Devil Tigers

Some souls scream when they reach Yomi. Others enjoy the trip and bring the torment back with them when they return. To these souls, the Howl of the Devil-Tiger is a mantra of hope. Pain is a cleansing thing to these vampires; it roots out imperfections and applies the healing torch. In the shriek that follows, a higher Truth appears.

According to The Blood Sutras, Xue discovered the Mantra of Pain after the destruction of Mount Meru. Weeping, he lashed himself with nettles and tore gashes in his sides. As his blood poured to the ground, it burst into flames. Xue ripped off his own face and threw it into the flames. It was then that he became enlightened.

Despite misconceptions, the followers of this path are not demon-worshippers. Oh, they appear to be, to the unenlightened observer: Devil-Tiger temples crawl with atrocities—from skewered babies to maimed slaves—and ring with obscene chants and discordant music. Unclean spirits frequent such places, and the Chi that boils in Devil-Tiger dragon nests is corrosive and foul. The outsiders miss the point, however: Devil-Tigers do not worship devils, they want to become devils. And that is a far greater purpose than servitude.

To the Searing Wind (another name for the Devil-Tiger sect), pain is instructive and purifying. A devil, in the grand scheme of things, is the doctor with the cauter-knife and bone-saw. By cutting off the rotting limbs and burning out infections, a devil makes creation healthy. It is Heaven’s wish that the Devil-Tigers fulfill this task on Earth—both on others and upon themselves.

These vampires epitomize sadomasochism; they enjoy tormenting other creatures mentally, emotionally and physically, but revel in the same treatment too. Each tear is a new lesson, each cry a vision of truth. Just as a sudden flash of light leaves a deeper darkness, so the lash of pain creates a greater calm. Restraint comes from the fear of pain; hense, welcome pain and banish restraint. Agony should be savored for the insights that it brings—insights that turn to higher joys, if you understand their meaning.

The Searing Wind tries to help others find those joys; paradoxically, it also seeks to destroy people who understand the truth too well. These devils are surgeons too, after all, and destined by Heaven to cauterize disease. Like the goddess Tien Mu, Devil-Tigers are the lightning that illuminates the wicked; like Le Kung, they are the thunderbolt, which strikes down sinners. The Sixth Age, so they say, will be the brightest strike, the flash that will burn a wicked creation to ashes. Like the lightning, the Devil-Tigers will fade when their task is done, and a new, wiser creation will rise from the embers of the old.

It will be a grand game! And it has already begun…

Training: Like tigers, the vampires of the Searing Wind prefer magnificence to brutality. Such evil has a grace and power that simple carnage cannot match. Their lessons cut like razors—literally!—and their mantras flay one’s ears. Skill is a virtue, brutishness a waste. A Master abducts her future disciplines, imposes horrific lessons on them, then has them meditate on the essence of their pain.

The students themselves come from bilent backgrounds. In their lives, they learned to live with pain. In time, they drew strength from it and often died gruesome deaths. During their stay in Yomi, these souls had their weaknesses sliced away. Now, with the Second Breath in their lungs, they strive to continue their training and to pass on the lesson to individuals who might appreciate it.

Modern Devil-Tigers find the world a fascinating playground. Never before has pain been so acceptable, so mass-produced. At the same time, many people seem numb to exquisite anguish. The challenge of the modern world is to make it feel again—to apply the hot iron until creation’s eyes fly open and behold the sight of Heaven.

Weakness: Even the wisest Devil-Tigers seem impulsive, a bit too quick to provoke a scream. The younger ones are clumsy tempters or raging killers, and their elders aren’t much better. Subtlety is not this Dharma’s strong point. In the dawning of the Sixth Age, Devil-Tigers stand ready to claim the world and are none to humble about that privilege. They cultivate Bane-spirits in their gardens, but cannot quite hide the hunger in their eyes.

Affiliations: Fire, the number 2, the color red and the south direction.

Auspicious Omens and Symbols: Tigers, thunderstorms, lightning strikes, huge fires, burning lotuses (often represented by floating flower-candles).

Tenets

  • Ride the Demon, do not let it ride you.
  • Glory in the fires of the flesh and the passions of the soul.
  • Teach others to live joyfully through pain.
  • Throw fear into the flames and encourage others to do likewise.
  • Do not hesitate - act!
  • Seek out the brightest embers and feed them until they become bonfires.
  • Meditate upon the flash of passion, the dazzle of its afterglow and the darkness that follows.
  • Be cultured in your passions and magnificent in your evil. Any imbecile can act like a madman; it takes true wisdom to become a devil.

Commentaries on the Devil Tiger

by Iatsu Akoto, recorded by Mujuro Ututsu

The path of the Devil Tiger is a sword of righteousness wielded by two hands. One, the hand of wickedness, the other, the hand of pain. Pain, more than anything, gives us our purpose. It is only in pain that we can understand why what we do must be done. Our suffering makes us hate, which drives us to action. If we did not hurt we would be made complacent...lazy...useless. When we hurt, we must overcome, and so our pain forces us to always act.

The punishment for the wicked is painted in the pain we have suffered. Through our own suffering we gain the motivation and reason for punishment, and the colors from which to draw from when painting a canvass of pain. After all, who better to punish the rapist than the raped? Who better to punish the murderer than the murdered? Suffer, and let your suffering fuel your passion. Be stabbed, cut, shot, burned, raped, tortured, murdered. Learn from the punishment that you inflict upon yourself, and use that knowledge as a tool to punish others.

Wickedness is our engine of righteousness. Know thy enemy, for to beat the devil, you must be a devil yourself. Anyone can suffer. Everyone does, in one way or another, but not everyone can be wicked. The raped may not have enough hatred to hurt their rapist, or perhaps they are too sloppy. The murdered are redeemed by a justice that has no concept of how the murdered suffered, and can not truly hate their prisoner. When you are wicked there is no cry for mercy, no tear of sorrow, no voice of redemption that can stay your hand from meting out the justice which must be inflicted.

Pain is your teacher, your drive, your need, which drives your wickedness to act. When they are in harmony, you are a magnificent devil.

Ride the Demon, do not let it ride you.

The first tenet, like a first step, is the beginning of your metamorphosis. Most who pursue the path of the Devil Tiger quickly realize it's more obvious meaning...that is, do not fall to the P'o. This simple realization is necessary before taking any further steps, though there is more to it than such simplicity. The P'o may very well be magnificent in it's evil, but when you are controlled by it, everything it does is merely an excuse. When you are controlled by the P'o, you do not make decisions, you do not influence it, you simply sleep and the demon acts upon it's own desires. Even if your desires coincide, you are still the slave, and it the master.

To truly be a devil one must embrace deviltry. This can be difficult for the young. We still remember our days of being alive. As wicked as we might have been, there were still things that made us human. To be a Devil Tiger is to cast off your humanity, and embrace the full glory of being a true demon. To do this, one must decide to do it. You cannot let your P'o have control and say that is being evil. That is no more useful than giving the leash to someone else, and saying you are evil when you act as nothing more than a vicious dog. To truly embrace evil, one must, without influence, without illusion, consciously and willingly give up everything that made you human, everything that you used to justify yourself. Most importantly, you must have no illusions about what it is you will be doing. There are many who simply play at being devils. They murder, rape, maim and they think this is being evil. Evil is not found just in what you do, but also why. Humans do all of those things, and more, but they are still driven by humanity...greed, lust, anger, hate. Humans feel all these things, and are guided by them. You, too, feel these things, but be careful about being guided by them. Do not let them cloud your vision, or distract you from your purpose. Passion is important, otherwise torture would simply become rote, and you could not throw yourself fully into the task set before you, but if it becomes the sole purpose around which you revolve, one might as well be a rutting prostitute. Be evil to be evil, not because you are hungry.

Remember to also guard yourself against slavery. The Yama Kings look for servants, and newly risen devils who wish to learn the ways of evil make willing servants, whether they know it or not. There are many who are willing to "teach" and do nothing more than bend a servant to their own purpose, the way a smith bends steel to a purpose. You will find many teachers along your road back who can teach you many things, but always be aware of what you're doing. Take whatever lessons you are given and apply them, to yourself and the world around you, so that you know what is truth, and what is true for you. Do not accept someone's word that the branding iron is hot. Grasp it and let it sear your flesh, and you will carry that lesson all the rest of your days.

Do not forget that you carry a great teacher within yourself. Remember your P'o. It is the demon forged from your own chains of sin which dragged you to hell. It knows your secret desires, your wants, and more than anything else, what you are capable of to accomplish those desires. Ride the demon. Let it speak to you of what you can and cannot do, what you've done, and what you haven't. It is your own evil that was given voice from the screaming winds of Yomi. To ignore such a teacher would be simple foolishness. But remember, do not accept it's lessons on it's word. To simply listen and not act is laziness. To act and not listen is slavery.

Glory in the fires of the flesh and the passions of the soul.

Ah, the means and the end in one sentence. The soul is our concern, the flesh is the medium through which we influence it.

It is the passions of the soul which bound us to Yomi in the first place. When we were human we indulged for the sake of indulgence. Now that we have taken the second breath, our passion serves a new purpose. Sex no longer satisfies, food has lost it's taste, and drugs are all too often simply a waste of time. With these revelations it is easy for one to slip into boredom and complacency. The point of this tenet is not to. Certainly a Devil Tiger can be accused of many things. Laziness should never be one of them. Do not forget your passion or let it grow stagnant. Broaden your palate, and learn to taste things that your humanity would never let you conceive of before. There is no substitute for experience, and one must have the passion to set aside complacency, and safety, to pursue it.

Flesh is the medium through which you gain experience. Everything you experience is filtered through your senses. There are many who would muffle sounds, and close their eyes to deny what they experience. You must never do this. You must face the world in all it's glory and it's horror. To do otherwise is simply denial. There are few better ways of casting away these crutches than through pain. Pain awakens you, it reminds you that you're still alive, and no matter what else you deny yourself, you cannot ignore your own suffering.

Teach others to live joyfully through pain.

It is easy to sit. It is easy to sigh, and cry and complain. It is easy to hide, and easy to be afraid. It is difficult to grow, to reach, to evolve. Difficult to even move. Why should one ever seek to do what is difficult? Pain. Pain is the greatest motivating force in history. It is suffering which drove humanity to crawl out of their caves and build cities. Otherwise, why evolve? Society's ultimate goal is to surround itself with so much comfort that it will never hurt. Our goal is to never let that happen. It is with agony that the man drives the oxen, and so it is with agony that we drive humanity. By causing suffering we force people to move, to grow, to evolve. And when they have grown, they can look back on how far they have come and say that they are better.

Parents heap misery upon their children with nothing more than the excuse of "you'll thank me when you're older." Only when the child is an adult do they realize the truth. And so it is that we must heap misery on others, and make them understand that when we are finished with them they will be greater. This is how the lump of iron is forged into the steel sword, how the very earth and sky are bent to a person's will.

Throw fear into the flames and encourage others to do likewise.

Fear is your enemy. It is as much as your enemy as the Yama Kings, or Akuma. Fear paralyzes. In that way it can stop you from your heavenly duty, or even reverse the lessons you have taught others. As you grow and learn you will face many terrors. Terror of the horrors which you must face, but also the terror of loss, the terror of accomplishing nothing. If you are not careful, this terror will stop you. It will make you question what you do, and wonder why you bother. If you fall victim to this, you will give up. You will surrender, and become lazy, or worse, a slave. You might as well die. Only when you give up your fear will you be able to accomplish anything. When you give up fear, you cannot be stopped, cannot be dissuaded.

Encourage others to give up fear, for only then can they act on the lessons that you teach them. When they become fearless, they too will understand that they are no longer limited, nothing exceeds their grasp. Without fear, all gain the drive to accomplish whatever they wish.

Do not hesitate--act!

Hesitation is the result of fear. Hesitation is the moment someone else needs to take all you've made and accomplished and smash like so much brittle glass. Once you have decided on a course of action, hesitation is merely stalling...often a result of being afraid.

One must be careful though. Do not confuse hesitation with lack of preparation. There are many young devils who never grow old because they threw themselves into a fire they could not quench. Knowing what to do and doing nothing about it is laziness. Not knowing what do do and acting on it is foolishness. It's a fine line, and one many have trouble surviving.

Seek out the brightest embers and feed them until they become bonfires.

The world is sick. It is our task to burn it to ash so that, like the phoenix, a new one may rise, fresh, clean and healthy. But you are just one devil, and one devil cannot punish the whole world. Besides that, there are more than just devils in the world. Find those who could be useful. Find those who can help you, whether they know it or not. Cultivate them, and soon they can be as your own hands, applying the torch.

Realize that there are others who can understand your passions, but do not understand what to do about it. Open the door for them. Show them the way, and they will become their own whirlwinds, pushing the boundaries of the world, forcing people out of their complacency. Remember, as a devil, your duty is not to yourself, but everyone.

Meditate upon the flash of passion, the dazzle of its afterglow and the darkness that follows.

Wash the world in a single color and that color will disappear. Likewise, put the world in constant pain, and pain will cease to exist. So it is with you. Do not forget that there is no pain without pleasure, no suffering without joy. Both are your tools, one used to illustrate the other. Do not forget them for yourself or others. Never forget that there are two sides to the coin.

Be cultured in your passions and magnificent in your evil. Any imbecile can act like a madman; it takes true wisdom to become a devil.

Many young devils think that murder and mayhem are evil. Point to any human and you can find those very things in every human heart, whether they act upon it or not. What does murder and mayhem teach? Nothing. Every lesson you give, every punishment you dole out should be appropriate, and unique. Kill someone and they will be forgotten. Heap tragedy upon someone and they will recover. The torments you inflict must be so dire, so terrible that they will never forget, they will never recover. Remember your time in Yomi? It was not your flesh that was flayed, but your very soul. What dream have you had that you forgot the burning touch of hell? What night has gone by that you did not pause to try and leave such memories behind only to find that they will never leave you? Like hell, so must you punish. This is the magnificence of evil. This is what you must strive to become.