True World Of Darkness
There is one thing that elder Kindred dread even more than fire or the light of the sun. This is the sin known as diablerie, the act of drinking not only a Kindred’s Vitae, but her very soul.
Among Camarilla society, diablerie is the ultimate crime; those who practice it are subject to the harshest punishments imaginable. It is as loathed and feared as cannibalism is among mortal society. The vampires of the Sabbat are said to indulge in diablerie freely, which is yet another reason why Camarilla elders hate them so.
Elders know the crime as the Amaranth; in olden nights, it is said, an amaranth flower was presented to the victim a week before he was to be hunted. Kindred legend tells many dark tales of murderous childer betraying and cannibalizing their own sires, and it is for this reason more than any other that elder Kindred harbor such distrust for the neonates among them. Indeed, the great Jyhad itself may well have its roots in this eternal and savage struggle for power.
Diablerie itself is a fairly straightforward act. Most importantly, the potential victim must be in torpor, when the soul is sluggish enough to be caught off guard, and the body is placid. Most would-be diablerists attempt their crimes on Kindred who are already staked or already in torpor, and little ignites the passions of power-hungry neonates like the rumor of a torpid elder. It is not unknown, however, for particularly violent Kindred to beat their victims into torpor themselves.
The diablerist must drink all of the Vitae the subject has in his system. Thereafter, the diablerist must keep drinking, sucking at the blasphemous essence that animates the Damned. Diablerie can benefit only one vampire; it is not possible for a coterie of diablerists to consume the soul of a single Kindred and spread it among themselves.
Consuming the soul requires a Resolve + Stamina roll on the part of the diablerist’s player. This is an extended action. A number of successes must be accumulated equal to the Willpower dots of the Kindred being diablerized. Each roll represents one turn of effort. It is advised that the Storyteller does the record keeping, so the player doesn’t know exactly what happens to his character, at least immediately. Circumstance penalties (such as those associated with wounds and supernatural curses) apply to Resolve + Stamina rolls. Furthermore, if the attacking character is in frenzy when attempting diablerie, rolls suffer an additional – 3 penalty. Attempting diablerie has a limit of rolls equal to the diablerist’s Willpower dots. If the required successes haven’t been accumulated in that many rolls, the victim’s soul is just too potent or resistant and cannot be consumed. The victim is consigned to Final Death, instead.
A player may not spend a Willpower point on a diablerie roll, nor do any augmentations of his character’s Attributes (through blood expenditure, Disciplines or mystic artifacts) apply. Only the character’s natural Resolve and Stamina are relevant.
- Dramatic Failure: The victim’s soul wrenches free at the moment of its consumption, inflicting horrific trauma on the mind of the diablerist. The diablerist suffers the normal Integrity loss (see below) and gains an appropriate derangement of the Storyteller’s choice. The victim succumbs to Final Death and cannot be diablerized.
- Failure: The character makes no further progress in consuming the soul of the victim, as the soul fights to elude consumption.
- Success: The character continues to draw the soul of the fallen Kindred into his own.
- Exceptional Success: The Kindred makes significant headway in consuming the soul of his victim.
After all of a victim’s Vitae have been taken, but before all successes are achieved in consuming the subject’s soul, a diablerist can cease to feed and allow the victim to reach Final Death in (relative) peace.
Upon diablerie’s completion, the Integrity of the diablerist drops by one automatically. He also gains the benefits and drawbacks described below. A diablerized Kindred crumbles to ash immediately, regardless of how old her body actually was upon the Amaranth.
Benefits of Diablerie
If the diablerized vampire is of a lower generation than the diablerist, the diablerist’s generation will be modified to this formula;
= (Diablerist Vampire Generation – ((Diablerized Vampire Generation – Diablerist Vampire Generation)/02))
If their vicitim’s generation is lower than their attacker, this generation decrease will never be below one (01).
For example, if a 12th Generation Vampire diablerizes a 6th generation vampire, then the diablerist vampire’s new generation would be 9th.
In consuming the fallen Kindred’s soul, the diablerist actually consumes some of her knowledge as well. The diablerist acquires a single dot of either a Skill or a Discipline that the diablerized vampire possessed at a higher level than the diablerist does. This adds to the diablerist’s dots in that Skill or Discipline, even if he didn’t have any dots at all in the Skill or Discipline before. For example, if a neonate with Obfuscate 3 diablerizes an elder who has Obfuscate 2, the neonate may not take an additional dot of Obfuscate; he already knows more than the elder with regard to that Discipline. Also, a diablerist may not exceed the trait maximum imposed by his Generation (although if that Generation now decreases to a level that allows a higher level of those traits, he enjoys the benefit of that newly lowered Generation when deciding which dot of what to acquire). This increase need not be paid for with experience points.
It should be noted that the only benefit to diablerizing a vampire of higher generation is acquiring an extra dot in a Discipline or Skill. All of the detriments still apply, however.
Drawbacks of Diablerie
As noted prior, when a vampire commits diablerie, his Integrity decreases by one automatically.
A vampire committing the Amaranth risks blood addiction as normal when he consumes his fallen foe’s Vitae and soul. See p. 158 for more information on blood addiction. This risk isn’t redundant — the vampire need not check for addiction right as he tastes his victim’s Vitae and then again as it turns into diablerie.
Finally, the act of Amaranth stains the diablerist’s own soul upon its commission. The character’s aura acquires black veins that reveal her crime to those who can scrutinize such things. These black veins remain in the diablerist’s aura for one year per dot of Supernatural Defense the victim possessed. This time is cumulative; a vampire who diablerizes two Kindred of Generation 06 has veins in his aura for 12 years. If a character diablerizes his victims years apart, the additional years add on to the end of last. For example, if a Kindred diablerizes a vampire of Generation 04 and two year later diablerizes a vampire of Generation 05, the black veins appear in her aura for seven years following the second diablerie — or longer, if she keeps to her wicked ways and diablerizes again.
Only vampires can commit diablerie. Ghouls, werewolves, mortals and the like aren’t Kindred, so they lack the ability to consume the souls of the Damned. Furthermore, only vampires can be diablerized. Those same ghouls, werewolves or mortals do not have the same spark of undeath animating them, so their souls cannot be consumed in this manner.
A diablerized vampire never leaves behind a ghost, as the diablerist consumes the soul that might become one of the lingering dead.