The Ebony Kingdom

posted by El Estrago Bonito Original SA post

Vampire the Masquerade: Kindred of the Ebony Kingdom

The first thing I want to say about this book is that its not actually very racist, just bad. White Wolf has on occasion managed to produce books about other cultures that aren't horribly offensive (HtR: Holy War). They have made up 99% of the fluff here (it has some African mythology mixed in, but very little) and that goes a long way towards making it seem fairly unique. It is however an exceptionally boring book. There was never one time in this book where I thought about making a character or had an idea for a chronicle. There is very little information given about any of the actual vampire society or backround, and a lot of terrible folk stories in place of that information. It does however have one thing most WW books lack: FUCKTONS OF GODDAMN MAPS (now very out of date!) a lot of baaaaaad narration and some really bad rules fore new vampire powers. But hey, at least they tried and that's something since most modern RPGs won't touch Africa with a ten foot pole.

Part One: The Ebony Kingdom

A small box explains to us that the Laibon (African Vampires) are very old school and haven't adapted to the modern world as well as other Kindred. Apparently this has something to do with the 3rd world status of Africa. Also something about how family is really important and vampire clans are closer than their American or European counterparts (except maybe the Giovanni).

These people are responsible for ruining Exalted posted:

Laibon are social monsters, with one eye on the prey and one on the home
In true WW style the setting part of the book is narrated to us by a character, unlike however in games like Mage it just serves to have lots of confusing magical negro style adages.

Our narrator (a former diamond miner turned vampire of some sort) tells us that the Laibon don't actually care about modern tribal boundaries or country lines and that they see these as passing fads but the might of the Laibon is everlasting or some such stupidity. Translation: African Vampires are tribal savages who shun modern society in favor of tribe-esque family units. Also there are a lot more vampires in Africa than in the other parts of the world and a lot more domains and Princes.

It also covers The Legacy . The Laibon consider becoming a vampire not just about being undead etc but about accepting a number of responsibilities and duties just like you would if you had joined their family.

The Legacies are as follows:

Akunase: Descended from a "trickster spider" they are some sort of were-creature vampire hybrid. As they get older they take on the aspect of an animal. Also the wander a lot. This is one of the cooler new Vampire types.

Followers of Set: The same as in VtM. Evil vampires who do evil and are evil a lot.

Guruhi: Ventrue style ruler vampires. Supposedly the first vampires to come to Africa. Lots of people have secretive ties to them.

Ishtarii: Warrior/Poet/Hedonist vampire followers descended from the Babylonia Goddess Ishtar. The worst kind of "designated PC" Vampires due to their chaotic-evil style alignment.

Kinyonyi: The new guys, not part of the original vampire settlers and this makes them important somehow. Another Legacy aimed at PC's due to their position as traveling mercenaries and doers of "odd-jobs" (books words not mine).

Naglopers: Bestial Nosferatu types who are the source of many horrific legends. Not really suited to be PC's.

Osebo: Bodyguard types, perfect for NPC thugs or enforcers. In fact its pretty clear that this is what they're intended for. They have some kind of genetic anti-lust for power that makes them good at protecting important Vampires.

Shango: Historians, Scholars and advisers, apparently Jaffar was one of these guys. Pretty firmly rooted in either the "old sage" or "power behind the throne" archetypes as far as I can tell.

Xi Dundu: have no defining attributes except hating the Guruhi.

There is sidebar here about FILLING YOUR GAMES WITH PROVERBS. Naturally followed by a few choice quotes.

We are now told about The Tenets, which is the laws that all Vampires in Africa live by:

The Guruhi are the land
(this means they are the designated rulers)
Those who endure judge
(self explanatory)
Belonging grants protection
(more padding for this family/tribal thing they make a big deal of)
The secret must be kept
(the masquerade exists in Africa as well!)
No secrets from the Magaji
(Magaji are some combination of Wizards, Priests and Fortune Tellers)
Sires command Childer inherit
(also explanatory)
The Eldest command undeath
(you're supposed to get permission before turning someone)
Travelers obey The Tenets
(now your normal Vampires can join the big African vampire family!)
The Eldest are Kholo
(Kholo are Princes from normal VtM)

These are gone into in GREAT detail but basically boil down to Africa has a slightly less stringent Masquerade.

This section is ended by a faux African campfire story the recounts the story of Caine as per Vampire: The Masquerade but in a much more near-racist fashion. Also its written entirely in caps so the internet has taught me that this tale is being SCREAMED AT ME. Probably by Vampire Samuel L Jackson.

Next Time: Character Creation, New Disciplines, the Xi Dundu might actually have a motivation of some sort?