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The „ultimate“ Baali summary thread

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  • The „ultimate“ Baali summary thread

    Short Intro: I play World of Darkness since roughly 2000. So quite a while, and mainly vampires and mage with crossovers to werewolf and changeling.
    I do not claim to be the source of ultimate truth or that my oppinion is the holy grail, however i encounter many players and storytellers that, in my humble oppinion, have a very stereotyped and unfair idea about certain things in WoD – famously or infamously the „fishmalk“ malkavian but that was debunked fantasticly by Ander Wood (woodwwad) on youtube and also tackled by the Gentlemangamer well. Similiarely Ander did the marauders and Nephandi justice and i would refer to his videos for clarification on those topics.

    I myself am very fond of Clan Baali, and read everything about the clan thats published yet with the exception of recent „Lore of Bloodlines“ which im unsure is worth the buy if its just rehashing info already out in the clanbooks and revised editions. According to many a reviewer Lore of the bloodlines says nothing new about the Baali that isnt already in the Clan book except merits and flaws and just emphasises that Baali are anti god not pro satan which is already known from other sources as well.

    As you can see if you search this forum, i had many discussions on the Baali, and speculations with other enthusiastic players and ofc on other sites and even discord groups as well, so i decided to make my statement on the Baali here, not to show off or tell you you have to use them this way but merely as information on them because it is very difficult to distill that information from official sources as they are spread across multiple books, some hints in this campaign, some info on that rulebook and of course a lot of retconning across versions and with some intent as the Baali do live from mystery. And that can be preserved WITH the information i am about to present and hope i can add things that make them even more interesting and do away with prejudgements you might have about them cause i think, the Baali are, after the Nephandi, the one thing that seperates WoD from all other RPG systems and make WoD stand out for fantastic writing. So please view this as my subjective oppinion based on months sifting through official material, wikipedia, discussions and fan pages to enrich your game. I know its long but keep in mind i try to summarise information across many many books into one semi coherent least contradictory article youtube style (and i may upload it there as well one day^^)

    So lets start with a short introduction to the Baali. Why bother?

    The Baali bring a lot of unique flavor to the table sided with unique powers you wont find in your games without them.
    • Dark thaumaturgy. Insanely versatile blood sorcery that in theory allows for everything regular thaumaturgy offers (which can also be learned by demons) plus a lot of new powers (that come at a cost that makes it even more unique) adding some elements of Koldunism and even Assamite Blood sorcery into the mix making it the ultimate vampire magic.
    • Apostates. No other clan can „re-embrace“ a vampire and its a very scary thought. It can technicly be done against your will but Baali will only use that to create „scapegoats“ to be killed by hunters, mortal or kainite, and escape themselves. Actual apostates are chosen very carefully
    • Double masquerade. Baali masquerade as being from a different clan for obvious reasons and thus masquerade amongst kainites as those do amongst mortals
    • Opening a door to get black spiral dancers and even Nephandi in your game (and demons)
    • a horror that other clans just dont cover for extra creepy storytelling
    • one of the best villains in all of RPG history
    • a LOT of new background lore and plot twists as well as challenging what your characters and players know about the world of darkness
    • An exploration of the human psyche that neither Giovanni, nor Malkavians or Setites allow
    • A lot of shocking revelations about Kainite history
    • Getting your story beyond a single city and petty power squabbels
    • an epic villain for epic storytelling
    • player characters that change the dynamic on the table completly and lead to some of the most memorable roleplaying moments
    The Baali are also very often very misunderstood, caused by a ton of retcons, revisions, contradicting information in different publications and more.

    Factions:
    The first part i want to tackle is the stereotype of „THE“ Baali. Indeed the Baali are arguably the most fractured clan of all. Some say they are actually more a sect than a Clan but i strongly disagree as sects are supposed to be united in a goal or idea and the Baali wage war against each other because they are anything but. Indeed id draw a comparison to Demon the Fallen – yes all Baali deal with demons. But why, how much, to what ends and for what price is as different as are the many factions of the demons themselves. We have even multiple ways to distinct those factions.

    By founder:

    Nergali:

    these Baali try to achieve apotheosis and become gods. They strive for power at all costs and aim for at least demonhood and turning into actual demons with infernal ranking. Like their founder Nergal, they are willing to do anything to achieve their goal however they did, unlike their founder, learn from past mistakes. They can be subtle, they will do anything they have to to achieve their goals. If that means founding a cult in secret and drawing on the souls of their followers – great. If it means they enter the stage as god like Nergal did in mesopotemia or with the atztecs so long ago, they will do that too. They are powerhungry on a level that makes ventrue blush but they arent idiots. They will use subtle ways to get what they want if they cant take it outright.
    The Nergali were nearly wiped out multiple times in history, despite being comparatively subtle and it needed the Molochim to snitch on them and lay the Nergalis plots to all of vampire kind before the other clans noticed and took action. Nergali view demons as tools to power – and nothing else.
    Nergal tried to wake Namtaru and Kuppala, not caring what it would do to the world, cause he wanted to ascend this world to begin with and become a god. If that leaves the world in ashes hes fine with it, he wants to rule in hell. Nergali similiarely would rather rule in hell.

    For demons, the Nergali are aligned most with the Destroyers and the Faustian demons.

    Molochim:

    these Baali are directly oppose the Nergali and waged 2 huge wars against the Nergali. It was Moloch himself that betrayed Nergal cause he thinks Nergal is a sick f....individual that cant be allowed to exist. According to the founding myth Moloch wanted to actually make peace with the first men, when Nergal just started consuming them and forced Moloch into action, lest Moloch would be killed by the survivors.
    Moloch spied on the Nergali ever since and, if threats arose, intervened to stop them, may it be direct action by his own clan sabotaging the Nergali or by telling Nergals plans and secrets to the other clans to unite them in a unholy crusade against the Nergali, whcih happend twice (first and second Baali war – it wasnt everyone against the Baali, it was all clans PLUS the Baali (Molochim) against the Baali (Nergali)
    The Molochim also try to keep Namtaru, Kuppala and other Earthbound demons ASLEEP. They do NOT want the world to be harmed and comit evil acts out of neccesity cause a certain level of depravity willnourish the earthbound just enough so they do not wake up, like a lullaby of horror.
    Now the Molochim arent the „good guys“ either, but they genuinely try to protect the world from a demonic takeover. Because they want to rule the world, and dont want to be the rulers over ashes.
    They are also fine to rule from the shadows, gently pulling strings rather than taking the limelight. They arent like Ventrue and more akin to Tremere.
    And they did so very well, influencing many big events in kainite and mortal history alike, effectively causing not only the 2 baali wars but the death of many a methusela and even at least 1, if not 2 antedeluvians (Troile and Saulot)
    Molochim are also seekers of knowledge, rather than power.

    Molochim seem mostly aligned with the cryptics of demon the fallen and likely deal mostly with them and the luciferian demons.
    The Molochim are further the ONLY branch of Clan Baali that is aligned (and allied) with the Tal Mahe Ra (true black hand)

    The unnamed, the „swarm“ :

    nothing is KNOWN about the details of this branch of the clan Baali and its shrouded in mystery beginning by who the founder is. Well founded speculations include Lilith, the Crone, Shaitan and the slave boy.
    The swarm seems to be the branch of Baali that is the one that does „evil for evils sake“ rather than a higher purpose. If there is one, it is not known. Its speculated that the swarm is the tool of revenge on the world from either of said founders, to take revenge on creation itself, against god, against caine.
    They want the world to suffer as they did and are the ONLY branch of clan Baali that deals with the elder gods, the ancient evils beyond creation. They are also the ONLY branch of the Baali that spreads disease and pestilence and the swarm is closely aligned with the Wyrm and as result deals a lot (in cooperation) with the Black Spiral dancers, using wyrm creatures to further their plots.
    The swarm seems to just want to defile and corrupt creation, they were behind the black death and other plagues, locust swarm caused famines and make your worst nightmares come true.
    While Nergali do cruel deeds out of powerlust and Molochim do the most depraved things cause they feel they have to to prevent worse, the swarm revels in sadism and actually does spread evil because they genuinely enjoy it.

    The swarm, in terms of demons is most aligned with the raveners, though as said they are more dealing with the wyrm and its servants rather than demons.

    Azaneali:

    these Baali are the most vile of them all, the most powerfull of them all, and the most rare of them all. Azaneal himself is a creature of legend and may actually be a second generation vampire (he is listed as such, and as 5th gen. So we dont know if its 2 different Azaneal named Baali, or diablerie happened, but Azaneal predates the flood and may indeed be an original second generation vampire, possibly an apostate rather than a „true“ Baali)

    Azaneal did find and unlock Chorazon the unholy city which supposedly stored Namtaru and the most powerfull secrets in the world. What is known is that entering the city, Azaneal changed. Azaneali are the only Baali that have shark like teeth and pitch black eyes because whatever was in the city, changed them forever. Azaneal is the only Azaneali that can embrace – so all his offspring are third generation vampires and infertile which severly limits their number and its unknown if any survived into the modern nights (they originated in the dark ages)

    Azaneali get a different set of disciplines to other Baali as well, as they not only get Daimonion but also Obtenebration as they are deeply tied to the Abyss to a level that makes Lasombra Abyss mystics cower in fear.
    On that note, Azaneali are also not aligned with any demons per se, but rather with the Abyss itself and call upon the shadows rather than demons which are kinda below their level.

    We know little about the Azaneali per se, but we do know that they claim to be the true Baali and want to lead their brethren to their true purpose – what that is is pure speculation but given Azaneal might be a direct child of Caine, its rumored that Caine embraced Azaneal to found the Baali to fullfill one purpose: revenge against god. Incarnating caines hate and fury against the heavens.
    Azaneal deems himself the ruler of all Baali, the Lord of Lords, but the other factions obviously disagree. A lot. However young Baali tend to flock to Azaneal and serve him, and most opposition comes from elder Baali.

    Shaitani:

    This is an entirely rumored faction as Shaitan may just be another identity of Nergal, Shaitan was also used as a title for the leader of the entire Baali Clan (which didnt mean much to begin with see above) and there may have been multiple Baali claiming to be Shaitan (actually were) but it may also refer to once specific Baali that may or may not be identical to „the slave boy“
    This is the go to Baali for whatever you want and need – you can kinda make it up, however they are supposed to be aligned with the Luciferian demon faction and their main goal is to wage war against the heavens and establish demonic rule on earth. They are the stereotypical demon worshippers the Baali are often branded as (and is not true for literally any other branch of the clan) They rather serve in hell than rule in heaven and see themselves as vessels to bring about Lucifers rule on earth. (which is arguably not that bad if you go for demon the fallen Lore. Lucifer seems to be quite reasonable and nice for a demon, at least he is at odds with most demons cause he doesnt want to be cruel against mankind, he wants to free them from the shackles of god and believes in human divinity he wants to utilise against the heavens not supress or enslave it. Or kill it like other demons)

    ...so that was it for the „by founder“ factions. But wait...there is more! Cause those usually by blood and affiliation distinction is further set apart by ideological groups.

    The destroyers:
    Those Baali just want to see the world burn. They are aligned with the Raveners from demon the fallen and seem to hold a deep grudge against existance itself, which is why they work with Nephandi. They just want to end it all already. However – like Nephandi, they arent stupid. They dont go around killing people in the weirdest ways shouting they are Baali...they can further their goals subtly. Though personally i think they are most likely the Baali you encounter as NPCs and uncover their plans. Unlike the swarm, they dont want to defile or corrupt creation. Just undo it entirely. They dont want to spread suffering, they just want to end it all.

    The celestials:
    Aligned with the cryptics from demon the Fallen, the celestials want one thing: Divinity. Other than the Nergali however, the celestials try to achieve it through knowledge rather than pure might and sacrifice. They also dont do with demonhood, they may view it as a stepping stone to their goal, but they actually aim for ascencion similiar to mages, and achieve apotheosis through knowledge and the darkest secrets, trying to achieve something like an Avatar and partially undo gods curse so they can ascend beyond being vampires.

    The children of Enigma
    going back to a single founder from Tyre, thesem Baali are collectors of knowledge. Very similiar to the Dracons Obertus order, they collect knowledge and secrets for the sake of knowledge itself. They do not strive for divinity, they are scientists with no morals holding them back. They want knowledge, no matter how mundane or occult, no matter how heavenly or dark. They want to know, and that is what drives them. They are the academic types that dont give a damn about human lives, all that counts is the research at ANY cost.

    Avatars of the swarm:
    likely part of or identical to „the swarm“ these Baali are the ones that try to spread not so much disease but insects and want those, and spiders, to become the dominant life forms on earth. They spawn the „brood mothers“ the Baali are so infamous for. (Vampires that feed their blood and body to insects inside their body, and release them if needed)

    Order of the inner light:
    Now these are an interesting bunch and odity. They deal with the reconcilers of Demon the Fallen, and actually try to repent their sins. They want to achieve Golcanda and wash themselves clean in the eyes of god. They actively seek redemption and an end to their curse.
    These Baali actually have a TRIPLE masquerade going. The same masquerade all vampires do, than masquerading themselves as non Baali to other vampires like all Baali do (say pose as Toreador or Lasombra etc.) AND a third masquerade, pretending to be normal Baali to other Baali. Why? Because if the Baali is found out to be in the order of the inner light, other Baali will destroy them just like a Baali is put down by other vampires if found out.
    The order of the inner light also tries to get the entire Clan Baali closer to the light and slowly „uncorrupt“ them basicly doing the opposite of what other Baali (and Setites) do.

    Order of the wyrm:
    These Baali are ALL exclusively posing as Tremere or are converted Tremere (apostates) that actually live, work and operate within Clan Tremere as official Tremere members. The order of the wyrm is the main go to place for new Baali to get aid from the Clan, get a kainite identity and help. The Order of the wyrm is also the main recruitement arm of the Baali, converting many a Tremere.
    The Order officially belongs to the Molochim, but seems to now serve the entire Clan more than just the Molochim.

    Angelis Ater:
    Actually the Angelis Ater are NOT Baali. They are Lasombra Infernalists that allied with the Baali, or precise, they allied with Azaneal and the Azaneali and often get mistaken for Baali but they are Lasombra. They dont have the Baali Clan weakness or discipline. They are however infernalists that help the Azaneali and share apparently a common goal of bringing the Abyss to the world and making it manifest in all of creation.

    And there we have it – the known factions of the Baali in the World of Darkness.
    If your game needs it you can definitely make more or make your own. It wouldnt be hard to explain with a clan THAT fractured to begin with and another Baali claiming the Title of Shaitan would be nothing new really. Pull a number and get in line, theres a good dozen in line before you.


    Origins:

    The origins of the Baali are somewhat shrouded in mystery. We know when and where they were supposedly created but not by whom. And indeed we dont know when and where either but let me explain. There are more and less disputed and contradicted versions.
    Usually it is said that a cult of infernalists dwelled in a city in the time after the flood, maybe Mashkan-shapir or Chorazin or a city named Ashur. There are however tales that put Caine as the first infernalist (given his dealings with demins when he was with Lilith) and the Baali may actually have been spawned in the first city and predating the flood. Indeed some sources place the first Baali war in the time of the first city and blame the Baali for its downfall and the uprising of the third generation against the second.

    The "original" tale, which was later retconned, was that Ashur spawned 13 childer 12 of which would become the first Baali and only Ennoia resisting corruption making the Gangrel a bloodline.

    The most „canon“ variant that is crossreferenced in werewolf puts all the Baali founders (Nergal, Moloch, Unnamed) as 4th generation vampires created by a 3rd generation founder, which most widely accepted, is Saulot (crossreferenced as Saulat the Liar in kindred of the east).

    However the founder could as well be Ashur, the cappadocian clan founder (as the actual clan founder is refered to as Ashur many many times) but could as well be the Tzmisce, Arikel (Toreador) or Haqim – all of these are possible but only Saulot and Tzimisce explain certain oddities like Baali Blood being almost indestinguishable from Tremere blood (need Auspex and Thaumatrugy 6+ to notice the Baalis blood is NOT Tremere blood. But the difference iss o subtle it can easily be explained away by magic rituals)
    Some even say Ur Shulgi is the original Baali progenitor.
    There is also a rumor that the Lasombra Antedeluvian may have spawned the Baali, linking their interest in demons and the Abyss to the Lasombra blood, however from all mentioned this is the least likely version as Lasombra Clan founder wasnt in the region at the supposed time it happened. (Ancient mesopotamia)

    The Tzimisce variant claims that the eldest actually tried to rid himself of the evil that his sire put into him and threw it in the magical well, that then spawned the Baali.

    There is also a version where the Baali didnt spawn by vampire blood at all and are indeed not even Kainites but cursed themselves supernaturally with the depravity of infernalism and the well (secrets of the true black hand)

    However none of these explains some generation oddities among the Baali. Because there are Baali that are 2nd generation vampires, including Azaneal, Lilith and the Crone, even Zilla is rumoured to actually being the "unnamed" and hence another 2nd Generation Baali.
    Now Azaneal is as said above, a weird figure and may have diablerised a second generation vampire, or altered the blood supernaturally in Chorazon, however Liltih, Zillah and indeed the Crone are definitely Caines Childer and one of them is said to be the third Baali founder, which means that technicly all 3 official founders including Nergal and Moloch should be second generation vampires, which would explain why, in special Nergal, is so amazingly overpowered that he all by himself can withstand the wrath of 13 entire clans combined (he was finally defeated but not destroyed despite being washed away by shadows into the Abyss itself from which he later emerged. And i mention he fought against multiple 3rd generation vampires at the same time and lived, i doubt a 4th gen vampire can do that)

    Indeed, Azaneal, Zillah, the Crone and Lilith all predate not only the flood but even the first city (at least as mortals, the Crone and Lilith couldnt have been embraced prior to the first city as Caine didnt even know how to, or just very recently.)

    There is also a version, where actually there were 13 Founders of the Baali, all ancient vampires from 4th - 2nd generation, infernalists all, that were the original coven and made a pact with hell, to create a clan for the demons in exchange for the darkest secrets and powers.
    A similiar tale tells us, that indeed, Nergal and Moloch are of the tribe of the first men, predating Caine and Adam, both already having been embraced before Caine was even cursed and used the Apostate ritual to re embrace themselves into Baali.

    According to the Salubri, Saulot embraced the slave boy who then became one of the 4 - not 3 Baali progenitors, which is also what the Baali themselves claim.

    My personal prefered version is that, after Saulot and the others destroyed the city (first city timeline) full of infernalists and tossed them into the well, Caine approached and embraced the dieing survivors by shedding his blood into the well in order to fullfill his revenge against god and the heavens. Keep in mind, Caine learned how to embrace from demons, making Caine an infernalist and given both, the Lilith and the Crones connection to demons its not hard to imagine they actually lead the infernalist cult that would become the Baali.
    With Nergal, Moloch, Azaneal and Lilith freshly embraced by Caine, they converted Zillah and the Crone, still in Torpor, to their cause and thus were born the original Baali. I like to think, that the Slave boy and Shaitan also were among the cultists and thus the original Baali.

    Name

    The NAME of the Baali is of utmost importance to understand Clan Baali.
    Rumors among Neonates has it, the Baali all serve the demon Ba'al and are his clan with the demon possibly even being the original Clan founder, patron or heavily involved with the Clan.
    And while quite some neonate Baali believe this to be true, its utterly wrong and likely, the Demon Ba'al is barely even aware of the existance of the Baali and any elder Baali can tell you for certain, that none of them deal with the demon Ba'al.

    Baal is an ancient babylonian word and simply translates as „Lord“ Baal ze bub means „Lord of the flies“ (ze – of, Bub – flies)

    And that is what the Baali are. The Lords. They are the Lords of Kainites, the Lords of the world the Lords of hell, the Lords among creatures. The Clan Baali is the Lord of the Clans of Caine.
    They see themselves as the rightfull heirs to Caines heritage and the world. Given they mighthave been founded by multiple second generation vampires or even Caine himself as exchange for the secret of the embrace (i can imagine Caine making a deal with Lucifer – tell me how to create vampires and ill create some to your command) they really believe in this.
    Their powers speak for them too, given the Baali fought 2 big wars against and faced prosecution from all 13 clans and are still standing.
    They command powers no one else has (Daimonion, dark thaumaturgy) and are the only vampires that actually ascended their state (or descended...Baali becoming actual demons with infernal ranking happens occasionally thus becoming truly immortal. Well as much as demons are immortal)

    Their accomplishments cement this as well as they also managed to play with other clans and infiltrate them like those do with mortal society, most famously with the Order of the wyrm where a major part of Clan Tremere is actually Baali and apparently nobody notices, even as they infiltrate the council of 7 and may have had a big role in the creation of the Tremere to begin with.

    The Baali Lords want to rule - mortals, kainites, hell, earth...since that is their purpose, to rule and ever grow in power and knowledge, not comforting their subjects but leading them down a path their Lord invisioned.
    The name is the game and tied to the self understanding of the Baali as Caines rightfull heirs. They are better than other kainites, and certainly above men. While many Kindred see Mortals as cattle, the Baali view Kainites as their subjects...ultimately, but the Lords also have seen what a revolt looks like and play ball for as long as they have to but even an impoverished noble has something the other vampires lack. Destiny.

    Indeed i think that Baali dont even use the term "kindred" while all vampires are ultimately Kainites, the Baali are different to a level they dont feel kinship with other Kainites, just like you dont feel kinship with a cow just because both of you breathe air.
    It is what makes the Baali so...immoral. Their crimes against humanity and other vampires are after all no different than you murdering a pesky insect. The ends certainly justify the means of a lord.

    Lords are often at odds with each other, the old Clan Tzimisce can tell you a story about that one and it perfectly fits all the war and infighting among the different sects and groups within the Baali, which is why i personally like to refer to the Baali as the Clans of hell, since any faction is more akin to its own clan, at least politicly speaking.

    More importantly „The Lords“ isnt tied to Blood like „the childer of Malkav“
    You can actually BECOME a Baali (Apostate) through ritual and the „Lords“ arent so much bound by blood as they are by mindset (not goals though)
    Anyone can be a Lord – and Lords differ in their skillsets. One may be a Lord of Art, another a Lord of Combat, another a Lord of Knowledge, yet another a Lord of Intrigue. Like the Infernal Lords, Baali – Lords – can have any set of skills and competences, they may be one of the most diverse Clans of all in that regard because the Baali embrace one thing: Exceptionalism, followed by drive, because if you want to become a Lord you are not granted that status or power, you have to take it for yourself.

    Embrace:

    To tie to that, what do Baali look for when embracing? Well the Baali appear to be the most careful of all clans with whom they embrace. Accidental embraces dont happen among Baali. Embracing out of Love or need doesnt happen among the Baali. Ironicly the Baali are the only Clan that actually frequently gives the mortal a choice. They dont GIVE the embrace. If you want to be a Lord, you have to TAKE IT for yourself.

    The Baali will bring you to the brink of death – torture, beating, combat, draining...whatever works. The they throw you several meters down a „well“ filled with corpses and vile and hide a raw heart filled with Baali blood somewhere down there. If you want to be a Baal you have to fight death itself, dont succumb to pain or misery but search through the rotting flesh for that heart and find it in time to consume it whole...then you awake as a Baal, a Lord. Not by someone elses whim but by your own choice and power.

    And that brings us to what Baali look for in candidates. Now it is true, it seems some Baali, the ones steering the ship of bones (sometimes refered as Naglfar) may attack another ship at sea and just toss survivors in to see if someone makes it and thus leaving most criteria aside, what proves the candidate worthy is sheer drive and willpower and hence most often its said the Baali look for one thing only: Drive. The truly driven are worthy to become Lords and that might be true and fitting, however by far most embraces dont happen so random as with the ship and to be Baali are carefully chosen and often fostered for many many years, corrupted more and more until its too late to turn back. With Apostates the Baali do it this exact way – the look for worthy Kindred that would make a great addition to the Baali clan, and then over decades, slowly corrupt them and see if they walk the path to hell not only willingly but fully aware and driven by their goal and only then will they tell that their guide down the road is actually a Baali and offering them a choice – convert or die. And they seem to do the same with mortals. Now you can say thats not much of a choice but...well. Nobody is perfect and least of all the Baali.

    So i believe the Baali embrace exceptionalism first, drive second. Both is needed, the exceptionalism to be sure you are a worthy addition to the Clan, usefull and intelligent enough to do the double masquerade and the drive to make sure you stay that way for eternity.
    And while the Baali are in a constant state of war between the factions, actual backstabbing and betrayal seems to be entirely absent among them. (Meaning inside the same faction. Moloch did betray Nergal on many occasions to stop the Nergali)

    Society:

    The Baali are pretty individualistic and most Baali operate in Covens of 3-9 Vampires that meet each new moon or just once a year to avoid dedection and aid each other in their goals to achieve a common, shared goal in the area.

    That is the standard mind you, but just like the Baali there is many exceptions to that as Baali are also known to run entire cities (Tyre) where the Baali make up not only the prince but also the primogens and are logicly in regular contact with each other.
    And of course the more monastic Children of Enigma may indeed resemble a Tremere chantry without the infighting. And the order of the Wyrm is actually inside Tremere chantries.

    Given that Baali masquerade not only as mortals like all vampires, but as Kainites of different clans among kindred, means Baali can have any background and stuff you like. Baali may even run as coterie together. Secrecy is key though and thats my favorite part – the double masquerade.

    Given you are immediately put down if found out to be an infernalist, and even more so a Baali, Baali are very careful with what they do, when and how they do it. You will not encounter a Baali (possible exception Nergal and the swarm) who run around and tell you they are Baali or flaunt their powers. (The swarm may indeed hide from kindred eyes entirely and operate underground in unknown reagions on the countryside)

    Most Baali pose as a Kindred of another Clan. For Apostates that is logicly their original clan they come from, as they are known to be of that clan and share the discilpines of that clan, making it very easy to pose as them.

    „True“ Baali face more difficulties, given the Clan disciplines of Presence, Daimonion and Obfuscate / Obtenebration (for Azaneali) they have a weird set of disciplines that doesnt quite fit any clan. So they have to spend time and effort to learn out of clan disciplines before they can try (hence drive and exceptionalism) to infiltrate other Clans.
    To make it worse, a good analysis of their blood (auspex 3 or thaumaturgy 2) will reveal that their blood is TREMERE blood, raising a lot of questions if they pose as say, Tzimisce.
    Luckily, only a Auspex 6 / Thaumaturgy 6 analysis will reveal that they are indeed not of Tremere blood but something else. And even more Luckily, that difference is so minor, they can explain it away with magical experiments.

    So for Camarilla Baali, posing as Tremere is the natural choice and so common they established their own recruitement bureau in clan Tremere (order of the wyrm)
    Likewise, for Sabbath Baali, Tzimisce and Salubri are good choices too (as both Clans also have similarities to Tremere blood as Tremere took Salubri and Tzimisce blood to create themselves) or just Tremere Antitribu.

    However dont forget, the Baali are not aligned with either Sabbath or Camarilla but are an „independant“ clan but really only allied with their own agenda(s) based on brood (nergali, molochim etc.) or creed (destroyers, celestials etc.) and just use Sabbath and Camarilla (and others) to further their own goals.
    Baali loyalities are individual first, brood second, Clan third, Sect fourth, if at all.

    Apostates in Baali society are a bit difficult. For some Baali, Apostates are just as much Baal as any other. For others, Apostates are second Class Baali, if even full Baali at all and not „just“ allies.
    By blood, Apostates are full fledged Baali. They loose their original clan weakness and replace it with the Baali one (except Nosferatu those poor guys keep their old one too) they gain daimonion as in clan discipline at the cost of making one in clan discipline into an out of clan discipline (choice of the to be Baali though so Baali can have any set of in clan disciplines imaginable)

    Baali as player characters:

    This is the spicy topic. Baali were, originally, clearly made as NPC bad guys that even the Sabbath can look down at. However as versions crept forward and times changed, Baali became more and more fleshed out to a point where i personally feel like they are supposed to be player characters and not so much NPCs because they bring a lot to the table to refresh any old group.

    However it also comes with unique problems to the group and the coterie alike.

    For the former, the important thing about playing a Baali is, that no one must know. Some people can differentiate between player and character knowledge, many can not, and if the characters find out you are Baali you are doomed.
    So you kinda rely on letting everyone else in the dark, unless you really know and trust the group but even then you rob the group of the amazing experience of their characters being slowly corrupted without their knowledge and likely not realising until its too late to turn back and they become apostates.
    Depending on the group, you may even not want the storyteller to know what you are playing, however you ofc. Have to check with the storyteller if hes ok with such things or needs to know all details abou your character for his story. Also ask the Storyteller if they think its a good idea to let the group know or not.
    Similiarely, you need to have a talk with the group with what kind of mature content they are ok with. Vampires is a very mature roleplay setting to begin with, and as a rule of thumb, if your group can stomache Giovanni they can stomache Baali. However Baali are even worse than Giovanni so making a check is a good idea...without telling its about Baali cause thats kinda a dead giveaway.

    Also youd have to check what players are ok with in terms of what happens to their characters. Having bad stuff happening in the world of darkness is accepted. Having it happen to your character is not so much. So clear that as well.

    With the hurdles out of the way, Baali can make for insanely satisfying roleplay for everyone involved.
    For one, you get to corrupt fellow characters without them realising until you drop the bomb and they cant turn back. Lets just say for censoring reasons i managed to get a „innocent“ sweet toreador to eat children and justify it as good action. And then i dropped the bombshell and got myself an apostate. I mean if you do all the things Baali do you might as well join the club for good. Its not like that toreador can rat my Baali out without being destroyed herself.

    And of course, dropping the Baali Bomb after a long series of play is likely one of the best roleplay moments you will ever give to fellow players. Its a huge reveal and a very mind altering one.
    You can leave it open if they decide to destroy your character or join him and such reveal should be handled with care, but from my experience, this is some high level roleplaying that beats movies and tv shows.

    Then, constantly hiding your true character from fellow players and masquerade as somehthing else has this secret agent undercover feeling that is absolutely amazing to play, in special how you fit in the things you have to do without anyone becoming suspiscious. You can even use fake character documents if you play and only show the one openly that you are posing as, with the actual character sheet of the baali Bidden from other players.

    With a Baali in group you can also explore a lot of Lore and background to the World of Darkness that most coteries never experience or learn about and get your players so much deeper into the world. And, with a lot of caution, can explore the human psyche as well. Its a different story than doing that with Malkavians though.
    Crossovers into Demon the Fallen also can happen, your Baali likely made a pact (though not all Baali do) and thus has a demonic contact and may indeed have to deal with Ghosts (Wraith) of his victims or having angered fae after him. And if a normal vampire is a must kill for werewolves, wait till they encounter a Baali...
    Mages are less likely to encounter Baali though, unless its Nephandi who will cooperate with them.

    As a Baali player myself i really like the part of corrupting fellow characters and Baali, with Daimonion, have the best tool for it imaginable, being able to learn their targets fears and vices alike and being able to play into those and you can mmick Auspex a bit with it too.

    That said Daimonion overall is not that impressive a discipline until you hit high levels. Immunity to fire is insanely powerfull in special for Azaneali who get to pair it with the shadow form that makes them immune to everything but fire, sunlight and magic, so Azaneali are immune to fire too...well thats a killer combo.

    Baali as NPCs:

    Want to spice up your story? Want to add occult elements the Tremere cant provide? Want to go darker than the Giovanni? Dabble in rich background lore and ancient myths?
    Want to challenge everything the characters (and maybe players) think to know?
    Or do you simply want an enemy so bad that it even unites sabbath and camarilla?
    The Baali provide all of that and more: Crossover stories with mage (Nephandi) Werewolf (Black Spiral dancers) and of course demons are fun but personally i think their biggest strength is twofold.

    One, Baali can be the most powerfull enemies you ever encounter. They can have access to any set of disciplines you want (Apostates) and Baali tend to be very low generation vampires (Azaneali are depending on the canon you follow never lower than 6th or 3rd!!! generation vampires)
    they have supernatural allies like crazy (demons, wraiths, black spiral dancers possily even a Nephandus) they are immune to fire, they wont cower to fear, they want fall for intrigue or manipulation, intimidation or seduction. You cant bribe them, you cant just speak to them.
    Baali are very likely to posess multiple powerfull artifacts, tend to come in groups (covens) and most frightingly have Dark Thaumaturgy (and regular thaumaturgy) at their disposal, beating the Tremere at their game, able to conjure up powers not even Tremere have.

    Second, Baali are masters of the long game and evil plans. Except for Nephandi you will not find a better villain in World of Darkness. You think Toreador can be two faced intrigue playing seducers? You think setites can corrupt anyone? You think Tzimisce are intimidating and Lasombra are masters of the dark? Well think again, the Baali beat all of them in their strong point.
    Baali operate on goals beyond most Kainites, except maybe the Tal Mahe Ra. (True black Hand) and their schemes make Inconnu blush.
    Baali are an excellent story device to unite groups that otherwise wouldnt cooperate, they are excellent and showing how dark the world of darkness can be, they are a brilliant entry point to leave behind the nightly politicing in your city and start going for a much bigger picture then petty power squabbels over concrete jungles.
    They also offer great plot twists as someone the coterie really likes may turn out to be a Baali after all and lure them in. Not to mention, Baali are fantastic if you want to explore the Lore behind the game more in depth and change the perception players might have on Kainite history.

    Dont forget, it was Baali who united all 13 clans against Baali. It was Baali that ruled carthage and it was Baali who made constantinopel and Michael fall. And it was Baali that (likely) corrupted many a Methusela to their side, like the Malkavian Cybille. Not to mention them causing the black death and all kinds of other issues and big reveals like the Crone and Lilith being Baali.
    And if you have Assamite players, Ur Shulgi is also often linked to actually being a Baali as well, even though sources are not clear on that. Some say Haqim healed him from it, others say he didnt or failed to do so. Either way it explains Ur Shulgis insane magical powers (Dark thaumaturgy)

    On Depiction:

    I guess by now you have a pretty good idea how you want to depict the Baali in your game, if you want to at all but i still want to add some food for thought as Addendum to whats been said already.
    Baali are not so much pro Satan, they are Anti God. As a result, Baali will encourage any behaviour that goes against monotheistic rules, laws and fundemantalism. Sinning is kind of a Baalis duty.
    You will see that many famous Baali entered homosexual relationships which are likely encouraged cause its a sin in the holy books on top of course on it just happening.
    That said Baali despise one weakness more than any other. Letting someone else have power over you. When Moloch and Troile were found to share a blood bond and possibly even love, the Molochim abandoned their sire in disgust, as he allowed Troile to have power over him and fell with Troile that day, instead of doing the way and abandoning the city, somewhat cheerfull of what you accomplished.
    The Baali are the Lords. Willpower and self restraint are vital in what they do. Druglords dont take their products themselves, well knowing what it does.
    That does not mean Baali dont give in to their desires. Indeed the Baali welcome and encourage any depravity you have and might offer help to fullfill your darkest desires. All of the sick things even the Giovanni and Tzimisce wont do, the Baali will. Sexually, the more perverted the better, torturewise take the worst horror stuff youve seen in movies or read in books, multiply it by then and thats a thing barely worth of respect among Baali.
    Baali commit the vilest of acts and id refer to Anders Video on Nephandi to get an idea how to portray this dark side of a Baali while maintaining the picture of the innocent nice person that is so likeable and charming and nobody suspects eating the local neighbourhood children.
    However, as depraved as Baali are, they are very strong willed and disciplined. They cant allow to show weakness in special not if in league with the infernal.
    So while Baali will endulge in their darkest desires they should never be seen as „Junkies“ they have it under control. They can and will stop at any moment if need be and focus on whats important. They are after all, driven. That doesnt mean there cant be exceptions to the rule but a Baali in love is a bit...weird and a Baali who is so endulged in his sins he cant do his job or his job performance suffers from it isnt intimidating.

    Baali should always be aware of the fears and vices of people they deal with, its the first dot discipline of Daimonion and is, from a pure roleplay perspective, a very overpowered discipline, allowing you to subtly feed into fears or drawing someone in by gently fostering their desires and hinting that they can get more – subtly please not „in your face“ They are masters of seduction not Toreador strippers. (Which is another overused stereotype^^ Though ofc they exist too)

    Basicly, If you can realise you are being seduced, its way too obvious for Baali. Think ahead. Maybe X has this vice...and you invite them to a fun but absolutely not at all related activity, and another, have some fun, become friends. And on one occasion you „accidentally“ run into a situation where they can see their desire – nothing more. Maybe have a fun talk about it and signal you dont have a problem with it, then dont bring it up for months and „happen“ to run into a situation where they can indulge in their vice. Just a little. Dont encourage it, just dont judge. Play it slowly. Dont give them right away what they crave, build trust, lure them. Have a talk. If they feel confident speak about that vice, dont encourage, be a friend. And occasionally you run into more and more situations and when they can fullfill the vice, be a friend and tell them they will regret it if they dont take the chance, dont participate let them enjoy and retreat. And bam. You got your job done. Baali dont force people down the path of corrupting, they dont push you to steps, they gently guide you...but you have to walk yourself.
    Unlike setites they dont promise you power or fullfilling desires...they show you a way where YOU can get it yourself. Teach to fish...

    Similiar, Baali have, similiar to Malkavians, ways of getting knowledge that are beyond others. They should always know something as an ace they can draw if need be, like Moloch knowing about Troiles diablerie and using that as a savecard just in case seduction fails.
    Baali are also very well versed in the occult, arguably more so than even Tremere are and they are without a doubt the best knowledged creatures when it comes to the infernal, aside the demons themselves (some of whom are Baali and vice versa)
    Also Baali do have Obfuscate and thus means on spying on you and get information the Nosferatu way.


    Baali should be depicted as highly intelligent, and in league with their double masquerade, upstanding nice guys who are beyond suspiscion. Afer all, you dont want to kill a friend now do you? Im not saying the Baali cares, but they know, almost everyone else does.
    They are kind pf the high end sociopaths and narcisits who masterfully exploit everyone around them without remorse and breaking every law with, sincerely, no idea what should be wrong about it.
    They may show some code of honor as part of their disguise but they will drop it quicker than a Ventrue smelling profit.

    The Baali Clan weakness is way less manifest in the modern nights, given the rise of Atheism, but also more manifest, as religious symbols are worn and depicted a lot in pop culture and worn as jewelry.
    That said, its not like Baali instantly melt when they see a divine symbol. Keep in mind the Baali clan weakness is not limited to monotheistic symbols and interestingly manifests even in religions that the Baali actually predate, leading to speculation that either, Caines curse is just more manifest in Baali cause they actively draw the ire of heavens, or there is a hidden potential in sleepers (aka non awakened humans) that instinctively seeks the spark of the divine they all have.
    However Baali can perfectly enter churches and be in the presence of religious symbols. They did infiltrate the catholic church and at one point had some cardinals who were actually Baali sitting right next to the Pope.
    They will feel unease, discomfort and maybe even pain though but religious symbols arent dangerous to them until they are WIELDED against them with purpose or touch their skin and that wont kill them either. However any true faith power wielded against them doubles in effect. Luckily for Baali, true faith is exceptionally rare. Or to quote Eccatarina the wise...a cross in the hands of a sinner, is just iron.
    Which brings me to the final part of this:

    Potential Baali characters in media:

    Potential because...i can see Baali embracing them. They arent perfect Baali but who is. Keep in mind, Baali are from a franchise where magic and demons are real and their setting is different than others.

    The story of a good Baali is the story of a great villain. Powerfull, ressourceful, charismatic, upstanding member of society beyond suspiscion who is highly intelligent, skilled and friendly, a manipulator and sociopath. A villain whose goals you can understand after all, every villain is the hero of his own story.
    But above all, a great villain must not be stupid, not act impulsively and always has to think and plan ahead.
    Great villains should be intimidating and highly competent. They certainly must have flaws, but they shouldnt make them appear weak, idiotic or incompetent. Sometimes the best weakness is one of underlings of that villain betraying him.


    Gustavo Fring from Breaking Bad.
    Lalo Salamanca, Better call Saul.
    Negan, the Walking dead.
    Raymond Reddington, the Blacklist. Though way too many emotional attachments.
    A. Pretty little Liars.
    Grima Wormtongue, Lord of the rings.
    Hannibal Lecter, Silence of the lambs.
    Emperor Palpatine, the Star wars Prequels. (really not so much in the OG or New trilogy)
    Hans Lamda, Inglorious Basterds


    Sarevok, Baldurs Gate 1
    The illusive man, Mass Effect 2
    Flemeth, Dragon Age 1, partially with struggles Morrigan, same franchise
    Vulpes Inculta, Fallout New Vegas
    Andrew Ryan, Bioshock
    Belial, Diablo 3
    Kel Thuzad, Warcraft
    Partially as idea, the Dark brotherhood The elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion
    Magus: Chrono Trigger

    Dark Gaia: Terranigma
    Eris: Lufia 2
    Strauss: Vampire Bloodlines
    Xardas: Gothic series

    Notable Baali:

    Aside from the ones you likely know already as well as their history (Moloch, Nergal, Shaitan, Lilith, The Crone, Azaneal and possible the slave boy) there is also some lesser known but very important Baali.
    I doubt youll really encounter or deal with them in a chronicle, they can make for nice big antagonists that are behind schemes or indeed as possible mission givers to player Baali.
    I want to shoutout Lazar of Stygia here who made a marvelous top 10 vampires of clan Baali video and saved me a lot of time so ill refer to his video here but want to expand a little on it and mention some Baali that didnt make it in the top 10.


    Annazir: 5th Gen Molochim. The de facto ruler of Damascus who interestingly has a lot of assamite allies and even friends. However the Baali lost their rule in Medina, Bagdad and Acre and as result Annazir held a ritual that cursed the Assamites to crave vampire blood. Its afaik the first time a non antedeluvian managed to curse an entire clan and just shows you how powerfull, frightening and ruthless the Baali are.
    Annazir should also be known for his strong ties to and within Clan Toreador, and uses that guise to rule as Prince, having many Toreador helpers who are unaware that he is a Baali, despite him turning many of the Toreador Darshufs childer into Baali right under his nose.

    Angra Mainyu: 5th Gen Baali, likely Nergali. Angra is THE High Priest to the demon Baal and the actual Shaitan Nergal. He does not only hold a lot of power in demonic aid, but also strongly influenced clan Baali, given that his writings are used to teach Baali about their heritage, demonic rituals and even mysterious future. He is highly venerated in the Clan and one of its spiritual leaders.

    Seker, called the read death: 4th Gen Baali: Seker is a direct childe of Saulot, hinting that Saulot either is indeed the Baali progenitor or joined them as apostate, which fits how the eastern Supernaturals describe Saulot.
    Seker is however the Baali that made the Tremere. In his disguise as St. Germain or as Lord Rakoczi, he was a direct advisor of Tremere when he was still a mortal mage and guided Tremere to seek power in a world, where magic was fading, corrupted Tremere to want eternal life instead of reincarnation and ultimately, gave Tremere the idea of turning his Clan into vampires.
    It was Seker, that helped in creating the Potion from Tzimisce, Gangrel and Nosferatu blood that would turn the Tremere into undead vampires.
    It was Seker, who gave Tremere the idea of hunting down an Antedeluvian to make his vampiric group a clan and grow in power.
    It was Seker the Baali, who lead Tremere to the resting place of Saulot, who lay in Torpor waiting, well aware, that the Antedeluvian would easily take over Tremeres Body and Mind, once the undead mage drank Saulots hearts blood. You can not simply diablerise a 3rd Generation vampire after all.
    Seker also lead the hunt for the book of Nod and is mainly to credit for the parts we have of it now.
    More so, Seker may actually be Thomas Wyncham and thus being in the Council of 7 in Clan Tremere.
    In Either way, Seker also struck a deal with Fire elementals and opened the world up to more extraplanar...visits.
    It is rumored, Seker is now guiding and helping Saulot / Tremere in Torpor to help with his awakening, bringing the Baali to glory once again.

    Walter Ramsauer: 5th Gen Baali. Walter is officially a Tremere but is actually not only a Molochim Baali but indeed the de facto founder and leader of the Order of the Wyrm. Walter is stationed in the Vienna chantry and guides new Baali from the area to their new identities as Tremere.
    Little is known about him besides that, so he seems to do a good Job of being a Baali.

    Patricia von Bernstein: 6th. Generation Baali, posing as Tremere Regent of the Chantry in Wiesbaden. Patricia is one of the "secret" leaders of the Order of the Wyrm and Primogen of Frankfurt.
    She leads the research into Lupines and is rumored to have many allies amongst the Black Spiral dancers and tries to awaken whatever unholy creature rests below Frankfurt.


    Petaniqua: 5th generation Baali. She was a ghoul before she was given the embrace right after the birth of her son, the king of makedonia, Alexander the Great. As Baali, she made sure Alexander would not only become king of Makedonia but conquer the world.
    The Baali used Alexander the great to take revenge on the assamites and setites, conquering many many cities in africa and destroying all non Baali vampires in the conquered areas.
    Sadly, Alexander died as a result of a botched experiment with a new plague, Petaniqua tried to unleash on india.
    Petaniqua is the Baali closest to the Wyrm and frequents with the wyrms creatures frequently, in special with Black Spiral dancers. Meanwhile she poses as Malkavian and made it on the second place on the Red list.

    Ansen: 9th generation Baali of the Molochim. Ansen poses as an old Clan Tzimisce and is a very skilled Koldun, who resides in the Cathedral of Flesh as High Priest, Guarding Yorak and likely, corrupting the Methusela. Ansen may not be responsible for the Cathedral of Flesh but certainly adds a great deal to its Corruption

    Benedict Giovanni: 8th Gen Baali. Don Benedict a high ranking Giovanni and frequently in contact with Augustus Giovanni, ready to strike if needed, giving advice if possible to help the Baali cause.

    Elihu: 5th Generation Baali. Elihu poses as Ventrue and is actually a Monitor for the Inconnu, just to show you how far the Baali have reached.

    The Crone: 2nd Generation Baali. She was embraced directly by Caine after she tricked him into a blood bond with her, and kept Caine as a slave for one year. She was later tricked back by Caine and impaled by him, but it was she who taught him how to paralyse a Kainite to begin with, and taught Caine many a thing, making it plausible that she survived having had many hours left before sunrise when Caine left her out for the sun. She may have been rescued by her demonic or mortal minions or ahd some counterspell ready. In either way, she may be the second ever created Kainite, after Enoch and is thus the oldest still living kainite around, with all the powers of hell at her disposal.

    Lilith: 2nd or 4th generation Baali. Lilith, first wife of Adam, second created human, lover of Caine, Wife of Lucifer, mother of Demons...or at least Nephilim, first mage, first of the awakened, first infernalist...
    It was Lilith who sheltered Caine after he was cast out into the Lands of Nod, who comforted him, who taught him the disciplines, taught him how to summon and commune with demons.
    It is believed that Lilith was a part of the infernalist Cult that lead to the creation of the Baali and may be the "unnamed" Baali that leads the swarm, fitting, given the broodmothers they have.
    Lilith may also have been embraced by Caine himself as part of his deal with the demons, to learn the secrets of the embrace.

    Zilla, the beautiful. 2nd Generation Baali, likely the first apostate. Zillah is rumored to have survived the purge of the second generation and gone into Hiding. She was said to have been a part of the original coven, that damned the Baali a second time and was part of its creation. She likely fell into torpor after the Attack of the antedeluvians on the Coven and likely was the first vampire to be re embraced as a Baali.

    Caine. First generation Vampire. Now now, even i wont go as far as claim the dark father himself as a Baali. But he was definitely an infernalist and the first vampire to make a pact with demons, the first to leave love and comfort behind to gain power, the first to throw away friends and loved ones for even more power. The first, to sacrifice a human, his brother to be precise, the first so evil, that heavens reacted and cursed him multiple times.
    Caine may also be the actual progenitor of the Baali Clan, as a part of the pact he made with demons to learn the embrace. I can imagine it having been like..."Teach me how to create more like me and i will give you children of your own"
    While many will revolt at the thought of Caine being directly responsible for the Baali, none can deny that Caine himself broke all the rules in the Book of Nod himself, but forbid others to follow his footsteps, benevolent Kainites might say, in order to save his children the troubles he had as advice of wisdom...we Baali say, because he wanted to test if you are driven enough to break his commands to follow him...
    While Caine is definitely not a Baali by Blood, he is a Baali by deeds...
    After all, it was Caine, who cursed the Clans, just like the Baali did with the Assamites so long ago...


    On allies:

    The Baali have more support than one might think. And the creepy part is, most of their supporters dont even know. We dont know if Troile and the Brujah were aware that they were actually siding openly with the Baali though its hard to believe they didnt.
    As mentioned the Baali also get supernatural support from demons, black spiral dancers and even Nephandi.
    They have a big support among Clan Tremere and might have infiltrated the council of 7.
    Other than that, the Baali can have as much or little support as need be. They infiltrate other clans masterfully so the prince, primogens, elders or just a lonely neonate might be Baali.
    Many Baali lead their own cults amongst mortal societies and might have unknowing support from mages due to their occult knowledge.
    The Molochim actually have the true black hand behind them (well at least a bit) and the Azaneali even the Abyss itself.
    And the Baali have their very own revenant family – the Dahabi. Originally created by the Nergali, the Dahabi family now serves the entire clan and can be found in any fation though they are most prominent among the Molochim.
    If you thought the Tzimisce revenant families were sick or the Giovanni depraved, wait until you see the Dahabi in Action, who by the way, are very likely the oldest revenant family ever created hailing from the second city, if not actually the first.
    Ressources and similiar are also open for what the storyteller wants them to have, it can be as much or little as you want. Same goes for knowledge, occult powers and other areas as the Baali come in many flavours but i would advice to always depict Baali as intimidating very powerfull eerily wise and cruelly rational beings of high intelligence and no moral guideline, or better, not being stopped by second thoughts and ethical matters. If Kainites are monsters, Baali are at least demons.
    I would also advice against depicting Baali as obvious evil villains. While you can do that if you like of course, i think its a much better usage of the Clan to make them into really fantastic villains. Keep in mind, they are so bad, the Setites, Lasombra and Tzimisce can(and are) appaled by their existance.

    Numbers, enemies and regions:

    How many Baali do exist? Well as with how many Kindred exist, its basicly up to the storyteller and numbers vary wildly by region, time and even city and the „official“ numbers for kainites dont add up well either, just look at how many Tremere there should be with their steps of 7.
    That said, Baali are said to be the „least numerous clan and most numerous bloodline“ which is also to be taken with a grain of salt, depending on how you count the Salubri and Giovanni.
    However we do know that there is entire cities run by Baali (Tyre) firmly in baali hands (constantinople) or severly baali influenced. The Baali originated in and for the longest time were very strong in the middle east area and ofc carthage, but constant wars with setites, assamites and salubri kinda drove them off towards southern europe. That said they still have a presence in the middle east and are supposed to actually run multiple cities and large covens there most prominently chorazon.
    The Baali are also infesting Clan Tremere more than any other, leading to the conclusion that Baali are widespread whereever Tremere are.
    Other clans that are usually infiltrated by Baali include Tzimisce, Toreador, Brujah and even Salubri so whereever those are, Baali are likely present.
    Clans that are almost never infiltrated by Baali are Assamites and Setites. The later seem to know the corruption game well and Serpentis is just too unique a discipline and to present in the Setites. Assamites meanwhile are the Baali killers. And while its rumored that Ur Shulgi may be a legit Baali, other Baali presence in the Assamites is unheard of.
    Similiarely, Baali are usually near any bigger infernal cult, centers of epidemics, demonic presence and areas in which the wyrm is strong and i believe it very likely that Pentex is actually firmly in Baali hands by now.
    With all of the above, keep in mind Baali are quite picky with whom they embrace, and covens in an area usually range between 3-13 individuals, which should be pretty much the number of Baali in most cities, though multiple covens in one city could exist.
    I speculate that Baali might have strongholds in southern america due to Nergals presence there, and swarm Baali might have migrated to the americas in droves to defile another continent and the wide wild areas make for perfect encampments for them, in special the jungle areas.
    And while pure speculation i think its not too unreasonable to assume that one coven or the other might have a base inside or near a volcano, given that fire cant harm them but will definitely keep out other vampires and hunters.
    Baali hideouts – at least from older ones – should definitely also have magical wards traps and a lot of fire based such, as they wont harm the Baali and friends but will anihilate intruders.
    (Keep in mind that immunity to fire is a level 6 daimonion discipline, so not ALL Baali have it but its a very unique and interesting feature to use when depicting Baali as it really sets them apart. They can use flamethrowers against you without having to fear it backfiring on them)
    How baali view other clans is very much based on their faction and ofc. The individual so its difficult to say anything really. However as stated, Setites and Assamites are clans the Baali not only hate for the war but because they cant really infiltrate them. The Salubri, while being the ancient enemy to the Baali, are infiltrated by them.
    Meanwhile most other clans are likely useful tools for the Baali and im not sure they really fear or respect any of the others. While they share a lot in common with Setites and (old Clan) Tzimisce, Devil is in the Detail and i guess no party here wants to be compared to the other.


    Baali History:

    The history of Clan Baali is shrouded in mystery and the Clan is indeed so old, that very little knowledge actually survived the ravages of time. As i explained in the lesson on the origins of Clan Baali, we dont even know if we existed already in the first city, or in the second, or possible predate both, if the Legend of the dark brothers is true, Clan Baali even predates Adam and Eve and already existed millions of years ago amongst the tribe of the first men.

    In any way, the Baali are often blamed for the uprising of the third generation against the second, and thus destroying the first city. Also the Dhabi, the Baali reventant family, is said to hail from the first city, as well as some Baali. Some scholars also putt he first Baali war as the end of the first city, so that is the most likely timeline, putting the origins of the Baali in some infernalist hideout in or near the first city, which also is congruent with the lore of the first well and where it was found.

    Nergal, one of the Baalis founders, discovered the resting place of Namtaru, the spreader of plagues, a very powerful entity, an elder god of the outer dark umbra and wanted to awaken the creature, which could likely have led to the destruction of the world, about which nergal, wanting to achieve godhood through apotheosis, didnt care much about to begin with.
    His Dhabi priests however, feared their utter anihilation and informed Moloch about Nergals plans and Moloch in turn, approached the 13 Antedeluvians to warn them about the threat that Nergal posed, to mobilise their armies against Nergal. Luckily, this took place about 200 years after Samiel founded the Salubri Warrior Case and Haqim establishing the Warrior caste of the assamites.

    Saulot, not blindly trusting Nergals Brother Moloch, sent out his most trusted childer to scout and learn if what was said is true. Only one did return, and was physicly and mentally forever damaged. The news the scout brought were so horrific, even the Tzimisce himsel was shaken to his core.
    Molochs Diplomacy and Saulots surpisingly militant attitude towards the threat managed to unite the Salubri, Assamites, Baali, as in the Molochim, Brujah and Malkavians as well as some Lasombra and Tzimisce to one undead army to challenge Nergal.

    It was assamite sorcerers combined with Lasombra priests of Erashkigal who finally managed to purge the Nergali from the first city, and quickly did they forget, that the Molochim fought on their side, leading to more conflict and fights between the Assamites and the Baali, this time the Molochim.
    It has been, ironicly, another Baali, Ur Shulgi, who managed to stage the utter defeat of the Baali in the city and turn the tides of battle against a seemignly invincible foe, for which he gained the trust of the Assamites, who thought him to be one of theirs, but only Haqim new the truth...

    After this, the Baali did return, united under the Flag of a Baali called Shaitan, to take revenge on those who purged them from the city and laid siege to it. The combat was so fierce, that Caine himself intervened and crushed Shaitan with his own hands, but didnt attack the other Baali and simply let them retreat, cursing Nergal with a hideous visage. Shortly after, or during the siege, the first city was no more and the flood washed away the horrors the Baali had summoned unto earth and the Nephilim as it may have been that they did fight in Lucifers war against the heavens on Lucifers side, retreating to Lucifers black city just before the flood.

    about 2000 before Christ, the second Baali war occured when Nergal claimed the title of Shaitan and returned to lay siege on the second city and most Baali followed his call to take revenge on Kaines childer, all but the Molochim, who still opposed the other Baali and their so called Shaitan.

    Indeed it turned out, that Nergal staged his banishment by the Lasombra with the help of his own childer, and made the Dhabi betray him to buy more time. And time he had, enough to errect Baali strongholds in Knossos and Crete, as well as in Gallilee namely Chorazon where he tried to awaken Namtaru once again.

    Moloch did learn about this however, and warned the other Clans about what happened and once again MOLOCH managed to unite all 13 clans behind him to fight Nergals loyalists. The fights were fierce, and the Salubri wear nearly wiped out in the battles, even Samael himself fell, killed by a Salubri Apostate named Ahab.
    The Assamites were also driven to near extinction and legends have it, that many a bloodline didnt survive the conflict.
    At the end, the Assamite sorcerors managed to let a volcano in Knossos explode, anihilating Nergal and his generals, a lot of the baali ressources and allies, while the Salubri and Setites under the direct leadership of Set, the antedeluvian himself, battled the troops of Nergal elswhere.
    After this Nergal fled to the Americas, where he founded the Atztec empire...

    The third Baali war is a lesser known conflict, that happened in the 7th century AD, during which the Nergali of Chorazon managed to capture a potent Assamite Methusela and through vile rituals and flaying many sacrifices alive, cursed the entire clan Assamite with the lust for diablerie, making the once proud clan into outcasts amongst cainites. Chorazon however, was discovered and ultimately burried by the Assamites, lead by Ur Shulgi, who might have done so for the Molochim.

    In ancient times, the Baali had a strong influence in Babylonia, Sumer, Egypt and Phoenicia, ruling in most of Mesopotamia, ruling cities like Damascus, Medina and many others.
    They did also "create" and lead Alexander the great as their weapon against other clans, using Alexander and his armies to purge all conquered cities from all non Baali vampires.
    After the fall of the Alexandrian empire, the Assamites and Setites banded together witht he remaining Salubri and drove the Baali north, where the Baali established a strong presence in greece, in special in Sparta and Constantinopel, and hid amongst the Tzimisce Lords of eastern Europe amongst whom they masterfully hid, influencing many events up to the creation of Vlad Tepesh, or Dracula.

    In the south Molochim were of course allied with the Brujah and together created Carthage, waging war with rome, which was influenced by the Nergali.
    Ultimately, carthage was destroyed and the Molochim also fled to central europe, finally gaining control over the germanic tribes and taking revenge by being directly responsible for the destruction of western rome and, a millenium later, the fall of the eastern roman empire and the destruction of the Toreador Methusela Michael.

    In the dark ages, a new threat arose for the Baali, Azaneal, who, upon discovering and unsealing Chorazon, was changed forever into a being of utter Darkness. Claiming to be the ultimate Baali he wanted to take up the mantle of Shaitan and demanded leadership over all Baali, which was again opposed almost only by the Molochim.

    The Molochim had a strong grip on the bycantean empire and italy as well as the catholic church and lead a crusade against Chorazon in the middle east, ultimately defeating Azaneal and putting an end to his claim. However, again exposing themselves as Baali, the Molochim were now hunted by the other Clans as well as the church and retreated into eastern europe to hide among the old clan Tzimisce. Moloch was slain, and with Tanit entering Torpor the Molochim lost yet another leader, who was replaced by Tanith Baal.

    The swarm put its head out when they introduced the black plague and typhoid among the living in europe, almost accomplishing their goal of wiping out mankind, but were ultimately stopped by Tzimisce Kolduns, who might have learned from the Molochim amongst their ranks.

    Also unsurprisingly the Baali are behind the creation of the road of sin.

    The biggest achievement of the Baali in the Dark ages was without a doubt the formation of Clan Tremere and establishing a strong presence through the Order of the Wyrm in Clan Tremere which replaced the Old Clan Tzimisce as the Baali stronghold.

    During the victorian age, the Baali all over the planet hid, and tried to establish strict secrecy which allowed them to infiltrate almost all clans, save Clan Setite and the Assamites.

    in World War 2 the Baali amongst the Tremere were partially responsible for the rise of the german empire and some of their most cruel leaders were either Baali themselves or their ghouls, ultimately profiting a big deal from all the destruction, carnage and inhumane torture and research.

    In the modern nights, the molochim rediscovered the ruins of the first city and the original Baali well, in which depths slumbers an unspeakable horror soon to awaken. As result the Molochim sided with the Tal Mahe Ra to keep the guresome creature sleeping. So far their partnership proved to be very fruitful...

    On Infernalism:

    You may keep in mind, that being an Infernalist doesnt mean you are a Baali. Infernalists happen in all clans, amongst mortals and other supernaturals. The Baali are most known for it but not all Baali practice infernalism either. In special Molochim are very aware of the dangers of demons and the costs of pacts and while they dont outlaw demonic pacts, they look down at Baali who enter them and strongly discourage making pacts.
    The swarm indeed may never deal with demons, but even worse things, as do the Azaneali who worship the Abyss and even other Baali think the Azaneali are wicked, evil and sadistic.

    That being said, infernalism is more widespread than you might think. Some clans allow it in controlled conditions and in special the Tremere and Giovanni have many a infernalist in their ranks and the cappadocians also had quite some.
    The old Tzimisce meanwhile are very much a clan of infernalists, given their ties to the Earthbound demon Kuppala and the pacts Kolduns enter to get their Krainas.
    While setites arent technicly infernalists, they definitely act as if they were and Nagaraja are what they are because they dabbled into infernalism back when they were mortal mages.
    Indeed, if we go for the book of nod and its implications, Caine himself was an infernalist that learned the secret of the embrace from Lucifer and possibly, some of the more mysterious powers of the blood that Lilith wouldnt teach him.

    Baali can but dont have to worship demons. Nergali view demons as tools to power and nothing else. The inner Light circle views them as enemies that must be fought, so the stance a Baali has on demons can be anything.

    I might add later, but for now im done and exhausted ^^ i hope its a fun read and im eager to hear your oppinions. i want to state again that this is my oppinion but its not my headcannon and things here can be found scattered across many books - and stuff got retconned. You can find most of this on the wod wiki though.
    That said i dont know everything, i may have gotten stuff wrong and if you find errors please tell so i can improve =)
    Last edited by Orkar; 01-10-2021, 01:56 AM.

  • #2
    Lucifer taught Caine to embrace? Is there any proof of this? Also Nagaraja before turning themselves to Vampires were Chakravanti and/or Necromancers in some aspect. They didn't deal with Infernalism. Also is there even any mention of the Fallen acknowledging the Baali or any clear up about the Demons the Baali consort with?

    EDIT: All else this was a very good post and very useful for personal campaigns, well done.
    Last edited by Shakanaka; 12-10-2020, 06:46 PM.


    Jade Kingdom Warrior

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    • #3
      There is a Baali book out recently on story tellers vault that's got some great reviews, maybe check that out

      Also can it really be considered "ultimate" if you haven't read lore of the bloodlines?
      Last edited by Dwight; 12-10-2020, 07:16 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Shakanaka View Post
        Lucifer taught Caine to embrace? Is there any proof of this?
        I agree with you Shakanaka. This does not pass the smell test...

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dwight View Post
          There is a Baali book out recently on story tellers vault that's got some great reviews, maybe check that out

          Also can it really be considered "ultimate" if you haven't read lore of the bloodlines?
          LotB is pretty bad.

          But uhh... yea. lots of wrong info here. Dark thaum is not a baali exclusive and nor is a re-embrace.


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          • #6
            That's definitely a recommendation to check it out, actually.

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            • #7
              Thanks for the responses so far =)

              Shakanaka Gangrel44 it is not stated like that anywhere but i recollet this from the following: Book of Nod:
              "He saw within his blood the potence of fertility By calling up demons and listening to whispered wisdom He learned the way to make a child for his own."

              - Caine was definitely an infernalist as is Lilith who taught him. Lucifer escaped inprisonment and wandered the Land of Nod, as Caine did and taught mankind to build cities including the first city and his black city which may or may not be identical to the first city. he also spawned the first Nephalem with Lilith (demon the fallen history) and since demons were banned into the Abyss AFTER these events, and were banned just before the flood. Caine must have physicly met with demons to learn the embrace cause he couldnt have summoned them at this point in time as they werent inprisoned yet. Indeed around that time the demons faught the heavens physicly on earth and i find it hard to believe caione wasnt involved in this at all, given many demons blame caine dirctly for their fall as before caine, the demons and the heavens werent at war and there were no casualties just disagreement but caines deed changed everything and after the first murder soon the first angels and demons died.

              Lucifer escaped inprisonment as well and wanders the earth ever since - just like Caine.

              To Chakravanti - you are of course correct. I was under the impression, being death mages and all the Chakravanti would also call on demons, given blood magic is demonic and they definitely went for that and the kainite curse is a curse by god so you kinda got to rebell against heaven to artificially craft it and the Baali were helping the Tremere with this so i can imagine demons helping the chakravanti in special given how the Nagaraja turned out (clan weakness)

              The connections between Baali and demons is something i draw myself admittingly. In DTF Lore demons view vampires like mortals with very differing oppinions, usually hating them for them being able to summon the fallen, and using them to enter the world and growing their power but also liking them for their potential to destroy the heavens and take revenge on god though the exact view depends on the demonic faction. raveners and luciferians as example have directly opposing views on this and reconcilers even more so. From all demons faustians seem to be the most likely to actively seek pacts though.

              So i guessed that Baali know of the demonic factions and they know that not all demons align with their (faction specific) view. It would be utterly stupid for Molochim to call upon raveners and raveners would try to eleminate the Molochim alltogether. i mean even before everything else. Similiar the reconcilers will only work with the order of the inner light and no other baali at all. Meanwhile the destroyers and raveners get along just brilliantly. a match made in hell. And of cause Nergali and the earthbound go very well together as well, after all they try to awaken and free the earthbound

              Similiar some Baalo actually became demons with infernal ranking. So if any clan is aware of demonic factions and their dealins its definitely the Baali. And with mary the black a demon actually became a Baali too

              MyWifeIsScary Yes and no. Ofc you are right dark thaumaturgy is open to anyone entering a pact and i thought i mentioned that in the guide. However the only ones in WoD that really use dark thaumaturgy are Baali, even the Tremere who do. And you have to be a Kainite to use dark Thaumaturgy and the source of it is demons and pacts. You might as well say Obtenebration is not a Lasombra exclusive discipline - that is true, but the Lasombra are the only ones known for using it (and im counting the Kyasid as Lasombra given their origins) i mean how many even know what Xoi Dundu are^^ or Thaumaturgy (regular) is not Tremere exclusive - but the kainites who can use thaumaturgy and are not Tremere are extremely rare

              Point being in order to get Dark thaumaturgy you ofc first, have to be an infernalist, which severly lowers the number of people having it. You also have to be kainite, further reducing the number. You have to summon and know abou demons who actually can teach this, which makes it extremely unlikely someone without extensive knowledge on demons even gets the right ones. Kolduns are busy with Kupala and their Krainas so i doubt they do anything with it and the Assamites have very good reasons to not even try to get it.
              Then you have to be able to offer the demon a huge deal for sharing this extremely powerfull secret in special as extensive learning is required so that demon will have contact with you regularely. I think the only clans who could possibly pull this off are Baali and Tremere. And when A Tremere pulls that off i bet he will be a Baali soon, given the presence of the order of the wyrm. Indeed by far not all Baali get dark thaumaturgy either - this is a very very valuable secret after all and while Baali COULD teach dark thaumaturgy to each other without demonic intervention you can bet, that the demons that tought the original tutor will be pissed as hell and take revenge and that tutor is very well aware of that

              However it is the very first time i hear the re embrace is not Baali exclusive. Who else can do that, and how? Who was ever re embraced into a clan except Baali? we had an entire thread about how its possible to do it for the Baali, and it might boil down to the blood of the first men, which seems to be unique to them, or indeed having been created by caine himself which would explain this ability. The re embrace in rulebooks is also a 7 dot daimonion discipline and who but the baali has daimonion?

              Dwight i checked out reviews and most say LotB is just a collection on what we already know about the Baali from the clan books, the only "new" thing is quite well done artwork as well as new merits / flaws and id buy Lotb only for the baali section. So far what i heard reviewers say about the Baali presented in LOTB theres nothing new in there from what i can tell. It just emphasises what other books already did like baali being anti god not so much pro satan. I hear high praises on Lore of the Clans though and the rework on the Lasombra
              One reviewer specificly said that Lotb regarding the Baali says nothing that isnt already in the clan book except new merits / flaws and given all is presented as very oppinionated view of a baali (in character) the information isnt trustworthy either and given the page count i wrote more on the Baali in this guide than lore of the bloodlines did and that without art work in between XD
              Last edited by Orkar; 12-11-2020, 04:21 AM.

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              • #8
                updated and added some parts starting at "numbers, enemies and regions" i guess im done now except adding some more potential Baali from media

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                • #9
                  In an old campaign, i think it was in 2001 my Baali actually first ghouled embraced Donald Trump, as I wanted his reputation and influences and money to further my schemes to cause despair and agony as well as strife. And some weeks ago I got a mail from my old story teller telling me that it was my character's actions would explain the current state of US politics in his new campaign and that my Baali and his ghoul Trump would be the main bad guys of the campaign.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Ethryo View Post
                    In an old campaign, i think it was in 2001 my Baali actually first ghouled embraced Donald Trump, as I wanted his reputation and influences and money to further my schemes to cause despair and agony as well as strife. And some weeks ago I got a mail from my old story teller telling me that it was my character's actions would explain the current state of US politics in his new campaign and that my Baali and his ghoul Trump would be the main bad guys of the campaign.

                    LOL! THIS IS GENIUS!


                    Jade Kingdom Warrior

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                    • #11
                      Speaking of Ashur, in BJD, Beckett talks to Serenna who explains to him WHAT Ashur is.

                      Serenna: Ashur is a state of being, Beckett.
                      Beckett: Some call it becoming the Beast. Others call it ecstasy.
                      Serenna: Among the legends of the Ashirra, when the Antediluvians succumbed, they became Ashur. Each of them has been Ashur. One of them — at that point — formed the Baali line
                      Last edited by Richard; 12-12-2020, 04:08 AM.

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                      • #12
                        I've never used the Baali and likely never will. I just don't think they add that much to the setting. They duplicate a lot of roles already out there. In fact, I've never played in a chronicle where the ST used them. I think another reason is that they were originally only found in rare supplements that the players I knew did not have. So if someone ever wanted to run a plot where Baali would be appropriate, we just used one of many existing concepts that they nearly duplicate. And the unique lore built around them just didn't inspire me. So I'm definitely not the target audience for this thread!

                        If I ever do use the name/concept, it'd likely be something inspired by but severely edited from canon. Probably just an extremely small sect of Infernalists with access to certain occult lore and powers unknown to most Infernalists as they have some kind of continuity with the original group of Baali thousands of years ago in ancient Sumeria.

                        However, because they were only mentioned in limited sources, I think it would be helpful to tell people where information about them can be located. It'd also be helpful to see how they developed and changed as new writers added information. The only ones I know of are below, please add other sources if you know them.

                        Vampire Storyteller's Handbook (1st edition) 1991
                        Chaos Factor 1993
                        Dark Ages Companion 1997
                        Clanbook: Baali 1998
                        Vampire Storyteller's Handbook (Revised) 2000

                        It seems that the original Baali were just one of the many gonzo concepts the early game had along with its myriad bloodlines and other secrets scattered throughout the game. For most games, they were a minor afterthought. That changed during the first Dark Ages game when the Baali were "promoted" in the setting as the big evil NPC faction to fill the space vacated by not having the Sabbat and revisions to the Setites to make them a more playable PC faction. Most of what we know about the Baali comes from this second published incarnation.

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                        • #13
                          In V5, would you make Oblivion the Baali Discipline? It gives them Rituals (well, Ceremonies), and since is now the Discipline that channels power from Death, Darkness and the Beyond, it seem to fit them well.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                            It seems that the original Baali were just one of the many gonzo concepts the early game had along with its myriad bloodlines and other secrets scattered throughout the game. For most games, they were a minor afterthought. That changed during the first Dark Ages game when the Baali were "promoted" in the setting as the big evil NPC faction to fill the space vacated by not having the Sabbat and revisions to the Setites to make them a more playable PC faction. Most of what we know about the Baali comes from this second published incarnation.
                            This exactly mirrors my thoughts on the matter of the Baali. I've long held that the Infernalists introduced in the Storytellers Handbook to the Sabbat (1993) were a revision and expansion of the initial 1991 Baali concept. Dark Thaumaturgy and Demonic Investments basically duplicate the entire Daimonion power set, and greatly expand on the fairly narrow basic ideas besides. In addition, 2nd Edition never really addressed how the Baali fit that particular edition's setting. As you rightly point out, the birth (rebirth?) of the Baali as a major force in the setting only happened during the Dark Ages line, and I always felt that they were an awkward fit alongside Infernalists and Dark Thaumaturgy, which were also nominally featured in the Dark Medieval. Pick one or the other, I say.

                            But that's all ancient history now, and the Baali are much more popular among the fandom than general Infernalist vampires. I don't really mind, although I think Daimonion is kind of crap compared to the much more flexible and thematically coherent Dark Thaumaturgy. If I ever used a Baali in a chronicle, I would probably just give them in-clan access to Dark Thaumaturgy in place of Daimonion.

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                            • #15
                              Having an organized (or at least partially organized) like the Baali is more interesting than a string of one-off Infernalists that just operate at random with no distinct reason or indepth history WHY they are doing Inferalism (besides the caveat of wanting more power via shortcut).


                              Jade Kingdom Warrior

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