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CHAPTER THREE
SUBCULTURE

THE FORTUNATE FEW

Well I, I've been lonely
     And I, I’ve been blind
     And I, I’ve  learned nothing
     So my hands are firmly tied
     To the sinking lead weight  of failure.
           – Swans, “Failure”

Vampires choose their progeny for many reasons, and this is true of the Nosferatu as well. Nonetheless, there seem to be certain common denominators among those the Nosferatu choose.

Perhaps the most common characteristic of Nosferatu-to-be is an alienation from mortal society. Even in life, Nosferatu Chosen are often physically or emotionally scarred. The ranks of Nosferatu neonates include the deformed, the autistic, the sociopathic, the hopelessly antisocial and the criminally insane.

Strange as it may seem, this selection is largely for practical reasons. A neonate who has lived a life of pain will find the grueling transformation easier to bear. A mortal who has suffered rejection and ostracism frown his peers will find it easier to isolate himself fully from mortal society and to endure harsh treatment from other vampires. Nosferatu must bear a tremendous burden in unlife, and few sires want

to suffer the consequences of releasing an unstable childe into the world. Nosferatu seek those who have bent, rather than broken, under the weight of life.

Equally odd is the fact that this selection of misfits and loners creates a clan unity unparalleled in the ranks of the Kindred. When one has spent one’s life alone, any company, even that of monsters, becomes palatable. The Nosferatu elders have long understood this need. They have found that a few words of genuine praise are often more effective than any Dominate or Blood Bond.

One obvious exception to the aforementioned rule of selection might be noted. Vindictiveness often plays a role in the creation of neonates. The Nosferatu consider vampirism a curse, after all, and often bestow it as a form of punishment. The vain, the callous, the prideful – all have been targeted for victimization.

It should also be mentioned that in recent years, the Nosferatu’s criteria for selection seem to have altered somewhat. The ruling clans have begun to notice the alarming number of highly skilled individuals being inducted into Clan Nosferatu. Engineers, computer programmers, intelligence agents, scholars and the like have been targeted. Several Ventrue and Tremere gatherings have recently been called to discuss this trend and to determine whether it points toward a greater conspiracy.

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