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Akhu, often called Setite Sorcery by outsiders, is the ancient magical tradition of the Followers of Set.

Overview

In Egypt's heyday, before its conversion to Christianity at the hands of the Roman Empire, magic was commonplace, practised by mortal and vampire alike. Egyptians had several words for magic; the Setites used Heka (literally "magic") to refer to mortal magic, and Ahku ("spells") for their blood magic. By the Middle Ages the practice had been nearly been wiped out, however, and was incredibly rare until the 19th century when Champollion's translation of Egyptian hieroglyphs allowed for its rediscovery.

Practitioners of Akhu are known as Lector Priests, and they believe their magical power is drawn from Set himself. Their practices are near-identical to those of mortal Egyptian sorcerers, involving images, effigies, stories, names and words. Their most important tool, however, is the blasphemy-shrine, a ritual chamber in which the lector-priest defiles the bodies and belongings of the dead in an emulation of Set's blasphemous dismemberment of his murdered brother Osiris. This perversion of traditional Egyptian burial customs unleashes power which fuels the lector-priest's spells, allowing them to perform sorcery without the expenditure of Vitae. The magic need not be performed at the shrine, but it must be maintained for the magic to work.

The sacred book of Set's lore, the Book of Going Forth by Night, contains only a few key instructions for performing Akhu. Most importantly, it details how to construct a blasphemy-shrine, and some of the rituals that can be performed on the dead and their grave goods there. It also contains rituals for creating consecrated copies of itself, for brewing sacramental blood beer, and to "open the gate", or draw directly on the power of the dead to grant energy to the lector-priest, rather than power spells. All other knowledge of Akhu is drawn from the magical lore of Egypt, preserved by the Setites.

The knowledge required to make use of Akhu is vast: not only must a lector-priest understand the Egyptian lore of death, but also know the names of hundreds of gods, seek out the proper knowledge of the ancient Egyptian language, and must honour Set at least once a month in their properly constructed blasphemy-shrine.

Recently, branches of the Clan have tried to adapt Akhu for their own mythologies by drawing on mystic parallels of a primordial confrontation between rival gods within different mythologies. One example of such an adaptation is the confrontation between Loki (in the role of Set) and Baldur (in role of Osiris).[1]

Paths

The following paths are mostly unique to Akhu, however, variations of some of these paths might be found among other small thaumaturgical traditions:

Divine Hand

The path allows the practitioner to deal with sympathetic magic. What the magician does to a model of an object or person, happens to that object or individual too.[1]

  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Hand of Ptah: Remotely damage or repair to an object of 200 lbs or less
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Hand of Khnum: Remotely damage or repair an animal, mortal, or objects of 1000 lbs or less
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Hand of Anubis: Remotely damage or repair corporeal supernatural creatures or objects of 5,000 lbs or less
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Hand of Thoth: Remotely damage or repair incorporeal supernatural creatures or objects of 20,000 lbs or less
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.png Hand of Heka: Remotely apply a Discipline or other magical power to creatures or damage or repair objects of 100,000 lbs or less

Immanence of Set

The path allows the practitioner to commune with the essence of Set and use some of their god's abilities.[2]

  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Whispers of the Sands: Communicate remotely with one's childer or ghouls.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Tongue of the Tempter: Cause a subject to reveal a secret fear or desire.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Voice of the Prophet: Deliver a cryptic message that speaks to a listener's deepest desires.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Lord of Storms: Summon a sandstorm or thunderstorm.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.png Dark Invocation: Place a protective curse on an object or place.

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Path of Duat

The path allows the practicioner to conjure the attributes of the Egyptian netherworld, and inflicts them upon an enemy through hypnotic means.[3]

  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png A Sending of Serpents: Cause a target to hallucinate being attacked by snakes.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Darkness of Duat: Blind a subject.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Suffocation of the Tomb: Render victim unable to speak or breathe.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.png The Narrow House: Paralyze a target.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.png Consignment to Duat: Slay a mortal or put a vampire into torpor.

Path of the Dry Nile

This path is also known as "Blinding Chango", by the Serpents of the Light. It allows the practitioner to curse his targets, creating harmful effects to their existences.[4]

  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Beauty Fades: Cause a work of art to cause revulsion in those who view it.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Trust Withers: Target begins to believe a friend or ally is planning to betray him.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Love Dies: Destroy a subject's feelings of love for another.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Hope Dissolves: Cause a subject to become depressed, believing their goals cannot be obtained.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.png Thrones Crumble: Create mistrust and hostility in a subject towards a figure of authority.

Revelations of Duat

The path allows the practitioner to tap into some of the gifts of Necromancy.[5]

  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Sight of the Jackal: Become aware of wraiths around you
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Weigh the Virtues: Learn about crimes or heroic deeds of a dead or undead
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Pharaoh's Sentry: Bind a fragment of a wraith into a corpse to act out one single command.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Imbue with the Grace of Anubis: Reanimate a corpse and imbue it with a singular purpose tied to its virtuous or villainous deeds
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.png The Sorcery of Life: A toned-down version of the Bane Rite, the sorcerer creates a sort of proto-Bane Mummy

Revelations of Eden

The path allows the practitioner to break down the will and faith of a victim, allowing room for the Serpent of Eden, Sutekh, or whichever god the sorcerer chooses to take its place.[6]

  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Remove one point of temporary Willpower from the victim, and one dot from their Willpower rating.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png From the victim remove one point of temporary Willpower, and one dot from their Morality rating.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png From the victim remove one point of temporary Willpower, and one dot from their Self-Control/Instinct
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.png From the victim remove one point of temporary Willpower, and choose their new Demeanor.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.png From the victim remove one point of temporary Willpower, and choose their new Nature.

Revelations of Midgard

The path allows the practitioner to draw on their inner faith, and with it bolster their ghouls, beasts, and mortal servants.[7]

  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Bestowment of Scales: Heal a ghoul faster by growing scaled skin across their wounds
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Suffer for Jörmungandr: Grant a ghoul reptilian features
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Swallow the Tail: Draw shed blood from your surroundings to you
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Cycle of the Midgard Serpent: Grant a ghoul the ability to use your disciplines
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.png Apep's Transformation: Transform a ghoul of yours into a great serpent capable of understanding human speech

Snake Inside

This path is also known as "Zarabanda's Malice" by the Serpents of the Light. It allows the practitioner to further the self-destruction of his targets.[8]

  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png First Taste: Create a pleasurable association with a minor, repetitive action.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Cross-Addiction: Temporarily change what an addict is fixated on.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png The Jones: Remove a subject's inhibitions from indulging their addiction.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Fatal Compulsion: Cause a target to suffer harm from not indulging their addiction.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.png Temperance: Render subject unable to draw pleasure from their addiction.

Soul of the Serpent

The path allows the practitioner to embody the perfection of the serpent's form.[9]

  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Serpentine Sense: Gain ability to identify poisons and see in darkness.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Scaleskin: Make one's body incredibly flexible.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Venom Curse: Turn one's blood into a poison that blinds.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Touch of Typhon: Transform one's arm into a venomous snake.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.png Form of the Hydra: Transform into a mass of snakes nearly impossible to destroy.

Ushabti

The path allows the practitioner to create his own servants using Ushabti figurines.[10]

  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Laborer: Create a simple servant for manual labor.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Servitor: Create a mildly intelligent servant.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Guard: Create a servant capable of combat.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu bullet.png Overseer: Create a skilled servant that can supervise others.
  • Menu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.pngMenu hover bullet.png Gift of Khnum: Create a servant that thinks for itself but is utterly loyal.

Similar Paths

In addition to the Paths described above, lector-priests know many other Paths also used by other Thaumaturges, though they are known by different names and practiced in the very particular Akhu style. These paths have nothing in common but their effects and, in most cases, the Setite path is actually older than those created by the Tremere. Where names differ, the Thaumaturgical name is listed along with the reference.

Alchemy

Similar to the homonymous path.

Path of Ptah

Similar to the Path of Conjuring.

The False Heart

Similar to the Path of Corruption.

Sebau's Touch

Similar to the Path of Curses.

Path of Thoth

Similar to Focused Mind.

Valor of Sutekh

Similar to the Path of Mars.

Vengeance of Khnum

Similar to Mastery of the Mortal Shell.

Path of Anubis

Similar to Spirit Manipulation.

The Breath of Set

Similar to Weather Control.

Whisper of Quiet Stone

Similar to Elemental Mastery.

Rituals

Main article: List of Akhu Rituals

Similar to regular Thaumaturgy, Akhu has several rituals that can be used to achieve static effects. Most of them draw on traditional Egyptian practices.

Gallery

References


^  Divine Hand

Divine Hand Blood Sacrifice: The Thaumaturgy Companion Pg. 25-26

^  The Immanence of Set

The Immanence of Set Libellus Sanguinis 3: Wolves at the Door Pg. 105-106

^  Path of Duat

Divine Hand Blood Sacrifice: The Thaumaturgy Companion Pg. 26-27

^  Path of the Dry Nile

Path of the Dry Nile Blood Magic: Secrets of Thaumaturgy Pg. 116-117

^  Revelations of Duat

Revelations of Duat Tome of Secrets Pg. 62-64

^  Revelations of Eden

Revelations of Eden Tome of Secrets Pg. 64

^  Revelations of Midgard

Revelations of Midgard Tome of Secrets Pg. 65-67

^  The Snake Inside

The Snake Inside Blood Magic: Secrets of Thaumaturgy Pg. 116
The Snake Inside Blood Sacrifice: The Thaumaturgy Companion Pg. 14

^  Soul of the Serpent

Soul of the Serpent Cairo by Night Pg. 88

^  Ushabti

Ushabti Blood Sacrifice: The Thaumaturgy Companion Pg. 27-28


Vampire: The Masquerade Disciplines pre-V5:
Abombwe · Animalism · Auspex · Bardo · Celerity · Chimerstry · Daimonion · Dementation · Dominate · Flight · Fortitude · Melpominee · Mytherceria · Obeah · Obfuscate · Obtenebration · Potence · Presence · Protean · Quietus · Sanguinus · Serpentis · Spiritus · Temporis · Thanatosis · Valeren · Vicissitude · Visceratika
Blood Sorcery pre-V5: Abyss Mysticism · Akhu · Countermagic, Thaumaturgical · Dur-An-Ki · Mortis · Nahuallotl · Voudoun Necromancy · Western Necromancy · Ogham · Sadhana · Sihr · Thaumaturgy · Dark Thaumaturgy · Sielanic Thaumaturgy · Assamite Sorcery · Anarch Sorcery · Koldunic Sorcery · Setite Sorcery · Wanga
V5 Animalism · Auspex · Blood Sorcery · Celerity · Dominate · Fortitude · Obfuscate · Oblivion · Potence · Presence · Protean · Thin-Blood Alchemy
V5 Amalgams: Chimerstry · Dementation · Obeah · Serpentis · Valeren · Vicissitude
Defunct: Deimos · Kai · Kineticism · Maleficia · Nihilistics · Rift · Striga