Before the Great War, Dr. Fredrich Xerxes Wertheimer had a thriving practice treating the nouveau riche and their petty crises of conscience, but his real passion was for the insane. What fascinated him most was how many of the most psychotic individuals could detach themselves emotionally from the depraved acts they committed against others, and the ease with which they trivialized the effect they had on their victims.
He performed many studies on the insane, using the various populations of the Southwestern State Insane Asylum, one of the institutions in which he worked. He would place those with submissive personalities in locked rooms with the violently psychotic for extended periods of time and observe their interactions. Wertheimer theorized that the libido’s cathexis brought out the more intense reactions of the Id when subjected to prolonged violence and harassment. Based on his research he began creating artificial psychosis in the mildly neurotic by subjecting them to similar stimuli in the more controlled environment of the doctor-patient relationship, rather than allowing the unpredictable psychotics to decide how the subjects were treated. After several successes, he was pleased with the results of his works, and sought to test his theories on a more subtle level with his patients in the outside world.
About this time, the war in Europe escalated and German-borne Americans like Wertheimer found themselves at the mercies of anti-German propaganda and in some cases, violent attacks. His paying patients stopped coming and serious researchers refused to hear his studies. Wertheimer retreated to the relative normality of the asylum where the politics of the outside world could not interfere.
It was there that he met his most intriguing patient.
Clearly insane and accused of a series of violent attacks before (and during) her incarceration, she was kept at all times in straps and straight jackets. Several orderlies refused to work with her after they experienced periods of missing time they could not explain while in her presence. Intrigued, Wertheimer took her case personally. She talked endlessly about her unfortunate state – she claimed she was a vampire – and how the problems of her living death weighed a heavy toll on her mind. With medications ineffective, her unwillingness to eat (even when force fed) and fewer staff members willing work with her, Wertheimer agreed to let her “prove” her case, and brought in some of his earlier patients. One-by-one they became her meals, some of whom coming to her as if by command. Intrigued, Wertheimer wanted to know more, he wanted to experience this state for himself. She gave him his chance.
As a one of the undead, Wertheimer found he could indulge his curiosities in ways he never thought possible. Unfortunately, his experiments quickly eroded his personality, and he found himself succumbing to derangements himself. At times he could be completely distant and emotionally disconnected from his work, at other times he could become senselessly violent, taking pleasure in the pain and anguish of others.
Eventually he found the focus he needed, he created a bloodline for those like himself to study, manipulate and draw nourishment from the all-too-fragile psyches of others. He found no shortage of students willing to follow in his footsteps.
Parent Clan: Ventrue
Covenant: Although they are seen as anathemas in vampire society because of their peculiar weakness and maddening powers, these “Quacks” (as they’ve come to be called) are occasionally admitted into secular covenants like the Invictus or Carthian Movement. The covenant most likely to attract Cathexians however, and the most likely to accept them, is the secretive Ordo Dracul. Learning about the body and soul of the vampire is as important as learning about the mind.
Appearance: All too normal. Sure there are the occasional sociopaths that are inducted to the bloodline or who develop as members, most are the picture of sanity. They work hard to hide their own derangements and present a civilized façade.
Haven: Most seek out areas with large mentally disturbed populations – mental institutions, hospitals, movie studios – but the truth is, any highly populated area will do, because there are no shortage of crazy people in the world.
Background: Traditionally Cathexians seek out like-minded individuals. Psychiatrists and business leaders with an eye for the emotional state of others are prime candidates. Occasionally patients and the criminally insane will be brought into the bloodline, more often than not as an experiment performed by the neonate’s sire.
Character Creation: Mental and Social Attributes, obviously, hold the most importance for Cathexians. Appropriate skills are also highly prized, such as Academics, Medicine, Science, Empathy, Persuasion and Socialize.
Bloodline Disciplines: Animalism, Dominate, Resilience, Dementation
Weakness: Like all Ventrue, the Cathexians are exceedingly prone to derangements, but the bloodline takes the weakness a step further, drawing them to the insane. Cathexians can only drink the blood of the deranged, or those suffering temporary insanity (even if it is induced by Dementation). Drinking from the sane still tastes good, but provides no Vitae.
Organization: The Cathexians are surprisingly disorganized, preferring instead to allow individual members the chance to make their own studies and experiments without the interference of others. Teacher and student relationships are common, but rarely last as the pupil’s plans do not always match with those of the master.
Concepts: Psychiatrist, motivational speaker, priest, business leader, college professor.