"I've seen them work people like puppeteers, and that's admirable" - Bertram TungEdit
The Toreador are one of seven playable clans in Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. The clan has long been associated with art and socialising, which is incorporated into their weakness, which for them isn't really considered a weakness, but when they are faced with a thing of beauty they struggle really hard to turn their attention from it.
The Toreador are one of the thirteen clans, their founder was a woman named Arikel. Arikel was the twin sister of Malkav, founder of the Malkavian clan. She was a sculptress living in The First City and her talents were legendary. Her creations spoke to The First Born, the childe of Caine - the father of all vampires, and so he embraced her and her brother. He was kind to her and gave her all she would need so she would continue her craft throughout eternity, so long as she didn't embrace any childer of her own. Arikel loved to be around mortals and enjoyed their company but she grew weary of them and embraced a childe of her own. Her passion had overwhelmed her and she knew she would be punished. She knew she had to avoid her sire's terrible wrath, so she convinced Troile of the Brujah to slay her sire, whom she hated very much, so to distract The First Born from what Arikel had done. She gathered the others of generation, the third generation, and together they sought to slay their sires; the three childer of Caine. Some say that Arikel couldn't bring herself to slay her sire, and that he wandered off as Caine had done into the setting sun. Many Toreador who believe this also believe their clan to be the eldest, as their lineage is unbroken.
It is said that the Clan's founder, Arikel was a mortal painter in the First City. Famed throughout the lands for her work, after her Embrace she painted a mural on which the past, present and future of Kindred society was depicted. When Caine saw a terrible future for his race, he cursed her with the affliction that affects Toreador today - the art that she loved most dearly would now be her obsession and distraction above all things.
Dark Ages Edit
In the middle age, the Toreador were a member of the High Clans, and their numbers were made up of the same types that are common in the modern nights - minstrels, painters, poets and actors.
The Islamic counterparts are the Ray'een al-Fen, commonly nicknamed as Scribes, as the majority favour calligraphers, writers and architects. They are centred in Egypt and Persia, in the best parts of the city, decorating their havens with calligraphy, usually verses from the Qur'an.
Like most Clans, some of the members left the Clan proper upon the formation of the Sabbat, most famously Arianne of Esztergom. Toreador antitribu are the dark reflection of their Camarilla cousins - while they are beautiful social butterflies, their weakness has twisted so that all antitribu derive joy from the emotional, physical and mental suffering of others.
Victorian Age Edit
The Toreador revelled in the Victorian age. The Industrial Revolution led to a phenomenon that only the rich had been previously afforded - leisure time. A heyday of theatre, music and art began in cultural nexuses like New York, London and Paris and spread throughout the globe. While the influence of the Church in people's lives (and consequently, the influence Toreador held over the church) waned, those Kindred that latched themselves onto businessmen prospered. Possibly the one thing most Toreador love with the exception of beauty is money, and it was now accessible from places other than the landed gentry of the time. While the Clan has had peaks and troughs, this was a time that cemented them as a true power in the Camarilla.
Final Nights Edit
The Toreador play their games as they always have, albeit at a slightly more frantic pace due to the upheaval of the various skirmishes the Camarilla have fought. The recent innovations of cinema, television and the internet means that new forms of art and expression are being discovered almost daily, meaning the Toreador have become even more varied.
However, the Toreador are still a noble and aristocratic clan, and many perceive the Embrace of graffiti artists, Wall Street Wizards and CGI technicians as a pollution of the vaunted ideals that the Clan used to stand for. Many nights are filled with one Toreador bickering with another over what can be considered true art, and each Toreador's opinion is as varied as the definition of art itself.
The Toreador of a city organise themselves into Guilds. While this has something of an artistic ring to it, most Toreador in the city are members, whether they are Poseurs or Artistes (see below). The head of the Guild is typically the oldest and most influential Toreador within the city, with the other members forming a complicated stratified social system, the rules of which boggle many an outsider.
The clan itself has two divisions. The Artistes consist of the sculpters, the painters, the musicians and the writers. They consider themselves to be the 'real' Toreador as inheritors of the Clan's original values and goals. The Poseurs make up the other faction - they can include the failed artists (or those that happened to be Embraced while their sire was riding a particular fad), as well as the professional critics and those who consider their bodies to be their life's masterpiece. It should be noticed that neither group has a nickname for themselves - they tend to be only flung at the opposing faction as a derisive epithet.
Toreador antitribu Edit
The Toreador antitribu are the dark mirror image of their Camarilla brethren. Although they are no less beautiful then their cousins, their minds are twisted and warped, and the antitribu often lose themselves watching others suffer, much like their Camarilla siblings lose themselves watching a beautiful painting.
It is said that while the Ventrue are the mind of the Camarilla, the Toreador are its soul. It was one of their number, Rafael de Corazon, who was instrumental in its formation. The Toreador are the greatest supporters of many of the Camarilla's traditions, most notably that of Elysium. This is where the Toreador are in their element, showcasing their latest pieces and practicing their highly effective (and sometimes deadly) form of social manouevreing. From the outside, most other Clans think of one face of the Toreador, but see another. When speaking of them to another, most envision Toreador as the Artistes - billowy shirted, frock-coated fops who crow about the beauty of the ages and lamenting their lost humanity. In reality, outsiders are less likely to meet such characters, given as they are to sequestering themselves away to work on their latest masterpiece. Far more often encountered are those Toreador whose unlives have become dedicated to the Kindred social scene - Toreador are often a large contingent of the city's Harpies, and having spent years with their bitchy and conniving clan-mates they are more than capable of ruining someone's reputation with a pithy comeback or a damning piece of gossip whispered in just the right ear.
The Toreador portray themselves as the vampires closest to the living, breathing pulse of the humans around them (though this honour might be shared with the Brujah). They claim that this is what keeps them so vital and modern. Indeed, Clan members are often the first ones to be aware of what mortals are wearing, eating, buying and sleeping with. While a Malkavian elder might be found in his 1800s finery, the Toreador is much more likely to be wearing something from this year's Paris catwalks.
As stated before, there are two rough moulds that clan members fall into. Artists make up a large proportion of the clan, which in the modern nights can include computer graphics artists, avant-garde performance artists and sportsmen alongside the singers, dancers and writers. The other portion consists of businessmen, critics and those who are simply beautiful. While the main detractors of the clan, often the Nosferatu and the Brujah complain that Toreador coddle their childer, the truth is a much more brutal one. Toreador sires are notoriously faddish, and while the subject of their Embrace can be the most cutting edge, the most innovative, the most beautiful, the most now, they can easily be terribly passe and embarrasing the following week. The sire then inevitably dumps the new childe as soon as is feasible, leaving the young vampire confused and struggling to make their own way. Such is the nature of the Toreador.
Version Differences Edit
A change to the weakness of the Toreador antitribu. In 2nd Edition the Sabbat Toreador had a similar weakness to those in the Camarilla (although the Sabbat members could also find beauty in great ugliness). Revised edition changed this to forcing Sabbat Toreador to make a Willpower check when confronted with an opportunity to cause pain to somebody.
Assamites - There is beauty in what they do, make no mistake, but it is a beauty best observed from a distance.
Brujah - On the first night, their passion terrifies. On the second night, their passion fascinates. On the third night, their passion inflames. After that...frankly, their passion begins to bore.
Followers of Set - It is inevitable, of course, that persons of epicurean refinement will in the course of eternity engage in dealings with those of. . . unsavoury character. Record well any transactions made, and repay all favours promptly
Gangrel - As charmingly untamed as a tiger; as worthy of consideration as a housecat
Giovanni - They dress splendidly and are charmingly mannered. Why, then, do they frighten me so?
Lasombra - Their Miltonian conceit is dreadfully provocative, or provocatively dreadful, but they take it all so seriously
Malkavian - The 'fractured kaleidoscope of their thoughts is enchanting at first glimpse. Gaze at it too long, though, and one grows prone to terrible headaches
Nosferatu - Odious beasts! And to think that they are allowed in the halls of culture! Oh, how gauche....
Ravnos - The subjects of many delightful stories - well, delightful so long as one does not also feature in the tale
Tremere - One deals with the butcher and the bureaucrat because they provide useful conveniences. One graciously acknowledges services efficiently performed. One does not, though, invite the hired help to the soiree, nor take kindly to party-crashers
Tzimisce - To experience this clan's alien fruits would be almost worth the price. Remember well that "almost," dear
Toreador in Los AngelesEdit
The Toreador of Los Angeles have never been a large clan, but they have always had influence in the city. Los Angeles was first inhabited by Toreador, Christopher Houghton, the first vampire embraced their was a Toreador, Don Sebastian, who would go onto to become it's first prince. Without Christopher, Los Angeles wouldn't be what it is today, had he and his front-man, Don Sebastian not made plans to renovate it, had he not invited film-makers and actors, half the celebrities of the time were only there because Christopher made it so.
After the death of Don Sebastian, many Toreador, particularly Christopher, were fine with the Anarch way of doing things. The Baron of Hollywood, Isaac Abrams, despite being a typical Toreador, was a very zealous Anarch with a particular hatred of the Camarilla and the future prince, Sebastian LaCroix. As Christopher remained in hiding, the Toreador had no widespread power since Don Sebastian's death, but Hollywood, centre of cinema and celebrity remained the Toreador stronghold.