Even monsters have their bogeymen, and Kindred are no exception. Sires often attempt to keep neonates from growing drunk on their own power as vampires, and one method for doing so is to explain to them what sorts of twisted, evil power awaits them in the dark. The Baali are one such power.
History — or legend, perhaps — claims that the childe of an Antediluvian made a pact with forces beyond human understanding in order to make war on the thirteen Clans. He took the name Baal-the-Destroyer, and he led his apostles against the Second City. The battle was terrible, and none caught in its wake were spared — Demon and Kindred alike perished. But the Baali and their unholy allies were routed and fled, and over the millennia, they faded from memory, to legend, to cautionary tale.
The Baali do still exist, though. The Inquisition weeded out the stupid and the careless, but left the clever and the patient. Some went into torpor, while others simply claimed membership in another Clan and begged for sanctuary. Now, in modern nights, the bloodline sees more concentrated activity than it has for centuries. Baali are explorers and seekers of secrets. They will do almost anything and sacrifice almost anyone to gain access to occult mysteries. They squander the wealth they have accumulated, they make deals they cannot possible hope to live up to, and they do so with no apology and no attempt at excuse. They seem to know that they are in decline, and that their bloodline is disappearing into the mists of time.
The bloodline has enemies, after all. Infernalists — those who call up and worship demons — are one of the very few beings that can be called “common enemies” by most of the denizens of the World of Darkness, Kindred and otherwise. Despite their small numbers and host of enemies, the Baali are dangerous. They are not Faustian bargainers, looking for comfort or even knowledge. They do not wish to reign in Hell. They believe — they know — that the world is doomed. The End Times are here, and every sacrifice they make, every murder they incite, is one more chink in the dam holding back the deluge of blood called Gehenna. If they have to die to break that dam, so be it. They die knowing that what they do is what must be done.
Sect: While individual Baali might pretend to membership in the Camarilla or, less commonly, the Sabbat, the bloodline as a whole claims no Sect.
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.
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.
Character Creation: Mental Attributes, especially Perception, 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.
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. In addition, should a Baali run afoul of True Faith, any hindering or damage effects are doubled.
Organization: The Baali gather in cabals numbering three to 13. Supposedly, these cabals answer to the bloodline’s founder. Any Demon is willing to die to protect his cabal-mates; not out of any loyalty or affection for them, but because they’re all doomed anyway.
Camarilla: Sooner or later, the masks have to come off. Take all the time you need. We’ll wait.
Sabbat: A honeycomb in which to hide. Just learn how the little bees dance first.
Followers of Set: They have the right idea. They’re just playing for the wrong team.
The View From Without
Camarilla: Satanists? They’re not… wait. You think they care about Satan?
Sabbat: There’s a reason we spend so much time ensuring loyalty, and it’s not because we think the Camarilla Licks are going to infiltrate us.
Ravnos: You wouldn’t believe what I’ve seen.