This Discipline has been handed down since Osiris himself first discovered this path. It involves attainment of a constant state of mystical consciousness, only achieved by the rigid, ascetic unlife of the Children. This Discipline is not the same state as Golconda. Golconda is a realization and acceptance of the way things are, while the Children’s Disciplines are based on denial. They deny the Beast within them by intensely concentrating on their Humanity and their state of death. If a Child was to give up his meditations and discipline, he would be assailed by his Beast.
The Child must maintain Humanity equal to their highest level of ability, or else lose that ability. For example, a Child must have a Humanity of 9 to gain the ninth level of attainment. If the Child’s Humanity ever drops below the required level, then the ability of that level is lost and must be bought all over again with experience points. The Child can counteract this with Restore Humanitas (below).
The Children of Osiris cannot follow any type of moral code other than Humanity.
• Restore Humanitas
The first thing that the Children of Osiris are taught is that Humanity does not have to be an inexorable slide into depravity. Instead, it is more akin to a climb up an extremely steep hill. The vampire is going to lose some ground, but with perseverance and strength, he can regain it.
System: When the vampire loses a dot of Humanity, he can attempt to regain it without spending experience points by using this power. The Child must use this power within a week of losing the Humanity, and must not have lost any more Humanity since the initial loss (that is, if the character falls from Humanity 8 to Humanity 7, and then falls to Humanity 6 before using this power, Restore Humanitas can only be used to recover Humanity 7). The character meditates for several hours, and spends all of the blood points currently in his body. The player then rolls Conscience (difficulty equal to the level of Humanity being regained). If the roll succeeds, the character regains the dot of Humanity and (if applicable) the dot of Conscience lost to a botched degeneration roll. If the character gained a derangement, it fades within a week of using Restore Humanitas.
•• Banishing Sign of Thoth
The character gestures, turning aside any supernatural effect aimed at her. The source of the effect does not matter. She can thwart, or at least blunt, the strength of any mystical attack. This sign was supposedly taught to Osiris by Thoth, the Egyptian god of wisdom and magic. What Thoth actually was — vampire, mortal, or spellcaster — is lost to time.
System: The player spends a blood point and rolls Dexterity + Occult (difficulty 7). This power can be used to “dodge” any incoming attack of a mystical nature, including any Disciplines that target the character (whether or not they actually inflict damage). Any successes the player rolls are subtracted from the successes on the attacker’s roll. The sign does not serve to turn aside magically enhanced physical attacks; a punch from a vampire with the Potence Discipline still has the full effect.
••• Gift of Apis
All vampires must consume blood, no matter how good their intentions. While this basic fact of undeath cannot be circumvented, the Children of Osiris can at least avoid drinking human blood.
System: Animal blood is just as nourishing to the character as human blood. An animal is considered to have a blood pool equal to the number of health levels it has, rather than the lesser value usually assigned to represent the creature’s less-than-filling fluids. This ability is always active.
•••• Pillar of Osiris
In the center of every temple is a Pillar of Osiris, a place of meditation and power in which the Children’s magic is greatly increased. At this level of Bardo, the character learns to create such a Pillar, meaning that he can create his own temple.
System: Creating the Pillar of Osiris requires a night-long ritual, with the difficulty determined by the location. The more remote and free from violence the location is, the lower the difficulty. A cave far from human populations that has never seen violence might be difficulty 5, which the site of a grisly murder-suicide in a downtown area would be difficulty 9. The player spends a Willpower point and rolls Willpower. Success creates the Pillar, which does not require a physical pillar — the Pillar of Osiris is conceptual, not literal.
Once the Pillar is created, any vampire with at least one dot of Bardo receives a -3 to the difficulties of any Discipline or other mystical activity (including blood magic) performed at the Pillar. However, this requires regular trips to the Pillar. Once the vampire has created a Pillar, he must visit it at least once a month, or it ceases to function. In addition, for every week he is away from a Pillar (not necessarily the one he created), the difficulties of all rolls to avoid frenzy increase by one. The Beast, long denied by the Child’s ascetic practices, grows in strength while away from the Pillar, and eventually pushes the vampire to frenzy and (likely) Humanity loss. The Children of Osiris, for this and other reasons, do not leave their temples for long.
The Child utters a phrase or a riddle that lays bare the truth of the universe to a listener. That truth — the perspective of that one listener’s importance weighed against the whole of creation — is enough to immobilize the target for short while. Although this experience would seem to be disheartening, after the fact the targets are loath to harm the Child. Whether that’s because of a newfound appreciation for one’s place in the world, or out of fear that the vampire will reveal the paradox again, no one really knows.
System: The vampire speaks the phrase, and the player spends a point of Willpower and rolls Manipulation + Occult (difficulty equal to the listener’s current Willpower). If multiple listeners are present, the player rolls against the highest difficulty. If the roll is successful, the listener(s) is immobilized for the scene as he contemplates what he has heard. Striking the victim snaps him out of it. At the end of the scene, the paradox is gone, and the target can’t ever quite explain it. He does, however, suffer a permanent +1 difficulty to harm or act against the Child of Osiris.
••••• • Boon of Anubis
The vampire can protect a mortal from Embrace, leaving instructions for Anubis, the judge of the dead, not to take this particular mortal to his scales. If the mortal is Embraced while under the power of this Discipline, she simply sleeps for a full night and day, and awakens aching and sick, but unharmed. In order to enact this power, the Child of Osiris must kiss the mortal, usually on the forehead.
System: The vampire spends a point of Willpower and rolls Humanity. If the roll succeeds, the target is immune to the Embrace for a number of months equal to the successes rolled. The player can spend a dot of Willpower to make the effect permanent. Note that this Discipline does not protect against any other form of death than the Embrace. If a vampire drains the unfortunate victim dry and then shoots her in the head, she dies just the same. However, the difficulty to avoid degeneration when killing or harming someone under protection of this power is increased by three.
••••• •• Bring Forth the Dawn
This power does not actually cause the sun to rise, but rather triggers the daysleep in Kindred. The Child simply gestures, and the target’s Beast responds as though the sun had just risen outside. The Child can then beat a hasty retreat — or stake and behead the vampire now lying helpless before him.
System: The player spends a blood point for each vampire to be affected and rolls Manipulation + Occult in a contested roll against each target’s Humanity or Path (both rolls at difficulty 7). If the target wins, the power fails. If the Child wins, however, all affected vampires fall asleep for a number of hours equal to the Child’s net successes. Followers of Set and other bloodlines that share their weakness suffer a -2 to their dice pool for this roll. Any Disciplines or Thaumaturgy rituals which protect the Kindred during their sleep also work in defending against this level of Bardo.
••••• ••• Mummification
The Children of Osiris have an uneasy relationship with destroying other vampires. They would prefer not to do so, but some Kindred are too evil to be allowed to exist. For the vampires that straddle the line — that are wicked, but retain a spark of Humanity — the Children sometimes use Mummification.
This long ritual allows a vampire to be put into torpor for as long as the Child wishes. The target can attempt to struggle free, but only once per century. Once the vampire is mummified, the Children usually seal her up in a deep tomb, where (hopefully) she will remain undisturbed.
System: The target must be immobilized, ritually bound in strips of fabric, and prepared with incense and special herbs. The player then rolls Willpower in a contested action against the target’s Willpower (both difficulty 8). If the Child wins, the target enters torpor. If the victim wins, he remains awake and the ritual cannot be completed for another night (meaning that resistance is usually temporary). The target can also attempt to shake the spell free once per century, with a Willpower roll (difficulty 9). Ghouls can also be mummified, but they get no chance to escape.
••••• •••• Ra’s Blessing
This ritual is difficult, but allows the vampire to accomplish the impossible — walking in sunlight, fully experiencing the day once more. Gaining Ra’s Blessing requires a month-long period of fasting and meditation, at the end of which the character might be granted the chance to spend a few precious hours in sunlight. Even this brief period, however, can bolster the character’s Humanity.
System: After completing the month of contemplation, the character ritually washes herself and prepares to greet the dawn. The player spends 10 blood points and rolls Humanity (difficulty 9). Every success allows the character to withstand the sunlight as if she were mortal for a single hour. If the roll fails or botches, the character cannot attempt Ra’s Blessing for a decade. If the roll succeeds, though, the character can use the reaffirmation of seeing sunlight as a way to boost her Humanity and Virtues. For every hour spent under the sun, the Child can roll his Humanity, or one of his Virtues, against a difficulty of 9. Success means that trait is raised by one, while failure or botching this roll means no gain.