by Simon Giles (27 Aug 95)

"Don't struggle like that, it will only make me love you more.
For it's much to lake to get away and turn on the light.
Spider man is having you for dinner tonight."
The Cure - Lulaby

History: The Tarantalus bloodline was created several centuries before the dawn of the Christian era, by a Gangrel Methusela known as Gaelth. Gaelth had been long fascinated by the effects of the Embrase upon Garou. Many of those he tried to embrase died horrible deaths when fed his vitae. Many more were driven insane by Cain's curse and destroyed themselves. A few survived the change and turned against their creator. After repeated failure Gaelth instead turned his efforts towards embrasing Lupine pups who had not yet manifest their Garou nature. Few of these children survived for long. One of the survivors was Vehk, who was not Lupine, but Ananasi. Vehk served Gaelth for decades before leaving him to seak the advice of her own kind. They left on poor terms, and have fueded ever since. Little is known of Vehk's movements after leaving Gaelth, but her children are occasionally encountered living in secrecy within the Camarilla.

Current Status: The Tarantalus are an extreemly secretive bloodline, few kindred have heard of them, fewer still have evern met one. This bloodline has for centuries been locked in a silent struggle with members of the Gangrel and Ventru clans. They are afraid to anounce their existence to other Kindred for fear of being persecuted as the Baali and Salubri were. Members of this clan will invariably pose as Caitiff or Gangrel.

Nickname: Gangrel and Ventrue call them "Black Widdows".

Appearance: Members of this clan have large, completely black eyes, and are alw ays between the ages of 15 and 25. Vehk herself was supposedly only 13 when she was embraced. Their manner of dress varies, but tends towards dark evening wear.

Haven: Tarantalus prefer dark, dank places to live. They love caverns and other underground complexes, but many nowadays settle for abandoned buildings with large basements.

Background: Members of this clan always choose to embarse young females. The childer are carefully tutored in the history of their clan, the overiding importance of secrecy, and their place in the Jihad.

Character creation: Tarantalus often have Dilettante, Child, or Punk concepts, though they may be professionals. They may have any demeanor, but often choose conniver, devient, fanatic, loner, rebel, or survivor natures. Mental attributes are primary.

Clan disciplines: Animalism, Auspex, Arachnidia. Instead of the Auspex discipline Astral Projection, Tarantalus may choose the alternate Auspex discipline Web Sight.

Weaknesses: Like Ananasi, Tarantalus take damage from many pesticides. This is due, at least in part, to their psysiological similarity to spiders. In addition, any time a Tarantalus frenzies, their beast nature manifests itself in a spider trait, much as Gangrel gain animal traits when they frenzy. These "Spider-Traits" might include: darkening of the skin (eventually becoming jet black), shedding of a carapace, multi-faceted eyes, etc.

Organization: The Tarantalus are completely alone in the world, they rely intensely upon each other and the guidence of their founding Methusela, Vehk, who is said to be in Torpor. The world is a very lonely place for Tarantalus. They are at war with the Gangrel clan which spawned them, and feel the other clans would destroy them should they be discovered. Even the Ananasi shun the members of this clan, despite their similar histories.

Quote: "Yeah, I gues it's kinda like the nursery ryme. How quaint. But seriously, do come into my parlour."