Caine, also known as Cain, Khayyin or The Dark Father, is an ancient vampire who appears in White Wolf’s Publishing’s World of Darkness setting. He was the first vampire, and is an ever-present presence - whether benign or malignant - in the mythos.
None know the true face of Caine, except perhaps some of the Antediluvians and a handful of other incredibly old supernatural entities, and none of them will talk of him. Whether Caine even wears the same face as he was birthed with remains a mystery, and it is entirely possible that one may meet with a mysterious stranger and be completely unaware that one had just encountered the Dark Father. What is known is that he has existed since long before recorded history and is a being of enormous power, said to be capable of destroying the Kindred in their entirety if he so chooses.
Whether Caine is a benevolent or malicious creature is a hotly debated topic amongst many Kindred, and one whose answer will likely remain unknown until the First Vampire decides to reveal himself once more.
Most of what we know of Caine comes from the ancient texts collectively known as the Book of Nod. These writings state that, much like biblical accounts, a jealous Caine killed his brother Abel and offered his body as sacrifice to God. This act made God angry, and he cast Caine from his lands to wander for a time in the Land of Nod.
On his wanderings Caine encountered Lilith, the first woman, who took him in and gave him shelter for a time. There, Lilith taught Caine they ways of magic; the seeds of this knowledge would one day serve Caine as the basis for the vampiric Disciplines which he would one day develop.
After a time, God sent His angels to Earth to offer Caine a chance to repent for his sin, but when he would not, God cursed the farmer that he would no longer be able to feel the touch of the sun upon his skin and would forever crave human blood as sustenance.
Leaving Lilith to once again wander the Land of Nod, Caine’s loneliness eventually got the better of him and he settled in a small farming village named Ubar. The humans of the time were well aware of who Caine was, and there were those amongst the Children of Seth who even worshiped him. There, he was happy for a while.
Eventually though, Caine became desperate for the company of others of his kind, and Embraced the three humans (or Cainites as vampires were known at the time) Enoch, Irad and Zillah, who would come to be known as the Second Generation. At around this time he also renamed Ubar as the City of Enoch after its old ruler and first of the new order of Kindred.
The Second Generation desired Childer of their own, however, and they Embraced Cainites of their own, the Third Generation who would come to be known as the Antediluvians. Caine subsequently decreed that no more Childer should be created, and so it was for long years.
For many generations, humans and Cainites existed together in harmony, until the city attracted the attention of God who did not like what He saw. He sent a great flood to Earth which destroyed the First City and scattered the the vampires to the winds, although all of them survived. Despondent, Caine lost himself in the wilderness, away from both mortals and Childer alike.
In the ensuing chaos, the Third Generation (now known as the Antediluvians) ended up turning on the Second Generation for reasons unknown. After killing their sires, Caine visited the Antediluvians one final time and, unbeknownst to them at the time, laid a great Curse upon each one, a Curse which would echo down their entire lineages. With this act, Caine disappeared from all of recorded history.
Many ancient texts, not least of which being the Book of Nod, state that when the End Times are near, Caine will once again appear in the world, and that when he does he will destroy every last Cainite in existence. Many vampiric scholars, reading the signs from these old manuscripts, believe that this time is nearly upon us . . .