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  • #91
    That it's impossible to know how many childer have died and been forgotten over the ages is one of my favorite elephants in the room about these old stories.

    The ancients were afraid of the generations getting too far removed from Caine, and I have to wonder what experience with runaway embraces drove them to the conclusions the Book of Nod's fictional authors made about it resulting in the end of the world.

    Anyways, that a lot of the history of the Kindred is simply lost is a theme that's central to my reading of stuff like this. It can be used to find room for creative license, or the uncertainty itself can almost be a character.
    Last edited by Reasor; 05-01-2022, 12:25 PM.

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    • #92
      Originally posted by monteparnas View Post
      That's the thing, the alliance against Carthage is primarily and repeatedly described as a Roman thing, and in the context of the Punic Wars. Other Mediterranean kindred, even of the involved clans, had just a passing interest in the whole affair except paying attention to its political and military ramifications. There's no indication that the Baali not being there would change shit about it, except the final salting of the earth, and that was mostly Cybele by herself, anyway. And she could very well be just a Malkavian.
      It's noted, for example, that the Roman Ventrue were at the head of an alliance of vampires, including non-Roman vampires. A number of ancient Greek Toreador (Artemis Orthea, Lysander, Alchias and others) joined the Ventrue's anti-Carthage alliance. Remember that the destruction of Carthage happened around 150 BC and Greece wouldn't be conquered by the Rome for another 180 years so it's not like they were contributing because they were part of Rome. And you saw similar things happen from vampires from other non-Roman parts of the world.

      I feel that if the Baali hadn't been there it would have simply been Roman vampires vs Carthage vampires and you wouldn't have seen powerful Methuselah from non-Roman kingdoms deciding to get directly involved. The presence of the Baali was why there was more to the war against Carthage than it "just" being a matter of Rome vs Carthage.

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      • #93
        Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post
        There's also the fact that "what exactly IS a major alliance?"

        Ten vampires?

        Twenty?
        The books don't give a specific breakdown. Only that there were enough non-Roman and non-Ventrue vampires involved that the attack on Carthage was specifically noted to be a vampire alliance that the Roman Ventrue were at the head of.

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        • #94
          Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
          It's noted, for example, that the Roman Ventrue were at the head of an alliance of vampires, including non-Roman vampires. A number of ancient Greek Toreador (Artemis Orthea, Lysander, Alchias and others) joined the Ventrue's anti-Carthage alliance. Remember that the destruction of Carthage happened around 150 BC and Greece wouldn't be conquered by the Rome for another 180 years so it's not like they were contributing because they were part of Rome. And you saw similar things happen from vampires from other non-Roman parts of the world.

          I feel that if the Baali hadn't been there it would have simply been Roman vampires vs Carthage vampires and you wouldn't have seen powerful Methuselah from non-Roman kingdoms deciding to get directly involved. The presence of the Baali was why there was more to the war against Carthage than it "just" being a matter of Rome vs Carthage.
          I suppose that depends on how you view the hatred of the Baali. For me, I think the only Clan that has ever cared about the Baali was the Salubri and the Banu Haquim.

          I doubt the Ventrue could tell the difference between them and the Followers of Set.


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          • #95
            Originally posted by CTPhipps View Post

            I suppose that depends on how you view the hatred of the Baali. For me, I think the only Clan that has ever cared about the Baali was the Salubri and the Banu Haquim.

            I doubt the Ventrue could tell the difference between them and the Followers of Set.
            The Baali Wars were pretty significant in Kindred history since those were the only times you had all of the clans of vampires coming together for a specific goal. Like during the Second Baali War, all 13 clans united against the Baali with Methuselahs and even Antideluvians joining in to defeat Nergal (Set himself led a contingent of Setite Sorcerers). The Salubri and Banu Haquim were the primary foes of the Baali, but ultimately everyone was a foe of the Baali. The only time we've seen any major alliance between Baali and other vampires was in Carthage where the Brujah teamed up with them (likely as a result of Moloch and Troile's mutual blood bond). And then you had a major alliance of other vampires move against them.

            I do think you're right that most Ventrue, especially younger ones wouldn't know much of anything about the Baali. Their response to hearing about Baali in Carthage would probably be something like, "Who? What? Why does some bloodline matter?"

            But then when you have elder Ventrue, some of whom very likely participated in the Baali Wars, their response to hearing about Baali in Carthage would more likely be, "Baali? Ah shit. Here we go again." And those elders are the ones who are going to be pulling together an inter-clan alliance, not the young neonates who don't know straight up from a in the ground.
            Last edited by AnubisXy; 05-02-2022, 12:01 AM.

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            • #96
              There are so many mutually contradictory accounts of the Baali Wars that you can pick and choose, if arriving at the one and only canon truth matters for your chronicle. Accounts differ as to whether the first war was at the First City, or the Second. In one version, the other Antedeluvians try to talk Saulot down from going to war the first time. In another, the threat never even comes from outside the city, as the Baali founder is the Antedeluvian who led the war against the second generation. One account has Samiel dying at Chorazin. Another has him dying at the hands of the Tzimisce Antedeluvian in its home.

              In one account, the Banu Haqim fight the second war at Knossos without any of the other clans participating at all.

              And there's really nothing wrong with the conflicting accounts. Each version of the story could have characters who believe in it like it's gospel.

              The Egyptians enjoyed a nice economic boom in sea trade after the destruction of Knossos. Maybe the Setites instigated the second war. Why not? Were the Baali even there, or was it just trumped up to get help destroying Egypt's geopolitical rival? You're free to make the choices that work for your story.

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              • #97
                Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
                Remember that the destruction of Carthage happened around 150 BC and Greece wouldn't be conquered by the Rome for another 180 years
                Ahn... no?

                The Roman conquest of the Greek peninsula was concurrent to the Third Punic War. In fact, it was concluded at the same year of the fall of Carthage. What would wait another century and some was the fall of the last independent polei, but aside Alexandria, in Egypt, no major Greek city would be found outside Roman power.

                So it wouldn't be so extraordinary for Greek vampires to align with Rome in Carthage.


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                • #98
                  Originally posted by Reasor View Post
                  And there's really nothing wrong with the conflicting accounts. Each version of the story could have characters who believe in it like it's gospel.
                  Indeed. In one account, I think was one of the revised clanbooks, it was stated that the Brujah had Assamites and Setites allies.
                  Assamites allies might seem contradictory with having Baali allies

                  It was a retelling that played on the idea of roman vampire clans against the north african ones

                  But of course everything might be just Ventrue or Brujah propaganda :P

                  I'll just add that it has been stated in-universe many times that giving the Embrace was a way much bigger deal in ancient times compared to medieval times. And the cities were on average smaller, meaning not much room for high numbers of leeches
                  So a "great alliance" might have been less than 50 vampires.

                  But of course such lower generation vampires were worth 20 neonates of medieval times, so there's that...
                  And a group of, say, twenty 7th generation vampires is worth a lot of mortal troops armed with swords and bows...


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                  • #99
                    That's it
                    And depending on the edition, but independent from them, the lore tells us that Elder usually need more and more blood. Or at least need more stable herd access, and if not "need" then "wants". But either way, a couple of 7th generation Vamps in a city is way different than a handful of 13ths. I can only imagine how quickly things escalated.

                    Also, a little over 50 vampires attended the greatest vampire gathering ever had in Kindred history (Dark Ages forward at least), in the Convention of Thorns. Vamps from the entire continent, and even a little beyond. So yeah, a lot of folks. But even then, this tells us that this was the gathering of (give or take) all representatives of all the European main Clans of the 15th century. When I hear of alliances and cults of Cainites, I really see no more than 20 ou 50 at most. That is why it pains me when the metaplot throws the impression of secret societies with hundreds of members, like the TalmaheRa and the (False) Black Hand.


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                    • Originally posted by Banu_Saulot View Post

                      Also, a little over 50 vampires attended the greatest vampire gathering ever had in Kindred history (Dark Ages forward at least), in the Convention of Thorns. Vamps from the entire continent, and even a little beyond.
                      Hardly
                      Don't forget the Feast of Folly. Over 12,000 Cainites gathered in the tiny Turkish underground city of Kaymakli when Cappadocius called the Clan of Death to judge them...
                      And because
                      Cappadocius heard the complaints of the humans who lived with Cappadocians in Kaymakli and Derinkuyu; visited the places and he found that the prodigious breeding of his childer had led to a population crisis: anemic humans, disease spread by the constant presence of corpses, and a society on the brink. But origianlly both cities were a hybrid communities of Cappadocians and mortals; the mortals provided all the amenities and served as a herd for the undead scholars in their ranks. While hardly ideal, the arrangement seemed to be moderately satisfactory for both parties untilly the cappaocian numbers rasied to be thousands in the city and that was before the Call.
                      But every big city, Rome, Athen, Sparta, Constantinople, Carthage, Pompei, Markshan-shapir and so on were thriving when it came to the cainite numbers thrugh the ages; in those times dozen of dozen of cainites in a city, ruling almost openly or simply acting as gods, half gods, heroes, and so on were the part of life and basically normal.
                      And during the Dark Ages, before the whole anarch Revolt, the big european domains, like Courts of Love or Mithras' baronies of avalon housed numerous canintes in their cities.
                      The Long Night (began with the fall of Rome (5th century CE) and ended with the sack of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade (1204).) was basically a golden age in this regard; Cainite society was thriving.

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                      • Originally posted by Shadeprowler View Post
                        Hardly
                        I'm not so sure.

                        The Feast of Folly isn't meant by any means or in any measure as a parameter for vampiric numbers. While it gives us an upper limit for some considerations, it doesn't say anything about what a reasonable gathering would be. It also includes every single Neonate or newly Embraced across the entire world, even torpid, not just Kaymakli. It's a poor piece of lore to establish how numerous vampires are in regular situations.

                        And all those other cities are expected to be more regular situations for the time. They're not under pressure, so we can say for sure they're not nearly as full of vampires, but that can mean anything between a solid thousand Kindred or more... or two, just two.

                        Finally, before the Modern era most people were in rural areas and even defining the territory controlled by a city was tricky, the land around it is relevant to a very good distance. How many vampires from Rome actually lived in the city of Rome, instead of any of the many Roman farms and villages through the entire Latium? Those vampires would be all technically from Rome, meet in Rome, under the influence of the Prince of Rome, Roman for all intents and purposes, despite living far apart enough so that crossing the entire region would take about a week on foot, maybe a little more (less to reach Rome, that's in the middle).

                        So, how large is a large vampire alliance in Rome at the time of the Punic Wars? I don't know and there's nothing in the lore to give a clue. It could be less than two dozen or up to ten thousands.


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                        • Originally posted by Shadeprowler View Post

                          Hardly
                          Don't forget the Feast of Folly. Over 12,000 Cainites gathered in the tiny Turkish underground city of [COLOR=#3A3A3A][FONT=rubik][SIZE=14px]Kaymakli when Cappadocius called the Clan of Death to judge them...
                          I mean, it's a pretty good example as to why Cappaodias destroyed his Clan. It had become grossly horrifically overbred.

                          Mind you, the Feast of Folly is something I judged to have been the correct action while others act like Cappadocias made a mistake.


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                          • The Alliance against Nergal and Crate was a big thing too tho'
                            When all 13 clans allied against them. Legendary Cainites from across the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and central Asia united against "Shaitan". Among them were the Brujah Menele, the Malkavian known only as the Dionysian, the Ventrue Balthazar, and a contingent Setite sorcerers led directly by the Antediluvian Set himself.
                            The marshaled Cainites battled Nergal's forces for nine days and nine nights, but could not break through his defenses.
                            As the clans were unable to penetrate the defenses of Nergal's lair beneath Crete, they instead resorted to drastic measures: they caused the volcano on the nearby island of Thera to erupt, burying Knossos beneath volcanic ash and obliterating Nergal's stronghold.
                            I mean this had to be bigger than the conveniton gathering...

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                            • This kind of goes with one of the great theories that Gehenna(s) are just a big culling of herds (of Cainites) by their Methuselahs and Antes, and the Eternal Jyhad are sort of set commands that keep it mostly working through lower "ranks" of generations and ages. Of course, the Jyhad specially makes everyone pretty nuts, and gets vamps to breed even more for their wars, which I suspect goes against the original plans. lol

                              But... We could see Set and Osiris as too figures that want this bullshit to end. By a first view Osiris would want to stop the overpopulation and villany of vampires by conversion to disciplined and peace-minded vamps (mostly). While Set would also want to share the freedom from this herd of servants of the other Antes, many times through, it would be through "get this mindset out of your damn soul stupid, break from the cycle, or you will be slave and snack". And well, nothing is true but Set's words, and everything is permitted but Set's laws.

                              Hell, Followers of Set were the original Anarchs. And they were being hypocrites before them too. But it's kind of hard not to be.
                              It seems the Ante's struggle and the subsequent Jyhad is all about creating urgency and enemies with ideas (God's Judgment, Apocalypse, Infernalists, other vamps, your child, the future generations, your own Beast), and instigating a lot of fear. So the Baali, the Setites and Osirians are really interesting pieces of the board. As well as Haquimites, if you think they are true tools for judgment and culling of numbers, or if they are by design and ignorance such a resource.


                              Strange... When coincidence seems too convenient, I prefer to call it fate.

                              -Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain d=

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                              • Originally posted by Banu_Saulot View Post
                                This kind of goes with one of the great theories that Gehenna(s) are just a big culling of herds (of Cainites) by their Methuselahs and Antes, and the Eternal Jyhad are sort of set commands that keep it mostly working through lower "ranks" of generations and ages. Of course, the Jyhad specially makes everyone pretty nuts, and gets vamps to breed even more for their wars, which I suspect goes against the original plans. lol

                                But... We could see Set and Osiris as too figures that want this bullshit to end. By a first view Osiris would want to stop the overpopulation and villany of vampires by conversion to disciplined and peace-minded vamps (mostly). While Set would also want to share the freedom from this herd of servants of the other Antes, many times through, it would be through "get this mindset out of your damn soul stupid, break from the cycle, or you will be slave and snack". And well, nothing is true but Set's words, and everything is permitted but Set's laws.

                                Hell, Followers of Set were the original Anarchs. And they were being hypocrites before them too. But it's kind of hard not to be.
                                It seems the Ante's struggle and the subsequent Jyhad is all about creating urgency and enemies with ideas (God's Judgment, Apocalypse, Infernalists, other vamps, your child, the future generations, your own Beast), and instigating a lot of fear. So the Baali, the Setites and Osirians are really interesting pieces of the board. As well as Haquimites, if you think they are true tools for judgment and culling of numbers, or if they are by design and ignorance such a resource.
                                THE CHILDREN OF OSIRIS IS A SCAM THEORY

                                One of the theories I had about the Children of Osiris was the discovery that Khemintiri has seven dots in Bardo. Now this is something she might have learned from the Children of Osiris herself and might have been why she was able to keep her (Low) Humanity. However, with her immense age and power, I had a couple of other thoughts. Specifically, way back in the Followers of Set book, there was actually a version of the story where Osiris is resurrected by Isis and is torn apart after devouring his son.

                                It occurs to me that Osiris never actually lived long enough to create any sort of religion, let alone one that was devoted to humanity and goodness. I was wondering, possibly then, if the Children of Osiris were created by Khemintiri herself. Imagine that she was someone who had serious issues with the Followers of Set (no shit) and wanted an army of her own against them. Being a Follower of Set, though, she knew that religion is a great way to motivate people to sacrifice themselves.

                                Rather than use herself as the goddess of the cult and possibly make herself a target, she instead recruits other vampires and weaves a tale about how Osiris was actually a holy, good, and kind figure who wanted Kindred to find their humanity again. She also proceeds to teach that the Followers of Set are pure evil and must be destroyed (no shit). The Children of Osiris thus become a bloodline created by her powerful magic that develop their own Discipline that she proceeds to unleash upon her enemies. All based on a dogma of lies.
                                And who is to say differently?

                                Set?

                                Horus?


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

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