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CHAPTER THREE
SUBCULTURE

Let us go then, you and I
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table
Let us go through certain half-deserted streets
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster shells.

– T.S. Eliot, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”

Of all the Kindred, the Nosferatu are perhaps the most alien. Other vampires can walk amidst the mortal crowds and thus maintain at least an intermittent grasp on their former species. Not so the Nosferatu. They must lurk below, and their view of the mortal world is invariably filtered through the bars of a sewer grate. In some ways, the Nosferatu are the most “cultured” vampires, for they have no human culture go,”parasitize. They must look to their own for culture. 

THE CURSE

1 just want to share my disease.
           – Clayface, Batman: Arkham Asylum

The Nosferatu Embrace is a brutal thing. In many ways it is more alienating than the Embrace of the Malkavians. One’s body is one’s most prized possession, and the disfigurement of the flesh inevitably has repercussions within the mind.

A typical transformation takes about a week. During the first night, the victim’s body is wracked as the organs shrivel and veins harden in preparation for carrying the

bilious Nosferatu vitæ. The victim still looks essentially human, but the constant pain twists the victim’s face into a perpetual grimace, The lust for blood surfaces during this time.

During the second to fourth days, dead skin begins to coarsen and stretch, and bruises reminiscent of those caused by rigor mortis appear on the flesh (the blood-storing sacs are still developing), The childe’s hair begins to fall out in patches, and the cartilage of the ears and nose collapses and distends.

The pain becomes truly excruciating by theend of the week. At this point, the childe’s very bones gnarl and warp, and all semblance of humanity is lost. The agony reaches its peak at the climax of the transformation, when the skull suffers its changes – elongating, partially caving in, or flattening as the case may be. It is at this point that the Nosferatu realizes the extent of his transformation.

Many Nosferatu do not survive the Change with their sanity intact. The pain and the shock of sudden deformity prove too much to bear. Such Kindred often become mindless brutes, and in Camarilla society, it is the sire’s responsibility to hunt down her mad offspring and destroy it.

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