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The ben'Hivvah.

If humanity is measured by its ability to succeed, then the children of Hivvah are masters of humanity. To succeed is sublime, to fail, is to fall from grace. In the days before the great fall, Hivvah sought the praise of his father Samyaza in all manner of ways. Riches, power and glory were Hivvah’s to own, yet nothing changed his father’s good graces from his brother Hiyyah, to himself. Regardless of what he did, it never compared to the great feats of mercy his twin brother took upon himself. Thus Hivvah devised a plan to win his father’s favor once and for all. He dared to challenge the firstborn child of Urakabrameel, the first Gibborim.

His brother learned of his plan and tried to intervene in the honorable challenge he had sent, and thus once again Hiyyah sought to usurp his plans of winning their father’s favor. Nevertheless, Hivvah would not be swayed by his brother’s words this time and shoved him aside, intent on meeting his foe on the chosen battlefield. However, as he readied himself the Gibborim struck at his turned back. Hiyyah leapt from the shadows of the morning and threw himself in the path of a blow meant for his brother.

Hivvah turned to witness the act taking place, and saw his brother fall to his feet. The Gibborim reeled in surprise, claiming that this was trickery. Hivvah clutched his brother’s broken body, and swore to him that he would be avenged. That day the father of all Ben-Hivvah defeated the great Gibborim champion. Hivvah vowed that none of his children would ever fail in their duties again, he now knew what it meant to be “your brother’s keeper”.

One of the more affluent and certainly known familia are the Zamzummin. Going as far back as before the flood in the land of Ham, they were overtaken and displaced but persevered. When one thinks of Ben-Hivvah, the Zamzummin are the first image that come to mind. Not so much a family lineage as a community of families, they control great power and hold obscure but deeply rooted ties with the Zuzim of Batraal and the Rephaim of Akibeel. When one thinks of success and perseverance, one thinks of the Zamzummin.

The rise of the Roman Empire bore witness to the power of the children of Hivvah building to new and dizzying heights. The equivalent of small empires and entire provinces of some countries are led and controlled by many Nephal of Hivvah’s Estate thanks to the expansion of Rome. But with great power comes great corruption as well, and all good intentions are fraught with personal goals and aims. A recent trend in the younger generations has begun to worry the Estate elders, who have watched more and more of their brethren fall to the vices of their own power schemes, something that has been said to stir even the great Hivvah himself from his basalt throne.

The ‘Ben-Hivvah’ associate power and strength with success and achievement. The aspect of this may vary greatly, for instance an elder may be respected for having achieved their status, while a young equal could be respected for being the powerful owner of a commercial empire. The sources may be different, but the efforts are seen as an equalitarian force. The internal power structure of every local familia group is based much like the structure of a guild, with members reporting to a guildmaster. Each may have their own agendas, but all are expected to work towards a common goal. Of late, that has not been the norm. The guild members themselves meet once a month to finalize all decisions and report to their lord. 

The ‘Ben-Hivvah’ are probably the one Estate who are overtly and closely protective of their mortal families. Great efforts and resources are spent to keep them safe and well. Most, if not all companions are aware of the world of the Nephal, and some even take significant part in it. This may be frowned upon by other Estates, but the ‘Ben-Hivvah’ argue that their mortal brethren are as much of Hivvah’s blood as they are. One cannot be without the other.

The Ben-Hivvah are by average well proportioned, with symmetric builds and well-defined faces. They continuously seem perplexed and wear a mask of seriousness. They believe that all impressions, including the first are essential, thus they maintain a clean and presentable dress appearance at all  times. They are natural leaders, reveling whenever they manage to maintain the reins of control in a situation where others would not, whether financial, political or any other form of struggle.

Many see the Ben-Hivvah as the ultimate control freaks, yet control is not their aim. Rather it is the manipulation of others via a show or play of power, whichever is appropriate. However, if need be, the children of Hivvah do not shy away from getting their hands dirty. The children of Hivvah are a proud and stern people, stoic in their demeanor and full of passion towards their endeavors. Most of the time, they look like they should be on the stage of a Greek tragedy, however one should not limit one’s definition to their appearances alone, for their passion for life and those they love brings them great mirth. They are perplexing in action, preferring to keep their friends on their toes, and their rivals even more so.

From the moment of character creation, the persona’s career choices will always be maxed, as they all believe in being the best they can be. It is important to remember that the Ben-Hivvah are not greed-motivated control freaks. What they do, they do to better the lives of those around them, even if not all can see their vision of what life should be.

However, there is an inherent corruption that comes with the general Estate’s belief that they were meant to rule. This, coupled with the curse they bear, means that they begin with 3 points of Redemption, and 6 points of Sin.

The Tutelage:

Young initiates are welcomed into the folds of Nephal society long before their actual initiation. They are aware that they are special from a young age and are treated as such. They are also expected to act in similar taste. Disobedience, unruly and outright rebelliousness are unacceptable, these traits are better left to the other Estates. For the Ben-Hivvah, there is no actual tutelage for they believe that life is the ultimate teacher. Their lessons begin with youth, continue through their teenage years and finally end after their Rite of Rebirth following their first successful venture. Once they have proven themselves in the eyes of their warder, they will be celebrated and fully accepted into the folds of the Estate.

During their mortal years, they will be expected to travel abroad, learn a great deal about many customs as well as be involved in a diversity of financial, social, political ventures. This diverse study portfolio is entirely funded by their Estate and familia with resources that are accumulated since their birth. Organization is the key word, and the initiates are expected to reflect the trust given them. However, their warder will accompany them in case of emergency, giving them a wide berth as well as tolerance to their need for space and privacy.

This type of tutelage may seem odd to the other Estates, but it builds a sense of adventure, bravery and self-dependency that many other Nephal never encourage. Blind obedience does not breed the qualities an individual will need to become great or successful.

The Goety of Hivvah:

Hivvah’s children possess the natural ability to bend the will and desires of others to their own in a form of subconscious, verbal subversion. A few choice words, strategically placed into a phrase can be used to implant a subconscious command. Many do not even notice that they are exerting their gift when they do so, realizing only after they have performed whatever task they were sent to do. Some remain completely oblivious, feeling only that they were overcome by a deep and sudden urge to perform the act itself. There are stories of ‘Ben-Hivvah’ Elders capable of swaying entire crowds of people to do their bidding with but a short speech and few choice words. The children of Hivvah also possess the ability to discern the intentions of those individuals whom they come into contact with. Using key signs in the subject’s tone of voice, the movement of their eyes and the posture of their stance. The Ben-Hivvah are able to make judgement far more readily if they are lying, telling the truth, or what their overall  intentions may be. To this effect they receive a +1 bonus on all difficulty markers per dot in Minor Virtue.

Hivvah’s Curse: With great power comes great corruption, and nowhere is this more apparent than with the Ben-Hivvah. Soon after their rebirth, they develop either some form of mania, fetish or subconscious craving for a particular object or perversion. This may be substance abuse, sexual deviancy, outright greed or some form of fanaticism. This innate Estate corruption slowly becomes overpowering with time. It is the one thing that every ‘Ben-Hivvah’ will never have complete control over, and this brings them great disdain. Some think it prudent to remove themselves from the source of their desires, only to discover that the total absence of it drives them mad with further craving. Should any ‘Ben-Hivvah’ succumb to their corruption, the effect shall be total, there is no middle ground. As much as this disturbs them, it is a pale comparison to the perturbation of having to deal with the consequences and shame of their actions thereafter. Truly, the children of Hivvah are torn and loathe their curse. It is a bittersweet frailty which can never be denied, yet never truly embraced.

When exposed to the source of their weakness, Ben-Hivvah must roll their Will, should they seek to resist falling prey to it utterly. Consider them to suffer an age penalty modifier on all rolls should they fail in this test of wills. This penalty will remain until they are removed from the source of their desire for no less than one scene, or their frailty is discovered and their actions exposed. However, they cannot stay away from the curse either; should they abstain from indulging in their chosen weakness, they receive an age penalty modifier on their next venture roll. Thus a merchant that makes a successful deal will be overcome with an urge to indulge himself before his next venture. 

This means that the ‘Ben-Hivvah’ always equate personal success with personal indulgence, and always return for more.

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