Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Amari/Mikhaili Reconciliation Thread [Thoughts/Brainstorming]

Collapse
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Amari/Mikhaili Reconciliation Thread [Thoughts/Brainstorming]

    Ok, so it's time to talk about it.

    In Spilled Blood, we got a lot of cool and new stuff, such as new Bloodlines, Night Horrors, Covenants and Clans- one of which is the Amari, a Clan which once dwelled in the Arctic, eventually building itself a vast northern empire which ended up drawing the attention of the other Clans, scaring the hell out of the All Night Society and causing them to purge the Clan from existence. The Amari, from their end, dug deep into the ice, where they planned to sleep undisturbed... until the polar caps started to melt, leaving many of the Clan's members to burn in the sun. Now, it it pretty clear that this history is terribly similar to that of the Mikhaili- both Clans were said to inhabit more or less the same region (Siberia for the Mikhaili, the Arctic for the Amari), both Clans are related to the Gangrel in some way (the Mikhaili were said to go extinct due to a war with the Gangrel and share their two Common Disciplines, while the Amari are theorized to be descendent from Gangrel which tried to survive in the harsh Arctic and have the same Unique Discipline), both Clans went extinct due to a "northern war", both Clans are outright nicknamed the Winter Kings, both Clans have a method to preserve Vitae (Bereschligost for the Mikhaili and the Amari's special "quirk") and both have the tendency to hide beneath the snow for half a year duirng the Summer's "endless day" (due to their Bane in the case of the Mikhaili or just a social practice in the case of the Amari).

    So- it is basically clear that if we were to take it from an objective, OOC view, the chances are that the Amari were introduced as an attempt to basically retconned the Mikhaili and replace them with something which made more... sense? I mean, I would be the first one to admit that the Mikhaili have their problems, design wise. Their writer, IIRC, admitted that they weren't aware that design wise Clans should have their Bane based one Humanity (which I'm not going into that, as Half Damned is... complicated), their story have relied on the concept of the Blood losing its potency as you Embrace (which is really not a Requiem concept whatsoever, but again... Half Damned) and their own Unique Discipline was never detailed, not even officially (the writer left notes about how they imagined that the Discipline should work, but not much more than that), not to mention that their name is basically "the Michaels", which is not very a Clan name? (more of a Betrayed name, but we may touch it later). Again, I don't know who was the one to write the Amari (it could be that the original writer have decided to revamp the concept by themselves), but it is clear that the Doylist interpretation for the situation should be "we decided to take the basic concept behind the Mikhaili and turn it into something which makes more sense in the context of the game, design wise. We hope you would like it, yet we are not going to outright state that they replace the Mikhaili in case that someone out there likes the original material and may want to homebrew it for their own game".

    So yeah, that's more or less clear- but what about the Watsonian interpertation?

    Look, I'm the kind of person who really like world building and really care about the Watsonian interpertation- in game consistency is important to me. Sure, this is the Chronicles of Darkness and there is no overall rigid "canon" (like, allow me to correct it- this is a role playing game, it has no rigid canon. Seriously, if I'll hear one more time about the "d&d canon setting" I'll scream... no, back to the subject. Don't derail your own thread already in the first post). Still, while the CofD is a very sandboxy and encourages the Storyteller to mix and match whatever they want, for me trying to take all of the pieces and put them into a place is part of the fun of the game and why I like it (which may explain why I like Hunter so much *enter crazy conspiracy theorist meme*). In short- I like having weird and exotic details, and while it is very easy to just forget about the Mikhaili and handwave everything about it, the truth is that I don't want to do it- not to mention that I recall other people feeling the same way. I mean, the Mikhaili promised people a new Discipline which was replaced by a certain "Bloodline Gift but not for a Clan" (which have all kinds of consequences by its own), and the Amari - while sharing a lot of the Clan's themes and history - don't really have much in common mechanically wise. I mean, comparing the pure mechanical structure of the two Clans, they only share a single Discipline (Resilience) and the favored Attributes. So yeah, they have some things in common, but it is not that one outright overrides the other mechanically speaking. So, what should we do if we wish to reconcile the two Clans in the same setting?

    A) It is simple- the Mikhaili just don't exist. They never existed. The story that we have in Half Damned is just that- a story, a legend that revenants tell to each other, with some believing that they may share something in common with some old dead Clan. You know, something to help them sleep at night (day, I mean day). It is not, after all, that the revenant society is known to for its cohesivity and information sharing- we are talking about something which exists outside of the All Night Society, and as such it makes sense that perhaps some revenants have heard about the Amari, but didn't really understood what they learned. From their point of view, there was some kind of a Clan which had the ability to preserve Vitae, and they accidently have also developed the Chary Discipline- suddenly, it made sense for them that they are not just the "trash of the Kindred society". No, they were the remains of a grand, lost Clan, one which was brought down due to their own curse and the manipulations of other Clans. Other revenants with Chary must probably be related to them- and for the revenants, having some form of Dynasty and community it very, very important. The Mikhaili never existed- but it doesn't matter. All that matters is that it gives some power for the revenants to go through another night, while hated by both the living and the dead. Beside, it is not like the Kindred preserve their history much better than their "lower brethren", ah?

    B) There were never the Mikhaili- but there always were the Amari. This Clan is old- very old, older than the Gangrel, perhaps even as old as the first humans who visited the Arctic and died there. Those corpses who were left in the snow rose as the first Amari, and were blessed by a special Discipline now called Bereschligost. Schacht misunderstood the Discipline, and was unaware of Saga (and perhaps some other members of the Clan) learning Protean by devouring Gangrel who entered their territories. When questioned about it, Saga outright lied, as they were unwilling to reveal the secrets of their Clan- and it shouldn't be a surprise. Vampires lie all the time, after all. After that, came the Northern Wars, and many of the Amari were destroyed- leaving Saga as a long survivor. Powered by anger and and desire for vengeance, they went and Embraced new members to the Clan- and their desire to fit the new generation to the new world through the Blood of their destroyers changed her Vitae, changing the Disciplines of their child while leaving only a vestige of the now lost Bereschligost. The whole part about Amari elders devouring their young, however, is just a myth- even though that some Amari did ended up making revenants, which have adapted the fallen Discipline to the form of Chary, which is much more useful for the Half Damned.

    C) We are going to start with (B), but we are also going to take it to a different direction. Indeed, once the Amari had Bereschligost. More than that, they had the same Discipline spread. Heck, let's go wild and say they even had their Bane (with certain modifications, like making it Humanity dependent, for example). However, while the Clan originated in the Arctic, other Clans eventually started to migrate there- especially the Gangrel. In an attempt to fight the new Clan, the Amari started to massively Embrace- perhaps using some sort of Threnodies which were based around Breschligost in order to empower the number of child they can produce on the expanse of their own Potency. Yet as the new generation of vampires fought against the Gangrel, the elders discovered that as a consequence, they started to lose their own ability to Embrace- they became revenants by themselves. And as the new generation devoured the Gangrel, the old generation devoured their own children, ending up in a chaos which ended up with dozens of revenants and a few true Kindred which took the Gangrel Vitae into themselves and transformed their Blood into a new Clan. However, due to the constant sacrifice of Potency, the Amari have lost Bereschligost as a Discipline, maintaining only a vestige of its power in their Blood, and incorporated the Protean of their enemies as a replacement. As such, Schacht was right when he claimed that Bereschligost was not a Discipline- yet he was wrong about the Amari being descendent from the Gangrel. They just ate them.

    D) Or maybe he was right. Once upon a midnight darkly, there was a Clan which lived in the frozen wastelands of Siberia. As long as they were by themselves, they were attuned to the cycles of the sun and moon, of life and death. Yet one night, a new Clan have came- a Clan of beasts blessed with mutable form as much as the old Clan was endowed with the power to preserve blood through the winter. Forced to defend their territory, the two Clans have clashed, yet the numbers of the Gangrel were much greater than those of the old Clan. Working out of fear and not reason, the old Clan tried to withstand the invading flood- Embracing more and more. More than their own Blood could supply. Eventually, they Embraced so much that only revenants came out of their veins. In panic, they tried to eat their own children, seeking to regain their power- but it was too late. The Gangrel broke into their settlements and devoured them all, stealing whatever was remained from their once great Discipline and turning it into a shallow gift to allow them survive in the frozen lands. The Amari which Schacht met in the Arctic were the descendent of those Gangrel- and when they tried to conquer the whole Arctic region, they got exactly what they deserved. And as for the now lost Clan? Except of few Revenants (some of which may have been later Uplifted, perhaps by the same Amari which each their sires), there were no survivors.

    E) Or maybe there were survivors. As it is detailed in (D), the now dead Siberian Clan came into a conflict with a migrating Gangrel, which ended up with the vast majority of the Clan being lost either to their own blood curse or the Gangrel fangs. While the Gangrel (now Amari) have went to live their lives in the Arctic, eventually reaching their own downfall, one member of the lost Siberian Clan have escaped into torpor- or maybe have ventured for some time. Who knows when exactly the conflict came to be? At any case, when the time was right, the lone survivor came to the doorsteps of an hold and power hungry King. Naming himself as Mikhail, the survivor made a bargain - a Compact, you may say - between him and his kin and the King and his dynasty. One to rule the day, one to rule the night, and in exchange Mikhail will feed his Blood to the King, keeping him immortal. While that worked well for many years, eventually Mikahil's Blood grew too potent and he fell into torpor. His chosen child, in turn, violated the Compact- betraying the King by slaying his daughters and leaving him to fade into nothing. Powered by despair, the King have devoured the soul of the sleeping Mikahil, and his burning rage, as well as the wrath brought by his dead daughters, transformed him and his seven children into vampires by their own right. They purged Mikahil's bloodline as much as they could, yet some of his Clan have survived, and since then the ones who were Betrayed by the dead devoted their unlives to destroy anyone who share Mikhail's blood. The fall of the Amari was not a simple matter of the other Clans fearing their power- it was all orchestrated by the Betrayed, who manipulated the All Night Society to remove any remain of Mikhail's Clan. It was nothing personal- it is just that the only way to remove their Curse and achieve their promised paradise is to remove any remain of the Betrayer's blood, except of their own, of course.

    Well, that's what I have in mind. What do you think about the subject? I personally like option (E), even though it is the most complicated one and has the most moving parts, as it tries to both accept the Mikhaili's story, the Amari's story and the Betrayed story as all equally true and being connected to one another while allowing for all three groups (four, if we include the revenants) to coexist in modern time in some form, which is, like super unlikely- but hey, it is still possible, even if not very plausible :P


    Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

    "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

    I now blog in here

  • #2
    Option F: From the Asian steppes spread a Clan of wild Kindred who most of all resembled modern Gangrel. It spread across the world, but two early splits led two the creation of two new Clans in Siberia and in the Arctic. In these two regions these proto-Gangrel became quite insular, leading to divergence from the main Clan. (Potentially through a Bloodline becoming so ubiquitous that basically everyone in the region belonged to it and it became a Clan by itself, or because of some more dramatic events that had metaphysical repercussions for the regional Kindred.) They both diverged differently (as in kept different Clan Disciplines) but still ended up specialising in a similar fashion due to the similar challenges brought by their environments (Vitae preservation due to unreliable "food supply" & dealing with the midnight sun).
    Basically, the similarities comes from both specialising in similar environments and from a shared origin. The splits could either be two separate groups of proto-Gangrel, or it could be that the group that would become either the Amari or the Mikhaili had a schism and the group that would become the other Clan was forced away. In that case the divergence in the Blood would've happened after the social divergence.
    I have to admit I haven't more than skimmed the Amari so this might not work out completely.


    Bloodline: The Stygians
    Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
    Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

    Comment


    • #3
      Having the Gangrel, the Amari and the Mikhaili all coming from the same Proto Clan does also sound like a cool option. It could very well be that the Amari first broke from the Gangrel, developing their "Vitae preservation trick", and after that some of the Amari became Mikhaili by developing that talent even further, creating a whole new Discipline around it (so instead of it being a vestige of Bereschilgost, it would be the proto version of the Discipline).


      Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

      "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

      I now blog in here

      Comment


      • #4
        I'd honestly say it something akin to the Norvegi and the Mekhet; similar manifestations of the curse, grouped together and the significant deviations are considered to be bloodlines. It isn't as though the Mikhaili are fully playable as written (lacking details for their signature discipline). As you point out LostLight the Amari 'quirk' fulfills the same role as Bereschligost, even if it resembles a bloodline boon.
        Given that the do share the "Winter King" nickname, I can definitely say that the two groups have been conflated by scholars a few times even if they are utterly unrelated.

        To be honest, before Spilled Blood dropped, I had been working on the Betrayed Houses as Mikhaili bloodlines (who targeted the Mikhaili for retribution first because, Michael was the villain in their story and the Betrayed literally renamed their enemies after one jerk). I do plan on revising my notes for them, to use a bit more of the Amari but haven't done so yet.
        Last edited by FallenEco; 02-08-2021, 03:13 AM.


        Thoughts ripple out, birthing others

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by LostLight View Post
          Having the Gangrel, the Amari and the Mikhaili all coming from the same Proto Clan does also sound like a cool option. It could very well be that the Amari first broke from the Gangrel, developing their "Vitae preservation trick", and after that some of the Amari became Mikhaili by developing that talent even further, creating a whole new Discipline around it (so instead of it being a vestige of Bereschilgost, it would be the proto version of the Discipline).

          Speaking of vitae preservation shenanigans, has anyone tried to compare Bereschligost to Spoiling in the OD book - that while not their signature discipline, has passed in the covenant's bag of tricks through the Vedma, a bloodline apparently of the Gangrel and yet claims to be older and having created them?

          Though it might be somewhat relevant to the subjects of pieces and toys that might seem to go well together.
          Last edited by Baaldam; 02-08-2021, 12:31 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Baaldam View Post


            Speaking of vitae preservation shenanigans, has anyone tried to compare Bereschligost to Spoiling in the OD book - that while not their signature discipline, has passed in the covenant's bag of tricks through the Vedma, a bloodline apparently of the Gangrel and yet claims to be older and having created them?

            Though it might be somewhat relevant to the subjects of pieces and toys that might seem to go well together.
            Spoiling does track to even the suggested effects of Bereschligost (or Chary for that matter), as it is a single ability that gets 'more powerful' as you gain more dots which is not dissimular to the physical disciplines (eg Vigor). While this benefit is spread out more (bigger penalty + more attributes that could be targeted + less obvious marking), Spoiling on it's own is a one trick pony. It's devotions (Blood Solutions) are more varied, allowing you to do a lot of things subtly to the drinker, it very much does not store Vitae. At least not in the Ordo book.

            I think there was a fan devotion I saw on the forums that used Spoiling to store Vitae, but it has been years...


            Thoughts ripple out, birthing others

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by FallenEco View Post
              To be honest, before Spilled Blood dropped, I had been working on the Betrayed Houses as Mikhaili bloodlines (who targeted the Mikhaili for retribution first because, Michael was the villain in their story and the Betrayed literally renamed their enemies after one jerk). I do plan on revising my notes for them, to use a bit more of the Amari but haven't done so yet.
              As a big Betrayed fan, I would be interested in seeing that. I would still, in general, would prefer to one day have the Mikhaili as their own thing, as while the Amari are interesting, Bereschligost (which I have likely misspelled countless times in this thread, perhaps including this time) as a Discipline is still something I would like to see, and the Amari do lack the whole revenant connection which the Mikhaili have (and the whole reason why they were presented in the first place), and having their Bane related to their Potency could explain both how they became revenants and how the King was able to resist becoming blood bound by the vampire in the Betrayed story, perhaps. I do, however, that presenting the Mikhaili now should require to refer to the Amari in some way, probably in the Clan Origin section and/or some sidebar about the subject. I also blame my synesthesia for this whole mess- Bereschligost has a very interesting colour, and I much rather like the Mikahili's colour over the Amari and Protean's (for the record, Mikhaili with Bereschligost gives a nice yellow colour with a strange pale-metallic green with a cool texture, while Amari with Protean is red around a pearly blue-green with a smooth and almost liquid texture)


              Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

              "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

              I now blog in here

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by LostLight View Post
                Having the Gangrel, the Amari and the Mikhaili all coming from the same Proto Clan does also sound like a cool option. It could very well be that the Amari first broke from the Gangrel, developing their "Vitae preservation trick", and after that some of the Amari became Mikhaili by developing that talent even further, creating a whole new Discipline around it (so instead of it being a vestige of Bereschilgost, it would be the proto version of the Discipline).
                I'm definitely a fan of the idea that many Clans are related to each other. Gangrel especially seems to be able to change, which is very appropriate for those whose unique Discipline is based on shapeshifting, is individualised (different individuals have different aspects and animal forms) and can even switch out the individual aspects and forms to give completely new advantages.
                If we look to first edition we had the localised Julii who shared two out of three Disciplines with Gangrel and in turn is extremely heavily implied to have birthed a different Clan in the young Ventrue. In second edition that connection doesn't work as well, but Gangrel and Ventrue still share two Disciplines, and we have the Mikhaili who also were similar and could be absorbed into the Gangrel Blood as well as the Pijavica who are basically Gangrel with an unstable shapeshifting problem.
                I would also bring up the Moroi as a mix of Gangrel and Nosferatu, but unfortunately there's the sidebar which basically says "actually they're just two identical Bloodlines", not to mentioned that second edition made dual-Clan Bloodlines a generic concept which isn't unique to the Gangrel at all.


                Bloodline: The Stygians
                Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by FallenEco View Post

                  Spoiling does track to even the suggested effects of Bereschligost (or Chary for that matter), as it is a single ability that gets 'more powerful' as you gain more dots which is not dissimular to the physical disciplines (eg Vigor). While this benefit is spread out more (bigger penalty + more attributes that could be targeted + less obvious marking), Spoiling on it's own is a one trick pony. It's devotions (Blood Solutions) are more varied, allowing you to do a lot of things subtly to the drinker, it very much does not store Vitae. At least not in the Ordo book.

                  I think there was a fan devotion I saw on the forums that used Spoiling to store Vitae, but it has been years...

                  So, not a bad effort at all for a piece of crunch & fluff mostly forgotten and untouched from a time before the Betrayed were even a thing, uh?


                  Originally posted by Tessie View Post

                  I would also bring up the Moroi as a mix of Gangrel and Nosferatu, but unfortunately there's the sidebar which basically says "actually they're just two identical Bloodlines", not to mentioned that second edition made dual-Clan Bloodlines a generic concept which isn't unique to the Gangrel at all.
                  I would say that sidebar is more reflective of perceptions/preconceptions of the average OD academic about how the blood actually works or not - but not as well researched as one might have expected them to check before making any such statement - than anything, even more so with the directions the lore has taken since late 1e and 2e.

                  Little aside, how would you people go at remaking the Betrayed? Because that crunch with clan-like houses begged some serious retooling even back then when it was written, imho.
                  Last edited by Baaldam; 02-08-2021, 10:58 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    On the subject of the Moroi- Spilled Blood does mention them as a possible result of a Twice Damned- which again turns everything on its head and makes a mess out of it, as it should do. As for the Betrayed, I have some very rough thoughts, but they are still too raw for me to detail them right now.


                    Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

                    "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

                    I now blog in here

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Well, between Bereschligost, Chary, maybe Spoiling, the Amari, Mikhaili, Gangrel &/or maybe Pijavica (something about the Mikhaili's cannibalistic/self-destructive cycle makes me think of some accidental resonance with their gory spawning process, i guess), the Betrayed and perhaps the Vedma, looks like we have a good variety of loose threads to make a tapestry of horror, mistakes & tragedy from, no?
                      Last edited by Baaldam; 02-08-2021, 01:39 PM.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by LostLight View Post
                        On the subject of the Moroi- Spilled Blood does mention them as a possible result of a Twice Damned- which again turns everything on its head and makes a mess out of it, as it should do. As for the Betrayed, I have some very rough thoughts, but they are still too raw for me to detail them right now.
                        Just to add to that, you can consider that sidebar in Spilled Blood about the Moroi an implicit retcon of the sidebar in Ordo Dracul. I had that very much in mind when I wrote it. Ordo Dracul was written early on in Requiem's life-cycle, before they'd really decided what bloodlines were/could do.

                        As much as "canon" matters, the Moroi are one bloodline, but whether they were once Twice-Cursed is more debatable...

                        Originally posted by Baaldam View Post

                        Little aside, how would you people go at remaking the Betrayed? Because that crunch with clan-like houses begged some serious retooling even back then when it was written, imho.
                        If you haven't checked it out, I included a brief update of them in Bloodlines: The Devoted (on STV), but it was pretty simple. The Houses are still treated as clans with additional perks of political membership, but they more resemble Second Edition vampires. I did update the basic Betrayed system, though. It didn't need as much readjustment as I thought it did.
                        Last edited by Yossarian; 02-09-2021, 03:10 AM.



                        Social justice vampire/freelancer | He/Him

                        Actual Play: Vampire: The Requiem – Bloodlines
                        Masquiem: Curses of Caine in Requiem 2nd
                        Storytellers Vault: Author Page

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Awesome! I love this. I like Option E best too, except I forget who the Betrayed were.

                          This is my first post in like four days. A record for me lol.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Or what if the Mikhaili and the Amari were both Gangrel bloodlines who evolved into actual separate clans?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Penelope View Post
                              Awesome! I love this. I like Option E best too, except I forget who the Betrayed were.

                              This is my first post in like four days. A record for me lol.
                              The Betrayed were one of the main options for the truth/origin behind the rumored society of vampires dedicated to the destruction of kindred known as VII, in the covenant book of the same name.


                              Originally posted by Penelope View Post
                              Or what if the Mikhaili and the Amari were both Gangrel bloodlines who evolved into actual separate clans?
                              Well, that there are possibly a dozen different ways a ST could make those pieces fit together effectively - and that is even without bringing the Pijavica, Vedma and/or others along into the set as extra pieces to add to the complexity. Definitely where part of the fun is.
                              Last edited by Baaldam; 02-09-2021, 08:38 AM.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X