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ABADDONITES

Description: Until relatively recent times (inside of two centuries) the Clan from which the Sicariot drew most of its leaders, and, to this day, the Clan from which an overwhelming majority of the Thornites' priests are drawn from, the Childer of Abaddon are a dying breed... And most of their sub-sectmates (and those in the Sabbat who know of their existence) are more than relieved to see them slowly wither away.

There are no explicit answers for why the Abaddonites have fallen from favour, but noted Sabbat scholars -- including Abrimalech D'Oevre of Clan Tzimisce -- point out that, of the Sicariot's six Clans, the Childer of Abaddon have almost always been at the forefront of controversy, whether theological (whether or not to accept the Cathari within the framework of the Thornite faith) or political (the Sabbat Civil Wars). Even today, the Abaddonites seem to curry towards the radical end of the spectrum, as most of their kind is linked in some way, shape or form to the Loyalist movement. Abrimalech hypothesized that the Regent, seeking greater control over the Sicariot and hoping to exert this control using the Sub-sect's faith as a tool, has begun a Purge of their ranks. If this is true, the Abaddonites are quite possibly high on her list of those to be removed -- most probably by their own Sicariot sub-sectmates.

Other scholars, however, sense something even more sinister in the dwindling numbers of Abaddonites. Some Inquisitors have, in hushed tones, pointed to the growing taint of the Path of Evil Revelations within the Abaddonite Clan. This double heresy (Sicariot are, to the man, sworn members of the Path of Thorns) has led some to suggest (though never within earshot of an Abaddonite) that the priestly class of the Sicariot is slowly being subsumed by the dark masters beyond the Pale. No one really knows...and no one is willing to ask too many questions, either. It is rumored that two delegations of Inquisitors have disappeared into the subterranean depths of Constantinople, the Unholy See of all Thornites.

Nickname: Priests

Appearance: The Abaddonites are almost exclusively priests and/or theologians for their Sicariot brethren...and they tend to dress in like manner. Elaborate clothing is the norm, most particularly priestly garb of either the Catholic or Orthodox faiths. They routinely carry various unholy symbols (notably the Thornites' Crown of Thorns) on their person but, otherwise, one would be hard-pressed to distinguish them from your average parish priest.

Haven: Abaddonites are communal by nature, especially at the lower ranks. They normally maintain residence within a dilapidated church, preferably one that used to house a 'High-Church' congregation (Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican/Episcopalian), as a pack of no more than four or five. As they rise in Prestige, they become more and more autonomous, leaving the safe dwellings of the pack and becoming more involved with Clan (and, to a much lesser extent, Sub-sect) duties. Bishops (not the Sabbat office, but a specialized ecclesiastical office of the Clan) and above never reside in communal settings... they have too many secrets to keep.

Background: Abaddonites exclusively choose clergymen and women or, in relatively rarer cases, theologians of the lay variety, as the core of their cadres. The particular faith of the clergy person doesn't really concern the Abaddonites (after all, they'll know the Truth soon enough...). Within the Priests' ranks lie Christians of all shades, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus -- and a few assorted pagans and 'other' persons of faith. Strangely, no atheists have ever been chosen (at least, to anyone's knowledge).

Character Creation: Abaddonites lean towards the Fanatic or Martyr in Nature -- though not a few Directors and Judges can be found as well -- and seem to prefer Traditionalist or, paradoxically, Rebel for their demeanors (not necessarily the contradiction it may seem, considering their support for the Loyalist movement). Mental Attributes are almost always primary, with Social following a close second. Not too surprisingly, many Abaddonites have Retainers in the mortal world (clergymen, almost exclusively). Also, a disturbing number of them are extremely old of blood...and have Elder Generation and a hundred lifetimes of institutional memory to back them up.

Clan Disciplines: Auspex, Communion, and Presence.

Weaknesses: Nearly every Abaddonite is paranoid in extremis. Their knowledge -- garnered both through careful reading of the Book of Thorns and prophecy from within the Clan – has placed a high toll upon their psyches. Take either Paranoia or Manic-Depression as a permanent derangement.

Preferred Paths: Abaddonites, like nearly all of the Sicariot's Clans, are blood-oath-sworn to the Path of Thorns. A few, however, are Cathari (though they are called Heretics in open company) and a disturbing number of them (though less than the percentage of Clan Lasombra) are Infernalists.

Organization: The Childer of Abaddon are, predictably, an incredibly hierarchical Clan. A character begins as a priest and progresses to Bishop, Archbishop, and, eventually, Antipater. There are other, specialized, offices as well, such as Metropolitan, Patriarch, and Cardinal, reflecting an even more Byzantine design within the Clan. The Thornite faith and the Abaddonites are indistinguishable. One is supported by the other and vice versa. The Antipater -- the spiritual and worldly head of the Thornites – is always an Abaddonite.

Once, every six years, the entire Clan gathers in a massive religious event called a Concilium at the Thornites' Unholy See in Constantinople (no one refers to the city as 'Istanbul', not even ex-Muslims). No non-Abaddonite is allowed entry, even though the decisions made during the Concilium effect all Thornites and not just the Abaddonites. Ominously, there has been no call for a Concilium in eighteen years. The Regent, always wary of the religious fanatics that are the Sicariot, is beginning to wonder...

Gaining Clan Prestige: In general terms, all Abaddonites gain Prestige whenever they can impart unto their fellow pack-mates (assuming they are in predominately non-Abaddonite packs) a modicum of spiritual wisdom. They are, at heart and soul, faithful priests of their faith and acts to increase the fervance of their pack-mates' beliefs are always a plus in the eyes of the episcopacy.

Secretly, there are other actions, which will allow an Abaddonite to gain a higher quality of Prestige than other, more mundane, acts. All Abaddonites of high enough stature (not Status, but something acquired over time, study and diligence) know of the Gnosis: the Unholy Secrets of the Thornite faith, and the horrors that lie ahead as Gehenna fast approaches. Any action taken to position the Abaddonite Clan so as to take advantage of the coming turmoil is looked upon as worth more than any number of souls acquired to the Thornite belief.

Quote: "And in those days there shall come a reign of fire. A storm cloud of cleansing damnation from which the true branch of Caine's Seed shall emerge. A branch untainted by the seed of Abel, by the vile workings of the Carpenter's Son. And it shall be in those days that the True Faith shall be resurrected after many years of subservience to a false prophet."

-- The Apocalypse of St. d'Avoe 8:9-11. The Book of Thorns

Stereotypes:

Lasombra: Our primary enemy in our Crusade to cleanse the Sect of heresy. It is they, above all, with whom we seek retribution for all that they have done and are doing to condemn us all when Gehenna strikes. We will pray for them, pray that they will seek penance, while they still have time.

Tzimisce: They are of common thought as us, but their blood is tainted. Drink not from their veins, at least, not until we can ascertain as to the reason for this taint. Already, too many of our number have fallen silent after sharing with the Fiends' in Vaulderie. The Antipater is hard at work on a solution to this problem. Until then, be wary of them. Pity them, though, for they are our deepest of soul mates.

Assamite antitribu: The Sicarii were formed to counter the influence of the Assamite in the Black Hand. Our memory runs long. Do not trust them. Ours is a singular task, often parallel to theirs and yet at odds with them. You cannot know to whom their loyalty lies.

Brujah antitribu: Politics makes strange bedfellows, especially when matters of the faith are added to the mixture. They are our ideological allies, but they are heretics all the same. Theirs is the joy of anarchy bordering on nihilism, while we prefer the freedom of faith from the diktat of reason and stifling and corrupt bureaucracy that seems to pervade the Sabbat.

Gangrel antitribu: Animals, all, never mind the distinctions between themselves. If, by chance, you can convert them, do so. But do not hold up for a miracle. These simple folk would rather cavort with the Lupines than pay heed to their Dark Nature. Fools.

Malkavian antitribu: They know. Heed them whenever you can.

Nosferatu antitribu: Dangerous heretics, almost on par with the traitorous Lasombra. In addition, they flirt with ideological impurity, minding the business of their Camarilla brethren rather than paying attention to their own kind. Their day is coming. Until then, stay clear of them.

Panders: 'Blessed are the confused, for theirs is the purity of ignorance.' Epistle of Avarice, 1:2. Don't worry about them, no one else does.

Ravnos antitribu: Rodents.

Serpents of the Light: By the False Prophet, if there is one mistake I will curse myself for always it is acquiescing to the induction of the Snakes into the Sabbat. We will all rue that day. They should have been exterminated to the man in a Crusade age's ago.

Toreador antitribu: Yes, and where will you go when the gold ceases to glimmer, the paint loses its color, and all you have left is the fading -- but eternal -- memory of fleeting desires and high cultured friends, hmm? So shallow, so desperately shallow.

Tremere antitribu: So sad, they. As blatantly artificial as the Panders, and yet having managed to acquire respectability the Panders will never acquire. That, however, makes them no less unworthy of alliance. They will burn in Gehenna.

Ventrue antitribu: A remnant, true, but our most steadfast allies outside of the Sicarii Clans. Few of them hold to the True Faith, but at least their hearts are in the right place. Command all your efforts to secure their allegiance and attempt to convert them at every opportunity. Now is not the time to hold back. Help them help us. The Sicariot, the Sabbat, and all Kindred depend on whether or not we can win them over in toto.

The Black Hand: There is the stench of heresy about them. We do not know exactly from whence it came, but it is there nonetheless. Be exceedingly careful around them, and befriend them not, lest you be drawn into whatever conspiracy they weave.

The Camarilla: Our foe, above all others. They are the most supreme of fools. When Gehenna comes, and the Antediluvians lap them up like pearls on a string, what then will the survivors cry out? 'I didn't know! I didn't know!' Damn them for their ignorance. The knowledge is there for those who seek to know. Otherwise, let them rot.