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Homebrew Bloodline: The Golem

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  • Homebrew Bloodline: The Golem

    This has been a pet project of mine for awhile. I've been fascinated by the Tzimisce sometimes referring to flesh as clay, and the possible Hebraic theological implications that could be made. I welcome suggestions, questions and any helpful critiques. So, here they are, in rough form:

    Bloodline: The Golem
    Clan: Tzimisce
    Dating back to the Siege of Masada, the Golem are fiercely protective of their mortal forebears. For almost two millennia, this stubborn line of Tzimisce has traveled with and fought alongside the Jewish Diaspora. Many a Jewish settlement would have been erased from history were it not for the Golem. Unfortunately, sometimes the will to fight hasn't been enough, and more than a few Elders of the line can tell tearful stories of villages and synagogues that fell to nothing, mostly due to man's inhumanity to man. Independent from most sects, except the occasional and temporary Camarilla or Anarch alliance, they function autonomously from most Kindred influence (to the best of their knowledge...) Strong believers in the sanctity of life, most Golem are Embraced only after learning of a fatal illness or receiving a mortal wound.
    This respect for the sanctity of life is chief among the duties of the Golem, and many spend their nights acting as silent guardians to the Kine as a whole, Jew and Gentile alike. This has grown a certain amount of confusion about the Golem. Not a few Camarilla or Anarch Kindred have met with Tzimisce viciousness while preparing to pounce on dinner, never thinking anything but of the Sabbat.
    Over the centuries, the line has remained both martial and spiritual, finding its way along the old path now called Honorable Accord, with as many finding their way through the people themselves in the Path of Community.
    By and large, the bloodline are Qabalists in their esoteric understandings more than Blood Scholars, somewhat orthodox, and a majority of the devout are followers of the Path of Redemption or the Derech Chaim/Path of Life. A lone Golem often serves a mortal Rabbi in some capacity, even if only performing menial tasks for the Temple. A Golem values their Rabbi's teaching and authority above most others, almost as a rule. Golem in groups are called Bayits and often study together when not protecting the Jewish community. The spiritual leaders of a Bayit, often called Rebbe (and many were, in fact, of Rabbinical background before the Embrace) act as Judge and Jury when discussing matters of the Golem of the safety of The People. Many Bayits still maintain contact with mortal Synagogues and their Rabbi, especially those masses of Golem embraced through the horrors of the Holocaust.
    The recent influx of Israeli Golem, many of whom are Ari who worked in the military or intelligence communities before taking on the Golem's duties, has added to this active contact with the Jewish community.
    Nickname: Tsigl
    Disciplines: Animalism, Auspex, Vicissitude (Rebbe), Auspex, Fortitude, Vicissitude (warrior/Ari)
    Appearance: Golem don't fleshcraft for personal preference but in service to the community, such as performing sacred duties, combat or healing mitzvah such as righting a child's malformed limb. However, during rituals and planned warfare, Ari and Rebbe alike will fleshcraft sacred Hebrew words on their foreheads, most often accepted terms for G-d, Life, and Protection.
    Haven: Most solitary Golem keep their Havens in humble, functional places near the Synagogue they serve. A Bayit will often have a communal home, wherein they sleep and observe Jewish ritual.
    Embrace: Many Elders of the line hail from the Mediterranean and middle east, though modern Golem hail from all over the western world. Quite a few modern Ari were "recruited" from the American, Canadian and Israeli military in recent years, however.
    Quote: "I don't like violence. It's not me, ya know? If only I couldn't smell blood and brains on those boots of yours, skinhead.. Sucks to be you. Say hello to Hitler for me, asshole."
    Last edited by AzraelFirestorm; 02-03-2017, 06:37 PM.


    "The Silver Ladder; because every kid deserves a real Pokemon." - Kleptomania

  • #2
    I haven't finished my writeup on their history yet, but I can say right now that the Golem have no connection to Koldunism, but possibly a limited version of Dur-An-Ki, due to the slightly demonic overtones of Koldunism.

    The Golem were essentially created as a 4th generation Methuselah's private army for vengeance, in the beginning. The Methuselah in question was a Phoenician who despised the Greek and Roman invaders, the latter of which won out at Masada. Its only instructions for the childer it embraced in the nights following were "Fear not the sword of your enemy. Your flesh is the earth. You are the shield of the Chosen People."

    Suggestions or questions welcome.


    "The Silver Ladder; because every kid deserves a real Pokemon." - Kleptomania

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    • #3
      If they are Qabalists, do they practice their own brand of blood sorcery?


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      • #4
        Originally posted by IgnyteZero View Post
        If they are Qabalists, do they practice their own brand of blood sorcery?
        Yes. They practice a monotheism-focused school of blood magic that takes thematic elements from Hebrew scripture and the Sephirothic Tree of Life. It's somewhat similar to Thaumaturgy, but stems from Dur-An-Ki.

        Practiced paths:
        The Focused Mind
        Path of Blood
        The Music of the Spheres
        Path of Mars
        Lure of Flames
        Movement of the Mind
        Whispers to the Heavens
        Spirit Manipulation
        Elemental Mastery
        Neptune's Might
        The Green Path
        Oneiromancy
        Path of Blood's Curse
        Path of Mercury
        Weather Control

        Granted, they all have alternative names used by the Golem, but these paths are representative of the breadth of magical knowledge among the bloodline.
        Last edited by AzraelFirestorm; 02-01-2017, 08:16 AM.


        "The Silver Ladder; because every kid deserves a real Pokemon." - Kleptomania

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        • #5
          Any feedback on the writeup so far, or suggestions for rituals fitting the writeup concept Are welcome. I'm intending on eventually putting together a Bloodline Book: Golem together. Contributions would be lovingly credited.


          "The Silver Ladder; because every kid deserves a real Pokemon." - Kleptomania

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          • #6
            So, in typical Jewish Mysticsm golems were formed by ritual magic (most notably the Maharal of Prague). How do these beings coincide with that? Are there True Mages who form Golems and then another Golem-bloodline?

            The way I'd play it as would be something like the Gargoyles. A Jewish Mystic (Lion of Zion prolly) with Prime, Matter, and Spirit and, using a captured vampire (I'd say a combo of Tzmisce and Cappadocions) as a ritual component can create a Golem. These beings would have flaws such as Amnesia and Clumsy as Clan Weaknesses.

            This way you can connect Golems to chronicles, since, the way they are now, they really only apply to Jewish chronicles, where Jews take a central role. Here, a murder mystery about missing vampires can lead to the discovery of a Jewish Cabal who are protecting themselves by kidnapping vampires.

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            • #7
              Interesting! What flaw were you thinking? Perhaps they keep the Tzimisce flaw, and thus are covered in Mud/Clay. Being of jewish origins they then sync up well with the Caine and Lilith schtik. Never thought to connect the Tzismisce with the Golem story.


              It is a time for great deeds!

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              • #8
                Originally posted by AzraelFirestorm View Post
                Any feedback on the writeup so far, or suggestions for rituals fitting the writeup concept Are welcome. I'm intending on eventually putting together a Bloodline Book: Golem together. Contributions would be lovingly credited.
                The bloodline you created is a minority (bloodline) of a minority (Tzimisce) of a minority (Vampires). And they also come exclusively from a minority (mortally wounded) of a minority of humans (jews). And each of these is a minority by more than 10:1. And also interact and feed exclusively with the members of a human minority because they are orthodox jews. What I'm saying here is that with these conditions for even one Golem to exist you need the stars to align like Cthulhu.

                The other problem is the jewish population. Check out the numbers: world, US. Even if we assume that all the jews in those places were living in a single close community - almost nowhere outside of Izrael is big enough to support any number of Golems.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                  The bloodline you created is a minority (bloodline) of a minority (Tzimisce) of a minority (Vampires). And they also come exclusively from a minority (mortally wounded) of a minority of humans (jews). And each of these is a minority by more than 10:1. And also interact and feed exclusively with the members of a human minority because they are orthodox jews. What I'm saying here is that with these conditions for even one Golem to exist you need the stars to align like Cthulhu.

                  I feel like you could attempt to use this argument about any bloodline, and yet- Kiasyd are still a thing. Ahrimanes exist. Just because a bloodline is unlikely isn't a compelling reason for non-existence or a point against the Golem. Weird shit happens, yo.

                  The other problem is the jewish population. Check out the numbers: world, US. Even if we assume that all the jews in those places were living in a single close community - almost nowhere outside of Izrael is big enough to support any number of Golems.
                  Supernatural population ratios don't make much sense in WoD in the first place, so slavish adherence to real-world numbers are not worthwhile. So there are not huge numbers of Jewish people? So what? The Golem might intentionally thumb their noses at the Camarilla and embrace with more frequency and gusto, swelling their numbers to be more than their parent populations might suggest. In any case, the Golem is an inherently Jewish myth. They need to be Jewish, or the bloodline loses cultural texture and identity.

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                  • #10
                    Wondering how the Leopards of Zion (faction in the Assamites) would view such a bloodline. If they didn't know the Tzimisce origin they'd probably use them for their ends, if they really liked them they'd ally with them, however they might claim the only right to be the Vampires who protect the Holy Land etc. and purge them. Hard to say.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 11twiggins View Post
                      Wondering how the Leopards of Zion (faction in the Assamites) would view such a bloodline. If they didn't know the Tzimisce origin they'd probably use them for their ends, if they really liked them they'd ally with them, however they might claim the only right to be the Vampires who protect the Holy Land etc. and purge them. Hard to say.
                      This has been on my mind, too. Assamites accepting devout Tzimisce?


                      "The Silver Ladder; because every kid deserves a real Pokemon." - Kleptomania

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Laughing Stranger View Post


                        I feel like you could attempt to use this argument about any bloodline, and yet- Kiasyd are still a thing. Ahrimanes exist. Just because a bloodline is unlikely isn't a compelling reason for non-existence or a point against the Golem. Weird shit happens, yo.



                        Supernatural population ratios don't make much sense in WoD in the first place, so slavish adherence to real-world numbers are not worthwhile. So there are not huge numbers of Jewish people? So what? The Golem might intentionally thumb their noses at the Camarilla and embrace with more frequency and gusto, swelling their numbers to be more than their parent populations might suggest. In any case, the Golem is an inherently Jewish myth. They need to be Jewish, or the bloodline loses cultural texture and identity.
                        My thoughts exactly. The theme and the religion/culture are inextricably linked. I made a few adjustments to the OP that might reflect some more openness and a little consideration of @Kammerer's point, so let's see how that works.

                        Another topic: Can Golem Form be Zulo form?
                        What CAN Zulo/Horrid Form look like?
                        What SHOULD it look like TO YOU?

                        (The thematic connections between the arth, clay and flesh inherent to the Tzimisce are something I want to make fit this dynamic while still making sense. I've already adopted Dark Ages Vampire 20th Anniversary's Vicissitude 5, The Body Impolitic as a permanent replacement at my table, and as an assumed default for this bloodline. I LOVE the Tzimisce, but Blood Form was kind of..meh.)
                        Last edited by AzraelFirestorm; 02-03-2017, 01:00 AM.


                        "The Silver Ladder; because every kid deserves a real Pokemon." - Kleptomania

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by AzraelFirestorm View Post

                          This has been on my mind, too. Assamites accepting devout Tzimisce?
                          The Assamites and Tzimisce warred during the Anarch revolt, and the Assamites devoured a lot of Tzimisce Elders. Then again... well the issue is that in the case of the Assamites they think they were elected to a position above other Cainites, and Jewish Assamites will see it as their duty to be a shepherd for Zion. If another thinks they are up to the task, they're a pretender (that's a default NPC view). Same with the Tzimisce. If they're bound to the soil of Israel, they will see themselves as the duty-bound protector of their flock. Sadly they would just end up fighting. With all that said, I really don't think Kupala or The Eldest would count as Kosher, so I think Jewish Tzimisce would include a few Old Clan due to the religious obsession with ritual cleanliness (same with Islamic Tzimisce).

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                          • #14
                            Seems quite cool. I like a lot of the themes, and even more-so the idea of a somewhat Gargoyle in the style of being Tzimisce made. My only suggestion would be to make something lend to a more apparent inhumanity as far as appearance. Either a compulsion to fleshcraft themselves with a lot of bone. Or perhaps for their weakness they have to sleep fully submerged in mud blessed by a Rabbi.

                            I would also perhaps suggest an air of disillusion among those out there as well, considering their somewhat failure after WW2. Having a questionable place in the world.
                            Last edited by Monalfie; 02-03-2017, 09:53 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AzraelFirestorm View Post


                              Another topic: Can Golem Form be Zulo form?
                              What CAN Zulo/Horrid Form look like?
                              What SHOULD it look like TO YOU?
                              I like the idea of the Golem's monstrousness treading the line between holiness and blasphemy. They are blessed by Rabbinical decree, but they are still cursed by God. The Hebrew word that describes man being made from dust in Genesis could be used to refer to materials like clay, earth, mud, ashes, dust, earth, ground, or even mortar. Given that the Golem typically eschew fleshcrafting, perhaps a Zulo form might take on a lot more mass via the holy mud it sleeps in, in essence the 'flesh' that they craft with is mud.

                              As written, Zulo form isn't pretty. The Golem not going to be pretty either, but the horror of their hulking, mud-covered bodies could be enhanced via their unnatural state. In this form, their foreheads are alight with the secret name of God, their false bodies cracked and leaking water and vitae, their passing marked with muddy footprints larger than any man's. Perhaps instead of increased brawling damage they could inflict something like Delirium in humans.

                              Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
                              Seems quite cool. I like a lot of the themes, and even more-so the idea of a somewhat Gargoyle in the style of being Tzimisce made. My only suggestion would be to make something lend to a more apparent inhumanity as far as appearance. Either a compulsion to fleshcraft themselves with a lot of bone. Or perhaps for their weakness they have to sleep fully submerged in mud blessed by a Rabbi.

                              I would also perhaps suggest an air of disillusion among those out there as well, considering their somewhat failure after WW2. Having a questionable place in the world.
                              There are some juicy ideas here. I love the blessed mud idea, it ties in well with the original feel of the Golem and highlights them being a unique Tzimisce bloodline.

                              I don't know about the failure thing, though. 'The Holocaust happened and the Golem didn't stop it' seems like a limited read of the situation. Maybe a lot of them were destroyed- many Synagogues were targets of burning during Kristallnacht, and in the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising the entire Jewish quarter was put to the torch. Hard for protector vampires to prevent or survive something like that. However, I think it is more interesting if the Golem were a bit more proactive during this time. For example, there were concentration camps that the Germans dismantled and hid towards the end of the war. Rather than doing this to hide evidence from encroaching Allied forces, it was done to hide the terrible destruction wrought by vengeful Golem.

                              It is even possible that the surviving Golem 'saved' Jews by turning them or ghouling them. A creature like a Golem vampire might struggle to save starving internment camp victims, and out of desperation may resort to drastic measures.
                              Last edited by The Laughing Stranger; 02-03-2017, 11:47 AM.

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