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Can women cainites ascend in Mithra's cult?

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  • Can women cainites ascend in Mithra's cult?

    Just food for thought. We all know that Mithra's very sexist, as is his cult. What do you guys think of the feasibility of a woman vampire ascend in his cult?
    I haven't read anything about Anne Bowesley's relationship with Mithra's cult. Could a female cainite ever rise in importance in his cult?
    I'm thinking about running a chronicle centered around Mithra's court and this thought came to me.

  • #2
    That's a very good question. Given Mithras' close association with Ancient Rome, I'm inclined to say no, and would probably cast a modern version of the cult as a bastion of misogynist Ventrue looking for a "no girls allowed" social club to make connections in.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Reasor View Post
      That's a very good question. Given Mithras' close association with Ancient Rome, I'm inclined to say no, and would probably cast a modern version of the cult as a bastion of misogynist Ventrue looking for a "no girls allowed" social club to make connections in.
      My view is very similar to yours, I think Mithras probably wouldn't allow such a thing. As a have a player, who is a woman (and is, btw, married to another player), I'm anticipating she would probably want to have an important position in his cult (as the player is a "fan" of Mithras, so to speak), but I don't think it's really feasible.
      Last edited by Herr Meister; 05-08-2022, 08:49 PM.

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      • #4
        Some vampires can, and do, get over their prejudices from their mortal days. But I think it's more interesting if Mithras did not.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by AnubisXy View Post
          Some vampires can, and do, get over their prejudices from their mortal days. But I think it's more interesting if Mithras did not.
          I have to say that I agree.

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          • #6
            Canon, such as it is, is pretty fickle on the idea of Mithras and sexism. Women are noted as being part of the Cult of Mithras at various points, and Mithras made Anne his seneschal during the Victorian period as much out of respect for her competence as anything (she wasn't a member of the cult, just, y'know, promoting her up that way is not especially the act of a guy who thinks women can't wield power sufficiently, certainly wouldn't explain the way his relationship with Kemintiri is portrayed at various points). Your player isn't really inventing anything out of nothing if they have such expectations.

            I mean, you're the ST, do what you want, but there's material to support them just fine.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by MarkK View Post
              Canon, such as it is, is pretty fickle on the idea of Mithras and sexism. Women are noted as being part of the Cult of Mithras at various points, and Mithras made Anne his seneschal during the Victorian period as much out of respect for her competence as anything (she wasn't a member of the cult, just, y'know, promoting her up that way is not especially the act of a guy who thinks women can't wield power sufficiently, certainly wouldn't explain the way his relationship with Kemintiri is portrayed at various points). Your player isn't really inventing anything out of nothing if they have such expectations.

              I mean, you're the ST, do what you want, but there's material to support them just fine.

              Thanks for your opinion.
              Indeed, I thought someone would come up with Anne Bowesley, that's why I said in the beginning that the thing is, it's never mentioned (afaik at least) if she had any position in the cult itself. The fact that he trusted her enough to make her a seneschal already speaks a lot for itself, but that's a different territory. Kemintiri was mentioned to be his lover, so that's also a different thing. I mean the player would like to see her as a kind of priest to Mithras, as someone who fervently believes he is a God, etc. So, particularly in his very cult, I think it's very complex, so I still haven't reached a conclusion and this discussion here also serves to help me ponder about the issue at hand.
              In any case, any opinion here is welcomed as I haven't yet decided, I really want to think about all the sides of the issue before making the final decision.

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              • #8
                I agree with MarkK. I think in general Mithras does have the preadolescent mentality of “no girls allowed,” but I think it would be more interesting from an RP perspective (and more satisfying for your player) if you gave her the opportunity to have her character convince Mithras to change his views, at least with respect to that one particular character (kinda like Clint Eastwood and Hilary Swank in Million Dollar Baby).

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post


                  Thanks for your opinion.
                  Indeed, I thought someone would come up with Anne Bowesley, that's why I said in the beginning that the thing is, it's never mentioned (afaik at least) if she had any position in the cult itself. The fact that he trusted her enough to make her a seneschal already speaks a lot for itself, but that's a different territory. Kemintiri was mentioned to be his lover, so that's also a different thing. I mean the player would like to see her as a kind of priest to Mithras, as someone who fervently believes he is a God, etc. So, particularly in his very cult, I think it's very complex, so I still haven't reached a conclusion and this discussion here also serves to help me ponder about the issue at hand.
                  In any case, any opinion here is welcomed as I haven't yet decided, I really want to think about all the sides of the issue before making the final decision.

                  The Kementiri relationship at times had the context of a partnership of equals is my note about it. If you want Mithras to be sexist, have him be sexist, I'm just saying, sometimes the material went another way.

                  Also, again depending on the material you want to have "count", it's not all that complex, at one point in DAV20 for instance, it just flat out notes that as vampires go, women are full members of the cult just fine. The gender thing is only a show for mortals in the unwitting mortal part of the cult.

                  I'm not telling you what's right or wrong here, only noting that your player's expectations are not unreasonable as far as the actual game material.

                  But If I was to actually give advice it would be this, Vampire is a dark and rough enough place without stepping too hard on a player goal before they even get to try it, particularly when some of the game material leans their way. That Mithras is an ancient colossal megalomaniac who at the same time eventually suffers from stretches of boredom and indifference in the aftermath of winning some great victory, as it were (he yearns to conquer, yet never quite enjoys the after part as much), who maintains his own cult yet at the same time does not truly respect anyone who is blindly loyal to him without thinking, is enough and a lot to deal with without also throwing sexism into the mix.

                  That said, your game, you can do as you choose, you may just then have to note "these things don't count for purposes of my chronicle", to your player, if they point to whatever all book or chapter.





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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by MarkK View Post

                    Also, again depending on the material you want to have "count", it's not all that complex, at one point in DAV20 for instance, it just flat out notes that as vampires go, women are full members of the cult just fine. The gender thing is only a show for mortals in the unwitting mortal part of the cult.
                    The Cult of Mithras (Or Mithras) has no mention of being sexist in V5 as well, there is even a women as Pater.

                    Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post

                    My view is very similar to yours, I think Mithras probably wouldn't allow such a thing. As a have a player, who is a woman (and is, btw, married to another player), I'm anticipating she would probably want to have an important position in his cult (as the player is a "fan" of Mithras, so to speak), but I don't think it's really feasible.
                    Mithras is an ST character, whether "he" allows something or not is dependent on you. Especially considering there is lore supporting it and it isn't at all essential to the character or the cult.

                    You should first consider why do you want to include Mithras being sexist, and afterwards, if you still really want it, you should talk to your player. Are they familiar with the Mithras from more recent book? Do they want to play a "dealing with misogyny" storyline?

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                    • #11
                      As for my personal opinions on the matter, I think it is eye-roll inducing to have Mithras be sexist.

                      Firstly, ancient Iran, where Mithras is from, wasn't as prejudiced as Rome or Athens were. Secondly, living for 3 thousand years and still being prejudiced makes him seem so...dumb, living for all that time and keeping a prejudice that only harms your influence is non-sensical to me.

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                      • #12
                        I guess to offer a personal opinion of my own then...

                        I would say as far as it goes, for an otherwise ossified methuselah, one of Mithras' strengths is that ultimately he has a certain measure of adaptability. Nothing like that of a neonate, sure, but enough that he has repeatedly and canonically gone "I will make myself and my power work within this thing". He existed long before Rome, yet managed to infuse himself into its power structures and even faiths. He then after a long torpor arose, without even having lived through the transition, into a vastly different in all ways medieval England where his power structure was minimal, and ultimately after some effort and warring and setbacks worked his authority and all its whatevers into that. The Camarilla came around, a basically previously unheard of thing as vampiric power structure, and, even if grudgingly, he adapted his power and influence into its functioning as well. Even at the end of V20, getting diablerized and starting again from the bottom seemed to only barely break his stride as he shifted to adapting to that situation and find new ways to move forward. Assuming he's yet alive in V5 (I don't know, Fall of London, in addition to being not great, didn't feel super clear as an ending), don't see why he wouldn't figure something else out again.

                        It feels, I guess, out of type that a being like that would pass up any potentially useful resource or have lack of regard for such, just for something like gender. And possibly that's part of why there are parts of the lore where he isn't sexist and his cult isn't (I mean even something as simple as that he has respect/wary regard for other ancients who are themselves women, that sort of thing).
                        Last edited by MarkK; 05-09-2022, 12:10 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Well thanks everyone for the answers so far. As I stated in the thread, I just wanted to discuss it, as I know that as a ST I can choose which interpretation Mithras would have, etc. I'm just kind of "trying to convince myself" of the possibility of him allowing a female cainite to have an important position in his cult. One thing to note is that I am specialized in Dark Ages (as a history buff that I am lol), so 99% of my games since 2000 and something have been in this setting, it's not modern day. Perhaps that changes things a little.
                          So far, I'm almost convinced of the possibility of allowing her to go ahead with her plan, but there's still this part of me that says "hell no! Mithras is too antiquated to allow women to have any importance in his cult".

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Herr Meister View Post
                            Well thanks everyone for the answers so far. As I stated in the thread, I just wanted to discuss it, as I know that as a ST I can choose which interpretation Mithras would have, etc. I'm just kind of "trying to convince myself" of the possibility of him allowing a female cainite to have an important position in his cult. One thing to note is that I am specialized in Dark Ages (as a history buff that I am lol), so 99% of my games since 2000 and something have been in this setting, it's not modern day. Perhaps that changes things a little.
                            So far, I'm almost convinced of the possibility of allowing her to go ahead with her plan, but there's still this part of me that says "hell no! Mithras is too antiquated to allow women to have any importance in his cult".

                            Then you should be ready to clarify to your player that you're intending to ignore the published parts of the setting where he's the opposite of what you're saying and explain why you want to ignore them, so as to avoid any confusion on your game. That's just being fair from a gaming perspective.

                            Also to be clear, the book that notes there are women in the Cult of Mithras with regards vampires is a Dark Ages book talking about the structure of the vampiric Cult in the medieval period, the V5 book that otherwise notes this being a thing in the modern day came later than that. I'm not sure thus what you're trying to say there with the "it's not modern day" thing?

                            There are other Dark Ages books where Mithras works alongside or otherwise allies with women vampires just fine, even gives them considerable positions of importance and political authority in the Baronies of Avalon during the medieval period when he controlled England (well, vampire England anyway) to the point of even by his direct hand making one of them in charge of entire territories, what have you.

                            The view you have of this character is not in sync with multiple portrayals of this character in actual books for the game in both the Dark Ages, Victorian, and modern VtM lines, is basically the thing. If you're going to dismiss them for sake of others, as an ST you should be willing to tell your players that.

                            Last edited by MarkK; 05-09-2022, 08:53 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MarkK View Post
                              I guess to offer a personal opinion of my own then...

                              I would say as far as it goes, for an otherwise ossified methuselah, one of Mithras' strengths is that ultimately he has a certain measure of adaptability. Nothing like that of a neonate, sure, but enough that he has repeatedly and canonically gone "I will make myself and my power work within this thing". He existed long before Rome, yet managed to infuse himself into its power structures and even faiths. He then after a long torpor arose, without even having lived through the transition, into a vastly different in all ways medieval England where his power structure was minimal, and ultimately after some effort and warring and setbacks worked his authority and all its whatevers into that. The Camarilla came around, a basically previously unheard of thing as vampiric power structure, and, even if grudgingly, he adapted his power and influence into its functioning as well. Even at the end of V20, getting diablerized and starting again from the bottom seemed to only barely break his stride as he shifted to adapting to that situation and find new ways to move forward. Assuming he's yet alive in V5 (I don't know, Fall of London, in addition to being not great, didn't feel super clear as an ending), don't see why he wouldn't figure something else out again.

                              It feels, I guess, out of type that a being like that would pass up any potentially useful resource or have lack of regard for such, just for something like gender. And possibly that's part of why there are parts of the lore where he isn't sexist and his cult isn't (I mean even something as simple as that he has respect/wary regard for other ancients who are themselves women, that sort of thing).
                              This is one thing people miss with Methuselahs in general imo. A Methuselah isn't the average senile elderly who lives in a retirement home and can't use a modern phone, the same way some elderly people adapt very well to technology and new things, so should Methuselahs, which are supposed to be the best of the best, having survived for thousands of years. Mithras and Helena are two great examples of this.

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