by Robert Kirkpatrick
History: These are the myths that the Lycaon Bloodline makes about itself. Whether or not the claims they make (about their line and about the Gangrel line) are true are like most Vampire legends - very hard to prove.
They claim that their founder Lycaon was a noble and trustworthy gangrel, who worked hard and diligently as one of Gangrel's closest brood. Gangrel himself intrusted him to oversee the Fairies that still lingered strongly in the world. Of all the clans, the Fairies got along well with the Gangrels. (The Malkavians were supposedly not insane yet, and had yet to be Cursed.) The Gangrels had made a tentative alliance with them, promising to help protect their Woodland Realms, in return for learning some of their natural magic. The Fairies always held back on their end of the bargain, as the Fae are known to do.
Except in regard to Lycaon himself. For some reason, they trusted him - probably because of his grand sense of humor and regal yet deviant attitude. Lycaon was a very unpredictable vampire, who was known for his sinister sneer and cold, sarcastic wit. To the Fairies, this was so much better than the stoic, loner nature of most of Gangrel's other Childe.
The Lycaons claim that Gangrel grew jealous over Lycaon's ties with the Fairies. Gangrel believed that Lycaon was building an alliance with the Fairies to topple him, perhaps to even diablerize him. With the aid of the other Clan Founders and the permission of Caine, Lycaon was cursed with a ravenous hunger for human flesh. Lycaon's appetite became unsatiable until raw meat was swallowed down his gullet. Then he was banished out of the society of vampires (thrust out like Adam and Caine were) and forced to survive in the wilderness.
With the Curse still fresh upon him, Lycaon was immediately betrayed by his Fairie friends. They turned their backs on him in his time of greatest need. They drove him out of their Glens and their territories.
Alone, stranded, and starving - Lycaon was then greeted by Fairies he had never met before. Dark skinned Fairies with diabolic eyes, and sneers as sinister as his. They brought him fresh human meat and offered him shelter in one of their dark realms. There, Lycaon became strong again. Vengeance grew in him as the years passed on. The Unseelie taught him some of their arts, and taught him how to shape his disclipines to mimic theirs. The Dark Fae even helped to develop sinister versions of his Protean disclipine. Here, Lycaon had found his true friends who would never betray him.
Lycaon swore then to get revenge on all those who betrayed them. He hunted the human cities, now not only for meat, but for those humans vicious and bloodthirsty enough for him to Embrace. He would create a small army, send them out into the world, to bring down the society of Fairies, Vampires, and men - as the price for the World of Darkness' betrayal against him.
Lycaon is said to still be alive, living in one of the Dark Fae realms. Lycaons who believe in him say that he watches over his children, with the help of the Unseelie, so that one day he will gather them up to destroy all the betrayers.
Elder Gangrels whose memories and legends date back far enough find all of this myth to be pure poppy-cock. The Lycaons - to those few Gangrels that know of them - have created a lie to shroud up their nasty habits. The myth is nothing but the twisted fantasies of the ego-mad, who think they are justified to kill everything.
"You must be joking," the Gangrels say. "You have a vengeance against Vampires, Fairies, AND Man... Lycaon was just a Gangrel who developed delusions of grandeur from all of his acts of diablerie. He was never the brood of Gangrel. Gangrel was not stupid to have Embraced a vicious beast like Lycaon." The Gangrel also point out the fact that no Lycaon has ever surpassed 8th level in any discipline. "How the hell can he be a brood of Gangrel if they have never reached near his power?"
But very few Gangrel Elders would say this outloud, just in case one of the Gangrel listening is actually a Lycaon, out for meat and blood.
The Lycaons are among the smallest of all the Bloodlines. They regard themselves as Vengeance Embodied; their anger and hatred of all other Vampires (especially Gangrels) and Fairies flows through their blood as strongly as it did their Founder. The myth of their creation is what drives the oldest of them.
They have no affiliation with either the Sabbat or the Camarilla, but instead live among the two groups: either disguised as loner Gangrel or Caitiff/Panders. With either group and among mixed company, they keep their meat-eating secretive and private.
Among the Camarilla, the Lycaons have to be the most secretive and hidden in their activities. Few Elder Gangrels know of them, and would do their best to wipe them out "before they cause real problems". The Lycaons are small enough and so well disguised among Vampires, that it's hard for the Elder Gangrels to weed them out.
In the Sabbat, the Lycaons don't have to be as quiet, and can sometimes let their strange hunger show to strangers. Excessive violence and gore is easier to express among the Sabbat, so usually the greatest number of Lycaons can be found among them. However, because of the fairly sizable portion of Lycaons who follow the Path of Evil Revelations, and because the Lycaons still wait for the original Lycaon to return and lead them in vengeance (a heresy to any Antideluvian-hating Sabbat in existence), the Lycaons still must hide their true selves among the Black Hand. They will fake loyalty (entering war parties, etc), in order to better hide themselves.
Of all the clans, they get along with the Malkavians best. If any clan knows the most about the Lycaons, it's the Loonies (whether Sabbat or Camarilla rarely matters). Perhaps it's the ties that both of them have to the Fae, or perhaps the Malkavians really don't mind the strange needs of the Lycaons - whatever it is, Lycaons tend to be more open with these crazy Kindred. Gangrels have rumors and myths about this bloodline, the Malkavians have facts.
In their vengeance against the Fae, they have fought with various Garou tribes, including the Fianna. But with others, like the Shadow Lords and those who still uphold the Impergium, they have created several nests of allies. They consider the Black Spiral Dancers - who are also allied with the Unseelie - close friends, and the feeling appears to be mutual. The Dancers have allowed many Lycaons to seek refuge in their Wyrm Pits. Even though they are a small lot, if they were to pool their contacts, herds, allies, and all their supernatural ties, the Lycaons could be a major force to contend with.
Appearance: Lycaons come in all shapes, sizes, dress, and resources. They are known for their strange smiles and cunning, fox-like eyes. All of them seem secretive. When their fangs are retracted, they tend to look longer and more curved out. Elder Lycaons, due to high levels of Protean, can have large bat-wings jutting out of their shoulder blades, or resemble Lupines.
Most people tend to leave Lycaons alone, because they look and sometimes act like your standard weirdos. Jeffrey Dahmer would be a Lycaon - normal- looking at first glance, but if you probe deeper, an ugly, sinister side.
Haven: Lycaons choose remote, out-of-the-way places in which to live. Usually these places have no neighbors and some method of freezing or storing bodies and body parts. This could be a slaughterhouse, a farmhouse, a decrepid barn, a nice house in the mountains - whatever. Wherever the sound of latenight drilling and sawing and strange chewing will not be noticed or thought too much about.
Conversely, some Lycaons choose crowded inner city apartments where no one really cares what happens. They will live alone, and if anyone complains of any noise (like when they use chainsaws to carve up their meat), it usually falls on deaf ears. Some Lycaons live in luxurious penthouses, where their status and money allows them to remain unbothered. Lycaon apartments tend to have lots of refrigerators or deep-freezes.
Character Creation: Almost all of the Lycaon Bloodline have some sort of Deviant or vicious demeanor, and usually their natures are either that of Survivors, Martyrs, or Fanatics.
Lycaons tend to choose the most headstrong and the most cunning of mortals to Embrace. These mortals are usually not in any position of power, but who tend to live on the edge of mortal society, with morals all their own: usually serial killers, cannibals, rapist, and hard-core junkies - anyone who would willingly kill to have some sort of fix (be it through sex, violence, drugs, etc). Only these kind of people have been able to deal with the harsh and peculiar appetites of the Lycaon Bloodline.
Those Embraced also tend to feel unjustly treated by the world, that somehow they have been betrayed and misunderstood by others. In their early lives, they have been considered outcasts, geeks, nerds, and sickos by their peers. They are also people of supreme intensity - the headstrong nature of this Bloodline couldn't be emphasized more. Whatever they feel, they feel to almost religious zealot fervor, and cannot usually be persuaded otherwise. Like their founder, they have a vengeance streak a mile wide.
When creating a character, two obvious flaws to get are Vengeance's and Hatred's against something (almost anything). Other Lycaons tend to add Intolerance's as well.
However, this is pretty much the stereotype of the Lycaons. Not all of them are like that. You can find the sweetest and most demure Lycaon as you can find in any other Clan or Bloodline. However, their disgusting weakness is want makes their life even more intolerable.
As for Humanity: most Lycaons who have it usually have it at a very low level. Some especially tortured Lycaons who choose to have high Humanity are going to have a very vicious life ahead of them. Lycaons tend to follow the Path of Cathari, with a several following the Path of Evil Revelations, and a small handful following the Path of Harmony. Those that tend to follow Harmony or Humanity are usually disdained by their Lycaon brethren.
Physical or Mental Attributes are usually their Primary traits, while Social is almost always Tertiary. Talents or Skills are also Primary, and like Social attributes, Knowledges are almost always Tertiary. Those that do possess high Knowledges tend to possess it in Lore (Vampire, Gangrel, Lycaon, Lupine, Wyrm, or Faerie).
Bloodline Disclipines: Protean, Fortitude, Unseelie.
Some of the older Lycaons have been known to develop Chimerstry and limited Thaumaturgy. These have been gained, not from Diablerie, but from their contacts with the Unseelie, who have shown them what potential they really have.
A typical Lycaon Elder would have either Chimerstry or Thaumaturgy, one other physical disclipines (Celerity and Potence), and the disciplines above.
Lycaons tend to refrain from disclipines like Auspex, Dominate, Animalism (they have lost touch with that side of their nature), and Presence, although it is still possible for them to possess these certain disciplines, given the right reason (after diablerie, for use as subterfuge, etc). They never learn any disclipines relating to other Bloodlines (like Quietus, Serpentis, Mechanus, etc), except for the sole exception of Chimerstry. Lycaons can usually have no problem developing this, due to the fact Ravnos and Lycaons both come from the similiar lines.
Bloodline Weaknesses: The main weakness of the Lycaon is that they cannot gain sustenance from just drinking blood. Their blood pools cannot be replenished until they eat the equivalent amount of raw flesh. If a mortal has 10 blood points, a Lycaon must eat all of the flesh in order to get the blood points (including sucking the marrow out of the bones). In order to get one blood point then, a Lycaon would probably have to eat the equivalent of a hand or a foot. Thus, most Lycaons must usually kill the victim in order to satisfy their hunger.
Lycaons can digest the meat VERY quickly. It is said that once the flesh is swallowed, something in the Lycaon blood breaks it up, and converts it almost instantly to blood.
Lycaons can still drink blood, but it provides no sustenance whatsoever for them. Thus they can "fake it" if necessary, but if they are hungry and they try to fake it, they usually frenzy and start tearing away at the meat.
Lycaons also tend to be heavy bankers, of sorts. When they kill a mortal or Vampire, they usually hack up parts of the body, and keep them in the refrigerator, freezer, or deep-freeze. When they need more in their blood pool, they let the meat thaw out before devouring it.
Lycaons must also eat the flesh in order to diablerize another vampire. They basically must eat everything (except the hard skeleton) in order to fully drain the vampire of their soul. It is said that some of the Lycaon Thaumaturgist have elaborate rituals that allow them to gain the full Disclipines and memories of those they eat.
Elder Lycaons tend to be massive Diabolists. They usually bloodbond several vampires and keep them imprisoned. They would then hack off a body part whenever they needed to feed. The vampire would be given enough blood to repair the damage over a period of time. The Lycaon would drain the part of all the blood (some through long pounding and others through rituals similar to Ritual of Purify the Body) so that they would not get bloodbound by drinking it.
It doesn't matter if there is blood in the meat, as long as it's raw. This does not give an automatic merit of being able to digest food. The Lycaon will still vomit anything that is not raw meat or blood. They cannot eat cooked meat of any kind, even if it's cooked rare. Raw chicken, beef, and hamburger can sustain them, but it takes a lot to do so.
Any Vampire that drinks the blood of Lycaon will taste something different in their blood; and especially if the Lycaon has Level One of the Unseelie Discipline, then that Vampire is also in for a surprise.
They also possess the Gangrel weakness of gaining an animal feature each time they frenzy. However, this feature only shows when they frenzy - but in any other mode, they appear normal. Thus, when they frenzy, they have been mistaken for Garou, based on how quickly hair and fur appears to grow. Plus, the higher levels of Protean help in maintaining this illusion.
Organization: Lycaons do not lose touch with another. Sires tend to have a very good idea where their Childe are located. However, they rarely communicate to one another. Two Lycaons who meet on the street will walk past each other without saying a word or taking a look. This is to keep themselves secret in whatever society they happen to be living in.
If urgent information must be relayed (such as the time and location of a Feast or Grand Feast), then it is the responsibility of the Sire to get the message through to his Childe. It is said that messages are sent down from Lycaon himself and trinkle down to everyone.
If a Sire dies, some Lycaon will be appointed the adopted Sire of the dead Sire's Childe. No Lycaon chooses who that new adopted Sire will be. It is said that Lycaon himself chooses, and passes the order down in the traditional way.
Every year, during a fat, plump red moon, Lycaons in a city will gather and have a Feast. There they share myths and knowledges, and give due respect to all those that have acquired any Prestige. They treat each other quite well, because a Feast is the only place these outcasts feel they belong. Throughout most of their existence, all Lycaon feel guilty for eating meat (a big taboo), but the Feast is where they can push that guilt aside and talk openly of their hunger.
At every Feast, it's rumored that Lycaon himself may be among them to see the progress in his Progeny. Unseelie Faeries have been known to join in with these Feasts.
At every Feast, a Gangrel is served as the main course. Those with high Prestige get to have the first bite, and those with the highest Prestige are allowed to diablerized the meal (if they so desire) when everyone else is done having a morsel. Mortals are brought in from around the city, from all different walks of life, and served before the main course to quell everyone's appetite.
Every seven years, a Grand Feast is held in each country. Around that time, Elder Gangrels have been known to disappear and not be seen again. They have probably been served up at the Grand Feast. Very few humans are used for food at these Grand Feasts. Instead, random Vampires are captured and brought in from around the country and served beforehand - in a fashion similar to the mortals at a normal Feast. Unseelie Faeries are always at attendance at these Grand Feasts. They always hint that Lycaon is definitely somewhere near, and with his powers to manipulate time and space, he could be there instantly.
Sometimes, in place of the Elder Gangrel, the Lycaons will serve some Garou instead. This usually leads to great violence, however, as the Lycaons will frenzy (after eating the Garou) and start trying to devour all the meat in sight. Most of the time, this is done on purpose, just before the Lycaons attack some Gangrels. They fill themselves on Garou meat in Gangrel territory, and start to hunt down every Gangrel in sight.
Gaining Prestige: Pretty much the only way to gain Prestige is to undermine Gangrels or Faeries. Either by killing and eating them (the most Prestige) to destroying one of their plans (a point or two).
Other ways include establishing contacts and alliances with other supernatural creatures, such as Lupines and Dark Faeries - any force that gives the Lycaons a stronger power base. Thus, Lycaons will usually ally themselves with the Werewolves' Wyrm-entity, especially since it has been known that the Wyrm may grant a few of them some special powers.
A very minor way to gain Prestige is to have brought the most succulent meat to a Feast or Grand Feast. Gangrels are the first choice (Camarilla or Sabbat), while Toreadors are the second.
Quote: "Oh, hold still! It's only marinade. Just some garlic, hot pepper, and salt. You should be honored. You're going to be the guest of honor at our dinner party. You'll be served well. And I get to have the first succulent slice all to myself. Yum-yum."
Stereotypes of Other Clans and Bloodlines:
Opinions By Others:
"So their history is based on lies. So what? Like you don't you any
delusions? Like you don't have any lies that keep you going throughout
this miserable existence? Like you haven't made up any myths about
yourself? Calling yourself the 'Ultimate Predator'! Calling yourself 'One
of the Damned'! How pathetic! The only reason you should fear them is
that their lies are stronger than yours. And before it's all over, their
lies may show you the truth about yourself. And how weak you truly are!"
-- Bonzo, Malkavian Antitribu Methusaleh Death-Clown
"They hate us with a passion, although we are their brothers. The
Dark Folk have deluded them into hating us, have turned them from good
friends, into eternal enemies. They are cursed with a hunger that
repulses us all. Have mercy on their souls, for they know not what they
do. But show no mercy when you meet one. They want nothing less than to
tear the meat from your bones."
-- Thoreau, Gangrel Scholar and Hermit
"Young pups, listen and listen good. Not every Garou you met is what
he may seem. Not every friend you have is a friend forever. There are
Wyrm creatures that may be living among you now. Vicious leeches in
wolf's clothing. They are enemies to all - they are children of the
Wyld gone angry, children of the Weaver gone mad, children of the Wyrm
still hungry. And they may be hungry for fat puppies like you, so beware.
-- Xiao Lu, Elder Silent Strider Galliard
Various Comments and Critiques Answered
I received about 10 comments and critiques out of the 75 copies of this I sent out (grrr). Thanks for everyone who answered. Below, I have answered some of the more common questions.
From: "email@example.com" 29-AUG-1993 18:02:37.26
hmmm... I think that the Unseelie ability is a fraction toooo powerfull... telportation, ne'er mind the distance is an incredibly powerful tool, and the unseelie blood renders the character effectively immune to being fed fromm... takes away the nervousness nees....
Agreed, it is a rather powerful discipline. I don't deny that. I'm sure there are plenty of kinks that have to be ironed out. This is not a bloodline to be used in a Omigod-i'm-a-monster chronicle. If you do so, you would probably just get rid of the Unseelie discipline and leave the weakness. Would make for some interesting roleplaying. Also, this bloodline is more suited for cross-over games, with Garou and Mages as well. Compared to some of their abilities, the Unseelie discipline doesn't seem as powerful, IMHO. As for the Unseelie blood rendering the character from being fed from: not necessarily. All other Lycaon would be immune to the blood (a recent addition), but other groups may love this blood. For example, Dead Head Hippy Gangrel who like "tripping" with this blood. Malkavain diabolists who just like the sensations. Mages who would love to experiment with this blood. Etc. The blood could create lots of enemies. Also, Lycaons can be diablerized just like any other vampire. The diabolist must only suffer the effects, but still gets any rewards that come from diablerie.
From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" "David Alexander McMasters" 3-SEP-1993
I finally got to reading your Bloodline Lycaon and I liked what you'd written. It's given me some ideas particularly about the Gangrel themselves interestingly enough. I'm planning on using Gangrel in my Chronicle so I particularly liked the idea of the Lycaon infiltrating Gangrel circles as concealing their true nature.
With regard to the two new bloodlines in the STGttS, I haven't read them and I probably won't bother. I'd rather use your bloodline as a springboard and develop some ideas of my own. They're more interesting than something as simple as Gangrel anti-tribu for foes.
I'm really bad at point-by-point critiques and tend to fudge on rules and abilties so I won't even try. I don't really have any suggestions or ideas for things that could be changed or improved. Keep it the way it is! About the only thing I might comment on is their connection with the Unseelie Court. Would you trust the Dark Fae? f so, why? It seems like the Lycaon have no special reason to. The Unseelie may have given them shelter at one point and taught them much (making them perhaps part of the Unseelie Court), but the Sidhe are noted for their fickle natures. Too, it seems that the Lycaon would almost be in competition with Dark Fae like the Redcaps (who drink blood as I recall). Predators quarrel, particularly if they are different in nature. I guess I feel that the Lycaon are too closely tied to the Unseelie Court, rather than being independent or part of vampire society. I don't know why that matters, just my feeling on this point.
Damn good point. If you notice from the background, I never make mention of any of the Dark Fae's feelings towards the Lycaon. That remains a mystery for two reasons: 1) the Dark Fae may be using them for other motives, which the Lycaons are too naive to figure out, and 2) Faerie (now Changeling) hasn't come out yet, so I haven't elaborated on it. I hoped to have gotten across how naive a group the Lycaons were. They don't distrust the Dark Fae, because - as a group - they aren't as accomplished enough to see that. As for the Redcaps, I have no idea. Perhaps, Lycaons could be Redcaps. Who knows? I haven't thought that far ahead. But again, a very damn good point. Very perceptive of you. You obviously know your Sidhe.
From: "email@example.com" "E. E. Bartley" 14-SEP-1993 18:56:24.18
- Repulsive, but that's obviously intended.
- I think the Unseelie Discipline is signficantly too powerful.
- Why isn't their existance more known (esp. given the Great Feasts)?
I see that relatively few people start out knowning about them ... but I don't see any reason for the Elder Gangrel not to tell everyone - and I see some reasons they might want to.
On point (3), again, agreed. Any Elder Gangrel would try to get rid of these cannibals as soon as possible, and tell all their Childe about them. The problem is that the Lycaons are so ingrained into Gangrel society, that it's hard to pick them out. How does the Elder Gangrel know that the one he is speaking to isn't a Lycaon? Until it's too late perhaps. The existence of the Lycaons would add to the general paranoia of Vampiric existence. Another line of diabolists to worry about.
Also, Lycaons have several things working for them that keep them from the brink of extinction:
From: "firstname.lastname@example.org" 20-SEP-1993 01:27:03.22
I'm interested in the mechanics necessary for a clan member to diablerise another vamp. Now diablery requires also eating the entire victim. The easiest way would be to simply destroy the victim first. However do you still get the `soul' if you just destroyed them before eating.
Lycaon Diablery works on the theory that the flesh is the soul. For some reason, unknown to others, Lycaons are able to devour the soul from individual pieces - whoever gets the last bite gets the soul. Even if the meat has disintegrated to dust, devouring the dust would do just as well. Again, whoever gets the last bit wins the soul.
Secondly, if you play the rule that the body rapidly returns to its true age upon destruction it then becomes exceedingly hard to keep a pantry of vampire body parts either for diablery or later consumption as the parts will turn to dust/rot as soon as the vamp is destroyed (I have this image of a special pantry full of staked vamps which the clan member occasionally visits to hack/chew a limb off the [still aware] vamp).
It is said that elder Lycaons have rituals that can perserve the meat, as well as the souls of Elder Vamps. As for the staked vamp in the pantry, heeheeheehee, that's the point.
I hope everyone enjoyed reading this, and I hope that the Lycaons may be of use to someone's Chronicle. If you do use them, please e-mail me and tell me what happened with them. I'm very interested, and would be honored to know that I added to the misery of people's World of Darkness.