The Samedi bloodline has a relatively short but immensely curious history within Kindred society. Originating most likely in the Caribbean, the bloodline's members all seem to resemble a zombie or a corpse. Unlike the Nosferatu, who merely become disfigured, the body of the Samedi appears to be in a constant state of decay. Social interactions often fail miserably, as do attempts to integrate into mortal society. Rotting chunks of flesh fall off of their bodies with increasing frequency as they age, and the smell of death clings to them wherever they roam.
Thought to have originated in the Caribbean, the Samedi have strong ties to the region's voodoo legacies. They practice a unique Discipline that allows them to manipulate the energies of death, albeit in a much more temporal manner than Giovanni Necromancy.
Indeed, the Giovanni have very little good to say about the Samedi, and the enmity between these kindred runs deep. Some Kindred believe that the Samedi are the result of a vile Giovanni experiment gone wrong, while other vampires attribute darker origins to the Stiffs. Still other Kindred believe that the Samedi are a derelict offshoot of the Nosferatu – one that should have been stillborn. It is possible, however, that the Samedi are descended from Cappadocian Infitiores who escaped notice.
The clan has spread slowly across the globe, though they remain quite small in number. Most progeny are picked from mortals obsessed with death and dying. Those who worked in the mortuary field during their mortal lives appear to be very common, and many members of the clan seem to possess some sort of tranquility with their own mortality.
The Samedi appeared at the Family Reunion, becoming founding members of the fledgling Hecata clan. They are referred to as the Descendants of the Baron. Some, however; have instead joined the Ministry.
Due to mysterious clan-wide changes in the blood, Hecata Samedi no longer suffer from the curse of egregious decomposition as their sires did, although they can manifest the countenance at will, and it does manifest to some extent whenever they feed. In its place is the new clan-wide bane of the painful Kiss.
Curiously, and although it is not widely known, the Samedi and Hecata are immune to the Beckoning.
Samedi often involve themselves with occult or illegal activities in a city, becoming powerful houngans and mambos or trafficking with superstitious immigrant criminal elements. Given their apparent voodoo roots, the Samedi seem content to garner influence in immigrant ghettos, practicing their dark magic and preying upon a populace used to the dead walking among them.
The Samedi are also notorious assassins and mercenaries, and it is for this reason that many Camarilla princes turn a blind eye to them despite their almost Masquerade-threatening involvement with the kine around them. For the most part, the Samedi keep to themselves, and a prince never knows when she may need an ally with "special" abilities. The Stiffs seem to hold the Nosferatu and Giovanni in some inscrutable esteem (or dread), though, as they are hesitant to take out contracts on Kindred of these clans without just cause or considerable payment.
Samedi typically Embrace those with a penchant for death, a trait that follows them into undeath. Many Samedi favor Mental Attributes and Knowledges while the martial, mercenary members of the bloodline cultivate Physical Attributes and Skills or Talents. Samedi rarely have Herd, Mentor, or Resource Backgrounds. A significant percentage of the Samedi bloodline, particularly the older members, practices the Discipline of Necromancy but it is unknown precisely where they would have come across this knowledge, as they appear to be on very poor terms with the Giovanni.
The Samedi very rarely congregate as a clan, and those chance occurrences where they meet are merely informal gatherings of two or three members who gossip and then go their separate ways. Members of this bloodline are often very solitary in nature, and they do not often seek out companionship. A few turbulent rumors sweep through Kindred society about secret cabals of Samedi gathering in graveyards, but none of these rumors have been substantiated.
Those lucky enough to have conversed with a member of this bloodline often recall a certain wisdom and intelligence within them that otherwise would have been overlooked or dismissed outright. While obsessed with death, most of these vampires still seem to possess a wisdom that betrays their short existence.
However, there is more to the Samedi bloodline than a loose association of witch-doctors and death cultists. The bloodline is insular and secretive; many times, its members often keep their affairs private from even other members, suggesting that they have something other than common interests. A few Samedi are known to be members of the Camarilla or the Sabbat, but these offer those sects little information on others of their kind.
Arguably the eldest member of the bloodline, a vampire known only as The Baron, suggests that the Samedi have a more significant role in the Kindred's history and future than most vampires suspect. What that may be, the Baron refuses to specify, dismissing further questions with a wave of his rotting hand.
Bloodline Abilities (V5)
As a member of Clan Hecata, a Samedi can purchase the following abilities:
- CSI Shit: The Samedi can immediately determine a mortal's cause of death during an examination with a difficulty 3 Wits + Alertness roll.
- Exquisite Corpse: The Samedi can change their appearance to a corpse, at the cost of one Rouse Check and a Resolve + Subterfuge roll against an observer's Wits + Awareness.
- Hollow Inside: The Samedi retains two dice from all dice pools relevant to a physical impairment. Impaired Willpower is excluded.
- My Setite Friend: The Samedi has a close connection with the Ministry, retaining a 3-dot Background (e.g. Allies, Influence, or Resources) that may be relied on for a favor once per story.
- The Silk Hat: The Samedi is the heir-apparent to the barony, and receives a five-dot Mawla that grants cryptic help.
As originally presented, the Samedi's clan Disciplines were Necromancy, Obfuscate, and Thanatosis. In Revised Edition, Fortitude replaced Necromancy as a clan Discipline, because of the nature of the change to the Discipline; from a straightforward Discipline to paths. However, in the LARP rules, the Samedi clan advantage is the ability to learn Necromancy without a tutor. The Samedi often learn a type of Necromancy called Voudoun.
In Vampire: The Masquerade 5th Edition, Hecata Samedi have the default clan discipline spread of Auspex, Fortitude, and Oblivion. Given that they no longer suffer from the old curse of rotting countenance, Obfuscate should not be especially missed. Still, a Storyteller may substitute Auspex with Obfuscate at their own discretion, or give Samedi players the option of purchasing of an exclusive 4-dot Merit to open it as an extra in-clan Discipline.
- The Samedi font is Dieter Steffmann's Blackwood Castle.