Happy New Year, everyone! Blood and Smoke came out last month, and the reception has been amazing. Thank you to all of you who bought the book, and especially to those of you who assisted in the open development process.
Since Blood and Smoke didn’t include any bloodlines for space reasons, writer David Hill and I decided to post one here. We also thought we’d take the opportunity to experiment a little with what a bloodline can be and how bloodline-specific powers work. Let us know what you think.
by David Hill
The Neglatu rise alone from the dead. Unlike most Kindred, they do not wake to a sire’s welcome. As result, they never accept a moment alone. They surround themselves with other Damned corpses. They create entire nests of revenants to keep them company, and to defend them from those Kindred intolerant of “reckless” Embraces.
Many Neglatu go through their Requiems never knowing the truth of the Embrace; they believe revenant awakening is the only way to create vampires. The revenant Embrace is natural to the Neglatu, so much so that they usually continue to eschew Kindred tradition even once “educated”.
Background: The Neglatu are an unusual line. Usually, bloodlines extend outward along family lines, with occasional infusions of adoptees. Neglatu aren’t even members of a single clan. They’re more a phenomenon. Their story, spread by their few elders and Kindred scholars who study the abnormal, says that they evolved out of a roving swarm of revenants in the cradle of civilization. To hear the Neglatu elders tell it, these revenants were the first vampires. A few of this rabble of unruly dead rose to the top and became full Kindred.
The elders say the Neglatu uplifted themselves. Other, more conventional Kindred believe that they destroyed or fled the vampire that uplifted them. The cynical (and the All Night Society has plenty of those) say that they found a powerful vampire, overwhelmed him as a swarm, and committed Amaranth to uplift themselves.
Over the centuries, Neglatu nests have appeared across the world. Their would-be Kindred never know where they came from. Typically, this leads to similar creation myths for the local broods. In New York, for example, nobody knows where the Neglatu came from, but they’ve known to avoid the subway systems from the night they opened. Their oldest tell of an ancient vampire unearthed in the construction, whose caustic blood both killed and resurrected many of the construction workers. These monsters became the local Neglatu.
Neglatu spread. Eventually, revenant broods grow too large for comfort. A city’s progenitor uplifts her favorite revenant, and sends the new Neglatu out with a fraction of the brood to seed a new branch of the improvised family.
The Becoming: Most Neglatu induct new members when they uplift them from revenant status. To the Neglatu, uplifting does not make a revenant Kindred, it makes her Neglatu. Often, a bloodline member will uplift the most favored of his brood of revenants, in order to expand and branch out. Some of the most ancient Neglatu keep enormous networks of lesser Neglatu and their own broods. These networks make excellent scapegoats and targets for the “legitimate” Kindred of a city.
Requirements: Neglatu must begin their Requiems as revenants. Being uplifted into the line doesn’t have a clan requirement. However, an Avus inducting a former revenant who has already been uplifted must share clan blood with the new family member.
In the Danse Macabre: Many Neglatu maintain only loose ties with their more numerous Kindred. They’ll negotiate territories and assert their right to the revenant Embrace, but otherwise ignore the Danse Macabre. Others jump headlong into Kindred society, simply claiming their broods as childer, without drawing the distinction of their revenant status. They’re often able to maintain this masquerade within a masquerade, as Neglatu revenants have advantages that make them harder to spot than an ordinary revenant.
Bloodline Bane: Neglatu maintain their parent clan banes. Additionally, Neglatu cannot employ the blood bond; they must maintain loyalty through other means.
The Neglatu gift is the Agah, the “crown.”
When a Neglatu kills a mortal she’s fed from, subtract her Blood Potency from her Humanity when determining if the victim rises a revenant.
A Neglatu does not lose Humanity when uplifting a revenant, so long as she inducts the uplifted revenant into the bloodline.
A Neglatu’s revenants do not suffer the full effects of the hunger that normally curses their kind. A revenant that sleeps within arm’s reach of her Neglatu creator does not lose all her Vitae while she sleeps. Instead, her Vitae only evacuates down to the Neglatu’s Blood Potency dots. So, a Blood Potency 3 Neglatu’s brood awakens each night with three Vitae, or whatever they went to sleep with, whichever is lower. As with all vampires, they pay one Vitae to rise each night.
- A Neglatu can grant benefits to her revenant brood. By spending one Vitae, she can divide her Blood Potency however she wishes among any number of revenants. The revenants gain that amount as a bonus on all physical or perception-based rolls. This bonus lasts for the rest of the night.