Tzimisce

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Tzimisce
Tzimisce symbol.png Tzimisce logo.png
Dragons, The Old Clan, Voivodes, Strokers
Disciplines:

Bane:[[#Bane|Grounded]]


Compulsion:[[#Compulsion|Covetousness]]


Introduced in:Vampire: The Masquerade Companion World of Darkness account

Background

Tzimisce were introduced in the Vampire the Masquerade 5th Edition Companion Guide. The dragons view ownership above all, they aim to conquer and rule the subject of their possessiveness. Traditionally their charges were based on geographical locations, hence the stereotype of a vampire in a looming castle. However, in the modern age, the younger generations have taken a more loose approach, staking claim over mortals rather than their land. Their desire to own is only limited by their lack of expansion, but once they've sunk their claws in they are hard to shake loose.

These possessive traits extend beyond others and property and into their own body. Many dragons specialize in a form of Protean known as Vicissitude which allows them to alter their bodies how they deem fit, including the bodies of others willing or not. These Tzimisce go beyond just the physical perfectionism and lean into the metaphysical and stretch the very limits of vampirism itself. Transforming their bodies into statues, or altering the traits of gender, reaching as far as to create groups of mortal lookalikes to subsume their individuality. Some tales even speak of Dragons going as far as to become one with their haven, merging into the soil of their domain.

This, of course, creates a divide between the older and younger Tzimisce where the younger have had less time to cultivate their ownership while the other doubles their control. It's no surprise to hear that the Tzimisce were active participants in the Anarch Revolt and were one of the founding clans of the Sabbat. Even tonight, with the Sabbat shattered, others are wary of them and their cunning abilities. With the elders controlling so much, many younger members are driven from the Black Hand and towards the Anarchs to redefine themselves and their charges. A few Tzimisce find comfort within the Camarilla, finding a familiar comfort in its neo-feudalism even if the tower itself has little love for them. [1]

Disciplines

Below are the powers innate to the Tzimisce as well as the uses they find in it. [2]

  • Animalism allows them to extend their oneness with their domain, as well as extend their command over the lesser beasts in their territory.
  • Dominate enables them to enforce their edicts through mental force.
  • Protean has its purpose beyond changing into animal shape. Growing alongside their ability to Dominate they unlock their ability to use Vicissitude.

Bane

Grounded - Each Tzimisce must select a specific charge, be it physical location, a group of people, or something even more esoteric. Each night they must sleep surrounded by their charge, if they do not, they sustain aggravated Willpower damage equal to their Bane Severity upon waking the following night.[2]

Compulsion

Covetousness - When afflicted with this compulsion they become obsessed with owning something in the scene, be it an object, or property to a living person. Whatever it is, they must add it to their collection and any action taken not towards this purpose incurs a two-dice penalty. This penalty continues until ownership is established or the object of their desire is unobtainable.[3]

Example archetypes

  • Landlord - The extension of their charge reaches into the property they own as slum apartments with tenets that they bleed dry in more than one way.
  • Gang Leader - Where the older seek to control locations, this Tzimisce controls a group, using the underground criminal world to maintain hold over their charges within the ranks beneath them.
  • Baby Dragon - A younger Tzimisce still learning the ways to survive the nights, but their sire controls their moves, watching over them and claiming them as their own territory.
  • Plastic Surgeon - Their skills as a mortal reconstructing faces has caught the attention of an older Tzimisce, embracing them to show them the future of facial reconstruction at a cost.

Notable characters

The Dracon - an Elder of the clan and one of the legendary triumvirates coterie known as the Trinity. The three vampries lead the antiquated city of Constantinople being both coterie-mates and lovers. In the end, he was only one to survive the fall of great vampire city. He was the spiritual guide the Trinity, his work remains well known by those who still believe in the Dream of Constantinople, many hope he one day returns to Kindred society.[4]

Mayumi Shibasaki - A Camarilla-aligned corporate power house and one of the most influential Kindred in Tokyo. While not technically in charge, she does use her clout to keep order in the domain.[5][6]

Culture

Embrace

To many sires the Embrace is an act of ownership, seeing their childe in a traditional sire-childe relationship of old, some even go as far as consider their childers property. Some will jealously guard their childe so much they would rather see them destroyed then fall into the hands of others. The Dragon’s candidate for embrace can be as varied as their supernatural charges.[7]

In Human Society

The Tzimisce are characterized with charges, something that the Dragon is driven to claim ownership over and even jealousy hoard. In elder Tzimisce, this usually fell into geographic regions or geographic people. The image of a castle in disrepair looming over their claimed land is the usual image many think of when it comes to old Dragons. For the younger Tzimisce they can have more conceptual claims for their charges: cults, companies, gangs, even military units.

These charges are rarely willing, save for some lucky cases. The norm is usually that charges live in fear and squalor while the Tzimisce prizes ownership. The Voivodes don’t care if those they claim under them are happy or flourishing, they only care about possessing them. Some Voivode take this to the next level and use their master over their form to merge their consciousness with the land showing supreme ownership of it. Physically and mentally fusing with the land so they can surround themselves around the folk they claims. [1]

While the lord of the mountain has mostly vanished, the clan still find itself positions it can exploit so they may rule their charges. Some take to being landlords in the Old World operating as ancestral manorial lords. More modern and New World go for owning high-rises or tenements. Some as gang leaders pushing and twisting their charges toward a common goal and watching each others back.

Tthe most infamous servants of the Tzimisce are the servitor ghouls, szlachta and vozhd. The former an inhuman ghouls with extreme loyalty. The Vozhd are relics of the past, stitching of dozens of szlachta with Vicissitude and Blood Sorcery to create living war machines absent of thought but infinitely ravenous. Once used to fight their enemies, protect havens, or serve at their masters' pleasure. The extreme end of these servitor ghouls is now rare, save for elders who hoard the secrets. The young at times discover ways to make special szlachta for their purposes. Even stranger there are even rumors of families of ghouls in service of elders their ghoul status passed on biologically, such ways this was achieved is known only to the oldest members of the clan.[8]

In Kindred Society

Masters of their surroundings, charges, and even their own bodies, the Tzimisce are marked with their knack for Vicissitude. This allows them to circumvent the Curse of Caine allowing them to change their form to their liking. Legends say this stems from the clan rejecting the limitation of Protean animal forms in the old days, pushing themselves to develop their unique art. Some go farther than physical form, focusing on the mind and spirits for ways to transcend ideas of individuality, gender, and any other mortal trapping.

The domains of Tzimisce can be shocking to other clans, as they have little care for the happiness of their possession, many domains look to be in disrepair, neglected, or barren. Their possessive nature extends even to coteries, where they may see a coterie as theirs. The coterie can be seen as colleagues, fellows, rivals, attendants, or even vassals under the Dragon’s care. To many Tzimisce coteries are a source of status. Those in coteries with Tzimisce are indeed under the Dragon’s protection and are even witness to their hospitality, which may actually be an extension of their ownership.

A major trait about the Tzimisce is their notorious vice of grudge bearing, said to even exceed that of Toreador Vendettas. The clan has a longstanding rivalry with the Tremere, Nosferatu, and Gangrel. Some they see as usurpers of the blood, the others they see as interlopers on their lands from age old conflicts. One of the oldest enemies the clans consider are the elders, which ironically differs depending on the Dragon's age and sect alignment. [1][9]

Faction Differences

The division between the sects go along generational lines much more than other clans. These nights the clan is divided between the Sabbat and Anarch Movement equally, and some few go towards the Camarilla.

The Tzimisce in the Sabbat are called Tzimisce antitribu. This is where many of the older members of the clan still reside in the night. The Dragon’s hatred for elders is notorious, so much so they participated in the first Anarch Revolt and helped found the Sabbat. Still in a medieval mindset fixated on destroying the followers of their despised ancients. They are stereotyped to possessing some of the more traditional trappings of the clan.

Anarch Tzimisce does not take a new title, but acknowledge their clan. They grow tired of their hypocritical sires and elders who take up all the good resources and domains of the night. They are equally tired of their sires treating them as mere property. The young Tzimisce strive to redefine themselves by what they rule over. They set out to found their own holdings and be their own masters in the night.

Some Tzimisce overfond of tradition find the neofeudalism of the Camarilla attractive. A rare group they are at odds with the distrust the Tower has for their greed and the Tzimisce question if their personal investment will yield returns.[2]

Gallery

Game concepts
Beginner's guide Vampire: The MasqueradeConsiderate playOfficial TTRPG sources
Character creation Merits and FlawsCoterie Backgrounds and MeritsLoresheetsPredator typesMortals and ghouls
Quick references Hunger systemResonanceHumanityIndex
Clans Banu HaqimBrujahGangrelCaitiffHecataLasombraMalkavianThe MinistryNosferatuRavnosSalubriToreadorTremereTzimisceVentrueThin-blood
Disciplines AnimalismAuspexBlood SorceryBlood Sorcery RitualsCelerityDominateFortitudeObfuscateOblivionOblivion CeremoniesPotencePresenceProteanThin-Blood Alchemy
Factions CamarillaAnarchCults
Antagonists Second InquisitionSabbat

References