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  • #16
    The Baali seem to have undergone rewrites and retcons with each edition of the game. Their founder was whichever Antedeluvian would make for the best plot twist. They're recruiters of apostates in Dark Ages games because it's an insult to clan purity at a time when the sects don't exist and clan loyalties matter more. They're all purpose, adaptable antagonists.

    To respond to the thread's original post, the strongest argument for Nergal and Moloch being canonically 4th Generation (aside from legends of an Antedeluvian sire who was one of the 13 clsn founders) is that Huitzilopochtli is statted as 4th Generation in an official Werewolf supplement - and his identification as Nergal was another retcon. The notion of the two being direct children of Caine to fulfill his antagonism toward God is what I would call a good headcanon. It's a sound pretext for the Rite of Apostasy being able to override a recipient's blood lineage, and it certainly checks the box for the shocking plot twister founder. I'd totally run with that if it suits the storytelling needs at your gaming table.

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    • #17
      Re-reading the OG Baali book:

      Original Baali were mortals with some of them having magical ability.

      Embracing Baali in an organ pit was something some baali did out of tradition. It is not necessary. It is not a caul

      The majority of early conscripts being re-embraces is a practical solution rather than something that has a deep metaphysical meaning; established vampires are better than fledglings. Note that you can also give Ventrue auspex with a ritual. Apostates were barred from leadership roles in Baali circles. Undead rabbit and Shaitain comes up rather late in Baali history
      Last edited by MyWifeIsScary; 08-21-2020, 12:00 PM.


      Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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      • #18
        There's tons of contradictory information on the Baali, so just use whatever you like. I think this is purposefully contradictory to throw others off or just what some of the individual Baali believe. Their origins predate a lot of complex writing and the idea of impartial history, so who really knows what from the legends is right.

        Personally I use the Saulot made them from mortal worshipers of the Children (First people) upon his return from the East, after he split his P'o from the rest of him. Saulot allowed his P'o to live to do what was necessary like creating the Baali, but contradictory to his goal of achieving Golconda. The Baali do serve a couple of purposes. One is to perform low level atrocities that keep the Children sleeping and dreaming and don't wake up and destroy the world, or at least large chunks of it. Second they create an enemy that can unify virtually all the Cainites against them and serve as a distraction from their own infighting. The Watcher cast from the Salubri served as a model for the Unnamed and it's childer. The third caste of Baali were supposed to act as watchers and make sure the other Baali didn't go too far or do something completely stupid, like try to wake up one of the Children. If something like that happened, the Watcher Baali would attempt to manipulate events so the mainline Cainites would discover the plot or in some cases, even act directly against them. This is my head canon and more based off the old Dark Ages Clanbook Baali.

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        • #19
          Honestly I think the Children are near-total wank. The First Tribe, as mortals, found corpses with mysterious powers, they built religions out of them, and the Baali have continued and warped this religion. These bodies might be absurdly powerful, but waking up or not isn't something the Baali are really controlling, they're just justifying their atrocities with their religion. If such things were so powerful and woke up, they'd probably be struck down again.


          Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
            Honestly I think the Children are near-total wank. The First Tribe, as mortals, found corpses with mysterious powers, they built religions out of them, and the Baali have continued and warped this religion. These bodies might be absurdly powerful, but waking up or not isn't something the Baali are really controlling, they're just justifying their atrocities with their religion. If such things were so powerful and woke up, they'd probably be struck down again.
            Like I said, there's tons of contradictory stories. You don't like the Children, don't use them, there are versions that don't mention them at all. I prefer a narrative where the Baali aren't just bwahaha mustache twirling evil and actually serve a purpose. I think they add an element of Lovecraftian horror to the game, with cults of Baali actively working to ensure these eldritch horrors don't wake up and wreak havoc. Sure some of them go astray and have tried to wake up the Children, but their system has worked to keep them in check.

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            • #21
              Oh no, don't get me wrong, making yourself a well of corpses and thinking you're doing this to satiate the Great Ones is great stuff, but it works best as a faith-thing (which might grow to carry magic of it's own) rather than something that's the actual reality of the WoD. Baali and The Children and things from The Outer Dark should be kept small-scale; I prefer more human evils. The Baali inflate their own importance, and their sacrificial pits work wonders as religious delusions that I portray completely seriously in the hopes that I can scare my own players into filling the well.


              Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                Oh no, don't get me wrong, making yourself a well of corpses and thinking you're doing this to satiate the Great Ones is great stuff, but it works best as a faith-thing (which might grow to carry magic of it's own) rather than something that's the actual reality of the WoD. Baali and The Children and things from The Outer Dark should be kept small-scale; I prefer more human evils. The Baali inflate their own importance, and their sacrificial pits work wonders as religious delusions that I portray completely seriously in the hopes that I can scare my own players into filling the well.
                Oh ya definitely, I don't get in the players faces with the children, having them deal directly with them, at most they just get vague snippets of rumors and stories about them. But I enjoy the idea of the Baali actually doing something to prevent even greater evil from befalling the world and having a use. This is my personal behind the scenes head canon for what's going on.

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                • #23
                  [QUOTE=MyWifeIsScary;n1409572 Shaitain comes up rather late in Baali history[/QUOTE]
                  thats afaik because Shaitan is just an alias of Nergal

                  That said i like the Baali to be the kind of "heroic villains" - like a good villain is the hero of his own story so the baali do evil but only to prevent much worse.

                  Just like the Nephandi ultimately are about recreating a flawed existance full of suffering, pain and death or at least mercifully ending the agony of the universe

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                  • #24
                    Indeed. But the context:
                    Undead Rabbit brought some refutations up for what I wrote, so i looked stuff up again and... Rabbit is not right.

                    The first Baali were full Baali. Nergal presumably mostly embraced mortals into the Baali during this Pre-historic/first civilizations period. Nergal was a charismatic leader who got along great with other vampires, the world did not know of his evil, until Nergal got fucked over by moloch and the other vampires and went into hiding as the most reviled guy ever.

                    Thousands of years later (still ancient by our standards but well after the second city)A hated and feared Nergal popped up as Shaitan and, partly because he didn't want a load of new baali 5th gens drawing the wrong attention to him, partly because conversion is real subtle, and partly because elders and ancillae who know the game and who have diverse skillsets are going to be extremely valuable, chose to increase his ranks by converting a new following from other clans rather than the usual methods. This is why the re-embrace is associated with Shaitan and not Nergal (most Baali saw two different individuals)

                    after that, things normalized once again and the baali moved back towards embracing rather than converting. They might have used conversion in the earlier period but there wasn't really the groundwork for it (infernalism apparently wasn't big then if you take the clanbook at face value) the Baali didnt have a big need for it, the clanbook suggests mortal preferences, and of course It's a Shaitan associated thing.
                    Last edited by MyWifeIsScary; 08-21-2020, 05:27 PM.


                    Freedom is the freedom to say that two plus two make four. If that is granted, all else follows.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Orkar View Post
                      3) Yes and no. We already had this in here as well i think. Baali DO share their blood. ALL Baali - including converts - can be identified as being of Tremere Blood by Auspex and Analysis of their blood, hinting at Saulot being the OG Progenitor. And only at Auspex 6 or higher can it be determined that the Baali - any Baali - is in fact not of Tremere blood but similiar, which may give the idea hes Salubri as well
                      Peculiar. After all, most Tremere share no blood-link with the Salubri. Tremere himself did sire childer after his diablerie of Saulot. They actually have a clan curse and sometimes get a third eye. I think his line is quite few in number though. Third eye might be why. But the majority of Tremere seem to be descended from the Council of Seven, who admittedly diablerized Salubri -but if that was enough for a blood connection, clans would be indistinguishable.

                      In any case the Baali are the older line, so it would be the Tremere who are hard to distinguish from them.

                      Originally posted by Undead rabbit View Post

                      "I had the right authentication and your PGP keys. Here is where I establish my bona fides as a daughter of Haqim, not as a piece of technology. My name is Sarah Schneier and I hold the Seat of Copper and Lightning in the Council of Scrolls, and yes, this is important enough to require me to expose myself.

                      Alpha passed the order down for me to get the word out to all cells. You have to know what's on the Throne. On 08 November, we opened the Vault of the Pillars. The records there confirmed our suspicions as to the identity and nature of the new Eldest.

                      You already know about the Baali Wars, and about the Second City, and the parables of how the Ancestor made the warriors to serve as the world's first police, and how the sorcerers were made as demon hunters because the Ancestor did not trust Saulot.

                      The problem, at least before the sorcerers came along, was that the Baali and all their cultist followers were too disorganized for the warriors and the first sorcerers to strike at. It was like trying to fight a swarm of wasps. So the Ancestor gave them something to unify them. He found someone who was born with a soul already destined for corruption — a ten-year-old shepherd — and Embraced that child. Then Haqim took his childe to the pit that Saulot said had spawned the Baali and he threw that shepherd into it. And the blood of the Ancestor and the power of that soul turned that child into the leader that the Baali needed.

                      When the Baali assaulted the Second City en masse, the Ancestor was off on one of his mysterious disappearances. He made it back just in time to stop his childe and tear the demon out of the body that it rode, and when the battle was over he claimed that he had found the child dying on the battlefield and the Embrace was the only way to save that innocent victim. Then he watched the child to make sure that it was safe to have around.

                      I guess he did not watch long enough. Some sort of spiritual seed stayed in the child, and that soul was never truly clean anyway, no matter what the Ancestor did. And it woke up last year, and now it is the Eldest. It is not Baali, and it is not possessed, and we do not think it is not working with or for anything infernal, but it is a case where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, and it is not one of Haqim's Children any more, not really. It is something more, and it is something less.

                      Every scroll and tablet we found in the Vault of the Pillars, every test we can perform without arousing its suspicion, everything we have points to ur-Shulgi as that child. It is close enough to 100% certainty that Alpha ord Power out, generators are up. It knows already, and it's moving. File attachments have all data that is in our hands as of tonight, and the mirror sites will contain it for download as long as they stay up. You have all that we have. Use it.
                      As a last note...there are some hints about the fact that the Tzimisces and (Yorak in particular) might have some connection to the Baali."
                      I got to say, Undead Rabbit, I hugely enjoy your posts and how well they are sourced

                      However, in this case I think Ur-Shulgi very clearly was embraced well after the origins of the Baali. Which means either he cannot be the third Baali, or we must throw out the tale of the three founders. In which case, no Unknown again. It seems more simple to simply say that Ur-Shulgi was a fourth fourth generation Baali and maybe the first Shaitan. As in the leader of the bloodline.

                      After all, as you point out, his embrace story is almost identical to Ba'al the Destroyers. I do believe that the identification of Shaitan with the Unnamed raises more problems than it solves though. Ur-Shulgi as Ba'al, a fourth Baali who arrived on the scene after the other three is pretty straightforwards and solves most things. Its interesting that he would have been such a force that the line ever after was named for him, and the eldest of the Baali still invoke his title as a symbol of rulership.

                      Originally posted by Undead rabbit View Post
                      1) Samiel must had a reason to go deep in the Carpathian to kill Tzimisce.
                      Well they torture people. Stories about him indicate that would have been enough. However, "Saulot told him to" is also plausible.

                      Originally posted by Undead rabbit View Post
                      "The Baali
                      In ancient times, the creature named Ashur came across a beautiful slave boy. Enamored with the adolescent, he remade the boy in his image and brought him before his father and siblings. For a long time, the boy remained with Ashur and sang for him, as only his nightingale-song could soothe the creature’s tempestuous heart."
                      "In her life, [Rayzeel] had been first a slave in Enoch, playing on lyre and harp with such sweetness as to make the birds pause to listen lest their harsh song interrupt her. Saulot found her music soothing to his meditations and when he grieved for Samiel and the lost warriors only she seemed able to rouse him"
                      -Clanbook Salubri page 26



                      Originally posted by Undead rabbit View Post
                      "He spoke of ancient lost city — not Qal’at Sherqat, the city mortals called Ashur, but the true city, the fallen city, the home of the First Tribe from which the Baali had sprung, lost no longer. He spoke of the first great Well of Sacrifice, the Maw of the Sleepers, lost for ten thousand years if not longer, and how it should have fallen into dust and silence without blood and flesh and pain to sustain it. When it was found in the cradle of the high mountains, it was neither dust nor silence, but thrumming with a hideous dark power that rivaled that of Knossos and Chorazin, with something pulsing within it, changing, becoming."

                      "The First Well, the Great Well of Ashur the Fallen, has been the unholy grail of the Baali since the bloodline’s diaspora. Any living memory of the city’s physical location was lost with Nergal and Moloch,"
                      Well, if we accept the three founders tale of the Baali origins, presumably the unknown third would know just as well as Nergal and Moloch.

                      Apropos, apparently Rayzeel lairs underneath the First Well. So clearly she knew exactly where it was. Saulot forbade her, of all his get, to fight or approach the Baali, but after his diablerie she seems to have made a beeline for the first well. Gehenna, the final night pg 243-44, and sundry references to Rayzeel vanishing immediately after Saulots diablerie.

                      Which seems a peculiar thing to do, and a strange place for a haven for a Salubri, but I guess she knew best.

                      In my headcanon, thats Rayzeel they've been sensing. For all the reputation of the Salubri as the white hats, she predates the fall of the Second City by quite a bit. Chthonic blood gods that ancient are not nice people, or in fact people.

                      As a complete digression, there was a city in the empty quarter of Arabia, in a location where trade routes intersected and the water table was quite high. It grew rich on the trade and consumed the water far faster than it could be replenished. As they sank deeper and larger wells and pits, the water retreated and left the city resting increasingly on porous rock. One night it is said to have collapsed into a gigantic sinkhole. It was called Irem or Ubar.

                      Thats in our world, not the World of Darkness. but a lost city in the middle of the middle eastern desert, fallen into a pit? Thats Baali. Theres even the DNA ghost of a people in the area that could have been called the First People. Basal Eurasians.
                      Last edited by Trollroot; 08-23-2020, 05:11 PM.

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by MyWifeIsScary View Post
                        Diamonion is a vampire Discipline, a product of the vampire state, cultivated through parasitism around the infernal; It is not, like DT, a power granted by demons. It'd be easier to think of Diamonion as 'stolen' from demons.
                        I never looked at it that way. You might be on to something...Thank you.

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                        • #27
                          I've mentioned it before on this board, but I've long held a headcanon that the mortal tribe who were worshipping at that first well were a cargo cult who dug up a sleeping Antedeluvian or Methusaleh, accidentally killed it by exposing it to sunlight, and went off the deep end after having encountered what they thought was a real demon in the flesh.

                          This could easily be compatible with the Caine-as-founder headcanon, if Caine recognized what their blood sacrifice really was on sight and either found it offensive or a sign of the tribe's potential.
                          Last edited by Reasor; 08-21-2020, 10:18 PM.

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                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Trollroot View Post
                            Peculiar. ....
                            I love these inputd with the Lost City and Rayzeel as input im gonna take that for my group thx =)

                            Which brings me to a crossover question.

                            Demons are fighting each other as well and are split in seperate factions.

                            1) WHICH faction is the most likely to have sided with the Baali and use them? Faustians?
                            2) What would the demons gain from the Baali, who are without souls?
                            3) What exactly would the Baali offer in a pact? Would they get a "discount" given they serve the demons, kinda?
                            4) Are there demons who would fight actively against the Baali? Say Luciferians?
                            5) Since the earthbound hate Lucifer and i guess Lucifer hates the Baali, couldnt the earthbound try to make contact with the Baali? In special given the baali try to keep them asleep ^^
                            ​6) Could the Baali just enslave the demons to their own ends?

                            Would different Baali factions side with different demons and thus ahve different powers? I see the Molochim and Nergali as vastly different in their philosophies after all and say dark thaumaturgy seems to fit the Molochim better than the Nergali, in my oppinion, while the latter would focus on more...directly destructive Stuff (that said the balefire Path is pretty straight forward destructive)
                            Last edited by Orkar; 08-22-2020, 02:19 AM.

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