Gangrel

Gangrel are the embodiment of everything other kindred fear about themselves. In those of the Gangrel bloodlines, the fight of humanity against the Beast takes on a new and terrifying form, for every time the Gangrel loses that fight, even for a moment, the Beast encroaches upon his very body.

For that reason it is unusual to find those of the Gangrel clan residing in cities, dwelling fast by mortals or even mixing greatly with other kindred: most other vampires shun them, probably because it is always disturbing to be confronted by those things you most fear, and most Gangrel are resigned to being treated as outsiders. Some are even repulsed by the antics which the other Clans, especially Toreador, perform to convince themselves of their continued humanity. Instead, the Gangrel mix with the wild things. A few maintain friends amongst their own kind, usually the Gangrel or the Brujah, some take solace amongst the animals they find their minds and physical forms tending towards, some seek other supernaturals as comrades, some satisfy themselves with solitude and communion with Nature or with their own consciences.

There are two main directions in which a young Gangrel can tend, and of course the myriad variations thereupon. One is to accept the flaws, fears and supernatural transformations of their Clan and to strive to maintain a human spirit nevertheless, fighting always against not only the hidden Beast of every vampire, but the Beast which manifests visibly. It is a battle which consumes their every decision. The other is to renounce humanity and embrace the Beast, allowing the animalism of their vampiric natures to consume them, moving and thinking and hunting by instinct. These second sort are rarely found in the Camarilla, because the nature of a vampire, the top of the food chain, when untempered by thought for others, can lead quite easily to the breaking of the Masquerade.

Historically the Gangrel clan has been quite interesting. Rather than an unified Clan, it tends to present as a collection of individuals, most of whom see no reason at all to band together. Gangrel are fortunate not to be given specific orders by the elders of their Clan very often, if at all, but similarly they will not be protected by sire or mentor against the orders of elders of other Clans. In the earliest days the Gangrel embraced litters of childer, who were taught for a short time by their sires and then left to live or die as they would, sometimes hunting and living together in groups, sometimes striking out on their own. Many of the earliest vampire legends, of vampires with no human thought, hunting cannily at night with glowing red eyes which showed them to be creatures of the Devil, speak of the less well-taught or more feral members of this clan. One of the reasons for the antipathy between them and the tiny clan of Ravnos which is occasionally rumoured to exist and generally associated with gypsies, is that occasional gypsy caravans settled around fires for the night would find that one or two of their number, wandering too far outside the gleam of firelight, had been killed by an opportunistic Gangrel childe learning to hunt. It is very unusual to find a member of the Gangrel clan who has survived with any sort of humanity more than a century.

Speculation is rife regarding why this relatively short lived Clan, with its very few kindred, is considered to be one of the main Camarilla clans. Perhaps it was a political coup - but Gangrel are rarely noted for their skills in such areas. Perhaps some other Clan had a plot to gain more power for themselves. Whatever it happens to be, the Gangrel are lucky to be given the respect and consideration due to a full Clan of the Camarilla rather than the disgust aimed at Caitiff and non-Camarilla clans. Those few who have considered the political implications of their position can show unaccustomed concern for the Caitiff - but even they are loath to sacrifice their status so much as to do so publicly.

If you would like to play a Gangrel character, please contact Corinne.

Return to main Vampire page.