The Kaisyd are a clan in Vampire: The Masquerade, and White Wolf has since released a "new" Vampire game that does not include them. This write-up represents a conversion of this clan to the new system following the example of the Bloodline Pages in Vampire: The Requiem. All writing is original, however a few major ideas are inspired by the clan's former attributes.
"What? No, stop that... It's rather vulgar and barbaric and I'd appreciate it if you'd stop trying. Well now you have a frog's tongue, perhaps that will dampen your efforts for a while."
The bloodline known as the Kaisyd seems to offer a chance for some small reprieve for the tortured members of the Mekhet clan. The Kaisyd are heirs to a duel legacy of madness and enlightenment. Their acceptance of the dark nature of reality, however, leaves them better able to cope with the former. The Kaisyd are, all-in-all, the most peaceable and civil clan or bloodline. Whether this is by blood, design, or mere necessity is a matter of debate. What is not up for debate amongst those aware of their existence is their mastery of secrets.
The Kaisyd bloodline is the result of the embrace of a miller named Domenico "Menoccio" Scandella in Montereale, Italy, 1601. Menoccio was embraced by a Mekhet elite, vestigially a member of the clergy, and a deserter of the Lancea Sanctum. Some whispers imply that this vampire was Longinus himself, but those whispers are carefully guarded, for the implications of such would be dire and disastrous to the Lancea Sanctum, who would not, and does not, hesitate to punish such heresies. Mennoccio's heresies consisted of a combination of resentment toward the Catholic hierarchy and its abuses of the peasantry, denial of the omnipotent nature of God, and an unusual theory of the creation of the universe as being like the generation of worms from cheese (based upon the theory of spontaneous generation, an acceptable cosmology of the time). As it turns out, at least as far as anyone can tell, Menoccio's cosmology was a combination of an acute social awareness, undying dedication to the expression of his ideas, and a singularly notable communion with the faery realm. Upon his embrace, Menoccio's sanity deteriorated steadily as he was increasingly deluged by sensory data. He embraced desperately, hoping to pass on his gift to someone who could handle it. Menoccio met final death in 1666, only 130 years after his mortal birth, at the hands of his own childer who witnessed the decline of his humanity, and sanity.
Parent Clan: Mekhet
Nickname: While the Story of the bloodline's founding is debated among those non-Kaisyd who know of it, the implications thereof hold true. The Kaisyd are non-believers. This is not to say that they are atheists, few vampires are, but that they are not traditionalists. Kaisyd invariably waver from any and all former convictions upon their embrace or induction into the bloodline. The Kaisyd are known as Apostates, and though this term's origin is a derogatory one, when applied to the Kaisyd the term is almost always reverential. The Kaisyd seem to have a world cosmology all their own, and it's one which they do not seem willing, or capable, of sharing with others easily.
Covenant: The Kaisyd are almost exclusively members of the Ordo Dracul, though they seem rather wary of the Vlad Tepes origin myth as a whole. They have been an integral part of the Ordo Dracul since its early days of existence, and are primarily responsible for the establishment of the tradition known as "Finding the Wyrm's Nests." Kaisyd are found primarily in positions of power within the Covenant, but not in positions involving any degree of interaction with the outside world, or even with the general population of the order itself. Few know of their existence, and even those who know a Kaisyd may not be aware of the existence of others. Some Kaisyd are believed to exist among the Independents or Circle of the Kroan, but it is rather unlikely that any Kaisyd reside in the Invictus, and positively certain that not a single one sympathizes with the Lancea Sanctum.
Appearance: Upon The Embrace, or the adoption of the bloodline, the Kaisyd undergo a dramatic alteration. Their irises become indistinguishable from their pupils in their dark color, often widening as well. Many Kaisyd end up with eyes that are completely black, the iris expanding past the visible portion of their eyes. Kaisyd generally grow six inches to a foot over the course of a few nights; no Kaisyd is less than six feet tall, and most are at least 6' 6" (any hypothetical Kaisyd unfortunate enough to have been embraced as a child would grow a full foot from their original height, which may result in a height of less than six feet). This height change is not accompanied by a weight change, though any Kaisyd who was rather heavy set may, in fact, lose weight for the ordeal. The Kaisyd are, therefore, generally tall, thin and of wispy stature (pre-adolescent Kaisyd would still maintain the appearance of a child, but one who is unnaturally tall and thin, though graceful and not gaunt).
Though this change is rather dramatic, and definitely renders the vampire unrecognizable by any acquaintances, it does not preclude social contact with mortals. While the eyes seem haunting, the Kaisyd are often considered to be hauntingly beautiful by mortals.
Many Kaisyd adopt old-world styles of dress, often from times predating their own mortal lives, as a reflection of their drifting interests. This trend is prevalent among those Kaisyd high in the Ordo Dracul Hierarchy (Most of them), but they are not at all opposed to modern dress, usually adopting more upscale styles even for more casual environments. The Kaisyd, it seems, are mildly obsessed with their appearances, but more importantly, with the image they project.
Haven: Even those Kaisyd among the upper echelons of the Ordo Dracul prefer to have their own personal havens separate from the order, even if they seldom use them. While gaudy manifestations of wealth are anathema, most Kaisyd like to keep a haven that demonstrates a decent style of living, even for one who is undead. Gothic decor is common, but never without a definite mood of whimsy. The Kaisyd's haven is an anachronism of anachronisms, Deep gothic decor in a modern age, accented with whimsical tapestries, modern or abstract art, and even floral patterns. A Kaisyd's haven is likely to intrigue any mortal who happens to see it, and may even disturb the more orthodox and traditional of elders.
Background: The Kaisyd rarely embrace, but almost always bring their childer into the bloodline. The Kaisyd have very, very few members, possibly no more than fifty worldwide. Mortals with particular vision, or a keen sense of the hidden world around them are prospective childer, and the Kaisyd are not so naive as to think that one must distinguish oneself to prove worthiness. Most Kaisyd were not successful in mortal life, it simply isn't possible to advance those sorts of talents in mortal society. The Kaisyd embrace those with a divinatory gift and a discerning intellect: someone capable of advancing the knowledge of the Kindred condition.
Character Creation: The Kaisyd are known for their intelligence, but they pride themselves in their civility. Kaisyd favor mental attributes primarily, but a high composure score is a necessity. While the Kaisyd are certainly not without diversity, they are embraced for two very specific reasons: To advance the knowledge of the clan, and to successfully deny the beast. The Kaisyd do not embrace those whom they do not feel could handle the Beast or undeath. As such, high Composure and Resolve scores are a good choice, and Mental skills are paramount, with physical skills rarely ranking anything but last.
Bloodline Disciplines: Auspex, Celerity, Obfuscate, Mytherceria
Weakness: Upon adoption of the bloodline a Kaisyd loses one point of Strength to reflect the physical changes that occur at that time (if strength is already at one, then a stamina is lost instead. Making a character with Strength and Stamina scores of one to avoid this flaw is punishable by death for metagaming) and they may never raise their strength above three. Furthermore, the Kaisyd are dependant upon the glamour of the partially fae blood in their veins to maintain their power. The inherent "goodness" of this glamour punishes the vampire for acting banally. All rolls to avoid humanity loss are at a -1 penalty. This urgent motivation to maintain humanity presents a possible ulterior motive for the Kaisyd's alignment with the Ordo Dracul: The Kaisyd find the Coils of the Dragon to be their salvation, and it is a rare Kaisyd that doesn't have at least the first tier of The Coil of the Beast.
Additionally, Kaisyd appear to manifest odd derangements with startling frequency. These are not derangements proper and do not manifest penalties on the game mechanics, but are rather consequences of their unique Discipline: Mytherceria.
Organization: The Kaisyd take the term "Kindred" to heart. Though they are organized primarily by their association with the Ordo Dracul, the Kaisyd themselves have a tendency to keep in communication, especially in modern nights, with the conveniences of computers and cell phones. It is said that the Kaisyd have secrets that they keep even from the Ordo Dracul, and that as a group they are working toward some mysterious and frighteningly specific goal. Attempts to extract information concerning this goal have been ineffective. Furthermore, the Kaisyd watch each other’s Humanity carefully, sometimes performing interventions to save their clanmates.
Mytherceria is the manifestation of fae blood and glamour in the Kaisyd blood. It confers abilities related to the fae, madness, and insight. Mytherceria is as much a passive Discipline as an Active one, conferring benefits across the board.
* Fae Sight:
This power allows the Kaisyd to perceive that which lies on the other side of the obfuscating shroud of disbelief that clouds the minds of the living and the dead alike. The Vampire's Fae nature is strong enough that his perception pierces dimly into the faery realms. The vampire may recognize any fae masquerading as human, although he cannot detect their presence in Arcadia, and more importantly, the Kaisyd can feel the presence of hobgoblins, imps, and other entities responsible for the fortunes of mortals and kindred alike. Although the Kaisyd cannot actually see these creatures, he can instinctually react to their presence. This ultimately boils down to a sixth sense concerning unfortunate events about to take place, such as a car having a blowout, a gun misfiring (or accidentally firing) or a person likely to meet their end. This perception manifests as a sense of dread or foreboding concerning a particular object or person and does not reveal in any explicit manner what will happen in the future.
This power also allows a Kaisyd to perceive other supernatural occurrences, including other vampires using astral projection, the presence of wraiths, or be aware when his mind is being read.
Dice Pool: This power is considered always on, the vampire may add his Mytherceria dots to any dice pool or defense score for resisting mind-clouding effects such as Obfuscate or some Nightmare abilities (but not Dominate) or to detect supernatural presences or events, such as having his mind read, or perceiving a vampire in astral form spying on him. This power is commonly added to Auspex dice pools, but is only useful for perceiving things of supernatural origin (Auras are inherent to all beings, and as such this ability does not affect Aura perception. Also an individual hiding without the aid of Obfuscate is not any easier to see with this power, but one using Obfuscate way very well give himself, or his object of choice, away in situations in which the Kaisyd may not have found them were they mundanely hidden). The Storyteller has the last word on what counts as supernatural and what doesn't.
This power is what makes it possible for the Kaisyd to Aid the Ordo Dracul in "Finding the Wyrm's Nests" and is responsible for their myriad eccentricities.
Note that, although this power has wide-ranging applications, it's usefulness is tied to the Discipline's level, and as such the effects will be minimal at first and increase over time, gained insights should be proportional to the Discipline's level according to the chart. Note that effects listed below are cumulative.
* Bad feelings about objects, places, or people.
** Instincts are directed mildly by desire and help the Kaisyd to solve problems or riddles.
*** Specific premonitions that are accurate to the spirit of an event, but usually not literally.
**** Small bits of information about important places, items, and people appear randomly.
***** The Kindred knows when he's being lied to.
** Darkling Trickery
At this level of insight the Kaisyd is able to enact "Pranks" of relatively benign natures. The nature of this is that of the fae themselves, evident, but unbelievable. This power is used most often to confuse or disorient enemies or rivals. Its effects vary widely, should never be capable of inflicting more than one bashing damage total, and should always manifest in some completely implausible manner. Examples include a targets hair turning suddenly white, a plant changing colors or becoming animated (though it could not perform any task), milk curdling, disembodied voices, frogs coming out of a drain, or some other equally disturbing but benign effect. Let your imagination go wild.
Keep in mind that these effects may often seem funny when known to be false, but are deeply disturbing, despite their whimsical nature, when they appear before someone.
The effects of this power have caused some to call into question whether there is some relationship between the Kaisyd and the Malkovian bloodline of the Ventrue. When asked, the Kaisyd respond "That's ridiculous," but in practice there seems to be some unspoken affinity between the two bloodlines.
Cost: 1 blood
Dice Pool: The Kaisyd rolls Wits + Occult + Mytherceria vs. Subject's Composure + Blood Potency (If the ability targets someone directly).
Action: Contested, resistance is reflexive.
Anyone who witnesses (or experiences, as the case may be) the effect must make a Composure + Blood Potency roll at a -3 penalty to avoid "Freaking Out." Effects with longer durations or particularly disturbing effects may require multiple composure rolls or higher penalties to those rolls. This effect does not induce frenzy of any kind by virtue of it's own power, although the effect itself may do so under some circumstances.
Dramatic Failure: Some aspect (or the polar opposite of some aspect when necessary) of the intended effect manifests toward the kindred himself for the scene. In general this isn't too terrible a thing as effects are mostly benign, although it is likely that it will impair the vampire's social rolls in some way. Examples include the kindred's own hair turning white, a flower sprouting from his ear and regrouping instantly whenever it is cut off, vomiting up curdled milk, hearing voices (causes distraction penalties), or gaining a long sticky tongue that renders him incapable of speech, and which he compulsively extends out of his mouth every few seconds (although it could not confer any benefits). These are also good ideas for things to do to enemies.
1 success Two Turns
2 successes Five Turns
3 successes 20 turns (1 minute)
4 successes 10 minutes
5+ successes 1 hour or scene
All effects "clean themselves up" when their duration is exhausted or the Kaisyd chooses to end them. Hair regains its natural color, plants return to normal, disembodied voices become quiet, or spontaneously generated frogs hurriedly dissipate and disappear once out of sight. Note that effects always end in some subtle manner. Frogs will not blink out of existence, and hair will regain its color when the subject is away from a mirror. Even if the effect is in full, unadulterated view, a mild obfuscating effect will cause the ability's cessation to be un-spectacular. Some effects, such as curdling milk, do not end at all.
*** Diamond Soul
At this level, the Kaisyd's duel nature as Vampire and Fae confers the benefits of glamour upon the kindred.
Dice Pool: The Kaisyd may add dice equal to his Mytherceria to all Blood Potency dice pools and defense scores for resisting supernatural effects. This does not stack with the level-one effect, which confers a greater bonus to resistances involving supernatural subterfuge.
Example: A Kaisyd with Mytherceria 3 and Blood Potency 2 is faced with the Nightmare Level 1 ability "Monstrous Countenance." His soak pool is equal to his Composure + Blood Potency + Mytherceria instead of just Composure + Blood Potency.
**** Faery Wards
A Vampire has to protect his property. This power allows the Kindred to manipulate the addling nature of unbelief and Fae Glamour. By inscribing a boggling and impossible design or image onto a surface the kindred can cause all who see it to become disoriented, distracted, and confused. The image itself may appear to move, look back at the viewer, or simply be incomprehensible. This power cannot be avoided by simply looking away once the ward has been seen; knowledge of its presence is enough to sustain the effect. Kaisyd often inscribe their books containing more valuable or sensitive information with these wards. Kaisyd are immune to their own wards.
Cost: 1 willpower point
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Crafts + Mytherceria - 4
The player must declare the desired number of successes before he begins rolling, because an image cannot be left unfinished simply because the player decides that he has enough successes. An unfinished image holds no enchantment. Successes may be accumulated as long as the Kaisyd is able to remain in one place, relatively undistracted, and work on the image. Each roll represents 30 minutes of drawing, etching, or otherwise marking a surface. Once he target number of successes is reached the ward is finished and no further rolls may be made to improve it.
Dramatic Failure: The vampire becomes involved in the enchantment of creating the ward and will continue doing so unaware for the remainder of the scene or until attacked. If attacked, all actions taken until end of scene are at a -3 penalty. The ward contains no enchantment.
Failure: If a failure is rolled on any roll the ward is accidentally ruined. The image has an obvious flaw and holds no enchantment. All accumulated successes are lost and the surface must be cleaned or a new surface used to make a new attempt.
Success: Any person who sees the ward must make a Composure + Blood Potency roll and beat the Kaisyd's successes in creating the ward to avoid becoming disoriented.
If the ward is in a confusing or non-descript locale (labyrinthine hallways or dark forest) the victim becomes hopelessly disoriented and lost, returning to the location of the ward again and again until he has accumulated 3X the ward's creation successes on an extended Resolve + Composure roll made once every 30 minutes.
If the ward is in a location where it is impossible to get lost, such as a normal house or building, or on an object, such as a book or safe, then the subject will be unable to concentrate in the presence of the ward and thus incapable of memorizing or even understanding anything written in a book, or of breaking a safe, or any other task requiring moderate concentration. A book may, however, be taken from the room and read elsewhere, and so it is wise to mark more prized possessions directly.
Three successes are required to create a ward. The Ward lasts for the following durations.
3 Successes One day
4 Successes Two days
5 Successes One Week
6 Successes One Month
7 Successes Six Months
8 Successes One Year
***** The Dreaming
At this level the Kaisyd may journey into The Dreaming, or the Chimerical Realm. The Dreaming is the realm of Arcadia closest to the Mortal world. Dreaming realms are connected to the mortal world in two ways: the first is at the location of the dreamer herself, and the second is at the location on earth where the dream itself takes place. Furthermore, Dreaming realms are connected to each other by "real world" location, subject, and atmosphere. The Dreaming is a very real place where fantastic and impossible things can and do happen. The world is subject to dream logic, but the dangers are physically real to one actually inside of The Dreaming. As an existing realm, certain static objects, events, and even characters can exist there, and many objects from the mortal realm have found themselves physically transported there by the Fae. Any Fae met in this realm will likely be very upset to find a vampire there.
The Dreaming is composed of the dreams of mortals, and as such is a widely varying place. Nightmares are very common, as are endless alleys, sadistic torturers, absurd creatures, jilted lovers, deep wishes and fantasies, dark secrets, discordant architecture, and deep darkness. Kindred must remain savvy as to their surroundings, as dreams take place in both the night and the day, and a Chimerical Sun is just as dangerous to kindred, as it is a manifestation of the real sun. Kindred should have little difficulty isolating themselves to dreams taking place at night, or with no aspect of time at all, but beware emerging from dreams haphazardly, as a single mortal taking a nap at midday in China could provide the unfortunate end to a Kaisyd in America.
Entering the dream of a particular mortal (or supernatural creature capable of sleep) may provide a way to learn their secrets, or to torment them. Killing someone in their dream, presuming that they are not present physically in The Dreaming, but are rather dreaming themselves, results in the target losing two willpower and waking up immediately.
In general, the Dreaming is a rather persistent place. Archetypal dreams are shared by myriads of mortals, and are sustained even as individuals rise and fall to Hypno's embrace. Individual and personal dreams, however, end when the dreamer awakes. A Kaisyd in a dream that ends has plenty of time to move to another if the dreamer is waking, but if the dreamer awakes suddenly, or is awakened from within the dream the vampire is shunted either to another dream, or to the mortal realm. This can be dangerous, and vampires are advised to avoid disturbing the dreamers to directly.
Dreams are also often incomplete worlds. It is possible to run around the back of a prominent building in a dreamscape only to find a gaping abyss where loading bays should be. The dreamer has never wandered behind this building in the mortal realm and has not considered what may be there, and as such it is not included in her dream.
Leaving the Dreaming requires that the Kaisyd return to his point of entry. He may instead find some other suitable symbolic place of departure and expend a willpower point to manifest it as an exit.
Cost: 1 Willpower and 1 Blood
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Occult + Mytherceria - target's Composure
The Kaisyd may enter the dreaming in one of two ways: he may imbibe one blood point from a sleeper and expend that blood point along with a willpower to enter the sleeper's dreams. The vampire will fade from the kiss' ecstasy to the dream itself.
Alternatively the Kaisyd may attempt to enter the Dreaming directly. This action is performed with a -5 penalty. The Vampire must draw a door (or other dream-appropriate portal) in blood, or draw a glyph in blood on an existing transition point. Points may include doors, tapestries that may be pulled aside, windows, or even cliffs or other jumping-off points. Regardless, some physical transition between the mortal world and The Dreaming is necessary.
Dramatic Failure: The Vampire is shunted into a deep nightmare, or some hellish and dangerous realm of his own creation.
Failure: Nothing happens. A vampire who has used a cliff as a transition point falls to the ground, potentially harming himself. One who uses a door simply enters the next room.
Success: The Kaisyd enters the Dreaming as expected.
Exceptional Success: The kindred enters the Dreaming and maintains a sense of the surroundings of the sleeper or location at which he entered, and may leave at will without having to search for an exit.