Ravnos

Masters of misdirection, the Rogues prefer not to fight or bleed for something they can obtain through subtler means. They can charm and vanish within the same mortal breath, and those once fooled quickly learn to question their very senses when in the company of Ravens. For that reason, Ravnos vampires seldom advertise their nature, and once their cover is blown they are quick to make their escape. Not that they have much choice in the matter, as inexorable doom lurks in their vitae, threatening to consume them if they ever come to rest. But as the flashover of the supposed destruction of their progenitor burns through the clan, new generations have managed to stay a step ahead of this blood-borne conflagration and are quietly re-establishing the lineage.   Driven by omens of their own destruction and possessing a supernatural capacity for illusion, the Ravnos have always attracted and been attracted to mortals who gamble with their lives and those of others. Confidence artists, confidantes, venture capitalists, performance artists, and plain wayfarers all contribute to the manifold cast that is the Ravnos clan in the modern nights. Which isn’t to say that they’re harmless or even sympathetic — much risk-taking requires a heart hardened to the plight of others, and more than a few Daredevils were “self-interested” even before they became blood-drinking night-haunts. Still, that makes for an easier transition, and many Ravnos fledglings do take to the undead state with more ease than those of other clans, having already cut their ties to friends, family, and society.   While the nomadic habits — even requirements — of the clan make any kind of proper organization difficult, something like a Ravnos revival is forming, taking root among the more communal members of the clan. A complex set of signs and signals, known and taught only to members of the clan, helps them find and identify each other, as well as set up occasional gatherings to swap rumors and trade information on the state of Kindred affairs across domains. Storytelling is popular, and a mythology of sorts is emerging among young Ravens in which they identify as descendants of various mythological trickster deities, going so far as to form coteries or Embrace broods devoted to one clever god or another. Lacking still-active ancestors, they make up their own, elevating their craft to divine mandate.   The Ravnos’ relationship to mortals varies. Historically they have latched on to various subaltern societies, where the imbalance of power means that even should they be discovered, few of their victims would be in a position to do anything about it. Numerous Ravens have even attached themselves to itinerant commercial groups such as traveling carnivals, where they not only have a steady cycle of prey, but might even be able to turn their talents to a profit. As with most relationships of the Kindred to their herds, the Rogues’ vampiric influence is rarely benign, and while some Ravnos genuinely care for their charges, others see them merely as tools or vessels, to be used and disposed of. A ship of refugees is as likely to see port, delivered safely by a mysterious benefactor, as to arrive at port empty, a ghost ship, with bones and bloodstains the only signs of its past passengers.   For these reasons and more an increasing number of Daredevils are making do on their own, or fighting their curse in an attempt to settle in established domains. To avoid their curse they set up multiple havens and frequently employ an equally impressive number of mortal masks. No clan is as adept at blending in as the Ravnos, and many operate under the radar of the Kindred community of the domain, or present themselves as innocuous Caitiff selling their services as spies, saboteurs, and negotiators to the highest bidding sect. Few Ravens can maintain this for long, though, and most eventually find themselves packing. Whether due to an accumulation of enemies, vengeance-driven victims, or the doom seething through their very Blood, a Ravnos vampire always ends up on the run. This is fine with most other Kindred, who can’t help but see a cautionary lesson in the Ravnos, as they represent the most final outcomes of the Gehenna War.
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