The Path of Metamorphosis
Virtues: Conviction and Instinct
Bearing: Inhumanity. Metamorphosists work steadily to become something other than human. Bearing modifiers apply to Intimidation, as well as any Manipulation rolls that can be positively affected by frightening the target.
Basic Beliefs: The world is made up of evolutionary chains. Animals are below humans, who are below the Kindred. The metaphysical, arcane members of Clan Tzimisce follow this Path, which focuses on defining and attaining the state of being beyond the curse of vampirism. Citing their transformative use of Vicissitude, the Tzimisce believe they have the potential to transcend the constraints of the flesh. Hearing Metamorphosist Fiends speak, however, reveals the true monstrosity of their philosophy. They believe that the next step is a state akin to apotheosis, and they will do anything — anything — to achieve it.
The Tzimisce are characteristically thorough in their study of this Path’s ideals. By coordinating their experiments on living, dead, and undead subjects (as well as other curiosities they may come across, like werewolves or the errant faerie), the Fiends have formed complex theories as to precisely what the next step in vampiric transcendence is. The solitary and suspicious Tzimisce rarely compare notes, however, and the Path’s development suffers as each follower spends much of her unlife learning the rudiments that other Kindred have already deciphered.
The Ethics of the Path
• Learn the characteristics of all stages of life and death.
• One should not concern oneself overly with mortals — they are a step below the Kindred, not above them.
• Do not share knowledge with others, as it is too valuable to trust to flawed creatures.
• Indulge the Beast and deny it; true comprehension of unlife requires a broad range of experience.
• One should alter and augment one’s body — changing the flesh may pave the way toward changing the soul.
• Do not heed the needs or desires of others, as their lack of introspection may distract even the keenest intellect.
The Tzimisce have researched this Path in their solitary way for literally thousands of years. They have always been creatures of tremendous mystical potential; the followers of this Path seek to realize that potential. Followers of this Path relate very little to the world outside themselves, and many relate this fact to the inexorable decline of the Clan itself.
Most Metamorphosists claim membership in the Sabbat but pay it little more than lip service, involved as they are in more esoteric pursuits. In truth, this Path predates any Sect, and Kindred committing themselves to it subscribe to beliefs and creeds far older than petty notions of Kindred politics.
Description of Followers
Followers of the Path of Metamorphosis are truly some of the most alien creatures any Kindred could meet. Metamorphosists are cold, utterly inhuman, and exactingly scientific. Their concerns are metaphysical rather than ethical, and it is precisely this frame of mind that leads many to believe that the Metamorphosists have literally begun their transformation into something else. Some take this a step further by altering their flesh in various means until they no longer have a recognizable gender or look even remotely human.
Path of Metamorphosis Hierarchy of Sins
|10||Postponing feeding when hungry||Hunger causes distraction.|
|9||Indulging in pleasure||Hedonism deters one from greater ends.|
|8||Asking another for knowledge||The lessons of Metamorphosis are secrets that must be uncovered, not copied.|
|7||Sharing knowledge with another||Knowledge must be learned, not simply illustrated.|
|6||Refusing to kill when knowledge may be gained from it||Before transcending death, the Metamorphosist must understand it.|
|5||Failing to ride out a frenzy||A Kindred must know the Beast to transcend it.|
|4||Considering the needs of others||Those who cannot be bothered to attain Metamorphosis are beneath one’s attention.|
|3||Failure to experiment, even at risk to oneself||The Path can be understood only through empirical research.|
|2||Neglecting to alter one’s own body||Physical change must be attained before any more significant metamorphosis.|
|1||Exhibiting compassion for others||The fates of others drag one into devolution, not transcendence.|
Following the Path
Metamorphosists conduct all manner of bizarre experiments, most of which take place far from others’ eyes. It is a distant, lonely philosophy, removed from any needs other than the matter of sustenance. Followers should be heedless of others around them, existing only to satisfy their personal concerns.
Common Abilities: This Path concerns itself almost exclusively with Knowledges, particularly those of Occult, Medicine, and Science. Many Metamorphosists also specialize Academics in areas such as philosophy and theology in hopes of uncovering secrets unexplored in larger fields of study.
Preferred Disciplines: The Tzimisce Metamorphosists favor attention to their unique powers of Vicissitude. Thaumaturgy and Auspex are also highly prized.