The Dawn of Darkness
The childer of Haqim, known as Assamites to the rest of the Kindred, are a silent knife in the dark, an order of bloodthirsty assassins who participate in the secret wars of the undead by operating as killers for hire. Outside the purview of the Sects, the Assamites are true independents and mercenaries, hiring out to whoever can pay their blood-price and ungoverned by the will of Prince or Priscus. By the time a mark realizes that he’s being hunted by an Assamite, it’s often far too late. Needless to say, this makes the Assamites both feared and reviled by many of the other Clans.
In truth, the Assamites are more than simple thugs and killers. Theirs is a complex but insular Clan predicated upon the three principles of wisdom, sorcery, and diablerie. Most Assamites that other vampires encounter are members of the warrior caste, however, so Kindred society has painted them all with that brush. For their part, the Assassins have done nothing to stop this misunderstanding. If it helps them acquire contracts and it occludes the true nature of their Clan, the better for them.
Long ago, the Assamites were brought to heel by a powerful curse to curb their bloodlust, levied by the Tremere at the behest of the Camarilla. They cannot taste the vitae of vampires without it causing them harm. In their ongoing quest to lower their Generation and bring themselves closer to their holy figure, Haqim (whom some outside scholars claim was of the Second Generation, while others insist he was a judge appointed by the other Antediluvians), the Assamites must refine the blood of Kindred into an alchemical solution. Were it not for this mystical yoke, the Assamites would surely be unchecked on a crusade of unholy diablerie.
Sect: For the most part, the Assamites tend to be independent, letting the Sects hire them to operate on their own terms. That said, some Assamites believe an allegiance with the Camarilla or the Sabbat would allow the entire Clan to stand more strongly.
Appearance: Older Assamites often come from Middle Eastern and North African cultures, though more and more young Assamites come from a wider demographic. In traditional environments, the Assamites prefer garb appropriate to religious or Clan custom.
When in public, however, Assamites wear whatever the locals do, allowing them to fulfill their contracts without anyone noticing anything amiss. An Assamite’s skin grows darker with age (as opposed to other
vampires, whose skin gets paler); particularly ancient
Assamites are almost ebony in complexion.
Haven: Assamites often share communal havens
with others of their local cell, remote structures that
allow the Assassins to watch the larger domain from a
distance. These havens are generally well appointed,
but not so lavish that the whole place can’t be moved
on short notice. Individual Assamites also tend to keep
personal hideouts of a much more humble nature, for
when they need a place to lay low.
Background: Those Embraced into Clan Assamite tend
to fall into two distinct types: The “provincial” members of
the Clan fit whatever their locality is, and can blend seamlessly
in with the people around them. The higher-profile
“jet-setters” transcend cultures, bolstered by their ability
to handle interpersonal and intellectual challenges.
Character Creation: Physical Attributes tend to be
primary, with some Assamites favoring Social Attributes
to help them get close to their prey. Talents and
Skills are equally favored, but Knowledges may help
the wise Assamite in a pinch. Few Assassins cultivate
extensive Backgrounds, and instead specialize in an
array of Disciplines that heighten their competence.
The most accomplished Assamites follow the Clan’s
unique Path of Enlightenment, and those who don’t
often have to spend a great deal of effort maintaining
their Virtues and Humanity.
Clan Disciplines: Celerity, Obfuscate, Quietus
Weaknesses: Due to the Tremere blood-curse,
should an Assamite consume the blood of another
Kindred, she suffers one automatic level of unsoakable
lethal damage per blood point imbibed. Diablerie
attempts result in automatic aggravated damage, one
health level per point of permanent Willpower the victim
possesses; the would-be diablerist gains no benefits
(including Generation reduction) if he survives the
process. In addition, Assamites must tithe some of the
profits from their contracts to their sires or superiors
(generally around 10 percent of all such earnings).
Organization: An insular, hierarchical organization shapes
much of Assamite custom. “The Old Man on the Mountain”
— the master assassin who makes his haven in the mountain
fortress of Alamut — is the ultimate authority, and the
Clan heeds the orders that trickle down to them with a mix
of reverence and terror. Individual and local cells of Assamites
known as falaqi frequently have license to act with
autonomy, but “turncoats” against the higher cause are rare