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Bloodline: Dream Dancers


The Dream Dancers are among the more mysterious bloodlines. Kindred outside this line are usually completely ignorant as to their existence except for those who had direct contact with a Dream Dancer, and even those tend to miss the fact that what they were dealing with was a vampire.

The Dream Dancers exist almost exclusively in dreams. Yet they are no dream themselves - they are very real, as is the havoc they can wreak through dreams. They enter the dreams of their mortal prey and actually feast upon the dreamer's blood from within. The dreamer never knows what happened to him when - if - he awakes in the morning.


The Dream Dancers do not care much about what is going on in the waking world and this is also true for their own history. All Dream Dancers know their Sires well but could not care less for anything else about the real world.

Nevertheless, there are certain rumors about the origin of this strange bloodline, nearly as many as there are scholars, Kindred and otherwise, who know of the Dancers' existence. Here are two of the more credible:

  1. The Dancers are an offshoot of Clan Malkavian (this features in many other theories as well). A childe of Malkav embraced a mortal mage of the tradition we now call the Dream Speakers. The mage retained some of her old power or this power was transformed by the blood of her Sire to what is now called the discipline Oneiros, which is essential to the bloodline.
  2. The Dancers are the descendants of a vampire who was touched by faeries or even was a faerie before the embrace. Somehow the Cainite blood and the faerie magic coalesced to the discipline Oneiros.

There are many more theories about the origins of the Dancers and as long as the founder of the line remains obscure (if she still exists) there is little hope for enlightenment. There is only one thing most scholars agree upon: accounts of encounters with the Dancers go back to the dawn of time, and there is no doubt that the founder of the line is only one step removed from the Antediluvians.

The Dancers Today

The Dancers are a reclusive bloodline, but there may be quite a lot of them. All known accounts of actual or probable encounters with these Kindred come from Europe, but it is still possible that a number of elder Dancers have left this continent on their journeys. The Dancers may be divided into two factions which are largely distinguished by age. Young Dancers called Dreamlings (still within their first few centuries) rest in their well-secluded hiding places without ever rising. Most of them use the graves they were buried in when their mortal death transpired. At night they roam the dreams of the people living near the vampire's resting place and feed on their blood. They are only forced to rise and wander when people move away from their lair.

After some centuries the Dreamling reaches a moment when he gets bored with the dreams of the local people; after all, the influence of culture on what is dreamt must not be neglected. Archetypes are recyled endlessly and the Dreamling begins to feel the need for a change. This marks his conversion to what is called the Traveller. The Traveller rises and begins to journey wide and far through the world, always stopping for a decade and two and savoring the dreams of the local people. The Travellers also feel the urge to procreate, and they embrace and teach vivid dreamers who are usually disregarded by their human relations for their fantasy-filled lives.

There is only one further reason for Dreamlings and Travellers alike to rise: Diablerie. The discipline Oneiros is the core of the Dancers' being, and it is their Path of Enlightenment as well. The need to increase this discipline is driving. In order to fulfil this urge Dancers have to rise in generation to obtain access to the higher levels of the discipline.

The Dancers disregard reality as a boring and static experience. As they live almost exclusively in dreams, they are used to an environment where everything is susceptible to change any moment. The Dancers are as ignorant of other Kindred as these are in regard to the Dancers. There may have been contacts to lupines, mages or fae, but these were strictly on a personal basis and are by no means typical for the bloodline as a whole. Beings able to access dreams in a way similar to the Dancers' never fail to rouse their curiosity.

Dancers And Dream

The Dancers' experience of Dream is similar but not identical to the Dream Zone the Garou visit (see Umbra: The Velvet Shadow). By day, the Dancers are as immobile as other Kindred and may not actively dream (see final notes on dreaming Kindred in Oneiros Discipline). But after sunset, the mists of dream part and a personal dream environment shaped by Oneiros forms around the Dancer. This environment is called a Chimare, and every dreamer has one of these. The main difference between ordinary Chimarae and the Dancer's own is the amount of control the Dancer exerts over her Chimare. Any and all features of the Chimare are within her power to change. The Chimare may be as unchanging or as chaotic as she wants it to be. While the Chimare of other dreamers tend to vanish and transform completely until the dreamer's next visit, the Dancer's Chimare waits patiently for its master to return.

Oneiros enables the Dancers to leave their own Chimarae and enter those of dreamers in their vicinity. Actual physical proximity is very important. A Dancer resting in a graveyard in a city may access the dreams of the people living in that city or even only in the surrounding blocks, but no farther. In addition, the Dancers may also call dreamers into their own Chimarae. The blood of these dreamers, whether visited or called, sustains the Dancer. The blood is actually transferred by mystical means from the dreamer to the Dancer. If the Dancer drains its victim (which does not happen very often, for the Dancers feed almost every night), he is actually dead and bloodless in the morning. Dreamers are the only source of blood in dreams; although the Dancer may fill her Chimare with as many dream creatures as she likes, their blood cannot satisfy the vampire's hunger.

In regard to Kindred blood it should be said that although Oneiros allows for access to Kindred dreams (see below), it is impossible for a Dancer to diablerize a Cainite or to establish a Blood Bond within dreams. A Cainite may be drained completely and may be forced into torpor, but the draining of the soul which marks the act of Diablerie does not happen. To diablerize other Cainites, a Dancer has to rise and do it in the real world. Their usual tactics involve the use of higher levels of Oneiros and their abilities in Presence and Dominate which may be used in dreams as well to hypnotize the victim into a state of willing submission.

The Dream Dancers are not able to access any other part of the Umbra through Dream. They are confined to Chimarae exclusively.

Parent Clan: Malkavian (?)
Nickname: Sandmen
Disciplines: Oneiros, Presence, Dominate

In dreams, the appearance of a given Dancer is highly fantastic and individual. The may be dragons, beautiful people, a building or the air you breathe. Outside dream (or inside reality, if you prefer) they are nondescript. If they rise for Diablerie, they are usually shrouded in their rotting funeral garb or whatever they wore when they last went to sleep. Travellers know how to clothe themselves decently, but even they tend to be sloppy about this.


The Dancers elect strong dreamers for progeny. The kiss has to be bestowed in the waking world. Very promising people are comatose or in the grasp of sleepy sickness. Another very promising group are children, whose dreams are more vivid than those of grown-ups. In fact, about a third of the Dream Dancers have been embraced before puberty.


The usual hiding place of a Dream Dancer is well-hidden. If they have been buried properly they do not need to rise for centuries, because their Sires visit them in their dreams to teach them. Dream Dancers always use very secluded places which are not easy to find but usually difficult to leave as well. If a Dancer finds he cannot rise on his own (e. g. because a building was erected above his resting place) he contacts dreamers and forces them to do the digging.


The Dream Dancers do not have much of a society. All Dancers know and are obliged to their Sires, but after the training period ends, Sire and Childe almost never meet again. The Dancers feel that within a given community of dreamers there is only space enough for one Dancer. If two risen Dancers meet they help each other to find their way in reality. Prestige is strictly based on levels of Oneiros. All Dancers believe that the highest form of Oneiros transforms them to archetypical dream elements. This state is comparable to Golconda.


Due to their almost exclusive existence in dreams, Dream Dancers tend to be nearly helpless in the waking world. Centuries of change may have passed unnoticed while they were sleeping. The Dancer may have taken information about the world from dreams, but this information is sketchy at best. In addition, their grasp on reality is very frail. They stumble through this world trying to change everything they do not like by an exertion of will as they do in dreams and are slow to learn that they cannot do this.


"It is a sin to favor static reality when you can access the endless possibilities of Dream. Reality is just the weak sediment of this realm where real life is happening. An eternity as Gods in our own world awaits us."


All other Cainites of stronger blood are possible victims, the others are totally unimportant. Lupines, mages and fae with access to dreams are studied and even contacted frequently. Mostly these creatures do not find out who they are dealing with.

A note on Character creation:

Dream Dancers led a secluded life of dreams and fantasies before the embrace and are quite unlikely to have more than a few basic insights into skills and knowledges.

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