Independents

The Independents

"The Lost Children"

Strongholds:

Alamut (Assamites), Cairo (Followers of Set), Venice (Giovanni), Kolkata (Ravnos)

Description:

Over the past few centuries, the fatal dance between the Camarilla and the Sabbat has changed vampire society. Their bloody Jyhad has shaped the secret history of the world, destroying millions of mortal lives in the process. However, there are some Clans who witness both Sects tear at each other’s throats in the name of their ancient feud and decide that they would prefer to watch from the sidelines.

These four lineages can claim their place as proper Clans, but share a strong disinterest in getting involved in the war between the Camarilla and the Sabbat. Granted, individual members of these Clans (usually younger Kindred) show up in the ranks of both Sects from time to time, but the elders of the independent Clans have their own goals in mind, goals that would conflict with allegiance or loyalty to a Sect.

Of course, independent Kindred are vampires first and Clan members second; they don’t all possess mindless, unwavering devotion to the ideals of their Clan. Most of them focus on their personal goals first, whether or not they coincide with their Clan’s goals. This has the side-benefit of confusing outside Kindred even more, since it’s never clear whether a particular independent will act with their Clan’s interests in mind, their personal interests, or some hybrid of the two. (She may even pretend to serve one set of interests while secretly serving another). Individual independents are always wildcards, with no set of laws or politics forcing them into a clear, defined path.

At least, that’s the outside perspective.

It’s believed that the elders of the independent Clans are active in greater numbers than those that dominate the Sects. One Clan has an Antediluvian that has been actively assisting their goals for centuries. Another seems to benefit from murdering other Kindred. The terrifying Methuselahs of a third are rumored to be waking and possibly organizing their childer for some terrible purpose. As for the fourth….

Regardless of the rumors, the independents continue as if nothing is wrong, working with and against their Clans in the same measure as any Sect vampire. If they are indeed the pawns of their ancient masters, they act as if they are ignorant of it.

The Clans

The independent Clans have almost nothing in common except their unwillingness to join a Sect en masse. Each Clan has a different role in the Jyhad, and each pursues its own goals. Standing apart even from each other, they keep their own laws outside of those of the Sects.

The Assamites:
The Assamites (who call themselves the Children of Haqim) are a Clan of murderous vampires. For many years they acted as independent assassins, contracted by the Sects (or anyone who gave them blood) to murder targets. Of all the independents, the Assamites are the most feared, both for their role as assassins and the rumors of their thirst for the blood of elders.

Although they have traditionally acted as mercenary assassins, in the modern nights some of the Children of Haqim question whether an allegiance with one of the Sects might not be more beneficial for them. Ultimately, however, most Assamites follow the will and the orders of Alamut, their ancestral stronghold, as well as their own internal laws, known collectively as the Laws of Haqim. The most loyal of the Assamites believe that other vampires are a plague that needs to be exterminated, while others claim that individual Kindred need to be judged (and perhaps killed) based on their own sins, not merely because they are vampires.

The Followers of Set:
The Followers of Set have different reasons for refusing to join a Sect. They consider themselves to be part of something much older than either the Camarilla or the Sabbat, and dismiss the idea that goals established since antiquity should be cast aside merely because some vampires started calling themselves by a new name a few centuries ago. They claim that their faith dates back to the very start of civilization, and that this ancient trust is far more important than politics.

That doesn’t mean that the Setites aren’t above playing the mercenary between the Sects. Their Clan lives and worships in secret places, and this gives them access to dark favors and a wealth of knowledge that they can offer to any vampire willing to pay the right price. Many Kindred know the trap that dealing with the Setites entails, and yet time and again Cainites come to them, each time swearing that it will be the last. Each favor traded or addiction fulfilled brings the Setites one step closer to their ultimate goal: the resurrection of Set himself.

The Giovanni:
The Giovanni are a Clan in multiple senses — not only do they share common vampiric blood, but most of their new Embraces come from the mortal descendants of other Clan members as well. The Necromancers are known to pursue two goals — learning the secrets of the dead and acquiring mortal power and wealth — both of which help their Clan as a whole. Only a few trusted elders know that their founder, Augustus Giovanni, seeks to use the knowledge and power of the Clan to destroy the Shroud that separates the realm of the dead from this world.

As such, the Giovanni don’t have any need for Sects. They survived the past several centuries all on their own; they don’t need protection from the mortals through any flimsy Masquerade. They have their own family to act as allies, resources, and internal enforcement, so they don’t need help. What can membership in a Sect give to them that they can’t already get through deals, trading, and occasional espionage? They have a Promise that keeps them from interfering in the affairs of the Camarilla (and vice versa), but overall the Giovanni are extremely self-sufficient and stand totally outside the authority of the Sects. That, combined with their mastery of Necromancy, makes many vampires very, very nervous.

The Ravnos:
The Ravnos are masters of illusion, compelled by their blood to indulge in vice. Their primary allegiance is to themselves, though some consider their Clan to be almost as important. Compared to the other independent Clans they are very loosely organized: partially due to their diaspora all over the world, and partially due to a very un-vampire like wanderlust that pervades the Ravnos. They travel to Camarilla and Sabbat cities alike, where most Princes and Archbishops have learned that it is better to let them pass through than to deal with the headaches that come from trying to prevent them from entering.

As such, the Ravnos are completely indifferent to the politics of the Sects, or indeed to politics of any kind. Many outside observers consider the Ravnos to be too chaotic to have a meaningful impact on the Jyhad as a whole – and the Ravnos nod their heads and continue doing what they want. The Clan believes that one day their Clan founder will awaken and destroy all of the other Antediluvians. Until that day, they wander without allegiance, and see no reason to change.

The View from Without

  • The Camarilla: They are clearly up to something. A trickle of these “independent” Kindred end up joining the Ivory Tower, but too many more do as they will, with no laws or society to contain them. They cannot stand up to us on their own, but they are powerful enough to shift the balance of things.
  • The Sabbat: These Clans claim that they’re free? Bullshit. They’re just as much the puppets of the Antediluvians as the Camarilla. No point trying to kill a Giovanni in his mansion or a Setite in his temple, but when the world ends, they’ll fall just like everyone else.
  • The Anarchs: These guys get it. They can stand outside the Jyhad, make their own plans, and people listen. That’s freedom, man. Too bad I can’t trust any of these fuckers as far as I could throw them.
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License