Shadows of Dis
Filhos des Bruja
Parent Clan: Gangrel
Disciplines: Animalism, Protean, Resilience, Vigor
General Information: Imagine you’re driving down a highway in the American south-west, late at night. Suddenly the night air is filled with the full-throated roar of powerful motorcycle engines and you find your car surrounded by a gang of leather-clad, tattoo-covered bikers. The Hell’s Angels? You’d better hope so. If you’re truly out of luck, they may be Bruja. The bloodline known as the Filhos des Bruja (or Bruja’s Sons, or simply the Bruja) seems like something out a nightmare or drug trip from the ’60s. It’s a motorcycle gang of vampires, ghouls and a few handfuls of blood dolls — all dirty, mean-as-hell, leather-wearing monsters tearing up the roads on roaring black American motorcycles when the sun goes down. The bloodline is relatively new, growing out of the biker gang culture of the post-WW II United States. The gang first formed in the late ’40s around a charismatic lucky punk bastard named Carlos Saavedra. He was known to be so uncannily lucky to earn the name Hijo de Bruja (“witch’s boy”), which later became just Bruja. Where the bloodline once comprised just seven troublemakers whose nastiest crimes included vandalism, assault and disturbing the peace, it’s now become a fairly widespread criminal organization. It makes money in drug-trafficking, prostitution, illegal arms dealing, extortion, smuggling, murder for hire and transporting illegal, immigrants across the border, just to give a handful of examples. Regardless, of the founder’s recent disappearance the bloodline remains, and even the youngest, meanest, most ignorant members proudly uphold the values of greed, willfulness and sloth that Carlos espoused before he disappeared. In his name, they do what they can to make his gang a symbol of fearsome power and hell-bound eternal freedom.
Appearance: Most Bruja are black, white, Hispanic or of mixed heritage, anywhere on the spectrum among those three. They’re generally big, loud, hairy, tattooed, unkempt, bristling with body piercings and covered in road dirt (if not blood from a sloppy feeding). The way they dress comes across as an homage to every outlaw biker movie that’s ever been made since the ’50s. They wear heavy leather or denim jackets, hobnail boots, metal helmets (if any), torn-up jeans and T-shirts, with “accessories” like aviator goggles, studded fingerless leather gloves, chain epaulets and bandanas to ward off flying dust. None of them wears any insignia to indicate what gang they belong to, but the bloodline is still small enough that most Kindred members recognize each other on sight. No self-respecting Bruja would ride anything but a burly, growling American bike — no rice rockets — or keep it in anything less than prime running condition. They might be rabble and scum, but they still have standards.
Character Creation: Bruja vampires don’t tend to be intellectual powerhouses, but neither are they entirely thuggish, apelike brutes. Granted, the bloodline does boast a high percentage of that ilk, but its nominal leaders are just as charismatic and commanding as they are powerful and tough (if not more so). As such, Physical and Social Attributes run a tight race with each other, with Mental ones lagging behind. Most Bruja rely on Physical Skills above all others, followed by Social and Mental as the individual sees fit. Various Social Merits help represent the breadth of the Bruja’s criminal operations and the influence and impact they have on the communities they terrorize.
Covenant: This bloodline is really too small and too young to include members representing all the covenants. In fact, most members’ only loyalty (half-hearted and cloudy though it might be) is to the gang and to the ideals of the founder. While that technically makes the entire bloodline unaligned — or unbound, which is the term Bruja preferred — the odd member drifts away and winds up with one of the established covenants. Some members bruja of the gang have gotten it into their heads somehow that Bruja hooked up with the Ordo Dracul and won’t come back until he’s become something else altogether. Their conviction inspires some jaded or gullible deserters to follow in his supposed footsteps. Others try to hook up with the Circle of the Crone, convinced that Bruja’s nickname means something, man. More rational Bruja make contacts with the Carthians when members of that covenant work hard to unseat power players and are willing to turn a blind eye to what the gang is up to in exchange for help. Sometimes said Carthians’ passion turns into revolutionary fervor, and a particularly charismatic movement leader can lure away young, excitable Bruja. No Bruja has ever hooked up with the Invictus or the Lancea Sanctum, though, except as a result of brainwashing, blackmail or forced conversion and acceptance of the sacraments. For the most part, the Bruja try to stay the hell away from those two covenants, lest powerful elders of either (or both) crack down on the gang’s whole operation. Not even Bruja himself pushed his infamous luck that much.
Weakness: Founded in indolence and caring little for anything other than their own well-being, the Bruja are given to the same feral urges that infect and overtake their Gangrel forebears. Their predatory laziness has a more serious effect on them, however, when it comes to feeding. Like many predators in the animal kingdom, the Bruja would rather stuff themselves as soon as the opportunity to feed presents itself than hunt carefully every night to maintain a baseline satiation. As a result, a player suffers a -3 penalty on rolls to resist the Wassail (hunger frenzy).
Concepts: Bar brawler, blood-doll pimp, coyote (in the illegal-border-crossing sense), dealer in drugged blood, drag racer,drug dealer, loan shark, motorcycle mechanic, perpetual omega wolf