Category:Path:Path of the Drowned Heart and Soul
From The Sabbat of OWbN
Hierarchy of Sins
5) Walking on land for any reason other than to capture prey or aid the sect. Failing to drown your air-breathing mortal prey.
The water is your greatest strength over mortals. They cannot inhabit this environment the way you can. For them it brings only death, for you, life. Leaving it's safety is not advisable. The water provides the perfect cover for your predations.
4) Failing to learn from your experiences. Failing to immerse oneself completely for at least an hour per night.
Your knowledge gives you an edge over your adversaries, and gives you a better chance of surviving those challenges put before you. Your dead flesh dries and becomes rigid and brittle if you do not soak yourself regularly.
3) Failing to hunt when hungry. Going more than 10 miles inland from the coast for any reason other than survival or to aid the sect.
Starvation makes you weak, and is likely to get you killed. Don't go too far from the safety of the water, you might not be able to get back if you need to.
2) Leaving the water for more than a week. Refusing to follow one's instincts.
Do not forget where you came from. Do not forget what you are.
1) Needlessly preventing a drowning. Refusing to kill to survive.
Do not deny mortals the knowledge that comes with their watery death. Survival above all else.
The Drowned believe that the water is their greatest asset and advantage over humanity. It is the one place they can never truely follow us. Trees can be cut down, sewers and entire cities can be destroyed and rebuilt, but there is nowhere to drain the oceans. There, at the bottom, you are safe. There you can kill with impunity and live like the top predator you truely are. None, save others of your kind, can challenge you here.
Ethics of the Path
The water is safety. Do not stray too far from it's protection. You are the shark among men. Feed on who you will, but try and show them the truth of their weakness before their demise. Learn from your experience, you are not a stupid predator. Listen to your beast when it knows best, it is wise in the ways of survival and hunting. Other times, keep hold of your mind and soul. Support the Sabbat. It allows you this freedom to be what you are. Survive at all costs.
Conviction, Instinct, Courage
This is a brand new Path, but already it gains a little traction. Its first adherant, James 'Croc' Blackwater, was a victim of the horrific tragedy of the Lusitania shipwreck, where he was plucked out of his mortal coil by his sire, a Mariner of the Gangrel. Horrificly twisted by his drowning and subsequent embrace, 'Croc' as he came to be known spent much of his time away from the eyes of humanity, seeking shelter and food beneath the waves. As members of the Sabbat, they were given leave to lead their unlives away from the sect at large, only being called for when their unique knowledge of the islands was useful. This lead to a shift in ethics for the two vampires, and 'Croc', surviving longer than his sire, went on to codify these years later.
Followers of this path seem to be highly paranoid about walking on land, and when filling a role in a pack, will insist on being allowed to keep their haven in a river, bay, lake or beach near the communal haven, or preaching the virtues of their sleeping habits emphaticly so that their packmates will join them each day. An ignoblis ritae has formed among one pack which simulates the sensation of drowning on long dead lungs, and has spread to other followers of the path as a sort of communion with their beliefs.
Description of Followers
Drowning is perhaps the worst way to die. Lungs filling with water burn for the taste of sweet air rushing through them, only to be replaced by icy suffocation. Followers of the tenets of the Path of the Drowned Heart and Soul are mainly those whose life came to a swift end beneath the waves. Often shipwreck survivors near an aquatic Cainite's lair will be pulled beneath the waves and allowed to drown before being fed upon or recieving the embrace, and as such, their souls are inexorably tied to the waves beneath which they sank. Those who die more often than not become ghosts, anchored to the shadowlands by the horrible pain of their demise. Those who are allowed to come back through the embrace are more fortunate, never having to fear the water again.
Three clans claim the waters of the earth more than the others, and as such they are the ones who take to this path of enlightenment more than the others.
The first among these are the Lasombra, whos blood calls them time and again to the waters, as if the endless nothing were akin to the abyss that connects their blood to the dark places of the earth. Beneath the waves, in the dread abyssal zone, they rest in serene darkness, far from any light that might endanger them.
The second of these are the adaptable Gangrel of the Mariners. Not so much a true bloodline as an individual vampiric evolution, those Gangrel whos souls are bound to the sea in some fashion will often give up the land, sometimes forever, to survive and thrive in an aquatic world which knows no civilization or humanity. There they become top predators, using their supposed curse as an unnatual advantage, never fearing the masses of humanity finding them in their watery home.
Third are the Nosferatu, many of whom already inhabit the waste filled waterways of the human cities sewers, far from the eyes of mortals. These will sometimes empty out into large bodies of water, such as rivers, lakes and oceans, one reason why human cities are still primarily found near where water is plentiful. Nosferatu, being masters of this underground labyrinth, need to protect their borders, the inlets, outlets and drains. Where water goes in the city, the Nosferatu are never far behind.
Following the Path
Following this path may prove difficult, if not impossible for some. One must live within a fairly close proximity to a large body of water, and return their every morning, as well as attempt to drown all prey one comes across, not an easy feat in a hotel room thirteen stories up. Still, apart from its aquatic neccessities, the path is fairly straightforward, following many of the same ideals as those on the Path of the Feral Heart, from whence this path evolved.
Followers of this path favor Physical attributes, followed by Mental, leaving social attributes largely neglected, and often vestigial. One does not have a lot of time to practice when one sees no one else for the span of a decade.Athletics (Swimming), is common, as are Seamanship, Archaeology, Pilot (boat), Fishing, and Hunting.Many adherants also gain the Piscene merit, adapting to their environment over time to be better suited to its rigors and movement in the element.
Vissicitude is very popular among many adherants of this path, allowing them to become better adapted to an aquatic lifestyle with only a few alterations of their own form. Protean is a favorite among Gangrel, as it allows them to take on the shape of a beast better suited to their environment than their humanoid form, and almost all practicioners learn this up to the point of earth melding, which aids in adhering to the bottom of the bed of a river or the ocean. Potence and Fortitude help with swiming and surviving the crushing pressures of the deep, making these a sure favorite.
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