Path of Honorable Accord

In a world rife with corruption, malevolence and insanity, some vampires find direction through a firm and unyielding code of personal conduct. These vampires do not delve into philosophical questions or existence or wanton indulgence of their monstrous sides. Instead, they focus upon one singlular principle: honor. Order, fairness, and duty are the watchwords of these undead, and though still monstrous, they abide by standards of conduct that are rigidly understandable.

To a follower of this Path, unlife must be given direction and purpose. These vampires choose honor as their guiding hand. By focusing on firm rules and personal boundaries, the Knights keep the rage of the Beast at bay. Accepting a duty and fulfilling its obligations then provides the Knights with goals to achieve. Bound by their codes of honor, these vampires uphold causes with the utmost devotion, even to the ends of their own unlives.

Make no mistake; the vampires who follow this Path are not compassionate or humane in any sense of the word. Indeed, they see humans as little more than chattel or food, and undeserving of the considerations of honor that are bestowed upon other vampires. Even so, a Knight will never willingly break her given word or renege on an agreement, as doing so would be a disgrace to personal honor. The subject of commitment matters little to a follower of this Path: It is the strength of the commitment and the unyielding determination that is important.

Many of the beliefs of the followers of this Path mirror the feudal codes of chivalry or the bushido of the samurai. Knights gladly suffer Final Death before showing cowardice or betraying their allies. Similarly, this Path's soldiers uphold the policies of their sects and organizations with fanatical zeal. Pitted against an unyielding or recalcitrant foe, a solitary Knight is a fatalistic and deadly warrior — a group of them makes for an army that fears not death.

History

The Path of Honorable Accord grew out of bygone nights, as vampires of the Dark Ages grappled with the problems of human mortality by finding a harsh and unyielding code of conduct to replace the ethics of mankind. Although the original chivalric precepts upon which this Path bases itself fell out of use by the Renaissance, some members of the Sabbat adopted similar philosophies, and the Path adopted the Code of Milan after the first Sabbat civil war. Sabbat followers of the Path turned their loyalty to the idealism of the sect and the letter of the Code, in the process acquiring the moniker "followers of the Code."

As the Sabbat weathered internal schisms in the 1800s and 1900s, the followers of this Path provided the strongest support for the sect. Bound by loyalty to the ideals of the Sabbat, combined with a strong sense of duty and honor, they fought to uphold the unity of the sect even during the most chaotic times. Guiding by example, even the Loyalists among the Knights fought for the common vision of vampiric freedom from Antediluvian shackles, and they defended the rights of other Sabbat to pursue heir own means of advancing this goal.

Now, the Path of Honorable Accord forms the backbone of the Sabbat. The dedicated Knights are the core of the sect, serving the ideals of the Sabbat with inhuman devotion. As the Sabbat calls upon a more militaristic role, new recruits are often indoctrinated into this Path, becoming champions in an unholy crusade.

Description Of Followers

Followers of the Path of Honorable Accord have always placed a high value on ritual and ceremony. The Sabbat's Knights therefore always participate in War Parties, ritae, ceremonies, and other pack events. As a whole, the followers of the Path seek to knit together the disparate factions of the sect under the common banner of loyalty to a cause. Although alternately ignored or derided by followers of other Paths, the Knights are a stern example of the best qualities of any Sabbat, and they cannot be faulted by their brethren. Knights do not often take leadership positions (as they find the political duplicity appalling), though they are at the forefront of many battles, showing courage and discipline unmatched by any other soldiers among the undead.

Knights are by turns cold and aloof, yet honorable and trustworthy. A Knight never goes back on her word and always honors her agreements. She does not shirk on her duty or flee from battle. Still, she is far from humane: The Knight sees humans as a resource, just as another warrior might see a fine warhorse as admirable but far from an equitable associate. Many of this Path's followers display a grim and taciturn image, but the Knights are capable of humor and jovialty — they simply find that duty outweighs personal gratification.

The vast majority of this Path's followers are of Ventrue antitribu and Salubri antitribu blood, but a fair number of Nosferatu antitribu, traditionalistic Tzimisce, and even reasonably lucid Malkavian antitribu study this Path. Panders who serve the ideals of the sabbat (instead of crusading for personal advancement) espouse this Path as well. A rare few Camarilla Elders, primarily Ventrue, hold on to the precepts of this Path from their nights of vampiric, medieval chivalry.

A follower of the Path of Honorable Accord must always keep honor foremost in her mind. A Knight cannot act rashly or in haste; she must always be aware of the nature and consequences of her actions. The devout student of this Path must hold onto courage and discipline at all times while she seeks to dispence justice and fairness. The true Knight fights and dies, for her cause.

Common Abilities: Knights study Brawl, Dodge, and Melee, as they consider personal combat a most honorable pastime. Expression and Leadership are valued assets, as the Knight is often called upon to mediate disputes fairly. Similarly, Investigation and Law can help to discern truth and justice.

Preferred Disciplines: Fortitude and Presence are considered the epitome of the Knightly way; these vampires are stalwart in defense and eloquent in discourse. Since so many Knights follow a martial destiny in the turbulent modern nights, Potence is fairly common as well. The Salubri antitribu of the sect also develop the puissant abilities of Valeren.

Virtues: The Path of Honorable Accord espouses the virtues of Conscience (although the Knights do not experience remorse in the sense of human morality) and Self-Control.

Nickname: Knights

Ethics
Always keep your word and honor your agreements.
Never show cowardice. Overcome your fears.
Duty comes before personal matters.
Treat fairly and equitably with those of station. Conversely,the dishonorable are beneath your contempt.
Always repay your debts.
Support your comrades-at-arms in all things, except where they counsel treachery.

Hierarchy of Sins
10 Failing to uphold all the precepts of your group. True duty to a cause requires sterling character.
9 Failing to show hospitality to your allies. Hospitality and generosity are the wealth of the soul.
8 Associating with the dishonorable. Serve as an example, but do not be dragged into the pettiness of the ignoble.
7 Failing to participate in your groups' rites. Tradition and ritual are important parts of heritage.
6 Disobeying your leader. Loyalty is the keystone of hierarchy.
5 Failing to protect your allies. Defend those who are worthy of your esteem.
4 Placing personal concerns over duty. Duty is the vampire's purpose.
3 Showing cowardice. Honor lies in fighting for a cause, not in fleeing it.
2 Killing without reason. Life and death are God's will, not individual Cainites'.
1 Breaking your word or oath; failing to honor an agreement. To break one's oath is to be without the honor that defines existence.