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Karsh in V5

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  • #31
    Wasn't Karsh / Jalan-Aajav implied to be one of the Seraphs of the Tal'Mahe'Ra, or was I under that impression because Jalan-Aajav was one of the 4 Seraphim of the Sabbat's Black Hand?

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    • #32
      My 2 cts.

      JA’s reported destruction in V5 can be considered as in-character knowledge. (Since we only see it mentioned in a note written in game)
      I wouldn’t consider that as fact.
      Even if someone/something was destroyed, no way of knowing it was K/JA. The SI may believe it was JA or they may even be lying about the whole thing.

      Assuming K and JA are split forms:
      We don’t know how Dual form actually works.
      Can both forms act independently? For how long? Is it permanent? Do they develop different traits over time?
      And indeed, “what happens if one of them dies”
      Maybe both forms rejoin and we now have a reformed Qarakh on the loose….


      edit: So I've looked up the mechanics for dual form.
      My bad, I should've written "I don't know how Dual form works", or even better, looked it up beforehand.


      BTW, Karsh being staked in the trilogy means nothing.
      He has/had access to protean lvl 8 (pre V5 of course, when the trilogy was written)
      It’s not inconceivable that would have been the power ‘Purify the Impaled Breast’.
      I would actually be surprised if he didn’t have it. I always found it far-fetched he even got bested. Fortitude 7, try rolling that fight on the table.
      Admittedly it’s unlikely that a figure like him would play it smart and not come back for revenge, but who knows, he was being puppeteered after all.


      Assuming they are/were the same guy:
      If K was a puppet then so was JA?
      A terribly convoluted way to be ‘running the show’ so to speak, in the Sabbat, yet be the Camarilla warlord at the same time.

      Not impossible but implausible. Especially for a combat oriented slaying deathmachine, maybe less so for a genius manipulator.
      That also means that if the trilogy did happen, K/JA would have survived the staking, but not the SI’s attack.
      (Or he did. Two near destructions, that would be my clue to disappear for a while…)
      I do feel this fits better within V5, but I don’t buy it.

      My money is on door no 1 but we’ll likely never get the answers. It’s all left purposefully hazy so we can speculate and use it to our own liking.


      Last edited by Moriaki; 01-25-2022, 08:58 AM.

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      • #33
        We know how dual form works, its in Players Guide Second edition page 80. It has mechanics.

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        • #34
          Originally posted by valismedsen View Post
          Wasn't Karsh / Jalan-Aajav implied to be one of the Seraphs of the Tal'Mahe'Ra, or was I under that impression because Jalan-Aajav was one of the 4 Seraphim of the Sabbat's Black Hand?
          He was the only modern Black Hand Seraph that wasn't in the know about the Tal'Mahe'Ra. Well, until he found out in Caine's Chosen: The Black Hand after the disappearance of the other three.

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          • #35
            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
            I maintain that Karsh and Jalan are the same character but rather than the Protean 9 split, it was more the two made use of a lot of body doubles and Obfuscate-capable minions.

            So are they dead?

            Who knows.

            I honestly treat that as one of many "near endgame twists " pulled for their own sake in Revised era because no one truly gave a damn about the original NPCs.
            Karsh and Jalan-Aajav as the same person doesn't make any sense whatsoever beyond "ah, they were both Gangrel and medieval soldiers, make tots sense to make them the same person!"

            No, it doesn't - Jalan-Aajav was a small unit light cavalry & archery officer, basically a lieutenant at most, among the mongol hordes of the time of Gengis Khan. Plus, he is very much lampshaded as a crap uncharismatic leader that raised in the social pyramid through seniority, secret illegal bonding & assassination (plus under-the-table deals with Genevra's faction within the Giovanni, the ones with Inquisition ties that would sacrifice rivals to the hunters).
            Karsh was a Janissary general of the Ottoman Empire betrayed by court intrigues and the pettiness of his sultan, in the 1600s. Also, he was handpicked for his role of Camarilla war leader, pretty much embraced into the elite like Jan Pieterzoon though of a different clan and focus, what says much of his strategic and political accumen for the period that he was targeted in such a manner.

            Quite different tier of their respective pecking orders, quite different era of war, not to mention cultural background.
            It only gets more nonsensical if one adds Qarakh to the mix as some fan theories try - because that one is an almost platonic diametrical opposite of what Jalan-Aajav is supposed to be, even thought coming from the same era and culture.


            Seriously, the quantity of inconsistencies if one cares to decently read on their original portrayals, even though statless, is mind-boggling. If one needs some evil ancient secret puppetmaster to hide under both their faces, just say it's Izhim Ur-Baal trolling the hell out of everybody.
            Last edited by Baaldam; 01-21-2022, 08:16 PM.

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            • #36
              Originally posted by valismedsen View Post
              Wasn't Karsh / Jalan-Aajav implied to be one of the Seraphs of the Tal'Mahe'Ra, or was I under that impression because Jalan-Aajav was one of the 4 Seraphim of the Sabbat's Black Hand?
              The Brujah trilogy strongly implies that Karsh / Jalan-Aajav are one and the same. After Theo and Xaviar send Karsh to the bottom of the ocean Jalan-Aajav we learn that the Sabbat stopped being able to make contact with their Seraph, which was a nice way to hint at the theory that Karsh was actually Jalan-Aajav (having the exact same stats).

              @Baaldam: The theory goes like this. Karsh and Jalan-Aajav are proxy identities of Qarakh (the signature character for DA:V Gangrel). A strategy he developed after him diablerizing Alexander and the destruction of the Telyavelic Tremere (which included Deverra, thus fulfilling the condition needed for him to safely leave Livonia). The question is how and why he decided to work for the "puppet masters", which apparently were his masters and were even more powerful than him.
              Last edited by Haquim; 01-22-2022, 06:35 PM.

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              • #37
                ...The SI killed Jalan-Aajav? The guy who, according to the wiki, has this among his stats:
                physical Strength 8, Dexterity 7, Stamina 8

                mental Perception 7, Intelligence 6, Wits 7

                disciplines Animalism 4, Auspex 1, Celerity 7, Dominate 1, Fortitude 7, Potence 6, Presence 2, Protean 8


                They better have ganked him at high noon, or I'm calling bull**** on them being able to do it without the fight causing a ruckus large enough to feature on prime time tv.

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                • #38
                  Originally posted by Karthak View Post
                  ...The SI killed Jalan-Aajav? The guy who, according to the wiki, has this among his stats:
                  physical Strength 8, Dexterity 7, Stamina 8

                  mental Perception 7, Intelligence 6, Wits 7

                  disciplines Animalism 4, Auspex 1, Celerity 7, Dominate 1, Fortitude 7, Potence 6, Presence 2, Protean 8


                  They better have ganked him at high noon, or I'm calling bull**** on them being able to do it without the fight causing a ruckus large enough to feature on prime time tv.
                  The "SI killed Jalan-Aajav" is not a "fact" it's a rumor. Given how obscure and difficult to verify things are in the WoD it might very well be JA had been "dead" for quite a long time and the SI was blamed for his disappearance despite having nothing to do with it because the SI was being treated as some impossibly powerful bogeyman.

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                  • #39
                    Originally posted by Haquim View Post
                    The "SI killed Jalan-Aajav" is not a "fact" it's a rumor. Given how obscure and difficult to verify things are in the WoD it might very well be JA had been "dead" for quite a long time and the SI was blamed for his disappearance despite having nothing to do with it because the SI was being treated as some impossibly powerful bogeyman.
                    I mean, also, are we really assuming the Second Inquisition would FIGHT Jalan?

                    I mean, how stupid do we think the Inquisitors are?

                    Am I the only one who believes vampire hunters are dangerous because they're smart enough to do the Alfred thing?

                    "Did you ever catch the bandit?"

                    "Yes."

                    "How?"

                    "We burned the forest down."

                    I'm presuming that if Jalan is dead, it's because he was in a non-American country when his car was hit by a drone strike. Either that or he was in America and they covered up said drone strike.


                    Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

                    Forum Terms of Use
                    the Contact Us link.

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                    • #40
                      V5 Core said Jalan Ajaav was more victim of the War on Terror than of the Second Inquisition: he was struck down as the US Government thought he was a linkage between Mexican drug cartels and Al Quaeda, and it says he killed 14 operatives.

                      They probably sent some Delta Force to kill him, and when he simply shrugged off bullets and started killing Marines, they drone-bombed him, until he got ashed.

                      In fact, I suppose the battle with Jalan was the thing that probably triggered a phone call to SAD by higher ups in the US secret service, saying "Ooook ... perhaps you were right about monsters in the night. Let's discuss".
                      Last edited by Manfr; 01-24-2022, 10:40 AM.

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                      • #41
                        Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
                        I honestly treat that as one of many "near endgame twists " pulled for their own sake in Revised era because no one truly gave a damn about the original NPCs.
                        Karsh and Jalan-Aajav as the same person doesn't make any sense whatsoever beyond "ah, they were both Gangrel and medieval soldiers, make tots sense to make them the same person!".
                        Now, here's the problem, you're looking at it from the perspective of LOGIC.

                        When I'm looking at it from the perspective of sheer insanity.

                        Specifically, the idea that there is a 5th Generation Gangrel Methuselah out there who is running both sides of the Camarilla and Sabbat sect war just for the hell of of it. It was a bit more of a concept before Darth Sidious was a thing but the whole idea is just so ridiculously insane that you almost want it to be true just because.

                        Forget the specifics of his backstory, think about just what sort of psychology and lengths someone would have to go to in order to pull this off. A guy presumably with Nosferatu, fleshcrafted body doubles, Tzimisce agents, and proxies that are all doing this guys bidding as well as what his higher end is.

                        Because it's very likely THERE IS NO HIGHER END. That Jalav/Karsh created this massive war between the two sects and constantly feeds it because he's a Kindred warrior and the time of the Kindred warrior has passed. Because if not for him and others like him, the Camarilla and Sabbat would fight solely through proxies or influence.

                        So he made an eternal unending conflict between the sects solely so there would be a place for him and vampires like him he didn't want to sip tea and rule from the shadows.

                        We will forsake our countries. We will leave our motherlands behind us and become one with this earth. We have no nation, no philosophy, no ideology. We go where we're needed, fighting, not for government, but for ourselves. We need no reason to fight. We fight because we are needed. We will be the deterrent for those with no other recourse. We are soldiers without borders, our purpose defined by the era we live in. We will sometimes have to sell ourselves and services. If the times demand it, we'll be revolutionaries, criminals, terrorists. And yes, we may all be headed straight to hell. But what better place for us than this? It's our only home. Our heaven and our hell. This is Outer Heaven.
                        Last edited by CTPhipps; 01-25-2022, 12:08 AM.


                        Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

                        Forum Terms of Use
                        the Contact Us link.

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                        • #42
                          And Jalan is not even a True Black Hand guy - at least they truly are ideologically committed to fostering war between Kindred!

                          Of course, Karsh instead really looks like a TBH dupe ... so if they are the same, Jalan may be unaware of the true loyalty of his Other.
                          Last edited by Manfr; 01-25-2022, 04:05 AM.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                            Now, here's the problem, you're looking at it from the perspective of LOGIC.

                            When I'm looking at it from the perspective of sheer insanity.
                            No, i'm looking at the perspective of someone who has seen 2-3 characters that he appreciated each in its own way retconned into "Masks of Cartoonhotep", aka cover identities of just another uberpuppetmaster meth with no real character or story beyond "i need an excuse for my Darth Sidious style plotting!"

                            So yeah, not particularly entused and gushing at the inventiveness of it all....
                            Last edited by Baaldam; 01-25-2022, 07:52 AM.

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                            • #44
                              Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

                              I mean, also, are we really assuming the Second Inquisition would FIGHT Jalan?

                              I mean, how stupid do we think the Inquisitors are?
                              As stupid as a 9th gen Brujah and a 7th gen Gangrel?
                              But of course inquisitors do not have the 'Bell always wins' perk on their stat sheets...

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                              • #45
                                Originally posted by Moriaki View Post

                                As stupid as a 9th gen Brujah and a 7th gen Gangrel?
                                But of course inquisitors do not have the 'Bell always wins' perk on their stat sheets...
                                To be fair, I still remember when my players attacked a DRAMATICALLY overpowered vampire and the latter Botched their Dominate use.



                                Originally posted by Baaldam View Post

                                No, i'm looking at the perspective of someone who has seen 2-3 characters that he appreciated each in its own way retconned into "Masks of Cartoonhotep", aka cover identities of just another uberpuppetmaster meth with no real character or story beyond "i need an excuse for my Darth Sidious style plotting!"

                                So yeah, not particularly entused and gushing at the inventiveness of it all....
                                I think Darth Sidious puppetmastering is the wrong thing to disdain in a game about playing the undead Illuminati. Its not really getting into the spirit of things.

                                V:TM is *THE* game of manipulating behind the scenes, treachery, and lies.


                                Author of Cthulhu Armageddon, I was a Teenage Weredeer, Straight Outta Fangton, Lucifer's Star, and the Supervillainy Saga.

                                Forum Terms of Use
                                the Contact Us link.

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