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Bonsam are a bloodline of vampires who dwelt among the Laibon legacies of Africa during the Dark Ages.


The Bonsam, bestial hunters who share a connection to the primal darkness, were virtually unknown to western vampires until a number of them emerged from seclusion deep within Africa in the early-to-mid 13th century, fleeing from an unknown threat. They are masters of Abombwe, a Discipline that channels the Beast in themselves and others.

Bonsam are highly territorial loners, demanding that Cainite and Laibon trespassers in their domains move on quickly, with those who do not comply meeting their deaths before they are even aware what has happened. They are more lenient with their own kin, as they understand that a Bonsam will not willingly stay in a domain claimed by another of the line, and thus will not be there long.

They prefer to Embrace from hunters and warriors with skill in stalking and killing, those who are careful, not cowardly or foolhardy, in their hunts. Gender is irrelevant, but experience is invaluable, and the Embrace will remove most mortal ills, so a Bonsam may be middle-aged or older. After the Embrace, they abandon their childer to see if they can make it on their own; if they do not, then they were not worth it. Only after the childe has learned the basics does the sire, or another elder, come to teach them more.

The Bonsam have no real organization, though they keep in touch with other Bonsam who reside within a mile's radius through a language of bat-like shrieks and whistles. They may also form temporary packs to track and kill a threat to their combined territories.

The first of the Bonsam claims to have never actually been Embraced, having been brought to unlife by a darkness from before creation, nor has he Embraced any childer; if this claim is in fact true, the Bonsam may have originated as an artificial bloodline, although other Bonsam can and do Embrace normally.

If the Bonsam have a parent clan, it may well be the Nosferatu, considering the bloodline's affinity for two of that clan's three core Disciplines. Additionally, the characteristic Bonsam weakness is a mantle of terror, which echoes the Nosferatu clan's horrific mien. However, the Bonsam are not necessarily physically horrific – instead, the Bonsam's true form inspires horror in all mortals who behold them. In this way, the Bonsam are similar to the Guruhi legacy of the Laibon (as well as to the Nosferatu clan as depicted in Vampire: The Requiem).

The Bonsam share the Discipline of Abombwe with the Akunanse (another legacy of the Laibon, whose name was synonymous with "Laibon" among Cainites prior to the appearance of the Bonsam). However, the two legacies' other Disciplines are different, as are their particular weaknesses, so it seems likely that the two do not share a parent clan or bloodline. It may be that both independently drew the power of Abombwe from some primal source known only to the Laibon, or simply that one legacy's founder learned the Discipline from the other legacy and imparted that knowledge onto their childer.

After Dark Ages the great Bonsam elder refused to enrich its lineage with gifts of blood and, in its madness, tried to devour its own line. Those who escaped decided to thicken their blood with transfusions from other lineages. In South Africa, they utilized blood from a Tzimisce explorer, founding the Nagloper lineage. Few of the original Bonsam remain, and vampires who adopt the name are either making a statement against the superstition and doom that follows the line, or are believed to be fools begging for their predecessor's curse. Lineages descended from the Bonsam often Embrace wily, hardy survivors.



Vampire: The Masquerade bloodlines
Ahrimanes · Anda · Baali · Blood Brothers · Caitiff · Children of Osiris · Danava · Daughters of Cacophony · Gargoyles · Kiasyd · Lhiannan · Maeghar · Nictuku · Noiad · Salubri · True Brujah
Antitribu Assamite antitribu · Brujah antitribu · Gangrel antitribu (City · Country) · Lasombra antitribu · Malkavian antitribu · Nosferatu antitribu · Panders · Ravnos antitribu · Salubri antitribu · Serpents of the Light (Setite antitribu) · Toreador antitribu · Tremere antitribu · Ventrue antitribu
Hecata bloodlines Giovanni (Dunsirn · Milliner · Pisanob · Puttanesca · Rossellini) · Harbingers of Ashur (Cappadocians · Harbingers of Skulls) · Lamia · Nagaraja · Samedi
Clan variants Angellis Ater · Assamites (Sorcerers · Viziers) · Azaneali · Daitya · Dominate Malkavians · Gangrel (Aquarii · Greek) · Old Clan Tzimisce · Phuri Dae (Brahmin) · Telyavelic Tremere · Tlacique · Volgirre · Warrior Setites · Wu Zao
Laibon legacies Akunanse · Bonsam · Guruhi · Ishtarri · Impundulu · Kinyonyi · Mla Watu · Naglopers · Nkulu Zao · Osebo · Ramanga · Shango · Xi Dundu