Duchagne by Paganliam

"Listen to you mewl like an infant! Perhaps I should render you helpless as one?”

Among the bourgeoisie of 1765 France, few others could hold the fickle attention of the bored aristocracy like the Vicomte and Vicomtesse du’Chagne. Though not land owners, the du Chagne were competent merchants who excelled at manipulation. Their parties consistently pushed the boundaries between risqué and obscene, delighting the court of Louis XV and his successor. However, it was the private parties out of the courtly light which drew the attention of a bemused Kindred to their Bordeaux châteaux.

Albaric and his wife, Eglatina, had voracious appetites that would have put Caligula to shame. They held sexual parties for a few special friends, often inviting prostitutes from nearby cities, each who were paid handsomely for their silence. Many made extra if they were willing to suffer under the sadistic vices of the Vicomte and Vicomtesse. When not hosting some sort of debauchery, the two played with the affections of naïve youths of the court, tempting them with deviant pleasures and empty promises of power and wealth.

While the Daeva found most of these games less than innovated, especially when compared to those of the Kindred, he saw potential within the couple. Embracing the aristocrats and he introduced them to vampiric society. The two reveled in the Danse Macabre as if born into it. The Daeva instructed Albaric and Eglatina in les arts licencieux, showing them how to use the vitae to alter not only the emotions of their victims, but also their senses. The trio was inseparable, holding grand masked balls for both mortal and Kindred alike. However, the fires of revolution changed everything.

The three were too late in reacting to the sweeping revolution, and the Vicomte and his sire meet the Final Death. Vicomtesse Eglatina survived, though barely. After several years in torpor, Eglatina du Chagne emerged from the death sleep and sought to relieve her loneliness and forget her sorrow.

She took in several mortal retainers, using them to satisfy her debased appetite. The loss of the Vicomte and her sire had helped her to focus her ministrations to the point that she could make her protégées (as she referred to her subjects) feel whatever she desired them to. While many broke under the mixture of pain and pleasure, a small handful flourished. No matter what she levied against their flesh and minds, the servants begged for more. Impressed, she Embraced the group, training them in the ways of the vitae as she had been. These protégées took on the title of Les Élève du Chagne, or more simply, the Duchagne.

In the last couple of centuries, the bloodline has changed very little. The members set themselves up much as Eglatina had; usually solitary and surrounded by a few mortal retainers. Any childer Embraced come from the ranks of these protégées, forming an intimate, if slightly twisted connection among the bloodline members.

Further, Kindred of this bloodline have branched out into more than the lustful deviance of their founder. Some apply their knowledge of sensual manipulation towards profit driven enterprises, or even political ventures. The only thing that truly unifies the bloodline is their rapid inability to feel. Within a few short years Duchagne find that it takes more and more depraved acts to stir any sense of pleasure in their existence, until only the most base and cruel acts manage to bring a weary smile to their pallid faces.

Parent Clan: Daeva

Nickname: Bacchantes

Covenant: Many Duchagne find a place in the hollowed halls of the First Estate. Their gifts help them excel at negotiation and in general interaction with Kine and Kindred alike. The Circle of the Crone holds the second most members of this bloodline. The concept of growth through pain and tribulation appeals to the Bacchantes’ nature, and the bloody rites of Cruác holds a certain (some would say unhealthy) amount of fascination. A few stray Duchagne make their way into the Lancea Sanctum, however, seeing themselves as true devils sent to torture the unrepentant. These inquisitors often disturb even their own fellow bloodline members with their zealous fury.

Appearance: Though this bloodline is found primarily in France, the Duchagne themselves tend to be individualistic in who they fancy. However, due to their isolated natures, most members come from the surrounding countries, if not France itself. Occasionally, a tourist or foreign student enters the ranks of the protégées, but these are exceptions rather than the rule.

Haven: The residences of bloodline members vary wildly. Some maintain lavish apartments or chateaus where they host luxurious parties. Others have Spartan dungeon-esque homes filled with elaborate devices of torture. No matter how posh or derelict the haven, there is always a sense of functionality about the entire space.

Background: A predominate number of Duchagne come from the ranks of protégées that members of this bloodline surround themselves with. Those who survive their sire’s perverse affections prior to the Embrace, and manage to show an enthusiasm for said treatment are desirable candidates. Depending on the Kindred, some childer are picked not from victims, but from those whom the vampire has observed and impressed with their own deviant behavior.

Induction of Daeva into the bloodline has rarely, if ever occurred. Indeed, the majority of this bloodline has never encountered their parent clan, and with the intimate relationship between sire and childe, few even realize that they are anything but Duchagne. If a Duchagne found a Daeva with very similar tastes, it would be possible for the Daeva to be adopted into the bloodline. Of course, the Daeva would have to undergo the same treatment that mortal protégées do.

Character Creation: While protégées are chosen from a wide variety of mortals, those who excel in social or mental arenas tend to be Embraced more often then those who are more physically inclined. Manipulation, Composure and Resolve are highly favored Attributes, although, after the physical trauma most protégées endure prior to the Embrace, a high Stamina is quite justified.

Social and Mental Skills are coveted by the members of this bloodline. Crafts, Intimidation and Subterfuge are all useful, as is Medicine and Socialize. As for Merits, Herd and Haven tend to be fairly high, as well as Police or Criminal Influences.

Bloodline Disciplines: Licencieux, Majesty, Resilience, Vigor

Weakness: As members of the Daeva clan, all Duchagne have a difficult time resisting their indulgent urges. The Duchagne loses two Willpower points whenever he refuses to indulge his Vice.

Further, members of this bloodline tend to grow weary of simple pleasures quicker then most. That which thrilled the vampire one day is discarded as passé the next. Within a few years (or even months) only the most deviant acts manage to stir any emotion in the Bacchantes. To many outsiders, this makes it seem as if the Duchagne are fickle with their affections. In actuality, the Kindred of this bloodline lose their ability to empathize with their lost humanity, and are desperate to feel anything at all.

Whenever the character makes a Degeneration Check, he is does not benefit from the 10 Again rule. In addition, any 1’s rolled count against the successes made. Should the more 1’s be rolled than successes, the outcome is treated as a normal failure. This weakness doesn’t affect the chances of gaining a Derangement, only to see if the character loses Humanity.

Organization: The mentor/protégée relationship between Duchagne creates fairly strong ties between the members of this bloodline. Even those under the tutelage of the most sadistic Bacchantes have a twisted love of their former (or current) master. Beyond this simple student and teacher setup, the organization of the bloodline is rather freeform. Occasionally, members in a region will hold a masked ball in which each Duchagne is able to showcase their current protégées and exotic techniques. These are lavish affairs, and many consider the opportunity to host one to be a great honor.

Concepts: Lothario, interrogator, drug lord, bondage freak, con artist, power behind the throne, bored aristocrat, purveyor of the flesh, vengeful zealot