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Giovanni

The Giovanni are respectful, genteel and well-mannered. Affluent beyond imagination, Clan Giovanni traces its roots back to before the Renaissance, to a family of merchant princes. The clan still maintains its original home in Venice, in a thousand-year-old loggia just outside the heart of the city. No other clan makes such a spectacle of humility and propriety as does the Giovanni. And no other clan hides its blasphemous secrets as well.

According to tales whispered in Camarilla salons and Sabbat esbats, the Giovanni's money spoiled the family, and the Venetians turned to nigrimancy out of perverse boredom. Surprisingly enough, the family demonstrated a great aptitude for trafficking with the dead, and their newfound abilities caught the eye of a forgotten Antediluvian. The vampire Embraced the head of the family, Augustus Giovanni, and brought him into the world of the Damned. This particular Antediluvian, the legends say, had a profound interest in death, and the Embrace of Giovanni and his family was intended to further the vampire's knowledge of what lay beyond the wall of mortality.

The Ancient's plan worked better, albeit differently, than he'd intended. Augustus, a cutthroat and mercenary merchant, saw the opportunity to seize his doddering sire's power and did so, hunting and killing all of the Antediluvian's descendants as well. After drinking the Ancient's blood, Augustus became a member of the Third Generation and founded his own clan, the Giovanni.

Other vampires reacted in horror, and, for a century, the "Devil Kindred" Giovanni were rooted out and destroyed wherever they went. Finally, the Giovanni sat down with the newly formed Camarilla and formed a mutual truce. This truce guaranteed the Giovanni would not participate in the Jyhad and would leave other vampires to their affairs. The Giovanni agreed, thus averting the genocide they surely would have otherwise met. Taking advantage of other vampires' lack of involvement with them, the Giovanni quietly continued to amass wealth and power, practicing their Discipline of Necromancy all the while. Few believe the clan is engaging in either practice for altruistic purposes, and recent global movements by the Giovanni have many Kindred worried. With all that money and all those harvested souls, something is on the horizon; it is an ill wind that blows out of Venice.

Members of the Giovanni clan are also members of the Giovanni family, and those not Embraced often serve their Kindred relations as ghouls. This familial tie - members of the clan are related by blood twice - ensures complete loyalty on the part of the Giovanni. While concentrated primarily in Europe, the Giovanni have recently been expanding into, the world market, and the clan seems to be more prolific in recent nights.

Nickname: Necromancers

Appearance: Giovanni vampires typically maintain airs of presentability and respectability. Most Giovanni, hailing as they do from the Italian branch of the clan, bear European features, including fair-to-dark complexions, dark hail and solid statures, Giovanni tend to dress well but not lavishly, preferring subtle accouterments of affluence to ostentatious displays.

Haven: Giovanni favor havens befitting their wealth. Mansions, palatial homes and well-appointed apartments suit the Giovanni best, though uncommon is the Necromancer who doesn't keep a backup haven in a sewer or graveyard. Some Giovanni involve themselves in medical power structures and make their havens in hospitals, where plenty of coyer exists and precious blood may be taken at a whim.

Background: Most Giovanni come from the ranks of the Venetian family and have spent much of their mortal lives as ghouls in service to another family member. As closely knit as the family is, rivalry and treachery are rampant among the clan, as each member tries to assert his superiority over others. Amazingly versatile for having such a finite pool from which to draw new Kindred, the Giovanni may Embrace any individual who shows particular promise, but only after a "trial period" of ghouldom known as the Proxy Kiss.

Character Creation: Giovanni typically have professional concepts, the better to fund the clan's endeavors. Their Natures and Demeanors tend toward the crafty and selfish, though perversity festers in the incestuous family, and many are Deviants. Mental Attributes and Knowledges are primary, and Backgrounds are greatly prized. Almost all Giovanni possess a comfortable level of Resources, and many claim Retainers, Contacts and Influence.

Clan Disciplines: Dominate, Necromancy, Potence.

Weaknesses: The Giovanni Kiss causes excruciating pain in mortals who receive it. In fact, the bite of a Giovanni vampire often kills its mortal victim from shock before the poor soul has a chance .to die from blood loss. The Necromancers do twice as much damage as any other vampire to mortals (and only mortals) who suffer their Kiss. Thus, if the Giovanni in question took one blood point from a mortal vessel, that vessel would suffer two health levels of damage. As such, Giovanni vampires are quite likely to feed from already dead corpses or from resources like hospital blood reserves.

Organization: Giovanni clan affairs are handled in Venice, in a vast loggia colloquially known as the Mausoleum. As is to be expected, the clan has a familial structure. Incest, necrophilia, favor-currying, ancestor worship and carefully cultivated guilt riddle the family; by the time most Giovanni Kindred are Embraced, they've seen more than enough to inure them to the vagaries of undead existence. The clan's nonintervenrion in the Jyhad allows members to focus on their own vendettas and better their knowledge of Necromancy. The Giovanni Antediluvian, Augustus Giovanni, reportedly still maintains direct control over the clan, though none outside the clan is known to have seen him in the past 400 years.

Bloodlines: The Giovanni do not have antitribu - they are all loyal to the family as a whole, if not individual members. However, the clan has brought several other families into its fold. These include the Pisanob (Central and South American witches), the Dunsirn (Scottish bankers who practice cannibalism), the Milliners (a prominent New England family dating back to the turn of the 20th century) and a host of minor families. Not all Giovanni are surnamed Giovanni.

Quote: Consider taking a different tone with me. You are, after all, worth as much to the Giovanni dead as you are undead.


Stereotypes

Assamite: Their recent change in disposition makes me nervous.

Brujah: So much noise, and yet so little signal.

Followers of Set: Although they hail from the lands of the dead, there is little we can glean from them without tainting ourselves in the process.

Gangrel: Ultimately forgettable; we rarely cross paths.

Lasombra: They'll stab you in the back, but that's because they know how Kindred games are played.

Malkavian: The insight they offer is rarely worth the excruciating company they provide; I wonder if the "madness" is a simple sham to reduce their foes' defenses.

Nosferatu: This blighted clan has proved dangerously adept at uncovering secrets. Make no enemies among them, lest: you became the subject of their attentions.

Ravnos: No good can come of a Kindred who claims lies as his sire.

Toreador: Effete and indolent, the Toreador nonetheless wield appreciable assets.

Tremere: Slippery as eels, the Tremere are guilty of the same crime as we, yet they mire themselves in the same politics that damn them.

Tzimisce: An arcane, if outdated, evil.

Ventrue: They spend too much time cultivating their image as martyrs to get involved with something that truly matters; they lack direction.

Caitiff: Inconsequential and poorly bred; they are more mosquito than vampire.

Camarilla: Large, foolish and predictable. Like American government.

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