The Tzimisce clan is a venerable clan, stepped in tradition and lore. They are renowned within the Kindred community for its evil. Among the most renowned of this line is Vlad Tepes, the Impaler, who split centuries ago not only from the clan, but the sect as well. Tepes is especially infamous for his cruelty, but this trait is common among the members of the Tzimisce.

From time immemorial, the Tzimisce clan has stretched across the Baltic regions of Eastern Europe, haunting the region beyond the Elbe, along the Oder and Danube rivers, through the Pripet marshes, amid the peaks of the Carpathian Mountains. It established a great uncontested power base there until the Tremere, then a house of mortal magi, established covens in what later became northern Bulgaria. The two factions, Kindred and Magi, coexisted for a time, not intruding upon the domains of one another. But eventually, the power-mad magi of the Tremere captured some Tzimisce Elders, experimented on them and used them in perverse rituals, aimed at extracting the essence of their immortality from them. This experimentation on the stolen members of the Tzimisce clan was the end of the House Tremere and the beginning of the Clan Tremere

A rival group of magi known as the House Tytalus, uncovered the Tremere activities and began maneuvering against that order with the aid of other Magi. The Tremere had seen this coming and were prepared, gathering additional magical support from an unrevealed source. House Tytalus met with defeat and the early efforts of the Inquisition curtailed its activities. The Tzimisce also suffered greatly at the hands of the new Clan Tremere by the end of the war between the magi orders.

Seeking revenge against the Clan Tremere, the Tzimisce offered to aid the House Tytalus. The Tzimisce offered support and, in exchange, House Tytalus promised to ensure that no mages encroached any further into the clan's territory. The two groups began working together against the Tremere. The uneasy alliance between the Tzimisce Kindred and the Tytalus Magi lasted for centuries. Even long after the need for the alliance passed, the two groups continued to aid one another as contacts and as occasional supporters. This was all kept very quiet as the the alliance continued. In fact, the Tzimisce still have connections with certain magi, which the clan keeps very secret to avoid censure by the leaders of other Kindred clans.

During the time of the Inquisition, Tzimisce anarchs went to great extremes to destroying the Elders of their clan, but in time, gave up in their efforts to destroy the remaining few. Most of the remaining Elders live as Inconnu in Bulgaria, Romania, Austria and Hungary, sitting alone in their cold dark mansions and castle havens. Over the centuries, they have accumulated so much magical and political power that they have no fear of their former clan, and fear the Camarilla even less.

Of all the clans, the Tzimisce are among the most educated and have a strong appreciation for learning. They have long been among the most knowledgeable and erudite Cainites. For millennia, other Kindred have made the perilous journey into the Carpathian mountains in search of Tzimisce wisdom (the fact that many of these vampires did not return deters other little) They are scholarly and are some of the most brilliant and enlightened beings on the earth. They seek to understand magic, as well as science, but have not quite reached the level of the Tremere in this understanding. But their studies (and experimentation with their Vicissitude discipline) have led them to the unequivocal conclusion that as vampires are more superior and more evolved than humans, so the Tzimisce are more advanced that other Kindred. The "best" (by Tzimisce standards) humans are to elevated; the rest are fodder. Unlike most Kindred, Tzimisce do not consider themselves cursed or damned, but a higher form of life.

A millennia of defending their domains from all sides has made the Tzimisce extremely vicious, and Tzimisce cruelty is infamous, even among the Kindred. While they are inhuman, they do not show it as overtly as do the Toreador Antitribu, for instance, but any significant time spent with a Tzimisce will eventually reveal their demented and twisted soul. Most Tzimisce tend to be grim and serious, and are noted for their twisted and warped sense of humor (or a lack of one in some cases). They are also known for the high value they place on their privacy and are very territorial, about their domains and especially their havens.

The Tzimisce is the second most powerful and numerous clan of the Sabbat. The Lasombra hold the top position in both categories. However, the Tzimisce are a driving force behind most of the Sabbat's ideology, goals and planning. The Tzimisce clan appears happy to let the Lasombra believe that the hold the reins of power in the sect.

Organization: The Tzimisce are hierarchical, but they do not follow the rigid feudal chain of lord and vassal. Rather, the Tzimisce are familial, nearly tribal, in nature. Most Tzimisce families consist of a sire and her brood, but each of these families is connected to many others. Therefore, many regions of the east are dominated by networks of blood relations descended from a single individual. Within the family, the elder receives great respect as the natural center of the household, while her childer compete murderously for acknowledgement, advancement and affection. Rival families often maintain running vendettas across the centuries which are similarly murderous, governed by maddeningly complex social protocols.

Sobriquet: Fiends (some koldun and more scholarly members of the clan refer to themselves as Shapers)

Clan Disciplines: Animalism, Auspex, Vicissitude

Weaknesses: The Tzimisce are arguable the most territorial of all clans, sharing as they do inviolable ties of blood and spirit to the land they rule. When a Tzimisce rests, he must surround himself with at least two handfuls of earth from a place that was important to him in life - usually either the land of his birth or the soil of his grave. Failure to do so halves the player's dice pools every night that the vampire has not rested in appropriate earth. This halving continues until all actions use only one die. Eight hours rest amid the special soil negates it.

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