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The Giovanni Clan: Keep attached to the family

on Sun Oct 08 2017, 22:48

If you wish you knew what the future holds, you have it backwards.
You should hold the future in your hands and shape it to your will.

No other clan out there has any idea where they come from. They might have documents, oral histories, and whispered lore, but no hard facts. The Young Ones have no need to engage in heated origin debates. Every one of the Giovani knows where they came from and where they belong.

No more than four centuries ago, old man Augustus struck a deal with the Devil. He’s fond of telling the story of how he grew up during the hideous famine at the turn of the millennium, when mothers ate their own babies and starving children turned to their parents’ graves to feast on their rotting meat. The things he saw gave him insight on what lies beyond, and the things he did gave him the skill to interact with it. Soon enough, his talents came to the attention of the Cappadocian death scholars, and the elder Cappadocius himself chose him for eternal life — or as it turned out, the next best thing to what only God can offer. Augustus figured he already suffered enough scorching sunlight in the dry fields, and was no stranger to drinking blood to quench his thirst. As far as deals go, this particular Devil suited him just fine. The new millennium was his to seize. Soon enough, he gathered his childhood friends, creating a tight knit group of like-minded individuals who shared his vision, his ambition, and finally his blood.

They called each other brothers, for what other name defines what they shared? Some chose to strengthen their own mortal families that they might never again want for food or comfort. As time went by, they embraced the rising craft of commerce, which brought them far above their original station. Growing rich and powerful with ever  night, the Young Ones came to the attention of other Cainites.

As other Cainites took note of this self- styled young brotherhood and tried to understand who they really were, they found nothing but secrets. After all, as a new bloodline of an already mysterious and secretive clan, it was impossible to find clear information about who the Giovani really were and what they could do. Rumors spread like wildfire and the Young Ones used them to their advantage. Cainites love to imagine all vampires as powerful schemers in the shadows of history, so why refute the voices of a Roman family of Necromancers? Better to build on that, and drop some nuggets of inspiring lore about divination for the Emperors.

Sobriquet: The Young Ones, Giovanotti (Youngsters), the "Devil Clan".

Appearance: The Giovani are few and varied in appearance, albeit unified by the ashen quality that marks their Cappadocian blood (with rare exceptions). Depending on their origin, a Young One could exhibit any mix of the vastly varied palette of the Mediterranean, which features skin tones from dark olive to light cream, hair ranging from bright red locks to raven black curls, and a wide range of eyes, mouths, and noses.Havens and Prey: Most Young Ones live with their mortal family. The truth about their unlife is known in varying degrees depending on the closeness of the familial relationships­— and it usually comes down to hushed suspicions of leprosy or other skin conditions which should not be mentioned outside of the house. Family is a Giovani’s best haven regardless of their physical location. However, their steadily growing wealth means that they usually dwell in large houses with multiple rooms and separated kitchens. Several families take in servants and apprentices. The medical practice of leeching, coupled with the support structure of a close-knit family, makes it very rare for a Young One to need feeding outside her haven. If that should happen, though, they usually feed away from home to avoid any kind of suspicion.

Backgrounds: The initial group embraced by Augustus planned to Embrace carefully and purposefully to sustain the family while recruiting talent. Therefore, new Embraces come either from the extended family ranks or from ambitious outsiders, making their way in the new social strata.

History:  The Giovanni started as merchants under the name Ioveanus (later anglicized as Jovians) in the Roman Empire. During this time, the family first attempted to call back the dead in what they called "nigrimancy", as business with the dead was not yet stigmatized and ancestor worship was quite common among the Roman population. When Rome fell, the Jovians maintained the independence of their home in Venice and furthered their own researches of what would eventually develop into newer paths of Necromancy, primarily the Sepulchre Path.

By the dawn of the 13th century, the Jovian family name had again shifted linguistically, this time to "Giovani", spelled with one N. The family name would come to adopt the more familiar "Giovanni" spelling around or before the 15th century.

In 1005, in the hollows of Erciyes and under the shadow of Cappadocius's torpid form, Augustus was brought into clan Cappadocian, directly Embraced with the blood of the Founder and under the watch of Japheth and Constancia. While the Embrace is relatively well known, what is not well known is the horse-trading before it.

The Clan of Death, the Cappadocians followed their Founder in a quest to understand the mysteries of death and God, including Cappadocius's plan to diablerize the Almighty. However, lacking knowledge about the soul (the Cappadocians' use of Necromancy focused more on the act of dying than the events afterwards), the Founder began to shop for experts.

Enter the Giovani — "the young ones" — a family of prosperous Venetian traders who had for centuries depended on Necromatic skill to provide a business edge. Interested in expanding his family's power and seeing Vampirism as the route to doing so, Augustus Giovani had been studying the clans and entertaining offers from various vampiric elders for the Embrace. The Cappadocian offer was the most attractive, providing the lowest generation (as well as the most manipulable clan).

As a result, and despite the protests of Cappadocius's eldest childer, the Antediluvian rose from Torpor and provided Japheth with a small vial of his blood. Japheth reluctantly did so, draining Augustus and pouring most of Cappadocius's donated blood into the throat of a drained Giovanni (The remainder was hidden by Japheth, the True Vessel becoming a major element Giovani rumor).

Following his ascent into the blood, Augustus Giovani immediately began Embracing his own family. In the course of doing so, the Giovani became something between a bloodline and a cult within the Cappadocian clan. Acknowledged as the experts on Necromancy (and rapidly expanding the field), the Giovani maintained themselves slightly separate from the mother clan. This, as the Giovani claim, is because Augustus had planned to usurp his sire from before he was Embraced.

In 1444, these plans came to fruition. Augustus Giovanni's childe, Claudius Giovanni formed a conspiracy to diablerize Japheth, the most beloved of Cappadocius's childer. The Conspiracy of Isaac was a criminal force in itself, but ultimately a distraction - since Hardestadt and other founders of the Camarilla had turned their eye towards the diablerie of elder vampires, Augustus wanted a catspaw, an obvious plan to distract them while he went after the greater prize. In 1444, both plans were completed, with Japheth and Cappadocius dead and both leading Giovanni lowered a generation. The betrayal of Cappadocius and his childer was later called "the Bite" among Giovanni family members.

Taking advantage of the chaos of the era, Augustus began a purge of the Cappadocians that, while taking centuries to wipe out the stragglers.

Character Creation: The Young Ones value exceptional insight and strong resolve. Mental Attributes and Skills are usually primary, but they also value Knowledges. Natures, Demeanors, and Virtues reflect the ambition and interconnection of the family, and most members follow the Road of Humanity. Common Backgrounds include Retainers, Resources,Herds, and Allies. Generation is usually quite low, never going above the Eleventh.

Clan Disciplines: Auspex, Fortitude, Necromancy

Weakness: Like other members of the Cappadocian clan, the Giovani have an ashen quality to their skin which makes humans eerily aware of their otherness. The few bloodline members closest to Augustus himself are perfectly able to appear as if blood was still pumping through their veins, but their Kiss is excruciatingly painful. Some believe the horrors he saw as a mortal man carried through his blood, but this weakness doesn’t seem to have a clear pattern or cause.

Organization: The key quality to ensure devotion is gratitude. Therefore, the group of founders (headed by Augustus) promotes a reward pyramid structure, where only those who deserve it the most are lifted from their lot and brought up in status and prestige through the Embrace. This approach means that children from powerful political marriages have been looked over in favour of someone from lower social strata — and as the Giovani’s numbers grow, so does internal discontent.

Nosferatu: As ugly as they are smart. They make excellent allies and formidable enemies.
Ventrue: Having an old-sounding name doesn’t mean you’re fit to lead.
Lasombra: A lot of ritual and pretenses. If they want to believe they own the Mediterranean, let them. We know how things really are.
Toreador: Fantastic clients.
They’d buy anything we sell, as long as they think it’s rare and eccentric.
Setites: Try and find the differences with the Toreador if you can. There’s only one: they have a plan, which makes them more like us. Not sure how good that is.
Gangrel: Tell your families to avoid the woods at night.
Assamites: Treat them with respect and offer fair deals. I can’t guarantee you’ll survive the alternative.
Tremere: There’s a lot to learn from these folks. Take notes.
Cappadocians: So absorbed by their research and their thoughts that they barely notice us. Exactly as it should be.
Ghosts: Don’t feel ashamed if you go to your grandfather for advice. Especially if he can sneak around your rivals sight unseen and remembers their ancestors.
Ghouls: Your family and servants are your strength. No other Clan understand this how we do. All to our advantage.
Lupines: Tell your families to avoid the woods by day.
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