World of Darkness: My Chicago
The background of The Kindred is relatively simple… simple in the fact beings aren’t sure of how they are created. Some different Clans and Covenants have their own views of how Vampires started from either a curse, demonic possession, or somethings else. Vampirism is an effect that occurs when a person who is nearly killed due to exsanguination ingests the fresh blood of a Vampire; known as the Embrace. Little is actually understood beyond a purely mechanical description: the victim dies, but their body continues to be animated by whatever it is that makes them a Vampire
Most notably, would be their fangs, but their fangs are not always apparent. A Vampire’s fangs retract when they are not feeding giving their teeth the appearance of normal human teeth. The extension of a vampire’s fangs is voluntary unless they are driven to Frenzy.
Vampires are not immortal as much as some folklore, myths, or other Vampires may want you to believe. The term which is preferred by the majority is undying. Immortality is defined by the ability to live forever, and as is known, Vampires are no longer alive. A Vampire will continue to exist as long as it can find Vitae and does not suffer the Final Death. Presumably vampires will exist until the human race, their food source, dies out or human technology reaches a point at which Vampires can no longer hide their existence and are wiped out.
The soul, the anima, the personal connection to the divine that humans possess is absent or suppressed in a Vampire. Whether their soul has been destroyed and sent to Hell, whether it has been replaced by a demonic force that merely imitates the personality of the former mortal, or whether the soul is somehow trapped and held in a form of stasis within the vampire’s body is not known. This latter explanation is one that some Vampires cling to as it implies that one day, somehow, they might free themselves from their curse and become mortal again, or at least die without fear of eternal damnation.
Generally a Vampire’s skin is paler and waxier than a living human’s. Even if they are African, Asian or other race whose skin is not “white,” they tend to be paler or otherwise not quite the same shade as a living person of their race. Though a vampire is able to force blood into their skin to give it a ‘Blush of Life’ this does not often last for long. In addition, a vampire’s skin is free of many of the usual wrinkles found on even a relatively young living person’s face. A Vampire does not breathe, except to talk. Though, for a common human, ignorant of Vampires, noticing this in a casual setting might be difficult and some Vampires make a point of training themselves to breathe regularly, even though they don’t have to, as a way of maintaining their link to their former humanity. A Vampire’s heart does not beat, again, not something a human would casually notice. A Vampire whose Humanity has fallen sufficiently low also appears more corpse-like and bears a distinct Aura of threat that makes mortals uncomfortable in their presence. Also many vampires tend not to be quite in sync with the mortal world. The clothes they wear may be a bit out of date, they may use vernacular that is inappropriate or dated. On the other hand, this describes much of the faculty at many universities and many people working in corporate America, most of whom are not vampires. And some vampires, especially Daeva, strive to be even more fashionably cutting-edge than even the trendiest mortal.
More information about the biological make up and folklore about The Kindred can be found, here.
The majority of the Kindred of Chicago inhabit the lower echelons of their nocturnal society. The inscrutable Prince Maxwell is at the top of the mountain, and his Tranquility has ensured peace among the predators. Still, the proximity to other supernatural beings, both known and unknown, and tensions along Covenant, Clan, and even personal lines foment in this environment despite everyone’s best, and often worst, efforts.
Vampires form complex societies hidden from human awareness. Vampires that share common physical powers and qualities group themselves into clans, but they also join covenants along religious, political or philosophical lines. These groups differ radically in purpose and outlook and are often in conflict, though one principle they agree upon is that they must hide their existence from humans.
Vampires are unliving humans created by the [[Embrace}}. This is when a vampire drains a human dry of blood and then feeds the corpse a few drops of its own vampiric blood. This process is deliberate and draining for the sire, so vampires do not procreate often.
Vampires generally dwell in large cities, where they can find plenty of prey and easily remain inconspicuous. Vampires do not need to kill humans to steal blood; humans go into a trance when a vampire feeds on them and do not remember the moment, and a vampire can erase the bite marks it made by licking them. Every evening, their bodies consume a portion of their stored blood in order to rise from their daytime slumber – a vampire will enter an extended period of Torpor if it does not have any blood.
Clans are the most basic social structure. As currently understood, all Kindred belong to one of the five acknowledged clans listed below. Members of each Clan inherit a clan-specific array of abilities and weaknesses, from a propensity to excel at certain Disciplines to a weakness or weaknesses inherent to all members the lineage.
A clan is, in a manner of speaking, a vampire’s blood relations. And much like any family, not everyone gets along. As many vampires spend their requiem avoiding or opposing their “family” or spend their unlives following and supporting their clan precepts and goals.
- Daeva: Seductive and predatorial.
- Gangrel: Lone, savage, and brutal hunters.
- Mekhet: Sneaky lore gathering manipulators.
- Nosferatu: Alienated and disgiutred.
- Ventrue: Regal, aristocratic, lords.