The Gangrels In History:

Origins of the Gangrel:
The Gangrel enjoy a special relationship with those creatures known as Lupines and the Gypsies. So claims the legend or at least the paraphrased version.

In the beginning God created Adam from clay of the earth and from that same clay created a wife for him. Lilith.
Lilith was not willing to be subservient to Adam. Since he would not accept that God had made them as equals, Adam and Lilith, in frustration she called on the true name of God and was taken up into the heavens before Adam and Eve committed the original sin.
Sinless and powerful, Lilith went forth from the Garden was pregnant. She settled in to the mountains in the wilderness and lived in peace with the beasts of the earth who were yet unnamed. When Liliths time came she was attended by A bear, a wolf, a tigress, a serpent and another animal unnamed. Lilith gave birth to Ennoia and 4 other. . - the beasts of the earth still got along with mankind then.

Lilith gave Adam's Get to each of the beasts to care for -all but the serpent because her fosterchild was still-born. And each took the child away to raise however they thought best. These children became the ancestors of the zoanthropes, what we now call the Lupines.
Even when the wolves learned they were to be carnivores, and preyed upon other animals, they cared for Ennoia as one their own.
When Ennoia was grown, she took a mate from among the pack, and bore him children. Some were like her, in the form of man, some were like their father, and ran as wolves. Yet each had within them the seed of the other, and it is from them that Lupines trace their ancestry.

A long while later, Ennoia grew dissatisfied with her life, and left the pack to travel the world. Immortal like her parents, she wandered for many years alone, and came at last to a city raised by her half-siblings, the descendants of Adam and his second wife. Ennoia's great beauty and somewhat earthy nature made her well-received in Enoch. She dwelt there for many years until, in a series of incidents reminiscent of the tale of Helen of Troy, she became a source of discord in this proto-city. , Ennoia presented several of her lovers with children. It is from these children that the Gypsies are descended - and again Ennoia left to wander the world.

Ennoia never found a place to settle where discord and banishment did not follow but eventually, long after her blood mingled with the children of Eve- Ennoia met a child of Caine who convinced her to return to Enoch. He could not satisfy her appetites, but that mattered little, for he proved interesting in other ways. In their passion for each other, it was not long before she was made Kindred.
From Ennoia are descended all who call themselves Gangrel. From her we learn the tongues of animals and how to change our shape to resemble them. From her also comes the need to wander the world freely. Even as the Lupines can trace their blood back to her in her living days, so we of the Gangrel can find our heritage in the blood of her changed life. Our Lupine half-brothers chose not to remember that we share a common mother.

The Gangrel in History
Since as a rule, the Gangrel themselves do not record their history, much of what can be said here is apocryphal. It is certain, however, that of elder clans, the Gangrel have been one of the most likely to become embroiled in human affairs and so it is that many of the "historical" vampires of human knowledge have been of our clan. But human history is notoriously laced with the fancies of human historians or their biased point of view.

Kindred history teach us of our lineage. It is said, for instance, that one of our kind in Carthage had warning of the bloody events to come. Rather then simply fleeing, as the Gangrel have traditionally done, he attempted to enlist other clans to ward off the impending catastrophe. It is tempting at this late date to consider him a bucolic fool, fresh from the wilds, who was out thought by the wily city folk. Whether that is in fact what happened or not is moot. What we do know is that he was betrayed by his confidants, thus starting a tradition among Gangrel for distrusting the other clans that persists to this day.

Other sources also tell us of our clan's history. The oral tradition is one, for though any story good enough to recall from century to century has doubtless been embroidered, there is always the grain of truth to be ferreted out. Other human writings -- many first-person accounts -- tell of what may be Gangrel. And finally, there are the written records of other clans, all with their own agendas, but without the need (or the talent) to make up stories about us.

Vikings were aware of the Gangrel in the vicinity of 400 B.C., there being a saga dating from that era that describes a battle between Grettir, a Scandinavian hero, and a vampire clearly bearing the marks of a Gangrel. It is claimed, and I believe it so, that signs in certain Gnostic texts point to Jesus having healed a Gangrel -- or frenzy, if not the Curse. It is unlikely, however, that I shall ever find a biblical scholar willing to help me confirm or deny this hint.

It is certain, thanks to an eyewitness who has asked that I not use his name, that among those involved in the sack of Rome were Gangrel. The ancient peoples were ever aware that Kindred walked among them, and the Romans were no exception. Of interest is the fact that contemporary reports were made of a vampire altering her shape to that of a belua, which can be taken as meaning "beast" or "monster," but is most likely a wolf. The history of Protean disciplines interests me for personal reasons, but more on this later.

It is also at this time that the first Gypsies appeared, though some scholars claim records show their presence in India as early as 420 B.C. Whether they were aware of our common ancestry or not, a document from the period tells of a cart made to the specification of a Gypsy "king." It told of the Gypsy making his inspection at night, and having the cart-maker stand inside the enclosed wagon with a candle, while the gypsy outside looked to make sure no light leaked out. Unless this was simply some plot to keep the owner occupied while the band rifled the till, he was doubtless shopping for a Gangrel who wished to make certain of his diurnal safety.

The Middle Ages
Crusaders from Frances and Britain who reached Spain found more than the Spanish Moors waiting for them. They had discovered a new sickness (syphilis) and a curious symptom, apparently of the illness: the victims wasted away, the blood "drawn from the bodie as marrow by the moone" on successive nights.
This was the predation of the Gangrel sons and daughters of Al-Gamiz, who had come to the Spanish shores slightly before the Moors.

The Renaissance
During this era, as new areas of the world were discovered, the bloodlines of the Kindred expanded with "civilization," and always they found offshoots of the Gangrel. For, as we had inherited our Mother's control over her form, we also inherited her wanderlust. And, as our clan is willing to subsist upon the blood of animals when needed, we had an advantage over more squeamish bloodlines. We didn't have to wait for mortals before exploring new lands.
In fact, this lay at the root of one of our most effective strategies -- often, we would be the advance scouts for both humans and Kindred. When we were accepted among mortals, it was even legitimate to demand blood as payment for such services. After the Inquisition, of course, the Masquerade forbade all that. But I get ahead of myself. It was a native Gangrel named Talking Water who welcomed the first colony of settlers to Virginia, and it was Gangrel and their allies who died in the slaughter of the colonists at the claws of the Lupines.
When the next European colonists came to North America, they found Gangrel who were relatively accepted among the natives. From the start, the Gangrel shunned the cities that the invaders built, but they were not among those who first fought against the settlers themselves. That happened only when certain intolerant religious groups, fleeing other intolerant religious groups; settled the northeast and began stamping out everything that didn't fit in with their worldview. This included nearly everyone who drank blood to survive and took the forms of animals for amusement.

The Age of Reason
As Europeans expanded across the world, Gangrel found themselves on both sides of the inevitable conflicts. They walked with the conquistadores, welcomed by the natives as fulfilling a prophecy. I have heard the legendary Quetzalcoatl may have been a Brujah, though there were certainly Gangrel there before the conquistadores came. While both the pioneers and the natives had a scattering of our clan, the later settlers always brought with them inhospitable ways. They cut down the trees where we loved to run, killed the animals and the natives, our friends, and made us lazy on their tame and tasteless blood. Moreover, they brought with them other Kindred, though not of our blood. They brought Ventrue, and Sabbat, and later, Tremere. In Australia, Malkavians and Caitiff came with the condemned, and Ventrue and Brujah with the administrators. They, of course, found Gangrel there, mingled with the natives and capable of turning into fierce dingoes when annoyed.

How did the Gangrel make the trip to Australia when almost no other creature managed? Aboriginal myths tell of a tall, pale woman with very long hair who passed through their lands following the star Altair. Whether this was indeed our Progenitor, as some would claim, or simply a rather ancient member of our clan is a moot point. Nevertheless, the fact that a disproportionate ratio of Australian Aboriginal Gangrel are of elder generations is indisputable.

The Gangrel in the 20th Century

It is said that the concentration camp near Glödker was destroyed when the Nazis included a Gangrel among the many Gypsies incarcerated there. That first night, with typical Gangrel regard for the preservation of the Masquerade. Tales, a seventh-generation Gangrel, Embraced fully half the tribe of the Szdario Romany with whom he had been captured.

After a crash course in Earthmeld, the new Gangrel went to ground through the bleak winter day, then rose again to Embrace more neonates and create not a few Ghouls. When the third night fell, no fewer than 20 prisoners had surprises in store for their captor.
Needless to say, the hastily-drafted Neonates fed well, and the official story at Berlin was the camp was lost to misplaced Allied bombing.
Later in this century, when the ecological movement of the '60s-to-'90s arose, we were (and are) with it. It is indeed shameful that some of us have taken advantage of the trust and idealism of these activists, merely to sate our hunger with their blood.

Gangrels Abroad

Although my own journeys through the then-called Dark Continent were involuntary, I nevertheless sought out legends of Kindred. I heard rumors from the tribesmen of a city of vampires, or at least men and women who shunned the day, could change their forms into those of animals, and who had an unwholesome (to my guide, at any rate) desire for blood.
I should mention, however, that there are also tales of tribes of shapeshifters, some of whom wear skins other than the wolf's.

Since the gold rush, the power of the Gangrel elders in Alaska has been on the wane. Most of the Gangrel there have been content to disrupt the efforts of research scientists to map the area and track the native animals. Removing the radio "tags" from the ears of musk-oxen and caribou and placing them in the gas tanks of oil company vehicles is a favorite plot. As a political force, however, the power of the Gangrel leaders is past. The recent oil spill, for which the Ventrue were at least partially responsible and for which they took no blame, is a perfect example. If they did not wage such a bitter war with the Lupines, I feel the native Gangrel would be more successful in protecting their territory.

All rumors that a female Gangrel Inconnu has taken up residence in the Antarctic are false. Pay they no mind whatever. Although the long Antarctic nights might allow such a person to avoid the sleep of day for months at a time, there is little or no flesh blood to be found, and the unending cold is too much even for such as us. Even if such a person were there, what on earth could possibly interest her in the endless waste? No, I'm afraid this belongs to the realm of myth. The Garou, too, have myths about this place, as do the humans. Enjoy the tales, but pay them no heed.

For whatever reason, there are a number of Gangrel elders there, and the rough-and-ready way they rule their sometimes extended territories is reminiscent of the old American West. Typical of these is Fenton, a sixth-generation Gangrel (Embraced in 1880!) who rules Tasmania. He enjoys good relations with his fellow Prince in Victoria, but things are somewhat more strained with the Brujah Prince of Canberra in New South Wales.

Eastern Europe
The few facts dribbling in from old Russia and her client states have proven especially hard to confirm or deny.
The tales refugee Kindred present are confusing at best, but it appears that a very powerful (which in our circles usually means very old) being has appeared on the scene in the former Soviet Union. This person or persons is busy remaking that part of the world to suit him. This includes eliminating or subjugating the Kindred active in the area. It is even rumored that the current ethnic purges in Yugoslavia may be part of this consolidation.
The word is out that Gangrel are to avoid this area, though of course anyone who brings back the true story will receive a hero's welcome. A number of Gangrel still operate in the area, but keep an especially low profile.

The Soviet Disunion
The Nosferatu claim something awful is going on in what used to be the Soviet Union. You've doubtless heard the rumors. All I know is that a member of the German Gangrel group Oddindöhter (a Valkyrie offshoot) managed to cross the border into Smolensk, and what she found terrified her. Apparently, a purge of some kind is underway, not only of Kindred but of many sorts of supernatural beings. Curiously, those clans most predominant in the area seem more interested in covering up these occurrences, rather than attempting to do anything about them.

Ever the province of the Toreador and certain Brujah sects, France has been avoided by the Gangrel until recently. Now that the French government is aggressively pursuing the high-tech industries, those far-sighted Gangrel who survived the mess in the Germanys are moving to prevent the same from happening in France. Whether they are successful or not will depend on the cooperation of other powers.
One thing is certain: as the cities encroach (Euro-Disney was built on a favorite Gangrel haunt), more than a few of our kind turn to madness, violence or drugs to cope with the loss of their lands. Many French Gangrel have gone to earth perhaps into torpor. Some have begun to prey exclusively on alcoholics, drug addicts or Lupines for the rush they gain from blood charged with drugs or rage.
And some, chillingly, have returned to the practice of feeding off the mad that was banned when the Masquerade was laid down. Now we suspect that the cause is neurochemical rather than demonic, but it is clear that feeding exclusively from disturbed individuals can bring madness. For some Gangrel, deprived of the wilds in which to run, the wild dreams of a paranoid of megalomaniac are likely substitute.

As the great forest have fallen to the axe, so at last has the Wall that separated the two halves of Germany. Everyone is glad that travel is less restricted now, but Kindred are wary of the UCS. The recently-forged and still shaky alliance between certain tribes of Lupine and individual Gangrel in the Black Forest is being tested even now, with the common foes being the Sabbat and the industry of Germany, which has had many restrictions lifted in an effort to revive a flagging economy.

Elsewhere in Germany, Gangrel clash with those clans normally inhabiting the cities, as the Gangrel are forced into their territory by circumstance. Not all are able to adapt to city life, however, and the recent witch-hunts by Lupines (written off as terrorist attacks by the human press) have been directed more often than not deranged Gangrel. Whether the Lupines have been guided by Kindred who fear for the Masquerade, or whether the actions of Gangrel lunatics have tipped their hands, remains to be seen.

Additionally, recent attacks on foreigners and, especially, Gypsies in Germany may well be provoked by the Gangrel's enemies. Certain war-like Lupines have been associated with racist and, now, skinhead movements, while the Ventrue would also gain by destroying what few mortal allies we have.

Great Britain
In the Cotswolds of England, most of the country's wild Gangrel can be found. In many other parts of the United Kingdom, Lupines calling themselves Fianna and the more pernicious human mages have hunted us to extinction (or into cities, which can be as bad). Some individual packs of the Fianna appear to have taken an oath not to molest Gangrel, but explanations of this differ. There are Gypsies here also, though they tend to be nearly as "civilized" as those in America.

North America
Though Gangrel do not necessarily keep strongholds, there are places in this continent where they can usually be found, and where a Gangrel may go in hopes of finding help. There are clefts in the Grand Canyon where a brave or incautious vampire may lay down for a day's sleep in the open air and never fear the sun -- as long as his luck holds out. The cliffs are simply too steep and close in some places for a direct beam of sunlight to reach bottom, but few can pinpoint these spots with accuracy.

The United States national forests, once full of both Gangrel and the Lupines, are now mostly empty of either. If is in the accidental wilderness that we live now -- those places forgotten by mortals or overlooked by their greed. West Virginia and other "poor" and "underdeveloped" areas are our havens, as are those wastelands left behind when the profit-makers move on.

South America
The bloody conflicts between the Setites and the Gangrel in parts of South America have done neither of our clans any service. The Gangrel would do better to ignore the Setites and their crops and concentrate on saving their homes in the rain forest. Attempts have been made to contact the peculiar jaguariod Lupines of the area, with little success. Apparently, however, they have no more fear or hatred for Kindred than they do any other outsiders.
Definitely worth investigating.

created on 2-08-1997Site by Updated: Friday, 6 October, 2006
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