The elders of the bloodline indicate that this bloodline has been in existence for nearly three millennia, or so their tradition says. According to their own legend, it formed from a mystic alliance between a powerful circle of druids and their female counterparts, priestesses.
In those days, women interested in the religion and arts of the old Celtic traditions usually specialized. While the druids maintained positions as advisors, judges, and magicians, it was the priestesses who revered the gods. Their power was no less important, it just tended to be much more secretive as they gathered in tight-knit cults in order to serve a specific holy place or god.
The god of the particular group of priestesses from whom the Leanan Sidhe trace their descent was that of the Irish blood-god, Crom Cruac. It also happened that the high priestess leading this cult, whom legend named Maeve, had long since been Embraced by a Gangrel. Out of wrath for severing her from the magical powers she wielded in life, Maeve eventually destroyed her own sire, then set about learning a new power with to replace that which she lost.
To this end, Maeve enlisted the help of a circle of druids known as the Black Am. These druids were not averse to dipping deeply into the darkness of black magic in the pursuit of knowledge. They were both fascinated by Maeve, and willing to help. Working together, the cult of priestesses and the Black Am were able to bind the spirit of an immortal Sidhe lord into the very blood of the vampiric Maeve. This blood magic first took the form of Ogham (a vampiric Discipline detailed below). Although in time Maeve created several other forms of blood magic and rites to accompany them, Ogham itself remained restricted to the bloodline that birthed it, as this kind of magic could be made possible only by virtue of the mystic fusion of Fey Spirit and Vitae. By all appearances, Maeve was quite successful in replacing the powers she once wielded as a priestess of a Blood God with new, very effective ones.
Yet, the natures of vampires combined with the individualistic nature of the Celtic culture led to few Leanan Sidhe being made. Typically, the high priestess would create Childer primarily to place control over distant mystic sites, sometimes companionship, and to pass down knowledge. There, they would act as fiercely territorial guardians over these places. Loneliness might sometimes drive a particular Leanan Sidhe to Embrace a beloved companion, but often they were driven to part from their Sire, no matter how close they had become, to seek out a place of their own. This was particularly true of female Leanan Sidhe. Some male Childer might never pick up the Bloodline, but simply remain as a companion and guard to the Leanan Sire.
Tradition has also limited the instruction of the sacred Ogham Discipline only to the female side of the line. Newly Embraced Childer might be male to serve as a companion, but although the male might take on the bloodline when their Blood Potency was great enough, they almost never were allowed to learn Ogham. Thus, male Leanan would have taken the Bloodline only out of a sign of respect and personal sacrifice for his beloved Sire.
The Leanan Sidhe's natural desire to possess magic mounds, ley lines and other places of power quickly led to competition with other beings. It would have been expected that the Fey, or Sidhe as they were known in Ireland, might have a particular hatred of the line, for the enslavement of a powerful spirit of one of their own into the Bloodline. However, it seems that the darker Fey, at least, seemed to feel a sort of kinship with the Leanan, while the light or good Fey, tended to simply avoid them. Ironically, it was druids who became the Leanan Sidhe's first competitors.
Centuries of competition with the druids as well as each other weakened the Leanan Sidhe, making them mistrustful even of others of their own kind. More organized vampires riding the coattails of mankind's civilization eventually arrived and the competition for domination of the Celts as resources was intensified. Finally, the arrival of the highly organized, and often very centralized, Christian Church arrived.
The pressures proved to be too much for the bulk of the individual Leanan Sidhe. Many perished in clashes with monster hunters, rivals in their own Bloodline, and new Mages arriving to explore and wrest control over the magic of the Celtic hinterlands. The few who survived finally joined - some prideful rumors say founded - the Circle of the Crone Covenant.
Unfortunately for the Leanan Sidhe were not as mobile as most other vampires, they were too easy to discover and eventually destroy. The Leanan took devastating toll against the lives and Unlives of would-be interlopers, but in the end they were simply too few. It seemed certain this bloodline would die out.
By the eleventh century, it seemed that all the Leanan were gone or deep in Torpor. All, that is, save for one lone elder.
This last elder Leanan made a pact with a Sidhe Lord to save her from an alliance of religiously powerful hunters and Magus allies determined to wrest from her grip her last refuge. Though surrounded by intensely brave and loyal warriors (who were in fact a mixture of vampire, human, and werewolf fighters) calling themselves the last of the Fianna, the elder saw that clearly she and her warriors could not hope to stop these invaders from eventually destroying them all. In desperation, she begged the Sidhe Lord, to sever her ties to the land that she might flee to some place of safety.
It took tremendous magical might of a nature unknown to vampire kind, but the Sidhe Lord did sever the last known active Leanan Sidhe from her homeland. It was almost too late; her Fianna had to fight a running battle against the forces arrayed against them. Most of them gave their lives so that the charge they served could escape.
She fled to Britain, hoping to make her way from there to Europe to hide from her enemies. Unfortunately she ran directly into the grip of the Covenant of the Licea Sanctum, mystic vampires who saw creatures such as the Leanan Sidhe as rivals. But a certain young member of this covenant saw in this refugee a symbol of heritage lost, a heritage she herself had been forced to surrender when she was made a Childe of the Ventrue, and later was made to join the Sanctified by her Sire. Her name was Roma.
Roma smuggled this nameless Leanan Sidhe refugee out of Britain and into the hands of a friend called the Baron von Rhoden. There, the Leanan found safety. Yet, while the Sidhe Lord had severed her link with the land (and thus was granted a reprieve from her Bloodline's curse), the refugee languished in loneliness and despair. She was grateful toward her new ally and friend, yet she missed the old days and Ireland so terribly that she chose the endless sleep of Torpor rather than continue as she had been.
Roma watched her friend pine away into Torpor from afar, with a heavy heart. Over the proceeding centuries, Roma learned and grew in power, becoming a very powerful elder herself, leaping through time every few centuries by lying in torpor herself for five score years and more each time. Each active period, she kept prodigious journals, notes she secreted away to re-read after every torpid sleep.
At last, in the year 2001, a bizarre magical accident involving a human Mage sent a coterie of New World vampires into Europe. By some stroke of fate, they disturbed the nameless Leanan Sidhe's endless rest, and she rose from her centuries-long slumber. Confused and alone, she accompanied them back to the New World, North America and eventually found her friend and ally, Roma, once more in the city of Detroit.
So much time had passed that the newly awoken Leanan Sidhe had forgotten her own name, taking in its place the name Fianna to honor those half-remembered faithful who gave their lives to protect her so long ago.
While the elder Ventrue, Roma, recognized Fianna from her journals and faded memories, Fianna no longer knew her. Still, Roma felt that ancient tug of compassion and assisted the newly risen Leanan Sidhe in the reestablishment of her Bloodline among the Gangrel (who were quite receptive to it in this new era), as well as the construction of a new Circle of the Crone. This time, however, Roma headed the Circle herself as Heirophant; having some time ago severed her own connections with the Sanctified.
Currently, the bloodline exists primarily in the Detroit area, though rumors remain of a few ancient Leanan still sleeping deep inside great mounds in Ireland.
Parent Clan: Gangrel
Nicknames: Witches, Priestesses, and Druids
Covenant: The Circle of the Crone is, by far, the most popular choice of covenant for a Leanan Sidhe. Still, some might choose Invictus or Carthien, though even being Unaligned is more likely than those choises. None would willingly join the Lancea Sanctum or Ordo Dracul, for every Leanan embraced is always very strongly pagan. If they weren't thoroughly pagan to begin with, they are by the time the rites to gain the power of Ogham are made.
Appearance: Typically female, but not always. They favor making human descendents their Childer, but necessity has often dictated they choose others, even from races of human not like their own.
Haven: If a Leanan Sidhe can manage it, she will prefer underground dwellings secured from the prying eyes of those who might try to spy upon their sacred blood rites. Caves, basements, sub-basements, and even sectioned off areas of old subways and storm drainage areas might be made into safe houses for the Leanan Sidhe.
Character Creation: Leanan Sidhe rely heavily on the Social Attributes with Mental Attributes being second, though the rare male Leanan Sidhe warrior-guardian companion might concentrate on Physical Attributes with Social Attributes being second. Most Leanan Sidhe concentrate on Social, Physical and Intelligence Skills in that order.
Bloodline Disciplines: Animalism, Protean, Resilience, and Ogham.
Weaknesses: In addition to the weaknesses normally attributed to the Gangrel, a Leanan Sidhe also suffers from a kind of separation anxiety if she leaves her home territory. Distance from her homeland causes her to feel disoriented, confused, sick and weak. Each week that the Leanan Sidhe is absent from the home, she loses one die from all dice pools, down to a minimum pool equal to the character's Stamina.
Organization: The Bloodline typically organizes itself in a kind of matriarchy. The local leader of a group of Leanan Sidhe is usually referred to as the High Priestess in formal settings within the group. Other Leanan Sidhe trained in the use of Ogham to some level are called Priestesses. Only Female wielders of the Ogham Discipline are granted a Priestess title. They may sometimes have Gangrel Childer serving as bodyguards, lovers, or companions. It is no coincidence that this organization mirrors in many ways that of the Circle of the Crone. However, the issue of which came first is a matter of debate.
Leanan Sidhe tend to relish human attentions, and can be found operating in the guise of spiritual leader of some sort, or even leading musical groups (though such public personas can be problematic for vampires).
Concepts: Neo-pagan, new age spiritualist, native shaman, feminist, cultist, voodoo priestess
Special Bloodline Discipline: Ogham