Followers Of Set

Nickname: Serpents
Clan Disciplines: Obfuscate, Presence, Serpentis

The Followers of Set, more commonly referred 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 gods pulses in 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 feast - 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 the 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 that 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 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" vampiric 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 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.

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.

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-building 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 background.

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. Many 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.

Weakness

The Setites, as creatures of the most ancient darkness, have a severe allergy to bright lights of all sorts, and sunlight in particular. Add two health levels to any damage inflicted by exposure to the sun. Followers of Set also subtract one from all dice pools while in overly bright light (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 - the clan takes a Darwinian approach even among its own ranks. 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 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 powerful 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.