"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, 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.
- 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.
- Set: Followers of Set, 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.
- 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.
- Absimiliard: Nosferatu, 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. Absimilard 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.
- Arikel/Ishtar Toreador, believed to still be active somewhere in Greece. 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. 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.
- 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 has, the only dark points in his life are his time in the east and the fact he might be the progenitor of Baali.
- Tzimisce: Tzimisce, the greatest sick bastard in V:tM, 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.
- 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.
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, currently occupying the body of his disciple/childe Goratrix. Gained his power by stealing it from Saulot. He regretted it, because Saulot pulled a Just as planned, and hijacked his body.
|The Clans of Vampire: The Masquerade|
|Brujah||Gangrel||Malkavian||Nosferatu||Toreador||Tremere||Ventrue|| Daughters of
|Independent Clans||Fallen Clans|
| Absimiliard - Augustus Giovanni - Arikel - Cappadocius - Ennoia - Haqim - Ilyes |
Lasombra - Malkav - Saulot - Set - Tremere - Tzimisce - Ventru - Zapathasura