The Shi'lat

A Revenant Ghoul family for the Ba'ali

Nickname: Witches

Background:
Bred from a strong family of darkly aspected Hedge wizards the Shi'lat have grown to become the greatest mortal Demonologists in the World of darkness. While they can never hope to match the Vampires or the mages in power, their skills and knowledges place them at the zenith of mundane sorcerers and Infernalists.

When Hannibaal led Anath's forces against a neighbouring state in a daylight raid, he encountered a young girl with pitch black eyes and hair to match. This girl stood naked in the road and held out her hand to halt the encroaching Ghouls. For a reason he has never been able to explain Hannibaal stayed his hand and asked the girl what she was doing so far outside the city. In return she asked him what he would pay if he could take the township without risking the lives of his army.

Thinking it a joke Hannibaal told her he would pay her with 'all that I now posses' for such a service. His laughter was cut short as the Girl asked if this would include her sisters as well. Hannibaal concurred, much to the amusement of his troops and the girl simply nodded and declared the deal struck before turning to shadow before his eyes and sinking into the west with the setting sun. Disturbed but determined the Commander led his army on towards the township and the siege.

When they arrived they found the town silent and still. Although they had travelled for days and were expecting resistance, they found none. Hannibaal ordered a search and his men came back to report that all the men of the town were dead and he could find no women or children. The town was taken without a struggle and the Baali became richer, all that they lacked were slaves to take home along with the plundered riches from the palaces and temples.

Hannibaal packed his caravans and made to march home, but as he approached the gates his army were met by a similar number of women, most of them with children. At the head of the throng stood the Dark haired girl, a baby on her immature hip.

"The towns defenders were no problem then?" she asked with amusement. "and your lord will be pleased with your riches?"

"he will be now I have so many slaves" Hannibaal roared with glee.

"Not so fast," said she raising a dagger to her throat "you promised me all that you have, did you not, as payment for this service?"

"Are you saying you killed your husbands?"

"poisoned as they sat down to feast" she replied "so what of my price?"

"You'll get no money from me and nothing else but a life of misery" Hannibaal motioned his troops forward.

"I want no money and no power," the girl spat as her sisters brought blades to their own throats "only what you had when we met!" Hannibaal thought of what his lord would do to him if he discovered he allowed an entire flock of slaves to kill themselves.

"which is what little Witch?"

"You had what passes for your freedom, your companions and the satisfaction gained from serving your Lords, we will take the same!"

And so the Shi'lat revenants were born. Shaitan was delighted with the cold hearted sisterhood and the efficiency with which they dealt with his favourite Ghoul and he put them to work satisfying the unnatural lusts of his siblings. Over time the Shi'lat displayed a crafty skill with rituals and celebrations, even the Vampire were impressed with the entertainment. They bred with the male ghouls but slew any male childer before the Baali could get their hands on them. In time Shaitan gave up punishing them for this small quirk, mainly after being particularly satisfied by a trio of Shi'lat in his bed. From then on the Shi'lat have used other mortals to become pregnant but allowed no males into their mysteries. With each successive generation their usefulness to the Baali grew and Hannibaal, now a vampire himself was given plenty of time to appreciate his decision not to slaughter them.

The Shi'lat enjoy a remarkable amount of freedom among the Baali, and many become favoured playthings of the Vampires. Certainly as victims of the Baali whim their lives consist of misery and torture but they are also lavished with gifts and affection when the mood takes their masters. They preside over Baali worship and ritual and ensure that everything their master need for their debauchery and villainy is on hand. They aid in Baali research and act as whores to corrupt important mortals. The Shi'alt are also incredibly skilled hereditory Witches. The taint of the Infernal has ensured that no Shi'lat will ever awaken without an Investment few would wiilingly bargain for, but they are sorceresses of the highest ability. Selective breeding has made them strong, intelligent and most importantly attractive and the Baali for the most prefer to have them around and to reserve their bloodthirsty natures for other mortals.

Traits

Appearance: All Shi'lat are pleasant to look upon and many are beautiful in a dusky and haunting way. Knowing how wise it is to remain appealing they dress provocatively around their masters and lean young the benefits of flirtation and promiscuity.

Family estates: The Shi'lat keep three large estates, each concentrating in a separate field of training, a New Orleans Plantation house renowned for its training in the arts of pleasing the Witches masters (or Mistresses), a 'Nunnery' in London where the Shi'lat are educated in the Occult Arts and retreat in Kurdistan where young Witches can gain the best in further education and even study degrees should the regent desire it. The most promising Shi'lat are often sent to these estates to continue their training if they are destined to fulfil a designated role in the family.

Beyond that the majority of the Shi'lat live either with their regents or more commonly at or close to the Regents place of worship. Whether the regents Cult practice their foul ceremonies in abandoned churches or the underground catacombs of hereditary mansions it falls to the Shi'lat to keep and clean these venues and to ensure they are ready for use. It also falls to the Shi'lat to take the fall should the Baali's places of celebration be discovered.

Backgrounds: The Shi'lat bring up their daughters in large crèche, cementing the concept of sisterhood at an early age and preparing the children for the terrors they must face as revenants to the Baali. Education in the common fields is complemented by studies in the Demonic feilds of Hedge magic and the Occult and later by an induction into the arts of the courtesan, by the time the Shi'lat reaches womanhood (at a surprisingly early age due the depredations of the Baali appetites) she is an accomplished Witch, whore and serving wench and is well on the way to what would be a promising career as an intellectual in a different world.

Disciplines: Dark Thaumaturgy. While the Shi'alt are capable of manefesting Presence and occaisonally Daimoinon, they are far more likely to develope Numina at the expense of Disciplines. scholars within the Baali believe that the Vitae of the Bloodline mixed with a natural predisposition in the Shi'lat soul awakens these powers.

Weaknesses: >Millennia as playthings to the Baali has had an effect on the hearts and minds of the Shi'lat and they are all inherently twisted in their psychology. They are incapable of kindness and love and such higher emotions will debilitate them should they be forced to give in to them. Shi'lat can only have the virtue of Conviction and suffer a -2 penalty to all Willpower rolls if they fall in Love or suffer pangs of compassion. More noticeably the Shi'lat can only truly get their kicks in a sadomasochistic environment, reminiscent of the way their regents treat them (all Shi'lat suffer from the flaw; sadomasochism).

Preferred roads: While the path of Evil Revelations (Via Diabolos) as it is practiced by the Baali is common for the Shi'lat they also follow a bastardised path of Lilith and the path of Cathari. That being said and considering how well educated some of them manage to be, Shi'lat with indulgent regents could easily follow the path of Ecstasy (replacing Conscience with Conviction), the path of power and the inner voice or even the path of the scorched heart.

Family organisation: The Shi'lat family is a strict matriarchy, with a hierarchy based firstly on the power of the regent and secondly on the age of the individual revenant. The Shi'lat who serve Hannibaal are by far the most powerful Shi'lat and their rule is absolute.

Baali duties:

The Shi'lat run much of the Baali ceremonies, ensuring that tithes are paid, that worship is up kept and that parties are worthy of their hosts. Others might be responsible for libraries or Havens but that is usually secondary to the real business in which the Shi'lat act as a combination of retainer, secretary, High priestess, researcher, Witch and concubine.