Below is a list of terms that will help you better understand the world of Vampire. Do not feel like you need to memorize each one or learn them all right away. If someone uses a term you do not know, this is probably the best place to start looking.
Ancilla (an • SILL • uh): Kindred too old to be considered neonates, but not yet elders, whose Requiem has lasted roughly 50 to 150 years. The plural is ancillae (an • SILL • ae).
ancient: The rare vampire who has existed for over a millennium.
Avus (AY • vuss): A character’s “grandfather” or patron in a bloodline from which she is not truly descended.
barrens: Portions of the city unfit for hunting. Typically, places people don’t go after dark, or which are monitored closely by the police.
The Beast: The inchoate urges that drive vampires away from the Man.
Blood bond: The artificial love and loyalty spawned by feeding from the same vampire three times. Also known more formally as a Vinculum.
Bloodline: A group of vampires that splits off from a parent clan to form a distinct lineage of its own. Some bloodlines do not differ from the parent clan in significant ways, while others claim different powers or weaknesses.
Blood sympathy: The mystic link between “related” vampires.
The Camarilla (CAM • er • ill • uh): The earliest commonly believed-in Kindred state to stretch across vast areas of the world. The Camarilla governed during approximately the same span of time, and over approximately the same parts of the world, as the mortal Roman republic and empire.
The Carthian Movement (KAR • thee • enn movement): A group of vampiric idealists, who believe in reconciling the Requiem with the political ideas of modern mortals.
carthian law (KAR • thee • enn law): The strange ability of the Carthian Movement to back up Kindred law with mystic force.
Childe (CHILD): Kindred “offspring”; also used to refer to particularly young neonates, or as a minor insult (akin to calling someone a “kid” in mortal circles). The plural is childer (CHILL • der).
Circle of the Crone: A covenant of ritualistic Kindred who revere pagan gods, spirits, pantheons and/or progenitors.
cloister: A city or other large domain that’s “gone dark,” where Kindred can’t (or won’t) communicate in or out.
Coils of the Dragon: A mystic way of learning that allows vampires to avoid or exploit aspects of their curse, as practiced by the Ordo Dracul.
conclave: An organization of vampires that stretches across multiple cities, but is not a government in and of itself. Sometimes, conclaves are groups of individual, likeminded Kindred. Other times, they are made up of official representatives of multiple domains.
coterie: A small group of allied Kindred.
covenant: A faction of Kindred who share certain political or theological beliefs. Some covenants are spread across the world, but they tend to have independent leadership and local
variations from domain to domain.
Crúac (KREW • ack): The bloody, witchcraft-like magic practiced by the Circle of the Crone.
Daeva (DAY • vuh) : A clan of vampires known for being emotional, physically powerful, and desirable.
Damned, the: The race of Kindred; vampires.
The Danse Macabre: The interweaving Requiems of all vampires. Often used to describe the web of politics and conflict that those Requiems create.
diablerie (dee • AHB • ler • ee): Kindred “cannibalism”; draining another vampire of not only his blood but his soul. Sometimes called Amaranth.
Disciplines: The preternatural abilities and edges the Kindred possess, allowing them to vanish, turn into animals, and perform myriad other inhuman feats.
domain: A Kindred territory, usually with a single governing authority. Most frequently used to refer to a Kindred city-state, or districts of one. The largest domains stretch across multiple mortal cities.
draugr: A vampire who has lost touch with humanity, becoming either a mindless beast or a completely uncaring predator.
elder: A vampire who has survived for over 150 years; also a term of respect.
Elysium (ell • ISS • ee • um): A location used for Kindred gatherings and declared a neutral, “no violence” sanctuary by the authorities of a domain.
The Embrace: The act of turning a mortal into a vampire.
Final Death: A Kindred’s real, true, ultimate death; when her Requiem ceases and she never again rises as a vampire.
fledgling: A neonate; a newly created vampire under his sire’s protection.
frenzy: A berserk state in which the Beast takes total control over a vampire. Rage, fear and hunger can induce frenzies; when precision is needed, the term is qualified by cause (rage frenzy, fear frenzy or hunger frenzy). Unqualified, the term generally indicates rage frenzy.
Gangrel (GANG • grell): A clan of vampires known for being primal, hardy, and savage.
ghoul: A mortal fed Kindred Vitae and possessed of various supernatural abilities, though far weaker than most vampires.
haven: A vampire’s residence; where one finds sanctuary from the sun.
herd: A collection of mortals from whom a vampire feeds regularly.
Invictus (in • VICK • tuss): A covenant of vampires who are determined to protect the Masquerade, while at the same time enjoying their Requiems as the elite among the dead.
Kindred: The modern (and most frequent) term by which vampires refer to themselves and their race.
kine: A term for mortals; the phrase “Kindred and kine” refers to everyone.
Kiss: The act of biting and taking blood from a mortal, as well as the pleasure it provides both participants.
Lancea et Sanctum (LAN • kay • uh ET SANK • toom): A covenant of vampires who honor the Roman centurion Longinus, whom they have adopted as a form of “patron saint” for the act of testing Christ’s divinity.
Lick: A faintly vulgar term for a vampire.
Man, the: The vampire’s human impulses and self-control. Used to compliment or contrast the Beast.
The Masquerade: The efforts required to hide Kindred from the mortal world.
Mekhet (MEK • et): A clan of vampires known for being quick, discreet, and wise.
mortal: An ordinary human. Although Kindred are, to varying degrees, aware of other monsters in the World of Darkness, they frequently use “mortal” to describe everyone who’s not one of them.
neonate (NEE • oh • nate): A young vampire, engaged in his Requiem for less than 50 years.
Nosferatu (noss • fur • AH • too): A vampire clan known for being stealthy, strong and terrifying.
Ordo Dracul (OR • dough drah • KOOL): A covenant of vampires known for its mystic studies and desire to transcend the vampiric curse.
poacher: One who feeds in another Kindred’s territory without permission.
perversion: The act of two Kindred drinking each other’s blood.
The Rack: The best parts of the city in which to find food, including nightclubs and other loud, crowded areas.
regnant: The Kindred who holds regency over a thrall; the dominant member of a Vinculum Also called a domitor.
Requiem: The Kindred condition; the whole miserable, cursed song of a vampire’s unlife, whether singularly or metaphorically.
revenant: A vampire “born” from a spontaneous Embrace. Usually a victim of a vampire who, for unknown reasons, rises after death.
VII (SEVEN): Apparently a clan, covenant, or other group of vampires that detests the Kindred and seeks to destroy them, its own members excepted.
sire: A vampiric “parent,” one who has Embraced a childe; alternatively, a verb, meaning “to Embrace.”
Theban (THEE • ben) Sorcery: A mysterious form of blood magic practiced primarily by members of the Lancea et Sanctum.
thrall: One who is bound to a regnant; the member of a Vinculum who feels artificial devotion to another.
torpor: A death-like sleep into which Kindred fall if they are injured severely or starved for too long. Kindred can also enter torpor willingly to escape the world for a time.
Traditions: The three primary Kindred laws, passed down through the ages and rooted in the Kindred condition.
unaligned: A vampire who claims membership in no covenant. Also known as an unbound or independent Kindred.
Ventrue (VENN • true): A clan of vampires known for being regal, commanding, and aristocratic.
vessel: Any source of blood for the Kindred to feed on; usually but not always used to refer to a mortal.
Vitae (VIE • tay): The blood of a vampire.