Dark nights in Dubai
Quote: “Your predecessors took everything from mine. You have forgotten. We have not.”
Anubis – protector of the dead in the afterlife. A god the Anubi have a use for. Their afterlife has been fraught with peril ever since Christian feet soiled the sand of their ancient empire. Their allies passed away. The Bak-Ra were deposed and hid in their tombs. The Usiri retreated to eternal slumber. The Tothites simply disappeared. Even the traitorous Khaibit, the only other bloodline that stayed strong after the collapse of the covenant, forgot where they came from. The Anubi used to be priests. Now, they are warriors. Hell-bent on revenge, the Judges declared a holy war against the Lancea Sanctum that rages to this day. With no hope to win this war, they still fight to right the wrongs done onto their land and to return to them their lost secrets and rituals. Driven by anger, the vampires that used to judge the death turned into executioners. For all who hear they proclaim these truths:
1. The god the Sanctified worship is a false god. As the covenant stamped out the worship of the Sun Disk Aten, so will the Anubi stamp out the worship of Jahweh.
2. The secrets of Theban sorcery where not given to the Sanctified by an angel, but they were stolen from the covenant, the only authority fit to use the power of the Egyptian gods.
3. The Anubi are the rightful inheritors of the old ways and the only ones capable of handling the power given to them by the gods and taken from them by heretics.
4. No Anubi may rest until the Chapel is in ruins and the Spear is broken.
At the apex of their power, the Anubi believe, they ruled the spirit world as well as the mortal world. As priests of the judge of death, they decided which spirits went on to the afterlife and which spirits should serve them in penance for their crimes. As the Bak-Ra ruled the Danse Macabre and the Usiri claimed the domains of dreams and memory, so were the Anubi kings of Twilight.
Now, the Judges have really become Jackals. No longer priests, the Anubi have become an army.
Parent Clan: Gangrel
Nickname: Judges, Jackals (derogatory)
Covenant: Most Anubi found a place in the Ordo Dracul; hungry for their knowledge of the spirit world, the Dragons were only too happy to give shelter. No Anubi has ever joined the Lancea Sanctum. Not that the Sanctified would welcome one of their oldest enemies in their midst. The Circle of the Crone are warmer to the Judges. They have respect for the old ways, as opposed to the Ordo Dracul. More important than that might be fact that the Circle is usually the greatest rival of the Lancea Sanctum. No Acolyte would say no to the help of a powerful pagan with a grudge against the Sanctified. The Invictus and the Carthian Movement claim an equal amount of Anubi as member, which is to say not many.
Haven: Usually Anubi build a haven wherever it’s convenient for their mission. Decoration is rare. An average haven for a Jackal is a safehouse, build for shelter rather than comfort.
Organization: The bloodline is organized along the lines of a terrorist group. They are fighting a far superior enemy and they have been losing this fight for over thousand years. This does not mean the Anubi are bad at fighting this war. An Anubi war pack can bring down most threats. The Jackals gather in cells, limiting the knowledge Anubi have about each other. Who exactly coordinates these cells remain a mystery to most Anubi. Most vaguely talk about elder Anubi, but even those few Anubi that live beyond a century are hard-pressed for information about their leaders.
Character Creation: Most Anubi favor physical attributes, with Mental as a good second. The war demands warriors, while the temple requires priests. Torn between these extremes, the Jackals are a mix of thugs and shamans.
Disciplines: Animalism, Heka, Protean, Resilience
Weakness: All Anubi share their parents clan weakness. Their particular condition comes with an added disadvantage: They enter frenzy faster than other Kindred. Anubi have a -2 penalty to rolls to resist Predator’s Taint. Their hard life and constant warfare made the Judges’ beasts almost immune to fear. When they would suffer from Rötschreck, they feel anger rather than fear. This makes Anubi really bad at judging risk but really good at fighting. Where other Kindred would flee at the sight of a torch, Judges charge head on.
Vampires have little to do with spirits and the Shadow Realm, as a general rule. The vampires’ world is more strongly rooted in the physical than mages or
werewolves — after all, that’s where the blood is. The exception are the Anubi, the protectors of the dead in the afterlife. The ancient Egyptian magic of soulbinding, Heka, is the only thing the Sanctified never managed to steal from them.
Pulse of the Ib:
The Beast in every vampire has an instinctual understanding of where to find the blood it craves. The Anubi learn to extend this instinct to include the flow of Essence through the world, something more foreign to their natural impulses. This power gives vampires a sense of when spiritual phenomena are going on nearby, and the opportunity to more clearly pinpoint them.
Cost: – or Vitae
Dice Pool: This power involves no roll and is considered “always on.” The character makes a Wits + Occult roll whenever a spiritual phenomenon occurs nearby. Success gives the character some notable stimulus, often something she hasn’t felt since her Embrace — her hair standing on end, for example.
When alerted to such a presence, the character may spend one Vitae to strengthen this sense for the remainder of the scene. She becomes able to see loci, verges, other spiritual phenomena and spirits in Twilight, though she gains no special ability to touch or affect them. For some vampires, this sense also manifests as a smell, sound or tactile sensation. A character may try to communicate with a Twilight spirit she can see, but this power provides no ability to understand their strange language. Luckily, some can speak the languages of Earth.
Vampires traveling in Twilight (per Twilight Projection) do not trigger the character’s sense of the supernatural, but may be seen if the character spends Vitae. See the “Clash of Wills” sidebar in Vampire: The Requiem, p. 119. The character using Pulse of the Invisible should roll Wits + Empathy + Heka.
Action: N/A, or Reflexive
Feeding the Ba:
There is power in blood, a fact that vampires probably recognize more strongly than any other creatures. The Anubi know that they are unnatural, that there is more to the Vitae that drives them than simple blood stolen from humanity to keep another Requiem from ending.
With this power, a vampire learns how to transform her Vitae into Essence, a lifeblood of another sort, and allow other creatures to consume it. With the successful use of this power, the character spills a quantity of her Vitae on the ground. As she does so, the Vitae ceases to be the potent symbol of her unlife and becomes instead soaked with Essence. She could lick it up now, if she wanted, and get nothing from it. Spirits and other entities that manipulate Essence, on the other hand, may absorb one point of this free-floating Essence per turn as an instant action. It is a feast for most spirits. After one minute, any remaining Essence has dissipated.
While this power does not give the vampire any ability to command spirits, this power creates the potential for some very real influence over them. Spirits need Essence to live and grow strong and take well to bribery (as a general rule). Some spirits can even take over human bodies and might bargain with a vampire to trade willing vessels for the Essence the vampire can provide.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Strength + Occult + Heka
Dramatic Failure: The character succeeds only in tainting some of her Vitae, not transforming it into Essence. Roll the character’s Blood Potency. Each success
taints one point of Vitae. Any Vitae the character was not already spilling, she must then expel from her body (most commonly, the vampire coughs and hacks it up).
Failure: The character fails to transform her Vitae into Essence. She may try again, but doing so costs another point of Willpower.
Success: The character transforms some of her Vitae into Essence as it spills to the ground. She may transform a number of Vitae up to the number of successes rolled. The character is not required to apply every success.
Exceptional Success: The character may transform copious Vitae into Essence.
Threading the Fields of Aaru:
An Anubi with this power learns how to step sideways through the cracks between worlds, going from the physical world to the Shadow Realm or vice versa. At a locus, he focuses his will and forces himself through the Gauntlet. While in the Shadow Realm, the vampire has to worry about all that place’s dangers. Spirits (and their greater cousins, the gods of the realm) are as great a threat to Kindred as they are to humans. Worse, there is no blood for a vampire to consume. The vampire still must spend a point of Vitae to continue functioning each day, and thus has some sense of time, but the urge to sleep at daybreak vanishes. Vampires who spend too long in the Shadow would do well to ask a spirit the time of day before returning to the physical world, assuming the locus they are using to travel is not sealed away from the sunlight.
Luckily, there are some advantages. The spirit world is called the Shadow because it is largely a realm of night. A vampire does not need to fear the sun in most places there. There are some — and one can happen upon them without warning — where the sun is strongly reflected in the Shadow Realm’s sky. These are sunburned deserts, some tropical regions and other places with a strong solar resonance. The sun’s symbolism is just as dangerous to the Kindred as the sun’s rays, and a vampire must be wary of them.
Cost: 1 Willpower
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Occult + Heka
Dramatic Failure: The character fails to leave the world he is in. He may not attempt to step sideways again for one full day, which may mean trouble if the character is currently in the Shadow Realm.
Failure: The character fails to travel to the other world. He may try again the next turn, but it costs another point of Willpower.
Success: The character fades from the world he currently inhabits and passes through the Gauntlet. He appears within 30 seconds (about 10 turns) on the other side. Only powerful entities with the ability to affect creatures in either world can attack or otherwise influence the character — to all others, he is out of reach.
Exceptional Success: The character transitions between worlds very quickly. He reappears on his next turn and may act as normal.
|+2||The locus is rated 4+|
|+1||The locus is rated 2 or 3|
|+1||The vampire stares into a reflective surface|
|–2||It is daytime in the physical world|
|-1 to -5||Strength of the Gauntlet|
Open the netherworld:
With this power, a vampire may conduct himself and others through the Gauntlet. He must invoke this power at a locus, where the boundary is already thin. He must also be joined to the others he intends to lead to the other world by touch, either directly or through another character. The roll to step through is the same as the roll for Coming Forth by Night, with an additional penalty of one per additional traveler through the Gauntlet. An unconscious traveler imposes a –2 dice penalty; an actively unwilling traveler, –4. The results, such as the speed of transition, are likewise the same. Should the character suffer a dramatic failure, he cannot attempt to step sideways again for a full turn or be pulled through by another vampire’s use of Open the Netherworld. The vampires he failed to conduct through the Gauntlet may yet be able to transport themselves.
Cost: 1 Vitae per passenger, 1 Willpower
Balance of Ma’at:
This power is frightening to those Kindred who know even a little of the spirit world. The vampire invites a spirit into her cold flesh to form an unholy synthesis, something not Man, not Beast and not spirit. This is a dangerous proposition for both entities, because it gives each a measure of control over the power that results. The body remains that of the vampire, with access to all the vampire’s Vitae and Disciplines (and weaknesses), but it gains some features that reflect the spirit. Joining with a flame-spirit (which would be a terrifically bad idea) would redden the vampire’s hair, lend some heat to the body’s flesh and occasionally leave the faintest smoke contrails. Spirits of less physical things are less obvious: taking in a greed-spirit might change the vampire’s eye-color to green.
While sharing one form, the vampire and spirit act as one. They both perceive everything the body perceives, and their wills are assumed to be aligned. The two take only a single action (as normal for a character) on any given combat turn. Anything one wishes to do that the other does not oppose is done. For example, a spirit who wishes to breathe in and smell the local aroma through the vampire’s nose may do so, as long as the vampire doesn’t want to keep from breathing. When there is a conflict, the character rolls Resolve + Composure + Blood Potency in contest against the spirit’s Power + Finesse. The victor determines the action for that turn. Should the two tie, the body hesitates under its uncertain control and takes no action for the turn. This delay occurs even if the contested action would normally be reflexive (like inhaling). This is one of many reasons it is vastly important for a vampire and spirit to work out their goals ahead of time.
Just as the synthesis can use any of the vampire’s abilities and Disciplines as normal, so can it use most of the spirit’s Numina. Any Numen that does not require the spirit to be ephemeral (as Claim or Possession do). The spirit also cannot use Discorporate or other Numina that would separate it from the merged form until the vampire releases it or it forces its way out. Regardless, the merged entity can only take one action per turn; i.e., the entity cannot use a Numen and shoot someone at the same time.
Cost: 1 Vitae (the spirit must spend one Essence)
Dice Pool: Presence + Persuasion + Heka
Action: Extended (five successes per spirit’s Rank; each roll represents one minute of meditation)
Dramatic Failure: The roll fails. The Beast refuses to join with the spirit, and the synthesis fails. The character and the spirit both suffer one point of lethal damage (to their flesh and Corpus, respectively) and may not try again until the next night.
Failure: No successes accumulate.
Success: Successes accumulate. If the character reaches the required number of successes, he has coaxed his body and Beast to accept and merge with the spiritual
energies. For every three dots the spirit has in Power, the synthesis adds one dot to one of the character’s Power traits (Intelligence, Strength, Presence) of her choice. The same goes for every three dots the spirit has in its Finesse and Resistance traits. The synthesis ends when both vampire and spirit agree to go their separate ways. The vampire may attempt to eject the spirit before the spirit is willing with a Resolve + Composure roll, contested by the spirit’s Power + Resistance.
The spirit may attempt to escape the synthesis without the vampire’s agreement with a Power + Finesse roll, contested by the vampire’s Resolve + Composure. In either case, the inner conflict takes one instant action; the vampire may add her Blood Potency to her roll by spending one Vitae, and the spirit may add two dice to the roll for each point of Essence it spends.
Exceptional Success: Many successes accumulate.