The Wu Zao are a rare Kindred bloodline of Salubri in Asia, the legacy left behind by Saulot when he traveled East to learn enlightenment. They are some of the only Cainites in the East to have escaped extinction at the hands of the Kuei-jin, and, in the Final Nights, the only bloodline with knowledge of both Valeren and Obeah, though their participation in Gehenna was minimal, if effectual at all.
According to the Wan Kuei, Zao-lat, a trickster from the West, came to the Middle Kingdom to steal enlightenment from Xue. The Wu Zao hold that Zao-Lat saw the coming age of darkness and hoped to share understanding with the Kuei-jin, only to be to be treated with distrust and hatred and driven back West. However, he left two childer behind; Zao-zei, a thief and explorer, and Zao-xue, a scholar and monk.
The two were Zao-lat's companions for a time, but when the Wan Kuei attacked Zao-lat and forced his departure, Zao-zei and Zao-xue believed this to be the beginning of a slide towards a final apocalypse and began to sire childer in an effort to either reverse or survive the process. Childer model themselves after one of the two progenitors of the bloodline, becoming pairs of thieves and scholars cooperating to uncover the knowledge necessary to deal with the coming Age of Darkness.
The Wu Zao managed to interpret the news of Zao-lat's demise as an omen of difficult times ahead and they began preparing, moving their havens away from the Black Tortoise Court and escaping the vampiric purges at the end of the Mongol empire. Because of this, quite a few managed to survive into the Final Nights. Wu Zao who migrated to India found allies among the Danava due to mutual philosophical interests and their common Cathayan enemies.
Most Wu Zao are organized in cells of two kindred each, these pairs of vampires being the only form of organization they typically have, though they do accumulate a few servants and followers. Though these pairings do sometimes exist among the Wu-Zao of India, in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh there is a coterie which includes Wu-Zao scholar-mystics none of whom are paired with thieves; the members of this coterie are all dedicated to the pursuit of the transcendent state of Golconda. In India, a Wu-Zao scholar-mystic who does not have a pairing with a thief as a distraction has the opportunity to apprentice himself under a Danava mystic in order to learn Sadhana.
Wu Zao are mostly of Han Chinese or Manchurian descent, though there exist Wu Zao of other cultural types. The second largest ethnic group among the Wu-Zao are of Hindi descent, and this is a result of the success of their alliance with the Danava of India. The "Wu-Zao" of India, who are typically fluent in Hindi and English but not fluent in Chinese, usually refer to themselves using the European term Salubri rather than the Chinese term Wu-Zao. Upon learning Obeah or Valeren, a third eye develops in a Wu-Zao's forehead; among Indian Cainites the third eye is regarded as a manifestation of mystic accomplishment. When pragmatism requires that the third eye be hidden from mortal eyes though, Indian culture readily offers pagri (turbans). Wu-Zao maintain elaborate, well-hidden havens where they hoard the products of their research and gifts from other vampires. They will often maintain herds to hide their feedings when in Cathayan territory.
Zao-lat's order to gather secret knowledge permeates the blood of every Wu Zao. Each Wu Zao must choose an area of arcane lore that becomes the focus of their unlife. A Willpower roll is required to resist pursuing an opportunity to research this subject- regardless of how dangerous it is.