The Cappadocians carefully guard the secret of the Mortis Discipline. Clan legend has it that the abilities inherent to this Discipline were handed down to the clan's Methuselahs hy Cappadocius himself. Mortis allows its user to unlock and use the secrets of death itself. They can steal the traits left from the living in a dead body, they can strengthen or weaken the corpselike nature of a vampire's body, and they can animate the dead. Those who use Mortis, be they Cappadocian or not, often develop an obsession with death and the dead. This unnatural preoccupation often turns inward to an analysis of the nature of vampirism and occasionally provokes a melancholy that can be cured only by a long walk on a sunny day.

Mortis is a form of blood sorcery concerned with the condition of the corpse after death. The Cappadocian scholars teach that the soul leaves the body and goes to its reward when life ends, yet something remains. It is this "something," both the physical fact of a rotting body and the spiritual echo left within it, that is the subject of Mortis. Rumor has it that elders of the clan have purposefully Embraced Venetian sorcerers skilled in the ways of affecting the souls displaced from bodies, an art they call nigrimancy. Many traditional Cappadocians find the idea of trafficking with ghosts and souls unpleasant at best and heretical at worst.

Mortis progresses along three paths, though rumors persist of others. (The Lamia bloodline of warrior-priestesses, who serve in certain Cappadocian temples, are said to practice their own path of Mortis, for example.) A vampire who learns Mortis can pick any of the three major paths as her primary path.


The Grave's Decay

The first Morris path is derived from the observation of the working of time on all things mortal. Stone crumbles and the corpse rots away to nothing, a process ot endless fascination to the elders and scholars of Clan Cappadocian. Indeed, for the undying, the process of decay is a fascinating disease that afflicts everyone and everything save them. Under this path, a practitioner of Mortis channels that force.

• Destroy the Husk

Cainites who kill their victims, rarher than just feeding upon them, frequently find themselves in need of a quick way to dispose of a corpse. While there are many ways to make sure that a corpse is not found — feed it to a pack of hounds or weigh it down and throw it in a river — many of these methods do involve risk to the vampire and are not guaranteed to succeed. Destroy the Husk, by contrast, is foolproof. Use of this power simply turns one human corpse to a pile of about 30 pounds of unremarkable dust, roughly the size and shape of that body.

System: The player spends one blood point as the vampire drips her vitae onto the corpse. The player then rolls Intelligence + Medicine (difficulty 6). One success is all that is needed to render the corpse into dust, although the process takes a number of turns equal to five minus the successes. While successful use of mortal hedge magic, Thaumaturgy, Auspex or an appropriate Mortis ritual might tell a wizard or vampire something about the pile of dust's prior identity, no ordinary mortal force can ascertain the dust's former nature.

•• Rigor Mortis

One of the first changes that comes over a dead body is rigidity; the corpse becomes stiff as a board, frozen in a single pose. The Cainite who wields Rigor Mortis is able to push a living or undead body to that frozen point using only his will and understanding of the forces of decay. She forces her target to become rigid, unable to move without enormous effort of will as his very muscles betray him.

System: The player spends a point of Willpower and rolls Manipulation + Medicine (difficulty 7). Each success freezes the target in place for one turn. A failure simply indicates the loss of your Willpower point, while a botch renders the target immune to your use of the Grave's Decay for the next 24 hours. The target must be visible and within about 25 yards for this ability to take effect. A frozen target is treated as though he has been staked. With a Willpower roll (difficulty 7) and two successes, the target can break out of the rigor on his or her turn. Failure causes a level of bashing damage and means another turn wasted and frozen.

••• Wither

Reminiscent of some of the abilities of Clan Tzimisce, the Wither power allows a vampire to cripple an opponent's limb. Whether the foe is living or undead, muscle shrivels away, skin peels, and bone becomes brittle. The target is unable to exert any noteworrhy strength in the crippled limb. This injury lasts for far longer than most injuries trouble Cainites, and in mortals it simply does not heal.

Wither doesn't have to be used on a limb, although that is its usual purpose. It can also be used simply to affect the target's face and hair, making him appear venerable beyond his years. It could also be applied to a target's eye or ear, killing the sense in that organ (and thus requiring two uses to permanently blind or deafen). Wither cannot be used as an "instant-kill" power — Cainites cannot wither vital organs — but it can inflict a wide variety of injuries on a foe.

System: The player spends a Willpower point. The character chooses a limb on the target and then touches that limb. If the target is trying to avoid contact, the player rolls Dexterity + Brawl to hit as normal. If the character succeeds in touching the intended limb, the target suffers two aggravated wounds. Unless the target soaks both wounds (with Fortitude), the struck limb is crippled and unusable until both of those wounds have healed. Cainites heal the wounds as they would any other aggravated wound. Mortals are incapable of healing aggravated wounds, so they suffer throughout their lives unless they are healed through supernatural means. A withered limb does not degenerate further, even on a mortal. The character may be crippled for life, but the limb won't become infected or gangrenous.

The effects of the withering depend on the affected limb. A crippled arm has a Strengrh of 0 and cannot carry anything heavier than about half a pound. A crippled leg prevents the character from moving at faster than a stuttering hop or dragging limp. The character suffers rhe effects of the Lame Flaw. A single withered eye or ear imposes a +1 difficulty to relevant Perception rolls. Losing both eyes or both ears imposes the effects of the Blind or Deaf Flaws. A withered tongue imposes the effects of the Mute Flaw, while a withered face reduces the targets Appearance by one for each aggravated wound suffered.

•••• Corrupt the Undead Flesh

Corrupt the Undead Flesh blurs the line between life and undeath, turning an undead creature into something just living enough to carry and suffer from disease. The disease inflicts the target, causing lethargy, dizziness, loss of strength, clumsiness and the inability to keep blood in his system. This pernicious influence is extremely virulent among mortals. They pick the disease up simply by spending a few hours near the victim. Other Cainites have a harder time acquiring the disease. They must consume the victim's blood to do so, but they suffer just as much as the original target of the Discipline afterward — including passing the affliction on to others.

The disease fades after roughly a week.

System: The player chooses a target within her character's line of sight and no more than 20 yards away. She rolls Manipulation + Medicine (difficulty 6) and spends a point of Willpower. The victim's player must roll Stamina (+ Fortitude, if appropriate) against a difficulty equal to the attacker's Willpower. It the player scores more successes than the victim, he acquires a virulent disease immediately. The disease has the following effects:

• The victim's Strength and Wits are halved (round down).
• The victim loses one point of Dexterity.
• The victim's player must spend one additional blood point every evening, just for the vampire to rouse himself to consciousness. Mortals lose one health level per day, instead.
• The victim's player must roll Self-Control or Instinct after each time the characrer feeds (difficulty 8). On a failure, the vampire cannot keep the blood he just ingested inside his body, and he vomits it up in great horrifying gouts of gore, losing any benefit the blood might have provided. Humans vomit up food.

Every evening at sunset, the victim has a chance to throw the plague off. The victim's player rolls Stamina, with a difficulty of equal to 11 minus the number of sunsets since acquiring the plague. On a successful roll, the character fights the disease to a standstill and begins to recover. He instantly regains his ability to manage blood, and he heals back one lost Attribute point per hour until all have returned.

••••• Dissolve the Flesh

This ability brings the Grave's Decay path full circle, as it returns to the level-one power, Destroy rhe Husk, as applied to vampires. Dissolve the Flesh allows a Cappadocian to attempt to turn vampiric flesh to dust or ash, as though the target had been burned or left out in the sun.

System: The player spends two blood points and a Willpower point as the vampire extracts a quantity of her vitae charged wirh the power of the grave. If she drips it onto a single Cainite victim anytime within the next few turns (most of the blood must reach the victim, so flinging a few drops is ineffective), it causes whole chunks of the victim's body to crumble to ash. The player rolls Willpower against a difticulry of the victim's Stamina + 3. For every success, the target takes one aggravated wound.

The undead flesh damaged by this power turns to dust (gone for the time being), and it must be regenerated painstakingly by the victim, should he survive. That dust doubtlessly has mystical properties that the Cappadocians, Tremere and other blood sorcerers might be able to take advantage of. Every wound inflicted by this ability represents the loss of about one-eighth of the target's weight; the Storyteller chooses where the loss comes from. (It might be shed from all over, leaving the victim a bit gaunter, at the victim's discretion.)

Regenerating body parts occurs naturally while healing aggravated wounds ar the normal rare.

The Corpse in the Monster

This path enhances the Cappadocian understanding of the unliving form and allows the user to fully experience the corpse, the gateway between life and death. The path lets the Cappadocian apply some of a corpse's traits to a vampire, and she can enhance or reduce these traits at various levels of the power.

• Masque of Death

The character with this ability can assume a visage of death or inflict that shape on another Cainite. The character's flesh becomes pallid and thin (if it is not already), and skin pulls tight against bone. This ability can be very useful, as it allows one to hide in plain sight in a tomb or crypt at any time (though the character remains as vulnerable to sunlight and fire as ever). When a Cainite uses this power on another Cainite, the victim gains the same corpselike demeanor. In this sense, the ability works as something of a minor curse.

System: The player spends one blood point for the character to gain the form described. Those afflicted with the Masque of Death lose two points of Dexteriry and Appearance (minimum of 1 in Dexterity and 0 in Appearance) for the duration of the power. The player also gets two extra dice to his Intimidation dice pool, should he wish to terrify any onlookers. Also, if the character remains perfectly still, observers must roll five successes on a Perception + Medicine roll (difficulty 7) to distinguish the character from a standard corpse. The player need not roll anything to have the character stop moving — vampires have no autonomic functions.

If the user inflicts Masque of Death on another character, he must spend a blood point, touch the target and then make a Stamina + Medicine roll (difficulty of the target's Stamina + 3). The Masque of Death lasts for a full night and day, unless the character who created the masque wishes to extinguish its effects earlier.

•• Cold of the Grave

The dead feel no pain, though, of course, most undead do. With this ability, the character can temporarily take on the unfeeling semblance of the dead, in order to protect herself from physical and emotional harm. When assuming rhe Cold of the Grave, the vampire's skin becomes unusually cold. When she speaks, her breath mists even in warm air — those with exceptional senses might even see a slight red tinge to the breath.

The power brings a sense of lethargy over the character, as a mortal might feel under the influence of a mildly unpleasant disease. It becomes difficult to rouse oneself to action, and very lirrle seems important enough to really worry about. The corpse has no worries, after all.

System: The player spends one Willpower point. For the remainder of the scene, the character takes no wound penalties, and the player gains an additional die to all dice pools that involve resisting emotional manipulation, such as Intimidation or Empathy. However, the player also loses a die from dice pools to emotionally manipulate others. The character is something of a cold fish to those she interacts with, and they do not respond readily to her. The Cold of the Grave does not protect the character against the depredations of the Beast, though. She may be emotionally cold on the surface, but if others taunt and anger her sufficiently, she is still subject to frenzy as normal.

••• Curse of Life

The Curse of Life inflicts some of the undesirable traits of the living upon the undead, removing their corpselike nature and creating a false life to remind them of the worst things about being alive. Targets of this power regain only the unpleasant aspects of life, as culled from the memory of the Discipline's user. This may include mundane hunger and thirst, sweat and other excretions, the need to urinate and defecate, a decrease in sensory acuity and a particular vulnerability to attacks that the character might shrug off as a hunter of the night.

System: The player spends one Willpower and rolls Intelligence + Medicine (difficulty 8) to affect a target within line of sight and no farther than 20 yards from the character. If the roll succeeds, the target suffers the weaknesses of the living without gaining any benefit from that state. He does not become immune to sunlight or holy artifacts, for instance. However, he does become badly distracted by mundane needs, to the net result of his player suffering a +2 difficulty penalty to all rolls. He can ignore these distractions at the cost of one Willpower point per scene. Additionally, the victim cannot use blood to raise his Physical Attributes while this power is in effect, and Willpower cannot eliminate this penalty. The power remains in effect until the next sunset.

•••• Gift of the Corpse

This power, one of the most potent on the Corpse in the Monster path, enables a Cainite to ignore most of her race's inherent weaknesses for a short time. A dead body is not particularly vulnerable to sunlight, holy artifacts, frenzy or being staked through the heart, and so it is with a Cappadocian using the Gift of the Corpse. As with the Cold of the Grave, above, the character using this power takes on an even more deathlike mien than the one typically associated with the Cappadocian clan. It lasts for less than a minute, typically, but that time may be enough to enable a character to charge through a burning building without fearing frenzy or instant death. Vampiric scholars believe that this ability entered the hands of the clan through some kind of bargain between an archangel and the Antediluvian Cappadocius. Just which archangel is unclear, although Gabriel — the angel of death who is said to have cursed Caine with the blood hunger — is a leading candidate.

System: The player spends one Willpower and rolls Stamina + Occult (difficulty 8). For every success, the character can spend one turn in a state in which he is more akin to an animated corpse than a vampire. Holy artifacts and sanctified ground have no effect, and the character is immune to frenzy and Rotschreck. Sunlight does only mild damage (bashing damage only, and then only if bare skin is exposed on a clear day). Being staked through the heart is only as much of a danger as getting stabbed through his dead spleen would be. Fire harms him only as it would a mortal — causing lethal damage instead of aggravated.

Should the character end the power's duration while exposed to any of the aforementioned harmful things, he immediately takes full effect. It he is staked, he become immobilized; if he is on or near fire, he begins to take the damage a Cainite should take, and he must immediately roll against Rotschreck.

Those who can see the character's halo during this power's duration may note a pulsating red tinge to it, and his appearance changes as described previously. He is free to use all of his other vampiric abilities, however, including the advantages in soaking bashing and lethal damage.

Use of this ability can be construed as a rejection of even the echo of humanity in the Cainite form. Therefore, it may interfere with a character's road advancement, at the Storyteller's discretion.

••••• Gift of Life

The Cappadocians' obsession with the line between life and death has led them to approach — but never quite reach — the line between the mortal and the undead. Try as they might, they cannot give themselves both the richness of mortal life and the power and immortality of vampirism. Most of this path represents the result of various experiments down such roads. The Gift of Life is the most complete one known outside certain elder sects. With it, the character can experience the best and most positive things about being alive. The overwhelming hunger for blood temporarily abates, allowing the character to consume and enjoy food and drink. She can also experience and enjoy sexual coupling as she wishes, and the sun does not burn her.

The Gift of Life comes with a dark, terrible cost, however. Its use is almost sure to result in the death of a mortal, as the vampire must expend an enormous quantity of vitae in order to initiate it. The Discipline's effects last until the midnight after the characrer uses the power, so it is in her best interests to use it just after midnight. Those few Cainites outside the Cappadocian clan who have heard of this power distrust and fear the Graverobbers even more than other vampires might. The Clan of Death believes that this reaction comes from envy (or a fear of being attacked by daylight), but vampiric scholars agree that so obviously flouting God's curse on Caine is a tremendously dangerous thing to do, one that might bring a heavy cost in nights to come.

System: The player spends 12 blood points (yes, 12), burning as much blood as possible each turn until she meets that level. She then rolls Stamina + Occult (difficulty 6) and needs only one success for the power to work. A botch has catastrophic effects. The characrer might be instantly killed or might inadvertently Embrace her victim, for example. If it takes longer than one turn to spend the necessary blood to enact this ability, it does not take effect until all 12 points have been spent. However, the blood must be spent continuously — the vampire cannot burn five, run off and feed, then burn seven more an hour later. On the other hand, she may feed as she activates the power — in one turn she might burn one blood point while drinking three. Since few Cainites above the 7th generation can easily expend such an amount of blood, the most efficient way to activate this power is to have a human nearby who can be sacrificed to power the transformation.

After her transformation, the character gains many traits of an ordinary human. She is largely immune to the scorching effects of the sun (Fortitude difficulties to soak damage from direct sunlight are halved, and she takes no damage if she is sufficiently covered), and she can experience and enjoy many of the fine things about human life. She retains a few of her vampiric benefits, however. Fortitude and Auspex abilities remain in place if she has either of those Disciplines. The Storyteller may allow her to retain other Disciplines as well if he deems them dramatically appropriate. She also retains the vampire's benefits when it comes to handling bashing damage. However, she is still vulnerable to holy artifacts, human faith and being staked. Her blood remains vitae, not human blood. Use of this ability — which creates a mockery of human life — may interfere with a character's road advancement, at the Storyteller's discretion.

The vampire is no more vulnerable to fire than any other mortal while in this half-alive state, but she still suffers slightly from the Beast. Frenzy and Rotschreck difficulties are halved (round up). She can remain active during the day without road-based dice pool caps, although she is certainly tired during the day, since that is not her usual time of activity.

Her Beast exacts a dangerous retribution when her day of "life" is done. Although its influence is greatly suppressed during this power's duration, the Beast has its way with the vampire for the next six nights, as all difficulties to resist frenzy increase by three. The wise Cappadocian hides herself away somewhere during that period, but, depending on road and temperament, enforced isolation might drive her to frenzy on its own.

Cadaverous Animation

The Grave's Decay and the Corpse in the Monster paths are both basically sympathetic studies. They are concerned with using an understanding of the behavior of corpses to apply that behavior to other matters, be it living or unliving flesh. Cadaverous Animation relies on theories of magical contagion instead, proposing that dead bodies — once inhabited by living souls — can be made to imitate the habits of life. The Venetian necromancers recently Embraced into Clan Cappadocian are said to have a deeper understanding of this path and related arts, but those are but whispers among the Graverobbers.

Statistics for the various forms of animated corpses appear in the Appendix of Dark Ages: Vampire.

• Trace of Life

The Cappadocian with this ahiliry can cause a corpse to exhibit one or two traits of life by directly stimulating the dead flesh to twitch or twitch or move slowly. This power is most often used either to convince those beloved of the deceased that their loved one is alive, or to cause them terror. The vampire cannot force the corpse to speak, and if he makes its eyes open any doubt that the subject is still dead is dispelled by the milky, rotted appearance of its orbs.

System: The player rolls Manipulation + Occult (difficulty 6). With even one success, the character can make a single corpse within 30 feet twitch or make similar slight movements. This ability can even replicate the throbbing of a human's pulse. More successes enable more realistic motions, though the character cannot make the corpse do more than replicate a sleeping mortal, even with many successes. A single success allows a quick twitch, a deep breath or another single movement. Four or more successes allow the vampire to establish a pattern of movement — a pulse, breathing, slight stirring or even all three — that lasts for a scene.

A failure means the power has no effect, but the player can roll again next turn. A botch causes the corpse to rapidly decay as though the Cainite had used the Destroy the Husk power of the Grave's Decay path. In any case, observers must roll Perception + Medicine (difficulty 7) and earn more successes than the character did in order to realize that the corpse is, in fact, dead. This difficulty drops to 5 it the observer touches the body and notices the lack of warmth. Success is automatic if the observer can look at the corpse's milky eyes.

The Mortis wielder can use Trace of Life on a vampire in torpor. The results are the same as with a corpse, save that the player needs two additional successes. (Therefore, he needs a minimum of three successes to achieve any effect at all.) This power is ineffective on vampires of stronger blood (i.e., lower generation) than the wielder.

•• Call of the Homuncular Servant

With a small application of her blood, a Cappadocian using Call the Homuncular Servant can cause a small, mobile piece of a dead body to slough off the rest of the corpse and move around under its own power. Generally, the Cappadocian animates a hand, but the power has been used in the past to enable eyeballs to roll around under their own power, and even stranger stories occasionally make the rounds.

The homunculus has mystical senses enabling it to see and hear, it hides extremely well, it moves quickly, and it has a modicum of its own intelligence. When it is within a quarter-mile of the vampire, the servant can communicate what it sees and hears with the vampire who created it, via a rough sort of telepathy. The servant is intelligent enough to understand simple spoken or Telepathic commands, but it lacks initiative, a failing that is particularly obvious when it leaves the Cainite's radius of control. The servant cannot carry anything, although jewelry or other very small objects might he attached to it.

System: The player spends a blood point and rolls Dexteriry + Occult (difficulty 7) while the character drips vitae on the appropriate piece of an available corpse. With one success, the corpse's hand (or other member) becomes an animated creature with game statistics as described on page 314 of Dark Ages: Vampire. If the roll fails, the character may attempt to create a servant from the same member again next turn. A botch spoils the life-like residue in the cadaver, making it forever useless for purposes of this path.

The homunculus is totally obedient to its maker, and it utterly ignores either other orders or requests (although rumors persist of a ritual to usurp control of a servant). It can communicate with its maker telepathically as long as it doesn't move more than a quarter-mile away. If it does, it acts according to its most recent instructions from him until it hears otherwise.

The servant remains active for one scene per success. If the player spends blood again and rerolls Dexterity + Occult at the end of this duration, he can extend the "life span" of the servant for a further scene per success. This process can continue indefinitely, and many Cappadocians have a long-term homunculus of this sort. The servant can be killed in combat like any other creature, and it does not gain a vampire's resistance to bashing damage.

••• Raise the Corpse to Service

This ability allows the Cappadocian to bring a lifeless corpse into a semblance of unlife, turning it into a shambling mockery. Raise the Corpse to Service works equally well whether the corpse is just halt an hour old or has decomposed to a purely skeletal state. The servant is not capable of independent thought, but it can follow spoken orders perfectly well. A corpse servant is not a combatant, however. It can interfere with the vampire's enemies by getting in their way or trying to take their things, hut it does not have the ability to attack. It is most akin to a shambling major-domo, and it is a mainstay of Cappadocian monasteries and havens.

System: The player spends a blood point and rolls Manipulation + Occult (difficulty 6) as the character drips vitae into the corpse's mouth. The process takes three turns, and the corpse servant is active for one day per success on this roll. If the roll fails, the character may attempt to create a servant from the same corpse again after the three turns have passed. A botch destroys the corpse in an unholy flame. The corpse servant has game statistics as described on page 313 of Dark Ages: Vampire. The servant is not completely stupid. It can do simple household tasks such as tidy, prepare meals and escort visitors through a home. However, it is a corpse, not a vampire. It is slowly decomposing, and it exhibits symptoms of that decay. It cannot speak, but it can gesture (though its gestures are typically ponderous and simple). While it cannot fight, it is happy to attempt to relieve "guests" of their heavy weapons and armor, incompetently trying to disarm foes if ordered to do so. Once the duration of the raising ends, the corpse can be raised to service anew at no penalty.

•••• Call the Athanatos

Unlike Raise the Corpse to Service, Call the Athanatos turns a human or animal corpse into a true monster, an animated killer. The Cappadocian controls the undead warrior through force of will, but the thing itself is driven by only one motivation: death. Legends surrounding this power suggest that the undead warrior is a tool not of its creator but of death itself, an unholy spawn ot the Grim Reaper. The creature animated by this power is a skilled combatant, familiar with most melee weapons even if its body was not that of a warrior in life (though the corpse of a warrior is more effective than that of a peasant). Athanatos (plural Athanatoi) is a slightly ironic usage of Herodotus's term for the so-called "Immortals," elite guards of the ancient kings of Persia. Cappadocians of a less classical bent often simply call the warriors corpse knights or ministerialis (a name borrowed from the serf-knights of Germany).

This power must be used with caution. Stories abound of foolish Cappadocians who created an undead warrior only to lose control of it and be taken to their doom by their own creation.

System: The player spends two hlood points and rolls Stamina + Occult (ditticulty 5), as the character spends five minutes dripping vitae upon a corpse in a ritual pattern. Success means the corpse rises to become an animated warrior with the game statistics listed on page 312 of Dark Ages: Vampire. Additional successes can improve the warrior's combat abilities. The warrior immediately attempts to become free of the character's control. Though mindless, it is strong-willed, and if rhe Cainite loses control of the warrior, it will attack the nearest thing, be it mortal or vampire. The character must roll Willpower (difficulty 7) to retain control of the Athanatos, at which point it obeys commands.

The warrior's game statistics are on page 312 of Dark Ages: Vampire. Note that if the corpse from which the warrior springs had (in life) Brawl, Dodge, Archery or Melee ratings greater than the creature's default, the creature has those statistics instead. Additionally, extra successes on the initial Stamina + Occult roll can be applied to give the warrior points in any of those Abilities, with a maximum of 5 in any of them. The warrior is utterly incompetent at all but the simplest non-combat activities. It can open a door, but pouring a goblet of wine is beyond it.

This ability lasts a full night, at which time the undead warrior must lie reanimated with the expenditure of more blood and another Stamina + Occult roll. Additionally, the character must keep a tight lid on the monster's murderous impulses. It the undead warrior moves more than 100 yards away from the characrer, it acts on its own, trying to kill nearly anything it encounters. The Cappadocian can attempt to impose his will on the thing again with a new Willpower roll, but he must get within a few yards of the murderous thing to do so. If the creature does enter combat, the character must make another Willpower roll (ditticulty 7) to retain control when the combat ends and no further enemies are in rhe vicinity.

••••• Muster of the Corpse Army

This power is similar to Call the Athanatos, except that it creates a number of warriors to serve the character. Mustering a corpse army is an even greater risk to the user than Call the Athanatos is. While a loss of will for a Cappadocian using Call the Athanatos means that she might have to face down one of her own creations, loss of will for a Cappadocian facing a corpse army means that she'll surely have to fight half a dozen of the same creatures.

System: The player spends three blood points and rolls Stamina + Occult (difficulty 8), as the character spends 10 minutes ritually sprinkling vitae upon as many corpses as she wishes to animate. Each success animates two undead warriors with game statistics as per Call the Athanatos. Additional successes cannot be used to improve the abilities of a horde's members, but the corpses of soldiers and knights are more potent than those of peasants or highborn ladies. Failure and botches have the same effects as in Call the Athanatos.

As with that power, the Cappadocian must maintain rigid control over the murderous things she has summoned, a task far more difficult with an army than a single warrior. The Cappadocian must impose and maintain control exactly as described under Call the Athanatos, save that the difficulty of the Willpower roll is 9. As with single warriors, the army lasts for a full night.

This power can be used more safely to create a group of corpse servants. The difficulty remains the same, but successes can be used to create corpse servanrs who do not require Willpower rolls to control.


Mortis rituals are rarer and more closely guarded within the clan than Thaumaturgy rituals are among the Tremere. Many Cappadocians know only one or two. Characters with Mortis start play with a single level-one ritual. Learning others takes time and access to a source of instruction.

Unless otherwise noted, Mortis rituals require the player to roll Intelligence + Occult against a difficulty equal to (4 + the ritual's level). They take, on average, five minutes per level to perform. Some take significantly longer, as indicated in the descriprions.

Level Ritual
1 Final Sight: This rite allows a Graverobber to look into a corpse's eyes — assuming that they are still intact — and see the last static image that that person saw while he was alive. The rite entails extracting that last vision from the eyes themselves, a process that consumes the organs, leaving the sockets empty and pitted. The ritualist must have access to at least one eye (so skeletons or corpses from which the soft tissue has been consumed by animals are not usable). Just what she does to the orbs varies trom version to version. In some instances, the Graverobber eats the eyes themselves; in others, she drips a few drops of vitae onto them and they rot away. In any case, the ritual cannot he used on the same eye twice, so it is useful at most twice on the same corpse. System: The player rolls as normal while the Graverobber spends five minutes enacting the ritual. With even a single success, the character sees the last image the deceased did before her death. The ritual gives neither particular insight into the late target's state of mind, nor analysis of the image presenred. Although most people close their eyes under great stress, the final image is never darkness — it is the last thing that the victim saw before closing his eyes. Additional successes can convey greater details at the Storyteller's discretion.
1 Revivify the Cold Vitae: Cappadocian scholars spend much of their time away trom the living and among the dead. This practice can make hunting for living hlood problematic, and the blood of corpses loses its potency so quickly as to be useless after a few hours. With this ritual, the vampire may refresh the vitae locked in a fleshy corpse to allow her to feed without hunting for living prey. The cold blood created thus is considered reprehensible by some vampires and a delicacy by others. System: The vampire must have access to a whole (or mostly whole) human corpse that still has a substantial amount of flesh on it, no matter how putrid. The ritual takes half an hour to perform, and it revivifies a number of blood points equal to the player's successes on the Intelligence + Occult roll. This cold blood works just like normal mortal vitae, save that consuming it causes very little pleasure in the vampire. Cold blood remains fresh for only a scene. The rite transforms the putrid fluids of the corpse and thus makes that body useless for further Mortis arts (including the Cadaverous Animation path). Therefore, many Cappadocian scholars keep larders of rotting lesser corpses for their nourishment and save prized bodies for experimentation.
2 Eyes of the Grave: The fate of every being is already written, so the wise men say, so every living thing carries with it a premonition of its death. This ritual allows the Graverobber to awaken in a target the images of the end to come, forcing the victim to experience premonitions of his own demise. The rirual involves a series of incantations taking two full hours and requires that the Graverobber have a small item that is sympathetically related to the target. An image of the victim, a small item in his possession or a lock of his hair are traditional choices. The object is consumed by the ritual, usually burned in a small censer. Assuming that the ritualist has access to a proper item, there is no maximum range to the ritual's effect. Fate knows no bounds. Over the next week, the target experiences a series of terrifying insights into and visions of his death. These images are not always fully consistent and some theorize that the images have more to do with the victim's tears than his actual fate. Either way, the result is the same: intermittent terror and lasting distraction. System: The player rolls as normal. For every success, the target experiences one terrifying vision per day (or night) for the next week. A botch causes the power to affect the caster herself. Every time the victim experiences a vision, his player must roll Courage (difficulty 7) or the characrer is incapacitated for three turns. A botch on such a roll means incapacitation for a full scene and a +1 difficulty penalty on all actions for the rest of the week.
5 Walk Through the Shroud: A development of the Giovanni necromancers recently Embraced into the clan, this rite allows a Cappadocian to force his own soul to follow the course of one that actually dies, leaving his body behind and crossing into the lands of the dead, but with the ability to return to the physical plane. This return is accomplished through a focus on the spiritual echoes left in the undead corpse (those same echoes utilized in the Cadaverous Animation path). Still tied to the body, the Cainite's soul is not able to travel further than the dark limbo of lost souls. Heaven and Hell (and the soul's ultimate rewards) are not accessible to the practitioner of Mortis. In these dank shadow-lands, the Cappadocian may encounter ghosts and other lost souls, and he may well be able to extract some information or arcane services from them. This rite is not to be undertaken lightly. The ghosts in limbo are rarely happy to see vampires, and a Cainite may find that the ghosts of some of his victims are bent on vengeance. System: The vampire must undertake the rite — which involves chanting incantations while surrounded by grave dust — from dusk until midnight, at which point it takes effect. A single success on the Intelligence + Occult roll allows the vampire's soul to separate from his body in a manner similar to Anima Walk (Auspex 5). The soul is immediately swept through the shroud between life and death, however, and arrives in the nightmarish limbo of lost souls. The Storyteller is free to describe this dark realm as she sees fit. Some Cainites have reported it to be an endless land of choking mist, others a dark reflection of the living world, and so on. The number of ghosts in the area depends on how likely the Storyteller feels the place is to be haunted. Graveyards, battlefields and hospices are always replete with the lost. The Cappadocian's soul can remain in this underworld for one hour per success on the rite's roll (or until he decides to return). His body remains vulnerable as with a vampire using Anima Walk. The Cappadocian cannot bring anything back across the shroud, save his own memories.