The most visibly cursed of all Kindred, the Embrace warps each Nosferatu into a hideously deformed creature; the archetypal Nosferatu resembles Max Shreck's Count Orlok, though the curse has any number of variations. The Nosferatu are the spymasters of the dead, collecting information and selling it for a dear price. They are also the masters of the underground, living in the sewers for protection.
Due to their inherent clan weakness, all Nosferatu have Appearance ratings of zero. They may not improve Appearance with experience points. Most Social actions based on first impressions, except intimidation and the like, fail automatically.
As with all the Antediluvians, the Nosferatu Antediluvian (referred to as Absimiliard from now on) 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 brethren, 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 hidden maid. Since that time, Absimiliard's eldest descendants, the Nictuku, have chased her. Absimiliard hopes to exterminate all of her childer, the clan Nosferatu, in atonement for his crimes before Caine or in bitter vengeance. The result is the same either way.
The Nosferatu did effectively split during the formation of the Sabbat; however, Nosferatu antitribu are largely identical to their Camarilla kin. Nosferatu tend to place a higher emphasis on clan unity and mutual survival, and are consequently fairly cordial with each other even though technically enemies.
The Bay't Mutasharid, or Nosferatu of the Middle East, eagerly embraced Islam in hope of ridding themselves of their monstrous nature. As some of the most fervent followers, Mutasharidin were also among the most powerful of the Ashirra. As proof, more Mutasharidin managed to enter the holy sites of Islam, Mecca and Medina, than any other bay't; as the sites are the purest places in the Arabic world, it is nearly impossible for any kindred to enter.
The Nosferatu were very (some would say suspiciously so) quiet during the Victorian Era. In a time when physical beauty was supposed to reflect spiritual beauty, the Nosferatu experienced one of the greatest periods of exile in their long and lonely history. Where the Toreador were ascendant, the Nosferatu were relegated to the slums and ghettos of Europe. More than one Prince of London banned them from entering Elysium. Clan Nosferatu in the Victorian AgeAdded by IanWatsonSo, instead of parading around the brightly-lit mansions of the wealthy and noble, the Nosferatu scuttled around the back alleys of London, taking over derelict buildings and, yes, the sewers. The banks of the Thames were downright infested with Nosferatu, for the river was a convenient way to cross the city without being seen. The Nosferatu also lived in what was termed "the Thieves' Citadel", which was the name given to high-crime areas of London. These zones tended to be self-contained both culturally and architecturally - the Nosferatu ensured that they controlled how and when new construction went on in these zones for their own protection and that of their herd.
In the final nights, the Nosferatu feel their Antediluvian metaphorically breathing down the back of their necks. Technically savvy, the Sewer Rats adopt every technique they can to protect themselves. Most notably, the Nosferatu develop an information sharing network - ShreckNET, a parallel internet that the Nosferatu use to enhance their traditional information gathering and reporting skills.
The most terrifying and unique event in the early 1990's was the rise of the Shadow Curtain in Russia, a mystical barrier that separated the vampires of the former Soviet Union from the rest of the world. The Shadow Curtain eventually was revealed as the product of Baba Yaga, a fourth generation Nosferatu of almost incalculable power. Most frightening of all was not the witch, however, but her demise. In the late 1990's, Baba Yaga was destroyed...by a Nictuku.
Nosferatu are generally organized into broods; communities centrally located around a sewer system and serving as underground cities which may house dozens of their kind. Nosferatu are stereotyped as ugly on the outside, humane on the inside - this is not entirely true. There are many Nosferatu who never leave the sewers, the Nosferatu make a habit of sending their friendliest to communicate with the rest of the Camarilla.
Nosferatu strongly stress clan loyalty over almost everything else. Given their hideous appearance, they depend heavily on clan support structures for everything from havens to food. Broods are generally gerontocratic, with the eldest Nosferatu setting policy and guiding the youngest. Most Nosferatu can acquire jobs within their clan, including assisting on construction or other survival projects. Most Nosferatu are inculcated with a survivalist mentality and increasing the strength of their havens is a constant preoccupation.
|Nicknames:||Creeps/ Sewer Rats|
|Disciplines:||Animalism, Obfuscate, Potence|
There is no real difference between the Sabbat Nosferatu and their Camarilla cousins: to the Nosferatu, clan loyalty trumphs sect loyalty any day of the week.
In both the Camarilla and Sabbat, the Nosferatu are famous information brokers and spymasters. While this is partly supported by their use of the Obfuscate and Animalism disciplines, the Nosferatu also emphasize information interchange as part of clan culture. Nosferatu invest an awful lot in teaching their childer with riddle games, memorization exercises and other activities which emphasize sharing and hiding information.
The Nosferatu have a deeply ingrained complex about physical beauty, especially with clans like the Toreador. Nosferatu will tend to charge Toreador higher prices, and make the higher clans crawl through humiliating or disgusting tunnels to actually negotiate with them. Similarly, Nosferatu will often accentuate their hideousness by cultivating an array of disgusting physical habits. On several cases where Nosferatu have embraced a Caitiff, the Childe has been exiled or killed. Nosferatu also tend to use Obfuscate for practical jokes involving their appearance, such as dropping a discipline's use for a brief instant and reveling in the effects.
The Nosferatu tend to embrace two classes of people: first are those for whom the Embrace is a step up, such as the homeless, vagrants or other people at the bottom of the totem pole. The second class are those for whom the Embrace is a long step down, such as beauty queens. Nosferatu are notorious for revenge embraces, and the resulting Cleopatras often lead miserable lives within the clan.
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