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CHAPTER TWO:
BACK STORY

and while my own base passions were purged from me by the purifying flame of the Embrace, the same  may not be true of  the Nosferatu. As a side note to the above, Diagram 23-D depicts some of my more curious observations regarding Nosferatu.

Based on the aforementioned evidence, I feel secure in postulating that vile incest or coupling with beasts lies at the, ” clan’s curse. Strange it may seem, but things still stranger  lurk in the world’s corners, as the Lupines prove. Caine is a merciless father and does not lightly tolerate deviation among his grandchilder.

In any event, it is indisputable that whatever crime the Nosferatu forefather committed has been at least partially expiated upon the flesh of his progeny. While the Embrace for most of us is a blessed gift, endowing us with the boon of immortality and the elixir of potency, the Nosferatu are instead twisted and disfigured beyond human ken by the transferal of vitæ.

In my researches, I have catalogued an amazing variety of bizarre deformities generated by the Nosferatu Embrace. The origin of or link between these features, however, regretfully eludes me. Extensive vivisection reveals only that each of the creatures seems to be more twisted and grotesque than the last. It is a mystery to me why the race as a whole does not destroy itself in a paroxysm of selfloathing!

There seem to be no subspecies, familial patterns, evolutionary offshoots, sire-childe resemblances or other logical distributions of Nosferatu deformity. For every Nosferatu who loses digits to the Embrace, another sprouts two or three extra fingers per hand. For every Nosferatu whose eyes dilate to enormous, nictitating orbs like those of deep-sea squid, another loses its eyes altogether to scabrous encrustations or cataracts. For every Nosferatu ’whose nose drops off into the dust, another’s nose warps and elongates to three times its former length. I have recorded striations, maculations, tumors, warts, pustulant bags, orifices of unfathomable purpose, extra limbs or none at all,

scales like a lizard’s, even prehensile tails and patagia. I know not what to make of such strangeness, and may only say that “there but for the grace of Caine go I.”

Would that I could state that the Nosferatu temperament and character were somehow improved by the creatures’ bodily purgatory. Alas, such does not seem to be the case. The Nosferatu are to a vamiregraceless and crude. The refinements of the higher clans seem lost on the Nosferatu. Even their brute strength, which occasionally proves useful (see Diagram 5-P for anatomical details of Nosferatu skeletal muscle), is perverted by their brutishness.

Nonetheless, a certain low cunning pervades the Nosferatu character. The clan – for we of the Camarilla go so far as to grant the Nosferatu equal status in hopes of bettering the hapless race! – is infamous for its ability to garner and compile data of all sorts. I believe this penchant to be instinctual rather than premeditated, rather like bower-birds adorning their nests with all manner of gaudy debris. A Nosferatu overhears a half-understood snippet of information or gossip and then parrots it amongst his own kind without any real comprehension. Were this not so, then why –

[This manuscript was never finished and indeed seems to have been interrupted in progress by the untimely Final Death of Claudius Maximus. Our esteemed peer was discovered in his sanctum, strapped to his own dissecting table. It was evident that the instruments of Maximus’ death were his own enchanted surgical apparatus, which had apparently been used to perform a crude caricature of a vivisectory operation upon Maximus himself (the accompanying organ displacement lends weight to this theory). No positive identification of the perpetrator(s) could be found, but scrawled on the laboratory wall, in a fluid that Thaumaturgic examination has proved to be Maximus’ own vitæ, was the message, “I AM NOT AN ANIMAL. I AM SOMETHING WORSE!” The Manchester Chantry (and indeed all of Clan Tremere) mourns the loss of one of its most devoted researchers, and this matter will certainly be examined until satisfactorily resolved.]

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