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Discovering Diablerie

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  • Discovering Diablerie

    On the one hand Diablerie is the most heinous crime in Kindred society, on the other hand we know it's by no means a rare thing.

    But, how often are vampires (at Elysium for example) checking the Auras of others for the black stains?

    I know they vanish after a while (couple of years), but unless the vampire completely vanishes during that time (voluntary torpor maybe), they'll have some contact to other vampires.

    How likely is it to be discovered. On average of course.

  • #2
    I couldn't say with any degree of certainty because I'm a card-carrying member of the Sabbat, but you'd have to expect anyone charged with running an Elysium is going to vet the attendees to make sure no troublemakers are skulking about or some diablerizing Sword of Caine guy doesn't just waltz in. If metal detectors aren't out of the question, then I don't think Auspex sweeps would be either.

    To say nothing of the attendees themselves. An Elysium (from what I've heard) is like a giant shark tank, and while overt violence isn't allowed, do you really think every single vampire there isn't trying to find any edge they can over their peers? I'd imagine anyone with Auspex would be monitoring auras quite closely with the intention of getting usable leverage over anyone they could. And while they might not run straight to the Prince or Sheriff if they found anything, you can bet they'd be making an unsolicited appearance later on asking for a "small and reasonble" favor.


    Light inspires illusion and interpretation. Truth can only be found in darkness.

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    • #3
      Its hard to say. Reading and studying auras actually takes a liittle while, and is kind of obvious. But, I also assume that any new Kindred either entering or being introduced to a Domain will be examined. However, simply seeing the evidence of a Diablerie is not proof of much. Was it sanctioned? Was it a mistake on the Embrace? Are they simply an Assamite or Tremere? Does the investigator know what that even means? Was the Kindred an ex-Sabbat, (mainly Embraced Sabbat and fled immediately)? What does it actually mean? Might be a red flag, but not an immediate destroy on sight finding.


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      • #4
        Reading aura is absolutely free and takes one turn. So it's safe to assume that everyone who can read auras always reads aura.

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        • #5
          I think this is a great question. OOC, the mechanical rules for diablerie are very explicit and well known. But at least in the early products, the setting seemed to imply that diablerie wasn't well known, and for those who did know about it that the method of how to do so properly could be unknown (at least outside the Sabbat).

          For example, in Chicago By Night it mentions that Alan Sovereign had heard that killing an older vampire (specifically his sire, and not just any old vampire) and drinking his blood could make one more powerful. Presumably he heard this from an Anarch as it was during the Anarch's bid for power in the eighties when he learned this. Sovereign was a fairly knowledgeable vampire so that this was unknown to him for many decades indicates diablerie is not popular knowledge that every vampire knows. At the same time, various vampires in Chicago do know that information, so it is isn't exactly secret either.

          What does seem to be known is that feeding on Kindred blood is pleasurable, and of course the prey's blood is a prime reason for Kindred to participate in a Blood Hunt. Many, if not all, elders know of it, and knowledge among the Anarchs seem to be present at least in theory. But most neonates and perhaps some ancillae, don't seem to be informed. It's something they have to learn for themselves, and when they do they realize it's best to not talk about it.

          How often the elders specifically check for diablerie probably depends on recent events - do they have reason to suspect it's been done recently? The times around failed Praxis seizures would probably be one of those. However, use of Auspex for routine purposes will still show the black stains, and this is probably much more of a threat for the secret diabolist. So the information would probably spread quickly. Then again, those who would do that are more likely Anarchs who can drop out of vampire society for an extended period of time and not really be missed.

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          • #6
            I mean, think about it. The basic precept of the non-Sabbat game is that your character has been a Kindred for a full decade prior to being presented and released on your own. What Sire is going to add in the clause, "Oh, and by the way, if you get mad about not being able to push ahead, or just for kicks, you can drink from other Kindred, especially ones closer to Caine than yourself, EXACTLY LIKE ME, who, by the way you know intimate details about, and not only drink their more potent blood, and not only even drink their very soul as the most blissful experience you have ever had, but you also steal, permanently mind you, some of their power. But, it's,... um,... bad."


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            • #7
              Yes, some of the fluff seems to imply that it's not as well known, but I've never seen a game actually enforce that and every PC seems to be quite knowledgeable about Diablerie.
              And I'm pretty sure the Sheriff or Keeper of Elysium certainly would know how to spot it, right?

              Also are you sure the stains are not enough? Unless teh vampire can proof they're an Assamite or something? (and do Sabbat actually have them too by default? That's news to me)

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Quatar View Post
                Yes, some of the fluff seems to imply that it's not as well known, but I've never seen a game actually enforce that and every PC seems to be quite knowledgeable about Diablerie.
                And I'm pretty sure the Sheriff or Keeper of Elysium certainly would know how to spot it, right?

                Also are you sure the stains are not enough? Unless teh vampire can proof they're an Assamite or something? (and do Sabbat actually have them too by default? That's news to me)
                Remember that Kindred do not operate as a lawful society, merely as a society with laws in it. There is no functional justice system. What happens when Brujah Bob accuses Toreador Tammy of anything is determined not by just process, evidence and judgement of your peers, but by the amount of connections, favors and bribes Bob and Tammy have.

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                • #9
                  The odds of discovery vary with the group of vampires involved. A Gangrel revel will not have nearly as many vampires who know Auspex 2 as a Toreador social or a Tremere meeting.

                  I would expect any large gathering of mixed clans to have at least a few attendees examining the crowd with a cursory scan, specifically looking for diablerie, as detailed on p. 136 of V20. For such a gathering, I would assume it is highly likely any diabolist present would be identified. So, word to wise, if you ever plan to diablerize someone, first take part in a blood-hunt with sanctioned diablerie, then go to your main target for seconds. Aura Vision can detect the veins, but not who was diablerized, or if the veins are there for an unusually long time.

                  One thing I'm not sure of is checking one's own aura. A diabolist with Auspex 2 can look in a mirror and know when the veins have faded, right?

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Quatar View Post
                    And do Sabbat actually have them too by default? That's news to me
                    Not for just being Saabat, no, but the example I was using was meant as someone Embraced by the Sabbat that committed Diablerie when they rose and fled. Point being, detecting the signs does not tell you how they got there, and it would be unwise to start rumors or accusations without proof.


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Beckett View Post

                      Not for just being Saabat, no, but the example I was using was meant as someone Embraced by the Sabbat that committed Diablerie when they rose and fled. Point being, detecting the signs does not tell you how they got there, and it would be unwise to start rumors or accusations without proof.
                      That seems like the absolute worst case scenario. A young new vampire with no backing and signs of the worst possible crime? That's like death sentence 101.

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                      • #12
                        Perhaps. Bit it also largely depends on circumstances and who finds out. The Fledgling might not even know what happened, waking up from the Embrace automatically in Frenzy.

                        Heck, it happens with Cam and Anarchs as well. Until officially presented, all the sins are on the Sire still, and while some Princes might destroy the Childe, most I think would want to avoid it if possible, in favor of building alliances with Clans like the Brujah and Gangrel, the Anarchs, and because it is a life boon basically for free.

                        Could also easily be twisted as a cheap way of paying off other boons by "giving" the Childe to an individual or their Clan to mentor, in place of the right to Embrace.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Beckett View Post
                          Perhaps. Bit it also largely depends on circumstances and who finds out. The Fledgling might not even know what happened, waking up from the Embrace automatically in Frenzy.

                          Heck, it happens with Cam and Anarchs as well. Until officially presented, all the sins are on the Sire still, and while some Princes might destroy the Childe, most I think would want to avoid it if possible, in favor of building alliances with Clans like the Brujah and Gangrel, the Anarchs, and because it is a life boon basically for free.

                          Could also easily be twisted as a cheap way of paying off other boons by "giving" the Childe to an individual or their Clan to mentor, in place of the right to Embrace.
                          It'd also be a massive pain in the ass because Kindred numbers are heavily regulated and every vampire who wanted a childe immediately starts to complain. Think to the opening of Bloodlines, where a fledgling is about to be executed for the crime of being embraced and is only spared by Nines' power play. And they are not even a diablerist. In a city with strong Camarilla this shit wouldn't fly.

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                          • #14
                            I believe that most kindred, especially in the camarilla, are very hush-hush about it, and when it's a known thing in a given city, the smear campaign and rumor mongering is very quick.

                            It drags the beast out, and it'll forever be more prominent
                            It's an addictive fast track to becoming a monster
                            The victim will possess you.
                            It's really bad for your mental health.
                            You collect supernatural flaws from it.

                            Which is annoying when you've got a storyteller with a conscience that wants to punish you for evil (like, why would you run vampire if you're going to wimp out on all those glorious metaphors?) but it's pretty great.

                            Now socially, you should lose a lot of friends for even having a mild interest in the topic, and you'll get killed for the act in the cammy unless you've got some truly inspirational backing. I don't care if your cammy ate an evil loner on the red list, you're getting in shit for it.


                            Be correct.

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                            • #15
                              I'm not sure you can aura perceive through a mirror?
                              (And Nosimplehiway : Diablerist has committed diablerie. Diabolist is someone who deals with the infernal)

                              Anyone who has been taught Aura perception should know what the veins mean, so has to know about Diablerie.
                              I know that in LARPS, people have been anal about Aura perception of everyone as they enter the Elysium, often with Metal Detectors etc as well.
                              But an Elysium is meant to be sanctuary for all inside, keeping it sacred is important, and theoretically a Sherrif of Scourge can be punished for chasing up a Diablerist in Elysium if they break Elysium. No one has more power than the keeper of Elysium.

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