V20: methuselahs rising
The true history of the Shin’ar is shrouded in mystery to all but a handful of ancient Kindred. There are rumors that these blood sorcerers came about while the Great Father still walked the Earth. There are others who subscribe to demons being petitioned or strange aliens giving these Kindred power. One thing is certain, the Shin’ar have an intimacy with the blood that is unparalleled. Such power comes at a high price, but the rewards are endless with such a collective of Kindred. The Shin’ar share a hive-like mind in varying degrees. For initiates, the Collective is more of guiding tool, whereas, the elders literally share their minds with all other members. It is because of this alien mind that the Shin’ar are notoriously difficult to read or glean any useful information through supernatural means. The Shin’ar and their strange blood sorcery has been passed down before time was actually time.
The Collective has two major prime directives. The first is garnering knowledge and the second is maintaining neutrality. The Collective isn’t a caste of warriors, although they are trained in combat. They are a group of observers in the shadows. A story has been passed down since the beginning of the Shin’ar about a demon who destroyed the writings of the Great Father. These stone tablets were priceless artifacts that were casually destroyed by undead automatons to fulfill some infernal rite. It was in those moments that the Shin’ar Bloodline was realized. Preserving history, especially the history of vampires, is of paramount importance to moving forward in an ever changing world. Nisaba became the Shin’ar’s first Mudi Summu Nura (Oracle.)
Nickname: Nisabites or The Collective
The Shin’ar invite most Kindred into the arms of the Collective. Infiltration into the hive-mind is impossible, and the persons responsible will find a fit punishment for their treachery. The Collective embraces each member into its consciousness. As the Kindred grows and learns more from her blood, she becomes more apart of the single consciousness of the Shin’ar. The Collective is a very diverse group of scholars, fighters, assassins, former slaves, nobility, carpenters, merchants, etc…
Child prodigy or servant in the Hanna Palace, there is no walk of life that isn’t a potential candidate to become an initiate of the Shin’ar. The only real prerequisite for becoming part of the Collective is a keen mind and thirst for knowledge. Initiates are chosen by the entire Collective. This hive-mind is vast and leaves little room for mistakes. Initiates are taken to the Temple of Mudutu for conditioning, training, and education. There are several trials that must be completed before initiates are eligible to become Oracles. They are ranked as initiates until the Collective decides otherwise.
Mudi Summu Nura (Oracles)
These Kindred are selected not only for their intelligence but for their ability to blend in and infiltrate any culture or society. The Collective isn’t steering the world with ambitions of power and glory. It exists to preserve knowledge. It exists to chronicle history for all time. The Shin’ar also want to expand their knowledge of the blood. What new secrets can be unlocked through expanding knowledge of new cultures different customs and ways of life. These pilgrimages will produce answers for the Collective. The Oracles are commissioned to establish safe-houses in the four corners of the world, while still preserving anonymity and neutrality. The Oracles go through rigorous mental training (the Eidetic Memory Merit is free for Shin’ar.) Sharp minds aren’t the only quality of the Collective, albeit, it is the most important. Physical skills are also a factor in choosing Initiates. Neutrality is a prime directive of the Collective. That being said, neutrality is either an influence to defend important intelligence or simply defending ones self. Initiates are trained in various martial arts and fighting styles, depending on raw strength or nimbleness. Kish Sorcery is also a powerful tool for defense and survival.
The Kalum (Council of Shadows)
Nisaba selected seven members to embrace. This council would reside in the Temple of Mudutu. These Shin’ar Priests were meticulously selected to begin all initiates training in history, Kish Sorcery, martial arts combat, etiquette and social customs of known cultures throughout the world. These initiates will eventually become Oracles themselves and embark on pilgrimages to far away lands where they might infiltrate and observe new cultures, magics, and knowledge. The Collective will grow in knowledge and preserve what it can for the future. The Priesthood is vigilant in selecting strong minds and nondescript men and women. The Collective is geared towards having people everywhere—all walks of life. And the Kalum train and guide the Oracles on their journey.