This is part of my struggle to awaken Vampire from it's long torpor, specifically in the form of a new version of the card game V:TES. I plan on elaborating more on this in the future.
This page is concerning the Faiths - those beliefs and mythologies held by kindred that explains their existence and their purpose. In particular, why they must feed and why they are immortal. These are modified versions of the sects, paths, and covenants found in the various WoD editions.
Whereas with the Families I was trying to hit on what I viewed as the primary vampire archetypes, the Faiths are intended to be general enough that they encompass a wide range of philosophies and religions.
The cathar believe that only by rejecting all urges, passions, feelings, etc. can they truly be free. They seek oblivion and annihilation.
Chaotic and destructive, these vampires are the epitome of evil. While it's unlikely any one would describe himself as diabolic, he might take a perverse pleasure in being described as such. Indeed, one is far more likely to be assigned the label 'diabolic' by his or her peers. These vampires are typically hedonists and sadists. They revel in their heinous actions and fully embrace their dark side, eschewing standard mores and norms.
One might believe his fiendish powers come from an even more sinister force - one that demands emulation if these unholy powers are to be retained. Another might believe she is a devil-born or hell-spawn, while another still actively aspires to be as wicked as possible - making it his purpose to torment mortals. Often, any sort of belief in the supernatural is overshadowed by their utter selfishness.
These monsters have no pity or remorse for the kine they hunt, both shunning and despising mercy, weakness, or empathy. Cruelty toward others is the rule, unless you're seeking something from others for your own personal gain. To such vampires, only those capable of taking what they desire deserve it. Ones such as these are even known to prey on their own kind. Vampires of this faith are often scorned and rejected by all others, even their own families and fellow faction members. Such malfeasance is not the way to win allies.
Those who do not know why they exist, what they are, or care one way or the other. They are those who do not subscribe to any of the other faiths, or those who may have a personal raison d'être. To an inconnu, just being might be enough. To an inconnu, life (or unlife) might be utterly meaningless. To an inconnu, the only real escape is rejecting the vampiric condition. To an inconnu, the struggle itself is its own reward.
They do not seek to justify their actions, or seek answers to their existence, although some may wonder from time to time, they don't extol higher powers. Some refuse to believe anything and could be said to be mad. Many don't think faith is important, at least, not to them. In life, they were likely agnostics, atheists, existentialists, and nihilists, and some are undoubtedly apostates from the other faiths.
Vampires who follow the primal path hold that vampires are a natural part of the world, as natural as the wolf is to the sheep. Like every organism, the primal vampire seeks to thrive in relative harmony within his ecosystem. To the primal, vampires are the apex predator - the only creature man should fear and the only one capable of keeping man in check. Many of the primals see vampires as the greatest 'species' to ever exist - a part of the evolutionary process. Some of the primal seek a sort of mutual symbiosis with the kine, protecting the strongest and healthiest that they might reproduce and ensure a sufficient 'stock' of strong prey - making themselves stronger in the process. Others see human civilization as inherently tainted and seek to lash out against it.
The Noddists have a peculiar mythos born out of the Abrahamic religions that incorporates many of its aspects, but with an interesting twist. The details vary, but most Noddists adhere to a core belief in the story of Cain, the first murderer, and his journey east of Eden, the founding and destruction of the First City, followed by the Second City, and the Antediluvians - Cain's childer and their childer.
The Noddists believe in a supreme God, responsible for creation and with a plan for the world - a plan in which creatures such as they have a role to play. They believe in redemption and salvation, and the possibility of eternal damnation - of which they are on the threshold. They tend to believe in an after-life, and some believe in an approaching Armageddon, whereby either Cain, or the Antediluvians, will return and herald a new age - usually with a great loss of life ensuing. Some hold that they are fallen angels who, by God's divine will, where not cast into Hell. Others conclude that they are to serve as object lessons to humanity; they are the price of sin. A fair number of Noddists engage in what they call the Jyhad, the struggle to fight others of their kind, especially diabolic vampires.
Noddists typically try to maintain some semblance of humanity. Some explain their killing by believing they are doing God's work, or that by killing sinners they themselves are absolved of one of their past sins, or that each kill is a test in the eyes of God who judges them based on their choice of prey.
Those vampires who could be called pagans or heathens, the sabbat supports dozens of creation mythologies. Many claim descent from Hecate, or Baba Yaga, or some Great Old One. One may attribute their state to Tantalus, the mortal who was cursed with eternal hunger and thirst in Greek mythology, while another sees themself as the child of Huitzilopochtli or Tezcatlipoca. Those with a penchant for the occult, posit that they are actually spirits of the deceased, unable to leave their dead bodies. Many have a fondness for the old Norse legends, claiming decent from the Jormungandr serpent or Fenris the wolf or even Loki himself. A fair number also entertain the idea that Osiris, Anubis, Suhtek or Sekhmet or some other god from Egyptian mythology has been blessed them eternal unlife. Regardless of origin story, the overarching theme is that the vampiric condition is not a curse. It is something that separates kin from kine, gods from mere mortals.
Vampires that place a special emphasis on time, existence, history, dreams, dying, and the importance of immortality and life. The word thanata comes from the Greek word "thanatos", meaning 'death', ostensibly making the thanata a death cult. The thanata's believers revere death, but as with all of the faiths, the precise outlook on their creed differs on an individual basis.
In general, these vampires are focused on understanding the vampirism and improving upon it, transcending the limitations of their condition. Some see both life, death, and their unlife as false states of existance, like a dream that precedes waking. Others hold that torpor is the greatest power their kind possess - the ability to turn eons into moments as they sleep and gain invaluable insights from the fog of eternity. Some of them see vampires as manifest aspects of death, or death incarnate, believing the only way to conquer death is to become it in form and function.
A few have a fascination with life and chronicle the history of kine and kindred alike. Many desire to be resurrected, and subsequently practice revivication on their prey. More than one thanata vampire has engaged peculiar experiments with their prey, attempting to make the immortal like themselves, often with unexpected results.