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The Baali Wars were a series of conflicts between the Baali and other Cainites. While the Salubri were the first and most prominent foes of the Baali, other Cainites were fierce enemies of the infernalists, including the Assamites and, ultimately, all of the thirteen clans. Although several sources present vastly different accounts of these wars (most notably when and where these wars occurred, and whether there even was more than one such conflict), these accounts agree on a number of specifics.

The First Baali WarEdit

One source places the First Baali War at the time of the First City;[1] however, most other sources place the First Baali War in the time of the Second City.[2][3][4][5][6][7] The First Baali War occurred centuries after the Warrior Salubri were established by Samiel, childe of Saulot;[8] Samiel was himself established as the first Warrior Salubri during the time of the First City.[9] The First War also occurred approximately two centuries after Haqim established the Judge (Warrior) caste of the Assamites.[3] The Baali definitely trace their origins at least to the time of the Second City, if not earlier,[10][11] although some of the sources that place the Baali in the time of the First City are irreconcilable with other accounts.

Nergal, one of the three Methuselahs who founded the Baali, discovered that Namtaru, Spreader of Plagues — one of the demonic Children that the Baali venerated — lay dormant beneath the city of Mashkan-shapir. Nergal planned to awaken the Child via mass human sacrifices, but was betrayed by his own D'habi ghoul-priests. The D'habi warned Nergal's Baali "brother" Moloch, who in turn caused the 13 clans to become aware of Nergal's plans.[12]

Saulot, upon hearing of the infernal threat, sent four scouts from his clan to determine the nature of this adversary and whether it might threaten the Cainites in their great city (either the First or Second City, depending on the tale). Only one of the four scouts returned, bearing grave physical and mental wounds. This survivor brought news of the Baali threat[10][13][14] from the valley of Gehenna[13]. The nature of the threat related by this survivor was so great and so depraved that even [Tzimisce] was shaken upon hearing the news. Saulot sought to unite the clans and destroy the Baali threat, but of the other Antediluvians, only Malkav did not try to dissuade him.[4][13] The Baali Wars brought out a militant side in Saulot that few had ever seen before or since.[10] Still, the Salubri were not alone in their struggles against the Baali: the Assamites were the first and largest non-Salubri contingent to take up arms against the Baali,[2][3][15][8][6] followed by a number of Brujah.[2][8] The Salubri, working with the newly-acknowledged Assamite sorcerer caste, were able to scourge all Baali from the Second City itself.[3] The Assamites would come to blame the other clans' focus on fighting one another instead of the Baali for the fall of the Second City.[6] Ultimately, forces from all of the clans formed a (very) loose alliance against Nergal and the Baali[12][13] under the leadership of Samiel himself.[13] The clans crushed the Baali forces and destroyed Mashkan-shapir. Lasombra priests of the goddess Ereshkigal seemingly obliterated Nergal himself with the manifest power of the Abyss. From that point onwards, the Baali were no longer able to present themselves to the clans as anything but infernalists.[12][16]

A second conflict broke out between Assamites and Baali some time after the Baali were scourged from the Second City. This conflict nearly resulted in the death of the Eldest at the time, a Judge named Mancheaka, who was narrowly saved by the sudden appearance of Haqim's newest childe and emissary: the fantastically powerful sorcerer ur-Shulgi. His arrival signaled a turnabout that allowed the Assamites to push the Baali back into the shadows several times over the following centuries; however, the conflict took a great toil on the lands surrounding the Second City and interfered with the Assamites' ability to perform their own preexisting duties.[17]

Another, radically different version of the First Baali War is given in the Dark Ages Companion (and reprinted in Encyclopaedia Vampirica). In this tale, Shaitan was the Antediluvian progenitor of the Baali who dwelled among his "siblings" in Enoch, the First City. Driven into a jealous rage over the beauty and power of his siblings and of Zillah, he raised up an infernal army against Caine, the Second Generation, and the other Antediluvians. Caine struck him down, but was unable to bring himself to kill his grandchilde. Instead, Caine stripped Shaitan of his power, and cursed him with a hideousness to match his twisted heart. Cast out of Enoch, Shaitan called out to the darkness, whose spirits empowered him with a demonic visage in exchange for his servitude. Shaitan sent his followers from the other clans to infiltrate their bloodlines and continue their work in his name.[1][18] Other sources name the singular progenitor of the Baali as "Baal-the-Destroyer", and state that he lay siege to the Second City; after his demonic horde was routed by the city's inhabitants, the Baali faded into obscurity for millennia.[19][7]

The Second Baali WarEdit

The Second Baali War, also known as the Great War,[1] is said to have occurred almost 3500 years ago.[20] The Baali Methuselah Shaitan appeared to his clanmates in the city of Ashur, where their bloodline had originally been created by an unknown progenitor. Shaitan claimed to be that progenitor, the sire of both Nergal and Moloch and thus the ancestor of all the rest. He easily gained the service of the Orphaned (the dispossessed brood and former acolytes of Nergal, who had been cast adrift with their master's apparent destruction), and eventually gathered most of the Baali under his banner save for Moloch's dwindling number of loyalists. In time, it came out that "Shaitan" was in fact Nergal, and his previous efforts in the First Baali War were a ruse. He had compelled the D'habi to "betray" him,[21] and had his own childer masquerade as the Lasombra who had "destroyed" him — all so that he could go into seclusion and work to locate and free Namtaru without interference from either Moloch or the thirteen clans. In the centuries that he had been free to do his work, he had learned that Namtaru actually lay beneath Chorazin, north of Galilee.[22] At Chorazin, "Shaitan" had built a fortress,[1] also described as a sepulcher or acropolis,[23] the main part of which may have existed underground.[24] He unearthed the sleeping Child and brought it to his new haven, an impregnable stronghold nestled among the labyrinths beneath Knossos, on the island of Crete.[1][22] Under his malefic influence, the Minoans spread across the region, demanding tribute, slaves and sacrifices for their new master.[25]

Ultimately, the power of the Baali was broken when all 13 clans allied against them.[26][22][11] Legendary Cainites from across the Middle East, Europe, Africa and central Asia united against "Shaitan". Among them were the Brujah Menele, the Malkavian known only as the Dionysian, the Ventrue Balthazar, and Setite sorcerers led directly by the Antediluvian Set himself.[25] However, the Salubri were weakened in the conflict when Saulot slipped into torpor.[8] The marshaled Cainites battled Nergal's forces for nine days and nine nights, but could not break through his defenses.[25] As the clans were unable to penetrate the defenses of Nergal's lair beneath Crete, they instead resorted to drastic measures: they caused the volcano on the nearby island of Thera (Santorini) to erupt, burying Knossos beneath volcanic ash and obliterating Nergal's stronghold. The Baali Methuselah lay defeated once more, this time unable to subvert circumstances to his benefit; the Baali Wars were over.[25][22][27]

With the fall of Crete and the blow dealt to the Minoans, the assembled Setite sorcerers personally stood to gain from the lessened threat to Egyptian interests throughout the Mediterranean.[25] At some point after this carnage, Nergal fled across the sea to Mesoamerica, and established a haven beneath what would become Mexico City; he remained there for 2,700 years up until his presumed Final Death at the side of Samuel Haight in 1993.[28] Not long after the eruption at Thera, another Cainite war would bear the mark of the Baali: the leveling of Carthage by Roman forces. However, the Baali (with the exception of Moloch and his followers) were only minor players in that conflict; in the grand scheme of things, the same could be said of the warring Cainites as a whole.

A differing account of the Second Baali War (or perhaps an account of a third, smaller, less widely-known conflict) is relayed by the Assamites. In the seventh century[29] in the year 636 AD,[30][23] a great campaign was waged against the Baali at their fortress at Chorazin. The Baali captured a band of Assamites of the warrior caste, and through their infernal magic cursed the caste with their now-infamous thirst for vitae. Although Chorazin and the Baali were quickly destroyed by Al-Ashrad and the other assembled Assamites, the curse spread quickly through the entire caste, and has persisted ever since.[31][29] The dating of this account is consistent with the personal history of Qawiyya el-Ghaduba, the final childe of Samiel (see below), but not with most non-Assamite accounts of the Baali Wars. Additionally, the Assamite accounts of this battle do not mention the presence of the Salubri, or of any other Cainites save for Assamites and the Baali.

The death and legacy of SamielEdit

Samiel is generally said to have been slain at the conclusion of (one of) the Baali Wars;[1][32][23] this is usually said to have happened at the conclusion of the Second Baali War[33] at the Baali acropolis in Chorazin,[32][33] although Salubri oral tradition sometimes instead places his destruction at the end of the First Baali War.[13][14] Salubri lore claims that the Baali were assisted in that final battle by a traitor, one of the Salubri who had thrown his lot in with the Baali;[34] the traitor struck down Samiel with a fatal blow from behind.[35]. The traitor's name was wiped from the clan's history, and he was given the name Ahab to mark his treachery in the wake of the Baali Wars.[36] This traitor may have originally been one of the four Warrior Salubri who first learned of the Baali threat and was seduced by the promises of the Baali, turning on his brethren; if so, Samiel may in fact have been one of the two scouts who were slain in the first encounter with the Baali, although this would contradict nearly every other account of Samiel's death.[4] More than half of Samiel's forces were lost with him, as was the Code of Samiel;[13] in the aftermath of this Baali War, there may have been as few as five Warrior Salubri remaining, all of them neonates.[35]

Some Tzimisce accounts state that Samiel was actually slain in conflict with none other than the Tzimisce Antediluvian in that creature's own lair,[37][32] shortly after Caine cursed the clans in the Second City.[37] Supposedly, the Salubri recognized the demonic taint of Kupala on [Tzimisce] and attacked it in its own stronghold.[37][32] Samiel and his band of 15 (or 7) warriors penetrated the Eldest's stronghold, and in the end, Samiel and the Antediluvian killed one another. The Salubri later recognized their error, and created the claim that Samiel had died in battle with the Baali.[37] However, the Eldest could not be truly slain so easily; it was soon reborn in the care of its childe, Dracon, on Cyprus.[38] Most Tzimisce (as well as those Salubri who knew the tale) believed that [Tzimisce] simply fell into torpor, and was not actually killed.[37]

While journeying to his final battle, Samiel met and Embraced Qawiyya el-Ghaduba in the Holy Land,[23] and entrusted her with the only copy of the Code of Samiel to have been penned by the hand of Samiel himself.[39] Qawiyya is stated to have been Embraced in the year AD 636,[23] six centuries before her return to Jerusalem in the early 13th century,[39] linking her account to that relayed by the Assamites' tale above.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Dark Ages Companion, p. 170
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Chaos Factor, p. 119
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Clanbook: Assamite Revised, p. 11
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Dark Ages Companion, p. 173
  5. Clanbook: Salubri, p. 22-23
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Players Guide to Low Clans, p. 16
  7. 7.0 7.1 Vampire: The Masquerade 20th Anniversary Edition, p. 394
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Players Guide to High Clans, p. 131
  9. Clanbook: Salubri, p. 15
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Dark Ages Companion, p. 172
  11. 11.0 11.1 Road of Sin (book), p. 36
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Clanbook: Baali, p. 19
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 13.4 13.5 13.6 Clanbook: Salubri, p. 16
  14. 14.0 14.1 Clanbook: Salubri, p. 40
  15. Dark Ages Storytellers Companion, p. 9
  16. Encyclopaedia Vampirica, p. 117
  17. Clanbook: Assamite Revised, p. 12-14
  18. Encyclopaedia Vampirica, p. 28
  19. Vampire Storytellers Handbook Revised, p. 30
  20. Encyclopaedia Vampirica, p. 27
  21. Clanbook: Baali, p. 21
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 Clanbook: Baali, p. 22
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 23.3 23.4 Road of Heaven (book), p. 92
  24. Encyclopaedia Vampirica, p. 49
  25. 25.0 25.1 25.2 25.3 25.4 Dark Ages Companion, p. 171
  26. Vampire: The Dark Ages Rulebook, p. 243
  27. Encyclopaedia Vampirica, p. 150
  28. The Chaos Factor, p. 120
  29. 29.0 29.1 Players Guide to Low Clans, p. 19
  30. Clanbook: Assamite Revised, p. 22
  31. Clanbook: Assamite Revised, p. 23
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 Players Guide to High Clans, p. 132
  33. 33.0 33.1 Road of Heaven (book), p. 45
  34. Dark Ages Companion, p. 72
  35. 35.0 35.1 Clanbook: Salubri, p. 41
  36. Clanbook: Salubri, p. 66
  37. 37.0 37.1 37.2 37.3 37.4 Clanbook: Tzimisce Revised, p. 14
  38. Clanbook: Tzimisce Revised, p. 15
  39. 39.0 39.1 Road of Heaven (book), p. 93

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