No other clan has earned such a deserved reputation for diablerie(cannibalism among vampires). They also sell their murderous services to other Kindred, acting as contract killers. According to the Assamites own teachings, they drink the blood of other Kindred on the command of their founder, in an attempt to purify their own taint. So dreaded were the Assamites that, during the nights of clan wars, the Tremere cursed them, making them unable to drink the blood of other Kindred. However, the Assamites have recently thrown off this curse, and so they hunt other Kindred for their blood once more. Kindred who regularly deal with this clan have noticed an increased bloodthirstiness on the part of the Assamites, as well as a disregard for their former codes of honor.
Once philosopher kings of Mesopotamia, Persia and Babylon, they controlled an empire that spanned from the cradle of civilization to northern Africa, and collected lore and knowledge from around the world. In their pursuit of freedom, however, they killed their founder and were cast out. They have since suffered inescapable decline. Now they are perceived as little more than spoiled childer who have no sense of pride or history. The clan as a whole resents the Elders, and are firebrands and agitators, testing the Traditions and rebelling in the name of whatever causes they hold dear. Many Brujah are outright anarchs, defying authority and serving no Prince.
The night-prowling Gangrel are feral vampires and posses disturbing animalistic tendencies. Rarely staying in one place, Gangrel are nomadic wanderers, satisfied only when running alone under the night sky. Their founder is whispered to have been a barbarian, unlike other clan progenitors, and for this reason, Gangrel often Embrace outsiders. Distant, aloof and savage, Gangrel are often tragic individuals, though many hate the cities' crowds and constrictions, the presence of hostile werewolves prevents most Gangrels from living outside their confines. Some members of the clan Gangrel think that independence would be better than their nominal involvement with the Prince, and their continued membership in loyalty to the Princes is uncertain.
Clan Giovanni is a clan of financiers and necromancers. Trafficking in the commodity of souls has given this clan a disproportionate amount of power, while trafficking in world finance has given them almost sickening wealth. Other Kindred are loath to trust the mercenary Giovanni, who seem to be using their influence toward some unknown end. Part of their unhealthy reputation stems from the fact that it is a very insular clan, drawing almost all its members from its incestuous mortal family. Further damaging their reputation is the pervasive rumor that its members usurped their vampiric status from the vampire who originally Embraced them. Soon after becoming a vampire, the Giovanni clan leader destroyed his sire and the bloodline, creating the clan in his own image.
Masters of darkness and shadow, and possess a knack for leadership as keen as that of Clan Ventrue. Indeed, many see the Ventrue and Lasombra as twisted reflections of one another. Once, the Lasombra were nobles, but the chaos of Kindred history and the formation of the Sabbat have caused most of them to turn their backs upon their origins. Now,they give themselves wholly over to the damnation of being vampires. The Sabbat has affected this clan as profoundly as the Lasombra have affected the Sabbat, and without the rulership of these fallen aristocrats, the Sabbat would likely disintegrate.
This clan has suffered throughout history, and continues to do so to this night. Every member of this clan is afflicted with madness, and all are slaves to their debilitating lunacy. The Malkavian founder is rumored to have been one of the most important vampires of old, but in committing some grievous crime, was cursed, as were his descendants, with insanity. Throughout history, Malkavians have been alternately feared for their bizarre behavior and sought out for their even more bizarre insight. Those who have regular dealings with this clan report that they are more morbidly unstable than ever, spreading madness in their wake like a contagious disease. Though they have historically been fragmented and disorganized, recent migratory waves and inexplicable gatherings have many elders questioning-and fearing- the possible future of the lunatic clan.
The members of clan Nosferatu suffer the most visible curse of all. The Embrace hideously deforms them, twisting them into literal monsters. Legends say the Nosferatu were blighted as punishment for their founder's degeneracy and his childer's wicked behaviour, but in the modern nights, Nosferatu is known for levelheadedness and calm in the face of adversity. Nosferatu have reputations as information brokers and harvesters of secrets, as their horrid appearances have forced them to perfect their mystical ability to hide, sometimes in plain sight. At present, the clan claims that it has distanced itself from its founder and no longer serves him. Some Kindred whisper that the clan is on terrible terms with its progenitor, and that he actively seeks their destruction.
Descendants of the gypsy Rom and their forebears in India, the Ravnos vampires lead nomadic unlives. Like the gypsies of history, the Ravnos are spurned due to their reputations as thieves and vagrants. Many Princes persecute the Ravnos because of the chaos that follows them. The Ravnos return their scorn manyfold, holding them in equal contempt. The Ravnos are also known for their ability to create amazing illusions, the better with which to trick their marks. Recently the movements of the Ravnos have become even more erratic than usual;whispers have begun to circulate among other clans that ancients of the clan have risen to direct their youngling's games.
Originally hailing from Egypt, the serpentine Setites are said to worship the undead vampire-deity Set, serving him in all their efforts. The Setites seem intent on 'corrupting' others, enslaving victims in snares of their own weakness, but for what inscrutable purpose, none can guess. Other Kindred despise the Followers of Set, and the clan claims no allies. Nonetheless,many vampires seek out the Setites, as the clan is whispered to possess arcane gifts and secrets from elder nights. Inevitably, sin and debasement follow in their wake, and many princes refuse to allow them in their cities. Some sinister purpose unites the Followers of Set, and they are one of the few clans rumored to have constant contact with their founder. Many Kindred rightly fear these fork-tongued vampires, for their very presence is often enough to set a Kindred down the road to ruin.
Prodigals of the Kindred, this clan indulges in excess and degeneracy, all while claiming to preserve patronage of the arts. To a great degree, this patronage is true, as the clan claims many talented artists, musicians, writers, poets and other gifted creators. On the other hand, the clan possesses just as many 'poseurs', those who fancy themselves great aesthetes but lack the ability to create it at all. According to legend, Toreador support of the arts dates back to the clan founder's Embrace of a pair of twins. The twins pursued unlives of beauty and indolence while their sire, Arikel, doted on them, protecting them from the ravages of plague, famine and parricide that swallowed the city. Further, darker rumors circulate that one of the twins eventually grew depraved in her immortality and slew her brother and sire. Clan Toreador vehemently denies this, and those who bring up the subject suffer the clan's wrath.
No clan is so shrouded in deliberate mystery as the Tremere. The inventors and practitioners of terrible blood magicks, the secretive Tremere have a tightly knit political structure based on the acquisition of power, as well as a fanatical clan loyalty, practically unknown to any other clan. Because of the veil of secrecy that surrounds the clan, disturbing stories have surfaced as to the nature of their vampirism. Some Kindred claim that the Tremere are not really vampires at all, but rather mortal wizards that cursed themselves for eternity while studying the secret of immortality. One of the most rampant rumors, spread by a gypsy visitor to their chantry house in Vienna, is that the clan founder, Tremere himself, is undergoing a horrid metamorphosis into *something* else. Clan Tremere is silent on the matter, and looks askance upon those who would presume to know it's secrets.
Formerly the tyrants of Eastern Europe, this clan has been uprooted from their Old Country manses and relocated into the clutches of the Sabbat. Possessed of a peculiar nobility, coupled with an evil that transcends mortal perception, this clan leads the Sabbat in its rejection of all things human. Certain Kindred apocrypha claims that the Tzimisce was once the most powerful clan in the world, but that history and other Kindred conspired to bring it down to its current state. Moreso than any other vampires, they revel in their monstrousness. they practice a 'fleshcrafting' Discipline that they use to disfigure their foes and sculpt themselves into beings of terrible beauty.
Nominal leaders, they claim to have created and have supported the organization of vampires as a whole since the idea's inception. The clan suspects that its founder was slain by a member of the Brujah clan, which is a great blow to its members pride. In any event, the clan almost certifiably has no founder any longer, and has thereby achieved untold independence from its elders. Nonetheless, Ventrue actively involve themselves in every aspect of vampiric society, in which they exercise their considerable influence over the doings of humans as well. Much curiosity exists among the Kindred as to the inner workings of this well-organized clan, as rumors of dark mysteries and slumbering ancients sometimes slip out from under the Ventrue's austere facade.