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Antidiluvians for The Ebony Kingdom and The Drowned

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  • Antidiluvians for The Ebony Kingdom and The Drowned

    Forgive me but my knowledge on the Kindred of The Ebony Kingdom and the South American "Drowned" bloodlines/clans is very limited. Could somebody help me figure out where they fit in in terms of genealogy from the 2nd and 3rd Generation? Is there some indication of who founded these vampiric lines or is it all open to interpretation? Are they completely separate and unconnected or are there clear offshoots from other bloodlines and Antediluvians?

    Any info or theories would be appreciated.

  • #2
    Having read over that for the first time recently... my impression was that it's not clearly defined. Laibon are NOT Kuei-Jin. They clearly share more shared history with Western/European Kindred than the Cathayans do (who in most respects are a more sophisticated form of Risen in my mind, rather than Vampires. Or Risen that evolve vampiric tendencies.) But at the same time, they're not meant to be complete clones of the VtM Clans/Bloodlines either. There are obvious parallels you can make - some are much clearer than others, especially amongst minor bloodlines - and with the Followers of Set its even more obvious. But the Laibon approach to things is MUCH different (Aye and Orun notably in my mind)

    I feel like this is left intentionally open ended so you can either try to connect the Laibon to the Cainites (such as through a shared Antediluvian), or to leave them more unrelated... or some mixture of the two.

    The White Wolf Wiki purports some of those correlations between Legacies and Clans here. If that's the way you want to go, it's as good as any I suppose. Otherwise just go with whatever you want.

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    • #3
      So, originally the Legacies were considered to be variant lines of the 13 Clans (or vice versa); the official correspondences from the outline for Kindred of the Ebony Kingdom were:
      Akunanse - Gangrel
      Guruhi - Nosferatu
      Ishtarri - Toreador
      Kinyonyi - Ravnos
      Mla Watu - Cappadocian
      Naglopers - Tzimisce
      Nkulu Zao - Salubri
      Osebo - Brujah
      Shango - Banu Haqim
      Xi Dundu - Lasombra

      Since this wasn't stated in the actual book, only implied, Beckett's Jyhad Diary did some reworking to link some of the Legacies to the new African lineages in V20 Dark Ages: the Xi Dundu are actually a later regional name for the Ramanga (so they may or may not still be relatives of the Lasombra); the Mla Watu used to be the Impundulu (and therefore not descended from Caine), although they call themselves the Ishologu; and the Akunanse and Naglopers are effectively Bonsam bloodlines, having incorporated transfusions from other lineages - the Nagalopers used blood from a Tzimisce explorer, while the Akunanse's other source is unknown (so the Nagalopers at least are linked to Caine's lines, but neither they or the Akunanse originated with him).

      The Drowned... may not be Cainites at all; BJD and V5 Chicago by Night offer the possibility that they're more like predatory chameleons that adopt the predatory strengths and curses of the dominant predator in an area. If they do descend from Caine and the Antediluvians, it's unknown who spawned them.


      Scion 2E: What We Know - A wiki compiling info on second edition Scion.

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      • #4
        If I were to run a campaign with enough world travel in it to include the Laibon, then the Laibon would be the true original Clans and the European variants would be offshoot bloodlines. To me, it’s a simple matter of having to reconcile the game’s mythology with what we verifiably know about the history of the Earth and the human race in the real world. If vampirism is as old as the human race, then the first vampires were Africans.

        Does this mean that the legends a lot of the clans tell about their origins is wildly inaccurate? It sure does, which could lead to a lot of awesome discovery. Take the Guruhi, the African Nosferatu. Not only are they capable of looking angelically beautiful if they keep their morality high, it’s strongly hinted that they’ve long ago made peace with the Niktuku and become one united clan again. I find this to be a hilarious and awesome lampshading of the Nosferatu of Europe and the Americas.

        There should be novels about the Laibon. Lots of them. I wish I knew enough about the continent to set a campaign there and do it justice.
        Last edited by Reasor; 08-31-2019, 02:41 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Jeevesosiris View Post
          Forgive me but my knowledge on the Kindred of The Ebony Kingdom and the South American "Drowned" bloodlines/clans is very limited. Could somebody help me figure out where they fit in in terms of genealogy from the 2nd and 3rd Generation? Is there some indication of who founded these vampiric lines or is it all open to interpretation? Are they completely separate and unconnected or are there clear offshoots from other bloodlines and Antediluvians?

          Any info or theories would be appreciated.

          As far as i know, nebulous - but that is considering the Caine Cycle is actually anything close to true.

          What if the antediluvians make clans but are not of the clans themselves, creating multiple, varied broods of childer as experiments across the ages, the idea that a clan's founder is itself part of the clan just a self-perpetuating delusion and propaganda?
          Last edited by Baaldam; 09-02-2019, 10:37 AM.

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          • #6
            The Ebony Kingdom never clicked for me.

            Africa is massive. Second biggest continent, about the size of the three smallest put together. And while the Sahara is a lot of it, it also contains some areas which are, and historically has been, unbelievably population dense and urbanized. Population means blood, the primary resource for the kindred. For example, in the 12th -13th century, Mali probably had more people than western Europe, and in a far denser and more Kindred-friendly concentration.

            And according to Time of Judgement, Africa is where the Second City was. Now historically, the Sahara is not a constant thing, it tends to grow, shrink vanish and reappear with the millennia. 6000 years ago it was a fertile land with great rivers. Africa has also historically had some entirely enormous lakes, called megalakes. Some where the Sahara is now (Megafezzan) Remnants such as Lake Tritonis persisted into Roman times.

            Now this is where the Kindred started. They spread out from the Second City in all directions, although places like Europe and North Asia would have been pretty barren from a Kindred perspective, compared to fertile lands such as India and Africa. Seems to me thats where most of the action and history would be.

            Now come the 15th century and up, European kine expanded across the globe, and their various ticks and parasites went with them, including the Kindred. So kindred riding the success of their kine to domination works, and their myths and origin stories overwriting local ones also works. And thats the setting we have, a momentarily snapshot of European dominance.

            But the Africa of the Ebony Kingdom... does not work. It is basically an afterthought, with Brujah escaped from Carthage, Cappadocians and Salubri hiding out, and a grab bag of other bloodlines sprung off the European and middle eastern clans. Its Africa as a backwater, and an empty continent until bloodlines from elsewhere seep in.

            And kindred have been in Africa longer than in Europe, and its been way, way, way more blood-rich through its history.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Trollroot View Post
              And kindred have been in Africa longer than in Europe, and its been way, way, way more blood-rich through its history.
              Thematically, I'm inclined to disregard any "canon" information going back more than two thousand years. Simply because the main vampire lore that VtM draws on, both the post-Dracula/Varney/Carmilla stuff and what came before, is very European in origin. So while it would make a lot of sense in-universe for there to be all sorts of vampires in Africa, it seems weird out-of-universe for all of those vampires to be based on a European literary tradition.

              In Requiem 1e, for example, one of the clans is rumored to have originated in Africa (though Requiem generally avoids "this is the true canon of what happened back in Biblical times" so there's no One True Origin), and they're more associated with ghosts and the restless dead than with humans-who-drink-blood—rather than being Embraced, for example, they can arise spontaneously when someone dies with unfinished business and they're laid to rest improperly.

              That's the sort of thing I'd want to see more of for Africa in the World of Darkness: interesting variations on the central VtM themes, but drawing on local folklore in ways that make them different from the "main 13" clans. I don't know enough about Mesoamerican/South American folklore to say if the Drowned Legacies are accurate to it, but if they are, that's the sort of thing I'd like to see. It's why I like the Impundulu much more than the Laibon (and I hope V5 expands more on them).

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Draconis View Post

                Thematically, I'm inclined to disregard any "canon" information going back more than two thousand years. Simply because the main vampire lore that VtM draws on, both the post-Dracula/Varney/Carmilla stuff and what came before, is very European in origin. So while it would make a lot of sense in-universe for there to be all sorts of vampires in Africa, it seems weird out-of-universe for all of those vampires to be based on a European literary tradition.

                In Requiem 1e, for example, one of the clans is rumored to have originated in Africa (though Requiem generally avoids "this is the true canon of what happened back in Biblical times" so there's no One True Origin), and they're more associated with ghosts and the restless dead than with humans-who-drink-blood—rather than being Embraced, for example, they can arise spontaneously when someone dies with unfinished business and they're laid to rest improperly.

                That's the sort of thing I'd want to see more of for Africa in the World of Darkness: interesting variations on the central VtM themes, but drawing on local folklore in ways that make them different from the "main 13" clans. I don't know enough about Mesoamerican/South American folklore to say if the Drowned Legacies are accurate to it, but if they are, that's the sort of thing I'd like to see. It's why I like the Impundulu much more than the Laibon (and I hope V5 expands more on them).
                Well, by "more blood-rich through its history", I meant that the continent of Africa through history has been far larger than Europe, far more populous, and through periods with the population tending to be in higher density concentrations. Which is a kindred-friendly thing.

                Theres really three things that keeps me from getting behind the Ebony Kingdoms:

                I) The notion that Africa was pretty much an empty place in Kindred terms before being colonized by old world bloodlines. And how its sort of a reservation for clans thats been wiped out in the old world.

                II) The lack of background knowledge and research about real-world Africa and African history. (I am looking at you, V20 lineages). Yes the WoD is not exactly the same as ours but there should still be some parallels.

                III) The lack of internal consistency with the WoD. This is where we get to humanity and the kindreds' oldest territories being empty of kindred until Old World explorers bravely show up.

                Personally I've generally held the opinion that that the dominance of the Caine story and the biblical connection is the result of the elders that been dominant for the last 500 years or so having grown up in a highly christian-oriented worldview. Kindred are static creatures. And the success to the periods Old World kine have allowed them to subjugate other lands origin-myths. The pre-christian methuselahs probably don't hold with that story any more that the vampires of other lands.

                Although somehow, I expect all the origin myths to start with murder.

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                • #9
                  Must admit that while vaguely curious about Kindred of the Ebony Kingdom i never seriously delved into it, i'm aware it has some bloodlines/clans around and some morality/virtue system between the usual one and KotE's types of Chi (i think, could be wrong)

                  Overall i would say that its ultimate problem is being an "Africa book", aka taking the self-sabotaging initiative of trying to present a cohesive image of a whole continent - or at least a (sub-saharan) part of it - in one book. It's far from the only game to get caught in that kind of pitfall, might be said.

                  Letting a more expansive image be built by incremental bits through multiple city books, kind of like we have been getting since Beckett's Jyhad Diary and later books seems to be a much, much wiser step overall.

                  So, final answer is - they fit however you prefer, OP. The matter of there being "strange lines of kindred" in the african continent# has had considerable ups, downs and retcons across editions, from "same kindred, different customs" (most of 1e and 2e), "there are those Laibon people who are really big in the lands beyond the dunes" (Dark Ages), to their remake as the legacies of the Ebony Kingdom, among others from 3e onwards, so you may mix and match things as fact and rumour according to your own preferences to surprise or confuse your players.


                  # For whatever definition of "Africa" (all the landmass, sub-saharan, savanna, other?) and "strange kindred" (outside Camarilla but of the 13 is vanilla or "strange" too? what about remnants of fallen DA clans or bloodlines?) one uses...
                  Last edited by Baaldam; 11-01-2019, 12:40 PM.

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                  • #10
                    The Naglopers are a strange can of worms. They either could be Bosam line - per Becket's diary - or the direct line (with a bit regional mutation in the Blood) of Demdemeh, one of the first childrens of the Eldest, who was quite a traveller - he/she/it first children was in fact Kartarirya, in India or very close to it and Kart considered India his personal hunting ground (and sharing is not really the strongest point of a Tzimisce) not really bothered the fact some Wan Kue or Ravnos was there ... not to mention, since like Demdemeh, Yorak or the other really, I mean REALLY ancient Fieands, were Embraced in the time of the First City... predating possibly any other kindred in the local area.
                    If we belive Demdemeh's bio, after his Embrace he ventured into the primordial jungle that would one day become the Sahara and gathered various tribes around him who regarded him as a wise shaman, gave the local reptilian monsters (the Mokolé, you know, the were-corcodiles or dinosaurs, depending how deep your crossover) run for their money (led by Mokolé-Mbembe who was the Ancestral Dinosaur King of the Congo Jungle -still is and to this day, a very pissed plague and other nasty stuff vielding Mokolé/Dragon King, Rumors have it the various disieses that plague that land are his handywork, ones that put the Ratkin to shame - but this is another story).
                    So Demdemeh established his domain, a large one, batteled local Shifters and spirits and built the ancient and so-so mythical mountain-city of Khamissa, now considered lost and ancient like Atlantis (not to be confused the roman city of Thubursicum Numidarum)
                    The Followers of Set are another very ancient line in the first ed clanbook - page 18 - it is said they arrived in Africa 13000 BC
                    Thats... old
                    The Nosferatu clanbook mentions Absimiliard who hunted sabertooth tigers and those kitties died out somewhere between 1.5M and 10.000 BC (but considering Baba Yaga was embraced 8000 years ago and Vasilisa was TWICE of her age... )
                    The rest of the Laibon Legacies are young newcomers (well except maybe the Torreador offshot/original, the Ishtarri... you can even choose, wich Antedulivan you want to choose, Ishtar, the Bull Dancer, or Arikel, the Sculptor. But the term Bull-dancer is from the ancient ritualic "dance", bull-jumping from Knossos and other ancient cities, but according to Arthor Evans, who unearthed the palace of Knossos in modern times, estimated that c. 8,000 BC a Neolithic people arrived at the hill, probably from overseas by boat, so Ishtar, who then visited Africa, or her children in ancient times is not that impossible - Or travelled FROM Africa to Knossos...)
                    Plenty of chocie for Africa

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                    • #11
                      My personal preference for the Laibon legacy's are they are indeed "clans". Ones created by the Apostle of Lilith Antediluvians from the Gehenna book in the Fair is Foul Chapter. It lines up pretty nicely for me!

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Jeevesosiris View Post
                        Forgive me but my knowledge on the Kindred of The Ebony Kingdom and the South American "Drowned" bloodlines/clans is very limited. Could somebody help me figure out where they fit in in terms of genealogy from the 2nd and 3rd Generation? Is there some indication of who founded these vampiric lines or is it all open to interpretation? Are they completely separate and unconnected or are there clear offshoots from other bloodlines and Antediluvians?

                        Any info or theories would be appreciated.
                        That's because the metafiction on those is very limited. Why don't you make up your own?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Trollroot View Post
                          Well, by "more blood-rich through its history", I meant that the continent of Africa through history has been far larger than Europe, far more populous, and through periods with the population tending to be in higher density concentrations. Which is a kindred-friendly thing.
                          This actually is not true. Africa is far larger in geographic area than Europe, but for most of history it has been relatively sparsely inhabited especially outside North Africa which is part of the Mediterranean world, not the sub-Saharan Africa of the Ebony Kingdom.

                          Africa's relatively low population was for several different reasons. One is that there are far more diseases that affect humans in Africa than elsewhere. This impacts mortality, fertility, and productivity. Another is that most of the staple crops that lead to productive agriculture are not from Africa, but from more temperate climes. It took a long time before crops that grew naturally in the Middle East and Nile River could grow in equatorial and tropical Africa. Africa has plenty of plants that could provide the basis for hunter-gatherer societies, but agriculture lagged seriously behind. And you aren't going to have large populations without agriculture, nor a surplus that can feed specialists and rulers. Third, there is a lot of wasteland in Africa - the Sahara and Kalahari deserts, dense jungle, and rivers that aren't navigable.

                          Estimated Populations (millions and in % of world population) - taken from Wikipedia
                          AD1 1000 1500 1600 1700 1820 1913 2000
                          Europe 34 (15%) 40 (15%) 78 (18%) 112 (20%) 127 (21%) 224 (21%) 498 (28%) 742 (13%)
                          Africa 16.5 (7%) 33 (12%) 46 (11%) 55 (10%) 61 (10%) 74 (7%) 113 (7%) 800 (13%)
                          That's the total continent, so those numbers include North Africa including Egypt. So the figures for sub-Saharan Africa are much lower. Even allowing that estimates can be wildly off based on assumptions and scarcity of records, Europe was significantly more populous even with Egyptian and northwest African figures thrown in (which as part of the Mediterranean world was already "locked" into the standard Vampire setting).

                          As you can see, even early Europe is consistently more populous than Africa. And Europe's population explodes as it enters the Age of Exploration and industrialization. The big African population explosions don't happen until about the mid-20th century when modern medicine and the Green Revolution reduce mortality and expands the agriculture base.

                          Now Africa certainly has a long "history" in the sense that it's the birthplace of man, and therefore has the longest time of any place with people in it. Usually when talking about history, we are talking about literate civilizations with historical records of some kind. Pre-literate peoples can still be pretty advanced, but they are limited in what they can achieve. So in the sense of developing significant civilizations and urban areas, sub-Saharan Africa lagged behind the rest of the world. One exception was Africa along the Red Sea which was next to both Egypt and by sea the Middle East. Kush in the Sudan became a power in the 8th century BC and even conquered Egypt. But that is still based on the Nile River. Axum (Ethiopia) is a major classical civilization, but it doesn't exist until the first century AD.

                          It is not until around AD 400 that we see the rise of Sub-Saharan civilizations along the Niger River and Great Zimbabwe. It's not until around AD 800 that we see the classical African civilizations - the Ghana Empire and the East African Swahili cities along the Indian Ocean. It is after this time that we see the other great African empires like Mali, Songhay, Kanem, Benin, Sultanate of Mogadishu, etc.

                          So by around AD 1000, we have about 600 years of "history" in most parts of sub-Saharan Africa. The Middle East, Egypt, and India have had about 4000 years of "history" at that point, China 3000 years, and Europe 2000 years.

                          So from the perspective of vampires, whom we can say have been around creating childer since about 4000 BC, there isn't much to Africa until way after Europe was established. I can certainly see Axum being more attractive than non-Roman Europe in the 1st century. But there is a lot more urban centers and population in Europe than sub-Saharan Africa as a general rule. And once Africa does begin creating large cities and mighty empires, it's relatively minor compared to what they already have in Asia and Europe.

                          Certainly ancient Africa would be just as home to "wandering" vampires like Gangrel and Nosferatu were in Russia or other wilderness areas. And powerful vampires can crop up in places and act like gods or what not - see the Malkavian Louhi in ancient Finland. There is no reason you can't have an African equivalent to Baba Yaga. But what you won't have is large populations of vampires in large urban areas - because they didn't really exist in Africa until much, much later compared to Asia and Europe.

                          I personally didn't like Ebony Kingdoms because it was part of the process of deglobalizing the Camarilla. Originally, it was this worldwide conspiracy of all vampires of all kinds and backgrounds. The original Chicago By Night had Inyanga an African elder embraced in the 5th century. That was cool. So we already had an example of an African vampire! To see White Wolf dismantle that vampire-centric, world spanning organization in favor of multiple groups based on human culture was quite sad. I would have much preferred to have seen in the books "expanding" the setting by showing how African vampires contributed to the Camarilla and worked within it.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                            I personally didn't like Ebony Kingdoms because it was part of the process of deglobalizing the Camarilla. Originally, it was this worldwide conspiracy of all vampires of all kinds and backgrounds. The original Chicago By Night had Inyanga an African elder embraced in the 5th century. That was cool. So we already had an example of an African vampire! To see White Wolf dismantle that vampire-centric, world spanning organization in favor of multiple groups based on human culture was quite sad. I would have much preferred to have seen in the books "expanding" the setting by showing how African vampires contributed to the Camarilla and worked within it.
                            Now that you mention it, didn't all of these "one ethnicity per clan" clans, including but not limited to the Ravnos, Lasombra, and Giovanni, come from books published after the original Chicago By Night? My collection starts with the 2nd Edition core rulebook, and even in that the only clans presented are the original Camarilla Seven, plus the Caitiffs.

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                            • #15
                              The independent clans were introduced in the first edition Player's Guide which came out shortly after Chicago By Night. However, I think many people were introduced to the game in the second edition hardback (which only had the seven Camarilla clans) and picked up the first edition Chicago By Night. Since the original Player's Guide quickly stopped being published, they probably learned of the independent clans in the second edition hardcover Vampire Players Guide and CbN 2nd edition came out after that. (I think, not 100% sure).

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