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Children of Damballah

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Nicknames: Damballans
Faction: Independent
Disciplines: Obfuscate, Presence, Serpentis

V20: Auspex, Presence, Serpentis

Parent clan: Followers of Set

The Children of Damballah are a branch of Setites that dwells in sub-Saharan Africa.

V20 Lore of the Clans offers the possibility to present them as an alternate bloodline with the following weakness: Through their contact to the Spirit World, the Damballans have to present offerings to the spirits in a ritual that lasts at least ten minutes. If they fail to do this, the character suffers from the Haunted flaw.

OverviewEdit

Many of the sub-Saharan African Setites have forsaken their ties to the main Clan and are closer to the Laibon than their Egyptian brethren, although they are still viewed with suspicion by the other Legacies. Although they have a different mindset than the main Clan, they do not qualify as a true bloodline or Legacy, occupying a place in between.

The Children of Damballah revere Set as Damballah-Wedo, a Yoruban snake-god of the Earth and darkness. Damballah was not an especially good choice for the Setites to appropriate, since the Yoruba regard him as a benign creator-god himself, in partnership with his wife, the Rainbow Serpent Aida-Wedo. The Damballan Setites tried to show Damballah in a more sinister, less Demiurgic light by emphasizing his connection with the dead. Unfortunately, the cult leaders decided to keep the identification of Damballah with Set as a “Great Mystery” that only senior initiates would learn. After centuries of isolation and High Priests entering torpor, Yoruba culture washed away most of the Theophidian doctrine.

In their myth, Set was a king who stole divine power by cutting out and eating Damballah’s heart. This was not actually fatal to the god, but it made him and his consort terribly angry. Ada’s curse banished the king from life and the day, while Damballah‘s curse banished him from the peace of the grave, but the two gods could not take back the stolen magic power. The king, however, could share it with others who accepted the curse as its price. Despite the legend of a curse, Damballans revere the Serpent and the Rainbow as the source of their power, with Set forming a junior third in their cult’s trinity. The Damballans emphasize the liberating madness of ecstatic trance, achieved through drumming, dancing and drugged blood. The Cult of Damballah promises that in time, initiates may gain enough spiritual power to become gods themselves.

The Damballans keep their Founding Temple in the town of Oyo, once the capital of the Yoruba kingdom, but have since spread through most of West Africa.

Relationship with the main clanEdit

The main clan watches their African brethren with concern, fearing another incident like the one with the Serpents of the Light, although the Children of Damballah have shown no intentions of joining with any westerners. When diplomatic overtures to the Children of Damballah were politely refused, the militant Cohort of Wepwawet attempted to "right" them by force. This provoked a diplomatic split between the Damballans and the Setites, and also the defection of Haitian Setites to the Sabbat.

The Damballan Elders fear that a conflict with the Followers of Set is a foregone conclusion at this point, but the Damballans wish to delay that reckoning as long as they can. They have done their best to downplay reports of their deviant actions and beliefs, pay lip service to Set and his resurrection, and make offerings whenever possible.

ReferencesEdit

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