The Dark Ages
Roads to Salvation
Roads are incredibly important to a vampire’s survival. Within every vampire lurks the beast – the insatiable hunger for blood and violence. To succumb to the beast is to completely lose yourself. In order to keep this degeneration at bay, vampires follow codes and strictures and philosophies which are collectively known as roads. The roads do not define your behavior, but acting outside of your road can have negative consequences.
Each road has two virtues associated with it from among Conviction, Instinct, Self-Control and Conscience. If your road does not possess one of these it does not mean you are completely lacking in that virtue, but simply that it is not highly valued by your philosophy and some other strength provides the same benefit.
The Primary Roads – Most Vampires follow one of these.
Road of the Beast (Via Bestiae)
The Road of the Beast encourages its followers to revel in their predatory natures, claiming prey and fighting off rivals to secure domain and feed the vampire’s hunger for blood. Called “Ferals” for their refusal to kowtow to the princes and lords of noble culture, followers of this path embrace the wilderness and the challenges that come with it, believing that only by testing onself can one improve. Hunting, killing, even stealing and seduction are all tools of the ultimate predator, and success is judged by how often the Feral goes hungry.
Followers of the Road of the Beast make do with the Virtues of Conviction and, of course, Instinct.
Road of Heaven (Via Caeli)
The Road of Heaven espouses that all vampires are touched by God (even if that touch was to bestow a curse), and as such all vampires serve a purpose in God’s divine plan. The Road of Heaven is at times a difficult one, for few vampires maintain the faith in God and his purpose for their kind long after they become blood-sucking demons of the night. Many “Faithful” followers of this Road consider themselves pilgrims and mendicants, traveling to spread the word of God and their own particular message of redemption in His eyes.
The Road of Heaven requires that its followers uphold the Virtues of Conscience and Self-Control.
Road of Humanity (Via Humanitas)
The Road of Humanity seeks to bring its followers closer to their living state, and to obey the strictures of mortal law by upholding the Ten Commandments and by encouraging emotions such as hope, empathy, and regret. Though each vampire was at one time human, most followers of Humanity are scorned by their peers and elders, who believe that since they are no longer alive, they should not bother with the trappings of human morality. They name the followers of this Path “Prodigals”; the Prodigals themselves are proud of their ability to maintain true to themselves and their beliefs.
The followers of the Road of Humanity practice the Virtues of Conscience and Self-Control with a passion not found among many other Roads.
Road of Kings (Via Regalis, Via Rexi)
The Road of Kings demands that its followers uphold the virtues of the feudal lord: protection of lessers, subordinance to superiors, and to expand the vampire’s domain and influence to stave off threat. The “Scions”, as they are called, believe in ruling through the principles of justice and authority – though how they achieve that authority often results in violence and tyranny. The followers of this Path embody the feudal mind, where bloodline, courtly language, and skill on the battlefield are what mark a man for greatness.
The Road of Kings is a lonely and demanding one, so its followers practice the Virtues of Conviction and Self-Control.
Road of Sin (Via Peccati, Via Indulgentiae)
The Road of Sin impels its practitioners to indulge in every sin and desire known to the fleshly world, ignoring or actively working against the virtues of temperance, patience, and charity. Each “Sinner” follows their own desires and ambitions first, and anything else a distant second. Interestingly, this Road is popular among both High and Low Clans, and few God-fearing princes find sufficient reason to drive practitioners of this Road out of their domains. Despite their sobriquet, very few Sinners are actually Infernalists, for the idea of bowing to a demon lord and serving his will instead of theirs is anathema to this Road.
The followers of the Road of Sin practice, with a great deal of enthusiasm, the Virtues of Conviction and Instinct.
Secondary Roads – Fewer vampires follow these roads, and some are distinct to clans or bloodlines (though not exclusively).
Road of Blood (Via Sanguinis)
The Road of Blood is practiced by Assamites, who seek to become more powerful and righteous with every diablerie they commit.
Road of Bones (Via Ossium)
The Road of Bones is taught among the Cappadocian Clan, who seek to unlock the secrets of death and life-beyond-death, and by so doing learn how to manipulate the immortal soul.
Road of Metamorphosis (Via Mutationis)
The Road of Metamorphosis claims followers among the Tzimisce Clan, who wield Vicissitude in the hopes of ascending above this mortal coil into something purer and more perfect.
Road of Night (Via Noctis)
The Road of Night is embraced by the Lasombra Clan, who preach that since vampires are creatures of darkness, they must find, judge, and punish the darkness of all who are cast from God’s light.
Road of Paradox (Via Paradoxi)
The Road of Paradox has moved westward from India, following the bands of the Ravnos Clan, who wander in search of their true destiny, which all vampires are thought to possess.
Road of the Serpent (Via Serpentis) (Also known as the Road of Typhon)
The Road of the Serpent encircles the Followers of Set, who seek to ressurect their god by claiming souls and temporal power in his name.
Road of Chivalry
This relatively new road deals with the new political and ethical philosophy that is sweeping feudal Europe. Duty to one’s Lord and the divine are paramount.
Road of Caine
Scholars of the Book of Nod believe that the ability to withstand the vampiric condition can be found in the truth behind the progenitor of all vampires. Followers of the Road of Caine seek knowledge, secrets and myths.
Road of Cathari
Hedonism in all its forms is sacred to the Cathars. They believe that stagnation is the true enemy of vampire-kind and seek to revel in their undead existence.
Road of Lilith
Notably followed by the Lamia bloodline of Cappadocians, the Road of Lilith is in many ways similar to the Road of Caine, except that it reveres the “mother” of vampires rather than the “father”. Lilins practice restraint and gather knowledge about the Dark Mother.
Road of Power and the Inner Voice
Followers of this path exercise extreme confidence. They are far less concerned with the future than they are with the present. They seek to control the world around themselves as a way of controlling what lurks within themselves.