Path of the Scorched Heart

Basic Beliefs

The Path of the Scorched Heart seeks to reject the Beast utterly by emphasizing logical thought, cold observation and rational existence. Strong emotion is of the Beast, and such an inner demon is the antithesis of rational thought. The Beast can therefore be opposed and ultimately beaten into submission by refusing to indulge in its emotional and intellectual weaknesses.

Love, affection, trust - these are all ways by which the Beast can enter. Hate, rage, frustration - these are all passions on which the Beast feeds. By rejecting them, one forces the Beast to sleep. Thus, by stepping beyond the normal interaction of humanity and vampires, followers of this path may stay the hunger inside. With no ties of love, there can be no emotional frenzy. With no irrational enmity, there can be no hate.

But this path is not merely about rejecting the Beast. It's about the pursuit of truth. The world is ultimately definable. Ambiguities and falsity are products of emotion and wishful-thinking. No, the followers of this path say, by shutting out the Beast, the soul is open to the truth. By following such truth, reality can be understood and quantified.

In many ways, this attempt to stand against the feints and illusions of the Jyhad has made followers of this path invaluable to certain factions of that very struggle. After all, vampires lie. Histories, motives and thoughts can all be clouded by the Beast and manipulated by enemies. Free of the Beast and beyond the weaknesses that make other vampires easy dupes, adherents of the Path of the Scorched Heart can be relied on to provide as rational and factual an analysis as possible. Only a minority of Kindred have ever heard of the unforgiving, and even fewer would ever approach the path's advocates. The observations that members offer can cut through one vampire's self-delusions as effectively as another's lies.

Those few Cainites who claim to be the "true" Children of Troile developed this path. Some say the Brujah Antediluvian himself developed the calling as he meditated to find a way to calm his raging anger and lust. Caine cursed the clan founder, stoking the raging Beast inside Brujah's soul. Once, he had been possessed of a fierce intellect and a poet's heart. Now his intellect warred with the Beast. There could be no more pointed questions, no more philosophical musings. The only salvation lay in forcing those emotions away. Only the "true" heirs of Brujah's legacy, the unforgiving claim, seek the same salvation in logic.

Followers of this path do no proselytize. Right and wrong are atavistic emotional concepts, dead holdovers from the living world. Morality is merely an impediment, a conduit for emotion, and not an effective way of finding truth. This is not to say that devotees have no ethics; they do. They do act when necessary. Otherwise they know that they should wait, investigate and find out all the facts, and only then decide what course to take. When threatebed, the unforgiving are swift and merciless.

Those of the Scorched Heart prize near-perfect or eidetic memory. When selecting potential candidates for the path, they look for superb listeners, scientists and others who value knowledge.

Hierarchy of Sins

Rating Moral Guideline
10 Making assumptions.
9 Relying on others.
8 Destroying another on the path.
7 Passing up an opportunity to acquire a new Discipline or knowledge.
6 Not killing a destructive mortal or vampire.
5 Killing a mortal for any reason beyond fulfilling the victim's destiny.
4 Killing an innocent mortal
3 Failing to frenzy or Rotschreck.
2 Emotional outbursts.
1 Making decisions based on emotion.

Ethics of the Path

  • Do not feel emotion. Emotion is itself the Beast. Do not love; it makes one vulnerable. Do not hate. Reject anger. It is the Beast's way.
  • Trust only what you can verify.
  • Secrets are currency. Knowledge is power and the way to truth. Seek all ecrets incessantly. Finding solutions to even seemingly trivial secrets makes for useful mental exercise.
  • Trust no one. If alliances must be made, know all that can be learned about would be allies.
  • Do not kill mortals unnecessarily. Survival is essential, but mortals are free of the Beast, and therefore must be allowed to live.
  • Make no precipitous action and know when action is required. When action is required, act decisively.

Description of Followers

Adherents are observant, quiet and somewhat passive. This seeming docility does not mean they are helpless; they simply are not prone to extravagence or hasty action. The path has a few followers in the Sabbat Black Hand and at least one Ventrue elder subscribes to its tenents.

Nickname: Unforgiving.

Following the Path

One of the unforgiving is withdrawn and non-confrontational. She sees no benefit in blatant displays of emotion, and little use for argumentative debate. If presented with a contrary (and by unforgiving standards, false) argument, a follower seeks to quietly offer the factual position and merely ignores anyone stubborn enough to continue to believe otherwise. But one thing that followers always do is observe.

Virtues: The Path of the Scorched Heart uses Conviction and Self-Control.
Common Abilities: The unforgiving prize high Alertness scores, as well as Investigation, Linguistics and perhaps Occult. Those who follow the path typically strive to hone their inherent Attributes and develop their Knowledges. Most unforgiving characters have high scores in Academics and Lore.
Preferred Disciplines: Auspex is prized for the greater awareness it offers. If Animalism is used intelligently, it can be a source of knowledge - and defense. Physical Disciplines such as Fortidude and Potence are studied, too. The unforgiving may be observers, but they must be capable of self-defense.