Followers of Set -Setites
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The Followers of Set

The Followers of Set, more commonly refer to as "Setites" are mistrusted perhaps more than any other clan. Their ties with the archetypal Serpent of myth are well-known, and bolstered by their disturbing powers. They are custodians of knowledge that, according to their claims, predates even the First City. When they enter a city, the Cainite power structure almost inevitably erodes. But most unnerving of all, they share a dark and powerful faith as a clan -a faith that the blood of God pulses through their cold veins.

Of course, the clan's very name is proof of such faith. According to most Setites, their clan founder was none other than the dark God of ancient Egypt, a hunter without equal in the desert night. Other tales state that Set was an Antediluvian -at least- who enshrined himself as a God among the Egyptians. In either case, Set's rule went unquestioned until he was challenged by a being named Osiris -whom some call a vampire, and others something else. Their war lasted for centuries, but ultimately Set was cast out of Egypt, into darkness. And yet, his followers claim, it was in the darkness that wise, ancient Set began his rule in earnest. Although great Set has vanished from the world, his childer work to ensure that the world will be in a suitable state for his return -advancing their own schemes in the process, of course.

To achieve their goals, Setites master several potent tools. To their thinking, the weapons of addiction, seduction and decay are the oldest and finest of means to an end. Setites use drugs, sex, money, power -even vitae and supernatural lore- to draw others into their coils. To date, the Followers' methods have proved terribly effective. Kindred and kine alike succumb to the Setites' charms, gladly doing whatever their new masters bid in return for the Serpents' reptilian patronage. Indeed, in some cities, entire subcultures and economic strata are under one or more Setites' sway.

The Followers of Set cryptically refer to themselves as the "eldest among clans," whatever the phrase may mean to them. Cainite historians dismiss this as groundless braggadocio, citing Set's rise as well past the time of the First City. However, those who listen carefully to the Setites' whispering are somewhat less flippant, as the Snake Clan seems to have access to hoary lore that, some worry, might date back to the first and longest nights of them all. A few Serpents have even hinted that Set was thrown into the darkness before Caine himself received his own curse -a theory that most Kindred dismiss, but one with frightening implications nonetheless.

Whatever the clan's origins, it is a fact that its influence is widespread indeed. Although they are rare in "traditional" vampire haunting grounds such as Europe, the Followers of Set prowl many other areas of the world. They have a potent presence in Africa, particularly in Cairo and the sub-Saharan area of the continent. They nest in India, just on the edge of the Cathayan hunting grounds, pursuing the wisdom of destroyer Gods and gathering cults to themselves. They sleep under the Middle Eastern sands and rule the Caribbean night. And they go unafraid into the worst urban hellholes in America. Their web stretches from continent to continent, and the other clans have yet to realize just how much of the world the Setites have in their clutches.

The Followers of Set make up one of the most widely loathed clans in the world. The Camarilla decision to ask the Setites to join came only after weeks of divisive debate, and the fact that few Setites responded to the call was met with a wave of relief from the young sect.

The explanation for this reaction lies with the very nature of the Setites. They are the masters of moral and spiritual corruption. They seem to have an uncanny ability to find the weakness in any organization or individual, and the uncommon urge to exploit it. Drugs, sex, money and power are their weapons of corruption, and they take great delight in using them against Kindred and kine alike. The Setites believe that the power of decay and corruption is absolute; no one is immune.

Although few Setites have become members of the Camarilla, this has not stopped factions within the sect from making use of their special talents. In the world of Kindred politics, the Followers of Set have the distinction of being regarded as a necessary evil.

The Followers claim to be able to trace their clan's lineage back to the Egyptian Dark God himself. The truth of this statement, however, remains unrevealed. In any event, they are darkly powerful beings with unclear interests beyond the assumption of mortal and supernatural power.

According to legend, the clan originated in ancient Egypt. About 5000 BC, a group of powerful Kindred gathered around the Nile River Delta. There they are said to have established a thriving civilization and enthroned themselves as the ruling Gods. Among these Kindred was one named Sutekh. Sutekh, renowned as a warrior and hunter, stalked the darkness like a great beast; by 3300 BC he was being worshipped by some mortals as the God of Night and Darkness. He was more than likely a member of the 3rd generation, an Antediluvian.

For the next 2 millennia, Sutekh, now calling himself Set, enjoyed the worship of mortals and the respect of his fellow Kindred. However, a power struggle began when a vampire known as Osiris, along with several of his progeny, began to claim absolute kingship over the rest of the Kindred. Set opposed Osiris, and for several hundred years the two waged a savage war. By 900 BC, the tide had turned against Set and his followers. A being known as Heru-Behutet, and his warriors, defeated Set and his allies in a great battle. Set was exiled and his followers slaughtered. In his anguish, Set vowed that if he were to be exiled into darkness, then that darkness would become all-powerful.

In the centuries that followed, Set recruited new followers. Most came from Egypt but there were others as well. Greeks, Romans, Persians and Semites all fell under the influence of Set, God of darkness. His message spread to the far corners of the known world. From the mountains of Spain to the shores of the Black Sea, the seeds of darkness were planted. Finally, in AD 33, Set himself vanished from the world -likely to escape being a casualty of the Jyhad. Before he disappeared, Set promised his followers that he would eventually return in all his dark glory.

Even after his disappearance, this clan grew to power. Always small in number, it exerted an influence that belied its size. Some say that its members were partially responsible for the birth of the Inquisition, though there is no proof to substantiate this allegation. Empires have come and gone and still the Followers of Set carry on their master's dark traditions.


Nickname- Serpents

Sect:
Neutrality is far too valuable for the Followers of Set to bother with sects. They find the Camarilla pretentiously idealistic, and the Sabbat exactly the same. Setites prefer to barter their secrets to both sides, but reserve their truly significant finds for the clan's exclusive use.

Appearance:
Most elder Setites are of Egyptian, North African or Middle Eastern blood. However, the Snakes have adopted a more egalitarian approach in recent years, and have Embraced men and women of all ethnicities. Red hair is considered a mark of Set's favor, and some neonates are not above hennaing their hair nightly to prove their devotion. Setites usually have impeccable taste in clothing and accessories, and have an inviting, commanding demeanor that transfixes onlookers.

Haven:
Although many younger Setites aren't above snatching the most practical crashspaces possible, the elders of the clan treat haven-buildings as a reverential process. Many use ancient alchemical rituals to consecrate their havens, be they temples, hidden libraries or simple crypts. Most train cadres of ghouls for the "sacred duty" of guarding the master's haven, and some are fond of letting various snakes roam the interior of their lairs. Their havens are often decorated in ancient Egyptian fashion, but the Followers of Set have become quite multicultural in recent years. An individual Setite may adorn his haven with Ghanan sculpture, Moroccan rugs or Hopi kachinas -whatever suits his tastes or backgrounds.

Background:
Many Setites served as retainers to other Followers of Set prior to receiving the Embrace. In former nights, the clan chose only those of Egyptian descent, but pragmatism has led them to include those from all ethnicities of late. The Serpents tend to select childer who prove themselves manipulative and mentally resilient -the former to better sway mortals into the clan's service, the latter so that the childe can safely learn the knowledge kept by the Followers.The Setites choose only the best; those who are anything less cannot hope to rise above the status of pawn.

Character Creation:
Setites tend to focus on Social and Mental Attributes, but their Abilities vary with the character concept. The Occult Knowledge is common among the clan. Their Natures can be scholarly or bestial, while their Demeanors are whatever they find appropriate for the occasion. Mnay have great networks of Contacts, Herd -cultists-, Retainers, and other pawns willing to do their bidding; exactly what the Setite offers for such service may vary greatly, from blackmail to simple friendship.

Clan Disciplines:
Obfuscate, Presence, Serpentis.

Weaknesses:
The Setites, as creatures of the most ancient darkness, have a severe allergy to bright lights of all sorts, and sunlight in particular. Add 2 health levels to any damage inflicted by exposure to the sun. Followers of Set also subtract 1 from all dice pools while in overly bright lights -spotlights, magnesium flares, etc.

Organization:
Individually, Followers of Set act much like other vampires, maintaining herds, acquiring power and suborning rivals. Nor is one Setite automatically immune to the predation of a rival -Communally, though, Serpents usually organize themselves into temples where they can exchange lore and practice their rites. Their hierarchy tends to be organized by age, with the eldest and the wisest among them officiating. Rumor has it that somewhere in Africa exists the Grand Temple of Set, the dwelling place of the clan's Dark Hierophant. This Methuselah is said to be the most power of Set's personal childer and the first vampire Embraced into the clan; if rumor is correct, his knowledge has no equal, and his authority over the clan is absolute.

It is also said that there once was a group known as the Children of Osiris, whose members opposed the Followers of Set. Nothing is known of them, and the Setites claim to have literally consumed them.

Bloodlines:
The Serpents have several offshoot bloodlines, most of which derive from alternate interpretations of the dark faith of Set. The Path of the Warrior is one of the most dramatic; these stalkers glorify Set as hunter and warrior, and learn Potence in lieu of Obfuscate. Similarly, the Path of Ecstasy glorifies the pleasures of the flesh offered by the Serpent itself; such vampires seek to master Presence above all other Disciplines. Finally, the Serpents of the Light are a splinter bloodline that nests among the Sabbat. These Cainites differ from other Setites only in outlook, but practice a code of conduct that the rest of the clan considers heresy punishable by Final Death.


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