In the World of Darkness roleplaying game setting, the vampires in that world refer to themselves as 'Kindred'. This name reflects the often-disputed but widely held belief that all vampires are descended from a single common ancestor, frequently held to be Caine, the First Murderer -- as in Caine and Abel. Note that "descent" here means that each individual in one's "ancestry" turned the next one into a vampire; it in no way implies a genetic or familial relationship as humans would understand it.

"Cainite" is the archaic term for vampires in the World of Darkness; this is stated frequently, and explicitly, in the sourcebook Vampire: The Dark Ages. This nomenclature has fallen out of fashion as time has progressed, however. Vampires of the Sabbat still call themselves Cainites in the Modern Nights, but Hardestadt the Younger and those other wussies in the Cam started calling themselves "Kindred" when the Camarilla was formed. Since the official Camarilla position states that Caine and the Antediluvians don't exist, it wouldn't very well do for Camarilla members to walk around calling themselves "Cainites". Hence, Kindred.

"Cainite" is also still used occasionally by elder vampires, or vampires trying to sound like elders, or vampires trying to sound scholarly and impress their elders, or... you get the idea.

So in the Dark Ages historical setting, all the vampires were called Cainites; in the modern setting, non-Cam vampires call themselves Cainites, and Camarilla vampires call themselves Kindred. Mages of the Order of Hermes call them massasa, and are secretly at war with the Kindred of Clan Tremere. Kuei-jin call them kin-jin or gaijin, usually with a "die, foreign devil!" in there somewhere. Garou just call them lunch.

Kin"dred (?), n. [OE. kinrede, kynrede, kunreden (with excrescent d), fr. AS. cunn kin, race + the termination , akin to AS. dan to advise, G. rathen. Cf. Hatred.]


Relationship by birth or marriage; consanguinity; affinity; kin.

Like her, of equal kindred to the throne. Dryden.


Relatives by blood or marriage, more properly the former; relations; persons related to each other.

I think there's no man is secure But the queen's kindred. Shak.

Syn. -- Kin; kinsfolk; relatives; kinsmen; relations; relationship; affinity.


© Webster 1913.

Kin"dred, a.

Related; congenial; of the like nature or properties; as, kindred souls; kindred skies; kindred propositions.

True to the kindred points of heaven and home. Wordsworth.


© Webster 1913.

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