Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines Wiki
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I am confident no cure for my condition or that of my beloved wife lies within our figurative minds, waiting to be unlocked by the correct combination of memories recovered from our childhoods. And I am most certain it has nothing to do with the relationship between myself, my parents and my... genitals. Sorry, Sigmund, but I choose to stay my course. In time, too, may your star fade and disappear...
―Alistair Grout

Dr. Alistair Grout is a character in Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines. He was the Malkavian primogen of Los Angeles. An educated vampire haunted by paranoia, he was one of the few Kindred who believed in a cure.

Background

Early life

While the country and the year of his birth are unknown, Grout once owned an insane asylum where he did his research and work. As per typical of his profession at the time, Grout was a firm believer in phrenology. Grout also had a wife whom he loved very much, though she had an incurable disease.

Unfortunately for Grout, one of his patients was a Malkavian. Possibly during a failed feeding attempt, she attacked and then Embraced Grout, before being taken by the orderlies to the outside pen, where she suffered a Final Death.

Left without answers, Grout began to build up his theories for what he had become. He started to join his fellow Kindred in order to find out the secrets behind the vampiric condition. After he found out, he isolated himself from the rest of the vampires in order to search for a cure. He also put off finding a cure for his wife, and he put her in stasis so she would not die.

Events of Bloodlines

The Fledgling is sent to examine the reasons of Grout's abscence on the Primogen meeting by LaCroix, after LaCroix sent Ming Xiao to kill Alistair. The Fledgling can witness a skeleton on his bed with a stake near the place where his heart should be and lots of ash around, which implies that the Malkavian primogen is dead.

Theories about his death

The official source books of the P&P game state that a vampire older than a decade is likely to turn into ashes, as would a body that lies openly under the rays of sun. As one of his recordings says that he was Embraced in 1954, one could posit that the body on the bed may not be that of Alistair Grout. Thus, it could be presumed that the latter is hiding somewhere, making others believe that he is dead.

Personality and Traits

One of Grout's speakers

Unlike other Malkavians, Grout seemed to be considerably rational and had a great mind for science. However, according to his recordings, he struggled with the voices that plagued him, providing him with secret details of their lives; Grout kept his composure until the voices started to speak outside of conversation, warning him about a powerful vampire implied to be LaCroix and "his blackest crimes, both past and future."

He also deeply loved his wife, even after his Embrace. Grout regretted the fact that he couldn't run an asylum anymore, and he missed the horrendous things that happened in such institutions; he hadn't had much respect for human life. Grout also enjoyed puzzles and riddles immensely, going so far as to transform his own house into an immense maze full of such riddles.

Grout voiced frustration that he never had the chance to question his sire (or "my infector" as he called her). Apparently an asylum inmate, she attacked and successfully Embraced him, only to be set upon by orderlies and locked in the roaming pen; by the time Grout regained consciousness, the sunrise had killed her. In the same entry he mentioned this, he bitterly noted that she'd probably be just like the "mewling wretches" that made up his current crop of test subjects.

Despite of being one of the primogen of the Los Angeles' Camarilla, he felt no special loyalty or allegiance towards them as Grout only cares about furthering his research for a cure and also, to protect and save his wife.

Abilities

Grout was able to control his inherent Malkavian madness to such a degree that he was able to keep the voices at bay, and use them only in important situations. However, he eventually became paranoid.

Related Quests

Calling Dr. Grout
The fledgling is sent to investigate as to why Dr. Grout has been remiss from contacting LaCroix.

Gallery

Quotes

  • "It is quite peculiar the happenings I've been made to witness from my supernatural longevity. I'm thinking of one unfortunate phenomenon in particular of unique interest to my station... both as a professional and as a sufferer of this vampiric condition. It seems the stream of time has begun to erode the moorings of my chosen course of study... for the methodologies that gave birth to psychology are slowly disappearing. I find myself in an era that overlooks the physical component of psychological pathology time... and again in favour of the sophistic practices of Freud. Phrenology, dactopindalism, and the rest of the old guard is fallen by the wayside... its champions all silenced in death with my unique exception. Would that I could make my voice heard again although it may be suspicious... should I return to popular medical discourse fifty years after my apparent death. No, better that I continue my studies into the psychosis in secret. One day may I hold up my own cure as validation of the methods. I am confident no cure for my conditon or that of my beloved wife lies within our figurative minds... waiting to be unlocked by the correct combination of memories recovered from our childhoods. And I'm most certain that it has nothing to do with the relationship between myself, my parents, and my genitals. Sorry, Sigmund, but I choose to stay my course. In time, too, may your star fade and disappear."


  • "Another unfortunate casualty to tide of time: insane asylums. I lament their loss not only as brokerage houses for the breadth and depth of human psychoses... but also I shall mourn the disappearance of that peculiar environment present only in an insane asylum. That palpable atmosphere of blistered brains and churning bowels... the odiferous melange of freely flowing bodily humours... that gently rolling cacophany of distant sobs and screams... the muttered cursing of perceived enemies and the blissful gurgling of the lobotomized... like a new-born babe discovering the sky. I shall still find test subjects as surely as I find bloody sustenance in the night... but this climate, I fear, may never be replicated."


  • "Often I reflect with great regret on the missed opportunity that was my infector. Had I been conscious after the attack... I could have stopped the orderlies from locking her in the roaming pen. What I would give for just one interview, a few simple questions... of the plague ridden woman who met her end that dawn. Of course there is no guarantee she would have been any more helpful... than my current crop of test subjects - mewling wretches! Few could be called 'enthusiastic' - Given the nature of the tests... I cannot expect the same fervor from all... but a modicum of cooperation would be appreciated - Animals! The one called 'John' went so far as to gnaw off his arm... and escape into the floor boards like some feral rodent. I still hear him scurrying about at night, he must be making an atrocious mess in there."


  • "My studies proceed at a languid pace. I'm mired in a foul ennui as my wife's illness advances. My subjects grow restless without proper supervision... but I cannot pull myself back from this black depression. How many nights I've wasted now gazing from the tower walk, pondering the frailty of existence."


  • "After decades of solitary study into this affliction... I have learned that it is by no means mine alone. Indeed, the city is home to an entire society of similarly... afflicted individuals with whom I've only recently made contact. They are an understandably standoffish sort, by and large... but I have been able to confirm with them that the condition... is indeed vampirism which apparently comes in a multitude of strains... each with a spectacular set of symptoms such as... invisibility and even a sort of lycanthropy. Through numerous official interactions... with the governing body of this secret society... I have concluded that their fundamental understanding... of the vampiric condition is woefully lacking... and mired in suspicion and pseudo-religious dogma... that would make a Turk balk for its strictures. Indeed, they seemed impressed with my studies and... the eloquence with which I was able to present them. Apparently the typical suffer of my particular strain of vampirism... is far from the vanguard of the king's English. So impressed were they that they even offered me an office in their government... a rather high office by the sound of things. I believe I shall accept. If nothing else, it should provide a lofty vantage point... from which to observe the breadth and epidemiology of the afflictions... so that I may move more expeditiously toward a cure."


  • "I have accepted the role of 'primogen' for clan 'Malkavian'... the dreadfully winsome label applied to the particular strain of vampirism I suffer. So named for some supposed vampire father figure of old... more poppycock grown from a backwood culture that seems interminably drawn... to childrens' tales and the fiction of Victorian romance... when it should concern itself... with the science behind their suffering. No matter, for I have taken this office for no greater reason than to advance my research. I must make mention however that even among my would-be peers in this governing body of vampires... the level of paranoia and superstition is frightening! Their intelligence is not the question, no, indeed, as they courted me for this appointment... I had to suspect that their overtures were hand-tailored... to what must be my obvious infatuation with reason... for the devil would do well to have such honey-tongued tempters. Even so I could not help but notice the dressing of language... these vampire leaders chose for their siren song. Whether it is born of habit, from addressing their unwashed ill-educated subjects... or from their own deep-seated beliefs... their linguistic flourishes belie a faith in superstition... over the providence of empirical reason that must be... an all-pervasive theme in this society of darkest night. Damn it all now, I'm doing it, too!"


  • "As I expand my dealings with the vampire government... I have encountered a disturbing new symptom of this affliction. Frequently, in conversation, I will hear voices emanating from other vampires. Voices that are not their own, but which seem to have insight into their lives beyond what I could gather from simple conversation. These voices seem to echo from deep within my fellow vampires... and I cannot be certain if this symptom belongs to my strain of the illness or theirs... for the voices are various and inconsistent. I dare not mention this symptom to my vampiric peers, for they have proven themselves true predators... to whom I could be loath to reveal any sign of weakness. Indeed, these voices have counseled me against confessing their presence... and until I can confirm their source, I will listen. The information the voices have given me ranges from curious to frightening. The latter case is especially true of one powerful vampire whose name... I shall not commit to recording in the interests of self preservation."


  • "The voices have increased in frequency and direction of late. They have begun to stay with me long after conversation has ceased and are serving as quite a distraction. I fear others are beginning to notice my preoccupation at the vampire gatherings. I'm thinking again of the particular vampire of whom I spoke previously... who I dare not name for my growing fear. If the voices are to be believed, then my caution is warranted... for they speak of his blackest crimes both past and future. More than once I have seen the suspicion in his eyes... and heard the distrust in his voice when speaking with me! The fear must register on my face as it is all I can do in these moments to keep from crying out... in chorus with the voices!"


  • "I am no longer safe - I know it! The voices have proven themselves authentic, and I have withdrawn from the vampire society entirely. My absence will no doubt draw attention, but I could no longer hold my fragile composure... around the ravenous eyes of my vampire peers, especially not around him! The voices compelled me to make what I fear is a Faustian bargain. But I had to, for their demands are constant and merciless. I have secluded myself within the mansion. I know he will strike out at me. He will go to any length to achieve his ambitions, and he knows that I know! I have taken precautions to protect my beloved wife. A cure will have to wait until our immediate safety is guaranteed. The mansion was constructed with security in mind, but at that time... I was not privy to the full range of vampire capabilities! The voices echo in the twisted corridors of my psyche... dark whisperings of a macabre and formless menace the approach of which portends an end, an end to all of this!"

Trivia

  • According to his audio recordings, Grout learned about and gained Ghouls of his own, which he then used in his experiments. In one of his more humorous recordings, he states, "The one called John went so far as to gnaw off his arm and escape into the floorboards like some feral rodent. I still hear him scurrying about at night; he must be making an atrocious mess…"
  • Grout's preferences for different psychiatric practices do not make much chronological sense. He laments the popularity of Freud's theories and in another place reminisces how the sounds of insane asylums included the "gurgling of the lobotomized." Lobotomy became an accepted medical practice decades after Freud made his mark on psychiatry.
  • The audiotapes Grout leaves around are similar to the ones used by Dr. Seward, in Coppola's "Bram Stoker's Dracula."

External links

References

  1. A newspaper found in the chapel room in his mansion indicates that Grout faked his death by car crash on February 28, 1925, putting the date of his embrace somewhere around that time.

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