Adherents are called Albigensians.
A dualistic philosophy, Cathar doctrine holds that the world was created in equal parts by a good creator responsible for virtue and spirit, and an evil creator who acted as a counterpoint, fashioning the material world and its vices. The original Cathars believed the soul to be the root of all that is pure in humanity, while the material body was a shell in a corrupt physical world. Cathars pointed to the noble aspects of the spirit (compassion, sacrifice, honesty and the like) as proof that the only true good lay in the ephemeral.
The Path of Cathari fashions itself as the direct counterpart of the medieval Cathars: vampires are archontic spirits, jailers of the Demiurge, placed on this world to ensure mankind will never transcend it. Caine was damned by the good creator to physicality and suffering unending, but placed above mankind in the process, to evaluate humans and tempt them away from gnosis. To this end, Albigensians (the formal titulation of a follower of the path) encourage mortal excess and materialism and deliberately break the many taboos of the ancient Cathars. They seek material wealth and comforts, and they encourage others to do the same. A vampire can serve his proper purpose only by embracing the flaws inherent to his form and to the world, and accepting his duties as a purveyor of vice. Followers of the Path of Cathari thus ironically find spirituality in depravity. In their eyes, perversion is their natural state of being - why not enjoy it? You are, after all, already damned.
Although the tenets of Albigenism influenced the Path, it draws on several elder sources as well, the most prominent the ancient Via Peccati. Followers are also strictly opposed to the Beast, seeing it as a loss of the self that is unforgivable for such as selfish, egocentric Path. Their hedonistic ways, however, have earned them the special interest of the Sabbat Inquisition, who watch followers of the Path closely after several incidents with Infernalism in the 18th century. In the Final Nights, the Path is divided between the European Elders, whose ethics are more closely mirrored by the ancient ways of Desire, and the Canadian branch espoused by a pack based on Montréal, who see vampires as testers of God to guarantee that only the worthy can liberate themselves.
- Your role as a creature of evil is predestined. Accept it and fulfill your purpose.
- Indulge in vice. Wealth, sensuality and material power are the hallmarks of the material world.
- Lead others to temptation. It is your role to promote the depravity of the world.
- Grant the Curse of Caine to those with great passion. Undeath is an evil curse, but those with great conviction can use it well.
- The entire material world is corrupt. Expect betrayal and wickedness because almost everybody is corrupt along with it.
- Death simply leads to reincarnation. Mortals return after you kill them. However, you should avoid Final Death, since you will return as mortal if you die.
Hierarchy of Sins
|Path of Cathari|
|10||Exercising restraint.||One's purpose is excess, not moderation.|
|9||Showing trust.||Use or be used.|
|8||Failing to pass on the Curse to the passionately wicked or virtuous.||The depraved can serve evil better as vampires/the virtuous can be overcome by the Curse.|
|7||Failing to ride the wave in Frenzy.||The Beast, as well as the higher self, must be indulged.|
|6||Acting against another Albigensian.||Those of like purpose should fulfill that purpose, not quarrel among themselves.|
|5||Impassioned killing.||Murder achieves no greater end; dead men cannot sully their souls.|
|4||Sacrificing gratifications for someone else's convenience.||Promote physical pleasures, not altruistic achievement.|
|3||Refraining from indulgence.||The material world is a place for the gratification of the flesh.|
|2||Arbitrary killing.||Killing a mortal absolves him of bringing about his own damnation.|
|1||Encouraging others to exercise restraint.||Vampires are creatures of evil; the vampire's purpose is to corrupt, not save.|
|Vampire: The Masquerade Paths|
|Sabbat Paths||Path of Caine · Path of Cathari · Path of Death and the Soul · Path of Honorable Accord · Path of Metamorphosis · Path of Night · Path of Orion · Path of Power and the Inner Voice · Path of Redemption (Nocturnal variant) · Path of the Beast (Feral Heart variant/Harmony variant)|
|Setite Paths||Path of Ecstasy · Path of Sutekh · Path of the Warrior · Path of Typhon|
|Ravnos Paths||Path of Paradox (Mayaparisatya · Saṃsāra · Weig)|
|Tal'Mahe'Ra Paths||Path of the Scorched Heart · Path of Self-Focus|
|Other Paths||Sharia El-Sama · Path of Blood (without the Blood Curse/under the Blood Curse) · Path of Bones · Path of Entelechy · Path of Lilith · Path of Evil Revelations · Path of the Hive · Path of Asakku|