|Name:||Follower of Set (or Setite), Mesu Bedshet|
|Plural:||Followers of Set (or Setites)|
|Pronunciation:||fahl'-oh-wurs uv set', set'-iyts|
|Disciplines:||Obfuscate, Presence, Serpentis|
The Followers of Set (or Setites) are a clan of vampires who believe their founder was the Egyptian god Set. Orthodox Setite belief dictates that Set will one day return to rule or consume the world, and devout Setites prepare the way for his resurrection. To this end, the clan remains independent of the Sects of other Kindred, and practice with great skill the arts of corruption, deceit and ancient sorcery. They refer to themselves as the Mesu Bedshet, the "Children of Rebellion".
Due to their inherent clan weakness, Followers of Set are extremely susceptible to sunlight (double damage). Subtract one from all dice pools while in bright light (spotlights, strobes, etc.).
In the first Nights, the Clan was fairly centered around its Antediluvian and, not surprisingly, Egypt. Many different tales are told about his divinity and how he was cursed by Ra in his struggle against his rival Osiris, whom he eventually managed to kill, and his abandonment by his disciples and fellow Antediluvians. In the manner of the Path of Typhon, all these accounts are taken for true, because limitation to just one version is just another sign of the influence of Ra and Osiris in this world.
It can be said that Set's get had a fairly great influence on Egypt as a whole during the days of pharaonic Egypt, although his efforts were always undermined by the Osirian League under the leadership of his eternal enemy Horus. Set himself guided his Clan from his great temple in Ombos and sometimes got involved personally with dethroning pharaohs who were to entrenched by Ma'at and the schemes of the Aeons. In this way, the Followers of Set established their hold on the lands of Egypt on several times: First during the reign of the Hyksos (in an alliance with the Lasombra), then during the 19th dynasty under Ramesses and during the hellenestic Age under Alexander the Great. During the reign of Rome, the Setites flourished in countless cults among the children of Seth and of Caine, promising ancient secrets and shaping the mindset of their cultists to resist the snares of Ma'at.
All these efforts were delivered a serious blow when Set himself disappeared in 33 CE (the alleged year of Christ's crucification, as some Setites notice). Several times after that, earthquakes shattered Egypt and many of the old temples sunk and became lost, often taking slumbering methuselahs of the clan with them.
Setites were rare in Dark Medieval Europe, spending most of their time in Egypt. Islamic Setites were known as Walid Set in the lands of Arabia and North Africa, and spent much of their time fighting to keep the influence of Europe out of their lands. Although they claimed to dominate Egypt, they actually only had a few holdings that could rightfully be called theirs; the rest belonged to the other bay't and the Garou of the Sahara. The clan they struggled against the most was the one with the greatest power over the Islamic regions and the Ashirra: Banu Haqim. A temporary treaty was reached, but relations remained uneasy between the two for years afterward.
The advent of learning during the Renaissance only increased the Setites possibilities to subvert the european vampires. Gaining advantage from the trade with goods from the orient and the New World, as well as the new "leisure class" that arose in the cities, the customers for Set's teachings. The expansion of the Ottoman Empire also provided cover for them to travel into Europe and slave trade remained one of the most profitable business from the clan.
The Setites reveled in the Victorian Age: As ancient knowledge was demanded more and more in kindred society, the Setites' clientele rose more and more, as many kindred discovered the usefulness of their bargains. The Setite presence in Camarilla cities during this time was increasingly high and some princes allowed them even in their retinue. And within the strict puritan taboos of society, the increasing interest in occultism and the rising opium trade, corrupting mortals to the service of Set was easier than ever.
Despite the occupation of their ancestral homeland, the Setites were able to maintain a great deal of their influence in Egypt and some, like Izzat al-Khunzir, were actively opposing the foreign princes that occupied their ancient cities. Also, the clan expanded heavily into America in this time in order to corrupt and influence the young government of the States.
In the modern nights many Setites see the signs of Gehenna as portents that Set will soon arise, and indeed many Gehenna scenarios involve his return. They remain staunchly independent, but since they must still acquire power and wealth to ease the return of their god, they have ventured far from Egypt. Modern Setites frequently live in Camarilla (or, less often, Sabbat) cities, seducing and corrupting other Kindred, staying outside sect politics except to serve their own ends. Few among the other clans trust them, but they have many secrets and are often able to infiltrate a Prince's court by trading information or promising favours. Such deals generally work out in the Setite's favour.
Setite organization is mostly local, with a single temple or network of cults representing a city’s Serpent presence. Setites in the cities rarely scheme among each other, preferring to face outward threats in unity rather than the schismatic self-interest of the Sects. Whispers persist of a massive temple devoted to Set located somewhere in Africa, with a terrible Methuselah who claims to be the childe of Set himself at the head.
Clan Variants Edit
|Disciplines:||Obfuscate, Presence, Serpentis|
|Primary Sourcebook:||Blood Sacrifice: The Thaumaturgy Companion|
The Daitya are a heretical "Setite antitribu" bloodline of illusionists, thaumaturges (raktasadhu), and snake-charmers (samperas), whose founder traveled from Egypt to India in pursuit of ancient mystical knowledge and for the hunt of the Children of Osiris who were rumored to have fled into the Himalayas. The bloodline was nearly exterminated during the reign of the Ashirra, who saw them not only as heathens, but as demon-worshippers. Only a grudging alliance with the Trimira during the Victorian Age saved their dwindling numbers from extinction.
Certain broods and temples among the Daitya specialize in different skills, like a "yoga of illusion" that they call Raktamaya, which includes Chimerstry, Conjuration (Sadyojatavidya), Obfuscation, Transmutation (Rasayana), thaumaturgic rituals (tantras), hypnotism, and even prestidigitation. The Daitya revere Shiva the Destroyer, and claim leadership of all vampires who worship Shiva. Other vampires, especially those of the “Pariah” castes, dispute that claim! Nevertheless, their intrinsic rank as Brahmins grants all Daitya considerable authority among India’s undead. The Daitya like to say that their Clan's pitri ("father"), Sutekh, is the principal avatar of Shiva, as it allows them to boast that they have the blood of the god Shiva in their veins. Daitya perceive the current world as fundamentally flawed, so they seek to reboot it; the most fanatic among the Daitya claim that the means of doing so is to push the world over the brink into a nadir of purest evil, so that Shiva fully awakens to destroy the current world with his third eye, thereby setting the stage for the next cycle of existence. Like any collective of individuals though, some Daitya disagree with this method, and some Daitya are unconcerned with this goal altogether. Where mainline Setites seek to serve their god(s), the Daitya (like other raktasadhu) seek to become gods themselves, and this is what makes the Daitya heretical in the eyes of the more fanatic among the Setites, and what makes the Setites weak in the eyes of the more ambitious among the Daitya.
They defy the Elders of Egypt and demand treatment as a full-fledged and independent Clan. The Naktanchara lineage of the bloodline is rejected since they converted to Buddhism and began defying the caste system of Indian kindred.
Serpents of the Light Edit
|Disciplines:||Obfuscate, Presence, Serpentis|
The Serpents of the Light are another heretical Setite bloodline — essentially "Setite antitribu" — who practice voodoun. They originated in the 1960s when a group of independent Setites in Haiti formed an alliance with the newly-arrived Sabbat, ignoring orders from senior Setites to have nothing to do with the Sect. The Serpents (or "Cobras") are committed to combating the Antediluvians, and believe Set to be among their enemies; they are considered traitors by other Setites. Apart from their ideological and spiritual beliefs, however, there are no significant differences between Cobras and their parent clan: they learn the same Disciplines, and share the same weakness to light.
|Disciplines:||Obfuscate, Presence, Protean|
The Tlacique reside in Latin America and are believed to be descended from the Followers of Set. Rather than Set, these Mesoamerican vampires venerate Tezcatlipoca, the god of the darkness and sorcery. This variant possesses Protean instead of the clan discipline of Serpentis, often taking the shape of a jaguar rather than a wolf. They also practice a unique type of shamanistic blood sorcery known as Nahuallotl.
When European vampires arrived in Mexico, they found the Tlacique openly ruling over the Aztecs, Inca and other civilizations as blood-thirsty gods who demanded human sacrifices. At first the Jaguars welcomed the Camarilla, but this turned to resentment as the Spaniards destroyed the civilizations that worshiped the Tlacique. Used to ruling over mortals, the Tlacique couldn't understand that the Camarilla didn't do the same. They allied with the Sabbat, working together to drive the Camarilla out of Mexico. But while the Sabbat gladly adopted the bloodiest elements of Tlacique ritual, they lacked the spiritual beliefs the Tlacique cherished. Soon the Sabbat turned against them too.
In modern nights, the Tlacique are widely believed to be extinct by the few Kindred outside of the bloodline who even remember their existence. However, a handful of bitter survivors persist on the fringes of vampire society, scattered from the jungles and mountains of South America to barrios in the American Southwest. They Embrace exclusively from Native American groups, still resenting the European destruction of their homelands. Increasingly, they are forming an alliance with the Pisanob Necromancers.
Warrior Setites Edit
|Disciplines:||Potence, Presence, Serpentis|
Claiming to be the part of the original clan that acted as enforcers and warriors of Set, these vampires act as bodyguards and assassins for the main clan. They are proud and brutal soldiers for Set, and are perfectly willing to go into battle to back up their subtler brethren. A mortal Embraced by a warrior Setite becomes a “normal” member of the line (that is, learning Obfuscate as a Clan Discipline) unless trained as a warrior from childe-hood. The line is therefore an example of how training and ideology can change the basic makeup of a vampire’s Clan.
The mission of the Followers of Set can be stated in a single word: corruption. They seek to subvert and destroy whatever is good, noble, safe or beautiful within both Kindred and mortal society. They are plotters without peer, with an unequalled genius for misdirection and temptation. Their favourite weapons include drugs, sex, money, power and vice in all its aspects. But for most of the Followers of Set, this corruption is just a means to an end. They believe in a radical split between the divine, eternal soul and the corrupt, transitory world and body. The laws of their faith say that deep down, the soul knows it does not belong in a prison of matter. Anything that distracts the soul from this knowledge and ties it to the world must be a trap - and if the world is a prison, then the gods must be its jailers. To achieve liberation, a soul must shed all the false doctrines, cravings and habits that bind it and blind it. Such self-awareness cannot come from mere argument or faith. Only direct experience of the most extreme sort can break the hold of the gods over the soul and allow liberation. Through these experiences, the Setites believe they can achieve truly divine power over the world and liberate themselves from every physical and spiritual constraint, as they already have taken the first steps out of the prison when they received the Embrace. As the oldest of the four independent clans, with a lineage directly traceable to a mighty Antediluvian (though there are those who dispute the clan’s account of its own history), the Followers of Set are not without respect among the Kindred. At one point, after long and divisive debate, they were invited to join the Camarilla. This invitation was, by and large, ignored by the Setites (to the great relief of many in the Camarilla). Nonetheless, the Camarilla, and sometimes even the Sabbat, often seek out the Followers of Set in an effort to secure their aid in some complex intrigue or another. For this reason, the Setites are generally regarded as a necessary evil within Cainite society. In recent centuries, the Setites have achieved notable success in the Caribbean, where they are in direct control of many of the most feared and powerful Haitian secret societies and Jamaican posses. These organizations, in turn, control much of the international drug trade. The Setites are also rumored to have absolute control over at least one Near Eastern terrorist group.
The Followers of Set’s emphasis on personal revelation generates dozens of little cults. Setite groups also emerge through interactions with the local culture. Put simply, Setites are not all a bunch of Egyptian migrants. Since their doctrine is flexible to begin with, Setites easily compromise with local cultures, adding still more diversity to the clan. A typical cult consists of a “Founding Temple” and several lesser temples scattered hither and yon. Egypt holds most of the really old and prestigious Founding Temples. A powerful cult’s Hierophant, or senior priest, oversees the Founding Temple. The chief priests of important daughter temples are simply called High Priests. A priest who manages a small temple by herself bears no special title that the rest of the clan will honor.
Known cults are:
- The Cult of Typhon Trismegistus
- The Children of Damballah
- The Cult of Taweret
- The Cohort of Wepwawet
- The Children of Judas
- The Hall of Jormungandr
- The House of Eclipse
- The Abd'al-Sobek
- The Sisterhood of Sekhmet
- The Church of the Black Magdalene
Prospective childer for the Followers of Set often spend some time involved with a Setite cult, so they’re indoctrinated in the mysteries of the Clan before becoming one of its Kindred. They may come from any cultural origin, though many are outsiders, loners, or otherwise marginalized by society, which is often what led them to the forbidden fruits offered by the cult of Set in the first place.
- ↑ Sunset Empires
- ↑ Sunset Empires
- ↑ Clanbook Setites Revised, p.51
- ↑ Clanbook Setites Revised, p. 51
- ↑ Clanbook Setites Revised, p.51