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Ur-Shulgi as the Unnamed Baali

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  • #46
    Originally posted by BenjCano View Post

    The problem is that Huitz actually IS a Baali Methuselah. Sired by a 3rd genner and everything, and with a written backstory establishing him AS a slave in the Second City, who was exiled for working against the Antes and met up with and made deals with the forces of darkness. His date of Embrace coincides with the origin of the written record. In other words, something as old as human civilization itself, more or less. This specific list of attributes lines up way more closely with the quoted stuff from the Storyteller's Handbook that the OP tried to map to ur-Shugli. It's way more likely that SH was referencing Huitz all along.
    AND Cybele has been presented as 4th gen Malkavian sire of Petaniqua AND a Baali childe of Shaitan both, your point being?

    Maybe he's a delusional ancient Malkavian Forsworn, the sire of Cybele (explaining her being Malkavian & childe of Shaitan), maybe the tale of the Three is a lie, maybe both are lies, or more strangely, both are true, the Baali having been destroyed and (re)created many times through many ways across the ages. Who knows, take your pick and let canon burn upon the fires of creativity.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
      Who knows, take your pick and let canon burn upon the fires of creativity.
      I hear you, but the last time I tried to get creative in Vampire my ST told me I couldn't use Typhon's Brew to get out of feeding, so you know how it is.


      I seem to have acquired a site for running play by post games. This is unexpected and frightening and come watch either the glorious play or the magnificent train wreck:

      The Malkavian Madness Network

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      • #48
        Originally posted by BenjCano View Post

        I hear you, but the last time I tried to get creative in Vampire my ST told me I couldn't use Typhon's Brew to get out of feeding, so you know how it is.
        No such problem as ST re-hashing canon. Maybe some you're a PC trying the same, but ceertainly less so than with mechanics.

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        • #49
          Shaitan, whos true identity is a mystery but is suspected to be part of Nergals machinations, was suspected to have fled to west over the ocean after Molochim factions of the Baali destroyed the Black school of infernalism he was leading and forced him to escape. This is aluded to in CB:Baali and is kind of left as a possible identity of Huitzilopochtli though the latter name is not mentioned in he CB.

          So basically Huitzilopochtli could be Shaitan, or he could be Nergal called Shaitan having fled west after his failure in Knossos as his destruction in there is suspected but not proven.

          So like many other things concerning methuselahs no certain answers seem forthcoming leaving each ST to make the decision for their chronicles.

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          • #50
            As an aside, what if Moloch was in denial when he claimed Shaitan was a disguise/puppet of Nergal, out of fear of admiting the possibility of the Three's creation being a side project of an older and more skilled monster of a demonologist?

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            • #51
              An idea Ive always thought interesting, if the Children actually were (lower case) antediluvians, and the first people, suppossedly worshipping their torpid bodies built the well atop one or more of them. What if it was not the Cainite Ashur that actually Embraced them, but instead one (or more) of the pre-flood Cainites in the well?

              Which is to say none of the suppossed creators, (Haqim, Saulot, Cappadocius, Tzimisce, etc).

              Since we really have no time frame for the 1st or 2nd city, the Baali Wars, Saulot travelling to the east, etc..., there is a great deal of potential time this could have taken place, all in all, knowing it was pre-Dark Ages setting, and probably early or pre-Mesopotamian era.

              Now, with that being said, what if the third individual was not a newly Embraced Baali at all, but instead a pre-flood Cainite, possibly without a Clan at all, who could potentially be anything from say 2nd to 5th ish Gen. Simply a casualty of the 3rd Gen's slaying of the 2nd, or a 4th or even 5th Gen recently Embraced at the time, but never even instructred or taught.

              Or one who was, that had the power and knowledge of Obfuscate or Dominate to trick the two Baali, particularly if there is an idea of true names giving power. Perhaps that is why the two Baali refuse to speak about the third, and have different views, because they know that the truth they know is a lie, and can not discover the truth.


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              • #52
                The whole issue of the Unnamed is a dodgy one - why the confusion/mystery about its identity in the first place is questionable to say the least, as even being less influential than Nergal or Moloch she might be expected to have quite a marked imprint.

                It's almost as if it exist to be convenient blank space to excuse the Baali from not knowing major parts of their past - as long as it's not Shaitan, because anyone who believes in the reality of Shaitan as a founding Baali is obviously deluded or a malicious liar.

                Of Ur-Shulgi, based on the tale of his supposed later creation in the organ pit, i prefer to think as Baal-the-Destroyer, one the many "Shaitans" to lead the Baali
                for a time and them disappear from kindred history and a example that, to cite Unlimited Blade Works, a knock-off does not have to be the original's lesser.
                Last edited by Baaldam; 02-10-2018, 10:11 AM.

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                • #53
                  To quote a friend of mine, and circling back to the possibility of ur-Shulgi as sekret Baali all along you guys!...

                  What's the difference between "Ur-Shulgi is a douchebag Assamite sorcerer" and "Ur-Shulgi is a douchebag infernalist Baali in charge of Assamites? What difference does it make to the coterie of Camarilla neonates vying for influence in Chicago that the game assumes will resemble most groups of PCs?

                  Elaborate conspiracies, secret double identities, and labyrinthine motivations for NPCs are only relevant insofar as they impact the PCs. Giving Huitz the backstory lets the ST take such steps as necessary while running the Chaos Factor to establish him as a threat that needs to be dealt with, and/or gives the ST material to have Huitz monologue from. Huitz was written and introduced on the theory that the PCs would run into him for the Mexican throwdown between them, Haight, and the Baali in question.

                  ur-Shulgi wasn't. Hands up if you've ever run or STed a campaign or game session in which the personal appearance and interaction with ur-Shulgi was a key element. Anyone? In a setting in which the PCs may not believe in, know about, care about, or understand the complexities of the Assamite schism, or the tenuous connection between ur-Shulgi and the Baali bloodline which they may ALSO not believe in, know about, care about, or understand.

                  In other words...let's say I grant the sekret Baali origin of ur-Shulgi. What do I as an ST do with it? What do I do as a player if the ST wants to run with it? There are people posting in this very thread that I remember engaged with me on the Nosferatu Methuselah Baba Yaga, and how it was appropriate adventure design to have the PCs watch the throwdown between Baba and another Methuselah as spectators since the only proper interaction with BY is to get steamrolled by her. So what amazing spectacle does Baali-Shulgi have for me as a player?


                  I seem to have acquired a site for running play by post games. This is unexpected and frightening and come watch either the glorious play or the magnificent train wreck:

                  The Malkavian Madness Network

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    I think i get your point and agree with, backstory is only relevant if it interacts in some way with the protagonists of the chronicle, who are the PCs first and foremost.
                    It's one of the reasons i love to mangle "canon" as a ST, to keep the PCs guessing, tinkering with theories, maybe try some crazed plans based on their conclusions and so on.

                    To Grandmother's House... damn, i don't even use canon Baba Yaga in my russian games - replaced her as final boss with Koschei the Deathless as a rogue Samedi/Cappadocian 4th gen long ago, my trio of Yagas being more mentorly figures - and that whole awful mess in Nights of Prophecy is something that i hate with the burning rage of a thousand suns.

                    It's the distilled essence of bad ST vices: loads of backstory one will never get to the group, read alouds to wannabe novelist/poet heart's content, NPC on NPC combat - and a boring "bigger methuselah drops, she dies" at that (that makes no sense, if it was so one-sided, why did it take millenia to happen?) - whille the players just twiddle their toes unable to do anything by fiat.
                    Last Supper all over again, except in that they at least have a chance to facilitate Cappaddocius' soul escape from diablerie...

                    Everything would be so much more fun if, i don't know, it was the PCs somehow empowered &/or possessed by a Niktuku duking it out with Baba Yaga like in normal conditions they might not even try. That could add some epic tone and gravitas to the whole thing, the group as somewhat coerced but still free-willed puppets and necessary weapons/vessels of the ancient's gambit in taking down the old hag. Hmmmm, might be a fun thing to tinker with for a one-shot or crazy chronicle jumpstart.

                    Where was i? Oh yeah, Ur-Shulgi as secret Baali - well, i'm not really against it, if anything i'm against him as the Unnamed per se, as the tale of his secret origin seems to imply he's a later (though just as scary) creation than the Three and i like the "a fake just as deadly as the originals, maybe more so" monkeywrench that throws in the history presented in their Clanbook, along with the potential for multiple contradicting foundings of the Baali. Main problem with it overall is, as BenjCano points out, a general lack of hooks to make it more "gameable" for the average table.

                    As an aside, i prefer to think of Ur-shulgi not as secret Baali, but a methuselah with a very embarrassing youth/shameful past he would much prefer to forget.
                    Last edited by Baaldam; 02-10-2018, 11:59 AM.

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                    • #55
                      I think there is some room for Ur-Shugli's true nature being germane to PC level characters because he's setting policy for the Assamite clan as a whole upon awakening. That probably looks a little different depending on whether he's fanatically loyal to Haquim's original vision for the clan or a secret demon-worshipping mole who wants to lead it into Hell, even if Assamite player characters are never going to actually meet him in person.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Matt the Bruins fan View Post
                        I think there is some room for Ur-Shugli's true nature being germane to PC level characters because he's setting policy for the Assamite clan as a whole upon awakening. That probably looks a little different depending on whether he's fanatically loyal to Haquim's original vision for the clan or a secret demon-worshipping mole who wants to lead it into Hell, even if Assamite player characters are never going to actually meet him in person.
                        True, his being the "new" Old Man of the Mountain/policy-maker of the clan helps with that, though it feels quite tenuous overall.
                        Sort of tempted to play that kind of "dark secret past" with other leading clan figures just to see what might turn out.

                        On a random aside, i ask myself what kind of complications could the return of Mithras, supposedly once familiar with Assamite leadership and Haqim himself, now in the body of a young Assamite antitribu, produce.

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                        • #57
                          I've theorized that a different Ante embraced each of the three original Baali. So Tzimisce, Saulot, and Haquim embraced a member of the First tribe, with possibly Ur-Shulgi being the lovely slave child?


                          It is a time for great deeds!

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Eldagusto View Post
                            I've theorized that a different Ante embraced each of the three original Baali. So Tzimisce, Saulot, and Haquim embraced a member of the First tribe, with possibly Ur-Shulgi being the lovely slave child?
                            Well, that would be problematic to fit with the myth of the original Three, but Baali lore is nothing if not incongruous, so no matter.

                            In Haqim's case, it's more relevant that the Baali already existed and making Ur-Shulgi was a move to lure them out of hiding with a new leader - and was super-effective in ways he did not expect or desire.

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                            • #59
                              The fact both Nergal/Huiz and ur-Shulgi have nigh-identical backstories suggests to me that that story is the origin of the mythical Antediluvian founder instead, and that various Shaitans adopt it for themselves to 'prove' they're the original.

                              Perhaps the slave boy who corrupted everyone was actually Saulot all along. Or was an invention. Or was a myth designed to account for some high-level Presence duping other Cainites into following the corrupt founders of the Baali.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by adambeyoncelowe View Post
                                The fact both Nergal/Huiz and ur-Shulgi have nigh-identical backstories suggests to me that that story is the origin of the mythical Antediluvian founder instead, and that various Shaitans adopt it for themselves to 'prove' they're the original.

                                Perhaps the slave boy who corrupted everyone was actually Saulot all along. Or was an invention. Or was a myth designed to account for some high-level Presence duping other Cainites into following the corrupt founders of the Baali.
                                Actually, nope, Huitz/Shaitan's has almost nothing in common with the backstory of the others beside references to corruption, demonology and the Baali.

                                He was a temple's singer-slave raised to the top tiers of the city he lived in through being embraced for his beauty by one of its kindred overlords, the ever-elusive figure of Ashur. From there he went into the path of self-taught mystic/sorcerer, journeyed to many places (including the far east) and got exiled as an heretic and/or breaker of kindred traditions for consorting with the children of Llilith and/or other supernaturals. A bunch of kindred that disagreed with this act as one of envious intrigue and admired Shaitan for his wisdom and knowledge would follow him in exile and form the original Baali in the citadel of Mashkan-Shapir, that would centuries later become the target of choice for conquest of a wave of kindred survivors/refugees of the fall of the Second City.

                                It's all there in Chaos Factor and no, not much in common with the tale of the Three at all. No ancient massacring a demon/torture-worshipping cult and burying hastily embrace mortals in a well/pit of organs, gore and broken corpses. Big names in common? Yes. Events? Not so much. Overall if he sounds like anything, would be some dark mirror of older portrayals of Saulot.

                                Dark Ages Companion brings a variant telling where he's to blame for the fall of the First City, strikes at the Second generation, is brought down by Caine & etc. Back then i thought it sounded a lot like the tale of the Clanbook: Nosferatu about their Antediluvian tricking the 3rd gen into turning against the 2nd gen so he might attempt to diablerize his sire, down to the whhole "Caine striking him down and deforming with each hit" part. Nowadays, i would say the tale of Ur-Shulgi/Baal-the-Destroyer leading the Baali in razing the Second City before Haqim defeated him makes for another probable source of such conflation/mix-up.

                                (What i kind of like, as the mixing of tales, garbled retellings and mistaken identities go well with all the confusion in Baali lore and offer interesting roleplay potential - like Huitz halting mid-plot to go into some pissed rant about someone claiming again he destroyed the First/Second City with his people when it was the exact opposite of the facts - among other stuff a ST can monkeywrench with)

                                Yes, Ur-Shulgi's "secret past" has loads in common with the tale of the Three, but that is very much by design, either from a well-educated noddist wanting to calumniate the ancient very hard, as the Assamites' lore has gained lots of bad blood with the Baali from Dark Ages onwards, or if taken at face value as fact, Haqim already knew the tale of how the Three came to be - what's curious in itself thought explainable as taken from dominated/interrogated Baali prisioners and such - and decided to make his "Fourth/False Unnamed" to get all Baali together, without measuring potential consequences. With interesting cataclysmic results.

                                But the tale to work requires the Three already existing long before Ur-Shulgi and the Baali to be enough of reccurring problem for Haqim to make that hilariously (stupid) decision of replicating the process as precisely as possible.

                                Weird thought - what if Yorak came back changed from the Catedral of Flesh or that particular horror embraced/spawned a new "super-Baali" akin to the Three or Ur-Shulgi in ccontemporary times.

                                Extra tidbit: Saulot's supposed connection to the Baali can be found in Transylvania Chronicles and well, to be blunt and honest, indirect, objectionable and flimsy in a bunch of details (source text could have been deliberately mistranslated, not to mention the original Salubri writer might have been tricked by a rogue clanmate through a combination of manipulation, mental conditioning with disciplines and torture), but has something like the skeleton of the "demon cullt elevated to kindred line" myth.
                                Last edited by Baaldam; 02-13-2018, 06:06 PM.

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