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Locusts and Parasites: Bloodlines that Spread and Infest

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  • Locusts and Parasites: Bloodlines that Spread and Infest

    The last pair of bloodlines from the New Oskana Chronicle (the Blood Moons/Dead Wolves Revision and Sta-Au tweaks will be later on). Conquer, embrace, spread, repeat. The Khagan lay claim to being derived from the great Khans of history; roving, mobile and vicious, conquering most of the known world at the time. They're vicious on their home turf, in their own territory and as time has left the old ways more and more difficult to openly indulge, they're at a crux where they must adapt or become footnotes. So, they conquer, then move on, or expand their holdings by embracing childer who are then sent out to do the same like a plague of locusts; they're too vicious to last in large numbers with close territories or communally lest they turn upon one another, creating a web of domains under their influence.

    I give you the Tyrannical Locusts:

    The Khagan
    Parent Clan: Ventrue

    The Ventrue have always referred to themselves as "lords" of one stripe of another, always at the forefront, the rightful rulers, the uncompromising winners who'd never bow in defeat to other undead given the luxury of time. They also have a reputation for degeneracy, however, and some would say complacency in their self-assured ideas of control over others, content to let others do their dirty work.

    The Khagan, while certainly fitting the bill as "lords", are anything but complacent or uncouth, let alone ineffective. A dwindling bloodline, becoming more of an anachronism and footnote in Kindred history as time passes on and their glory days are forgotten, are still anything but complacent. While more than capable of bending, or breaking the will of others to their desires, these "Khans" are noted for a brutal will-to-power and a lead-by-example method. As content to twist the heads off an enemy before an assembled Elysium as they are subvert the minds of others to quietly work against them behind the scenes, the line is one of proud and uncompromising would-be warrior kings and queens. The Invictus and Circle of the Crone in particular find the occasional Khagan among them, though it is said those of more recent stock (recent being after the 1300's) are just as likely to have thrown in with the others.

    Only those bearing in life blood ancestry that could be traced back to the Mongol horde, no matter how distantly or dilutely, will do for their lot if one was to hear them speak of it. It is a matter of pride that they were derived from an empire larger than any other in it's time, overshadowing even the lauded Romans in territory acquired. Indeed, this fact alone brings something of a haughtiness to their line among the already haughty Ventrue, so many of which point to the glories of Rome. The Khagan have no use for these "patricians", layabouts and spoiled brats who often in their outlooks have far too much given to them, and haven't had to fight for their due, tooth and claw. Be it some Slavic Boyar with relations to the Draculesti (and Vlad Tepes in turn), or modern Mongolian chosen from a family of esteemed history to continue their traditions, the Khagan consider themselves the elite of the elite among the Ventrue, even as their namely slowly but surely is lost to the sands of time.

    History: The specific founder of the Bloodline is something of an unknown, a fact that irritates many of the Khagan given the weight they put behind genealogy. While the Khagan would dearly love to legitimize their origin with direct ties to Ghenghis Khan, one of his sons, grandsons or even wives brought under the yoke of undeath, there is simply little in the line of instact records to make such links concrete. Human history is one thing, but given the secretive nature of the undead, such confirmations are even more difficult. Instead, this tale makes the rounds, more legend than truly acknowledged fact with dubious legitimacy regarding actual historical fact, yet treated with no small amount of reverence among their lot regardless.

    A chi'ing shih, reputed for their near indestructibility among the undead sought to take one of Temujin's sons as it's chosen prey. Said to be a defamed Bjartskular in life, it chose the sons of its former allies as its sustenance. A man derived from such a potent and far-reaching ruler must have strong blood indeed to be supped, after-all. The son is occasionally referred to as Chagatai, given his notorious temper, though such changes depending on who is telling the tale and does not always match with actual history, taking a more allegorical reference.

    Stealing away in the night, it slipped into his camp and began it's feast. The son, no weakling, awoke to the nocturnal visitation, and in a grand act of will, broke free of its strength-stealing grip. A battle ensued, the chi'ing shih repeatedly wounded and struck down, only to rise again to take its due. It is said only the rising sun and the Khans men in tandem with the son were able to finally put it down, the son landing the halting blow and stopping what would have been an otherwise inevitable and horrible death. But the chi'ing shih are notoriously resilient, capable of changing form, and near unstoppable unless certain steps are taken to put them to final rest, but these steps are rarely mentioned in the tale; it's believed to be at least in part a show that the man in life could triumph over death itself, over something far greater than he.

    For all the man's tenacity the chi'ing shih rose again many nights later, enlivened by such a ferocious life-force to drain, perhaps egged on or enraged by the difficulties it encountered. The young Khan, now beside himself faced with a foe to whom mortal weapon was little permanent bane turned to sorcery after spying it in the night, moving just out of firelights reach. Finding a great sorcerer who told him the rites to deal with such a monster, he laid a trap. The chi'ing shih was allowed to enter the camp, the guards blithely ignoring it and into his tent.

    What it found was that it stepped into a nearly a circle of iron filings, open at the door, which then was then quickly closed by the sprinkle of the sorcerer hidden outside. Trapped and unable to pass the barrier, the son interrogated the blazing, yellow-eyed creature on the root of its strength and tenacity, and on the secrets of its kind.

    He was not disappointed, told of how the life force could be stolen to unnaturally prolong ones existence, even if already dead, and one could derive strength from such unholy repasts. Rather than destroy the creature utterly, now knowing how, he let it go on a singular condition, a binding promise; It would return, following him in his conquests, sharing it's strength through it's foul blood as he traveled, making for him near unstoppable warriors under his command secretly to aid his conquest and smite his enemies. It was a bargain the son did not realize the full consequences of, let alone how deeply the contamination of the thing would root within him.

    The Chi'ing Shih did as it had promised, giving him it's Vitae and supernatural powers, all the while making him ever more loyal and strong. In turn, as they traveled further and further afield, from China and into Europe it occasionally made more of it's foul-ilk from the Mongolian Horde. While the son believed himself in control, it was the chi'ing shih in the end building a small army of vampires to uproot territories from foreign undead, hungry for new life-force. In turn, its line spread, visiting regiona after region and installing one of it's childer after the Mongol soldiers secretly destroyed the sleeping vampires by day.

    Rather than be complacent and venal, these creations of the chi'ing shih were vicious, proactive monsters, a spreading scourge upon the land. Bred as it were to be a line of warriors to their living, ghouled commander, they bore an unnatural strength even as they lacked the invulnerability of their originator. This was purportedly intentional; while a warrior that could strike down enemies was to be cherished, an uncontrollable dissident of unnatural tenacity who in turn could not be, was not. And so these instituted undead Khans spread, from Asia into Europe, taking territory for their own, cementing the rule of the living Khan by night. Only those who traced their living blood back to the Khans would do, scions of the Horde, the midnight faces to the living fighting by light of the sun. Where domains of Kindred were to weak, venal and degenerate, they would invade, crushing the old reign, and instituting their own, ever expanding their territories.

    Or so the story goes. The son of a Khan? It could be referring to any one of Temujin's, his son's or his grandson's. It could even be a reference to one of the foreign Khans with only a distant blood relation or some bastard considered an illegitimate heir. No further reference to the ghoul-Khan is made directly; it's assumed that either they were murdered by the chi'ing shih or by the Khagan undead after he outlived his usefulness by the more cynical. Others assume that he became one of the undead himself after his unnatural youth drew questions or after being laid low only to rise up as one of the very undead soldiers he commanded. Disappearing into the night and it being his noble blood that is the root of the Khagan bloodline, not some foul and savage chi'ing shih scourge.

    Such could well be true, as the "chi'ing shih" is rarely referred to in anything resembling a positive light. And what of the sorcerer? Another reference without further exploration. Is it this individual then, who may be at the root of some of their banes? A curse placed upon the chi'ing shih and living Khan alike for his unholy alliance? What secrets did they overhear in that tent, and what ends did they use them for, as surely, they used them for some gain above and beyond consequent.

    This is further muddied by stories that pass among the more erudite of the line that the chi'ing shih was no "common Ventrue"; most details point to a Strix inhabited corpse of some ilk, particularly with the breath and lifeforce-stealing references of those entities, or some far-flung vampire who bears little in common with the modern five great clans, though it occasionally poses complications on the stories using the ghouled khan as its centerpiece.

    If this were true, how then did the Khagan come to bear the blood of the Ventrue? Twisted powers of the Strix? Continual consumption of conquered Lords as directed by some Strix on a path or revenge for some slight by the clan? Or was it simply that the first among them rose up to the greatness of the Lords because they were -born- to conquer and lead, something more spontaneous and individual?

    It's anyone's real guess, though less often whispered (though in the minds of scholars of their line, the most likely) is that they were among the original Gangrel who settled in Eastern Europe into ruling individuals, the precursors who first adopted the Lordly Tongue but still who hold strongest ties to their original roots. And intermediary manifestation of The Blood between the Gangrel and the Ventrue. Unfortunately, their affinity for extreme undead strength poses the issue as to why they bore that over the resilience of the Lords and purportedly of the Chi'ing Shih's tenacity; most just believe it's the most suiting expression of The Beast for them, and think nothing more. Other's look back to those tales of Strix and stranger entities and wonder if they truly were bred as unliving scourges to bring down other Kindred, a discomforting thought that they might not truly be their own masters rather than a weapon of someone else's conquests.

    It would explain their affinity for Protean and Dominate alike though, their propensity for Frenzy and does, in its own way, present a particular pedigree above the "common Ventrue". Unfortunately the story rarely goes over well among their "common" company that many of them are no more than thin-blooded descendants of the Khagan, and so is kept more tightly within their own ranks to avoid undue ruffled feathers. They're all an excessively proud lot after all. In the end, there are far more questions than truthful answers.

    The Khagan publicly refuse to act as Avus to, or Embrace childer into their bloodline that they cannot at least partially trace to having mortal ancestry members of the Mongol Empire, preferably the Khans. Luckily a large percentage of the human population does, making this something of lip service or reinforced pride to trump themselves up. It could be exceedingly distant, even without confirmed veracity, but there has to be something to say that it's likely. It's a matter of pride for them, keeping their membership "true", and selecting from the living whose blood has ties to the largest empire known to mankind.

    In practice everything from northern and eastern Europeans, Middle Easterners and individuals from various Asiatic cultures have found a place among the Khagan most predominantly, though not exclusively. While they present this as some sort of inviolate tradition, many"illegitimate" Khagan may exist who've had no confirmed mortal lineage by members who simply want what they want, tradition be damned. It's expected, however, that this is -not- brought up within their company or publicly lest it stain their reputation. Openly flouting the custom is a quick way to find bloodline censure.

    Another custom still practiced almost devoutly is that of tenure. A newly made childer of a Khagan, be they destined to become part of the line or not, are expected to inhabit a territory distant from their sire. Khagan do not take a soft approach to teaching the newly undead, they are expected to be tenacious, vicious, and above all, self-sufficient. While the Sire has rights to a portion of territory procured by the Childer, their "offspring" are expected to not require their makers constant presence. Indeed, given their inherent territoriality, this is a necessity before their broods turn on each others throats from prolonged close contact.

    In regions where the Khagan do not have large amounts of land to call their own, one often finds the territories of their progeny growing ever closer, always attempting to expand until a potentially cataclysmic conflict may arise. In areas where the Khagan sire has large tracts of domain already with little room for another would-be Khan, the childe is often expected to go nomad, to wander until they find a region to take as their own and report back to their sire of their location of their settled domain. This keeps the Khagan relatively well connected and spreading lines of dominion, even over long distances despite their somewhat solitary Requiems among their own. A Khagan who does not have a territory of its own of some prestige, be it a large amount of land, or simply a haven of repute and stature often finds themselves looked down upon and criticized rather harshly. The Khans have little room for those of their ilk that would sully their image.

    Lastly, if somewhat unofficially, the Khagan are generally deeply superstitious, something that remained intact and reinforced since their diaspora from their original mortal stock.As a result, various minor rites and customs are often practiced, sometimes being seen as something of a "debt" being repayed to the world they walk within, be it to the land itself, the spirits, gods or ancestors or other things depending on their religious or occult leanings. They realize they are undead, and that by living in the supernatural world, they must follow customs that the living do not. It's very common for the Khagan to offset Breaking Points to Humanity via Banes, especially given their often violent natures. Some of these are occasionally passed from sire to childe via reinforcement, though they are unpredictable in their manifestation as a given.

    Nicknames: "Khans" most commonly, though more region-specific monikers are often used out of earshot of them, Tyrants and Locusts being common among them.

    Disciplines: Animalism, Dominate, Protean, Vigor

    Weakness: As per the Ventrue in Blood and Smoke; their first Touchstone is at Humanity 7 rather than 6, which increases the costs of the Touchstone merit sooner while leaving Humanity 1 precarious. The Khagan grow callous to humans quite quickly.

    Additionally, they suffer a -3 penalty on Frenzy tests to Rage triggered Frenzies while within their "owned" territory (to a maximum of -5 with other provocations triggering the response). This could be as small as a personal haven, as large as a neighborhood, or larger still among Khagan Princes claiming cities for themselves. Their Beasts do not tolerate interlopers easily, their territoriality being part and parcel of their very blood once they settle into a region from any nomadic wanderings.

    Provoking the Beast of a Khagan in its chosen domain is the quickest means to viewing why their reputation as brutal warriors still holds true. It is also a window into why the line is dwindling, in nights where society prides itself on a more "civilized" approach, these temperamental warrior-kings are quick to alienate their courts, with knee-jerk reactions and inhuman rages when they feel thwarted, insulted or even challenged.

    Werewolf: the Forsaken Overhaul: A W:tF Shard and House Rules, Pre-Idigam Chronicles and taking different route. Constantly being Updated.
    New Bloodlines and Blood and Smoke Updates: Homebrew Bloodlines and updates to prior ones.
    Belial's Brood Blood and Smoke: An updated take on the Forsworn.

  • #2
    And on the heals of swarms come the Parasites: Daeva that grow obsessed with their living hosts, whose Beast seems more a tangible, parasitic thing.

    The Daeva are notorious for their proclivities towards humans; whirlwind attachments, a focus upon them and their relationships with them that disturbs many other kindred. Inevitably they’re predatory and parasitic. The Akahkway bloodline takes the parasitism to a more tangible and disturbing extreme, even for Daeva.

    The Akahkway are consummate parasites, even for vampires. They insinuate themselves into the lives of others for more than simple feeding, but to keep themselves invigorated on all levels. Less ostentatious than many Daeva, they pick a host; an individual that becomes the focal point so long as they still live. In turn, they manipulate them; using their powers to make the Akahkway a central important point to their existences, if not reliant, all the while using the poor hosts life, their wealth, their family connections, their blood to their own ends until they are drained dry literally and figuratively.

    Sure, an Akahkway can dally among others, feeding and fucking those who aren't their chosen host (and most do), but they always come back to their host like a recurrent infection. Sometimes they grow bored of these poor individuals, or find them to be too dangerous to continue to use; most imagine they’d never harm their hosts but this is untrue. When they've got all they can, often they’ll leave them mentally damaged, or simply consume them unto death. Some don’t even leave it at that; keeping the bodies of the deceased around like macabre mementos or using stranger arts to keep their ghosts from moving on, keeping collections like catalogues and memories of those they've enjoyed the most.

    The Bloodline is old and somewhat isolated to North America due to their reliance on hosts; they don’t tend to travel far from their chosen prey lest anything they cannot control happens to them and compromises their use. They’re also subtle for Daeva; if they had spread further, odds are unlikely they’d be noticed, appearing in the spotlight when they wish, and just as quickly disappearing from plain sight, or moving among lower forms of life not typical to most Daeva proclivities.

    Whom the original founder was isn’t known, lost to centuries or more of time though is believed to actually stem from somewhere closer to the equator. While the bloodline has spread throughout the Americas, they are strongest in the warmer, more humid regions humanity occupies, said to be most numerous in Central America though broods of them exist into the chilly north of Canada and far into South America as well. It is said, and without any disdain despite the implications, that they are the result of contact with a strange natural, or perhaps supernatural parasite by their founder, who acted as the brood-mare to spread and multiply it as it passed among its childer like a strange contagion, and often to their victims as well, their beast adapting to the presence of the many, many parasites those regions have that target humans.

    The parasites are said to reside in their blood; like an unseen infection of roundworms or some grotesque internalized infection. This could simply be due to happenstance; contact with blood-borne parasites that have become resilient battened on vitae, or it could be a manifestation of something greater, but nonetheless they spread them and utilize them with their Devotions. Among the more occult and historically orientated of the bloodline, they point to no exterior cause, no contact with a strange outside parasite.

    No, they say that their founder was so engrossed in the flesh of others, so obsessed with intimate contact with humans that it’s Beast twisted, becoming physically manifest partially in the flesh. No exterior excuse; simply a Beast that grows so obsessed, so hungry for particular individuals it squirms through their undead bodies, trying to find ever more hosts to spread to. Among these scholars, they fear that perhaps one day their Beasts will fully manifest and squirm out of their own bodies, leaving them hollow and empty. Some even posit this is why their founder can no longer be found; long since consumed by it’s vampiric nature, twisted into a physical parasite that only exists within their own bodies.

    What is true is that their Beasts do seem partially manifest; they all gain a strange internal deformation not unlike a disturbing pale worm that coils around their heart, spinal column and riddles their dead brains. Small as it may be initially, perhaps entirely undetected, the greater their Blood Potency grows, the larger -it- grows, until it may be noticed through open wounds, while feeding or some unfortunate surgery. Secondary blood borne parasites may be its offspring in the blood, or simply secondary infections passed down from the first of them, but no few believe it really is the Beast seeking to contaminate others in a more tangible way.

    No wonder then that they’re prone to large broods; a sire among them tends to have numerous childer, sometimes until their will is burnt out. Some wonder if it’s by choice, or the urging of their secret internal ‘friend’ influencing them. At the least it’s pragmatic; given the line’s dependency on Hosts, those who are sufficiently potent enough to require supernatural blood could find no better individuals to parasitize than their own childer.

    Parent Clan: Daeva

    Nickname: Parasites

    Covenant: The Akahkway are primarily part of the Old Ones; they’ve long existed among the Covenant’s of the First Nations and with many of them now subsumed or seemingly extinct, the Old Ones still see a fair number of their kind from traditional ties. No few Akahkway grow so attached to a dead host that they desire to keep keep attached to them in some way even after death, and the Old Ones help in this matter. Disturbing is the Parasite with their flock of dead Hosts in attendance, still bound to them even after death.

    The Carthians see the next greatest membership; their strong ties to human ideologies and the use of their society is very appealing to Parasites who seek an even easier time cultivating new Hosts. Membership among the Carthians may overtake the Old Ones in the near future as a result given how desirable the capacity to blend in among humanity and insinuate themselves among them are.

    The Ordo Dracul and Invictus see the next largest contingent. The former offers a respite to their hungers, their connection to their host, allowing them to find ways to at least more comfortably exist alongside their living patrons, if not exploit them further or otherwise find greater efficiency, if not to redefine their reliance upon their hosts into something different, if potentially horrifying. Unfortunately the level of secrecy and necessity to experiment can make it difficult to keep their Hosts intact while balancing the requirements of the Dragons leaving primarily older members of the bloodline to seek them out.

    The Invictus by comparison offers much in the form of secular power and wealth and no small amount of social clout. Long-standing ties among humans is cherished, though the emphasis on the Masquerade occasionally strains the patience of the Parasites who often skirt the line with their Hosts. It’s a balancing act; no few elders of the Parasites however see it as an easier means to find Hosts in the form of other vampires via vassalage and more.

    The Circle of the Crone and Lancea et Sanctum are fairly rare among the Parasites. While some certainly stray to understand their place in the world, to exalt in the powers of the blood or find purpose through embracing The Man, there is no strong desire for either.

    Occasionally a particularly charismatic Parasite will seek to create an extended blood cult among the Crones, but most find the sheer amount of blood sacrifice and detriment to their Humanity strains their ties to their Hosts, causing them to prematurely expire or be used by others in the Covenant, something they gravely dislike. Some few do try to harness the blood sorceries to extend the ties they have to their Hosts even further, haunting their would-be patrons like distant monsters as their humanity erodes. As the Crone sees vampirism as a natural extension of the world, some Parasites in turn justify their natures through the Covenant. Humans have parasites after all, it should be no wonder that vampires are so reliant upon them, taking the notion that the Blood itself is a supernatural parasite much like the Beast, a separate, intrusive thing existing in them, just as they exist among humans.

    The Lance by comparison simply offers little; custodians of righteous might appeal to a rare vain few but accepting the dogma is difficult; they’re not wolves in the shadows culling the herd; they’re parasites that -need- the herd, setting them at odds in turn with more traditional Sanctified. Most members are simply those who have lost their way and seek to rekindle their humanity through religion and purpose; no few also use the Lance et Sanctum as a means to insert themselves within religious communities to find ample Hosts.

    The Parasites are uncommon, though not exactly rare among the Belial’s Brood; only the most fargone of them, the Parasites that embrace their one-sided nature and shirk off the rationales of being symbiotic find much reason to join with them. These sorts often look towards unorthodox Hosts in the form of a Convey-mates rather than mortals and fall headlong into the Crux, or otherwise sucking their living human hosts dry at alarming rate literally and figuratively, leaving a wreckage of ruined lives and drained victims. After all, there are more hosts where the first came from, why practice moderation?

    Appearance: The Akahkway have a very cosmopolitan appearance; it’s primarily predicated on the desires of their Host; dressing to specifically elicit their need for them. In many cases these means adopting the styles that their Host finds most attractive, though not too few will once learned adopt styles their Host considers intimidating or otherwise authority figures to more readily influence them or otherwise goad into giving into their desires. Rarely do they directly stand out in the crowds, at least by ostentatious clothing and grooming habits for the sake of others outside of their Hosts unless they’re seeking to find a new one to replace one used up.

    One aspect that is inherent to them, but not noticed without select circumstances is that they all possess a physical parasite within them. The smaller parasitic organisms that live within their blood seemingly cause no outward issues to them or to those they infect, perhaps requiring the crucible of an undead body to truly proliferate and survive, but all their victims eventually gain them, often appearing over time to suffer from a subtle wasting effect even if otherwise they’re healthy physically, as if some vital portion was drained away, often in tandem with direct feedings on their blood by their patron Akahkway.

    The Akahkway are no different than their victims in part; as their Blood Potency increases they seem more drained than many other kindred, more sunken in features, one could even say sickly as their Beast grows in strength and their vitae grows more potent. While not enough to cause too much undue complications or lessen their attraction, it’s the outward symptom of something far worse going on -inside-. They all gain a worm-like parasite, starting out thread-like coiled through their throat and unliving brain, the bulk of it residing within and around the heart. As their Potency increases, it to increases in size until eventually it may fill in much of the Akakhway’s chest cavity, skull and throat with it’s bulk once they get to the point to require supernatural vitae. While it may not distort their appearance beyond the wasted appearance they may have, it’s certainly noticeable with traumatic enough wounds or exploratory surgery performed upon them.

    When they feed however, the horror is harder to overlook as they grow stronger in blood and Beast. It slips out around and sometimes through their fangs; unseen, thin and root-like when clamped down upon a victim unless prematurely pulled away. But when their blood gets truly potent or their humanity extraordinarily low, often around the time they require supernatural vitae to maintain themselves or when the ruse of pretending to be human is mostly gone, it’s more akin to a squirming proboscis or leech that slithers out as they feed, replacing their reliance on fangs entirely with it’s own sucking maw.

    For all their strangeness, at least on those with the keen insight and perceptions to notice the differences they have compared to common Daeva stock, they are rarely shunned. The Akahkway as a whole usually have a keen insight and ability to blend in with the human throngs, and those who take well-connected hosts are often invaluable to the larger Kindred populace they take part in. To most, they’re simply more obsessive Daeva, if that, more prone to focusing on particular pets, animal, human or otherwise and a greater ability to influence the actions of the lower animals as they are with humans. Few outsiders ever come to understand just how disturbing they really are until become hosts themselves.

    Haven: Haven’s run the gamut; from opulent to abandoned and unseen. They prefer being able to cohabit with a properly pacified Host if possible, some openly among their Hosts, while others use their powers of Obfuscate to live unseen within their very same home. Otherwise they tend to take whatever is most comfortable while still keeping easy access to their chosen Host. No to few try to keep their living arrangements secret; stalking their Host from afar and keeping them unaware of just how close, and how insinuated they are within their lives.

    It’s fairly common for shrine-like areas dedicated to their host de jour within the haven: locks of hair, clandestine pictures, small personal items. More disturbingly are those of Hosts since passed on; while many are discarded, it’s very common to find less humane Parasite havens littered with the corpses or parts of corpses of Hosts that have since died for one reason or another, unable to part with them even in death. Even those with a stronger ability to blend in with the living may keep such macabre memento mori or bodies in a more sequestered area.

    Some keep cages, cells or otherwise areas to keep animals; the thinner blooded among them often cultivate animal life towards their own comforts and ends, but it’s hardly uncommon for a Parasite to keep more human hosts under forcible confinement for ease of access and “their own safety”.

    Background: Co-dependents and system abusers are common picks; those who know how to get what they want, and take and take with finesse, or at least those used to being utterly reliant on others in some way; they’re not a group of heavily, independent types by default, though there are certainly some that may appear such on the surface.

    They use others; no few lawyers or politicians have found their way among them as a result. Even dog-sledders and similar people could see interest; people who rely on animals for their livelihood often have an easier time as a Parasite. The man who values his dog more than other people; the women whose life revolves around their husband, individuals that understand that solitude and complete self-reliance is not only undesirable, but impossible for them.

    In a way this makes the exploited and the exploiter a common individual among them; those so broken by an abusive relationship they became reliant on it, as well as those abusers that just couldn't part with their victim despite it all. Some few are simply are the result of being Hosts themselves; the Parasite sire being so unwilling to part with them, let alone allow death to take them away permanent that they in turn are brought into the line. The connection from the Vinculum and the Blood ties only extend this; broods of Parasites are disturbingly co-dependent and more like twisted families compared to even the average Daeva.

    Character Creation: Social Attributes will be primary; they can be brutes, forcing others to be hosts through physical intimidation or more clandestine use of animals, but people are the main thing and likely the more common among them. Some few focus on animals as Hosts; these rarely have the longevity and use that a human or other supernatural does, but among those who do one tends to find a bit more bucking of the trend and often a bit more Physical Attribute emphasis to reflect their often more rugged lifestyles. The same is true among Skills; Socials are often Primary and occasional Physicals.

    Merits tend to towards reflecting their connections to people: Retainer and True Friend are often extraordinarily common as are Social Merits as a whole. For all their horror, the Parasites are people persons. Retainer is often a good way to reflect a Host for the character.

    Bloodline Disciplines: Animalism, Majesty, Obfuscate, Vigor

    Bloodline Weakness: In addition to the Daeva weakness, Akahkway are dependent on their Hosts; the first individual a Parasite feeds from without having a Host designated becomes one, a portion of their vital essence (and some say their Beast) infecting them provided they have any Willpower Points. The first individual they feed upon while having and Willpower Points is marked as their Host; they can be done selectively, delaying feeding, picking their targets, or otherwise be safe if without any Willpower, but should they have even one, a point is considered spent and the Host marked. The Beast hungers after these Hosts: while feeding is not a necessity from them, it is commonplace and may cause the Akahkway to also become Dependent on them due to the Daeva clan bane.

    If the Akahkway neither feeds from the host nor has meaningful interaction with them for 10 - Humanity in days (usually a half hour or more of direct contact, socially or intimately) the Akahkway is considered to have the Deprived condition until they manage it, feeling weak and often desperate. Should their Host die, the Akahkway loses an additional Willpower point immediately (whether they witness the death or not) and the Deprived Condition remains until they find a new Host, leaving them effectively weakened. Hosts can be any being that matches the Blood Potency criteria for feeding; weak blooded Akahkway can have animals as hosts in addition to humans and appropriate supernaturals, while those who must feed upon supernatural vitae must take an appropriate supernatural host.

    Organization: For all their interactions with humanity, the Parasites are loosely structured themselves given their fixation upon their Hosts. One may find a “Brood-Mother” or “Brood-Father” in an area where they have some numbers and a singular sire; these luminaries are powerful individuals who uses the rest as eyes and ears for new Host prospects should they lose an existing one. These usually act as social hubs; occasionally they may demand tithes or similar homage, parasitizing their own Bloodline, but primarily they act as a means to keep the Parasites aware of who’s who among them, who has which Host (provided it isn't hidden carefully) to keep other members from meddling with the property of others.

    This structure is also used to keep well fed if they've become so potent in vitae they can no longer feed properly off of mortals, feeding upon the other parasites given their bloodline bane. In these situations they often have numerous childer or seek to bring other Daeva in line with their ways to keep comfortably satiated. Normally they’re the most schooled and skilled in the Devotions of the bloodline, acting as teachers and mentors for the right price; while there are no formal proscriptions against teaching the Devotions amongst each other, such Brood-Mothers and Fathers often hoard knowledge of these powers to keep their place intact. No few Brood-Mothers intentionally make the unlives of other Parasites difficult through direct meddling to make them more reliant upon them for their aid and knowledge. They viciously guard knowledge against outsiders and it’s often taught (falsely) that even if they did teach their Devotions to outsiders, they not to work for those not of the Bloodline.

    Prestige is generally accrued from having prominent, influential or otherwise famous Hosts; while they may come and go, a Host’s own fortune and accolades is reflected upon the Parasite who successfully keeps them from falling from grace while reaping the blood and benefits of them. It’s not lost on some Parasites that their own personal accomplishments mean less compared to that of their victims even amongst themselves. Those who can suck away at their Hosts the longest without using them up often gain the most respect.
    Last edited by Tatterdemalion King; 02-21-2014, 07:58 AM.

    Werewolf: the Forsaken Overhaul: A W:tF Shard and House Rules, Pre-Idigam Chronicles and taking different route. Constantly being Updated.
    New Bloodlines and Blood and Smoke Updates: Homebrew Bloodlines and updates to prior ones.
    Belial's Brood Blood and Smoke: An updated take on the Forsworn.


    • #3
      Example Devotions for the Akahkway. These may need some tweaking; they were written some time back along with many of these Bloodlines prior to Blood and Smoke and could use refining: at the very least some associated Conditions may make them work better:

      Parasitic Infection (Animalism 2, Obfuscate 1)

      This Devotion is often the first a Parasite learns; often it’s the prerequisite or used in tandem with other Devotions of the bloodline. With but a thought, the Akahkway can animate a portion of their vitae and flesh into a small burrowing parasite that infects the individual touched.

      It’s appearance varies; for most it’s tiny and no bigger than a finger, though easily visible to the naked eye and unpleasant in appearance. For some, particularly those of very low humanity or high blood potency it could be up to Size 1 and utterly grotesque. It will evade mundane attempts of removal; a proper supernatural ability however may be sufficient to prematurely remove it. For more brutal or inhumane vampires, it may created to be forced down the victim’s throat or other orifice to noticeably wriggle into their body despite no uncomfortable sensations of pain.

      Infection is painless; Obfuscate quickly hides the entry point and masks the discomfort the parasite would cause it as it quickly slips within their body unless the user intentionally made the infection unpleasant and blatant with intentional marks left, sometimes used to mark the hosts of the Akahkway as theirs in a unique way.

      From then on, the Akahkway may gain a sense of the direction and distance of the victim as well as a measure of their senses if they focus upon them. This is commonly used to have a greater hold on their hosts and monitor them. To them, it’s a part of their own parasite, their Beast infecting the victim. To some, it’s treated as a gift to a subject so deserving; a disturbing form of offspring that only the most special of their hosts deserve.

      Cost: 1 Vitae
      Dice Pool: Wits + Survival + Animalism - targets Wits
      Action: Reflexive; touching the target is an Instant Action may require a Touch Attack to inflict upon an unwilling victim.
      Roll Results
      Dramatic Failure: If the vampire fails to touch the victim, they notice the strange thing that reached out from the vampire’s flesh for them as something obviously odd. If the touch succeeded, the parasite fails to burrow into the flesh, causing a noticeable infection and discomfort, easily spotted and removed, possibly alerting them to the vampire being the cause. It gives no information in this instance.
      Failure: The portion of vitae and flesh fails to slip into the victim’s body and remains in the vampire unseen and unable to gain information with the victim none the wiser.
      Success: The animated portion of vitae and flesh burrows unnoticed into the victim, who feels nothing. For one night per success, the character may precisely pinpoint how far and what direction the victim is. In addition the the character may sense the victim’s general state of being emotionally and physically (if they’re afraid, lustful, wounded, unconscious, bleeding out, sleeping or similar) reflexive action at anytime.

      With a successful expenditure of 1 Willpower Point and a Perception roll as an Instant Action, the vampire may also experience what the victim is perceiving and enters a trance-like state while this occurs; this may be maintained for the Scene if successful, but must be re-rolled if the focus is prematurely ended. While oblivious to their own surroundings, any amount of damage or a experiencing something akin to strong shake is enough to break the reverie. When the duration is up, the parasite simply is decays away leaving little more than a minor localized infection to the victim.

      After the victim is successfully infected, the Akahkway may prolong the duration without a further touch required; this requires the same cost in Vitae and Willpower, as well as the resisted roll provided it is done within the same night of the prior uses end. Any longer requires physical contact again.
      Exceptional Success: Extra duration is it’s own reward.

      Suggested Modifiers
      +1 the victim is a Ghoul of the user.
      +1 for every stage of the Blood Bond the user has to the subject.
      +1 victim is the user’s host.
      - victim has no connection to the vampire in the form of blood ties, blood bonds, ghouling or a host.
      -1 for every level of the Hardy Merit or similar effects the subject has to resist disease and infection.

      Distant Consumption (Majesty 2, Animalism 2: Requires Parasitic Infection)

      This Devotion may be used on select targets; individuals whom are under the effects of Parasitic Infection may be drained of their lifeforce at a distance. It allows the Parasite to feed at a distance; the victims feel weakened, unpleasantly drained as it does not inflict the Kiss, but often attribute it to illness, a feeling of listless enervation. A savvy Kindred or other under it’s effects might come to different conclusions, however.

      A rarely used ability of this Devotion is that it can be used to feed a target Vitae at the same distance: ghouling a victim or creating a clandestine Blood Bond, potentially even feeding a distant ghoul, reversing the connection, but otherwise has the same requirements.

      Cost: 1 Willpower Point
      Dice Pool: Strength + Larceny + Majesty - subject’s Stamina
      Action: Instant
      Requirements: The victim is under the effects of user's Parasitic Infection.

      Dramatic Failure: The victim is alerted to something going wrong, a sense of malaise and spiritual rejection with the idea of the vampire being the cause. The power may not be attempted again upon the victim again for at least a full month.
      Failure: No vitae is drained from the victim, who notices nothing amiss.
      Success: 1 vitae is drained per success from the victim at the rate of 1 Lethal per turn until the successes are accrued. The Akahkway may chose to drain less if they see fit. Otherwise it may be used to grant another their own Vitae (with all of the side-effects) at the same rate, the Parasite losing 1 Vitae and the victim gaining one up to the amount determined by user.
      Exceptional Success: Extra successes are their own reward.

      Suggested Modifiers:
      +1 for each stage of the Blood Bond to the user if under the effects of Parasitic Infection.
      +1 if the victim is a Ghoul or Host under the user’s Parasitic Infection power.
      - Subject is a victim of users Parasitic Infection.
      -1 victim is out of line of sight of the user while used.
      -2 victim is not in the same city or similar regional distance.
      -3 victim is across the world or an ocean away.
      Last edited by Tatterdemalion King; 03-02-2014, 09:15 PM. Reason: Some artifacts in the text from pre-Blood and Smoke and the (whoops) leftovers on rolls referring to Supernatural Resistance (this isn't applied). Blood Sympathy modifiers removed; Blood and Smoke mak

      Werewolf: the Forsaken Overhaul: A W:tF Shard and House Rules, Pre-Idigam Chronicles and taking different route. Constantly being Updated.
      New Bloodlines and Blood and Smoke Updates: Homebrew Bloodlines and updates to prior ones.
      Belial's Brood Blood and Smoke: An updated take on the Forsworn.


      • #4
        I love these, the Khagan especially, both are very amazing! I will love to see more such bloodlines from you TK!
        Last edited by Korogra; 02-22-2014, 11:28 AM.


        • #5
          The Khagan have worked out quite well in gameplay I've found; for such a simple Bane (well, Bloodline Weakness previously) it seemed to do a suprsingly good job reinforcing their themes without being too heavy handed. Make a childe, send them off to conquer territory (of which the sire holds some rights over), rinse, wash repeat. Spread and proliferate, conquer like a ravaging horde. I wish I had some Devotions whipped up for them, though it's never come up as a necessity in the chronicle they are present in. I wouldn't mind getting some hammered out on the forums sometime.

          The converted Tzimisce of oWoD were actually in use as a sister Bloodline in the game to the Khagan, much like the sister bloodlines that the Gorgons have; a development in the line when more and more Khagan became sedintary and mutated along those lines. If used in that manner, the Khagan simply consider the Tzimisce to be a particular family tree branch and line of nobility, an evolution of The Blood with only little differentiation that developed in some long-standing Khagan domains (plenty of ammo to twist that around though). I figure the Khagan and Tzimisce butt heads with the Csalad and Nelapsi occasionally for territorial control in the Old World, along with the home-brewed Obour.

          The Akahkway (Cree for sucker or blood sucker with some variants) were in response to a distinct lack of Daeava bloodlines out there favoring Animalism; there's a bit of Ralab and Detournement inspiration in their devotions. I wouldn't mind cleaning up some of the Host explanations to be a bit more concise than they are currently. There's a bit of the Rag Men and Cymothoa Sanguinaia (sp) in them; I figured a bit of body horror and the Daeva would be an unexpected fun mix though no PCs have given them a whirl yet.

          The New World bloodlines in the game currently don't really see themselves as the same as the Kindred that came from elsewhere; something you'll see spread throughout. The great Clans from the endemic Kindred populations, at least the ones who've steadfastly refused to intergrate see themselves at best, distant cousins or coincidences. Dead bodies just happened to develop in similar ways due to supernatural and personal factors in their eyes.

          I'd reccomend peeking at the Ancient Rites, Ancient Bloodlines and A Strange Host of Bloodlines thread; you might find some you like in those as well.

          Werewolf: the Forsaken Overhaul: A W:tF Shard and House Rules, Pre-Idigam Chronicles and taking different route. Constantly being Updated.
          New Bloodlines and Blood and Smoke Updates: Homebrew Bloodlines and updates to prior ones.
          Belial's Brood Blood and Smoke: An updated take on the Forsworn.


          • #6
            Chi'ing Shih is the same word as Jiang Shi, just spelled using Wade-Giles rather than Pinyin. Thought you ought to know… Maybe that's deliberate?


            • #7
              It was deliberate, I was aware of both spellings. It should be noted this bloodline writeup beyond the very recent updates to it is from 2009; I figured leaving the prior usage intact might muddy the waters slightly on what it refers to, rather than too easy of people going "oh, like a Jiang Shi from Blood and Smoke or Wicked Dead?". A possibility, but maybe something else.

              Werewolf: the Forsaken Overhaul: A W:tF Shard and House Rules, Pre-Idigam Chronicles and taking different route. Constantly being Updated.
              New Bloodlines and Blood and Smoke Updates: Homebrew Bloodlines and updates to prior ones.
              Belial's Brood Blood and Smoke: An updated take on the Forsworn.