Dur An Ki

Very few Kindred in the modern nights outside of the secretive halls of Clan Tremere, know that the Assassins have a history of practicing blood magic that stretches back to the now mythical nights of the Second City. Among the Tremere that know of these strange arts, their interest is balanced by revulsion and fear. It is almost blasphemous to the Hermetic mindset of the Warlocks that such loosely-structured practices can truly be called “magic.” However potent effects spring from these practices — some which bear a striking resemblance to the Tremere’s precious Thaumaturgy. This strikes fear into their cold, dead hearts that their supposed monopoly of blood magic might be under threat.

Other Paths of Dur-An-Ki

Many of the paths associated with DurAn-Ki are functionally identical to various Thaumaturgy paths. In many cases, the Dur-An-Ki version came first and was adapted to
Thaumaturgy by Tremere. Those paths are as follows:

• The Path of Life’s Waters (Path of Blood, V20, pp. 213-214)
• The Path of Jinn’s Gift (Path of Conjuring, V20, pp. 220-221)
• The Hand of the Magi (Lure of Flames, V20, p. 218)
• The Covenant of Enki (Neptune’s Might, V20, pp. 218-220)
• The Laws of Suleiman (Spirit Manipulation, p. 142-145)

In addition to these familiar paths, there are several paths unique to practitioners of DurAn-Ki, two of which are described below.

The Hunter’s Winds

This path was originally developed by Assamite sorcerers and is rarely encountered outside of that Clan, but knowledge of it has passed into the larger pool of Dur-An-Ki lore. The Path is designed to augment a vampire’s natural stealth and skill with Obfuscate. While many aspects of this Path seem redundant given the existence of Obfuscate, the Path offers a powerful advantage over that Discipline — for example, Auspex does not automatically pierce the veil provided by The Hunter’s Winds. While Auspex may add to the observer’s Perception-based rolls as the Storyteller sees fit, the observer does not automatically see through deceptions just because his Auspex exceeds the ashipu’s Path rating, as is the case with Obfuscate or Chimerstry.

• Scent of Deception

The target of this power gains the ability to alter her scent or eliminate it completely.

System

A successful roll means that the target either leaves no scent that can be detected or tracked, or she leaves the scent of someone else known to her. A failure means nothing happens. A botch means that her scent is more easily identifiable to others (in addition to the other penalties for botching a blood magic roll).

•• Chameleon’s Skin

The target’s skin and clothing automatically assume the coloring and texture of whatever he stands near.

System

For the duration of the scene following the activation scene, the difficulty of all Perception rolls to detect the target increase by +4 so long as he remains stationary. While he is in motion, the effect is negated, but once he comes to rest again against a different surface, he can reassert the camouflage with a successful Perception + Stealth roll (difficulty 6, or 9 if someone is actively searching for him at the time). Any texture changes are illusory; the target does not gain the durability of a brick wall just by standing near it.

••• Unassuming Pose

The target effortlessly blends into any crowd of people. Everyone present will assume the target belongs there, including any pursuers.

System

If the roll succeeds, any observer will automatically assume that the target belongs in whatever location he is found. Those searching for him are incapable of perceiving that he is an intruder. However, this effect cannot fool technology, and anyone observing through CCTV, for example, can spot him as an interloper.

•••• Whiff of Kalif

The target of this effect generates an aura which is physically intoxicating to anyone who directly observes her. Those affected may experience a pleasant daydream, or may just be left standing slack-jawed as the target goes on his way.

System

If the effect is successfully activated, anyone who observes the target during the rest of the scene must reflexively roll Wits + Alertness (difficulty 7) or become intoxicated for a number of hours equal to the ashipu’s successes in triggering the effect. Affected individuals are incapable of taking any action beyond staring vacantly at visions only they can see or perhaps giggling from time to time. However, any direct threat to an affected individual immediately causes the intoxication to fade.

••••• Ghost Body

As a particularly powerful effect, Ghost Body requires the ashipu to expend three points of blood instead of the normal one. When the effect is activated, the target becomes completely invisible, inaudible, and intangible, and she can move freely through any barriers other than wards against vampires.

System

If activated successfully, the target becomes immaterial in nearly every sense. The effect does not make her into a true ghost, and she is incapable of interacting with wraiths or spirits while in this form. She is also incapable of using any Disciplines while in this form. The effect ends as soon as the target makes the conscious decision to affect the physical world in any way.

The Path of the Evil Eye

Throughout history, the ignorant and superstitious have feared the Evil Eye — a belief that some people have the power to curse their enemies, whether through the invocation of dark powers or simply through malicious will. In some places, such beliefs persist, perhaps in part because of the existence of this Path, which allows an ashipu to invoke wrathful djinn to embarrass, injure, or even kill his enemies. But this Path is not the exclusive province of Dur-An-Ki.

To use the Evil Eye against a target, the sorcerer must either be able to make eye contact with her and say something to indicate his disdain, whether a traditional Arabic curse or simply a shouted “Fuck You!” Alternatively, the sorcerer can make use of an effigy to cast the curse over a longer distance (as described under the Principles of Contagion and Sympathy on pp. 133-135). The target will not necessarily realize that she has been cursed. An Intelligence + Occult (difficulty 6) roll is required of the target if the sorcerer casts the curse in her face, while a roll at difficulty 9 is required to realize that recent bad luck is the result of a curse cast from afar. A character with Aura Perception or who has at least one dot in this Path may notice tell-tale signs of a curse lingering in the target’s aura and may recognize this as the residue of a curse with a Wits + Occult roll (difficulty 7). A character who successfully identifies a curse this way may treat the curse itself as a mystical connection equivalent to a prized possession while in the presence of the cursed individual.

The sorcerer who laid the curse can negate it at will. Any other character capable of recognizing the curse (including the target herself, if she has the appropriate knowledge of blood magic) may attempt to negate it with Thaumaturgical Countermagic (V20 p. 228) or any comparable blood magic effect. The one who lays the curse never knows exactly how the curse will manifest itself. Each level of this Path sets the parameters for what type of harm may occur, but the Storyteller determines the precise nature of the manifestation.

• Humiliation

The simplest application of the Evil Eye causes the target to embarrass himself in some public way. Possible results include saying something embarrassing in front of one’s peers, failing disastrously at a feeding attempt, or simply ripping the seat out of one’s pants while in a crowded bar.

System

Each success represents one night during which the target is affected by the curse. The curse triggers once per night at a time of the Storyteller’s choosing, usually the scene during which the character is in front of the largest number of individuals or in which he is in front of the largest number of socially important people. That is, it may trigger while the character is in a crowded restaurant or when he is alone with the Prince, whichever has the greatest potential for personal embarrassment. The Storyteller determines when the curse triggers, but it should do so at least once per night.

During the trigger scene, on every Social roll made for the character, the player must add a number of automatic 1s equal to the sorcerer’s rating in the Path of the Evil Eye, thereby increasing the likelihood of a botch on a Social roll. In addition, during the trigger scene, the Storyteller should roll a number of dice equal to the sorcerer’s rating in this path (difficulty 5). Successes mean that some external event happens that causes embarrassment to the character, such as a waiter spilling drinks on him or a car splashing him with mud.

•• Loss

This curse affects the target’s material worth. It most commonly causes the target to be stripped of money, but it may also cause her Herd to diminish, or destroy a Haven. The curse can target any tangible asset represented as a Background. If the character has no suitable Backgrounds, it targets personal items of emotional significance.

System

Within one week, the target loses one dot from an appropriate Background. Generally, the curse preferentially attacks Resources over other Backgrounds, but theoretically any form of tangible Background representing a personal asset can be a valid target. The sorcerer has no control over how the Background point is lost or even which Background point is lost. The Storyteller may even choose to decide randomly.

••• Peril

At this level of mastery, the ashipu may finally endanger her enemy rather than merely inconvenience her. The curse cannot directly harm the target, but it can create a situation in which it is possible for her to be harmed, whether at the hands of a drunken lout who takes offense to the target’s manner at a bar or a pack of werewolves
who, by happenstance, choose to board the same lonely subway car as the victim.

System

The number of successes determines how many nights the character is at risk. At the start of each night, the Storyteller must roll a die and, depending on the
results, fashion an encounter for the targeted character.

Dice Result Nature of Peril
1-3 None. The curse does not trigger during this night.
4-6 Minor: An encounter which is not likely to harm the character but which has a chance to do so. A mortal tries to mug the character while she is in front of mortals, or simply tries to hold up a convenience store while the character is in line paying for gas. A bar patron takes offense to something the character does or says and tries to pick a fight.
7-8 Moderate: An encounter with a significant likelihood of at least some harm to the character. The character is involved in a car wreck or struck by a hit-and-run driver. Stairs give way while the character is climbing them.
9 Severe: An encounter in which the character is almost certain to suffer some lethal damage. The character inadvertently says something offensive that provokes frenzy rolls in nearby vampires. The building collapses while the character is in it or a fire breaks out.
10 Catastrophic: An encounter that is potentially deadly. The character’s is locked out of his haven during the day. The character unwittingly says something that offends a pack of nearby Lupines.

Nights on which there is no peril do not count against the ashipu’s successes; the curse will continue until the target has suffered a number of dangerous encounters equal to the successes or the curse is lifted. During any dangerous encounter, a targeted character has a chance to realize she is under a curse (if she didn’t already know it). The roll is Intelligence + Occult. The default difficulty is 9, but it drops to 8 if the character has Auspex or to 6 if the character has any knowledge of this Path.

•••• Enemy

This potent curse causes the target’s friends and allies to turn against him, even as it causes the numbers of his enemies to grow.

System

For each success on the Willpower roll, the target loses one dot of Allies, Contacts, Influence, or Retainers. This may reflect friends and allies who have become angry with the character and turn their back on him, it may reflect contacts and allies who are simply unavailable for a time, or it may actually result in such characters being injured or even dying due to ill fortune. Alternatively, the player may choose to spend some or all of the successes to give the target a new Enemy (as per the Enemy Flaw) who arrives to pursue a vendetta against the character. Regardless, the effects manifest within a week, and the player of the targeted character may neither regain lost Backgrounds nor remove the Enemy Flaw without learning about and neutralizing the curse.

••••• The Eye That Wounds

The ultimate expression of this malefic path, theEye That Wounds does not require time to establish a chain of ill fortune. It strikes immediately. The ashipu must make eye contact with her target and utter some exclamation pertaining to a characteristic of his. It can be praise or insult, sarcasm or fury, but whatever form it takes, the target is immediately struck with an agonizing injury that damages that characteristic.

System

While the curse allows for flexibility, the default assumption is that for every two successes (rounded up), the target (or object, if the curse is directed towards a
possession of the target) suffers one level of aggravated damage. Generally, even a single level of damage is sufficient to slay an animal or destroy most objects. If used against a mortal, this power will permanently maim him. If used against a Kindred, the curse will inflict damage shaped by the ashipu’s words. If she compliments his beautiful eyes, they will be burned and he might be rendered blind until he can heal. If she mocks his honeyed words, the curse might burn out his tongue and leave him unable to speak. This curse may be transmitted through an effigy, but the normal difficulty penalty imposed for using an effigy increases by +2.

Related Links


Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 License