embrace occasionally brings such urges forth. If a Ravnos supresses the urge, he suffers from headaches and similar symptoms until he finally gives in[73]. Medieval Ravnos classified their urges along the Seven Deadly Sins in order to better understand them[76].

SalubriEdit

The Clan Curse of the Salubri is their obligation to imperatives from their Antediluvian, as well as their trademark Third Eye upon their forehead. The Clan Curses of the Salubri weren't curses originally: Caine exempted Saulot from his judgement of the Third Generation, as he was the only virtuous among them. Instead, he prophesied to him how the Third Eye, the signature of his Clan, would become their bane, when the childer of his brothers would turn against them[77]. Legends among the Clan say that Saulot forbid the healers to feed from anyone who feared them[78] and his warriors from turning away from those who needed help[79]. Other Clans are not so lenient in the description of Clan of Healers. Some Toreador believe that Caine's curse on Saulot was that his bloodline became attached to an endless procession of upstart usurper lines[63]. The Followers of Set remember Saulot's involvement with the Baali and believe a similar fraud behind his apparent destruction and the rise of the Tremere; they claim it is part of the dual nature of Saulot's creator, the Egyptian goddess Bast, who was also Sekhmet, a raging lioness, further exemplified by zodiac sign of Gemini the Salubri were bound to[30]. There are tablets that detail how Saulot intended to sacrifice his Clan, having been annoyed with their contemplative nature and that intended to replace them[80]. The Ivory Tablets speak of Saulot's hatred against Caine for "lying" to him about his state after discoveries made by him over the nature of the Wan Kuei[81]. Bahari myths tell that [Saulot] was cursed by Lilith along [Gangrel],[Ravnos] and [Cappadocius], when they feasted on the flesh of her children, in stark contrast to the general depictions of the Sage of Golconda[5].

The Third Eye of the Salubri has become their stigma, an identifier for Tremere and those who bought their lies. Usually, the eye is hidden, often by the Salubri himself. When the Salubri use any Valeren or Auspex power above the second dots, however, the third eye opens, shedding soft radiance and weeping luminous vitae. The third eye is sensitive; attempting to cover it results in a penalty of one-die to all rolls. Kindred believed the Third Eye to be a symbol of Saulot's enlightenment in the quest of Golconda and the knowledge he gleamed from the East, in the Modern Nights, it has become a sign of demonolatry and soul-thievery[82]. In addition, not all of these claims are unjustified, as the Salubri indeed dealt with demons, but only to imprison and destroy them[83].

ToreadorEdit

The Clan Curse of the Toreador is their obsession with beauty that can even paralyze them. The Erciyes Fragments state: "Behold, she who thought of/ nothing but her own fleeting/pleasure,/shall by her own pleasure be/enslaved."[20]. Bahari myths tell that [Toreador] was spared from the wrath of Lilith for veiling and burying the corpses of her slain children.[5]. Another story passed around by Noddists is how Caine saw a mural from the Toreador Antediluvian that depicted the history of the Cainite race. Enraged, he smashed the artwork, commanding one of his childer to embrace the artist and cursed her:"As you have distracted me from important matters, so shall your attention ever be consumed by that which you deem beautiful."[84] Others tell that her founder was so enarmoured in her own beauty that she rejected everyone who did not met her standards, even including the Dark Father. After she refused to see Caine in favor of a mortal, yet beautiful salve, Caine had enough and cursed her with enslavement to that what she worshipped above him[85]. The Followers of Set believe that the Toreador are creations of Nephthys and aligned to the sign of Pisces, and that their susceptibility to temptation is a vestige of loyalty felt by Nephthys for her former husband[69]. The Toreador deny being cursed, instead, they describe their condition as a gift from Caine to never lose the taste and appreciation for beauty[63].

The Toreador regard their weakness as a lingering connection to mortality the other Clans lack. Through an appreciation of beauty, they can continue to understand what it means to be human. This is, however, extremly intoxicating and only those with a strong will can withstand the knowledge that they will never be mortal again after their first rapture[86]. Others claim that the Man in the Toreador is stronger than the Beast, allowing for an experience of a wider range of positive emotions. While snickery vampires have compared that to Malkavians, Toreador claim stronger libidos and creative outbursts than most other vampires. Kindred scientists have commented that when a Toreador perceives something he considers pleasing, a process within his brain is initiated that enhances his perception, which analyzes and reckognizes anything extraordinary upon it. The process is accelerated by a low Humanity rating[87]. There are many Toreador who encourage base emotions, like jealousy, pettiness and hedonism within themselves because these are mortal feelings. The Beast only screams for destruction and feeding, mortal emotions are much more sophisticated and complex, if not necessarily accepted in society. All Toreador crave this short memorial and with time passing, these emotions often become the only remnants of mortality they manage to preserve, falling into extreme activties after becoming desensitized to one experience[88]. It also ensures that Toreador will begin close relations with mortals in order to feel again, only to drop the mortal once they have enough of him.

TremereEdit

The Tremere, as creations of a hermetic potion that resulted in their Embrace, used to not having a Clan Curse (although the Prophecies of the Erciyes Fragments mention their usurpation of the Salubri and their eventual judgement and destruction[89]). For fifteen years, the Clan existed without a weakness, until Tremere reorganized the growing Clan into the Pyramid, after a nasty incident in Thessalonicia in 1036 that resulted from the infighting of Etrius and Goratrix[90]. To ensure secrecy and obedience to his word, Tremere blood-bonded the first seven members of the Clan, who would blood-bond their childer to themselves as well as Tremere, who in turn would use the Blood Bond on their childer in addition to that of the Council of Seven and so forth[90]. In the Modern Nights, each fledgling is bound to the Council in a ceremony called the Transsubstantiation of the Seven, in which a chalice with the blood of the Council is inbibed into him right after the blood the future sire provides for the Embrace itself. After that, the childe is indoctrinated into absolute loyalty to the Clan and the Code of Tremere before it is formally introduced to the local Prince[91]. Ascendance within the Clan goes hand-to-hand with more blood bonds, ensuring the loyalty of the Clan member and safeguarding the secrets of the Clan[92]. In Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition, the Tremere dependency on blood is even more pronounced than that of other Kindred. It takes only two draughts of another vampire's blood for a Tremere to become blood bound instead of the normal three -- the first drink counts as if the Tremere had taken two drinks[93]. As a result, those rare vampires, who are immune to the Blood Bond are able to negate the Clan Curse of the Tremere altogether[94].

As a result of their tight organization, as well as deliberate misinformation, the Tremere seem to be one of the most uniform Clans, as their internal hierarchy, such as Circles of Mysteries, are known only to themselves and their superior. The Tremere antitribu suffered from a similar curse, casted by the Council of Seven, who would mark their foreheads with magic, allowing them to be located by any loyal member of the Clan (some voices within the Clan, however, ask why the Council did not outright destroy the rebels) until their destruction by an unknown party in 1999[95]. Additionally, each Tremere carries a seed of the Tzimisce Antediluvian within him, as they used Tzimisce blood for the potion that turned them, meaning that the Eldest can also willingly control and access their bodies, if he would choose to reform himself[96].

TzimisceEdit

The Clan Curse of the Tzimisce is their need to rest in "native soil" - earth from a place important to it as a mortal. The Erciyes Fragments state: "Behold, my most loveless childe/who fed upon his brother's pain./Let him know equal torment in /any domain but its own."[3]Bahari myths tell that [Tzimisce] was cursed by Lilith along [Set] and [Brujah], when they slaughtered Lilith's children.[5] The Followers of Set believe that the Tzimisce are the creations of Geb, who placed their lineage under the dominion of Scorpio. The Earth-God gave them the dominion over flesh, but tied them to the soil of their homeland in exchange[4]. The Clan itself claims that [Tzimisce] left the First City long before the Deluge, however, and Caine cursed them in absentia, for dealing with the demon Kupala under the Carpathians and their inhospitability to their brethren following the Deluge[97]. Koldun believe the weakness is a debt to the land-spirits of their native domains, whose power affects all that falls under the shadow of the Carpathians and had nothing to do with Caine's cursing of the other Antediluvians[98]. Some more arcane researchers state that Vicissitude's tendence of fluctuating creates the need of a stabilizer in order for the Tzimisce to retain his shape, which is supplied via the sympathetic connection of native soil[99]. Whatever the case, their dealings with the soil-bound entity Kupala, as well their territorial nature, became the clan’s anathema when the curse forced them to sleep upon their native soil for true rest. Some Tzimisce are so attuned to it that they can only rest in the soil touched by Kupala[100].

The Clan Curse of the Tzimisce is one of the reasons for their unwillingness to travel. Their power is tied to the earth they inhabit and if they leave they weaken, which could be lethal in the werewolf-infested Old Country. Agoraphobia is common among the more sensitive members of the Clan, as their connection to the earth makes them uncomfortable in open spaces[100]. The Voivodes of old would exist in symbiosis with the spirits, offering blood sacrifices to renew the earth, infusing the land with his essence and practically ghouling it in exchange for strength and shelter[101]. In addition, Vicissitude is sometimes seen as a entity in itself of parasitic origin[2]- either as a manifestation of alien creatures from strange spiritual realms or as a manifestation of the presence of the Tzimisce Antediluvian within the vampire afflicted[100], in order to spread itself enough to achieve Azhi Dahaka.

VentrueEdit

The clan weakness of the Ventrue are their exquisite tastes of blood that forces them to cultivate humans with the trait that makes them digestable. The Erciyes Fragments state: "Behold, my proudest childe whose/own pride betrayed him./Let the blood of the humble/ sicken him and give him no/substenance." [28] Bahari myths tell that [Ventrue] was cursed by Lilith along [Malkav] and [Lasombra], when they ignited the trees of her garden and defiled her rivers[5]. The Followers of Set believe that the Ventrue are the chief jailers of Creation, formed by Atum-Ra and under the dominion of the Capricorn, and that their weakness is simply a result of their closeness to the stifling influence of the Aeons, which brings about habituality and stagnation[4]. Those Ventrue versed in Noddism tend to deny that they were cursed, and insist that their feeding restrictions must have different origins. Indeed, many see [Ventrue] as favored of the Third Generation, chosen by Caine to be his successor (though other Clans dispute that claim)[102]. Some presume that it is a defect that spread after the Clan fed and lived among destabilized nobles for so long[103]. Others dispute that it is a curse at all and that their taste is simply, rarefied to the point of exclusivity, something the lesser Clans cannot understand[104].

The clan weakness of the Ventrue is mutable; if a given mortal demographic dies out, another fills it niche; as the Ventrue Andrew Seneca and Democritus demonstrate.[105][103] Others tell of crippling overspecializations, of Ventrue who could only drink the blood of one specific mortal[103]. Fledgling Ventrue are able to ingest any blood, but when they make their first decision to prey upon a human, they are unable to change it, leading some Ventrue to speculate that a neonate on the constant verge of Frenzy might have a chance to bypass their curse (although few of the rarified Ventrue would ever choose such an existence)[103]. Modern Ventrue raised under the scientific auspices of the Camarilla believe that the feeding restriction is a representation of the repressed lusts for control and public martyrdom. By feeding only on a specific group, the Ventrue display the image of selflessly abating from the pleasure of feeding, while it also allows them to focus their obsessions on one specific group among the Kine[106]There are groups among the Ventrue that take pride in consuming only the blood of the finest specimen, so called Vintage Clubs[107]. Vampire blood, however, is exempt from the clan weakness[104].

ReferencesEdit

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