Samedi

Nickname: Stiffs
Clan Disciplines: Necromancy, Obfuscate, Thanatosis

The Samedi are vampires of especially unwholesome ilk, and dreadful to look upon. Their bodies resemble corpses, and those who see them sometimes mistake them for zombies or other revenant horrors.

Thought to have originated in the Caribbean, the Samedi have strong ties to the region's voodoo legacies. They practice a unique Discipline that actually allows them to manipulate the energies of death, albeit in a much more temporal manner than Giovanni Necromancy. Indeed, the Giovanni have very little good to say about the Samedi, and the enmity between these Kindred runs deep. Some Kindred believe that the Samedi are the result of a vile Giovanni experiment gone wrong, while other vampires attribute darker origins to the Stiffs. Still other Kindred believe that the Samedi are a derelict offshoot of the Nosferatu – one that should have been stillborn.

Samedi often involve themselves with occult or illegal activities in a city, becoming powerful houngans and mambos or trafficking with superstitious immigrant criminal elements. Given their apparent voodoo roots, the Samedi seem content to garner influence in immigrant ghettoes, practicing their dark magic and preying upon a populace used to the dead walking among them.

The Samedi are also notorious assassins and mercenaries, and it is for this reason that many Camarilla princes turn a blind eye to them in spite of their almost Masquerade-threatening involvement with the kine around them. For the most part, the Samedi keep to themselves, and a prince never knows when she may need an ally with "special" abilities. The Stiffs seem to hold the Nosferatu and Giovanni in some inscrutable esteem (or dread), though, as they are hesitant to take out contracts on Kindred of these clans without just cause or considerable payment.

There is more to the Samedi bloodline than a loose associate of witch-doctors and death cultists, however. The bloodline is insular and secretive; many times, its members often keep their affairs private from even other members, suggesting that they have something other than common interests. A few Samedi are known to be members of the Camarilla or the Sabbat, but these offer those sects little information on others of their kind. Arguably the eldest member of the bloodline, a vampire known only as the Baron, suggests that the Samedi have a greater role in the Kindred's history and future than most vampires suspect. What that may be, the Baron refuses to specify, dismissing further questions with a wave of his rotting hand.

Sect

The Samedi claim membership in no sect, though individual Stiffs may be found in the Camarilla and Sabbat when they choose to bother with such things. Since the return of the Harbinger of Skulls, more and more are joining the ranks of the Sabbat.

Appearance

Samedi Kindred look like corpses in various – usually advanced – stages of decomposition. Some Samedi are putrid, with foul fluids oozing from their tattered skin, while others are leathery, emaciated and look like unwrapped mummies. The eyes of Samedi vampires sink deep into their skulls upon the Embrace and their lips retract, exposing horrid rictus of teeth and fangs. Additionally, most Samedi loose their nose once Embraced as well, leaving gaping pits in the center of their faces (though this does not seem to affect their ability to smell scents).

Haven

Samedi make their havens in areas associated with death, so that they attract no more undue attention than is possible. The Stiffs prefer mausoleums, crypts, graveyards, funeral homes and even ell-attended morgues. A few Samedi have taken to dwelling with Nosferatu in tunnels beneath their cities, but the Nosferatu tend to find the Samedi too morbid for much long-term cohabitation.

Background

The Samedi seem to be a modern phenomenon, and no Samedi is suspected to be more than 250 years old, even after their Embrace. In light of this, however, the Samedi seem more numerous than they have in the past few decades, particularly in voodoo-influenced regions of the Caribbean and the southern United States. These Kindred are typically loners, and it is uncommon to find more than two making permanent havens in any given city, no matter the size. Many Samedi claim to have worked in fields related to death during their mortal lives – coroners, morticians, witch doctors, etc. – and almost as many admit to being suicidal at one point or another before their Embrace.

Character Creation

Samedi typically Embrace those with a penchant for death, a trait that follows them into undeath. Many Samedi favor Mental Attributes and Knowledges while the martial, mercenary members of the bloodline cultivate Physical Attributes and Skills or Talents. Samedi rarely have Herd, Mentor or Resource Backgrounds. A significant percentage of the Samedi bloodline, particularly the older members, practices the Discipline of Necromancy but it is unknown precisely where they would have come across this knowledge, as they appear to be on very poor terms with the Giovanni.

Weakness

Samedi are hideous to behold, albeit in a different manner than the Nosferatu. Whereas the Nosferatu are disfigured and monstrous, the Samedi are much more corpselike and decayed. The fetid stench of the grave follows the Stiffs as well, and their decomposed skin is nauseating to the touch. All Samedi suffer Appearance Traits of 0, which may never be increased (though it may be hidden or changed mystically).
Organization

The Samedi are so few that if an organization or hierarchy exists, no one understands it except the bloodline itself. On the rare nights when to Samedi come in contact with each other, they may pause only briefly to exchange news or rumors before parting ways. A few turbulent rumors sweep through Kindred society about secret cabals of Samedi gathering in graveyards, but none of these rumors have been substantiated.