- A Clan of secretive spies and penitents, united by society’s disdain for their inhuman appearance
- Often they avoid notice from Cainites and hunters alike in the catacombs, cellars, and sewers of Europe’s cities
Clan Nosferatu is hunted, make no mistake. When they are skittish, cravenly, or quick to run, it is because there is something out to get them. If they bluster with bravado and aggression, it’s because they are cornered. They possess knowledge none were meant to know. It drives them to dig deeper in hopes that somehow they will find a secret so precious it will keep them safe. They delve further into shadows that should stay untouched, and so their danger grows. The clan as a whole spirals toward the sulfurous pits or deeper places that even the Devil fears.
There are secrets in the blood. These terrible truths manifest in Nosferatu flesh, corrupting skin, bending bones, and leaving them as nightmarish visions. The story goes that the clan founder, Absimiliard, was a covetous and vainglorious beauty whose obsession with comeliness drove Caine to curse him with a countenance so horrific that the angels wept. Endless rejection by the beautiful people he once counted himself among caused him to seek out and destroy his own get. Stories also tell of terrible blood witches in the eastern woods that devour whole villages in the hopes of killing one single Nosferatu. But those are just stories, and the only truth is what the Nosferatu understand in their blood: they are hunted for what they know, and their only hope is to know more.
Nosferatu deal in secrets. The mundane secrets of their cousins are little more than distractions. No shadow in the Prince’s larder can rock a Nosferatu like the truths of their existence, and that is why they can laugh when a city falls apart from the rumors they let loose. The truths behind murder, blackmail, and power corrupted come all too easily.
The Clan has effectively been split by the Anarch Revolt; the Priors are one of the key Clans of the Camarilla’s alliance, but many of their neonates and ancillae feed secrets to the Anarchs instead. The Nosferatu know well that the elders are dark and terrible and wish their childer harm; for many, it is a relief to see that other Cainites’ understanding has now caught up.
As with all of the Antediluvians, the Nosferatu Antediluvian (referred to as Absimiliard) was Embraced in the shadow of Enoch. Powerful and vain, Absimiliard was a hunter of great skill and beauty who attracted the attention of one of the second generation, who stalked him down as prey. The Embrace was quick, but left him with a tiny facial scar that inflamed his vanity. His wounded pride, coupled with his ego, led him to resent, then hate, then kill his sire, precipitating the revolt by the Antediluvians.
As with his kin, Absimiliard had sired a small clique of childer by the time of the Second City. His childer, hunters all, remained loyal to him except for one woman who fled further than he could chase. When Caine returned in judgment, he cursed Nosferatu with hideousness, a curse passed to all his descendants, including the fleeing childe. Since that time, Absimiliard’s eldest descendants have chased her. She came to be known as the Matriarch for according to legends, she gave birth to the entire modern incarnation of the Nosferatu clan. Through his loyal childer, Absimiliard hopes to exterminate all of the Matriarch’s childer in atonement for his own crimes against the laws of Caine.
Before the development of cities, Priors would hide in subterranean caves, or the beds of large rivers, to avoid the sun. With the growth of Rome and its catacombs, Nosferatu were able to take their place as urban predators, hunting for both blood and secrets in the night. As cities have grown larger and more sophisticated, so too have the Nosferatu more thoroughly occupied them.
Few families among the Damned claim such tight connections as the Priors. Who else can understand the pain, the fear, and the knowledge of their shared burden? Nosferatu in cities will often share one large warren, or keep passages connecting independent havens for quick egress and to help disseminate secrets. Broods often group together, but the clan respects what you know and who you know above who you are. A Prince may mean a thousand times less than a wandering nobody who happens to have been to the chambers under the Vatican.
More than any other Clan, the Nosferatu are united whether an individual Prior is an Anarch or supports the Camarilla. They all know that a dark fate awaits them if they are not vigilant, and that supersedes any fleeting cause.
- Cities across Europe
- Road of Desire
- Road of Humanity
- Road of Light (Christian Nosferatu are exceptionally common, but this is by no means universal within the Clan)
Nosferatu seek havens in lost, forgotten corners. Solitude is second only to obsession with security and a need for quick escape. More, it is a place to hide hidden lore, secret documents, and lost artefacts – or perhaps a place to dig deeper. Old Roman sewers and necropolises, the forgotten wings of crumbling castles, and the locked and secret basements of abbeys all serve as excellent places to haven. All Nosferatu know that a lone Prior is a vulnerable one.
Rumours persist of breeding pits of giant rats and pools of blood in secret Nosferatu group havens. Despite the ease with which the abandoned and forgotten members of society might be picked off, most Nosferatu tend to shy away from attacking the disenfranchised. Instead, they let their feedings offer moral object lessons, even if the morals are twisted and the lessons leave no survivors.
Of all the Damned, no Cainite goes through so traumatic a death and resurrection as the Nosferatu. The first taste of their sire’s foul blood imparts on them not just immortality, but the blood’s terrible secret. The change is not instant, but rather, over a period of days or even weeks. The body is wracked with the blood’s burden: muscle, skin, and gristle grind, break and reform in a horrific reimagining of humanity.
All Nosferatu are inhumanly ugly, and therefore cannot have the Appearance attribute focus. This is also a costuming requirement.
- This is an opportunity to exercise your creativity, but might include any or all of:
- changes to skin tone, i.e. grey, blue, purple, green, and/or bone-white
- this is an exhaustive list – it is not acceptable to use black, red, yellow, or brown as the main skin tone, though small amounts of these colours can be used for example to make the eyes look sunken or reddened;
- changes to skin texture, e.g. scaly, slimy, prominent veins;
- the use of prosthetics, e.g. unusual teeth or pointy ears;
- the use of full-head masks, e.g. Empire LRP’s orcs;
- the use of animal features, e.g. noses, claws, feathers, or similar (we strongly discourage the use of real fur).
- changes to skin tone, i.e. grey, blue, purple, green, and/or bone-white
- It must not include elements reflective of real-world racial stereotypes (if you are unsure, please get in touch and ask).
- Remember that the Obfuscate power Mask Of A Thousand Faces can allow you to bypass costuming requirements.
- Beneath Notice (1)
- Unseeing Eye (1)
- Hidden Advantage (2)
- Painfully Shy (2)
- Ardent Companion (3)
- Pliable Blood (3)
- Unnatural Adaptation (4)
- Where appropriate, this creates a costuming requirement so anyone looking at you can see at a glance what your unnatural adaptation is