Revised Brujah stereotypes

The Camarilla

No better, no worse, than it ever pretended to be benefit of the Camarilla over the Sabbat is that the former knows that it must change to remain viable. Well, that and the fact that you don’t have to drink the blood of every Kindred who looks in your direction or sell your soul to the devil. Seriously, the Camarilla has its fair share of problems, most of which I chalk up to the inherent differences between elders and neonates (and ancillae, but I consider that more of a transitional stage between the two). Neonates, by their very nature, are new to the entire experience of being Kindred. Elders, by virtue of having been around forever and a night, know the state of vampirism in and out. However, the neonates are far more in touch with the current state of the world, while the elders have been placed out of time for so long that very few of them relate at all to the environment around them. It’s the classic example of having one’s cake and eating it, too, if you’ll pardon the entirely un-vampiric metaphor.

You can see these distinctions. Some elders are so staid that they still wear the clothes of the times in which they were Embraced, and then they can’t understand why the tactics they used hundreds of years ago are no longer efficacious. Neonates have every available modern advantage, but they still don’t understand the gravity of the Blood, or the predilections it indelibly imposes upon someone once they receive the Embrace. Elders haven’t been “human” for so long that they don’t respond to the world like humans – to some elders, it’s a perfectly acceptable course of action to behead one’s enemy and place his remains on a pike in their front yard. Neonates know that this sort of thing gets one arrested instead of respected, but their influence over the world is too negligible to allow them to challenge the elders’ power. It sounds like an endless, vicious cycle. Doesn’t it? That’s because it is. However, it’s a vicious cycle that, on the whole, works better than anything else we’ve come up with. Now, before you claim that accepting it because it works well enough is contrary to my Brujah nature, let me quantify. The Camarilla, if it wants to survive, has co reach some equilibrium. It needs to evolve past its formal rules, much like Marxism intended to. The system itself should grow co be ingrained in the nature of the Kindred. Thus, we would be able to eliminate the titles, positions and responsibilities and get back to the finer points of unlife.

Obviously, the Camarilla has co make significant changes before it makes the Brujah happy with it, But we’re not the only ones it’s got co appease. I’ve said it before it’s the lesser of the evils open to us, and not much more.


Here’s a clan that generally splits you down the middle. Like the Brujah, the Malkavians do what they want. Unlike the Brujah, most Malkavians are worthless. They make a big show about, oh, the wretched affliction that maddens them, and lo, can’t we see the gilded reaper poised inside our dreams to crack the foundation of the race of Caine!

Some of them have the much-vaunted “insight” that they purport makes it worthwhile weather their presence, but I’ll be damned if half of it isn’t an act.

When I made my haven outside Seattle, the prince didn’t allow a Malkavian candidate among the primogen. As a result, the city wasn’t coo hospitable to Malkavians, so only three made their permanent haven there. The prince had his hands full with the depredations of a vampire no one knew anything about – Kindred were turning up dead, or running into the sun to meet their maker, or devouring their ghouls before wassailing down the street thirsting for the blood of vagrants.

When things start getting unpredictably weird, fingers naturally point to the Lunatics. In this case, chough, the Malkavians weren’t acting any different from how they normally did; they were unaffected by reading her dreams and divining from trickles of blood dropped into cold water, one of the local Malkavians triangulated the location where this dangerous Kindred made his haven. As it turns out, the Kindred in question was a member of the Inconnu who had been apart from other Kindred so long that he had become deranged, and his insanity washed over the city’s Cainites – he was a plague dog of lunacy. So some Malkavians have their uses.

Then again, of the other two Malkavians in Seattle at the time, one was convinced that the brain of his sire had invaded his body and the other would slit the throat of any woman who gave birth to a girl on Monday because that’s when a prophecy had told her the Antichrist would be born.


You have to have some degree of pity for these monsters because of what the Embrace does to them. Be careful, though, because their wretched physical state turns many of them into utter assholes who somehow believe that they have a right to be obnoxious.

The Nosferatu know everything. Nothing surprising there. The only problem I have with them is that their information is useless unless somebody knows it – so they have this unpleasant tendency of lording their vast knowledge over you in the hopes that you’ll do them a favor and buy it off them. That’s the secret to dealing with the Nosferatu and coming out on top: Let them. know that without someone to make their precious little secrets valuable, they could have the combination to every safe at Fort Knox and it wouldn’t matter.

That said, they certainly make better compatriots than enemies because, in Kindred society, somebody always wants that little scrap of information and you-re better off if the secret has nothing to do with you.

Ironically, many of these Kindred also have similar inclinations toward compassion as we do. The only difference is chat they feel it because they’ve lost the ability co interact with humankind, while we still look in from the outside. It’s the ultimate price, inflicted by denial.


A classic chicken-or-the-egg scenario – have the Brujah always hated the Toreador because the Toreador have always hated the Brujah, or is it the other way around?

As a group, they’re deplorable. As individuals, most of them are still deplorable.

But every now and then you run across a Toreador who doesn’t buy into the bullshit that keeps so many of them going. In fact, most of them are as cunning as Brujah – they have an elaborately constructed stereotypical Façade that leads many Kindred to discount them automatically. It’s true that most Brujah have the physical advantage over the Toreador, but that’s not going to help them for long. Sure, they may be able to stomp a Toreador once, but you can bet that Toreador has some connection in the Kindred favor network that’s going to end up calling a blood hunt on the Brujah.

No, the best way to deal with Toreador is either to flatter them co the point of stupefied mollification or bring them a Trojan Horse by way of an “alliance” if you can’t ignore them altogether. Seriously, leave yourself an exit strategy when you find your self dealing with a Toreador, because most won’t hesitate to drag you down in their place when it all goes to hell. Contrary to their public personae, their shit does stink, and you’re liable to make more enemies among them by screwing one over, unless they think you did a good job of it.


The Tremere come in two flavors: very breakable and ungodly powerful. Be careful when break one of the fragile ones, because he might be one of the powerful ones’ bitches.

They’re forever scuttling around on some secret mission to find the skulls of their elders and grind them into aphrodisiac powder or something. They get all uppity when you interrupt them.

Whatever, Gandalf.


All right. Now I’m supposed to have fits and jump around shake my fist. Damn those Ventrue! Down with princes! Kill whitey!

Well, I’m afraid I’m going to have to disappoint you. I wasn’t around for Carthage, version one. I don’t think it’s possible, given the current state of Kindred affairs, for Carthage, version two, and I don’t think anyone who we expected to actually dwell in that city would be too happy with it, as it couldn’t possibly be both modern and satisfactory to the undead. So I don’t harbor any grudge over that.

No, by all accounts, the Ventrue are utterly placid. They’re decent enough leaders of the Camarilla, in that they’re no more corrupt than your average middle manager and we don’t have too many interests that coincide, so we never have to see each other if we don’t want to. While the Ventrue are happy to place themselves at the head of the line and in the path of incoming fire, everyone else who’s a part of the organization can pretty much do what they want and let the Blue Bloods shuffle the papers.

If you ask me, I think that’s what lies at the core of Ventrue-Brujah hostility. It’s not so much that the Ventrue represent authority. No, I think that the Ventrue are complacent. They’re the status quo. If you have a Ventrue dissatisfied, it’s because he wants more, not different. While the Brujah are committed to change and rebuilding, the Ventrue are committed to keeping things the same and growing wealthy from it. Building their empires upon the backs of those who make the empire possible is what irks the Brujah about the Ventrue, not the simple quality o unlife.

But then, I’ve thought about this more than your average Brujah, and it’s been my privilege to watch undead society for a century. If you want blind, screeching, fist-shaking anti Ventruism, I’m sure many Brujah would be happy to oblige.

The Sabbat

This group of maniacs earns my vote for the worst idea ever. Over the years, I’ve learned no small amount about their politics, rituals and practices, and it still floors me that anyone ever managed to get a group like this to work, however erratically. . In a nutshell, Sabbat philosophy is built around an unceasing holy war against creatures that don’t I exist, which somehow asserts their superiority over mortals.
Doesn’t make much sense co me, either.

Some people seem to think that Sabbat ideology fits the Brujah unlifestyle. I won’t argue with that. We Brujah are not stupid, however, and being told I what to do with a backhanded reference to it as freedom strikes us as fundamentally flawed. The Brujah don’t want to be part of the Sabbat – the Camarilla worls for us because it generally allows us to do what we will with unlife. Were we to join the Sabbat, we’d have to follow their party line because that’s all there is to them. And have I mentioned how misguided it is? Add to this the juvenile veneration of taboo, and you lose us completely.

No, we know that the best war to deal with an idiot is to let him dig his own grave.


The Lasombra are the leaders of the Sabbat. Most Brujah who have spent more than a few nights among the undead grow to hate the Sabbat even if we’re not particularly happy with the stagnant Camarilla, few of us are exceptionally interested in taking some Satanic joyride into the mouth of Hell and calling it “freedom”. Put two and two together, and you’ll come to the conclusion that Clan Brujah has no particular love for the Lasombra.

I’m given to understand that in centuries past the Brujah and Lasombra shared some common ground, particularly around the Iberian peninsula When the Anarch Revolt took place, though, the Brujah had the sense to, ahem, see the error of our ways and rejoin the fold. The only Kindred with more pride than a Brujah is a Lasombra, however, so they chose to stick it out and call The antitribu to their banner. This causes more disfaour disfavor for them they’re as wed to power structures as the Ventrue, which automatically makes them the enemy for many Brujah.


I don’t know much about these freaks, but I have a theory. Whoever made the Tremere made the I Tzimisce first as a sort of trial run, and Jesus, did he ever fuck up. Not only do they thrive on hurting people – and I’m not talking about Brujah-style punching you till you give up, I mean stuff like fang extractions and external genitalia relocation – but they actually wallow in it. The Sabbat deserves them and vice versa.

I feel like I should say more about them, but I don’t really want to. Let’s change the subject, be cause they make me nauseous.

The Independents


Over the several decades I’ve spent studying the Kindred, I’ve noticed that a frightening number of historical anecdotes lead back to the Assamites. Our revered Carthage had no shortage of Assassins; I suspect that they may have even been the second most numerous clan therein (which discussions with Critias suppourt to some degree). I’ve also found a few odd connections between the Brujah and an obscure bloodline of Assamites called the Baali. It seems that back in Carthage, Baali Assamites had some kind of conflict with the parent clan – over religion, if my interpretation is correct. Carthage, of course, lay on the northern coast of Africa and was a mercantile port city. Assamites and Brujah revered the same gods (and, presumably, impersonated them) in that city – and in many if the other cities around the Middle East, the cradle of civilization and anywhere anyone ever dreamed of having his sire killed.

The long and short of it is this: The Assamites are old, and one’s always involved if you trace the roots back far enough. Respect them, even if their new direction scares you. They’re doing it for a reason.

Followers of Set

I feel similarly about the Setites as I do about the Assamites, albeit with a bit more reservation. Trace I any Kindred treachery back far enough and there’s Setite in there somewhere. Like the Assamites, they’re in the Jyhad for something that suits them and them only. Unlike the Assamites, they’re willing to let you in on the secret – for a price.

As any Brujah dopeman knows, you don’t snort your own stash. When you’re around a vice all the time, you succumb to it. So it is with the Setites. While they may have something that you want at first – drugs, a long-lost memoir that lists the sleeping place of some powerful and vulnerable Kindred, the key to a mortal paramour’s heart – the price always proves exacting. Additionally, that price is contrived to keep bringing you back to the Setite, because their trade isn’t the merchandise or secrets they sell. It’s the people who owe them.

The trouble is, it’s hard to pass them up, and they’re well aware of that fact. Sure, you could spend a decade digging up information about the Heart’s Blood of Mithras and spend another five years outwitting the craps and rivals who would beset you if you pursued it, or you could just buy a vial of Mithras’s Heart’s Blood from a Setite and be done with it. And they’re not proud – they gladly deal with the wants of people who aren’t after such lofty things as Methuselah blood, which means they cross paths with many of the Brujah on the streets. They peddle drugs, hookers, black-market contraband, favors from senators, whatever. Accept them as a necessary evil, shut them down when you can, and otherwise stay the fuck away from them.


Here in the New World, Brujah and Giovanni don’t often cross paths. As far as most of the Brujah I’ve spoken with are concerned, the Giovanni are I little more than a Ventrue offshoot with a predilection for necrophilia. In the Old World, however, particularly in Italy, Brujah and Giovanni have a little more contact with each other. Although they’re not necessarily chummy, European Brujah and Giovanni often have several enemies in common. The Giovanni operate outside the traditional power structure – they’re not part of the Camarilla and don’t have to answer to it. As such, they often run afoul of Ventrue and Toreador Kindred who assume that because the Giovanni aren’t part of their sect they aren’t relevant. All too often, an enterprising Ventrue may uncover a rival Giovanni in his domain (or vice versa). Now, the Brujah aren’t necessarily predisposed toward the Giovanni, but they’re adman sight less hostile to them than they are to the average Ventrue. It wouldn’t be the first time that a Brujah made some strange bedfellows simply out of spite.

Still, the Giovanni probably grew out of medieval or Renaissance merchant classes, which puts them. in the business end of things. In these modern nights, all it takes for some Brujah to peg you, as The Man is a suit that makes you look presentable. As such, most Brujah have at best a neutral regard for the Giovanni. Those of us who see past the dime-store resentment may actually profit from relationships with the Necromancers, assuming the Giovanni are interested. They turn up in the Mafia at times, as well as in certain enclaves related to the Church, to which we Brujah are no strangers. Some Brujah gang leaders arm themselves with Giovanni-smuggled guns or move Giovanni-smuggled drugs. In the end, the relationship is whatever the Kindred involved can make it.

While it may be true that Brujah have a penchant for violence, I think it’s safe to say that few of us are morbid. We have little taste for the Giovanni’s habits we prefer the dead remain dead. Not that this is any universal blanket statement; if the odd Brujah doesn’t mind the proximity of corpses and voodoo, that’s her business, but the concept of dealing with the dead is generally as taboo to us as it is other people.


The Deceivers aren’t usually as bad as the Powers That Be would have you believe, but you can be sure that you’re never going to get more out of one than she wants you to. If you’re after information, half of what she tells you is going to be a lie, probably intended to get you killed if you let anyone know you spoke with her. If you’re doing business together, she’s selling your share to the highest bidder on the side and then withdrawing all the money before showing you the books that say you’re bankrupt.

For lack of anything less euphemistic to say, I’ll grant chat they’re clever. When you work with them you’re dealing with the devil, and no one is better at manipulating the emotions than a Ravnos with a purpose. Recently, it seems, the clan has had its own civil war, and they’re not above playing the oppressed refugee shtick to bilk you out of something.

The thing is, their treachery is more than it seems – they have a genuinely nasty edge that’s going to cut you if you run across them. The best advice is to steer clear, and don’t upset them or give them any reason to take notice of you. Invariably you’ll get the worst end of the deal, because they’re that good at taking what they want and leaving you to bear the responsibility.


I’m always amazed that when things become violent, the other Kindred turn to us to do a little knuckle dusting. Have you ever seen a Gangrel fight? I mean, Jesus. We may be able to hit people fast and hard, but when a Gangrel gets pissed at you, you’re lucky to be anything more than a bloody steak. Even if you manage to hit them, most of the time they just don’t care. They’re too damn tough, even if you manage to land a punch before they sever your arm and drink your blood from it. Anyone who voluntarily makes their haven in Lupine territory is either a psychotic or a badass, maybe a little of both.

The thing is, Gangrel generally want to be left alone, at least from what I can tell. I know one Gangrel who dwells outside Atlanta, and he says this attitude was bahind their mass migration from the Camarilla. They seem to have a loose tribal structure and one of their chieftain-types decided that it was better for the clan to collectively mind it’s own business than it was to keep its tenuous relationship with the Camarilla. Coincidentally, I know a few Brujah who sympathize with them – some of them went indie with the Gangrel and a few others think the Brujah should secede, too. The Gangrel have some kind of brothers-in-arms code of conduct, or maybe they just hardiness in other people. Whatever the case, they don’t seem to put much stock in the concept of clans and as long as you don’t bother them too much, they don’t care what your politics are.

Once I stayed with a pack of anarchs just south of San Francisco and they all swore up and down that the Gangrel were friendly with the lupines and had some sort of eco-terrorist agenda. To be honest, I haven’t seen this, but it might be easily misconstrued – maybe they ran into a rouge chapter of the clan, or maybe it was one specific brood. Whatever the case, the Gangrel don’t seem to be communing with nature in the hug-a-tree sense. They remind me more of animals who are part of nature, not necessarily “at home” in the environment, but certainly able to make the best of it. Critias suggests a similar point of view – that the Gangrel are more like feral forces of nature than any individual who just likes the wilderness. Whatever the case, they’re vampires like the old legend suggests, turning into mist, calling upon the animals and refusing to die.

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