The Path of the Pure is one of the variations on Via Caeli ("Road of Heaven") outlined in the V20 Dark Ages Companion. It has philosophical ties to Gnosticism and the Albigensian Heresy, but its connection to the modern Path of Cathari is unclear.
Adherents are called Katharoi.
The Path of the Pure was promoted by Thrax, a Byzantine Brujah who came to Rome in the thirteenth century to assess the state of her Clan in the Western Empire. She saw western kine as slaves to fear as they were once slaves to an empire, and Cainites raised from such stock as petty tyrants. By mining the Greek philosophy that had recently been re-introduced to the West by crusaders, the Brujah crafted their own religion based on liberty, equality, and self-denial.
Katharoi battled many enemies. They promoted heresy and criticized clerical corruption, earning ire from the Church and Christian Cainites. They were hated by aristocratic Cainites for rejecting the materialistic tools mighty vampires use to manipulate supposed inferiors. Finally, the Cainite Heresy used Gnostic sources to make vampires objects of worship, and opposes Katharoi principles of equality between Kindred and kine.
Katharoi though, like all effective evangelism, was tailored to local political conditions, but the main body professed a few teachings in common.
- The Reign of the Demiurge: The world was made by the Demiurge: a being subsidiary to God (and perhaps the same as Lucifer) who hides the true nature of the world in a cloak of matter, pain, and lust. God represents absolute truth and perfection, beyond matter and desire.
- Denying Material Things: To conquer matter, a human or vampire must deny worldly pleasures. Thus it is necessary to live communally, respecting knowledge over birth. Mortals should eat, drink, and dress plainly, and engage in sex for reproduction alone. Cainites must follow similar strictures, feeding only when necessary and refusing to accept or receive the Blood Oath, which Katharoi call a lustful and foolish attachment.
- Cainite Damnation: Vampires were raised from Caine, the mortal most seduced by matter, to blind humans as he was blinded, and are part of the corrupt world of desire. They serve the Demiurge. But God cannot keep anyone who was once a child of Adam from escaping his world of lies. Cainites who choose the hard road of rejecting matter become wiser than mortals, for they overcome greater lusts and temptations.
Hierarchy of Sins Edit
|Path of the Pure|
|10||Desiring a material object or person.||Wanting the things of this world blinds us to true wisdom.|
|9||Feeding beyond satiation (that is, filling more than half of one's Blood Pool).||Feeding beyond need is gluttony.|
|8||Lying by omission or passive deception (such as by employing stealth).||Deception is an act of the heart.|
|7||Giving one's blood to another.||It is a sin to ensnare another in the illusions of this world.|
|6||Telling a lie; tricking a person.||Blinding another to the truth is the work of the Demiurge.|
|5||Accepting a position of authority or honor, except as a teacher of the Path.||Pride is the Demiurge's motive, for he pretends to be God.|
|4||Engaging in sexual congress or drinking another Cainite's blood.||Lust is of the world, and impure.|
|3||Feeding for pleasure.||Gluttony weighs us down; we ingest the world's foulness.|
|2||Stealing or killing for pleasure.||You give reign to our material lusts, like Caine.|
|1||Torturing a person or ravaging a community for pleasure or personal power.||You condemn others to the prison of this world.|
While the Path of Cathari exists in modern nights among the Sabbat, its principles are drastically different from the Path of the Pure. It is unclear whether the Katharoi were wiped out, or whether they were corrupted and transformed into the modern Path.