Kindred of the East: Crimson Empires
Strength of the Herd
Strength of the Herd, level 3. Dark Ages, mongol era
In times of extreme danger, the Wan Kuei must sometimes call on vast reserves of strength. This rite provides that power, but at a cost. To perform the rite, the vampire first spends an hour in ritual purification, through prayer or meditation on his Dharma. When the hour is complete, the wan kuei consumes all the blood of a steppe pony. Please note that no other type of horse suffices here- the captured destrier of a hungarian knight has no effect at all. This consumption is disgusting and bloody: the wan kuei’s body becomes bloated and becomes almost beyond recognition with the vast intake of blood, and a sheen of blood covers her skin as the fluid attempts to escape through every available poor and orifice. With the consumption of the vital essence of the horse, however, the Wan Kuei becomes immensely strong, easily able to heft one of the ponies she just devoured.
The Wan Kuei receives no Chi substance for the consumption of the pony’s blood. The player rolls Stamina + Rituals (difficulty 6) to enact the rite; a failure means the vampire simply cannot consume the huge volume of blood she needs. On a botch, the character vomits in huge gouts of blood and is unable to try again for 24 hours.
If she succeeds, however, her strength is increased by one per success (to a maximum of twice her normal strength). This strength lasts a base of four hours during which time the character’s Appearance is halved. Successes may be spent on increasing the duration of the effect at one success adding one hour.