The Sangiovanni in their current form trace themselves to Lodovico Sangiovanni, an architect during the late Renaissance era who was raised in a family of mortal thaumaturges. Lodovico used his knowledge of the dark arts to create undead workers that erected his churches. He was also known for his decadence, his alcoholism and pursuit of rare arcane artifacts. In secret, he feared his own death, having seen the Underworld himself. In the course of his life, Lodovico committed various rituals, including the sacrifice of his younger daughters, to escape it.
One of these rituals attracted a Mekhet Elder that drained Lodovico of his blood and left him with cryptic visions and messages about the rising dead that Lodovico interpreted as his moral duty to raise up all the dead to begin the Apocalypse. Initially, however, it seemed he had lost his former powers of sorcery upon becoming immortal, and his surviving writings from those early nights clearly reflect his rage. His sons aged and died before he mastered the arts of necromancy once again. Lodovico Embraced a daughter and a son, each of whom was forced to Embrace a brother and a sister, and in this way, he built the modern Sangiovanni. Lodovico's sanity, however, slipped further and further, until his family had enough of his rambling and staked him in the early 1800s. Even to this day, most are puzzled as how he managed to recreate his lost magical talent, something impossible for mages or thaumaturges that have received the Embrace. The possibility that Lodovico was somehow the exception to this rule has kept many scholars, vampire and wizard alike, up through many long nights of wondering. What can be discovered, by those dedicated or suicidal enough to pry, is that the Sangiovanni bloodline's survival unto the modern day is ultimately attributable to the subtle intervention of a sub-sect of mages — debauched, soul-stealing immortals, if the rumors are to be believed (likely the Tremere or the Sons of Phobos).
The Sangiovanni have been targeted by the Invictus since their existence became public and the Circle of the Crone has likewise targeted them to gain access to their unique Discipline and knowledge over the dead. The Sangiovanni, however, proved themselves as adept opponents and drove both Covenants from their holdings in Venice, while enjoying an alliance with the Lancea Sanctum. The bloodline has begun to slowly expand beyond Italy and is found in New York, Paris and even smaller towns and cities as the reach of the bloodline races to expand to match the new communications capabilities of today. Many Sangiovanni also seek to expand their necromantic knowledge, hidden from their Sanctified allies.
In addition to the Mekhet weakness, the Sangiovanni have a deeply ingrained connection to the energies of death. This connection makes social interactions somewhat awkward, as others feel the unnaturality of the vampire. Dice pools for social interactions with mortals are capped at two lower than the vampire's Humanity rating, and observing Kindred likewise tend to misinterpret the Sangiovanni's closeness to the Beast.
Sangiovanni, if they suffer Degeneration, are vulnerable to falling into a a peculiar type of Obsessive Compulsive behavior with regards to corpses. They begin to believe that the dead are somehow "more beautiful" than the living, and many develop necrophiliac urges.
- , p.65-71
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