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Clan Ryukishin: The Dragon Devils

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  • Clan Ryukishin: The Dragon Devils

    The Ones Who Are Divine.

    You were given so much for so little, yet you managed to fuck that up so badly its a wonder that you can even get out of bed without tripping and breaking your neck these days. All you had to do is make your deliveries on time once every week, no questions asked and your life was golden. The gig paid well, sure, but things just always seemed to go your way, it was if God or some Buddha was looking out for you.. but then you had to ask questions. Had to see the girls all chained up in the truck you drove every week- all anemic and sickly. That was when the bad luck started hitting you; your wife left you, the day job you held let you go with no explanation... but when your own daughter went missing, only for pictures - images of her beaten, bloodied.. anemic- were found in your mailbox.. that was when you learned the truth. God was watching over you this entire time, and you pissed him off.


    Something dead approaches, though it rejects the notion that it is anything like the other corpses that stalk the night. It possesses the blood of a fierce God in its dry veins, and reigns supreme over the beasts of the earth and mortal men alike - to argue otherwise is to court the wrath of the sky, the sea, and the very winds of fortune themselves. All it asks for is devotion and loyalty, and perhaps a drink or two from its flock's living essence every now and then.. and why would anyone deny it tribute when it can offer so much in return? Those who are stupid enough to try, however, quickly learn why it is often called a Devil.. though it is only rarely that a victim is given a chance to reflect on their mistake.



    The Ryukishin are all but forgotten in the modern era by the All Nights' Society, the last of their line seemingly destroyed when Nagasaki was consumed by nuclear fire. While undoubtedly unfortunate, the loss of a clan of kindred is nothing new in the chronicles of darkness, and the rest of vampire kind has largely moved on. Nowadays, the name Ryukishin is spoken primarily by bored Defiants or spiteful Lords, mulling over the secrets and the hubris of the Devils in equal measure. Forgotten does not mean that the Ryukishin are gone however, and though their numbers are at the lowest they have been since their clan's emergence, they still persist; eager to reclaim what territory they have lost in the preceding centuries. The second World War came close to ensuring their extinction, but those who remain are both dogged and discrete in their goals of rebuilding their clan back up to its former glory- perhaps even more than that, if some rumors are to be believed.



    While Japan currently is home to vampires of nearly every clan, they do not originate there. From the Daeva to Ventrue, these clans are invasive species, a foreign infection girdling the populous and steadily draining the life from it with a thousand enamel needles. Conversely, the Ryukishin claim to be not just one of Japan's native clans of kindred, but that they were the first vampires to arise along with the settlers that came to the islands themselves. As far as records indicate, the Ryukishin have always existed, and have posed as guardian ancestors, monstrous yokai, and even gods throughout Japanese history- though a favorite role among the clan has been the claim that they are dragons in human flesh.


    By predatory guardianship and an almost instinctual sense of divine purpose the vampires who belong to this clan are driven to set themselves up as the pillars of whatever group or community they dwell amongst, aloof to the base concerns of those mortals they see as their wards, yet possessed with a desire to watch over and involve themselves with the lives of the humans they surround themselves by. In their eyes the mortals need the Ryukishin to protect them from other monsters and bring meaning to their pointless lives, and by that fact it is only right that their charges owe them a tithe of blood in exchange for their guidance - gods require offerings after all, and the idea that a person may not wish for their patronage is of no consequence.


    See the curator of the old war museum whose hours stretch well into the night. He is polite, informative, and has been a member of the museums staff for as long as anyone in town can remember, though he barely looks a day over forty five. Parents warn their children not to wander into the museum alone at night, they say there is a ghost from the bombings that haunts the exhibits who will spirit away any kid who resembles its lost child. While there are no spirits within the building, there is indeed a ghost from those days who calls the museum home, though he has no interest in harming the youths. What he does prey upon are those who enter and show disrespect to the tragedies he personally witnessed, unwilling to let their stories be tarnished by the modern generation's ignorance.


    See the Inagawa-Kai leg breaker. He once acted as an Onna-Musha centuries ago in an age where being born into a body one felt was wrong was often seen as a weakness and a disgrace to ones family. It was thanks to his sire that he was able to become the warrior he always wished to be, and nowadays few people ever bring up the fact that his body is that of a woman, and those who do are often made painfully aware of just how much of a man he really really is- though curiously his blades or fists are rarely sullied with blood after the fact. Oddly enough, he sometimes boasts to being a personal confidante of figures such as Niijima Yae and Nakano Takeko, something most people quietly write it off as him being possessed by a vivid imagination.


    See the pastor of the old catholic church. While the nation has gradually become more secular over the past few decades, he has done much to keep his doors open and provide spiritual guidance for those in the neighborhood. and where sermons fail, surprise midnight masses and the fortuitous performances of "miracles" have done wonders to buoy the community's faith in the divine. The pastor claims to be the voice of God, and thanks to the powers the Blood who can argue otherwise? There have been a few close calls over the years here and there, but in his mind everything is fine. After all, vitae is an excellent substitute for wine, and if someone mysteriously collapses from a lack of blood.. well that vitae can be a perfect medium for a miracle to help heal the poor soul, right?


    Let the foreign Kindred dismiss the Ryukishin and write them off as being a lost clan, it will make their return to prominence even sweeter. For too long have the other clans vied for the territories and the mystical secrets that the Ryukishin held with an iron grip, and while it seems that their enemies have achieved victory for now, there will come a time where the gods will once again rise up and put these gaijin in their place. Until then, the proud Ryukishin will wait, observe, and quietly plot against their complacent rivals. After all, time is on their side.. and what greater resource do vampires have than time?


    Why You Want To Be Us

    We are the first Kindred of Japan, the children an immortal god! We can control animals with nothing but a gesture, move faster the wind itself, hell we command the very fabric of the world with the song that thrums within our blood! How can we help but not feel invincible when we are at our best? The humans know that we are more than simple men or women, and really, why should we ruin that perception by acting otherwise? Mortals are practically blind, deaf, and dumb but that is okay because we are here to keep them from wandering to their deaths - unless those deaths benefit us.


    Why You Should Fear Us

    Like the great Ryujin from myth the Ryukishin are capable of both great feats of benefice along with horrible acts of malice. With their innate Disciplines and their natural inclination to brook no challenges to their authority these Devils often prove to be nightmarish foes to those who cross them, and their wrath can cause the very sky to bleed and the seas to rage should they come across something they wish to destroy utterly and without mercy.


    Why We Should Fear Ourselves

    When you are told that you are an unliving god for long enough, you begin to lose perspective. Many Ryukishin style themselves as being wise, benevolent guardians towards their mortal herds, but this level of emotional separation, coupled with the Beast and the predatory instincts that all vampires possess can lead the individual clanmate to growing cold and unforgiving towards the mortals they profess to guard- leading to more than a few tragic occasions where the Ryukishin treat them as badly as they would a hated rival.



    Clan Origins

    - The Ryukishin were not always known as such. Once, many centuries ago they called themselves the Ryushin, for they were honorable, fair, and kind rulers over the kine. Some stories say that the Ryushin weren't vampires at all, but true gods: dragons who walked as men. There was one creature who wasn't pleased with this arrangement and out of spite and jealousy decided to place a curse on the Ryushin, inflicting them with a deep, uncontrollable rage that drove them to become tyrannical and blood thirsty. Amaterasu beheld the atrocities being committed and was said to be unable to look upon them, turning her face from the Ryushin out of disgust and horror. From then on the gaze of the sun goddess would burn the flesh of the maddened dragons, and only the cold radiance of her brother offered any sort of relief. In shame the Ryushin would name themselves Ryukishin, and all the while the shadowy creature who cursed them in the first place watched their misfortune and laughed.

    - It is said that the one who would go on to become the clan founder of the Ryukishin was none other than Shuten-Doji themself, or even Ibaraki-Doji, though both of these claims contradict the apparent age of the clan itself. Still the rumors persist, and with the appearance of Ibaraki-Doji in Kyoto in the modern nights this tale has convinced several younger Ryukishin to confront him in order to gain a potential answer- heedless of the danger this Contagious vampire and the infection he spreads presents.

    - There was once a great and terrible dragon with multiple heads who would terrorize the villages that surrounded its lair; stealing maidens and causing floods whenever it was angered. One fateful day a resourceful girl was captured by the monster, and in exchange for her life she offered the dragon several casks of rice wine- one for each head. Pleased by this offering, the dragon gluttonously consumed every cask and fell into a deep stupor, allowing the girl to take a sickle and sever all of the dragon's sleeping heads. This act bathed the girl in a river of blood, and from it she gained not only the strength and longevity of the beast, but also its ravenous hunger.



    Nickname: The Dragon Clan(among themselves), Dragon Devils (derogatory)

    Stereotypes:
    Daeva: Well, there's a reason you're called Serpents. Not a compliment.
    Gangrel: So you are the ones closest to the Beast? What a coincidence, I am a master of beasts.
    Mekhet: So ancient, there would be a feeling of kinship between us if you weren't an outsider.
    Nosferatu: What kind of monster abandoned you, without even getting halfway done with their work?
    Ventrue: What is a King to a God? Just another servant, in my opinion.


    Clan Bane(Curse of The Dragon):

    The Beast of the Ryukishin is a prideful, mistrusting thing. When in the presence of other, non-Ryukishin vampires, the character finds it more difficult to resist the darker impulses of the Beast, rolls to resist falling to Frenzy while another vampire of another clan is within the character's line of sight are capped by their Humanity score. In addition, it is difficult for a member of the Ryukishin to fully be comfortable around their Touchstones during situations of stress, imposing a -1 penalty to a Touchstone's ability to calm the character down to avert Frenzy.

    Favored Attributes: Wits or Manipulation

    Clan Disciplines: Animalism, Celerity, Chi No Uta
    Last edited by Korogra; 02-11-2021, 01:22 AM.

  • #2
    And that is the first part for a clan of Kindred I have been meaning to write up for a few years now, one of two clans of vampire "native" to Japan that have been referenced in a couple vampire games I've ran. My next update will explain their relationship with the Covenants and Zaibatsu, along with how their signature Discipline works! As always, I look forward to your feedback, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

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    • #3
      In The Covenants/ The Zaibatsu

      While the Dragon Clan has few members still extant in comparison to their fellow "kindred", their presence within the All Night Society hasn't fully disappeared yet. Although the previous generation of Ryukishin show a certain level of disdain for the Covenants and the influence these outside organizations brought to their domain, the current, post World War generation of Dragon Devils(especially those who have ventured to other countries, either to visit or settle permanently) are a bit more willing to give these sects a fair shake. Despite that, the clan's surviving elders and ancillae have been surprisingly effective in beating the idea of secrecy into their new fledglings heads, and it is a rare neonate indeed who is brave or foolish enough to advertise their true lineage, even after they have been accepted into a Covenant. Old grudges between the Ryukishin and the outsider clans still simmer in the hearts of many kindred, and should they discover a brace of young Devils bumbling about in their attempt to play at being vampires, it is fair to assume that some individuals will find an excuse to make unlife as difficult for these kindred as possible, if not worse. Still, the clan has found some success integrating into the Covenants, and whether it is to learn how to better remove these gaijin from positions of authority or a genuine desire to let bygones be bygones and connect with their fellow undead one thing is clear: they are slowly making progress. There is one Covenant that the elders forbid their fledglings from joining due to its goals directly threatening their schemes: The Lancea et Sanctum - Ryukishin who have relocated to other nations are considerably more free with their choice of Covenant, however.

      Conversely, many of the older Ryukishin have found the numerous Zaibatsu to be more agreeable to their sensibilities and have made strides towards gaining influence over them. While several of these conglomerates are absolutely infested with other vampires, the structure of these companies ironically serve to make it easier to hide their true nature from their competitors, thanks to the human presence necessitating a more subtle hand. So the senior vampires of the Dragon Clan carefully lay the foundation for their agenda to bring the clan back to the fore of Japan's shadow side, its supernatural side. They allocate funds, they discretely mismanage the projects kicked down to them by their rivals while advancing their own, and they slowly, quietly tightening their grip on these corporations. Unfortunately this is where setbacks begin to build, thanks to an inescapable facet of vampire nature. For all the talk of wanting to rebuild the clan and the progress that has definitely been made to accomplish this goal, at the end of the night the members of the Dragon Clan are still vampires.. and a vampire who doesn't look out for Number One foremost is of a rare specimen indeed. As such, many of these Ryukishin sometimes act to kick their clanmates down just as they would any of the outsiders, their goals and desire to strengthen their positions taking precedence over the greater objective to exalt the clan.


      Chi No Uta

      Chi No Uta, or Song of Blood, is the signature Discipline of the Ryukishin and is one of the greatest secrets that the clan has guarded for hundreds, if not thousands of years - a secret that many scholars of the Ordo Dracul and the Acolytes of the Crone have clamored to unlock. This is because the power of Chi No Uta grants its user a deeper connection to the powers of their vitae and bestows them with an affinity for Blood Sorcery that most practitioners will and have killed for. The Dragon Clan claims that this increased understanding and talent forwards ritualistic Disciplines is thanks to their divine progenitor, or that Chi No Uta was first attained due to their forebears diablerizing a great spirit. Whatever the source, this Discipline is prized by the clan, and there are many who believe that Chi No Uta is proof enough of their divinity.

      Chi No Uta functions very similarly to the Disciplines of Celerity, Resilience, and Vigor due to having both passive and active effects, the effects being as follows:

      Passive:
      -The user is able to add her dots in Chi No Uta to her Blood Potency for the purpose of resisting the effects of Blood Sorcery spells that are targeting her( Cruac Rituals, Theban Sorcery Miracles Etc).
      - When learning new Blood Sorcery spells, the user is able to reduce the experience cost of the spell to one experience point, and reduces the cost of new Discipline dots by her level of Chi No Uta, to a minimum of one experience point. This effect cannot reduce the experience point cost to zero.

      Active:
      - Once per scene the user may spend one vitae or willpower(depending on the Ritual Discipline) to add her Chi No Uta dots to her dice pool for the purpose of casting a Blood Sorcery spell, granting it a metaphysical "boost" as it were.
      - Once per scene the user may spend a number of vitae up to her Chi No Uta dots to lower the spells target number for success by the amount of vitae spent. This effect cannot be used on the same ritual that has benefited from the first effect, the user must choose one or the other.
      - By spending a point of vitae while being targeted by a Blood Sorcery spell, the user can attempt to discern what type of spell is being used against them with an Occult + Chi No Uta roll. In addition, the user knows the general direction and distance the perpetrator is in relation to the user, as long as the perpetrator is within a number of miles equal to the dots the user has in Chi No Uta.

      __________

      Next update will be a few Devotions, and an expansion of Kigan, the Blood Sorcery of the Ume House, which I posit originally belonged to the Ryukishin and their sister clan - which will be posted sometime in the future- so stay tuned!
      Last edited by Korogra; 02-03-2021, 09:16 PM.

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