The Withering affects the elders first, then progresses to the higher generations. The Cainites begin losing their capacity to use their blood as they would normally do. They activate some discipline, for example, and the blood is spent, but no effect happens.
The initial symptoms might be experienced as an unusual potency in all the disciplines. Soon, though, they become unable to use most of their powers, or even regenerate any damage received. Oddly enough, when the Withering affects the Nosferatu, they start to lose their ugliness, beginning to look more like normal people.
The only remedy to the Withering seems to be committing diablerie upon other vampires, but even this is only a temporary solution. The length of the palliation depends on the victims age:
• New childe or Thin-Blood = 3 nights
• Neonate = 1 week
• Ancilla = 2 weeks
• Elder = 3 weeks
• Methuselah or Antediluvian = 1 month
Some Cainites think that the Red Star is a gigantic Thing From Beyond that drains away vampires' stolen life force. Others think that something happened to Caine. Still others blame the Withering on the mysterious mortal mages, or a hidden Antediluvian who found a way to siphon all Cainite power to himself, a new disease or any of a dozen other causes. Many fear that the Withering is God's judgement on the Kindred, though they disagree with the rest about the immediate mechanism that weakens the curse of Caine.