Blood's Curse

Elder vampires have forever flaunted their powers over their lessers, the ancillae and neonates. With the approaching threat of Gehenna, young Kindred actively pursue ways to circumvent the stranglehold these powerful elders possess in the Jyhad. With this desire driving their ambitions, a few rogue Pander and Caitiff thaumaturges gathered together and developed this thaumaturgal path as a means of ousting those above them. These rebels resorted to a very basic concept for this path of thaumaturgy by exposing the inherent disadvantages that accompany the vampiric Embrace. The elders’ paranoia has only increased exponentially due to this movement toward a new method of usurping their power and vitae. Clarification: This power affects kindred only. Note: This Thaumaturgy Path is not available to PCs. * Ravages of the Beast From the moment a Kindred is Embraced, he suffers the rage and instincts of a primal Beast; it is the first bane to accompany the Change. If provoked, the Beast Within sends a vampire into a mindless, berserk frenzy. Some Kindred struggle to keep their Beasts in check, while others enjoy riding the waves of this violent rage. A thaumaturge invoking this power coaxes the Beast to surface within his target, unleashing a rampant killer. System: The subject of this power must make a frenzy roll (Self-Control, difficulty 7). If the victim cannot resist the Beast, he immediately enters a frenzy the Storyteller deems appropriate to the situation, whether rage, Rotschreck, hunger, etc. A thaumaturge may affect any target within her line of sight. ** Weight of the Sun A concomitant curse of the Embrace is an inability to remain awake during the daytime. Forced to maintain a surreptitious existence at night, a Kindred loses the opportunity to ever again see the sun. As that fiery-white globe rises in the east, Kindred feel its pressing weight as it drives them down into slumber. This power allows a thaumaturge to invoke the same type of lethargy that the sun imposes during the long hours of the day. System: This power lasts for one scene per succession the thaumaturge’s Willpower roll. Suffering the same penalty as if awake during the daytime, a Kindred reduces his maximum dice pool to equal his humanity (or Path of Enlightenment). Characters who have achieved Golconda are immune to this power. Clarification: Kindred affected do not fall into slumber, but only suffer the dice penalties as if awakened during the day. *** Abated Tooth All vampires require blood to survive; they depend on mortal vessels for sustenance and the Kiss to maintain their unlives. When Kindred do feed, they usually extend their fangs, to more easily pierce their victim’s flesh. By invoking this power, a thaumaturge mystically dulls a subject’s fangs, robbing him of the ability to use them effectively. His fangs become so severely blunted that it becomes nearly impossible to effectively pierce flesh, causing affected Kindred to search for alternate methods of feeding. System: Each success the thaumaturge scores dulls the fangs of his subject for a night. Victims may make a Stamina (plus Fortitude, if any) roll (difficulty 8) to subtract successes from the thaumaturge. While affected by this power, a Kindred may not use the Bite close combat maneuver, and her Kiss ceases to cause ecstasy, instead becoming a “normal” bite. Storytellers may decide to throw as many obstacles as deemed necessary at the victim in this sticky situation. The police do not look kindly on psychopaths who bite others in the middle of the Rack, and anyone who feeds carelessly is almost sure to arouse the ire of Kindred interested in maintaining the Masquerade. **** Treacherous Bonds One of the most potent properties of Kindred vitae is the ability to create a blood bond. A regnant offering his blood to a victim on three separate nights floods a thrall with a powerful attraction and devotion to him. Under a blood bond, the thrall becomes a most loyal and subservient tool of the regnant and will do anything to appease him. Traditionally when the connection of a bond becomes unstable or weak, emotions of hate may cloud the mind of the thrall, though it may possibly span lifetimes before these feelings become evident. The thaumaturge invoking this power incites an instantaneous, hate-induced emotional state within a regnant’s thrall; where once there was love, now only loathing drives his emotions. This power creates a backlash in the target’s blood, temporarily twisting any bonds he is under, from the newest to ones built over years’ time. System: The vampire must touch his intended subject for this power to take effect. For the duration of one night per success a thaumaturge scores on his Willpower roll, and depending on whether the magus chooses to affect a regnant or his thrall, a blood bond becomes corrupt and unstable. Should a thaumaturge direct this power at a thrall, only the thrall’s bond is corrupt, consumed by hate for as many nights as successes. However, if the thaumaturge chooses to invoke this power in a regnant, one of the regnant’s thralls is affected per success. Should a regnant also be in thrall to someone else while under this effect, she too will feel only malignity for her regnant. This power is mistrusted widely by vampires of ClanTremere, and had the Ventrue and Lasombra any real knowledge of it, they would likely balk at it, too (when they weren’t inflicting it upon their enemies). More than one regent has levied extreme censure on vampires learning this power, and an apocryphal story tells of a European prince putting a Tremere to Final Death after learning that he had used this power to turn her ghouls against her. For example: Clifton Andrews wants to settle a score with Josephine the Seamstress of Flesh, a Tzmisce, by reversing the blood bonds of those in her thrall. Clifton’s player spends a blood point and rolls against a difficulty of 7 (as this is a Level Four power). He gains three successes on the roll, and Clifton warps the blood bond in all five of Josephine’s childer. For the next three nights, three of Josephine’s blood bound thralls will not only loathe Josephine but may plot to harm their “tyrannical” mistress. Clifton’s revenge is sweeter still, as for the span of these three nights Josephine is racked by fiery hatred for her own sire, who had blood bound her decades before. Clifton knows how treacherous the Seamstress of Flesh is, and rejoices in the knowledge that there is a chance his enemy will suffer a slow Final Death at the hands of her sire. ***** The Withering of Ages This devastating power warps the blood within vampires, temporarily suspending the properties sustaining their immortality. A thaumaturge making physical contact with a victim may strip her of her agelessness and render her briefly decrepit. Within moments, the body of the target will reveal the truth of her true age, shriveling and shrinking to reflect the weight of her years. Additionally, the fangs of the victim become elongated, and other facial features accentuate his vampiric nature. Ancient vampires become crippled, as their bodies become their own worst enemies. System: After the thaumaturge makes physical contact with her victim, the player engages in a contested Willpower roll (difficulty 8). Should he accumulate more successes than his target, the victim begins to grow physically older until he fully resembles his true age. A character will lose one Physical Attribute point per 10 years of age he physically gains, to a minimum of 0. Vampires who sink to scores of 0 in Physical Traits are so enfeebled that they must have help moving, feeding, etc. and can barely be heard or understood. This effect lasts for one night, after which time the victim rapidly sheds his physical years and is restored to the full potency of his vampiric blood. The affected Kindred can also restore himself by spending five blood points and one Willpower point, though this blood must be spent on the same turn he becomes afflicted. Once the duration of this power has expired, the victim will appear as youthful or as old as he was the night of his Embrace.
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