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The Toreador Clan: The Beauty Lovers

on Tue Oct 10 2017, 18:10

My faith teaches these cravings are wrong. I vowed to abstain, yet I worship the village beauty for a sennight, writing odes to
her eyes. I bind her with a thousand lies, then end her life in a grove smelling of pine, my hands wound in her golden braids.
I’m tortured by what I’ve become. Where is redemption to be found?

Toreador live by their whims. Do they feel like strolling in the gardens or tossing away a fortune on a game of cards? It’s the age of chivalry and Toreador are coming into their own magnificence. The worship of beauty in the Dark Ages, the fascination with mysticism, all these influences draw a Toreador like a moth to a flame. Sometimes Toreadors are the moths. Other times, they’re the flames. Toreador watch mortals play out their brief lives and often intervene. Drama adds zest to their unlives, their machinations tied into the tiniest detail. They are directors and mortals are the actors.

Toreador are the original hedonists, but with a twist. They can never feel what they seek. They seek warm, mortal flesh to stave away the chill of undeath. They drink fine wine, though it tastes of dust, chasing the memory of bursting grapes on their tongue. They fill their homes with art and music, though they struggle to create it themselves.

For some Toreador, religion is their passion. They take it to extremes frowned upon by the Church, self-inflicting stigmata or flagellating their sins from their body. Yet they sin and sin again, living in the vacuum of God’s displeasure. After all, if Christ’s great gift is forgiveness, why waste that gift on a life of temperance? These vampires particularly feel the loss of grace.

To hear a Toreador talk, their clan is responsible for the entire history of art, from cave paintings to early Byzantine mosaics. As with many things involving Cainites, this carries a hint of truth, as Toreador have patroned and inspired many great artists throughout history. If a Toreador was artistic in life, she spends her unlife pursuing the perfection humanity brings. However, because all Toreador lack something ineffable that mortals possess, they never achieve what they once did with a limited lifespan. It is traumatizing, but they never stop seeking it.

Sobriquets: Aesthetes, Artisans, Vanitas

Appearance: Toreador pursue not only beauty, but propagate themselves through beauty. Their beauty often reflects the ideal from the era and homeland from which they come, so they range from exotic beauty, to a collection of whatever is in fashion locally. A collective of Toreador is a breathtaking sight.

Haven: A Toreador wants to be surrounded by art and lovely things, but he is equally likely to seek out artists in their garrets, or a patron of his own to help him afford his expensive taste. Toreador are true collectors, focusing their obsession on finding rare and precious items to add to their collections. They do the same with their retainers, curating the people around them.

Backgrounds: Toreador are mercurial in their choice of childer, choosing by passion and conviction. It is not unusual for a Toreador to Embrace a favorite artist, lover, or muse to stay as eternal as she is. Unfortunately, the changeable nature of the Toreador leads to some cast-offs, as a sire tires of the childe he chose. This fosters resentment and some creative revenge plots.

Character Creation: The arts and graces of society are of the greatest importance to the Toreador, so focus on high Social Attributes and Abilities. Preferred backgrounds include Herd, Retainers, and Resources. Toreador struggle to sever themselves from mortal pleasures, so the Road of Humanity is most common. However, some choose the Road of Kings instead. They have the strongest connection to mortals, and this allows them to hold their humanity tighter, but they can’t keep the Beast at bay forever.

Clan Disciplines: Auspex, Celerity, Presence

Weakness: The Toreador has the shortest attention span of all Cainites. Once struck by beauty, it’s as if Cupid’s dart pierced them. If they encounter beauty (Storyteller and player work together to determine appropriate triggers), they must roll Self-Control or Instinct (difficulty 5). If they fail, the daydream of their senses continues until the scene concludes or object departs.

The rush of pleasure they receive from objects of beauty is highly addictive. An undisciplined Toreador can end up reeling from one moment of aesthetic bliss to the next and his enemies can exploit this. Toreador may interact with their objects of obsession, however. For deeply inhumane Toreador, this can mean terrible things for a living obsession, as the Toreador seeks to take in every aspect of nature’s art, understanding them on a visceral, fundamental level.

Organization: From time to time, Toreador gather in loose collectives to refine their individual tastes and inspire each other. These gatherings are not for the faint of heart or feeble of wit. Passionate arguments over art, music, and theater are common, as are performances and impromptu art galleries. The art on display can originate from the Toreador in attendance or showcase the special talents of their protégés. Dimly-lit corners are perfect for arranged rendez-vous, with the intellectual dalliances Toreador hold dear. Hot-tempered Toreador are known to duel to right a wrong or just for amusement.
Cappadocians: Long-faced cadaver dullards. They say they have much to teach us (as do most of our other brethren), yet who wants to sit around listening to them drone?
Gangrel: The beasts are boorish, too brutish for us. Chase them back to their forests and caves. Lasombra: We feel a great kinship with this clan and their exoticism intrigues us. Are they slipping from their high perch? Alluring, yet dangerous to enrage.
Malkavians: The Children of Malkav hold special fascination, perhaps because they dance along the line of real and delusion like us. They then charge forward into madness, but are diverting companions.
Nosferatu: Is it possible to imagine a clan less suited to our feasts and gatherings? With few exceptions, they are off the guest list unless you want rotten flesh dripping in your wine.
Tremere: Dull with their blood magic and their tedious experiments. There’s always one that turns up, latches onto a conversation he has no business participating in, and ignores all hints to go away. We use them when useful.
Ventrue: Almost our equals. Almost. They are on the rise – we will watch their struggles with interest.
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