“It is blood that feeds our bodies, but what feeds our souls? When you have tasted the inspiration of an artist, the deepest desires of a dreamer, nothing else will satisfy your hunger.”
It is true that very little rivals the hunger that drives a vampire. Every waking moment, it gnaws at the heart of the kindred, and colours their every thought in the Requiem. Among all the clans however, it is the Daeva who crave something more – to feel sensation and emotion, to feel the pulse of humanity and be a part of it.
The Daeva bloodline known as the Xiao was first discovered in China, where they lurked behind the veneer of artistic society, hovering among the artists, poets, and dreamers of humanity. Unlike their cousins, however the Toreador, the Xiao do not promote the arts, but instead feed on the dreams and inspirations of those around them.
The Xiao lurk at the heart of civilization, always following those who have a strong creative streak within them. The Xiao often befriend these individuals, following their careers and helping the ingenue’s talents to blossom. At this point, the Xiao begins to feed on the mortal, and rapidly the target ‘burns out’. Other Xiao slip through the shadows of night, finding prey and stealing their breaths, leaving their victims weak and hopeless when they wake.
Parent Clan: Daeva
Nickname: Soul Drinkers
Covenant: The Xiao can often be found among the Invictus, their talents for finding those with great potential a benefit to gathering wealth and power. In China, the Invictus are quite influential, and the Xiao do very well among their ranks. The Circle of the Crone is also popular among the Xiao, who find the natural philosophy of the predator to their liking. The beliefs of the Circle of the Crone strike a natural harmony with the hungers of this bloodline. The Lancea Sanctum finds very few among their ranks, the Ordo Dracul disturbs the bloodline greatly The Ordo Dracul are fascinated with the Xiao, and often wish to learn more about this bloodline’s unique talents. The Carthian movement has seen a growing number of the Soul Drinkers joining their ranks, as the influence and exchange of favours within the covenant grants a larger pool of talent for the Xiao to feed from.
Appearance: Most Xiao tend to dress to blend in, usually among the middle or upper class. The clothing chosen depends on the goals of the vampire, either to act as a patron, or as an ally to those who eventually become their prey. The Xiao prefer to keep themselves presentable, and are often quite obsessed with looking the part of the roles they create for themselves.
Haven: The Xiao often live in simple and elegant homes, often with the creative works of their past victims. They are often fascinated by works of art, and attempt to garner further insight into the talents and creative spark of those they have patronized and fed from. In Western society, the Xiao live in ‘flats’ or studio apartments, which give them room for housing guests and presenting the ruse of being a struggling artist or a patron of the arts.
Background: A large number of the Xiao come from Daeva who were once artistic during their mortal lifetimes. The constant struggle to reclaim their talents lost with their embrace often triggers the transformation to this bloodline. Characters can be from any walk of life, but most are embraced either from the artistic community, or as a sympathetic embrace from a predator who has pangs of guilt upon taking the life of someone they patronized and admired.
Character Creation: Xiao often have high Social Attributes, allowing them to ingratiate themselves with potential prey. Those who are more prone to being ‘breath thieves’ often choose Physical Attributes instead. Social Skills are often important, allowing them the ability to mingle in society and make contacts, while Mental Skills allow them to hold knowledge of the arts and prove themselves capable in a rapidly changing society.
Bloodline Disciplines: Celerity, Obfuscate, Presence, Zhen Fen
Weakness: The Xiao retain the weakness of their parent clan, finding it difficult to hold back from their impulses. When the character attempts to hold back from indulging in their Vice, the Kindred loses two Willpower points. In addition, the hunger within the Xiao bloodline gnaws at them constantly. Any method used by the Kindred to regain Willpower provides one Willpower less. Thus, a member of this bloodline who indulges in their Vice does not regain Willpower, nor does the vampire regain Willpower while resting during the day. Using their Zhen Fen Discipline to regain Willpower is not penalized however.
Organization: The Xiao are not particularly organized or unified, and prefer to keep to themselves. Trespassing on the chosen prey of a Xiao is asking for trouble, and it has become customary for the Xiao to focus on one target at a time, rather than risk the wrath of another of their kind. As such, the Xiao do keep in touch with one another only to find what prey have been ‘taken’ and off limits.
Concepts: Dream Thief, Patron of the Arts, Struggling Artist, Victimized Artist, Burn Out