The Path of Power and the Inner Voice
Virtues: Conviction and Instinct
Bearing: Command. Unifiers are destined for power, and they know it. Those around them can feel their commanding presence. Their bearing modifier affects rolls to command or lead others.
Basic Beliefs: When given eternal life, incredible power, and inhuman thirsts, the only true existence is as an undying overlord. There is no use in pining for lost humanity or in secreting oneself away to study arcane lore; vampires are without honor or compassion. The role of a vampire is the role of a master.
The followers of this Path see the exercise of power and control as the best reason for vampiric existence. Control of the self and of the external world is the only goal worth pursuing. To this end, a vampire must develop her abilities, extend her influence and play her pawns. By bending the world to her will, the vampire creates order and stability. Every form of power, influence, or control can be used to further some end. Therefore, Unifiers seek all forms of power, whether political, material, or spiritual.
Unifiers follow their own insight when exercising their authority. Although this Path is highly concerned with temporal power, it is also quite spiritual; Unifiers are avid pursuers of wisdom and enlightenment. Of course, all such knowledge ultimately turns to the pursuit of personal power. By understanding oneself, it is possible to begin to describe the motivations of others. True understanding, therefore, allows the vampire to unlock the secrets of enemies and allies alike, to carefully dissect any situation and discern the most proper course of action.
From such judgments, the vampire decides upon the most favorable means of taking or keeping control. The followers of this Path are rightly feared and respected. No adherent to this Path tolerates weakness or failure; punishment is swift and often fatal. Indeed, punishment serves not only to remonstrate the offender, but as an example to others. Thus, Unifiers have no mercy or compassion. Sabbat packs with Unifier Ducti are Darwinian in the extreme.
Unifiers are consummate politicians and strategists. Although blood bonds and emotional ties can motivate followers, the pragmatic students of this philosophy recognize that such measures can be fought and compromised. Thus, vampires of this Path believe that control should only be woven through methods that cannot be subverted: Pain, rage, desire, and depravity are key among their tools. A recruit who serves out of loyalty can be bought; a follower who serves out of duty can be blackmailed; an adherent who serves out of love can be disillusioned. Therefore, fear and respect for power, anger, and hate directed towards one’s enemies, the fulfillment of lust and the lessons of pain make the most persuasive directives.
The Ethics of the Path
• Do not tolerate failure — including your own. Punish it visibly and harshly.
• Be sporadic in your rewards. Drive your followers to excel, but never let them assume that reward follows excellence.
• Strive for control by any means. Dominate the world around you and bend it to your will.
• Use the most effective tool for any undertaking. Hate, fear, and anger are key among these tools, but feign benevolence.
• Show respect to those in authority, but replace them when they falter.
• Deal from a position of power. Do not show weakness.
The Path of Power and the Inner Voice supposedly started with a Lasombra by the name of Lord Marcus, in the early 16th century. The Path‘s constant push to develop power and influence led to many followers who devoutly supported the Sabbat in its early nights, and as such, many of the Path‘s adherents assumed positions of authority during the formation of the Sabbat.
Even tonight, the Path is well-respected within the Sabbat, and some of its precepts have even started to gain grudging acceptance among the power-hungry and jaded elders of the Camarilla. Modern nights have seen an explosion of membership in this Path. Though always popular, the Path has attracted many new followers from the expanding ranks of the Sabbat. The sheer ruthlessness and shrewdness of many of these recruits is responsible for the slow evolution of the Path from a respectable but dictatorial philosophy into a Path of iron-fisted, Machiavellian social tyranny.
Followers of the Path of Power and the Inner Voice do not have an organized association, but they do engage in many similar practices. All Unifiers participate in War Parties and blood hunts, often assuming roles of leadership. Various displays of willpower are a means to demonstrate power and self-mastery, so Unifiers participate in many such rituals or opportunities as well.
Description of Followers
Unifiers are driven, confident, and even megalomaniacal. The need for control combined with introspection makes followers of this Path into corrupt and brutish tyrants. Some followers of the Path espouse dictatorship, but the truly enlightened use martial philosophy and an understanding of psychology to incite their followers. The typical Unifier accepts no excuses, drives himself and his subjects mercilessly, and shows no pity or compassion for failure.
Path of Power and the Inner Voice Hierarchy of Sins
|10||Denying responsibility for your actions||Dereliction of responsibility is a failure to lead properly.|
|9||Treating your underlings poorly||Reward competence as an incentive, but do so sparingly.|
|8||Failing to respect your superiors||Give the respect that is due, that you might learn something in turn.|
|7||Helping others when it is not to your advantage||Always gain something from your actions.|
|6||Accepting defeat||Succeed, or die.|
|5||Failing to kill when it’s in your interests||Do not hesitate to eliminate those who would stand against you.|
|4||Submitting to the error of others||Be right and you will be vindicated. Follow a fool and you will suffer for it.|
|3||Not using the most effective tools for control||Power must be seized. Be iron-fisted and resolute.|
|2||Not punishing failure||Failure is instructive only when used as a negative example.|
|1||Turning down the opportunity for power||Personal power is the means to all ends.|
Following the Path
A Unifier accepts no defeat. The appearance of benevolence is useful, but all failure must be punished eventually. The follower of the Path must always strive to control the situations around him and heed his own judgment. Respect should be given to those in positions of authority, but those who falter must be cast down and replaced. Followers of this Path seek wealth, influence, and support. Rule should be achieved by any means necessary — when alliances or honor are useful, they are used, but otherwise, fear and hate are more appropriate. The Unifier constantly seeks out means of developing his own capabilities and furthering his own agenda.
Common Abilities: Leadership, Intimidation, Politics, Subterfuge, and similar Abilities are highly appropriate to followers of this Path. Unifiers often make a study of some sort of combat prowess, be it Brawl or Melee, in order to back up their authority. Empathy can also highlight the way to inner awareness.
Preferred Disciplines: Dominate and Presence are most valued among the Unifiers for their ability to exert direct control. Unifiers place emphasis on other Disciplines according to their own means of gathering power. All Unifiers invariably seek to develop their natural Disciplines to their fullest potential.