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Nagaraja (Cappadocian Bloodline): The Enoch's disciples

on Fri Oct 13 2017, 20:33

The Cappadocian raja — sorry, prince — has banished you beyond the city walls? His fate is inevitable.
Within three nights he shall be as the corpses he so loves, and none of his powers over death will save him.
Bring me a mortal you won’t miss and let me have any books in his library illuminated with this symbol.
Long ago, a girl scything the grass cut into a five-headed serpent.

Blood splashed over her, and she ran home to speak of the miracle-creature. The locals built a temple over the spot, but they returned to find the girl dying from the envenomed blood.

Nagaraja recount the tale to all they meet, along with the obvious lessons. Death flows through blood. Power comes from below. Two thousand years ago, a splinter faction of reincarnating Himalayan willworkers became adept at melding their spirits and bodies with the energies of the Underworld.

With the help of an ancient Egyptian necromancer, they mastered necrotic magics, remaking themselves into fierce warriors and immensely powerful undead sorcerers. Striding deep within the dark realms beneath the world, they discovered a great city battered by the dead storms, a place they recognized as the mandala of the apocalypse. The city’s ruined libraries gave it a name: Enoch.

Yet powerful as they were, enlightenment eluded the Idran; worse still, their enemies among the clans of Caine delved deep into necromancy. With each passing night, the cult’s position in the First Necropolis became more tenuous. Desiring a bloodline to serve them and guard a city they deemed holy, the Idran drew undeath itself from the blood of their enemies, transmitting the enlightenment they sought to a group of willing supplicants. They never found holiness, but they did find power.

One of the eldest bloodlines, the Flesh-Eaters remain the undisputed masters of necromancy in the lands east of the Indus, using this unique advantage to bargain with other clans. They have long struggled to carve a place among hoary ancients, even as their curse and insular nature alienates them from higher societies. Even the few who do not guard the First Necropolis keep the secrets of the bloodline, remaining survivors first and foremost. Cosmopolitan in their dealings but zealous in outlook, the Flesh-Eaters walk the newly-reformed Silk Road, sending neonates to seek allies, resources and the lore of Nod while their elders scrutinize Enoch’s secrets. Nagaraja treat with the clans as clients and seek out the myriad experiences of the living world, if only to fully grasp the twisting cycle of life and death — and understand the strange nights in which they find themselves.

Sobriquet: Flesh-Eaters

Appearance: Nagaraja tend to come from all walks of life, being mortal mages reborn as a bloodline. They have rows of pointed, irregular teeth. When the death-taint leaves their frame, they grow pale and wan.

Havens: Besides the bastion of Enoch deep within the Underworld, Nagaraja prefer to travel, sticking close to the refuse yards of butchers, charnel grounds, and the dispossessed (who won’t be missed). Ascetic in their mortal lives, the Nagaraja have retained these traits in immortality.

Backgrounds: Elder Nagaraja are natives of their Himalayan homeland, but the cult has taken to Embracing candidates from all over the known world, especially Egypt and the Levant. They also retain Allies and Retainers amongst the mortal Idran, having slaved the cult to them long ago. Candidates for the Flesh-Eater Embrace are often drawn from the cult, in fact. The bloodline’s weakness usually precludes sustainable Herds without compensatory Allies willing to supply disposable subjects. The vitae they used to magically transmit the curse of vampirism was powerful; even tonight, Nagaraja often possess low Generation.

Character Creation: Nagaraja prize high Willpower and Mental Attributes as primary. Physical Attributes are invariably secondary — they’re often death-warriors as well as wizards. Medicine and Occult are ubiquitous, and Melee is common. Their weakness means they rarely walk the Road of Humanity, but the extant beliefs of their cult tie easily into a corrupted form the Path of Devaraja. A small number have even converted to the Road of Paradox. The commonly treat the Vitreous Path of Necromancy (which they created) as primary, learning the Ash Path as secondary.

Clan Disciplines: Auspex, Dominate, Necromancy

Weakness: As the preta of myth, the Flesh-Eaters must consume fresh raw meat to maintain their strength, marking them as untouchable and precluding sustenance without murder. This meat must come from living humans or fresh corpses. They suffer from the Ragged Bite and Flesh Eater Flaws (see p.421) with no recompense. Nagaraja teeth come in sharp rows, and can’t be retracted, but inflict +2 dice of damage in combat when biting.

Organization: Within their secretive cult, Nagaraja organize themselves into Shravaka (“listener”) disciples and Acarya (“exemplar”) mentors. Disciples are often decades- or centuries-old magi, stripped of their magical might by the Embrace but still possessing unsurpassed necromantic knowledge. Shravaka are tasked with exploring the world for signs of Gehenna, funneling resources from the living lands beyond the Shroud, and seeking Noddist tomes to fill the shelves of Enoch’s libraries. Acarya manage the cult and bloodline, sending neonates on missions to destroy their remaining Humanity and embrace the bloodline’s divine mandate.

Cappadocian: We are the masters of the dead, and they are stumbling children. Their Embrace of the young ones proves it.
Danava: Our rivals in a war of magical dominance, but we touch lands they can’t even imagine.
Ravnos: The leaders and the rabble of these lands. They are commoner and noble alike.
Salubri: They call us abominations and destroyers, but their eyes are milky blind to their fate. A shame; their desire to shepherd the kine is a pure one.
Followers of Set: Cut them down from afar, lest they recognize their scales on our skin and seek to drive their hooks into our tender flesh.
Tremere: Willworkers who have turned towards undeath? Kindred spirits, then.
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