Seated: Rex & Wolfgar, Gangrel Ghoul
Standing: Zirin; Gitane; Julian
Welcome to the oldest Gangrel page on the net - providing Clan info since March 3, 1995. These pages are written "in character" from my LARP character Gitane St. Claire's point of view. In character this info wouldn't be on the net (breach of the Masquerade and all), but here it is provided for all who are interested in Clan Gangrel. Read on for Clan info and some amusing personal stories.
* To the Gangrel Neonate *
About the Gangrel Antitribu *
Our Views on other Clans *
About our Lupine Brethren *
Gangrel Character Concepts *
Merits and Flaws for Gangrel *
To the Gangrel Neonate
Welcome Neonate! You have been given what some call a gift and others call a curse. No matter how you feel about that now, remember that your unlife is what you make of it. You are now a vampire, but it is not the Hollywood-esque version you see in movies. We do not run from crosses or hate garlic. We call ourselves "kindred", as we all share a common bond in our unlife.
Another kindred sired you; that is, gave you some of his blood after your body was dead and drained of blood. You may not know your sire, and how you came to this existence may be a fuzzy memory or none at all. Rest assured, if you survive and act with honor your sire will one day present him/herself to you and teach you the ways of the kindred.
Gangrel are wandering nomadic Vampires who generally prefer the countryside to the city. We typically speak to and control animals (Animalism), are tough and resiliant (Fortitude), and are masters of shape change (Protean).
A clan is a group of vampires who share similar traits and (in most cases) a similar outlook. There are two sects of belief that members of clans belong to, called the Camarilla and the Sabbat. The Camarilla and Sabbat are at war due to a difference of beliefs. You are of Clan Gangrel, formerly of the Camarilla now an independant clan. The Camarilla seeks to maintain the Masquerade and keep kindred safe from the prying eyes of mortals everywhere, and although they view mortals as pawns they do not harm mortals unnecessarily. The Sabbat believe mortals are sheep and they are the shepherds. Thus, a war has been going on for several centuries. There are also subdivisions of clans called bloodlines. They are created intentionally by mixing the blood of two or more clans and embracing a mortal with it. The Tremere created several bloodlines (such as the Gargoyles and the Blood Brothers) and is also the result of some kindred "experiments" that have happened. Bloodlines are also unintentionally created for reasons not commonly understood. Sometimes when a very religious or spiritual person is embraced, or when a person who feels deeply passionate about anything is made kindred, some of their passions carry over into their unlife. Most bloodlines have disciplines unique to only them. I find bloodlines and the diversity of kindred fascinating, and have spent much effort researching new disciplines.
Now a bit of our clan history ... our clan fonder was not named Gangrel (as many of the other kindred believe, and even some ignorants within our own clan, I'm sorry to say), but Ennoia. She is one of the three children of Lilith, Adam's first wife. Lilith bore four children, but one was stillborn. Ennoia was quite prolific and had many children, and from these children descended both the Gypsies and the Lupine. Eventually Ennoia was embraced by Caine's childe Hren, and became the mother of the clan we are of today. We are all her children. Since that time we have ranged far and wide, always the first clan to go where those other citified vampires wouldn't stick their noses without a proper mortal herd and the creature comforts they so depend on. We are the true explorers in a group of otherwise domesticated kindred. Now it falls on you to give support to that fine reputation.
We share the wilds with many creatures, including our two skinned brethren. Yes, young one, werewolves exist too, as well as many other wonders in the world. However, should you meet one call his people "lupine". It's a bit of etiquette they appreciate. Most kindred fear the lupine (and with good cause), but their friendship is worth earning. It is a truly wonderful thing to run as wolves in a pack with them, and to howl at the moon. Unfortunately, their stubbornness makes them hard to deal with. They forget (or choose to deny) we all came from the same mother, and they would war with us over their stupid pride. I personally have had more luck with the other were creatures besides wolves. But more on them later.
More pleasant to share the countryside with is the Gypsies. In ancient times the Gangrel and the Gypsies made a pact of aid. Never forget the pact of duty, and if one asks for help you are honor-bound to give it. They are also bound to help you in times of need. We have got along well with them because we do not abuse our calls for aid, and neither do they. It is up to you to honor
that tradition and not abuse our pact with them. However, they can be wonderful allies if you are in a bind. Reward them well for their help, it will be well worth it in the long run. Oh, and hide your valuables before you go and talk to one! :)
Well, young one, this is a good base of knowledge for you to go of into the world with. As you run into other Gangrel in your travels you will share stories and learn from each other. Remember to aid the young ones you meet, as you were once aided yourself.
About the Gangrel Antitribu
War tends to breed hatred and misunderstanding, rather then solving problems that caused the war in the first place. If you are Camarilla, you will be told how evil and bad the Sabbat is, and how you must kill one ASAP when you see it. God forbid you should actually TALK to a Sabbat! Well, I bought that line for far longer then I care to admit, but my views are changing now ...
There are seven clans that are members of the Camarilla, and two that are members of the Sabbat. When an individual member breaks away from her clan and joins another sect (s)he is called an "antitribu", meaning anti-tribe. There are two kinds of Gangrel antitribu, City Gangrel and Country Gangrel. Country Gangrel are much like ourselves, except for a difference in viewpoint from their sect. City Gangrel are very different. They do not enjoy the wilds and seek to exploit them, and seem more like a completely different clan then like us. I have had brief dealings of only limited success with them.
My sire Beast was a Sabbat hunter for centuries before my embrace, and I grew up hunting Sabbat because I believed it was the way to bring honor to my Clan. For two centuries I fought proudly and brought honor to the Camarilla Gangrel and defended my city well. We occasionally ventured into other areas and aided others who were having problems with Sabbat attacks on their cities as well.
I am half Seneca Indian and half French. I was raised by my mother's people and grew up close to the land and the nature spirits. After my embrace I noticed I no longer was able to talk with the spirits as I had before. This concern was put on the back burner for several centuries as I struggled to make my sire and my clan proud. Eventually, I begin to long for the connection I once had with the earth. Through my research on bloodlines I began to hear of a group of female Sabbat Gangrel who could communicate with spirits. They called themselves the "Ahrimane". When I tried to find more specific information on them I was told how inhuman and horrible they are, and to stay far away. Ignoring that, I persisted on with my search. Eventually I found one who would talk with me.
We arranged a meeting and I must admit I was a bit worried I may be walking into an ambush. Still, I came alone and unarmed to the appointed spot as I was told. It was a good thing that I got to meet and talk with her. Although she could not give me what I searched for, she directed me where I could find it. We discussed a great many things, including Sabbat Ideology. She explained the Sabbat believe in Gehenna, where the Antediluvians will rise up from torpor and drain the blood of all the younger kindred for their insatiable hunger. The Sabbat seek to make themselves stronger so they will be prepared to fight this when the time comes. They see the Camarilla as a group of brainwashed drones waiting to be fed on, who will be walking into the mouths of the Antediluvians, just as our elder clan members sacrificed their children in the Inquisition. The Sabbat fight the Camarilla to strengthen themselves and to give the Antediluvians less kindred blood to make themselves powerful from. The Sabbat also see the Beast differently then we do - where we of the Camarilla seek to beat the Beast into submission the Sabbat seek ways to "ride the wave" and control the Beast by directing it. They call this a "path of enlightenment", and it guides their actions, even in a frenzy. My meeting with her was most informative, and her help guided me to find what I sought eventually.
I still have many questions, including the basic "why can't we all just get along" one, but my meeting with the Ahrimane changed my views of the Sabbat forever. Except for the overly violent ones who hurt children and animals or attack the area I defend, I have ceased to hunt them. I certainly look on Sabbat in a different light from now on. Are we really that different? We both seek to survive in the way we believe best.
I encourage neonates to be cautious in their dealings but to also keep an open mind. Surviving is enough of a challenge for anyone, but sorting out bull shit from truth is another matter entirely. While you keep an open mind, keep your claws ready.
I encourage older members to train their young ones well. You *are* responsible for your children, and it is a dishonor to our clan how many kindred who claim to be Caitiff are actually our clan. It is also a dishonor how many young ones email me for information on our clan. Sires, be more responsible with your childer! Teach them pride in our heritage.
Our Views on other Clans
There is a one word description of all the 13 original clans in the Book of Nod, as told to me by someone who is quite studious about our heritage: Learned (Brujah), Beast (Gangrel), Moon (Malkavian), Hidden (Nosferatu), Rose (Toreador), Kingship (Ventrue), Snake (Set), Death (Cappodocius), Healers (Salubri), Wanderer (Ravnos), Hunt (Assamites), Night (Lasombra), and Shapers (Tzimisce).
- Brujah - Witches - hardly! Years ago they used to be the learned ones, now they are a bunch of aimless hotheaded rebels who live to fight. Young ones are easily manipulated - just mention (insert enemy here) said they looked like a faggot in leather and you have one less enemy to count, and maybe have done the world a favor by getting the Brujah killed as well. Always angry and lousy lays, there's not much they have to offer. I'd be a bit leery of the old ones though - they're too political for me.
- mAlkAvIAn - So many people overlook this clan, and that's a real shame. One of my best friends and lovers was a Malkavian, and he was a better kindred then most. The Malkies also have the best information, bar none. It's what version of the truth they give to you that worries me ...
- Nosferatu - I've always gotten along well with the Nosferatu, and my grand daughter lives with them in their Warren. They have good information and are more reliable about what they tell you. Remember, you get what you pay for. And everyone else knows what you paid for.
- Toreador - For the most part, I find their parties are boring social farces of "one-upsmanship" and what most of them pass off as art is crap. However, there are exceptions to every rule. I did know a Toreador (an "outcast" of the clan, wouldn't you know) who was a painter - she ask me to teach her Fortitude in exchange for Auspex. She used it to make beautiful paintings of sunsets and sunrises, and told me that was her favorite time of day. I have one of her paintings in my haven. She was a really cool down to earth chick, but I find little in common with most in this clan. Judge them individually.
- Tremere - Although I love a member of this clan, I am very wary around them. These former mages wanted eternal life and their demented leader found a way to do it. He diablerized Salout, a really decent and kind kindred, and created a few bloodlines of dubious use. There are only Seven Salubri in the world at a time (legand says ...) and the Tremere have a council of Seven. You figure it out. Never, ever trust a Tremere and never ever let a Tremere get ahold of your blood. Their loyalty is to their clan, always.
- Ventrue - Every group needs a leader, and usually the most corrupt and corruptible are the ones who want the job. 'Nuff said.
- Anarchs - While they are not a clan, they are composed of members of all clans sharing the common viewpoint that freedom is good and he who rules least, rules best. What more then freedom is dear to a Gangrel? I have had only good dealings with Anarchs and their creativity has helped me learn many new ways to be creative in my Eco terrorist activities.
- Caitiff - Remember, many of the ones who claim to be clanless are in truth ours. Their sire may have died before he had a chance to present himself, or any number of things may have happened. If anyone tries to tell you the clanless are lower then dirt (or some such nonsense), ask them what Clan Caine was.
- Assamite - Trained assassins at their best, these guys take their payment in blood. They do their job well, and I have had good experiences working with them on a strictly business level. I would caution you to pay in the blood of another though - you never know just where that blood may end up. On the other hand, they hate the Tremere more then most anybody else.
- Daughter of Cacophony - The Toreador's love for art meets the Malkavian's unique views of the world, and you get a Daughter. They are pretty rare, being a young bloodline, but have the power to use their voice to entrance, to give derangements and even to wound others. They are good allies to have, and know much of the artistic side of life. If you must stand against one in combat, they are usually poor in hand to hand combat and are best quieted quickly.
- Gargoyles - No, No ... not the Disney show! These guys were made by the Tremere to serve them, but they wised up and went freelance. I have a dear friend in this clan, and they are good for Gangrel to hang out with.
- Giovanni - Imagine Italian Ventrue who want to rule the world through a solid financial empire as opposed to politics. Now give them the ability to talk to the dead and an obsession with death. Although I have no personal objection to them, making dinner conversation was tough ...
- Lasombra - What Joshua, a Lasombra, told me: "The Lasombra will save everyone not for their sake, but for our own. What good are leaders with no one to lead. The Final difference between us and the Ventrue is that we are not afraid to fight and die for our sect, and for our subjects. The Ventrue send their subjects out to die for them."
- Ravnos - Yep, if there's one bloodline that can give both Gangrel and Gypsies a bad name it's them. Stay clear - their practical jokes can go too far, too fast and are not easy to fix once out of hand. On the other hand, sending one the way of a Prince you dislike is hilarious.
- The Sabbat - Sabbat deal with the Beast by finding a way to ride through a frenzy instead of trying to avoid it completely. They call this their "Path of Enlightenment". On the other hand, they are hard to be around for any amount of time because they ARE the Beast, and they behave like it too. Now I'm not big on table manners and such, but you gotta draw the line somewhere ...
- Salubri - They are not the demon worshippers of legend (that's the Baali) but spiritual souls on the path to Golconda. Befriend and protect all these gentle souls you meet, as the Tremere have slurred their clan and founder's reputation and made their existence next to impossible. Through it all they survive on, proving (at least to me) that someone/something pretty special is protecting them. Their survival against all odds is a trait to be admired from Gangrel everywhere. Much can be learned from these wise ones.
- Setite- I have had limited business dealings with them and they have treated me fairly. Warning - they adhere to the letter of the agreement and not the spirit of such, so be careful what you are asking for - you will get it!
About our Lupine Brethren
The werewolves prefer to be called Lupine or Garou, and they fight a never ending battle against the Wyrm, who they see is the embodiment of evil and destruction in the world. It used to be that the Wyrm thought destruction was a forest fire or an earthquake - cleansing natural activities for evolution of the planet. Then the Wyrm went insane and decided to destroy things like families and love and promote greed and envy. Personally, I think it's doing a good job - and that's scary! The Garou are dying out, and it looks like they may lose the battle the fought so hard and long.
Garou are hard to deal with because their rage unbalances them, and they try to kill everything that's of the Wyrm. Unfortunately, this includes kindred. They see us as outside the natural order of things (like life and death). If you must approach one, there is no such thing as too much caution. The best way I have found to approach them is in wolf form. Be careful though, it's a high stakes game to play.
There are other shape changers besides the Lupine, and I have had much better luck dealing with them. Nuwisha, or coyotes, are practical jokers and are full of smiles for everyone. They do a wonderful job reminding you of the joy of breathing days and have a sense of humor second to none. The Bastet, or cats, are just what you'd expect - beautifully groomed, hedonistic, and playful. There are many kinds of Bastet, but the one I met called herself a Qualomi, or lynx. Presumably there are were-tigers, were-lions, etc. The Guhral are were-bears, and are sadly dying out fast. They are large but gentle, and are healers and herbalists. Approached cautiously, you may find they have the wisdom of the woods at their disposal to share with you. The Ahrimane told me of the were alligators, but I have not met one and know little of them. Help these two skins if you can, they have all suffered too long at the hands of the Garou, and time is too short to waste.
You may be asking "with the help of all these other two skins, how can the Garou lose?" Well, they don't have the help of the others. See, years back the prideful Garou decided they were masters of all the other shape changers. When the other shapechangers did not like this idea (surprise!) the Garou tried to take gifts (gifts are special things, like our disciplines) from them. The Guhral were the first to feel the rage of the Garou, and were driven almost to extinction. The other two skins were hard pressed to battle the Garou as the Garou ran in packs and the other two skins ran alone. The war finally stopped when the Garou realized what they had done, but it was too late. The Wyrm had touched the Garou forever and separated them from the other two skins.
From my interaction with the Garou, they are still a prideful, arrogant lot who will be dying out soon because of their inability to ask for forgiveness from the two skins they hunted and adapt to a new world where they are not rulers of all, but part of a whole. (Trust me, some of the silver Garou are even worse then any Tremere you've met as far as clan loyalty) There is so much infighting between different Garou clans they don't have time to hunt the other two skins anymore. It's always puzzled me how those so close to nature can be so blind to it's ways and to the balance of things.
Gangrel Character Concepts
Is there any rhyme or reason as to who the Gangrel will choose to embrace? There seems such a wide variety of people in this clan, yet they do all share a common trait. They are all survivors. When their back is up against the wall they will fight for their own survival and persevere on, and not quit. Almost anyone can have the survival instinct brought out in them, but here are
Concepts from the Gangrel Clanbook by White Wolf are:
- Archon in Training
- Babe in the Woods
- Bold Urban Commando
- Great White Hunter
- Lupine Impersonator
Other suggested concepts are:
- Animal Keeper/Handler at the Zoo - who wants to take care of the animals forever
- Bikers - Those Harley dudes have to be tough to take the shit society gives them. Tough enough to take the shit kindred society will give them also.
- Embraced Kinfolk - can become an interesting storyline revolving around if the embrace was accepted willingly or not
- Native American - this culture revolves around the oral tradition, and has potential to become one of the best Gangrel Storytellers
- Sabbat Hunter - seems I know a lot of these, like my sire Beast ...
- Street Child - the ultimate survivalist, along the lines of Sarah from "The Crow"
- Victim of a drive by shooting, rape or assault - embraced to "save" their lives (idea courtisy my childe Rex, and my now-grandchilde Alexandra *sigh!!!* kids!)
Merits and Flaws for Gangrel
- Blase - 3M- c'mon, what really impresses Gangrel anyway?
- Iron Will - 3M- we are Gangrel, after all
- Time Sense - 1M- makes coming out of earth melding easier.
- Gift of Proteus - 1/2/4M - You don't need to be just a wolf or bat, you can be any animal you choose.
- Ruse of the Wolf's Clothing - 2M - a baby face merit for animal forms
- Overconfidant - 1F - Hey, we're Gangrel!
Well, I hope my rambling memories have helped you understand our clan more. If you have stories to share of your experiences, write me! I'd love to hear them.
Gitane St. Claire, Red Alastor of Clan Gangrel
as played by Robin (email@example.com)
Thanks to Mike Asher (firstname.lastname@example.org), who let me know the history of the word "Alastor". Besides a Camarilla position, Alastor is also:
The Greek God of Revenge
The title of a famous poem by Percy Shelley
An iron sailing ship of the 19th century.
The setting of several novels by author Jack Vance.
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Copyright 1995-2005 Robin Connor. All Rights Reserved.