Our Setting
Kindred Lore

• Level 1

This level covers basic facts about vampiric physiology and weaknesses, and gives you basic information on their political and blood structure, such as clans and sects. Read below for a general idea of how much knowledge your character has.

Vampires exist in great numbers across the globe, and have formed into various divisions and societies. The sect known as the Camarilla remain in secret by maintaining a Masquerade in which no evidence of vampires or strange occult phenomenon is allowed to become public. Vampires claim to have existed since the dawn of civilization.

Vampires are divided into three major sects: the Camarilla, which values order and government, the Anarchs who value freedom, and the Sabbat who are obsessed with destroying the other two sects. Vampires are destroyed by sunlight and fire, and are paralyzed by a stake through the heart. Decapitation also kills them, and massive amounts of any damage sends them into a "coma" called torpor.

In addition to the sects, the vampires are divided into 13 different clans, each with their own customs and each having access to varying disciplines or powers. You are not sure of the powers of any clans other than your own, besides some generic rumors and stereotypes. Tremere are mages, and Gangrel live in the country and commune with animals. The details of these interactions and stereotypes are not known however. Vampires are also divided by age – elders to ancillae to neonates.

Elders prefer to interact with neonates via intermediaries and power structures. Diablerie, an act which allows a younger vampire to steal the power of an elder one, makes the elders fear those of lesser age. Elders are often said to have powers far beyond that of any younger vampire.

•• Level 2

This is the level of an educated neonate who has looked into the matters of Kindred and their past. Most ancillae who are not especially active in the politics of the Jyhad also know this much.

You know the sects of vampires have only existed since the Middle Ages or Renaissance. Before that, Kindred relations were less complicated and more straightforward, often resulting in the outright domination of younger vampires by the elders. A rebellion of the younger vampires led to the division of the vampire society that currently exists. Clans have existed for much longer.

You know a great deal more about the ways and dealings of the thirteen clans of vampires, and have more details on their manners and customs, though nothing near the knowledge of an actual clan member. In addition to the clans, several miniature groupings outside of the Clans exists, called bloodlines. You have heard of their existence, but other knowledge remains hazy and rumors at best. You also know of the eight common disciplines between all clans, and the details of their abilities.

You have learned that the elder vampires, perhaps for sinister designs or perhaps just to reduce boredom, play a constant game of political chess with each other, vying for influence and power. This game, called the Jyhad, often involves the manipulation of entire clans, cities or coteries against their foes. As is their way, the elders prefer to influence such matters in a subtle indirect manner rather than handing out orders directly. You also know of that some vampire elders deliberately abstain from this game and isolate themselves.

The Inquisition, a society of hunters, holds vampires, especially elders, in fear. The Inquisition is a driving force behind maintaining the Masquerade, and they were particularly effective in killing vampires during the Middle Ages when they had the full backing of the Catholic Church.

You have heard some legends about Caine and have heard that many of his most ancient childer may survive in slumber. These childer are called the Antediluvians – whether the term refers to an actual flood or simply their great age escapes you – and you know they are supposedly the head or at least source of each of the thirteen clans.

••• Level 3

The most scholarly neonates and the ancillae who find themselves as intermediaries in the Jyhad are at this level. It is in fact rare to find any neonate who has learned beyond this level of Lore.

You have learned the details of the Anarch Rebellion as a reaction to the abuse of the younger vampires during the Inquisition, as the elders sought to protect themselves by sacrificing their childer. You know the details of the Convention of Thorns, and the hard-liners who went on to form the Sabbat. You also know that further back in history, vampires were active in ancient civilizations and exerted some control over them, such as Rome and Babylon.

You also have an excellent idea of the global political situation of vampires, such as the Sabbat occupation of New York or the events that led up the Anarch Free States of the western United States. You know more about the foes of the vampires as well. You know of the Inquisition's power to wield the sword of faith, and the sparsest details of the Lupines – their ability to switch into great battle forms and use powers on par with vampiric disciplines.

You know a short mythology of each of the Thirteen Clans, though details are vague or lacking. You also know that many clans have disciplines that are unique to that clan, and the details of those disciplines. You have learned more about the bloodlines, able to identify the names of many though few details on history are available. You know about the demonic nature of the Salubri, the madness induced by the Daughters of Cacophony and so on.

You have learned that as elders grow older, they begin to thirst for vampiric instead of human blood. The texts however insist such elders often fall into long slumbers only to awake once per century. You've also heard rumors that the Jyhad is directly orchestrated or influenced by the Antediluvians or their direct childer.

You have heard many legends about Caine by this point, and know of the existence of his "bible", the Book of Nod. Writings you have stumbled upon may have even quoted small parts of the Book. You know of the legends of the First City and the Flood.

•••• Level 4

This is the knowledge level of most ancient vampires – having been witness to or talked to those who had been witness to many events and secrets.

You know the ancient history of vampires all the way back to the ancient empires – from the founding of Rome, Athens and Babylon. You have learned the basic facts about such hot spots as Carthage and Vienna. You have also touched upon many of the secrets of the vampire clans – the Tremere's sudden appearance in the Middle Ages and the consistent cohesive workings of the Malkavians.

You know the history of the Thirteen Clans in the short form, and are able to separate the fiction from the facts more than most. You know the Antediluvians are part of the Jyhad, and can identify certain disinformation for what it is, such as the lies about the Salubri clan.

You know that there are many elders who have already reached the point of consuming vampire blood. You are at the edge of realizing the doom implied by the Antediluvian's slumber and their possible awakening. You are able to quote certain parts of the Book of Nod and have at least read a fragment or two of it.

••••• Level 5

Only the true scholars amongst Kindred know this much – and they wish they did not.

You know enough about the nature of the vampires to get yourself killed – and want yourself dead. Most of the darker secrets and special divisions within the clans are known to you. You know of the Tremere's former place as mages and their past diablerie – as well as their relation to the Salubri. You know about Tzimisce Kolduns, the theology of the Assamites and the nature of Vicissitude. You have all but confirmed the existence of the most esoteric of bloodlines, such as the True Brujah.

You have also come to realize the dark fate of vampires and the true implications of the Antediluvian's rising in the final nights. You can recite most of the Book of Nod and know of Caine's doom-saying to his childer and their childer.

You have come to realize that almost all the machinations and dealings of the elders towards the neonate exists for the purpose of insuring the elders a food supply when their hunger moves to a desire for Kindred blood. And those machinations that do not serve that purpose often serve a darker one.

At this level of knowledge, you are scared for your life. You realize that in the modern nights, danger does lurk behind every corner for Kindred and often kine. You find yourself scared of your own shadow because you know how many things could be in that shadow, or perhaps looking through it.

Most Kindred who reach this level of knowledge either ignore the implications of what they know and focus on other pursuits – or slowly descend into utter paranoia.