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In a scenario I am currently writing, I would like the players to follow the trail of some Followers of Set vampires that captured a Gangrel tribe leader.

The starting point is the leader's disappearance being brought to the players' attention, and the end point should be them finding out some FoS vampires did it and maybe where they brought him.

I'm not familiar enough with the discipline of Serpentis (the FoS specialty) but I think the level 3 power Skin of the Adder could act as a clue: it reportedly gives a vampire a "body armor" made of hardened scales and helps protecting him from harm (especially soaking aggravated damage from weapons)

Skin of the adder :
By calling upon her Blood, the vampire may transform her skin into a mottled, scaly hide. A vampire in this form becomes more supple and flexible. This, combined with the character's increased flexibility, reduces soak difficulties to 5. The vampire may use her Stamina to soak aggravated damage from claws and fangs, but not from fire, sunlight or other magical energies. The vampire's mouth widens and fangs lengthen, enabling her bite to inflict an extra die of damage. Finally, the vampire may slip through any opening wide enough to fit her head through.

I guess I could say the vampire that was fighting the Gangrel leader obviously activated this defense against the Gangrel's claws, and some scales might have been taken off from it. The players would find that scale upon inspecting the fight scene and might find more about it from some specialist.

Is the scale(s) being fighted-off from the vampire's skin plausible in-universe? Would those scales remain on the ground untouched, even if the vampire deactivated the power? How hard would it be for a player finding such a scale to a) know about it himself (through a skill check maybe) and/or b) find someone who does?

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The Settite's own scales aren't going to last. However, you can still leave a thematic snakeskin clue.

Followers of Set are known to keep ghouled snakes. Even people who have little hard knowledge of FoS might be aware of that they have some kind of association, symbolic or real, with snakes.

Your Settites might simply have arrived at the fight scene after spending time at their temple and handling live snakes. A few small scraps of snake skin could have remained on someone's person, and fallen off during the fray. Heck, one of the FoS might even have deliberately carried a bit of skin along with them if it carried personal religious significance.

Unless snake skin is normally found laying around the city your game takes place in, having any present at all would stand out as odd. Spirit's Touch might help connect the skin the FoS (vague flashes of an occult devotion), or at least to a vampire (feeding scene, or a sensation of the touch of a very cold hand).

Someone with Heightened Senses or in wolf form with Protean could detect odors that suggest the skin came from a live snake, but was carried by a vampire or FoS specifically; musty death, blood & drugs, vitae, incense, or even an unusual beer used by the Temple of Set.

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I still have to find the page citation, but my understanding is that once a piece of a vampire is removed, it crumbles to indistinct ash at a rate of speed proportional to the age of the Kindred. Severed limbs, bits of hair, skin flakes…and probably your Setite's scale, too, unless he is very young.

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