Serpentis is believed to be the legacy of Set himself, a gift to his children. The Followers of Set are very careful to guard this Discipline’s secrets, only teaching the art to those who they deem worthy. Most vampires fear the Setites because of the powers of Serpentis and its connection to snakes and reptiles; this Discipline can evoke a primordial fear in others, particularly those who recall the tale of Eden.

• The Eyes of the Serpent

This power grants the vampire the legendary hypnotic gaze of the serpent. The Kindred’s eyes become gold with large black irises, and mortals in the character’s vicinity find themselves strangely attracted to him. A mortal who meets the vampire’s beguiling gaze is immobilized. Until the character takes his eyes off his victim, the person is frozen in place.


No roll is required, but this power can be avoided if the mortal takes care not to look into the vampire’s eyes. Vampires and other supernatural creatures can also be affected by this power if the Cainite’s player succeeds on a Willpower roll (difficulty 9). If attacked or otherwise harmed, supernatural creatures can spend a point of Willpower to break the spell.

Note: This is different than normal eye contact detailed on p. 152. The target must be able to see the vampire’s eyes for Eyes of the Serpent to work.

•• The Tongue of the Asp

The vampire may lengthen her tongue at will, splitting it into a fork like that of a serpent. The tongue may reach 18 inches or half a meter, and makes a terrifyingly effective weapon in close combat.


The lash of the tongue’s razor fork causes aggravated wounds (difficulty 6, Strength damage). If the Kindred wounds her enemy, she may drink blood from the target on the next turn as though she had sunk her fangs into the victim’s neck. Horrifying though it is, the tongue’s caress is very like the Kiss, and strikes mortal victims helpless with fear and ecstasy. Additionally, the tongue is highly sensitive to vibrations, enabling the vampire to function effectively in the darkness the Clan prefers. By flicking his tongue in and out of his mouth, the vampire can halve any penalties relating to darkness (p. 274).

••• The Skin of the Adder

By calling upon her Blood, the vampire may transform her skin into a mottled, scaly hide. A vampire in this form becomes more supple and flexible.


The vampire spends one blood point and one Willpower point. Her skin becomes scaly and mottled; this, combined with the character’s increased flexibility, reduces soak difficulties to 5. The vampire may use her Stamina to soak aggravated damage from claws and fangs, but not from fire, sunlight, or other supernatural energies. The vampire’s mouth widens and fangs lengthen, enabling her bite to inflict an extra die of damage. Finally, the vampire may slip through any opening wide enough to fit her head through.

The vampire’s Appearance drops to 1, and she is obviously inhuman if observed with any degree of care, though casual passersby might not notice, if the vampire is in darkness or wearing heavy clothing.

•••• The Form of the Cobra

The Cainite may change his form into that of a huge black cobra. The serpent weighs as much as the vampire’s human form, stretches over 10 feet or three meters long, and is about 20 inches (50 cm) around. The Form of the Cobra grants several advantages, including a venomous bite, the ability to slither through small spaces, and a greatly enhanced sense of smell. The character may use any Disciplines while in this form save those that require hands (such as Feral Claws).


The vampire spends one blood point; the change is automatic, but takes three turns. Clothing and small personal possessions transform with the vampire. The vampire remains in serpent form until the next dawn, unless he desires to change back sooner. The Storyteller may allow the Setite bonus dice on all Perception rolls related to smell, but the difficulties for all hearing rolls are increased by two. The cobra’s bite inflicts damage equal to the vampire’s, but the vampire does not need to grapple his victim; furthermore, the poison delivered is fatal to mortals.

••••• The Heart of Darkness

A Kindred with mastery of Serpentis may pull her heart from her body. She can even use this ability on other Cainites, although this requires several hours of gruesome surgery. This power can only be invoked during a new moon. If performed under any other moon, the rite fails. Upon removing her heart, the vampire places it in a small clay urn, and then carefully hides or buries the urn. While her heart is hidden, she cannot be staked by any wood that pierces her breast. Moreover, because the heart is the seat of emotion, the difficulties of all her rolls to resist frenzy are two lower while this power is in effect.

Cainites are careful to keep their hearts safe from danger. If someone seizes her heart, the vampire is completely at that person’s mercy. The heart can be destroyed only by casting it into a fire or exposing it to sunlight. If this happens, the Kindred dies where she stands, boiling away into a blistering heap of ash and blackened bone. Plunging a wooden stake into an exposed heart drives the vampire into instant torpor

A vampire may carry her heart with her, or have several false hearts buried in different places. A smart Kindred often avoids her heart’s hiding place, to deter discovery. Those wise in Setite lore whisper that the corrupt elders of the Clan often hold their underlings’ hearts as yet another method of control.


This power requires no roll. Those who witness a vampire pull his heart from his breast (or cut the heart from another vampire) must make Courage rolls. Failure indicates anything from strong uneasiness to complete revulsion, possibly even Rötschreck.

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