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The Path of Cathari

We understand that our physical forms are evil but, to continue to exist, we must provide for the needs of our bodies. It is also possible for us to transcend the malevolence of the material world and exist in harmony with the pure light of the spiritual. - Vladimir Rasputin, Sabbat poet and Dominion of the Black Hand

Nickname: Cathari or Albigensians
Basic Beliefs: The Path of Cathari is one of religious dualism. Similar to Manicheanism, the basic beliefs hold that there are two creator s, a good and a bad. The good creator created the spiritual world. The bad creator was the progeny of the good and he created the material world. The Cathari (which means "the pure") believe the body to be evil, but the soul to be good. They accept the physical world, but consider all within to be evil.

Vampires were created by the evil god to test the strength of strong spirits and force them to succumb to the evil of the material world. The vampires who accepted this oncemortal religion have altered it t o such a degree that it is almost unrecognizable from its original form. The Sabbat on this Path believe in the same principles the medieval Cathari believed, but they hold that they were predestined to become vampires, tied to the material world. The evil nature of their form only increases their belief in the innate evil of the material world.

The followers of this Path wholeheartedly accept evil as innate to their now -immortal existence, since they are denied the spiritual plane after death. To the Cathari, Earth is Hell, and they want to make the best of it. They have developed a religious morality based on the original Cathari beliefs about how to avoid the evil of the world. The Cathari seek out the evil against which their predecessors acted.

The Ethics of the Path

Seek out material wealth. Make your immortal existence as pleasurable as possible.
Create new vampires without hesitation. You are damning them, but immortal life really is not that bad.
Avoid the Final Death at all costs. However, as our Cathari forefathers believed in reincarnation, so do we. Unfortunately, you will return as one of the living, not one of the undead.
Succumb to temptation. You have nothing to fear from it. Let the Beast loose when it wants to come out and play.
Do not trust anyone, because almost everyone is just as corrupt as you are. They just won't admit it.
Drink freely from animals as well as humans.
Do not hesitate to kill mortals. They will only return in a new life.
Accept the evil of the world as a natural part of existence. There is no reason to stop it or avoid causing it as long as it serves your needs.

History

The Cathari beliefs were part of a medieval heresy. Mortals accepted the dualistic beliefs of the Persian prophet Mani, albeit in a different form. Pope Innocent III called the Albigensian Crusade against the followers of this religion in 1209. The crusade lasted for about 30 years and was partially responsible for the Inquisition. The Albigensian beliefs were transposed on vampiric beliefs during t he Albigensian Crusade as followers of this religion became vampires. The Path of Cathari was one of the first vampiric Paths to come into existence. It was practiced, though not recognized as a Path, well before the creation of the Sabbat. The Path has changed a great deal since its conception but has managed to persevere throughout the centuries.

Current Practices

Followers of this Path do anything in the pursuit of pleasure. Cathari have no qualms about killing since they believe in reincarnation, and Fi nal Death releases the soul from its entrapment in the evil body. However, they have no wish to die since their lives as vampires are much better than those of mortals.

The Cathari have two separate classes: the perfecti, who are considered the most holy (though they are far from it), and the credentes, who are the typical followers of this Path. The perfecti have Path ratings of seven or more. The most important ritual performed by the Cathari is the consolamentum. This ritual is conducted by two perfecti who absolve the vampire of all the sins she has committed, thus allowing the vampire to die the Final Death without fear.

The consolamentum is usually performed on a follower on this Path once every few years.

Description of Followers

The followers of the Path of Cathari are highly materialistic. They usually care little about spiritual matters. The Sabbat is important to them because it allows them to act in a totally hedonistic fashion without fear of retribution.

Following the Path

Characters on this Path of Enlightenment should be very materialistic. They place great importance on selfgratification. They have no qualms about siring new vampires and do so frequently. They enjoy their existence to the fullest and are unafraid to try anything at least once.

Path of Cathari Hierarchy of Sins

10 - Refusing to sire new vampires

9 - Failing to pursue a new form of pleasure

8 - Failing to ride the wave of a frenzy

7 - Avoiding injury to others at the cost of your own pleasure

6 - Refusing to murder humans when it would be in your best interest

5 - Refusing to commit cruel acts that are in your best interest

4 - Failing to brag about yourself if it is a good opportunity

3 - Turning down a chance for material gain

2 - Acting altruistically

1 - Restraining yourself unnecessarily

The following comprise the basic tenets of the faith:

1. You will do anything to increase your temporal power. Wealth is important to you.

2. You pursue pleasure to the fullest.

3. You kill humans without remorse.

4. You flaunt your wealth.

5. You drink animal blood as well as human blood, though humans are much more delicious than animals.

6. Atrocity and savagery bother you very little or not at all. They are facts of life.

7. You do not fear Final Death, but you avoid it at all costs. Existence is better as a vampire than as a human, so you wish to stay a vampire as long as you can.

8. You are a total hedonist. You may well have an appropriate Archetype as your Demeanor and your Nature.

9. You have trouble tolerating ascetics.

10. You never maintain long-term romances with other vampires or kine.

Common Abilities: Area Knowledge, Artistic Expression, Carousing, City Secrets, Dancing, Finance, Gambling, Game Playing, Masquerade, Music, Poetic Expression, Seduction, Singing.

Preferred Disciplines: Animalism, Domination and Presence

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