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Bahari and the Tal’mahe’Ra

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  • Bahari and the Tal’mahe’Ra

    How do the underlying philosophies of the Path(s) of Lilith and the agenda of the Tal’mahe’Ra coexist, given that in the modern era the former has become the foundation of the latter?

    The Antedeluvians were largely enemies who abused and violated the Dark Mother, and her path espouses enlightenment (through suffering) over extermination. So how do those teachings support an agenda to serve the Antedeluvians and bring about Gehenna to protect humanity by purging the world of Cainites?


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  • #2
    If you mean in V5, the Tal’Mahe’Ra are extinct. If you mean in V20, I suspect Path of Lilith followers rationalize it by saying that they follow those female Antediluvians (I think about half are arguably female) who didn’t join Caine in abusing and violating the Dark Mother. I’ve always seen Lilith as more of a feminist icon than as the Mother of Monsters (I know some of the texts disagree but they’re written IC and could be totally wrong).
    Last edited by Amethyst; 05-02-2022, 02:57 PM.

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    • #3
      I buy the Bahari's interest in infiltrating the city of Lilith's ancient enemy, keeping close to the two Aralu who are suspected of being the Antediluvians singled out for Lilith's mercy in one section of "Revelations of the Dark Mother," and ensuring that the Hand truly undermines the Kindred and minimizes the harm they're able to inflict on the world.

      I don't believe that a satisfactory pretext for the Tal'Mahe'Ra to tolerate the Bahari's existence has ever been given, however. They're there because a writer thought they're cool. Between the Bahari and the antediluvian-worshipping Gehenna cult, one should have been the masterminds and the other a front that they work behind if the two factions are supposed to function together as a conspiracy within conspiracies.

      I do find it interesting that Vampire Revised Edition's book on the False Hand overhauls that faction's lore and places at its core a secret Zillah cult that wants revenge on the Antes for betraying and hunting her, while claiming to do so in Caine's name. This sect-within-a-sect might be a better candidate for either using the Lilin as a front, or being a secret pawn of the Lilin.
      Last edited by Reasor; 05-02-2022, 03:58 PM.

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      • #4
        I feel like the Bahari might see lilith as the origin of it all,Jehovah,Caine and the Antedilluvians. So they don't see contradiction in being on a organization that venerated lilith lessers

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        • #5
          The easiest answer is that the original Path of Lilith described in 1994's Dirty Secrets of the Black Hand is different from the Revised Path of Lilith in 1999's Guide to the Sabbat and 1998's Revelations of the Dark Mother. There is nothing in the description of the original DSotBH Path that would make it incompatible with the agenda of the Tal'mahe'Ra. No mention is made of the antedeluvians. It's just that Lilith, not Caine, is the first vampire, and they have a body of lore that supports that.

          The Revised era made changes to that description. Some of which may have been intended to create a different kind of group that explored aspects of the setting the previous version did not. Some of it may have been to remove the Path from the Tal'mahe'Ra because Revised was very much an attempt to purge many elements of DSotBH from the game's canon. And some of it may have been unintentional because they didn't bother to really understand what was previously written.

          So whatever resolution you come up with on seeming contradictions is going to be different from someone else's. That's because there wasn't any attempt in Revised to make them compatible. They just wanted to eliminate most of the canon established in DSotBH while still somehow keeping and repurposing its elements. So each ST is on their own, and personal tastes will differ. But it's a good question to ask. Since I haven't read anything than brief synopsis of Revelations of the Black Mother, I never gave it much consideration that it might be incompatible with the original depiction of the Tal'mahe'Ra.

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          • #6
            Ok that clarifies it. V20 Black Hand has a lot of great stuff but I think the development of the Bahari religion that it builds on ends up making it it’s own thing that doesn’t mesh with the pro-Antedeluvian pro-Gehenna faction it’s presented as the core of. So I think I’m going to take my que from Revised and lean into the Bahari as their own thing, primarily as a hunted heresy within the Sabbat.
            Last edited by glamourweaver; 05-02-2022, 11:38 PM.


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            • #7
              Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
              Ok that clarifies it. V20 Black Hand has a lot of great stuff but I think the development of the Bahari religion that it builds on ends up making it it’s own thing that doesn’t mesh with the pro-Antedeluvian pro-Gehenna faction it’s presented as the core of. So I think I’m going to take my que from Revised and lean into the Bahari as their own thing, primarily as a hunted heresy within the Sabbat.
              Well, i wouldn't say hunted per se, since the Sabbat proper, is not a pro-Antedeluvian pro-Gehenna sect, in fact not even the Black Hand as a whole is - in fact from V20 onwards it seems a large chunk of the "False" Hand would be Lilith sympathetic at least, if not outright Lilith-worshiping too.

              And all of that going by V20's Bahari-compatible version of the Path of Lilith.

              The OG DSotBH variant of the Path of Lilith could be a whole different faction of its own patching up tensions, egging on the Tal'Mahe'Ra to "deal with the heretics" or anything else a ST might be in the mood to toy with for extra layers of intrigue to spice up their chronicle.

              Not even going into the issue of how many of the Black Hand Seraphs are actually part of the Tal'Mahe'Ra or not, what makes for a whole different can of worms to get into.
              Last edited by Baaldam; 05-03-2022, 04:08 AM.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Baaldam View Post

                Well, i wouldn't say hunted per se, since the Sabbat proper, is not a pro-Antedeluvian pro-Gehenna sect, in fact not even the Black Hand as a whole is - in fact from V20 onwards it seems a large chunk of the "False" Hand would be Lilith sympathetic at least, if not outright Lilith-worshiping too.
                i wasn’t suggested that they’d be hunted because they disagree with the Sabbat Inquisition on the Antedeluvians and Gehenna. They make sense as a heresy within the Sabbat because they are compatible with that overarching goal - but they’re considered heretical by the powers that be, because they’re anti-Noddist, at least in the eyes of the Noddists, who disdain the elevation of Lilith over Caine.


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                • #9
                  Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post

                  i wasn’t suggested that they’d be hunted because they disagree with the Sabbat Inquisition on the Antedeluvians and Gehenna. They make sense as a heresy within the Sabbat because they are compatible with that overarching goal - but they’re considered heretical by the powers that be, because they’re anti-Noddist, at least in the eyes of the Noddists, who disdain the elevation of Lilith over Caine.
                  Yes, but i'd say how much actual power the noddists have over Sabbat ideology/policy can be somewhat debatable. Far more paths exist that are neutral or whole uncaring of the matter of actual kindred origins. Path of Caine is just one among many - and a bastardized copy of the Assamite's Road of Blood at that, something possibly quite recognizable to elder antitribu of that clan who might look askance at it (and pass their prejudices to their childer), for example.

                  Overall my point is, the Sabbat is far more anti-status quo/elders, something the idea of Antediluvians is the ultimate representation of, than believers in any precise form of "noddism". Lilith can be as much of an "older and badder" mythic figure to claim as spiritual guide as Caine, if not more so. While still 2nd place to "traditional" noddism, Lilithists could be much more respectable within the sect than given credit for.
                  Last edited by Baaldam; 05-03-2022, 02:38 PM.

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                  • #10
                    As originally written, the Sabbat did persecute followers of the Path of Lilith because the Sabbat was pro-Caine. The Sabbat believes Caine himself, using the alias of the Ravnos Methusaleh Vestgeir, saved the sect from destruction in its earliest days after the Convention of Thorns. So this isn't some esoteric dispute. It has real relevance. And the Sabbat is a hotbed of Noddist scholars following the Path of Caine. Followers of these two Paths hate each other, and while the Path of Caine isn't essential to the Sabbat, its followers are influential in it. If you local Bishop or packmate really, really, really hates the Path of Lilith, you're likely not going to defend or associate with them even if you follow another Path.

                    If the beliefs of the Path of Lilith are real, then Caine didn't save the sect and much of the Sabbat's internal legitimacy is erased. They're just another group of vampires without the foundational belief that the actual creator of vampires supports the sect. And the adherents of the Path of Lilith have a much different view of Gehenna than the Sabbat which again undermines its legitimacy. If the Sabbat is wrong about Vestgeir and wrong about what will happen during Gehenna, it questions the very purpose and existence of the sect. Even Cainites (and it may be important to note that is the preferred term of Sabbat vampires for their race) who don't follow the Path of Caine are going to be against that.

                    So the Path of Lilith is very much a heresy that strikes at the Sabbat's legitimacy and purpose.

                    If you don't like that, that's fine. But you should be addressing this conflict somehow in your chronicles.

                    As for me, while I've never used the Bahari in any of my chronicles, I imagine the Bahari to be completely separate from the Sabbat. They are either a mysterious group that hides from other vampires, safely ensconced in the True Black Hand or other mysterious secret high level Jyhad sect, or nominal members of the Camarilla or Anarchs who explore this alternative scholarship.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                      As originally written, the Sabbat did persecute followers of the Path of Lilith because the Sabbat was pro-Caine.
                      Fair, Caine as a symbolic antithesis of the Antediluvians, that personify oppresion and slavery through the Blood Bond, is a pretty big thing for the sect's mythology. It doesn't call itself Sword of Caine for nothing.

                      Originally posted by Black Fox View Post
                      The Sabbat believes Caine himself, using the alias of the Ravnos Methusaleh Vestgeir, saved the sect from destruction in its earliest days after the Convention of Thorns. So this isn't some esoteric dispute. It has real relevance.
                      This honestly rings no bells whatsoever. Could you point out a source, perhaps? I would really appreciate it for reference.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
                        This honestly rings no bells whatsoever. Could you point out a source, perhaps? I would really appreciate it for reference.
                        I had never heard this before either! Thanks for the new info Black Fox!

                        It looks like it was in the original Players Guide to the Sabbat from 1992, dunno if it ever got referenced again. Vestgeir gets a brief mention at the bottom of the wiki page, doesn't even have his own: The Players Guide to the Sabbat | White Wolf Wiki | Fandom

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                        • #13
                          Yeah I can’t find any info in the Revised Guide to the Sabbat or in V20… I’m going to have to wrestle with whether I want to draw on that particular element for history at my table or defer to the later editions ignoring it.


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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by glamourweaver View Post
                            Yeah I can’t find any info in the Revised Guide to the Sabbat or in V20… I’m going to have to wrestle with whether I want to draw on that particular element for history at my table or defer to the later editions ignoring it.
                            It'd be a good "there I was" story for an NPC to tell, whether it's true or not.
                            Last edited by Reasor; 05-04-2022, 03:04 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Baaldam View Post
                              This honestly rings no bells whatsoever. Could you point out a source, perhaps? I would really appreciate it for reference.
                              Vestgeir was first mentioned in 1992's Players Guide to Sabbat. Multiple mentions there.

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