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Baali - Clan, Sect, Cult, Bloodline?

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  • Baali - Clan, Sect, Cult, Bloodline?

    Or something different entirely? Recently finished reading clanbook baali and other sources and this is a mystery unsolved - on purpose i realise that, but really id like to pin it down more

    So the Baali founder is a Mythos. Some say Tzimisce, some say Troile or Ennoia, some say an unknown Antedeluvian that may have been forgotten or Saulots evil twin brother Ashur, most claim Saulot...its clear that some Antedeluvian is responsible to have created the Baali which gives them a 3rd Gen ancestor which is, by blood, the definition of clan and it seems all Baali 3 or 4 Baali founders (Nergal, Moloch, Unnamed, Slave boy) are 4th Gen. But we dont know for sure and there is a rumour Zillah might have created the Baali which would make the founders 3rd Gen vampires and thus their broods - Nergali, Molochim, Swarm, clans each which is far off given they share the same set of disciplines.

    But people say, Baali cant be a clan cause they dont really have a third gen Antedeluvian....well neither do ventrue, they are a clan. "but their creator abandoned them" as did most Antedeluvians with their clans "but hes opposed to them" tell that the Nosferatu about Absimilliard.

    Further i dont know if bloodlines can create further bloodlines, anyway the Baali did spawn at least 1 bloodline with the Azaneali.

    The Baali are further rumored to have very special blood properties due to demon taint - true but similiar goes for the Tzimisce.

    Then there is the argument clan is really about political power rather than anything else which may make the medieval distinction between high and low clans absurd but more so cause some issues as some bloodlines are more influential than some clans and more numerous
    And you might also argue that the Baali are much closer working together than most clans do. Except Tremere...who are also a nest for Baali.

    I have the feeling the Baali - just as the Salubri, lost Clan Status cause it was seen cooler to have 13 clans rather than 14 or 15. cause of the number.

    Then ofc anyone can join the Baali - which looks more like a sect or cult than a clan or bloodline and they are unique in their ability to transform any vampire into a Baali and thr baali are less united by blood and more by goal - as seen how the Molochim fight the Nergali.

    And they are moles in all clans whch also makes them look more like a cult, in special as they cooperate with non kindred infernalists like black spiral dancers, forging weird bonds between vampire and werewolf.

    So what do you think, are Baali a legit clan? a bloodline? a cult? a sect? All of that? id like to read your reasoning =)

  • #2
    The answer is, to me, "A little of all of the above."

    The mystery is part of their charm and you should never give a definitive answer unless it's part of your campaign.

    My summary of the Baali is this for my game:

    * The Baali were founded by Saulot coming across some mortal demon worshipers that were venerating some Earthbound.
    * Saulot was so offended by them, he slaughtered most of them, and then Embraced three to show them what real horror was.
    * This was a titanic mistake and not part of Saulot's master plan. It was just him being judgemental and forgetting not everyone views vampirism as a curse.
    * Saulot Embraced the Warrior Clan to fight them. Haqim made the Sorcerers and Warriors to help fight them.
    * The Baali split on ideaological grounds with Shaitan wishing to bring about the End of EverythingTM, Moloch wishing to keep the Earthbound asleep, and Nergal really just wanting to use the power of the demons to benefit himself.
    * The Baali benefited from the patronage of their demons. They lasted until Carthage when they were defeated as a major force in the world. Ironically, the Carthagians were actually of the "keep the Earthbound asleep" group.
    * Most of the Pure-Blooded Baali were killed by the Assamites and Salubri but infernalism survived as a vampiric tradition ever since. Cults of Satanic Kindred became very common and have never really gone away.
    * Shaitan planned to rise from torpor but failed due to Samuel Haight being an idiot. He ended up buried far-far beneath the Earth.
    * The Earthbound woke up in 1999 with the crack in hell resulting from the Avatar Storm.
    * The Molochians, realizing how fucked they wore, joined with the Tal'Mah'Re as they all agreed that this was bad.


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

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    • #3
      CTPhipp's response is a good connecting of a lot of the dots, with material from a Werewolf adventure and the backstory of Demon: The Fall mixed in with material from Revised Edition Vampire and the first edition of Vampire Dark Age, which is where the Baali first started getting some major lore,

      The agnostic "take what works for your game table" spirit of V20 has exploded the number of options for using the Baali now, with one Salubri NPC in Beckett's Jyhad Diary even asserting that any Antedeluvian whose moral path hits zero becomes Ashur and that any Antedeluvian could have therefore been the Baali founder on a bad enough day - and this bomb gets dropped in a chapter that is primarily about Malkav! (For a fun exercise, compare the Daimonion discipline to what Dementation can do. Does the game really need both, or are they similar enough that they can just be merged into one power set?)
      Last edited by Reasor; 10-27-2019, 10:33 AM.

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      • #4
        I always saw the Baali as the Black Spiral Dancers of VtM. They are both a sub-breed (bloodline/tribe) within their greater species that has an infernalist (Wyrm/Children) cult-like mentality and also operate as a sect anyone can join (dancing in the spiral/rite of apostasy). Their unique, 'rule-breaking' nature is part of what makes them so dangerous. The nephandi also share some similar traits.

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        • #5
          I think of the Baali as people everyone thinks of as the boogeymen of the oldest Kindred but that the role of such has largely been supplanted by the Sabbat, which is actually thoroughly influenced by the Baali.

          The Baali themselves think of themselves are a necessary evil but the Molochians are a religion of committing horrific atrocities and evil on the belief that it helps keep the "Children" asleep (which could be something other than the Earthbound but probably not). It's an argument that might work since they are every bit as dangerous, if not more so, than the Antediluvians but here's the thing: it's entirely possible they're NOT keeping them asleep by doing this.

          Just entertaining them.

          But yes, I think THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is an interesting take on what Modern Baali could look like. Mind you, theyd have some Technocrat Nephandi with them helping out.
          Last edited by CTPhipps; 10-27-2019, 05:22 PM.


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

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          • #6
            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
            I think of the Baali as people everyone thinks of as the boogeymen of the oldest Kindred but that the role of such has largely been supplanted by the Sabbat, which is actually thoroughly influenced by the Baali.

            The Baali themselves think of themselves are a necessary evil but the Molochians are a religion of committing horrific atrocities and evil on the belief that it helps keep the "Children" asleep (which could be something other than the Earthbound but probably not). It's an argument that might work since they are every bit as dangerous, if not more so, than the Antediluvians but here's the thing: it's entirely possible they're NOT keeping them asleep by doing this.

            Just entertaining them.

            But yes, I think THE CABIN IN THE WOODS is an interesting take on what Modern Baali could look like. Mind you, theyd have some Technocrat Nephandi with them helping out.

            I always thought the Baali would fit right in with the Sabbat as a third leading clan, but only as it was presented in the 1st edition.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
              The Baali themselves think of themselves are a necessary evil but the Molochians are a religion of committing horrific atrocities and evil on the belief that it helps keep the "Children" asleep (which could be something other than the Earthbound but probably not). It's an argument that might work since they are every bit as dangerous, if not more so, than the Antediluvians but here's the thing: it's entirely possible they're NOT keeping them asleep by doing this.

              Just entertaining them.
              I have a weakness for irony, so I love this. A True Headcanon Secret (tm) that I've used before was that the Sleepers were the Antedeluvians, and that the Baali were keeping the world safe from Gehenna.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Logothétēs View Post
                I always saw the Baali as the Black Spiral Dancers of VtM. They are both a sub-breed (bloodline/tribe) within their greater species that has an infernalist (Wyrm/Children) cult-like mentality and also operate as a sect anyone can join (dancing in the spiral/rite of apostasy). Their unique, 'rule-breaking' nature is part of what makes them so dangerous. The nephandi also share some similar traits.
                Well, many splats have its own infernalist.

                Vampire-Baali
                Kuei Jin-Akuma
                Mage-Nephandi
                Garou-Black Spiral Dancer
                Hunter-corrupted Extremist
                Demon-Earthbound(?)
                Mummy-Bane mummies(don’t know much...maybe incorrect)

                But you say “has an infernalist (Wyrm/Children) cult-like mentality and also operate as a sect anyone can join (dancing in the spiral/rite of apostasy)”, Hunters may become exception(Extremists are very rare, and Imbueds are too younger to organize itself).

                *I don’t know much about Changeling, Wraith and Orpheus. Maybe they also have their own demon-worshippers.
                Last edited by Rock113; 10-27-2019, 11:13 PM.

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                • #9
                  It is not official. But I like the idea that instead of infernalist the Baali are more to Cthulhu Cultists.

                  And that they were born as lineage with near Clan status and after their defeat developed the rite of apostasy, but this generate infertility in the transmission of the curse to mortals which make them something unique that tends to head for a cult in the future when the bloodline is fully sterile and creating a parasite parasite relationship with even the same embrace recruitment process that vampires do to mortals, they do to vampires. It sounds more threatening and paranoid to me than the risk that they will never happen to awaken "children" as eschatology.

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                  • #10
                    I've yet to use the Baali for any of my chronicles, but if I did, I'd treat them like a sect/cult. Members come from the regular clans, but once they join they learn the secrets of their unique Discipline.

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                    • #11
                      Why not the idea of a clan being converted due to a mystical process that has become accustomed to a sect?

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                      • #12
                        I think it also depends on how much of a Baali still exists. My view is that they probably aren't that large of a group and its better that way. Because, of course, they're the boogeymen of the boogeymen.


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

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                        • #13
                          Imo the Baali are a little of all of the above.

                          Bloodline because they are an offshoot of another clan's Antediluvian, which one is unknown.

                          Clan because they have their own unique discipline and clan weakness.

                          The Tremere are essentially the same as the above 2 points. They started as a bloodline of the Tzimisce, due to using Tzimisce vitae in the potion that turned them into vampires, but became their own clan after diablerizing Saulot and gaining their own weaknesses.

                          Cult because they worship demons and try to convert others to the same belief.

                          Sect because they work against the Camarilla and Sabbat, albeit covertly.

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                          • #14
                            Well, my own interpretation, ur-Shulgi is The Unnamed, and has diablerized Haqim in the past. It's only known Childe, Al-Ashrad, is pale white, not coal black like an ancient Assamite.

                            Ashrad has recently defected to The Camarilla. How did he, and his defectors escape from a being who is a virtual Blood Sorcerer God? Because he was allowed to.

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                            • #15
                              I have previously posted my head canon on the subject of the Baali origins here, down in post 6.

                              I reprint it here for simplicity sake:

                              Imagine you're in Enoch, the Second City, or just Ye Olde Hyborean Age back in the day. There's all kinds of crazy stuff going on: cannibal cults, demon worship, Cthulhu summoning, shape shifting soul eating plagues, defiling of sacred temples, cats sleeping with dogs... real Sodom and Gemorrah stuff.

                              Caine, or maybe an unnamed Antedeluvian, looks around and says, "Hmmm, this is getting out of hand. I should create a sort of morality secret police to tamp down the worst excesses. They need to be sneaky to infiltrate the doomsday cults, but also charismatic enough to lead the usual torch wielding band of moralists. Let's have a specialty discipline that detects evil, convinces people it's the wrong thing to do, blasts the unrepentant, forces anyone who survives that to battle their own inner demons and, then, finally, levies a judgment against the guilty in the form of a curse. Let's name the line after the local legitimate deities that have respectable, established religions so the common folk will accept their moral authority."

                              That's my guess at the origin of the Baali.

                              Of course, after a while the narcs always wind up sampling from the evidence locker and it all goes south, which brings us the modern Baali.

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