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    The Wendigo: A Nosferatu and Gangrel Bloodline for New Oskana

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    The Wendigo: A Nosferatu and Gangrel Bloodline for New Oskana

    Post  Admin on Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:32 pm

    The Wendigo

    A Nosferatu and Gangrel Bloodline for New Oskana

    While the tales vary, stories of possessed and cursed people, hungering for the flesh of their people, howling in the cold are frequent among the First Nations of North America. Descriptions vary as do many bogeymen of legend with retelling; however when one hears about flesh-hungry beings, all vicious teeth and chilled flesh, with great lambent yellow owls-eyes and missing portions of their feet and facial features, one is likely talking about a particular kind of Nosferatu.

    It is said anyone who grows starved in the colder reaches may be possessed by the spirit of the Wendigo; it may well be that these tales at least partially allude to these horrifying Nosferatu’s chosen victims to bolster their ranks. The last survivors of famine and starvation, the strongest who’d take that foul last step to eat their own. Or perhaps these poor souls are possessed by things from the darker reaches, transfigured into Wendigo vampires. Likely it is a mix of both given the supernatural phenomenon of Wendigo possession.

    The Wendigo are only known within Canada and the northern United States; if they had spread further south or overseas, it is unknown. They are a long-standing and old bloodline; feared greatly for their prowess and hunger for flesh alike. To outsiders they are more myth and legend; to those who’ve encountered them, a horrifying reality in the colder reaches of the New World.

    The truth of the Wendigo is that they some are chosen by shadowy, horrible things at death or on the verge of it while starving, made into particularly wretched yet terrifying monsters. Others are chosen by the Wendigo vampires themselves. To those more aware of the tales and having encountered the Wendigo, the whisper of ‘Strix’ is not uncommon in certain more erudite Kindred circles, which lends credence to the tales that some do come up hungry after death without any known sire.

    They’re an old line, one that stretches so far back that no singular ‘sire’ has been confirmed. The Wendigo just refer to it as “the first” or “the Hungry One”; among their lot, few are certain that there even is a singular ancestor for their line. While most common among the Nosferatu of North America, it has also shown up among it’s Gangrel; this may lend credence to the idea that it had no singular inceptor, or that it has since “spread” like a supernatural disease to other Kindred. Most acknowledge their horrible natures to be just another supernatural phenomenon of North America’s cold north; the land is hungry, the winters are hungry, and they, as cold and hungry undead reflect it’s vicious nature more thoroughly than most vampires out there.

    Among those that kept oral traditions alive and strange occult pictograms on preserved hides of dubious origins… the truth may be somewhat more clear. Tales of obscene rituals, of things summoned up from the dark, of dead men walking because of horrible spirits, Wendigo taking them over in life and then again after death. Of shamans forcing snow and ice down the throats of others until their hearts grew cold, and their bellies burning with a ceaseless hunger. To them, they see their hungers as due to a possessing thing; perhaps it’s remains after being cast out or consumed by the Wendigo vampires themselves.

    Some believe they may have stemmed from human Wendigo sufferers; preyed upon by vampires until the vampires took on the spiritual taint, the Wendigo itself and curse upon themselves. Regardless of the specifics, the more erudite of them and outsiders always point to foul rites and possession. Some point to something of a contagious, supernatural curse, a kind of leap-frogging possession, but among the more scholarly these are believed to be one in the same, and no few wonder if the Wendigo bloodline itself isn’t actually contagious itself; perhaps dormant in their undead bodies and waiting for some catalyst to spread once again.

    Among the newcomers from Europe, assumptions of Strix possession in some way may well be true; the Wendigo were hunted by other vampires for reasons above and beyond the horror they inflicted or how noteworthy their attacks could be on the herd, taxing the Masquerade at times in domains unused to contending with flesh eaters. For the European vampires seeking to colonize the New World, they were targeted for fear of the Strix and in some domains when certain tales of them surfaced as much as they were a convenient reason to attempt to marginalize and extinguish the pre-existing vampire populace.

    They were often hunted, but the Wendigo are survivors; often the last to survive times of great famine and cold when mortal among the old ones of their line, and in turn they were not easily put down. They were used as examples of the degeneracy of the native vampires, an example of fear motivating even the undead. The Wendigo were used to this; in areas where they had little power it was expected that they were going to get hunted, and so they made great and powerful societies and accords with other native undead. When it came to uniformed newcomers trying to stalk the lands they knew for centuries and longer, it was just one more small test of their mettle, culling the weakest among them, sending some societies into hiding or extinction, but otherwise leaving the strongest behind.

    They survived; long held secret societies of cannibals keeping the hidden among the newcomers and unknown in many circles who arrogantly believed the native vampires were no longer. They adapted, becoming less overt and more reliant on modern medical and societal infrastructure, the worst it had to offer, to keep fed. In some ways the change in the human herds helped them more than hindered; while stalking openly was much more risky, acquisition of human flesh became almost pedestrian with the right connections. In the domains where the original vampires were not usurped or otherwise integrated, they simply existed as they did previously; given wide berth and only occasionally talked about when their activities become the talk of the supernatural, hunted if their depredations could not be ignored. They’re bogeymen; they present vampires as something ultimately predatory and horrible to the living in ways many vampires are uncomfortable with.

    Parent Clan: Nosferatu (Commonly) or Gangrel.

    Nickname: The Hungry among outsiders; among themselves, the Cold Hearted.

    Covenant: While ostensibly part of the native vampire’s prior covenants before European contact, in the modern era the Wendigo are a surprisingly cosmopolitan lot. With those with a strong interest in death and more traditional ways, the Old Ones make up a rough majority; this is near evenly split those who do not simply remain Unbound due to their own choice or the fear of others against them. The Old Ones have long held Wendigo members, and their habits are not considered as problematic as they are to many others; still, the focus upon the dead and morbid rites isn’t always appealing to Wendigo and no few prefer a more solitary existence regardless with their small broods rather than contending with ghosts and necromancy.

    Those who indulge their Beast in a cultivated way, exalting in their vampirism and their consumptive natures and seeking new expressions for it find a comfortable fit among the Circle of the Crone. Among the newcomer Covenant’s, the Crones offer much to be desired; no few elders of the Wendigo find their ways similar to prior political bodies since gone to dust and nestle within particularly bloody sects of it. This doesn’t always work out; some see their additional hungers as a sign of something unnatural even among the Kindred, but the sacrifice of life to reach out into the world, to utilize the Beast in new certainly appeals to no few, and many ideologies within the Crones dovetail perfectly well with flesh eaters. Macabre rites are part and parcel of Wendigo cults; the Crones hold little surprises for them in turn making them quite popular where the Old Ones are either absent or problematic for other reasons.

    Belial’s Brood makes up a significant minority; those unrestrained monsters with little use for the stifling customs of the rest, who’d focus upon the Beast and their hungers at the cost of all else make a comfortable fit, disturbingly so for some that witnessed them among the Brood. There may be quite a few more with the Brood, a phenomenon that wasn’t unknown even prior to European contact, though under different names. Odds are, they simply aren’t as noticed; the Brood are notoriously vicious; what’s a flesh eater in comparison to the activities of that inhuman lot, and how much more noticeable?

    The advent of contact with the Ordo Dracul has drawn no few as well, mostly due to contact with the Sta-Au bloodline that haunted similar regions and their mutual familiarity; the notion of being able to twist their hunger into something else to their benefit, perhaps even to triumph over it has certainly caught curiosity. More knowledgeable Dragon often find them a curiosity given the expression how vampirism expresses itself differently in the hungers of the Wendigo than most; interest in bringing them within the order to cultivate and capitalize on any discoveries the flesh eaters may bring does make them more hospitable than some Covenants; unfortunately for the Wendigo this may turn into being more research subject than researcher in some cities. Though less numerous than within Belial’s Brood and the Crones, the Wendigo are oddly more broadly known among the Dragons among the invading Covenants; they were long known to the Old Ones, but contact is still fleeting given the secrecy of the Ordo Dracul.

    The Lancea et Sanctum, and in particular the Carthians see the least interest from the Wendigo directly. Little of the Sanctified with it’s focus upon The Man and mortal religion finds much purchase with the Wendigo given their predilections; some few reconcile being “God’s Monsters”, culling the mortal flock of it’s twisted branches as a divine mandate or twisted penance, but many among the Sanctified have a hard time accepting the Wendigo, especially with their roots firmly entrenched in the New World. It’s a difficult mindset to break; the Wendigo do not see themselves on the whole as being natural; nor as being blessed by the Great Spirit to do evil. Still, some do note that it was often cannibals, or those who were going to resort to it that seemed chosen to become Wendigo and mesh the notion of being object examples on one of the most common and greatest among sins of human religion with that.

    The Carthian focus on human society, while useful is often incompatible; their depredations are particular, their needs extreme. The structure of the Carthians works to the Wendigo’s advantage, but actively integrating with their communities, ideologies and the often cultivated focus on blending with humans makes it both challenging and unrewarding unless the Wendigo is particularly humanistic and in desperate need of human connections. It rarely lasts when they get hungry however, and most don’t last in the Carthians as a result.

    The Invictus are of special note: while it’s rare that a Wendigo will be accepted into their ranks given how easily they can strain the vaunted Tradition of the Masquerade, the Wendigo actually have little issue integrating otherwise. They’re desirable among Wendigo wishing to spread the influence of their cults, and the political might they often bring to bear is also quite the lure. They’re used to complex secret societies, working from a position of strength and cultivating humans around them for their own aims. The lack of First Estate spirituality is easily filled within their own bloodline and dalliances with other Covenants: their cannibal cults has long made the bloodline used to the Byzantine expectations, the webs of power among mortals and of course, fear of and respect one’s elders. They’d be a more common sight if Invictus was more welcoming of them, and that they’re often not when their odd feeding requirements come to the for proves the greatest hurdle. Only the most discrete, well fed and in some instances eldest among the Wendigo find much of a place in their ranks as a result. In harsher domains where the Invictus are more fully aware of the Wendigo, it is often they who push for hunts against the line.

    Appearance: Wendigo do not, as a rule, look pleasant. While those of higher Humanity can pass as humans, if disturbing in some way due to their Nosferatu heritage, such as being unnaturally cool to the touch and the air around, scents of raw flesh, the hungry yellowing gaze they give, strange teeth and too-wide grins, these are at least oddities. This changes as they grow older; teeth often break into sharp edges and long shards, jaws distend and as the cold that resides in their heart increases and spreads through their limbs they often lose portions of themselves; their nose, eyelids, lips ears, and toes. Sometime it’s the creeping cold eating away at them like a supernatural frostbite; other times it’s their own hunger as they chew away portions of their own body in their sleep. The eldest among them drop the temperature around them to an unsettling degree.

    Elders are often riddled with horribly distorted hands with overlong fingers and nails, occasionally missing fingers and often reddened or blackened; their feet often partially or missing entirely, just blackened stumps, sometimes hoof-like in appearance remaining. Sometimes these features crop up in younger Wendigo, though generally only if they maintain a consistently low Humanity or through acquired Banes. Emaciation of the body is common the more potent the Wendigo’s blood, sometimes with bloated bellies, or truly hollow ones. Some lose their hair entirely; others find it growing more profuse like fur giving them a truly bestial appearance.

    All gain progressively yellowing eyes and a distinct pallor with signs of frostbite becoming more prominent as they grow detached; at Humanity 5-4 it may simply be stained sclera or yellowed irises, a rare trait often indicative of illness along with frost nipped ears, fingertips, toes or small patches on the body, often easily hid; nothing too overtly supernatural. As Humanity withers however, the eyes in particular grow distorted and overly large, reflective and not unlike that of an owls rolling in bloody, lidless sockets at Humanity 3-2. There is no mistaking them for human when their Humanity reaches 1 to 0; it’s guaranteed other features will only highlight their monstrous nature. Even if they hide the other deformities, the eyes often remain the most difficult. Luckily a Wendigo that works hard to maintain their Humanity may learn to suppress the cold, hungry Beast inside from twisting their flesh but the cold in their chest never truly leaves. It's very common for members of the Wendigo to gain the Face of Hunger Bane when they offset a Breaking Point related to eating or murdering others for sustenance.

    In the modern era this often necessitates loose, baggy clothing, bandages, sunglasses gloves and other means of hiding these deformities once they’ve seen a few decades of existence or more; some even attach prosthesis to afflicted areas and makeup to hide their horrible appearance when needing to move around humans and more squeamish Kindred, keeping their interactions brief unless hunting. This in turn makes Obfuscate prized among them; unlike many Nosferatu it does not come as a natural affinity; twisting their forms to adapt and survive the harsh climes did as well as more natural camouflage; in this day and age they cherish fellow Nosferatu and others willing to help teach them.

    Haven: Home is where the heart is, and for the Wendigo, that’s somewhere cold indeed. They prefer chilly places; it helps mask the cold they sometimes exude and the chill in their hearts. They've never been found to exist in areas of North America where the winters are warm or otherwise non-existent; something about the hunger of the truly frigid north beckons them. Given their affinity for Protean, they tend to be pragmatic; they move from place to place to avoid detection unless they’ve managed an extensive, sedentary cult to keep them well fed.

    Nomadic lifestyles as a result are fairly common among them; few domains welcome them and in turn they often take what they can get, especially when young, haunting abandoned farms and urban buildings, keeping the curious away via Nightmare. Wilderness is prized, at least when bordering on a well stocked mortal herd; few are comfortable wandering into it with the horrors it has beyond vampires, and it does well to keep searches for those snatched up by a Wendigo as fruitless, or written off as animal attacks or scavenging.

    If they do muster a cannibal-cult, there’s no telling what they may have as a common haven. It could be a posh urban house full of truly degenerate dilettantes seeking the next illicit thrill, or an abandoned storm sewer where the homeless feed those who wronged them to the Cold Women who gifts them with a taste of her own chill blood to help them survive the oncoming winter. At the end of the night, havens are always predicated on the ease of hunting for human flesh for the Wendigo; style falls to the wayside compared to blending and pure utility.

    Background: Wendigo are usually brought into the fold from two sources; survivors of the worst the world has to offer, or the rare cannibalistic human if found. Being able to exist as a Wendigo is difficult, even compared to many other vampires, their hungers hard to curb and maintain discretely. Individuals already acclimated or having taken the dread step to eating their fellow man are considered more likely to survive the transition, minds intact. Survivors, particularly of harsh elements (even if eventually found near death) above and beyond their fellows are likewise common; the Wendigo live harsh un-lifestyles, many outside of the bustling metropoli of the World of Darkness; a lack of survival skills is rare to find among them as a result. Lastly, there’s the well connected or otherwise medical field workers; a more recent trend given the modern flesh trade and medicine, but one the Wendigo are eager to exploit. It’s not uncommon for one to be taken from those fields in hopes of benefitting the sire with easier feeding.

    Character Creation: Given their choice in childer (and perhaps that of their spiritual patrons…), Wendigo tend to be survivors. Physical Attributes are often primary, as result to reflect this, or at least having some emphasis. Physical skills in turn are often prized; Survival in particular is a very common feature among those of the Bloodline. Combative skills like Melee and Brawl often find use quickly; subduing mortal prey to consume their flesh lacks the diarming effect of the Kiss; violence is often a fact of their existence unless they have a ready supply of fresh corpses when  Mental and Social skills often vary heavily; depending more on personal predilections than any informal tutelage by the bloodline and varying heavily between the loners and those horrors that manage to create societies around them, though Crafts, Occult and in particular Intimidation and Subterfuge often see some emphasis given their habits.

    Physical and Supernatural Merits are fairly common including Fighting Styles especially among lone or fairly isolated Wendigo; their requiems make the cultivation of any Merit that lends towards their survival beneficial given the brutal nature of their bloodline weakness, though Social Merits reflecting mortal ties are often difficult without a proper cult to support them unless retained from their mortal days. In turn, consider Cult Membership (Or Shadow Cult status regarding the Whitigo Shadow Cult) and supporting Merits to reflect the network of flesh-traders and disreputable people as a way to support the characters hungers if more sociable and established.

    Bloodline Disciplines: Nightmare, Protean, Celerity, Anthropophagia

    Bloodline Bane: On top of the Nosferatu or Gangrel Clan Bane the respective individual has, Wendigo also suffer from increased desire to consume living human flesh. They can the Condition: Addict (human flesh) and suffer from the Deprived Condition when it is not met. Deprived can be resolved for a time with supernatural flesh (provided it can somehow be consumed or preserved as in the case of vampires). In hunger-induced Frenzies they will attempt to consume flesh before drinking blood in the vast majority of instances, provided the target has proper flesh to consume. If not, they'll sup on blood as usual.

    Lastly, their ghouls gain the very same hunger as those who made them. It’s not uncommon for Wendigo Domitors to feed their ghouls portions of their own flesh to offset their hungers; luckily the Vitae infused flesh of vampires is sufficient to dull their cravings.

    Organization: The Wendigo bloodline exists in two states; vicious, secretive loners when lacking fellow brethren or in more actively hostile regions to them, or tightly knit cabals based around broods and highly spiritual occult cannibal societies. The latter is purely pragmatic; they may use any number of cult-like methods, obscene rites and connections to draw in people with a taste for long pork or one of the most illicit thrills, but the end desire is ready access to their bloody repast with greater ease, the living members of the cult either being used to procure, or in times of need, to be a meal. Feasts of human flesh giving unwittingly to cult members not understanding the full nature of these organizations are often used as both a test of loyalty, psychological mettle as well as blackmail leverage; human and ghouls can expect to disappear if they prove unable to cope with the revelation what they were doing, usually into the belly of the Wendigo. Ghouling is offered as a new mystery; true empowerment from consuming the life and soul of their fellow humans. In truth it’s more of a way of keeping important cult-members entirely dependant on the cult and loyal given Wendigo ghouls develop a degree of their own cravings. It may be a choice as a mortal; as a ghoul it quickly ceases to be.

    Usually these are small broods; a childe and sire, rarely more to keep the herd unaware, some recruited from the cults themselves by the oldest among them with riddled layers of ritual, titles and secrecy. Those that survive for longer periods may become fairly diverse and entrenched into the supernatural landscape; Wendigo are not above drawing in other supernaturals with a taste for the other, other white meat if the end is beneficial to procuring such flesh rather than taxing. This helps buffer them from the too-curious and mortal authorities as well as drawing in other curious supernaturals, Kindred or otherwise into their web of influence, often unwittingly. It’s fairly common for these cults to run fairly autonomously, run by ghouls who gain a special advantage from the bloodline Discipline; keeping their state intact by cannibalism. Only the most vitae addled and trusted are allowed to do this; few Wendigo wish to wake from a prolonged torpor to find their place completely usurped by their ghouls, though it does infrequently happen.

    Concepts: survivalist; morgue worker; cult leader; anthropologist; serial killer; butcher with dubious meats; spiteful chef; medical professional; abductions investigator; rail-car drifter; debauched high society maven; hitman with unorthodox methods; homeless caseworker; urban bogeyman; murderous vigilante


    Last edited by Admin on Thu May 22, 2014 4:22 am; edited 3 times in total
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    Discipline: Anthropophagia

    Post  Admin on Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:41 am

    Anthropophagia

    Bloodline Gift: All Wendigo gain the partial access to Anthropophagia at character creation; they may access the Persistent Effect. Purchasing dots of the Gifts costs as a Clan Discipline any gives access to the the Active Effect theraafter.

    Cost: None or 1 Vitae per active effect

    Dice Pool: None

    Action: None (for persistent effects) or one term (for active effects)

    Duration: Permanent (for persistent effects) or one turn (for active effects)

    Like the physical Disciplines of Celerity, Resilience and Vigor, Gustus has two kinds of effects: Persistent and active. Persistent effects are alwaus on and have no cost. Active effects are reflexive and cost one Vitae per effect.

    Persistent: Add the vampire's dots in Anthropophagia to her maximum number of Vitae she may store at any one time, and as a bonus to Lashing Out when hungry or starving (see p. 92 and 104). In addition, a vampire with Anthropophagia may feed on human flesh that is no older than 24 hours, consuming 1 point of Size for the equivalent 1 point of Vitae. Flesh so consumed is not vomited up.

    If consuming a living target, 1 Lethal Health level's worth of damage minimum is inflicted to gain 1 Vitae. Efficient feeders using Anthropophagia will drain the victim of blood first so it doesn't go to waste spilling out of wounds, then consume their flesh, though this all but guarantees death as the wounds upgrade to Aggravated when full of Lethal.

    Active: By spending a point of Vitae Anthropophagia augment's a vampire's bite even further. For each point of Vitae spent choose one effect from the following list. A vampire may spend additional Vitae to invoke multiple effects simultaneously, but no effect of Anthropophagia may be used more than once per turn.

    -Increase the vampire's Weapon bonus for their fangs by a number equal to their dots in Anthropophagia. As per usual, these fangs inflict Lethal Damage to vampires and their prey.

    -Make a Feed at the same time as making a Damage move during a grapple, gaining a number of Vitae equal to the full damage inflicted from biting out large chunks of flesh. Vitae gain must be from a suitable target capable of providing the sustenance. As usual, this inflicts Lethal Damage, including to vampires.

    -After successfully inflicting the Drained Condition (see p. 303) on someone or consuming them to death via flesh consumption, you may spread your level of Anthrophogia dots amongst your Skills, increasing them by that amount. This may not take your Skills above the level that your victim possesses.

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