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Vampires in Umbra, aka Desperately Seeking Incarna

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  • #16
    As one final addendum to my previous post, there are three good reasons why The Count would benefit from taking a tithe in blood from the PCs. First, because he gets a bunch more blood. For a spirit of vampirism, Blood is the most important thing, period.

    Second, because having followers who pay tribute to him raises The Count's standing within the Umbra. This is especially gratifying for an aristocratic spirit like the Count, for whom the number of vassals paying tribute to him is a symbol of feudal status.

    And third, the very fact that the Count requires the PCs to give him blood means they have an overall greater blood requirement in order to operate. Therefore, they must feed more. That, in and of itself, increases the standing of a Vampire Incarna within the Umbra, as the spiritual concept of "vampires feeding on the blood of the living" is increased. And, again, all in the name of The Count.


    • #17
      Originally posted by Bluecho View Post
      I disagree with most of the people here. Why CAN'T there be a spiritual reflection of vampires? Or, more appropriate to the PCs' needs, the reflection of the perception of vampires? A spirit that embodies all the Mythic Threads built up over millennia about blood-drinking monsters. The Umbra has never shied away from populating itself with beings that exist for the sole reason that humans (and others) believe they do.
      It coalesced in the dawn of time around a bunch of mosquito-spirits. A scene similar to the seagulls in Finding Nemo followed, along with a neutralized and drained vampire-spirit that was no more.

      Somewhat more seriously, not only are vampires spiritual voids by the standards of the games where spirits actually matter, what you're going for is more along the lines of something from the TV Realm, where the modern stories of a mass-media saturated humanity dwell. In other locales, there are probably spirits that like to have blood sacrifices; this, however, does not make them vampires as such (see also: the Wendigo), nor is there any necessary connection between them and vampires. Finally, a lot of those blood-drinking monsters are dead spirits in the form of the Hungry Dead of KotE, so they don't really have a spirit of the concept, unless one counts the rulers of hell as that group.

      I'm imagining a manifestation of Dracula, the most known figure in mortal vampire lore. Obviously not the actual Vlad Tepes, Son of Dracul, who is a being in WoD with his own baggage. But the platonic ideal of "Dracula", the hoary old aristocrat living in a gothic castle in the middle of bleak Transylvania (or an Umbral manifestation of that view). We'll call him "The Count", and his personal power is somewhere between Stoker and Castlevania (if it's an Incarna, more on the Castlevania end, where he had legions of monsters and even Death himself at his command, along with frightening magical power). The Count might alternate between raw, predatory savagery, and cold, refined dark nobility. And if the vampire PCs can catch him in the latter mood, they might convince the Count to deal.

      Contrary to what others may think, a Vampire Incarna isn't necessarily incapable of giving long as he gets something in return. One of the more obvious deals he would make is for a tithe in blood. The PCs would need to agree to tithe a certain amount of blood to The Count, whether it's a flat payment every month, a portion of every successful feeding, or an extra blood point appended to every use of Discipline powers they learned from their new Patron. Like any competent Vampire, The Count will use these leeches from the material realm as pawns, vassels paying tribute to him through blood, the currency of the soul.

      That is, assuming the PCs can find the Count and convince him to negotiate. Although, if the characters make it to the Astral Umbra, they might be able to find him simply by wanting it hard enough. Moreover, this assumes they can afford to dick around in the Umbra, when they could easily starve.
      Again, that sounds more like a Legendary Realm manifestation, or possibly something in the Astral Umbra. Simply put, if something isn't alive, it's probably not going to show up in the living Umbra of Werewolf outside of a setpiece in a Near Realm. Try trawling the Underworld for a Neverborn or the aforementioned Astral Umbra. Just keep in mind that one could make a joke about there being another reason that people call the Astral the "High" Umbra....


      • #18
        My own theory is that Caine is the High Umbra 'Incarna' of Betrayal and is the creator of the Kindred (whom he banished from the High Umbra when they proved to be too treacherous for even him).


        • #19
          I think that the idea of vampire Incarnae has great merit. Really, there have been Tzimisce around for a long time, and I bet that every one of them has an idea of what a "real" or "ideal" Tzimisce is like. I bet that the Setite in his temple has differing ideas, if no less concrete. I can see a number of lesser Incarna, following clans past and present as well as other ideals, willing to serve as totems to worthy petitioners.