Baali

Quote: “Your struggles are futile. What is to be will be. Accept your place in the fires eternal.”

One day a man was born. This man is unimportant save for one fact, he believed himself to be a god. Many men before and after believed themselves god as well, but none were quite as depraved as this one. The religion he build up around him is unimportant too, and only remarkable for the pit he had dug in the center of his town. The well was a marvel and a terror to the followers of the man, but they never wavered in their reverence. In this well they threw animals, men, women, children and eventually their god. The religion outgrew the man and became a thing of itself. The tribe that worshipped the man now turned to more powerful patrons. They found beings made of hate and despair and greed. They found beings even worse than them. To the followers, worship was the only answer. Worship they did; the blood flowed freely.
Is it any surprise then, that a vampire of great power was drawn to the well one night? The priests of the tribe raised their voice against him, but they were as wheat before the storm. Those who were strong of body but not of mind he ripped limbs from limb, then tossed into the well. Those who were strong of mind but not of body, he commanded to rend their own bodies with long knives, then to jump into the well. Those who were comely he melted the flesh and bones of their bodies together and forced them to couple in the well until agony overtook them. For the Kindred had witnessed their rites, and found them wanting. He had seen their rituals, and wished to show them that their depravities and atrocities were as nothing, that they were children playing at evil. And lest none remain to learn his lesson, he let flown his own vitae into the well. Three mortals survived to lap up the blood he gave unto them; only three, from the hundreds who had worshipped at the well.
The following evening, these three victims crawled their way out of the pit. They were filthy with gore, caked in blood and howling with unquenched fury and madness. Their creator had abandoned then, their patrons had deserted them. They were mad and hateful and thirsty for death.
The Baali had been born.
The newly made as of yet unnamed bloodline was as a newborn child. Clueless, without purpose, lost in the night. Alone they hunted and alone they would have died, if they had not drawn the attention of a god. Ba’al-Zabûb, lord of the flies, appeared to them. He promised them the secrets of their curse and all curses beside. For his gifts he demanded eternal servitude to his cause; the corruption of humanity. Nergal and Moloch, progenitors of the Baali offered their allegiance, but what the third vampire did was lost to the ages. Neither Nergal or Moloch would ever speak of their sibling.
The well soon tasted blood again and more of its kind were dug in Mesopotamia and the Middle East. Ever spreading the teachings of his lord, Moloch eventually came upon the blooming city of Carthage. Moloch saw the splendor of the city; he saw its pride. He would make Carthage into the hellmouth, the place where his lord would be able to assume the form that ends the earth. The city would become a place of such debasement and sin that it would rip a hole in the gauntlet big enough for Ba’al to step through. With his powers, Moloch and his followers installed themselves as divine rules of the republic. As they assumed control over the city, they let burn a massive fire in its center. Here they made their sacrifices to their god, whom they called Ba’al-Hammon, lord of flame. No accounts of this era exist from the Carthagian vampires themselves, so the rest of the history is pieced together by the Middle Eastern Baali who did not have much contact with Carthage, and the Camarilla, who betted on the stronger of the two republics. The Camarilla was still in its formative period during those years. Moloch was a threat to their way of life. He ruled openly over mortals, in direct violation of the Camarilla philosophy that doing so would only lead to death. They had no choice to send a contingent of Kindred along with the Roman armies that attacked Carthage.
Moloch made his base of power and would not be easily driven out. Thrice did the Romans bring the fight to Carthage, and twice did they fail. Three times did the Camarilla send a Kindred army to destroy Moloch, and two times they were lost. The downfall of Carthage was eventually caused by the shifting political reality of the Mediterranean instead of the Camarilla assassins. Those few witnesses to the fall of Carthage, mostly Roman Kindred, spoke of unspeakable horrors. The flames burned high with the children thrown into the fire. Temples covered in the blood of believers. Kindred with strange disfigurements fighting the invaders with an army of monsters. Moloch’s perfect city was sacked by the Roman army and his followers were either destroyed or driven into torpor by the Camarilla. Moloch fled the city right before dawn. As the sunlight appeared, Moloch sank into the earth right outside the city gates. To make sure none would ever use the earth on which terrible Carthage stood ever again, the Romans salted the earth, including the place where Moloch lay sleeping, trapping him below the desert. Supposedly, Moloch lies between the sands still, but no Baali ever found him.
The many worshippers of the pantheons of the desert came together as their European counterparts did. The Circle of the Crone soon ruled the night in Arabian Peninsula. They ruled longer than the Sumerians, the Akkadians, the Hittites and the Macedonians. No mortal faith or army could lay a finger on them until an army of faith rose up among the desert tribes. The Circle lost their stronghold Yathrib and more importantly, their holiest shrine in Mecca. When Nergal, the oldest and most powerful among the Demons, went to kill the leader of the army, he too was lost. His childer saw him enter the tent of this Arab, but he never came out. Too afraid to follow their sire, the childer waited outside. When dawn approached, Nergal still hadn’t come out of the tent. The Baali had lost their leaders.
The armies of the prophet conquered the Arab peninsula, spreading the newest religion farther than any who came before or after him. His followers among the damned took up arms as well, and conquered the night. The circle was broken and never managed to fully recover from the blow that Islam and the Banu Shaitan dealt it. The Baali fled far and wide. They were rarely welcomed by other Kindred. Once their reputation spread to Europe, they were declared heretics by the ruling powers of the first and second estate, who had read the eyewitness accounts of the atrocities of Carthage. Today, this situation is no different in most of Europe. In the Middle East the Baali are afforded the same treatment in the places where they don’t hold praxis. In the other continents they are feared and hated, but not usually in such a way to be killed on sight. The ancient prejudices of the European Kindred, who witnessed the Baali diaspora upset the Danse Macabre during the Dark Ages, don’t play as much in Africa, Asia and the Americas, but here too stories spread about the atrocities committed by the demons.
Parent Clan: Deava
Covenant: Rare is the covenant that will take in the Baali. They manage to be the exact opposite to both the Invictus and the Carthian Movement. The Ordo Dracul will not deal with infernalists and soulsellers. The Circle of the Crone is slightly more tolerant. The Acolytes have an almost neutral outlook on dealing with spirits, even malevolent ones. Besides the fact that Acolytes have less of a problem with serving cruel gods, there is the feeling of shared history, especially in the Middle East, where the Baali and the Circle were synonymous for a long time. Of the great covenants, the Circle claims the most Baali as members. Hardly anyone counts the Brood among the covenants though.
Belial’s Brood has by far the biggest population of Demons. Their philosophies are quite similar and any covey will prize itself lucky on having a Baali as a member. The only other bloodline with more power among the Brood are the Therion, and even that is debatable. Therions might be leaders and priests, but Baali have spend thousands of years corrupting souls and seducing them to sin. Thankfully the Baali are often more interested in themselves than in the covenant as a whole, leaving the fanatic devotion of the Therion have unopposed among the Forsworn. The reputation of the Baali among the Forsworn is even known outside the Brood, so much that their names are often used together. Many Kindred assume all Baali are Forsworn and threat them as such.
As for the Lancea Sanctum, their modus operandi is eerily similar to the Baali’s. They both believe they are evil, that they exist to torment humanity and that they are chosen by a higher power. To an observer unburdened by prior knowledge, the Baali and the Sanctified should get along swimmingly. That observer would be very wrong. The Why matters far more than the What when it comes to religion. The Baali serve Satan, the Sanctified serve God. The Baali torment humanity to bring them down, the Sanctified torment humanity to show their piety. These divides prevent the Baali and Lancea Sanctum from ever coming together.
Nickname: Demons
Appearance: Some neonates adorn themselves with Satanic paraphernalia. Some Baali dress in expensive clothing, and some don’t bother. Some become so fixated
that they neglect outer appearance. Older Baali surround themselves with insects, rats, or other vermin. Truly ancient demons are surrounded by swarms of flies, constantly buzzing around their head.
Haven: Baali tend to nest in places of antiquity. Libraries, universities, and stately homes attract the Demons. No matter where the Baali make their havens,
though, the vampire’s very presence changes the place. Vermin creep in first, and no amount of effort can keep them out.
Background: The Baali value temperament above profession. Teachers, defrocked priests, laborers, artists – all have joined the ranks of the Baali. The bloodline even breeds their own recruits, drawing from ghoul families raised over the years to produce offspring suckled on the unholy truths that the Baali recite as gospel.
Some Baali try to copy their progenitors origin by embracing through blood pits. A sire slits his own wrists and pours his vitae in a severed human heart. This vessel in then placed in the center of pit filled with sacrifices. The sire drains his thrall to point near death, upon which the mortal must reach the heart by crawling or swimming through the pit. Should he fail, his remains fill the pit as a lesson for his successors. Baali don’t create childer out of victims this way. Only the strong survive this ordeal and seize the Embrace for themselves. In ancient Hebrew, Ba’al means master; which is what the Baali seek when creating their progency.
Character Creation: Mental Attributes, especially Wits, are usually primary. A Baali’s ability to tempt and entice depend on his insight into what a person truly wants. Social Attributes are also helpful, as the Baali need both to keep their identities a secret and convince others to open up to them.
Clan Disciplines: Daimoinon, Obfuscate, Majesty, Vigor
Weakness: In addition to the Deava clan weakness, Baali cannot bear to look upon or handle objects of any faith. Demons must avert their gazes from such objects, and touching them burns their flesh. Touching an object of faith deals one lethal damage per turn to a Baali. If said objects is a weapon (a blessed sword, a relic) it deals one automatic lethal damage to a Baali.

Daimoinon
These are the mysteries of the Baali, black arts torn whole and beating from the sorcerer-kings of ancient cultures and prehistoric civilizations, incoherent
memories passed from tome to tongue, hearkening to times of oblivion. They are sibilant secrets in which all begins to end and begin again. With every new night
and novice brought into the circle, the telling grows shorter.

Sense the Sin:
Cost: -
Dice Pool: Wits + Empathy + Daimoinon vs. Composure + Blood Potency
Action: Instant and contested
The Baali use this power to discover the innate weakness or past missteps of their victims. It requires the Baali to intensely scrutinize the victim. This scrutiny is probably unwanted and certainly prevents other meaningful actions from taking place. Sense the Sin may be used only once a night per person.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The target cannot be effected by Sense the Sin for the rest of the night.
Failure: The power fails to activate and no information is conferred.
Success: The Baali finds out one thing about the target, such as virtue, vice, willpower or a transgression from the target’s past.
Exceptional Success: The Baali learns of both the Virtue and the Vice of the target or learns a major sin the victim has committed.
Roll modifiers:

-5 The victim wears a pendant used to ward against the Evil Eye
-3 Sense the Sin is used from a distance of more than 30 metres
-1 For each derangement the victim has

Fear of the Void
Cost: 1 Vitae
Dice Pool: Presence + Intimidate + Daimoinon vs. Composure + Blood Potency
Action: Instant
Every creature fears the unknown. Thinking beings have an even greater fear of the unknowable. When using Fear of the Void, the vampire imbues her voice with that instinctive terror, channeling the madness of What Lies Beyond to her enemies. The vampire using fear of the void must be able to speak, but she need not need to use a language her listeners understand. Words and syntax have no meaning to convey the essence of the void; the sound of her voice alone is enough.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The target cannot be effected by Fear of the Void for the rest of the night.
Failure: The power fails to activate.
Success: For every success, the victim has run away for a turn. In addition, the victim may not return to the Baali for the rest of the scene except by spending a willpower point and succeeding on a resolve + composure roll.
Exceptional Success: The victim runs away and enters a catatonic state for the rest of the night. If the victim is a vampire, he succumbs to Rötschreck.

Conflagration
Cost: 1 Vitae
Dice Pool: Manipulation + Occult + Daimoinon
Action: Instant
One of the least subtle powers of the Baali, this allows the Demon to call up the
fire from the realms of their infernal patrons, hurling it at their enemies in exultation of the Outer Dark. This fire spreads and burns normally, but at the moment of creation it is black and cold, as though drawn from a place where terrestrial physics do not apply.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The fire turns to its wielder, burning him for 2 aggravated damage.
Failure: The power fails to activate.
Success: A black flame shoots forth from the hands of the Demon. The flame goes forward in a straight line. It’s about 30 centimeters across and does not look natural in any way. This flame deals one aggravated damage to everyone in the line of fire. This fire is fleeting and dissipates at the end of the turn, unless the Baali continues to spend blood points on Conflagration over several turns, gradually creating a larger flame. This power has a range of 20 metres and using it can cause Rötschreck in other Kindred. Other Baali don’t have this same primal fear of the flame, but they are still hurt by it.
If trying to hit a person with this, the Baali rolls Dexterity + Occult versus the defenders Dexterity + Athletics. If the defenders wins, he dodges the flame. In case of a tie, he is hit by the flame.
Exceptional Success: The victim runs away and enters a catatonic state for the rest of the night. If the victim is a vampire, he succumbs to Rötschreck.

Summon the Herald
Cost: A sacrifice and a point of Vitae. The sacrifice can be almost anything, although greater sacrifices attract bigger demons. The sacrifice of a childhood stuffed animal will summon something small and easily overpowered while the sacrifice of a convent will summon something really big and powerful. Do note that the sacrifice only summons the demon, the summoner will need to make some sort of pact with the demons in order to control him (then again, sometimes an uncontrollable demon is just what a Baali needs).
Dice Pool: Manipulation + Occult + Daimoinon
Action: Extended: number of successes required depends on the rank of the being summoned, each roll being five minutes of casting. The Vitae cost for the ritual is paid at the start of the extended action and is not recovered if the ritual is cancelled partway through.
As said, this power summons a demon. The demon has is not compelled to listen to the orders of the Baali, although he may be bargained with. There is no banishment clause though; summoned demons stay on this earth until killed or banished by some other means.
Roll Results
Dramatic Failure: The demon is summoned and immediately attacks the caster.
Failure: No successes are accumulated toward the required total.
Success: Successes are accumulated to the total required.
Exceptional Success: Five or more successes than needed to perform the ritual are gathered. The effect takes place as described, but the demon is more pliable.

Curse
Cost: 1 willpower + 1 Vitae
Dice Pool: Intelligence + Occult + Daimoinon
Action: Instant
The Baali levies a curse upon the victim. The more skillful in her dark studies the Baali has become, the more dire the curse is likely to be. Legend states that some Baali can wield curses so foul that the victims attempt suicide after a single night — only to find that they can no longer die.
System:
The player must split successes between effect and duration – curses with zero successes allotted to duration last for one turn. For example, if the Baali’s player rolls four successes, she can inflict a two-success curse for one night, a three-success curse for a scene, or a four-success curse for one turn. This curse cannot be ended by the Baali: once a curse is levied, there is no stopping it. Storytellers and players should feel free to invent creative or story-appropriate curses. A dramatic failure causes the curse to effect the Baali.

Successes Duration Example
1 success One scene “No voice shall be lent your lying tongue.” —All Subterfuge rolls suffer a -3 penalty.
2 successes One night “Sicken and wither, infidel… a babe’s weaknessupon you.” —All Strength rolls suffer a -2 penalty, or vampire cannot use blood to boost Strength.
3 successes One week “Reap this bitter harvest — may your closest friends turn foe.” —The character’s friends do not trust him. This can have any number of mechanical effects (penalties on Social rolls, friends might be more prone to frenzy around the character) at the Storyteller’s discretion.
4 successes One month “Barren be thy seed and the loins of all your line.” — The character becomes sterile or barren, or (if Kindred) cannot Embrace childer or create ghouls.
5 successes One year “The mark of doom — all you touch must fail.” — Simple failures are considered dramatic failures while the curse is in effect.
6+ successes Permanent

Baali

Dark nights in Dubai Direbee