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|“||There is a red star in the night sky. The blood of mortals and the blood of ages, all will be consumed. They are coming. These are the Final Nights.||„|
|~ Andrei discusses Gehenna|
Andrei is the Sabbat Archbishop of Los Angeles and a major villain in the 2004 video game Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines. An Elder of Clan Tzimisce, Andrei champions the pro-vampire rhetoric of the Sabbat, branding humans as the natural prey of the superior race and declaring his faction the only true heirs to the legacy of the Dark Father, Caine. As is typical for his clan, he is also in the habit of using captured humans as material for use in creating the many monsters that guard his haven, claiming that this is only appropriate use for mortals.
Having taken command of the Sabbat forces in a city currently divided by conflict between the Anarch, Camarilla and Kuei-Jin factions, Andrei now seeks to overthrow the Camarilla rulers of the city and seize control of Los Angeles entirely; however, he also seeks a means of destroying the Ankaran Sarcophagus, believing that the Antediluvian contained within might prove to be the impetus for Gehenna, the vampire apocalypse.
Outdoing even the members of the Nosferatu Clan in sheer deformity, Andrei would likely break the Masquerade were he ever seen in public, for few observers could ever mistake him for a human. However, he was not born like this, and unlike the majority of Clan Nosferatu, he was not disfigured against his will. As a Tzimisce, he possesses a clan-unique discipline known as Vicissitude, allowing him to shape flesh and bone by touch: as is the case with the overwhelming majority of his clan, he has used this power to alter his body into a shape befitting his new state of being - and more importantly, his separation from humanity.
As such, he has remolded his flesh into reptilian scales, turned his eyes a fiery orange, tipped his fingers with long talons, and sculpted his head into an impressive crest of bone and skin. However, Andrei still fancies himself a nobleman (a common trait among Tzimisce), and thus dresses in fine robes, contrasting his nightmarish appearance with his sumptuous attire. Nonetheless, he is not averse to violence, and should the situation require it, Andrei is fully capable of using Vicissitude to remodel himself for close-quarters combat, even taking on the dreaded Zulo form - a monstrous, armor-plated killing machine, among the most feared of all his clan's abilities.
A stolid traditionalist of both his clan and his faction, Andrei embodies most of the traditional Tzimisce virtues - and vices: in accordance with the ancient laws of hospitality, he treats his guests with all due respect and courtesy, remaining perfectly civil with the players even after they break into his haven; among other things, he compliments Malkavian players on their gift of perception, encourages Nosferatu players not to be ashamed of their monstrous appearances, and offers to unlock the true potential of all players through his power of Vicissitude. The only exception to this rule involves Tremere players: as with all members of his clan, Andrei despises the Tremere for stealing immortality from captured Tzimisce vampires, and regards any members of the "wretched brood" with barely-restrained contempt. However, even with this vocal disdain, he will not break the hospitality-enforced truce unless the player does so first.
Likewise, Andrei faithfully maintains the common Sabbat belief in the innate superiority of vampires over humanity, as well as a particular disdain for Thin-Bloods and other high-generation vampires, along with more common minorities: as he freely acknowledges, the materials he uses to create his monsters have all been drawn from "illegals, mongrels, half-bloods and caitiff," dismissing the victims required to gather the materials as "of little consequence to authority" and considering their deaths a necessary culling of the weak. Likewise, Andrei proclaims the Sabbat and the Tzimisce in particular to be the anointed few of Kindred across the world, regarding the Camarilla as weak and cowardly for attempting to remain hidden within human society despite being superior to them. He also demonstrates a constant and consistent fear of the Antediluvian believed to be slumbering within the Ankaran Sarcophagus, believing that such ancient vampires should be destroyed before they have a chance to bring about Gehenna, the vampire apocalypse; however, where most other Sabbat believe that such third-generation vampires should be diablerized so that their power can feed the rest of the faction (as was the case with the Tzimisce and Lasombra Antediluvians), Andrei just wants the Sarcophagus and its occupant destroyed at any cost.
But more than any other attribute typical to his clan, Andrei embodies the Tzimisce traditions of mutilation and torture: having already used Vicissitude to sculpt himself into a form befitting his separation from humanity, he has also used it to sculpt hundreds if not thousands of innocent human beings into materials befitting his purposes; alongside regular vampire shovelheads, his army includes severed human heads mounted on froglike legs, bloated juggernauts of fat and muscle empowered with toxic projectors, and even a handful of War Ghouls - each one a monstrous spider made of four conjoined human bodies. Likewise, his haven in the Hollywood Hills is decorated with living human flesh, archways have been formed from sculpted bone, and several of the beds appear to sport sheets of transparent skin, eyeballs in the bed-head and - in some cases - human faces. Andrei openly glories in the power Vicissitude grants him, styling himself as an artist and a visionary for harnessing the mutability of flesh, even offering to use this power to transform the players. Indeed, he is so proud of his creations that he went so far as to film them chasing a woman through his house and tearing her to pieces for his own amusement - though this led to his undoing when a snuff film studio stole the tape and began distributing it on the black market.
Despite his apparently serious nature, Andrei has something of an eccentric streak: despite his open contempt for humanity, he doesn't completely disconnect himself from it, unlike many other Tzimisce. At one point, he actually makes a call to the late-night radio show The Deb Of Night and takes the opportunity to troll the DJ with a rambling account of Gehenna, before hanging up.
Andrei's early life is largely unknown and unexplained. However, his power and station suggests that he is an Elder at the very least, and his accent implies that he was born in the traditional Tzimisce homelands of Eastern Europe; the fact that he possesses an estate dating back to his esteemed ancestors indicates that he might have once belonged to one of the Revenant families that traditionally serve the Tzimisce (the only mortal ancestors worth esteeming as far as Tzimisce are concerned). Likewise, it's not known how long he has served as an Archbishop to the Los Angeles Sabbat, or even when he and the bulk of his army arrived in the city.
What is known is that he began making aggressive maneuvers against the ruling powers of LA in 2004: by this time, Anarch control of the city had been subverted by the invasion of the infamous Kuei-Jin, allowing the Camarilla back into the city for the first time in over sixty years. Led by Prince Sebastian LaCroix, the "cammies" were able to gain a substantial foothold in the city, but never succeeded in truly taking over Los Angeles: inexperienced and graceless by the standards of his clan, the Ventrue Prince was disrespected by almost every single figure in local Kindred politics, even his own underlings, and Andrei sought to exploit this weakness. Already operating a major warehouse in Santa Monica for the purposes of shipping arms under the Camarilla's radar, he sent out raiding parties to disrupt LaCroix's businesses and kill his associates, hoping to destabilize the Prince even further.
As such, though he doesn't meet the player until the game's third act, Andrei's forces are encountered almost immediately after the trial at the Nocturne Theater: during the opening tutorial from Smiling Jack, a pack of Sabbat shovelheads raid the theater and the surrounding area, likely under orders from Andrei himself. However, Jack and the Sheriff make short work of them, and the Fledgling is able to finish off the stragglers with relative ease. In the following nights, the player is charged with destroying the Sabbat's warehouse in Santa Monica: it naturally requires a long and complicated slog through a wide range of obstacles including a gang of violent drug dealers, a limb-obsessed serial killer, the two-faced Voerman sisters, various local gang members, the ghosts haunting the Ocean House Hotel, and a hard-to-find Nosferatu agent, but eventually the Fledgling is successful in planting a bomb in the warehouse, depriving Andrei of an invaluable resource. Naturally, the Sabbat immediately attempt revenge on the player in a vicious ambush while en route to Downtown LA, but they are once again foiled - this time by Nines Rodriguez, the leader of the LA Anarchs.
However, around the time the player begins working for LaCroix on a more direct basis, the Kindred community in LA receives word of an abandoned cargo ship found floating aimlessly just off the coast of California, and rumors begin circulating once the coast guard took note of its contents - most prominently, the Ankaran Sarcophagus, a priceless relic of ancient Mesopotamia discovered earlier that year. Andrei regards these rumors with considerable suspicion, believing that the Sarcophagus actually contains an Antediluvian, one of the legendary Third-Generation vampires: as a proud member of the Sabbat, Andrei fears the power of the Antediluvians, and believes that the awakening of this particular vampire will bring about Gehenna - an apocalypse in which the oldest of all vampires will slake their thirst with the blood of the younger generations, and all the earth will be destroyed in their attempts to sate their hunger. As such, he quickly takes steps to eliminate the Sarcophagus before it can be opened.
Snuff Is Enough
At some point following the destruction of the warehouse, Andrei begins operations much closer to home: having established a haven for himself in a derelict mansion up in the Hollywood Hills, he starts creating ghouls in vast numbers, using Vicissitude to sculpt them into hideous monsters. Recognizing the local Camarilla's reliance on the Nosferatu for surveillance, he sends his newly-made army into the sewers of Hollywood via a tunnel dug in his basement, commanding his monsters to find the Nosferatu warren buried deep beneath the city and eliminate its inhabitants. As Andrei later explains, he believes that this will be enough to "gouge out the eyes of the Camarilla" and leave them blind to the Sabbat's next stratagem.
However, Andrei makes one unfortunate mistake in the process of arranging this plan: in order to test the effectiveness of his new creations, he gets into the habit of luring mortals to his haven and setting his beasts upon them, watching eagerly as the fleshcrafted monstrosities hunt down and slaughter the helpless kine. In at least one case, he goes so far as to film the results, both for the sake of experimentation and for later viewing pleasure. Unfortunately, while Andrei is out of his house one evening, a petty criminal breaks in and steals the tape, somehow managing to escape without being attacked by the Tzimisce's creations. As it happened, this particular burglar works for Death Mask Productions, a black market group specializing in illegal pornography and snuff films: though unable to explain the "special effects" behind the monsters, they decide the tape is gruesome enough to sell and hastily brand it with the DMP logo before sending it out into Hollywood's underworld.
Needless to say, Andrei is not amused: over the next few nights, representatives of Death Mask Productions find themselves being hunted by fleshcrafted ghouls, either killed instantly or captured alive so Andrei can torture them for information - a popular Tzimisce hobby. After countless disappearances, inhuman shapes in the dark, ominous phone calls and other inexplicable phenomena, the rest of the organization and its associates become increasingly paranoid as the nights go on, until many of them simply refuse to do business at all. However, Andrei has acted too late: the sudden disappearance of the Nosferatu and the arrival of the tape have gotten the attention of Isaac Abrams, the Anarch Baron of Hollywood, who correctly suspects some connection between the two events. By now, the player has arrived in Hollywood to interrogate the Nosferatu Primogen as to the whereabouts of the Ankaran Sarcophagus, and soon ends up becoming part of Isaac's investigation.
Having bought a copy of the tape, Isaac finds himself stymied when the courier refuses to meet with him in person, and sends the player in his stead: having been stalked for the last few nights, the courier is almost too scared to be lucid, and flees the area after barely a minute of conversation - only to be ambushed by another one of Andrei's monsters and dragged into the sewers (once again either killed instantly or captured alive for later torture). Doubly unfortunately, the tape he was intending to sell is incomplete, forcing the player to search the porn outlets of Hollywood for a means of contacting DMP; eventually, a lead at the Sin Bin sex shop points them in the direction of another courier at the Lucky Star Hotel - but by the time the Fledgling arrives, he's been captured too. Evidence at the scene of the crime leads the player directly to the Ground Zero NetCafe - a front for DMP's main studio - but in keeping with the run of bad luck so far, the building is already infested with monsters by the time the Fledgling arrives, and every single DMP employee left on the scene is dead. Fortunately, a copy of the tape is salvaged from the wreckage, and Isaac is able to confirm precisely where the film was shot.
Arriving at 609 King's Way, the player infiltrates Andrei's haven and - after admiring the hideous decor - eventually descends into the basement, where Andrei himself is waiting. Though the Tzimisce is perfectly courteous, hostilities soon break out between the two vampires, and the conversation devolves into a boss battle: Andrei does not actually fight the player himself, however, instead simply calling upon his ghouls to assault the intruder while using Koldunic Blood Magic to teleport himself across the basement. In the end, however, the Sabbat Archbishop's guards are too depleted to continue the fight, and Andrei has no choice but to teleport himself out of the house entirely. In his absence, the player enters the sewers and eliminates the rest of the Tzimisce's army, ending the threat to the local Nosferatu.
As if to add insult to injury, it's later revealed that only a handful of Nosferatu were killed in Andrei's attack on the sewers, and the overwhelming majority of the Hollywood Sewer Rats have remained safe and secure within the warrens.
Hell At The Hallowbrook Hotel
After being forced to abandon his haven, Andrei joins the rest of the Sabbat in their communal haven in the abandoned Hallowbrook Hotel, where his tastes quickly take a turn for the brutal: having claimed the basement as his own private sanctum, he digs out a massive pit in the ground and begins decorating it with the grisly remains of human sacrifices (a few of which are still alive), until a vast pool of blood has accumulated within the pit. For good measure, he also sanctions the capture of numerous humans for use as blood dolls for the Sabbat army, and in order to keep them from escaping, he has their eyes removed for good measure.
For the remainder of the game, the Archbishop remains in the shadows, marshaling his forces while the player goes about earning the trust of the Nosferatu by rescuing one of the number from Chinatown and then retrieving the Ankaran Sarcophagus from the Giovanni Mansion. Eventually, the Sarcophagus is delivered to Prince LaCroix's haven in the penthouse offices of the Venture Building; however, the casket cannot be opened, forcing the player to seek out the archaeologist who first discovered the artifact - and in the Fledgling's absence, Andrei makes his move. A team of Sabbat assassins break into the Venture Building, intent on killing LaCroix and destroying the Sarcophagus by any means available: however, the Sheriff proves too formidable an opponent for the hit squad to deal with, and though they are able to set off a bomb in the building, the Prince, the Sarcophagus and the building itself survive intact. Infuriated by the Sabbat's brazenness, LaCroix sends the Fledgling to eliminate the local Sabbat once and for all, eventually leading them directly to the Hallowbrook Hotel.
Unfortunately, players who chose to turn Heather Poe into a ghoul earlier in the game soon discover that Andrei took his first defeat very personally: if Heather remains in the player's service and isn't dismissed before it's too late, the Sabbat kidnap her and hold her hostage at the Hotel; when the player arrives, they kill her immediately.
After wading through the last of Andrei's monsters, an army of shovelheads, three Lasombra vampires and a Tremere Antitribu, the Fledgling finally reaches the basement level of the Hotel, where they confront Andrei for the second time: recognizing the smell of the player's blood, the Archbishop remarks that the Fledgling seems much more powerful this time. But upon realizing that the player doesn't recognize the threat posed by the Sarcophagus, Andrei's patience finally snaps, and he rants at length about how everyone in the city is clearly being manipulated by the Antediluvian and how he will have to purify all of Los Angeles - before leaping down from his perch and attacking the player head-on. Using Vicissitude to shape himself into the dreaded Zulo Form, he assaults the player with a deadly array of claws and spines, evading counterattacks by leaping in and out of the blood pool. However, thanks to the strength of the Fledgling (and likely a flamethrower in the player's arsenal), the Archbishop is ultimately overwhelmed, and Andrei meets his Final Death alongside the rest of the LA Sabbat.
|“||Revulsion is instinctual... and instinct is a powerful level to work toward. To evoke it, a glorious accomplishment! Revulsion is a striking color on my palette. I see wonderment in your dead eyes: you long to wield such power as deftly as I!||„|
|~ Andrei playing at artistry|
|“||You are instantly known to me. I can smell your vitae, and can imagine the taste of your viscera on my talons. (inhales) Ah, yes, it's in the blood, strong and balmy. It is not yours to hide, child.||„|
|~ A demonstration of the Tzimisce's senses and sadism|
|“||Blessed creatures! I have broken through their mortal crust and drawn from them their greatest strength: mutability. I coax bone, weave flesh, and lace sinew tight until it strains to lash out...||„|
|~ Andrei rants at length on Viccistude and his creations|
|“||Cursed Tremere blood hangs heavy on the air. Young, too. Squirming larva of the wretched brood who stole their immortality! Tell me, child, are you scared? Do I frighten you? Is my knowledge of you unnerving?||„|
|~ Andrei greeting Tremere players|
|“||I will do it myself, if I must. And you... you will be purified. It is the blood that he is speaking through, the blood of all the pawns. It ALL must be purified!'||„|
|~ Andrei's last words|
- In total, Andrei appears only three times in the entire game, and the player only meets him on two of these occasions.