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New Bloodline- The Wise Children

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  • New Bloodline- The Wise Children

    Hey everybody! Haberdasher here with something a little different. You guys have been asking for an original bloodline from me. Well here you go: a bloodline that is not simply a conversion of a 1e bloodline. I present: the Wise Children. If you remember me expressing excitement that the extinct clans got disciplines in Thousand Years of Night, this is why. Because these guys aren't a Mekhet bloodline- they're an Akhud bloodline.

    Yes, you heard that right. What I have for you guys today is a bloodline of Akhud founded by a member of the clan who survived their destruction, and woke up to find that all that diablerie the Akhud may or may not have done before they became (mostly) dead had left him with a hankering for Vitae and a conviction that other Kindred need to be eat- I mean, destroyed, for the good of humanity. Or at least taught to not eat humans and leave them in peace. By eating them until they get it through their skulls. Because that's the only way some vampires learn.

    "But wait, Haberdasher!" I hear you cry. "A bloodline of Middle Eastern assassins with an addition to Vitae and a penchant for diablerie? Led by a man named Haqim? Who have a special power called Quietus? These are the Assamites!" Well... yes and no. Yeah, the parallels are there. And I took the concept of the Assamites as inspiration. But no, I would not say they are the Assamites. In my book, the Wise Children are to the Assamites as Khaibit are to the Lasombra: a way of porting a Masquerade concept over to Requiem, but made to fit within the framework of Requiem's preexisting mythology without introducing new and exotic elements. So while the Khaibit and Lasombra are both groups of vampires with shadow-manipulation powers, they aren't the same thing. Same with the Wise Children and the Assamites, I think.

    Whereas the Assamites are just Cainites who are very conscientious about staying out of mortal affairs and avoiding the Jyhad, the Wise Children are running three other Masquerades within the Masquerade of the Danse Macabre: that Invictus Mekhet your coterie knows who is really, really particular about the First and Second Traditions? Turns out he's not a Mekhet at all, but actually a member of an extinct clan you may not have even heard of. And he's not really Invictus, but a double agent for VII! And he's only working with VII because he sees them as a means to his bloodline's end of stopping Kindred from preying on humans! Done right, these guys can bring a lot of paranoia to a campaign. Throw one of these guys into the mix, and suddenly, every Mekhet in the domain can start looking suspicious... or the sheer number of reveals inherent in their backstory can be good fun for a goofier, more light-hearted Chronicle. All your choice.

    Quietus here is meant to be a greatest-hits of Masquerade's Quietus powers, which are supposed to revolve around making them really, really good at hunting other vampires: you've got everything from stopping them from shouting from help or using Theban Sorcery, to draining them of Vitae, to robbing them of their ghouls and Manchurian Candidates, to literally setting them and potentially every member of their clan within a mile on fire for aggravated damage. Be afraid, be very afraid.

    As always, thoughts and comments are appreciated. And yes, more original bloodlines will be coming in the months ahead- and who knows, I may have a new Covenant or two for you guys as well!

    New Bloodline: The Wise Children
    Fool. My bloodline stretches back millennia to the time of Ibrahim. Our clan was destroyed by God as punishment for our wickedness, but the Wise One was permitted to survive, that he may teach all vampires to refrain from the blood of Adam's children. A lesson which you refuse to learn, apparently. Which is why it is also our duty to destroy those who reject the master's wisdom. Now in the name of God the Almighty, burn.

    There are five clans. No more, no less. The Pijavica were an evolutionary dead end, the Julii are the stuff of jokes or object lessons, and precious few remember that the Akhud of the Five Cities even existed. Except, of course, the handful of ancient Akhud who survived the catastrophe that befell their clan. These stragglers endured through the centuries, often passing themselves off as Ventrue or Mekhet to avoid attention or notoriety. But few Akhud even know that one of them number succeeded in fostering a bloodline, one moulded in his likeness and image to accomplish one duty: the forced moral evolution of Kindred through murder.

    Background: The founder of the Wise Children- so the story goes- was an advisor to one of the undead kings of the Pentopolis. How he survived the destruction of the Akhud, or even his original name, is unknown; perhaps even he has forgotten it. What the Wise Children do know is that he emerged from the ashes with two fundamental truths: that he burned with hunger for the very souls of other vampires, and was convinced that vampires were a curse upon the world, and should be destroyed. The advisor began hunting for vampires out of necessity and ideology. In Egypt, he made contact with the Mekhet, and created the fiction that he was a member of the Shadows, even diablerizing several members of the clan so that he could learn Auspex to help sell the deception.

    Over the centuries, the founder of the Wise Children Embraced several childer- he rationalized them as necessary acts of evil, assistants and allies in his righteous quest. Over time, he adopted a new identity: the Wise One- or, as he came to be known in Arabic, “Haqim.” Haqim further refined his beliefs, urging his childer (and eventually grandchilder) to avoid interactions with the kine. Haqim was surprised to discover that not only had his childer inherited his hunger for vitae, but they also had an innate skill with Auspex, the signature discipline of the Shadows he had diablerized so long ago to conceal his true nature.

    With time, Haqim's bloodline began to call themselves the Children of Haqim, or, thanks to the meaning of their founder's name in Arabic, the Wise Children. This stemmed from Haqim's continued education of his descendents in his philosophy, which became ever more complex. By the time of the Roman Empire, Haqim had refined his position of hunting other Kindred to a more nuanced, though no less absolute, position: the role of the Wise Children was to force other vampires to a position of spiritual enlightenment by killing them: those who killed humans when they fed or Embraced were hunted down. Through this, the Children hoped to manipulate the other clans into adopting practices that Haqim deemed acceptable for vampires. The Wise Children became the boogiemen of Levantine Kindred, feared for their remarkable skill at hunting other Kindred and neutralizing their powers.

    The expansion of the Roman Republic into areas where the Children dwelt- namely Syria, the Levant, and Egypt- brought change to the bloodline. While the Children did not join the Camarilla- and so were largely spared when it collapsed- more than a few neonates left the Levant to travel to the Empire's heartland, acting as “Mekhet” bodyguards to influential Julii so that they could prey upon the unsuspecting Kindred of Rome. Some rare Children foresook their siblings in this time, joining the covenants of Rome, but the vast majority stayed loyal to Haqim. However, the Punic Wars soured the Wise Children on the Julii and the Camarilla, since many Children had emigrated to the Carthaginian city-states. Many Wise Children met final death in the final destruction of Carthage, and the Wise Children withdrew back to the Levant, working to foil the influence of the Camarilla in Syria, Judaea, and Aegytpus.

    After the fall of the Camarilla, the intrusion of Western Kindred into the domains of the Children ended for a time, and the Wise Children enjoyed peace for a time. This stability was shattered by the Crusades, when Sanctified Kindred rode east with European mortals to convert or slay Muslim Kindred who rejected the teachings of Longinus. The Wise Children saw in the Ventrue the Julii come again, and they ferociously resisted the new encroachment on their lands. The Western Sanctified, for their matter, did not bother to understand that the Wise Children were not Muslim by faith. When the Crusades ended, the Wise Children enjoyed grudging support from the Kindred of nearby Turkey, who had fought alongside the Children to repel the Western Kindred. The Wise Children, for their part, began to spread with the Ottoman Empire into southern Europe, motivated by revenge for the Crusades.

    In modern nights, the Wise Children are largely scattered. The protracted conflicts in their home lands during the 20th and 21st centuries have devastated their numbers at home, and none know if Haqim has survived, as he entered torpor shortly before Napoleon invaded Egypt. Many elders of the bloodline have been destroyed by the horrific violence of the civil war in Syria, and most surviving members of the bloodline survive abroad, mostly in neighboring countries or domains in Europe. This time, the Wise Children are remembered, but not fondly, since there are still some elders who remember the Crusades, and many more were neonates when the Wise Children swept into the Balkans. The secret of the Children's nature remains hidden, and the Children's new neighbors assume them to be an odd bloodline of Mekhet.

    The Becoming: Wise Children are usually selected from among those with a background that pertained to violence or deception: spies are popular choices, thanks to the necessary deceptions that being a Wise Child carries, but soldiers are often Embraced as well and have become popular candidates for childer in the war-torn Middle East. However, other Wise Children select childer who are socially accomplished, the better to maneuver close to prey before the kill. Traditionally, Wise Children were of Levantine or North African descent and the social restrictions placed on women made the Embrace of women a complicated affair, but the bloodline has grown more cosmpolitan out of necessity, especially in Western domains where suspicion of immigrants from North Africa and the Near East can draw unwanted attention and native childer are more convenient, and women not accompanied by a man will not raise eyebrows. Wise Children usually favor Physical and Social Skills equally, though some find use in Mental Skills. Physical Merits like Fighting Styles are preferred over Mental and Social Merits.

    In the Danse Macabre: Due to the origin of the bloodline and their preferred feeding tactics, Wise Children practice a Masquerade within the Masquerade: when they interact with other Kindred, they present themselves as Mekhet, and never reveal the truth of Haqim's teachings to Kindred outside the bloodline. Wise Children usually dwell communally, out of a sense of tradition and also to better lend each other support on the hunt and in case of attack. Before the scattering of the bloodline in the 20th century, Wise Children used membership in a covenant as a means to disguise their true intentions, police the behavior of other vampires, and to scout potential prey; now, membership in a covenant is more sincere, if only out of necessity. The Invictus' emphasis on enforcing the Traditions dovetails nicely with several of Haqim's tenants, while some Wise Children have expressed interest in the potential applications of Carthian Law to their quest. While Haqim never claimed to have started VII, he was aware of its existence before he entered torpor, and gave his blessing to the Wise Children to aid its members in their missions, so many Wise Children hold membership in the covenant, seeing it as a means to accomplishing their mandate.

    Clan: Akhud

    Nickname: Haqimites, Assassins

    Bloodline Bane: The orgy of diablerie that resulted in the near-destruction of of Clan Akhud has tainted the Wise Children, constantly tempting them to indulge in the same self-destructive behavior. Every Wise Child is addicted to Vitae, meaning that they bear the Addicted Persistent Condition and can never resolve it. Additionally, any rolls made to resist developing an addiction to Diablerie suffer a penalty equal to half the Wise Child's Blood Potency, rounded up.

    Bloodline Disciplines: Auspex, Celerity, Obfuscate, Praestantia

    Bloodline Gift: Quietus
    Quietus is the result of centuries of experimentation and work, a series of powers created by Haqim and the Wise Children to aid them in their hunts for vitae and their efforts to influence the All-Night Society. This power was originally called a Semitic word for “repose,” but when the Wise Children came into conflict with the Julii, the Roman Kindred started referring to it by the Latin equivalent, “quietus,” and the Latin name eventually displaced the Semitic name even among the Wise Children.

    Quietus relies on a blending of Auspex, Obfuscate, and Praestantia to silence targets, poison them with the tainted Vitae of the Wise Children, and to use others' own sins against them.

    Requires: Wise Child

    The Silence Before Death (Obfuscate @@@)

    Cost: 1 Vitae
    Dice Pool: None
    Action: None

    Once a Wise Child reaches a suitable level of skill with Obfuscate, his superior (usually his sire, but can be any Wise Child who knows the ability) teaches him how to apply the effects of Cloak the Night (Obfuscate @@@) to sound. A Wise Child can use this Devotion to create an area of complete silence around him, which has a radius of 6 yards (or meters). By itself, the effect lasts for the rest of the scene, but if the Wise Child has another Obfuscate power active, the area of silence disappears if the Obfuscate power is broken. The Wise Child can also spend a point of Willpower to exempt any person or object in the area from the effect, allowing him to make himself heard in a crowd of people, hear a radio over the roar of a shotgun, or listen to a recording without distraction.

    This Devotion costs 2 Experiences to learn.

    An advanced version of this Devotion allows a Wise Child to caused silence in a fixed area, rather than an area that moves with him. This version requires Obfuscate 5 and costs 3 Experiences to learn.

    Blood of Sodom (Requires Blood Potency 3)

    Cost: 1 Vitae
    Dice Pool: None
    Action: None

    The legacy of Clan Akhud and the power of the hatred and desperation that the last of the clan felt in the nights of its self-destruction manifests in a terrifying manner for the Wise Children: they can turn their blood to a virulent toxin that can devastate mortals or Kindred alike.

    In the first application of this devotion, the Wise Child can spit the Vitae at a target on a successful Stamina + Athletics roll, or apply it to his lips for a more subtle attack. If the target makes contact with the toxin, she must roll Stamina + Blood Potency; failure means that she is now afflicted by a toxin with an intensity equal to the Wise Child's Blood Potency.

    In the second application, the Wise Child can smear the Vitae on a blade, turning the weapon into +0 aggravated weapon.

    This Devotion costs 2 Experiences to learn.

    Blood Sweat (Auspex @@, Celerity @@@)

    Cost: 1 Vitae
    Dice Pool: Intelligence + Empathy + Auspex - target's Resolve + Blood Potency
    Action: Contested

    Sometimes, it is preferrable for a Wise Child to weaken a foe before attempting to land the killing blow. If a Wise Child has used Uncanny Perception (Auspex @@) to discover an act that a target is guilty over, he can attempt to use Blood Sweat to bring this memory to the victim's mind with shocking clarity.

    Roll Results

    Dramatic Failure: The Devotion fails, and the target is aware that the Wise Child attempted to mentally influence them.
    Failure: The Devotion fails, but no other effects occur.
    Success: The Wise Child conjures the memory in the victim's mind with such clarity that it seems to be happening all over again. Mortals break out in a cold sweat, and lose a number of Willpower points equal to successes on the activation roll; if the target has fewer Willpower points than successes, they suffer bashing damage equal to the remaining successes, as the victim is stricken with mental trauma. Vampires lose an amount of Vitae equal to successes scored, and successes that exceed the current Vitae pool result in bashing damage, and must immediately roll to resist Frenzy due to hunger and fear.
    Exceptional Success: No additional benefit.

    This Devotion costs 3 Experiences to learn.

    Blood of the Lamb (Auspex @@@@, Obfuscate @@@@, Blood Potency 4)

    This power was formulated as the Wise Children came into more conflict with other Kindred, first during the Punic Wars, and afterwards during the Crusades. It allows Wise Children to remove the effects of mental Disciplines from their fellow Children, and any mortals they encounter, as well as turn blood and Vitae into a horrendous toxin as a trap for other vampires.

    Cost: 3 Vitae
    Dice Pool: Intelligence + Occult + Auspex
    Action: Extended

    Roll Results

    Dramatic Failure: The Wise Child fails to purify the subject, or instead turns their blood or Vitae into a toxin that injures them, immediately dealing 3 points of aggravated damage as their blood or Vitae boils.
    Failure: The Wise Child fails to purify the subject, or turn their blood or Vitae to toxin.
    Success: The Wise Child purifies the subject or turns their blood or Vitae to toxin.
    Exceptional Success: The duration of the action is reduced to one minute.

    The Wise Child sheds the requisite Vitae and anoints the target with it. After a period of five minutes, the target is healed of the effects of one Discipline power or Devotion, has a blood bond removed, or is transformed from a ghoul back into a regular human with all the usual consequences. The Wise Child must have learned of the mental Discipline, blood bond, or status as ghoul through the use of Auspex. This purification cannot remove legitimate emotions that the target may feel towards a particular vampire, like love, loyalty, or anger.

    Alternatively, the Wise Child can turn the subject's blood into a toxin that is highly toxic to Kindred, inflicting two points of aggravated damage for each point of Vitae consumed. The blood or Vitae remains toxic for a number of months equal to successes rolled.

    This Devotion costs 4 Experiences to learn.

    Unto the Seventh Generation (Auspex @@@@@, Blood Potency 5)

    Cost: 5 Vitae
    Dice Pool: Intelligence + Religion + Praestantia - target's Resolve + Blood Potency (primary target only)
    Action: Instant

    This is the culmination of the Wise Children's centuries of planning and research. It allows the Wise Children to call down divine judgment upon the blasphemers of the clans. It is a distillation of the horrors visited upon the Akhud in their last nights. A Wise Child using this Devotion must target a vampire whom he is currently affecting with a Quietus power, or who has damage in one of their health boxes from a Quietus Power.

    Roll Results

    Dramatic Failure: The Wise Child automatically suffers three points of aggravated damage.
    Failure: The Devotion fails to take effect.
    Success: The Wise Child inflicts an amount of aggravated damage equal to successes rolled on the victim as their Vitae ignites in blinding white fire, and all vampires that they feel once- or twice-removed blood sympathy; the target must be close enough to these other vampires to feel them through blood sympathy for them to also be affected.
    Exceptional Success: As above, but extends to all vampires whom the target has thrice-removed or four times removed blood sympathy who are within range.

    This Devotion costs 5 Experiences to learn.
    Last edited by Haberdasher; 08-07-2017, 06:50 PM.

    Haberdasher's Requiem Conversions and Homebrew

  • #2
    First thoughts:
    Blood Sweat and Unto the Seventh Generation should be Resisted, not Contested.
    Not really into having Praestantia Devotions affect blood - maybe the prerequisites for those devotions should use Blood Potency instead?

    Other than that, this looks great. As in, could-be-official-great.


    • #3
      I'm inclined to agree with you about Blood Sweat and Unto the Seventh Generation. I debated whether or not to make them Resisted or Contested, but thinking about them, Resisted makes more sense. And good idea about removing Praestantia as elements of the Devotions and using Blood Potency instead.

      And thank you for the compliment. I just try to produce good homebrews that other players can utilize.

      Haberdasher's Requiem Conversions and Homebrew