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The Sins of the Vigilant [Random Thoughts]

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  • The Sins of the Vigilant [Random Thoughts]

    So my sleep deprived mind has thought of something which I'm not sure if I am going to use in any form or way, but it is still something to think about.

    In Hunter, we have a number of organizations which, instead of developing their own methods to fight the darkness, chose a much easier way- they simply steal the abilities of monsters. Some use foul human sacrifice to do so, others work through a complex of manipulations and contracts, and some even just outright eat them, but while their exact methodology is unique, the results are the same: hunters harness the powers of darkness in order to fight it. However, those organizations are generally being considered as among the darkest of the organizations, being driven less by their loyalty to the Vigil and more by some basic, powerful desire- something that most people would simply define as "sin". So that made me thinking- what if all of those methods of "power stealing" are in fact difference facets of the same core ability - the power to harness the supernatural for your own needs - yet as this strange ability defies the very nature of the Vigil on so many levels, that "thing" can only represent itself through what people view as the most foul of sins- envy, lust, gluttony, wrath, greed, sloth, pride. Each of those works through a different supernatural channel and utilize a different set of occult matrices, yet the source is all the same, and it simply presents itself through the lens of the most basic, human evil?

    Taking that into account, here is what I have in mind:

    The Promethean Brotherhood- Envy is a huge deal about this pseudo-compact. It is driven by jealousy, and how people desire what others have- enlightenment. They, who were not chosen by the Watchtowers, can only look at those distant lights and yearn for something they can not have. They can only ask themselves "why did they got chosen and not me? what do they have that I lack? am I not good enough? But I want it! I want it so much!". The Rite of Hecate represents it on a an almost intuitive level- you kill someone to take what they have, but you can't grasp that stolen fire for long. You must keep on killing, keep on stealing, because you want to be something you are not, to have something you are not meant to have. The Rite itself could very well be Abyssal in origin, and the Abyss is a very envious thing- it hates reality for being real, while it is not real. Reality forces it to acknowledge that it does not exist, and as such it does everything it can in order to replace it, to take away what was real and make itself real instead. It envies the Supernal just as the Brotherhood envies the Awakened, and they both struggle futilely in order to grasp at what can be achieved.

    Faithful of Shulpae- Gluttony. Pretty obvious, isn't it? After all, the Faithful actually east their power, is a deeper explanation even required? Well, in a way, yes- gluttony is not simply "eating", it is "eating more than you should". The Faithful are, basically, a cult going out of control. They worship monsters, but it is not that they want to be like them. They simply view eating them as a form of devotion. But here is the thing- people should not worship that way. Humans are not meant to eat monsters- it should be the other way around. It is one thing to make offerings to your gods, offering them your prayers and receiving their blessings. Heck, doing so usually grants power in the Chronicles of Darkness- enough power to both fight the darkness or be a part of it. But for the Faithful, it is not enough- they worship their gods, venerate them, love them as much as it makes sense, and more than that. They are full of devotion, yet they do that extra step, cross that extra line. They eat what they desire, because veneration alone does not fill their appetite- and gluttony is all about transgression, after all. They, too, have relations to a dark, cosmic power in the form of the Devourer- which is a force of gluttony all by its own. It always wants more, it is always hungry even when it is filled. It will eat as much as offered to her and more above it, just as the Faithful would worship their gods and a bit more. Entropy doesn't have to rise- but it is sure damn easy to feed it.

    Hototogisu- Pride. Here is the thing: monsters are usually viewed as the dark masters of the world. They manipulate the masses, whisper to the people in power and work to achieve unknown and unnatural ambitions. And then come those people- mortals, nothing more, who are sure that this is not how it should work. Humans should be the masters of the darkness. Humans should rule over the supernatural. They see themselves as superior to the monsters, and the monsters laugh, seeing their attempts as futile. But those prideful humans are also very cunning- they know that they can't win them without using a more... subtle power. They happily offer bargains, contracts, frameworks, things which humans invented and think that have any value within in the shadows of the world. So the monsters enter to those bargains- only to discover that they were cheated. Their powers were stolen. Their darkness was taken. Those pitiful humans outsmarted them- and now they are the masters of the darkness. Prideful bastards which cheat in a game they themselves invented, without telling anyone what actually are the rules- and all of that just to come on top, just to send the monsters a message: "we are better than you. you mocked us, and now you are at our mercy. we are the masters- and you have no power in here". What exactly is the power behind the conspiracy is unclear, but it could be tied either to the God Machine, to some lost Cuckoo pangaean or something else entirely.

    Cheiron Group- Greed. Yeah, I know that technically Cheiron does not use the same "take the dread powers of monsters" technique- but let's be honest, that's basically what they are doing. They harvest monster parts in order to gain their power, and then put those parts into humans. A rose by any other name is still a rose, and we could have easily said that they harvest Dark Powers without changing anything fundamental about the conspiracy. And besides, greed fits them- Cheiron cares first and foremost about profit. It hunts monsters in order to earn money, quantifying human lives into value and measuring medical conditions as a means for wealth. More than that, the idea behind their endowment is just as greedy- for being a human is not enough. I mean, it is a nice reference work- but it could be so much better! Just add some claws, perhaps a few fangs. A chameleon like skin could be useful. What about a better heart? Eyes? Brain? You don't need to be satisfied with what you have- everything could be much, much better. You could live golden lives, without diseases, without wounds, without pain. You just need more- and more, and more, and more. Everything has a value- and Cheion is all about increasing its own. And besides. while the Directors Board may be the powers behind the conspiracy, its true engine is capitalism- that one economic philosophy based around the idea that we are all selfish, all greedy, and will always want more.

    And while that's it for the canon groups, let's talk about a certain fanamde one, which came from the (at least once) well known supplement Skins and Bones-

    Dies Irae- Wrath. It is in the name after all. The compact is angry about the world- it is angry about the church for hiding the forbidden texts, they are angry about demons for corrupting the world, they are angry about themselves for not being able to do anything about it. Their wrath is overwhelming, like a burning fire on the verge of getting out of control. They want to burn down the corrupted world, destroy all evil, fight one demon after the other until there will be nothing for them to burn. Their endowment, the Way of Dying, is not stealing the powers of darkness as much as they emulate them. They turn themselves into demons, incarnating their own rage into a horrifying form driven by hate and anger. Fighting demons and their kind no matter the cost is the principle behind the organization- and if innocent lives will be lost, so be it. Let the world burn, and only when nothing will be left of that corrupted reality, perhaps then the fire could finally die out- or at that point, the hunters will discover that they have incarnated so much of the darkness in their own body that they are they would turn upon themselves and burn into crisps.

    So that's it for the existing compacts and conspiracies, but it still leaves two Cardinal Sins- Lust and Sloth. It is highly tempting to have the Abbey's conspiracy version to be tied to the Lust version- but even if that would have been the case, no, they will not gain their power from having sex with monsters. That's a stupid idea, after all :P Also, if we can see that most of those groups do correlate to some kind of an enemy- the Brotherhood with Mages, the Faithful with Mummy, Dies Irae with Demon/Inferno and the Hototogisu is very related to Vampire, even if it does have a domain over a lot of different monsters in Tokyo and its powers are not really "blood magic" or strix related... unless we take into account things like Invictus Oaths, Carthian Laws and that Cuckoos are parasitic birds which could resonant with the Owls, who take the form of other such winged animals (like sparrows and ravens). Cheiron, in that case, would have been the "generalist" organization- but that leaves us without close parallels to Werewolf, Promethean, Changeling, Geist, Beast and Deviant (unless Cheiron is Deviant's- which would actually make sense), as well as a Slasher dedicated group. That's 7 new groups, of which we only have 2 Sins- which leaves us with 5 "none Cardinal Sins". Acedia and Vainglory/Vanity were once seen as their own thing, later to be folded/adapted to Sloth and Pride correspondingly, but we can try and add them to the equation, leaving us with 3 missing Sins. Werewolf's original Maeljin also add Deception and Violence, which means we only have one Sin missing. By turning to the original Eight Temptations and twisting Sloth a bit, we could add Sorrow to the list, which should close that corner- giving us seven missing gamelines and seven missing Sins to play around with the concept of "hunters which harness the darkness"

    Ok, that came out actually cooler than I thought. I may add some extra thought about the exact organizations and may actually write them down later. Any thoughts on this subject?


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    "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

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  • #2
    I think Ashwood Abby would be perfect for Lust. They are usually the most friendly with monsters as long as they can get what they want which fits with Lust rather nicely. For Sloth maybe the Aegis Kai Doru would be a nice fit. They just use the things monsters created(relics) and really don't do much of anything else.

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    • #3
      These are all Christian sins. I’m not sure I see the benefit of what you’re doing. Can you explain how it helps?


      “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Penelope View Post
        These are all Christian sins. I’m not sure I see the benefit of what you’re doing. Can you explain how it helps?
        Well, The Sins provide a paradigm to brainstorm new organizations, or perhaps build a chronicle around it. The fact that something is Christian doesn't make something useless- especially if you want to make a story around some infernal horror or something. Tying the "stealing the power of monsters" kind of Endowments to the paradigm of the Seven Deadly Sins could be an excellent idea for a Hunter Chronicle, IMO, especially if you try to focus around the origin of such a power.

        For the record, I myself am NOT a Christian, so I don't have some religious affinity to the concept- it is just a fun thing I thought about. If anything, I thought about it after viewing some Full Metal Alchemist AMV, which only shows that the fact that a concept is Christian does not mean it is boring or useless for story building.


        Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

        "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

        I now blog in here

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        • #5
          and while Christianity does call them then seven deadly sins most other religions usually associate behavior that involves the sins as evil. so while the sins maybe christian in thought they are pretty universal.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Grimmi05 View Post
            and while Christianity does call them then seven deadly sins most other religions usually associate behavior that involves the sins as evil. so while the sins maybe christian in thought they are pretty universal.
            Wiccans consider Lust to be a good thing, at least in its non-predatory aspects.


            “No one holds command over me. No man, no god, no Prince. Call your damn Hunt. We shall see who I drag screaming down to hell with me.” The last Ahrimane says this when Mithras calls a Blood Hunt against her. She/her (I saw the Chief Technology Officer for a big company do this so I guess I’ll do it too).

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            • #7
              Well, I personally wouldn't say that the Sins are universal (even if different belief systems may found some common ground in some of them- but considering that Sorrow/Melancholy is seen as a "Sin" I'll be far from giving them THAT much credit), but Christianity is the largest religion in the world, with Catholic Christianity being about half of it, so yeah- it may not be universal, but it is very widespread, so using its paradigm of Seven Deadly Sins for homebrew of some sort have its benefits over less common religions.

              But yeah, let's avoid talking too much about religious paradigms in this thread. There are other forums for such discussions, I think.


              Check my STV content, Or My Homebrew

              "And all our knowledge is, Ourselves to know"- An Essay on Man

              I now blog in here

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