Kindred: The Embraced was a short-lived television series that ran for only eight episodes on the Fox network. The series was based on the popular roleplaying game "Vampire: The Masquerade" published by White Wolf Publishing. The plot of the series revolved around Detective Frank Kohanek (played by C. Thomas Howell) who begins investigating a string of bizarre murders which ultimately brings him into conflict with reputed crime boss Julian Luna. What Kohanek doesn't yet realize however is that Luna is a vampire and the "prince" of San Francisco. Even after he learns the truth about Luna and his "Kindred", he commits himself to bringing the vampire down at any cost.
The clans presented in this series are based on those from the Vampire: The Masquerade roleplaying game. In the 1st-3rd editions of the game, there are thirteen established vampire clans (not counting extinct clans and alternate bloodlines). Kindred: The Embraced however only focuses on six of the clans. The primary clans presented in the series are the Ventrue, the Toreador, the Gangrel, the Brujah and the Nosferatu. The Assamite clan are presented in the episode "The Rise and Fall of Eddie Fiori", but possess distinctly different abilities from the other clans. In the game, members of a specific clan are proficient with a set group of powers, but in the series blends these elements together, giving all vampires the same abilities, though with varying degrees of skill.
Ventrue: The Ventrue were one of the original thirteen vampire clans descended from Caine, the first vampire. The Ventrue are characteristically portrayed as leaders, nobles, politicians and businessmen and are one of the architects of the faction known as the Camarilla. More than any other clan, Ventrue vampires produce the most Princes and Archons and excel at games of deceit and manipulation.
Toreador: The Toreador were one of the original thirteen vampire clans descended from Caine, the first vampire. The Toreador are classically portrayed as hedonists with an acute appreciation for the arts. Toreador vampires are usually found within artist colonies and may include poets, painters, sculptors, musicians, etc. This is not to say that Toreador divorce themselves from politics or Kindred affairs. In many ways, the view games of deceit and manipulation as an art form and many prove to be just as politically savvy as any Ventrue vampire.
Brujah: The Brujah original thirteen vampire clans descended from Caine, the first vampire. The Brujah are characteristically portrayed as rogues, rebels and rabble-rousers, who are desperately trying to bring back to glory days of ancient Carthage when the clan wielded true power over the Kindred. The Brujah can be found in both the Camarilla as well as their rival faction, the Sabbat. Modern Brujah tend to enjoy more violent lifestyles and it is not uncommon to see these vampires associating with biker gangs, street gangs or organized crime.
Gangrel: The Gangrel were one of the original thirteen vampire clans descended from Caine, the first vampire. The Gangrel are nomadic by nature and as such, they rarely involve themselves with the political structure of a given environment. Despite this however, many Gangrels are aligned with the Camarilla, though just as many Gangrel antitribu follow the ways of the Sabbat. The Gangrel are closer to nature than most other vampires, preferring to live in the wild rather than the congested, polluted cities of their contemporaries. One of a Gangrel's inherent powers is the ability to shape-shift into the form of a wolf. Because of this, Gangrel vampires have a better chance of getting along with werewolves than any other clan, even though werewolves typically view all vampires as corrupt, dead things that are part of the Wyrm.
Nosferatu: The Nosferatu were one of the original thirteen vampire clans descended from Caine, the first vampire. More than most other clans, Nosferatu are the least human in terms of physical appearance. They are characterized by their bald heads, extended fangs, pointed ears, bloodshot eyes and razor-sharp claws. Because of this, the Nosferatu are usually set apart from most other vampire clans, but their common physical condition makes them one of the more unified and closely-knit clans. The Nosferatu tend to create havens in dank and dark places such as sewers - safely hidden from the prying eyes of humanity. The Nosferatu are excellent scavengers and information brokers and are known for creating vast spy networks throughout their various subterranean warrens and tunnels.
The Kindred is the collective name for a group of vampires divided into separate clans who often work together to maintain their power base in San Francisco's underworld. The leader of the clans is a Prince named Julian Luna, whose primary function is to maintain the laws of the Kindred, in particular, the Masquerade - an edict that prevents mainstream humanity from learning the truth about their supernatural nature. Human police detective Frank Kohanek knows that Luna is San Francisco's leading mob boss, but is unaware that he is also a vampire. Guided by a mysterious informant, Kohanek is committed to bringing Luna and his organization down at all costs. While Luna must protect his people from police investigation, he must also worry about rivals who seek to instigate a war between the clans.
Frank Kohanek tries to take down Eddie Fiori following a gruesome murder, but fails. He makes a reluctant truce with Prince of the City Julian Luna, but is still obsessed with finding a way to destroy him. As Frank learns more about the Kindred, Julian tries to strengthen his ties to the human world. He invites his niece Sasha to stay with him and enters into a relationship with an investigative reporter named Caitlin Byrne. Meanwhile, Eddie Fiori decides upon a solution to his Frank Kohanek problem.
A neophyte Gangrel named Starkweather comes to San Francisco. Cash tries to help him adjust to life as a Kindred, but Starkweather takes to it only too well. Hungry for human blood, he uses his newfound powers to his own ends, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. Also, Daedalus falls in love with a lounge singer and resorts to alchemy in the hopes of changing his visage so that he might court her. Things heat up when Starkweather sets his sights on Daedalus' love interest.
The rivalry between the clans comes to a head as Eddie Fiori prepares for war against Julian Luna. Cash asks Julian permission to embrace Sasha, but the Brujah have their own plans for her instead - plans that virtually guarantee a bloody feud between the Brujah and Julian's camp. Daedalus rescues a terminally ill child from a hospital and wants to help him, even if by doing so condemns the child to eternal life as a Nosferatu.
One of Lillie Langtry's childer, a rock star named Zane becomes the star attraction at The Haven. Zane's wild attitude and antics threaten the Masquerade however when he begins indiscriminately embracing his groupies. Julian Luna wants Lillie to handle the situation, but he has his own problems trying to tame his newly-embraced Brujah niece Sasha. One of Zane's new progeny, Grace Dugan, tries to come to terms with her new life as a vampire.
Eddie Fiori's sire, Cyrus - Prince of Los Angeles, comes to San Francisco with a plan to help Eddie get rid of Julian Luna once and for all. He provides him with an Assamite assassin - a shape-shifter who can make herself appear to be anyone. To facilitate his scheme, Eddie manipulates Lillie Langtry into helping him.
An evil Nosferatu vampire named Goth kidnaps an infant named Jesse Doyle with the intent of using him as part of a mystic ritual to give him power over the entire clan. Daedalus struggles to keep the rest of the Nosferatu from joining up with Goth while Julian attempts to rescue the child. Caitlin Byrne finds herself caught in the crossfire after Lillie Langtry hypnotizes her into obeying her commands.
Julian Luna and Caitlin Byrne take a weekend holiday, but the sins of Julian's past come back to haunt him as Clan Brujah attempts to settle some old scores. Julian is injured and Caitlin finally learns the truth about him. Archon Raine takes control of San Francisco in Julian's absence, but the threat that looms over Julian's head casts a dark shadow over Archon as well.
Frank Kohanek is a police detective who finds himself drawn into the world of the Kindred. After learning the truth about Julian Luna, he enters into a reluctant truce, and though he wants nothing more than to bring Luna's entire operation down, he also finds himself aligning with the vampire leader to tackle even more dangerous threats to the city.
Julian Luna is the Primogen of Clan Ventrue and the Prince of the city of San Francisco. Though sometimes called upon to be decisive and ruthless, Julian does his best to hold true to his humanity and struggles to maintain peace between the various vampire clans. Along the way, he combats those that threaten the vampire Masquerade and enters into a truce with police detective Frank Kohanek.
Lillie Langtry is the Primogen of Clan Toreador and the owner of the vampire night club known as The Haven. Lillie is a woman guided by her passions, in particular, the unrequited love she feels for Julian Luna. Unwilling to share Julian with anyone, Lillie often plots against those who show a romantic interest in him - in particular, San Francisco Times reporter Caitlin Byrne.
Sonny is a San Francisco police detective and the partner of Frank Kohanek. What Frank doesn't realize however is that Sonny is also a vampire and the progeny of Julian Luna. Sonny's expertise is infiltration and he effectively operates within the police precinct without risk of exposing himself. Julian has also had him infiltrate the organization of rival vampire Primogen Eddie Fiori.
Archon Raine is the former Prince of San Francisco and the sire of Julian Luna. Though he no longer takes an active role in the city's politics, he remains at Luna's estate as a guide and mentor, carefully watching events from behind the scenes. Archon has a dark and mysterious past and he silently waits for the day when the sins of his past will come back to haunt him.
Sasha Luna is the last blood relative of Julian Luna. A young and temperamental girl, she leads a reckless and care-free life - until the day when Julian invites her into his home. Sasha becomes interested in one of Julian's employees - an ill-tempered Gangrel vampire named Cash. As her interest in Cash blossoms, Sasha finds herself drawn more and more into Julian's world and not even he can prevent his enemies from preying upon his family blood.
Cash is a young and violent vampire of Clan Gangrel. Following the murder of his sire Stevie Ray, Cash is elevated to the position of Clan Primogen. Though Julian Luna and he don't always see eye to eye, Cash proves to be a valuable security enforcer. Cash develops a romantic interest in Julian's human descendent, Sasha, but struggles to keep her from learning too much about the world of the Kindred.
Daedalus is the Primogen of the Nosferatu clan. Like all members of his clan, Daedalus boasts a monstrous appearance, but inside beats the heart of an artist and a romantic. Daedalus is fiercely loyal to Julian Luna and is often called upon to execute those whom Luna consigns to final death. Though always ready to fight when needed, Daedalus endlessly clings to the last vestiges of his humanity; in many ways, becoming the most human kindred of them all.
Caitlin Byrne is an investigative reporter for the San Francisco Times. While putting together a piece on organized crime, she meets Julian Luna. Luna and Caitlin fall in love with one another and Julian helps her career by purchasing the Times and promoting her to city editor. Although being with Julian thrills her, she knows there is a great deal more to this man than meets the eye. As she continues to search for answers to Julian's mysterious past, she only turns up more intriguing questions.
Eddie Fiori is the Primogen of Clan Brujah. A true crime boss, he dominates the unions and the shipyards. Eddie openly challenges Julian Luna's authority, claiming that Julian clings too closely to his human ways and does not allow the Brujah the opportunity to thrive. Eddie is always plotting to overthrow Luna and if he cannot manipulate others into doing it for him, he is more than willing to do it himself.