The Path of Entelechy Edit
Virtues: Self-Control and Conviction
Bearing: Stoicism. The Philosophers bring a pragmatism to undeath that allows them to maintain equanimity in the face of the childish taunts and cruel barbs of their less enlightened Kindred. The bearing modifier adds on all rolls to resist frenzy when provoked by insults or other deliberately provocative actions by others. It does not affect frenzy rolls triggered by other forms of rage-inducing stimuli.
Basic Beliefs: The Path of Entelechy is ancient but was lost for centuries, and only recently recovered for use by modern Brujah. An application of Stoic philosophy to the Brujah condition, the Path of Entelechy focuses on protecting one’s Humanity, on searching for truth and purpose, and above all, on mastering the Beast and the fury it provokes within the Brujah. The term entelechy comes from Aristotle and, among modern Brujah Philosophers, means “self-actualization.” The pursuit of entelechy demands that the Brujah actively develop her mind, her body, and her supernatural abilities. While the Path is consonant with Humanity, it is more proactive in resisting the Beast.
An intellectual approach to unlife, the Path focuses on three fundamental concepts believed to have been essential characteristics sought in potential Brujah progeny in the nights of Carthage: enkrateia, reie, and sophrosyne. Enkrateia refers to inner strength. It is not enough for the Philosopher to passively accept the frustrations that come her way, as the Path of Humanity requires. Instead, she must hone her reason into a sword and her will into a shield against the forces that would cause her to degenerate.
In practical terms, this means that Philosophers usually have high Willpower and Self-Control ratings or else aggressively pursue those traits.
Reie refers to moral courage. The Philosopher must not shirk her responsibility to pursue either enlightenment or moral character out of fear of frenzy or other degradations. Instead, she must confront difficult situations with reason and self-discipline, eschewing the impetuosity that defines the modern Brujah. As a practical matter, this means that the Brujah will (or at least should) proactively avoid situations that are likely to provoke frenzy or risk degeneration. At the same time, the Path also encourages Philosophers to show courage in the face of adversity, but only to advance a cause the Brujah considers moral or just.
Sophrosyne means control of the self and represents the idealized goal of all Philosophers: mastery over the Brujah rage. It also means that the Brujah has committed to an eternity of mental, spiritual, and physical development. Philosophers develop sophrosyne by working to improve Physical and Mental Attributes and Abilities, rather than focusing on Disciplines or Social traits.
The Ethics of the Path Edit
• The Beast is weakness. Be strong and command it to be silent.
• Master one’s own true potential. Learn all that can be learned about one’s self.
• Do not show cowardice when deeply held moral principles are at stake.
• Mortals must not be taken for granted. Feed to live, no more.
Despite its ancient origins, the Path of Entelechy is a new phenomenon, driven largely by Brujah elders who despair over the degradation of their once-proud Clan. Those founders look upon the fact that Brujah are called “Rabble” with shame. Accordingly, they recruit younger Brujah who want something more than violence, anarchy, and death out of unlife.
According to some tales, the principles that underlie the Path of Entelechy were espoused by the Brujah of Carthage who supposedly had much greater control over their frenzies before the fall of that city. Others dismiss such claims as wishful thinking, noting that there is no historical support for the idea that ancient Brujah were any more resistant to frenzy than the modern Clan was.
While the Methuselahs who drive the expansion of this Path are certainly old enough to remember Carthage, they are also old enough to have had centuries contemplating the Kindred (and particularly the Brujah) condition.
Current Practices Edit
The numbers of Entelechy Philosophers is presently small, though they have ambitions to grow quickly. Most currently reside in Europe, though the Philosophers who have advanced the farthest along the Path have begun “missionary work” in America and especially in the decadent gang-laden enclaves of the Free States. Currently, most organized instruction is offered in Greece and Crete, though the Chicago elder Critias has taken students in North America. Most of the teachers will accept no more than four students at a time, so the growth of the Path has been slow.
Most Philosophers are Anarchs or autarkis. A few are among the Camarilla, but they are discrete in their beliefs in light of that sect’s general hostility towards Paths as opposed to Humanitas. It is possible that some Brujah among the Sabbat seek enlightenment along this Path — stranger things have happened — but such Sabbat Philosophers would be fantastically rare, as most of the Sect would consider the Path’s pro-Humanity precepts anathema.
Description of Followers Edit
The most important sponsor of the Path of Entelechy is Menele, a Brujah Methuselah who psychically communes with his followers even while his torpid body lies beneath the city of Chicago. The childe of Troile wants to leave a legacy greater than 2,500 years of petty conflict with his old rival, the Toreador Helena. He has reached out to fellow travelers in Greece and Turkey, and guides potential candidates to philosophy teachers in preparation for his own imminent rising. He hopes that when that night comes, he will be met with a Clan of leaders and thinkers rather than thugs.
Path of Entelechy Hierarchy of Sins Edit
|10||Ill-defined or idle thinking||Only rigidity of thought can allow for mastery over the Beast.|
|9||Refusing to intervene when another vampire is at risk for degeneration||In helping others to control their impulses, you learn more on how to control your own.|
|8||Acting on impulse||Acting without careful thought leads to a loss of control.|
|7||Theft, robbery, or vandalism||Acting against others is the path away from Humanity.|
|6||Refusing to stand up for a moral principle out of fear or cowardice||It is only through the defense of morality that you can understand it.|
|5||Causing deliberate harm to a mortal, including violent nonconsensual feeding||If you harm a mortal’s body, you also harm your own spirituality.|
|4||Aiding a follower of another Path that does not respect humanity||Aiding those who reject humanity (and Humanity) is as bad as rejecting it yourself.|
|3||Succumbing to frenzy when wise conduct could have avoided it||Do not give the Beast a chance to flourish.|
|2||Allowing any violent crime against an innocent to go unpunished||
If you allow others to come to harm without punishment, it is as if you committed the harm yourself.
|1||The murder of innocents||Taking a life is the worst loss of control one can commit.|
Following the Path Edit
The defining characteristic of the Path is its view of much of the vampiric condition as weaknesses they must purge. The Beast is not a part of one’s nature to be parleyed with; it is an external force to be fought at all costs. Lust, frenzy, hunger, and passion must all be resisted and beaten into spiritual submission. The Path leaders constantly challenge adherents to improve themselves in the quest for personal excellence.
Common Abilities: Followers are expected to perfect themselves at Athletics, Alertness, and Expression, as well as in Academics and Science. In addition, the Path’s emphasis on broad-based learning generally demands a high degree of multicultural literacy, so it is common for Philosophers to have several versions of the Language Merit. Greek and Latin are most common, but the most respected leaders of the Path are polyglots and are fluent in numerous languages.
Preferred Disciplines: Most Philosophers are drawn to Disciplines that will facilitate control over the Beast. Animalism is surprisingly common for that reason, but the few Philosophers who have initiated themselves into blood magic aggressively pursue study of the Path of the Focused Mind. Many prize Auspex as a sign of strong mental aptitude and Potence is valued above the other physical Disciplines, due to the perception that it demonstrates physical excellence.