We become whatever we need to be. We alone have that option. Indeed, I made myself, and so will you. And so does every butterfly that seek release from its lumpish pupa purgatory. The other clans - they are so myopically complacent.
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We become whatever we need to be. We alone have that option. Indeed, I made myself, and so will you. And so does every butterfly that seek release from its lumpish pupa purgatory. The other clans - they are so myopically complacent. We have conquered enzymes and entropy, osmosis and oxygen. The chains binding everything from the first amoeba to the newest human babe lie at our ankles.
And still the others bleat about their "humanity. Did the primordial amphibian pine for its fins and gills? Did the first Cro-Magnon mourn its vanished brow ridge? Did my delightful pets over there begrudge the loss of their invertebrate plasticity? One of the thirteen major playable clans, the Tzimisce were among the founding members of the Sabbat, and contributed greatly towards the development of its brutal, pro-Kindred anti-human philosophy; in the modern nights, they continue to serve the Sabbat as scholars, priests, scientists and torturers.
Brilliant, sadistic and profoundly alien in thought, Tzimisce have long since abandoned the human condition, and are now determined to transcend their vampiric limitations through the use of their clan-unique Discipline, the flesh-warping power of Vicissitude.
To this end, they will gladly distort their own bodies and those of countless innocent victims in pursuit of their own vampiric evolution; for this reason, the Tzimisce are widely feared in Kindred society to this day, and are often known as Fiends. Contents [ show ] Behaviors and traditions In person, Tzimisce vampires at first seem far more civilized than the brutal packs of the Sabbat mainstream: studious, solitary, courteous and dignified, their manners often seem somewhat disarming given the reputation that the Clan as a whole has acquired.
However, spending any length of time with a Tzimisce usually provides enough proof that this reputation is well-earned: out of all the Clans, the Tzimisce are the most alien in mind and body, outdoing even the depraved ranks of the Toreador antitribu and the dark nobility of the Lasombra in sheer otherworldliness. Exceeding their fellow Sabbat in their contempt for mortals, they have divorced themselves from all but the vaguest semblances of human behavior and morality - to the point that many elders seemingly cannot comprehend mercy.
This detachment from mortal nature begins from the Embrace: Tzimisce disparage the mass-Embraces favored by the rest of the Sabbat, instead choosing their Childer with only the greatest care.
Prospective Sires often seek out those of an intellectual or scientific bent, placing great value on individuals who are already disconnected from humanity in some way - be they antisocial loners or amoral psychopaths. Once their Creation Rites are complete, Childer are taught to abandon their humanity in favor of a Path of Enlightenment, the most popular of which is the Path of Metamorphosis. To the followers of this Clan-specific belief system, the world is composed of evolutionary chains: humans are above animals, Kindred are above humans, ergo something else must be above Kindred - a level that Tzimisce believe they can reach through their clan-unique Discipline of Vicissitude.
Through the mastery of this power and many years of experimentation, Metamorphosists hope to eventually reach Azhi Dahaka, a state of transcendence comparable to godhood. During the Dark Ages, clan symbols always featured heraldry emblazoned with images of a dragon, while in the Victorian Era and the Modern Nights, the clan symbol is the Ouroboros - an ancient symbol of infinity featuring a serpent devouring its tail.
Of paramount importance is empirical research, and in order to pursue the physical onset of Metamorphosis, the body must be modified - for purpose, for practicality, or simply for pleasure: few Tzimisce retain their original appearance for very long after their Embrace, and many of them go on to alter themselves so monstrously that they no longer appear even remotely human; others still modify themselves to appear impossibly beautiful, the better to emphasize their superiority to Kine.
Even to this day, Fledglings are still taught to abide by the law of Guest Right and act with the same degree of aristocratic honor that their forefathers demonstrated in the nights when the Clan were true nobility. Failure to abide by these laws is considered a serious breach of etiquette; among the worst offences involve the murder of a guest or the betrayal of a host - acts considered unforgiveable even by Tzimisce standards.
For this reason, Tzimisce are well known for being infallibly courteous to anyone protected under the banner of hospitality: over the centuries, one-time rivals, mercenaries and members of outcast clans like the Salubri have all been made welcome by the Clan at one time or another; on occasion, even mortal mages have been granted sanctuary, for despite being kine, their knowledge and powers earned them the respect of the Fiends.
The only exception to this rule is the Tremere Clan, the Warlocks having been considered beyond redemption ever since they first acquired immortality from experiments on captured Tzimisce.
It is in dealing with enemies like the Tremere that one of the most infamous of all Tzimisce traditions becomes obvious, namely that of torture: interrogators par excellence, members of the Clan will torture for a variety of reasons - sometimes for strategic purposes, sometimes in order to further their scientific knowledge, sometimes for pure amusement.
As supernatural beings, they are not limited to mundane methods, as all three Tzimisce Disciplines can be used in order to inflict some form of pain on other beings, be it physical, emotional, or psychological.
Even the Blood Bond, more commonly used to ensure the loyalty of ghouls and Sabbat shovelheads, can be used to create extreme emotional connections with the victim, all for the sake of rendering any physical pain all the more horrendous for the sense of betrayal involved. Structure and Loyalties Hierarchy has been somewhat fluid among Clan Tzimisce, as is their participation in politics over the years: in the past, it was more common for entire noble families to be Embraced, dividing the wilder regions of Eastern Europe into dominions owned by these incestuous vampire broods; internal strife was only prevented from spiraling out of control through judicious use of the Blood Bond, and civility between families was ensured through their hospitality laws - barely.
The patriarchal heads of these broods formed the Tzimisce government, commonly known as the Council of Voivodes, which was usually headed by a Viceroy or Voivode Among Voivodes; originally, this position was claimed by the Eldest himself, but once the Eldest descended into Torpor and his successor Yorak grew more preoccupied by pursuing the Path of Metamorphosis, this position was soon filled by a much less imposing succession of nominal leaders.
Due to the barely-restrained rivalries between broods, it was common for the Viceroy to meet a violent death at the hands of his successor, who would in turn meet an equally-brutal demise at the hands of his successor.
The Council of Voivodes did not survive the Anarch Revolt. In its wake, the Clan fractured into a loose-knit family of Kindred, united only by blood and traditions. Determinedly individualistic and fiercely territorial by nature, to this day many Tzimisce claim a dominion as their forebears did and rarely ever leave except on official business - a habit exacerbated by their Clan weakness.
They still revere a Clan head in the form of a Voivode, but this is a religious office rather than a political one: to modern Tzimisce, power is earned through force and will, not through the authority of a position. However, some Tzimisce claim no rank at all, and simply offer their services as members in order to exploit the potential for fresh resources and further their own mysterious goals. On the other hand, in certain areas of Eastern Europe, a rare few Tzimisce have chosen to remain separate from the sects, instead opting for a neutral existence spent cloistered away in their ancestral manses; these recluses are usually very old and very powerful, likely the only reason they have managed to avoid being forcibly recruited or diablerized by the Sabbat.
Respecting their power, the sect chooses to grant such Tzimisce ancients leeway within their territory, not wishing to end up like the last upstarts who made the mistake of challenging their dominions. Ghouls Much like the Nosferatu and Giovanni Clans, the Tzimisce have a unique relationship with their ghouls.
Other Sabbat Clans, like the Lasombra, despise ghouls for their humanity and only create them to perform services they themselves cannot; in military matters, they prefer to simply mass-Embrace a few dozen individuals and launch them at their foes, then promote the ones that survive.
However, because the Tzimisce have eschewed mass-Embraces ever since the Anarch Revolt, they cannot rely on armies of Sabbat Shovelheads to protect their havens or fight their wars, instead making exclusive use of ghouls as their servitors of choice, most commonly obtained through the abduction of individuals considered too lowly for mortal authorities to bother investigating.
Much like their domitors, ghouls rarely retain their original shape for very long: the Tzimisce will gladly alter their blood-addicted slaves for any reason that occurs to them, no matter how minor. Indeed, younger Tzimisce have refined the art of pointless mutilation into games in order to test their abilities and impress their fellow Sabbat; "Pin The Tail On The Lackey" has become immensely popular with antitribu audiences, allowing novice fleshcrafters to show off their skill in Vicissitude by seeing just what kind of distortions they can inflict upon a stable of five ghouls within a time limit of fifteen minutes.
Naturally, perfect service is difficult to provide, and many ghouls are doomed to an eternity of facial mutilation. Out of all the ghouls in Tzimisce service, those that still remain partly human in mind and body arguably suffer the most: quite apart from the strain on their sanity inherent to their work, these vaguely-humanoid manservants are condemned to serve until they either die at the hands of the Szlachta or are recycled into modeling clay by a bored domitor - the nearest equivalent to "natural causes" that unaltered ghouls are likely to die from.
Tragically, all too many doomed ghouls ended up in this predicament ironically because they tried too hard to avoid such a fate and ended up accidentally displeasing their domitors in the process. Naturally, Tzimisce vassals are never awarded with the Embrace - the sole exception to this rule being members of the Revenant Families. Valuing their havens as private kingdoms, the Tzimisce regularly use ghouls in order to make these havens more comfortable - usually by transforming them into living pieces of furniture.
Over the centuries, the Clan has developed the use of organic building materials in their domains, much of it still alive and sentient: living walls, membranous curtains, skin wallpaper, intestinal tapestries, bone chairs and living sculptures are just some of the things that Tzimisce domitors can make from their ghouls.
Its not known how many of these organic decorations still maintain their sanity or even their sentience after decades spent trapped in this predicament, though one Tzimisce still boasts that his couch made from only the most responsive children still cries when sat on.
Given their intense need for privacy, Tzimisce often employ fleshcrafted ghouls to act as warriors in order to secure their havens and act against their enemies during the day.
Derived from human or animal stock, these Szlachta are modified beyond all semblance of their original form, sometimes outfitted with immensely thick hides, spiked bodies, enormous jaws, bladed extremities, or whatever other deformities might be considered useful in combat.
The possibilities are limitless, though in most cases, the ghouls have lost almost all sense of free will thanks to a combination of surgical pain, brutal disciplinary techniques, and the Blood Bond - and indeed, some have regressed to bestial semi-sentience as a result of their "training.
Consisting of fifteen to thirty ghouls melded together into one single gigantic organism, such creatures commonly stand over two stories tall and weigh over six tons. Bristling with gargantuan mandibles, six-foot-long claws and razor-sharp quills, often heavily armored with carapace, and augmented with all the muscle and bone density that their creators have at hand, the Vozhd are essentially fleshcrafted tanks reputedly powerful enough to match the strength of a werewolf and fearsome enough to drive fear into the hearts of all observers.
The creation process is long and complicated, requiring an entire team of Tzimisce experts in order to accomplish, often demanding high skills in not only Vicissitude but also Koldunic Magic - not to mention large quantities of flesh.
As a result, they can rarely be used for anything other than attacking their enemies head-on, regardless of who gets in the way; worse still, the threat posed by just one such War Ghoul has been known to prompt even the bitterest foes to join forces in order to destroy it, destroying any advantage the Sabbat might have possessed against divided enemies. For these reasons and many more related to its impracticality, the Vozhd has fallen out of favor in modern nights, a fall from grace exacerbated by the proliferation of rocket launchers and shaped charges.
Though highly uncommon, it is not unknown for a fleshcrafted ghoul or even a Szlachta to escape Tzimisce service. Unable to rejoin society because of their deformities, they are reduced to haunting the boundaries of civilization in search of prey, becoming the basis for many ghost stories and urban legends in the process.
Revenants A variety of ghoul unique to the Tzimisce, the Revenant Families are a holdover from the days in which the Clan ruled over Eastern Europe as feudal barons: beginning as mortal families selected to serve the Tzimisce as their most trusted ghouls, constant familial exposure to vampire blood over the millennia and countless generations being born from the union of ghouls inflicted a subtle but undeniable change upon the bloodlines.
The children of these families lived much longer lives than their parents, demonstrated greater strength, and even began to mimic the powers of their vampire masters. Fascinated, the Tzimisce encouraged the inbreeding of these families, eager to see what would emerge. The result of this ancient breeding program became known as Revenants. Though still mortal, Revenants can naturally produce a vitae similar to vampire blood, slowing their aging process and granting them lifespans in excess of several hundred years.
Born possessed of all the strength, resilience and healing powers possessed of normal ghouls, they can even utilize diluted versions of vampire Disciplines. Though the years of inbreeding have left them with their own unique weaknesses, Revenants can still perform tasks that other ghouls are too clumsy to be trusted with, and are often tasked with serving as agents within within mortal society on behalf of their masters. As a result of this utility and the superhuman gifts they have developed, the Revenant Families are the only ghouls that the Tzimisce will ever reward with the Embrace.
At present, four main Revenant bloodlines remain in the modern nights: the Bratovitch, the Grimaldi, the Obertus, and the Zantosa. All of them have different powers, all of them have different possible uses to the Tzimisce, and all of them have their own specific weaknesses.
Popularly stereotyped as hillbilly-like broods with a penchant for cannibalism, incest and bestiality, they breed and maintain vast kennels of Hellhounds to act as guard-dogs for their vampire masters. In the past, when vampires more openly warred with werewolves, the Bratovitches were frequently employed to hunt the Lupines, a task they delighted in - and still do to this day. Possessed of the Disciplines Animalism, Potence and Vicissitude, their abilities allow them to warp animals into new shapes almost as impressively as their masters and command the resulting mutants into battle, while also granting them the strength to grapple with foes that might give lesser Revenants pause.
Their one uniting weakness lies in their volatile temperament: Bratovitch possess vicious tempers on par with the Brujah Clan, and like the Brujah, often descend into violent Frenzy at the slightest provocation. Originally an Italian merchant family in the late-Middle Ages, the Grimaldi are the political backbone of the Clan; of all the Revenants, they possess the strongest ties with the mortal world: indeed, many of them were tutored at the finest private schools known to humanity and moved frequently to prevent anyone from noticing their diminished aging process.
Blue-blooded, sickeningly wealthy and immensely influential, Grimaldi are most commonly employed in burying any evidence the Tzimisce before it reaches the public. However, because of their ties to the mortal world, the Tzimisce do not trust the Grimaldi and keep most of the family Blood-Bonded in order to ensure their loyalty; needless to say, the Family live in perpetual fear of the genocidal purge that will ensue on the day their masters finally decide their services are no longer required, and spend much of their time trying to convince the Sabbat that they are worth preserving - or trying to find another clan to protect them.
The Obertus exemplify the intellectual traditions of their masters, and have done so ever since their days as librarians to the Tzimisce lords of the Byzantine Empire. Reclusive scholars by nature, each member of the clan develops an obsession with a subject of paranormal research that they will pursue at any cost, hunting down information with a fervor that their masters can only admire.
In their adopted homelands of New England and South America, the estates of the Obertus family are home to colossal libraries of ancient texts, jealously guarded by every member of the bloodline. Secretly, they also believe that Revenants are the next stage in human evolution, destined to replace humanity and vampires, and have begun a program of vigorous experimentation in their attempts to further the ascension of Homo Obertus.
Armed with Auspex, Obfuscate and Vicissitude, they possess the insight and malleability so appreciated by their Tzimisce masters, along with the power to hide themselves from those who would not understand their research. Unfortunately, they commonly suffer from obsessive tendencies and tend to become dangerously fixated with their topic of research, often to the exclusion of all other concerns.
The Zantosa are the eyes and ears of the Tzimisce, and frequently serve as secondary loci of influence in mortal affairs. Among other things, they have an impressive talent for digging up dirt on compromising individuals - or ensuring that individuals who threaten the Clan become compromised themselves, providing a wealth of blackmail material and potential favors. Possessed of the Auspex, Presence and Vicissitude Disciplines, Zantosa enhance their social abilities through vampiric insight and charisma, while also possessing a capacity for Tzimisce fluidity.
Unfortunately, they are almost always drawn to vice and hedonism, and are very easily addicted to illicit substances and activities - resulting in the loss of many fortunes over the centuries; for this reason, many Tzimisce have begun to wonder if the Zantosa would be better off being consigned to extinction Animalism is the power of control over animals and primitive impulses: this is most commonly used in order to make animals into spies where fleshcrafted scouts will not suffice, or to create distractions in the field.
Though not as powerful as mind-controlling Disciplines like Dominate and Presence, higher levels of the Discipline allow Tzimisce to remotely control their Szlachta, further eliminating the need for supervision on the battlefield.
More disturbingly, Tzimisce have also harnessed Animalism for use in torture, mainly by summoning swarms of disgusting or dangerous creatures in order to menace their prisoners.
Auspex grants its users superhuman sensory abilities, beginning with simple enhancements to the basic five senses before expanding to powers like telepathy and even astral projection. Vicissitude In Action Of all the Disciplines in the Tzimisce arsenal, Vicissitude is the most valued - and the most versatile: the art of manipulating flesh and bone by touch, it is used by the Clan for combat, espionage, home defense, personal remodeling, decoration, artistic expression, scientific experimentation, and of course, torture.
For Tzimisce who must join the fray alongside their ghouls, Vicissitude also proves immensely useful in modifying their bodies to that end: of particular use is the dreaded zulo war-form, a monstrous shape designed specifically for close-quarters combat. At higher levels, Tzimisce can use their skin as nets, make their blood acidic, breathe fire, transform into giant bats or even animated pools of blood - allowing them to escape staking, to seep through the tiniest cracks, or even drown mortal opponents.
The most powerful Tzimisce can actually use Vicissitude at a distance - or even recreate their bodies in the event of their deaths. Koldunic Sorcery is a special brand of magic known only to the Tzimisce, similar in concept to the Thaumaturgy of the Tremere - though rather different in practice: it is not gained by all members of the Clan upon their Embrace, but must instead be learned, and involves harnessing elemental spirits rather than blood magic.
Old Clan Tzimisce
So say the Old Clan. The Eldest gave the Clan Vicissitude in order to separate the wheat from the chaff by design; through the ease it provides, the perfect tool weakens the skill of the artist and the art. The Tzimisce have grown brittle, pathetic, homogenous, uncreative, unsophisticated, and inferior. Their obsessive, crippling addiction to Vicissitude stunts their growth in diminishment of the Clan.
Edit The Chinese name can mean "motivates to seal off hope". They are based on the clan of the same name from Vampire: The Masquerade , they hail from Transylvania, in fact Dracula is a member of their clan. While their sadistic habits are carried into the Vampire Sphere storyline, the members of this clan are quite a step away from the forms displayed in Vampire; the Masquerade save Yi Sai himself. Their reputation as a cruel and sadistic clan results in many other clans simply avoiding them, as their experiments are inhumane, twisted and cruel. They push the limits of the Vampire form, their dabbing with Vicissitude , the art of crafting flesh and bone, results in many of the clan barely looking human. This makes them one of the clans who least resemble their VtM counterparts. In VtM, the clan are also part of the reason for the existence of the Tremere , who technically are classified as a variation of their bloodline.