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    The Lamashtu: A Daeva and Gangrel Bloodline for Requiem for New Oskana


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    Join date : 2009-05-04
    Location : Regina

    The Lamashtu: A Daeva and Gangrel Bloodline for Requiem for New Oskana Empty The Lamashtu: A Daeva and Gangrel Bloodline for Requiem for New Oskana

    Post  Admin on Tue Jun 23, 2009 12:51 am

    The Lamashtu

    Parent Clan: Daeva or Gangrel

    Lilith. Succubi and Incubi, demons of the desert winds, Lamashtu herself, the infant killing deity. Many of these names and more have had associations with predators in the night, seducing and luring humankind to their dooms. Like demonic forces of nature, they were feared among ancient cultures, a monster that cut life short before it could even begin. The Lamashtu live up to these legends, as unpredictable as a desert storm and just as dangerous to the unwary. Their magnetic appearance and beguiling charms hiding the talons of the owl or fangs of the serpent ready to rip free the life of those who would succumb to their temptations, a reminder of the sham that Kindred society truly is among such ancient creatures.

    Among the Circle of the Crone, the Lamashtu are less ancient myth and more a modern reality. Having a presence among the Covenant seemingly since time immemorial, they have a rather prestigious reputation, their line fundamentally extolling the Crone philosophy by their very nature and Requiems. They're the unpredictable tooth and claw of the Crone, the devouring maw that draws all life in like the inevitable pull of a whirlpool. They're a frightening reminder that as much as Kindred pretend at their Humanity, at their root, they're primeval monsters, wolves among the human sheep feasting, using and abusing the flock at their whim. The Lamashtu would have it no other way.

    Outside of the Acolytes, the Lamashtu fail to garner much respect rather than hesitant fear. The Lancea et Sanctum consider them "throwbacks", nearly the mindless, feral fractious undead that the Camarilla and Longinus sought to unify and give purpose. To the Invictus, their impulsive and brutal natures are not easily controlled or pacified, and their disdain for many social customs and expectations makes in-the-know members of the First Estate occasionally bristle at their mention. Too much the wild cards, an issue that bleeds over with the Ordo Dracul with their regimented secret society. These occasionally disdainful outlooks are often reflected back by the Lamashtu, who've little use to those who'd dodge vampirism without fully indulging it, or who would domesticate Kindred to suit their own empty agendas. While exceptions exist, in the end if the Lamashtu aren't Acolytes, they are Unaligned hedonists or the rare Carthian supporter, caught up in the whirlwind of conflicting social chaos they occasionally bring, if only for a time. Even among the Carthians, and other outsiders, they get the nickname of "Tempters", not only for the ease they lure others to their side, but how infectious their in-the-now Requiems can be.


    For a line that supposedly traces it's roots as far back as Babylonia if not further, the history of the Lamashtu is rather spotty and vague at best. No doubt the fog of ages through Torpor is responsible for much of this, human history itself being subject to much debate, never mind that of a race of occulted beings. What is known with some veracity, if only through certain artifacts and human legends is that they haunted the deserts of the middle east in some form for millenia. Indeed, individuals that hail from bloodlines from the regions ancient nights offer some confirmation of this, that there was indeed a line, supposedly of Gangrel that matched the proclivities of the Lamashtu, though little is offered in regards to their Daeva brothers and sisters as if they were always an unspoken part of the line. More likely this was due to a time in ancient history were many ancient Daeva members were winnowed from line, too used to being in the throngs of humanity when some great calamity affected the bloodline and left the more rural and distant Gangrel members more populous. Among many of their older and prouder members the idea of "Gangrel" and "Daeva" is a more recent phenomenon; they present that -both- clans split off and were derived from the original Lamashtu in their region, the ones who fell out of favor with the goddess and lost many of her horrible gifts. Whether true or not, most outsiders scoff at the claim.

    Supposedly they were fringe dwellers, inhabiting the less populated areas of the empires and shirking much of the conflicts of their more "civilized" brethren, they made a name for themselves as unholy predators, true monsters that only briefly encountered the living long enough to be remembered, and then generally only when feeding.

    The Lamashtu themselves are of little help in regard to their history. They don't keep detailed records and historical recitations, such things being meaningless to their Requiems and their beliefs. While they do keep ancient rites of Lamashtu close to their unbeating heart as well as various legends passed down from Tempter to Tempter to keep the old ways pure, the rest is little more than refuse to be discarded. What use is which mortal King was active when? What the Mekhet were doing in 540 BCE? For them, it has little relevance. Where many fell, their line survived the purported destruction at the hand of some strange nemesis that washed through the Kindred of Babylon. While the name "Edimmu" is occasionally mentioned, the Tempters have little reason to enter into discussions of history with outsiders.

    Strangely, their Daeva element offers some of the more concrete hints regarding their activities. Among their own, they acknowledge their Daeva members as being a more recent addition, something that occurred after the fall of Babylon or in its final nights when some great scourge was present. At least one, if not more elders and younger members of the Daeva who fled from the Edimmu purportedly fell in under the "wings" of the Lamashtu, using strange rites preserved from the city to change their blood by the blessings Lamashtu herself, perhaps intended to preserve The Blood and Lamashtu herself from the city's fall.

    The blessing wasn't uniform, however, of the Daeva who petitioned the Lamashtu, many perished during the rites, being found unworthy, though some present that it may have been repeated diablerie of Gangrel Lamashtu during the time of madness and blood that occurred that bestowed Lamashtu's blessings upon them. If this were true, it would change little; obviously Lamashtu condoned or at least allowed for this, for the goddess could surely purge the Daeva element if she saw fit. If anything, it presents the Daeva as special, favored chosen ones that took up a mantle that was beginning to falter under Gangrel claws, but you won't hear those who hold by this speaking it aloud.

    Only those with the faith, the zeal for unlife and capacity to practice their ties would be transfigured. Those that could not, that would use the rites they saved from the city only as barter or would not accept what was expected of them, were slain, their knowledge tossed to the desert sand along with their ashes. It is said that after the fall of Babylon was when the Lamashtu Diaspora occurred, as individuals sought out other human habitations, and traveled behind caravans and traders to beyond the reaches of the near east. In these nights, they have spread far indeed, though it is thought that elders and ancients of the line may still survive in the cradle of their homeland, either in Torpor or awake, reassuming their old ways despite the passage of time.

    Tracking down an ancient, never mind a confirmed elder of the Lamashtu is a trial in of itself to get such, and not likely to end well if prodded about details. At best, they will say their ways were pure enough to keep their line strong, their rites, their way of unlife a method to survive the ages where others are forgotten to the dust. How two clans bear the Blood of Lamashtu is of not something for discussion as an important detail, it's simply an accepted fact with no further discussion accepted on the matter by their majority.

    Still, any scholar worth their weight will notice one other potentially disturbing possibility; Lamashtu bears certain distinct traits in common with Lilith, something they do not themselves deny especially among their Daeva membership. The birdlike feet and blood drinking in of itself has certain connotations, but Lamashtu was also a bad omen, a thing of disease, pestilence and death to children and adults alike. To those versed in the stories of the Strix, many wonder if one of their lot had some hand in the line coming into being.

    Nicknames: Among themselves, the Ardat-Lili (female) or Irdu-Lili (male), to outsiders, Tempters

    Disciplines: Celerity, Majesty, Protean, Resilience


    The Lamashtu are relatively cosmopolitan in their customs, no doubt from the fog of Torpor skewing their purportedly ancient practices, as well as their distaste for rigid social expectations. Yet a few remain seemingly intact, thought to have survived both their diaspora and the mists of time.

    The first set of customs are referred to as "inheriting the deity" and effectively are the Bloodline's creation rites. The Lamashtu do not induct those into their line that fail to meet up with their expectations and outlooks. Gangrel or Daeva, be they childer of a Lamashtu or seeking induction through an Avus are generally watched distantly after their creation for a period of time by one of the bloodline. The would-be Lamashtu are generally referred to simply as "exiles" in formal conversation ( reference to those lost in the desert, and cast out of their previous society), with the individual administering the rites are referred to as "gate keepers" (as they hold the promise of a new existence and purpose beyond the empty wastes of their previous unlife).

    The specifics of the custom change depending on the gender of the would-be supplicant, but all involve in luring mortals that could pose a direct danger to the supplicant, in hopes that they'll show the killer-instinct to kill or conquer the human as the first of the tests. Individuals too weak for this are considered liabilities, stains upon their divine heritage. Obviously, many fail in this regard, requiring the Lamashtu observer to clean up the resulting mess, though given the many chances and potential conflicts they can create over time, usually there are more chances for the supplicant to succeed. This test obviously helps progress the affinity for the physical disciplines of Resilience, Celerity and Protean of the line, even if not all are manifested.

    The second relies on the Lamashtu watcher frightening off, or otherwise luring away feeding prospects. This is meant to either hone the supplicants hunting and seduction skills, giving a stronger familiarity with their Beast to outwit the Lamashtu or find better approaches to gain sustenance. The Lamashtu do not tolerate the weak, anymore than they tolerate those unwilling to accede to the Beast, the blood of Lamashtu and act as a predator, as such is an affront to their founders. If the "exile" manages to actually find and confront the Lamashtu, all the better. If the supplicant is sent into torpor due to starvation, it's obvious the choice of supplicant to be Lamashtu was a mistaken one. These generally are used to help actualize Majesty within the supplicants Vitae, if not Protean to find additional solutions to their predicament. Again, manifested or not, it's something of a way to mold the supplicant more in Lamashtu's image.

    The third, if they manage to push through the previous tests, involves the outright seduction or abduction of the supplicant. One way or another, they're placed in a situation of near-helplessness, be it through use of the Avus/Sire's Disciplines, restraints or left in a secured room, placed in a scenario not unlike taking the place of their victims and offered a final, terrible choice. They may become an Ardat or Irdu-Lilli, a full fledged scion of their line, provided they take the life of a child through feeding. By enacting the legend of Lamashtu as child-killer, they show their dedication. Indeed, the Lamashtu believe a proper prospect transmutes their Vitae to something more divine and terrible in the process, being marked with Lamashtu or Lilith's favor and taking up the mantle of the desert demon. Should a direct childer commit the act, they're acknowledged as one of the line.

    Should an outside supplicant do so, they're fed the Vitae of their Avus and expected to commit their vitae to the proper change. Those who refuse are often destroyed outright (being cast out from the desert of simply undeath and into the unformed void), though occasionally simply exiled after being used by the local Lamasthu as a plaything (cast back into the desert they came from). Obviously, few Kindred go through their tests with their humanity or sanity entirely intact, never mind survive them, contributing to the relative rarity and deservedly unwholesome reputation of the Bloodline.  

    Beyond their creation rites one finds one other custom still commonly in practice and seemingly not directly tied into any sort of Covenant or personal outlooks. Referenced as "Honoring the God", occasionally god is replaced with a direct reference, such as Lillu by Irdu-Lili or Lilitu by Ardat-Lili if not using the title Lamashtu. The oldest of the bloodline in the area are expected to be venerated as the image, if not an avatar of their founders, actualizing the legends of their kind from simple tale to flesh and blood. Such elders are directly referred to as Lamashtu, Lillu, Lilitu, Litith, Dimme or similar names of deities espousing the aspects of their line. While the amount of actual faith involved by the participants, if any, can vary wildly from member to member, honoring their eldest is expected through gifts and pleasant treatment. If the elder has become so old that they can only sup the Vitae of the undead, the younger are expected to make certain their time in Torpor is well guarded, and that while awake they have ample sustenance, even if it comes from their own veins.

    What's stranger, though, is that diablerie among their own isn't quite the crime it is with others lineages. Certainly, they don't encourage such to happen wantonly, and it's still quite a harshly punished crime if done purely for personal gain, but if an -elder- of their line in betrays or blasphemes their lineage, it -is- expected for the next eldest to consume them utterly.

    Rumors of such put forth the Lamashtu practice such on other Kindred occasionally, but the truth is that it's more likely to occur among their own, to make sure their divine origins are not debased or abused by the unworthy. Indeed, elders of their broods who gain a taste for diablerie and attack their own are condemned to final exile, consumed in turn by one their own. It's truly frightening to witness the break-down of a Lamashtu brood, or a hunt of one of their own.

    In regards to the consumption of outsiders, it's actually frowned upon. Not always punished, but too risky, especially for "exiles" and would-be supplicants to dilute and dirty their Vitae, making them unworthy for their line. Even the eldest aren't encouraged to do such, remaining taboo. Their lot -is- expected to in one specific instance. Should a member of their line be consumed through Diablerie by an outsider, it is expected for the Lamashtu to hunt down the Diableriest and consume them utterly in turn. It's considered the worst blasphemy for their divine power to be stolen by another, and the hunt is just as horrific as that of one directed to their own, if not more so. The victim can expect nights, if not weeks or far longer of torment before finally being torn apart by the assembled Lamashtu, soul then consumed and dragging them screaming into oblivion.

    Weakness: As per Gangrel and Daeva Clan Banes; they're prone to taking worshippers and cultists as favored feeding stock, while ignoring or outright killing others they would become attached to via the Daeva Clan Bane; they're also exceedingly savage, prone to frenzies more and more akin to Gangrel as their Humanity withers.

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