True Brujah

by Sean O'Connell (23 Jun 94)

Carthage was utopia. It is a living dream. Millenia ago, we Brujah created a city where Kindred and kine could live together. We strove for the heavens only to see others grow jealous. They betrayed us and destroyed the dream. Now we are divided, and we have gone from being scholars and philosophers to cretins and clowns like your sire, Smiling Jack
- Critias to Dre, newly Embraced Brujah.

At one time the Brujah were not all rebels. At one time they sort to understand, not to destroy.

Before Carthage. To many of the Brujah of the time, this was a dirge. Their dream destroyed, their plans unravelled. Many were claimed to Hunters, to the plots of the Jyhad, as they fell into despair, and so into carelessness.

Some, however, did not grieve. They were angered, seeking vengeance. These Brujah were the basis of the High Council of Clan Brujah. They met in secret in the ruins of Carthage, and formed their plans for revenge.

Each time they had given their dreams flesh, the other, jealous clans came and destroyed what they had built. Even with their wide powers over the elements, their powers of Presence and their Potence-enhanced strength, they did not have warriors to fight the other clans.

A plan was conceived to give them these warriors. From this point onwards, the High Council would conduct a 'breeding' program for Brujah warriors. Those who Sired were to find those with the fighting spirit, who were high of temper, who could defend their Elders. They were no longer to be taught their Sire's powers over the earth, but instead were to be taught to move with the speed of lightning.

The Council believed that the combination of Potence and Celerity would give their warriors the ability to defend them, to create a warrior- class within the Clan. Those who created Childer against the Council's edict were held to be in violation of the Third Tradition and were either destroyed along with their Childer or ostracised and no longer granted the clan's protection.

There was more to this policy however, that met the eye. For the most-part, it was Troile's Childer rather than Brujah's that had somehow learnt the discipline of Celerity, and thus it was they more than their siblings that Sired Childer. As a result, over the following two centuries the number of true Brujah fell, and the number of Troile's Childer increased.

These Childer were taught nothing of their Sire's original abilities, but simply assumed that they too were masters of Celerity. They were also instructed to destroy any Kindred they saw using the Elementalism discipline, described to them as a form of Blood Magic.

The years passed, and the warrior-Brujah's childer became more populous. They either forgot or did not learn their Sire's heritage, and the High Council faded from sight, so as not to present a target to the other clans. The Ventrue, the Malkavians, the Toreador, all assumed that the elder Kindred of the Brujah had been destroyed or had fled, or melded with the earth, no longer a factor in Kindred politics.

The other clans of the kindred noticed this change in the younger Brujah, but did not pay it much heed, often to their dismay when these new Brujah went mad, destroying all in sight. For since the fall of Carthage, the Brujah had been always on the edge of Frenzy. Some theorised it was the rage of Troile, echoing down through his bloodline. The High Council considered it to be an unfortunate side-effect of their new Childer's posession of Celerity, one that may reap its own benefits when they used their Childer in battle in the centuries to come.

This situation continued for a thousand years. The High Council, from their various Havens and hiding places watched, and their warrior- childer ravaged the Kindred world, increasing in numbers and generation. The Council cared not for their Progeny's fascination with the Anarch movement, regarding the battles against the other Elders as good training.

Indeed, when the Sabbat was formed, they would have collected their Childer and fought against the Ventrue and other clans. Except for one thing.

The Inquisition. Their fascination with their own Childer, their tweaking of their destinies, led the inquisitive mortals to themselves, the evil ones who sat in the background like the puppet-masters. And why, came the argument in the mortal councils, destroy the puppets when you may destroy the puppeteers

By flame, by stake and by sunlight, the mortals found and destroyed the true-Brujah, one by one. Their secrecy from the world of the Kindred, long their shield, became the sword used against them, as they could not even call for their warriors.

And so the majority of the High Council passed away, their plans flapping lose in the winds of history. Without their subtle control upon their behaviour, their childer raged unchecked... the Sabbat, the wars of the Jyhad, all would have been lessened with the intervention of the High Council.

Not all of the council was destroyed. A small number of those that knew the truth escaped the flame, and fled into hiding, seeing this as a repetition of the destruction of Carthage. They lost much of their will to live, and slipped into Torpor.

The years passed, and their grief lessened, even in Torpor. The remainder of the High Council awoke, and took stock of the world around them. Times had changed since the dark ages of the Inquisition. New Empires had arisen and fallen, new thoughts and philosophies to light.

First in priority was regaining their control over their breeding experiment. This was complicated by the existence of the Sabbat. No longer was there a single Clan Brujah, but now there were the Brujah antitribu. These childer had conceived a plan to free themselves from tyranny, and in this they mirrored the true beliefs of the High Council - freedom and self expression.

Yet once again, a Brujah's dream was shattered by the other clans. The Tzimisce and Lasombra clans took control of the dreams of freedom and turned them to anarchy and chaos.

Even their warrior-childer had split into several factions. The Iconoclasts were the chaotic and devastating warriors that the breeding program was designed to bring about. The Idealists on the other hand were extremely suspect to the High Council. Many of them decreed them to be the "legacy of Veddartha", and their attitudes of controlling all of the Brujah were termed "Ventrue-syndrome."

It was the Individualists that surprised the High Council the most. Even after 2,000 years, the true Brujah spirit seemed to spring anew from their chaotic childer. Many individualists were secretly sponsored by the High Council, and the most promising were led subtley towards an 'apprentic- ship' - an apprenticeship that ended in them being taught the true history of the Brujah, and led into their full legacy.


True Brujah

Nickname: Witches.

Appearance: The appearance of this clan is fairly sharply divided between the Elders, who are often at least 300 years old, and often prefer to dress in the styles of their lifetimes, at least in private, and the younger Kindred.

These younger kindred often are a strange mix. Scholastic backgrounds are mixed in with very fit sportsmen. The members of this clan tend to dress casually but conservatively.

Haven: Their Havens are either their Elder's Haven, or in homes or apartments near Universities.

Background: True-Brujah are always intellectuals of some degree. Many of the newly-Embraced Kindred have university degrees, and no small number were teachers in their mortal lives.

Character Creation: True Brujah often have a Pedagouge or Scholar background, but many of them are quite fit as well. Visionary, Deviant or Architect demeanors and natures are common. Mental Attributes are usually primary, but Physical Attributes are often quite high. Knowledges are almost always primary. True Brujah commonly have Contacts and Mentor as their backgrounds.

Clan Disciplines: Elementalism, Potence, Presence.

Clan Weakness: The Blood of Brujah has the strange characteristic in that it is almost impossible to form Blood Bonds with it. True Brujah have theorised it is the spirit of Brujah herself that prevents these bonds, as she was known to hate any form of compulsion or binding.

In order to Blood Bond someone to themselves, the Thrall must drink 9 times from the Kindred, rather than the standard 3. [Alternatively, the blood is _incapable_ of forming blood bonds.].

This does not apply when the True Brujah herself is the Thrall, it takes the standard three seperate drinks to blood bind a true Brujah.

Organisation: The true-Brujah part of the Brujah clan is so small in comparison to the other clans that at this stage they are still relatively closely knit. They rarely have formal meetings, but instead the clan is organised around an Archive, with one Elder and his childer in a city.

These true Brujah often masquerade as Intellectualist Brujah, so as to allow themselves to move easily within the Kindred world.

Quote: We must take control of our Sibling's Childer, as we control ourselves, and bring them back into the fold.

Stereotypes:


Elementalism is the discipline of knowing the world. As the user progresses in its power, they begin to gain a greater and greater grasp of how the world is put together, and how to manipulate its various aspects.

It is in many ways much like Thaumaturgy, in that it has many seperate divisions of the actual discipline. The differences are, how- ever, profound. Elementalism has no rituals, no rites as part of its makeup. It relies not on using outside power to make an effect, but on the user knowing the way of the world in order to effect it.

The seperate areas of Elementalism, known as The Ways, must be progressed in a particular order, each branch of knowledge providing a basis for learning the remaining branches. There is no way in which personal preference can allow a practicer to advance in a higher Way without having some grasp in the lesser Ways.

In game terms, the posessor of Elementalism must first advance to at least the third level in any Way before they may start on the next Way.

[For instance, a beginning Kindred user of elementalism has 1 point in Elementalism, and 1 point in the Way of Earth. She must learn 2 more points of the Way of Earth (still with 1 point of Elementalism) before she may spend experience to buy another point of Elementalism, at which point she also gains a point in the Way of Air.]

  1. Way of Earth

    * Earth Sense

    By laying her hands on rock, stone or earth, the Kindred using this ability gains the ability to percieve the surrounding area from the point of view of the earth with which they are connected. They can perceive buried or hidden objects, whether within the stone, or very closeby to that stone. For instance, the Kindred could sense the buried coffin underneath him, or the assailant hiding behind the corner or the concrete building, or the wiring behind the concrete wall. It has been said that Vampires with this ability may even sense the location of earth- melded Kindred. This power is limited to current information, it cannot be used to pertain information from the past.

    System: By making a Perception + Earth roll, they may gain the sensory input from the stone around them.

            No of Successes                         Distance
                    1                               Within 1 metre
                    2                               Within 5 metres
                    3                               Within 10 metres
                    4                               Within 50 metres
                    5                               Within 100 metres
    

    The difficulty depends on the type of material that is being attempted to be read. Earth and natural stone is difficulty 6, concrete and man-made stones are difficulty 8. The perception extends out of the stone to a limit of 1/3 of a metre.

    In addition to the success-range limits, the earthen material being read must be contiguous. Ie: if using a concrete building, just the building may be read, not the surrounding footpath, etc. If reading a boulder, then the earth surrounding the boulder is not included in the effect.

    On Per + Earth roll (diff 9), an earthmelded Kindred may be sensed (but not affected in any way).

    ** Manipulate Earth

    The Cainites who have progressed to this level of knowledge in the Way of Earth gain the ability to morph earth and stone to their will. They may command it to warp or move in any one way, directed only by their minds - no physical touch is necessary, although the object being so altered must be within sight, or otherwise sensed.

    They may cause a rock to melt and run like water, pits to open up in front of their enemies, or command the marble top of a tomb to flow out of the way to give them a temporary Haven. (Of course they need to move it back again before sunnup).

    System: By spending a bloodpoint, the vampire using this ability may command stone or earth to alter in shape in any way. They cannot destroy or create the earth.

    To determine how successful the effect is, the Kindred must roll Intelligence + Earth (diff 6 for natural stones, diff 8 for man-made substances).

            No of Successes                         Area effected
                    1                               Approximately a 
                                                    cubic meter
                    2                               Closet worth
                    3                               Room worth
                    4                               Factory worth
                    5                               Most of a mountain.
    

    Each manipulation can cause one effect only. Eg to cause stone to flow away from a place and then flow back is two actions and requires two bloodpoints.

    *** Create Earth

    Upon achieving this level of knowledge in the Way of Earth, the Kindred may create natural earth and stone as they dictate, in any shape or anywhere within sight.

    They may see the location that they wish to create the earth, and it must rest upon something solid, ie its not possible to create rocks in mid- air. It is however possible to create the stone around an object, or even a person.

    It is not possible to create stone other than granite, or similarly natural stones. Gemstones cannot be created.

    System: The Vampire using this ability must spend one bloodpoint to invoke this power. In addition to this, they must decide _ahead_ of rolling for successes how much earth they wish to create. If not enough sucesses are gaining, then nothing happens at all. Excess sucesses also have no extra effect.

    A roll of Intelligence + Earth against difficulty 6 is made.

            No of Sucesses                  Effect
                    1                       Approximately a large bucketload.
                    2                       Approximately one cubic metre
                    3                       2 cubic metres
                    4                       5 cubic metres
                    5                       10 cubic metres
                    6                       50 cubic metres 
    

    **** Earthmeld

    This ability is effectively identical to the third level of the Protean Discipline. It takes, as for those with Protean, one bloodpoint to sink into the earth, and one to rise up and out.

    In addition, once achieving this level of the discipline, the Vampire may affect not only natural stone and earth, but may affect other solid matter, such as glass, steel and ashphelt. Exactly what can and cannot be affected is upto the individual ST.

    ***** Summon Earth Elemental

    By concentrating upon a large sample of earth or stone, the Cainite evoking this power may summon an elemental spirit to the sample in order to animate it. This spirit takes upon a vaguely humanoid form, and may not be friendly to the invoker.

    The elemental may be commanded by the Kindred to perform simple tasks, such as lifting and carrying objects.

    System: Invoking this ability is quite trying to the Kindred attempting it. In addition to spending a bloodpoint, she must also spend a Willpower point to summon the spirit.

    Each time the Kindred gives a command to the elemental, they must roll their willpower at a difficulty of 7. Only one sucess is needed for the command to be obeyed. Problems occur when the roll is failed or botched.

    If he merely fails the roll, then they must immediately make another roll to regain control (willpower, difficulty 8, three sucesses needed). If this is failed then the spirit breaks free of the Kindred's control.

    If the command-willpower roll is botched, then the Kindred suffers an immediate loss of 1 permanent willpower (as is usual for willpower rolls), and the spirit immediately breaks free.

    What happens when an elemental spirit breaks free is up to the ST. It may simply leave the physical form it was ordered into and depart, it may attack the Kindred, it may wander off in its physical form.

    (Earth Elemental: Str 6, Dex 2, Sta 6)

    ****** Stoneform

    The Kindred invoking this power immediately transforms himself into a natural piece of stone. The exact shape of the transformed Kindred is a matter of choice when they use the ability - however they are limited to a maximum increase in size of 20%.

    The Vampire may take on the appearance of a natural boulder, or of a statue, or even of a stone wall (albeit a small one)and once assuming this shape the Kindred is immune to fire and sunlight, as well as being staked. They are however immobile unless they transform to flesh and are vunerable to being smashed as would be a normal stone object.

    A Kindred in this state may sense her surroundings using any sensory abilities she may have, including Earth Sense and Auspex.

    System: Invoking this power requires the expediture of a single blood point, whether to become stone or to become flesh. Once in this shape they cannot move without transforming back to flesh (very painful in sunlight). This includes the spending of bloodpoints, other than the one necessary to revert to their "natural" shape.

    In order to mimic a particular object, they must make a Manipulation + Subterfuge (why? who knows. If you can think of a better one...), and the accuracy of the copy is dependant on the number of sucesses (use the sucess table for obfuscate or vissisitude).

    Once in the Stoneform, the vampire's Stamina is raised by 3 extra dice for soaking purposes.

    ******* Earthform

  2. Way of Air

    * Descent of the Feather.

    This first ability to manipulate the Way of Air manifests itself to give the vampire using it the ability to slow a fall by force of will. They can prevent themselves from suffering damage from all but the most long of falls.

    System: The Kindred must roll their willpower, at a difficulty of 6. Each success they achieve on this roll negates one health level of damage. (Slows their fall so as to effect this.)

    ** Resist the Calling of the Earth

    This ability is an extension of the Kindred's current knowledge of the element of air. Rather than simply slow their fall, they may now nullify any downward descent, bouyed up by the air itself.

    Using this part of the discipline, the vampire may step off the side of a building and simply float in midair, or activate their power and draw their legs up to float in lotus.

    Given enough ability, the Cainite may change their weight, or slowly rise into the air rather than hovering.

    System: The player rolls willpower against a difficulty of 6. The degree of effect is dependant on the sucesses gained.

            No of sucesses                          Effect
                    1                       Simple hovering is possible. The
                                            Kindred may either float, or behave
                                            as normal.
                    2                       Subtle changes in weight are possible
                                            for users of this discipline, as long
                                            as they lessen the Kindred's true 
                                            weight.
                                            At this many sucesses, they may null
                                            thier entire weight, and kick off from
                                            an object to move around.
                    3+                      In addition to the above effects, the
                                            vampire may also ride slowly, as the
                                            air itself lifts them. The rate of 
                                            speed at which they may rise is dep.
                                            on the number of sucesses. 3 sucesses
                                            allows a speed of 5 feet per turn, 
                                            plus 5 feet per turn for every  
                                            additional sucess.
    

    *** Calling of the Heavens

    Upon achieving this level of the Way of Air, the Cainite may use it to take to the air in any direction that they wish. They are supported by the air itself, and may guide their direction and speed by force of will.

    System: The player makes a willpower roll. Sucess indicates they have achieved flight, the number of sucesses determines their maximum speed (10 feet per turn, per sucess).

    **** Become the Breath

    This ability is extremely similar to that of the Protean ability of earthmeld, except that it allows the user to meld with the very air itself. The Kindred is not visible, and cannot be damaged or sensed in any way. Neither may they take any action themselves. They may sense very dimly anything which occurs in their area.

    System: The use of this discipline is extremely difficult, even to those who have progressed this far in the Way of Air. In addition to spending a bloodpoint to enter or exit the melded state, they must also spend a WP point to enter the state.

    ***** Call the Gale

    ****** Summon Air Elemental

    [The remaining Way's have not been detailed, as they haven't come into play yet. These are the current ideas for them as it stands.]

  3. *** Way of Water

    Path of Neptune / Gaerini

  4. **** Way of Fire

    * Fire Sense

    ** Maniupulate Fire

    *** Create Fire

    **** Multitude forms

    ***** Summmon Fire Elemental

  5. Way of Shadows

    Obtenebration or the Path of Shadows someone was working on

  6. Way of Light

    [The snippet on the "True Brujah" from CB: Brujah inspired the following Way... perhaps the "female Cainite" talked about was Brujah herself.]

  7. Way of Time

    * Sense the Flowing Sands

    ** Glance the morning flow

    *** Past Life

    **** Stutter the Flow

    ***** Loop the Flow

  8. Way of Spirit

    Tellurian thingie from CbN2?