The Path is undoubtedly inspired by teachings of the Cappadocians and can be considered a branch of the Road of Bones. It was developed by Lady Vadislava and Lady Melisande at the Black Monastery in 1666 CE.
As one of the more scholarly paths, Necronomists see the vampiric existence as a means to explore the mysteries of life and death. They divide the universe into the rational realm of flesh and physics and the irrational realm of pain, mysteries, and supernatural phenomena. To explore these differences and to find the answer to their questions, a vampire has to explore his own state and the nature of the soul, an irrational spark of divinity within a cold rational world, in order to explore how the irrational and the rational converse with each other. Strong emotions, like Frenzy or Rötschreck, are a part of the irrationality of the soul and have to be explored, analyzed, and classified. Interactions of the soul with the body, like when a vampire is staked and cannot move due the penetration of its heart, and study of the emotions that wraiths need to sustain themselves in a similar way vampires need vitae, have lead to the general assumption among the Necronomists that the soul is what keeps the vampire from crumbling to dust and the metaphysical and material heart is the anchor of it. Due to the blood's interaction with the heart, the soul is able to sustain the body. Most Necronomists study Cathayans and wraiths in order to find a unified theory of death and the soul.
Followers of the Path are usually depicted as cold, curious, scientific, elitist, and callous, more concerned with the things to come or the things that were than the present. Many had morbid obsessions and are somewhat detached even before they study death, allowing them to partake in the studies of the limitations of pain and vivisection. They participate in the Sabbat because the Camarilla will not tolerate their practices and many of the followers are Tzimisce, but some are known to have correspondence with certain Kindred scientists such as Dr. Douglas Netchurch.
Members of the Path have a strong rivalry with the Giovanni.
- Study the transition of life and death
- Only by classifying the irrational can one truly be rational
- Do not fear death, for the soul is immortal
- By understanding the rational mind, one can catch glimpses of the irrationality of the soul
- Attempt to understand as much as possible
- Explore your emotions, but never indulge in them
- Accept that everything follows some patterns, even when you do not understand these patterns
Hierarchy of Sins
|Path of Death and the Soul|
|10||Attachment to the living world.||The material world is ultimately ephemeral and of limited use in garnering understanding.|
|9||Fearing Final Death.||All souls return to the cycle. Final Death is not a death of the soul.|
|8||Being guided by emotion.||Emotions may be studied as expressions of the soul, but they aren't useful in cultivating functional understanding.|
|7||Frenzying.||The impulses of the Beast don't lead to enlightenment.|
|6||Not killing when useful or necessary.||Make death a tool. Kill selectively and learn from the victims' passing.|
|5||Not pursuing enlightenment.||The purpose of the Path is to increase knowledge.|
|4||Showing an aversion to death.||Death is the doorway between the material and the eternal. It must be embraced and acknowledged.|
|3||Showing compassion.||Suffering is a step toward inevitable death.|
|2||Killing without studying death.||Murder offers no opportunity to increase insight.|
|1||Preventing a Death.||All things must die. Don't meddle with the universe's cycle.|
|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|