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Keening (VTM)

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The Keening is a supernatural phenomenon specific to Saudi Arabia.

Tainted supernaturals, like vampires, feel the Keening as a clamoring cacophony of wails and screams. The Keening manifests only during the day, but grows in intensity constant until it reaches its peak at noon, from when it decreases slowly in pitch and finally ends when the sun is gone from the sky. Originally, Keening was intense enough to be heard even by a vampire who lay in Torpor and it made unlife for Kindred generally unbearable, driving many of the old Kindred who used to dwell there either insane or into other lands, away from its wail. Wards placed by the Hajj around the weaken the Keening enough that other vampires can attend Saudi Arabia, but most who are not part of the Ashirra still feel uncomfortable during the day. The Keening also becomes more intense when one goes to Mecca or Medina, where it source lies in the form of the Black Stone. The effects of the Keening also amplify Holy sites and True Faith within the region, making it more efficient against supernatural incursions.

The Keening began after Mohammed had conquered Mecca and is generally believed to be a manifestation of Allah’s power, emanating from the Black Stone inside the Kha’ba. Mages say that the Keening is the result of wards erected by the Ahl-i-Batin with the power of the Web of Faith to prevent Djinni and other unclean spirits called during the Age of the Devil-Kings from entering the world of flesh. The same mages claim that the screams within the Keening are the former Devil-Kings who are now tortured for all eternity in Hell. Any tainted being can feel the power of True Faith that is channeled via the Black Stone through unknown methods and is only barely contained by Tarique’s wards. Faith in Allah, however, seems to dampen the effect of the Keening, so that many Ashirra are sincere in their devotion out of sheer fear. Many Ashirra are so accustomed to the sound of the Keening that they depend on it as a an alarm clock to awaken at dusk.

The Keening stopped only one time in its history, when Qarmatians, members of an Islamic sect, stole the Black Stone from the Kha’ba in 950. This allowed Tarique, the Nosferatu, to erect the holy wards that can contain a part of the Keening, although they cannot completly silence it.

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