Dur-An-Ki ("Master of Heaven and Earth") or Assamite Sorcery (see below) is a form of blood magic practiced by Kindred of the Middle East and Africa particularly the sorcerers of the Assamite clan and the Shango legacy of the Laibon. It is a very old form of magic, drawing from a huge variety of mortal religious traditions, and pre-dating Thaumaturgy, which it resembles in many ways.
Originally the main form of blood magic practised by all Kindred, Dur-An-Ki became lost to European vampires during the Dark Ages. It differs from Thaumaturgy mainly in that its practitioners, called ashipu, do not impose their will on the world through abstract symbols of power. Instead they call upon ancient covenants with spirits, commanding them to fulfil their desires, though this is a very different practice to the long-lasting pacts made with demons by practitioners of Dark Thaumaturgy.
Rather than the hermetic trappings of Thaumaturgy, Dur-An-Ki draws heavily on astrology, the use of amulets and talismans, and especially ecstatic practices. By entering into a trance, the ashipu ascends the "Ladder of Heaven" to meet ever more powerful spirits and gain more powerful magic. Assamite sorcerers usually use a drug called kalif for this purpose, but there are many other methods, including dancing, pain, meditation and artistic experession.
Dur-An-Ki vs Assamite Sorcery Edit
Dur-An-Ki is a form of Mesopotamian and Persian magic, and not confined to Assamites (or indeed Kindred, as it grew out of a mortal magical tradition, though it's likely only mages would have had any success using it). However, some scholars refer to Assamite blood magic specifically as "Assamite Sorcery", either from ignorance (few western Kindred are familiar with the Shango or know of other ashipu besides the Assamites) or to deliberately distinguish it from the broader tradition of Dur-An-Ki. Assamites, however, refer to their magic as Dur-An-Ki and see no need to distinguish themselves from other practitioners.
Dur-An-Ki does not have a set primary path. The following paths are unique to Dur-An-Ki:
- Awakening the Steel - communion with and enhancement of a blade with which the caster is familiar. (Clanbook: Assamite Revised, p. 74)
- The Hunter's Winds - powers of stealth which may be bestowed on others to be activated at will. ( ; )
- Covenant of Nergal - a path which creates and manipulates disease among mortal and Kindred alike. ( )
- The Evil Eye - inflicts a number of baleful curses on victims. (Blood Sacrifice: The Thaumaturgy Companion, p. 44; )
- Music of the Spheres - power over the emotions of those who hear the practitioner's unearthly music. (Blood Sacrifice: The Thaumaturgy Companion, p. 46)
- Echoes of Allah's Wrath (Sihr; )
- Whispers of the Heavens (Libellus Sanguinus 3: Wolves at the Door p. 68; Players Guide to Low Clans p. 176)
As Dur-An-Ki shares magical roots with Thaumaturgy and many other magical practices, many of the common paths are available, though they are usually identified with a particular spirit or type of spirit, and called by a name which identifies that spirit. As with Akhu, in most cases these paths pre-date the Tremere versions. Thanks to many centuries of contact with other magic users, the ashipu may also know a few paths practised by other Middle-eastern traditions. Where names differ, the original path name is listed along with the reference.
- Life's Water (The Path of Blood; Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Rulebook, p. 178)
- Jinn's Gift (The Path of Conjuring; Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Rulebook, p. 181)
- Hand of the Magi (The Lure of Flames; Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Rulebook, p. 180)
- Covenant of Enki (Neptune's Might; Guide to the Camarilla, p. 101)
- Elemental Mastery (Guide to the Camarilla, p. 99)
- Suleiman's Laws (Spirit Manipulation; Guide to the Camarilla, p. 106)
- Path of the Ailing Jackal (The Path of the Father's Vengeance; Guide to the Sabbat, p. 117)
- Echo of Nirvana (The Focused Mind; Blood Magic: Secrets of Thaumaturgy, p. 71)
- Movement of the Mind (Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Rulebook, p. 181)
- Hands of Destruction (Vampire: The Masquerade Revised Rulebook, p. 182)
- Weather Control (Guide to the Camarilla p. 108)
- Alchemy (Blood Magic: Secrets of Thaumaturgy, p. 68)
- Path of the Blood's Curse (Blood Magic: Secrets of Thaumaturgy, p. 76)
- Path of Duat (Setite Sorcery; Blood Sacrifice: The Thaumaturgy Companion, p. 26)
- Path of Blood Nectar (Blood Sacrifice: The Thaumaturgy Companion p. 62)
- VTM: , chapter 2
Information about Assamite Sorcery can also be found in:
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