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  • Bloodline: Thothites

    Another original bloodline. These guys were thought up as contemporaries to the 'canon' bloodlines that were said to make up the Great Covenant of Ancient Egypt. But they also open up the possibility of a crossover with Mummy in a Dark Era setting. Anyway, enjoy Critique is, as always, deeply appreciated.




    Thothites
    Parent Clan: Mekhet
    Nickname: Akhtet, Hands of Thoth, Scribes
    Disciplines: Auspex, Dominate, Celerity, Obfuscate

    Contemporaries to the Bak-Ra, the Khaibit, and the Usiri, the bloodline known by most as the Thothites are a bloodline with a rich history. Once the chroniclers and historians of the Great Covenant, they were also the keepers of a sorcery harnessed from the remnants of a lost empire. They were the chosen of the god of knowledge himself, empowered to be his Hands among the Black Land’s Kindred... And even in modern nights, they and their traditions continue to persist.


    Background: The Childer of the Sun may have been the supreme leaders of Egypt’s Kindred, but they and others of their court had good cause to seek out the counsel of the Cult of Thoth. Its members were the Great Covenant’s scribes, tasked with preserving its lore through a multitude of responsibilities. They were its archivists, mediators, and philosophers, and were just as likely to be found throughout its hierarchy as civil servants in various fields. But they didn’t contribute to the Covenant’s golden age through skill with words alone.

    The Akhtet were among the finest sorcerers of the Black Land, claimed to be blessed by their god in some of the deepest secrets of the cosmos. These secrets were once wielded by a civilization long lost to the sands, one that had ruled Kemet and the kingdoms that bordered it when it still stood strong. When that society collapsed upon itself, they say, Thoth kept many of its wonders from being lost, and bequeathed them to his Hands alongside their duty to keep the art alive.

    Regardless of the truth of this tale, none denied the Akhtet’s might. Legends speak of feats of incredible magic, from raising armies of the dead with one word to invoking the names of dead stars to immolate their enemies. This mystical might made the Scribes a major power among the warring Kindred. And when they eventually united under one banner, it was they who first codified the teachings of the Per Ankh, thereby founding an institution through which they could teach their Heka to willing disciples.

    The Thothites would thus hold a great deal of influence in the court for hundreds of years. And in that time, they refined their sorcery, with many rediscovering more of the lost magic of that Nameless Empire. Some eventually came to learn of its greatest city, Irem. And rumors fly within the bloodline of elders who discovered fragments of the Empire’s greatest (and final) act of magic.

    Akhtet also thrived from mingling with other magical disciplines, even when they considered them rivals to their craft’s supremacy. This sentiment was epitomized by the House’s often strained association with the Weret-Hekau, a mortal order of Kemetic magicians that ideologically opposed them over matters of Iremite lore. A similar dynamic would form with the Greek sorcerers who first came to the Black Land in the wake of Alexander the Great.

    Sadly, the Thothites fell into decline as Egypt fell under Roman influence, and it wasn’t long before the Camarilla turned its sights upon the Black Land’s Kindred. A prolonged shadow war eventually broke out between the two societies just as conflict was waged between their mortal herds. Ultimately, the Great Covenant was sundered, and most of the survivors sought refuge in torpor rather than face an ignoble Final Death.

    The Scribes, though, were one of the few bloodlines who remained active. As it was centuries past, their magic was their greatest weapon. Many Roman Kindred perished under the sorceries unleashed by Thothite choirs, and powerful curses shielded their temples long enough for the bloodline to disperse with as much of their treasured lore as they could save. They then went to ground, reorganizing themselves into hidden cults that (for the most part) kept in contact with one another.

    The bloodline’s history from that point onward saw them surviving in this scattered state, only coming together in large numbers whenever a matter of great significance arose. Such an event occurred in 391 CE, when many of the Akhtet gathered in Alexandria to prevent the destruction of its Serapeum. While they ultimately failed in their attempt, they did manage to save a fraction of the records at the cost of many Final Deaths.

    In recent times, the Thothites have been on the move. Many of their shadow cults have begun gathering in large numbers, and even those Scribes who cleave to a solitary Requiem have emerged to seek out others of the bloodline. While this development continues to mystify most other Kindred, those who possess a degree of arcane knowledge have noticed their rise in activity is tied to a specific event in 2012 - the appearance of the star, Sirius.


    The Becoming: The Akhtet value knowledge, and expect those of their blood to treat it with proper reverence. They seek out potential childer in both the academe and religious orders, looking in particular for those who dedicate their entire lives wholeheartedly to the pursuit of knowledge. Those who demonstrate a degree of occult understanding – especially in Egyptian mysticism – are quick to gain their attention. The few who know even a hint of the Nameless Empire’s existence and who (to the Thothites’ joy) drive themselves to uncover more are those who hold the greatest promise for being initiated into Thoth’s mysteries.


    In the Danse Macabre: The Hands of Thoth are keepers of an ancient form of magic, inscribed into their souls through the mystical power of their Vitae. This gift made them terrifying foes to the Camarilla, even after they subjugated the Great Covenant. In modern nights, it is still dangerous to confront a lone Thothite versed in this sorcery. And it is practically suicide to battle the Scribes when they are unified in a choir.

    The numerous shadow cults founded by the Akhtet after the Great Covenant's collapse are all successors to the House of Life’s teachings, cultivating their form of Iremite Sorcery with each discovery and every new initiate. Such diversity, however, has diminished them over the centuries. Without the patronage they received from the Great Covenant, the Thothites have gradually lost themselves in their calling. Their sorcery is a deeply punishing art, and has left most with few avenues to pursue anything else. This has split them down different paths. Many Akhtet still cling to the traditions set down at the founding of the Per Ankh. Others have found themselves drawn into present-day Scorpion Cults, pledging themselves as acolytes to Arisen masters. Few Thothites gravitate to the more recent covenants, but those who do are typically dedicated but reclusive members of the Ordo Dracul.


    Bloodline Gift: Se-Akh
    Referring to a Kemetic ritual that unified the Ba and Ka to reanimate a person’s Akh, the term is instead used by the Akhtet to the higher awareness gained upon realizing their heritage. The gift of Se-Akh confers three benefits to the Thothites.

    The first grants them an Unseen Sense to those empowered by Sekhem. With training, they can intuitively recognize Arisen or the Lifeless upon perceiving them directly in person, and can also detect the presence of Iremite relics. Furthermore, whenever the Thothite uses Auspex on a relic or one of the Deathless or Lifeless, he gains a number of free insights equal to half his Blood Potency (rounded up).

    The second is a greater access to the power of Utterances. While they are normally gained at a heavy price by both mortal and Kindred sorcerers, the Thothites claim to have an innate knowledge of the magic written into their blood that allows them to unleash such power with ease. Mechanically, this permits Mekhet of the bloodline to purchase the Merit, Blessing of Thoth.

    The third gives a Thothite an effective Sekhem rating equal to half his Blood Potency (rounded up) for the purpose of both determining his maximum Utterance level and the number of participants that can be involved in a Unison tier's casting. This allows the Hands of Thoth to act as leading hierophants in invoking the greatest sorceries that ever blessed the Black Land.


    Bloodline Bane: The Witness
    Having opened their eyes to the mysteries of both the cosmos, and the ancient empire which first pioneered them, the Akhtet find it difficult to turn away without considerable effort. Most can never stay away for long, and their efforts to learn more of Those That Came Before soon come to dominate their waking moments. While a rare few can resist this compulsion for prolonged periods, even they eventually give in.

    Whenever a Thothite is presented with an opportunity to accompany or learn more about mummies, he must do so unless his player makes a successful Wits + Composure roll. Success allows the Witness to act as desired for the rest of the day, but the Thothite suffers a cumulative -1 penalty (maximum of -5) to future rolls. When he finally succumbs to this indulgence, he gains the Obsessive Condition related to the Arisen for a number of weeks equal to [11 - Humanity]. This Condition only flares up in the presence of a mummy or clues that would lead to the Arisen (or genuine information about them), and can be resolved early when he is sated with valuable information.


    -=-


    Bloodline Devotions:

    Senet [Auspex ••, Celerity •, Dominate •]
    Cost:
    1 Vitae
    Action: Reflexive
    Duration: Celerity Turns
    Thoth was a moon god who marked the passage of time. He earned this position by gambling with Khonsu for moonlight, which he used to create what Ancient Egyptians called the demon days. A Thothite with this Devotion has a small degree of control over the flow of time. He can reflexively activate it on a successful dodge to reduce his opponent’s Initiative by his dots in Auspex.

    This Devotion costs 2 Experience to learn.

    Weighing of the Heart (Auspex ••••, Dominate •••)
    Dice Pool: Intelligence + Subterfuge + Applicable Status - Composure
    Cost: 2 Vitae
    Action: Instant (Resisted)
    Duration: One Week per Success or one Month per Success (See below)

    The Akhtet are, at heart, scribes and devoted servants of Djehuty; they are dedicated to upholding the Law wherever they may be found, and alongside the Usiri serve as judges to the dead. As such, their reputation as a reliable arbiter carries genuine metaphysical weight, and the power of their Bloodline enables them to read the hearts and minds of those they measure. The Akhtet scours the minds of those Kindred they encounter, seeking evidence of sins before Ma'at. But that's the thing about the Hungry Dead - none of them are truly innocent.

    This Devotion costs 4 Experience to learn.

    Roll Results
    Dramatic Failure:
    Not only does the Kindred fail to find evidence of guilt, but their failure is so shocking it could harm their reputation. Take the Shaken, Guilty, or Notoriety Condition.

    Failure: The target appears to pass your inquiry, or at the very least has managed to confound your sorcery. You may try again with a cumulative -1 penalty, but doing so risks your status as a reliable arbiter.

    Success: If successful, the Kindred gains immediate insight into the mind of their target, seeing appropriate memories. The results may vary depending on the situation. A public trial may impose the Notoriety Condition on the target, while subtle investigation may grant the Informed Condition to the Thothite and the Leveraged Condition to the target. Either way, the Akhtet may lay out a command that applies the Dominated Condition and the Ban Condition on the target for a number of weeks equal to the number of successes on the roll.

    If the target has any stage of Blood Bond to the Akhtet, it lasts a month per success. As a result, it is often part of a public trial for the accused to drink some of the Thothite's Vitae. At Storyteller discretion, if the Kindred being targeted is actually innocent, this may convert a Success to a Dramatic Failure.

    Exceptional Success: Additional successes are their own reward.


    --=--


    Bloodline Merits:

    Blessing of Thoth (o to oooo)
    Prerequisite:
    Thothite, Auspex at the desired rating
    Effect: Some Akhtet emerge from Se-Akh with their Pillars strengthened to a degree. Others do so gradually, and hence become capable of unleashing certain Utterances without the need of (much) blood sacrifice. The Elders of the Bloodline preach that this was Thoth's gift to them, given to better preserve the secrets he entrusted by allowing them greater access to their power.

    Those of the bloodline who develop this Merit possess a greater tie to the pieces of their soul. Blessing of Thoth can be purchased for each of the Pillars. A Thothite who possesses any version of the Merit raises his effective rating in the specified Pillar by its dot rating. In addition, he can synthesize the power of the Pillars from his own Vitae, which he can then spend to power any Utterances he has knowledge of. These Pillar points may be replenished by feeding in a way befitting the Pillar (such as feeding a mortal to the point of near-death, unremembered and unseen, for the Sheut Pillar).

    Note: Due to their Ka existing as separate entities, Akhtet who began their Requiems as Hollow Mekhet do not have an effective Pillar rating of 1 for the Ka Pillar. Furthermore, they cannot purchase the Blessing of Thoth for that Pillar, and cannot invoke any Utterances which require it without making the proper sacrifices.
    Last edited by Deionscribe; 01-18-2016, 08:52 AM.


    "My Homebrew Hub"
    Age of Azar
    The Kingdom of Yamatai

  • #2
    Why is this a bloodline, and not a covenant? Sorcery, long history, which is not really tied to having a single family.


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    • #3
      Originally posted by Griautis View Post
      Why is this a bloodline, and not a covenant? Sorcery, long history, which is not really tied to having a single family.
      I am working on ideas for a covenant that's built around Iremite Sorcery (as practiced by the Kindred). The Thothites just happen to be its founders and foremost members.


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      • #4
        Deionscribe and I are working on a crossover Dark Era set in both the First Sothic Turn and the Second Sothic Turn. The Per Ankh is the Great Covenant ' s answer to the L+S (or rather, they came before) and may be the source for Theban Sorcery.

        The Akhtet just happen to be the foremost members of this Covenant and its last scions in modern nights. Presumably, this would make a lot more sense introduced in the Dark Era instead of on its own.


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        • #5
          Tentative revision to this Bloodline, given how I'm reviving the Age of Azar thread and adding new material into it.

          -=-


          Bloodline Gift: Se-Akh
          Referring to a Kemetic ritual that unified the Ba and Ka to reanimate a person’s Akh, the term is instead used by the Akhtet to the higher awareness gained upon realizing their heritage. The gift of Se-Akh confers three benefits to the Thothites.

          The first grants them an Unseen Sense to those empowered by Sekhem. With training, they can intuitively recognize Arisen or the Lifeless upon perceiving them directly in person, and can also detect the presence of Iremite relics. Furthermore, whenever the Thothite uses Auspex on a relic or one of the Deathless or Lifeless, he gains a number of free insights equal to half his Blood Potency (rounded up).

          The second is access to magic barred to undead and Undying alike. A Thothite can purchase the Ritual Sorcerer and Sorcerous Knowledge Merits, and can perform both Closed Rites and most Open Rites. This is attributed to the occult knowledge imbued into them by Thoth, though those who study it must still meet its requirements.

          The third benefit builds upon the second, for it allows the Thothites to focus Sekhem in ways only the Arisen can normally do - the magic of the Utterances. A Thothite can purchase Utterance Tiers as if they were Devotions, and has an effective Sekhem rating equal to half their Blood Potency, rounded up, for the purpose of both determining his maximum Utterance level and the number of participants that can be involved in a Unison tier's casting.
          Last edited by Deionscribe; 04-13-2018, 01:49 PM.


          "My Homebrew Hub"
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          • #6
            Unseen sense for Sekhem looks solid. Does it also apply to Seba?

            For Sorcey, do they need to have the Blush of Life running? Can they spend Vitae in place of Pillars?

            Utterances still seem like a rather potent bonus, especially as 1 of 3. Are they restricted to Unison Unleashing? That is a rather significant restriction for Kindred (who don't tend to get along). As Devotion, they are using Vitae in place of Pillars? What is the exchange rate?


            Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
            Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Vent0 View Post
              Unseen sense for Sekhem looks solid. Does it also apply to Seba?

              For Sorcey, do they need to have the Blush of Life running? Can they spend Vitae in place of Pillars?

              Utterances still seem like a rather potent bonus, especially as 1 of 3. Are they restricted to Unison Unleashing? That is a rather significant restriction for Kindred (who don't tend to get along). As Devotion, they are using Vitae in place of Pillars? What is the exchange rate?
              I imagine it does. However, most Thothites would probably be unable to perceive and/or bind them without the right knowledge. I might need to revisit the seba section to expand on that as well as the Mage fluff I'm writing for Age of Azar.

              For Ritual Sorcery, I imagine Vitae would at best serve as a ready element to incorporate into certain Closed Rites. Spending Pillars would require learning and using the Rite of the Sacred Flood, and this would tie in well with the third benefit.

              Utterances would most likely be an end-game goal for a Thothite. The effective Sekhem rating aside, using them as (pseudo-)Devotions would entail spending both Vitae and the necessary Pillar points. And unless they know the Rite of Sacred Flood and/or have an allied Mummy, invoking them would be very rare.


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              • #8
                Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post
                Utterances would most likely be an end-game goal for a Thothite. The effective Sekhem rating aside, using them as (pseudo-)Devotions would entail spending both Vitae and the necessary Pillar points. And unless they know the Rite of Sacred Flood and/or have an allied Mummy, invoking them would be very rare.
                [Personally] A benefit that can hardly be used is hardly a benefit.

                As an alternative for consideration (to use, adapt, or discard), what about keep their effective Sekhem at 1 (like Apotheosis Mummies) for personal Utterance use, requiring them to perform Unison Unleashings for the Utterances beyond Tier 1. Let them sub 3 Vitae for a Pillar point (Pillar points would max out at 25 (5 dots * 5 Pillars), and Vitae maxes out at 75 points, so it looks like a 1-to-3 ratio). That would allow Thothites to use it a bit more readily, but still make "Plagues of Egypt"-level effects rare.


                Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Vent0 View Post

                  [Personally] A benefit that can hardly be used is hardly a benefit.

                  As an alternative for consideration (to use, adapt, or discard), what about keep their effective Sekhem at 1 (like Apotheosis Mummies) for personal Utterance use, requiring them to perform Unison Unleashings for the Utterances beyond Tier 1. Let them sub 3 Vitae for a Pillar point (Pillar points would max out at 25 (5 dots * 5 Pillars), and Vitae maxes out at 75 points, so it looks like a 1-to-3 ratio). That would allow Thothites to use it a bit more readily, but still make "Plagues of Egypt"-level effects rare.
                  That could actually work. I was also thinking of letting them be able to purchase Tier 1 Utterances only, but that would kind of hit their intended theme badly if those were the only tricks they could pull off.

                  Maybe their effective Sekhem rating could still be determined by Blood Potency. But instead of rounding it up, it could be down? This means you're stuck with Sekhem 1 until you bring your Blood Potency above 3.

                  Reskinning the Blessing of Thoth Merit could be another way to solve the Pillar issue. If paired with the Rite of the Sacred Flood, they'd be able to store Pillar points right away to perform an Utterance. But I can imagine that'd require spending a lot of Vitae if they're of low potency.

                  As for purchasing the Utterance, I'm working out Experience costs based on the 2E homebrew Arcanist and I put together way back. A Thothite probably needs to spend 4 Experience per Tier in an Utterance, so he'll need to invest time and effort to learn all the secrets of their desired magic.


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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Deionscribe View Post

                    That could actually work. I was also thinking of letting them be able to purchase Tier 1 Utterances only, but that would kind of hit their intended theme badly if those were the only tricks they could pull off.

                    Maybe their effective Sekhem rating could still be determined by Blood Potency. But instead of rounding it up, it could be down? This means you're stuck with Sekhem 1 until you bring your Blood Potency above 3.

                    Reskinning the Blessing of Thoth Merit could be another way to solve the Pillar issue. If paired with the Rite of the Sacred Flood, they'd be able to store Pillar points right away to perform an Utterance. But I can imagine that'd require spending a lot of Vitae if they're of low potency.

                    As for purchasing the Utterance, I'm working out Experience costs based on the 2E homebrew Arcanist and I put together way back. A Thothite probably needs to spend 4 Experience per Tier in an Utterance, so he'll need to invest time and effort to learn all the secrets of their desired magic.
                    Yes, but Meteors on command. Even if you do need to invite 4 more Clan members over for a shindig and gorge on blood afterwards.

                    Honestly, that puts Theban Miracles to shame. Needing advanced Blood Potency or a group of Clan-mates is probably how their power-base was broken - individually, a LeS Priest can invoke their more potent magic more readily, if the Thothites are kept separated.
                    Last edited by Vent0; 04-13-2018, 06:14 PM.


                    Malkydel: "And the Machine dictated; let there be adequate illumination."
                    Yossarian: "And lo, it was optimal."

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Vent0 View Post

                      Yes, but Meteors on command. Even if you do need to invite 4 more Clan members over for a shindig and gorge on blood afterwards.

                      Honestly, that puts Theban Miracles to shame. Needing advanced Blood Potency or a group of Clan-mates is probably how their power-base was broken - individually, a LeS Priest can invoke their more potent magic more readily, if the Thothites are kept separated.
                      We could just say that tier 3 is offlimits. Or that each their must be purchased separately and in order. Plus, the maximum effective Sekhem level is already 5 and require Blood potency 10. At what point do Arisen lose access to tier 3?
                      Plus Utterances often require certain actions; I remember the earthquake one required you walk around the perimeter of the area that would be effected (at least city sized).

                      Sidenote: They definitely weren't founded before the first Turn. Even the experts learned about Utterences from the Sha (except maybe the Deceived)


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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by FallenEco View Post

                        We could just say that tier 3 is offlimits. Or that each their must be purchased separately and in order. Plus, the maximum effective Sekhem level is already 5 and require Blood potency 10. At what point do Arisen lose access to tier 3?
                        Plus Utterances often require certain actions; I remember the earthquake one required you walk around the perimeter of the area that would be effected (at least city sized).

                        Sidenote: They definitely weren't founded before the first Turn. Even the experts learned about Utterences from the Sha (except maybe the Deceived)
                        Perhaps the Utterances are a power discovered by the Thothites during the First Turn? While the Arisen had to discover them in tombs or be taught by the Sha, the bloodline seemingly manifested the magic as Sothis Ascended for the first time. Or perhaps they too gleaned the secrets of Utterances from the Sha.

                        On a related note, Djehuty means "He who is like the ibis". Rather than calling them the Akhtet, I might have that be the original Egyptian name for them as well.


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                        • #13
                          Another update on my writeup for the Bloodline Gift.

                          -=-

                          Bloodline Gift: Khenti
                          One of the many epithets attributed to Thoth, it is translated as "Foremost". In relation to the Djehuty, it alluded to their reputation as the foremost sorcerers of Egypt's Kindred. Khenti confers three benefits to the Thothites.

                          The first grants them an Unseen Sense to those empowered by Sekhem. With training, they can intuitively recognize Arisen or the Lifeless upon perceiving them directly in person, and can also detect the presence of Iremite relics. Furthermore, whenever the Thothite uses Auspex on a relic or one of the Deathless or Lifeless, he gains an additional insight for free.

                          The second is access to magic normally barred to undead and Undying alike. This is attributed to the occult knowledge imbued into them by Thoth, though they must still study it as mortal practitioners do. A Thothite can purchase the Ritual Sorcerer and Sorcerous Knowledge Merits, and can perform both Closed Rites and most Open Rites.

                          The third and most powerful benefit is sometimes considered a higher form of the second. Those Djehuty who pursue it learn to channel Sekhem into truly mythical feats of power, wielding magic that is normally the purview of the Undying. A Thothite sorcerer who walks this dangerous path can learn Utterance tiers in a manner akin to Devotions. They also have an effective Sekhem rating equal to half their Blood Potency, rounded down, for determining both their maximum Utterance level and the number of participants in casting a Unison tier.
                          Last edited by Deionscribe; 04-15-2018, 01:48 PM.


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