Via Serpentis, commonly called the Road of the Serpent or Tariq el-Hayya to Islamic Cainites, is one of the minor Roads that Kindred may choose to follow in Vampire: The Dark Ages and Dark Ages: Vampire. It is mainly followed by the Followers of Set, and its followers are called Tempters.
Perhaps no road is as clan-centered as Via Serpentis, as the Road of the Serpent holds one purpose: to honor Set and his works. At the same time, the Tempters work to free themselves from the reign of Osiris. The Tempters view him as abusive of his power and repressive, and so seek to undermine his laws at any opportunity. Amassing wealth and power in order to continue the fight is also asked by the followers of Via Serpentis, as is Embracing those who might serve Set well.
Like Via Peccati, the Road of the Serpent urges its followers to act on desire, but the Tempters take things one step further and attempt to spread this idea to their followers, Cainite and mortal alike. Several roads, Via Caeli and Via Regalis in particular, view the Tempters to be as debased as the Sinners. The Road features two minor Paths: the debased Path of Typhon began to preach evil and corruption as their own ends rather than as tools for freedom. Luckily the fall of Constantinople, one of the centers of this heresy, has greatly reduced the numbers of those who believe such things. The slowly growing Path of Subversion holds that only through the corruption of large-scale institutions can enough people be freed. This is largely believed to be a delusion bordering on heresy, however.
V20 Dark Ages
V20 Dark Ages presents the original spirituality as the Road of Set, in contrast to VTDA and DAV who present the Via Serpentis as the main Road of the Clan, with a heretical side-current called the Path of Apep. While the Road of Set is the source of dedication to Set and distrust against outsiders from the Road, the overt focus on corruption and dislike against hierarchical power structures seems to stem from the Path of Apep.
Hierarchy of Sins
|Via Serpentis ("Road of the Serpent")|
|10||Failing to indulge your urges when they do not interfere with your work.||You must understand desire in order to teach it.|
|9||Indulging your desires when they interfere with your devotion to Set.||Desires are a means to an end, not an end in themselves.|
|8||Failing to collect wealth and influence.||Every artisan must acquire the tools of his vocation.|
|7||Failing to spread Set's truth among mortals.||If his name is forgotten, he will cease to exist.|
|6||Failing to encourage mortals to seek their freedom from Osiris.||Your work is more important than anything except your worship of Set.|
|5||Abusing a ghoul.||Your priests are disciples of and gifts from Set.|
|4||Supporting the rule of law in any way.||Osiris is the enemy of Set, and you must take no action that aids him.|
|3||Putting any other vampire under the blood oath.||Using the essence of Set to bind another vampire goes against the very freedom he champions.|
|2||Embracing one who does not worship Set.||Only the deserving may drink of the river between life and death.|
|1||Failing to uphold Set's memory and worship him.||What you do means nothing without your devotion to Set.|