The Path of Nocturnal Redemption is a Path of Enlightenment created by the members of the coven known as the Shepherds of Caine from Montréal. Practitioners of this path are called Martyrs. This path is typically viewed as an offshoot of the Path of Redemption, although this Path was published first.
|“||I have found my unlife to be governed by the same principles that dictated my life. All things have an opposite, and all opposites must be kept in balance. Night and day, action and inaction, warm and cold, all must be tended and allowed to bloom like a precious flower. So too Sin and Virtue, like Yin and Yang, impossible without each other.||”|
|— Zhou, Taoist Shepherd, deceased|
The Path of Nocturnal Redemption was born in Montréal at the end of the 17th century CE. It began when a cadre of Jesuits, Embraced by local Sabbat, emerged from their graves charged with a potent mixture of human faith and Cainite enlightenment.
The Path's tenet, that the Children of Caine must seek redemption for their crimes and those of their Father, has found adherents across the globe. Yet, only in Montréal, and the exceptions of a few cities in Mexico and in the Sabbat Inquisition, do these adherents make a significant force. Acolytes undertake pilgrimages to Montréal to learn from the founders of the Path and to pray at their holy sites. Most arrive during the summer months, coinciding with the Opening of the Litany. During this period the city's Martyrs dedicated themselves to ceremonies and informal discussions with visitors.
In recent times, some pilgrims have expressed concerns that the supposed leaders of the Path have lost touch with their faith. Almost all local Martyrs are members of the Shepherds of Caine, and as the political concerns of the coven come to the fore some wonder whether the quest for redemption has been forgotten. The Path rite of the "Sainting" contributes to this problem as the holiest Martyrs invariably end up passing onto the next world, leaving the less enlightened to guide the faith.
As part of their quest to experience both sin and virtue, Martyrs undergo a constant personality shift that they refer to as the Divine Tide. As the tide ebbs and flows, the followers experience the depths of sin and the heights of grace. The duration of these cycles vary from vampire to vampire, but each accomplishment and increase along the Path must follow the end of the complete cycle. Changes are punctuated with solemn ceremonies that are held in the highest regard.
Since the Sainting of its founder Ignace in 1842, the Path has had no recognized leader. A general stratification has occurred, however. Raphael Catarari is considered the holiest Martyr in Montréal, but he remains focussed on his own goals. Alfred Benezri, Yitzhak, Frère Marc, and Béatrice L'Angou are the closest things to the leaders of the Path. They are enlightened enough to guide the young, yet not ascend in contemplation of the Almighty.
Under the Vieux Séminaire ("Old Seminary") facing Old Montréal's Place d'Armes is the Hall of Hallowed Saints, the holiest site of Martyr lore. In the many alcoves of this Gothic chamber, illuminated by dozens of candles and scented by exotic incense, stand the mummified remains of the Path's greatest followers who have undergone the Sainting. At the chamber head stands the form of Saint Ignace the Martyr, the founder of the Path. Others include François the Wise and Morceaux the Mad. The hall was once the Shepherd's Lair, and it connected to the Temple of Eternal Whispers, but none may enter the new Hall without the permission of Raphael Catarari.
Rites and Practices
- Sainting - The holiest Martyr ritual is the Sainting. The rite supposedly allows a highly enlightened Martyr to leave his physical form and join the Almighty, which is enacted after a few nights of intense prayer and the mummification of the subject. Yitzhak (a potent Thaumaturgist) designed this ritual as a punishment. Yet, Raphael Catarari seems to have transformed the rite so that it truly fulfills the promise of redemption.
- Divine Tide - As part of their quests to understand their sins and redemption undergo a constant personality shift that they refer to as the Divine Tide, ebbing from sin to holiness. The duration of these cycles varies from vampire to vampire.
- Caine was cursed by the Almighty so that he could seek redemption. You must do the same.
- Seek to understand the sin within you. Only from knowledge can redemption be discovered.
- The wisdom of mortals who are touched by the Almighty is of value and should be brought out by driving the humans to extremes of good and evil.
- Embrace only those who have the ember of faith with them: this will guide them in unlife.
- Know the ebb and flow of the Divine Tide exist to bring you closer to salvation, not to allow you to revel in your power or your insight.
- Seek to understand the Curse in all its forms.
- Seek the Wisdom of Caine and the Second Generation, for only they lived by the Curse.
- Seek confessional with one further along the Path then you. Take confessional from those behind you. Never break its secrecy.
- Prepare for the coming of those who have taken pleasure from the Curse. Strike at their hearts with all your might, and seek redemption in glory.
- Seek out those among your kind who may be saved. To let one be Damned without showing her the Faith is a sin.
- Spend time in prayer and meditation. Contemplation is the path to wisdom.
Hierarchy of Sins
|Path of Nocturnal Redemption|
|10||Pursuing any goals other than redemption.|
|9||Refusing to pursue information about the Curse of Caine when there is great risk or putting temporal concerns before enlightenment.|
|8||Resisting the Divine Tide.|
|7||Refusing to learn from those with greater understanding, or killing a mortal who has been touched by the Almighty without first offering her the Embrace.|
|6||Foregoing the opportunity to show others the Path, or not seeking information on the Curse when there is a moderate risk.|
|5||Refusing to take or give confession.|
|4||Not spending at least some time in meditation or prayer each night.|
|3||Not seeking to understand the Curse when there is little or no risk.|
|2||Not exploring the Divine Tide, or breaking the secrecy of the confessional.|
|1||Refusing to acknowledge the need for redemption.|
The Path of Nocturnal Redemption specifically works on the tenets of the religion of the vampire in question was as a mortal. The sins would have to be sins from that mortal belief. Nocturnal Redemption IS very different than most Paths, and most Paths do not care what beliefs you had before your Embrace, but this one does. Most Paths are not whole religions to themselves, but this one is, and it is one that builds on your faith as a mortal.
That is why the members of the Shepherds can easily be picked out by their religious beliefs. Yitzhak is Jewish, Alfred is Sunni Muslim, Frère Marc is French Catholic, Zhou was a Taoist, and the many other Martyrs out in the world who are not part of the Shepherds but are followers of Nocturnal Redemption ran the gamut of mortal faiths. So, when it says virtue and sin, it means virtues of that religion, and "sins" of that religion.
|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|