Condemned to eternal darkness, the sightless line of horrors known as the Baddacelli burrows through the network of catacombs that grow inevitably in the underground of all human cities. Whether lurking in collapsed sewer branches, abandoned subway stations, condemned basements or midnight labyrinths of their own construction, they hide — and hunt — in the dark places away from the sight of men and Kindred alike.
In these places, the Baddacelli dwell, shrouded in the darkness that is both their shield and their curse. Denied sight, they develop their remaining senses to preternatural levels and cultivate uncanny, horrifyingly effective abilities to aid in survival.
Everyone knows that sound can play tricks on you underground, but few suspect what a weapon sound becomes when touched by the unholy power of the Blood. When the Baddacelli infest the underground of a city, bereft mothers disappear into subway tunnels following the plaintive voices of lost children. Sewer workers separated from their crews hear their coworkers call from an unexpected direction and follow those voices — never to be seen again. Children hear the whimpering of lost pets coming from storm drains, and never realize until too late that a blind and hungry monster lurks in the darkness behind the wretched sounds. Enticing sounds that beg investigation, haunting echoes that confuse all sense of direction, chilling screeches that demand the listener flee ever deeper into the subterranean catacombs — all these and more drive unsuspecting victims to the waiting clutches of the Baddacelli.
The Kindred of this line are monsters and deceivers by nature. They have to be, in order to survive.
Therefore, they approach the world through the lens of that to which they are accustomed — cloaking themselves in secrecy and warding off trouble with misdirection. This is not to say that they just hide in their tunnels and ignore the world above; in fact, they are curious about the surface world, and drawn to it as only beings accursed to be forever separated from it can be. It is simply that they choose to touch the world the same way they hunt their prey: by bringing it to them unawares, and in manageable amounts.
Bloodline Disciplines: Mimetismo, Nightmare, Obfuscate, Vigor
Source: Bloodlines: the Chosen, page 26
All Baddacelli are blind. Thus, they automatically fail any action that requires vision to accomplish, and are at a significant disadvantage (–3 penalty at least) in most actions in which vision plays a significant role. Although advancement in Mimetismo can eventually compensate to a certain degree, the Baddacelli can never fully enjoy the advantages of sighted individuals. In combat, Baddacelli use the “Fighting Blind” rules found on p. 166 of the World of Darkness Rulebook.
History and Culture
In the early centuries after the fall of the Camarilla, infighting among the Kindred of the Roman Empire was at its peak. In one of these cities (Baddacelli legends differ as to which, though almost all agree it was within the bounds of modern-day Italy), one Nosferatu grew to prominence and took advantage of the chaos to Embrace in great numbers. He had been an exceedingly large Kindred, a fact that had earned him the appellation by which he was known to the vampires of his city: Botticello, or “The Barrel.” As his progeny grew to become a de facto faction of their own within city politics, they were in turn collectively referred to as the Botticelli, a diminutive form of their sire’s own name meaning “The Little Barrels.” The mutation of this name has accrued to the bloodline descendants of these Kindred, and predates the assumed provenance by several centuries.
Naturally, Botticello’s ascendancy made him many enemies — he was particularly known for humiliating rivals with uncanny impersonations of their personal foibles. Himself an unabashed pagan who still clung to the old Roman gods, he was particularly fervent in undermining and attacking the vampires of the Lancea Sanctum. It was perhaps only a matter of time before the conflict being played out in the city’s Elysium spilled over into outright violence. Over the next several years, the struggle took on the savage character of religious warfare fueled by strong personal hatreds on both sides.
In the end, Botticello was defeated, and the majority of his brood slain or scattered. He was captured by his rivals, who set about torturing him until Final Death. His remaining childer managed to rescue him, but not before his body was broken and both eyes burned from his skull.
Botticello and his loyal childer fled deep into the sewers and catacombs beneath the city. Initially, it is said, they planned to allow the elder to recover from his injuries and flee the domain. In time, however, it became clear that the injuries to his eyes were not healing. It was unthinkable for a blind vampire to attempt to traverse the wilderness between cities in those nights, and so Botticello stayed hidden away in the underbelly of the city he had once sought to rule. A few of his most loyal progeny chose to remain with him. However, as the years passed, the Baddacelli began, one by one, to lose their own sight, and rumors spread within the brood that the sorcerers of the Lancea Sanctum had placed a curse upon their line. Some of the brood fled to distant cities in the hopes that by separation they could avoid a similar fate.
It was not to be. In the years that followed, most of the surviving vampires of the line lost the world of light and color forever. In lands distant from their city of origin, they, too, fled into the underground of their new homes. There in the endless darkness they hid, slowly learning mastery of the special talents and rarefied senses that could bring them the prey they needed. Sometimes, a recently Embraced vampire would attempt to flee the curse of the Blood by desperately seeking out a new city to call home. But the Baddacelli curse would inevitably have its due, and a new brood of blind horrors would begin beneath a new city.
Tonight, members of the Baddacelli bloodline can be found scattered throughout Europe, the Americas and the Middle East. Several major cities play unwitting host to a brood of these blind nightmares. Even where other Kindred are aware of the Baddacelli’s presence, these secretive Kindred keep their true numbers and the details of their existence to themselves. The Baddacelli survive, and they hunt in their lightless demesnes, and few indeed are the Kindred who would be willing to follow the Baddacelli into their catacombs to learn more of them than that.
Generally, an entire brood of Baddacelli within a city will claim membership in a single covenant. The nightly struggle for existence means that the broods rarely have the luxury of being able to bicker over politics. As a result, pressure to conform can be intense within a Baddacelli family.
Humans rely primarily on vision to observe their world. But in the universe inhabited by the Baddacelli, that sense is all but useless. So humans and Kindred in this environment fall back to the distant second of their preferred senses: hearing. When the Baddacelli are on the hunt, this is the worst mistake a victim can make.
Baddacelli, surviving as they have for centuries in a world without vision, have turned sound into their shield and their weapon. They are mimics of supernatural skill, able to produce auditory tricks that put modern sound studios to shame.
• Certain Sounds
When this power is active, Baddacelli do not suffer situational penalties when trying to orient themselves by sound (such as, for example, confusing echoes in underground tunnels). Furthermore, they do not have to take an action to locate targets in combat by sound, and they don’t run the risk of losing track of an opponent in succeeding turns. So long as their intended victims make any sound at all, the Baddacelli can find their targets.
The Baddacelli is able to mimic any sound that can conceivably be produced by the human throat, including specific voices, with uncanny accuracy. So long as he has heard the sound at least once in his Requiem, he can reproduce it perfectly.
The Baddacelli facility with mimicry now extends to sounds that no human could possibly produce. Whether the bustle of a swarming subway station, the soft trickle of water, the screech of a train or the sound of advancing footsteps, all are within the realm of the Baddacelli’s uncanny talent for auditory trickery.
The Baddacelli are able to sense their surroundings using a form of echolocation. By producing a series of rapid clicks and sensing the echoes, they can get a surprisingly detailed impression of their surroundings. At this stage, even absolute silence cannot hide their prey from them, and they can locate objects concealed from normal sight. The last sounds heard by many a hapless wanderer in the subterranean depths has been the dry, ratcheting call of a hunting Morlock.
••••• Aural Assault
At the peak of Mimetismo, this power takes sound from the realm of deception and stalking and turns it into a weapon. By striking the right pitch and volume, the Baddacelli can stun and disorient potential prey with an overwhelming, painful auditory assault. Victims find themselves able to do little other than clutch their ears to block out the sounds, and may even be struck temporarily deaf by the intensity of the abuse to their hearing.
Song of Serenity
(Majesty•••, Mimetismo•• )
It’s all well and good to ambush prey lost in the catacombs the Baddacelli call home. But it’s even better to take your prey without a struggle. This Devotion allows the Morlocks to do just that. The user sings a haunting, wordless song that soothes potential victims into a pleasant lethargy from which they find it all but impossible to rouse themselves even as their would-be devourers close in.
This power costs 15 experience points to learn.