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  • Doubt about Diablerie

    Would a Cainite have soul in her body or would it be an essence of blood in an organism?

  • #2
    Vampires canonicaly have souls and are even capable of selling them to demons.

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    • #3
      I'm pretty sure there is no easy answer to that (I'm in the process of re-reading all these V:Masquerade books...). In some parts (especially when they talk about Humanity, or Paths of Enlightenment for that matter - how I love the name!), they assert that vamps have no souls. They are monsters, pure predators, trying (for some of them) to retain a part of their humanity (well, you wouldn't call it human; quite a few Camarilla characters have humanity under 6 or 5...). But when they talk about diablerie or demons, they do talk about something about "souls".

      The easy answer is: Vampire (and Wraith, and all WW) is an agnostic game: if you want to believe in souls (or/and Heaven, Hell, and whatever), go for it. If you don't, go for it. Even the existence of demons is not a sure thing (perhaps, after all, they're only made of the stuff of dreams/nightmares...). The only quite objective & sure thing that exist (I think), in WoD, is Oblivion (and its variant/brother the Wyrm) - and, against that, human hopes, love, and joy... Would those make a soul ?

      Just a last question for you: what exactly would "essence of blood" be for you ?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Bruno Muniz da Silva View Post
        Would a Cainite have soul in her body or would it be an essence of blood in an organism?


        That's a difficult question to answer, because the very concept of what classifies as a soul is, to put it bluntly, very complex in the World of Darkness setting.

        I personally define the soul as being the very essence of a person's existence, and is directly tied to their consciousness. The body is nothing more than a physical shell with which to house that person's essence, and by removing that soul from that shell, the body ceases to be that person. It's just an empty husk, or even a puppet, depending on how the soul was extracted.



        However, many people on these forums have told me that's not how souls work in this game. Apparently, your 'soul' is the force that motivates you to action. It fuels your personality, but it is not the actual source of that personality. That comes from something else, which I have yet to be clarified on. A person can survive having their soul removed, but their willpower gradually diminishes, until they have no personal motivation. It's even more tricky when you consider that you can actually replace your soul with a different one and have seemingly little impact on your already established personality.


        The fact that vampires aren't a bunch of shambling corpses would indicate that they have at least some manner of soul within them, however tainted it may be by the state of undeath.
        Last edited by Nyrufa; 03-15-2018, 11:59 PM.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post

          I personally define the soul as being the very essence of a person's existence, and is directly tied to their consciousness. The body is nothing more than a physical shell with which to house that person's essence, and by removing that soul from that shell, the body ceases to be that person. It's just an empty husk, or even a puppet, depending on how the soul was extracted.



          However, many people on these forums have told me that's not how souls work in this game. Apparently, your 'soul' is the force that motivates you to action. It fuels your personality, but it is not the actual source of that personality. That comes from something else, which I have yet to be clarified on. A person can survive having their soul removed, but their willpower gradually diminishes, until they have no personal motivation. It's even more tricky when you consider that you can actually replace your soul with a different one and have seemingly little impact on your already established personality.


          The fact that vampires aren't a bunch of shambling corpses would indicate that they have at least some manner of soul within them, however tainted it may be by the state of undeath.
          Interesting. A good reading which would support this would be Villiers de l'Isle d'Adam's Future Eve : you don't have to read much of it to see that the girl is so dumb (the author contrast 2 kinds of "being dumb") that although she does has willpower (she's a normal human), she's also an "empty husk" (hence the need to replace her by an Electric Eve) (note: yes, the book, and the author, is quite a misogyne...).

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Kammerer View Post
            Vampires canonicaly have souls and are even capable of selling them to demons.

            And those people can still be diablerized

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            • #7
              I think what the OP is asking is if after Diablerie the Cainite has the victim's soul inside them.

              The way I understand it is normally no. They consume it, stealing some of it's power, but otherwise that soul moves on. Sometimes, for very old/ powerful Cainites who are Diablerized by a comparatively weaker one, parts of the victim's soul melds or imprints on the Diablerist, but the soul itself still moves on. It is only extremely rarely that the victim so completely overpowers the Diablorist internally that the soul might take over, possibly requiring Disciplines and planning.


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              • #8
                I would actually say yes, the soul remains, because there's a thaumaturgy ritual to "liberate" the soul from a diablerist. Once the soul is liberated the cainite involved loses the benefits of diablerie.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                  I personally define the soul as being the very essence of a person's existence, and is directly tied to their consciousness. The body is nothing more than a physical shell with which to house that person's essence, and by removing that soul from that shell, the body ceases to be that person. It's just an empty husk, or even a puppet, depending on how the soul was extracted.



                  However, many people on these forums have told me that's not how souls work in this game. Apparently, your 'soul' is the force that motivates you to action. It fuels your personality, but it is not the actual source of that personality. That comes from something else, which I have yet to be clarified on. A person can survive having their soul removed, but their willpower gradually diminishes, until they have no personal motivation. It's even more tricky when you consider that you can actually replace your soul with a different one and have seemingly little impact on your already established personality.


                  The fact that vampires aren't a bunch of shambling corpses would indicate that they have at least some manner of soul within them, however tainted it may be by the state of undeath.
                  It is hard to say. Different powers involving the soul treat it differently, but I have always viewed the state that comes with the removal of a soul to be a form of illness the body and mind are suffering from as they begin to die from the lack of a core component. The true self that survives death of the physical. It can not normally be destroyed, but can be seperated, and wven held apart from the physical.

                  Originally posted by Obeah
                  While a soul is being held by the Salubri, its body is an empty husk, comatose or in torpor, with no motivating force within it.
                  Originally posted by Necromancy
                  Successes indicate the number of hours during which the original soul is forced out of its housing. The body itself remains autonomically alive but catatonic.


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                  • #10
                    Auspex 5 implies that there is a consciousness which vampires possess, which can exist independently of the vampire's body. Now, whether this meets your definition of the term "soul" or not is hard to say. It does, however, mean the WoD is not purely materialistic. Compared to real world philosophy and meta-physics, that is a real game-changer. In a Humean sense, it changes "the soul" from a term which cannot be meaningfully discussed, to an object of outward sentiment. If you define what emerges from the use of Auspex 5 as the soul, you can perform direct observation of its properties.

                    Also, when a vampire has been diablerized, Necromancy is incapable of summoning the vampire's wraith, which would otherwise be possible.

                    This implies that vampires do, in some sense, have a soul, and when they are diablerized it is destroyed, transformed into an unrecognizable form, transported to some other place, or absorbed into the diablerist.
                    1. If it were fully destroyed, it causes problems with conservation of mass and energy. Even if "the soul" is made of some heretofore unknown material, it seems likely that stuff would still obey basic laws of the universe, which state: "Nothing just goes poof and disappears." Trust me on this, if you let stuff just appear and disappear, ex nihilo, the logic of your game will fall apart.
                    2. Transforming the soul into an unrecognizable form... like the way liquid water can boil off to make water vapor... is about as close to "gone" as I can imagine a soul in the WoD being. When the hardware fails, the software is lost. So, that remains an option. Even if it is a narrative dead end, without much use in the story, it seems the most likely explanation.
                    3. Transporting to some other place seems possible, like the Far Shores from Wraith. This strikes me as a bit hand-wavey, though. Why do diablerized vampire souls get a free pass to some other plane inaccessible to Necromancy? Where does the energy come from to move them there? Why has no diablerized vampire ever managed to return? Really, it just raises more questions than it answers, plus it introduces a story element which no pc is likely to ever actually know. (If, however, your chronicle features canonical Kuei-Jin, this option becomes likelier, since there is precedent for easy inter-planar travel for souls.)
                    4. Which leaves us with: absorbed into the diablerist. (This implies, of course, that the soul is first transformed into a form which can be absorbed, so #2, then this.) This, in canon, seems like the most likely. It would make the soul unavailable for Necromancy, since it is inside a "living" being. It explains some of the echoes that some diablerists report. It may even explain the black veins in the aura, as the digested soul is slowly expelled.
                    For my money, I'd bet on #4. But, as always, it's your game, pick your own adventure.

                    Oh, and then there's big metaplot #5: the soul is either transported to the original vampire who created the line, such as an antedeluvian, or transported to the antedeluvian of the diablerist... both for purposes of consumption. But, that's more of a narrative element than about the properties of a vampire's soul.
                    Last edited by Nosimplehiway; 03-16-2018, 12:06 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nosimplehiway View Post
                      snip

                      I thought that the religious dogma surrounding Diablerie was that having your soul consumed actually denies you passage to the afterlife, and destroys your soul in the process. That's (one reason) why it's considered taboo, because "only god has the right to pass judgement on them."


                      Of course, the real reason for its outlaw is because the Elders don't want the neonates to jump start their power. But explaining things from a spiritualist stand point may be easier to swallow than a bunch of old farts telling you to stay in line.

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                      • #12
                        @ Nosimplehiway

                        Wouldn't be the case then though, that once the Diablerist is destroyed that all of the souls would be released, and could then possibly become Wraiths that could be summoned?

                        Another issue is that not everyone, not even the majority of those that die become Wraiths, so it is also possible that there is something else about Diablerie that prevents it for the victims, (too much of the death energies that allow it are consumed, for instance).

                        I don't believe Psychic Projection involves the soul. Obeah 9 acts similarly, but specifies it is the soul, and has some key differences such as no silver cord. It is debatable, but I read it as specifying a difference.

                        1.) I'm not sure I agree with anything here. The conservation of mass and energy doesn't apply, or doesn't have to apply to the soul, by nature of it being the soul. And stuff appearing and disappearing really is not problematic.

                        2.) Being that the soul, by nature, is already kind of unrecognizable, I was not really sure what you meant here besides no one really knows what happens to souls after they move on, (including Wraiths).

                        3.) I would not call it a free pass. Most souls do not become Wraiths to begin with, but we do know of three victims of Diablerie, (out of game), that indeed did come back, survive it as Wraiths, or otherwise continued to be.

                        4.) I agree, to a point, that this seems to be the most likely, but not on it's own. Again, if the Diablerist is destroyed, shouldn't the soul then be free to be summoned? Why can Cainites only drink the souls of other Cainites, and why only get black veins from Cainites, (which seems to be tied in directly to the potency of blood rather than the soul). We also know factually it is not actually the consumption of the soul that lowers Generation by at least two accounts.

                        5.) Huh? I don't recall it being insinuated that Diablerie sends souls to the Antediluvians. Rather the idea is that the Antediluvians are so old that they might have grown even beyond the Methuselahs Thirst, and/or so hungry they require mass feeding, (maybe not Diablerie specifically) to continue to exist.

                        I just mean to say there is evidence for and against each, so it is hard to say.


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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Nyrufa View Post
                          I thought that the religious dogma surrounding Diablerie was that having your soul consumed actually denies you passage to the afterlife, and destroys your soul in the process. That's (one reason) why it's considered taboo, because "only god has the right to pass judgement on them."


                          Of course, the real reason for its outlaw is because the Elders don't want the neonates to jump start their power. But explaining things from a spiritualist stand point may be easier to swallow than a bunch of old farts telling you to stay in line.
                          There is more to it than that, though. There is a measurable change that happens to the individual following a Diablerie as they become more monstrous, (drop Path ratings). It is also notably addictive, and introduces a level of chaos no one wants. Many also do have religious, ethical, or philosophical convictions as well. Even for barely human monsters, this crosses a line, even if it is one of the very few ones that are nearly universal lines in the sand.

                          The other one is that it is known that portions of the victims personality, (possibly soul) are absorbed into the Diablerist, and it is unclear just how much influence this could allow. If some Fledgling who had been loyal to you Diablerizes a powerful rival, who can be sure that old ally/pawn is still loyal now, rather than secretly planning to destroy you, especially with inside information. Or, might it bypasse the Blood Bond/Dominate sort of like a sleeper agent? Who knows?
                          Last edited by Beckett; 03-17-2018, 05:20 AM.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Beckett View Post

                            There is more to it than that, though. There is a measurable change that happens to the individual following a Diablerie as they become more monstrous, (drop Path ratings). It is also notably addictive, and introduces a level of chaos no one wants. Many also do have religious, ethical, or philosophical convictions as well. Even for barely human monsters, this crosses a line, even if it is one of the very few ones that are nearly universal lines in the sand.

                            The other one is that it is known that portions of the victims personality, (possibly soul) are absorbed into the Diablerist, and it is unclear just how much influence this could allow. If some Fledgling who had been loyal to you Diablerizes a powerful rival, who can be sure that old ally/pawn is still loyal now, rather than secretly planning to destroy you, especially with inside information. Or, might it bypasse the Blood Bond/Dominate sort of like a sleeper agent? Who knows?


                            While that is a legitimate threat, most Diablerists are not initially aware of it, or they believe themselves strong enough to overcome the threat. All they're thinking about at the time is "instant power boost" and it's not until after the deed is done that they realize the consequences for their actions. Look at the guys who tried to Diablerize the Antedeluvians. I don't think they were in the right state of mind at the time of committing the deed. "Hey, this vampire is over 4,000 years my senior and survived an apocalyptic flood... I think I can force him into submission!"
                            Last edited by Nyrufa; 03-17-2018, 06:37 AM.

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                            • #15
                              I was referring to "the real reason Elders outlaw it".


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