It is only natural, followers of the Road of Humanity believe, for a Cainite to remain who she was before she died. Cainite are creatures not so very different from the people they once were, and trying to reinvent ourselves is either a lie or a dangerous folly. The Cainite may either pretend that the evil they do does not bother them, which is a lie, or they can truly reject what they were and become the Beast. To those on the Road of Humanity, there is no worse end than falling to the Beast. In this way of thinking, all Roads are, in fact, just aspects of the Road of Humanity. They are all lies or descent away from the peace that is holding onto humanity and possibly (on some Paths) exceeding it. This, they claim, is the truth, because without outside intervention, all Cainites naturally start on this Road, and it takes serious teaching or serious trauma in order to get a Cainite onto another Road. To be human, they argue, is to be naturally on the Road of Humanity, and to be anything but human is to lose yourself. This is the true death of the soul, since we cannot know what happens to a Cainite when they die, but we can see that they, or who they were, are gone just as soon as they finally fall to the Beast entirely.
The ethics that we knew in life are vital to remain who we are because, those on the Road believe, they are universal. They are things that any person simply understands regardless of race, creed, or social standing. We all know that killing is wrong. We all know that when you steal, you are asserting your wants over someone else’s needs, and have therefore violated their boundaries and liberties. We all, inherently, understand that when we abuse others, we are depleting our own souls on some level, and that way lies soul-death. It is the simplest premise, they say, the most universal, the most important. There is the human and there is the Beast, and to be one is the only way to avoid become the other, and becoming the other comes from abandoning the one.
- Remaining human is a requirement to escape soul-death.
- Humanity is a universal experience that all Cainites can understand
- Violating the boundaries and well-being of another depletes the soul
- We were all human, and that gives us value despite accidents of birth or upbringing
- Thought and compassion separate us from the Beast
|Level of Sin||Description|
|1*||Selfish thoughts; minor selfish acts (including feeding from mortals!)|
|1||Physically injuring another|
|2||Theft; accidental violation of the boundaries and well-being of another|
|3||Wanton destruction; impassioned violation of the boundaries and well-being of another|
|4||Planned violation of the boundaries and well-being of another|
|5||Casual violation of the boundaries and well-being of another; monstrous, vile acts|
*: only for someone with Road rating of 6
Most Cainites come to the Road on their own soon after the Embrace, dreading what they have become. In taking stock of who and what they are, those on this Road settle that more than enough of their human self remains to know it is the right way to be. When they can hold steady in their morality, they can force the Beast back down, and through grief and forgiveness for what sins they have already committed, they can resist future sins. Humanity can be taught, either to those who lacked moral fiber in life or those who have lost their way since the Embrace. Those who come to the Road through teachers still tend to suggest that it feels the most natural to them, even though it can be extremely difficult to hold on to.
In a world of monsters who have embraced their monstrosity, remaining human and humane can be a lonely path. Prodigals tend to be rejected or else driven off by those who have taken to much more monstrous Roads. Generally, the strongest relations a Cainite on this Road has are to the sire or teacher who guided them to it, at least so long as that mentor remains on the Road. Rarely, a particularly compassionate or stalwart Cainite who has endured many challenges to her humanity may draw a small cult around her. Others on the Road look to her to strengthen their resolve against the Beast or some secret or wisdom to get them through the long nights.
It is this reserve of compassion and fellow-feeling that brings Prodigals together in the Anarch Revolt. They join forces to argue for a human and humane approach to the conflict, recognising that violence may be necessary but it should be a regrettable last resort. They select their representatives by consensus and empathy.
Rituals and Observances
Because remaining human is such a personal journey, there are very few universally practiced traditions for the Prodigals. Those things done to honor this journey tend to be passed from teacher to student without a lot of attention drawn to them as rituals. For some, acts of charity and humble giving of the self are rituals, though not named as such. Many Prodigals celebrate their birthday as well as the night of their death, but only rarely do so openly or publicly. Fasting is a common response to penitent Prodigals after a transgression, though there is hot debate over the wisdom of tempting the Beast.
Aura: Mundanity. The Cainite walking the Road of Humanity strives to emulate her past state wherever possible. In matters of empathy and mutual understanding with mortals, her Aura will influence the outcome.