The Brujah are one of the thirteen clans of Kindred in Vampire: The Masquerade. Quick to anger and always passionate in the Modern Nights, they have been regaining their position as a clan of lofty philosophers and activists and are often pointed to as a clan of unruly rebels and roughnecks that should not be messed with.
Due to their inherent clan weakness, all difficulties to resist Frenzy increases by two for Brujah characters, to a maximum of 10. The Brujah's Compulsion is that the vampire takes a stand against whatever or whomever they see as the status quo in the situation, whether that is their leader, a viewpoint expressed by a potential vessel, or just the task they were supposed to do at the moment. Until they have gone against their orders or expectations, perceived or real, the vampire receives a two dice penalty to all rolls. This Compulsion ends once they have managed to either make someone change their minds (by force if necessary) or done the opposite of what was expected of them.
Scratch the surface of a Brujah, and these days you are more than likely to find a Brujah thug underneath. However, the clan is a fallen clan, still mourning the death of their Carthaginian paradise and decaying from their era of warrior-scholars to the petty rebels common in the Final Nights.
Early History Edit
Little consistent knowledge is known about the Brujah Antediluvian because the stories may confuse two individuals: the original founder of the Brujah (named as "Ilyes" in one account and as "Troile the Elder" in another) and his childer and diablerist, Troile.
According to most records, Brujah was a callous and fiercely logical creature. Dispassionate in the extreme, the Antediluvian sired a clan of equally dispassionate childer. Among these, however, was a less controlled whelp: Troile the Rebel. What events caused the Embrace of Troile are unknown, but clan history holds that Troile diablerized her sire and claimed the clan as her own. A small bloodline, the True Brujah, claim descent from Brujah and hold this grievance close in the Final Nights.
Following the death of Brujah in unrecorded history, the clan Brujah lived among the mortals, letting themselves revere as kings and gods, trying to recreate the glory of the Second City and the harmony between the Children of Seth and the childer of Caine. The first place that became an experiment of the Brujah was Greece, specifically Athens. Learning from and discussing their ideals with the Athenian orators and philosophers, the Brujah found countless impeti to improve society. The Brujah allowed other Cainites to enter their city and to share Athens glory. Conflict with Spartan Ventrue led to discord and the first Brujah War. After that, many of the praedicandi, the rulers of the Clan, left Greece, convinced that the experiment had failed and that they should start again elsewhere. Many of the praedicandi seized the moment and followed Troile's example, diablerizing their sires to leave no witnesses or patrons to what they regarded as a failure.
The clan's next major moment is also its greatest moment. The Brujah built or co-opted a Phoenician colony, Carthage, for another grand experiment. The Brujah say that Carthage was a utopia — a city where Kindred and kine lived in harmony, and where justice reigned. Other clans, and history, tell the story somewhat differently. The Carthaginians were cowed by their gods, offering their children to the flames of Moloch; and, apparently if the blood of sacrifices should flow down the gullet of a methuselah, Moloch did not mind. Exactly what happened in Carthage is dependent on who speaks of it – the Brujah claim Paradise, the other clans claim the presence of the Baali and human sacrifice. Some of those who were present in Carthage admit and acknowledge the truth.
Carthage fell during the Third Punic War in 146 BCE, when Scipio Aemilianus, aided by the Malkavians and Ventrue of Rome crushed the shell of a city hollowed out by two previous wars. The earth was salted (preventing those Kindred who had melded with the earth from rising), the land was plowed, and the Brujah experiment ended.
Dark Ages Edit
During the Dark Ages, the Brujah were considered part of the High Clans, a clan of warrior-scholars noted for their fierce devotion to radical philosophies. The Brujah viewed themselves as the practitioners of a Greek philosophy of total mental and physical discipline (commonly called entelechy), and would often train their neonates in combat and the classics with equal discipline. Brujah of the Dark Ages were associated primarily with politics, especially in Greece. Their historical association with Carthage gave them a dim view of Rome and her heirs.
The Renaissance proved to be one of the turning points in the history of the Clan, when the division between the various ideological strains within the Clan exploded in the heavy infighting that strain them today. The cultural explosion within Europe resulted in ecclesiastical and civic strife, that the Brujah were only too willing to follow.
Victorian Age Edit
During the Victorian Age, the Clan was divided in those few who lived true to their legacy as the Learned Clan, and those bulk who were mere troublemakers and criminals in the eyes of their sect, as many neonates rebelled against the oppressive and stagnant politic of the Camarilla. The closeness of the clan to mortal passions brought forth the best and the worst of the Age within the clan. Many Brujah started to regard themselves as the proletariat of vampiric society and wanted to change this through revolution.
Many Brujah during this time were fierce supporters of various ideas like Marxism, collectivism, syndicalism, and Darwinism and engaged in various revolutionary groups to topple the rising pauperization during the Industrial Revolution.
Final Nights Edit
In the final nights, the Brujah are the clan of rebels. The ancient traditions of the clan are all but forgotten, with a few reluctant throwbacks like Theo Bell and undying artifacts like Critias to remember the clan's history and tradition.
For the Brujah, the twentieth century is marked by a sequence of failed projects. Two daring projects defined Brujah culture throughout the final nights: The Anarch Free State and the Soviet Union. In the first case, California was turned into a new kindred society, led by the Brujah Jeremy MacNeil. The AFS was almost a separate sect for the Kindred for nearly 5 decades. However, under the weight of Camarilla influence, the invasion of the Kuei-jin and the eventual betrayal by Brujah such as Tara Kearney of San Diego, the Free State largely collapsed.
The Soviet Union was another, arguably more daring, and ultimately more frightening experiment. In the early twentieth century, the Brujah pitched in with the Soviet Revolution, eventually forming a separate council which managed the entire USSR's vampiric affairs. This Brujah Council was destroyed overnight, however, when Baba Yaga rose from torpor and mystically separated Russia from the rest of the world. Only with the Little Grandmother's death at the hands of a Nictuku have vampires been able to cross the Shadow Curtain and survey the ruins of vampiric Russia.
V5 Timeline Edit
As a clan, the Brujah have next to no organization. Outside of the clan, the Brujah adore building structures, and then other Brujah adore tearing them down. Among modern Brujah, the primary structure is the division between the Iconoclast and Idealist factions of society.
The Iconoclasts are rebels and almost uniformly young Brujah. They fulfill the clan's stereotypical image as mad, bad, and dangerous to know.
In contrast to Iconoclasts, Idealists are the intellectuals and theorists of the clan. They are usually elders or ancillae, and the elders are Idealists simply because their habits have not changed since their Embrace.
Clan Variants Edit
The Brujah had two clan variants as well several bloodlines.
Brujah antitribu EditThe Sabbat-aligned Brujah antitribu are perhaps the ultimate degeneration of the Brujah and potentially what they may become. Violent to the extreme, they often constitute the bulk of the Sabbat's cannon fodder and frontline fighters, whether in battle or debate. The Brujah antitribu were one of the first Clan to rebel against the elders during the Anarch Revolt and see themselves as its founders, despite insistence from the sides of the Lasombra and Tzimisce.
In recent nights, the Brujah antitribu experienced an upsurge in membership (thanks to reckless Embrace tactics) and consider themselves as one of the main pillars of the sect. The Third Sabbat Civil War and the Pander Movement were backed by Brujah antitribu, who hoped to use the young and inexperienced Caitiff as a way to break the traditional Lasombra-Tzimisce hegemony of the sect.
Bay't Mushakis EditBrujah of the Islamic faith were known as Bay't Mushakis, and many were the childer of the Carthage Kindred. They spread throughout North Africa in particular, with the younger ones declaring jihad and looking to punish the Roman Kindred who had destroyed the great experiment. It seemed to work; most, if not all, of the Ventrue were pushed from the Islamic lands and spent much of the Dark Ages trying to regain a foothold there. Other Mushakisins sought to use Islamic teachings to reconstruct their great experiment.
The Brujah of old followed the Olympian Ideal, also known as Entelechy, which predated even Carthage. The Olympian Ideal contained the perfection of both body and mind, and as a result, most of the ancient Brujah steeled and trained their bodies without relent and were well-educated in both metaphysical and scientific themes. The ancient Brujah philosopher Heraclitus placed fire as the ideal that kept the world in motion and enabled perfection even within the stasis that filled the greater universe. As seasons turned and life followed death, perfection was reached. Heracleitus also postulated that the rage and the passion of the Brujah was the result of this fire and that it was the duty of the Clan to enable change and, therefore, perfection. Although his works have been mostly forgotten by the modern rabble and Brujah argued even back then over the exact meaning of his teachings, certain elders and the adherents of the Path of Entelechy, which follows the ancient Brujah ideals, still keep on to the Olympic Ideal.
All that a Brujah does, he does with passion that is both his curse as well as his blessing. Brujah adopt passions and causes, which they support with volume and vitriol. Some Brujah follow charismatic members of their clan, while others prefer stances of blatant, defiant individualism. Many Brujah are glad to have an opportunity to speak their minds, then indulge in a bit of destruction afterward to illustrate their points. As divided as the clan is, all work against each other in some way, and even when some rivalries within are more embittered than in any other clan, they still keep together (after the proverb "I against my brother, my brothers and I against my cousins, my cousins and I against strangers"). If any Kindred not of their blood would oppose a Brujah, they would face the wrath of the whole clan, as even Idealists would defend Iconoclasts in front of the Prince and each Iconoclast is more than ready to beat someone up who humiliated a clan member within Elysium.
Two conventions the clan does support universally are the Rant and the Rave. Rants are just that: informal meetings of Brujah (and other insurgents, Kindred and kine) at which anyone who can scream loudly enough can have her opinions heard. Raves, named after the all-night techno dance parties started in England, are social gatherings in the guise of huge-scale musical or entertainment events. One usually leads to another, and clues to the locations of the events are often hidden in the media of the gathering in progress.
The Brujah are infamous for ignoring the Tradition of progeny, and consequently Embrace whomever they feel like whenever they feel like. Brujah are stereotypically the source for most Caitiff because they are presumed to neglect training their childer.
The 1st edition of Vampire: The Masquerade included pronunciation keys for several of the unique terms in the game. That key gives BROO-zhah as the proper pronunciation of the Clan's name (as heard in voice-overs in Vampire: The Masquerade - Redemption), although in Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines numerous characters pronounce it as BROO-hah.
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