Belial’s Brood [Night Horrors: Spilled Blood]

Vampire: The Requiem

Hello Requiem readers! This time I’ve got a little preview of the Belial’s Brood from Spilled Blood. Before we get into that, I want to take a moment to talk about what Spilled Blood is. First, it’s a Night Horrors book. This means that it is full of antagonists to use both in your Requiem games, and other Chronicles of Darkness games. It’s also a way for me to introduce some new 2e bloodlines, especially utilizing something that we haven’t done before, which is bloodlines that share something other than clan. There are a few words in the introduction about that specifically, but I hope to also put more detail into an upcoming bloodlines book that will explain how such things come about. But expect to see some covenant specific bloodlines in this book.

The book is broken into three chapters: antagonistic bloodlines, vampire antagonists, and non-vampire or vampire-adjacent antagonists. So instead of having a book completely themed for vampire or non-vampire antagonists, we have a mix of all types in this book. Hopefully, you’ll find something to terrorize your players with in these pages.

With that, have a small preview of the vampire antagonists, the Belial’s Brood.

Our practices

Members of Belial’s Brood can think, reason, and decide a course of action. They can cover their tracks, blend in with society, and uphold the Masquerade when they have to, because all Claimed have a talent for survival. Most often, this is expressed through the Bestial Triad: through destroying threats, through instant gratification, and through control and dominance. In this regard, most Brood practice some form of diablerie as Amaranth remains the ultimate expression of dominance between Kindred. Many Brood adhere to the notion of survival-of-the-fittest and devour the souls of weaker Kindred as mercy killings.

Very few Kindred actively seek to become Claimed, but many are drawn to them by circumstance. As a Kindred experiences loss, violence, or trauma, and as they slide further down the bestial rabbit hole — losing more and more of their humanity — many find reasons and means to expedite the process. Many choose to end their lives before becoming draugr. Others, believing that redemption is impossible but not wanting to exist as draugr, actively chase the legends and philosophies of the Brood in a desperate attempt to survive with their psyche intact. The Beast roars in their ears, yearning for freedom, until one day the Kindred gives in and the draugr is unleashed. All Brood were once draugr, but not all draugr become Brood. Most don’t, in fact. Only when a powerful enough Beast takes hold of the conscious, does the draugr evolve in a process the Brood call the Claiming.

There is some debate within Kindred society if the Claiming is a forced process or an emerging evolutionary step within all Kindred. For many, this is a terrifying prospect because it suggests that the beast can take over even the most noble and pious of Kindred. And for those who believe Belial still exists, it means that a single voice can corrupt Kindred society. Those who adhere to the latter suggest that Belial, whatever their gender or origin, is forcing a dark vision and twisted philosophy upon the most vulnerable within Kindred society.

Beyond the Claiming, Brood do not often attempt to embrace another because when they do the results are always disastrous. The Brood embraces either fail or result in mindless draugr. Indeed, Invictus sires tell their childer of what occurred during the nights of the Camarilla wherein Belial, the First Brood, attempted to embrace an army of ghouls only to accidentally create an army of draugr.

Those who seek to become Claimed follow a dangerous path. This path becomes even more treacherous once the Claiming is successful, as all of Kindred society universally despises the Brood. The Brood claim this hate comes from those who fear what they do not understand. Nevertheless, they do what they must to survive and sometimes congregate with others of like mind. These groups are called clutches. An Apex commands each clutch. Apexes usually have the highest Blood Potency, and they have proven their ability to both kill as well as command. While there are no formal customs or codified written laws that govern Claimed society, all follow three very simple precepts:

  • Bow to the Strong. Whenever two Brood disagree over important courses of action, a retelling of events, or even petty things like who gets to ride shotgun, the weaker acquiesces to the stronger.
  • Respect the Challenge. Any Brood may challenge an Apex for leadership of the Clutch. That challenge cannot be ignored. Challenges are always to the death once declared. The only requirement being that no one beyond the two challengers can be involved, assist, or otherwise affect the outcome. Not only is outside tampering easily discovered through the language of the beast, any attempt to rig the challenge by someone not involved directly is foolish when strength is what ensures survival. As a result, when the discover the saboteur, they are hunted.
  • Honor the Hunt. Mortals are too easy of a challenge, and thus, Kindred, or their own people, make standard targets for Brood hunts. Because of their primal desire to hunt and kill, no Brood can refuse a call to hunt.

Nicknames: The Brood, the Claimed, the Worthless (derogatory)

  12 comments for “Belial’s Brood [Night Horrors: Spilled Blood]

  1. Iceblade44
    November 20, 2018 at 9:44 am

    Very awesome preview. This definitely is hype. Cant wait to see more

  2. Iceblade44
    November 20, 2018 at 10:15 am

    Also would the Covenant Bloodlines will be for any clan or is it just Clan Bloodlines just in one Covenant like it was in 1e. Personally I’d prefer the former

  3. YOLF
    November 20, 2018 at 1:12 pm

    Oh snap, they’re /evolved Draugr/ now?

    I have to say, this short preview and the implications thereof contextualize the Brood in a *much* more interesting way than 1e, where they felt a little over the edge without much purpose, for their relative bigness.

  4. J Foster
    November 20, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    While I think this is a great idea, I would only ask we not use words/terms from other game lines? Unless they’re actually Claimed, but Apex is definitely a bit confusing for Beast players.

    • Iceblade44
      November 20, 2018 at 5:02 pm

      That’s is pretty much a problem with CofD in general sadly. Lots of converging words. All of the place. If can be tiring

      • FluxTangent
        November 21, 2018 at 7:17 pm

        I’m actually a big fan of the overlap. Not only does it add to the underlying chaos that I like to think (and run as) overlaying the supernatural world, but it makes an amount of sense in-universe: it’s not like the general populations of the various splats know a lot about each other, so it’s pretty inevitable that there would be some overlap when it comes to naming things.

        Apex seems like a perfect fit for both Beasts and Belial’s Brood, and I don’t think either of those groups are the types to go “oh shit, that was taken, uhhhhh”.

        I don’t know if it’s the dev’s intent to have some in-universe overlapping phrases and names, but I sure do like the hell out of it. I’ve also never had an issue with it in my group (except for in-character confusion, which is delicious), but I accept that might not be the case elsewhere.

    • Ian A. A. Watson
      November 23, 2018 at 8:13 am

      “Beast” was already used in Vampire and Changeling before it was used in Beast: The Primordial. “Descent” was both in Mummy and in Demon. There are a lot of overlapping terms across the game lines.

      Sometimes we pick what we feel is the best term for something, and that term’s already in use in another line. As long as it’s distinct within a given game line, it doesn’t bother us too much.

  5. Shachar Gold
    November 20, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    Just to make sure- is Spilled Blood still going to feature Lost Clans? That was one of the things I was the most excited about when I heard about the book, and I just want to make sure it is still a thing.

    Anyway, a very interesting take about the Brood, pretty different from their 1e presentation. How different are the Claimed from vampires who did not went the long way to Hell and somehow returned? Is there still an element of devil worship/satanism to the Brood as whole, or the covenant is too scattered to have any defining feature beyond the Claiming?

  6. Falco
    November 20, 2018 at 8:03 pm

    So, they’ve lost all infernal connections, now? I don’t know how I feel about this.

    • FluxTangent
      November 21, 2018 at 5:04 am

      I could see there being a sidebar about their Infernal connections, or it being rumored that the Beast has been supplanted/corrupted by something Infernal.

  7. DubiousRuffian
    November 21, 2018 at 1:29 am

    This looks great. I really enjoyed Guide to the Night and felt that the only only thing it was missing was an expansion of the default setting — it sounds like Spilled Blood will fill that niche well.

  8. Mosli
    November 22, 2018 at 4:30 am

    This looks really promising. I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Please hurry 🙂

    I am extremely impressed with the 2nd ed. core book and the supplements so far and this does not look to disappoint. Anything that expands on ideas and concepts and places it in a story context is awesome.

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