The Harbingers of Skulls are a small bloodline that emerged from the mists of the past and threw their lot in with the Sabbat. The Harbingers are alleged to all be elders, and frighteningly powerful. While their sudden appearance suggests a long bout of torpor, they don’t behave like recently-awakened vampires. Indeed, they claim they have been dead these past five centuries.
The Harbingers of Skulls resemble rotting corpses, much like the Samedi. Indeed, vampires that know of both bloodlines suggest a common origin, but since neither the Samedi nor the Harbingers discuss their origins publically, it’s just speculation.
The Harbingers have only been members of the Sabbat for a short time, but during that time they have made themselves invaluable. The Sword of Caine, lacking Giovanni members, has difficulty dealing with ghosts. This can lead to problematic hauntings, since the Sabbat kills enough people that ghostly visitation can become an issue. The Harbingers can exorcises these vengeful shades, or, better yet, turn them into incorporeal spies and slaves. And for all of this, the Harbingers ask nothing except for favors to be repaid at a later date.
The Sabbat, for its part, isn’t usually given to the favor-trading that one finds in the Camarilla, but what the Harbingers bring to the table is too valuable to miss. And besides, whether one believes the fairy tale about noble origins and “revenge on the traitorous moneylenders” that the Harbingers sometimes spin, their passion is palpable. That kind of murderous zeal is always welcome in the Sword of Caine.
Sect: The Harbingers of Skulls belong entirely to the Sabbat. That said, given that the bloodline obviously has many secrets buried, it’s impossible to know if any Lazarenes claim membership in the Camarilla or remain independent.
Appearance: The Harbingers prefer to stay hidden in their havens, or at least remain among Kindred, and for good reason. They resemble emaciated, shrunken corpses. Their skin grows taut and white, and the gums recede, giving the impression of a bleached, grinning skull. Most Harbingers wearing flowing garments or burial shrouds, the better to highlight their affinity for death.
Haven: Unlike most Sabbat Kindred, the Harbingers of Skulls do not join packs, and therefore do not use communal havens. They usually choose lairs away from mortal interference, but close enough to the living that they don’t want for blood (or fresh corpses for their horrific arts). Crypts, disused laboratories, and slaughterhouses are common choices.
Background: The background of a “typical” Harbinger is impossible to know. They are all elders, and who they were in life has been lost to time. They do seem to show evidence of a classical education, and one survivor of a battle between a Harbinger and a gang of Camarilla Brujah mentions that the Lazarene used a style of fighting that originated in Florence. Beyond those sparse clues, however, the Harbingers’ true identities are unknown.
Character Creation: The Harbingers of Skulls tend toward morbid and somewhat violent concepts. They are obsessed with revenge, death, and the horrors beyond the grave. Social Attributes and Abilities aren’t a priority. Mental Attributes and Knowledges are generally highly rated, but their status as elders means that they are formidable across the board (and imply a significant amount spent on the Generation Background to boot).
Weakness: No matter how much blood a Harbinger consumes, her skin remains deathly pale. Moreover, all Harbingers look like shriveled corpses. They have Appearance ratings of 0 and automatically fail Appearance rolls.
Organization: The Harbingers have some kind of internal organization, and they do keep in contact and even meet with one another occasionally. They keep in touch using ghostly messengers, and they travel to meet each other using methods that other Kindred cannot match. Most of the Sabbat doesn’t quite know how many Harbingers exist or what they might be doing.
Camarilla: The more things change….
Sabbat: They can’t win. But we don’t want to win.
Giovanni: Payback is coming very soon, and on that day all of your money will mean nothing.
The View From Without
Camarilla: What do I have to do, spell it out for you?
Sabbat: You should have seen the look on the goombas’ faces when their ghosty slaves all turned around and jumped on ‘em. I love these guys!
Giovanni: How many times do I have to say it? The Cappadocians are dead. We killed them. Period.