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  • Alamut

    Where is Alamut in the World of Darkness? I recall it not being tied down much more than it being in the Middle East. But today I learnt that the actual Alamut is in Iran.

    Now I know that Iran is considered part of the Middle East by at least some people. But in my mind it gives it a very different flavour that the Banu Haqim are based in Iran as opposed to say Jordan.

  • #2
    Much of the original depiction of the Assamites was based on the historical Assassins / Hashashin which was a real world sect of Nizari Isma'ili Shiite Muslims. Terminology of the clan was taken straight out of that. While their "capital" at Alamut was where the "Old Man of the Mountains" lived, this specific sect could be found in most places in the Middle East wherever there were Ismai'li Shiite Muslims, and the sect controlled a large number of castles in Syria and elsewhere. The sect became famous in the West as a result of contact with the Crusaders and later by mentions from Marco Polo. Despite some stories and legends, the sect had mostly good relations with the Crusaders because they had common enemies with Sunni Muslims. The Mongols destroyed Alamut in 1257 and the last Assassin strongholds were taken by the Mamlukes a few decades later, and the assassins disappeared from history completely within a century. Despite the Order of Assassins disappearing, the Nizari Isma'ili Shiite Muslims from which the sect sprang up, still exist. Their spiritual leader is Aga Khan IV who currently resides in Portugal; his step-mother (briefly) was the actress Rita Hayworth!

    While I nor my friends ever thought that it meant that the historical Assassins and the Assamites were meant to be the same, I sometimes wonder if that was supposed to be the original idea before White Wolf realized early on that 1) there was a real history incompatible with Assamite lore and 2) that it crossed the line even in an era where almost everyone famous was depicted as becoming a vampire. Or if the original writers even realized that the Assassins were a real group and not something from legend or folklore, and once they did jettisoned that but were now stuck with these terms.

    I don't think the fictional Assamite Alamut's location was ever specifically revealed. But I have a vague feeling it is somewhere in eastern Turkey in the Zagros Mountains. But that could be completely my own idea as opposed to something with some evidence behind it.

    The Assamites would have pre-dated Islam, Persia, and everything else by thousands of years, so we should assume that at one point this fortress, its leader, clan, etc. had very different names, but after the tales of the real world Assassins became popular, that these terms were applied retroactively and inappropriately to this vampire organization.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
      While I nor my friends ever thought that it meant that the historical Assassins and the Assamites were meant to be the same, I sometimes wonder if that was supposed to be the original idea...
      My own take is the Banu Haqim hid under the Assassins / Hashashin group, in the same way the Lasombra hid under the Catholic Church as an institution and Ventrue hid under Teutonic Knights as a group and Toreador hid under Parisian sauciers. That is the human group served as a mask for the vampire group. Vampires are not as innovative as people, but are good as hanging on to a human institution like a lamprey on a shark. Being called "assimite" is probably something imposed on them later, by European vampires.

      Alamut is also the name of region of Iran. The Banu Haqim version of the fortress of Alamut might be the same as the mortal one, in which case the question is; do mortals in the WoD know the location of the historical Ismaili castle?

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      • #4
        Per Libellus Sanguinis III, the mortal Assassins' methods were an inspiration to the Assamites. The most actual influence the Assamites had on the Assassins was a rogue Assamite ghoul who acquired a few pawns in mortal Alamut.


        Scion 2E: What We Know - A wiki compiling info on second edition Scion.

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        • #5
          I put the fictional Alamut (which is a name that means "Eagle's Nest" and is a perfectly valid name for many a high castle) far from Iran. Just to help differentiate the sects.

          I also had the Second Inquisition target and destroy it with vampire help.


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

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          • #6
            I think the original intent was to have Alamut in Turkey. Not sure where I read that. However, I think I read in one of the V5 books that it is definitely in Afghanistan. I am not sure about the change, as the new location would theoretically put it outside of the Middle East.


            THWarted

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            • #7
              You all got me interested enough to look in the books.

              In the Assamites first appearance in Milwaukee By Night, it mentions "the Assamites are a Clan of Vampire assassins based in Turkey." In the Revised corebook in the Assamite clan description (pg 91) it states that Alamut is thought to be atop a mountain somewhere in modern Turkey. I don't have the Assamite clanbook, but I would be surprised if it isn't mentioned in there too.

              Turkey has lots of mountain ranges, but what works best is something tall, remote, and with lots of other mountains around it. I think somewhere in southeastern Turkey works best, but there are other candidates.

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              • #8
                I prefer to use the term -The Mountain- (partially because it reminds me of the Tremere with their Pyramid, now that I think about it)

                The thing with the Historical assassins is that their enemies got wild and crazy with the propaganda. The Sect apparently did all their murders with a dagger, and were adverse to using poison, and assassin actually comes from -the principled- rather than -hashassin-, which was an insult often levied at them given the wild and crazy accusations brought upon the sect: Sex and Drugs and rock and roll and all the poisonings that ever happened in that area during the period. It's through this propaganda that the western ideas of the assassin comes from.

                So, I run with the idea that the real sect of the Assassins was actually copping the blame for all the crazy out-there shit the Assamites were doing.
                Go grab my book (it can be free!) I explain it with more effort there.


                Throw me/White wolf some money with Quietus: Drug Lord, Poison King
                There's more coming soon. Pay what ya want.

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                • #9
                  Putting them in Turkey is interesting, as that was the old territory of the Cappadocians. If the move to Turkey is semi-recent, then maybe they are in a former Cappadocians underground city. In which case, a Harbinger might know the layout of the place.

                  I would place Alamut in Syria or Iraq and that Ur-Shulgi was making the local wars worse.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Grumpy RPG Reviews View Post
                    Putting them in Turkey is interesting, as that was the old territory of the Cappadocians. If the move to Turkey is semi-recent, then maybe they are in a former Cappadocians underground city. In which case, a Harbinger might know the layout of the place.

                    I would place Alamut in Syria or Iraq and that Ur-Shulgi was making the local wars worse.
                    My version of Alamut was in Syria and the Camarilla had the US military use a MOAB on the place to get rid of 'terrorists' in what was the biggest reversal of the Cammie's villain decay in decades.



                    It was all, of course, arranged by Marcus Vitel. One step closer to his "kill all the Antediluvians" plan (even if he probably didn't get get Ur-Shulgi, he sure as hell fucked up his shit).


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

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