The dawn of an Empire
The Roads to Salvation
Vampires are not without hope, however. Kindred may be denied peace from the Beast and a return to Gaia, but somewhere along the line between damnation and redemption lie the roads – the mystical beliefs developed by Kindred sages. The roads, or Bealach, help Kindred cope with their existence as vampires and offer some control over the Beast. These roads are not religions, though they may seem to share many similarities with them at a first glance. They are more analogous to philosophies, and their organization is more akin to cults than large religious faiths.
All roads teach Kindred how to rein in the Beast through spiritual end ethical tenents. Like mortals who look to the Gods and their clerics for answer and solace, Kindred follow the roads to obtain a measure of peace. Central to the roads is acceptance of the vampire’s damned nature. The roads to not try to deny what a vampire has become or claim that he is something other than he is. Rather, the roads foster a belief and metaphysical framework that allows Kindred to understand and eventually accept their curse as vampires.
The Road of Sin focuses on the darker side of a Kindred’s nature and its followers feed the Beast’s malevolent urges so that it does not overwhelm them.
The Road of Humanity on the other hand teaches that, although they are cursed, vampires are still mortals, and that salvation lies in suppressing the Beast’s instincts and urges.
The Road of the Beast teaches the way of instinct and embraces the predatory nature of all Kindred.
The Road of Kings teaches vampires that they are superior to mortals, and that their destiny lies in ruling over the mortal races.
The Road of Divinity claims that, although they are forsaken, Kindred are agents of the Eight and of Gaia, empowered in nature and mission.
Beyond helping a Kindred accept and understand his curse as well as gain a measure of control over the Beast, the roads teach that vampires are not without hope or salvation. The roads are called such because they lead Kindred away from the abyss of damnation towards a mythical state known as Golconda.
According to Kindred legends and philosophical scripts, Golconda is an equilibrium between their mortal and vampiric natures. Whether Golconda is truly achievable remains a mystery, but it is appealing since it is purported to be the only peace available to Kindred – a state in which the instinct and impulses of the Beast lose all power over the Kindred. If legends are to be believed, Golconda spares the vampire from the curse so that he no longer needs to consume the essence rich blood of mortals in order to sustain his immortal existence. However, those that embark on the long road toward this exalted state face an uphill struggle, one of which is that only a handful of Kindred mystics are even rumored to have succeeded.