From hidden fortresses in the Middle East, the Assamites emerge as the silent stalkers of other Cainites. Secretive, insular and fanatically loyal to the precepts of their Clan, the Assamites claim to be descendants of Haqim (Assam), who is said to fight against Khayyin (Caine) and his curse. As a result, the Assamites seek to convert or slay other Cainites, attempting to purge the foul curse of Khayyin and bring honor to Haqim's cause of justice. Needless to say, such pursuits including hunting other Cainites for blood, and engaging in diablerie in attempts to strengthen their clan and their closeness to Haqim are not popular with the other Clans.
Disciplines: Celerity, Obfuscate, Quietus
Clan Advantage: One free dot of Melee and Brawl abilities. May have access to weapons and equipment through the Clan at the STs discretion.
Clan Disadvantage: Vitae addiction. If an Assamite imbibes the blood of another Kindred, they must make a four Trait difficulty Self-Control/Instinct test to avoid becoming addicted. If they become addicted they must make another Self-Control/Instinct test every time they encounter that individual to resist frenzying and attempting to devour them.
Appearance: An rougishly flambouyant man, approximately 6' 2." Hides the darkening tint with his skin with makeup and accentuated the white in his hair. Prone to wearing dashing scarves and spectacles with a few extraneous lenses.
Sire: Abu al-Hasan ibn Alu al-Qalasadi
Birthdate: January 3, 1819 (Capricorn)
In Play: 2009 - 2010
Background: An-Nasr Altair Hassani, unbenownst to the Cainite world, lived his mortal days as Charles Piazzi Smyth, the famed court astronomer of Scotland who seemingly ended his life with his life in drunken dissolution with his theories a laughingstock.
In reality, the failed academic had met a different fate in Giza, attracting the attention of Abu al-Hasan ibn Alu al-Qalasadi - an Assamite of the Vizier caste who had enjoyed some past repute as the inventor of algebraic symbolism. Mistakenly thinking that Embracing Smyth might once more bring life to his fading legacy, the scholar gifted the fallen astronomer with unlife.
Whilst history books would go on to state that Smyth eventually returned to Scotland and died, the newly Embraced scholar took on the name Altair Hasani, deriving the surname from one of his former Egyptian mistresses. Thus newly christened, the bombastic theorist traveled the world, in time assembling a small family of ghouled mortals as he hopped from city to city. Disdainful and dismissive of most vampires and their politics, the roguish vagabond developed a close bond to his retainers: a former African slave named Alashain and a young girl named Reda.
As a PC: Altair arrived in New York in late 2009, where he worked in fashion design, advertising Alashain's artistic ideas with his cultivated eccentricity. Early into his stay, he had the misfortune of meeting one Constantine Smith, a confused Tzimisce with an irrational vendetta against vampire-kind. Recognizing the fiend as the progeny of Caine, the smooth talking Assamite accidentally led the volatile man to mistake him for his Sire, inadvertantly making himself the prime target of Smith's campaign of revenge.
Later, he made the passing acquaintance of a Brujah photographer named Alice, and found himself flung haphazzardly into the city's spotlight when the neonate called him in the midst of her murder at the hands of Constantine. Understandably upset at this turn of events, the shaken Cainite aroused the suspicions of the Camarilla, and was viciously attacked in Elysium after a brief scan of his aura revealed that he had engaged in past diablerie. Whilst he was able to convince Prince Niklaus von Metternich not to excute him for the habits common to his Clan, the Vizier managed to maintain a "friendly" relationship with the Ivory Tower thereafter, eventually joining the fading Camarilla in their attempts to locate and slay Smith.
Eventually, Constantine tracked his way to Altair's design company, kidnapping Alashain in an attempt to lure the Assamite into a confrontation. When the young Tzimisce found himself outnumbered by the war party which responded to the hostage situation, he fled - and was eventually told by the secretly sympathetic Samuel Johnson that Altair could not possibly have Sired him. Regretful at his mistake, the desperate neonate called Altair to apologize... mentioning as he did that Johnson had ill-aims for the Assamite.
Outside of such dramatic happenings, Altair managed to cultivate the reputation which had followed him elsewhere in his travels - that of a fabulously flabouyant omnisexual rogue. He was quite popular amongst the rank and file of the city's Anarchs and Independents, and was well known for his sharp wit and flippant demeanor.
- Altair attempted to infiltrate the FBI by applying to work for them as an Arabic translator, but never was able to figure out a means to pass the medical physical required for the job.
In Play: 2005 - 2006
Background: A former IRA member, Devin traveled long in the company of the Gangrel Sam McGregor and his band of Anarchs. Whilst his time amongst the revolutionary organization left him plagued by flashbacks, little was known of what precisely befell him during his mortal years, and he proved reluctant to speak of his past.
As a PC: Devin Ferrel was a man that few get to know very closely or well, with the only individual he seemed to display a consistent loyalty to being his partner and comrade H. After McGregor's company stopped in New York, the Assamite grew estranged from the boistrous "Baron," and secretly slew and diablerized the man's paramour. Later, Devin would draw further emnity from the Anarchs and Camarilla alike - making a name for himself in his willingness to do business with anyone regardless of political affiliation... including the Sabbat.
Blustery and tactless, the man went so far as to openly his responsibility in the death of Gretchen Faustus, whom he and "H" apparently made short but brutal work of. Unbenownst to him, the Setite professor he claimed to have slain still lived, having disguised a mortal to be killed in her stead. This incident, depsite being shy of a technical breach of the Sixth Tradition, nevertheless would set the stage for the Camarilla to seek retribution against Ferrel and his partner, and ultimately "H" would pay the price for both of their indiscretions
Appearance: An exceptionally attractive young man whose throat was marked by obvious scarring
In Play: 2005 - 2007
Background: Very little was known about "H" and his past, save that an accident from his mortal days had rendered him mute. Prior to his arrival in New York, he had been traveling in the company of his partner, Devin Ferrel, and a group of Anarchs led by the Gangrel, McGregor.
As a PC: "H" drifted in and out of the public spotlight for some time, joining Devin in his eventual estrangement from the Anarchs and the attempted murder of Camarilla-affiliated Setite, Gretchen Faustus in April of 2006.
Whilst his partner managed to skirt any reprecussions for this public killing, "H" eventually found himself a prisoner the Tremere, when the Regent, Adam Jones, launched an attack on the wanted man when he dared venture into the Sebau alone. Once subdued, Jones (who had be a friendly acquaintance of Faustus), proceeded to blood bond the Assamite to his person, hoping to turn him into a servant for House and Clan.
How "H" weathered this change in fortunes is not known, although he was not seen publicaly after his capture.
MU HUANG SEN
A.K.A.: Sen Sen
Appearance: A man of Chinese descent bearing the darkened skin characteristic of his Clan.
In Play: 2004 - 2005
Theme Song(s): Screeching Weasel - Cool Kids
Background: Huang Sen was born in a small province in Guangxi, somewhat west of Hong Kong, to the family of a provincial governor in 1828. Having the blessing and misfortune of being the first son after a long string of daughters, he was lauded with luxury and excess such as his moderately wealthy family could provide. He was told often that he was a xiao haungdi, a "little emperor", and that such luxuries were only just suitable for one of his importance. Unsurprisingly, by the tender age of eight, Mu Huang Sen was amazingly spoiled.
In 1836, the Mu family was blessed by a promotion to its patriarch as an aide to Lin Cixü (Lin Tse-hsü). Father Mu, not being a fool and wanting the best for his family, eagerly accepted the promotion, moving the Guangdong and rising in glory with his superior until Lin Cixü became the Imperial Commissioner in Canton in 1839. An extremely moral and farsighted man, Lin Cixü was the cause of the Opium War as he ruthlessly subjected British mariners and citizens to Chinese law without recourse to ambassadors and absolutely forbade the trade of opium. The British, seeing a large sum of money slipping from their fingers, responded with gunboats. Vastly outmatched with superior British technology, China was forced to concede to the British with the Treaty of Nanking, and Lin Cixü was sent to live in disgrace and exile as a remote minister of Turkestan. Along too, came the Mu family.
Though Father Mu tried to bear his new appointment with honor, the former glory he had tasted and lost left him dissatisfied with the temporal world. In 1843, one year after his appointment in disgrace, he took Buddhist vows and resigned his position, thus maintaining his family's honor, but squandering their fortune on the temple. Mu Huang Sen, seeing that the money had gone to the temple and desiring its luxuries, also took vows in 1844, shortly after his father. Though his initial studies were anything but genuine, over time he came to several conclusions. Those being that violence had ruined his old way of life, and ignorance and overconfidence had lead to violence. In 1847, at the age of nineteen, Mu Huang Sen forswore violence and the touch of a weapon in favor of a metered, rational approach. Such was his resolve that in a freak moment of unexplained phenomena so common to the human race every knife, sword, bo, bow, arrow, pistol, or weapon of any sort in the monastery fell to ruin. Needless to say this caught the attention of several entities interested in such things, but the Assamite Visers got him first. In 1848, Mu Huang Sen was Embraced.
As a PC: Over a century later, after growing well-versed in a variety of Thaumaturgical paths, Mu Huang Sen came to New York. Posing as an affiliate of Al-Ashrad's recent schism, the shrewd magician wormed his way into the court of Hadrian Evans. Here, the enigmatic Cainite pursued an agenda of almost pathological hatred toward the usurpers and the Clan of Serpents - the later being an emnity held over from his days as a mortal. Whilst he was largely able to keep his mystical abilities hidden from the prying eyes of the ever-curious Tremere regent, Adam Jones, during a Gangrel raid he was seen to openly use magic in the defense of the Prince - hastening the understated but vicious enmity between the two magic users.
Perhaps due to her unrelenting hatred for the Followers of Set, Huang Sen found himself comfortable in the company of the Malkavian Sheriff, Lillian Greer, despite her cruel and sadistic nature, and was briefly declared her deputy before he secluded himself from public life after the devastating 2005 Sabbat attack on the AOL/Time-Warner building.
As an NPC: Mu Huang Sen remained in the city for years after his withdrawal from Kindred society, keeping his hand in the moral occult scene of Queens. Ultimately loyal to the Mountain, he long served as the Eldest in the city when it came to settling the affairs of Loyalist Assamites. With the Camarilla no longer useful to him, he was happy to assist Natalka and Vasyl Zlakazov in their attempts to assassinate Victor Roske, although he was admittedly unnerved by their close relationship and demanded that they bring no harm to Roske's associate Bojan Petrov, having become friends with the young Brujah through his association with Greer.
- Mu Huang Sen was obsessively superstitious and would always carry salt on his person to ward against evil spirits.
- During an attempt to one up Adam Jones in a game of poker, Sen Sen made a compact with a luck spirit who granted him the power to win the game. Unfortunately, the magician failed to complete his promise to honor the spirit by emblazoning its image on a series of lucky coins, leading him to become markedly bad at cards in his later years.
- Realizing that Greer's astral presence had transmuted into a spirit after her death, Mu Huang Sen sought to build an appropriate domicile to house her that he might use her for his own purposes. Unfortunately, Samuel McCoy's Sire, the spirit thaumaturge Ferguson, managed to secure her first.
A.K.A.: Elissa Paige, Liz Grant, Sparrow
Appearance: A frail and skittish-looking girl, who very obviously was Embraced in her teenage years.
Theme Song(s): VAST - Pretty When You Cry
Quote: "When we we're little, Vasyl and I, my mother said that we were born conjoined. She said that we shared one heart..."
Background: Natalia Zlakazov (called Natalka for short) was born along with her twin brother Vasyl in the Ukrainian city of Sevastopol. Born to an unwed mother, the twins grew up in poverty, and were placed in dire straights when their only parent died in the midst of a cholera outbreak during 1938. Despite their growing desperation and the threat of the burgeoning World War, Natalka remained sheltered and often alone in the twins' small home - with Vasyl insisting that he alone would provide for them both. Quiet and submissive, the young girl deferred to her brother's judgment... and eventually to his lust, remaining yielding and uncomplaining when she found herself the target of his sexual advances.
Years later, during the hellish Nazi siege of Sevastpol, Natalka did not question her brother when he managed to provide for them an abnormal number of black market supplies, despite suspecting that he was deeply entangled in criminal trafficking. She had grown to silently delight in the pain Vasyl endure for his assorted sins and did her best to inflame it through passivity. However, when he abruptly revealed one night that he had found an opportunity to leave Sevastopol -- and revealed that he must do so alone -- the seemingly fragile girl grew vicious. In the ensuing fight, she fell to the rage of her newly-embraced sibling's first frenzy, and would have died had Vasyl's guilt not driven him to bring her into the same undeath which gripped him. Together, they left the beleaugered city.
Initially seeming naught but a useless burden to Haqim's children, Natalka would no doubt have found herself culled save for her brother's intervention. Eventually, however, her innocent demeanor and knack for strategy became a deadly and efficient weapon in conjunction with Vasyl's own skills as killer. They became the "Hawk and Sparrow" - with Natalka slowly befriending and ingratiating herself to the pair's targets before luring them into danger through appeals to pity or pleas for protection.
As an NPC: Natalka and Vasyl came to New York in late 2006, bent of destroying the Brujah Victor Roske at the behest of his shamed Sire, Alexander Lebedev, who had thrown in his lot with the Ukranian mafia after his childe's attempt to murder presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko had failed. The criminal organization had secretly been backing Yushchenko, and rather than face their wrath for having orchestrated the plot, Lebedev chose to turn the hounds on his progeny. Natalka came to New York, posing as a neonate Brujah Anarch (Liz Grant) for a period of several months, attempting to get into Roske's good graces and paving the way for Vasyl to strike. During this period, however, Natalka became exceedingly sloppy, with her cat-like sadism driving her to make overblown and melodramatic moves - going so far as to fake her own death in the hopes of emotionally jarring her unnervingly stoic victim. Eventually, despite such diversions, the twins made their move, setting the Romanian Brujah up to be killed in what would look like a failed hit on a small time Staten drug dealer.
Something went wrong, however. When Roske managed to best and capture Vasyl in the fight, Natalka lost any sense of professional demeanor, succumbing to the steady creep of insanity as the ensuing hostage situation progressed. Things boiled over into an awkward and uneasy standoff in a Bronx warehouse between Roske and Natalka - which ended with Vasyl being returned to her along with a flask of the Brujah's blood as she threatened to destroy the building with a bomb strapped to her person.
Possessive and vindictive, the weary assassin did her last duty to the Clan by sending word to her superiors of her failure and secreting the vitae where later Loyalists could find it. She then took her brother and under a cloak of Obfuscation fled the building, faking their destruction by igniting the explosives from a distance. Determined to never be separated again from her partner in suffering, the capricious Cainite severed her ties with both New York and Alamut in one last outburst.
Appearance: Vasyl is a very young looking, angular faced man, seemingly in his early twenties or even late teens. He bears a strange but undeniable ressemblance to Natalka.
Theme Song(s): Assemblage 23 - Let Me Be Your Armour
Quote: "Natalia. She is not a reasonable woman."
Background: The twin brother of Natalka, Vasyl Zlakazov was born in the Crimmean region of the Ukraine in 1925. His mother, Nadia, had borne the twin outside of wedlock and suffered the animosity of her extended family, forcing her to turn to prostitution to sustain them. Unlike Natlka, who seemed to remain ignorant of their mother's profession, Vasyl grew resentful of both Nadia and her patrons at a young age, and did his utmost to keep his sister sheltered from the reality of their situation, not wishing her to grow "corrupt." Fiercely protective of his sister to the point of obsession, the young man in some ways delighted in Nadia's eventual death, as it left both him and Natalka to a world completely of their own.
Dreading that his sister might be forced to share his mother's fate as a whore, Vasyl quickly became entangled in less than savory dealings himself when it fell to him to provide for them in Nadia's absence. The youth, barely out of boyhood, soon found himself working as a runner for local smugglers - and as he grew into manhood his niche in Sevastopol's underworld became one of violence. Unbenknowst to his sister, the young man made his wages through creating "examples" of his syndicate's enemies. As his misanthropy was honed by such acts, so too was his fixation on Natalka, whose company he saw as a unique and precious refuge from the filth of the outside world. Eventually, his desire for the young girl became something more than fillial, and the pair were drawn into the sin of incest.
Later, when the Nazi forces closed in on the city during the eventual siege of 1942, conditions grew increasingly desperate. While Vasyl's employers had increased need for his services, the youth knew that the stream of goods into the war-wracked city would eventually run dry. His skills, however, had earned the attention of men connected to the children of Haquim, and eventually he was made an offer which would allow him -and only him- to leave Sevastopol alive.
Reluctantly, Vasyl accepted the bargain, in some way desperate to escape from his quietly sadistic sister and the guilt of his obsessions. After receiving the Embrace, however, he made the sentimental mistake of returning that he might bid Natalka farewell. Upon learning of his intentions to abandon her, the normally passive woman grew furious and vindictive - blaming him for all he had made her endure. Unused to the Cainite condition, the young man frenzied, slaying his sister and mutilating her corpse. Overwhelmed by grief and remorse, he bestowed upon her the same gift of immortality that had been given him - accepting that he should never truly be free from her.
Throughout their years together as Cainites, Natalka managed to make a formidable second to Vasyl - drawing in their targets through ploys of sympathy. Eventually garnering some measure of fame as assassins, the pair (now known as "Hawk and Sparrow") became entrenched in the politics of the Ukrainian underworld, and they were called in to assist slaying the would be killer of Viktor Yushchenko.
As an NPC: Vasyl and Natalka arrived in New York city in late 2006, where they were to seek out and destory the Romanian Brujah Victor Roske, who had nearly poisoned Yushchenko to death in 2004 to settle the debts of his Sire, Alexander Lebedev. This move had attracted the attention of Ismail Dzmelihev, the Eldest of the Assamites of Kiev - as numerous members of the Clan were Crimmean Tartars who had been banking on Yushchenko's support. In addition to this, Lebedev, himself, had turned against Roske for failing to complete his mission, and assisted the Ukrainian Assamites in setting up a ruse for "Sparrow" that she might gain his childe's trust.
Eventually, after Natalka had spent many months working her way into Roske's good graces, Vasyl stood ready to slay his target in a drug house in Staten island, taking on the guise of the Brujah's clanmate, Bojan Petrov. While Roske was quite nearly slain in this encounter, a miraculous turnabout allowed him to defeat Vasyl despite overwhelming odds to the contrary, and the Brujah held the Assamite captive as leverage against the distraught Natalka.
Despite his half-coherent pleas to the contrary, the would-be assassin was returned to his partner, who took the opportunity to make a rather dramatic exit from the city - faking their deaths and severing their ties from Alamut.
WALTER ASCOT DAWSON
Description: Dawson's eyes scanned the perimeter. He had been watching the lake and its surroundings for several minutes short of an hour, and had only just seen a figure emerge. It was small, and moving at an uneven pace, but unarmed. The figure stopped and turned to face him, its eyes scanning him in return.
She clutched the flowers she had been plucking a bit closer, holding them tight against the white cotton of her dress. A shy smile played across the child's features.
"Can I help you, mister?"
"Little girl, it is late. You should return home. To your parents."
She cast her eyes down at the lake, then back up to the stony faced man. She hadn't ever seen him there before, but had often taken the time to pick flowers and frolic along its shores.
"My parents said I could stay out for another fifteen minutes, though..."
Dawson returned his eyes to the trees about them, searching for any movement and focusing on the far side of the lake. The figure was distracting him, and this was highly undesirable to his current objective.
"Little girl. Go home. This is not a place for you to be."
"Why?" She blinked up at him, curiously.
"Little girl, go home. Go home."
"Uh-uh!" She shook her head, showing the impetuousness of youth.
Dawson picked up the sound of leaves rustling 103 meters southwest of his location. He raised an arm, unsheathing blades that were already slick with venomous ichor. A shrill scream pierced the night, shattering the silence.
There was no smile, nor even a blink as he heard her run, as fast as she could. The relief he felt was a relief he could never express, a relief he even tried to tell himself he could not feel. His body moved with mechanical efficiency, throwing itself forward in a dance of death hammered into an almost perfect routine through nightly practice. And yet, as the shrill singing of his blades echoed over the still waters, joined by agonized cries and the wet splatter of fallen limbs, his mind drifted...
Soft laughter. Smiling faces. Birthday parties and afternoon naps. A first kiss in the rain. The warmth of another close by. Children. Change. Transience. Living, drawing breath, and always having hope that tomorrow would be a brighter day...
"Little girl, travel safely."