by Kenneth Madsen (18 Jul 95)
"Fear not for the suffering you will be made to endure!
The Devil will imprison some of you, to test your determination.
Be faithful until death, and I will give you the wreath of Eternal Life"
- Revelations 2:10
And so the Clans fell upon Us
They drove Us from Their cities
Hunted Us in the night
And named Us criminals and murderers
Why did They do this, many of Us ask?
Why were We accused of spilling the Vitae of Our Brothers and Sisters?
Why were We accused of burning Their Temples?
Why were We accused of murdering Their servants?
We who desire only serenity
We spoke gently to Them of Their mistake
They answered with wood, iron and fire!
We left Their Domains and abandoned Them to Their anger
They hunted Us beyond Their Domains wielding Their anger like torches!
We desired only peace
Some of Us tried to show Them Their erroneous ways
They were destroyed!
Some of Us set afire Their own Anger and fought Them in battle
They were destroyed!
Some of Us went to sleep in the Earth Mother
Some of Us believed Their accusations and killed themselves by the hands of Their Childer
They are fools!
And finally some of Us wanted to know Why
We became as silent and as unnoticed as the Shadows
and We live still!
- Excerpt from the Scrolls of Salubri:
The Book of Nights Not Forgotten
The Salubri have become hated and feared throughout the World of Darkness because of the lies and machinations of the Ba'ali and the Tremere. They were=7F healers and the Keepers of Golconda. Thus they were a threat to all the values which the Ba'ali held dear. They knew what Tremere did to their Founder. Thus they posed a threat to the new-found power of the House of Tremere, which would later become the Clan Tremere. But although the Clans believe these "criminals" to be almost destroyed, but that only proves how well the Salubri's own Masquerade functions. They are not destroyed _ true enough, many were destroyed by the pogrom which the deeds of the Ba'ali caused, Saulot was slain by Tremere and the Magi of the House of Tremere managed to track down those Elders of the=7F Salubri Clan who no longer desired to exist. But just as True Evil can never be truly extinguished, so neither can True Good.
Open now the pages of History and learn what have truly become of the Salubri:
The Past of Shadows According to certain fragmented passages from the Book of Nod, Saulot the Healer was Sired by Enoch First-Ruler, First-born of Caine. When Enoch followed his Father into the Land of Nod to make him return and stop the atrocities which his Childer and Grand-Childer committed.
Long did Enoch First-Ruler wander in the hellish wasteland of the Land of Nod, hiding at day from the piercing Rays of Raphael, the Arch-angel, the Driver of the Sun, the Ward of the East and at night feeding on the creatures of Lillith, the Wife of his Father Caine. Disgusted by the crimes he and his brethren had committed to drink Vitae, Enoch had sworn never again=7F to take nourishment from the Children of Seth's House.
But for each drop of animal Vitae Enoch drank, his Hunger grew. Each time he denied the Curse of Uriel, the Angel of Death, Enoch's desire grew. The Beast rose in the First-born and drove him through the sands of the desert in search of prey. He came upon an oasis where a mortal man was sitting, allowing himself a rest and his camels water before the travel continued. Enoch came rushing from the darkness like a Beast of Legend, and the man only had brief moments to wonder why his camels were fleeing into the desert in a panic. Then Enoch was upon him and his life's Vitae was rushing from his body at the pace of a Great Desert Storm. Only when the last of the mortal's Vitae passed the stony lips of Enoch, did his Hunger release its grip on his soul and he looked at the face of his victim.
The man had a gentle face, on which was visible a compassion and a gentleness which rivalled the divine light which shone from the eyes of Gentle Gabriel, the Lord of Mercy. Enoch wept tears of deep red for the breaking of his own oath, and for the shame he felt at having ended the existence of such a gentle creature.
He was weak from the years of wandering, and this weakness combined with a desire to talk with another thinking creature, made Enoch share his Vitae with the man and thus Saulot became the Childe of Enoch First- Ruler. Saulot was a philosopher and a gentle soul. Enoch spend an age with his Childe, feeling a measure of happiness for the first time in what felt like an eternity. He treated his Childe with the respect of a brother and spoke with him like he would with an equal man. Saulot was a great comfort to Enoch, and just as Enoch did learn Saulot many secret things, so did Saulot possess wisdom which was a Sweet Vitae to the First-born.
But even the gentle manner of Saulot was no match for=7F the Beast which lies ever waiting within the breast of the Ancients and their Childer alike, a Beast seemingly more powerful the closer the Cainite is to the Great Father. Enoch watched helplessly as Saulot began to display the same behaviour which had driven Enoch to search for his Father. He watched as the morals of Saulot began to crumble like a poorly constructed house during a storm. He watched as Saulot the Healer became Saulot the Beast. Finally he could stand no more, and fled into the Land of Nod, and out of the Chronicles of the Cainites, forever.
Saulot created Childer of his own, and like Enoch his Beast loosened its claws from his soul and he watched in shame the actions of his Childer. He saw his own first-born Shaitan, a philosopher like himself, turn ever more vile and corrupt. He saw how the debate war he and Shaitan had waged upon each other for centuries began to evolve into something more. Saulot had claimed that the Curse was merely an obstacle on the path towards perfection. Shaitan had argued that while his Sire and all other Cainites accepted the Curse, he would not! He would not have a powerful curse upon him for something Caine had done, nor would he let the power which came with it be unused. If the One Above had put Shaitan and his fellow Cainites above all other creatures in Creation, then surely that position should be used to attain absolute power and thus exact vengeance upon the One Above. Shaitan seduced many of Saulot's Childer to his way of thinking, and they build a city in the lands of Kala-At-Shergat which they turned into a Hell on Earth.
At this Saulot, like his Father, and his Father before him, he cried crimson tears over the crimes of the Cainites and walked East, into the Land of Nod and away from the hell he had been partly responsible of creating. In the wastelands of the Land of Nod, Saulot freed himself of his Beast. He regretted his actions and those of his Childer, and wanted to right what was wrong. He desired forgiveness, and to rid his soul of the Beast. In his sleep the Archangel Gabriel appeared before him, as he had before Caine, and he said unto Saulot: "Grand-son in Darkness of Caine, the Son of Adam and Eve, you alone of all your brethren has asked for forgiveness. The mercy of the Father is greater than any of your kind will ever know, for he has laid open a path for you, a road of Mercy which is known as Golconda. For those of you who desire it, they may walk on that road into the Light once more. But only those who truly seek forgiveness and salvation may find it, only those who are willing to deny the Anger of Caine. You must be the prophet for this truth! You must return to your kind and tell them of the Mercy of God. Let them know that those who seek salvation and Golconda shall find it." With these words, Gabriel kissed the brow of Saulot and returned to the Heavens.=7F
Saulot spend a long time meditating over the words of Gabriel. He turned his gaze inwards and travelled through the darkness of his own mind, like he had long travelled through the darkness of the wasteland of Nod. He confronted his own daemons, and those send to him by the Archdaemons of Hell who had told Caine the secret of the Embrace, and who wanted to corrupt his Childer. Saulot made a tidal-wave of tranquility and serenity flood his mind, and silence the voices of Those Below. He cast them out, and allowed only the gentle, yet piercing, flame of Golconda to burn within him. When Saulot opened once again his eyes to the world, a third eye opened in his forehead where Gentle Gabriel had kissed him, an eye from which shone the light of wisdom and forgiveness.
Saulot walked the East for many years before he returned to his brethren. On that journey he sought out the philosophers and enlightened of the lands which he passed through, and based on what he knew, and what he learned, Saulot came to master the Discipline of Obeah.
He returned to the Second City to witness its fall _ he was horrorfied at the corruption which had spread throughout the Great City. Saulot sought out those of his Childer who had fallen from grace, and attempted to redeem them. Those he could not save, he destroyed!
Not willing to allow his own mistakes to spread more evil in the world, Saulot would rather risk his own tranquility than turn the other cheek.
Saulot began to spread the Word of Golconda, but it was drowned in the bloody War between the Second Generation and their Childer. With=7F
the Second City destroyed and the Cainite society in ruins, Saulot and his Childer followed the streams of people to the city of Shaitan, and saw how depraved and evil his Childer had become. He was there, when the Cainites lay siege to the city, broke through its walls killed its inhabitants _ mortal and immortal alike. Saulot also heard the whispering which bagan even then. Whispers which blamed Saulot and the Salubri for the fall of the Second City. If one of his Childer could create such a hell in Kala-At-Shergat, it should prove a minor matter to lay waste to a Great Cainite City. But Saulot dismissed such talk as the repercussions from the loss of their home. He made Kala-At-Shergat his new home, and began to heal the battered souls of the Cainites.
Those whom Saulot Embraced after having reached Golconda, and those whom his Childer Embraced, were all believers in his visions, and all were taught the Words of Saulot, which are still preserved in the Book of Nod, and in the Eight Scrolls:
Know you are made to be unmade
You are the white lamb
The gentle sacrifice
You are the greatest part of the bounty of Caine
And on your shoulders shall be his greatest Sin,
for alone among the children of Caine I have asked the One Above for forgiveness,
and I have been visited by the worst of the One Below's daemons
Those snakes, which bit me in my sleeping,
Those foul wyrms who suck my blood,
I learned from them to take the blackness from the blood
the wounds from the flesh
the evil from the soul.
And though I may die, you, my Childer will live on
Open they Eye, and see the world truly,
and know that what you do now
goes on to heal another generation.
- Saulot's Words: The Chronicle of Shadows
The Book of Nod
These words, as they were first spoken by Saulot, came to be the foundation on which The Three Philosophies of the Salubri was build
But the Ba'ali, the brothers and sisters of Saulot's Childer and Grandchilder feared the teachings of their Father. They feared it because it would bring light where they were creating darkness, it would bring forgiveness where they were sowing hate, it would bring the peace from Above where they were igniting the flames of Below. Thus they began to commit crimes in Saulot's name, crimes which made Shaitan below his daemonic laughter from across the Oceans. Although a few of the Elders knew the truth, they were unable to prove anything and soon all the Salubri were branded as Outcasts, and hunted in every city, every land where the Cainites held any power.
Thus it came to be, that the healers became afraid of using their powers, and many could only weep in silence and secrecy as their Brothers and Sisters tore themselves apart in the War of the Ages. Saulot despaired at the ignorance of his Brothers and Sisters, despaired at the way he was prevented from healing the schism between the Generations. He saw how the Evil which the Cainites committed grew and grew in proportions as the Damned grew more and more in numbers, and foresaw that as just as the Third Generation had rebelled against the Second, and the Fourth against the Third, so would the Childer of the Fourth Generation, and the Childer of many Generations after that rise against their Sires. Rebellion would become their only possibility if they wanted freedom, as the Elders grabbed more and more power, leaving the Young with less and less influence on their own lives. The frustration grew stronger in each new Generation, as they saw the power flow away to fill the cups of the ever-thirsty Elders. Saulot foresaw a time where the rebellious Young would be so great in number, that the God-like strength of the Antediluvians would matter little _ the world would drown in blood when that happened.
Saulot thought long and carefully about this, his mind darkened by the horrible future he saw lurking. He spoke with the most intelligent and sharp members of both the Living and the Undead world, he exchanged opinions, shared experiences and finally came up with a possible solution. The problem essentially had its basis in the power-lust of the True Elders of the Cainites _ the Methuselahs and the Antediluvians. He recognised that Shaitan had permanently destroyed his chances of preaching openly of Golconda _ the Elders believed Saulot and his Childer to be responsible for the crimes of the Ba'ali, and their Childer believed them and needed look no further than the smoking ruins of the Second City, and the horror of Kala-At-Shergat, to see that the accusations were true. Saulot believed he could remove the fears of the Cainites, by spreading the Truth from the Elders to their Childer. He knew, he had time on his side. Eventually, the Beast would gnaw away the reason of both the Methuselahs and their Childer. Eventually, they too would become Beasts and destroy with abandon. Eventually, they too would despair at an existence which they would have to spend drenched in the blood of the innocent. Like Caine, Enoch and Saulot had before them. Eventually, they would seek a way out of their own personal hell. Eventually, they would hear of Golconda and desire the lore of Saulot. Saulot saw all this in an instant, and decided to become the soothing voice which would speak to the Damned from the darkness. He would be there when the time was right. Saulot became obsessed with the idea of how he could save his kind from the Beast. He did not for a long time, see the pain of his Childer. He did not see that they suffered like he did, at the fact that they could not speak their mind, or try to bring peace to the raging minds of the Kindred, without risking Final Death. They needed a mountain of strength, on which they could rest and heal their own wounds, but Saulot was too occupied with his pet project to notice this. He did not see that his Childer began to divide into the fractions which would later become the Three Philosophies. The Salubri needed Saulot to interpret his prophecies and his teaching, but he was not there, and thus the fractions continued to believe that they held the One Truth.
Saulot was wandering the world, and observed the Cainites from the shadows. He searched for those who would have their souls destroyed and their minds broken if they continued to participate in the petty wars of their siblings. Those who despaired, heard the gentle voice of Saulot and welcomed his teachings of Golconda. As Saulot's teachings entered the hearts of more and more Cainites, he saw a possibility to employ them against the Evil the Ba'ali had let loose. He began to articulate ideas of a group of Elders who could spread the vision of Golconda through the ranks of the Young, and he began to introduce the Golconda- questers to each other. While Saulot pushed gently on, these students of his ways began to talk of and plan the structure of the organisation which would later become the Inconnu. Some moved to the threshold of Golconda very quickly, others fell many times alongside the road, but all did they move towards the Path of Mercy. Many released some of their iron-grip on the world, and gave more room to the other Cainites, and a few began to discuss a new structure of the Cainite society. Apparently, salvation had once again moved within reach and the machinations of Shaitan and his foul brethren could be undone.
Saulot rejoiced that his plans were finally beginning to bear fruit, and saw the end of the pogrom against all Salubri. But then he had a terrible vision, in which he saw Cret the Ventrue Sorcerer plan a permanent base for the Inconnu, and he also saw how his own ideals for the group and his beliefs of Golconda were drowned in blood and sacrifices. Saulot was cast from his throne of ideals and directly into the pit of despair. In his disappointment, Saulot decided that he wanted nothing more of the world, and entered Torpor.
His Clan and his students of the newly created Inconnu were left to fend for themselves, but for most there were no question of what they had to do: the teachings of Saulot and the Path to Golconda had to be made known to the Cainites, lest they all become like the foul Ba'ali. The Salubri began to crack under the strain of suddenly having their Founder disappear from their world, and the Philosophies began to crystallise. Some Salubri believed they had earned the hate of the Clans, by inheriting all the sins of Caine, and they went to perfect their spirit and destroying themselves upon achieving perfection, by Embracing a new Childe and making it drink all their Vitae. Others became the prophets of the Cainites, spreading the word of Golconda and the teachings of Saulot, until they were extinguished by Ba'ali or members of the Clans, who still blamed them for the destruction the Ba'ali wracked in Kala-At- Shergat. Finally, there were those who saw it as a sin to await the fangs and claws of the Clans, thus letting Evil gain even more power. Why, when they knew who were pulling the strings? Why, when they could destroy them and lead the Cainites into the light?
These three types of beliefs became The Three Philosophies, and were all based on the Words of Saulot. These Philosophies are not as structured as the Paths of Enlightenment, which some Cainites follow, but merely gave rough guidelines for the Path to Golconda. The belief for all three Philosophies was, that the Path to Enlightenment was far to personal and individual to be confined within a framework of words. If that happened, one would come to seek the perfection of the words and not the perfection of one's deeds and soul.
"Seek in Yourself perfection and tranquility, and help others find it as well. For Golconda is not exclusively for the Children of Caine. Help the Children of Seth Ascend as well, and chose a single mortal who show great promise. When You reach Golconda, You will take the mortal under your protection, teach it the Ways of Saulot, Embrace it and pass on all Your blood to it. True, this will mean the end of Your physical shell, but know that Your soul will be free to Ascend, and You will have prepared another to follow in Your footsteps"
- Attributed to Serenna the White, now-ascended Salubri
This Philosophy is the one which is associated with the Clan. Once the Salubri has attained Golconda she commits suicide by forcing her Childe to Diablerise her. The reason for this seemingly strange behaviour is, that the Salubri believes that while it would be unforgivable to create new Progeny, it would be even worse to attain Golconda and then keep other beings from walking the more difficult but infinite more promising road to Golconda by being a Cainite. They Embrace only those they find most promising, as they see the way of attaining Golconda as a Salubri as a fate which must be reserved for the greatest of spirits.
Those who hold this Philosophical point of view, believe themselves to be sinners who have been chosen to endure hell as a vampire, to help them achieve Golconda and through that Ascension. They must perfect themselves in mind, body and soul before they can achieve Golconda. They must live pure lives, in which they must overcome the ravenous thirst of the Beast by denying it any foothold. Because they have taken upon them the sins of the world, they must lead lives of complete balance. They meditate intensely and focus their mind completely on their task ahead. The followers of this Philosophy deny themselves pleasures and excesses of every kind, believing such to upset the balance of their soul and endanger their walk towards the light of Golconda. For this reason, they may seem very cold and removed from their surroundings,=7F because they are constantly focusing upon maintaining balance.
Because of the belief the followers of this viewpoint hold, that they are the scapegoats of all Creation, they have been nicknamed "Lambs" by the other Salubri, or "Scalers" because of their constant worrying about the balance of the scale of their souls. They refer to themselves as "Ascensionites."
They also believe that they must help others toward achieving a State of Perfection, which they term the Ascension in accordance with the Philosophy of the Tradition Mages. Like them, they believe that although the Salubri are already Enlightened, they will become less than perfect if they do not attempt to guide their fellow beings unto the path to Golconda, a path which will eventually lead them to Ascension, a state of unification between mind, body and soul. All followers of this Philosophy are pacifists, who will defend themselves by escaping their enemies. Violence is an indulgence in powerful negative emotions which will upset the scales of balance, while surrendering to their enemies would be to cast themselves into a void of indifference, which would also upset the scales and stop their own Ascension and hindering them in assisting others in attaining that blessed state of being. But they may never force their beliefs upon others, only those who want to listen to their own inner voices should be offered help.
"It is Our responsibility to spread the Word of Golconda to all beings in Creation. We know, that for one to step beyond the rage and frustration in this world warped by powerful creatures, all must step beyond. We call it Golconda, the Tradition Mages call it Ascension _ even the Ba'ali have a word for it, only it is ``Living Hell'', what we might term Descension. A Collective Higher State of Consciousness is what we strive after. All must be guided unto the Path!"
- Khunshua the Redeemer
The Salubri who follow this Philosophy, have split into two fractions. Under one they are known as "Golcondanites", but are split into the Redeemers and the Preachers.
They are all in even greater danger than the rest of their brethren, as the beliefs they preach are only a hairsbreadth away from the Ascension Philosophy of=7F the Tradition Mages. Therefore they are targeted for ``correction'' by various branches of the Technocracy who usually believe them to be Celestial Chorus Mages. Of course, when (or if) they discover their mistake, the Salubri in question is still going to be corrected as she is preaching Forbidden Words to the Sleepers, and disturbing the Reality of the Technocracy. Of course, the agents dispatched to deal with the Salubri will usually have their hands full, as these Cainites believe in defending their religion with Claw, Tooth and all the Power of Caine.
The "Redeemers", as the followers of the indoctrinating branch of the Philosophy have been nicknamed by the other Salubri, are very militant and fanatically religious about their beliefs and have been known to attack those who oppose them. They believe that all the sentient beings in this world must be brought unto the Path of Mercy, whether they want to or not. For these Salubri to attain Golconda, they must first herd all of humanity=7F unto the Path of Mercy _ willing or screaming and kicking _ it matters not. Sadly, many such Salubri are behind the surge of Eastern religions which have flooded the Western world in the later years, recruiting followers among the weaker souls and brainwashing them into fanatical acolytes.
It does seem rather strange that these Salubri are trying to force people into a state of harmony and serenity. However, this twist of the Philosophy has been developing over the last 600-800 years and is followed mainly by the younger members of the Clan, some of the Salubri Elders believe that some Order of Tradition Mages, most likely the Celestial Chorus, have been corrupting the minds of the young and thereby gaining a very effective cover for their own activities. Other Elders argue that making Cainites run rampant with religious fanaticism and thereby harming the Kine is unthinkable for the Celestial Chorus Mages. They speak of the Dark Ones, the Mages who serve the daemons of the Netherworld, the foul Nephandi who rival even the Ancients in power. Proper allies for Shaitan and his Progeny in their attempt to destroy both the Salubri and the world. The Elders do, however, agree that Mages of some sort are most likely behind some of the mindframe behind this Philosophy as it is very close to the system of belief the Mages adhere to.
The original Philosophy, which is still followed by some of the Golcondanites, was based on Saulot's teachings of peace and harmony. The Salubri who still follow that pattern of thought, are nicknamed "Preachers"or "Prophets." They believe that although it is very important to spread the One Truth, it must be accepted by the individual, not forced upon it in an attempt to mass-indoctrinate. For if a set of beliefs is forced upon the individual, it can never truly make the beliefs its own, and how can one achieve Golconda when living oppressed by a forced truth? The Preachers agree with the Redeemers on the fact that all sentient beings must reach Golconda before all can step on to the next level of consciousness. But they argue that the method the Redeemers have chosen, is as much a rape of the mind and soul as the methods used by Ba'ali and Tremere Vampires.
As both groups believe in their own version of the One Truth with a fanatical zeal, it is hardly surprising that a state of almost-religious war exists between them.
The Redeemers argue that the only way to open the minds of the Sleepers, is to force them unto the correct road. The state of affairs have changed greatly since Saulot first preached his beliefs, and today (meaning the last 600-800 years) humanity has become so stagnant in their way of thinking, that the gentle methods of the Preachers are a waste of time and energy _ rude awakening is the only way!
The Preachers argue that if this is so, how can one explain the tremendous development which has taken place? They also refer to their prophesies on a regular basis, yet another way to argue that they hold the One Truth. The Preachers have an overwhelming majority of prophets in their ranks, whereas the other Philosophy followers have almost none. Saulot was a prophet, and it is only right that those who follow the One Truth are gifted with the gifts he also had _ a mark of authenticity if one will.
"There are those who say that Our Founder surrendered to the Foul Tremere because he believed it to be wrong to fight. That is not even remotely close to the truth. Saulot, Our Father, chose to die because He was tired of existing in a world where all He ever saw was corruption, evil and death. A world where His ideals were constantly soiled. A world where He was constantly betrayed. But We, his Childer, have not yet despaired over this world and if We chose merely to wait for the kiss of the Tremere or Ba'ali, who would hold high the flame of good? What right have We to die because We cannot stand the pain of Our eternal existence? What right have We to leave this world to the Ba'ali, the Setites, the Tremere, the Wyrm- followers as a playground? What right, when the One Above has reached out and offered Us a Path of Mercy? I say unto you, take up arms against Our foes! Move in the shadows like they do, fight them with their own arsenal of weapons, but do not succumb to fighting Evil with Evil. Pit them against each other. Manipulate the manipulators. Heal the wounds they cause on their victims. Lead the innocent towards Golconda. Destroy the Enemy if You can!"
- Nahstradia, Councillor of the Ages, The Swords of Saulot
This Philosophy is held by most of the Elders of the Clan, at least those who have not tired of this world, and gone into Torpor or ventured out in search of enemies which they can drag screaming with them to the Abyss before they die the Final Death. Some of these Elder Salubri have entered the Inconnu, where they pose as Elders of other Clans, working with the small hope that things will change if more of the Elders of the Clans reach Golconda.
The rest have been battling the Forces of Evil ever since they were driven from the city of Shaitan in the lands of Kala-At-Shergat. They have entered the shadows of their enemies in order to fight from the same position as them. They have chosen to manipulate their enemies and pitting the world against them, just as their enemies have been doing unto them for millennia. They move in uttermost secrecy, leaving no trail behind for their hunters and ever creating turmoil in the world of the Children of Seth and the Children of Caine, enabling them to move in unseen and hurt their enemies from within. In many ways, they operate like undercover agents, sometimes even assuming false identities for many years in order to make as much damage as possible.
The belief of Golconda held by the followers of this Philosophy differ from that of the two others. Mainly because they believe that only the Innocent must be lead to Golconda. However, by innocent is not meant "pure from taint". The innocent are those who repent and seek true forgiveness _ those who are willing to learn from their past are ready for Golconda. Those who are not willing to learn, but continue to wallow in their crimes, deserve the Hell they get. The followers of this Philosophy also desire to save the other Salubri from their foolish ways, but since they must always watch their step, this has proven to be an extremely difficult task.
These Salubri have decided that they must battle the enemy with lies, illusion and subterfuge, thus many walk a thin line between Golconda and Beast. They have decided that they are willing to sacrifice their own serenity in the battle against their enemies and the enemies of all Creation. If they lose their firm position on the Path of Mercy in destroying an Acolyte of Destruction, that is a small offer. They believe firmly in their cause, and are almost impossible to stop once they set their sights on something. But they also know that they must never lose the True Purpose, namely that of leading the innocent towards Golconda. The battle against Evil is merely a means to secure the safety of the bodies and souls of the innocent, it is not an end in itself!
Sadly some of the Salubri forget this, getting so caught up in the battle that they do not care what happens if they can only manage to destroy their enemy. In such cases, the Salubri have little choice but to remove the Cainite from the Shadow War _ hopefully only by restraining him until he can see the errors of his ways, and find Golconda again.
These Salubri are rarely detected as Salubri by other Cainites, as they behave and think completely different from all other members of their Clan. They will fight for their ideals and the ideals of Saulot until Final Death _ either that of their enemies, or their own. As none of the other Salubri know of the existence of this=7F Philosophy, they have no nickname. Under one they call themselves "Purifiers", but have split into two groups: the "Flames" and the "Swords", and have banded into two sects named the "Flames of Serenity" and the "Swords of Saulot." The sects operate in the Eastern and Western part of the world respectively, although they often chase their enemies unto each other's territory. The sects are organised around a religious framework. Each sect is headed by a Highpriest (the Eldest Salubri in the sect), who is advised by a Council of the Ages (composed of Salubri of various Generations), who passes down orders to a body of Priests and Priestesses (usually Elders of the 5th through 7thGenerations) who function as advisors and scholars and who are above the Templars (the rest of the Salubri who does not wish to hold positions of leadership). The Highpriest(ess), the Council of the Ages and the Priests(esses) compose the brain of the sects, and the Templars the fighting body. The sects are however by more democratic than the Camarilla and the Sabbat, being based on the leadership of the most wise and knowledgeable and drawing upon the power and knowledge of all Generations, thereby not giving all power to those who the closets to being Firstborn, as is the case with both Camarilla and Sabbat.
The sects keep a close contact to all their members, as well as to each other. They have learned that their efforts can be completely nullified if one hand does not know that the other is about to strike.
Given the religious thinking which permeates this Philosophy, it is hardly surprising that the most firm believers in it have True Faith. Such Salubri come as a hideous shock for the Ba'ali who encounters one, believing an easy kill to be at hand. Especially the most Ancient of the sects have this characteristic, and have often been mistaken for gods in the past.
As Saulot entered Torpor, to escape a world in which he had seen only Evil, and Good overcome by Evil, the Blood of His Blood were left to fend for themselves. A few of the Elders followed Saulot to safeguard him, some entered Torpor tired of this world and hoping to awaken to better times, but most were left in a hostile world. The Philosophy of Ascension, the Philosophy of Golconda, and the Philosophy of Purification (and the two sects based on that particular belief) developed very quickly, giving the lost Childer of Saulot a focus which they gravely needed in a world filled with beings who desired only their destruction. Many of those who entered the "Flames of Serenity" and the "Swords of Saulot" faked their own deaths, sometimes even masking as the Cainites who had attempted to kill them, making the Ba'ali and the Clans believe that they had almost wiped the Salubri from the face of the Earth. This is the Masquerade of these Salubri, which they call The Way of Shadows. Their enemies did not see farther into the shadows in which they themselves did stand, they saw only the Salubri who followed the Philosophy of Ascension _ Cainites who had clearly gone as mad as any Malkavian, and now followed a belief which would destroy them all sooner or later. They did not see the three eyes which watched from the shadows and learned who the true enemy was. They did not see the Cainites in their midst who wore false names and faces. But they felt the force of the sects when they lashed out from the shadows. Blows which made them run around like ants who just had their nest destroyed, ants who=7F screamed "The Nictuku", "The Secret Masters", "The Damned Blue-Bloods" and "The Setites." But there were also those _ immortal and mortal alike _ who felt the gentle kiss of the Salubri, as it had once been given to their Father by Gabriel, and found their way into the Light, who trod firmly on the Path of Golconda.
A few Salubri Elders chose more direct roles in the Jyhad, masking as Gods and Elders of other Clans, rather than manipulating events from afar. As the practise of posing as Gods was widespread amongst all supernatural creatures, it is hard to tell who are legends, who are Salubri and who are other Cainites, Mages or Daemons. The Salubri who posed as Gods were concentrated in Sumer, India, Egypt, Greece, and Scandinavia.
The Egyptian mythology have at least two Gods which have been positively identified as Salubri.
The Moon-god Khons from Theben, had several aspects, one of which depicted him as a man with a falcon's head crowned with the new moon and the full moon. A fairly clear reference to the closed and opened third eye of the Salubri, and the head of the falcon also tells of the clarity of vision which is attributed to many Salubri. Khons was invoked in matters of disease and healing, and was then known as Khons Who Gives Advise.
His close association with the falcon and the moon draws a clear picture of a ancient Salubri named Xalmakhar the Wanderer, who walked with Saulot when he returned to the lands of Kala-At- Shergat. That particular Cainite was said to be able to call upon the Moon for help, supposedly causing the Sickness of the Moon (i.e. insanity) in his enemies. He was also said to be able to change himself into a falcon and rip out the eyes of his enemies.
Selket was one of the four Goddesses who protected Osiris, and all the dead. Originally her name was Serket- Hetu which meant "the one who lets the throats breathe", a name which identified her as a Goddess who protects all living. She was said to have an eye which was both healing and lethal, therefore she was closely associated with scorpions and wore one on her head as a crown.
If she was able to kill with her eyes, that would make her another Salubri Ancient, namely Vistherathrica. She developed a special Power of Obeah, which allowed her to reverse the healing effects of the Discipline when the gaze of the third eye was turned upon someone completely corrupt and evil.
Several Salubri are believed to have involved hemselves in the events which took place in pre-historic India, and several Gods and Goddesses have characteristics which points towards Salubri powers. The area which was to become India and the surrounding countries of Pakistan and Nepal, was long in an iron grip of terror and the suffering attracted the Salubri. Mysterious Cainites who all descended from the Destroyer-Goddess Kali, ruled the area with terror and blood-letting on a scale which rivalled the deeds of Shaitan in Kala-At-Shergat. The Salubri manipulated the Brujah, Tzimisce and Gangrels to attack the foul daemonic Cainites which were known as the Children of Kali.
Such creatures as Vishnu and Hanumat are identical to powerful Tzimisce, who could create ever new forms for himself, and a Gangrel Cainite who ruled the Giant Apes who lived in the area at that pre- historic time and he had a strength which was unrivalled.
The Salubri apparently took upon them guises of love, compassion and eroticism. In such forms they could more easily spread their philosophy, as well as influence the other Cainites in the area.
The wife of Vishnu the Maintainer of the Universe, who was named Shri, a Goddess of Happiness and Fertility who could heal damage done to man, beast and crops.
A Salubri named Lakshimithia had special powers over the plants of the earth, and is thought to have known a special Path of Thaumaturgy which dealt with the growth of all plants and the development of new ones. Lakshimithia is also known to have been active in Greece, where she was known as Demeter the Goddess of Fertility.
Parvati, the wife of Shiva the Destroyer in both his aspects as a fierce destroyer, a healer of souls and an amorist, is also thought to be a Salubri. She influenced the different aspects of Shiva, and held in herself both aspects of compassion and hate.
This particular personality-blend existed in the Salubri Sathiumarkha, whom Cainite legends hold was the most passionate undead ever, a being who knew only love and forgave those who did her wrong. When the Salubri was Blood Hunted and driven from the Second City, that all changed. Sathiumarkha developed a dark side, which was hate and destruction incarnate _ a dark side she was able to transfer to others by means of altering their minds and souls. But she also had a side which was love, compassion and desire, the very nature of the Salubri made flesh. Sathiumarkha invoked these sides in her husband (who is believed to have been a Brujah who was driven mad with grief when the First City was destroyed in the Great Deluge), and made him a God both feared and respected.
From Ancient Sumer, only one Salubri is known to have played a part as a Goddess. This was some time before the fall of the Second City, and thus at least one Salubri have played a part in the beginning War of the Ages, well before Saulot and his Childer were driven from the city in Kala-At-Shergat.
Inanna was the Supreme Goddess of Sexual Love and Fertility. She was also said to hold power over life and death, capable of restoring the pure and the innocent back to life, which strongly hints at her real identity. She ventured into the Underworld where she attempted to dethrone Ereshkigal, the Goddess of Death. She was, however, defeated, killed and nailed to a wall fashioned from bones and the souls of rebellious humans. Her vizier Ninshubur divined a catastrophe, and created two mighty companions of clay who accompanied him into the Underworld in a daring attempt to rescue Inanna. Here the vizier and the clay people resurrected Inanna, tricked Ereshkigal and her minions into taking an evil man named Dumuniz in Inanna's place and returned with her to the world again.
The Salubri Methuselah Nahstradia, constantly battled a daemonic entity named Ereshkigal, and was known to have converted many Evil Men with her special abilities. She was rumored to have mastered a special Obeah Power, which allowed her to resurrect those pure and innocent people who had been wrongly killed _ either by accident or by evil deed. Nahstradia was a very sensuous woman who richly deserved her aspect as the Supreme Goddess of Sexual Love, and was supposedly able to seduce both men and women _ mortal and immortal alike _ with but a glance.
It is uncertain exactly who the Ereshkigal she battled was, as several options present themselves when guessing at her identity, as she had the powers of several legendary creatures. The most likely explanation is that Ereshkigal is fact a "compound entity'"_ meaning several beings who possess similar abilities and personality traits, are crystallised into a single being. The two most prominent (an likely) beings are Eresharr and Kish'ghal'rss.
A daemonic Cainite named Eresharr haunted Sumer, and constantly threatened the safety of the Sumerian cities. She was supposedly able to call upon the Fire of the Underworld, make the sky black with flying Daemons and turn the rivers into blood. Whether this Cainite was a Ba'ali, or just one of the many undead who bartered with Daemons in those Days Before Time, is not known.
However, another creature named Kish'ghal'rss displayed much the same abilities, but was said to rule her own private Domain in the Underworld, from whence she could send forth legions of Daemons=7F and other minions. Kish'ghal'rss was not, however, one of the Damned. The few intact references to her, which have been found on ancient clay tablets, have words describing her which can be interpreted as Awakened or Enlightened. This, of course, suggests that Kish'ghal'rss may have been a Mage, quite possibly a Nephandi.
In Nahstradia's most famous strike against her daemonic adversary(ies), she ventured into her foe's Domain in the Netherworld, and attempted to reverse her Evil nature. She failed, and after she had been defeated in battle, she was staked and hung on a wall in her enemy's throne room where Ereshkigal could gloat over her foolish opponent. Nahstradia had foreseen this event, and had asked her closets friend how to rescue her. Ninshubur was himself of prominent magickal power, and created two powerful clay entities to help him on his dangerous mission. He also staked and abducted an evil Brujah named Dumuniz, whom he brought along with him _ knowing very well that Ereshkigal would not be happy when she discovered that her favorite decoration had vanished.
The powers displayed by the clay people, are very violent and seemingly more like a force of nature, than a work of magick. Most likely the clay people are references to the Paradox Spirit Terra Firma, who manifests as a huge golem-like creature made from earth. Since both Ninshubur and Ereshkigal have natures and powers which point at possible Mages, a Paradox Spirit is very likely to appear at some point, when incredible powerful creatures battle.
Ninshubur did manage to enter Ereshkigal's throne room, where he removed the stake from Nahstradia's chest, reworked the physical appearance of Dumuniz and hung him in her place. Thereupon the Methuselah and the Sorcerer escaped from Domain of Ereshkigal, who was said to have crushed entire legions of Daemons in a furious rage when she discovered that she had been cheated.
Nahstradia is also known to have operated in India, and also in the Middle Eastern area where she had at least some part in the downfall of the Ba'ali Diabolo, who was responsible for the crucifixion and death of Jesus Christ.
In Greece two Salubri are known to have been active. One posed as Demeter the Goddess of Fertility (see India: Lakshimithia), and the other Athenae the Goddess of Wisdom.
Demeter was both the Goddess of the Corn, but was also known as Mother Earth, as she was a Goddess of the fertility of both the earth and the women. She was capable of creating abundance and famine, barrenness and fertility. Demeter was identical to the Salubri Lakshimithia.
Athenae was one of the most powerful Goddesses in the Greek pantheon, and in her aspect as the Goddess of Wisdom she was worshipped all over Greece. Her wisdom and ability to see with clarity where others could not was legendary, as was her wily intelligence. She was reknown for sending military advice in the dreams of the great warlords, advice which would lead to a glorious, but bloodless, victory. Athenae was beautiful as the dawning day, but she remained the Virgin Goddess. This may have more to do with the standards of patriarchate society in which she was Goddess _ sharp, intelligent women were seen as a threat to the potence and power of the men _ and thus Athenae remained forever the inapproachable.
Athauzanna was one of the most (if not the most) intelligent and wise Salubri who has ever existed, and her wisdom and intelligence rivalled even that of Saulot. She hated violence and war, and constantly intervened with her wisdom to settle things peacefully. Athauzanna was a gentle creature who desired only peace, and she was loved dearly by her Brothers and Sisters. The Ba'ali hated her with a venom because of her ability to settle wars and struggles peacefully, and were constantly trying to kill her. She disappeared some 1500 years B.C. and since she was never again heard from, the Ba'ali are thought to have succeeded with their foul schemes. All Salubri wept blood for her, and the world is a much colder place without her presence.
The Salubri even came as far away from their original tropical homelands, as Scandinavia. A single member of the Clan sneaked her way into the otherwise warlike and savage religion of the Vikings. Here, as in all the religions in which the Salubri have played a part, it is a Goddess of Fertility. =09 Freya was the Goddess of Fertility, Love and also associated with the more dark Prophetic Magick, which is not entirely in keeping with her aspect as one of the Goddesses of Light. The cult which surrounded Freya had two sides, one was as the one who brings fertility to the land, the seas and the mortals, guards marriage and protects young lovers, and the other associating her with unrestrained sexuality and dark magick. In keeping with this special aspect, it seems appropriate that she had two giant black cats pulling her cart. Perhaps this is why the black cat has been so widely associated with the familiars of witches. The magick which Freya wielded was mostly rituals which revolved around predicting the future, but she was also capable of summoning forth terrible creatures who would hunt those who betrayed their love, and laying terrible curses upon those who angered her. But as well as having this darker aspect, Freya was also a compassionate and passionate being. She cried tears of gold when she saw the cruelty of the world, yet she also gained the souls of those who died because of love. Legends state that she took many mortal warlords as her lovers, sometimes solidifying their reign until the point of their death, sometimes pitting them against each other but always bidding them welcome to Valhall. Being a Goddess of Love, Freya combines both sides of love and passion. The good feelings associated with infatuation, mature relationships and solid marriages, feelings which makes those who have them more human. And the dark feelings associated with unfulfilled love, unrestrained desire and hate, feelings which strengthen the evil in all creatures and feeds Those Who Wait.
A Salubri named Gefion was a priestess before she was Embraced, and she believed in love and hate as the prime forces of the universe. As much as she worshipped love, she also claimed that love without hate was an unbalanced thing which could only lead to corruption _ without its counterpart, the other feeling could not exist. Therefore she embraced both love and hate, making her a very powerful being, as she fought her enemies with pure emotions and understood the hearts of mortals and immortals like no other. Gefion was a very capable sorcerers, and inducing both love and hate, she also had the ability of shapeshifting and could change into any type of bird if she so desired.
The battle which the members of the Flames of Serenity and the Swords of Saulot fought, was nor restrained to the activities of those who posed as Gods. The Divine Salubri (as these Ancients have been nicknamed) are merely the most visible members of sects enshrouded in mystery and shadows. What exactly the Salubri (meaning those following the Philosophy of Purification) have been responsible for, is very hard to discern _ especially since they are not very visible, and leave no record behind for other Cainites to find. They battled both the Setites, the Ba'ali and numerous Cainites from all the Clans, mortals, Nephandi and Lupus Garou _ all who came to close to the edge of the Abyss and became champions of Darkness and Evil. But if they have fought evil and corruption since the Dawn of Time, why is the world still going to hell? One might ask such a question, and the answer lies in the very nature of the Cainites and humanity: Power corrupts! The Cainites who have held absolute power for millennia know nothing else and would rather loose their immortal soul than give away an ounce of power. They manipulate and corrupt as do humans, but since the vampire is the last link in the food-chain and the predator of all other species, they have taken the power-games and corruption to new depths. As time gnaws away at the soul of the Cainites, so does noble purpose tarnish and pure thought muddle up and far too many Elders have but an thin shell of humanity covering their Beast. The Elders effect both their Progeny and the Kine, who in turn work back on the Elders. Thus the corrupt Elders extend their corrupting hand against the world to wield their influence, but as their power corrupts the hearts and societies of men, so does the world corrupt them back. This evil cycle has been going for centuries, and the Salubri is but a faint flame in the great darkness which envelops the World of Darkness. They fight unfathomable Dark Powers. However, even if their fight is a seemingly doomed one, what would happen if they did not fight it?=7F
But the Childer of Saulot does not stand alone as the Champions of Light; the Mummies, the Children of Osiris, the Tradition Mages, those Garou who have not lost sight of their real fight in intra-tribal warfare, and unfortunately very few of the Cainites, stand at their side. Sometimes by chance, and sometimes as knowing allies. The Champions of Light are few of number, but strong of will and determination. That is a very small comfort for those who stand in the front of the battle, and knows the true number and nature of the enemy.=7F
The Purification Sects maintains lines of communication to the Mummies and the Children of Osiris, as these two groups hold dear many of the Salubri's own ideals. Both groups fight the Followers of Set relentlessly, and it is a well-known fact to the Salubri, that Evil attracts Evil. The Ba'ali are often to be found around places of suffering and corruption, and are as drawn to such places and emotions as are the Setites, and vice versa. When one begins to turn the rocks, all the slimy insects will eventually crawl out, and there are so many sorts of insects! When the fighting starts, the Salubri will hasten to the scene, often to participate _ but they also believe in observing, and often they remain in an abandoned area of battle to see who comes out when the storm settles; very often the powerful beings let their minions fight their dirty battles, and only come out when they believe that all is safe.
Although the Salubri lived a pressed existence up through the ages, nothing shook the Clan as the disaster which happened during the Middle Ages. Tremere and his Council of Seven had all become Vampires in the year A.D. 1022, when the Magus Goratrix finally discovered the secret of immortality for which his Master Tremere had searching for. He had a special potion destilled from the blood of two Tzimisce vampires, and after a lengthy ritual, both Tremere and the Council of Seven imbibed the potion. They became immortal, but lost their Avatars. They had to begin harnessing power all over again. So while faithful servants spread the Curse of Caine throughout House Tremere, Tremere himself searched for clues to the immense power he had learned the Cainite Elders possessed. He finally discovered the Secret of the Antediluvians, and how he could come to possess their god-like powers through Diablerie. After almost a century of searching by both mundane and magickal methods, Tremere had located the Havens of several Antediluvians, but he chose Saulot to be his victim, as he was seemingly the one who was least guarded. In A.D. 1133, Tremere and the Council of Seven fought
their way into Saulot's tomb, where Tremere sank his teeth into throat of the Salubri Father. Supposedly, Saulot put up very little resistance, and quickly died, leaving Tremere with all the power of his immortal blood.
The reason for this, has long been a point of fierce arguments amongst the Salubri. While most agree that Saulot had tired of this world, few can see why he would want to leave as powermad a person like Tremere with his power. Why would a being who personified Light and the Good, not resist an attempt by an evil being to steal his power?
The Ascensionites say that Saulot showed all his Childer, the One Way, by his supreme sacrifice. They believe that Saulot did not resist on purpose. He had seen how divided his Childer had become, and knew that they were disturbing the Karmic Wheel (read: the Golcondanites) by refusing to move on to the next Plane of existence. Saulot showed that his Childer should sacrifice themselves through Diablerie; in this way they could pass on their Vitae and beliefs to even the most corrupt, and give them a chance to uphold the Balance.
The Golcondanites are split into an argument between the Preachers and the Redeemers (surprisingly enough).
The Preachers say that Saulot sacrificed himself in the way he did, because he wanted to show that you can never force Golconda upon anyone. If this is practised, they will only seek you out to kill you for taking their freedom of mind away.
The Redeemers say that Saulot chose to sacrifice himself to show what happens if all creatures are left to their own devices. If they are carefully guided along the stony path to Golconda, they will attempt to murder their saviors for simple reasons of greed for the power the Enlightened hold.
The Purifiers believe that all three groups are wrong. Saulot was tired of this world, and allowed Tremere to drain him, where he could have smashed him like a bug. But they also believe that Saulot had a plan. They argue=7F that he was the first to reach the blessed state of Golconda, and since he reached this state of being before returning to the Second City, he must have had the most powerful and balanced soul ever. While he was in Torpor, his soul must have travelled the universe and the spheres _ finally Saulot could free it from the burden of his immortal body. The Salubri are more intimate with the dire consequences of Diablerie than most other Cainites, since they have been Blood Hunted since the beginning of recorded history. Their scholars were amongst the first to discover that the Diabolist actually drank the soul of his victim. The argument of the Purifiers continue along that line. They say, that while the common Neonate is stronger in body and mind than most mortals, his is but a child when compared with his Elders, who again are as infants when compared with the Methuselahs and finally there are the Antediluvians, who surpass all others in strength of body and mind. Where the soul of an Antediluvian must be like a bonfire against a flickering candle-light when compared with that of a Neonate, Saulot's soul must have shone as a star in the darkness when compared with the other Antediluvians.
Therefore, the Purifiers argue, Tremere could not possibly have crushed Saulot's soul as does Diabolists normally. While he may have been a powerful Magus, he had lost that power when he became a vampire, and as such he could not have subdued the power of
Saulot's eternal soul. In absorbing the essence of the most serene creature in existence, Tremere must have doomed his own essence to certain oblivion. Given time, the light of Saulot would burn away the darkness in Tremere's soul, and possibly even give Saulot a chance of rebirth. The Purifiers of course rejoice when they hear rumors, that a third eye had opened in the forehead of the sleeping Tremere.
But the hope of Saulot's return is of little comfort, in a world which just seem to grow more and more corrupt, and where Death is beginning to fold his shroud around the planet to reap the price he always gets. But the Purifiers also know that if they despair, the Ba'ali will have won, there will be no one left on the barricades to ward off the Legions of Evil from an unsuspecting humanity, and a steadily more ignorant population of supernatural creatures. It has become easier for the Salubri to move in the shadows of their enemies, for they cast much longer and darker shadows now, and more and more chose to cast a shadow on their surroundings, rather than illuminate them with their inner light.
To remind them of their own history and the forces which they are fighting, the Salubri scholars of the Purifiers haven taken to write and collect the Scrolls of Salubri. The Scrolls are relics amongst the Salubri, and have the same importance to them as the Holy Bible has to Catholics. The exact number of scrolls said to exist varies, and apparently no one are exactly sure of it. What they contain is another thing entirely. The first 8 scrolls (known as the Eight Scrolls) are written by Saulot himself, and contain the most important of his teachings and the most clear of his prophesies. According to Salubri legends, Saulot wrote the scrolls before returning to the world of the Cainites, in the time where he had only just achieved Golconda. Due to their age and ancient style, transcripts of the scrolls have sometimes been mistaken for lost fragments of the Book of Nod. In fact, vast parts of the Chronicle of Secrets are rewritten prophesies taken from the Eight Scrolls. However, since Cainite history always seems to be muddled up with facts, lies and phantasies it is hard to tell if Saulot has had vast influence on that part of the Book of Nod, or if the passages in the Book of Nod may have influenced his prophesies, or if both have been influenced by something altogether different.
The Scrolls are part prophesy, part poetic recount of the Salubri history and part a philosophical tapestry woven from thoughts regarding the nature of the Salubri, the potential of humanity and the actions of their enemies. Although the number of scrolls vary, the Scrolls of Salubri are parted into four Books: The Book of Wisdom, which contains the teachings of Saulot and are entirely written by the Founder; The Book of Nights Foretold, containing the prophesies of Saulot, and those of his Progeny; The Book of Nights Not Forgotten, a huge work of poetry retracing the steps of the Salubri of each of the Three Philosophies (only the history of the Ascensionites have ever reached the world outside the two Purifier sects); and finally The Book of Thoughts, which is a not easily-accessible work of philosophy, which thoroughly dissects the world in which the Salubri exist _ both past and present.
Although transcripts are made from the original Scrolls, which are held by the Purifier sects, it is difficult to be certain what is the original script, and what has been added by other Salubri. The Children of Saulot constantly add material to their holy scrolls, making them more and more detailed, and thus closer and closer to the "Truth of Saulot". This is when the Salubri have finally learned all Saulot's lessons, and their third eye opens to see all the worlds at once for the first time. The Purifiers believe that once they achieve Golconda, they will be able to perceive the world as did Saulot. Until that happens, their vision is clouded by their weaknesses, and their vain faith in their own strength. But only some of the Scrolls are made available for transcripts, and some of them have never been looked upon with eyes which have not seen the fires of the city of Kala-At-Shergat. The Salubri fully realise,=7F that should all the Scrolls and their contents be known, the bloodhounds of the Ba'ali and Tremere would soon be at their doors. Thus many Scrolls are kept in secret halls in the two Grand Temples of the Purifiers, and are only available for the eyes of the most wise and ancient of the Salubri.
Philosophy: The Salubri all belong to one of the Three Philosophies _ the Philosophy of Ascension, the Philosophy and the Philosophy of Purification _ which point out the general guidelines of thought and action for the Salubri who follows them. They are loosely organised, as they are philosophies more than they are the strict rules of the Paths. Although the Salubri have Humanity as most Camarilla Cainites, their ascension and descension are, however, determined much more through the reflection they cast in their Philosophy, than it is by the loose guidelines on the Humanity Chart.
Goals: This depends also on the followed Philosophy; the Ascensionites desires to perfect their mind and spirit, and then handing down the chance of Golconda by killing themselves; the Golcondanites are divided into two camps, one (Redeemers) who wants to force humanity unto the Path of Golconda with methods which would make the Technocracy proud, and the other (the Preachers) believe that the individual must accept Golconda as a thought of its own, or all is in vain. The two camps only agree upon "the Truth", that all sentient beings have to reach Golconda before anyone can truly ascend to a higher state of consciousness; and the Purifiers wants to rid the world of all Evil, beginning with the Ba'ali and the Tremere, as well as leading the innocent towards Golconda.
Some Salubri tire of their fellow Philosophy-followers, the constant struggle for Golconda and of the world in general. They enter Torpor like their Founder, and hope to awaken to a better world.
Nicknames: Cyclops (although the Tremere opts for "Souleaters")
Appearance: The members of this Clan come from a wide variety of gender, race and age, although the Preachers and the Purifiers seem to prefer people from the Asian continent and the Middle-East.
Once the chosen Kine has been Embraced, however, they begin to develop the Clan's third eye. While the eye is not always noticeable (when it is closed, only an eyeslit, which appears to be a small scar, can be seen), the third eye is extremely prominent when in use.
Haven: The Ascensionites prefer to have their Havens far away from other Cainites and Kine, while they often have a Coven of loyal followers both protecting them and providing them with the blood they crave.
The Golcondanites are also split when it comes to choice of Haven; the Redeemers prefer to live in the cities where they can gather large cults around them and spread the Truth to as many as possible; while the Preachers prefer to wander the earth and spread the Word, rarely staying in one place for long at a time.
The Purifiers exist in secrecy, sometimes having alternate identities as Cainites from other Clans and thus living in full visibility amongst their enemies, sometimes living in secret places under the city, or in great mansions on the outskirts of a city, where they can exist without compromising their Way of Shadows.
Background: The Salubri grant the Embrace according to the Philosophy they follow.
Character Generation: Salubri can have any concept, but very few have criminal concepts, and only those following the Philosophy of Purification come from a soldier background.
Many have Caregiver Nature, but Fanatic is also common amongst the Golcondanites, as is Penitent amongst the Ascensionites. Demeanors vary, but Purifiers tend to chose whichever fit the best with their current activities.
Mental Attributes and Mental Abilities are usually primary, this is not always the case, especially with the Golcondanites and the Purifiers.
Those who choose to follow the Philosophy of Ascension, must take five dots in the Generation Background to represent their Sire's sacrifice for them. The Purifiers also tend to be of a lower Generation than other Salubri, and never higher than 10! Many also have Herds of faithful followers to negate the Salubri problem with feeding (see Weakness)
Clan Disciplines: Auspex, Fortitude, Obeah
Weaknesses: Whenever one of the Salubri takes blood from someone who resists the Kiss, the Salubri loses one Health Level for every Blood Point taken. This damage must be healed normally (with blood). The Vampire must know the target is nor resisting and is at peace in order to avoid the damage. Therefore, many members of the Clan are either Casanovas or Sandmen.
Additionally, the character must continually strive towards the form of Golconda his Philosophy demands; any straying from this path will lead to dire consequences (like the inability to regain Willpower and the loss of certain Powers).
Organisation: There are varying levels of organisation to this Clan; the Ascensionites have little contact with both each other, and the other Salubri, but will do anything within their power to help other Ascensionites; the Redeemers have more regular contact, although they exist in separate units. They are, however, always ready to fight those who will stop them in their spreading of the Truth; the Preachers have no contact with each other besides the occasional encounter on the road, but are also ready to fight like rabid Brujahs if they, or their beliefs, are threatened; the Purifiers are in constant contact with each other, through the two sects, and are always aware of the presence of other Salubri in the area where they operate. Each country is parted into a number of cells, which each has a body of Salubri attached to it. The cell is usually headed formally by a Priest or Priestess, who act as coordinators for the other Salubri in the cell. Each Salubri in the cell oversees a specific area, and reports back to the Priest(ess) about the status of ongoing operations, new Cainites or other supernatural beings and of passing Salubri. The Priest(ess) then reports back to the Grand Temple, and the Council of the Ages. The cells are usually autonomous and only rarely will the Council of the Ages interfere with their activities. Only if the intelligence gathered from that area suggests unseen powers (such as Ba'ali), or a need for reinforcements will the Council act _ or if assistance is specifically=7F requested by a cell.
The Grand Temple of the Flames of Serenity, lies on the Koh-i-baba Mountain in North Afghanistan, where it is protected by powerful sorcery, a very forbidding and harsh terrain, and the constant warfare between the Afghan tribes. For who would would desire to travel across a desolated desert of destruction where danger and potential Final Death lurks everywhere, when relative safety can be ensure merely by diverting a few hundred miles from one's course?
From that stormy mountain, Highpriest Parsadevetha has been overseeing the battle against the Dark for the past 1200 years. Ever since, Sathiumarkha tired of the throne and abdicated to search for new knowledge and the vitality she was feeling she lacked. The Grand Temple of the Swords of Saulot is situated deep within Gannet Peak, in the Rocky Mountains. A labyrinthine system of tunnels, dead ends and traps protects the city of Highpriestess Xachliocoata, who has ruled wisely from her stony throne within the cold mountain for more than three millennia.
She was a great Sorcerer-Priestess in the Olmec kingdoms, who regretted the bloody deeds she had committed to keep her power. Xachliocoata met Xalmakhar the Wanderer when her despair was greatest, and after the two had spend many nights in deep conversations, Xachliocoata joined the ranks of the Salubri.
Gaining Clan Prestige: Common for all the Salubri, is the way in which they award Prestige. The closer one is to achieving Golconda, the more Prestige is awarded. But since the Salubri does not generally spend all that much time together, Prestige rarely becomes relevant _ especially since they treat each other with respect regardless of Age and Generation.
The concept of Prestige has very little meaning to the Ascensionites, as they kill themselves upon achieving Golconda.
The Golcondanites also (both fractions) award Prestige for the souls which have been shown the light, also for how long they are along the Path of Mercy.
Although the Purifiers place great value in Golconda, they consider it more important to guide the innocent and destroy the Evil Ones. The Salubri who are regarded as having the most Prestige, are those who have fought long and hard in the Shadow War, and still managed to keep their balance of mind and soul. Although the sects have their hierarchic structure, this is more for the purpose of fighting an effective war, than it is to enforce bonds of Prestige upon the Clan.
Quote: "Nothing can be considered more important than the freedom of souls. Not just your soul and mine, but the souls of everyone on Earth. Thus we should consider our trials and tribulations a gift, for such freedom is impossible without overcoming adversity"
The Salubri are not completely powerless in their struggle against the Dark Forces of the world. They wield the Sword of Mercy and Healing _ not a weapon to scoff. They are the masters of the soul and the mind, and new possibilities open to those who achieve complete serenity.
As the Vitae of Saulot the Healer runs in the veins of the Salubri, the Path of Golconda is almost a birthright to them. By no means is this achieved automatically, but the Salubri seems to have an innate understanding of how to reach this state of tranquility, which eludes so many Cainites. The Elders of the Clan have left behind clues of Golconda for millennia, and to the Salubri who understands their language, their way of thinking and who can discover where the clues are, this is almost like a marked path which they have but to follow.
A Salubri who reaches Golconda, is of course freed from the ravages of the Beast, and she is never again prone to the dangers of Frenzy and R=94tschrek for as long as she remains in Golconda. By accepting herself, she unites both the Man and the Beast, as she recognises them as inseparable and equally a part of her. Total serenity is achieved, and the Salubri finally knows freedom from the eternal blood-thirst, and the overpowering self-pity.
Furthermore, she does no longer need blood as often as does other Cainites, and loses only a single Blood Point per week, rather than one per day. The Salubri will also be able to push aside and ignore the need for more potent blood when they reach the age where many Cainites spiral into a madness of Diablerie.
Because the Salubri is in complete balance, she is open to the Disciplines in a way no non- Salubri can ever fathom. The body, mind, and soul sing in harmony and the serenity of Golconda allows the Salubri to ascend the normal limitations for learning new Powers. A Salubri in Golconda needs not lower her Generation in order to learn Discipline Powers higher than five, she can learn them merely by expending experience points.
Saulot's Words This knowledge is the secret language of the Salubri, which their most ancient records are written in, as well as anything which is judged to vital to allow those outside the Clan to see. The sects have special variations of this language, which only members of the sect speaks, and the most ancient of the Elders speak a version which has not been spoken in the world since Saulot entered Torpor. Since the language is a mixture of Saulot's native Summerian Tongue and of those which he learned while wandering in the East after he achieved Golconda, it has no simple logic to it, and is impossible to decipher is one does not speak it. The letters used in Saulot's Words are archaic signs, and can easily be hidden amongst the graffiti found in cities all over the world.=7F
Since the language is very complex due to its composition of many varied languages, compound grammar and ancient structure, Saulot's Words is very difficult to master. Thus a Salubri cannot chose a speciality before attaining four or more dots in the Knowledge.
Student:You know the basics of the language, and can read and understand simple words.
College:You can read some of the Scrolls of Salubri _ although mostly those written by young members of the Clan.
Masters: You can speak the language and writing in it.
Doctorate:You are capable of reading all the Scrolls of Salubri, except for the Eight.
Scholar: You could participate in a conversation with the Ancients.
Specialities: Flames of Serenity, Swords of Saulot, Tongue of the Ancients, Personal Variant
 Gaze of Vistherathrica: This Power allows the Salubri reverse the normally healing properties of the Discipline, by reversing the negative energies in a completely corrupt and evil person, and turning them inward against the person. This can prove very harming to acolytes of Evil, as they are not used to the harm they inflict upon others.
However, if the gaze is turned upon someone who is pure and the exact opposite of the evil-doer, the gaze will revive the strength of the individual's mind, and give a sense of peace and balance.
System: The gaze has an effective range of 20 yards. When the Power is used the third eye will be very visible, and will direct a pure white beam of light at the target, which will make the Salubri very visible. If the target is indeed an Evil and corrupt person, the Salubri and her target make resisted rolls against Willpower (with a difficulty of the other person's Humanity). The number of dices which exceeds the other person's successes, will equal a lost Health Level per additional success. Thus, if the Salubri loses, she will be harmed herself, as her target has managed to repel her attack and thereby turning the destructive energies towards the Salubri.
Example: Nahstradia has sneaked into the secret temple of the Setite Archcorrupter Harruman, and while an elite detachment of Templars fight off Harruman's mortal servants and Progeny, Nahstradia concentrate on the Ancient Setite. She opens her third eye, and a searing white light beams from it and hits Harruman.
[Nahstradia has a Humanity of 9 and 8 dice in her Willpower Pool. Harruman on the other hand, is an experienced corrupter and has Path of Typhon 8 and a Willpower Pool of 8. So the two Cainites are almost equal on this point. Nahstradia rolls 2, 4, 7, 9, 8, 10, 8, 5 _ she has four successes. Harruman rolls 6, 9, 8, 7, 10, 4, 8, 9 _ he has three successes.]
Harruman screams in agony as his own Evil is turned inwards, but he begins to focus his mind on using the Serpentis Corruption Power, and quickly heals the one lost Health Level.
If the gaze is turned upon someone who is completely good, the target immediately has her Willpower Pool replenished, and receives 2 dices to all dice pools for a number of hours equal to the Salubri's Humanity, as a feeling of complete balance spreads throughout her entire being. Note, however, that this can only be done once per story.
 Lord of Serenity: This Power allows the Salubri to spread her peace of mind to an area around her. As well as healing the psyche of the inhabitants of the area, the Salubri can also feed of the positive emotions which will be concentrated in the area _ thus removing her farther from the need for blood. While the Salubri is transforming the emotional energies in an area of her choice, she can of course use her other Disciplines and personal abilities to increase the effect. She must also invest some of her own power in the area, thereby grooming it to feed her.
But only when the chosen area has been completely cleansed and healed of its emotional wounds (memories of serial killers, knowledge of corruption, etc.) can the Salubri begin to feed of the positive energies, in stead of feeding the area. However, once an area has been completely converted, she may begin to reach out to a wider area, while still receiving power from the already existing "Heaven", as such cleansed areas are called. Thereby, the Salubri can increase her power on a continuous basis, and use it to improve the state of a larger and larger area.
The few Salubri who possess this Power, usually employ it to cleanse an area which has been heavily infested with Ba'ali, Setites and similar beings (most likely after the Salubri have won a battle in the Shadow War) _ or to flush them out. Just imagine the suffering a completely evil and corrupt Ba'ali would feel, if the area in which he operates is suddenly permeated with serenity and positive energy.
System: The Salubri chooses an area which she wants to cleans, and free from its shroud of depression, corruption and evil. For the Power to have a payback worth the effort, this is usually a 5-square-mile area. An area smaller than that, may not contain the necessary number of souls. The healing of the area is done in any number of ways: the downfall of local gang leaders, removal of corrupt city officials, ensuring that public means are diverted into the area to give it a face-lift, arranging for new shelters for the homeless, etc. The possibilities are endless, and the idea is to spread as much happiness and make sure the inhabitants have positive experiences in a seemingly hellhole of a neighborhood. This will begin to affect the behaviour and state of mind of the inhabitants in a very real way over time _ but remember the World of Darkness is a very dark place, and the effort needed, to heal the aura of doom which permeates everything and the depressed outlook of the people, is a lot more strenuous than it would be in the world we live in. Given time, the inhabitants will begin to forge a community spirit, and behave in a more responsible way; assaults and rapes are reported in and the witnesses are ready to testify against the criminal(s) in a court of law, forgiveness is more likely to happen than random acts of violence, the inhabitants begin to care about their neighbors and their immediate environment, etc.
Each week, the Salubri must spend 10 Blood Points to intensify the feelings which arise as a result of her handywork. This will consolidate the current results, and make way for the next step up the latter to healing. When an area of the previously mentioned size has been healed, it will provide the Salubri with 15 Serenity Points (which works in the same way as Blood Points) each week. However, the Salubri can only store as many Serenity Points as she has remaining "free space" in her Blood Pool.
The Heaven becomes a pool from which the Cainite receives Serenity Points, and for as long as she remains within the city limits she can draw upon them anywhere in the city _ and is thus not trapped within the confines of the Heaven. The Salubri may use all the points on the first day of the week, but that would leave her with none for the rest of the week. In order to maintain the feeling of peace and sanity in the area, the Cainite must spend 10 Blood Points, or Serenity Points, each week. Once the area has been turned into a Heaven, it will become an area where people are not afraid to walk the streets at night, and where crime is less likely to occur as the area is no longer divided _ however, to reach that point requires hard work and is no easy task. Because the Salubri broadcasts feelings from her own peaceful mind the inhabitants become attuned to the presence of her, and the most peaceful area will be move with the Salubri. The people of the entire area will also react to any moodswings of the Salubri, and the Cainite may destroy months of hard labour by a single outburst of anger. This is probably why only those who have reached Golconda attempt to master this Power; they recognise the damage they could do, if they are not balanced in mind and soul at all times.
As the Salubri has healed one area, she may increase her Heaven by another 5-square-miles, which must be cleansed in the same way. The Cainite must spend an additional 5 points per week on the new area, until it has been completely corrupted _ after which it will also provide her with 15 Serenity Points per week, and demand a 5 points expenditure of Blood Points, or Serenity Points, per week. This procedure is repeated each time the Salubri desires to heal a new area.
When a Salubri has succeeded in turning an area into a Heaven, it becomes her Domain. Anyone who is hostile to the Cainite, and who ventures within the confines of the area, will have 4 dice subtracted from their dice pool for as long as they remain in the area. The Salubri will have 4 dice added to her dice pool for any purpose while within one of her Heavens.
While the Serenity Points may seem as a blessing, they can become a burden if too many are gained. If the Salubri have more Blood and Sufferance Points in his Blood Pool than the allowed maximum, she becomes a beacon (and possible entryway) to entities from beyond the Horizon. As the Cainite cannot contain the positive energy, it begins to permeate her entire being and finally to leak out into the Umbra, while also creating a positive field of energy around the character. In social relations, this becomes rather burdening, as those who have committed even the least sin or crime, suddenly becomes repentant and want to confess to the character when she comes within 10-20 feet of them. This draws attention to the Salubri, which she does not need at all. The Ba'ali and Tremere are always attentive to reports of any active Salubri, and will be very quick to make a move if they hear stories of a person who makes people confess their crimes, and of entire city blocks where crime has suddenly ceased to exist. Each additional Serenity Point subtracts 1 dice from any Social Roll dice pools because of the cluster of repentant sinners which always follows the Salubri around _ very possibly the dice pool will be reduced below 0, and people will begin to react with hostility towards the Cainite. Just as people feel threatened in the presence of too great Evil, they also feel threatened in the presence of too great Good.
Each additional dice of Serenity which the Salubri cannot contain, increases the chances of her being detected by entities from other planes _ some may even attempt to use her as a gateway. The surplus positive energy registers as Pure Quintessence just waiting to be absorbed. Each additional point gives the entities one additional dice to their attempt to penetrate the dimensional barrier. Wraiths are very sensitive to this energy, and will begin to swarm around the Cainite already when she has fewer than 5 additional Serenity Points. They sense the energies of Salvation, and is drawn to it like moths to a flame.At 10+ additional points, the effectiveness of the Gauntlet/Shroud in the Heaven area, is lowered by -1, and by another at 20 points. At 10 points, the more powerful Wraiths will begin to be attracted to the Salubri, and minor Banes and Wyrmlings will also begin to take notice. At 20+ points, the Cainite might suddenly find himself to be the focal points of the manifestation of a Nexus Crawler, or an Umbra Lord. The Tremere, the Ba'ali, the Technocracy, the Garou, the Tradition Mages, the Marauders, the Nephandi and the Paradox Spirits will take notice at these levels, and rush to find the source. Thus the Salubri might suddenly find herself responsible for manifestations of destructive creatures in the very area she has worked so hard to heal. That is very likely to wreak havoc on her state of Golconda, and general peace of mind!
The Ancients who can store more than 20+ Serenity Points in their bodies without exceeding the safe limit, can induce a feeling of serenity, and heal the minds of the insane, at will merely by spending a singel Serenity Point per person they wish to affect.
Even though it may seem as if the Salubri can merely settle back and relax once she has turned an area into a Heaven, this is not the case. It=7F demands hard work to keep an area completely healed. There are many forces who are not interested in crime disappearing from an area, or a collective mass of strong minded people. It is also easy to tempt humans into evil, and Ba'ali and Setite Vampires are likely to be attracted to a Heaven by its aura of peace. They cannot stand purity, and will most certainly work to destroy the work of the Salubri _ and the Salubri if they discover her. The Cainite must constantly monitor the area, and besides all the activities naturally sparked off by the aura of the Heaven, she must occasionally make sure that a particularly positive event takes place. Merely to reaffirm the inhabitants's knowledge of their neighborhood: "Boy, this place has to be the nearest thing to Heaven on Earth!"
I did not invent this Clan, it is detailed in both the 1st and 2nd edition of The Vampire Player's Guide. Hopefully you own them both, as the articles on roleplaying are not the same in both editions. If not, go forth and expendify!
I did, however, rewrite it and added a few new angles on the three-eyed Clan. Amongst those with whom I play Vampire: The Masquerade, there has been a general bewilderment as to why anyone would want to be a Salubri. Even the most dim- witted NPCs would have a hard time finding a purpose. The idea of a Clan of Healer-Philosophers was great, but why turn them into a bunch of suicidal karma geeks?!?! Who would want to be in search of the Path of Mercy, and then commit suicide when the goal is finally attained. Especially since the world is so filled with Evil which they could battle, and people who need the peace and healing the Salubri bring. Try to imagine the damage a Salubri could do to the corrupted soul of a Ba'ali with the Unburdening the Bestial Soul Power. The more I thought about the potential of the Clan, the more I wondered about the way they were presented in VPG. If the World of Darkness has so utterly corrupt and vile Clans as the Setites and the Giovanni, and a Bloodline like the Ba'ali, why did it not have a Clan committed to good, and the destruction of evil? I toyed with the idea of making a secret sect of Salubri, who moved behind the scenes of the Jyhad as does the Children of Osiris. Finally I read Eric S. Bertish's The Complete History of the Ba'ali, which gave me the final ounce of inspiration I needed. The Philosophies of the Salubri came into mind, as did the secret sects and a thousand other concepts. I feel that the Salubri with this revision, has ascended the geek- level they had been inhabiting until then, and made them more interesting.
Anyway, I have presented the The History of the Salubri to you and hope you find it useful, and as enjoyable as I have. Comments and criticism are always welcome. I have mixed my own imagination with equal parts of various White Wolf products, a grain of reality, and parts of the Ba'ali article by Eric S. Bertish. Fortunately WW has founded a tradition that each supplement merely represents a point of view, and therefore supplements can be as inconsistent with earlier products as they see fit. I have tried to structure the material of WW as good as possible, but it is unavoi- dable that a few inconsistencies will be present owing to my personal view of things. But hey, that is half the charm of WW's World of Darkness.
A World of Darkness
The Book of Nod
The Book of Shadows: Mage Player's Guide
The Chaos Factor
Children of the Inquisition
Clayton, Peter: Great Figures of Mythology (Magna Books)
Eric S. Bertish:The Complete History of the Ba'ali
The Hunters Hunted
Lurker, Manfred: The Gods and Symbols of Ancient Egypt (Thames and Hudson LtD)
Mage: The Ascension
Necronomicon (Avon Books)
Player's Guide to the Sabbat
StoryTeller's Guide to the Sabbat
The StoryTeller's Handbook
Vampire Player's Guide 2nd Edition
Vampire: The Masquerade 2nd Edition
World Mythology: Edited by Roy Willis (Duncan Baird Publishers)
Wraith: The Oblivion
The History of the Salubri has been written and imagined by Kenneth Madsen and MADness Ventures Design Studio 1995. Ideas, material and illustrations published by White Wolf and other companies are of course trademarks (=84) and copyrights (O) of said companies, and the use of their published material should not be seen as a challenge to these rights. I wish merely to contribute to the World of Darkness setting, and has written this material in a spirit of sharing, and have not attempted to earn any money from it.
If anyone from WW's Werewolf: The Apocalypse department read this: WHY HAVE I NOT YET RECEIVED THE PROMISED FREE POSTER FROM ANSWERING THE INQUIRY IN WEREWOLF: THE APOCALYPSE 1st EDITION?