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Literature / Vampire: The Masquerade

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The Beautiful Dead.

A large number of novels were printed for the Vampire: The Masquerade by various authors during the height of its popularity. The novels all take place in the World of Darkness and feature vampire protagonists as they exist under The Masquerade. The Elders rule as a Decadent Court while Anarchs attempt to overthrow them for their own freedom. Beyond them, the sinister Sabbat threaten to plunge their world into an even darker night.

The most popular of the novel series was the Clan Novels, a thirteen book saga (plus one anthology) that details the invasion of the Sabbat of the Eastern United States as numerous vampires attempt to settle old scores as well as compete for an Artifact of Doom called the Eye of Hazmiel. Other novels include the follow-up trilogies Brujah, Lasombra, and Tremere. These books mostly starred the Signature Characters of the gameline such as Lucita, Anatole, and Hesha.


A similar series to the Clan Novel series was made for Vampire The Dark Ages that detailed all of the clans of that period as well as the Grail Covenant Trilogy by David Niall Wilson. There were several crossover characters from the original Clan Novel series as vampires are, well, immortal.

The books went out of print after the Gehenna event and became collector's items before Onyx Path Publishing began publishing their own World of Darkness anthologies in 2017. In 2019, Crossroad Press would start re-releasing the novels starting with the Clan Novels, Grail Covenant Trilogy, and Dark Age Clan Novels.

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     List of the original novels 
  • Dark Prince (1994)
  • Prince of the City (1994)
  • The Beast Within (1994)
  • Masquerade of the Red Death Trilogy 1: Blood War (1995)
  • Masquerade of the Red Death Trilogy 2: Unholy Allies (1995)
  • Masquerade of the Red Death Trilogy 3: The Unbeholden (1996)
  • Dark Destiny: Children of Dracula (1997)
  • Grails Covenant Trilogy 1: To Sift Through Bitter Ashes (1997)
  • Grails Covenant Trilogy 2: To Speak In Lifeless Tongues (1997)
  • Grails Covenant Trilogy 3: To Dream Of Dreams Lost (1998)
  • Dark Tyrants (1997)
  • Eternal Hearts (1999)
  • Clan Novel 1: Toreador (1999)
  • Clan Novel 2: Tzimisce (1999)
  • Clan Novel 3: Gangrel (1999)
  • Clan Novel 4: Setite (1999)
  • Clan Novel 5: Ventrue (1999)
  • Clan Novel 6: Lasombra (1999)
  • Clan Novel 7: Assamite (1999)
  • Clan Novel 8: Ravnos (2000)
  • Clan Novel 9: Malkavian (2000)
  • Clan Novel 10: Giovanni (2000)
  • Clan Novel 11: Brujah (2000)
  • Clan Novel 12: Tremere (2000)
  • Clan Novel 13: Nosferatu (2000)
  • Clan Novel Anthology (anthology; 2000)
  • Clan Novel Saga 1: The Fall of Atlanta (2003)
  • Clan Novel Saga 2: The Eye of Gehenna (2003)
  • Clan Novel Saga 3: Bloody September (2004)
  • Clan Novel Saga 4: End Games (2004)
  • Clan Brujah Trilogy 1: Slave Ring (2003)
  • Clan Brujah Trilogy 2: The Overseer (2003)
  • Clan Brujah Trilogy 3: The Puppet-Masters (2003)
  • Clan Lasombra Trilogy 1: Shards (2002)
  • Clan Lasombra Trilogy 2: Shadows (2002)
  • Clan Lasombra Trilogy 3: Sacrifices (2002)
  • Clan Novel Trilogy Tremere 1: Widow's Walk (2000)
  • Clan Novel Trilogy Tremere 2: Widow's Weeds (2001)
  • Clan Novel Trilogy Tremere 3: Widow's Might (2002)
  • Dark Ages Clan Novel 1: Nosferatu (2002)
  • Dark Ages Clan Novel 2: Assamite (2002)
  • Dark Ages Clan Novel 3: Cappadocian (2002)
  • Dark Ages Clan Novel 4: Setite (2003)
  • Dark Ages Clan Novel 5: Lasombra (2003)
  • Dark Ages Clan Novel 6: Ravnos (2003)
  • Dark Ages Clan Novel 7: Malkavian (2003)
  • Dark Ages Clan Novel 8: Brujah (2003)
  • Dark Ages Clan Novel 9: Toreador (2003)
  • Dark Ages Clan Novel 10: Gangrel (2004)
  • Dark Ages Clan Novel 11: Tremere (2004)
  • Dark Ages Clan Novel 12: Ventrue (2004)
  • Dark Ages Clan Novel 13: Tzimisce (2004)
  • Gehenna: The Final Night (2004)

     List of the new novels 
  • The Endless Ages (anthology; 2017)
  • Of Predators and Prey (anthology; 2017)
  • The Beast Within (anthology; 2018)
  • The Dawn of Heresies (anthology; 2018)
  • Walk Among Us (5th Edition, 2020)

     All of the series 
  • Action Girl: Plenty of Kindred women can kick as much ass as the men, if not more so.
  • All Myths Are True: Averted in the V:TM books at least. The universe had a very specific Judeo-Christian mythology beginning with Caine. Played with as some vampires worshiped Set and other gods.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: The Sabbat, even in their own novels, are thoroughly unsympathetic bastards.
    • The same is applied to the Giovanni and Setites, though with considerably more style and class than the Sabbat.
  • Antihero: All of the protagonists since they're vampires and not the Friendly Neighborhood Vampire kind.
  • Apocalypse How: All of the novels speak of the coming Gehenna and eventual doom of vampiredom. It happens.
  • The Beautiful Elite: The Toreador were shown to be this with the Ventrue usually not much far off.
  • Blood Magic: All Tremere wield this. Some other vampires have similar power but it is a rare gift.
  • Broad Strokes: All of the novels were set in the same continuity but some events like the Red Death were largely glossed over.
  • Decadent Court: The Camarilla leadership was composed of this but all vampires suffered from it to an extent.
  • Discontinuity: Eternal Hearts was stricken from the canon and is considered an Old Shame for the line.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Books like Dark Prince and Prince of the City were clearly written before everything was nailed down, leading to things like Eastern vampires being another form of Cainite.
  • The End of the World as We Know It: The novel line climaxed with Gehenna: The Final Night.
  • Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Vampires, werewolves, and mages oh my. Also changelings, mummies, wraiths, Imbued, demons...
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Resoundingly averted. All of the vampires (with only a few Neonate exceptions like Ramona) are ruthless, dangerous, and vicious.
  • Horror Hunger: All vampires have one of them, called the Beast.
  • Kill 'Em All: No one got out of Gehenna: The Final Night because it was the apocalypse (for the undead at least).
  • Kiss of the Vampire: The bite is portrayed as incredibly pleasurable for both parties throughout the novels.
  • Lesbian Vampire: Lucita, one of the signature NPCs of the series. She was bisexual, though.
  • The Masquerade: It's kind of in the title, though the Dark Ages shows it was much weaker and would eventually lead to the First Inquisition.
  • Rebellious Rebel: The Anarchs seem to exist solely to be irritating to the Camarilla.
  • Religious Vampire: A common enough quality among the Damned with Anatole, Moncada, Hesha, Fatima, and various others all possessing strong religious beliefs.
  • Stronger with Age: All vampires are like this but we actually get to see some go from being Neonates to unstoppable ancient badasses.
  • Urban Fantasy: It was called "Gothic Punk" back then but fit most of the tropes.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Many of the novels had humans ignore giant fleshcrafted monsters going through downtown Washington D.C. and open combat between the undead.
  • Our Vampires Are Different: They all share some commonalities but they each are possessed of different powers as well as weaknesses depending on what Clan they're from.
  • Vampires Are Sex Gods: Notably averted as vampires couldn't actually even engage in sex for much of the line's history. This was later retconned.

     Prince Duology 
  • Antihero: Sullivan is a hundred year old career criminal and toady.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Sullivan ends up the Blood Bonded servant of Vannevar Thomas but the Sabbat are beaten back and quite a few evil Elders are ash.
  • The Chessmaster: Vannevar Thomas is one of the best manipulators in the Americas and a testament to Clan Ventrue.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Sullivan ends up betraying the Family, the Prince, the Primogen, and the Sabbat. Justified as the book makes it clear that vampire society will do you in if you don't do it first.
  • Decadent Court: The Camarilla in San Fransisco is even more twisted than most cities.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The Chinese vampires are just another kind of Cainite.
  • Eats Babies: Sullivan is presented a koala to snack on. It's actually a human baby and they've Dominated him into seeing otherwise.
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Sullivan is a piece of work but he freaks the hell out at keeping humans in cages before executing them by feeding.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: The Grandfather believes Sullivan will eventually turn on him and kill him. So the Grandfather turns on Sullivan first. Guess what happens?
  • Token White: Sullivan is the only Caucasian member of the Family.
  • Undying Loyalty: Sullivan has been content to be a low level earner for the Family since the 19th century. Its only events that cause him to become a different sort of vampire.
  • Unproblematic Prostitution: Resoundingly averted. Sullivan is a scumbag who intimidates the women under his control even when he's not feeding on them or shaking them down for money.
  • Villain Protagonist: Sullivan is a pimp who abuses the women underneath him, is a lifelong member of a Chinese Triad, and our hero.

     The Clan Novels 
  • Action Girl: Lucita, Fatima, and Ramona.
  • Adventurer Archaeologist: Hesha has this as his cover identity and is seeking the Eye of Hazmiel.
  • Affably Evil: Jan Pieterszoon is as pleasant a vampire as you're likely to ever meet. But he's still capable of horrific evil.
    • Faux Affably Evil: Hesha proves to be this as events tear away the pleasant facade he's cultivated for himself.
  • All for Nothing: Victoria Ash sells her body, dignity, and sanity at various points to get in position to become Prince of New York. Then, due to the absurd rule she set for herself to live by chance, has to pass on it.
  • A Lighter Shade of Black: The Camarilla is only marginally better than the Sabbat as they repeatedly prove. They're just far more subtle in their evil.
  • Artifact of Doom: The Eye of Hazmiel can turn even a Neonate into a vampire as powerful as a Methuselah.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Jan Pieterszoon is cordial, friendly, and Affably Evil at worst. He also has a woman raped so he can feed off her.
  • Big Bad Ensemble: There's multiple bad guys spread throughout the novels (not including the protagonists). Moncada, Vykos, Vitel, and Leopold for a start.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Most of the East Coast has fallen to the Sabbat but New York has been reclaimed by the Camarilla. Moncada, one of the most politically powerful Lasombra alive, is slain. So is Leopold. The Gangrel have left the Camarilla.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Leopold is a Tremere antitribu who is brainwashed into believing he's a Toreador.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Marcus Vitel is 2000+ years old and one of the most powerful (awake) vampires in the world. Theo Bell, Cristof, and a handful of ghouls as well as Archons kill him. Except not.
  • Entertainingly Wrong: Played for drama with the fact Xavier assumes that Leopold is an Antediluvian.
  • Evil Versus Evil: What the Camarilla vs. Sabbat conflict amounts to. Most of the other conflicts are similar.
  • Friend-or-Idol Decision: Fatima must choose between her lover Lucita or Clan.
  • Friendly Neighborhood Vampire: Ramona is about the only decent person among the undead. She's also among the youngest.
  • From Nobody to Nightmare: Leopold goes from being a wimpish Toreador trying to find his sire to one of the greatest threats to Kindred society.
  • Hopeless Suitor: Jan Pieterszoon has an enormous crush on Lucita. Lucita is in love with Fatima and has a centuries-long love/friendship with Anatole. She never even thinks of Jan during the books.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Khalil objects to a racist comment about Romani being thieves by Liz. He points out that, yes, HE is a thief (and a murderer) but his father was an honest tinsmith. He may be displaying Even Evil Has Loved Ones.
  • Last of His Kind: Technically, by the time of the novel, Leopold is the last living Tremere antitribu.
  • The Man Behind the Man: Whoever wields the Eye of Hazmiel is nothing more than a puppet to Hazmiel.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The dismissive attitude of the Camarilla leadership offends Xavier the Justicar and causes the entire Gangrel clan to leave their organization. They forgot the Gangrel fight based on respect and not political ties or greed.
  • Odd Friendship: Theo Bell, ex-slave Brujah, and Jan Pieterszoon, Kindred royalty.
  • Only Sane Man: Talley "the Hound", one of the recurring non-Signature viewpoint characters, is this for the Sabbat. A genuinely Affably Evil Consummate Professional Lasombra knight, most of his appearances are dedicated to just trying to do his damn job in a sect dominated by Stupid Evil and Evil Is Petty where everyone else embraces their Hair-Trigger Temper. He is constantly found snarking, internally, and when he can get away with it, also externally, about the self-destructiveness, pointless sadism and antagonistic scheming of his sect-mates and the way they undermine the purpose and success of the organization. He eventually falls into a Crisis of Faith wondering why he even bothers playing underling to people he despises and who all but ignore the cause they're nominally sworn to, but, after watching Theo Bell for a while, resolves it's simply because he's decided to for himself the task is worth doing. Many years after the events of the novels, V5 would conclude this story-arc by having him be made the delegate of Clan Lasombra who facilitates their entry into the Camarilla.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: The Sabbat take much of the Eastern United States, including Washington D.C. only to lose New York, their second most powerful stronghold after Mexico City.
  • Rape Is a Special Kind of Evil: Used to shocking effect when it is revealed that Jan Pieterszoon is only able to feed from rape victims.
  • Scary Black Man: Theo Bell is well aware he comes across as this and doesn't help his case by terrifying people who annoy him.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: The Gangrel leave the Camarilla once it's discovered that the Antediluvians are real. The irony being that they only discovered a possessed Toreador.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Lucita's fondest desire is to become one by killing Moncada. She finally succeeds with the help of Fatima.
  • Smug Snake: Khalil Ravana is completely lacking any redeeming qualities or grandiose villain attributes. He's nothing more than a burglar that has delusions of grandeur.
  • Stop Being Stereotypical: Leopold admonishes himself for being one of the most stereotypical Toreador vampires (unalive). It proves to be Foreshadowing that he's actually a brainwashed Tremere antitribu.
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: The Camarilla and Sabbat both pull this on Marcus Vitel. Later books would confirm he survived.