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On Cruac and the Component Faiths of the Circle of the Crone

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  • On Cruac and the Component Faiths of the Circle of the Crone

    So the Circle of the Crone, is, as these things go, a fairly young Covenant, founded in only the last few hundred years as a defensive maneuver by various sects, and only really bound by a shared sense of persecution and collective practice of blood sorcery. Cruac, then, is the name given to the melange of practices these collected sects have shared with each other, with themes and motifs as explored in Sacraments and Blasphemies.

    Now, if these various sects were teased apart from each other, would the magic that remains (or rather, the sorcery as it was before) still be identical to Cruac? Or, might it be like Venefica or Kindred Voudoun, with there being certain similar motifs but ultimately stretching into areas, methods, and forms not seen in the modern Cruac gestalt?

  • #2
    Well, for what its worth, Cruac doesn't come from the Circle- sure, they utilize it, but the Strix have known its secrets since they were first born from whatever dark pit they call "home". Germanic cults were also said to use it in Requiem for Rome, while Veneficia was still around- not to mention that the Followers of Set have their own brand of Cruac. So while the Circle are a young covenant, the blood sorcery they draw upon is far, far more ancient.


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    • #3
      I’m more curious on how Theban Sorcery fits into everything, since again it wasn’t originally created by the Sanctified and that it doesn’t necessarily have to be Christian based. for me it is way wierder then Cruac I can see it being a natural expression of a vamps abilities, this not so much. This just feels way wierder


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      • #4
        Originally posted by LostLight View Post
        Well, for what its worth, Cruac doesn't come from the Circle- sure, they utilize it, but the Strix have known its secrets since they were first born from whatever dark pit they call "home". Germanic cults were also said to use it in Requiem for Rome, while Veneficia was still around- not to mention that the Followers of Set have their own brand of Cruac. So while the Circle are a young covenant, the blood sorcery they draw upon is far, far more ancient.

        Is that true about the Strix? I know Strix might know Cruac, but they're incapable of actually utilizing it without murdering a kindred (or ghoul)or when inhabiting a revenant (or kindred). I've always assumed that the Strix stole knowledge of blood sorcery from kindred because of that.

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        • #5
          Well, by RAW, a Strix can develop the powers of Cruac naturally, while Kindred has to commit themselves to the Circle's teachings. As such, it feels to me that the potential for Cruac always existed in the Strix, and as such predated the Kindred, but the Kindred were the only ones to utilize it into existence. The Kindred didn't invented Cruac any more than Newton has invented gravity- they discovered and formalized it. The Strix, on the other hand, always embodied Cruac in the same way that mass embodies gravity- but being the source of the power doesn't mean you can use it. So, the way I see it, Cruac was never "invented"- it existed as a potential inside the Strix, and turned into a working form by the Kindred who learned/discovered it. The Strix claim ownership over it, as they were there first and it was inside of them all along. The Circle (and any other, older covenant which utilized tat dark blood magic), claim to invent it as they were the ones to formalize it into a working form. Both claims hold some level of truth- but when an asteroid hits the earth, embodying the concept usually triumph formalizing it.


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          • #6
            Strix can gain access to Crúac through Kindred Disciplines, which says that the Disciplines learned comes from practice after inhabiting vampiric hosts. By RAW Strix do steal the knowledge of Crúac from Kindred.
            Also, Strix can use single dot rituals since those doesn't require any spillt Vitae. The cost is 1 Vitae per dot and the first Vitae is spent internally rather than bled out.


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            • #7
              I think that, whether or not the Crone as such exists, Cruac is powered by the Beast. Being essentially pure Beasts unfettered by the Man, it makes sense that the Strix can instinctively grasp Cruac's powers; I imagine that similarly primeval powers could be harnessed as well, like Merges Sorcery.

              Edit: But back to the point; Would the Blood Sorcery of the component sects revert to their original forms, or are they changed permanently, with variety sacrificed for the sake of self-defense? And if not, or if some pre-Circle forms were rediscovered, what would they be like in theme and motif?
              Last edited by shkspr1048; 11-04-2018, 08:06 PM.

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              • #8
                curious? a reason for a group that worshipped Egyptian gods, and had Theban sorcery.to be a new covenant not a sect of circle of the crone, other then game balance?


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                • #9
                  I don’t necessarily see a game balance problem if the covenant is the source of Theban Sorcery. You could say they employ a more formal style to their rituals and spellcasting than whatever serves as your iteration of the Circle of the Crone.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Prince of the Night View Post
                    curious? a reason for a group that worshipped Egyptian gods, and had Theban sorcery.to be a new covenant not a sect of circle of the crone, other then game balance?

                    At their core, they're rather different. While there is a lot said on this in the various books, I think the largest indicator is from the corebook: Cruac limits how high your Humanity can go, and Theban Sorcery demands you keep your Humanity at certain levels or higher.

                    Though I guess, really, all of that could be explained as "yeah, they invented those ideas in order to make more than one faction have Blood Magic, and to have those factions be oppositional to boot". At an uneducated guess, this might have sprung from a desire to avoid Masquerade's horrific mistake of only having one of the primary clans/factions with access to being wizards.

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                    • #11
                      I think Masquerade V20 and V5 have loosened that more then a bit.


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                      • #12
                        I'll admit I haven't really paid attention since Revised. I'm glad to hear it, though. Revised was my first foray into "serious" role-playing, so it always has a special place in my heart. But also: oof.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Prince of the Night View Post
                          curious? a reason for a group that worshipped Egyptian gods, and had Theban sorcery.to be a new covenant not a sect of circle of the crone, other then game balance?
                          I would say that the reason those vampires would remain separate is, well ideology. The Circle of the Crone is much more than "pagan vampires". In fact, they are a very specific type of pagan vampires, ones which celebrate their own, inner divinity as the blessing of a dark goddess, and which use Neo- Pagan values and aesthetics in order to justify their existence. Cruac fits that ideology, as it draws upon the Beast in order to preform terrible miracles- a proof of the vampire's blessing of dark fertility. The Weihan Cynn, the Ume House and the Cult of Augur were all vampiric pagan cults, but their values and way of worship was different enough so they did not used Cruac. Now, you could definitely have egyptian vampire sect of the Circle which use Cruac (in fact, we already have such a cult in the form of the Followers of Set), but if you had a covenant which preserved/revived the values of the ancient Great Covenant of ancient Egypt, they would probably find that they have very little in common with the Circle. Ancient Egyptian religion had much emphasis on the place of the dead, after all, as well as divine order and law. Theban Sorcery works much better with vampires which devout themselves to self discipline and ordered/scholarly way of worship, than the wild and internal one presented in the Circle.

                          Now, back to the original subject, we should remember a few things- first, that Blood Sorcery does not come from any specific culture as much as it comes from utilizing a certain aspect of vampiric existence. Cruac by any other name is still Cruac, as long as it is based around drawing the forces of the Beast and embodying in in the world. In case you use the Blood Sorcery system, you could easily change a single motif and maintain the rest, as well as preserving the themes. In 2e's terms, it would be presented as a Cruac style, so you could draw inspiration from the three styles presented in Secrets of the Covenants- Primal Creation would probably use the default themes, Unbridled Chaos would replace "wild" with "chaotic/random" and Void style may replace "pagan" with "dark/empty". Each of those styles may have once been a Discipline on its own right, but they were absorbed into Cruac during the covenant's formation. Now, second thing we need to take into account would be that not all pagan cults had some form of Blood Magic- the Weihan Cynn used their contracts to bargain instead, while the Nemite prefer to utilize the mind control produced by the Vinculum. Finally, when thinking about other potential Blood Sorceries which the Circle combined into Cruac (either by stealing their rituals or turning them into different Styles), you should think about the spiritual and ideological basis of the covenants which once held them. Kigan, for example, may look very much like Cruac, but it revolves around bargaining with the spirits instead of embodying the Beast. Veneficia was all about containing the Beast and carefully channel it, as the Roman gods were civilized beings, unlike the mad witches of ancient Germania. Lithopedia have heavy emphasis upon the land, and how the ruler embody itself in it, instead of simply calling upon the dark gods of the Slavs. And of course, we have Theban Sorcery which call upon order and discipline, Merges Sorcery which invokes hate and vengeance, the Gilded Cage which draws upon the connections of civilization, Vodoun which works by having the vampire possessed by the Loa, Aharanite Sorcery which calls upon a demon...

                          In short, in order to define a new Blood Sorcery and how it may be both connected and different from Cruac in terms of motifs, you should look upon the culture which would have spawned it and think how vampires would use their own brand of dark, blood magic. For example, let's say you want to have an Indian blood magician cult. You would probably turn to the Asuras as the "patrons" of the covenant- perhaps the acolytes even claim to be such demons in undead flesh, or at least channel them. We say they use some Cruac variation, so pagan is likely, and corrupting is a must considering we use asuras as a model. So instead of wild, perhaps you could use "meditative"- instead of running wild and triggering dark emotions, the acolytes practice meditations and trance in order to observe shards of memory from their previous lives and come in contact with their stillborn demon, reliving their sins in order to make them into power. Such a component covenant would probably be based around reincarnation, and search to be reborn as lords among the asuras after their finale death. Unlike Belial's Brood, they don't surrender to their Beast as much as they seek to commune with it. Again, that's just from the tip of my head, but that's how the process should work- look for a culture, search for its dark sides and where heresy could grow, and think why they would use Cruac differently than the modern Circle as we know it.

                          That's at least how I would have done it.


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                          • #14
                            Your ideas intrigue me. Praytell, using your hypothetical Indian blood magician, could you make a more...traditional(?) style of blood sorcery, perhaps as a rough analog to Theban Sorcery? Secrets of the divine, and so-forth?
                            Last edited by shkspr1048; 11-09-2018, 08:02 PM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LostLight View Post
                              I would say that the reason those vampires would remain separate is, well ideology. The Circle of the Crone is much more than "pagan vampires". In fact, they are a very specific type of pagan vampires, ones which celebrate their own, inner divinity as the blessing of a dark goddess, and which use Neo- Pagan values and aesthetics in order to justify their existence. Cruac fits that ideology, as it draws upon the Beast in order to preform terrible miracles- a proof of the vampire's blessing of dark fertility. The Weihan Cynn, the Ume House and the Cult of Augur were all vampiric pagan cults, but their values and way of worship was different enough so they did not used Cruac. Now, you could definitely have egyptian vampire sect of the Circle which use Cruac (in fact, we already have such a cult in the form of the Followers of Set), but if you had a covenant which preserved/revived the values of the ancient Great Covenant of ancient Egypt, they would probably find that they have very little in common with the Circle. Ancient Egyptian religion had much emphasis on the place of the dead, after all, as well as divine order and law. Theban Sorcery works much better with vampires which devout themselves to self discipline and ordered/scholarly way of worship, than the wild and internal one presented in the Circle.

                              .

                              One thing they DO have in common.

                              Hatred for the Sanctum


                              but that's more likely an uneasy alliance, then being the same organization your right.
                              Last edited by Prince of the Night; 11-10-2018, 09:32 AM.


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