By Kenneth Madsen, MADnes Ventures Design Studio (C) 1994
The Founder of the Bloodline came walking out of the Barahshi Desert night and into Ancient Sumer around 4,500 B.C. He immediately showed himself to be a powerful Sorcerer, and he bowed only to the Ancients themselves. Some doubted whether he was a Cainite at all, as he displayed powers never known to have been wielded by any member of Caine's House. Xulalkharu as he was named by the Kindred after the fall of the Second City, was a prophet of some power and was sought out by many of both Caine's and Seth's House. He gave of his wisdom and insight freely, and without any demand of a Boon. What he predicted always came true -- in one form or another, and he came to be a power in his own right in the lands which were ruled by the Second City. But he was never accepted into the Second City itself - the Ancients claimed that he seduced its inhabitants with his constant preaching on the necessity of a war against Shaitan and his brethren. Xulalkharu did have secret supporters, and these were probably the only reason he was not destroyed outright when he Sired his first Childer -- childer who looked just as otherwordly and daemonic as their Sire. Xulalkharu and his 8 Childer were allowed to live on the condition that they never showed themselves in the Second City -- a decision many an Elder have cursed since then.
But even though Xulalkharu preached for war against the Ba'ali, their leader Shaitan and the destruction of the city he had build in the lands of Kala-At-Shergat, he was every bit as fiendish as Shaitan. He did not mind that Shaitan and his brethren sacrificed both Kine and Kindred in worship of their god; what he really objected against was that he was not committing the slaughter. Xulalkharu desired the destruction of Shaitan, his daemonic Mentor Ba'al and all the Ba'ali -- and he was ready to do anything to achieve that. Xulalkharu was -- unlike Shaitan and the Ba'ali, daemonic as they may seem - a true daemon who had tricked an unknown Cainite to Embrace him upon completion of a special Ritual Xulalkharu had designed. Although he sacrificed some of his daemonic power and standing, Xulalkharu was given a form and new powers in the lands of the living, and given the chance to destroy the plans of his long-time enemy Ba'al.
Xulalkharu's scheming was partially responsible for the Fall of the Second City, and for the many Cainites who travelled into the lands of Kala-At-Shergat afterwards in search of a new home. Xulalkharu had been enticing for war against the Ba'ali for years, but finally realised that the Cainites would not march into war when they felt secure and at peace in the Second City -- thus the haven for mortals and immortals alike had to fall! When the Cainites surged into Kala-At-Shergat, Xulalkharu directed their attention to the hideous sacrifices which the Ba'ali made - even though their way of sacrifice was not all that different from that of the Clans -- and finally the Cainites of the Second City went to war, and completely destroyed the Bloodline! Or rather, the Clans were fooled, and Xulalkharu discovered that the Ba'ali had made a diversion and escaped. Unfortunately, this was where his luck ran out, and the Clans discovered who was the real enemy! Xulalkharu and his Get were the targets of a Bloodhunt of biblical proportions, and those who did not manage to escape, were destroyed by infuriated the Cainites who had lost their Haven - the manipulator does rarely appreciate being manipulated.
But Xulalkharu did not give up - vengeance was his, and his Bloodline was hot on the tracks of the fleeing Ba'ali, like Hounds of Hell. But every mistake put more land between the Xulalkharu and the Ba'ali -- and brought the whereabouts of the Daemon Kindred to the attention of the Clans. The few Ba'ali which Xulalkharu and his Get managed to locate were always too young to be of any true significance. Xulalkharu hunted them for millennia, but Shaitan and the Elders of the Bloodline had vanished. Or rather they fought from the shadows, like the Xulalkharu.
Finally, around A.D. 500, Xulalkharu could feel his bond with this world grow weak; he tired of fighting shadows and he decided to enter Torpor. He built a magnificent temple somewhere in the Carpathians, and laid himself to rest there. He ordered his Get to search out the Ba'ali, corrupt the world and revive their Master when they found Shaitan or any of the other Elders. Before he slipped into Deep Sleep, Xulalkharu made a huge scroll containing the Ritual needed to revive him.
Since then, the Ba'ali and the Xulalkharu have been enemies, fighting their war from the darkest and most secret of the shadows of the Jyhad -- both determined to destroy the other, and lead the Legions of Hell through the Gauntlet, and into our world.
Very few Xulalkharu still wander the earth. Most are in Torpor after battles, but since they rarely make any Progeny, there are few to fill out the ranks. Of course, the Bloodline does also depend on secrecy for their plans to work - the deeds of the Dark are rarely done well in the Light -- and those who does not learn the art of hiding their true nature, are quickly found and destroyed by the many enemies of the Bloodline. Thus, the Eternal Battle is always fought by the most powerful, cunning and intelligent members of the Bloodline.
In keeping with their daemonic nature, many of the Xulalkharu are powerful sorcerers, and the Elders of the Bloodline can stand up to even the Elders of House Tremere. They do, however, wield the power of the most dark and forbidden Paths of Thaumaturgy, and have knowledge of many Rituals and Paths unknown to other Kindred - some of which they have bartered with daemons to sink their claws into.
Because of the Xulalkharu uncanny ability to find, attract and concentrate evil, death and decay, the Followers of Set can often be found in a area which harbours a Temple of Xulalkharu.
Appearance: The Xulalkharu come from all over the world, but the most ancient among them may very well look very alien and strange, because of the mixture between their native features and their daemonic legacy -- the Summerians, for instance, looked like no other people.
They do, however, all share several features. Upon becoming a Xulalkharu, they gain a skin colour which is a mixture between dark grey and khaki. The Vampires also gain very sharply drawn facial features, which make their faces look as if they have been carved from stone and polished until it resembled flesh. The final feature, is the most apparent evidence of their daemonic origin. As their minds are opened to the Infinite Darkness of the Abyss, and the Raging Fires of Inferno, their eyes turn glowing red -- in effect, much like the Protean Level One Power Gleam of Red Eyes.
The Xulalkharu have no dress code, but members of the Bloodline tend to dress in the same style they did when they were mere mortals.
Haven: Many Xulalkharu maintain only temporary Havens, because they are on a constant search for the Ba'ali.Those who do settle, prefer to reside in the most criminal and dangerous no-go parts of a city -- they seem to crave the presence of death, decay and suffering -- indeed, at times it seem even more important to them than the Vitae craved by all Cainites! The Xulalkharu prefer to live in houses or buildings which have access to a large basement or possibly even a nuclear shelter. There they construct their temples, and perform hideous Rituals, and contact their Daemon allies.
Background: The Xulalkharu choose their Neonates from the most evil and intelligent of their Human Retainers, or Acolytes, should the Vampire have created a temple.
Character Creation: Typically, a Xulalkharu will have Outsider or Professional Concepts, but a few Criminals and Dilettantes are also to be found in their ranks. The bulk of the Bloodline members have Deviant, Fanatic, Judge or Loner Natures, and adopt whatever Demeanor fits their current activities.
Mental Attributes are primary, as are Knowledges.
Bloodline Disciplines: Mattaru, Obfuscate, Dark Thaumaturgy (or Thaumaturgy)
Weaknesses: Due to the strange appearance of the Xulalkharu, they all have an appearance of 0. They cannot pass as Humans, unless they are using Obfuscate or magickal means.
The daemonic essence which flows through their very beings means that children and animals will always display signs of fear and loathing when a Xulalkharu come within 50 yards of them (increasing in forcefulness as the Vampire draws nearer) -- this cannot be offset by neither Merits, nor Disciplines or Rituals. The evil aura will be clearly felt if the Xulalkharu ever acquires the Discipline of Presence.
To ensure that they remain loyal to their Daemon Founder, each Neonate pledges part of his soul to Xulalkharu himself - thus each Neonate begins his existence and service with a Daemonic Investment of some sort. The close ties maintained to their Daemon origins, ultimately changes the psyche and bodies of the Xulalkharu to resemble those of Daemons. Most of the Ancients of the Bloodline are completely alien and evil to a point where they are understood only by those sharing their condition, and they exist only partially on this plane of existence. When a Xulalkharu decides to live permanently in a city, or area, he must find a Haven located in an area which is enshrouded in evil and death. If this is not done, the Xulalkharu will have all his dice pools halved, until he can find a Haven where he can rest surrounded by death, decay and suffering. This is thought to be caused by Xulalkharu himself, who still urges his Childer on in the hunt for the Ba'ali.
Organisation: Only very seldom will more than one Xulalkharu be present in a city at a time, and those who live permanently in a city are required to maintain a Temple of the Founder, where travelling members of the Bloodline can come to rest and worship. The Eldest Xulalkharu present always functions as Highpriest, but the Xulalkharu who entered the city first are treated as the leader, and must be shown respect by all Xulalkharu who enter his Domain. Some temples exist openly in society, posing as Satanic cults, but most hide in the shadows. Blood Cults are a favoured way of protection by the permanently residing Xulalkharu in a city.
A large temple is hidden in the Carpathians (and is said to be part of the reason Tremere relocated to Vienna), where the Founder sleeps, guarded by his 8 original Childer. The place is said to be daemon-ridden and not truly a part of this world. But only the most powerful amongst the Xulalkharu know of the location of the Temple, and have the power necessary to enter it.
Gaining Bloodline Prestige: Bloodline Prestige within the Xulalkharu is gained mainly by locating Ba'ali and sacrificing them to the honour of the Founder -- the older the Ba'ali, the larger the amount of Prestige.
Another way to gain Prestige, is by completely permeating an area with evil and corruption, effectively turning it into a Hell on Earth. Xulalkharu who have managed to turn an entire city -- or part of a city -- into such a Hellhole, are very difficult to defeat there; it may be because it becomes a sort of "home turf" to the Daemon Kindred.
Pronounciation: The Bloodline name is pronounced Xul-al-kharu (zul-al-kharuh), and is a twisted form of Ancient Sumerian words meaning "Evil", "Destroyer" and "Vampire". It was the name given to the Founder after the Kindred discovered that he was behind the Fall of the Second City.
Quote: "We were born in the Fires of Hell, but We walk in the Shadows until We have destroyed Our ancient enemies - the Ba'ali. Then We will learn Kindred and Kine alike to walk in the glorious flames of Hell"
The Camarilla: A gathering of Kindred too busy fighting each other or the Sabbat in their eternal Jyhad, that they will not discover us before we strike!
"The Xulalkharu you say? I remember reading about them in an Ancient Greek version of the Book of Nod. I do believe they were the ones responsible for the Fall of the Second City. They were supposedly allied to the Ba'ali, but the might of the Clans crushed both of the foul Bloodlines when it was discovered what they were doing!" - Peregrinius, Brujah Elder
The Sabbat: They fight to be free of Infernalists, kill their own in gruesome trials, and yet they are each day chained just a little tighter to the Great Darkness. Some of them know of us, but most do not. Those who do already worships Daemons, and thus we can control them.
"I know of the Xulalkharu. They are powerful Vampires, who found the way to combine the might of Daemons and Vampires. They are an interesting group, and perhaps I can get them to share their secret in return for some of the information I hold...regarding the Ba'ali..." -Odin Guth, Tremere Renegade
The Inconnu: We must beware this group. Although it claims to be merely watching, we know that some of its members lived in the Second City. They might very well be standing behind the scenes and directing their less powerful brethren against us! Watch and learn!
"I wonder how these Daemon Kindred ever managed to bring about the Fall of the Second City! I have watched them for nearly 3,000 years, and still they have not managed to open the Gates to Hell. It is lucky I can direct the Ba'ali and the Xulalkharu against each other. Hell will freeze over before they are done fighting each other, and meanwhile I can continue compiling my list of where their Elders sleep" - Khasharri, Brujah Methuselah
View the Mattaru discipline.