Via Vindicta, commonly called the Path of Retribution or the Order by its adherents, is a Path of the Via Caeli ("Road of Heaven") found in Dark Ages: Vampire. Its adherents are called Crusaders.

Overview[edit | edit source]

The Crusaders see themselves as instruments of God's wrath on Earth. As the Embrace strips of everything humane in them, they can act as his hands in a world tainted by the Adversary's agents. They recognize the urges of the Beast as impulses of Satan, who tries to sway them of their divine purpose. Most Faithful believe that the Curse is God's way of imposing certain duties upon those accursed. For Penitents, those duties include penance and rigorous self-discipline toward the goal of eventual atonement. Followers of the Path of Retribution, however, believe that those duties include punishing the wicked and the sinful. These Crusaders, as they are often called, believe themselves to be agents of divine justice, touched by God to act as the scourge of evil on Earth until the End of Days. They are martially minded Noddists who use their God-given power to bring the light of Heaven into the world, beating back darkness in the process.

Followers of the Via Vindicta are more tightly organized than many other Paths, in a similar manner to a knight chapter. The structure of this path is one of the most rigid, as each adherent who wishes to be involved at any level in path affairs must be officially ordained by a path elder. This initiation ritual, called the Blooding, confirms the initiate as knight – one of the Right Knights of His Most Holy Order of Vengeance, as the collected path is officially known – in the service of both path and God. Once confirmed, a knight of the Order is now part of a brotherhood, a worldwide military order of Noddists dedicated to smiting all that is unholy in the name of the Lord. The Order's beliefs are stark and its methods Draconian, but none can deny its power.

The taking of blood is a divine sacrament to silence the voice of the tempter, making Crusaders more at peace with their nature than other vampires of the Via Caeli.

In practice, the Path of Retribution borrows aspects of the Via Regalis (particularly the Path of Chivalry), and applies them as a sieve through which its Heavenly tenets are filtered. Like their Chivalrous counterparts, Crusaders expect themselves (and others to a lesser but dangerous extent) to abide by a certain code of behavior.

Ethics[edit | edit source]

  • The Faithful exist to serve as Heaven's righteous wrath.
  • Clemency must be neither asked nor given where evil is concerned.
  • Non-Faithful Cainites ultimately walk the path to damnation.

Hierarchy of Sins[edit | edit source]

Via Vindicta ("Path of Retribution")
Rating Moral Guideline Rationale
10 Neglecting an opportunity to exact vengeance. Retribution is both your duty and your purpose.
9 Failing to punish any corruption or sin. The Devil prospers in the hearts of the uncleansed.
8 Acting out of pride, avarice, gluttony, or some other sinful impulse. Sin is the road to the Beast.
7 Allowing a moderate crime or sin to go unpunished. God demands that justice be served.
6 Causing harm to a pious or virtuous person. God sees all and punishes such sins.
5 Feeding from an innocent without permission. God protects the innocent.
4 Blasphemous or heretical acts. Denial of God leads only to damnation.
3 Allowing a major crime or sin to go unpunished. "Vengeance is mine," sayeth the Lord.
2 The murder of innocents. Slay only those found wanting.
1 Aiding a demon or other agent of evil. God demands such forces be laid to waste.

Gallery[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

Dark Ages: Vampire Roads and Paths
Road of the Beast Path of the Grey Hunter · Path of the Hunter · Path of the Nomad · Path of the Savage · Road of the Slain · Road of the Yasa
Road of Heaven Path of the Archangel · Path of Christ · Path of Divinity · Path of Life · Path of Penitence · Path of the Prophet · Path of the Pure · Path of Retribution · Path of Tears
Road of Humanity Path of Breath · Path of Community · Path of Illumination · Path of Vigor
Road of Kings Path of Chivalry · Path of Daena · Path of Devaraja · Path of the Merchant · Path of the Tyrant · Path of the Vizier
Road of Lilith Path of Making · Path of Thorns · Path of Veils
Road of Sin Path of Cruelty · Path of Pleasure · Path of Screams · Path of the Devil · Path of the Eightfold Wheel · Path of Watchful Gods
Other Roads Code of Samiel · Road of Blood · Road of Bones · Road of Metamorphosis · Road of Night · Road of Paradox · Road of Service · Road of Set (Path of Apep) · Road of the Abyss · Road of the Hive · Road of the Serpent
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