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1001 Wraith Story Hooks

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  • Christian A
    started a topic 1001 Wraith Story Hooks

    1001 Wraith Story Hooks

    Reposting my old 1001 Wraith Story Hooks thread here, because that sort of thread tends to be useful.

    Please be aware that the numbers won't be consecutive - I created this thread on three separate fora.

    1) A PC belonging to the Hierarchy discovers that his death has been orchestrated by the Legions themselves, so as to get a new recruit with special skills known only to few (insert something only the PC knows about here).

    2) The PCs died in a Necropolis entirely owned by the Renegades, where the Hierarchy are an underground movement, ostracised and hunted by most Wraiths.

    The Necropolis embodies everything that's great and terrible about the Renegades. There are no laws. Every wraith is free to do with the Skinlands and Shadowlands as she pleases. There is no safety and only very little organized protection against Spectres.

    3) All of the characters are killed in the same plane crash and shake off the caul in the Shadowlands at the helm of a Stygian Galleon on the Dead Seas. The ship is composed of player’s fetters and bits and pieces of charred 747.

    4) The characters are ritually killed by a cult and come to the Shadowlands at the head of a group of heretics, the cult's shadowlands followers.

    5) You've just about come to peace with your untimely demise. You've come to some measure of acceptance.

    Then your murderer dies, and you find them in their Caul.

    6) One of those awful television shows where those dorks come to a haunted house and make fools of themselves is filming an episode in the Haunt of a local Wraith. He comes to the player characters' Circle begging for help to sabotage the film crew's efforts before they can film anything interesting--apparently his Shadow has the Shadow Life Thorn, and arranged the whole thing during his last Catharsis as a gambit to get the poor guy in trouble with the Hierarchy, the kind of trouble that ends at a Soulforge. Unfortunately an unbalanced local Haunter has gotten wind of the planned filming, and decided that it's showtime...

    7) A gambling tourism bus has crashed just outside of town, killing over a dozen people. The Drones left behind are just kind of shambling around the site of the accident. As far as the local Wraiths are concerned, it's open season--Drones are easy money just waiting to be harvested. Greedy Centurions, Renegade Slavers and the local member of the Artificer's Guild all converge on the scene to get a piece of the action. Unfortunately, one of the Drones was a family member of a PC--how does she feel about that?

    8) Halloween is usually a pretty good Pathos-gathering opportunity; all the local Wraiths look forward to it. Unfortunately, this year an uninvited guest has popped up through a Nihil in the middle of the Necropolis--the Kraken...

    9) The local hospital has been swarming with members of the Masquers' Guild for the last week. Apparently a prominent local plastic surgeon is due for a massive stroke any day now (thanks Fatalism), and a muckety-muck high up in the Guild wants to recruit him in the worst way.

    10) A Sandman has fallen to his Shadow and has started murdering his favorite dreamers one by one, all in their sleep. The Sandmen's Guild will pay any price to stop him--if his first victim, fresh from her Caul and on the verge of falling to her own Shadow, doesn't find him first.

    11) My contribution: the (low-ranking Hierarchy PCs find out that a football player is going to die on the field, at a match that is important to the local Renegades. Can they get in there and reap him while the crowd's going nuts on both sides of the shroud?

    12) One of the PC's Renegade allies is manipulating a local street gang for his own ends. The gang's enemies start showing up dead for inexplicable reasons - it is obvious that the Renegade is involved.

    The Hierarchy is furious and considering to start a crackdown on all Renegades. Your friend needs to be shown the error of his ways.

    13) The Circle's Pardoner has recently turned into a Doppelganger. Instead of helping the PCs to keep their shadows in check, she is now subtly feeding the PC's shadows during her sessions.

    14) An old and powerful Heretic intends to leave the Necropolis behind for the Far Shores in search of wisdom. His leaving will result in a power vacuum that must be filled. Other Heretic cults are already jockeying for position.

    15) Computer-savy Artificers have created a porn site that feeds on the Pathos - and life energy - of its fans.

    16) For no discernable reason, the Shroud is decreasing in power slowly but steadily in pretty much the entire city. It's getting easier and easier for ghosts to affect the Skinlands with their Arcanoi.

    17) A Renegade claims to have the power to "wake up" drones, turning them into full-fledged Wraiths. But the process involves sacrificing another wraith. And the newly sentient drone usually becomes a spectre...

    18) An Inquisitor of the Magisterium Veritatis shows up in town to 'audit' the current state of the Necropolis. Everyone scrambles to make a good impression or, more importantly, not make a bad one.
    19) Someone stole the Mask of the local Anacreon of the Grim Legion. And he's pissed about it.
    20) (Works in a town with a large Chinatown) Rebel wraiths from the Yellow Springs are in town looking for an artifact they could use in their fight against Yu Huang. The local Hierarchy orders the rebels found and handed over to Dark Kingdom of jade to not cause a diplomatic problem, but also quietly orders the artifact to be given over to them.

    21) Something terrible happened, and the entire PC circle has been sent into a Harrowing together. And after the Harrowing - no matter the outcome - they can't seem to be able to get back into the Shadowlands. Something went wrong, and now they're stuck all the way down the Labyrinth, surrounded by Spectres.

    22) A powerful Spectre, whose influence reaches even into the Skinland, promises not to kill the PC's living relatives ... if the PC helps him turn the Anacreon into a Doppelganger.

    23) A mass murder in a high rise office building has created a kind of localized maelstrom centered on the building. The place has been belching up every kind of spectre for days and the city's wraith population is taking huge losses. The hierarchy calls on every able-corpused wraith to join together for one last assault on the building. They've got to fight their way to the top where the murder took place so a skilled Argos master can close the rift. The Raid: Redemption: Wraith Style.

    24) A writer finally finished writing the book he couldn't finish before dying. Now he only has to find a way to publish it from beyond the grave.

    25) For a few weeks now, random Maelstroms have attacked the Necropolis regularly, and every time when the storm calms down a Wraith has been violently sent into an Harrowing. Someone is attack wraiths every time the storm comes, and has to be stopped.

    26) An old veteran of the first World War has remembered something no one should, and now he's got the Hierarchy after him. There's a huge bounty for his head, but the remnants of the old Mnemoi guild are ready to offer their service if he is delivered to them instead.

    27) A powerful Proctor has set herself up as a messiah of a cult of mortals, in which he is revered as an immortal goddess incarnate.

    This in and itself wouldn't be a problem, if the cult wasn't powerful and/or well-connected; but it is. It also has excellent marketing.

    Very soon, cult members and indeed even the wraith herself start having public appearances on local TV and radio stations, spreading the word and gaining new followers by the hour. After only a couple months, the cult is a trend religion, to which all the cool modern kids belong to.

    The Hierarchy doesn't approve, for obvious reasons - and neither do the guilds, who don't particularly like the attention. Something has to be done.

    28) One of the PC has lost his Shadow. Literally.

    This is not a good thing. The Shadow has found some way to create a Corpus of its own, looking exactly as the PC. Now there's an evil twin of the PC in the Necropolis, doing bad things in his name.

    29) One of the major authorities of the Heretics, a friend and confidante of the PCs, has lost its faith. Something terrible has happened, and now he doesn't believe in Transcendence any more.

    It is time for a Heretic PC to to rekindle her faith and make her a believer again.

    30) It's a talking obolus. Apparently, something went wrong with the process of soulforging this wraith into an obolus. Which is why it's talking. Or rather, screaming - its existence certainly isn't exactly a pleasant one.
    Something needs to be done about that.

    31) The American government knows about Stygia, and is in diplomatic relations with the Grim Lord.

    32) One of the players is being hit for protection money by the Monitors. What are you going to do about the fetter Protection racket?

    33) Envoys from the Dark Kingdom of Wire have come for a wraith they claim was a Nazi war criminal who got away with it. Unfortunately, it seems as if the local Hierarchy don't want to part with their new member, as he possess a rare arcanoi. And of course the wraith claims they are mistaken. Who is right?

    34) A group of Renegades have kidnapped one of the Anacréons. They will only talk with the player's circle as intermediates to negotiate with the Hierarchy.

    EDIT: 35) Don't pay the Ferryman. Don't even fix a price, until you get to the other side.

    36) Members of the Necropolis start disappearing and not coming back. Upon investigation, it turns out that they are all marked by Fate (recognisably so by wraith skilled in the art of Fatalism) in some way.

    37) After having returned from a trip to the Tempest, the PCs find that their home Necropolis has changed. The Legions do their work to protect the populace from spectres. The Hierarchy assists wraiths in resolving passions and fetters and publicly supports the quest for Transcendence. There's no corruption; no mistreatment of non-Hierarchy wraiths.

    Something is very wrong here.

    38) Something went horribly wrong, and the PCs are now in a Stygian prison, about to be forged into something like an Obolus or an ashtray or something. It's time to drastic measures.

    39) One of the PCs finds that he is slowly but inevitably losing precious memories of his time as a living person. It's all slipping away. He'll need the other PCs to help him and to keep him sane.

    40) There's rumors, recently, that the spectres have learned a new set of tricks. Things go their way. Wraiths who oppose them are the victims of every misfortune possible. And the word among the Renegades is that they've devised a new Dark Arcanos - a hellish mirror of Fatalism...

    41) The PCs are a Hierarchy patrol, sent to seize a shipment of bootleg pathos crystals. All pretty simple, right? When they get there and chase off the low-level renegades, however, they find that they're not smuggling pathos.

    It's bombs. About twenty barrowbombs.

    19) Two new wraiths awake together, having no memory of their deaths or each other. They died young, and are soon reported missing. What happened and why did they come together? What secret motives do the that decide to help truly have?
    (Maybe they killed each other and must eventually come to terms with it?)

    20) Some of the local wraiths are acting very strangely. The PC's are worried, but things are elevated to a whole new level when a long-time friend of the Circle disappears one night and re-appears later, acting out orders that he has no control over. A necromancer is at work, and needs to be dealt with!

    42) A particularly radical Christian Heretic faction takes over the Necropolis by superior military ability.

    The survivors - Hierarchy, Renegades and guilds alike - all agree that the Heretics need to go. It's just that, without their cooperation, the Heretics will simply be too powerful go get rid of.

    43) There's a traitor in the PC's guild. The PCs are charged with the task of uncovering his identity and bringing him to justice.

    44) An amoral Monitor (is there any other kind?) attaches a powerful spectre to one of the PC's fetters. The Nephwrack then goes on a rampage. It's too powerful to confront directly, and the fetter is right there...

    45) An Artifact that is actually a beloved object from one of the characters' lives is in the hands of someone that PC hates. Not even necessarily a villain, they may just hate each other.

    46) A rich and powerful Hierarch approaches the player, who is a Masquer, and asks him to moliate a thrall to match the likeness of his long deceased wife. A little research reveals that this is something he asks for frequently, and that his intentions are to abuse and torture the moliated thrall until she discorporates. Previously he had a regular masquer who carried out this task for him, but said Masquer's shadow got the better of him and he turned doppelganger. Now the hierarch is looking for a new craftsman. It is also rumoured that he has offered the job to another Masuqer already, who declined the job, and winded up in chains and - you guessed it - as the next planned subject for moliation.

    47) A Heretic cult spreads the word that they have found the path to Transcendence. When they appear to prove it, wraiths flock to the cult, inciting a breakdown of law and order and forcing the hand of the Hierarchy.

    47a) The PCs are agents of the Hierarchy, tasked to find out the truth behind the cult and expose them for the frauds that they are...if they are.

    47b) The PCs are wraiths who have joined the cult after the 'demonstration'. They have to protect their new brothers and sisters from the ravages of the Hierarchy while trying to fulfill the requirements for Transcendence themselves.

    48) A player who has a Passion (or strong motivation) to find the ghost of someone who was important to him in life (maybe his wife, or brother, or friend - its a common enough passion choice for players) manages to track through the bureaucracy to find he/she was taken as a thrall to Stygia. When she follows the papertrail to Stygia (which involves literal travel to Stygia, as there's no electronic records) she finds that the artificer has meticulously recorded exactly where the soul went: into a brick that is on the very byway that the wraith travelled along to get to Stygia. The meticulous artificer numbered every brick, and they were used in order, so said brick shouldn't be hard to find.
    Finally, when the player catches up to this brick (should they choose to do so) they get a momentary flare of a strange feeling of recognition and connection, suggesting that some vague vestige of sentience still exists within that soulforged item. Now the real quest begins: can they find a way to restore a forged soul?

    49) The Lady of Fate requests a personal audience with the PCs. The PCs are, according to her, fated to play instrumental roles in the prognosticated destruction of Stygia.

  • MagicJuggler
    88) The local Necropolis has suffered from a minor Maelstrom, and when the dust settles, the Wraiths notice that the Space Shuttle Challenger has washed ashore. When it proves surprisingly simple to patch up by the party that recovered it, suddenly a lot of parties have a vested interest in acquiring it, since the potential for reaching "higher" states of existence is too tempting to pass up, even if the amount of pathos needed to power it up is intimidating on paper. Can the players stay safe and negotiate their way to a good profit for the Relic, lest they find themselves Soulforged into heat panels? And if one Shuttle can end up in the Shadowlands...

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  • Ipergigio
    86) High School of the Ghost. Coming back from a school trip, a bus full of students falls from an overpass. Some students become Wraiths, and the high school become their Haunt.

    87) In skinlands young and attractive people suddenly fall into coma and no one knows why. In shadowlands a slave trader and it's gang are harvesting living souls using the Phantasm arcanos in order to sell them at black market as slaves.

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  • Froggo
    85) You see a mortal with a Ouija board attempting to speak to you in particular. You decide to use Embody to answer their questions, and one of them asked is "Do you forgive me for killing you?".

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  • Khaleesi
    Congratulations to Aeoris and Old Rusy Pipe! Much deserved wins!

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  • RealDeadguy
    OK folks, judgment time:

    Lots, lots, LOTS of great entries. Wonderful stuff here, and it was really hard to choose a winner.

    Actually, it was impossible. So I picked two:

    Aeoris - #78 is wonderfully epic and spooky, full of possibility and taking advantage of the world of Wraith to the fullest.

    Old Rusty Pipe - #74 - Totally badass.

    So you two, direct message me your contact info and your Stygian loot will be on its way. Everyone else who posted, thank you so much - it's been a blast reading all of these. Watching you take the world and run with it in so many different directions is all a developer could hope for.

    ​And don't think we won't be doing this again...

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  • Khaleesi
    Ghost Marriages
    Background: A Chinese tradition, still carried on in certain areas even today, where one or both of the members are deceased. The reasons are various. They include: uniting families, ensuring the family line is continued, bringing together an engaged couple where one has died before the marriage could take place, ensuring a younger brother would not marry before an older, or to place an unmarried daughter into a patrilineage. Other reasons include continuing the family line or even requests from the other side.

    82) In the Kingdome of Jade, one of the PC’s lost his one true love in life when he died the eve before his wedding. He somehow found love again in the world of the dead. He and his new love are planning a wedding wraith style, but his fiancée in the world of the Quick is planning a ghost marriage to him as well. Now he has two brides? Whatever will he do?

    83) One of the PC’s has a spouse still alive in the world of the Quick. The spouse’s family is suddenly coming down with a strange illness, incurable by ordinary means. When a ghost appears in a dream requesting marriage to the widow/widower, the family is quick to comply. The wraith just happens to be the PC’s worst enemy? Or maybe even a Spectre?

    84) Wedding bells again, but this time the PC’s future spouse in the Shadowlands is being married off in a ghost marriage to someone in the world of the Quick. To his/her one true love in the land of the living? To someone they hate? To the PC’s murder? What happens from here?

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  • Crowley
    81) Major Tom and the Necronauts.:
    During the high of the space race, many declassified documents involved astronauts passing out and dying in space. Major Thomas Wilks was a happy man, loving father and dedicated husband. His flight was top secret. His son David (age 5) gave him a little rocket ship toy, his wife was expecting his second child. "Ill be coming soon." were his last words before he got up the Jupiter 9.
    He made the grade, the nasa wanted to know whos shirt he wore while he was outside. His wife hearing his conversations in control.
    He floated in the most peculiar way, and the stars looked very different that day.
    Before he could tell, there was a malfunction, decompression "tell my wife i love her very much." "She knows" were the final words before he could even tell he died.
    The ship crashed on the ocean 3 days later.....
    Loneliness is a killer. Imagine being stuck in your own fetter, with no contact to anything or anyone. being trapped on the outer space of the Underworld, The Necrosphere. years passed until the managed to reach and contact the Hierachy by himself while being stuck in the Jupiter 9. Keeping a watchfull eye from the sky as satellital recognizment to The Tempest. After the fall of the MIR, this one appeared on the Necrosphere as a flying hunk of metal, now home of the Necronauts (astronauts that passed during missions or training). Now as Doomslayers and as the "Grid." their objective is protect Stygia from the sky high from threats within The Tempest and from the Outside (Fuck you Xerxes Jones). The players who manage to pull enough ranks on the doomslayers down on the Underworld may be transfered to the Necronauts unit, keeping the underwold safe from Spectres and other outsider threats.
    While major tom not only trains the new recruits..but trying to find a way to reach his descendants and give them a final goodbye,

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  • atamajakki
    80) Someone with a real nasty streak has been doing some cruel shit with Puppetry lately. He skinrides folks and then has them off themselves; the families all freak out because they never saw any warning signs, and the new wraith wonders why the hell she's dead. Shut him down.

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  • Nazfool
    79) The characters have spent their Enfant years rising in the ranks of the Hierarchy. After lengthy bouts of politicking (or soldiering), the characters have all secured positions that straddle trusted-Centurion and promising-Marshal. The Anacreon contacts the Circle with ‘prestigious’ new orders; the Circle has been assigned as the Stygian liaisons to the Kingdom of Wire…by the Lady of Fate herself. What secrets do the characters’ pasts hold that would cause a Deathlord to personally reassign them? Are they being sent to make amends for past apathies…or as sacrificial lambs?

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  • Aeoris
    76) Specters need love to: A doppelganger is doggedly hunting a member of the characters circle in attempt to overwrite her corpus and pose as her. The specter's true love came across the shroud with his psyche intact and was horrified at what his former lover had become. He has become infatuated with the character of late and his former love will do anything in her power to possess the character so she can be near her lover again.

    77) A character was a member of the Franco - Tuscan expedition up the Nile during the 1800's. During the expedition, he participates in the desecration of Pharaoh Seti I's tomb incurring the curse of the this case a spectral risen. Seti I catches up to the character as he is guarding a massive obilisk being shipped to Paris for placement at the Louvre. Killed while defending the obilisk, the character finds their way drawn to Paris only to discover that Seti I has followed him. The Hierarchy is hard pressed to repulse Seti I and the fearsome tempest winds that follow in his wake. Seti will sweep aside all opposition unless something is done quickly. The Anacreons learn from an Ivory Kingdom ambassador that all of Seti's fetters have been destroyed by the Ivory Queen sans one...the obilisk at the Louvre. The characters lead the charge for vengeance only to discover that Seti isn't the only one who holds the obilisk as his fetter. Will he willingly send himself into a harrowing to defeat the wraith who killed him and his companion or find some other way to defeat Seti?

    78) The lighthouse of Alexandria's construction was a monumental undertaking and served to protect and guide the vessels necessary to transport the Library of Alexandria to Stygia. It is common knowledge that the lighthouse mighty architect and keeper is a gaunt of immense power that has imbued the lighthouse with every manner of protection against specters and maelstroms he could devise. What is not common knowledge is that all his efforts are born of a stark, raving terror of his shadow. The keepers exercises in self mastery only managed to separate his shadow from his psyche and allow it free reign to spread havoc across the underworld with an ultimate goal of reuniting with its other half. The keeper's shadow has been busy of late and it is said that it has the ear of Coldheart himself. With Alexander the Great's tomb laying in the shadow of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, it is only a matter of time before the great defenses the keeper has marshaled will be put to the test...

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  • atamajakki
    75) Doppelgangers have fully infiltrated the local Pardoners and are using a sort of inverse-Castigation on people. This would be a hard enough problem on it's own, but this bizarre Dark Arcanos is a complete flip; as much as regular Castigation hurts a shadow, this power feels really fucking good for the Psyche.
    Last edited by atamajakki; 05-27-2014, 07:02 PM.

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  • Old Rusty Pipe
    74) For centuries the Pardoners have sought the secret to convert Angst into Pathos. Their obsession with this goal has led to the creation of the Angst Battery. At last the Oracles' foresight has revealed the place where a solution may be found: near the Well of the Void in a forgotten temple where the Neverborn sleep. The place is so tainted by Oblivion that any Wraith would succumb to Specterhood long before returning. The only hope is to leave your shadow behind. With the power of Shadow Summons the Master Pardoner has cleaved your shadow from your psyche. What was an accident to the great Charon was a hard choice for you. Now your existence is measured in hours before you fade forever from the Shadowlands. Good luck Doomslayer, you're going to need it...

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  • Old Rusty Pipe
    73) Welcome aboard the Stygian relic submarine Ictineo II. Perhaps you fell overboard on a pleasure cruise, or your fishing boat was became lost in a storm. The circumstances leading to your death are far less concerning than the immediate aftermath. You cross the Shroud wrapped in your caul miles from shore with a Maelstrom brewing. The Captain is a water logged corpse of a ghost that is the stuff of nightmares for Specters, and you are the new deckhand. Tempest-bound to parts unknown, this ship is taking the fight to the Specters and you are coming along for the ride.

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  • atamajakki
    72) The Walled City of Kowloon was a thorn in the side of the government of Hong Kong for decades. Massively overpopulated and largely run by vicious Triads, Kowloon was a cesspool of crime and violence - criminals on the run often fled to Kowloon, where they knew they wouldn't be pursued by the authorities. The vertical construction and literal walls blocked out most sunlight, creating a dark maze of pipes and cabling that hid drug smuggling, sex slavery, and worse from prying eyes. Life expectancy was short; if gang violence didn't spill over and end your life prematurely, the unsanitary conditions almost certainly would. The government grew tired of the Walled City's continued existence and had it bulldozed to the ground in 1994.

    Kowloon popped up almost entirely intact in the Shadowlands and grew to serve almost the exact same purpose in death that it had in life. The city is a haven for those who chafe under the rule of the Yellow Springs, flooded with all number of renegades, exiles, criminals, revolutionaries, and non-native Wraiths hoping to avoid a fate as White Jade. The pervasive taint of violence, corruption, and death has tainted Kowloon, allowing Oblivion a hold on the very walls of the city itself; no light reaches within unless artificially created (most often by lanterns or neon), and walking the halls alone is a good way to go missing. The city is aggressively claustrophobic, sometimes described as feeling like the insides of a hungry beast.

    Yu Huang is furious beyond belief at the continued existence of Kowloon, but both overt invasion attempts and subtle infiltration have met with fail every time. It prospers as release valve of sorts for the Dark Kingdom of Jade, where anything imaginable can be bought for the right price. It also prospers as a prison of sorts; many of those inside would be arrested and forged if they ever left. For those who can brave the gangs of the dead and the occasional nihil, the Walled City makes a great home within the Yellow Springs.

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