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Sunday, 7 August 2016

Bloodline: The Strigoi

A homebrew bloodline for Vampire: The Masquerade

The Strigoi are a minor, yet largely successful, bloodline confined to the far north. The origins of the bloodline are murky, but they are believed to be an ancient offshoot of Clan Lasombra that became isolated in the far north and developed their own crude culture. 

The Strigoi hold that, since fire and sunlight are anathema to Cainites, they are therefore creatures of cold and darkness. Aligning themselves with winter and the empty, snow-filled wastes, they see themselves (and, indeed, all other vampires) as manifestations of the empty, gnawing cold at the heart of creation. Outsiders have drawn parallels between the Strigoi's reverence for Winter and the Lasombra's reverence for the Abyss, although any Strigoi questioned on the matter claim that it is the Lasombra who have become confused.
The Strigoi have abandoned the lordly ways of many Cainites, instead forming small broods of sire, childer and grandchilder that roughly match a mortal family unit. These broods are linked my a mess of interweaving blood-bonds that pull the family together into a largely cohesive whole, although the elders tend to dominate due to their greater strength and more potent blood.
A Strigoi brood spends a large chunk of the year - the arctic day, when the sun never dips below the horizon - torpid. Sealed into the permafrost, the brood waits for the sun to drop lower, and emerge tentatively as the brief nights begin. As the nights grow longer, the brood will grow more confident, and range ever further each night in search of prey. Eventually, the sun sinks beneath the horizon and does not rise again the next morning, and the brood has free rein over their territory, attacking when and where they like to feed at their leisure. This savagery will continue until the sun begins to rise again in the spring, and the Strigoi retreat to their hiding-places to wait for the next arctic night.
The bloodline are fiercely independent, without any interest in the Sabbat's grand crusades or the Camarilla's politics. They disdain the idea of keeping a masquerade, pointing out that in their territory humans are still isolated and vulnerable, and the sun does not rise for months at a time. They have some friendly contact with other nomadic savages, mostly limited to clans Gangrel and Ravnos, but beyond this tend to be largely isolationist.

In appearance, the Strigoi seem decidedly inhuman. Low humanity leaves its mark on them, and most a pallid, shrivelled beings with hollow eyes and prominent fangs. What clothing and equipment they wear is minimal and highly practical, since they don't suffer the cold and have no need for ornamentation. Likewise, their lairs tend to be simplistic affairs; pits and caves beneath the permafrost where the sun cannot reach them, containing various items of plunder in a rough pile, and dug-out hollows where each Strigoi rests during the day.
Strigoi concepts tend towards physical attributes, and the more cerebral members tend to favour perception over other mental attributes. Stealth, athletics, survival and animal ken are all common abilities, and knowledges tend to be a weak-point. Strigoi backgrounds tend to be sparse, typically a few points in Haven and perhaps retainers to represent their progeny. 

Bloodline Disciplines: Potence, Obfuscate,  Rime
Bloodline Weakness: Strigoi can form a third-level blood bond to any number of other vampires, rather than being limited to only one. On top of this, they cast no shadow which, like with the Lasombra weakness, can make them easy to spot.

The discipline Rime will come in a future post, once I've worked out how it all fits together. In the mean time, I'm sure you can use obtenebration and refluff everything from 'darkness' to 'cold'.