1001 Nightmares [Dark Eras 2]

Chronicles of Darkness, Vampire: The Requiem

Hello, everyone! Meghan here, with a preview excerpt for you from the One Thousand and One Nightmares era, including two of the four Kindred covenants prominent in the Islamic Golden Age. Let me tell you a story…

Golden Age Covenants

Even at its height, the Camarilla never touched many of the Abbasid Caliphate’s lands. The covenants here evolved independently of those in Europe, although pockets where the Invictus and Lancea et Sanctum hold sway exist in the caliphate’s western reaches.

Ahl al-Mumit

“My rage is my weapon, but it is also my curse. Inshallah, I will one night overcome it.”

You want to join the Ahl al-Mumit because: You are angry that you’re dead and you don’t know how to deal with it. You think mortals waste their humanity. You are driven to hunt down other monsters.

The big picture: We rage at our cursed condition and the injustices committed against us. We always feel close to frenzy, and one wrong move could end with watching a sunrise. Fortunately, we possess the gift of Karamat, the magical rituals Europeans call Theban Sorcery. Karamat reminds us of our humanity, tempering our rage to work miracles. God does not directly intercede to work these marvels; instead, we call upon the gifts God granted us.

It is God’s role to convert the wicked and judge the impure. It is our role to execute God’s judgment and punish the unworthy. We see every vile act humanity commits and find them wanting. Some Wrathful wish to prove to God that the world is unworthy. Others hunt monsters far worse than divs. Most just want to make it through tonight without unintentionally destroying what little we have left.

Muslims dominate Ahl al-Mumit, but significant minorities of Christians and Jews exist within our ranks. The few European Kindred who journey east and return compare us to their Lancea et Sanctum. We add this presumption to the long list of reasons we are angry at the world. We are cursed enough as it is and God has no need for more monsters!

Where we came from: The Lancea et Sanctum say they learned Karamat from an angel. We learned it from Iblis himself. God made his anger known when Iblis would not bow to humanity.

Iblis asked for a gift so he could be an agent of God’s wrath, and God granted him Karamat but cursed him, so his form was no longer smokeless fire, but dead flesh. It was Iblis who sired the clans, Iblis who gave us our path, and Iblis who taught the first Karamat.

Our practices: We use our rage to hunt Kindred, Begotten, and other monsters who lost their humanity long ago; yet we temper our wrath, so we do not become like them. Karamat reminds us of God’s mercy, and it is our solemn duty to recover these rituals. We will not allow them to fall into the Lancea et Sanctum’s hands, and we take it upon ourselves to keep those monsters out of our lands. We infiltrate mortal institutions, both to eliminate those we deem corrupt and to remind ourselves how to be human.

Nicknames: The Wrathful (informal), al-Hamasoun (respectful), Banu Shaitan (European, derogatory)

When we are in power: The wicked feel our wrath. The other covenants claim our domains are uncompromising, but we only turn our rage upon them if they give us just cause. We ruthlessly hunt down divs who welcome the curse and become true monsters, for God finds them wanting.

When we are in trouble: We lash out against those who keep us down. We are putrid and denied spiritual purity. Now these arrogant bastards want to eliminate our remaining dignity? Let God damn their families! We will crush them with our rage.

al-Amin

“You think we need sorcery to defeat you? Words can move mountains if you whisper them into the right ear. Here, let me tell you a story…”

You want to join al-Amin because: You are dead, but you still have your faith. You believe upholding the surahs and laws you can is better than discarding everything. You look to history to provide role models for how you should conduct your Requiem.

The big picture: Rather than agonize over their cursed existence, members of al-Amin leave it to God to judge their souls and focus on their night-to-night business. Arabia and Persia have long traditions of raising up independent, influential women, who take the initiative to uphold Muslim customs and laws. The Faithful honor these traditions, using them as guides to their imperfect Requiems, but they respect Khadijah al-Kurba and Homai Chehrazad above all others. Khadijah was the first Muslim convert, the Mother of the Faithful, a powerful and wealthy merchant. Chehrazad becomes a popular icon in the Islamic Golden Age, but al-Amin biographers were already regaling her history to the covenant centuries ago.

Members of al-Amin consider it their duty to keep the peace between the covenants, but that peace easily becomes tyranny. The covenant is quick to defend itself against criticism, citing God’s as the only judgment that matters. While this belief is sincere, it also prevents al-Amin from confronting their actions’ consequences or realizing when they have gone too far and angered their fellow divs.

Where we came from: When the Prophet was but a simple merchant, Khadijah al-Kurba saw how great he would become and proposed marriage. The Prophet refused, saying he could not earn the wages to support a wife, but Khadijah reminded him of her vast trade empire and how she provided for herself. Inspired by her strength and devotion, we resolved to follow her pious example to give us the will to persist. We walked the hijra behind Prophet Muhammad, we stood beside him in Mecca, and we welcomed him in Yathrib.

Our practices: We emulate Homai Chehrazad as storytellers and mediators. Our neonates help others within the covenant solve their problems and keep libraries of all our tales, while elders serve as lore masters who mediate between divs of other covenants and spread stories that manipulate the kine’s opinions in ways we desire. (“Propaganda” is such a harsh word.) Others say our solutions can be heavy-handed, but if it weren’t for us, they wouldn’t have solutions. We also take responsibility for facilitating safe travel between cities for Kindred; long desert trips are hazardous, requiring preparation and careful timing. Trade caravans are our favorite transport method. Both Khadijah and the Prophet were merchants, and caravans allow us to enrich ourselves (and keep other covenants in our debt) while providing an essential service.

Nicknames: The Faithful, the Arbiters, the Camels (derogatory)

When we are in power: We keep the All Night Society running smoothly and the caravans coming in on time. The law holds everyone in check equally. We resolve disputes quickly and efficiently, so they do not draw mortal attention.

When we are in trouble: We fight our way back to the top — not with open war, but through our superior knowledge of the law, ensuring our enemies don’t get comfortable. We are happy to serve as advisers to Princes from other covenants, all the while hatching schemes to reclaim power.

Dark Eras 2 can be preordered via BackerKit.