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The Ravnos Clan: The Clan of Paradox

on Mon Oct 09 2017, 23:07

In these nights, I am a god. You, sir, are a monster, and there is no helping it. I cannot relieve you of your
burden any more than you can relieve me of mine, and do not condescend to believe that my burden is any less
than yours. While you must struggle to master yourself, I must struggle to master all those around me.
I would say my burden is greater.

Probably some of the most misunderstood and mistrusted Cainites in the world, the Ravnos are viewed as deceivers and tricksters. Few trust them, and fewer still want them havening in their cities, forcing the clan to be a traveling people by necessity. The origins of the Ravnos are not well known, though some claim that their progenitor comes from the East. Certainly, many of the clan can trace their roots to India and even use the extensive caste system, referring to their traveling bands as jati. Those who have spent the majority of their unlives in European countries have a harder time tracing their lineages so far east, and tend to speak in ambiguous terms when asked about their origins. Of course, getting a straight answer from any Ravnos is rare. Most of the Charlatans prefer to keep their secrets close to the heart.

The single most defining thing about the nature of the Ravnos is the very reason they are so mistrusted. Many Ravnos believe that the Embrace grants them the ability to see past maya, or the illusion that is reality. In this new transcendent state, they can manipulate the illusion, making them masters of reality. This is not madness, and should not be confused as such. Instead, it is simply a different way of looking at the world, in which the Ravnos have a distinct advantage. Ravnos have no compunction about using illusions in their everyday dealings. Younger Ravnos do not believe in the maya myth. Instead, they gravitate to the power that comes with the ability to manipulate reality. These arrogant Charlatans use their powers to deceive and take advantage of others, hoping to ultimately rule the world. These very acts give the Ravnos their worst reputation. The Charlatans are often mistrusted on sight and treated like criminals before they can even do anything wrong. Of course, any who treat the Ravnos too badly will feel the wrath of their jati seeking retribution.

Sobriquet: Shapers, Charlatans,Seekers, Vagabonds, Unwelcome

Appearance: Most Ravnos wear traveling clothes of all varieties. Many wear loose-fitting garments that are both comfortable and utilitarian, with layers to adapt to the weather. Some of the older Ravnos that hold onto pride over functionality wear brightly dyed woolen garments such as saris and sarongs. Younger Charlatans have eschewed any ties they may have once had to their Indian roots, preferring European styles over anything else.

Haven: Ravnos do not stay in any one place for too long. For some, the only havens they can lay claim to are travelling caravans or roadside inns for a few nights.

The Charlatans are experts at finding out-of-the-way places and small towns to stay in for short periods of time. It is rare for Ravnos to haven in a city held by other vampires. Yet, when she decides to do so, there is very little the Prince of that city can do to eradicate her, else her entire family comes down on him.Character Creation: Ravnos rely on trickery and social acumen to get them out of most situations, so Social Attributes are often primary. Younger Charlatans tend to be Embraced from travelling professions. Older Ravnos are often workers, warriors, priests, or gentry. Typical backgrounds include Allies, Contacts, Mentor (for those in a jati), and Resources (usually merchants, but even thieves can acquire a fortune). Ravnos follow many different Roads. Older Ravnos favor the Road of Kings, while the young prefer the Road of Sin. Many follow the Road of Humanity regardless of age. It is rumored that some of the most dangerous Charlatans follow their own faith, called the Road of Paradox.

Clan Disciplines: Animalism, Chimerstry, Fortitude

Weakness: While the Ravnos are masters of changing the reality around them, they have a harder time changing their own fundamental reality. All Ravnos have a key personality trait, chosen at character creation, which they are incapable of resisting if the opportunity to express it presents itself. This can be some kind of virtuous act, such as defending the weak, or something more sinister, such as taking advantage of someone in a lesser position. Often the trait is tied to the jati the Ravnos belongs to. When presented with the opportunity to indulge in her virtue or vice, she does so unless the player succeeds on a Self-Control or Instinct roll (difficulty 6).

Organization: All outward appearances show the Ravnos as small unorganized groups, which do not communicate with, or trust each other. In reality, the Ravnos follow an unspoken code based on the jobs they do and a complex caste system within the jati. While many Ravnos do find it hard to trust another, they maintain respect within the jati. The clan holds to an honor system that prevents them from truly turning their backs on each other, and even has them coming to each other’s aid when threatened. Rumors abound about a scourge or seneschal somewhere who ran a Ravnos out of his city, only to find retribution a few nights later in the form of his entire family.

Assamites: Demon hunters and warriors. I could see us allying with the Assassins if they would stop ignoring us while they try to suck up to all the other clans.
Ventrue: It is a shame the Ventrue cannot see past their noses while looking down on us. We could prove more useful to them than they think. They are the only ones who might be able to truly understand our strict adherence to lineage and blood relations.
Low Clans: Even the low look down on us. Unfortunately, such a binary delineation cannot begin to truly describe how the world really works. For shame. So many of them have such great potential.
Malkavians: They claim to be seers and wise-women. I don’t doubt they are, for they certainly seem to be able to see the illusion of reality for what it really is. Of course, this makes them dangerous associates.
Nosferatu: Intelligent, cunning, and downright dangerous. If you can get one to open up to you, you should have enough information to give you all the power you want. Just be wary, as their mind tricks can be far nastier than any illusions we might try.
Tremere: Honestly, if you want to call someone deceitful and dishonest, save those epithets for the Tremere. I will never understand what it takes for some to realize who the real enemies of this world are.
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