The Diet of ClujEdit
After Fleeing Budapest, the Strigoi came into the lands of Transylvania, which at the time were part of the Kingdom of Hungary. Wild and undeveloped, these lands had sporadic villages and a few growing cities populated by Saxon, Szekler, and Vlach peoples, and the Strigoi made retainers of their leaders. The peoples of Eastern Hungary rarely payed tribute to the their Kings and in turn their Kings had not made an effort to establish dominance.
With the flight of the Strigoi, this soon changed. Cities were beginning to grow in the Carpathian Basin and Invictus kindred wished to grow their domains. As they began incursions into Strigoi territory, the lines of the Strigoi met in council to see what could be done. Bringing their mortal retainers to Cluj near the border to western Hungary, they banded their lines closer together and set about defending their lands. Thus a few centuries of strife between eastern and western Hungary was aggravated. As the conflict wore on, eventually the Diet of Cluj had become a tradition, and remains so allowing the Strigoi to debate internal matters of the two lines.
Strigoi who take Domains, most often Strigoi Vîi, take the title Voivode, or warlord, as their honorific. Voivodes are aptly named as they have a history of struggle in their European Domains. Feuds are common and even encouraged, as elders think it keeps the teeth sharp during their centuries of unlife. When at last an enemy is ready for the kill, Voivodes are expected to use the rites of Monomancy to finish off their opponent. While such rites were originally designed to be used instead of wasting the blood of countless retainers, the Strigoi use it instead as the finishing touch of a long drawn out battle, proving to their peers that they can finish off an opponent utterly, physically and mentally.
Those of the Strigoi who acquire great skill in blood sorcery often take the title Koldun, or the feminine Koldunya. A Koldun must be versed in the ways of the mountains, rivers, winds, and fires, and have them at his command. While they practice a version of Crúac, the Kolduns of the Strigoi have their own rituals inherited from Lizuca, and are loathe to teach them to others not of the line. Indeed many whisper that if they have stayed a proprietary secret for this long, then the Kolduns must take extra special care that those who share them are dealt with.
Kolduns in the old country are often allied with the Voivode of their domain, serving the Voivode as an advisor in matters spiritual. The Koldun is in turn made a regent, allowing for more privacy. Though they may hold power over the region, a wise Voivode know to step carefully around a Koldun within his domain.
Szlatcha are the servants of the Strigoi, specially crafted to be fearsome combatants. Also known as war ghouls, szlatcha are often hideously deformed, hunchbacked creatures with boney spines, sharp teeth and other modifications that make them dangerous in hand to hand combat. Sometimes pitiful, these deformed people live torturous lives at their masters whim. Some szlatcha are even selectively lobotomized by their masters to be made more vicious or feral. Some Szlatcha, however, become indispensable and may eventually acquire the embrace from their regent. Such cases are rare and often a said szlatcha must rely on their own abilities to return themselves to a normal shape.
Szatcha are somewhat rare in modern nights. Either that or their modifications are made smaller and more obscurable, so as to not draw attention. Modern szlatcha may have claws hidden in gloves for example. Either that or they are just not allowed to see the light of day while their masters live.
Vozhd are legendary creatures, composite war ghouls comprised of anywhere from 10 to 20 mortals. Such beasts are truly a monstrosity and were thought to have been made to frighten and kill the invading armies of western kindred in nights long past. The cost of maintaining such a creature makes them theoretically difficult to keep at best. Especially since such beasts are almost always made carnivorous.
A modern made vozhd may exist somewhere but they a exceedingly expensive to feed, requiring the equivalent of a good cow or two to eat a day. Obviously such a creature would be the quite the masquerade breach if released, but it still may be useful as a way of executing prisoners (yes my darling, we've got something special for you tonight. Yes we have ...).
Familie de SangeEdit
Legend also speaks of the so called Blood Families of the Strigoi, mortal families whose heredity carries a weak form of vitae in their veins. Such beings did not require constant infusions of vitae to keep them going as their bodies generate their own stores of weak vitae. This vitae is similar to that of the family’s creator, making those born into it immediately loyal to the Strigoi who created them. Several such families were thought to have existed during the dark ages up unto the renaissance, but if the legends are true they have been destroyed by the inquisition.
Despite being mortal, these blood families were not always the perfect servants. Having an ever replenished store of vitae in their veins, these kine were known for violent and often morbid behavior, having frenzies akin to those of vampires or other impulses of less savory nature, such as cannibalism and sexual deviance.
Status Among the DamnedEdit
The Creeps and Fiends have not mix well with kindred society. Often times the combination of their histories and their own behavior make social climbing difficult. As such, few Strigoi are received well in the Covenants of the First and Second Estates, and often have to work doubly as hard to receive positions of political power and respect.
Because of this fact, Strigoi with any level of the Status: Strigoi merit must pay double the experience cost for Status merit levels in Status: Invictus, or Status: Lancea Sanctum. This penalty does not effect those Strigoi in other Covenants such as the Carthian Movement, the Circle of the Crone, or the Ordo Dracul, as members of those organizations care less on the average about bloodline histories, or centuries old rumors.
Storytellers may apply this penalty to other status merits that they deem vulnerable to the unsavory reputation of the Strigoi. For example, if a city is predominately populated by Invictus and Sanctified vampires enough that other Covenants are rare, then the penalty might apply to Status: Kindred or Status: City.