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CLANBOOK

JIANG SHI
A sourcebook for Vampire: The Masquerade

By David MacDowell Blue

© 2017 All rights reserved

This book is intended to be used with the 4th edition of the core rule book.

World of Darkness, Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, Mage: The Ascension, Wraith: The Oblivion,
Changeling: The Dreaming, Hunter: The Reckoning, Demon: The Fallen, Mummy: The Resurrection, Orpheus, Exalted, Chronicles
of Darkness, White Wolf, and their respective logos, icons and symbols.

This material is protected under international copyright laws. Any reproduction or unauthorized use of the material or artwork
contained herein is prohibited without the express permission of White Wolf.

©2017 White Wolf Entertainment AB, Västgötagatan 5, SE-118 27 Stockholm, Sweden.

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To be decisive is to be as the falcon who flies with perfect precision and
so destroys his prey.
Szun Tzu

How to Use This Book


The World of Darkness as we know it focuses upon almost any Jiang Shi their homeland is China, or at
what we often call Western Civilization. Easy enough least the land of their origin. Many have traveled the
to see why. Europe by an accident of history is the world, especially now technology has made the process
most recent conqueror of most of the world, spreading so much easier. Western Kindred therefore are far
its ideas and assumptions along with its political more likely to encounter one of the Celestials.
power. They were not the first, nor have we any
reason to believe they will be the last (unless of course Here then is what makes them different as vampires.
some kind of apocalypse really does occur). If you wish to study more about China and Chinese
culture, that is another subject. No doubt a
However, other great centers of civilization share this fascinating one.
world and these times with us. All too often we ignore
them or worse – make simplistic assumptions about
then and behave with worse than ignorance. The Jiang Shi
Literally translated as “Stiff Corpse” Jiang Shi remain
China (not at all what the people of that nation call a subject of much debate among Camarilla and Sabbat
their home) is vast in territory, deep in history and has scholars. For one thing, are they a Clan or a
at least as much complexity as the whole of Europe. bloodline? No one can say for sure, or if the question
This little supplement cannot hope to explore any of is even appropriate. They themselves have no legends
this in depth. Libraries of books would prove akin to that of Caine or the Second City. Rather they
necessary, not least because the many millions and believe every once in an age or so an individual
millions of what we call the Chinese people are still becomes an original vampire, due to a series of highly
learning about themselves. unlikely circumstances rarely if ever duplicated
precisely. That individual begets others who are
As are we. In that lies the most important point of all. slightly less powerful than himself, whose childer in
Just as the Chinese are exactly as human, as diverse, as turn are less powerful still. When they look upon
infuriating and as wonderful as any other people so we Western Kindred they see this belief confirmed, along
ourselves are exactly as mysterious, contradictory, with the suspicion that such creatures are “lesser”
arrogant and peculiar as we insist they are. given their greater restrictions in power and more
uniform weaknesses. In fact, this attitude towards
The same with the undead. Western undead mirrors how so many Europeans
have seen China for centuries. Two clusters of
Here we examine a Clan or Bloodline or simply type nations and ethnicities viewing the other as nothing
of vampire as native to what is often called the Middle but barbarians.
Kingdom as Tzimisce are to Eastern Europe and the
Followers of Set are to Egypt. Which is to say, to

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A few western scholars have theorized the Jiang Shi to
be all descendants of the very first Caitiff. Other
wonder at an as-yet-unknown member of the second
or third generation that may have created them. Not
surprisingly a few Tzimisce put forth the belief these
beings are a bloodline of their own Clan, an
experiment by their Antediluvian amidst is many
journeys in millennia past.

Certainly Jiang Shi have their Methuselahs and the


power of their blood seems to decrease by generation
the same as with any of the “normal” thirteen clans.
But they see nothing odd in that, nor do they find
anything particularly ominous in seeing how many • Obfuscate
groups of vampires seem now too weak to create more • Obtenebration
of their kind. Some think it inconvenient. Others see • Potence
it as a welcome change in the world. Few if any see it • Presence
as a sign of an epoch-changing prophecy coming to • Protean
pass, much less the end of this or any other world. • Rift (this is the Gaki Discipline)
• Vissicitude
Nickname. Among Europeans these Chinese undead
are called “Celestials” which began in the 19th More on the details of such below.
century as a sneer by Camarilla Elders at how these
undead saw themselves and their homeland. A far Weakness Like everything else about this type of
more crude modern nickname, one that cannot be vampire, this aspect of their existence is strange by
taken as anything but an insult, is “Stiffs.” Another Western standards. All Jiang Shi share one common
nickname, used more commonly among themselves weakness – the embrace takes between one and ten
and other Asian vampires (like the Gaki) is years to complete, during which the neonate is
effectively in torpor. Not surprisingly, they see this
“Dragons.”
weakness much as a Ventrue sees her taste as proof of
superiority, a Malkavian regards himself as wise
Disciplines While like any vampire, in theory Jiang because he is mad, a Setite shrugs off the damage she
Shi can learn any Discipline it seems their affinity to takes from sunlight as proof of how attuned she is to
such are very different from those of ordinary (or at her God, and so on. Most Jiang Shi see the process of
least Western) Cainites. For presumably mystical becoming a vampire as unnatural, something a healthy
reasons, each has three “natural” Disciplines, by which human body seeks to prevent. To them, that a
these are seemingly powers natural to that specific Lasombra or Toreador neonate transforms in less than
vampire. In game terms these should be considered day into an undead demon merely indicates an
“Clan Disciplines.” inherent corruption, no doubt fostered by the petty
and primitive culture in which they live.
However, rather than uniformity, their individual
powers vary from a specific list of such. Although one Practically speaking, this means anyone embraced by a
Discipline is nearly always shared with their sire, the Jiang Shi has to be sealed away (buried or put in a
powers of a Jiang Shi represent an aspect of their tomb or some other presumably safe location) until
personalities. Here are the Disciplines available to they finally rise – and as a result of their long sleep
such a vampire at Character Creation as “natural” they always rise up in a frenzy. This of course proves
ones: very unlucky for anyone in the vicinity. More
thoughtful sires tend to place their childer in locations
• Animalism
where some unsuspecting kine will in effect be waiting
• Auspex
to slake the newborn vampire’s thirst. Likewise
• Celerity
traditions in China exist to watch over the recently
• Dominate dead, to watch for signs of transformation into a
• Fortitude blood drinker.
• Necromancy

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human-like to be easily categorized as
something else. All social rolls are increased
in difficulty by two.
• Infernal Visage Since a vampire is in essence
a demon possessing a corpse, aspects of a
demonic form have become manifest in the
vampire’s body. Bright red color, horns, claws
instead of fingers, hooves instead of feet, in
extreme cases a serpent in place of one’s
tongue or some kind of tail have been seen.

Character Creation Even as with vampires


As a result of this long period of torpor before rising elsewhere, Jiang Shi have specific standards by which
from the dead, all Jiang Shi suffer from some sign of they officially choose to turn a human being into one
decomposition. In terms of game mechanics, each of them. Officially, since the majority of these undead
Jiang Shi possesses at least one of the following Flaws follow Buddhism, Taoism or Confucianism (although
yet receives no freebie point in return. quite large minorities adhere to many other faith) they
in theory only act in such a manner to help further
• Rigor Mortis Their limbs have gone stiff
their interpretation of such beliefs.
during their long sleep, requiring the
expenditure of blood to move (roughly one For example, a Buddhist might choose to make
blood point per round) either arms or legs, someone a Jiang Shi from a belief they need to explore
unless of course in a frenzy or during this aspect of existence, possibly because otherwise
rotschrek. Clearly this creates a powerful their life has been too short or they have no acted
thirst in the vampire, as well as a decided sufficiently to change their destiny after death. Still
tendency to move as little as possible. others might wish to force someone to slake their need
Wealthy and/or powerful such often are for violence in this life, have their fill then learn to
moved by faithful Retainers, which a few move beyond such.
learn Disciplines that allow them to move
without using their limbs. Interestingly, this Then again, maybe a Confusianist would see a
Flaw is also no longer active while the
vampire is in another form, via Protean or
Vissicitude’s Horrid Form.
• Protruding Fangs The fangs of the vampire –
which tend to be non-retractable – are long
enough they cannot easily fit into a closed
mouth so much extend out, past the lower
lips. The result can be undone with
Vissicitude.
• Nascent Decay The vampire has the very
early stages of decay which are visible and
reduce Appearance to no more than 2. This
can be a sickly green color, infestation of
worms, a reek of decomposition, a generally
shriveled appearance, etc. In effect this
makes the Jiang Shi somewhat resemble what
to Western movie-goers looks like a zombie.
• Eerie Presence No matter what happens or
what the vampire does, he or she will always
feel unnatural to anyone who perceives them.
Their presence annoys or just upsets, akin to
what psychologists call the “Uncanny Valley”
because something about their appearance
feels off and wrong, not quite human yet too

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necessity in balance between darkness and light,
between kindness and cruelty. A given community
might be so peaceful as to be defenseless, so might
Stereotypes
need the protection of a Jiang Shi. Assamite Admirably focused but lacking any
wisdom we can see.
On the other hand, it can prove just as likely these Brujah They fight like children for childish
exact individuals might embrace someone out of a grudges and childish ideas.
possessive love, in return for a favor or fulfillment of Caitiff No different from the rest.
an oath, or out of revenge. Many Jiang Shi over the Gangrel Honorable and useful up to a point.
many centuries came to exist simply from a need for Followers of Set One wonders the point of
supernaturally powerful warriors. telling all far and near you cannot be trusted?
Giovanni Little more than bandits who prey
However, generally, most Jiang Shi will have some
upon the Spirit Realm for the most base of
kind of excuse for doing such a thing. More, they
motives.
rarely choose someone randomly since in practice
creating a Jiang Shi requires protection of the sleeping Lasombra Pirates then and sadly still. Devoutly
neonate until they rise again – which can take a full religious pirates.
decade. More, new Jiang Shi tend to be quite Malkavian Dangerous when wise and
traumatized by the experience and need further dangerous when foolish, but in diverse ways.
shepherding. Nosferatu Truly victims of some great act of
karma.
Unless of course the sire doesn’t really care for some Ravnos The stuff of dreams because all they do
reason. That happens. is a lie. Hence worthy of study but never of
trust.
Given the history and nature of the Jiang Shi society, Toreador Pretenders at real culture, but the
most members of this Clan tend to have high scores in attempt remains praise-worthy.
Etiquette. Or at least that is how they have tried to
Tremere Like so many barbaric ones, full of
present themselves. In fact there have always been
too much cleverness hand in hand with far too
those whose manners and personalities were more
much hunger.
rough and ready.
Tzimisce Viewing a terrible plague as a gift
Organization Once the various groups and societies bespeaks a wondrous and terrible madness.
and even families of Jiang Shi had intricate accords Ventrue Believing in their own mastery yet still
and rules of how they were to interact with one learning what we forgot dynasties past – to our
another. This had arisen out of warring eras and sorrow.
nations going back to before there was even an
Emperor! Such traditions and orders rose and fell of Camarilla Primitive but at least they seek to
course over the many centuries, but most recently they find a Way.
came apart as the Qing (or Manchu) Dynasty over- Sabbat All that we should seek to banish, yet
expanded and sought to hold too tightly only what it with a strange power worthy of study.
had conquered, forcing a rigid set of rules and habits Inconnu Such fascinating stories! One fears
which made them vulnerable to sudden change. That the truth so very mundane.
sudden change came in the form of barbarians from
Europe, with their aggressive policies and strange Gaki Crude by any standard but they do
machines used in service of stranger ideas. The possess some civilized traits and more
intricate web of contacts between these shadow lords importantly aspire to attain them.
and governors fell apart in the wake of the Opium
Wars and revolution, the warlords then the second
World War. These nights surviving Elders cling to old way for the Jiang Shi to counter the barbarian invaders
ways, insisting upon antique forms while the younger of the Middle Kingdom.
Jiang Shi have begun organizing into new groups, with
new agendas. Foremost among these are the Nine One form of organization in which Jiang Shi do
Iron Dragons (see PERSONAGES), who demand a new partake are those criminal societies like the Triads or
(according to urban legend) the Tongs. One can find
Jiang Shi scattered among such groups throughout

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many industrialized cities, especially along the Pacific pass for human. Often these come from the family,
(although in mainland China, the Red Chinese especially descendants of the vampire.
government has devastated these groups until fairly
recently). Some Jiang Chi also have strong Status amongst the Jiang Shi should be seen as Clan
connections to the Japanese criminal group the Status outside of Asia, although this might be
Yakuza. different in areas with large Asian populations such as
the two large “Chinatowns” of Vancouver, British
Backgrounds Jiang Shi nearly always have Retainers Columbia.
and Allies, because they need them. Few and far
between are those Celestial vampires who can easily

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If ignorant of both yourself and of your enemy, then you yourself
are certainly in peril.
Sun Tzu

Discipline Variations Also, when it comes to Protean, few Jiang Shi ever
It should surprise no one to learn Jiang Shi actually transform into either a wolf or a bat. Foxes, snakes
have some differences in terms of how they use (which sometimes leads to a mistaken belief in a Jiang
vampiric powers from that of European Kindred. Shi possessing Serpentis) and even moths seem far
more common. No one knows precisely why. Legends
Somewhat curiously, for example, Jiang Shi are more speak of some truly ancient Jiang Shi who can take on
likely to apply their Animalism powers to the shapes of dragons. Both these Disciplines rarely
communicate with insects rather than small rodents. manifest in what might be called “urban” Jiang Shi,
Many suspect this has to do with a greater awareness although the former often reveals itself in those with
of such creatures in terms of the natural world. pets.

Rifts is a strange Discipline, more natural to the More than heritage, Celestial vampires develop
Japanese Gaki. Essentially it consists of using a Disciplines based on personality and character.
vampire’s inherent connection to some infernal
realm or hell (after all, vampires are demons) to a Kindred are sometimes startled to sometimes see
specific effect. The five basic levels are: Jiang Shi use the dark tendrils of Obtenebration to
pick themselves up and move them rather than walk
One * The Joining – allows a Gaki to somewhere. Individuals so shocked simply do not
communicate with other Gaki, or more specifically understand the limits some of these vampires must
with any other vampire who commands this exist with every single night, especially those
Discipline. unfortunates with the Rigor Mortis flaw. But this
Two ** Glimpse of the Pain – shows a target a power also indicates high courage, as well as an
vision of some infernal realm to incapacitate them. exploratory nature coupled with a powerful will.
Three *** Crossing the Iron Bridge - allows a
vampire to enter a personal hell, where of course Interestingly, mastery of the Vissicitude Discipline
no one can follow. bestows great respect as well as generating considerable
Four **** Journeying the Iron Bridge - allows a suspicion among most Jiang Shi. On the one hand,
vampire to bring objects with them into this who cannot but envy the raw power involved,
personal rift/dimension. especially when it comes to reshaping one’s own body.
Five ***** Passing the Inner Realm – permits a Few are those Jiang Shi who can be called beautiful,
vampire to enter their infernal realm and then yet almost all of them practice Vissicitude. So vanity is
emerge anywhere than had been visible before one sometimes seen as a reason for having this power, or a
entered the rift. profound dislike of one’s personal appearance or body
(intersex and transgender Jiang Shi nearly always have
For further information look up The World of Vissicitude). However, without a strong will it can be
Darkness (The Promised Lands) 1992 a disaster, since it can lead to monstrousness or loss of
identity.

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denied some Jiang Shi with this set of powers prove
Obfuscate on the other hand can sometimes be seen kind and enlightened, often helping the recently
as cowardly, although a large percentage of Jiang Shi departed or opening up come communication
do wield it for obvious reasons – much the same between families and their ancestors.
reasons as the Nosferatu, Samedhi, Harbingers of
Skulls and other aesthetically challenged vampires do.
Jiang Shi with an interest in watching others or Questions and Answers
learning things, also those who are naturally quiet Kindred may wonder about the Jiang Shi now that
tend to develop this. more and more they are likely to encounter these
beings. Fortunately more and more Kindred are
Celerity is one of the most popular of all Disciplines, learning about them.
especially for those suffering from Rigor Mortis,
because it allows the vampire to perform several Do Jiang Shi have ghouls? The answer to this is a
actions in the same round but for no further blood definite “yes” although in practice relatively few such
price. Hence active individuals often manifest Celerity. creatures exist in the modern era. Exactly why is not
clear, since younger members of this Clan or
Potence is not so popular, given how many Jiang Shi Bloodline show little hesitation to recruiting such.
have studied Martial Arts. It is viewed as somewhat
crude and so that stigma attaches itself to those who Do Jiang Shi ever commit diablerie? Alas, this
find themselves with this power. also must be answered in the positive, with the
practice condemned even more stridently than among
Likewise a slight aura of cowardice surrounds the Camarilla. Given common cultural beliefs in
Fortitude, although those vampires with it have a reincarnation as well as traditions of ancestor worship,
definite advantage in combat. In fact many who show the whole idea of devouring another person’s soul is
this Discipline seem to have high levels of courage, yet especially horrific and taboo. It has happened,
rarely have the Thrill Seeker Nature. however, and far more often than almost anyone will
willingly admit.
Both Presence and Dominate on the other hand are
simply seen as the natural outgrowth of powerful, Are there Western Vampires in China? There
autocratic personalities. have been, for many millennia. Certainly both Salubri
and Cappadocians as well as Gangrel dwelt in
Although not dealt with here, it is clear Jiang Shi have different parts of Asia, including the Middle
their own form of ritual based magic, similar to Kingdom. In fact the Gobi Desert holds wizened
Tremere Thaumaturgy and/or Koldunic Sorcery. This mummies of Celts wearing kilts from as far away as
is technically not so much a Discipline as a learned Ireland! Legends do speak of what sound like
skill, since no one can treat it as a “native” Discipline. Nosferatu enclaves in the distant past, now lost to
Unless of course (as some certainly speculate) this was misadventure or bad luck or something. Tzimisce
once a Discipline native to some other Clan or reached the Indian Subcontinent long ago.
Bloodline whose fate so far remains unknown. Of course in recent centuries various nations from
Europe and sometimes former colonies of Europe
Auspex tends to be a Discipline seen in those with
have made themselves only too well known in the
little interest in the physical world,
Middle Kingdom and that land’s neighbors. Hong
and so those with this power tend
to have a reputation as scholars or Kong and Singapore are two significant points of
mystics or sometimes visionaries. infestation – or so some of the more Elder Celestials
refer to the presence of so many Ventrue, Toreador
Necromancy on the other hand has and Tremere.
a dark reputation, not least because
the weird, often off-putting Does China have a Masquerade? For all practical
character of those who usually
purposes, although for much of its history there
manifest it. All too often they come
seemed little need. Discretion was simply wise policy
across as disturbed, morbid and
possibly deranged. Yet it cannot be and all knew to give respect as well as a wide berth to
the blood drinking dead. Because here the existence

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of the supernatural was rarely questioned until
recently, and up until Mao Zedong no one made it
their business to wage deliberate war on the Jiang Shi.

But the Cultural Revolution changed that. For


generations belief in such entities had been on the
wane, a fact of no great concern to the Elders and
remaining leadership. After all, politics and history
echoed the weather, including great storms as well as
droughts and floods. What did it matter?

When a brilliant and ruthless dictator saw belief in the


supernatural as a threat, however, and began to use
modern weapons to stamp out that threat – that
mattered a great deal. It hardly mattered whether the
Chairman believed or not. He didn’t want others to
believe, and in the course of a few years literally
millions of Jiang Shi retainers and allies lost nearly
everything. With modern weapons ready to be used,
weapons proven many times over during the decades
of war prior to the Communist Takeover, the undead
of the Middle Kingdom dared not strike back.
Whether a demon has replaced, corrupted and simply
joined the company of these souls remains a matter of
So they went underground. Some literally but most by
sincere if esoteric debate. Practically it makes very
hiding themselves very much more carefully than ever little difference. Jiang Shi must find a way to retain
before. Others hid in remote areas, creating themselves and defeat the demon. Many suspect this
strongholds of vast but extremely covert power. Parts is a kind of final test, that those who truly conquer the
of Tibet for example. And to be sure, some left the Demon or at least defeat it decisively may die to find
Middle Kingdom altogether. For much of the past themselves released from the wheel of karma. Or
five decades or so, Jiang Shi have been found in perhaps will reincarnate as gods. Or go to heaven.
The Middle Kingdom has wildly diverse religious
greater numbers outside that of China than ever
beliefs and that is reflected among vampires.
before.
Are there Jiang Shi in the West? Most definitely.
Do Jiang Shi follow Humanity? In a manner of For one thing, look all over North America, at the
speaking. They deal with moral codes and ethical Chinatowns in Mexico City, Los Angeles, Seattle and
ideas tied in with the same fundamentals as other Vancouver as well as New York and elsewhere. For
societies, albeit in different forms (they would say another, look at the spread of ethnic Chinese
superior, more sophisticated). It all still comes down individuals all over the world, especially in the wake of
the vast increase in China’s economic power over the
to looking at human beings and feeling a kinship, an
past two decades.
empathy and a loyalty to them on a visceral level.
Jiang Shi see themselves as trapped in a punishment in How do Jiang Shi ‘get along’ with the current
which they are subject to demonic possession, with a government of China? Depends upon whom you
demon forever seeking to devour their soul. ask. Understandably, this matter must be one of great
importance, but in such a huge nation coupled with so
Like many societies, many Asian and Chinese believe many different schools, families and other factions of
individual humans have more than one soul. the Jiang Shi themselves, little wonder any answer is
bound to be both complex as well as a series of closely
guarded secrets.

10
those of African descent but also such ethnicities as
Korean or Japanese.
Merits and Flaws
Unique merits and flaws designed for use with Jiang Protruding Claws (3 pt. Physical Flaw) Simply, a
Shi, although at least some might be adapted for use Jiang Shi with Protean may be unable to ever retract
with other kinds of Kindred. their claws once gained at the Second Level of this
Discipline. Characters must have that level of Protean
Orphan (2 pt. Social Flaw) In this instance the to take this flaw.
vampire has no known ancestors. As far as social
interactions with other Jiang Shi, this means an Gaki Ally (2 pt. Social Merit) The Gaki are a
automatic loss of a level of status. Even if the Japanese bloodline who take little damage from
character is the equivalent of a Prince, the vast sunlight and may be willing to teach their friends the
majority view them as inherently compromised. unique discipline of Rifts. Clearly the advantages of
such could be profound.
Long Sleeper (1 pt. Mental Flaw) In a powerful
doubling down of the Clan’s inherent curse, this Chimera Form (5 pt. Supernatural Merit) Rare but
vampire’s long torpor before waking lasted at least impressive, a vampire with this Merit can use the
twenty years. As a result, they are more disoriented by Protean Discipline to transform into some blend of
current events and technology. animals or animal with human instead of
transforming into a mist at level five. While foxes
Half Breed (2 pt. Social Flaw) When a Jiang Shi has with bat wings are popular, some include human
only one parent native to the Middle Kingdom, they upper halves with huge serpentine lower halves.
suffer slightly less socially than a full foreigner. Again, this requires a character actually possess this
level of Protean.
Non-Chinese (3 pt. Social Flaw) For a Jiang Shi this
is a serious impediment to status or acceptance. Keep
in mind this does not simply include Caucasians or

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When you are far from your enemy, make certain to make him
believe you are near.
Sun Tzu
You do understand I hope what I’m saying may be way for these things called Vertala. Stuff of daymares. I
off? As in nowhere near the truth? What? Yes, I am am so not kidding.
the best or one of, but you asked for much in a
remarkable short period of time. What I’ve got are Generally though, the Jiang Shi seem to be in the
perfectly good theories that fit the facts about these majority right now and most recently, probably going
Celestial vampires. But we both know a theory can be back a couple of centuries or more. Probably has a lot
perfect logical yet still wrong. to do with how China – or the place we call China –
dominated the continent for so long.
Here. For what it is worth. First, they are as close-
lipped as the Warlocks about their past, maybe more Like the Brujah and Carthage maybe. Maybe.
so. Yeah yeah they go back, way back, thousands of
years. Probably true. Probably. But there’s a lot of Here’s the thing, though. Plenty of stories say
vague in among all the firm claims and not a bunch of Western vampires traveled to Asia, especially Gangrel
nice firm facts. Look for all I know these guys are a and Salubri, Cappadocians and Lasombra. Even
bunch of Caitiff got together and diablerized Tzimisce ended up in India! So where are the Jiang
everybody else a couple of hundred years ago. Or Shi here in the West? Why don’t see hear of any in
longer. Not saying that is what happened, but how Africa? The Americas make sense, because of two
can anyone be sure? whole oceans getting in the way, although from what
I’ve read somehow the Setites managed it. But no
So begin with that. Most of what you need to know I Jiang Shi outside of Asia. Why not?
haven’t been able to find out. Heard and read things,
yes. Lots of them even agree with one another. But Theories? Glad you asked. I have a few. One of the
independent sources did not show up and primary obvious ones is these Jiang Shi aren’t really anywhere
sources do not seem to exist. near as old as they claim, or maybe believe. Maybe
these vampires are our own Clans changed by
What these Jiang Shi say seems straightforward something native to China itself. My guess would be
enough and makes sense. Just like the Clans in the some kind of ritual magic, a curse impacting all the
West they’ve been around for dozens of centuries, Clans in the area. Who did the curse? Hell, take your
sometimes at peace sometimes at war. They’ve had pick. Mages. Renegade Tremere. Caine himself or
their version of the Camarilla several times, and their maybe some kind of bet between three or four
very own Dark Ages as well. Not too surprisingly, they Antediluvians. Whatever.
too divided up more by schools of thought rather than
by blood, even these nights. Not that there aren’t Second theory. There’s a real problem with these
other vampires in Asia, because there are! Ever heard vampire leaving their native land, like even worse than
of the Gaki? Yeah of course you have. But what the Tzimisce and they only somehow found a loophole
about the Aswang? Those are weird. Weirder than in the last dozen decades or so.
some of the weirdest things the Sabbat have dreamed
up. Find them in the Philippines. Or look to India

12
Number three. Maybe like the rest of their great big
Middle Kingdom they simply weren’t impressed by the
rest of the world and didn’t want to leave it? That is
pretty much the party line among them by the way.

Four, they did come. In fact maybe the oldest of them


ventured out of Asia so long ago the most ancient
Jiang Shi decided to cede them their new territories
for all time. So where are they? Well, in that case
maybe we’ve been hearing about them ever since we
can tell we heard about anything. Maybe we call those
really, really old Jiang Shi by names we like – Arikel,
Zillah, Enoch, Sutekh, Troile. You get the picture.
Seems at least possible all the super old vampires we
think of as Antediluvians are just super old Jiang Shi.

Not saying I believe that. Just keeping an open mind.

Good news is, seems despite them not having to deal “Iron Dragon” that has a whole ‘nother meaning than
with anything like the Inquisition, these guys do seem say “Gold” or “Jade” dragon. The folks who represent
to have had a really nasty set of wake up calls in the and preach on behalf of these vampires explain it in
last two hundred years. All those European powers terms impossible to miss. They mean to take the
plus America sure did a number on China, and in the strengths of the West, fuse them with those of the
wake of all that China started to do the same to itself. East, then let the Jiang Shi take their natural place at
Civil War between the Nationalists and Communists the top of the vampire mountain, lording it over the
impacted the Chinese Kindred just as much as the rest of us. This will go hand in hand with making the
first two World Wars did to us. Add to that the Middle Kingdom the world’s next and greatest
Japanese invasions, the Russian Invasion at the end of superpower, not only on its own terms but as seen by
World War II, then huge changes under Mao Zedong the rest of humanity.
pretty much destroyed a lot what they probably
thought was going to last forever. At least that is how Cannot say I blame them.
it looks.
But you know how coronations in the UK or maybe
Enter the Nine Iron Dragons. These guys – and I Spain are great bit elaborate affairs? And when they
am being lazy saying that because at least some of put in a new Pope how it looks more elaborate than a
those Dragons are female – decided the best defense is state funeral for ten or twelve leaders all at once?
a good offense. The world turned upside down, so Peanuts compared to politics among the Jiang Shi!
they decided to turn it all over one more time. Not a Maybe all theatre is politics but these guys hold full on
bad strategy when you think about it. grand operas in repertory while most folks do pretty
damn good community theatre. Iron Dragons sounds
Okay, first you need to great, doesn’t it? Hell, sounds so to me and when you
understand this. Dragons say dragon to me I think Game of Thrones. More, nine
are everywhere in China. is a holy number in China. Like seven or three to
They are like flags in the most Christians. Or three sixes!
United States. You
cannot get away from It is like all those Mandarin robes you see Jiang Shi
them. More, there are too wear all the time, and the way they act as if in some far
many types of dragons to away place from some other time. You really think
count, and different types beings that old and that powerful are so out of it?
have their own name,
usually associated with a Like I said. Theatre. Pure showmanship. Makes me
color or some kind of wonder if there really are Nine Iron Dragons. Are
substance. When you say there only six? Or five? Maybe four? Hell, are there

13
any Iron Dragons at all or are they like Keyser Sose in A couple of new Jiang Shi are not ethnic Chinese.
that old movie – just a myth, a story to scare folks and They aren’t even Asian.
rally the troops? As literally fake and emotionally real
as Big Brother in 1984? Are they just another iteration Yeah, we took over their whole country, used it like a
of the Wizard of Oz, only behind the curtain lurks – cheap whore then let her be beat up by the neighbors.
what? Now they’re planning on doing something similar to
us. I probably know as much about them as any
Here is something I’ve learned for certain, though. Westerner not on their side, maybe more. Still, I
Some Jiang Shi elders are definitely no longer in hardly see past the surface of the water. Enough to see
China. Some aren’t even in Chinatowns. They have some of the surface fish nibble at algae. Glimpse some
begun making more of themselves, and since I’ve big dark shape moving deeper down. Mostly I am
managed to identify a handful as well as the time they trying to make halfway educated guesses.
disappeared, you can bet this has been going on for at
least thirty years. Slow and steady. Patient and Worse. I think they’ve noticed me.
careful. These guys know how to win a race, especially
a long distance one. Be the turtle and never mind Jiang Shi become turtles. Remember me saying that?
about all the stupid silly rabbits. The better to win against the fast, silly rabbits. Us.
Including me. But they are only pretending to be
Here’s another thing I turned up. You won’t like it, turtles. Turtles just defeat rabbits in races. To do all
but you should not be even a little bit surprised. Ever they must, Jiang Shi never forget what else they are
see that old miniseries Shogun? About that English and we forget it at our peril.
sailor goes all native in Japan, becomes a full Samurai?
Okay that was Japan and we’re talking about China, Jiang Shi, apart from anything else, are dragons.
but the principal still applies.

14
He who is prudent, and lies in wait for an enemy
who is not, is also victorious.
Sun Tzu

15
To fight and conquer in every battle is not best. Best is to break
your enemy’s resistance without fighting.
Sun Tzu

At present only a few Celestials have made themselves daughter of a scholar who paid for her to be raised
particularly known to the Camarilla or the Sabbat. and protected in a small country estate. Sadly, she
Few have actively joined or seemed to join either sect. contracted a fatal disease, and one of her family
However, for those who have genuinely studied the servants who had grown to love her went to the
vampires of China, here are a few who can definitely terrifying Jiang Chi who was one of his ancestors to
be identified. beg for Zhang Min’s life. Seeing for herself the beauty
fo the girl, this ancestor chose to embrace the girl,
then hide her body on the estate in such a cunning
Zhang Min way none could find her. Meanwhile the lad you
The Serene One in White loved her went through an elaborate charade of taking
her to see a doctor in some city, where the report came
Quote: “Present yourself, young one.”
back that she had died. None at the estate suspected
Born: 1611 (embraced 1630)
their danger for seven long years, until one night when
Nature: Bravo
a frenzied vampire devoured all but the few who
Demeanor: Judge
managed to flee.
Clan: Jiang Shi
In time Zhang Min found the Middle Kingdom and
Generation: 8th
its various problems irksome, so in the 1880s she
Sire: Unknown
arranged to be shipped across the ocean to San
Attributes: Strength 4, Dexterity 1, Stamina 5,
Francisco (see
Charisma 4, Manipulation 4, Appearance 2,
Perception 4, Intelligence 4, Wits 3
DARK SAN
Abilities: Talents Alertness 4, Awareness 4, Empathy FRANCISCO at the
2, Expression 4, Intimidation 5, Leadership 4, Storyteller’s Vault)
Subterfuge 5 with the help of a
Skills Etiquette 5, Performance (singing) 5, Stealth 4 few Gaki allies. She
Knowledges Academics 5, Computer 1, Finance 3, waited, learning
Investigation 3, Law 2, Medicine 2, Occult 5, Politics what she could
4, Science 3, Technology 1 about this strange
Backgrounds: Allies 2, Contacts 3, Domain 2, Herd 3, new land and its
Influence 2, Resources 3, Retainers 2 people. In the 1906
Virtues: Conscience 2 Self Control 4 Courage 5 earthquake, she was
Willpower 8 Humanity 4 hurt and most of her
Disciplines: Auspex 4, Celerity 5, Obtenebration 5, allies killed, so that
Potence 3, Presence3, Protean 4 she prepared a place
History: During the chaotic days as the Qing Dynasty of sleep and entered
rose to power, Zhang Min was the very beautiful torpor. Perhaps in

16
response to the growing changes in her homeland, she Skills Crafts 5,
awoke in 1999 and began to slowly build a powerbase, Drive 3, Etiquette
becoming in time a legend known really only to the 5, Firearms 3,
Nosferatu of that city. Larceny 4, Stealth
Roleplaying hints: Stillness is your overwhelming 3
tactic, a hard-won patience with which you intend to Knowledges
accumulate power. When needed, you can move with Academics 5,
great speed and ferocity. Perhaps something about you Computer 5,
conveys that fact, because those who meet you Occult 5, Politics
describe the experience as meeting a human-shaped 4, Science 5,
spider. Enjoy testing others, seeing if they are wise Technology 5
enough to be worth your time. Backgrounds:
Goals: Power, rule over others and to enjoy the Allies 5, Alternate
sensation of that rule. Recent events in her city have Identity 4,
put a serious delay in her plans, but still she has little Contacts 5,
doubt in the end she will be like a shadow goddess to Domain 5, Herd
the Kindred here – paying tribute in obedience out of 5, Influence 5,
fear as well as awe. Resources 5,
Derangements: Long ago, she gave up on most Retainers 5, Status
pleasures save scholarship and the joy of command. 5
In other words, she is a sadist because she has no goal Virtues: Conscience 3 Self Control 3 Courage 5
to her power save the feeling of those bending to her Willpower 9 Humanity 5
will. The fear and horror of the young man who Disciplines: Auspex 2, Dominate 4, Fortitude 5,
arranged to save her, but then years later fled in Vissicitude 3, Thaumaturgy 5 (Path of Levinbolt 5, Path
horror at what she had become began a long road of of Technomancy 5)
embitterment. Note: These Thaumaturgical powers are equivalencies
Appearance: Were it not for the yellow-green cast of History: Chosen for the embrace as one of the most
her skin, she would be a very attractive young woman brilliant and far-seeing scholars of his generation, Mo
with delicate features and a slender frame. Of course Peng lived up to that reputation but found many of
then the cold, fierce eyes might ruin the effect. his warnings falling upon the ears of unlistening
Flaws: Rigor Mortis (uses tendrils of Obtenebration Elders. Well into the 20th century they frowned upon
to lift and move her body in order to conserve blood) his studies and efforts to wield the power of his blood
Nascent Decay (the color of her skin) towards Western technology. With the rise of the
Nine Iron Dragons, however, this has changed. Mo
Peng’s growing reputation in the wake of events
helped secure real recognition for the group when he
Mo Peng openly joined them. In return (or perhaps as a final
Iron Dragon of Lightning proof of his own power) he ended up with vast power
in the city of Hong Kong.
Quote: “Now that barbarians have mastered the power of
Influence: Mo Peng is in many ways the most well
storms, so must we and surpass them.”
known of the Nine Iron Dragons, and his special
Born: 1722 (embraced 1775)
powers in this age to some degree make him so. Most
Nature: Visionary
presume (correctly) he is not the leader of the group
Demeanor: Architect
but no doubt invaluable to them on many levels.
Clan: Jiang Shi
Roleplaying hints: You know yourself to be brilliant,
Generation: 7th
to have foreseen things before almost anyone else in
Sire: Unkown
history. Next to you, the barbarians Leonardo da Vinci
Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 2, Stamina 4,
and Sir Isaac Newton were as children (although you
Charisma 4, Manipulation 3, Appearance 1,
would have liked to have had a long discourse with
Perception 5, Intelligence 5, Wits 4
Albert Einstein. History has proven you right, and
Abilities: Talents Alertness 4, Athletics 2, Awareness
now your time has time.
4, Brawl 1, Empathy 1, Expression 2, Intimidation 3,
Leadership 3, Subterfuge 2

17
Goals: Re-establish the Middle Kingdom as the center mainstream of the
of the world, for is that not the natural cycle? After a Camarilla in general
dark age, a golden age follows. greeted her with
Derangements: It is slowly becoming harder for him open arms, seeing
to see people in terms of anything other than bags of her as a weak but
chemicals for electric patterns of thought and life. exotic artist of vast
Appearance: A very dignified old man with a long skill. She has status,
white beard, wearing antique clothes, his flesh a sickly havens and domains
gray-green. in half a dozen cities
Flaws: Nascent Decay all over the world
including Paris,
Tokyo and Rio de
Gong Xia Janeiro.
The Wanderer Influence: Depends
upon her location.
Quote: “What would you have me show you?”
She cares little
Born: 1845 (embraced 1870)
enough for kine
Nature: Thrill Seeker
politics or power, but does enjoy the thrill of
Demeanor: Perfectionist
Camarilla and Sabbat society. Wherever she has gone
Clan: Jiang Shi
she has made both powerful allies and dangerous
Generation: 11th
enemies, the latter of whom she treasures deeply.
Sire: Wo Fang
Roleplaying hints: Listen and entrance any who speak
Attributes: Strength 3, Dexterity 4, Stamina 3,
with you, proving eager to be of perfect service to
Charisma 5, Manipulation 4, Appearance 0,
others through her art. In fact, she hopes to find some
Perception 3, Intelligence 4, Wits 4
thrill with almost anyone she meets, either directly or
Abilities: Talents Alertness 4, Athletics 3, Awareness
indirectly. For example, she genuinely longs to taste
4, Empathy 3, Expression 5, Intimidation 3,
Lupine blood and would adore trying to seduce a
Leadership 2, Streetwise 3, Subterfuge 4
Mage. Yeah, really. Meanwhile main exquisite
Skills Animal Ken 2, Etiquette 4, Performance 5,
manners and a friendly attitude, gently flirting and
Stealth 4
testing, finding out what others like and desire.
Knowledges Academics 3, Finance 4, Investigation 0,
Goals: Pleasure, which in her case means feeling
Law 2, Medicine 3, Occult 4, Politics 3
danger. She is rather jaded by this time, but like a true
Backgrounds: Allies 3, Contacts 3, Domain 3, Fame
gourmand enjoys tiny little appetizers of thrill, while
3, Resources 4, Retainers 2, Status 3
planning some wonderful main course. A profoundly
Virtues: Conviction 3 Instinct 3 Courage 4
sexual being when alive, that has changed not at all in
Willpower 8 Path of Cathari 5
undeath.
Disciplines: Animalism 1, Auspex 4, Dementation 1,
Derangements: None, given her world view, although
Fortitude 3, Melpominee 2, Necromancy 2, Obfuscate
by most human standards she would frankly qualify as
2, Presense 3, Protean 2
some kind of psychopath. Except she really does like
History: Gong Xia for decades was arguably one of
people, really does feel affection and sometimes even
the most famous of her Clan outside of Asia.
love. Her expression of these sincere feelings aren’t
Embraced out of a desire to preserve her talents, she
really very human, though. But then, she would say,
exhibited all the wanderlust of a Gangrel, traveling
she isn’t a human being any longer.
throughout the world including many cities ruled by
Appearance: In life she was among the most beautiful
the Camarilla whose Toreador usually fawned all over
women one could imagine. But the Embrace left
her. Small wonder, given how lovely her voice, how
Gong Xia without eyes, which had rotted away during
expressive her dance, how insightful her poetry. That
her long sleep. But she wears a series of porcelain
she appeared physically dead added to her mystique, as
masks to hide her deformity. More, her Auspex is so
well as winning her a certain number of rather
highly developed one might never notice she cannot
disturbing suitors, including a Giovanni and at least
see, and the fact her empty eye sockets can glow red (as
one Toreador antitribu plus a certain Malkavian and
an aspect of her Protean) adds to the raw eerie power
more than one Nosferatu. Some taught her new
she conveys. However, her eyes are also a permanent
Disciplines. One or two killed themselves for her
wound she must heal each night.
favors, including one Follower of Set! Yet the

18
Flaws: Nascent Decay (her skin) Blind, Permanent in action and
Wound, Enemies , Dark Secret (her path) personality she
seems more
akin to a
Bao Ping Buddha or some
She Who Prays for the World ascetic saint of
the Dark Ages.
Quote: “Listen to the world, and to your own unbeating
To many
heart, find the silence then from there look beyond. That is
people’s shock,
where we all must go.”
she eventually
Born: 1877 (embraced 1938)
made her haven
Nature: Director
in Japan, at the
Demeanor: Penitent
outskirts of
Clan: Jiang Shi
Hiroshima
Generation: 11th
where she seeks
Sire: Wo Fang
to spread a
Attributes: Strength 2, Dexterity 1, Stamina 4,
message of
Charisma 4, Manipulation 3, Appearance 0,
escape from this veil of tears via compassion and
Perception 4, Intelligence 3, Wits 4
meditation.
Abilities: Talents Alertness 3, Awareness 5, Empathy
Influence: Subtle but real. Many Jiang Shi, even if
3, Expression 3, Intimidation 2, Leadership 3
they disagree with her, regard her with extreme
Skills Animal Ken 2, Crafts 3, Drive 2, Etiquette 2,
respect. Some Gaki very nearly worship her and see
Survival 3
hope in very existence (others want her destroyed as
Knowledges Academics 2, Law 3, Medicine 4, Occult
soon as feasible). Kindred of all kinds have visited her
2, Politics 1
over the years and continue to do so, usually walking
Backgrounds: Contacts 4, Domain 3, Herd 2, Status 3
away impressed.
Virtues: Conscience 4 Self Control 4 Courage 4
Roleplaying hints: Although a genuinely benevolent
Willpower 8 Humanity 8
individual, one who longs to help others, Bao Ping has
Disciplines: Animalism 3,
a bossy aspect under her kindness. She may realize
Fortitude 2, Obfuscate 3, Potence 3
you have your own path to follow, your own road to
History: Bao Ping was the matriarch of her family
take, but she really wants to take you by hand and
outside Nanking, and she saw things on one should
make you follow her.
ever see when the soldiers of Nippon invaded and
Goals: Leave the Wheel of Fate and achieve Nirvana.
took the city, committing atrocities on a scale to
She figures it will take time, and so the universe gave
horrify all but the most jaded. A certain Jiang Shi who
her immortality to help her along.
saw himself as just and benevolent decided to turn this
Appearance: A grey, withered old woman with
grandmother who had just seen all her descendants
curving horns emerging from the sides of her shaved
slaughtered and worse than slaughtered into an
head.
instrument of justice. When she rose from the dead
Merits: Gaki Ally
in 1947, Wo Fang beheld a vampire who looked like
Flaws: Infernal Visage
the avenging demon he had in mind. But her first,
most horrible frenzy along with all the other traumas
of her existence had made Bao Ping wise rather than
rage-filled. She became deeply religious, determined
before all else not to avenge these horrible crimes but
rather help prevent them. Among Kindred interested
in retaining their Humanity, she herself has become a
legend. In truth, she looks very much like a Baali. Yet

19
20
Author’s Afterward
A few words of explanation. I am not expert or Dog label. Ignoring or avoiding Asian vampires in that
scholar on either China or upon Asia in general. On setting seemed absurd, yet White Wolf had not yet
the other hand, I’m not totally ignorant. So please use released their book for use. To be honest, I have
this book as a supplement only, a seed from which to trouble wrapping my head around it anyway. So I
expand your own research and ideas. delved into what vampire folklore I knew in terms of
China then fashioned a Clan that hopefully fulfilled
More, as I write this the Storyteller’s Vault has not yet my purposes while others might find fun and useful.
released Kindred of the East for use. They say this
is not far off however. Please feel free then, if you are In the meantime, here is a quick little shout-out to
so inclined, to adapt anything within this booklet to that city book. Like I said, it will be very dark, very
that supplement. Perhaps you might want to view my adult and hopefully disturbing. But is still a few
Jiang Shi as yet another type of walking dead within months in the future. Have to finish Emerald
the Middle Kingdom. I certainly would not mind. Or Valley by Night first.
you can ignore every single word contained herein.
Well, that seems okay as well. David MacDowell Blue

Clanbook: Jiang Shi was put together as I began to


gather notes for an upcoming city sourcebook, a very
adult DARK SAN FRANCISCO under the Black

21