|Nickname||Degenerates, Artisans, Aesthetes, Torries|
|Disciplines||Auspex, Celerity, and Presence|
|Canon Flaw||Entranced by Beauty - Anything the kindred feels is truly beautiful can cause them to fall into a trance. This trance can last a moment or hours.|
|Dark Prospects Flaw||Artistic Trance - The first time a Toreador experiences a new piece of art, they become Frozen (unable to move or act) for 60 seconds while they study it. Being attacked or physically moved will break this effect.|
The Toreador clan has been a powerful clan for most of history. In the nights before the Camarilla, they were a High Clan, and they have thrived wherever society and civilization flourishes. They have been a force behind spreading civilization for as long as humans have built cities.
The clan’s flaw of being obsessed and absorbed, entranced by beauty, has lead them to surround themselves by works of art, other forms of beauty, and the people that create it. Often times, Toreador will take on proteges and artists who create to celebrate their patron. Sometimes this is just to feed the kindred’s desire for art and beautiful things, and sometimes it is because the vampire has lost the ability to create art themselves with the passion that they had when they were alive.
Toreador claim their childer from a variety of sources. Some are claimed from pools of artists, from the circles of observers who critique and comment on art, or from the elites that collect or curate art.
While stories vary, most sources agree that the clan’s founder was named Arikel, and that she or he was a painter in the First City. It was her skill with art that drew the notice of the Kindred leaders of the city, and she was embraced. In her first nights, she painted a mural that depicted the future of the childer of Caine. It is said that the images in the mural so displeased Caine, that he cursed Arikel with the curse that her brood now bears, to be forever obsessed with things of beauty.
Once we enter the nights recorded in actual history, we first find the Toreador in the civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean, especially Mycenae and the Minoan culture. This is when mentions of the goddess Ishtar begin, and when Toreador begin claiming that their founder was a bull dancer. It is said that the Toreador excesses in Mycenae are what weakened the society enough that they fell to mainland invaders.
Eventually, the Brujah established themselves in Carthage, building their Third City, and set themselves in direct opposition to the Ventrue who ruled Rome firmly. The Ventrue wished to be the undisputed leaders in the region, and worked to suppress the Brujah and their city. When it became clear that the Ventrue would win the dispute, the Toreador abandoned Carthage and took up the Ventrue cause, providing information to the Ventrue about the debauchery, hedonism and infernalism that ran rampant in Carthage. The Ventrue and their allies razed Carthage, and the Toreador took up a new position as key leaders in Rome.
The Roman Toreador took up the hedonism of the elites in their new city, and immediately fit in. When Rome began to decline, and the Eastern Empire ascend, the Toreador Mi-Ka-Il (also known as Michael) moved to Constantinople. There he worked with members of many clans to form The Dream, a city ruled by art and society. In 1204, the 4th Crusade sacked Constantinople at the direction of the Pope and Christian Kings from across Europe. Their secret kindred backers among the Ventrue and Lasombra also wished to eliminate a rival to their power.
In the Early Dark Ages, the Camarilla found a natural home among the nobility and the church. They saved much of the art from the Roman Empire and kept education and art alive in the Dark Ages. There were also members of the clan who were minstrels, artisans, poets and patrons. Mixed into society at the lowest levels in taverns and pubs, and at its heights in Cathedrals and Throne rooms.
In France, throughout the Late Dark Ages, Toreador founded the Courts of Love. Rejecting the traditional mode of having a Baron or a Prince with a Seneschal and other officers of the court, these courts had a Queen or a King, and members of the court vied against each other in duels of honor or for the favor of ladies of the court. The Road of Kings and the Path of Chivalry were incredibly popular in the Courts of Love. The most powerful of the Courts of Love was in Paris, but all of the courts declined in power as the Church investigated the heresies in France.
In the 15th Century, Rafael de Corazon brought the idea of the Camarilla to Elders within the other reasonable clans, and together, they formed the Ivory Tower, creating a unified bastion of authority for kindred of all clans. As a foundational pillar of the Camarilla, most members of the Clan are also members of the Sect, but some few have rejected their Clan and its Sect to become Anarchs and members of the Sabbat.
Renaissance and Colonial Era
During the Renaissance, the Toreador were able to support a huge burgeoning of the arts. They provided funds for many of the artists now thought of as the Masters of the Renaissance. Michaelangelo, Davinci, Raphael, and more. It was kindred of the Toreador Clan that encouraged their herds and their ghouls to sponsor more and better art. This also spurred on other forms of innovation, increasing technology and bettering life for the human herds. This did lead to some conflict with the Lasombra, who held a tight grip on the Church, but in the two clans were able to share power within the Church by finding a balance, in that the Toreador wanted the power to support the arts, while the Lasombra wanted the power for its own sake. Their different goals and aims allowed them to coexist within the Church.
When the European Empires crossed the Atlantic Ocean to colonize the New World, some Toreador went along, but not in the great numbers of other clans. The true power of the Toreador was in the Old World, in the cities and capitols. Those that did cross the Ocean usually stayed within the newly founded Domains on the Eastern seaboard.
As more lands are discovered to the West, and as civilization spreads toward the Pacific, the Toreador are drawn to it. Some are drawn by the foundation of new Domains, while others come for the famous lawless hedonism. Just as there are many reasons for a human to go west, there are as many reasons for a Toreador to leave the established cities of the East to explore the west.
Article by JonoH