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|Name:||Path of Paradox|
An heretical side-branch of the Path of Paradox is found among the Western Ravnos.
The Path of Paradox pays a heavy debt to certain tenets of Hinduism and, some whisper, to the indecipherable codes upheld by the Cathayan vampires of the Orient. According to the Path of Paradox, Kindred are locked perpetually outside the illusory cycle of the universe (maya). Whereas most beings are reincarnated through samsara, a continual "entanglement" in the cycle of rebirth, Kindred have eluded that cycle. Every individual has his own purpose, or svadharma, although vampires, excluded from the cycle, have lost theirs. In place of their original svadharma, each Kindred must now try to advance maya, hopefully understanding it in the process and finally penetrating the great illusions that shroud the ultimate Truth from their eyes, in order to find and understand the new svadharma of their current form. A usual mean for this end is accepting two contradicting things as true and finding meaning in Paradox.
Once a Rakshasa has found his svadharma, he has to dedicate his existence to it. Merely knowing the svadharma is not enough, the vampire must act upon this knowledge. To this end, Rakshasa are fierce individualists, trying not to be entangled in the svadharmas of other living beings. Laws - especially mortal ones - are seen as distractions of their divine purpose and part of the illusionary state of the world that the Ravnos strives to overcome. Furthermore, it encourages the follower to accept his inhumanity, as he has left his original karma behind in the moment of his Embrace. Elder Rakshasa have also strong fatalistic streaks, believing the preordination of events that are the result of the interactions of various svadharma. If a mortal happens to run across them, surely it was his destiny to be devoured by the Rakshasa, otherwise, his svadharma would have led him away.
The Path of Paradox is arduous and demanding, since, to truly uphold the code, one must glean important grains of information from those with whom one conspires, in order to understand their svadharma better. Many of the Ravnos' deceptions are, in reality, complicated tests purveyed to cause the subject to reveal hidden aspects of himself, helping the Rakshasa to show the wayward vampire his true purpose. Thus, the Ravnos travel the world, ousted by ignorant Kindred who fail to realize the necessity of the Rakshasa's duties.
- Ravnos Antediluvian
The old Ravnos of India revered their Antediluvian as a living parable of the paradoxical nature of the cosmos: Accursed by the gods, yet divine in his origin; a blood-thirsty monster, yet a figure of wisdom and reverence; dead, but still alive. Some devout followers of the Path believe that the destruction of Zapathasura in 1999 allowed him to leave his current incarnation behind, only to be reborn as a god after the turning of the kalachakra for the centuries of dedicated service to the gods in punishing the fallen guardians of Heaven. These cults revere the fallen Antediluvian as a god to come and hope that they will be rewarded by him when they have fulfilled their svadharma.
- Embrace only when absolutely necessary
- Destroy other vampires, for they serve no purpose
- Interpret the svadharma of others and aid them in their fulfillment of it
- Erase karmic debt, dispel maya’s illusions and return to the samsara
- Use deception to achieve your ends
Hierarchy of SinsEdit
|Morality Rating||Moral Guideline||Rationale|
|10||Embracing a woman.||Women should be bearers of life, not death.|
|9||Embracing outside the jati.||Most others fail to comprehend the depth of the Paradox philosophy.|
|8||Destroying another follower of the path.||Charity does not, as is widely believed, begin at home.|
|7||Killing a mortal for sustenance.||Death robs a person of the ability to fulfill their svadharma.|
|6||Failing to destroy another vampire.||Those who cannot see the true way should be returned to a productive role in the cycle.|
|5||Killing a mortal for other reasons than survival.||A person may not have achieved her svadharma, and preventing such is anathema.|
|4||Failure to aid another's svadharma.||The gods have set this as the purpose of the Rakshasa.|
|3||Allowing one's sect affairs to precede one's dharma.||One's allegiance should be to the gods, not one's companions.|
|2||Becoming blood bound||One may never destroy one's regnant, which is the whole purpose of this Path|
|1||Embracing needlessly or out of personal desire||One must return others to the cycle, not extract them from it.|
- , p.78-82
- , p. 293
Path of Caine · Path of Cathari · Path of Death and the Soul · Path of Honorable Accord · Path of Metamorphosis · Path of Night · Path of Orion · Path of Power and the Inner Voice · Path of Redemption/Nocturnal variant · Path of the Beast (Feral Heart variant/Harmony variant)