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Ur-Shulgi as the Unnamed Baali

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  • #16
    Indeed, it very much depends on what parts of metaplot and background one prioritizes over another, especially when the issue of edition wars and how the metaplot and background shifted over the years.

    Personally, my takeaway -- and how I've preferred to play it in chronicles in which this has featured -- is Saulot is more a classically tragic, and Mosaic, figure than anything else. Sure, Saulot was the healer of the sick, companion and warden of Malkav, partner of Haqim, and shepherd of Golconda, and likewise his clan were healers, diplomats, and chroniclers. But, Saulot was unduly prideful, and while Saulot could lead others to Golconda, due to his pride condemned himself never to experience it himself; at the realization of his own failing, in a moment of weakness he created the Baali as an outward reflection of his long-internalized rage, self-loathing, and sense of privilege.

    And in doing so, forever damned himself and committed himself to a self-fulfilling prophecy that he would be the damnation of his formerly closest allies and brothers. Because Saulot "knew", were Haqim ever to learn he created the Baali, Haqim would do to Saulot what Saulot did to [Tzimisce] -- judge him unworthy and seek his destruction.

    As far as the Assamites' regard for the Salubri, how much of that is genuinely found within the clan and how much of it is due to ur-Shulgi's machinations can be a topic for hearty debate. Even if Haqim and his clan had eminent respect for Saulot and his get, it remains clear their level of regard created a blind spot for Saulot's and Salubris' capacity to fall from grace, and act malevolently or myopically (as is certainly the case with so many Salubri warriors). One wonders throughout the prehistory and history of the World of Darkness, how many atrocities had been committed at a Salubri's hands -- even if unintentionally, or as unintended consequence -- with the complicity of Assamite allies, who simply assumed no Salubri even capable of malfeasance.

    And indeed, if ur-Shulgi is Baali as all sources seem to indicate, and Saulot is the true progenitor of the line as most sources seem to indicate, what is the likelihood the methuselah turned that blind spot to his own ends by propagandizing the Salubri to near-messianic status within his own "adoptive" clan?

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    • #17
      My understanding is that it was primarily the Warriors, (specifically the extremists) that hated the Salubri during and after the Crusades, sort of lumping them in with the rest of the European invaders and keeping a grudge.


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      • #18
        Personally, my take is that Saulot really was the "saint", and while it is true he/his Clan did not recieve a Curse from Caine for the slaying of the 2nd Gen, he was still under the curse of "eating ashes", which is to say that undeath twists everything. No matter how much he tried to avert it, through Golconda, though Obeah/Valeren, through removing himself, first through Torpor, then by death, then through becoming someone else (Tremere), everything was still tainted.

        He could not save his Clan. All of his works was irrevocably tainted by lies, even the masters of the East betrayed him. The Inconnu failed him, keeping their gift to themselves to go mad rather than offering it to those in need. His Clan brothers and sisters failed him by failing his Clan, who failed him because they simply did not have the numbers or power to do what they are meant to, (as well as some fighting amongst themselves). No matter what he did, or tried, he was still the pawn of fate required to start, endure, and finally end Gehenna, and the Curse of Caine.


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        • #19
          Originally posted by PewPew View Post
          Who knows how many fourth gen baali there are. They have obfuscate, not auspex. Maybe there's a fourth, a fifth, maybe someone ate their way up.
          I'll go with shulgi, but I do like the idea of the mystery woman, the swarm, the one they speak about with disgust. Maybe it could've been a saintly figure that ended her life in reaction to the damnation. Mystery's great.
          There's certainly wiggle room enough in the span of history for ur-Shulgi to be a very early Apostate, and for some mysterious Third to have crawled away from the event that birthed the bloodline's Methusalehs, Moloch and Nergal. Indeed, the story of ur-Shulgi having been created in order to organize the bloodline and bring them all to one battlefield to be defeated says a lot about the Baali's numbers back then.

          (I also love that there has never been an official metaplot story about this Third. Maybe it's still plotting in the shadows, having evaded the Jyhad for milennia; maybe it failed to find shelter one morning and died millennia ago.)

          I love this thread. I figured that Beckett's Jyhad Diary had established ur-Shulgi's connections to the Baali for V5 to go forward with, but I hadn't realized just how many times White Wolf and Onyx Path have dropped hints about this in the past.
          Last edited by Reasor; 01-23-2018, 05:21 PM.

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          • #20
            We've seen how much influence an antediluvian can have over their clan (Look at Zapawhatsisname and the Ravnos.) but Zap was stopped because he became a spectacle (even so, it's estimated that about 2/3 of Ravnos died that week.. and they were notoriously spread around the world). We know that Haqim wanted to gather the Baali into a single army that he could then destroy.. what if his plan was to bring them all into his clan (Assamite), put them all into one place (Alamut), and finally destroy them all without even a fight? If Ur-shulgi can weaken all of his progeny to break the tremere curse, whose to say Haqim can't call on the blood of his progeny in order to kill all his progeny?

            In that scenario, the "Tremere curse" would have actually helped Haqim with gathering all the Baali into one place, so while The Assamites and the Tremere may hate each other, It may be that Saulot and Haqim are working together to fulfill this plan. (and weren't the Tremere anittribu supposedly killed off by an assamite?)

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            • #21
              The Tremere Anti where killed of when a depowered Tremere took possession of Goratrix, summoned every Tremere Anti to Mexico for a "major ritual", and destroyed them all. Only one was known to have survived, and he didn't know he was a Tremere Anti at the time.


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              • #22
                You have a bloodline with multiple contradictory stories, powers, and whole ways of life who in all of them have a power that allows one to take people from outside the blood and make them a part of it, I'd say its rather obvious the idea that there were multiple Baali foundings that have little to do with each other and the name kept getting reused.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Beckett View Post
                  The Tremere Anti where killed of when a depowered Tremere took possession of Goratrix, summoned every Tremere Anti to Mexico for a "major ritual", and destroyed them all. Only one was known to have survived, and he didn't know he was a Tremere Anti at the time.
                  Okay, I might be a little confused here (or maybe not?).. I was thinking of the fact that Tariq the Silent was captured by the Tremere Antitribu, who performed some ritual on him to reduce him to 13th gen (from 6th gen). I think I had read that he was captured shortly before the tremere antitribu were all killed and so I assumed his ritual WAS the ritual that all the tremere anti were gathered to perform, and that Tremere/Saulot just took advantage of the opportunity.. reading more about it now though, I'm probably wrong about that (but I can't say for certain at this point. I just found something about "they let him go in disgust", which is different from "They let him go because they had all been turned to ash."

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Beckett View Post
                    His childer is pale, unlike every other Assamite.
                    At least for me, that is not why al-Ashrad is not dark.

                    Later authors or developers may have made different determinations...

                    - C.


                    Clayton A. Oliver | Formerly Ubiquitous

                    When the half-light starts to rise/And the long gone come back again
                    After the shortcuts and the highs/Comes the pain
                    And the rain

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Tegyrius View Post

                      At least for me, that is not why al-Ashrad is not dark.

                      Later authors or developers may have made different determinations...

                      - C.
                      My personal take is that after al-Ashrad helped King Solomon end the 10000 Djinn Plague, Sol was so impressed that when they parted, he said, "Stay gold, bro", and so he did.

                      (I mean, it couldn't possibly be anything as banal as certain artists never meeting an an art note they couldn't ignore.)


                      What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                      Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                      • #26
                        Al-ashrad being pale is a result of who Al-ashrad is, not who Ur-Shulgi is. Most of the sorcerer caste is descended from Ur-shulgi and they all have the assassmite weakness. I find the most likely answer to be that Al-ashrad doesn't have the assamite curse because Haqim didn't actually want Al-ashrad to be embraced.. The more I think on it, the more I feel that Haqim is using the assamite "dark skin" weakness to mark all assamites in a manner similar to the Tremere Antitribu mark. I feel like the "punishment" that Haqim forced on Al-ashrad, might have actually been a ritual that would have exempted Al-ashrad from suffering the fate that Haqim planned for his clan, by making it so that Al-ashrad isn't marked in the way that all other assamites are marked.

                        Even if I'm wrong about the details, remember that Al-ashrad was an archemage and renowned demon-hunter even before he was an assamite. The Assamites consider him to be the most powerful magic user ever, so there's really no reason to look any further than Al-ashrad himself for the answers to his uniqueness.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by No One of Consequence View Post
                          My personal take is that after al-Ashrad helped King Solomon end the 10000 Djinn Plague, Sol was so impressed that when they parted, he said, "Stay gold, bro", and so he did.

                          (I mean, it couldn't possibly be anything as banal as certain artists never meeting an an art note they couldn't ignore.)
                          Shhh. Stop pointing out the emperor's bare ass(amite).

                          - C.


                          Clayton A. Oliver | Formerly Ubiquitous

                          When the half-light starts to rise/And the long gone come back again
                          After the shortcuts and the highs/Comes the pain
                          And the rain

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Tegyrius View Post

                            Shhh. Stop pointing out the emperor's bare ass(amite).

                            - C.
                            Hey, at least he's not wearing a blue bikini.


                            What is tolerance? It is the consequence of humanity. We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon reciprocally each other's folly. That is the first law of nature.
                            Voltaire, "Tolerance" (1764)

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                            • #29
                              It's a very convincing argument, and I'm pretty sure that was the intent. There are some contradictions in the timeline (the three founders couldn't have been Embraced together if ur-Shulgi was Embraced during the Second Baali War) and exactly who the singing shepherd/slaveboy was (unless ur-Shulgi and Nergal both had the same/a similar backstory), but that's to be expected. There's also the fact that ur-Shulgi appears to have been Embraced twice: once before being thrown into the Pit, then again after having the demon torn out of him on the battlefield. That seems to imply a reverse Baali Re-Embrace (turning a being into another clan, rather than turning another clan into a Baali). Maybe ur-Shulgi was the one who taught that to the rest of the bloodline?

                              If ur-Shulgi was just a temporary Shaitan (a stand-in until Nergal or someone else got their shit together), perhaps he was never the Third and there's another founder still running around out there *in addition* to him. It's been said she's 'the Crone' (a possible reference to the Crone of the Lhiannan?) or conjoined lovers (this theory connects with one or two throwaway comments that Tzimisce was involved in the creation of one or more of the founders).

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Illithid View Post
                                The Transylvania Chronicles prodide the Proof for Saulot being the naughty one.
                                Yes, the text of the supposed dying words of a Salubri who might have been tricked or brainwashed into paranoid distrust of its founder by a clanmate that not only betrayed him to go forsworn but tortured him for weeks in the proccess. Quite debatable proof, to say the least and that's being charitable.

                                Originally posted by Lian View Post
                                You have a bloodline with multiple contradictory stories, powers, and whole ways of life who in all of them have a power that allows one to take people from outside the blood and make them a part of it, I'd say its rather obvious the idea that there were multiple Baali foundings that have little to do with each other and the name kept getting reused.
                                This, so much this. The Baali are a cesspool at cross-purposes and that very much by (multiple, varied) intent.

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