Bloodlines > Strigoi
The Strigoi are actually two bloodlines, one Ventrue and one Nosferatu, that share a common history and culture. The Nosferatu line originated with the powerful acolyte sorceress Lizuca, who sought to surpass her Nosferatu curse through the creation of the Transviscera discipline. The Ventrue bloodline is the product of Ionnes Tzimisces who diablerized Lizuca both to steal her knowledge and escape her influence. However, Ionnes’ act of diablerie was complicated by Lizuca’s powerful soul who seemed able to possess his body, shaping it into her own image. They now exist as one, but their conflict is representative of the Strigoi as a whole, a fractious, often contentious family of vampires whose reputation among the kindred is soiled with acts of cruelty, madness, and betrayal.
Lizuca, the White Witch of the Danube, and the Secret of Flesh
The primary founder of the Strigoi was the Nosferatu acolyte Lizuca, who along with her other two coven members, only known today as the Mother and Maiden, traveled as a nomadic pack along the Danube in the wilds of Eastern Hungary. Lizuca, who was also known as the Crone among her coven, became jealous of sisters’ ability to move among mortals. Through treachery she trapped and sacrificed her sisters to change her blood, in an attempt to circumvent her curse. While her powers of Transviscera allowed her to mold her flesh, her curse did not abate as she expected it to. She sired some childer, who became known as the Strigoi among the circle, to further her experiments with her blood but none were free of their clan’s curse. Eventually she withdrew even further from kindred society.
Tzimisces the Usurper
Ionnes Tzimisces was a Constantinople Ventrue fleeing from a bloodhunt, north past the river Danube. Lizuca discovered him fleeing from pursuers and sheltered him from his enemies in return for his service. As her servant she used him as a proxy among the other damned, and he is known to have studied her blood magic. After some centuries Tzimisces sought freedom from his mistress, but was denied. They fought and Tzimisces bested Lizuca and drank her heart’s blood, diablerizing her.
Tzimisces, the Mad King of Buda-Pest, and the Rise of the Strigoi Vii
After freeing himself of Lizuca’s influence, Tzimisces used his considerable skills and strength to take Buda-Pest as his domain. He sired, and called his childer Strigoi Vii (Lizuca’s childer being called by them, Strigoi Morti). Though he gained control of his chosen fief, Tzimisces behavior became erratic and he began to experience episodes in which his flesh undulated and reshaped itself without his control.
Such episodes weakened Tzimisces position and proved to the remaining Strigoi Morti what Tzimisces had done with Lizuca. They sought revenge, but as they stormed Tzimisces’ haven finding him struggling to maintain control of his own body, Tzimisces changed before their eyes into Lizuca. Speaking with her childer she claimed to have survived diablerie within the body of Tzimisces and that she and Tzimisces would now agree to share control and lead their blood tied. After some negotiation the Strigoi Morti agreed that she was telling the truth and joined the Strigoi Vii in attempting to control Buda-pest.
Reconciliation and the Diet of Cluj
Unfortunately other powerful Ventrue leaders used the Strigoi Morti’s attack to displace the newly reconciled bloodlines, and drive them back into the wilds of Eastern Hungary. Though in retreat the Strigoi quickly established themselves in the Carpathian Basin among the growing Saxon, Vlach, and Szekler communities. The two lines began a somewhat fraught process of learning to live in peace together and acknowledge their shared ancestry. A council of elders took shape in the Cluj-Napoca region near the boarders of eastern and western Hungary, becoming the unified face of the two lines. The Strigoi Vii took the role of political leaders among the lines, while the Strigoi Morti took to functioning as spiritual leaders and advisors to their more social brethren.