The Morbus condition, as it is also called, was first documented by modern vampiric historians in 430 BCE, during a plague that afflicted Athens and have been associated with plagues and their effects ever after. The modern bloodline was founded by Thascius Egnatianus Hostilinus. According to tales circulating in the 14th century, the first true Morbus were early Christian vampires. Prior to the rise of the Lancea et Sanctum, these Christians faced discrimination in Rome and were forced to feed among the most wretched of the poor. When plague struck the city, the Christians' vessels were hit hardest, but God granted them the ability to manipulate disease and inflict it on the proudest and most powerful as well as the poor. The early Morbus served the Lancea, spreading their diseases among the unfaithful and delivering the wasting and dying from their pain. Their activities brought them under the scrutinity of the Senex, who disapproved of the spreading of disease among the Canaille.
Most Morbus, however, do not concern themselves with their origin, instead focusing on surviving the modern nights. No longer harbingers of holy judgement, the Fog of Eternity has reduced them to wandering fugitives that find it difficult to ingregate themselves into the modern society of mortals, whose medicinal accomplishments make the feeding habits of the Morbus serious threats to the Masquerade, and the Danse Macabre, as most Kindred shun the Carriers out of fear of being infected by them.
The Morbus are slaves to a highly rarefied palate. Only the blood of diseased and dying mortals sustains them, while healthy blood turns to ash in their mouths (though they may take Kindred Vitae and be nourished by it as normal). They can feed from other vessels only when frenzying, but doing so does not replenish their Vitae to any degree whatsoever. Some Morbus feel compelled to drink blood infected with only one specific disease, but this restriction is only a matter of taste or a psychological limitation. Should such a member be brave or desperate enough to drink from a victim with a different affliction than his preferred one, he suffers no penalty. While these diseases don't adversely affect the Morbus themselves (usually), they can occasionally be transmitted when the Kindred feed, share blood with their ghouls or have sex.
The Morbus bloodline is a shameful aberration in the eyes of most Mekhet, which makes it all but impossible for a confirmed Morbus to gain any Status Merit or clan offices among the non-afflicted. What's more, a surviving descendent of a confirmed Morbus who is not a member of the bloodline stands to lose standing by association, both from Mekhet who expect him to follow in his ancestor’s footsteps and from other Morbus who wonder why he’s afraid to do so.
- VTR: Vampire: The Requiem Core Rulebook, p.244-245
- VTR: Requiem for Rome, p.233-235
- CofD: Dark Eras Companion, p. 94-95
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