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Baali (Bloodline): Power Always Have a Price

on Wed Oct 11 2017, 11:42

You’re close to the truth now. You’ve gone from beating heart to withered organs. You’re a demon chained to
dead meat, almost free from the prison of flesh. Seek those who can unbind you further.

Legend holds the Baali to be the first bloodline to stand apart from the Clans, a tainted and cancerous lineage plaguing society from the time of the Second City. As for what progenitor sired the wicked line of infernalists, none can say. Some believe the Tzimisce responsible, due to that clan’s long association with the demon called Kupala. The Tremere spread this tale, but they will turn and blame Saulot in another breath; the Shepherds’ pogrom against the Baali smacks of hidden guilt, they say. The Malkavians refuse to speak on the matter at all.

The bloodline’s record of their origin is transmitted orally from sire to childe. Their genesis lies in a nameless tribe in what would become Tyre, a people that clung to atrocity as revelation and sacrificed without understanding. During a pre-dawn rite around the sacrificial pit, their orgiastic violence was interrupted by a terrible figure, silhouetted in the sun cracking the blood-red horizon. It tore into the tribe, rending their mortal flesh into obscene patterns and twisting their hearts to the sky before tossing their mutilated corpses into the pit before departing.

Three crawled out at sunset. They took their mortal god’s name for their own, for they were kin to him. When they turned their blood to the summoning rites wrought by mortal mages, they found Hell answering back. They still spill blood as sacrifice, but now the blood is their own.

Broken into ever-quarreling factions, the splintered and fractious bloodline claims they do not serve the Abrahamic Devil (they long predate that theology, without question) but they cannot agree on whom they do serve.The bloodline last saw philosophical unity during the advent of Zorastrianism, clinging to the idea of existence as a struggle between great powers of darkness and light. As vampires are beings of irrevocable darkness, they reason, why not play for their side to win? Others fear the demons, seeking to keep them placated and slumbering in Hell. Still others seek to awaken those same Fallen to end the world. To these ends, Baali hide inside Cainite society, seeking favors, showing subservience to (and in somecovens, compelling obedience from) a diverse group of infernal powers. The vast hierarchy of demons known as the Children, the Lords of the Abyss, insect-demons, dark gods – the list goes on. Most Baali agree that the greatest joy comes in service, taking their rightful place within the hierarchy of the truly Damned.

Devils are almost universally reviled, receiving the same warm welcome their mortal infernalist brethren do – a heretic’s blazing pyre. Princes call blood hunts on mere rumors of a coven’s infestation. No clans would defile themselves by association, but most consider the bloodline’s presence a useful diversion from their own hidden schemes, and rumors persist of Baali aid to the Tremere’s wars in exchange for unspecified favors.

Sobriquet: Devils

Appearance: Reviled by all, the Baali must blend into their surroundings, and thus dress in mortal fashion. Their clothing is usually of fine quality, and their elders bear meaningless ritual scars, fleshy relics of mortal years spent in ignorance.

Havens: The Baali love abandoned places of worship, desecrating former altars with blasphemous rituals. They gather cults of personality around themselves, gradually converting the mortals to worship of powers dark and ancient.

Character Creation: Social Attributes are primary, with Mental secondary. The Baali are social creatures first and foremost. Stealth is a Skill drilled into every Baali neonate. Knowledges are highly common, particularly Academics and Occult. Subterfuge is an especially prized Talent. Most Baali follow the Path of Screams on the Road of Sin, but a few walk the Road of Kings.

Clan Disciplines: Daimonion, Presence, Obfuscate

Weakness: The Torment in the blood of Caine recoils from religious symbols, and the Baali are particularly vulnerable. Unless those religious symbols have lain abandoned for half a century, any individual brandishing a religious symbol at a Devil is considered to have a True Faith rating one higher than their actual rating.

Organization: Diminished in numbers and strength after two great holy wars with the Salubri, and a smaller war against the Assamites, the Baali bloodline still metastasizes across the Levant and the Kingdom of Jerusalem. They remain inconspicuous, slowly infiltrating a city and Embracing those who dabble in the occult or turn to darker gods despite the wrath of Crusaders. Once established within a city, the Devils establish a coven to worship whichever flavor of infernal might they fancy.

Many covens know a particular Dark Thaumaturgic ritual, the Rite of Apostasy, which corrupts a vampire’s clan curse and grants them access to the Baali Discipline of Daimonion. The affiliated Lasombra infernalist group, the Angellis Ater, are a coven comprised of such converted. The Baali seek to check the power of the Salubri, the Assamites, and each other when they worship rival demon lords. Ironically, mortal infernalists serving those bound to the earth are the bloodline’s most ardent enemies; Baali have a disturbing tendency to enslave demons rather than obey them.

Lasombra: They serve the same darkness we do. Most of them just won’t acknowledge it.
Salubri: When their blood howled in rage at Saulot’s death, ours sang with joy. Let us be happy together.
Setites: Our interests and practices align; we should be allies, not enemies. Are we not serpents of a different scale?
Tremere: Like us, they traffic with powers dark and ancient. Like us, they wield the magics of the inferno. Unlike us, they don’t see the true game they’re playing. We must educate them.
Assamites: They hunt us without mercy, slaying those we serve and those we command with practiced ease. The Salubri are our loudest enemies. We should fear the quiet ones more.
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