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  • Semitic Covenants and Blood Sorceries

    Hi guys! I'm new to VtR 2e and was wondering about anyone who would like to help or has ideas concerning Jewish and Semitic covenants and mystery cults. So far I have an outline for a Semitic pagan faction of CotC and a modern Jewish covenant. I can use some people to bounce some theology and culture with and blood sorcery as well as ideas for ancient and medieval covenants/cults. The focus is Jewish and Semitic pagan. I would also like some help with Hebrew, Arabic, Amharic, and a few other languages.
    Last edited by Spectre9924; 11-12-2018, 11:37 PM.

  • #2
    A comment first: generally modern Covenants are presented as cutting across cultural lines, however during Dark Eras there have been examples that were more geographically and culturally focused, primarily because they had distance between themselves and more inclusive competitors that gave them space to thrive. As the major Covenants evolved they hoovered up these more minor entities and they have become contemporarily forgotten. That's not to say X or Y vamp doesn't know of them--or even was a member at one point, just that they have re-invented themselves past that phase and it's irrelevant except for swapping a few tales and reminding themselves of boons owed or feuds unsettled.

    In the case of a Jewish-specific Covenant you have a people group who has worked very hard (with mixed success) to remain separate from others for thousands of years, propagating via natural methods as well as more rare conversion (Khazars, Ethiopians most notably). In these respects a "Jewish" Covenant has more grounds for modern survival than most, though do keep in mind that under CofD it could also function as a Mystery Cult (see: Mystery Cult Initiation Merit) very well, as it has all the trappings laid out for that. MCI would also make it easy for members to also belong to other Covenants, whereas the Jewish Covenant itself would semi-preclude deeper membership in say Invictus or whomever. Both approaches have historical analogues: Jewish figures as diligent integrators into mid- to high-social spheres, and Jewish figures as unrepentant social outcasts.

    Pick your own extent of conspiracy theories, by the way, keeping in mind that CofD is NOT real life and the game setting delights in mysteries and conspiracies driven by all manner of egregious human behavior (hence, "darkness").

    Now a few questions you'll need to block things out:

    1. When did it originate, and why? Covenants are normally a response to the question of vampiric existence, catalyzed by competing organizations. In this case, if you go back to the time of judges, let alone the first temple period, you'd have competition from the neighboring Great Covenant in Egypt, which could work.

    2. What was the purpose of the Covenant, practically speaking? Is it like the Lancea, in which it attempts to explain the relationship between Yahweh (and Jewish strictures) and vampires? Or address practical (Carthian, Invictus) or mystical (Crone, Lancea, Ordo) aspects of their existence and interactions? Does it function as a self-defense and self-actualization league? (Legio Mortuus, Ordo)

    3. What, if any, was the influence of the Assyrian diaspora? Similarly, the Babylonian diaspora? Even if you don't adopt "lost tribe" hypotheses (linking diasporic fragments to a variety of later peoples such as the Scythians/Cimmerians and beyond) embraced Jewish Covenant members in far-flung places would be easily left behind by rapid movements of their living relatives (torpor of course being a major factor). And... which other Covenants and traditions that were encountered, flavored the later, modern Jewish Covenant?

    4. How did the Covenant handle the destruction(s) of the temple? This is effectively concurrent with #3, above, but includes the Roman destruction and diaspora. How does it handle the integration (or not) of mixed peoples with residency history in the same territories the Covenant claims?

    5. What is/was the impact of Messianic mortal movements on the Covenant and its members? This points to Yeshua as the Christ-figure, but also the slew of competitor Messianics contemporary with the 1st century. Do you have sub-groups within the Covenant that view these and later figures differently? Is there a movement to search out and embrace such figures, to co-opt them as saviors of the Covenant versus the mortal tribes?

    6. What was the impact of the Covenant on mortal (immortal?) persecutions during the first and second millennium by various religious factions (Roman Catholic and Islam, mainly and most widely)? This can include the Crusades. Bonus points for examining the impact of Mongol (Tengric) and Timur (Islamic) invasions on the region--note that these are one of the reasons Bagdad is not the world educational capital today.

    That ought to get you started....

    --Khanwulf

    Comment


    • #3
      Also, as has been mentioned before, it may be prudent to learn about how Judaism at the time your covenant formed treats blood, corpses and living sacrifice. Blood is very powerful in Jewish history, being seen as the very essence of life. may have been in response to pagan semetic rituals, but I can't be sure. You're supposed to drain and salt away all the blood you can when you eat animals, as it is seen as not right to consume life that directly. Animal blood was used sparingly in Temple rituals according to the Torah, though. Some very important rituals, too. Human corpses and those who touch them were considered spiritually unclean in the past too, similarly to Shinto. That said, youwl don't have to say these guys ate somehow extra guilty about drinking blood, just remember that this is the cultural context within which your Jewish covenant may have been created.

      Also, Lilith. Whether they worship her or oppose her, she will probably have a big role in their mythos
      Last edited by Master Aquatosic; 11-07-2018, 12:04 PM.


      A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

      Comment


      • #4
        I also think if you want to have vampire Jews or a Jewish covenant, they'd best fit as a sub-categorie of the Lancea et Sanctum, or an offshoot of the Lancea et Sanctum, or a mystery cult within the Lancea et Sanctum. The core book already states that while the Sanctum is often the dark mirror image of Christianity, often co-existing with their living Christian cousins, it's also perfectly possible to have a Jewish or Muslim Lancea et Sanctum, or a Lancea et Sanctum based on a mix of Abrahamic religions.

        I don't really see how Judaism fits in the Circle of the Crone.
        Last edited by Ventrue Life; 11-07-2018, 12:19 PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Ventrue Life View Post
          I also think if you want to have vampire Jews or a Jewish covenant, they'd best fit as a sub-categorie of the Lancea et Sanctum, or an offshoot of the Lancea et Sanctum, or a mystery cult within the Lancea et Sanctum. The core book already states that while the Sanctum is often the dark mirror image of Christianity, often co-existing with their living Christian cousins, it's also perfectly possible to have a Jewish or Muslim Lancea et Sanctum, or a Lancea et Sanctum based on a mix of Abrahamic religions.

          I don't really see how Judaism fits in the Circle of the Crone.

          Well there are Judaic sorcery rumors going way back (Solomon especially, "wisdom" being associated with magic), so you can pick and choose what to work with. One of the reasons I posed the questions above is because a Judaic Covenant is going to be under pressure to fragment at various points, and bits of it (even, large bits) might gravitate away to join the superCovenants such as Lancea--but only after 400 when that group really got off the ground following the destruction of the Senex.

          I'll also tender that, were it to exist, Longinus might have been influenced in his philosophy by contact with an extant Judaic Covenant in the area of his ascension to vampirism. In that sense the eastern-Med side of the Lancea would have a pull toward an existing, philosophically similar Covenant. Negatives being that said Jewish Covenant could be generally insular and possibly already hammered by Rome much as the Great Covenant was broken. Note that Longinus eventually fled to Egypt and there found and founded the Lancea.

          By modern nights? There are quite a few decision points to be made along the way that could point toward how a Judaic Covenant might survive or not. If not, then surely its members would have found compatible homes within other Covenants--including the Lancea. However the point of the thread as posted is "if it exists what could it be?" So, let's respect that.

          Also, second the point that Lilith should figure into Covenant mythology strongly.

          --Khanwulf

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post

            In the case of a Jewish-specific Covenant you have a people group who has worked very hard (with mixed success) to remain separate from others for thousands of years, propagating via natural methods as well as more rare conversion (Khazars, Ethiopians most notably).
            The community in Ethiopia actually dates back to the time of King Solomon. Given that Haymanot Judaism is in a fair amount of circles considered closest to the ancient practice I'm thinking about definitely having them as a direct descendant of the ones that would've stalked the nights during the Biblical Era.

            Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post

            In these respects, a "Jewish" Covenant has more grounds for modern survival than most, though do keep in mind that under CofD it could also function as a Mystery Cult (see: Mystery Cult Initiation Merit) very well, as it has all the trappings laid out for that. MCI would also make it easy for members to also belong to other Covenants, whereas the Jewish Covenant itself would semi-preclude deeper membership in say Invictus or whomever. Both approaches have historical analogues: Jewish figures as diligent integrators into mid- to high-social spheres, and Jewish figures as unrepentant social outcasts.
            Very true. Especially given hostilities from Kindred who were possibly antisemitic in life(Lancea et Sanctum has a group of Protestant white supremacists) it'd be wise to make it a Mystery Cult and it'd add some fun stuff. I'll likely have both that represent different regions.

            Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post

            1. When did it originate, and why? Covenants are normally a response to the question of vampiric existence, catalyzed by competing organizations. In this case, if you go back to the time of judges, let alone the first temple period, you'd have competition from the neighboring Great Covenant in Egypt, which could work.
            The earliest Judaic covenant I was thinking about was having one that goes back to the time of the First Temple. Each covenant and mystery cult would function differently to react to the varying climates they find themselves in with the consistency of community and people.

            Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post

            2. What was the purpose of the Covenant, practically speaking? Is it like the Lancea, in which it attempts to explain the relationship between Yahweh (and Jewish strictures) and vampires? Or address practical (Carthian, Invictus) or mystical (Crone, Lancea, Ordo) aspects of their existence and interactions? Does it function as a self-defense and self-actualization league? (Legio Mortuus, Ordo)
            Very true. I was thinking about it being based in a relationship with G-d and the living community of Jews. With a few variations.

            Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post

            3. What, if any, was the influence of the Assyrian diaspora? Similarly, the Babylonian diaspora? Even if you don't adopt "lost tribe" hypotheses (linking diasporic fragments to a variety of later peoples such as the Scythians/Cimmerians and beyond) embraced Jewish Covenant members in far-flung places would be easily left behind by rapid movements of their living relatives (torpor, of course, is a major factor). And... which other Covenants and traditions that were encountered, flavored the later, modern Jewish Covenant?
            I thought of representing those mostly as mystery cults and it'd be interesting to see how their definition of self-shifts. So far I plan for Ethiopia, Morocco, Yemen, and Eretz Yisrael to be home to covenants and mystery cults that can trace themselves back long enough to rival Lancea et Sanctum.

            Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post

            4. How did the Covenant handle the destruction(s) of the temple? This is effectively concurrent with #3, above, but includes the Roman destruction and diaspora. How does it handle the integration (or not) of mixed peoples with residency history in the same territories the Covenant claims?
            Depends on where they are. I was thinking about them being mystery cults during violent times and a normal covenant during times of calm.

            Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post

            5. What is/was the impact of Messianic mortal movements on the Covenant and its members? This points to Yeshua as the Christ-figure, but also the slew of competitor Messianics contemporary with the 1st century. Do you have sub-groups within the Covenant that view these and later figures differently? Is there a movement to search out and embrace such figures, to co-opt them as saviors of the Covenant versus the mortal tribes?
            Definitely thinking about them having various sub-factions. The most common theme in my experience with Jewish tradition is an ethical and theological debate that causes separations on schools of thought. I have some ideas about Sicari, Pharisees, Nazarenes, and later Frankists and Hassids.

            Originally posted by Khanwulf View Post

            6. What was the impact of the Covenant on mortal (immortal?) persecutions during the first and second millennium by various religious factions (Roman Catholic and Islam, mainly and most widely)? This can include the Crusades. Bonus points for examining the impact of Mongol (Tengric) and Timur (Islamic) invasions on the region--note that these are one of the reasons Bagdad is not the world educational capital today.
            Very true. I was thinking about for the Khazars that Judaism and Tengri might mix(since only some elite converted to Judaism), probably a hidden group in most of Europe rarely numbering of 5-10, and in the Middle East blending ling I guess. Still working that region out since both formats fit.
            Last edited by Spectre9924; 11-08-2018, 10:47 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Ventrue Life View Post
              I also think if you want to have vampire Jews or a Jewish covenant, they'd best fit as a sub-category of the Lancea et Sanctum, or an offshoot of the Lancea et Sanctum, or a mystery cult within the Lancea et Sanctum. The core book already states that while the Sanctum is often the dark mirror image of Christianity, often co-existing with their living Christian cousins, it's also perfectly possible to have a Jewish or Muslim Lancea et Sanctum, or a Lancea et Sanctum based on a mix of Abrahamic religions.

              I don't really see how Judaism fits in the Circle of the Crone.
              The Dammitic Creed is already part of Lancea et Sanctum. Due to religious differences that have led to violent antisemitism throughout history, I find it more likely that while some follow Longinus, those ones were originally a younger group who created a sub-faction. Likely Frankists who received the embrace. For those in relationship to Lilith(Dark Mother, Whore), especially looking at Kabbalistic and Talmudic works, they're actually more at home with Circle of the Crone or a Mystery Cult.
              Last edited by Spectre9924; 11-08-2018, 01:12 AM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
                Also, as has been mentioned before, it may be prudent to learn about how Judaism at the time your covenant formed treats blood, corpses and living sacrifice. Blood is very powerful in Jewish history, is seen as the very essence of life. may have been in response to pagan Semitic rituals, but I can't be sure. You're supposed to drain and salt away all the blood you can when you eat animals, as it is seen as not right to consume life that directly. Animal blood was used sparingly in Temple rituals according to the Torah, though. Some very important rituals, too. Human corpses and those who touch them were considered spiritually unclean in the past too, similarly to Shinto. That said, you don't have to say these guys ate somehow extra guilty about drinking blood, just remember that this is the cultural context within which your Jewish covenant may have been created.

                Also, Lilith. Whether they worship her or oppose her, she will probably have a big role in their mythos
                I was thinking about her being venerated by a matriarchial mystery cult that falls in with the Circle of the Crone. Their ideology might come closer to Lancea at certain points like tempting men to better them. Yeah. With the blood, I was thinking that a mystery cult might exist that makes them perceive themselves as closer to G-d since they are drinking what is usually reserved for G-d. By and large, I was going to make it so most try to abstain from feeding unless absolutely needed and they have stricter restrictions regarding on who to feed on, when, etc.
                Last edited by Spectre9924; 11-08-2018, 01:13 AM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  According Requiem for Rome, during Roman Empire, the Lancea et Sanctum was originally a small Jewish faction (the Sanctum) of the Peregrine Collegia, a Wing from the Camarilla.

                  Around 1st century, they oponed their ranks to other faiths, as Christians or Gnostics. Around third or fourth century, the followers of Longinos (the Sanctum) had become the dominant faction of this group, and splintered from the Peregrine College to create their own Wing (or Covenant).


                  LAND OF THE DAMNED: SPAIN (Spanish): Land of the Damned: Spain, Kingdoms of Blood: Spain; Cities of the Damned: Barcelona, Valencia, Carthian Constitution (1812), Three Arrows Pact:

                  OTHERS (Spanish): Demon: The Redemption, Bloodlines: The Forgotten

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                  • #10
                    This is one of the funnier discussions relevant to Jewish Vampires.


                    Mentats - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Mind/Forces) built around being a human computer; Thaumatech Engineers - a 2e Free Council Obrimos Legacy (Matter/Prime) focusing on the creation of Imbued items and the enhancement of Sleeper technology; Priests of the Watchful Eternity - a 2e Silver Ladder Moros Legacy (Life/Death) of Mages that enhance Mortals to fight strange entities

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                    • #11
                      Remember that all covenants need a dark side. Joining a covenant is a Humanity breaking point. And just like mortal Christian theologists would be disgusted by the practices of the Sanctum, you can make a Jewish covenant a perversion of what is held sacred by the Jewish people.

                      For an example, here is LostLight 's homebrew Hunter Conspiracy: the Cage of Shadows. Its not a Covenant, but it is very vampire-focused and blood-themed. Fair warning, they will feel very viscerally -wrong-, especially to those who know exactly which traditions they are perverting

                      http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...age-of-shadows


                      A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Uxas View Post
                        According to Requiem for Rome, during the Roman Empire, the Lancea et Sanctum was originally a small Jewish faction (the Sanctum) of the Peregrine Collegia, a Wing from the Camarilla.

                        Around 1st century, they opened their ranks to other faiths, as Christians or Gnostics. Around third or fourth century, the followers of Longinus (the Sanctum) had become the dominant faction of this group and splintered from the Peregrine College to create their own Wing (or Covenant).
                        Interesting. I'll expand and make the pre-Longinian group more like a mystery cult given Jewish-Roman relations

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Hahaha!! I remember this from my old Jumblr(Jewish Tumblr) days! Thank you very much! It definitely gives a fair deal of more liberty to ideas.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Master Aquatosic View Post
                            Remember that all covenants need a dark side. Joining a covenant is a Humanity breaking point. And just like mortal Christian theologists would be disgusted by the practices of the Sanctum, you can make a Jewish covenant a perversion of what is held sacred by the Jewish people.

                            For an example, here is LostLight 's homebrew Hunter Conspiracy: the Cage of Shadows. Its not a Covenant, but it is very vampire-focused and blood-themed. Fair warning, they will feel very viscerally -wrong-, especially to those who know exactly which traditions they are perverting

                            http://forum.theonyxpath.com/forum/m...age-of-shadows

                            Thank you! I'm a fan and was thinking about one of the mystery cults being similar. I definitely agree that in some respects it should be a perversion, but I think that it will be in varying degress for each cult and covenant. I do assure you none are exactly "good". The overall theme that each will have in common will likely be a sense of kinship with their living relatives, not unlike the Ravnos from VtM if I recollect.

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                            • #15
                              Oh. I'm not the writer


                              A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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