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  • Coaterier i Dubai

    Skriver faktioner till min Vampire kampanj i Dubai. Ser de här bra ut? Har jag missat något?

    Hamsa (De fem eller "Handen"): Det härskande coateriet som leds personligen av Prins Shabina. Coateriet är dedikerat till klan Assamite bortom allt annat och fungerar som klanens förlängda arm och vänliga ansikte. Det är Hamsa de flesta besökare kommer till staden för att träffa och förhandla affärer med.

    Musharakah (Det förenande projektet): Ett coaterie bestående av Ventrue och Lasombra formad av vampyrer bland korsfararna och de muslimska länderna som samarbetade över religösa, klan, etniska och kulturella gränser för att tjäna så mycket pengar som möjligt. Har enorm ekonomisk och världslig makt.

    Kharijite (De som avviker): Ett muslimskt coaterie bestående huvudsakligen av Assamiter med några Lasombror som ser sin existens som en förlängning av Guds vilja. Har börjat experimentera med att blanda Path of Night och Path of Blood. Extremt konservativa och djupt missnöjda med Elite Partners Escorts närvaro i staden.

    Rand, Undershaft & Giovanni: Ett coaterie bestående av medlemmar av klan Giovanni och "vänner" till familjen. Fungerar mot omvärlden som ett multinationellt företag och internationell advokatbyrå. Har fingrarna i allt från privat säkerhet och vapen till företagen som sköter stadens avloppstank tömningar.

    Byblos: Ett coaterie bestående av Children of Osiris. Deras mål i staden är oklara men de arbetar nära med Hamsa coateriet och rådgiver prinsen i många frågor. Har en bitter fejd med Molochians coateriet över religösa anledningar.

    Molochians: Det här coateriet av Followers of Set och Ravnos är ett professionellt kriminellt företag som sköter trafficking in insatsen och bortforslande/uppstädandet av kroppar i staden. Hanterar också droger och smuggling. Coateriet är religösa kopplade till Set i hans form av Moloch, sökaren av barn.

    Elite Partners Escorts: Det här coateriet bestående av Followers of Set, Tzimiche och Toreador medlemmar är stadens festprissar. De njuter i fulla drag av dekadensen i staden och praktiserar Path of Cathari med en religös devotism som är ovanlig att se i moderna nätter.

  • #2
    Jag tror att du ligger på gränsen till hur många coterier en stad som Dubai kan försörja.
    Känns dock som staden behöver ett gäng av "plebians" som framför allt stödjer status quo men överlag inte har några starka politiska övertygelser. Utan en större neutral grupp av yngre vampyrer som framför allt är "Vänner av ordning" känns det som om det hade blivit en Night of Knives mellan Musharakah, Kharajite, Giovanni, Molochians och Elite Partners Escorts för länge sen. Just för att det känns som om Kharijite skulle ge sig på de andra av religös nit, även om de inte är säkra på att vinna och Musharakah, Molochians och EPE hade gett sig på Kharijite just för att vara säkra på att Kharajite inte får initiativet.

    Kommentera


    • #3
      Det ojämförligt koolaste som någonsin funnits i de regionerna är Karmaternas rike. Alltså, seriöst, de är så ofattbart koola att det knappt går att klä i ord, den häftigaste muslimska fraktionen någonsin i historien. De var en pro-iransk utopistisk Shia-jihadninja-fraktion på 900-talet som försökte bygga en egalitär vegetarian-utopi/krigsherrevälde i nuv. Bahrain, och bland annat stal den svarta stenen från Kaban - de är orsaken att den är trasig idag. Jag designade en gång Qarmatian Malkavians, en martial Malkav-blodslinje som bygger på ett distinkt arv från karmaterna. Texen är väldigt gammal vid det här laget, och dessutom ofärdig om jag minns korrekt, men jag tror ändå den fångar lite av vad som gör karmaterna fuckin' askoola, och skapar en fascinerande Vampire-fraktion. Jag skrev även en disciplin åt dem, Muraqaba, klipper in den längst ned.

      Wall-of-text-time! (Orkar ni inte läsa hela, skippa history-avsnittet, som är ett långt ymirskt frossande i historia och islamologi. Det ger blodslinjen en värdig bakgrund rotad i muslimsk mystik, men är nog inte nödvändigt för att uppskatta resten av texten).

      (Vill ni ha det här materialet, spara ned det, för jag kommer nog radera det om några dagar i syfte att omarbeta det till något jag tar betalt för på Storyteller's Vault).

      Qarmatian Malkavians

      The Qarmatians, or Qabilat al-Baqliyyah, is a minor offshoot of the Bay't Majnoon, that is, the Malkavian clan as it's known in arabic. They could be considered a Bloodline, though many would argue that the difference with their parent clan in terms of blood is negligible. The al-Baqliyyah rather stands out because its members, for the most part, share a common history, religion and ambition (with them being Malkavians, some would call it a fixation).


      History

      The history of Qabilat al-Baqliyyah is intimately tied to the Qarmatian medieval state in eastern Arabia; hence the term 'Qarmatians' (which was seldom used as long as the mortal people of the same name remained). They are all descended from Tirandaz of Gundeshapur, a Sassanid Persian Cainite who watched his empire fall to the Arabs and began harboring a deep hatred towards arabs and islam. Yet, being a man of learning, he could not ignore the obvious power of the new faith; whereas he utterly rejected it on theological grounds, the fervor and sense of purpose it seemed to have installed in the arab peoples were amazing. In a matter of decades the arabs had gone from obscure shepherds at the edge of civilization to masters of the largest empire the world had ever seen; a completely shocking event for many mortals, and even more so for an immortal of Tirandaz' age. As he watched the arabs consolidate their empire and islam develop, Tirandaz had an idea. What if this great new faith and all it had accomplished could be subverted from the inside, to serve completely different purposes? Now, being a Malkavian, it doesn't seem Tirandaz harbored some great scheme spanning over millennia, like other cainites might have if they had gotten the same idea, though some argue that his ultimate goal was the restoration of Zoroastrianism in the Middle East. Many, however, believes that he just wanted to take the religion he despised and see how much he could fuck it up.
      At the second half of the 9th century, Tirandaz surfaced in what is now Bahrain, where he had been sowing discord between the local Shiites and the weakened Abbasid caliphate. It is not clear to what extent he actually masterminded the rise of the Qarmatian state, but by 880, all of the region was ablaze in revolt against the Abbasids, and by 899 large areas around Bahrain and the Al-Hasa oasis had actually broken free under the control of Abū-Saʿīd Jannābī, who here began setting up his bizarre vision of an utopian society; it seems likely that Tirandaz had dementated the man. Somewhere around this time, Tirandaz embraced the local warriors Tariq ibn Zayd and Baqir al-Ahwazi and the persian warrior slave Aryaman, and used them to destroy dissenting local cainites. He then presented another childe, claiming it was Ismail ibn Jafar, the true imam of the Shiites and bearer of the noor, the holy light, of God. This man, he claimed, was the salvation of the cainites, not the heretic leaders of the Ashirra in Mecca and Medina. By now most opposition had been crushed or scared into silence, or shown the error of their ways, and now matter how preposterous it might seem, the remaining local cainites accepted this young vampire as their imam. While many, as we shall see, actually believed him to truly be Ismail ibn Jafar, others might simply have been pragmatic and seen a chance to strike - why should the center of vampiric worldly and religious power be the Ashirras in Hedjaz, when it could be here on the other side of the peninsula, with an undead imam that actually could claim to possess the holy light? Others might have been dissapointed at the Ashirra's perceived lack of commitment to its Shiite doctrine, especially in light of the Sunni dominance in the mortal world. In any case, Tirandaz' manipulation of the Qarmatians now had the local cainites' support, and this greatly strengthened his cause. In the mortal world, the Qarmatians had rapidly expanded, and began raids against caravans to Hedjaz, claiming that the Hajj pilgrimage was an heretic superstition. This caused tens of thousands of deaths, and over time greatly weakened local trust in the Caliphate, as well as the Ashirra's power base.
      When Abū-Saʿīd Jannābī became to mad to function, Tirandaz supplanted him with his son Abū-Tāhir Sulaymān Al-Jannābī, who had long been the Malkavian's ghoul. This Abū-Tāhir, as well as Tirandaz' three warrior childer, led successful military campaigns all across Arabia, culminating in a siege of Bagdhad itself. The Qarmatians, in the end, were unable to breach the city, maybe in part due to machinations of Ashirra or even Tal'mahe'Ra agents within, and proceeded to raid Iraq before returning home. This was a huge setback, as Tirandaz had for a moment been so very close to dealing the Abbasid caliphate a severe blow, but it had also come dangerously close to upsetting greater and more ancient powers, something Tirandaz was well aware of. The Qarmatians were still the largest military power in the region, a threath to even the caliphate, and Tirandaz seems to have realized that he had let this fact cloud his true purpose - corrupting the faith. He thus began planning something so spectacular that remembrance of it would mark his lineage forever - the Qarmatian sack of Medina and Mecca. This took place in the year 930, when his three sons and Abū-Tāhir escorted Ismail ibn Jafar to Mecca with a huge army, claiming to be pilgrims. All but Aryaman gave their word that they came in peace, and were reluctantly allowed to enter the city. They immediately broke their word, and assailed the city with all their might, killing thousands. Bodies were stacked in piles on the streets and thrown into the blessed Well of Zamzam, and the Black Stone torn out of the Kaaba and stolen. It has never been entirely clear how the cainities managed to do this despite The Keening; while the mortal Abu Tahir might have carried the stone, the three sons of Tirandaz did enter the city and the holy mosque, and at least Aryaman would at a later time carry the stone for several nights. Maybe they, all embraced in Arabia, were so used to the Keening that they could actually withstand it, or maybe their faith was so true that it didn't bother them. At the very least, Tirandaz should probably have been more concerned about this, as he himself wouldn't be able to even come close to the stone when it was brought to him. The moment the stone was taken, legend say, the Keening weakened forever, and it was finally proven that it was somehow connected to the stone, as its epicenter followed it to Al-Hasa, where it tormented Tirandaz' sleep and made many cainites move elsewhere when the malkavian elder refused to make the Qarmatians have the stone relocated. The disturbing effects of the Keening might have made Tirandaz more unstable, and thus contributed to his fall.
      In the Ashirra's eyes, the sacking of Mecca and Medina meant the Qabilat al-Baqliyyah had completely broke with islam, and they were declared pariah and the Assamites asked to put an end to Tirandaz of Gundeshapur. They agreed, after much negotiation (it seems some of them were actually impressed with the malkavian and sympathetic to his cause), but their first two agents couldn't stand the Keening, and never reached Al-Hasa. A third could, somehow, but was discovered and defeated, and the attempts ended after that, the Ashirra having lost faith in the Assamites, as well as becoming somewhat awed by the Qarmatian vampires. They began bargaining for the return of the stone, and when this failed, sent mortal agents to play the remaining cainites in Al-Hasa against each other.
      But Tirandaz had already wrought his own doom, beginning in 928, when he orchestrated millennarian fervor among the Qarmatians due to a coming conjunction between Saturn and Jupiter, being himself an avid astronomer versed in Dur-An-Ki-magic. This conjuction would supposedly herald imam Ismail's ascension to Mahdi, savior, and he would lead the Qarmatians to a new and bright century of Persian dominance. The Qarmatians had already come to believe that the world was a cyclical series of events repeating themselves, and Tirandaz now had them think that something like a new Achaemenid empire would arise. With imam Ismail being a bearer not only of Muhammad's light, but also of that of the ancient persian kings through his ancestor the princess Shahrbānū, it was only natural that his followers would have a high position in this coming order. Abū-Tāhir completely bought this, and upon returning from Mecca with the stone, he had grown bold enough to realize Tirandaz' random reforms; strict vegetarianism was enforced, sunni religious texts burned, and the qiblahs in the mosques replaced with zoroastrian holy fires pointing towards the stone's new sanctuary in Al-Hasa. For the first time, Tirandaz went too far, as some of the new ideas angered both qarmatian nobles and his own childer; especially so the construction of a new temple hallowed to Hormazd, "an angel under Allah".
      This was more than Tirandaz' three warrior childer could stomach, however, and they put an end to Abū-Tāhir's activities and shut down the Fire temple without asking their sire for permission, causing a crisis that weakened the whole Qarmatian state. Tirandaz had not realized that his childer actually believed in the bizarre ideas he had inspired in the Qarmatians; it might have been that he had somehow stumbled upon a path to God without actually trying, or simply that his childer were mad enough to believe almost anything, but he had crossed the line, and while many mortals might find a way to integrate ancient iranian gods and islam, especially with Tirandaz' dementation infesting the city, Tariq, Baqir and Aryaman would not. Had he but explained his motivations to them from the beginning, things might have been different, but they were devout muslims already back then, and he had wanted them to believe in the Qarmatian's cause. After all, the whole point had been to see to what extent belief could be manipulated, and ironically, one could say that Tirandaz actually found out.
      His childer were all blood bond and deeply loyal to him, and desperately asked his forgiveness for what they had done, claiming that they must have been mad not to believe in this new angel. Tirandaz had, however, begun realizing his predicament; both the Ashirra and the Abbasids would do anything in their power to get the black stone back, and had already offered enormous ransoms for it. The Keening of the Stone plagued Tirandaz every night and he desperately wanted to get rid of it, and needed to get rid of it in order to placate his enemies, but his followers, and the Qarmatians as a whole, fervently believed that they now possessed the stone by right, an idea he himself had planted in them. All trust in him and the Qarmatian mortal leaders would be destroyed if he forced them to return the stone, and much of what he had built would be ruined.
      Faced with equally undesireable options, he decided to simply stall for time, as there was presently no military threat to the Qarmatians, and the Assamites had been repulsed. The eastern arabian slave trade brought great profits to the state's economy, and everything seemed to go well. It was, however, a state founded on madness, and the Malkavian curse gradually festered at its roots, while Tirandaz was driven increasingly insane by the Keening. Aryaman, who greatly loved his sire, eventually realized what was happening, and decided to act. It had been the Qarmatians' expectations that pilgrims would now come to Al-Hasa instead of Mecca, but as it had turned out, people took to praying to the gap in the Kaaba left by the stone; even in the Qarmatian heartlands, some holy fires had been pointed towards Mecca again. Aryaman and Baqir took this as proof of God's desire that the stone be returned, especially as Baqir had heard voices telling him that same thing, and they nearly came to blows with Tariq, who disagreed with them. Before Tariq could gain support for his opinion, Aryaman coaxed an order out of his now nearly torpid sire, and took the stone and stole away with it. Once the Ashirra had paid a huge ransom, Aryaman wrapped the stone in a sack and threw it into the Friday Mosque of Kufa, accompanied by a note saying "By command we took it, and by command we have brought it back." It was broken into seven pieces, and rumor claims that Aryaman and Baqir kept some fragments of it, for the Keening remained exceptionally strong in Al-Hasa, though not as strong as when the stone had been there, and a weak humming eventually began to be heard in far-away Zanzibar, where Aryaman long dwelled.
      The affair with the stone, and the bad state of their sire, had sown discord between the Qarmatian brothers, especially with the mysterius Ismail, who had never been asked what he thought about returning the stone, despite being imam and bearer of the Noor. He was supposed to be the saviour, leader and spiritual head of all Qarmatians, but the cainites continued to treat him as nothing but a puppet or figurehead, and it seems he grew increasingly frustrated. He decided to take a more active part in mortal affairs, and they, awed by his by now obvious immortality, were more inclined to blindly obey him. As it turned out, however, he was not a very good leader, and the Qarmatian state suffered as a result.


      Beliefs

      The Qarmatian's beliefs stem from an esoteric form of Shiism intertwined with the Zoroastrian mysticism and Persian nationalism of Tirandaz' mad vision. From the beginning, the conflicting derangements of all the Malkavians beneath Tirandaz in the hierarchy made sure that those those beliefs were constantly mutated, resulting in a schizophrenic mix of ideas that are just as eclectic, if not more, as those of the Ashirra proper. How the Qarmatians have managed to hold on to any semblance of unity is anyone's guess, but there are indeed some central beliefs and traditions that defines the group and keeps it together. These are found in one way or another among most members, though it's always an interesting question how they've been shaped by each individual's particular brand of insanity.

      Blood, Hunting and Feeding: Qabilat al-Baqliyyah takes its name for the arabic word "greengrocers", another term for the human Qarmatians, who observed a strict vegetarian diet. In spite of this, the vampire Qarmatians don't share the mainstream Ashirra's religious inhibitions against blood, because the relevant Quran passage clearly states that consumption of blood is allowed and not sinful if it is necessary (Sura 2:173). Being a vampire clearly qualifies as "necessary", the Qarmatians argue, and thus consider blood drinking acceptable as long as one doesn't gorge himself, and as long as God's name is said upon the vessel before drinking (Sura 6:121). Blood bonds are not neccessary, and therefore frowned upon - especially as they also doesn't sit too well with the Qarmatians' egalitarian ideal. There is a ritual, however, of mixing each group member's blood in a vessel, and holding that vessel above an Eternal Fire in order to ritually erase it from the Will of God. The blood can then be passed around and drunk without divine repercussions, over time creating mystical bonds of loyalty and love in a way identical to the Sabbat's Vaulderie, which this Qarmatian ritual might in fact have inspired.

      Diablerie: Some Qarmatians, especially those descended from Aryaman, entertain an idea that there is another path to God than the pursuit of liberation through Golconda (which can, after all, be considered a vain denial of one's vampiric state). If one's generation is lowered through diablerie, it'll automatically mean an increased nearness to Cain, and therefore to God, because Cain lived in the beginning of creation and had personal contact with the divine. (It should be noted here that the Qarmatians see Cain as having repented and been forgiven by god, the vampirism was a test of his honesty in this regard, not a curse). A lower generation thus means an increased opportunity for divine revelation, which makes it extremely desireable, despite the inherent sins of murder and (non-necessary) blood drinking associated with the act. There are circumstances where diablerie even might be entirely justified, according to some radical (or deeply insane) Qarmatians; if one should encounter a wicked or unworthy vampire who for some reason possess the Light of God, this individual must himself have stolen it by diablerie (implying murder of a Qarmatian imam) or through dealings with Shaitan or something similar. If this individual is diablerized by a righteous believer, not only is his wretched existence ended, but the Light is transferred into a more worthy host, from whom it might lead all Qarmatians to salvation.


      Worldview: While they do believe in the Antediluvians and the threat they possess, most Qarmatians aren't afraid of Gehenna, despite their belief that it can (and will) arrive at any time. This is because, to their mind, Gehenna won't be the end of the world, but just of this cycle; after it, everything will repeat, every incident replay itself and every greatness, joy and sorrow can be revisited. It is not clear, to most, if they themselves will actually survive Gehenna to continue living as vampires in this new world, or be reborn as mortals into it, or meet their final judgement at God's hands, but they take stoic comfort in their conviction that the world will continue in some recognizeable form.


      Appearance

      Qarmatians are overwhelmingly arabs, with the occasional turk or persian thrown in, but scattered members of the sect have sired progeny in East Africa. Most dress traditionally and modestly, in utilitarian Middle Eastern garb, but are soon to adopt local modes of dress when abroad; it serves their cause better not to stand out too much. Beards and a rich assortment of islamic hats are very common, as are various religious and mystical talismans. The rare female Qarmatians almost always dress in traditional black robes, or sometimes loose pants if they're of more athletic persuasion, complete with gloves, headscarves and face-covering niqab veils.


      Haven

      Qarmatians are seldom solitary, believing in strength in community. If they have no brethren around, they often try to shack up with local islamic cainities, or failing that, radicals or outcasts; anyone who understands them even a little bit. Co-habitation with local Assamites is not unheard of, and may not be so strange as it sounds - with Qarmatians being more martially inclined than other Malkavians, they and Assamites often have similar concepts. In all other aspects, Qarmatian's havens vary wildly based on their temperament - one might insist on dwelling in a mosque, while another will be fine with earth-melding beneath a dumpster.


      The Embrace

      Qarmatians don't embrace unbelievers, as they consider this prohibited by Tariq al-Sama', the Road of Heaven. Most older members of the sect forbid the embracing of women, for similar reasons. The early Qarmatians primarily sought out progeny among warriors and militants, but as they lost political power, they were increasingly drawn to visionaries, religious figures, mystics and madmen; people who somehow caught their attention as spiritual and promising. As with everything when it comes to Malkavians, however, Qarmatian's choice of progeny might in the end appear completely random to outsiders, driven by their own whims and delusions, and even their holy reservations about infidels and females have sometimes been ignored in light of bizarre revelations.


      Character Creation

      Like most Malkavians, Qarmatians typically focus on Mental attributes, though the group's martial origins does show in a higher than usual ratio of more Physical individuals. Occult and Expert Knowledge: Theology are prized abilities, as are Enigmas, but Qarmatians outside their native areas often prioritize Talents and Skills out of sheer necessity. Old individuals who participated in the Qarmatian state or its successors commonly have a high Politics stat. Backgrounds are often neglected, though a few elders in Arabia cultivates such resources still; they're a must in their rivalry with the Hijazi Ventrue. Qarmatian warriors tend to rely on Celerity, and others focus on Auspex or Dementation depending on whether they prefer to recieve insights or impart them. Some learn Dur-An-Ki or Sihr magic, especially the Oneiromancy and Hands of the Magi paths; the Muraqaba discipline is also popular, as are the mother clan's Obfuscate. Many Qarmatians have Visionary, Architect, Fanatic or Rebel natures, but demeanor vary as wildly as with any Malkavian. While still far from common, an almost uncanny number of Qarmatians seem to possess some degree of True Faith. Tirandaz of Gundeshapur was of the seventh generation, so unless somebody has been diablerizing a lot, no Qarmatians of lower generation currently exists.


      Legacy Disciplines

      Auspex, Celerity, Dementation


      Weakness

      In addition to the Malkavian clan weakness inherent in their blood, Qarmatians experience The Keening in their sleep no matter how far they are from Mecca. Some claim that this is a curse from their theft of the Black Stone, others that it's just an effect from them being a bloodline native to Arabia, and thus connected to that land's ancient magic, being able to hear the call from the Black Stone wherever they go on earth. (Other's just explain it away as a test from God). Their perpetual haunting by the Keening gives all Qarmatians an additional derangement, but they get -1 on all difficulties to actually resist the Keening, and -1 to all penalties associated with it, should they ever come so close to its real epicenter that it matters.


      Organisation

      While the Qarmatians were rather well organised in the past, little of that now remains. Much emphasis is placed on the sire-childer-relationship, with the sire being considered a sheik of sorts, first among equals, responsible for educating his progeny in regards both to the faith and their new vampiric state . Many Qarmatians sire several progeny at once, or in short succession, the better to build a sense of community and establish a bond of trust between the childers. These structures are most common in the Qarmatians' native lands in eastern Arabia, where the sect is fractured into several such small, thight-knit groups around a charismatic elder and often several generations of his progeny. Qarmatians who lack such an elder often band together in small egalitarian, secteristic groups, a concept harkening back to the utopian ideas of the early Qarmatian state; once a mystical initiation has been accomplished, the initiate is considered a full and worthy member, and as such even women, thin-bloods and other second-class vampires can gain a voice in the group, though old prejudices might still work against them. As previously stated, Qarmatians have very mixed feelings on blood bonds due to their faith's prohibitions against blood, as well as their egalitarian ideals; belief in authority is at the same time central to Shiite thought, and many a cynic Qarmatian sire has blood bond his progeny just like any other vampire would. A bit more common, however, is the mutual sharing of blood in the Blood of the Walayah ritual, with every member of the Qarmatian group, including the sheik, partaking. The idea was originally introduced by Tirandaz who wanted to make the whole legacy blood bond to himself, and used his blood magic to participate in the ritual without getting affected. Even so, it often cements strong bonds of mutual loyalty, and Qarmatian groups with females in them gain the additional benefit of the females being allowed to go unveiled before the men, as the mutual sharing of blood makes them family in the eyes of God.
      No higher authority exists within the Qarmatian sect any more, though its members fervently hope that their imam will eventually gather them all under his banner and lead them to greatness, and into the light of God.


      Current Concerns (Dark Ages)

      With the Qarmatian state fallen, the Qabilat al-Baqliyyah clings to remains of their power centers in Arabia, hotly contested by the Hejazi Ventrue. Because the Qarmatian's actions against the Ashirra have made them all but pariah, the Hejazi have significant support in this conflict, and it has long since turned seriously violent. Most of the non-Malkavian members of the Qarmatian faction have begun to desert the sinking ship, and its mortal allies are dwindling as the mortal Shia communities weaken. Imam Jafar goes to Iram of the Pillars to seek out the methuselah Shaddad in hopes of gaining his support, but never returns. Can the Qarmatians find him, or find out what happened to him, before the gap from his absence leads to a new war among the three sons of Tirandaz, further weakening their cause? Too make it all worse, the Hejazi well knows the imam's importance to their enemies, and will aggressively take advantage of the situation; nothing could be better than seizing him for themselves.
      If the imam is not found, the Qarmatians will eventually have to surrender to the Ashirra. They'll be abused and shamed, robbed of their sultanates and forced into blood bonds, and formally be subsumed into the Ashirra. Aryaman will not have it, and goes into exile in Africa, while Tariq goes into hiding in Iran. Over time, however, the Qarmatians can reassert their freedom and revive a little of their community, regaining some lost ground in Yemen and Oman by playing the Hajj and the Hejazi against each other. They'll remain part of the Ashirra though, and their time as rivals of that sect is long over.

      Muraqaba

      Muraqaba is a meditative power based on ancient sufi lore, little known outside the Ashirra sect of islamic vampires. It confers great awareness of the self and the universe, but demands a great deal of time and concentration, and is useless in physical conflicts. Muraqaba has several stages that becomes available as the power level increases. In contrast to many other powers, someone using Muraqaba need not settle for one particular of its effects; when using the discipline he has to either stop at Shahood, or continue through all the stages he has mastered, which makes it possible to gain several of their benefits. This also means that reaching Baqaa billah always takes a good part of a night (though one can use Ghanood to 'cheat' by starting at dawn, meditate through one whole day, and finish the next sunset).

      ● Ghanood
      Ghanood is a sacred state between sleep and wakefulness, where one is conscious enopugh to remember things seen, but not exactly what they were. It confers all the benefits of sleep, but a limited awareness of the surroundings (all sensory conflicts have a penalty of -2, but are at least possible). With one dot in Muraqaba, the Ashirra can supplant one day's sleep with this trance, and for each additional dot, this time is doubled. In addition, during Ghanood, the Ashirra's unspent Blood Points vanish at half the rate for each dot she has in the power. An Ashirra with Muraqaba 3 can thus forfeit sleep for 4 days, during which she needs to lose only 1 blood point in order to stay alive.

      ●● Shahood
      Shahood is the attuning of the senses and the will to the universe. It extends the Ashirra's awareness of the surroundings; when in Muraqaba meditation, she can start perception-based conflicts regardless of range. (This does not include magic-based powers, as magic is not intuitive enough to be woven during the Muraqaba trance). Should she loose such a conflict, however, she always takes at least one level of Mental damage.

      ●●● Fatah
      This is the peak of the Shahood stage, where awareness is freed from both space and time. The Ashirra no longer needs to close his eyes for meditation and maintains complete awareness of his surroundings; the -2 perception penalty for the Ghanood stage vanishes. He can now start perception-based conflicts not only regardless of range, but also backwards in time, and possibly forwards into God's plan (though this gives a severe penalty of -5).

      ●●●● Fana fillah
      This is the stage of silence that transcends the earth, where the person becomes extinct in the will of God. To reach this stage is always a profound experience, and an Ashirra in Fana fillah may even subdue her Beast. In order to do this, a conflict against the Beast must be declared, using Muraqaba+relevant talent. If the Ashirra wins, she gains +2 on her next attempt to resist Shadow soul. If she loses, however, the Beast takes over and she immediately enters Shadow soul.

      ●●●●● Baqaa billah
      This is the highest state of Muraqaba meditation known to the Ashirra community. It happens after the 'peak' of Fana fillah, and is when the Ashirra's mind again descends into Creation, enlightened, temporarily free from desire and the ravages of the Beast. Many in this state have produced works of unsurpassed glory, crowns of islamic culture. After a few hours in Baqaa billah, the first attempt at works of art, performance, philosophy, teaching, and other forms of cultural or intellectual conflict gains 2 bonus die.
      Last edited by Ymir; 12 August 2017, 15.28.

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