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A World of Darkness
The Glossary
A lexicon for the World of Darkness

A staggering amount of terms, euphemisms and slang have been created for use in the World of Darkness. This colorful and evocative language can add enormously to your live roleplaying experience but it can be overwhelming to a new Player.

The following is a collection of some of the terms employed in Atlanta Interactive Theatre. Most Kindred educated competently by her Sire would have at least a passing knowledge of these terms. Preference for terms varies greatly from clan to clan and caste to caste. Older Kindred are often more likely to employ archaic terms and flowery allusions while younger ones prefer more novel terms and contemporary slang. There is a sharp distinction between the words used by the Anarchs and those employed by elders. Using the wrong word in the wrong circumstances is often considered a serious breach of etiquette.

Highly knowledgeable humans, ghouls and other creatures might also possess this information. If in question confer with a Storyteller before making any assumptions.

The Key:

V   Vulgar Argot: Popular slang terms of the youngest of the Kindred, many of which are considered Anarchs by their Elders.

C   Common Parlance: Contemporary terms among Kindred and conservatively raised younger Kindred. Most Kindred may have been exposed to these terms and concepts and accept them in normal conversation

A   Ancient Tongue: Old and elegant terminology utilized by the Elder Kindred and those wishing to seek their favor. Often considered stuffy and impractical by younger Kindred.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

V   Alleycat: A vampire who does not have a haven of any kind, but instead resides in a different place each night. Also used to refer to those Kindred who feed off the homeless and other street people.

C   Anarch: A rebel among the Kindred, one with no respect for the Elders. Many of these Kindred form radical Coteries dedicated to anti-organizational activities. Some cross the line complete and join the Sabbat.

A   Amaranth: The act of devouring the lifeblood of another vampire. See Diablerie.

A   Ancilla: A mature vampire. These Kindred have proven themselves deserving of the full right (and responsibilities) of the vampiric community but they have yet to survive the travails and accumulate enough power to be considered Elders. One who is not yet an Elder but no longer a Neonate.

C   Antediluvian: One of the oldest Kindred, a member of the third generation. These beings remain hidden from the world and are said to be the architects of the Jyhad.

C   Archon: Powerful agents of the Justicars. They are usually dispatched to maintain Camarilla rulership, track down fugitives, and enforce the Traditions.

A   Autarkis: A vampire who refuses to be part of Kindred society and does not recognize the Domain of a Prince.

V   Banking: The practice, most widespread among younger Kindred, of taking blood from blood banks. Chilled blood so long removed from the body is less satisfying, but some Neonates delight in entering a blood bank and drinking to excess. This is seen by many Princes as a breach of the Masquerade. A Banker is one who makes frequent use of this practice.

C   Barrens, The: The areas of a city that are devoid of life, such as graveyards, abandoned buildings, industrial wastelands, and parks.

C   Beast, The: An allusion for the drives and urges that prompt a vampire to become entirely a monster, forsaking all humanity and existing only to satisfy those drives and urges.

C   Becoming, The: The moment a mortal becomes a vampire; the metamorphosis from Kine to Kindred. Also called "The Change".

V   Blister: A vampire who contracts an infectious disease, and subsequently spreads it on to each donor from whom she feeds.

C   Blood: The vampire's heritage. That which makes a vampire a vampire. Or simply the actual blood.

V   Bloodline: The vampire's heritage traced through her Sire.

C   Blood Bond: A mystic state of servitude and extreme affection that occurs when one consumes the blood of a Kindred on three distinct occasions.

V   Blood Doll: A Vessel that is regularly fed upon and has become quite addicted to the usually pleasant sensation resulting from feeding. See The Kiss.

C   Blood Kindred: The relationship between vampires of the same lineage or clan. Analogous to the human term 'blood brother'.

C   Blood Oath: The most potent bond that can exist between vampires; the receiving of blood in an acknowledgment of mastery. If this process is repeated the drinker will become mystically bound to the feeder through the Blood Bond.

C   Book of Nod: The "sacred" book of the Kindred detailing their races' origins and early history. Supposedly comprised of the words of Caine and his Progeny. Though never published in its entirety, fragments are known to exist in different languages and collections

C   Brood: A group of vampires gathered around a single leader (usually their Sire or Regnant); often a specialized form of a Coterie. The original thirteen clans are Broods, after a fashion, albeit scattered across the world and the millennia.

V   Butterfly: One who mingles among the high society of mortals, and only feeds upon the wealthy and the famous.

C   Caitiff: A vampire with no clan; often considered a derogatory term. A vampire can be caitiff by birth (she does not belong to any of the recognized clans) or by deed (ejected or forsaken by the clan that Embraced her).

C   Caine: The supposed progenitor of all vampires. Vampirism is said to be the curse set upon him for the murder of Abel.

A   Cainite: A vampire; a descendant of Caine. See Kindred.

C   Camarilla, The: A global organization of Kindred dedicated to maintaining a rigid code of rules called the Traditions.

A   Canaille: The bulk of mortals, especially that element of it that is the most unsavory and lacking in culture. See Kine.

A   Cauchemar: A vampire who feeds only on sleeping victims and prevents their awakening.

V   Casanova: A vampire who delights in seducing mortals but not killing them, and who takes only a little blood, erasing the victim's memory of the event when she is finished. There are rumors that the original Casanova was or is a vampire, but this is not generally believed.

V   Change, The: The moment and the process of becoming a vampire. See Becoming.

C   Childe: A term for young, inexperienced, or foolish vampires. True Childer have no rights in Kindred society until released by their Sire after a period of education (see the Traditions, Accounting).

C   Clan: A group of vampires who share certain mystic and physical characteristics because they are descended from the same bloodline.

C   Coterie: A group of Kindred who protect and support one another against all outsiders.

A   Consanguineus: One of the same lineage (usually a younger member).

A   Cunctator: A vampire who avoids killing by drinking shallowly and taking too little blood to kill the prey.

V   Damned, The: The immortal, undead race. All the vampires as a whole.

C   Diablerie: The cannibalistic behavior common among Kindred, involving the consumption of the life blood of another vampire. Though despised among the Camarilla, it is often employed to gain the power of the consumed. See Amaranth.

C   Domain: The fiefdom claimed by a Kindred, most often a Prince, invariably a city. See Traditions.

V   Donor: A potential or past source of blood, typically a human.

C   Elder: A Kindred who has survived the tumultuous period of power struggle and danger common to younger vampire. Although these powerful being are often over 300 years of age they are merely entering a new arena of competition and strife.

C   Elysium: Among the Camarilla these places are where Kindred meet. They are often declared in such places as galleries, clubs, theatres or other places of culture. Aggression is expressly forbidden in these places.

C   Embrace, The: The act of being made into a vampire. Usually a mortal is drained of her own blood to the point of death and then fed a measure of Kindred blood.

V   Farmer: A derogatory term for a vampire who keeps animals for the purpose of feeding. See Vegetary.

V   Fief: A sarcastic term for the Domain or clan of a Prince.

C   Fledgling: A young, newly created vampire. See Childe.

A   Footpad: One who feeds of the derelicts and the homeless, and who frequently does not have a haven of her own.

C   Gehenna: The impending Armageddon hinted at in Kindred lore. This final war between all vampires will supposedly take place when the Antediluvians shall rise from the earth and devour all their Progeny. Some even believe Gehenna to be upon us.

C   Generation: The number of steps between a vampire and the first vampire (rumored to be Caine). These Progeny were the 2nd generation, their progeny the third and so on. The youngest and weakest are 13th. Later generations are rumored to exist but they are probably impotent and feeble.

A   Gentry: A Kindred who hunts the nightclubs, districts of ill repute, and other places of entertainment where mortals seek to pair off.

C   Ghoul: A servant created by allowing a human to drink vampiric blood. Ghouls often have a small measure of vampiric powers but are limited in many ways.

A   Golconda: The state of being to which some vampires aspire, in which a balance is found between opposing urges and scruples. The slide into bestiality is halted, and the individual reaches some kind of stasis. Considered a myth by most.

C   Haven: The place where a vampire sleeps during the daylight hours; generally a jealously guarded secret.

V   Head: A vampire who feeds upon those under the influence of a drug so as to feel the effect. The term Head is used with a suitable prefix if the vampire prefers a particular drug. See Lush.

V   Headhunter: An Elder who hunts other Kindred for their blood. See Rogue and Diablerie.

A   Humanitas: The degree to which a Kindred still retains some humanity.

C   Hunger, The: An aspect of The Beast that drives Kindred to consume blood. Over time The Hunger drives a Kindred to consume more and more potent blood (animals, humans and then finally other Kindred).

C   Jyhad, The: The shadowy war being waged among the Elders. In theory all the Kindred and much of the world are merely pawns in this ancient conflict that will climax with Gehenna.

C   Justicar: One of the seven representatives of the Camarilla selected from each clan. These agents organize and assign the Archons to carry out their will of the Camarilla.

C   Kindred: A vampire. Many Elders consider even this term to be vulgar, and prefer to use a more poetic word such as Cainite.

C   Kine: Mortals; the descendants of Seth. Often used in opposition to Kindred. The expression Kindred and Kine means "all the world". Includes ghouls but not Lupines.

C   Kiss: To take the blood of a mortal, or the act of taking blood in general. The term refers to the intense and, often, irresistible pleasure a vessel feels when fed upon by Kindred.

A   Lextalionis: The code of the Kindred, allegedly created by Caine. It suggests biblical justice; an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.

V   Lick: A vampire. See Kindred.

A   Life, The: A euphemistic term for mortal blood taken as sustenance. Many Kindred regard this term as "prissy".

A   Lineage: The bloodline of a vampire, traced by Embrace.

C   Lupine: A werewolf, a breed of shape changers who often clash violently with the Kindred.

C   Lush: A vampire who habitually feeds upon prey who are under the influence of drink or drugs in order to experience the sensations thereof.

A   Man, The: The element of humanity that remains in a vampire, and which strives against the base urgings of The Beast. Rarely used.

C   Masquerade, The: One of the most central and important of the Traditions. The effort to hide the existence of Kindred from the mortals in order to prevent another Inquisition.

C   Methuselah: An elder vampire who no longer actively dwells among other Kindred. These ancient and immensely powerful creatures either slumber in Torpor or wage the Jyhad. Usually 4th or 5th generation.

C   Neonate: A newly created Kindred, often just released from her Sire.

A   Osiris: A vampire who surrounds himself with mortal or ghoul followers in a cult or coven to better obtain sustenance. The practice is less common than it once was.

A   Papillon: The red-light district; the area of the city made up of nightclubs, gambling houses and brothels; the prime hunting ground of the city.

A   Praxis: The right of Prince to rule, as well as the rules, laws and the customs enforced by a particular Prince.

C   Primogen: The leaders of a city, or the ruling council of the Elders. Usually composed of an Elder from each of the represented clans in the city. Primogen usually impose a varying degree of influence on the Prince of a city.

C   Prince (m. or f.): Among the Camarilla, the single Kindred who lays claim to the Domain of a city, administrating it and interpreting and enforcing the Traditions. The Prince's rulership can stem from support, personal power, charisma or all of the above.

C   Progeny: A collective term for all the vampires created by one Sire. Less formal, and less flattering, is Get.

V   Rack, The: The hunting ground represented by nightclubs, bars, and other places of entertainment where mortals seek to dance, drink and pair off.

V   Rake: One who habitually uses the Rack is a Rake in vulgar argot; Papillon and Gentry are progressively older terms for the same.

A   Regnant: One who has a Blood Bond over another Kindred, through giving said Kindred blood three times.

A   Retainers: Humans who serve a vampire master. They are generally either ghouls or mentally Dominated by their vampire master. This control is sometimes so complete that the mortals are unable to take any action of their own volition.

A   Riddle, The: The essential dilemma of a vampire's existence; to prevent the occurrence of greater atrocities, one must commit evil deeds of a lesser nature. "Beasts we are lest Beasts we become."

A   Rogue: A vampire who feeds upon other vampires, either out of need or perversion.

C   Sabbat, The: An organization of vampires in opposition to the Camarilla. While the claim to support freedom and internal loyalty, they are renown for their cruelty, inhumanity and evil.

V   Sandman: A vampire who feeds only upon sleeping victims. See Cauchemar.

C   Sect: General name for one of the primary groups among the Kindred, such as the Camarilla or Sabbat. Other, smaller sects probably also exist.

C   Sire: The parent/creator of a vampire, used both as the female and male form.

A   Siren: A vampire who seduces mortals, but does not kill them and takes only a little blood after putting the mortal into a deep sleep.

V   Slumming: The act of feeding from the homeless and derelicts. A vampire who does so exclusively is a Slummer.

V   Stalker: A mortal who hunts the Kindred. See Witch-hunter.

V   Tease: A term sometimes used for a female Casanova (q.v.).

A   Third Mortal: Caine, the progenitor of all vampires, according to popular Kindred lore and the Book of Nod.

A   Thrall: A vampire who is held under a Blood Bond and thus under the control of another Kindred. See Regnant.

C   Torpor: A deep, sleep like state Kindred enter. It can occur after taking grievous damage or among the oldest Kindred for periods of time.

V   Turf: The city or sections of a city that vampires might try to claim for themselves. See Fief and Domain.

C   Traditions, The: A code of laws laid down by theCamarillaupon its formation. Kindred are held to strict obedience of these laws and may be destroyed for violating them.

V   Vegetary: A sarcastic term for a vampire who refuses to take the blood of humans, but relies instead on that of animals. See Farmer.

C   Vessel: A potential or past source of blood, typically a human.

A   Vitae: Blood.

A   Wassail: The final release and the last frenzy. Wassail occurs when the last vestiges of humanity are lost and a vampire plunges into madness.

C   Whelp: A contemptuous term for any young vampire; originally used only in reference to one's own Progeny.

A   Witch-hunter: A mortal who searches for vampires in order to kill them.

A   Whig: Name for a vampire who possesses an obsessive interest in mortal fashions and current events.

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