Serpentis is the legacy of Set, his gift to his children. The Followers of Set carefully guard this Discipline's secrets, teaching the reptilian art only to those they deem worthy (almost never outsiders). Most Cainites fear the Setites purely because of this Discipline, the way of the serpent and the tempter. Serpentis can evoke an almost primordial fear in others, particularly those who recall the tale of Eden. After all, hiss the Setites, the serpent was an evil older than even Caine himself.
The Eyes of the Serpent Edit
This power grants the Setite the legendary hypnotic gaze of the serpent. The Setite's eyes become gold with large black irises, and mortals in the character's vicinity find themselves strangely attracted to him. A mortal who meets the vampire's beguiling gaze is immobilized. Until the character takes his eyes off his mortal victim, the person is frozen in place.
- No roll is required, but this power can be avoided if the mortal takes care not to look into the Setite's eyes. Vampires and other supernatural creatures (Lupines, mages, et al.) can also be affected by this power if the Setite's player makes a Willpower roll (difficulty 9). If attacked or otherwise harmed, supernatural creatures can spend a point of Willpower to break the spell.
The Tongue of the Asp Edit
The Setite may lengthen her tongue at will, splitting it into a fork like that of a serpent. The tongue may reach 18 inches, and makes a terrifyingly effective weapon in close combat.
- The tongue's razor fork opens aggravated wounds (difficulty 6, Strength damage). If the Setite wounds her enemy, she may drink blood from the target on the next turn as though she had sunk her fangs into the victim's neck. Horrifying though it is, the tongue's caress is very like the Kiss, and even strikes mortal victims helpless with fear and ecstasy. Additionally, the tongue is highly sensitive to vibrations, enabling the vampire to function effectively in the darkness the clan prefers. By flickering her tongue in and out of her mouth, the vampire can halve any penalties relating to darkness (p. 209).
The Skin of the Adder Edit
By calling upon her Blood, the vampire may transform her skin into a mottled, scaly hide. A vampire in this form becomes more supple and flexible. The Path of the Warrior (a line of Setites who adhere to the ancient warrior-codes of Egypt) makes much use of this power.
- The vampire spends one blood point and one Willpower point. The vampire's skin becomes scaly and mottled; this, combined with the character's increased flexibility, reduces soak difficulties to 5. The vampire may use her Stamina to soak aggravated damage from claws and fangs, but not from fire, sunlight or other magical energies. The vampire's mouth widens and fangs lengthen, enabling her bite to inflict an extra die of damage. Finally, the vampire may slip through any opening wide enough to fit her head through.
The vampire's Appearance drops to 1, and she is obviously inhuman if observed with any degree of care, though casual passersby might not notice if the vampire is in darkness or wearing heavy clothing.
The Form of the Cobra Edit
The Setite may change his form into that of a huge black cobra. The serpent weighs as much as the vampire's human form, stretches over 10 feet long, and is as thick as a woman's thigh. The Form of the Cobra grants several advantages, including a venomous bite, the ability to slither through small holes, and a greatly enhanced sense of smell. The character may use any Disciplines while in this form save those that require hands (such as Feral Claws).
- The Setite spends one blood point; the change is automatic, but takes three turns. Clothing and small personal possessions transform with the vampire; the vampire remains in serpent form until the next dawn, unless he desires to change back sooner. The Storyteller may allow the Setite bonus dice on all Perception rolls related to smell, but the difficulties for all hearing rolls are increased by two. The cobra's bite inflicts damage equal to the vampire's, but the vampire does not need to grapple his victim; furthermore, the poison delivered is fatal to mortals.
The Heart of Darkness Edit
The Setite with mastery of Serpentis may pull her heart from her body. She can even use this ability on other Cainites, although this requires several hours of gruesome surgery. Only the new moon, the invisible moon, may grant this power success. If performed under any other moon, the rite fails. Upon removing her heart, the Setite places it in a small clay urn, and then carefully hides or buries the urn. She cannot be staked by any wood that pierces her breast, and finds it easier to resist frenzy. The heart is the seat of emotion, after all, and so the difficulties of all rolls to resist frenzy are two lower.
Setites are careful to keep their hearts safe from danger. If someone seizes her heart, the Setite is completely at that person's mercy. The Setite heart can be destroyed only by casting it into a fire or exposing it to sunlight. If this happens, however, the Setite dies where she stands, boiling away into a blistering heap of ash and blackened bone. Plunging a wooden stake into an exposed heart drives the Setite into instant torpor.
A Setite may carry her heart with her, or have several false hearts buried in different places. A Setite often avoids her heart's hiding place, to deter discovery. Those wise in Setite lore whisper that the corrupt elders of the clan often hold their underlings' hearts, the better to control the errant hatchlings.
- This power requires no roll. Those who witness a Setite pull his heart from his breast (or cut the heart from another vampire) must make Courage rolls. Failure indicates anything from strong uneasiness to complete revulsion, possibly even Rotschreck.