White Wolf Wiki

Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand

10,671pages on
this wiki
Add New Page
Add New Page Talk0
Written By: Steven C. Brown
Edited By: Erin Kelly
Developed By: Andrew Greenberg
Art Director: Richard Thomas
Layout and Typesetting: Kathleen Ryan
Interior Art: Jason Felix (with apologies for leaving his name out of Elysium), David Ferber, Lief Jones (sic), Joshua Gabriel Timbrook, Dave Allsop, Stuart Beel, and Nicholas Ruskin
Cover Design: Aileen E. Miles
Cover Art: Ken Meyer Jr.
Special Thanks to: Josh "Who Dat" Timbrook, for all that can ever be written about him.
Chris "Noose Master" McDonough, for the fun of wiring the office right before it gets vacated.
Richard "Rage" Thomas, for his pleasure at hearing what would be added to the schedule.
Michelle "Biker Monster" Prahler, for living that metal dream.
Aileen "Slumber One" Miles, for the get-together which could only be from hellllllllll.
Larry "Good Boy" Snelly, for all the nice stuff Santa brought him.
Kathy "Slumber Two" Ryan, for being the co-planner for the get-together from hellllllllll.
Rob "Ken's Antenna" Dixon, for where his unmentionabled ended up.
And a final Special Thanks to:
Doug Billingsly, for sending us quotes we could use.
Publisher: White Wolf Publishing, Inc.
Imprint: White Wolf Game Studio
Published: 1994
Pages: 128
Year: 1994
Publication #: WW 02006
Reference #: ISBN 1-56504-210-7
PDF: Bullet-pdf.png
Price: $18.00

Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand: The Calm of Desperation is a sourcebook for Vampire: The Masquerade that details for the first time the Black Hand... and the True Black Hand, whose influence extends well beyond the reach of the Sabbat.

Although earlier Vampire books had featured options for characters who belonged to esoteric bloodlines or who had some knowledge of the greater World of Darkness, DSotBH was the first and only book to treat as default characters who hailed from obscure backgrounds and who had intimate, secret knowledge of the other, non-vampiric denizens of the World of Darkness. DSotBH is largely seen as the apotheosis of the "Vampions" era, in which Kindred and other supernaturals banded together across lines of sect and splat to fight against even greater evils: in this case, the alien Souleaters, which originated from the Deep Umbra.


From the White Wolf catalog:

Synonymous with terror and destruction, for centuries the Black Hand has struck fear in the still hearts of Camarilla's vampires. What would the members of that august sect give to know the role the Black Hand has played in its own history? The Black Hand is far more powerful than the Camarilla or even the Sabbat suspect, and its role tonight is even more critical than ever.
Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand includes:
Extensive details on playing the ancient, powerful vampires of the Hand;
The Black Hands place in the Shadowlands, the land of wraiths; and
Three new bloodlines, including the Nagaraja, the Old Clan Tzimisce and the True Brujah.

Chapter One: You Are One Of Us Now!Edit

This is the history of the Sabbat version of the Black Hand, the True Black Hand, its Internal Structure, and the Lexicon of the Sect.

Chapter Two: Unlife Within the Black HandEdit

This chapter explains life within the Black Hand. It's Ideology, Agenda, the Crusade. It talks about Joining the Black Hand, serving the Black Hand, how to gain power within the sect, secret practices, as well as Law and Order and Secret mysteries.

Secret PracticesEdit

-Anele of Purification: Hand members who undergo extreme trials are given a vial of vitae from the Del'Roh. The practioners annoint themselves with the blood in hopes it will give them strength to succeed. The vitae is often awarded to those who atone for past dishonours as a symbol of respect and forgiveness.

-Blood Hunt

-Dance Macabre: This ritual requires members to dress as the dead and perform a ritualistic dance, similar to the Sabbat's Dance Macabre. Death Heads are worn during the ritual as terrible music and chanting always accompany the dance.

-Sacrificial Offerings: Black Hand members often sacrifice living beings in respect for Caine and the Antediluvians. Young Kindred and/or Ghouls could be considered lesser or greater sacrifices dependent on how many. There is great ceremony involved which include chanting, music, a special service and even costuming.

-Vision Seeking: Ingesting LSD laced Blood to produce a vision in a way of seeking answers to questions of the soul.


-Death's Head: The sliced face and front part of the skull of those assassinated by the Black Hand. Made into masks and used during the Danse Macabre. Often painted and decorated in some way.

-Oath of Loyalty: Some leaders of the Hand insist that operatives reaffirm their comittment to the Hand when they are given important missions.

-Spiritual Propaedeutics: Help in transitioning to a Path of Enlightenment from Humanity.

-Tess of Verification: With no secret handshakes or code words, the Black Hand uses a combination of body, eye, and mouth movements as well as word phrasing to indicate to others that they are in the same organization.

Chapter Three: The Blood of Our OwnEdit

This chapter describes the bloodlines of the Black Hand in addition to the non-Kindred of the sect.

Bloodlines of the Sect:

Chapter Four: Building Better BastardsEdit

The creation of Black Hand Characters. Includes:

Chapter Five: Enoch, The City That Caine BuiltEdit

This chapter discusses Enoch (City), the True Black Hand's place within this Necropolis (WTO) and it's significance to them.

Chapter Six: TemplatesEdit

Ten generic characters that could be played or used as NPCs.

Appendix One: Those You Should FearEdit

Vardek, Ventrue (VTM) - Extremely old vampire who calls himself Qadi of the Ventrue and claims that most of the Camarilla princes are his descendants. Some say he has foul plans in the works that have the Del'Roh in secret dealings with the Aralu. When he is not in Enoch (City), he is on Earth presiding over judgment over those he claims against the interest of the Black Hand. Some say he is just eliminating his enemies but he is the one who called for the crusade over the Souleater

Si'Djeha - She is the Seraph for the Eastern Black Hand and has been a leader within the region for centuries. She is responsible for most of the bloodshed in the region but considers her efforts an attempt to maintain balance between the Assamites, Followers of Set, Baali, and others. There are rumors that she has attained Golconda. If this is true, her goals and methods may lead to even more upheaval.

Khunufseh - Egyptian mage who established a chantry in Paris and actively recruits other mages into the Black Hand. He is most likely of the Euthanatos tradition but there is no proof to that. The Qadi have called for his head but rest of the Hand is reluctant to do so, meanwhile Khunufseh continues to search for more mages.

Zubeida the Abomination - A Silent Strider who centuries ago quested to bring about some sort of unification of the disparate tribes of Africa. She unfortunately was Embraced in the shadow of the Sphinx by the Followers of Set. For centuries she served her masters until the Black Hand destroyed the temple and freed her to tear out her intestines. She was prevented from her destruction and constantly watch her for reoccurrences. She does serve the sect willingly because she feels it does some good. However, if the vigilance on her were ever to relax she would do the honourable thing and destroy herself at once.

Inauhaten - A Mummy who lead the True Black Hand to Enoch and holds a place of respect and reverence among the Kindred of the Black Hand. He sits on the council of the wazirs but is not one of them.

Marge Kahn - A dangerous Malkavian (VTM), who claims to be Toreador (VTM), is a mission overseer for the Hand. She is power-mad and egotistical who has moved up through the ranks through lies and deceit. She betrayed her first partner and taking credit for their successes. She has many capable retainers and field agents but always takes credits for their successes but quickly turns on them for any blunders. Her corruption is running rampant through the sect.

Also included in this Appendix are stats for stereotypes of different Black Hand members

Appendix Two: The Hidden AgendaEdit

This section gives examples of different kinds of Souleaters.

  • Fleshy Collectives - Huge, sentient blobs of oozing, free-floating flesh and guts. They absorb others and those who are absorbed do not die are remain conscious and in extreme pain.
  • Ghastly Babies - They look like infants at first glance but their faces are quite inhuman. Heads are almost rectangular, tiny black orbs for eyes, and mouths that are down-turned maws. They have two runny slits that are blackish-red for noses. Hairless and pale. They must kill and consume fresh flesh.
  • Shamblers - The creature resembles humans with melting skin.

Background InformationEdit

Memorable QuotesEdit

A truth that's told with bad intent bears all the lies you can invent.

- William Blake, Auguries of Innocence

The face was no longer bone, but animal - the face of a white wolf.  "I forbid you nothing.  Nothing," uttered the awful face.  "You may go anywhere - you may open any door.  But, little bird, remember that you must be prepared to accept whatever you find."  The long jaws spread in a smile filled with teeth.

- Peter Straub, Shadowland

Foul deed will rise, though all the earth's o'erwhelm them, to men's eyes.

- William Shakespeare, Hamlet

Be not deceived with the first appearance of things, for show is not substance.

- English proverb

Doubt grows with knowledge.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Spruche in Prosa

Do not believe hastily: what harm quick belief can do.

- Ovid

The Forces of Darkness are always among us, child.  And the Light cries out ever for vengeance.  There is Light and there is Darkness: and I cannot rest until the Darkness is destroyed and the Light shines into the hearts of all...I fell from grace.  Now I am condemned to walk the Shadow World.  Once, it was I who cast the shadow...

- The Spectre, Book of Magic #2

It is only the dead who do not return.

- Bertrand Barere de Vieuzac, Speech

This is when the night comes down, a hammer on an anvil, and the only absolution accepted is a legacy of brutality.  A single note rings on and on and on.

- James O'Barr, The Crow Book Two

Wake, awake, for night is flying: the watchmen on the heights are crying.

- Philipp Nicolai, Hymn

Ex ungue leonem (From his claws one can tell a lion.)

- Latin saying

I love treason but hate a traitor.

- Julius Caesar, Plutarch's Parallel Lives

A cock has great influence on its own dung hill.

- Publilius Syrus, Maxim 357

It is the common vice of all, in old age, to be too intent upon our interests.

- Terence, Adelphoe

Be careful what you show - and what you don't show.

- Marlene Dietrich

CI am better than my reputation.

- Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller, Maria Stuart

There is one great society alone on Earth; the noble living and the noble dead.

- William Wordsworth, The Prelude

And much of Madness, and more of Sin, and Horror the woul of the plot.

- Edgar Allan Poe, The Conqueror Worm

I was angry with my friend; I told my wrath, my wrath did end.  I was angry with my foe; I told it not, my wrath did grow.

-William Blake, A Poison Tree

Those who aim at great deeds must also suffer greatly.

- Marcus Licinius Crassus, Plutarch's Parallel Lives

We can endure neither our evils nor their cures.

- Horace, Satires

Sois mon frere ou je te tue.  (Be my brother, or I will kill you.)

- Sebastian Roch Nicolas Chamfort, from Carlyle, French Revolution

My days among the dead are past; around me I behold, where'er these casual eyes are cast, the mighty minds of old.

- Robert Southey, My Days Among the Dead are Past

The deed is everthing, the glory nothing.

- Johanne Wolfgang von Goethe, A High Mountain Range

Sons of the dark and bloody ground.

- Theodore O'Hara, The Bivouac of the Dead

We live, not as we wish to, but as we can.

- Menander, Lady of Andros

There is another and a better world.

- August Friedrich Ferdinand von Kotzebue, The Stranger

The world wants to be deceived.

- Sebastian Brant, The Ship of Fools

Our ancestors are very good kind of folks; but they are the last people I should choose to have a visiting acquaintance with.

- Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The Rivals

Noblesse oblige (Rank has its obligations.)

- Pierre Marc Gaston de Levis, Maxims and Reflections

Iron hand in a velvet glove.

- Charles V, attributed by Thomas Carlyle

Who goeth a-borrowing goeth a-sorrowing

- Thomas Tusser, August's Abstract

And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin is pride that apes humility.

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Devil's Thoughts

No Man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks.

- Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Men

O nights and feasts of the gods!

- Horace, Satires

Fiat justitia ruat caelum (Let justice be done though the heavens should fall.)

- Latin saying

I shall be as secret as the grave.

- Miquel de Cervantes, Don Quixote de la Mancha

Nothing is more damaging to a new truth than an old error.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Spruche in Prosa

Sensations sweet, felt in the blood, and felt along the heart.

- William Wordsworth, Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey

Let them hate, so long as they fear.

- Lucius Accius, Fragment

For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright, who art as black as hell, as dark as night.

- William Shakespeare, Sonnet 147

All for one, and one for all, that is our device.

- Alexander Dumas the Elder, The Three Musketeers

I beheld the wretched - the miserable monster whom I had created.

- Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein

But in deed, a friend is never known till a man have need.

- John Heywood, Be Merry Friends

The gods visit the sins of the fathers upon the children.

- Euripides, Phrixus

When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions.

- William Shakespeare, Hamlet

We can learn even from our enemies.

- Ovid, Metamorphoses

Come not between the dragon and his wrath.

- William Shakespeare, King Lear

Appearances often are deceiving.

- Aesop, The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

Wretched and abundant oppressed and powerful weak and mighty, Mother Russia!

- Nikolai Nekrasov, Who is Happy in Russia?

Salus populi suprema lex. (The people's safety is the highest law.)

- Latin legal and political maxim

Death is afraid of him because he has the heart of a lion.

- Arab Proverb

I have seen no more evident monstrosity and miracle in the world than myself.

- Michel Eyquem de Montaigne, Essays, To the Reader

It was a long time ago.  Sometimes I almost forget my first lift.  It was nothing.  My death was meaningless.

- Saker, Elementals: The Natural Order

I feel power running through my veins and out my eyes and into empty Godforsaken minds without reality I feel power.  I feel a sacrifice.  I am dead to right or wrong.

- Swans, Power and Sacrifice

What do good and evil mean to an ordinary mortal?  To the vampire, whose life is anything but ordinary, they mean everything.

- Michael Romkey, I, Vampire

The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.

- William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice

We feel that we are greater than we know.

- William Wordsworth, River Duddon

Variety is the mother of Enjoyment.

- Benjamin Disraeli, Vivian Grey

Nature hath framed many strange fellows in her time.

- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

She's got a date at midnight with Nosferatu Oh baby, Lily Munster ain't got nothing on you well when I called her evil she just laughed and cast that spell on me Boo Bitch Craft.

- Type O Negative, Black No. 1

It was this indefinable peculiarity... their only inheritance, those feelings of repugnance and superstitious terror with which the people of the town, even after awakening from their frenzy, continued to regard the memory of the reputed witches. The mantle, or rather the ragged cloak, of old Matthew Maule had fallen upon his children. They were believed to inherit mysterious attributes....

- Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of The Seven Gables

The prince of darkness is a gentleman.

- William Shakespeare, King Lear

I looked upon the scene before me - upon the mere house, and the simple landscape features of the domain - upon the bleak walls upon the vacant eye-like windows - upon a few rank sedges - and upon a few white trunks of decayed trees - with an utter depression of the soul, which I can compare to no earthly sensation...

- Edgar Allan Poe, The Fall of the House of Usher

I used to wonder about living and dying - I think the difference lies between tears and crying. I used to wonder about here and there - I think the distance is nowhere.

- Langston Hughes, "Border Line"

Some there be that shadows kiss; Such have but a shadow's bliss.

- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice

...for the world, which seems to lie before us like a land of dreams, so various, so beautiful, so new, hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light, nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain; and we are here as on a darkling plain swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight, where ignorant armies clash by night.

- Matthew Arnold, Dover Beach

The kingdom of perpetual night.

- William Shakespeare, Richard III

Lasciate ogni speranza, voi ch'entrate. (All hope abandon, ye who enter here!)

- Dante Alighieri, The Divine Comedy, Inferno

The sweet city with her dreaming spires.

- Matthew Arnold, Thyrsis

In the Wild, only gods die gladly ... while demons must be slain.

- Batman: Dark Joker - The Wild

The great cycle of the ages is renewed. Now Justice returns, returns the Golden Age; a new generation now descends from on high.

- Virgil, Eclogues

Hell is the place of those who have denied; they find there what they planted and what dug, a Lake of Spaces, and a Wood of Nothing, and wander there and drift, and never cease wailing for substance.

- W.B. Yeats, The Hour Glass

Look, who comes here! A grave unto a soul.

Why faintest thou? I wandered till I died. Roam on! The light we sough is shining still. Dost thou ask proof? Our tree yet crowns the hill, our Scholar travels yet the loved hillside.

- Matthew Arnold, Thyrsis

You are not like Cerebus, three gentlemen at once, are you?

- Richard Brinsley Sheridan, The Rivals

O conspiracy! Sham'st thou to show thy dangerous brow by night; when evils are most free?

- William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

Tut! I have done a thousand dreadful things as willingly as one would kill a fly.

- William Shakespeare, Titus Andronicus

Where the lion's skin will not reach, you must patch it out with the fox's.

- Plutarch, Lysander

Can I see another's woe, and not be in sorrow too? Can I see another's grief, and not seek for kind relief!

- William Blake, On Another's Sorrow

I am falser than vows made in wine.

- William Shakespeare, As You Like It

Let him who desires peace prepare for war.

- Vegetius, De Rei Militari

Thou are the book, the library whereon I look.

- Henry King, The Exequy

There is no witness so dreadful, no accuser so terrible as the conscience that dwells in the heart of every man.

- Polybius, History

Her lips were red, her looks were free, her locks were yellow as gold: her skin was white as leprosy, the nightmare Life-In-Death was she, who thicks man's blood with cold.

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

I am whatever was, or is, or will be; and my veil no mortal ever took up.

- Plutarch, Of Isis and Osiris

Nigh hath a thousand eyes.

- John Lyly, Maid Metamorphosis

Truth that wakes to perish never.

- William Wordsworth, Ode

He who has a thousand friends has not a friend to spare, and he who has one enemy will meet him everywhere.

- Ali ibn-Abi-Talib, A Hundred Sayings

Here's the devil-and-more to pay.

- Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote de la Mancha



Previous book:
Game Books
Vampire: The Masquerade books
Next book:
This Vampire: The Masquerade-related article is a stub. You can help WWWiki by fixing it.

Also on Fandom

Random Wiki