Kindred the Embraced

Kindred the Embraced was this very cool vampire television show done in the early nineties, loosely based on the role-playing game Vampire : The Masquerade by White Wolf Gaming Studio.

In the confines of the show's universe, Vampires have existed among humanity since inception, hiding themselves in plain sight and enforcing their own laws.

And in this show (Kindred) vampires have multiple unique bloodlines, and carry similar behavioral and physical attributes throughout the different vampire "clans". Within the show’s city setting, there are five clans represented in a representative body or ruling council for the city, all of whom are answerable to the city’s Prince.

Furthermore, each clan representative is responsible for the activities of their particular clan in the city, and the city’s prince Jullian Luna ruthlessly upholds all breaches of law or tradition. The first and foremost law amongst the vampires is that of “Masquerade,” in which the activities of vampires in the world are hidden from the view of humanity.

Vampires have control over the media, police, hospitals, underworld connections, and political influence. There is scarcely an aspect of human society that hasn’t been directly controlled by vampiric masters for centuries, since the time of the Inquisition, the burning times in which the church sought to eradicate vampires from the planet.

In the pilot for Kindred the Embraced, a rogue vampire and former lover to Jullian reveals the existence and basic facts of vampiric society to a local police officer Frank Kohanek, suddenly shattering all conception of what he knew about his world. While she is blood hunted for her crimes, a vow is made to secure Frank’s life, even as his investigations bring him close to revealing the existence of vampires to the world.

As the mortal Frank slowly digs deeper, he finds himself amidst a conspiracy between warring vampiric factions, each seeking to support, supplant, or control the current ruler. Before long, the lines between Frank’s ideas of "good" and "evil" begin to blur, and alliances are made with those perceived as monsters for the greater good, as it becomes apparent no one is whom they seem, and all his "allies" are in service to foe. What I particularly loved about the Kindred the Embraced TV show universe, is that it can accommodate all manner of vampire types, under the auspices of the different clans. There are the noble, yet hideously bestial Nosferatu clan lurking in the shadows of the sewers and depths of nightmare.

There are the caste of nobility and artistes, embodied in the Ventrue and Toreador clans, while the brutal and feral Gangrel wander the streets in roving packs of motorcycle gangs. The Brujah are portrayed as calculating mobsters, and there are allusions to the existence of other vampire clans beyond the scope of the show.

Unfortunately, financial difficulties and the death of the Kindred the Embraced series lead caused the show to be cancelled prematurely before further aspects of the Kindred universe could be discovered. But while it existed, Kindred: The Embraced was an excellent and unique vampiric soap opera whose legacy endures even today.

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"Twilight, again. Another ending. No matter how perfect the day is, it always has to end." -- Edward Cullen, Twilight