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  • #16
    Originally posted by Pleiades View Post
    - sabbat are free to idolize anyone and anything, including antideluvians and demons,
    it's how you idolize them that matters
    for example, path of revelations/night/cathari, all worship demonic figures, yet only revelations are considered heretics,
    (...)
    I don't recall reading that Vampires on the Path of the Cathari worship demons. Where is this written, and which ones ? Considering their beliefs, I can see some of them idolizing demons ; but not worshipping.

    Originally posted by Pleiades View Post
    - while there's probably kupala worshipers among sabbat, the main cult in the land beyond the forest don't consider themselves sabbat
    (they are in sabbat territory, and are probably under sabbat protection but they keep personal domains, and aren't subject to sabbat rule)
    In which book(s) can I read about the cult of Kupala from the land beyond the forest ?

    Originally posted by Cynic01 View Post
    The Grimaldi Revenant family are key in Sabbat mortal affairs for influence, covering Masquerade issues, and finances. If the Tzimisce leave they take their families with them.
    The Grimaldi Revenants are the Revenant Family in regard to which this is the least likely to be the case ; many of them have been considering aligning with the Camarilla.
    Last edited by Muad'Dib; 12-22-2018, 12:10 PM.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
      I don't recall reading that Vampires on the Path of the Cathari worship demons. Where is this written, and which ones ? Considering their beliefs, I can see some of them idolizing demons ; but not worshipping.
      the original cathari worship the demiurge (jaldabaoth), the evil god of zoroastrian myth,
      the church in montreal on the other hand, either worship yahweh or monad (the good god)

      edit: it's written in chaining the beast

      Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
      In which book(s) can I read about the cult of Kupala from the land beyond the forest?
      don't remember, I don't think they're well documented
      the cult in question is the Old Clan Tzimisce,
      pretty sure part of them worshipped Kupala
      Last edited by Pleiades; 12-21-2018, 03:45 PM.


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      • #18
        Originally posted by Pleiades View Post
        the original cathari worship the demiurge (jaldabaoth), the evil god of zoroastrian myth,
        the church in montreal on the other hand, either worship yahweh or monad (the good god)

        edit: it's written in chaining the beast
        From what I read about Vampires following the Path the Cathari ( In "Chaining the Beast" and "Guide to the Sabbat" ) they consider themselves to be - or to be similar to - Archonic spirits, or Lesser Aeons ( I assume that the Aeons from the beliefs of the Cathari Vampires are not the same as or related to the Aeons from the outlook(s) of the Followers of Set. ) , aligned with the Demiurge ; with goals and purpose that overlap ( or are parallel ) with the Demiurge's approach towards the material world and the persons in it.
        Worship is an appropriate word to describe their attitude and outlook towards the Demiurge ; but in this context the meaning of this word is very different from how it is usually used. It seems to me that there is no subservience or humility towards the Demiurge in their attitude.

        Also, in "Chaining the Beast" it isn't written that the Montreal group worships the good god of Gnosticism. " (...) This version of the path plays down the concept of God as the demonic Jaldabaoth, instead placing God as harsh but loving father, a sculptor who seeks to chip and burn and cut away the dross of His creation. Good and evil are meaningless concepts. Sin is an arbitrary, mortal notion, based on arbitrary, mortal laws." ( page 51 of "Chaining the Beast" ) Going by this, it seems that they are aligned with the Demiurge in their outlook.

        I have liked the Albigensians since I read about them ( I like that it is, to an extent, a refinement of the Road of Sin with a distinct direction to it ) ; but I especially like this group since I sat at a lecture that discussed Gnosticism ( and with it, Catharism ) while studying Cultural Studies at the University of Warsaw ( I have failed to pass the first year and currently I'm not studying ; but maybe I will go back to it in a year or two, if I won't decide to study History. ) . In Gnosticism there is this whole talk and ideas that despite the material world being sinful, there is still chance for a person to better oneself and reach greater wisdom and spiritual awareness ; this view point is wonderfully twisted and appropriated by the Cathari Vampires, in a way that is nicely consistent, clearly defined, and very distinct.
        Last edited by Muad'Dib; 12-23-2018, 05:02 PM.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Muad'Dib View Post
          Worship is an appropriate word to describe their attitude and outlook towards the Demiurge ; but in this context the meaning of this word is very different from how it is usually used. It seems to me that there is no subservience or humility towards the Demiurge in their attitude.
          that's my point,
          you can worship something (be it a demon, a spirit or an antideluvian), yet not be subservient to it like infernalists are,
          that's why I brought up cathari and night as examples of "clean" idolatry



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          • #20
            Originally posted by Pleiades View Post

            that's my point,
            you can worship something (be it a demon, a spirit or an antideluvian), yet not be subservient to it like infernalists are,
            that's why I brought up cathari and night as examples of "clean" idolatry
            My point is that worship in the case of the Albigensians is so specific and distinct that they shouldn't be mentioned together with other groups in regard to which the word worship is also used. The Albigensians' worship - if their attitude can be called this at all - is an outlook and approach that is definitely different from perspectives on deities and spirits in the beliefs of other groups.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Koldun View Post
              (...) Can anyone help me make sense of these beliefs beyond "The Sabbat are hypocrites"?
              Originally posted by Monalfie View Post
              To be fair, the Sabbat is hypocritical in many facets. Especially their manner of espousing freedom yet still essentially requiring service in how they guide packs.
              What might be called and look like hypocrisy is often actually finding middle-ground and reconciling different areas of interests, perspectives, and goals.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by Schwartzung View Post
                In my opinion its everything. Even in the clan novels, Myca's lover (can't remember his name) worshiped the old gods. In my DA game, mortal religions play a HUGE part. With encroaching Christianity on both sides, the old gods are all the people have to cling to. In addition, with the Tzimisce being very traditional and Koldunism based on the "old ways" IMHO its far too deep of a connection to just brush it off.

                So the point you missed in my argument is that Tzimisce are from the land. Their clan flaw ties them to it. And I would hazard to say that most of those who practice the magics believe they come from the gods or the land that binds them, not a demon. Remember that the Tzimisce generally embrace selectively especially in the DA line. In fact, the whole of the Transylvania Chronicles is based on Kupala.
                You're not quite getting my point. When the definition of "god" is so wide and encompassing, it becomes effectively meaningless and not worth quibbling over. The definition we're really working with, here (which I'm trying to warn away from), is "any sufficiently-powerful paranormal entity which also happens to be the object of worship". Think of it as a corruption of Clarke's third law: "any sufficiently-powerful entity is indistinguishable from a god". Hell, let's break it down.

                Almost the entirety of Mesopotamian mythology, up to and including Gilgamesh, is explained in the context of WoD as antediluvians' and methuselahs' shenanigans. A good number of antes and methuselahs (across most clans) have names associated with gods, whether that's because early mortals actually worshiped them or because they took on the name of the god because reasons -- Arikel/Ishtar, Ennoia, Set, Enkidu, Huitzilopochtli, Nergal, Ennoia, Baba Yaga, and I haven't even exhausted that list but am stopping because I believe I made my point. We know this relationship at least goes both ways, because we have examples of ancient vampires calling themselves gods and demanding worship from mortals, case in point Mithras.

                Vampires love to LARP as mortal gods if they can pull it off, full stop.

                As far as the clan flaw issue, vampires also love to mythologize their own flaws and tie them into religion and deification well above and beyond the tried-and-true "it was an article on the front page of the newspaper Caine rolled up and bopped the antes with way back when". The Lasombra and their connection to the Abyss being a major one, as well as the Setites and Osiris myth.

                Next, we have the issue of the discipline itself, which is actually pretty clear cut without having to do a deep dive on the issue. Antediluvians, and certain methuselahs, are capable of creating disciplines and propagating them. Meanwhile, certain disciplines other than Koldunism are said to have been conceived from pacts with spirits -- Dark Thaumaturgy, Ogham, Bardo, Mytherceria, Daimonion. Western Necromancy, (Tremere) Thaumaturgy, and as of V20/V5 certain forms of Anarch sorcery, are in fact the only secularized forms of blood sorcery in the game.

                What does all this mean, by my reckoning? Just because someone says something or someone is a god, doesn't mean it is a god. In fact, it's probably not a god, it's just some big, powerful, something playacting at godhood. Some beings are powerful enough to pull off the charade, but it doesn't mean they're a god. But, and this is a big but (and I cannot lie), when it comes to beings that powerful, arguing about defining it really isn't worth the time, except in fringe cases where that definition may impact a chronicle, and at that point it boils down to the ST's need and the sensibility of the players at the table.

                For example, in the TC game I'm running now, Kupala is the Eldest's Beast, given intelligence, will, and form apart from the Antediluvian itself. Because, relevant to this chronicle, I'm doing this whole deconstructivist thing where I'm taking the "the Eldest is The Big Bad, with Vicissitude being a disease etc." tropes from Revised, along with the newer lore about the Asakku, and twisting it around to where the Eldest is actually kind of the Big Good of the chronicle.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Theodrim View Post

                  You're not quite getting my point. When the definition of "god" is so wide and encompassing, it becomes effectively meaningless and not worth quibbling over. The definition we're really working with, here (which I'm trying to warn away from), is "any sufficiently-powerful paranormal entity which also happens to be the object of worship".
                  (...)
                  What do you find lacking in this definition ? And what other definition of a deity or a goddess ( or a god ) would you suggest ?

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Kael03 View Post
                    In this world Kupala is a God. In the world of darkness he is a demon.
                    It's a fine line in the real world; a God to one religion is a demon in others. And in the WOD where game books have blurry edges in there descriptions, especially with the "Unreliable Narrator" issues then we can never be exactly sure what Kupala is.
                    It's a Slavic God, Earth Spirit and/or Demon (Earthbound) depending on the needs of the story.
                    (May be aspect of the Wyrm, sperated beast of the Eldest Tzimesce, etc etc)
                    Even if Kupala is an Earthbound, whether Kuldunism is infernalism or not is arguable. There's no boons given for power. There's no sacrifice of soul or demands of action (Outside of the Ritual requirements)

                    Pleiades - While there isn't a homogeneous culture in the Sabbat, I've always read it that pretty much everyone is against Infernalism (Except the infernalists) Do you have a source for the "Freedom of cult" 200 years things?
                    Last edited by Illithid; 12-28-2018, 02:37 AM.

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                    • #25
                      God is a title, not a race/splat

                      it's given to powerful beings that are widely (more or less) worshipped

                      otherwise, all gods are either demons, spirits, mages, shades, wraiths or even mortals at times

                      now some gods' splat are known (kupala is a fallen), others are not (what's yahweh?)

                      Originally posted by Illithid View Post
                      Pleiades - While there isn't a homogeneous culture in the Sabbat, I've always read it that pretty much everyone is against Infernalism (Except the infernalists) Do you have a source for the "Freedom of cult" 200 years things?
                      yes, in Chaining the Beast, in the path of Revelations write up,

                      it says the path was founded in 1600 and the sabbat Inquisition that led to its demise in 1800 (so 200 years),
                      the path was tolerated for those 200 years and I quote:

                      'Many sabbat believed the sect's cry for freedom included freedom of religious practice.
                      "vampires are cursed by god, perhaps they should name themselves allies of the lords of darkness", they rationalized'
                      Last edited by Pleiades; 12-29-2018, 09:28 AM.


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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Pleiades View Post
                        God is a title, not a race/splat

                        it's given to powerful beings that are widely (more or less) worshipped

                        otherwise, all gods are either demons, spirits, mages, shades, mages or even mortals at times

                        now some gods' splat are known (kupala is a fallen), others are not (what's yahweh?)
                        I did not think about deities in exactly this way before. Thank you for writing this. I think that it is correct, and in regard to this consideration it is the most sensible outlook.

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                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Theodrim View Post

                          You're not quite getting my point. When the definition of "god" is so wide and encompassing, it becomes effectively meaningless and not worth quibbling over. The definition we're really working with, here (which I'm trying to warn away from), is "any sufficiently-powerful paranormal entity which also happens to be the object of worship".
                          Well, that is the academic definition, insofar as there is one. Scholars of ancient religion have no better definition to go with. It’s not until you get monotheism that you get the notion that there are specific criteria for godhood, or that there can be a “false god.” Otherwise, if it receives cult, it’s a god.

                          That’s how Jupiter, the dead Roman emperor, the living Roman emperor, your own dead ancestors, the nymph of the woods behind your house, the guy that founded your town way back when, and that spring coming out of the rock that people throw offerings into were all simultaneously regarded as gods, and until Christianity came along there was no basis for claiming that they weren’t.
                          Last edited by Black Flag; 12-31-2018, 10:25 PM.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Black Flag View Post

                            Well, that is the academic definition, insofar as there is one. Scholars of ancient religion have no better definition to go with. It’s not until you get monotheism that you get the notion that there are specific criteria for godhood, or that there can be a “false god.” Otherwise, if it receives cult, it’s a god.

                            That’s how Jupiter, the dead Roman emperor, the living Roman emperor, your own dead ancestors, the nymph of the woods behind your house, the guy that founded your town way back when, and that spring coming out of the rock that people throw offerings into were all simultaneously regarded as gods, and until Christianity came along there was no basis for claiming that they weren’t.
                            I think that there was definitely basis and criteria in regard to the consideration whether a person ( or a place, or a phenomenon etc. ) was considered to be a deity and/or to be divine. It just wasn't discussed as part of a very hierarchical organizations which recorded theological considerations and ideas.
                            What are the reasons why you think that a considerable change in regard to definition and criteria for divinity ? happened because of Christianity's emergence as a religion ? Also, what is Christianity's ( or Catholicism's ) definition of a deity or of divinity ? Is there a main one, or are there several ?
                            Last edited by Muad'Dib; 01-01-2019, 05:38 AM.

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                            • #29
                              @Muad’Dib: It’s a consequence of the development of monotheism. If you only recognize one god, then you need some justification for why. There are lots of gods out there who are worshiped by lots of people, so why not accept them as such? Well, it must be because you have a more strict criterion for divinity that they don’t meet.

                              But yeah, it’s mostly Christianity. Judaism got it started, holding that Jews had a covenant with Yahweh not to worship other gods, but ancient Jews don’t actually assert that other gods don’t exist or aren’t really gods; they’re just not gods as far as Jews are concerned. Christians are the ones who come up with theological justifications for monotheism, and Muslims continue that tradition.

                              By contrast, ancient Greeks and Romans and... well, pretty much everybody way back when, didn’t have a criterion for what was and wasn’t a god, apart from a basic idea about whether that being might be amenable to helping you, answering prayers, etc. So an awesomely powerful human who acts as your patron could be a god, but a volcano spirit who didn’t have any interest in humans or their needs would not be regarded as such. You’ll find similar attitudes in modern China and other places where monotheism never took hold.

                              The classicist Simon Price has a chapter on this subject in his seminal book on Roman imperial cult. He points out that most modern people, being culturally influenced by Christianity (or Islam), have a hard time understanding ancient attitudes towards religion, so for a long time they didn’t take things like emperor worship seriously. But to the people at the time it wasn’t a cynical sham, it was a perfectly normal expression of their religious culture.

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Black Flag View Post
                                @Muad’Dib: It’s a consequence of the development of monotheism. If you only recognize one god, then you need some justification for why. There are lots of gods out there who are worshiped by lots of people, so why not accept them as such? Well, it must be because you have a more strict criterion for divinity that they don’t meet.

                                But yeah, it’s mostly Christianity. Judaism got it started, holding that Jews had a covenant with Yahweh not to worship other gods, but ancient Jews don’t actually assert that other gods don’t exist or aren’t really gods; they’re just not gods as far as Jews are concerned. Christians are the ones who come up with theological justifications for monotheism, and Muslims continue that tradition.
                                (...)
                                I think that it is a shame that Christanity - or is it just the majority of Christians ? - takes monotheism so literally and seriously. This religion and faith does have some elements, motifs, and ideas which I think are noteworthy and interesting, but I think that what really harmstrings and devalues Christainity is it's strict monotheism, and how it is so underlined and prevalent.
                                Last edited by Muad'Dib; 01-02-2019, 07:24 AM.

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