Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Abyss Mysticism Question

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #31
    Originally posted by Sultanabdal View Post
    The bigger question is, what makes the Lasombra special? They're not simply the Ventrue knockoffs of the Sabbat with cool shadow powers. Of all the clans, the Lasombra are distinguished by the sheer nihilism and hopelessness of the whole thing. The greatest aspiration of their rank and file is to make a name for themselves in order to be awarded diableries by their elders and rise through the ranks ... only so their souls can be meals for the next bunch of neonates.
    One of the ways I distinguish Ventrue and Lasombra in my games is that Lasombra clan culture is heavily Nietzschean in a Will To Power sense as well as existentialist. They are very individualist focused. Ventrue are more into empire building, and that requires political bonds which forge people into a community. So they are far more socially based. Both can lead to power grasping and fights to be dominant, but it is for very different reasons. That also leads each clan into very different directions despite certain superficial similarities in being the leaders of each sect and having Dominate.

    Comment


    • #32
      double posted for some reason

      Comment


      • #33
        Originally posted by Sultanabdal View Post

        The whole question is, do y... since I guess the alternative can be fun too.
        I see your take, and that's great. However, respectfully that is just your take. But some people might not realize that your statements don't reflect canon reality, which is why it is important to make sure opinion is presented as opinion.

        Comment


        • #34
          Originally posted by Aleph View Post

          I don't know about Lore of the Clans, but I think that the Lasombra clanbook mentioned that you needed to have the Occult specialty "abyss mysticism" to be able to do the rituals. If my memory doesn't fail, it was also stated that this specialty was taught by Les Amis Noirs as a reward sometimes...now, it wouldn't be very rewarding if anyone with a library can get that piece of knowledge.
          Eh, no point in a longer post. Long story short, the lore's all over the place and changes basically from book to book. Here's my interpretation:

          Abyss Mysticism has its roots within the Angellis Ater, not the Amici Noctis. Remember, the Angels aren't just a bloodline (which I'll refer to as Azaneali for clarity's sake); they're a full-on faction who have main-clan Lasombra rallied around them who share their religious and philosophical views, with the bloodline acting as a unifying and driving force behind the faction. There are Angellis Ater within the ranks of the Amici, but if I remember my lore right the Amici formally consider the Angels heretical. However, their policy towards the Angels is for all intents and purposes is "don't ask, don't tell, don't interfere". The Amici are aware of Abyss Mysticism, and are more than happy to draw on its power in times of need, but most of them aren't Abyss mystics nor are most of them inclined to learn it because it's a qlippothic/quasi-infernal blood sorcery framework built around Obtenebration.

          Pretty much the only published consistency is that up until the modern era, Abyss mystics follow the Road of the Abyss.

          Now, the situation changes somewhat in the transition to modern nights with the (effective) demise of the Azaneali bloodline and the transition from the old Roads, to Paths. The Angels are still a political faction within the clan, but lack the bloodline as a unifying and driving force. The Angels keep doing their thing, and still have Abyss mystics among their number (who follow the Path of Lightless Night), but enough Abyss mystics break away and found the Path of Allied Night to continue their studies in exchange for service to the clan and Sabbat at large. That leads to two ways to get an Abyss mystic's attention, and while both pretty much go through the Amici Noctis, the Amici is just an instrument of discovery rather than an end for its own sake.

          Comment


          • #35
            Love this interpretation. I would add to it that Abyss Mysticism was pioneered by Lasombra and his childer, and was revived and reinvented multiple times, this timeline being the most recent (considering the last couple of millennia as recent). In fact, considering how dangerous Abyss Mysticism is (by definition, it's Obtenebration techniques which are inherently unsafe, so much so that messing up a simple beginner ritual scars you forever), I think it makes sense that Montano would be the eldest childe of Lasombra in existence and the previous ones were 'failures'. In my opinion, the previous childer all died (or worse) in pioneering Abyss Mysticism 1 through 9.

            I think most of the Abyss Mystic embraces are just long-term experiments. Rather than imperil themselves in finding out more about some fragment of Abyss lore or discover some new ritual, some power-hungry Lasombra neonate is nudged into the task. When the experiment inevitably fails and the Mystic disintegrates, the Lasombra elders who have been watching from afar all along go oh, so that's how you DON'T invoke this ritual. They take notes, and nudge another neonate into the process.

            Comment


            • #36
              Originally posted by Sultanabdal View Post
              Love this interpretation. I would add to it that Abyss Mysticism was pioneered by Lasombra and his childer, and was revived and reinvented multiple times, this timeline being the most recent (considering the last couple of millennia as recent). In fact, considering how dangerous Abyss Mysticism is (by definition, it's Obtenebration techniques which are inherently unsafe, so much so that messing up a simple beginner ritual scars you forever), I think it makes sense that Montano would be the eldest childe of Lasombra in existence and the previous ones were 'failures'. In my opinion, the previous childer all died (or worse) in pioneering Abyss Mysticism 1 through 9.
              Interesting idea, I may end up using it...or not, but it definitely gives me something to consider.

              Comment


              • #37
                Originally posted by Theodrim
                Abyss Mysticism has its roots within the Angellis Ater,
                I love this idea. Baali and Obtenebration just go so well together. I like to think that perhaps Daimoinon 3's "black flame" might even come from the Abyss.

                Originally posted by Theodrim
                Remember, the Angels aren't just a bloodline (which I'll refer to as Azaneali for clarity's sake); they're a full-on faction who have main-clan Lasombra rallied around them who share their religious and philosophical views, with the bloodline acting as a unifying and driving force behind the faction. There are Angellis Ater within the ranks of the Amici, but if I remember my lore right the Amici formally consider the Angels heretical. However, their policy towards the Angels is for all intents and purposes is "don't ask, don't tell, don't interfere".
                How does this work with the inquisition then?

                Comment


                • #38
                  Originally posted by Murdoc View Post
                  How does this work with the inquisition then?
                  The Sabbat Inquisition is not exactly a bastion of purity - political expediency rules the day. They will obliterate packs who turn to infernalism and would love to get their hands on Black Hand members, but when it comes to Abyss Mystics, Koldun, and Tremere Antitribu who contribute to the Sabbat's efforts while walking a very fine line that's not definitely infernalism, their hands are stayed by political difficulties. It really is don't ask, don't tell.

                  Comment


                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Murdoc View Post
                    How does this work with the inquisition then?
                    Well, how does Koldunic sorcery work with the Inquisition around? Koldunism, lest we forget, is also an infernal form of blood sorcery, regardless of how the player or ST interprets Kupala's true nature -- it's a "demon", and Koldunism involves worshipping it and making/honoring pacts with it.

                    Inquisitors would have to learn enough about the power in the first place (a daunting task, considering how guarded these vampires are about their powers and their true origin) to build a case about its true nature, make that case in a way that doesn't come off by default as paranoiac conspiracy theory informed by hearsay and misinformation, navigate the treacherous political waters churned up by the fact Abyss mystics and Koldun tend to be older and well-entrenched, then overcome any Noddist counter-arguments for its existence and legitimacy, and once the case is made find enough support to act directly against them.

                    Koldunism is the easy one. It at least involves an entity that's known to be a "demon", whatever type of "demon" it is. Non-Lasombra tend to know jack shit about the Abyss, and very few Lasombra who aren't Abyss mystics tend to know about the Abyss' true nature. Which means any Inquisitor learned enough about the subject to know in the first place, or have reason to believe in the first place, there's not quite something right about it, is almost going to have to be a Lasombra by default...in which case the Amici is going to intervene well before matters come to a head, because they're not going to want their clan's dirty laundry aired before the entire Sabbat.

                    Unless said whistleblower is a Tremere antitribu who specializes in Umbral lore. In which case, lol. Or, said accuser is a Harbinger, in whose case the question would be "why are you wasting your time going through the Inquisition instead of just beating the puny-ass (compared to you) Abyss mystic the fuck down and forcing them to teach you instead?".

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by [B][URL="http://forum.theonyxpath.com/member/13688-sultanabdal
                      Sultanabdal[/URL]"[/B]]The Sabbat Inquisition is not exactly a bastion of purity - political expediency rules the day. They will obliterate packs who turn to infernalism and would love to get their hands on Black Hand members, but when it comes to Abyss Mystics, Koldun, and Tremere Antitribu who contribute to the Sabbat's efforts while walking a very fine line that's not definitely infernalism, their hands are stayed by political difficulties. It really is don't ask, don't tell.
                      Ok, but they would probably still attack an Angellis Ater that they just found out about if it wasn't really associated with the Sabbat, right? I am asking because this directly impacts the character I am currently playing in a game right now. For him, he was just about to be turned Angellis Ater, but the ritual was interrupted by the Sabbat who learned of an infernalist ritual going down (I figure probably by some Malkavian antitribu seer (for some reason I think of Dalek Caan here)) and decided to stop it. Not knowing the particulars, they just killed the vampire and made the humans present (including my character) into shovelheads. I just want to see if these two stories work out together.

                      Comment


                      • #41
                        Murdoc Theodrim

                        The Sabbat Inquisition is aware of both Koldunic Sorcery and Abyss Mysticism. Koldun are watched but as far as the Inquisition is officially concerned Kupala is simply a powerful Carpathian elemental spirit. The Abyss Mystics meanwhile keep much of their effects to themselves and the entities they deal with have no knowledge of demons.

                        V20 Rites of Blood pg 35
                        Tzimisce koldun claim they practiced magic before all others. Koldunic Sorcery draws upon primal elementalism, enslaving weak spirits or making deals with stronger ones. Foremost among these elemental spirits is the Carpathian entity Kupala, called “the root of all” by the most ancient koldun. Continued relations with this creature have caused significant difficulties, as trafficking with spirits is only a hair’s breadth from infernalism. Koldun are watched intently by the Inquisition for any sign of demonic taint.
                        V20 Rites of Blood pg 37
                        Abyssal magic summons spirits from another dimension, one which resembles a form of dark purgatory. Such practitioners are enslaving and controlling spirits, but those spirits are unlike anything else in creation, and seem to have no memory of or association with true demonic entities. Nevertheless, the Inquisition has noted their existence, and the practice of Abyss Mysticism. This causes the Lasombra to keep their Abyss Mystics out of the limelight and their abilities unknown to the majority of the Sabbat. The elders of the Clan have seen the suspicion placed on Tzimisce kolduns, and fear the Inquisition’s capacity to declare Abyss Mysticism heretical.
                        Even beyond that there is the simple fact that the Inquisition can only push so much against both groups even if they believe them infernal. Worse the Auctoritas Ritae including the Vaulderie upon which the Sabbat broke the chains that bound them are fashioned largely on Koldunic rites. To declare Koldunism infernal and Kupala a demon means that the entire body of the loyal Sabbat has been constantly complicit with infernal activity. Thus the whole of the Sabbat would need to be destroyed to cleanse the taint. The Abyss Mystic meanwhile support the Inquisition wholeheartedly and go to great lengths to describe their rituals carefully to avoid infernal accusations. Claiming Abyss Mysticism is infernal would immediately remove one of the Inquisitions staunchest supporters.

                        V20 Rites of Blood pg
                        Tzimisce create ritae from the leavings of a creature known as Kupala, who shows every sign of being a demon — but the Inquisition cannot afford to make that accusation, lest the Auctoritas Ritae become compromised and the entire Sect fall. Lasombra mystics speak of the Abyss as though it were a God to rival the one that cursed Caine, and they hold their knowledge close. Even a few high-ranking members of the Black Hand practice quiet, personal heresies. Members of the Inquisition must tread cautiously.

                        On the other hand, Thaumaturgy is valuable, even if most magical practitioners are sinning in some way against core tenets of the Sabbat. If the Inquisition formally declares Kupala a demon, then the ritae are infernal by default, and every member of the Sabbat must be destroyed for practicing infernalism. The Abyss Mystics fight a battle of influence to remain unaccused, lending the Inquisition unquestioning aid and describing their studies in the most benign manner possible.
                        Furthermore declaring Abyss Mysticism as infernal opens up the chance that Obtenebration itself could be declared infernal. After all the shadows summoned forth by the power seem to have an innate connection with the Abyss, and one must possess Obtenebration to be able to make use of the Abyssal rituals.

                        Things get even worse for the Inquisition's ability to declare these infernal if you follow the metaplot points of the Tremere antitribu's destruction and the Schismatic Assamites joining the Camarilla. Not only are the Sabbat down one of their best sources of arcane knowledge and power, making Kolduns and Abyss Mystics that much more valuable, but the Camarilla now has a brand new source of arcane knowledge and power with the addition of Schismatic sorcerers.

                        TLDR

                        It's too politically difficult to declare Koldunism or Abyss Mysticism infernal at this point. If Koldunism is infernal the the whole of the Auctoritas ritae, including the Vaulderie is infernal; the Sabbat is therefore complicit in infernal activity and would need be destroyed. Such an accusation either destroys the Sabbat and/or the Inquisition. Abyss Mystics are some of the Inquisitions staunchest supporters and alienating them removes one of their close allies, and opens up Obtenebration for accusations of the infernal, which functionally would lead to the same end.

                        Comment


                        • #42
                          Sabbat Inquisition is not an omniscient omnipotent KGB that can send ninja assassins after you at the drop of a hat. With the chaotic unstructured nature of the Sabbat a pack of Mystics (and there's probably no more than two-three such packs) can go wherever they want, do their abyss rituals and not be afraid of spanish sabbat inquisition suddenly jumping out of the bushes to arrest them. There are only so many inquisitors to go around, and with the vampires' transporation disability they can't travel very quickly. Fringes of the Sabbat territory and small towns are basically wild west where you can summon demons to your heart's content without fear of anyone ratting you out.

                          Furthermore, the very organization of the Sabbat makes spywork virtually impossible - to get any insider information you have to enter the supernaturally loyal pack, which involves blood bonding yourself to the pack which compromises your loyalty to the inquisition and makes you highly likely to reveal yourself as a spy. You can do external observations, but that leaves you with the evidence like "they danced and chanted and then a thing happened" which will get you nowhere. Only Abyss Mystics can verify that it really was an Abyss Mysticism ritual (and they obviously won't) and accepting such evidence will lead to a flood of infernalism accusations against [X Pack]'s ritae.

                          Comment


                          • #43
                            Originally posted by Cynic01 View Post
                            Abyss Mystics are some of the Inquisitions staunchest supporters and alienating them removes one of their close allies
                            Allegedly in the modern nights Abyss Mystics have single digit numbers, so I don't know how they can be staunchest supporters of anything.

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              While we're on this topic, the Nephandi claim that they were able to operate freely in Enoch, and there are actually some versions of the Book of Nod that claim Caine figured out/gained the ability to Embrace by trafficking with demons. Quite a few original Disciplines developed by the Antediluvians are said to involve bargains and pacts with evil entities.

                              Infernalism does cast a very long shadow over vampire history and origins. Rooting out and destroying Evil Revelations types is one thing, but when you get down to it all vampires are compromised to some extent, with their souls in tatters. Vampiric demon hunters therefore tend to go for the obvious targets, and leave the grey zones well-enough alone.

                              Comment


                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
                                Allegedly in the modern nights Abyss Mystics have single digit numbers, so I don't know how they can be staunchest supporters of anything.
                                Nothing in V20 Rites of Blood implies anything as low as single digit numbers, especially since it repeatedly mentions the plural and seems to imply an organization large enough to warrant the Inquisition's attention and powerful/well connected enough to avoid immediate charges.

                                Comment

                                Working...
                                X