"Sing a song of memory, my brothers in Caine
Sing a song of mourning for those who were lost.
My brother’s flesh is mud beneath my feet
The taste of his blood is cold upon my lips.
And all the works that man shall create,
From now until the end of time
Are but monuments to those whom our Father condemned
And whom His wrath consumed.
Let us never forget, lest we earn his rage anew.
Let us never forget, lest the waters rise again."
- – Lament of an Antediluvian, Erciyes Fragments
The Antediluvians (Latin for "Before the Flood") are the precursors to the vampire clans in Vampire: The Masquerade. According to Noddist lore, Caine sired three childer, who in turn collectively sired thirteen more. Caine left the First City, leaving his childer unattended, and the thirteen slew them, prompting Caine to lay curses upon each of them. When God attempted to cleanse the world with the Great Flood, the thirteen managed to survive and sire new childer, founding the Kindred Clans. Those thirteen are considered the Antediluvians. Although the canon of the Book of Nod identifies thirteen distinct Antediluvians, other sources have other claims. The Erciyes Fragments identify six childer of Caine. Vlad Tepes came across four different counts in his research, including zero. Ravnos lore has the gods create Zapathasura. A Setite legend has Set become a vampire on his own and the gods created the other twelve to oppose him.
In the modern nights, the Camarilla denies that the Antediluvians still exist, claiming that they must have been destroyed in one way or another long ago, when in truth they lie in Torpor, awaiting Gehenna to wreak havoc again. The Sabbat, however, seeks to consume their power.Either way, everyone agrees that an Antediluvian walking about openly is an Extremely Bad Sign (except for some vampires that want just their ancestors to return), and more than one active Antediluvian is probably the sign of the Apocalypse, if only because if there's a bunch of unstoppable Vampires running around the 'herd' might just nuke them. Millennia of paranoia with godlike powers makes these figures worse than Caine himself, since there's a good chance Caine might consider the PCs to be beneath his notice. Antediluvians serve the same purpose as the "precursor" trope in sci-fi settings, with a healthy dose of "ancient evil" on the side.
The thirteen clan founders are the original Grand-Childer of Caine, who went on to found the original thirteen clans:
- Haqim: Assamite. A Sumerian warrior that swore to kill Cainites for corrupting their king and queen, and single handedly embraces himself with draining his own blood from his wounds and drinks the slain vampiric king's blood, last seen in 121 AD speaking with Mithras of the Ventrue in the British Isles. Ironically, millennia later, one of his descendants diablerized Mithras. He is the greatest Jyhad hater in existence, having left his clan to sink or swim in the muddied waters, due to his childer taking part in Jyhad against his designs. He is gravely dissapointed in his clan, but doesn't hate them.
- Ilyes: Brujah, diablerized by Troile. Also known as Troile the Elder. In the "Fair is Foul" Gehenna scenario, used Temporis to hurtle forward in time to Lilith's garden in the Dark Ages at the moment of diablerie. Autistic time manipulating psychopath who has no empathy.
- Cappadocius: Cappadocian, diablerized by Augustus Giovanni in 1444. The few Cappadocians who returned from the underworld are known as the Harbingers of Skulls. A swell guy who cared for his underlings, and their human charges and even listening to humans' complaints of overfeedings leading to deaths. Like all good guys in the setting, he gets the shaft... Or not. He might not even be the good guy we all knew him as, for he might be the sire of the Baali, a title that he shares with Saulot. His original name, Ashur also is the definition of reverse Golconda, a vampiric point of evolution...So there is that.
- Set: Followers of Set. An Egyptian noble who started the Egyptian Pantheon with his father Ra, last seen battling his blood brother Osiris in 33 BC. Fails to rise and his followers commit suicide.
- Ennoia: Gangrel, believed to have gone into torpor before or during Jesus Christ's lifetime. She was in the New World before anyone else, considering the existence of Mictlantecuhtli and his sire. She sleeps in Canadian soil, possibly in north. In Gehenna's Crucible of God scenario, she becomes the sole Antediluvian survivor of Gehenna. Because she managed to turn into something more than a vampire. She turned into the Apex Predator. She became one with nature. She became Earth itself.
- Lasombra: Lasombra, believed diablerized by its childe Gratiano de Veronese in 1413; currently residing in/merged with the Abyss. In Gehenna, he uses Tchernabog, shrouding the world in shadows for a month. This causes life itself to take a great deal of damage. In the end, he perishes after something takes him out, his blood almost drowning the world, our money is on the Sun itself.
- Malkav: Malkavian, believed destroyed while journeying to Petra after the fall of the Second City. His spilled blood infects the entire middle eastern water supplies, leading to current Arab/Muslim world's insanity and wars. Meanwhile he sleeps like a child under Jerusalem. Alternatively, his body is destroyed completely, but his mind survived in the psychic link between his children, known as Madness Network. Either way, when awake, he can manifest through it.
- Absimilliard: Nosferatu Hitler wannabe with an autistic rage, and an appearance not even a saintly mother would love. He uses his loyal assassins, the Nictuku, to hunt down his descendants. Sire of infamous Baba Yaga, the Little Grandmother, who is in turn the sire of the Nosferatu. His descendants think every night about his return, and prepare to fight or flee from their forefather. Absimilliard might have walked New World around the same time with Ennoia, considering the guy Mictlantecuhtli diablerized. In Crucible of God, he looks like something straight out of H.P. Lovecraft's nightmares, having bred monsters below the dark oceans for far too long and rules Russia a la 1984 with vampires.
- Arikel/Ishtar Toreador, believed to still be active somewhere in Greece, artist girl from First City who likes to paint. Slaanesh of WoD. She might be the Shaper from Gehenna Sourcebook.
- Dracian/Zapathasura/Ravnos/Ravana/Countless other names: Ravnos, awakened in 1999 and fought three powerful Kuei-jin in Bangladesh before the Technocracy destroyed him with orbital mirrors and MAGIC NUKES. His awakening caused his clan to go nuts and almost wipe themselves out. Might have survived via Chimerstry 10, tricking the whole world to think he died. Most of the Gehenna scenarios presume that he was simply too insane and frenzied to even try though(a scene depicts him growling in agony as the sun rises on him, burning him to ash), so can be considered deader than dead.
- Saulot: Salubri, also the sire of the Wu-Zao, Baali (possibly), and Nkulu Zao, was diablerized by Tremere during his diablerie attempt in 1133. But, boy, did he take his vengeance... He is the closest thing to a Messiah Kindred have, the only dark points in his life are his time in the east and the fact he might be the progenitor of Baali, something he didn't even do on purpose. Around the Final Nights he finally goes full-on evil and decides he will be the next Demon Emperor of the East. 8000 years of being kicked around might have something to do with that.
- Tzimisce: Tzimisce, the greatest sick bastard in V:tM rivaling Absimilliard, presumed diablerized in the late 15th century, currently a fuckhuge, amorphous creature underneath New York under the protection of the Zantosa revenant family. Plans to become life itself. Imagine Giger's sum of nightmares in a vampiric body who tries to escape its parasitic existence and cultivate his own Vitae.
- Ventru: Ventrue, slain outside the Second City, possibly by Troile. Might have deceived kindred and kine alike via Dominate 10, making them believe he died, and planned to wake after Gehenna. The Danava refer to him as Veddhartha, which is Hindi for "wise and prosperous one".
In a few cases the original Antediluvian was Diablerised, either by a younger generation vampire or by someone else who stole their power.
- Troile: Brujah, diablerized his/her sire and was trapped under Carthage when the ground was sown with salt.
- Augustus Giovanni: Giovanni, still active behind the scenes of his clan's activities. Diablerised Cappadocius to steal his power. Blew himself up in a Gehenna scenario when he opened the Underworld's doors.
- Tremere: Tremere was some human mage that was extremely talented and ran a wizarding dynasty. Seeing magic ebb from the world, decides to change the game with a vampire smoothie taken from a Tzimisce. Ends up running an Edgy clan of D&D freaks with blood magic diablerizing the (by then) kindest vampire in the world. He regretted it. After some unforeseen incidents involving Saulot and Karma, currently occupies the body of his disciple/childe Goratrix, because Saulot pulled a Just as planned, and hijacked his body. Oh, and completely annihilated his favorite Chantry, and thinks about abandoning goodness and becoming the most evil and powerful demon in existence; Saulot stahp.
|The Clans of Vampire: The Masquerade|
|Independent Clans||Fallen Clans|
|Absimiliard - Augustus Giovanni - Arikel - Cappadocius - Ennoia - Haqim - Ilyes |
Lasombra - Malkav - Saulot - Set - Tremere - Tzimisce - Ventru - Zapathasura