Any mention of the pishacha prompts Cainites to spit in disgust as a ward to keep them away. These debased vampire cousins plague charnel houses and funeral pyre grounds throughout India, mindlessly feeding wherever they can and spreading infectious diseases as a terrible side effect of their miserable existences.
The pishacha feed not on blood, but on raw flesh — dead or living, they don’t care which. They appear as humanoid creatures with pulsating veins standing out in grotesque relief against stretched skin and blood-red eyes that bulge from their skulls like glistening abscesses. The presence of human bodies burning or rotting and the emotional residue left behind in places of great anger or grief both attract these pitiful creatures, lending them vitality. They are intelligent and know how to manipulate other thinking beings on a basic level, but rarely speak except through the mouths of others, and they stay hidden whenever they’re not actively feeding. A pishacha possesses humans by projecting its consciousness into the person’s mind and forcing her to say, do, or feel things against her will, although the pishacha itself is vulnerable while it does so. Victims of possession are susceptible to infection with diseases of the body or mind, carried by the asymptomatic pishacha without any intent on its part.
Pishacha suffer the same weaknesses and enjoy the same benefits as their vampiric kin. They burn in the sun, fly into frenzies, and shrug off damage the same way. One major difference is that pishacha can’t sire childer the way a vampire does. Corpses fed pishacha blood wither and contort as though wracked by a fatal illness, but they don’t rise to unlife.
The Cainites of India and nearby regions argue vehemently over where the pishacha come from and how they’re made. Some claim they’re nothing to do with vampires and the similarities are mere coincidence, citing Hindu myths about the spirits of depraved sinners who leave behind the pathetic remains of their souls when they die. These spirits merge with corpses and walk the earth, eating flesh in a wretched attempt to regain life. Others say the pishacha are the product of Cainite souls trying to reincarnate as human beings, or that they’re vampires that came to be without anything like a soul at all. Cainite fables in ancient records tell of similar creatures that resulted from botched diablerie. Certain Clans whisper rumors that the pishacha are Tremere castoffs, the remnants of unstable blood sorcery or the Embrace gone wrong. An urban legend among Cainite circles claims a normal vampire who drinks the blood of a pishacha deteriorates into one. In places where other Clans particularly look down upon the Nosferatu, stories link them to the pishacha as close kin or even their ultimate fate, though so far no evidence suggests this is true.
Powers and Weaknesses
• Pishacha spend blood points on Disciplines and other innate abilities as vampires do, though their vitae cannot create blood bonds or childer, and they cannot imitate life. Pishacha replenish blood points by consuming human flesh, and are considered vampires of the Thirteenth Generation for mechanical purposes. Living flesh counts as fresh blood, while corpse flesh halves the number of effective blood points available for every hour the body has been dead. Consuming the flesh of a vampire or other supernatural creature provides one extra blood point per turn.
• Whenever a pishacha first enters an area tainted by particularly gory death, mass execution, burning flesh, or violent negative emotion, it gains one temporary Willpower point. It can sniff out such areas from up to a mile away. Using its Dementation or Dominate (Possession) Discipline successfully also earns a Willpower. It can only earn a Willpower this way once per scene.
• Pishacha suffer all the weaknesses of the vampiric condition with some differences, as follow: Instead of falling into torpor when it mummifies after reaching Incapacitated while staked, a pishacha simply crumbles to dust, it can enter frenzy from hunger but not from anger, and it cannot soak damage from sunlight at all.
Attributes: Strength 5, Dexterity 4, Stamina 2, Charisma 2, Manipulation 2, Appearance 1, Perception 5, Intelligence 2, Wits 3
Abilities: Alertness 3, Athletics 2, Awareness 2, Brawl 4, Intimidation 3, Leadership 2, Melee 2, Occult 1, Stealth 5, Subterfuge 1, Survival 3
Equivalent Disciplines: Abombwe 3, Celerity 1, Dementation 1, Dominate 5 (Command, Subjugation, and Possession only), Obfuscate 2, Potence 2
Road: 1, Willpower: 4; Blood Pool: 6
Note: The pishacha’s consciousness leaves its body while it uses its Dementation and Dominate Disciplines, rendering it unable to use any defensive maneuvers. If it successfully uses one of these Disciplines, the victim must succeed at a reflexive Stamina roll, difficulty 6, when the Discipline ends to avoid contracting either a Derangement or a physical disease of the Storyteller’s choosing. The pishacha uses Intimidation instead of Empathy to activate Incubus Humor.