Third Generation is an expression used to describe vampires who are two steps removed from Caine in generation. They are immensely powerful creatures credited as the progenitors of the 13 vampiric clans.
Members of the Third Generation are frequently called "Antediluvians" – but while most of them were truly Embraced by the Second Generation before the biblical deluge, there are some younger individuals among their ranks that have been able to lower their own generation to this degree through the foul crime of diablerie.
Members of the Third Generation are from a rare and truly old stock. Most of them are nearly ten thousand years old and walked through the streets of the First City, in a time before the great deluge. These mythical beings are rumored to be the last vampires "with mastery over life and death", but today they are almost certainly in the grip of millennial torpor, assuming they still exist at all.
Most believe these god-like beings to be either in torpor, manipulating the Jyhad, or dead, but there are a large number of myths and prophecies surrounding the clan founders, many of which are contradictory and suspect. However, certain beliefs have prevailed throughout vampiric history, particularly in regards to their actions in Gehenna.
Some Kindred philosophies prophecy that the Third Generation will rise from their unquiet slumber and devour their wayward childer during that apocalyptic event. Vampiric sects such as the Camarilla openly disdain such beliefs, but there are those, like the Sabbat's radicals who are firm believers in this prophecy, advocating the destruction of the sleeping monsters where they lie, if they can be discovered and destroyed at all.
Most agree that, if these biblical monsters still dwell on Earth, they cannot possibly still resemble humans in anything more than physical form. They have been vampires for so long that their urges and desires are wholly alien to human sensibilities, and even to those vampires who have been Kindred for “only” a thousand years or fewer. Vampires of the Third Generation can have traits up to level 10, can contain an unknown number of blood points, and can spend an unknown number of blood points per turn (possibly infinite, but definitely greater than the Fourth Generation).
According to Noddist lore, there were 13 original members of the Third Generation Embraced in the First City. Their sires were the Second Generation, the three childer of Caine: Enoch, Irad, and Zillah. After the First City was destroyed in the Deluge, they came to be known as the "Antediluvians".
As Caine had left his childer and grandchilder shortly before the Flood, the Second and Third Generations were left unattended. The Third Generation rose up and slew their sires in rebellion. They then sired their own childer, the Fourth Generation, beginning the lineage of the thirteen clans. The clans built up the Second City, but it fell to infighting and rebellion. The most prominent casualty of this revolt was the founder of the Brujah, who was killed by his own childe, Troile; those Brujah already Embraced by that point, and their childer, became the "True Brujah" bloodline, while the descendants of Troile took on the mantle of the Brujah clan.
Millennia later, the Antediluvian Saulot, founder of the Salubri, was slain by Tremere, a mage-turned-vampire. His bloodline, the eponymous Tremere, were thus elevated to the status of clan, while the Salubri, like the True Brujah before them, became a mere bloodline. Several centuries later, in the early years of the Anarch Revolt, the Antediluvians of the rebellious clans Lasombra and Tzimisce allowed their childer to think them destroyed as they withdrew from sight. Not long after, the Giovanni, a bloodline of the Cappadocian clan, elevated themselves to clan status when their own founder, Augustus Giovanni, slew the Cappadocian founder Cappadocius.
In modern nights, one more Antediluvian has been destroyed: the Ravnos progenitor was slain, but no childe of his was there to commit diablerie and take his place at the head of the clan. Instead, the Antediluvian was utterly destroyed in what came to be known as the Week of Nightmares, the greatest portent of the Final Nights and of Gehenna.
- Fallen and Risen Antediluvians
Despite legends of their immortality, several Antediluvians are believed to have fallen through diablerie, including four within the last millennium alone:
- The Ventrue claim their Founder was ambushed and killed by the Brujah Founder on the outskirts of the Second City
- [Brujah]: diablerized by Troile in the Second City
- Saulot: diablerized by Tremere in 1133 CE
- [Lasombra]: physically slain and allegedly diablerized by Gratiano de Veronese at the start of the Anarch Revolt
- [Tzimisce]: allegedly diablerized by Lugoj at the start of the Anarch Revolt
- Cappadocius: diablerized by Augustus Giovanni in 1444
Powers and abilities
The Third Generation have access to nearly godlike power through their potent vitae. The Vampire Players Guide Second Edition includes examples of Level 10 Disciplines, as do a few other pre-Revised Edition supplements. However, the Gehenna supplement provides lots of theories about the exact capabilities of Antediluvians as well as guidelines for Level 10 Disciplines. Their powers and abilities are not nearly restricted to those guidelines, however, because members of the Third Generation have no official character sheets.
Known members of the Third Generation
Traditionally, the Third Generation vampires are simply referred to as the "(clan) Antediluvian", such as the Gangrel Antediluvian, Tzimisce Antediluvian, and so on. An alternate usage is to describe the name in square brackets (i.e., [Tzimisce]), to denote the fact that the names of the Antediluvians are unknown, and there is evidence to suggest that pursuing their real names is an easy way to draw their ire.
On the other hand, Noddist scholars in the past have arbitrarily derived names from the clan name, such as Malkav from Malkavian, which have since come to be accepted. Some records do exist of names believed to have been used by Antediluvians, though it is well known that they have gone by many aliases in their travels and it may be impossible to ever know their original names. Regardless, several names are commonly accepted as valid and are listed below:
- Clan Assamite - Haqim
- Clan Brujah - Troile
- Clan Followers of Set - Set; sometimes Sutekh or Typhon;
- Clan Gangrel - Ennoia
- Clan Giovanni - Augustus Giovanni
- Clan Lasombra - [Lasombra]
- Clan Malkavian - Malkav
- Clan Nosferatu - Absimiliard
- Clan Ravnos - Ravana or Zapathasura
- Clan Toreador - Arikel or Ishtar
- Clan Tremere - Tremere
- Clan Tzimisce - [Tzimisce] or the Eldest
- Clan Ventrue - Ventru (sometimes called Veddartha)
Also, for the former clans-turned-bloodlines:
- Clan Cappadocian - Cappadocius
- Clan Salubri - Saulot
- Clan True Brujah - [Brujah], Ilyes, or Troile the Elder
Other names mentioned as possible members of the Third Generation include:
These are presumably other names for the clan progenitors, though they may be Antediluvians who opted not to sire clans (such as the Shaper, an optional character from the Gehenna sourcebook).