Blood in the Water
The Daeva are emotional, sensual, and desirable. Sexual predators and sensual hedonists alike populate the ranks of these succubi-seducers.
Among Kindred Historians, the Daeva are suspected of being one of the oldest clans of the Damned. Their moniker suggests a Persion mythological origin, and their abilities suggest that they could be related to the demons from which they take their name. A few ancient writings suggest that the progenitor of the line was a Kindred known as Aesma Daeva, but vampiric scholars debate whether this individual was actually undead or the writings merely draw comparisons to the Persion demon of lust and anger.
The name “Daeva” predates the commonly accepted origin point of Kindred society, generally understood to parallel the ascension of Rome. Certainly, some incarnation of the Daeva existed before then, but whether they had their own society or were merely a rabble of lust-crazed revenants is unknown. After the rise of Rome, the Daeva had become an inextricable part of Kindred Society, and vampiric history shows that they were very active in the Camarilla, the first known social contract of the dead.
The Gangrel are primal, hardy, and savage. They embody the myths of vampires turning into animals or otherwise changing form (wolves, bats, mist).
Many Kindred believe that the Gangrel clan is an old one, but due to the Gangrel’s bestial nature, few records exist that can connect their origins to any specific time period. While the murky pre-history of the Kindred contains any number of legends about bestial vampires, not all of these tales coincide with the hallmarks of the Gangrel.
Geographically, the Gangrel seem to hail from what is tonight Eastern Europe, where they came in contact with the nascent Camarilla and were reluctantly drawn into that society. As Rome’s holdings moved westward, so, too did the Camarilla and thus the Gangrel. Historieans theorize strong Gangrel roots in what is modern Scandinavia. Since those early nights of society, the Gangrel have chosen the outlying borders of domains for their own territories. As such, Gangrel are often seen as pioneers, eking out an existence where domains will later form, or as scavengers, clinging desperately to territories and refusing to yield once domains have fallen.
The Mekhet are quick, discreet, and wise. Legends of vampires hiding in shadows, preying secretly on victims, and even learning secrets no one else but the keeper is supposed to know probably refer to Mekhet activities.
Some of the oldest Kindred known to the vampiric world are members of Clan Mekhet, though most spend their time harrowed by the cold sleep known as torpor. While most are predisposed toward solitude, some have traveled with mortal armies and even suspected of forming undead mercenary factions of their own. As with most other clans, nothing verifiable is known about the progenitor of the Mekhet line. Many stories depict reclusive Mekhet cult-leaders or masters of schools of stealthy soldiers, so the clan might have origins that came about with the Pharaohs or philosopher-kings of the Classical or Ancient Worlds.
The name Mekhet itself gives some clues as to the clan’s origin, as it is an Egyptian word for “amulet.” Some of the most venerable elders certainly bear features that might be described as Egyptian, while a few have classical Hellenic complexions, which isn’t surprising, considering Greece’s proximity to Egypt. The commerce between the Egyptians and Greeks, and later the Romans, corresponds with the legendary travels of members of this clan, as well as their formative role in the nascent Camarilla. Since that time, the Mekhet have traveled wherever shadows have fallen, wherever secrets lay hidden, and wherever Kindred call upon others to give them counsel.
The Nosferatu are stealthy, strong, and terrifying. Their very presence unnerves people, whether by physical ugliness, foul stench, or nebulous personal malignancy.
Studies of Nosferatu legend suggest that the clan is relatively young, possibly originating not too long before the rise of Rome, and possibly among the people it conquered. Certainly, the Nosferatu were active among the clans of the Camarilla, but proof of their presence before then is spotty at best. And yet, claims occasionally surface about very old Kindred who, if not Nosferatu, are strikingly like the Nosferatu. Whether these vampires are indeed members of the same clan, are Kindred of some “proto-clan” that became Nosferatu, or are entirely unrelated can only be guessed at.
Legends of the Nosferatu are historically heaviest in Europe, particularly in Germany, northern Italy, and eastern France. Early records describing what seem to be broods of Nosferatu also originate in Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, and Greece, with some indication of presence in north Africa as well. Like the Gangrel, Nosferatu tend to ether seek out territories before or after most of Kindred culture bothers with them. Unlike the Gangrel, though, the Nosferatu adapt relatively quickly to the presence of other vampires, relying on their monstrous nature to make a place for them among the society of the Damned.
The Ventrue are regal, commanding, and aristocratic. Vampires as everything from Easter European lords on the mountain to gentrified nobles to modern corporate raiders belong to this clan.
Surprisingly, the Ventrue are understood to be the youngest of the clans, almost certainly originating in Rome itself, probably in tandem with the formation of the Camarilla. While their history is relatively short (in vampiric terms), it is also distinguished, as the Ventrue are made to rule. Although none remember the name of the first Ventrue, various vampiric histories do ascribe the origin of the clan, which was believed to once be a covenant, to a single female vampire. A darker history implies that this Kindred was not the first of the Ventrue line, but that she consumed the soul of her own sire, and in so doing, founded a new bloodline that rose to the status of a proper clan.
As might be surmised, the Ventrue have historically been strongest in Europe, from which they grew into North and Central America, but their presence elsewhere in the world has been relatively minor. As a clan, their numbers are probably fewer than those of any other clan, but such things vary by domain, as one vampire community might consist of nothing but Ventrue – likely all the preeminent Kindred’s progeny.