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“Never in my house.. Ye abide by m’rules ya see…”
Fabulous and bizarre, these large, dense, man-shaped, winged magical creatures look like their namesake architectural features. Gargoyles are clearly supernatural; most are crafted from stone or similar material as automata to serve sorcerers as lookouts, guards or for other purposes. They were elaborated further in the Danse Macabre supplement book, which showcased rules on their construction, culture, and perspectives within the Kindred Covenants.
Although traditionally known as “Children of the Stones”, gargoyles can be created from various materials, from stone, to metal, to wood, and so on. They are given life through vampiric birthing rituals, with the vitae of their creator often coloring their talents, purpose, and demeanor. When their master dies, they often crumble to dust unless precautions were made to render it only inert, or sometimes even free. This latter case is short lived, however, since vitae is required each month to prevent falling into stasis.
Each covenant and clan has their own unique rites and rituals for creating gargoyles. Depending on which ones are used often defines what supernatural powers are available to the final product.
The first Gargoyles were not Embraced. They were created by Tremere during the Clan’s early nights in the Dark Ages. The Tremere would start with a single Gangle, Nos or Tzimisce captive (these were among the more numerous Clans in the region anyways) and subject him or her to a Thaumaturgical ritual that would transform the subject into a Gargoyle. These early Gargoyles lost most of their pre-ritual memories and identity. Many had infertile vitae. Most new Gargoyles at this time were created since the line was unable to Embrace normally.
Sometimes, the Gargoyle’s original Clan could be distinguished by its appearance. Gangrel produced more beastial Gargoyles, with features that resembled a horrific chimera of different animals. Nosferatu Gargoyles sported an assortment of monstrous features common to the parent Clan. Tzimisce Gargoyles often developed bony ridges or plates, sharing characteristics sometimes seen in Vicissitude’s zulo form.
Later on, some Gargoyles found that they were able to Embrace true, creating childer that bore no vestigial mark of other Clans.
Overall, I think you’ve got a lot of freedom in terms of giving a Gargoyle unique appearance features, as long as they still fit the basic description of the Clan. They’re big, rocky, and ugly/monstrous in an intimidating way. Look at variety in real stone gargoyles found on architecture. They fit around a similar theme, but are quite varied.
As far as I know, the modern Gargoyles are split between the remain Tremere slaves (the Camarilla frowns on this, and they are somewhat rare), and a bloodline of free Gargoyles. The free ones are nominally part of the Camarilla. I don’t think I’ve read anything to indicate them joining the the Sabbat. However, if I were Sabbat I’d certainly want a giant rock monster fighting for me instead of against me.
Each clan’s blood affects the ritual that creates a given gargoyle, whether the sorcerer wishes it or not. Depending on said-clan, various attributes are imbued into the “sub-group” of gargoyle.
Daeva: Children of the Beloved: Elegant and beautiful, these gargoyles protect their masters by playing on their enemies’ emotions, entrancing them with seductive ploys.
Gangrel: Children of the Wild: Often suited to natural environments. Like their masters, they are hard and weathered, but able to adapt at a moment’s notice.
Mekhet: Children of the Shadows: The most deceptive of gargoyles, with a nack for mind games and illusory misdirection.
Nosferatu: Children of the Despised: Even if not hideous per se, these gargoyles unsettle those in their presence, and are sometimes even made from discarded flesh.
Ventrue: Children of the Estate: Similar to the daeva’s, the gargoyles born from Lords are beautiful yet imposing, often to the point of undermining the wills of would-be interlopers.
The version in House of Tremere requires some very precise, very nasty materials beyond the ‘donors’ of other clans. It implies that the first Gargoyles were more birthed than created, with the Tremere Virstania, the so-called ‘Mother of Gargoyles’ being a surrogate for an actual monstrosity that ‘gestated’ the creatures before they were released to do the bidding of House and Clan Tremere. The version of the ritual to create Gargoyles in the Dark Ages book, the Ritual On our command, it breathes alludes to needing a ‘breeder’ Gargoyle to act as the incubator for the brood. Later versions, from Blood Magic: Secrets of Thaumaturgy and others, either leave this part vague or suggest that a cauldron can be used. Either way, it totally has a gruesome set of components to make a Gargoyle from scratch. These discrepancies can be added to MrAshur’s, above, or they can be viewed as ‘refinements’ or alternate ways of creating Gargoyles.
There’s mention somewhere (not sure exactly where, though) that Virstania joined the Sabbat after Goratrix’s defection, and she may have taken some Gargoyles with her. Whether or not she ever created more of her ‘children’ is unknown, but the combination of the Gargoyle revolt, the Convention of Thorns and the loss of the ancestral chantry of Ceoris all led to the Tremere relying less and less on their slaves. As an overt ‘F-you’ to the Masquerade, it doesn’t get much worse than a 500 lb. rock monster with wings and a bad attitude!
For other created servitors, see “imbued,” “voodoo zombie” and “homunculus.” (VTR: Vampire: The Requiem Rulebook Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip, p 226)
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THIS WIKI Edit Talk7
Disciplines: Fortitude, Potence, Visceratika, Flight
The Gargoyles are a vampiric bloodline created by the Tremere as their servitors. Although technically not a Tremere bloodline, the bloodline is largely under their control.
The Gargoyles are winged, stony vampires originally created using the blood of three different clans: the Gangrel, the Nosferatu, and the Tzimisce. The blood was combined to form three specific types of Gargoyle: scouts (Gangrel-Nosferatu), warriors (Gangrel-Tzimisce), and sentinels (Nosferatu-Tzimisce). Eventually they evolved into a full-fledged bloodline and became somewhat independent of the Tremere and their blood magic.
Dark Ages Edit
Gargoyles c. 1230
Gargoyles c. 1242
The bloodline was first created via Thaumaturgical ritual in 116712 (or 1121 according to other sources3). For the first several centuries after their creation, all their “powers” were in the form of rituals cast upon them by their Tremere masters, and during those early nights, the original gargoyles came into being only in three variants made to fill different roles for their Tremere masters. Those variants were:
The Scouts (Gangrel-Nosferatu) were made to observe the Tremere’s enemies and to report any important information to their masters quickly and reliably, and would therefore focus on mastering the art of stealth and Flight.
The Warriors (Gangrel-Tzimisce) were constructed to serve as front-line soldiers, destroying enemy vampires by focusing on Potence and combat abilities which enabled them to deal more damage to their foes.
The Sentinels (Nosferatu-Tzimisce) were crafted to serve as glorified housekeepers, keeping an eye on their masters’ Havens and areas of interest and protecting them from harm, which led to them focusing on Fortitude and keeping alert for any intruders.
The Gargoyle RevoltEdit
main article: Gargoyle Revolt
During the mid-15th-century ocurred the uprising in which the bulk of the Gargoyle slaves of Clan Tremere liberated themselves from their masters. It must have ended around 1497.4
Victorian Age Edit
Faction: Indentured: Tremere. Free: Nominally Camarilla
At this point in their history, Gargoyles have “evolved” beyond the need for Tremere rituals, instead having developed their own special Discipline, called Visceratika.
Escaped Victorian Gargoyles are uncommon. They find the world baffling and dangerous. Their monstrous looks do not allow them to pass through the throng of kine easily, and if recaptured they are inevitably destroyed by their captors.
While travel from Europe to the Americas was not impossible, the logistics of such a task was not easy, and the few Gargoyles who made the crossing found themselves in a world more alien than the one they left behind.
Final Nights Edit
Nicknames: Slaves, Rockheads, Runaways, Freemen, Grotesques
Faction: Indentured: Tremere. Free: Nominally Camarilla
In the Final Nights, Gargoyle populations seem to be booming; this is largely because older, free Gargoyles are coming out of hiding to join the Camarilla, because more indentured Gargoyles break free from the clutches of the Tremere, and because the free Gargoyles have also begun to embrace more mortals on their own.
Gargoyles have a strong sense of community. They often keep communal havens. Sometimes Gargoyles petition the Prince for the release of slave Gargoyles, but more often they just tear slave owners to pieces. With no community, Gargoyles are likely to Embrace and build their own.
Slave Gargoyles sleep wherever their masters allow them — closets, basements, crypts, cells. Free Gargoyles prefer sleeping in havens high above the ground. Bell towers and disused high-rises are favorites. Gargoyles are often muscle for other Kindred, sometimes in exchange for a bare-bones haven.
Most Gargoyles are not Embraced, but are rather created by the Tremere using Kindred from other clans (Nosferatu, Gangrel and Tzimisce). However, the Gargoyles are still capable of siring Childer, and some free Gargoyles have begun to do so.
The process of creation is particularly intense for Gargoyles, especially for those taken directly by the Tremere. The surge of competing strains of Vitae, combined with the magical energy inherent to the transformation, serves to wipe away the pre-existing memories and loyalties of a new Gargoyle, leaving a tabula rasa on which the Tremere can work. The process is a trifle gentler for Gargoyles embraced by other Gargoyles, who sometimes retain at least vague senses of their former lives, but even so most of their past just dissolves under the occult onslaught.
As for what drives a Gargoyle to embrace a mortal, most times it’s a case of simple obsession. There’s neither reason nor rhyme to the matter, and even the most eloquent members of the bloodline shrug and put it down to “gut feeling”.
All Gargoyles, much like the Nosferatu, are hideous to look at, a by-product of their occult origins (and the varied Kindred stock from which they originate). This means that Gargoyles, just like the Nosferatu, have to hide their existence from common mortals, as their mere appearance is a breach of the Masquerade.
In addition, the nature of the bloodline’s origin manifests itself in the fact that Gargoyles are highly susceptible to mind control of any source. This weakness is intentional; a flaw placed into all Gargoyles by the Tremere in the hope that it would make them easier to control (and less likely to rebel).
Version Differences Edit
Note that the Gargoyles have two “official” symbols: the first is that used in Vampire books, and is identical to the generic Vampire: The Masquerade ankh used in Revised. The second symbol is the alchemical symbol for Earth superimposed upon a silhouette of the Tremere symbol.
The ankh was used for their appearance in the VTM: Guide to the Camarilla Bullet-pdf , while the Tremere-based symbol was used in VTES. For the Wiki, the small VTES version of the symbol was recreated and enlarged for practical use. This enlarged version later made it into VTM: Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition Bullet-pdf Bullet-nip as the official symbol.
Professional game developer Lee Garvin of “Tales From The Floating Vagabond” wrote “Gargoyles: The Vigil”, a well-developed sourcebook for incorporating Gargoyles as presented in Disney’s cartoon of the same name into the cWOD.
Proponents of this homebrew point to the high quality of the show’s writing, its dark overtones drawn from Shakespearean and mixed mythological sources and the high quality of the supplement’s writing as distinctions that place it high above most homebrew rules. The themes presented in the Gargoyles cartoon easily lend themselves to inclusion in Changeling and Werewolf stories.5