The Embrace is the act of transforming a mortal into a vampire. It is the only act of reproduction of which the Cainites are capable. A vampire drains and replaces a victim's blood with a bit of their own to pass the curse of vampirism to a mortal.
When a vampire desires a childe, due to loneliness, regret at an accidental feeding, a need for a pawn, or any other reason, the first step is to drain the candidate dry. Any technique that results in a bloodless corpse will do, although most sires drain their soon-to-be childer by feeding on them, making the Embrace an intimate experience akin to sex and childbirth. Once the candidate is drained of blood, the sire gives the candidate a small amount of their own blood, and this instantly transforms the candidate into a new childe. The moment of rebirth is perhaps the greatest pleasure the childe will ever feel, perhaps the only true ecstasy they will feel other than the Kiss.
The first reaction most childer have after an Embrace is raw hunger. With less than a blood point available and no experience dealing with a fully raging Beast, the childe will most likely enter a hunger Frenzy at the first sight of blood. For most vampires, this means that the Embrace is followed immediately by a moment of degradation. After this point, the childe will experience hours of painful burning sensations as their body undergoes the process of death and disposes of needless waste.
After the Embrace, the fledgling may take several days before the full impact of the curse is apparent. Ventrue preferences take several weeks to define, and the Nosferatu change can take up to a month as the body re-forms to accept the curse.
Given a history of creative players, the rules of Embracing (or more specifically, not Embracing) have been fairly well defined in Vampire: The Masquerade; all of these rules may apply to Vampire: The Requiem as well.
- Animals cannot be Embraced.
- Vitae must flow directly from the sire to the childe. It cannot be placed in an intermediary vessel or otherwise delayed, because its supernatural properties quickly decay after leaving the vampire's body. (One known exception is Cappadocius, although they may have used some form of ritual magic to prepare the vitae.)
- The Embrace is instantaneous, except in the case of Thin-blooded vampires, where it can take many hours.
- Any activity which completely drains the corpse is acceptable; draining does not cause the Embrace, vitae does.
- Pregnant women almost always miscarry when Embraced, although a vampire fetus is a possible (and disgusting) scenario.
- While two vampires can theoretically feed their Vitae to a candidate for an Embrace, the resulting vampire will generally have both the clan and generation as if the lower generation parent had performed the Embrace.
- Shapeshifters may or may not become Embraced. It will vary depending on the breed. The Garou, the Ajaba, the Bastet, the Gurahl, the Ratkin, and the Rokea may all become vampires, although Ratkin decay like normal corpses and Rokea immediately go insane. However, they lose Gnosis whenever they violate their tenets unless they submit to the Wyrm. If they lose all of their Gnosis, they become little more than animals. An Embrace of an Ananasi, Camazotz, Grondr, Nagah, or Nuwisha simply fail. Corax and Mokole die at sunrise regardless of if they are hidden from it, although Mokole will go insane like the Rokea do. Kitsune will immediately burst into flames when Embraced, which may kill the attempted sire.
Embracing a Mage
One of the unbreakable laws of sorcery is that vampires may not practice Awakened magic. The Embrace either destroys a magus' enlightened soul or expels it to its next incarnation. In any case, the experience is so traumatic that magi emerge from the transformation damaged. Some are so strong-willed they vomit forth their sire's blood and immediately die. The less resolute often enter undeath insane.
Yet their occult knowledge remains. Former sorcerers have the potential to learn magical Disciplines faster than other Kindred. There is no official system for this but the storyteller does have the final say on justification. She gains a rebate of half of this total to spend on necromancy, Thaumaturgy, and other forms of blood magic.
This may explain how sorcerers such as the Tremere rapidly developed sorcery powerful enough to disrupt the status quo.
Differences Between The Masquerade and The Requiem
A newly Embraced childe in Vampire: The Masquerade is one generation higher than their sire, and is of either the same clan or Caitiff. Embracing is cheap in VTM, and Mass Embraces are used by the Sabbat and occasionally by other clans (most infamously the Ravnos) for strategic reasons.
In Vampire: The Requiem a newly Embraced childe starts with a Blood Potency of one and belongs to their sire's Clan, and can join their sire's bloodline immediately. VTR Embraces cost a Humanity dot, making Mass Embraces impossible without certain techniques of the Ordo Dracul.