History"It may be that the stars of heaven appear fair and pure simply because they are so far away from us, and we know nothing of their private life."
-- Heine, The Romantic School, 1853
- Ba'ali - The Ba'ali Bloodline revised
- History - Legends of the Ba'ali
- Cults - The organisation of the Ba'ali
- The Descended - Infamous Ba'ali
- Wicked ways - Traits & Paths of Twisted Enlightenment
- Stereotypes - Ba'ali views on their foes
- Itzcoatl - A Ba'ali corrupted Setite Bloodline
- Chatiphata - A Revenant Family of the Ba'ali
- Shi'lat - A Revenant Family of the Ba'ali
Legends of the Ba'ali
Bliss was it to be alive in that dawn, but to be young was heaven
In the world before man, when the realms were fluid and ran together as one world, Gods walked. Like everything in creation, these entities were spawned by the void, in many ways they were the void. The Primal chaos divided, echoing the nature of all cells, of all life, and new creatures were born. Some of these entities divided again and again, becoming spirits and Daemons, while a few retained their energies and ruled as Gods.
Those who remember this time have a dearth of names for the children of the Void, the Occultists call them Daevin while in Indian mythology they were named the Div. Unfortunately the worlds could not retain their plasticity and as the Gods created children of their own from the available elements and moulded amoeba into animals, intelligence was born amid the apes. These Mortals sought to understand their magical world and by this act, sundered the physical world from the spiritual realm.
Slowly the Mythic age ended and the Children of the Void had to take refuge. The world of reason could not house them, and those who remained were greatly weakened so most fled. They took shelter in the Umbral realms, most notably in the Dreaming, in Empyrean (Heaven) or in Hell, or they fled beyond the star, some were trapped in the spaced between the worlds. Those Voidlings who did not split and create more of themselves became the greatest Gods. They attracted lesser Children of the void to them and these Angels or demons were able to interact with the world of man.
Each of these Gods had their favourites and the worship of their faithful gave them power. Behind the scenes, battles were fought and sometimes a god was denied its worship and was lost, often being reabsorbed by the Void or by its enemies. Over the history of the world the most powerful Gods got to shape reality and their worshippers got to write History by dint of superiority. Creation myths became the truth as the power of the Void, the Weig of the universe, became rationed and possibilities contracted.
Now with the benefit of scientific hindsight, myths have no reality in our world and only the laws of geology and evolution hold water. Those creatures who did not become part of our consensual realty find it difficult to exist in the mortal realm and only those who Void energy is slight can survive for protracted periods of time here. Those entities of the dominant reality, the ordered creatures of Judeo-Christian mythology, the natural Children of Gaia or the heterogeneous cultures of the East can exist in the mortal realm but the creatures of wild existence need to balance their own realities with those that set the rules on earth. They must mutate to survive. For the same reason, magical natures suffer in the cold light of reason and even the Gods are unable to exist fully in the physical realm of science. The Void no longer fits into this reality and those who are more Void and less matter cannot cross the seals into our space. Gods such as Shiva, Ba'al, Jehovah, the Triat, Lucifer, the Celestial hierarchy or the Demon king Ahrimane have to send their servants, creatures of lower Void energy, to act in their stead.
Shaitan was born in 4520 BC as a slave in what the Kindred now refer to as the Second City. Beautiful beyond comparison, his beauty alone elevated him in rank as a favoured servant of Ashur. Shaitan was the second to be embraced by Ashur, and was incorrigible.
The die was cast for Shaitan the Baali long before he was even born. As a slave, even a favoured one, Shaitan was raised with certain undeniable thought processes. He was conditioned to accept the stations of master and servant and even in his incorrigible ways was simply trying to impress his 'master' rather than to snub their dominion over him. Later treatments and the discovery that his beauty allowed him greater leeway opened up his mind to the possibilities of power, even if it was the power that came from being top servant and not top master.
It is well documented that Ashur's City was the scene of inhuman debauchery and foul celebrations. Ashur itself had been thrown out of her Clan for her treachery and by the time Enkidu climbed the Ziggurat she/he was a foul and bloated monstrosity warped by its appetites and practices. Into the early days of this environment Shaitan was brought and shown adoration and love. When such a spoiled child was reprimanded not by his sire but by the other vampires it needs little imagination to see how he would react.
Ba'ali and Gangrel
Not long after his embrace, Shaitan left the city and traveled to the east, through Mesopotamia and into the lands of Kala-at-Sherghat. While on this journey, he learned much of the strange Eastern philosophies, refining Disciplines that had never existed before. These he taught to the fellow Childer of Ashur, all save for Gangrel, whom he loathed. Gangrel took this slight personaly, and pointed out to Ashur that Shaitan had been twisted by consorting with the Children of Lilith, a direct breach of Caine's commandments. Word of this soon passed among all of the Kindred in the Second City, and, against Ashur's will, Shaitan and his followers were banished.
Here we see the reason that later writers and lazy scholars laid the creation at the feet of Saulot. Like Shaitan, the founder of the doomed Salubri travelled to the east in an attempt to learn greater powers, but unlike Shaitan he reportedly failed in that quest. Kindred scholars have compounded the confusion by assigning all mentions of Cainites in the east to Saulot, but east of the second city stood lands still replete with kindred. India spawned the Ravnos, source of both the Gangrel and the Baali and it is highly likely that tales told by Ashur-called-Ennoia about her sire tempted Shaitan's devious mind. If the Baali founder ever did reach as far as the lands of the Wan Kuei, the ten thousand Demons, it would explain much of his meteoric rise in power and influence. That being said he did certainly study the philosophies of the Mesopotamians and consorted with the Gods and Demons of that land.
Shaitan had a flair for accessing the faculties of his Blood and by combining Lilith's gifts with other demonic transmutations he manifested powers no other Vampire has yet managed to duplicate. Stranger still he evidenced the power of Chimestry still almost exclusively limited to the Ravnos. Not even his sire, the Childe of Ravnos, has ever been able to grasp the most basic aspect of the blood illusion and these trinkets of information point to just how attractive an alliance with this Vampire must have been.
The very fact that Shaitan taught his new powers to the other childer of Ashur, powerful Methuselah such as Anath, Moloch, Crom, Nergal and Amriat, pointed to an evangelical or perhaps messianic nature in the Vampire who was undoubtedly a powerful catalyst for change and evolution among the undead. Similarly his loathing of his brother Gangrel was the catalyst for the creation of the Clan named for him. Had the two got on better the Baali may well have been the thirteenth Clan as those who went on to become Clan Gangrel would not have followed a divergent path.
The crimes of the Baali were great, they had broken Caines law and thus were banished. Our own judgement of the Baali is however less set in stone. If we take the view of the Antediluvians and the Methuselah, totally tied to these laws, then the Baali seem as despicable agents of Evil. If, on the other hand, we look at their actions from a wider perspective, seeing the vast array of Gods, Spirits, Lords and masters, the crimes of the Baali suffer from the usual slant of being reported by the victor rather than an independent party.
Shaitan went East again, and soon built a city of his own in Kala-at-Sherghat, following his own rules and conquering many surrounding lands. Then Shaitan met Baal, a powerful, greedy Demon willing to teach the Vampire new tricks. Shaitan swore fealty to Baal, feeling that he had been mistreated by his own kind and willing to serve another to get revenge.
The meeting between Shaitan and Baal was such a turning point in the world of darkness and yet it appears in none of the annals or texts. The book of Nod and its ilk make no mention of this act because Shaitan told no one about it. What little he did tell his associates was misleading enough to give birth to the various creation myths of the Baali and a hundred different legends to boot. Having already eclipsed his vampiric sire, the beautiful slave boy was desperately looking for a worthy master and Baal fulfilled that role admirably. Where Shaitan found a Lord worthy of following, the Demon found a mortal worthy of patronage and the fate of the world was sealed.
At Baal's command, Shaitan expanded his nation even further, starting great sacrafices to Baal's glory and forcing many of the smaller tribes into slavery. Perhaps he would have continued ruling the area for all time, but the second city fell, and with its fall, it brought a flood of other Kindred into the area. By the time the other Kindred arrived, Shaitans rule was well established, and he and his bretheren were treated as Gods by the people in the area. Although he still made sacrifices to Baal, the Demon had long since left the area. Shaitan had no support when the Ashurians, Assamites and Brujah came to the area and decided to make it their own.
Kala-at-Sherghat probably lay beyond the eastern edge of Mesopotamia, somewhere in Modern day Iraq, maybe on the border with Iran where the Persian empire would one day arise. Others believe the Baali kingdom stood at the foot of the Zard Kuh mountains at the edge of the Lut desert but other aspects of the Baali history make this an unlikely proposition.
It is unknown exactly how long the City of the Baali stood, no mention is made about how quickly Gangrel restocked the forces of the Ashurians, or even how many childer he already had. However given that we can place the fall of the second city circa 1700 BC and we know Shaitan was embraced in 4500 BC we have a window of 2800 years to work with. A conservative estimate might allow Shaitan 300 to 800 years in which to develop his skills, travel the lands in the east and eventually fall foul of Gangrel's tale telling. This guesstimate recons the life of the Baali city at around 2000 to 2500 years before the end came. With all of Ennoia's other Childer exiled the Ziggurat must have been a melancholy place for quite a period of time. For the outcasts who would become the Baali life was good.
The earliest servants of the Baali were the nomadic tribes of Kala-at-Sherghat and highest among these were the Chatiphata who survived to become one of the Ba'ali revenant families. The Chatiphata excelled at raiding villages and capturing slaves to bolster the Baali forces, quickening their domination of the kingdom. A period of expansion and conquest spread Baali power into the surrounding lands and the slaves they captured in these raids were often sacrificed to Baal. In a practice Shaitan would repeat centuries later in Mesoamerica, the need for victims drove the war machine and much of the Baali's mortal subjects were involved in the armies and warrior castes, or in supporting these institutions. Within a few short years the Baali could field mortal armies so large that the lands around trembled with fear. Great clouds of dust erupted from the city and marked the passage of the slavers and their armies.
At its zenith Kala-at-Sherghat collected tithes and tributes from miles around and was a city of exuberant splendour. The schools of Dark magic attracted pupils from across the known world and the trade in humans reached almost as far a field. The festivities put on by the Shi'lat outreached anything planned by other Ghoul seneschal, and even the slaves would look forward to celebrations and feast days under the cruel yoke of the Baali. The glory of Shaitan's city could never last and when rumours of its magnificence reached the refugees from the second city they flocked to its walls.
The Baali, as Shaitan and his brethren had taken to calling themselves, were few in number and had remained this way. The majority of newly-Embraced Kindred were ritually slaughtered for thier blood, thier hearts given over to Baal. The Brujah and Assamite forces, along with the Ashurians, overthrew them with ease - perhaps too much ease. The Baali were destroyed, down to the last one ... or so it seemed.
At last Gangrel's plan for revenge came to fruition. Guided by his scouts the Cainites descended on Kala-at-Sherghat and set about the obliteration of what they thought were the renegade Diaboloists. No legends tell of Ashur's part in the conflict, or how Shaitan's sire felt about the destruction of the Ba'ali. Most likely she/he/it was wise enough not to support her degraded Childer, Ashur probbaly denied being thier sire. Apart from self preservation, Ashurs actions might be explained by the fact that the Ventrue Tanit, one of Shaitan's many lovers, stole several cults if Ashurs worshippers for her own and no Antedeluvian is fond of sharing power.
The battle was short and one sided and when it ended the victors settled into their new city to celebrate. They quickly took over the vassalage of the Mortals; thoughtless of how ingrained the Baali's infernal practices were with them. Over the years these mortals became the invaders thralls, ghouls and even their childer and like a virus the Baali entered the Cainite mainstream via their pre-programmed slaves.
In truth, Baal had warned Shaitan and his fellows of the danger that was comming from the West, and they had vacated the area, leaving demonically-altered childer behind to be sacrificed in thier stead.
Kala-at-Sherghat fell circa 1700 BC, but Shaitan did not leave for the new world until sometime around 1200 BC, he remained in the middle east for a further 500 years past the fall of his Kingdom. Guided by Ba'al, Shaitan spent these centuries creating proxies, dupes and lieutenants. He spoke to Nergal in fever Dreams and led his short sighted brother to the sleeping form of the Decani Lord Namtaru while influencing Moloch in his creeping schemes. He corrupted small priesthoods and mystery cults, inserting his childer within such groups to form what would one day become the Unholy Orders and not all of these creations were created to last. From time to time the Clans believed they had rooted out nests of Ba'ali and obliterated them before returning to their Havens and reducing their vigilance.
New Masters ...
The Baali scattered to the four corners of the earth; each of the 13 eldest took a number of their get with them and began setting new goals for their plans of vengeance and power. Baal's warning was taken to heart, and the Baali learned the art of subtlety. No longer conquering any area and claiming dominion, they chose false names instead, often those of preexisting Gods. In the guise of these local Gods, the Baali guided the hands of thier worshippers and grew in power.
After the fall the forces of the Baali split and then went to ground. Shaitan took his current lovers, Pidray and Hannibaal, with him whilst Anath and Tanit travelled to the lands beside the Nile, others began to fight for dominance of the Bloodline. The greatest division was between the Methuselah Nergal and Moloch, the fevered Plague bearer and the cold master of corruption and revenge. Nergal built his city of Mashkan-shapir on the banks of the river Tigris, north of Galilee. His choice of location was far from accidental; he built his centre of power in a spot where his research reported a Plague Demon called Namtaru, slept.
Those Baali not directly involved in this power struggle gravitated to their own cults and orders, depending on their personal beliefs. Many of the higher generation joined cults of the destroyer, whether they be devoted to Anath or simple servitors of destruction for its own sake. Others became more spiritual in their Infernalism and created cults known collectively as the Mysteries and the celestials.
Nergal's city of Mashkan-shapir was rocked by the plagues he released and eventually the other Clans, secretly aided by Moloch, rose to destroy his Hive. In the end it was only the Elders of the Lasombra who possessed the forces capable of assorting Nergal's inner sanctum and their abyssal force swept what they believed to be Nergal into the darkness. The Clans raised the city to the ground but the Baali's existence had now been revealed to the Nations of Caine for all time. Nergal and his fellow Baali were destroyed, the mortal populace who did not die from disease or were slaughter by the invaders scattered to the winds taking the D'habi Ghoul family with them.
Anath takes a direct hand in the rise of Egypt's 19th Dynasty, lending her support to Horemheb's ascension after the disaster that was the 18th dynasty of mad Akhenaten and his son Tutankhamun. When Horemheb died without issue Anath places her Thrall Ramesses on the Throne. Allowing the seductive Tanit to keep Sutekh from interfearing she ploughs her resources into the rulership of the next Pharaoh Sety I, and uses this pawn to defeat the Hittites who collectively earn the Ba'ali's special hatred. Sety I recaptures much of Egypt's empire and when he is succeeded by his son Ramesses II in 1279 BC the Land is at its height once more.
Ramesses II openly declares Anat his patron and builds great works in her honour, conquering many lands and fathering countless children in recognition of her state as goddess of war and Fertility. After Ramesses dies, the relationship between Anath and Tanit sours to the extent where the Ashurain all but abandons her chosen dynasty to its fate in favour of countering her schemes. After the death of Ramesses son Merenptah the 19th dynasty flouders and declines for 17 years before eventually ending in 1186 BC. During these years Tanit encourages invaders from the North to attack Par-bast while she keeps Sutekh so busy in the bed chamber that he decides that with the weakened state of his Empire he cannot afford to risk its troops on such a worthless city and thus the werecats are decemated. The resulting rise in Wererats causes a food shortage that plunges the kingdom into chaos once more.
With the rise of the 20th Dynasty, Anath once again tries to build for herself a powerful warrior kingdom. Ramesses the III is seen by his subjects and by later historians as the last of the warrior kings was in fact never victorious in ending the continued raids from Libya.
The pharaoh struggled to maintain Order and relied heavily upon his (Ba'ali sponsored) magicians, yet was dangerously indecisive at home. He was reluctant to name which of his wives was his chief wife and thus legitimise his heir. The Court of Ramesses III was rife with strong females, the Veil of Isis fought subtle and machiavellian battles with the Priestesses of Sutekh and, unbeknown to them, Ba'ali Cultists. When Ramesses III was killed by members of his own harem, Anath's pawns were beaten to the crown by the Cult of Isis. The Cult of Isis rose to power once more in the kingdom and Anath decided she held no desires to remain and fight, finding the company of her former friend Tanit distasteful. She leaves Egypt and the Followers of Set sometime around 1150 BC for lands unknown.
THE NEW WORLD
Shaitan began a long voyage across the ocean to reach the North American continent. From the time of the Olmecs (1200 - 200 BC) through the times of the Toltecs, the Mayans and all of the Aztec Empire's history, Shaitan was there, often guiding subtly through retainers and taking a direct hand in the battles for supremacy. Other Kindred came to the area, ignorant of Shaitan's presence; these interlopering Kindred were either driven away, corrupted into service or destroyed.
As the power of the Aztecs grew, so grew the power their Gods as well. Above them all stood Huitzilopoctli, often allowing the other Gods greater glory and credit, but always driving the Aztecs further and further in search of food for themselves and blood sacrafices for their deities. Many of the deities of the peoples conqured by the Aztec Nation were adopted into the Aztecs' own beliefs.
In Mesoamerica Shaitan found a land almost devoid of the Clans. The only native Vampires were the Ahua Can, a Setite Bloodline who had become overly comfortable as the Gods of the Amerindian tribes. Having learnt his lessons in Kala-at-Sherghat, Shaitan restrained his urges to create new Childer, knowing that such an act would invite disaster and destruction. Instead the Ba'ali founder began to study the Vampires with whom he shared the south American night. For a millennia and a half he did nothing to reveal his prescience to these Cainites. He simply watched the Olmec and the epiOlmec peoples grow, and noted how the 'Gods of the Night' ruled their peoples.
Hidden from sight by the Black rocks of this land Shaitan retreated from the world. He sent his Childer and companion, Pidray, to the North and commanded her to scout out the lands, and withdrew into the earth. Deep within the darkest caverns, the Lord of the Ba'ali communed with his God and perfected his powers. He visited the realms of the Infernal and was tutored in the Infernal hierarchy. Exposure to the Void and the malign powers it spawned warped the Vampire Shaitan into the Demon Shaitan and he evolved into something new. Saulot, Tremere, Tzimisce, Cappadocious and Giovanni, Shaitan eclipsed them all, he was no longer a Vampire and his form matched his new powers.
Slowly as the Maya people began to eclipse the Olmec during the third century AD he feels confident enough for an opening gambit. Shaitan begins to seduce members of the Ahua Can with promises of power. He poses as a Mayan war God and uses the name Ah Cun Can, the snake charmer. Discovering that the preponderance of Volcanic Rock in the area enhanched his Infernal powers, the deceiver never appeared in person. After eons of evolution in the South American continent and limited access to other Cainites, the Ahua can simply did not have the distrust of their peers common to Vampires in the Old World.
Around 500 AD Ixchel awakens from Torpor to lead her children and their followers away from the Toltec from the city of Teotihuacan and into Chichen Itza. The founder of the Ahua Can bloodline had sensed the Ba'ali Methuselah with her heightened awareness and had dragged her mind from its astral wanderings to combat the new enemy. Moving the core of her bloodline and her Mortal followers to an area of spiritual power, Ixchel reduced Shaitan's powers by a vast amount before returning to her Torpor.
Not until the end of the first Millennium AD did the corrupted Ahua Can make their presence known. These Vampires and their Toltec tribes attacked the city of Chichen Itza. They wanted the thrones of their sires and the whispers of Ah Cun Can had goaded them into action. Their Dark God had introduced the Ahua Can to the thirst for diablerie. Although this patricide failed, the decline of the Ahua Can dominance in the region was assured. The Elder Ahua Can took control of the Toltec tribes from their disloyal childer and placed newly Embraced Childer in their place.
Shaitan was pleased with the result. He had singled out the weakest link in the Ahua can, Tlaloc, and over time he would corrupt this Vampire and his line to the service of Ba'al. For the next century Shaitan began to put the final touches to his own tribe, the Aztec. Shaitan's Childer Pidray, the only one of his children he had taken with him, returned from her travels to the North with news of this Tribe and for the longest time both Ba'ali had groomed these natives to be the next Ba'ali worshippers. These Amerindians worshipped Ba'al as Buluc Chabtan and Shaitan as Huitzilopochtli, their Gods of war, and with his patronage they rose to dominate the Mexican basin and the tribes around it. Slowly the Corrupted Vampires of the Ahua can, now calling themselves the Itzcoatl (Obsidian snakes) joined the Aztec in their city and wallowed in the endless blood rites and sacrifices that Huitzilopochtli instigated there.
While Shaitan took a vast amount of personal satisfaction from the corruption of the Ahua can, his corrupted cult within that Bloodline were not Ba'ali and his patience was not inexhaustible. Eventually he wanted to create more of his own Childer to rule the Night with him and so he began to watch the Aztecs for worthy candidates. In the 13th century Shaitan had Pidray embrace a priest who showed an unparralled delight in the blood letting rituals and from him a new line, the Ah Puch Ba'ali, were spawned in the Americas. The Aztec Priests and wizards worshipped a new God, Texcatlipoca, he caused the Obsidian Mirror to shine. This was Shaitan again. The face he showed his inner cult and face he showed his childer, the Ah puch Ba'ali.
In Matthew 11:21 and Luke 10:13 the city (Chorazin) is denounced by Jesus for its rejecting of his message, although it had witnessed his miracles. "Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida!" Jesus exclaims. This is the only Biblical context in which the city is named.
Unique features include the stonework, walls, columns, and ornamentation, fashioned of black basalt rock. The interior was decorated with floral, geometrical, and anthropoid images. Also inside the so called "Throne of Moses" was discovered. This basalt monument is thought to have been used by Nergal when preaching to his diseased flock.
As the third Century BC began Nergal returned from his hiding place (some illiterate Ba'ali scholars place this event at the start of the second millennia BC, before the Ba'ali even left Kala-at-Sherghat). Always one to ride to power upon the coat tails of others he pretended to be Shaitan himself and attracted many Baali to his side. With his new cult he returned again the tomb of Namtaru and built another great city over the ruins of his first capitol. This town, Chorazin (Kerazeh), rested in the hills overlooking Capernum, at the northern end of the Sea of Galilee and to the west of the Jordan River.
An interesting tradition related to Chorazin holds that this city would be the birthplace of the Anti-Christ. The inhabitants' pride in this tradition may have evoked the curse of Jesus. Whatever the later tales recount, Chorazin eventually allowed Nergal to unearth the sleeping Demon who he immediately moved to the island of Crete.
The fanciful legends of Ba'ali from the Dark ages has Nergal building a labyrinth at Knossos where he set about awakened Namtaru. In this story the Clans united to destroy the evil of the Ba'ali, an event unthinkable at any time unless it involved conquest for gain, and wiped out the island civilization of Crete. Apparently they used ancient powers to cause the island of Thera to belch a cataclysm, earthquakes, titanic waves, a storm of ash, and a torrent of liquid fire claimed Knossos, burying both Demon and Thrall beneath the ruins of Knossos.
While the uneducated dupes at the lowest levels of the Clan tried to merge myths of their own creation to half remembered tales from the Greco-Roman tradition, the height of Minoan civilization and the labyrinth at Knossos were destroyed sometime around 1450 BC by fire, not long after Kala-at-Sherghat fell and long before Chorazin even began to flourish. Scraps of legend do attest to the fact that many of the Orphaned Ba'ali cast adrift when Nergal's first city fell made thier Havens in crete, but none of the Dread lords settled there while it ruled the Aegean. If a co-alition of the Clans did use some God-like power to destroy Knossos, causing Thera to erupt, it was certainly nothing whatsoever to do with the presence of the Ba'ali.
In 1939 a Greek archaeologist, thrall to a Ba'ali searching for Nergal's legacy, suggested that the eruption on Thera had led to the collapse of the Minoan civilization; his theory was widely accepted. During the 1980s, however, archaeologists found evidence that Minoan culture continued to flourish for some time after the eruption. Archaeological evidence also indicated that the amounts of ash from the eruption that fell on Crete were not enough to cause significant damage to crops or buildings.
Crete fascinated the Greeks as a source of myths, legends, and laws but by the time Nergal supposedly fled there with Namtaru it was in decline. Nergal may well have found haven within the ruins of Knossos, now reduced to the status of a mere town, but he certainly had no influence during its heyday. Knossos continued to be inhabited through the subsequent centuries, though on a much-reduced scale and what ever fate did befall Nergal and his Plague demon probably came from within the Ba'ali itself. By the time the Romans appeared and completed their conquest of Crete by converting it into Cyrenaica, a province linked with North Africa in 67 BC Nergal was long gone and so was his rival Moloch. In AD 395 the island passed to Byzantium, and the Arabs gained control over parts of Crete after 824 but lost them back to the Byzantines in 961. The Orphaned Ba'ali who had followed Nergal gained limited power in the Eastern Empire but in 1204, in the aftermath of the Fourth Crusade, crusaders sold the island to Venice, and the Ba'ali gave up worshipping there.
The Old World
Moloch settled in the Mediterranean, among Phoenician ports such as Tyre and Sidon from where he could cast his subtle net of intrigue over the east/west trade routes and watch the new empires of Greece and Rome rise and fall. He eventually tired of these cities and the Ba'ali left confused and directionless by the disappearance of Nergal-called-Shaitan. He turned his eyes to the West and the Brujah paradise of Carthage. The Scholars welcomed the gifts the Ba'ali brought and secretly petitioned Moloch's cult for aid. Moloch rose to become the God Ba'al-Hammon and was worshipped by foul rites the Brujah learned to ignore. While this event was a long time after Troile diableriezed her own sire, Ba'ali of Moloch's line spread myths that it was their lord who corrupted the founder of the modern Philosophers Clan. That being said, Moloch did play a major part in the last days of Carthage, becoming a lover of Troile and ending his unlife beneath her ruins as Rome's armies sacked the city in the second century BC.
AGE OF EMPIRES
Devoid of strong leadership, the Ba'ali diluted and many were embraced in ignorance of the Founders teachings. Spreading West into Rome and then beyond across the Empire they came to the attention of new customs to subvert and new religions to corrupt. To the East, in the lands of their birth, the weight of Faithful mortals and other Vampires the Ba'ali numbers were restricted but they still survived. With the rise of Christianity the Ba'ali learned how to cause discord from a greater distance and they insinuated themselves within the Church.
Towards the end of the fourth century Baali from the crumbling Roman Empire began to quantify the Bloodline and to organise its goals, orders developed from their strict classifications and served as the basis for the western Clan for the next thousand years or more. Using the language of the Church these orders; the Seminatrices Malorum, the Vasa Iniquitatis, the Ultores Scelorum, the Tentatores Maligeni, the Spiritus Mendaciorum, the Pseudothei, the Praestigiatores and the Apostatae, came into being and each evolved as a separate and prescript unit. With their talons wrapped so tightly around the heart of Western doctrine the Ba'ali began to resemble that which fought the hardest against them.
In the Eastern Empire, from Byzantium to Jerusalem, the Ba'ali enjoyed the full scope of their natures. The decadent and heretic Orthodox faith was closer to the kingdoms of old and Shaitan's childer was patronized by the eastern princes of Constantinople, Asia minor and the Occident.
END OF EMPIRE
In 541 Constantinople was rocked by a plague that swept out of Egypt and killed countless mortals from Byzantium to Ireland. The Ba'ali came to learn that the source of this plague was none other than the remaining childer of Nergal. These Ba'ali had followed their father's lead and worshipped the Decani plague demons, practicing rites that awoke these diseased children. Led by Hay-Tau, a childe of Nergal, the Egyptian Ba'ali, bolstered by Setite and Nosferatu converts, spread their corruption of Namtaru via vermin and preternaturally conjured winds. The rise of Islam in the East and fear of discovery in the West severely hampered the Ba'ali's ability to counter their insane brethren, but they did eventually join forces with the Clans to lessen the plagues effect. Their actions were too little too late and if Hay-Tau had not have been a weak Setite thrall the outcome might have been terminal.
After Mohamed and his Vampiric allies took Mecca and captured many Ba'ali together with their Mortal cultists and even worse the majority of corrupted Assamites they learned the depth of Ba'ali influence within their lands and within their very Clan. Furious at the re-emergence of their ancient enemy the Assamite Clan raged through Arabia Felix and the fertile crescent, eliminating the Ba'ali hold over the cities of Baghdad (ancient Babylon), Yathrib, Acre and Sidon.
Religious indignation and the Assamite lust for Blood took the eastern Ba'ali almost to the edge of destruction and ever since then the Bloodline have struggled to regain its foothold in the lands of their birth. Modern Ba'ali, always eager to claim the credit when others fall from grace and for acts of corruption tell tales that the Ba'ali cursed the Assamites with their thirst for Cainite blood, but again this cannot hold water in the face of the facts. The Assamites sought the blood of the Clans long before the fall of the second city and all the Ba'ali really accomplished was to encourage the children of Haqium to venture further from Alamut.
The second great blow handed to the Ba'ali by the Assamites people came from the spread of knowledge and the written word. Carried on the winds of Arabic culture the secrets of Demonology and of the Ba'ali's patrons reached the furthest edges of the known world. Hedge witches and meddling scholars learned the names of the creatures all Ba'ali had guarded so jealously since the earliest times.
In the 11th century Azaneal made an alliance with Lasombra Infernalists in Valencia. Following clues in texts he found, he sought to plumb Chorazins 'living darkness' for the gates to the undercity where Namtaru had once slept. Azaneal and the Angellis ater did indeed discover the gateway to the under city and the tomb of the Decani lord. The cost of this discover was the unlives of his Lasombra allies and the remainder of his cult. The creature that emerged from the ruins of Chorazin was no longer Azaneal, he had been transformed into something so much more by the legacy of Namtaru's dreaming mind. Embracing new cultists, Azaneal went on direct the rise of the Angeliss ater Ba'ali.
In the final decades of the 12th century Azaneal announced his mastery over Chorazin and demanded the Ba'ali unite under his standard. While a large collection of the younger Ba'ali did exactly that, the elders simply ignored him. Azaneal surprised them all and declared war against all those who would not pay him fealty. The Ba'ali erupted into another civil war after Azaneal destroyed several of the already beleaguered nests across the Levant.
THE DARK AGES
Many older Baali have abandoned the Levant for europe or the uncharted east, in an attempt to marshall their forces far from those who know and hunt them. Their home shall always be between the cradling arms of the Tigris and the Euphrates, but such lands are no longer safe for them.
An insane Baali appeared in Toledo in al-Andalusia few years before the fourth Crusade and claimed to be the true Shaitan. He was magister of the Infernal black school, a college dedicated to the dark arts. before his school was smashed he embarked on a fervour of teaching, spreading rituals and the true names of the Demons across Europe and north Africa. This Ba'ali was not the first and defiantly not the last Vampire to claim the mantle of Shaitan and such practices point to one very important fact. While his descendants apparently forgot the Bloodlines founder, the seeds he planted in his lines subconscious bore strange fruit. Whether they simply remembered old legends or if they were haunted by Dreams of the distant father is unclear, but it is certain that Shaitan never truly severed his link with the Ba'ali of old.
THE MIDDLE AGES
THE FINAL NIGHTS
For more than 2,700 years, Shaitan has ruled over the area where Mexico stands today, either in person or by proxy. He still rules over the area - he simply has chosen not to make a public appearance in 400 years.
That changed a few years ago!
The Song of Huitzilopoctli
I have slept for so long, waiting for this moment. The time has come to awaken my beloved siblings, the other masters of the Ba'ali. We are legion, and we have bidden our time for long enough. The world is ripe for the picking; so little love is left, so much hatred and violence. Until Gehenna we were made to suffer, and so Gehenna shall come. At last my brethren will know peace, the peace that only destruction can bring us.
I see them. Beyond the walls of my haven they squabble. Little children playing foolish games. So easily they dance, puppets all …
My Body moves after centuries of immobility; there is no pain, only fluid motion and grace. Great Ba'al, I shall never be able to repay my debt to you, but here at least, I shall make a start.
See them, the tiniest of infants next to me. Can you feel their fealty as clearly as I can? Can you see the tremors that shake their bodies? Let them finish their petty war. I have other matters to attend to. My special children wait below, believing that they are blessed of their God and woefully innocent of any sins worth noticing. They are perfect, 400 pure souls ready to feed you, my master. Great Ba'al accept this offering and know that it is only the first of many. My ruse is at last ended; your pitiful servant, Shaitan, is ready to do your bidding.
- The Chaos factor, White Wolf Publishing
During the Los Dias de Muertos (The Days of the Dead, October the 28th to November the 1st) of 1993 (or whenever this event transpires in your chronicle) a series of events long in the planning came to a catastrophic end in Mexico City. Samuel Haight, the so called Skinner and Garou Nemesis, travelled to the Murder capitol of the world after killing countless werewolves to transform himself into a Garou and to create his own tribe, dealing with Malfean spirits and flirting with the Embrace before raping two mage Chantry's of their power to awaken his own already over taxed soul. He believes he has uncovered a Vampire Antediluvian and that the blood of this sleeping god will grant him even more power than he currently has. Haight's hubris seals his fate and unleashes something far more terrible than a mere Antediluvian upon the world. His headlong rush into oblivion is fuelled by his lust for power and revenge and his eventual attempt to use the magic trapped within a stolen branch from a Verbena world tree results in his complete annihilation and the release of the Aztec war God Huitzilopochtli, alias Shaitan, founder of the Ba'ali.
As is amply demonstrated by Shaitan's awakening prayer to Ba'al (see sidebar) this Methuselah had been neither mentally diminished nor prone to inactivity while he slept. While his presence alone had ensured Mexico continued to manifest the most horrific and inhumane society in the World of Darkness, engendering enough Suffering to satiate not just Shaitan and his followers but also their Infernal lord as well, he had simultaneously bred a small village (Paraiso Vista)of pure untainted mortals that he slaughtered to his Lord in celebration of their renewed reign of terror.
After escaping the various groups of Supernaturals on Haight's trail and sacrificing the people of Paraiso Vista to Ba'al, Shaitan slipped away and sunk below his enemies radar. If any of the witnesses to his preternatural and frenzied awakening survived to report the scene they were surely dismissed out of hand for no one has attempted to investigate their tales. The elders, be they vampire, Garou or any other awakened creed, had come too far to pay attention to the myths of Huitzilopochtli, let alone Ba'al-Shaitan. One might almost agree that they deserve what is coming to them.
It looked as if a night of dark intent
Was coming, and not only a night, an age.
Someone had better be prepared for rage.
There would be more than ocean-water broken
Before God's last Put out the Light was spoken.
- Robert Frost, Once by the Pacific
Shaitan has had almost a decade in which to lay his plans. He has gathered forces and begun to chip away at the Clans dominance. Working through the Ba'ali cults and through favoured Childer such as Hannibaal and Pidray he has begun to draw his bloodline together. His agents have discovered most, if not all, resting places of the Dread lords and those he favours will soon be awoken while others are fed to more loyal children. When Shaitan makes his move it will be with an inner council of truly ancient and powerful Methuselah.
During his time behind the mask of Huitzilopochtli he became obsessed with the Aztecs ability to judge the ages of the world and he now harbours little doubt that the time they estimate for Gehenna is correct. According to the Mayans and the Aztec, the current, final age will end on the 23rd December 2012 and for the Ba'ali this date is the culmination of all their hopes and fears. With less than a decade until Gehenna, the Ba'ali are still in no mad hurry to come out into the open, they are too accustomed to subtlety and creeping tactics and they feel Time is not so short that they need be careless. Prophecies and events foreseen by the Bloodline's seers need to unfold before they are ready to fall upon a weakened world, the Clans need to simmer in the millennial fever of the final nights.