The origin of the Nosferatu is, like with most vampire Clans, a matter of speculation and myth. Most Clans believe that the Nosferatu spontaneously arose from half-decayed corpses. During archaic times, the Nosferatu were believed to be the result of a coterie of Damned (not yet Kindred or Nosferatu) that drank the blood of the offspring between mortals and the chthonic gods of below. The blood transformed them into what is referred to as the "Brothers Worm". This subterranean breed of vampire was transformed to fit better to the world below the earth than the world of the Kine. In time, the Brothers Worm came to Ancient Greece, where one of them was visited by Artemis and Apollo. Offered to act as the scourge of the gods to bring plague on mortals so that they would turn to the gods for aid, he accepted the name Aristaichos (the ultimate shame) and became the first nosophorus (plague-bringer). The Nosophorus, however, awakened the ire of the Gods Below for accepting service to the Gods Above. They demanded a proof of his loyalty, or otherwise, they would punish him. So, Aristaichos and his children began to carry plague without regard to the will of the Olympians.
In other places of the world, like Central America, the Nosferatu were associated with the Chichimec people. Together with the Gangrel, the Nosferatu shared food with the Chichimec in exchange for blood. This symbiosis was broken when the Spaniards arrived.
The Embrace of the Nosferatu is rarely a pleasant thing. Most Nosferatu received the curse out of revenge, spite, or because they reminded the haunt of someone who wronged him. The Nosferatu Beast is the rebellion of the flesh and mind in jerking stop-motion, a hissing horror show that drives them. The Nosferatu Kiss is pure, unadulterated fear, that shuts down the mind and floods it with adrenalin. The Nosferatu experiences the foreign vitae burrowing into his body like worms gnawing on his dead flesh.
In Vampire: The Requiem First Edition, Nosferatu are repulsive or at the very least uncomfortable to be around. The cause need not be a physical deformity. A palpable aura of menace, a charnel odor, or the undeniable manner of a predator is just as compelling as a twisted body.
In Vampire: The Requiem Second Edition, Nosferatu suffer the Lonely Curse, a Bane that sets them off normal persons. The "deformity" can be something like a grotesque visage, excreting fluids, a horrific stench, an animate shadow that moves when the Nosferatu is still; her mouth never moving when she speaks, maggots manifesting on her body, lights flickering low in her presence and similar abnormalities. Elder Nosferatu additionally become more prone to detachment from Humanity when not in the presence of their Touchstones.
- , p.37-39
Lost and Minor Clans:
Acteius · Adroanzi · Azerkatil · Baddacelli · Burakumin · Calacas · Caporetti · Cimitiere · The Cockscomb Society · Galloi · Gethsemani · Licinii · Lygos · Mayarap · Moroi · Morotrophians · Noctuku · Order of Sir Martin · Rakshasa · Telamones · Usiri · Vilseduire · Yagnatia