The founder of the bloodline was Sigrún Ericsdottir, who claimed to have been a bastard daughter of Eric the Red. Sigrún was a competent raider and was part of a expedition to Canada, along with two rival ships under the control of the brothers Sindri and Tryggvi. When Sigrún was unable to convince the two to abandon the expedition, she claimed that they plotted to kill her. She and her crew attacked their settlement, where Sigrún slaughtered the unarmed women and children when her crew refused to. After she had to flee back over the sea to her base in Greenland, news of her crime had spread and Sigrún was banished. She sailed back to Norway, where a Ventrue already awaited her, intrigued by the tales of her deeds. As the Embrace was not sanctioned by the local Prince, Sigrún found herself banished again, cast adrift a ship to await the sun. Sigrún herself tells that she was approached by the god Loki, who told her that her deeds in life had amused him. He said that he would help her survive to see another night if she would offer her service, and the service of all she created, to fight in his army of the unholy dead at Ragnarök, the great battle at the end of the world. He offered her the blood of his own children to seal the pact. The blood of Fenrisulfr, he explained, would enhance her natural ferocity and gift her with the power to shift her form. The blood of Jörmungandr would help rejuvenate her corpse and grant her the power to withstand any assault. The blood of his daughter Hel would grant her rightful rule over a great army of the undead. Sigrún agreed.
While modern Kindred often dispute this legendary tale, soon afterwards, numerous "ghost ships" under the leadership of Sigrún began to terrorize the Baltic Sea. Numerous of Sigrún's childer were installed as jarls of important ports, while her fleet controlled much of the northern seas. When Sigrún, however, attacked a small village under the protection of the Lancea Sanctum. The attack sparked numerous Sanctified Crusades against her, which eventually resulted in Sigrún's Torpor around the beginning of the 14th century. Without her leadership, the bloodline fell into vicious infighting and much of their control over the seas slipped from them. Loyalists to Sigrún and her ideology joined with the Circle of the Crone, while others, called the Votaries of Hel, rejected her and her mythology and instead fled across the Atlantic. They inserted themselves into the Carribean. There, numerous members affiliated themselves with proto-Carthian movements.
The modern Rötgrafen are usually nomadic, taking efforts to remain close to the sea. Most of the Sea Kings, even those sired recently, buy into the idea that the sole purpose of their Requiem is the preparation for Ragnarok. They emphasize martial prowess, and if their home domain is one of relative peace among the Kindred, many Sea Kings will take to the seas and hunt, keeping their skills sharp.
In addition to the weakness of the Ventrue Clan, the Rötgrafen are even more susceptible to fire and are likelier to fall into Rötschreck in the presence of fire.
- , p.56-64
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