by Bryan Rendell (30 Nov 94)
EVERYTHING YOU EVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT THE ASSAMITES BUT WERE AFRAID TO ASK (WITH GOOD REASON PERHAPS)
"Living at home is such a drag.
Your mom threw away your best porno mag"
- The Beastie Boys, Fight for your Right
All Assamites are required to tithe 10% of all blood they receive in payment to their sires. In cases where the sire has met the final death, the clan elders at Alamut will accept the token of loyalty in the sire's place.
The elders of Alamut will also perform certain minor tasks for any Assamite, in exchange for a further tithe. The elders will safely store any blood sent to them. This is an attractive option for most Assamites, as the elders are far more capable of protecting such precious vitae than any Assamite in the field. They will also organize to have the blood exchanged for blood of a more useful generation. This is also a very valuable, and time saving, service, that many Assamites utilize.
These services do not come free however. Storage of vitae costs a flat 10% of the amount stored. The cost of brokerage rises as the required generation falls, as the availability of such potent blood is low. The standard fee for brokerage is 10%. For every generation earlier than eighth, this price rises by an additional 10%. Thus if the requisite generation is sixth, then the brokerage fee would be 30%. Note that all fees are taken from the blood before any brokerage takes place.
While the Elders of Alamut would never cheat a fellow Assamite, they will always give themselves the benefit of the doubt. The amount taken will err in their favor, and will tend to take more of earlier generation blood.
Example: Al, a Seventh generation Assamite sends his earned blood to Alamut with a polite request for brokerage and storage. The gracious elders will tithe Al 30% of his supply for the privilege. Al has 17 points of 11th generation, 19 points of 9th generation, 7 points of 8th generation, 12 points of 7th generation and 4 points of 6th generation. This is a total of 59 blood points, of which 18 points makes 30%, rounded to the elders advantage. They take 2 points of 6th generation, 4 points of 7th generation, 3 points of 8th generation, 6 points of 9th generation and 3 points of 11th generation. In this case they took less than 30% of the 11th generation blood, because they would take no more than 30% of the total pool.
Al is left with 14 points of 11th, 13 points of 9th, 4 points of 8th, 8 points of 7th, and 2 points of 6th. When brokered, this becomes 18 points of 7th generation and 2 points of 11th. This is placed in storage. In any further brokerage, although this blood cannot be tithed again, it can be used in the process. The 2 points of 11th generation blood can be combined with 14 other such points to give 1 7th generation point of blood.
While it would seem obvious that by calculating ahead of time, Al could have sent less than the above amounts and made more efficient use of his resources, such practise is not recommended. The leeway granted is a mark of respect for the Elders of the clan, as the Assamites should be honored that their elders would deign to aid them. To send quantities of blood that don't favor the Elders is insulting, implying that the Elders are somehow cheating the Neonates. Consistently doing so will almost certainly lead to loss of Clan Prestige. Rumors that the stored blood of offenders meet with mysterious accidents are utterly unfounded, as well as unjustly calling the honor of the Elders into question. Never, never, never call the honor of the Elders into question.
One common form of punishment for Assamites not guilty of capital crimes is to double all tithes in blood. Thus, tithes to ones sire, tithes for storage and tithes for brokerage are 20%. Moreover, such Assamites are expected to make full use of such services, to demonstrate their continuing loyalty. Not to use such services is to imply that the punishment was somehow unfair, calling the judgement of the Elders into question. Never, never, never call the judgement of the Elders into question.
"Hey man what hit my car?
Don't know if it was a sheep or a dog.
Maybe it was nothing at all.
Maybe I've had just too much grog"
- The Cosmic Psychos, Dead Roo
Assamites would seem to be in great danger of succumbing to the Beast, considering they make death their living. However, just as the Sabbat have found a way of keeping the Beast at bay, so too the Assamites. However, they do not make use of Paths of Enlightenment, as Assamites require continuing coolness and self control to pursue their goals, something the Paths do not provide.
Instead, the Assamites have developed, over the centuries, a philosophical outlook on life and death that does not replace Humanity, as Paths do, but supplements it. By rigorous application of this philosophy, the Assamite can operate in the field of death dealing without loss of humanity.
Putting it briefly, this philosophy is related to the principle of Golconda, which is acceptance. The Assamite accepts all facets and connotations of the deed to be committed, accepts the separate and distinct reality of the one to be killed, accepts his own role as killer, accepts the spiritual quest upon which he is on. In this aspect, it can be seen as remorse before the fact. However, this "remorse" is counterpointed with the joy of spiritual epiphany, the necessary re-discovery of the spiritual underpinings of the Clan that must be achieved over and over again. While in this state of remorse/joy, the Assamites horizons expand, and he is capable of performing the act of killing while keeping the Beast at bay
Note that an understanding of the reality of the intended target is crucial to the process. The Assamite requires as much personal detail on the target as possible, in particular photos of the target and family, if any. Other documents which reveal the targets history, such as school reports, lists of personal tastes and habits and any other highly personalized items are ideal. When arranging the hit, the Assamite will always ask to be provided with such items, as well as all information pertinent to the actual hit itself, by the one putting out the contract. If no such items are provided, the Assamite may well conduct a little raid on the targets house to furnish himself with the necessary items. If no such items are to be found anywhere, this may well affect the Assamites willingness to perform the deed, depending on how highly the Assamite values his Humanity.
So how does this work in game terms? Firstly, it requires the use of a new Knowledge, that of Assamite Philosophy (apologies for not coming up with some really clever name). It is then a simple roll of Perception + Assamite Philosophy at a difficulty of the Assamites own Humanity. This reflects the Assamites struggle with himself to attain the necessary state of mind. Each roll takes 2 hours to perform.
The number of successes on the roll determine the length of time the Assamite can remain in this euphoric state. The more successes gained, the more leeway the Assamite has on the means of assassinating the target. A single success grants the Assamite 3 hours of time. Each additional success doubles this base time, so 5 successes would give the Assamite 2 days to do the job. If the allotted time passes without the target being killed, or if the Assamite fails the roll, the Assamite can attempt another roll. However, unless there is a significant change in the degree to which the Assamite "knows" the target, the difficulty increases by 1. This can occur an indefinite number of times, with the difficulty penalty accumulating each time.
If the Assamite botches the roll, then he can make no further rolls regarding this particular target. However, by this stage the Assamite has almost certainly agreed to the hit, and is honor bound to make an attempt. The Assamite clan has a serious reputation to protect, and don't like individual Assamites doing anything to jeopardize that reputation. The Assamite will just have to kill the target and accept the risk to his Humanity. C'est la vie.
Beyond this simple roll, there are some considerations that must be addressed. Firstly, it is part and parcel of the whole Assamite position that they are assassins, not murderers. This roll can only be made in the case of a legitimate assassination. It cannot be made for any old killing the Assamite may want to perform. For all other actions, Assamites are just as subject to Humanity loss as all other Kindred. Secondly, the process focuses on a single individual and his death. Thus, the Assamites Humanity is protected only against the death of that individual and the MINIMUM VIOLENCE required to attain the individual's death. It does not protect the Assamite's Humanity if he blows away the targets family when trying to get the target. Basically, this requires the Storytellers discretion as to when the Assamite has crossed the line from necessary to gratuitous action.
Their are also various modifiers that alter the circumstances of the roll. These are as follows:
- Every time the Assamite doubles the time spent in contemplation, the difficulty drops by one. Thus if the Assamite spent 8 hours in reflection, the difficulty would be Humanity - 2. Often Assamites with high Humanity will spend the daylight hours in contemplation rather than sleep, to perform a hit the next night.
- An integral part of the process is the spiritual growth through the blood attained. If the Assamite is working for anything other than the blood of Kindred, the Difficulty of the roll is 1 higher.
- It is essential that the Assamite "knows" the target for the attempt to be made. If the Assamite has had some personal involvement with the target, then the difficulty is lowered by 1. However, there is a point where intimate involvement becomes a burden rather than an asset. If the Assamite has particularly strong feelings for the target, then the difficulty is raised by 1 to 4 points, depending on the strength of the feeling, and the degree of reciprocation. Note that these feelings can be positive or negative. Utter loathing for a target can cloud the Assamites mind as effectively as love.
"Just wait until you touch the 'Pernicious Poem Place'!
Oooh, you'll be sorry then!"
- Calvin, Calvin and Hobbes
Not all Assamites make use of the philosophy of the Assamites. Indeed, it is believed that some Assamites follow Paths similar to the Path of Caine found amongst the Sabbat. The Elders have no problem with this. So long as one is loyal to the Clan, and to the goals of the Clan, then how you go about it is your own business.
However, there has developed over the centuries a movement within the Assamites which is viewed as inimical to the goals of the Clan. This underground faction espouses the position that the Assamites should not be the assassins of the dead, rather they should be the defenders and warriors of the Kindred, as it is thought they once were. This of itself is not a problem. The Elders of Alamut are tolerant as to what Assamites do when not assassinating. What is a problem is that these separatists dispute the existence of Caine, and suggest that the quest of ascending to Caine by raising ones generation is bankrupt, and a perversion of the understanding of Golconda. Understandably, in such a fundamentalist Clan, this suggestion does not go down well.
It is believed that the Separatists have developed their own philosophy with respect to noble warfare, that works much as the Assamite Philosophy does. The Elders of Alamut have made repeated efforts to eradicate the movement where ever it was found. However, their efforts have never been completely successful, as the movement has always risen again after a time. Admittedly, only a small minority of Assamites are members of this group. Further, very few other Assamites have ever heard of them, as the Elders make concerted efforts to keep other Assamites ignorant of the heresy. While this policy perhaps keeps the number of Separatists to a minimum, it makes it easier for the Separatists to remain hidden in the body of normal Assamites.
"Soon I discovered that this Rock thing was true.
Jerry Lee Lewis was the Devil,
Jesus was an architect previous to his career as a prophet."
- Ministry, Jesus Built my HotRod
The Assamites spiritual beliefs about blood, combined with their death fixation, led to the discipline of Quietus, in a combination of the two. While it is suggested that the Assamites used the curse of the Tremere to originate this discipline, the reverse is actually true. The curse of the Tremere made use of the Assamites own blood powers, and turned that power against the Assamites. The powers of Quietus reflect two things: the growing toxicity of the Assamites blood, and the Assamites growing spiritual connection with blood.
 A taste for blood: This power is basically the same as the first power of Thaumaturgy. By means of the emerging spiritual connection between the Assamite and blood, a variety of information about the blood may be gleaned. Such things as blood concentration, approximate generation and diseases present may all be learned. The blood must be touched to learn anything about it. It is by means of this power that Assamites are rarely deceived as to the payments they receive, as well as discovering if their clients information of the target was a little lax.
System: The player must roll Perception + Empathy (difficulty 7). The number of successes determines how much information is received and how accurate it is.
 Body wrack: The virulence of the Assamites blood is now sufficient to cause extreme pain to anyone who takes any of that blood into their system. The Assamite can actually bring some of their own blood onto the surface of their palm. If this blood is touched to another's skin, it is absorbed through their skin, and enters their system. The Assamite could also add a little of their blood to food or a beverage which, if consumed, will cause the same effect. In this case, the blood must be consumed within a few minutes or else it's potency is lost.
System: The Assamite must spend a single blood point, and enter it into the victim's system in one of the ways described. Once the blood is in the target's system, the Assamite rolls Stamina + Empathy at a difficulty of the target's Stamina + Self Control. The number of success is the size of the dice penalty the target suffers to all actions due to excrutiating pain. Note that the Assamite can increase the effectiveness of the attempt by increasing his Stamina with blood. The Assamite can make multiple attempts to affect the target. Subsequent attempts will replace the original, if more successes are achieved, or add 1 to the total, if less or equal successes result. The effect will last for a scene before the victim's system expunges the toxins. If the target is able to resist the effect of wound penalties, then they may similarly resist the effect of Body Wrack separately from any wound penalties. A frenzying vampire, for example, can subtract it's Stamina from the number of the dice penalty from Body Wrack, in addition to subtracting it's Stamina from wound penalties in the usual way.
 Blood agony: A character with this power can use his blood to cause aggravated wounds. The blood is used to coat a weapon like a sword, a knife or even fingernails. The weapon does damage normally, but each wound thus caused is an aggravated one.
System: For every blood point the character spends to coat the weapon, it will do aggravated damage on a number of hits equal to the rate the character can spend blood points per turn. If an eighth generation Assamite were to coat his sword with 3 blood points, it would be good for 9 successful hits. If a successful hit results in no damage, it still uses one of the potential aggravated hits. Note that the amount of blood one can smear on a weapon depends on the size of the weapon. Fingernails can only carry 1 blood point, while a sword might carry 4 or 5.
 Crawling Death: The characters blood is now of such virulence that it can be used to attack and kill its target directly. By entering some of the characters blood into the victim's system, in one of the ways described under Body Wrack, the blood will move through the victim attacking his system and destroying his blood. This generally kills any human target, and often puts vampiric targets into torpor.
System: As with Body Wrack, the Assamite spends a blood point and enters the blood into the target, either by touching them with a blood covered palm, or contaminating their food with the blood. The Assamite then makes a Stamina + Empathy roll at a difficulty of the target's Stamina + Self Control. The target can attempt a standard soak roll to reduce the number of the Assamite's successes. The number of remaining successes are divided evenly between levels of damage done, and blood points destroyed. Left over successes destroy blood points.
Each turn after the initial attack, the Assamite makes a new Stamina + Empathy roll in a identical fashion to that described above, reflecting the destructive course of the blood through the victim's body. This continues until the target successfully soaks all of the Assamites successes made in a single turn, until the target has lost all their blood points, or until the target dies. Note that with each passing turn, the target will be suffering from greater and greater wound penalties, and must generally best the attack in the first few turns in order to survive.
The Assamite can increase the effectiveness of the attack by increasing his Stamina with blood, but must do so for the initial attack. Increasing Stamina after this has no effect on the blood already in the victim.
Example. The Assamite scores 5 successes on the initial attack, of which only 2 are soaked. The target takes 1 level of damage and loses 2 blood points. The next turn, the Assamite scores 3 successes, the target scores 2. The target loses a single blood point. In the third turn, both Assamite and target score 3 successes. The target is not harmed, and the Assamites blood ceases it's effect.
As with Body Wrack, the Assamite can make multiple attempts at this attack. Every successful attempt after the first adds 1 to the Assamites dice pool in subsequent turns. In the actual turn it is initiated, if it is more successful than the attack in progress, it replaces it. If it is less successful, or equally successful, as the attack in progress, it adds 1 success to the total used that turn.
 Blood sympathy: The character has by now a sufficient spiritual connection with blood that he can cause other Quietus powers to affect a target spontaneously, without the need for contact or placing some of his own blood in the target's system. The Assamite can cause the targets own blood to exhibit the qualities of the Assamites blood, which then affect the target normally. Under the right circumstances, the character could use Taste of Blood, Body Wrack or Crawling Death. As Blood Agony requires the use of a weapon to actually instigate it's effect, this power cannot be used sympathetically.
System: In order to use Blood Sympathy the target must be no more than 20 feet away per point of Perception the Assamite has. The Assamite must also have line of sight to the target. A target behind a window is fair game, a target behind a wall is not. The Assamite then spends a Blood Point and rolls Perception + Empathy (difficulty of the target's Willpower). The Assamite must achieve at least as many successes as the level of the power he wishes to use. Crawling Death would require at least 4 successes. Note that the Assamite must choose the power he wishes to use sympathetically before the roll is made.
If the requisite number of successes were rolled, then in the same turn, or in the turn immediately following, the Assamite can attempt to use the desired power sympathetically. This power will have the same cost in Blood Points as normal. However, the rolls will substitute Perception for physical attributes on all rolls.
Example: The Assamite attempts to use Crawling Death sympathetically. Spending a Blood Point and rolling Perception + Empathy, he scores the 4 successes needed, achieving sympathy. The next turn, he spends another Blood Point and makes the attempt, rolling Perception + Empathy. If the attack proceeds beyond the first turn, the Assamite will continue rolling Perception + Empathy, instead of the usual Stamina + Empathy.
If some of the Assamites blood is already in the victim's system, although not in the service of any other Quietus power, then the Assamite need only score a single success on the initial Perception + Empathy roll to initiate any Quietus power. Thus an Assamite's own ghouls are highly susceptible to the use of Blood Sympathy.
Assamites of the Seventh or earlier generations find it easier to use Quietus powers sympathetically, due to the growing potence of their own blood. The difference between a vampire's Generational Maximum and 5 is the number of successes less that the vampire needs to roll to initiate a power, to a minimum of 1. Thus the Assamite Antediluvian can sympathetically activate any Quietus power of up to and including the sixth level with only 1 success on the initial roll, but would need 5 successes to use a Tenth level power.
"Mmmmmm, waffle run-off!"
- Homer Simpson, The Simpsons
The Discipline of Obfuscate utilized by the Assamites is slightly different from the discipline used by Camarilla vampires. Assamites do not learn the first level power "Cloak of Shadows". Instead they learn a different power, called "Silence of Death". Note that this is merely contingently so. An Assamite who learns Obfuscate from a Nosferatu or a Malkavian, for example, would have the "Cloak of Shadows" power at the first level, as would any Assamites this individual subsequently taught Obfuscate to. However, virtually all Assamites learn Obfuscate at Alamut when Embraced, and "Silence of Death" is by far the more common of the two powers used by Assamites with Obfuscate.
 Silence of death: With this power the Assamite can create a zone from which no sound may escape. For a minimum of 5 feet around him in every direction there is complete silence. He could run at full speed, fire a machine gun or set off 100 pounds of dynamite right where he stands and no one would hear it as long as the sound was created within that zone. Note that the character can still hear things going on outside of this circle of silence, but cannot himself hear anything going on within the circle.
System: For the cost of 1 Blood Point, a zone of 5 feet around the character is created. For every additional Blood Point spent, the radius of the zone from the character increases by 5 feet. No roll is required to achieve this effect. Unlike the case with other Obfuscate powers, Auspex is of no benefit to counteract the effect of the "Silence of Death".
"Everybody knows that a Burrow Owl lives
in a hole in the ground.
Why do you think they call it a Burrow Owl anyway?"
- Dead Milkmen, Stuart
Quietus is a reflection of two factors: an Assamites spiritual connection with blood, and the growing toxicity of the Assamites own blood. One might think that this last factor would prevent Assamites from creating ghouls, or feeding their blood to other Kindred for the purposes of healing. However, the two factors are interdependent and largely inseparable. The toxicity of Assamite blood is latent, dependent upon a conscious spiritual connection to initiate the effects of Quietus, while it is the nature of Assamite blood, beyond the merely vitriolic, that initiates the capacity for spiritual awareness in the Assamite.
Thus for most Assamites, their blood is, for all intensive purposes, normal Kindred vitae, capable of being used by mortals and Kindred for all the uses other Kindred blood can be put to. Only by the conscious decision of the Assamite can the vitae take on it's lethal properties. Evidence of this lies in the fact that Assamite's can control the effect their blood has on others within the purview of Quietus. An Assamite with Quietus of level 5 can use his blood for any of the effects up to and including the fifth level. He is not merely obliged to exercise only the most potent effect he has reached, as if his body was nothing more than a store for more and more concentrated poison.
It was the latent toxicity of the blood, requiring a spiritual command for release, that the Tremere used to curse the Assamites into their present state. Attempts to reach "scientific" explanations for Kindred have been fruitless, and few would argue the mystical/spiritual nature of Kindred in general. In particular, the mystical nature of Kindred is contained within their blood, as the centre of their birth and continued life. What the Tremere achieved with their curse was a subtle alteration of the Assamites blood, so that the presence of foreign Kindred blood in the Assamites system would utilize the mystical properties inherent to such blood and initiate the same spiritual connection that the Assamite would normally make voluntarily. The nature of this command to the Assamite's system was the rapid assimilation of the foreign blood, followed by it's immediate destruction as it's mystical potential was released into the Assamite, a release that causes turbulence and disruption to whatever mystical power it is that keeps kindred alive. This is why Assamites have found no way to resist the pain caused by the consumption of Kindred vitae: it is a spiritual, not a physical, pain, and cannot be soaked.
The inability of Assamites to imbibe Kindred vitae is virtually total. Even the blood of other Assamites is sufficiently alien and individual in nature to prevent consumption without repercussions. The only exception to this rule is the blood of one's immediate progeny. Assamites are able to drink the blood of Kindred they have sired, but no other. The blood of an Assamite's own sire is too potent relative to his own to escape the normal effects, while the blood of his grand progeny is too weak, and has become sufficiently individuated to cause pain and damage.
On a related topic, it is often believed by those outside the clan that Assamites are immune to the effects of each other's Quietus. This is partially true, although it is not the whole story. An Assamite attacked with Quietus who takes some other Assamites blood into their system will suffer the effect of both the Quietus power as well as the spiritual consequences of having alien vitae in their system. The Assamites system will then destroy the foreign blood in the usual way, although at a rate of 1 Blood Point per turn, rather than all at once. Thus an Assamite who unwittingly imbibes 3 points of another Assamites vitae, initiating a Body Wrack, will suffer the full normal effects of Body Wrack, as well as losing 1 Health level per turn, for a total of 3 turns. At this point, the Body Wrack disappears, and the Assamite ceases to take damage, all foreign blood having been destroyed. Note that this only applies in cases where the Assamites system is invaded with foreign blood. Thus, such powers as Blood Agony, which relies on the caustic properties of the blood, and Blood Sympathy, which turns the target's own blood against himself, affect Assamites normally.
An obvious benefit of this intolerance to Kindred vitae is that Assamites cannot be Blood Bound, at least in the normal run of things. All Kindred blood is destroyed far to quickly to have any effect, and although they can feed from their progeny, a sire cannot become Blood Bound to his progeny (Vampire, PP 16, last paragraph, written by someone who should know). It has been theorized that the vitae of the earliest generations of Kindred is potent enough that the Blood Bond can be established before the blood is destroyed by the Assamite's system. This remains a theory, however, and only the most ancient of Assamites would know for sure.
The interdependance of blood and spiritual awareness for the Assamite to use Quietus makes the Discipline an unusual one in terms of being learned by non Assamites. The Assamites are created with the potential for establishing this two way relation by virtue of the very nature of their blood. Other Kindred are not so endowed, and Quietus cannot simply be taught by any Kindred who has it to another who does not. The exact conditions for the teaching of Quietus to non Assamites is uncertain, as the Assamites themselves are loath to do so. It is believed, however, that much like Vicissitude and the Tzimisce, the consumption of Assamite vitae is necessary at some stage in the learning process. Although Quietus is not a disease as Vicissitude is often seen to be, the properties of Assamite blood is internal to the whole use of Quietus as a Discipline. So the Discipline Quietus is only regularly found amongst the Assamites, and in the Sabbat, where the Assamite antitribu have shared their secrets. Outside of these two groups it is extremely rare. Interestingly, it is not as prevalent in the Sabbat, except for amongst the Assamite antitribu, as one might suspect it would be. The reasons for this are not clear (See "Unity" for more details).
An issue that has troubled a few Kindred scholars, in particular the Tzimisce of the Sabbat, is the inexplicable unity of the Assamite clan. Although the Assamite clan has been described as a fundamentalist religion, which explains it's cohesion, it's not a description that holds up under scrutiny. The Assamites run the gamut from inhuman killers to virtual pacifists who commit assassinations. While they seem to be motivated by a quasi religious appreciation of themselves relative to Caine, this often does not appear to be a zealous religious conviction, as one would expect with a fundamentalist doctrine. Indeed, it often appears to be no more than a mild belief they occasionally espouse, which is even more confusing when one considers the single minded devotion to a particular death the Assamites display.
Certainly, it is not a philosophical or religious conviction that holds the Assamites together, for nothing within their codified beliefs pertains to any such solidarity. Nor, as some have suggested, is it the apparent alieness of their beliefs that hold them together, as the only acceptance they will find is with each other. One might argue the same point of the Sabbat, and no-one would deny that it is only the Vaulderie that keeps the Sabbat from exploding, regardless of their inhuman value systems.
The further fact that Assamites cannot be Blood Bound only makes the situation even more incomprehensible. Prior to the Treaty of Thorns, it was long suspected that the Assamite clan was a structure of Blood Bonds, similar to the Tremere. Once the Assamites were cursed, it was largely believed that the Clan would fly apart at the seams. Instead, it continued on with scarcely a ripple, instigating their role as hired killers of Kindred with amazing speed.
It is the inexplicable unity of the Assamites which particularly troubles some of the Tzimisce. They wonder why it is that if the Assamites are unified beyond our ability to understand, and attempt to purge ant dissident elements that arise in their ranks, such as the Separatists, then why did they fail to react at all to the defection of numbers of Assamites to the Sabbat? The Assamite antitribu have never been anything but unswervingly loyal to the Sabbat, the Black Hand being the saving grace of the Sabbat Civil War. No tests that have been tried, no thaumaturgical ritual that has been cast has revealed any secret control over the Assamite antitribu, or given any indication that they would betray their sect. For the more paranoid of the Tzimisce, this does nothing but heighten their fears. Such fear and speculation serve no purpose however. Without any sort of evidence, few others in the Sabbat pay much heed to the fears of the Tzimisce. Such wild speculations as the spiritual connection the Assamites have with blood, and the possible latent effects that the Assamite Antediluvian may have passed on to his or her progeny through their blood, latent commands and orders waiting like time bombs for the right moment, are dismissed as groundless ravings
It has been rumored before that when Gehenna comes, the Assamites will be the shepherds for the Antediluvians. It may be that the Sabbat have accepted the shepherds in with the sheep.
- Ash, Evil Dead II
In pursuit of their single goal of the perfect kill, the Assamites adopt a wide variety of methods and means, often specializing in fields such as explosives or poisons or "accidents". One of the tools found most useful in enacting any number of these preferred modes is Thaumaturgy, and the enormous range of capabilities it grants. Amongst the Assamites, Thaumaturgy is slightly more commonly possessed than amongst Camarilla clans, where the Tremere jealously guard their secrets. For the Assamites however, there is a critical difference in the manner in which they learn the Discipline.
Basically, no Assamite will ever learn the Path of Blood. The Path of Blood is seen as defiling and polluting the spiritual connection Assamites have with blood. What this might mean in practical terms is not known, as no Assamite learns this path. In terms of learning Thaumaturgy, this limitation requires that any Assamite desiring to acquire Thaumaturgy must be taught by another Assamite, generally back at Alamut.
For most Kindred, the learning of Thaumaturgy is accompanied by the automatic development of the Path of Blood. Obviously Assamites cannot do likewise. Instead, in ages past, the Assamites developed a unique Thaumaturgical path that is the automatic path learned by all Assamites. This path, described below, is the Path of Inner Silence. Beyond this path, the most common paths learned by Assamites are Movement of the Mind and the Path of Conjuring, although it is possible to find all of the paths represented in the Assamite clan.
The restrictions on Thaumaturgy are believed to apply equally to the Assamite antitribu. In fact it is known that Assamite antitribu wishing to learn Thaumaturgy will travel to Alamut where they are taught that which they wish to know, no questions asked. Originally, the Sabbat was critical of this practise, but the Assamite antitribu were completely willing to divulge the learning of the Path of Inner Silence to their fellow Sabbat. Presently, although the Sabbat disapprove of the practise, they do not oppose Assamite antitribu from traveling to Alamut. Within the Sabbat, the vast majority of Thaumaturgy practitioners outside of the Assamite antitribu have the Path of Blood as their base path. Only a handful learn Thaumaturgy from the Assamite antitribu, and not many more learn the Path of Inner Silence at a later date. Not considering Dark Thaumaturgy paths, it is probably the rarest of paths practised in the Sabbat.
In understanding our awareness of reality, we appreciate that there is no gap between ourselves and our perceptions. To speak of a notion such as pain, we must speak of experiencing pain, for this is exactly what pain is. However, the practitioners of the Path of Inner Silence can achieve a dualism in their perceptions, inserting a gap between their experience and themselves while still maintaining both. Whether this path actually achieves this end, or simulates the effect in another manner is a matter of debate.
On a practical level, when this path is learned as the inherent path of Thaumaturgy, the powers operate as described below. However, if the path is learned separately, as other paths are, then the Thaumaturge must make a Willpower roll and spend a blood point in the usual way for the use of Thaumaturgy paths.
 Silence of the Lower Senses: At this base level, the path enables the disjunction of the practitioner from the senses of taste, smell and touch. While still fully aware of the perceptions of these senses, they are also distant and unconnected, as though belonging to someone else. Any effects caused by these sensations are muted by the distance the Thaumaturge can achieve.
System: The Thaumaturge rolls Perception + Meditation (difficulty 8) to determine the duration and extent of the effect. Each success results in a duration of 1 minute. Each success will also result in a difficulty shift or a dice pool alteration for all experiences affecting the senses of taste, smell and touch. Thus the difficulty of frenzy rolls inspired by the taste or smell of blood, and wound penalties from injury are decreased by the number of successes attained. Note that these are only two examples of possible effects. The storyteller must judge other cases that might arise.
 Silence of the Higher Senses: This level of ability is identical to the Silence of the Lower Senses power, but affects sight and hearing.
System: The roll, difficulty and duration of effect are identical to Silence of the Lower Senses. Possible examples of the use of this power are increasing the difficulty of frenzy and Rotschrek rolls. An interesting effect of this power is the ability to see through a number of levels of Obfuscate equal to the successes achieved. The dual effect of this power means that while the mind may be fooled, the eyes are not.
 Silence of Unconsciousness: This level of ability is identical to the Silence of the Lower Senses power, but affects the subconscious.
System: The roll, difficulty and duration of effect are identical to Silence of the lower Senses. This power primarily effects the acquisition and effect of derangements. As derangements are largely role played, the storyteller must judge the degree to which the derangement can be ignored based on the number of success achieved. In the acquisition of derangements from botched humanity, frenzy and Rotschrek rolls, the successes gained with this power is the number of botches that can be ignored, with the removal of all botches resulting in no derangements gained. This power can also be used to see through Obfuscate in the manner of Silence of the Higher Senses. These two effects are cumulative.
In addition, the user is largely disjointed from his own past. This is not in any paradoxical sense, but rather a disjunction of association with past events. Such events seem less and less relevant to the character, appearing to be the memories of another person. Thus, traumatic memories seem less so, and it is even possible to re-capture memories lost through trauma. Any other logical consequences of being separated from one's past must be decided by the Storyteller on a case by case basis.
 Silence of Consciousness: This level of ability is identical to the Silence of the Lower Senses power, but somehow affects the conscious mind. When asked to explain how the consciousness can be separate from itself, no Assamites can provide an explanation. Regardless, the power works quite well.
System: The roll, difficulty and duration of effect are identical to Silence of the Lower Senses. Possible examples of the use of this power are subtracting successes from any Dominate and Presence used against the Thaumaturge, ignoring wound penalties and subtracting the difficulties of frenzy and Rotschrek rolls. Note that effects which double those of earlier powers are cumulative with the use of Silence of the Lower and Higher Senses.
Silence of Consciousness largely reflects a disjunction of the character from his present, as Silence of Unconsciousness was a disjunction from the past. Once again, the Storytellers judgement on individual cases must be exercised.
 Silence of the Spirit: At this ultimate level of the path, the Thaumaturge can divorce himself from his soul, and the power that animates him as a Kindred. While this power requires the judgement of the Storyteller as to the effect of this, there are two particular effects that need discussion: the ability of the Kindred to achieve Final Death at will, and the effect on humanity.
System: The roll, difficulty and duration (where applicable) are . identical to Silence of the Lower Senses. If the Kindred so desires . and achieves 4 successes on the roll, they can expire on the spot . as their soul departs the body. Why they may want to do this is not . immediately obvious, but if they do so want, they can. This power can. also be used to reduce the difficulty of humanity rolls by an amount . equal to successes achieved. Interestingly though, frequent use of . this capacity will of itself reduce humanity. This fact seems to . suggest that there is not the separation of soul and self that this . power is meant to accomplish, although it is still largely effective . It has been suggested that the logical nature of this power would . include the disjunction of the subject from his future, in terms of . association with future events pertaining to the subject. What the . hell this might mean is unknown, however nothing recognizable of such. a kind has been observed, although someone once said that you can't . get much more disjointed from future events than by killing yourself .
 Gout of Blood: By now, the Assamite has attained sufficient spiritual connection with his own blood in order to make it move and flow in certain ways. With Gout of Blood, the Assamite can vomit forth a stream of blood from his mouth, in order to cover a target. While not having any other intrinsic potential, the Assamite can use other powers related to attacking the target, such as Body Wrack or Crawling Death.
System: The Assamite can vomit forth a number of blood points in a single turn equal to his capacity for spending blood points. Obviously if the amount vomited equals the Assamites spending capacity, he will have no points available in that turn to spend on other characteristics. Medium range for this attack equals the Assamite's Strength X 5 in feet. Long range is twice this. Note that Potence adds to this range. The Assamite rolls Dexterity + Athletics at a difficulty of 7. The attack can be dodged as a firearm attack, at 1 difficulty easier due to the lower velocity of the attack. Every success achieved equals two blood points that have hit the target. It is thus prudent to make several small attacks rather than a single long attack, where more blood will be wasted. Further effects depend upon the accompanying power used.
 Sense of Blood: (plagiarized from Deird'Re Brooks). This power is a far more potent version of the First level power, Taste of Blood. It allows the Assamite to empathically "feel" a Kindred's current generation, initial generation (before any diablerie or use of the Thaumaturgy power Blood of Potency), whether the target indeed has committed diablerie, to which Clan the target belongs, or has affinity to (in cases where the target is Caitiff, but sired by a Clan member), as well as all information covered by the power Taste of Blood, and any other blood related information that one may think of.
System: The Assamite must touch the blood in question, and roll Perception + Empathy (difficulty 7). The number of successes determines the amount and accuracy of the information. This power can be used Sympathetically.
 Crawling Final Death: This power works identically to the Fourth level power Crawling Death, but can result in the deaths of even Kindred and Garou. It is no more effective against mortals than the earlier power: dead is dead, after all.
System: All rolls made and difficulties are identical to that found under Crawling Death. However, with this level of power, all damage inflicted is aggravated, posing a much greater threat to Kindred and Garou. The destruction of the target's blood is the same in any case. This power can be used Sympathetically.
 Black Blood: An Assamite can now make his blood so total venomous as to be certainly fatal to any living thing, including Mages and Garou. It cannot effect Kindred or Faeries. If the Assamite can get the target to internalize any of the poison in one of the usual ways, then death is guaranteed.
System: The Assamite must use at least a single blood point and get it into the target, either by raising the blood to the palm of his hand and making a successful attack, or placing it in the target's food or in any other way. Once internalized, the target makes a Stamina roll (difficulty 6), with the number of successes attained being the number of turns the target has until death.
The target has that long to do something about it. For mortals there is little that can be done: there is no known antidote to this attack. Mages and Garou have several avenues open to them. Various Gifts and Rotes will neutralize the poison, if they have the time to use them. If it becomes an issue of difficulty, the poison should be a reasonably difficult one to overcome.
This poison is not a painful one, the target feeling more and more drowsy and disjointed as the moment of death approaches. This power can be used Sympathetically.
 Blood Fan: The Blood Fan is a step up from the Gout of Blood, allowing the Assamite to physically project his blood out of his body. In the case of the Blood Fan however, the blood projects at high velocity out of the skin of the Assamites neck in a 360 degree circle, affecting not just one, but a number of targets around the Assamite. Again this power has no intrinsic effect on the targets, except when used in tandem with another power.
System: The Assamite can project a number of blood points up to his capacity for spending blood points in a single turn. The Assamite rolls Dexterity + Athletics (difficulty 7). Medium range for the attack is Strength X 2 in feet, long range is twice this, and Potence adds to the range. The successes are not divided up, but apply equally to each target. Targets may attempt to dodge the attack as a firearm, with a 1 difficulty bonus. Targets the Assamite cannot actually see receive another 2 difficulty bonus on their dodge attempt.
Blood Points sprayed are divided equally between potential targets, with any left over going to random targets. Note that no target can have more than half of the total blood points sprayed allocated to him, regardless of the number of targets available. For each success the Assamite achieves against a target, a single blood point has struck the target. If fewer successes are achieved than potential blood points allocated to a target, then unused blood points are wasted. Further effects depend on the accompanying power used.
 Empty of Vitae: This power is largely the same as the Fourth level Thaumaturgy power, Theft of Vitae, although it is more effective. It is also different in that it is not some magickally translocation of the blood from one vessel to another, but rather a spiritual syphoning of that which is important in the blood from the target to the Assamite. However the effect is just the same.
System: The Assamite rolls Intelligence + Empathy. The difficulty is 6 if the blood is outside of a living (or unliving) entity, or equal to the target's Willpower otherwise. This can be attempted at a range of the Assamites Perception X 20 in feet, and the Assamite must have line of sight to the target. Each success equals two blood points that have been taken. Unlike Theft of Vitae, it is not in any way apparent as to whom is stealing ones blood, although it will be immediately apparent to anyone that something is wrong. Note that with this power, Assamites can feed on the blood of Kindred, draining the necessary vitality without the concomitant spiritual repercussions. They cannot, however, diablerise a vampiric target with this power.
 Blood Mist: This power represents another step up in an Assamite's ability to project his blood from his body. However in this case, the projection takes the form of a slow release of a fine mist of blood which hangs in a cloud. Once again, this blood has no effect on others unless used in tandem with another power. This Blood Mist can be mentally controlled by it's originator, floating with him in a defensive cloud around him, hanging in a single spot as a nasty trap, or actively moving to attack others. While the blood is finely dispersed when in mist form, it is attracted by "living" things, and converges at a target in sufficient concentration to take effect.
System: The Assamite must build the Blood Mist gradually, spending no more than a single blood point per turn towards it's creation. However there is no limit to the total number of blood points that go towards making a single Blood Mist. Each blood point spent creates an area of Blood Mist in a cube, with sides of 5 to 10 feet, as chosen by the Assamite. A single Blood Mist must be comprised of such cubes of equal size. These cubes are arranged in whatever manner the Assamite desires, such as a 3 X 3 X 1 structure. This may seem artificial, but it helps for game purposes.
The Blood Mist is not discriminating, and will effect anything larger than a cat, although the Assamite can choose at the time of creation to make this bottom level of effect even smaller. Each time a viable target enters the Blood Mist, a single blood point of the Mist will converge on the target and effect them with whatever potential the Mist has been given. Each time this happens, the Mist will diminish in area by a single cube of the appropriate size. In this way it is possible for a single target to blunder their way through the entire Mist and absorb the entire effect.
The Assamite can choose to alter the structure of the Blood Mist at any time, including the size of each cube. This takes a single turn to complete. However, he cannot separate an existing Blood Mist into two or more such Mists. If he wishes to reduce the size of a Blood Mist he must allow some of it to disperse, at which point those blood points are lost. The Assamite can also choose to reabsorb the Blood Mist, being unaffected by his own blood. This works the same as for any other target moving through the Blood Mist, although it is discretionary for the Assamite. With each area traversed the Blood Mist shrinks and the Assamite regains a blood point. The Assamite can also add to a Blood Mist at any time. A single Blood Mist has a duration of a single scene, unless the Assamite retains mental control beyond this point. If after this point the Assamite drops control, as he will when he goes to sleep during the day, then the Mist instantly dissipates. Note that while engaged in active control, the Assamite cannot do much more than move about and engage in conversation.
In order to gain mental control of the Blood Mist, the Assamite must have line of sight to the Mist, although range is unimportant. He then rolls Wits + Empathy (difficulty 6). The number of successes is the number of turns before the Assamite needs to attempt to establish control again. The Blood Mist moves at a speed up to the Assamite's own maximum movement rate.
While an Assamite can create more than one Blood Mist at a time, he cannot mentally control more than one at a time. If a Blood Mist is not under active mental control, or the Assamite fails to renew mental control, it ceases all movement and hovers until control is again attained.
Blood Mist is unaffected by natural winds, although supernatural phenomenon are another story. Whenever an Assamites control over a Blood Mist is contested by a magickal wind generated by a Garou's Gift or a Mage's Rote, then the two play off in a resisted Willpower contest (each difficulty 7). The one with the most successes has temporary control, and if either gains 5 more successes than the other, the the other has failed to control the Blood Mist, and cannot attempt again against that particular Blood Mist.
 Corroding Blood: A particularly insidious power available to Assamites, Corroding Blood is not used to kill a target, but permanently cripple them. The vitriolic blood eats away at the target, burning off parts of their body and causing wounds that cannot be healed. This affects even Kindred, Garou and Mage with wounds they cannot recover from.
System: Having entered a blood point into the target, the Assamite rolls Stamina + Empathy at a difficulty of the target's Stamina + Self Control. Each success gained is a level of damage that cannot be healed, and can only be soaked with Fortitude (difficulty 8). However, regardless of the number of successes attained on this attack, no target can be brought lower than Crippled, which is the point of saturation of the toxin. The attack will also cause horrific scarring to the victim, possibly even causing loss of appendages, blindness, deafness and other such disabilities (Storyteller's discretion).
Although it is a general rule that such damage cannot be healed, it seems possible that the use of healing powers greater than the destructive powers of the Assamite may be effective. The powers of other ancient Kindred, Salubri, Oracle's and Incarna may be effective, but would take some effort to seek out. This power can be used Sympathetically.
 Mass Blood Sympathy: Mass Blood Sympathy allows an Assamite to achieve the usual Blood Sympathy, but achieve it with a number of targets simultaneously. Otherwise, it is identical to the Fifth level power Blood Sympathy.
System: The power works identically to Blood Sympathy, only the Assamite can effect a number of targets equal to his Wits. Only a single roll is made, and compared to the Willpower of each target. As with Blood Sympathy, the accompanying power must be chosen before making the attempt. Those targets for which the Assamite scores the requisite number of successes are affected, while the other targets are not. The Assamite must have line of sight to all potential targets, and must spend an initial blood point for each target he hopes to achieve sympathy with. In order to activate the actual sympathetic power, the Assamite need only spend the requisite number of blood points for the power per target he actually achieved sympathy with.
 Spirit Blood: By using this power, the Assamite can exercise his spiritual connection with blood to such a degree that his blood actually takes on a spirit form, at the discretion of the Assamite. While it is so constituted, the Assamite cannot use his blood to affect physical targets, such as mortals, Kindred, Garou and Mages. However, the Assamites own blood cannot be drained by other Kindred or by Thaumaturgy and he cannot be diablerised. Additionally, while his blood is in spirit form, it can be used to affect Ghosts and spirits in the Umbra, including Garou in the Umbra. Of course, attacks against Umbral creatures assumes that the Assamite can in some way perceive them.
System: In order to effect the change, the Assamite must concentrate for a turn and achieve a single success on a Intelligence + Empathy roll (difficulty 9). The effect lasts as long as the Assamite desires, even lasting during sleep, but not torpor. The Assamite will continue to lose a single blood point each day, and the moment he drinks a single blood point, his entire blood pool reverts back to its physical state. Attacks made with Spirit Blood operate normally, with any appropriate substitution of attributes for the targets.
 True Black Blood: True Black Blood is the same as the Seventh level power Black Blood, but taken one step further. It will affect any target at all: mortal, Garou, Mage, Kindred or Faerie. It will even affect spirits and ghosts, if used in conjunction with the Ninth level power Spirit Blood.
System: This power is otherwise identical as the Black Blood power. However, if the potency of the poison is a factor in determining whether a certain power can overcome it, then True Black Blood should be considered an extremely virulent toxin.
 Blood of the Weeping World: At this, the theoretical limit of the Assamite's blood's destructive capabilities, the Assamite can use his blood to affect all things: living, unliving, animate, inanimate. Acting like a super acidic agent, the blood causes all objects to break down to a similar residue. It might be speculated that just as lower level Quietus powers attack living and spirit things, Blood of the Weeping World attacks the "life" of reality, what the Garou might call the Weaver. Certainly the power of such blood to corrode does not seem to be a factor of the chemical or atomic composition of the subject corroded: it has no more trouble corroding diamond than it does wood or even paper. It can even "corrode" liquids and gases in the same fashion.
System: Against "living" targets, this power operates as a combination of True Black Blood and Corroding Blood, with little or no chance of countering the effect, and equally little chance of healing the damage in the unlikely event of survival. Against inanimate objects, it works as an entropic agent, causing things to fall apart. A single blood point of this substance will destroy 1 cubic foot of any solid material, regardless of what it might be. A single blood point will also destroy 8 cubic feet of any liquid (2 feet cubed), or 27 cubic feet of any gas (3 feet cubed). Note that the blood does not eat its way through the target, but rapidly permeates the entire volume before destroying the entire mass in one go. The entire process takes no more than a single turn.
Being so destructive, the delivery of the blood becomes a matter of importance. So long as the blood remains in contact with the Assamite, such as one the palm of the hand, it remains inert. However the moment such contact is lost, it begins to attack any substance it is in contact with, attacking a solid before a liquid, and a liquid before a gas. So smearing the blood on a wall will put a great hole in it, but will not attack the atmosphere around the wall. If the Assamite uses such powers as Gout of Blood, Blood Fan or Blood Mist to project the blood, it will attack the air directly in front of, or around the Assamite the moment it leaves the Assamites body. This power can be used Sympathetically.
The consequences of this destruction of matter is left to the discretion of the Storyteller. It is generally impossible to suffocate a target by destroying the air around them, or even rupture their cardio-vascular system due to lack of air pressure, as the atmosphere around them will rapidly rush in to fill the gap. Some damage may result from the shockwave produced, although a significantly large area of gas, or liquid, would need to be destroyed to precipitate such an effect. More obvious consequences of the use of this power would be the destruction of machinery, and compromising the structural integrity of buildings.
The residue that remains after the use of this power is the same in all cases: a quantity of grey dust and fragments, which are totally inert, and appear to have no chemical composition or atomic structure. It is speculated that such residue would make an extremely potent component in entropic magick and mystical items. Each "unit" of matter destroyed by a single blood point will yield about a single small handful of this substance.
Used in combination with the Spirit Blood power, the Blood of the Weeping World would have a similarly lethal effect on spirit creatures and spirit substances. For this reason, it should be noted that this power is not specifically "of the Wyrm" as the Garou might say. It is not a power of corruption, but total emptiness and end, and would be just as detrimental to the Wyrm and it's minions as it would be to the Weaver or the Wyld. Of course, the Garou would argue that as this is a Kindred power, it is obviously of the Wyrm ipso facto.
 House of Blood: As a means to escape Final Death, the possessor of House of Blood can send his spirit from his dying body out to another specially prepared vessel. The virtually total spiritual connection between the Assamite and his blood allows the Assamites spirit to maintain its integrity and seek a new host if any of the Assamites blood remains somewhere in the world. This transfer is instantaneous and occurs at the moment of the Assamites death.
System: The Assamite's vessel must be any living target that has some of the Assamites own blood in it. Any number of such vessels can be prepared ahead of time, and the Assamite can choose as to which vessel it enters at the time of death.
The Assamite need do nothing ahead of time, except insure that someone somewhere has at least one blood point of the Assamite's blood in their system. At the moment of the destruction of the Assamites old body, the Assamite and his intended vessel must engage in an extended resisted psychic contest. The Assamite rolls Charisma + Intimidation (difficulty 7) while the target rolls Willpower (difficulty 7). Each success the Assamite achieves reduces the targets Willpower pool by 1, which doesn't affect the target's dice pool. When the target reaches zero Willpower, then the Assamite has succeeded in occupying the target's body. However, the Assamite has only 10 turns to achieve this. If the Target can hold out for the 10 turns, then the Assamite has failed, and goes on to whatever happens to normal dead Kindred.
Obviously, given the above system, the Assamite is rarely going to lose such a contest. This is fair enough, considering that we are talking about an Antediluvian engaged in psychic combat with a human. However, certain complications can arise in the choice of vessel, such as a vessel who is actually a mage, or who has true faith. Such possibilities are too numerous and complicated to detail their effects here. However, suffice to say that the Assamite will choose it's vessels very carefully so as to avoid any such unpleasant surprises. The target will probably be some absolute nobody in the middle of nowhere in particular, who has little in the way of Willpower.
Following a successful transfer to the new body, the Assamite will need several weeks to reach his old potential. All his Physical Attributes and his Appearance will drop to 1, and all Disciplines will drop to half their usual rating. These will all rise at the rate of 1 a week, until they have reached there old level. The Assamite will have it's old Willpower, Humanity, Virtues, Abilities, Derangements and so on. Even the Assamite's Appearance will rise to the old level, although the Assamite will appear as the vessel did, only much better looking (assuming of course that the Assamite had a greater Appearance than the vessel).
During this period of recuperation, the Assamite is far more vulnerable than at any other stage. However, he is protected from any attempt to locate him via scrying with Auspex or Magick, unless the one attempting to locate the Assamite knows exactly who the vessel was. The leap from one body to another throws up sufficient spiritual "static" to hide the Assamite in his new body. Only the very most powerful of scryers have any hope of locating the new Assamite, and one can assume that the Assamite Antediluvian has plenty of contingency plans to protect himself in the unlikely event of his "death".