The Path of Lilith
Nickname: Bahari, Lilins
Virtues: Conviction and Instincts
Bearing: Tribulation. The Bahari see enlightenment through pain and conflict, and they learn to turn pain to their advantage. The bearing modifier affects rolls impacted by their own wound penalties.
Basic Beliefs: Considered heretical by most Cainites of the Sabbat, the fragments of Lilith’s teachings — sometimes erroneously referred to as the Lilith Cycle — showcase an elaborate history and an alternate tale of Creation itself. Cast out from the first garden for the crimes of elevating herself with the Fruits of Knowledge and Life, and for seeking to be equal to both man and God, Lilith wandered the unformed and barren world, becoming a power of creation equaling the deities of old. Through tribulation and pain she discovered the ways of survival; by fire and thorn she created her own garden, a mirror of the suffering and enlightenment that she endured. The architect of Caine’s power, the creator of magick, and the mother to gods, Lilith watered the seeds of wisdom with her own blood, which empowered anyone to walk through the fire and swim through the frost to come to the revelation of ultimate freedom and self-empowerment.
Claiming followers among vampires and other denizens of the hidden world, the Bahari practice the ancient ways handed down by Lilith. By following the image of the mother-goddess, they raise themselves from the status of children. Like a parent disciplining an errant child, Lilith passes on a legacy of pain that teaches, and so the Bahari seek to overcome the weaknesses of their blind, helpless births, ascending to understanding and power. By walking in fire, impaling themselves on thorns and blades, suffering deprivation, and plunging into icy water, the Bahari excite their bodies and minds to true sensation, and open their consciousness to the entirety of the world. From the dizzying heights of comprehension, at the needlepoint of pain, they learn the true measure of creation, that they may take the formless stuff of the world and cast it in a new image.
Make no mistake, the Bahari have little room for compassion or conscience. They fully believe that one must grasp the blade of enlightenment — and suffer its lacerations — before rising to the truth. Those who do not have the will or the insight to learn through suffering are chaff, cast aside sadly but unhesitatingly. No time or resource is wasted on those who do not have the overpowering need to suffer, change, and grow.
The Hierophants, the vampire-priests of Lilith, choose those who have heard Lilith’s song and punish, flagellate, and excoriate them until they arrive on the cusp of seething awareness. Only then are the tears brushed away with lover’s care, the wounds comforted, and the supplicants brought into the fullness of Lilith’s glorious Path.
The Ethics of the Path
• Only through pain are we elevated.
• Be teacher, torturer, and lover to any who seek enlightenment.
• Practice what you learn. Wisdom is meaningless unless it accompanies action.
• Cultivate a garden, that you may show the power of your own creation.
• Seek out those on the border of awareness and initiate them.
• Gather with your brothers and sisters to share your learning and anguish.
According to apocryphal tales, the cult of Lilith started when a vampire Methuselah, searching for ancient artifacts in Africa some millennia ago, discovered strange writings purported to tell of the Dark Mother. Although this Cainite could not acquire the artifacts, he carried with him the knowledge of what he had seen. Soundly defeated by the mortal and demonic guardians of the writings, he retreated to gather others to him with the knowledge and insight to delve into the mysteries pieced together from the fragments. Over the years, followers of the Path of Lilith slowly spread their archaic knowledge, drawing in small numbers of erudite and mystically curious vampires. The Path eventually took on aspects of religion as it absorbed the rituals and ceremonies of its followers’ native lands.
The Path of Lilith never had very much of a following in the Sabbat, where the antithetical Path of Caine took sway, but enough followers existed to ensure that the Path survived. Indeed, even some elders of the Camarilla came to follow the Path. As rumors of Gehenna grow, more vampires are drawn to the apocryphal teachings of this Path. The visions of Caine as a blundering fool, cursed with incredible power that he refuses to understand, draw together vampires who seek an alternate means to survive the End Times. Through the auspices of the Dark Mother, they hope to rise above their Cainite nature and become untouchable to the Antediluvians.
Modem Bahari inherit many of the traditions of their ancient forebears. The followers of this Path rarely discard rituals or beliefs, for only true understanding of all of the world’s mysteries can unlock the door to enlightenment. As such, the Bahari employ many and varied rites of worship. They often cultivate the hidden knowledge of alien cultures, and they are quick to absorb and adapt new and different occult practices.
Because of this openness, Bahari engage in a loose network of vampires who trade lore and mystical knowledge, even dealing with wizards, ghosts, and other keepers of ancient secrets. Bahari often practice rituals that are bizarre even by the standards of the Sabbat, and though they are loyal as long as they may continue to practice their rites, the final loyalty of all Bahari is ultimately to themselves.
Description of Followers
Bahari live fast-paced, hectic unlives, constantly striving for the next change and the next learning experience. Anything that shocks or outrages the sensibilities of others is fair game, since there is always the hope of pushing someone beyond the boundaries of the banal. Bahari cherish the development of personal understanding, so followers of this Path can be found equally among the squalid and the wealthy. When moving among mortals, Bahari are flamboyant and mysterious. In their ceremonies, they often wear flowing, open cloaks and ceremonial masks of wood or bone.
Contrary to some beliefs, this Path is not exclusively followed by women, although they do make up a majority of its practitioners. Anyone who throws away the caul of childish ignorance for painful maturity is welcome in the circle of Lilith.
Path of Lilith Hierarchy of Sins
|10||Feeding immediately when hungry||Deprivation and hunger taught Lilith to survive.|
|9||Pursuing temporal wealth or power||True wealth comes from inside, not from money or influence.|
|8||Not correcting the errors of others regarding Caine and Lilith||Caine was a murderer, traitor, and fool who deserves no reverence.|
|7||Feeling remorse for bringing pain to someone||Pain and suffering help others to learn and grow.|
|6||Failing to participate in a Bahari ritual||The rituals handed down through time contain clues to awakening.|
|5||Fearing death||Death is simply an inevitable change to a new form of existence.|
|4||Killing a living or unliving being||Death denies one the chance to transcend.|
|3||Not seeking out the teachings of Lilith||Lilith hid her works in many places; they must be found.|
|2||Failing to dispense pain and anguish||Be a teacher through the pain.|
|1||Shunning pain||Only through pain are we reborn.To shun pain is to embrace ignorance.|
Following the Path
A Lilin breaks with convention, flouting “accepted society” in order to force others to re-evaluate their views of the world. With the branding-iron and the scourge, the Cainite brings painful lessons that, if survived, make the postulant stronger. Those who hover on the edge of awareness are watched carefully for the final soul-wrenching revelation that brings them strength. To visit pain and even death is the greatest gift that can be given, for through these trials the individual comes to understand herself. Each must discover her own inward seeds of Knowledge and Life, so as to become a universe unto herself and an architect of creation. The garden, the symbol of life shaped and cultivated with care, is the manifestation of the Bahari’s devotion to expressing what she has created and learned.
Common Abilities: Medicine, an understanding of the body in order to dispense pain without killing, is first and foremost among a Lilin’s skills. As mystics of the ancient secrets, Occult is crucial. Academics and Science are also valuable tools in the search for truth.
Preferred Disciplines: Lilith is said to have invoked various powers in herself as she walked the unformed earth, powers that aided in her survival. Bahari often emulate these powers, focusing upon the Disciplines of Animalism, Celerity, Fortitude, and Obfuscate.