Path of the Pure

The Katharoi, formed from a Brujah group called the Pure, supported mortal Cathars (the same word, spoken in French and Latin) not as patrons, but spiritual guides.  They are committed to an ideal of the few and strong against an undisciplined mob.

Katharoi have battled many enemies since their creation. They promote heresy, earning ire from the Church’s Inquisition and Christian Cainites alike. They’re 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 equality rhetoric. Followers tailor sermons to local political conditions, but the main body profess a few teachings in common:

  • The Reign of the Demiurge: The world was made by the Demiurge: a being equal to God (perhaps the same as Lucifer, and sometimes called Rex Mundi, “king of the world”) 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. Katharoi seek unity with the true God as Sophia, the wisdom principle personified, which they believe is equivalent to beholding the Platonic Forms. Mortal Cathars rarely entertain these more abstract ideas.
  • Denying Material Things: To conquer matter, a human or vampire must deny worldly pleasures: fine clothing, food and drink, sex, the lust for power, and pride in one’s accomplishments. 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 Rex Mundi is not omnipotent, and 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.

The Katharoi have suffered greatly from three distinct angles: Camilla, Prince of Rome, is probably the second-greatest practitioner of the Road of Desire in Cainite history and successfully corrupted the Pure’s leader, Thrax.  The Cainite Heresy drew on similar teachings to the Pure, but came to opposite conclusions – when the Cainite Heresy was humbled by the lack of appearance of their fabled “third Caine”, the interest of Cainites in Gnostic ideas waned considerably.  And finally, the mortal Cathari attracted the intense scrutiny of the Inquisition, and many Cainite Katharoi perished in the flames alongside their mortal allies.  But some few still persist against the odds.

Level of SinDescription
1*Desiring a material object or person; feeding beyond satiation (i.e. Blood Pool more than half full)
1Lying by omission or passive deception (e.g. by employing stealth)
2Giving one’s blood to another; telling a lie; tricking a person
3Accepting a position of authority or honour, except as a teacher of this Path; engaging in sexual acts or drinking another Cainite’s blood
4Feeding for pleasure
5Stealing or killing for pleasure; torturing a person or ravaging a community for pleasure or personal power

*: only for someone with Road rating of 6