The Lamiae (singular Lamia) were a bloodline of the Cappadocian clan, founded by Lamia (a rumored descendant and high priestess of Lilith). Members of this bloodline served the Cappadocians as dervishes and warriors until the purge orchestrated by the Giovanni, in 1444 CE.
The Lamia were a bloodline of Cainites devoted to defending Clan Cappadocian, though originally they were a group of cultists that claimed to be descended from Lilith, Adam's first wife. Their high priestess (who claimed the name Lamia) was rumoured to be a direct daughter of the Dark Mother. According to legend, the Cappadocian elder named Lazarus found her performing sacred rites to Lilith. Impressed by her skill and perhaps taken with her fierce beauty, he Embraced the high priestess.
While she died and the Change took her, Lilith was said to have given her a vision; a deep understanding of her future and that of the Cappadocians. When she recovered, she whispered something to Lazarus, and the Cappadocian elder fled in terror.
Lamia did find her way back to the clan, though, and her bloodline became the warriors and guardians of the Cappadocians. They were never very numerous, but important Graverobbers often had at least one Gorgon standing at their side. The Lamia learned to feed sparingly, since their bite carried disease, and developed their own path of Necromancy based on the four humors. Over the centuries, they became an important resource for the Cappadocians. And yet, behind their loyalty was perhaps a greater dedication to the Dark Mother and to the vision of their founder.
They accompanied the Cappadocians into Europe during the Dark Medieval period, but were persecuted and destroyed when their parent clan was overthrown by the Giovanni, and Augustus Giovanni destroyed (and purportedly diablerized) Lamia herself following his betrayal of Cappadocius.
In Cairo by Night, a mysterious set of female vampires known as the Lilin appeared, sharing much of the same traits as the Lamia and claiming the same heritage and distinct independence from sect politics.
The Lilin showed up for the Family Reunion, proudly taking up their former mantle as warriors and guardians in the new iteration of the Clan of Death. They do not lightly suffer those who deride their Bahari faith or insult their martial skills.
Curiously, and although it is not widely known, the Lamia and Hecata are immune to the Beckoning.
Bloodline Abilities (V5)
As a member of Clan Hecata, a Lamia can purchase the following abilities:
- The Serpent’s Kiss: Once per story, the Lamia can voluntarily infect mortal prey with disease, causing them one Aggravated Health damage every night for three nights.
- Protection: The Lamia understands and embodies the original purpose of the Lamiae as guardians, gaining two dice on any Close Combat rolls involving the protection of an ally or coterie member.
- Four Humours: The Lamia can manipulate the humors of their victim, inflicting a two-die penalty on their target: phlegmatics (increased lethargy), melancholy (an obsession with death), sanguine (excessive bleeding), or bilious (poisoning).
- Controlling the Beast: Once per session, the Lamia can thwart the Beast by converting a combat messy critical into a critical.
- Medusa’s Gaze: The Lamia possesses a potent gaze, which at the cost of two Rouse checks can make an Intimidation + Occult roll against their opponent's Stamina + Occult + Blood Potency, which if successful, paralyzes them for one scene.
The Lamia were a cult, still practising their rituals, and devoutly spreading the word (and disease) of Lilith. While men were Embraced, women were seen as closer to Lilith and had a much greater influence over the bloodline.
The sire-childe relationship in the Lamia was very strong, as most Lamia had to remain with their sires for at least a year to achieve the necessary combat skill to be of use. Lamia remained the leader of the bloodline until her destruction, but her first and most important order to her daughters was to serve the Cappadocians.
As worshippers of death in the form of the Dark Mother, the Lamia carry a curse they call the "Seed of Lilith", which is a virulent disease akin a Black Plague-like pox that could infect those from whom they feed (especially men), and which was invariably fatal after only a few days. Other Kindred who fed from a Lamia were also infected, but they became carriers instead of being destroyed by the infection until they purged all Lamia vitae from their body.
While they are loyal to their parent clan, the Lamia are forever separate, and Lamia's childer worship the Dark Mother as she did in life. More physical and sensual than their studious parent clan, they are also great warriors and bolstered the defences of the Cappadocians.
The Lamia were somewhere between the High and Low Clans. They were not a Clan themselves, but were considered part of Clan Cappadocian in most Cainites' understanding. Other Cainites, however, treated them respectfully as servants or soldiers, both out of deference to their skills and to their patrons.
The Lamia did not share the Cappadocians' pallor, however. Many of them were of Mediterranean or Semitic descent, though as the Cappadocians traveled across Europe with their Gorgon bodyguards, other nationalities came into the bloodline as well. Though the bloodline was predominantly female, it was not uncommon for Lamia to dress as men (usually armed and armored).
Since the Lamia Embraced women almost exclusively, they seldom had the chance to Embrace trained warriors, since few women were trained in the art of combat during the Dark Ages.
Instead, the Gorgons often chose women who had some experience with death. Women who had attempted or contemplated suicide, or had recently committed murder, were common choices. Likewise, women with a pronounced interest in black magic or scholarly pursuits in general were candidates for the Lamia Embrace. The Gorgons reasoned that training in combat could come after the gift of immortality.
The Lamia shared havens with their Cappadocian patrons. When they made their own, they often chose crypts and sarcophagi, preferring to be alone among the dead (feeding on the recently dead also minimized their chance of starting an outbreak of plague).
In Vampire Twentieth Anniversary Edition: The Dark Ages, the plural form of the name "Lamia" is given as "Lamiae", and Mortis is changed to Necromancy, with the Path of Four Humors remaining a path of that Discipline.
In Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition, Lamia have the default Hecata discipline spread of Auspex, Fortitude, and Oblivion. Still, a Storyteller may substitute Auspex with Potence at their own discretion, or give Lamia players the option of purchasing of an exclusive 4-dot Merit to open it as an extra in-clan Discipline.