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Semi Comapct:: Theater of Tragedies

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  • Semi Comapct:: Theater of Tragedies

    The Theater of Tragedies

    The Dark Watcher

    [a broken half of a black, smiling mask]

    He came into the room, searching for her. A year and a day has passed, as was decided by the contract. He didn't really believed she would be true to her word- many has made a pact with him before, and almost all has tried to defy their way. Some begged, other tried bribe. Some even fought back- but eventually, the contract was always completed.

    As expected, she wasn't there. Instead, there were her cloths scattered all around, together with the mask she wore when she met him. He sigh and started to turn away, when he noticed a note on the desk. He walked toward it and read what was written-

    "Dear mister Crimson.

    If you read this note, I assume you have came to take your part in the deal. However, after giving it a lot of thought, I've came to the conclusion that I wasn't willing to pay the price. While I'm sure you will search for me, its unfortunate for me to tell you our pact is null and void. This is our goodbye, and I hope we both would separate as friends.

    Have a nice day,



    Have a nice day- in Hell"

    Suddenly, a huge explosion filled the room, devouring the human skin of the demon before he managed to escape. In the street many has screamed with terror and fear- except of a single person. He watched as the flames engulfed the room, and after making sure that no one jumped outside the window, turned around while humming an old song. Another successful business investment.

    The so called "Theater" can track its origin from the Opium Wars. After the War, the British Empire has gained almost free hand and selling and buying all kinds of goods in China. Many have came to the distant land in an attempt to find their fortune, and one of those people was a man called Adam Mortman. Being a young merchant, he dreamed about material wealth and all the pleasures a money could offer- and was easily tempted when a local who named himself simply as Jade offered a strange contract- he'll get a strong foothold in the trade between England and China, and in exchange after five years Jade would get his soul.

    Being a rational man, Adam didn't believed the mysterious person- but after providing some evident that he could get him what he wanted, Adam decided that no harm would be done from agreeing to such a contract. 4 and an half years later, Adam became a very successful person- and then Jade came to visit. He reminded him of their contract, and when Adam laughed at his face he showed up his true form- a demonic monster made out of metal scraps and clockwork mechanisms. Then, Jade told the terrified Adam he have another 6 months, so he better use them well- and then left.

    Scared and fearful, Adam immediately started to search after a way to protect himself. After discovering that monsters exist, he used all of his wealth in order to find a way to banish such monsters- yet found nothing. Many of those with whom he talked were charlatans, while others told him that there was nothing to do- once a contract was signed, the demon would get your soul- unless you'll find some kind of loophole. As simple as that.

    As time grew shorter, Adam became more and more desperate. That was when he stumbled upon an old ritual in a dusty book. The writing was in old Chinese, but the drawing presented something which looked like Jade, and how someone replaced his face with other one. Feeling that glimmer of hope, he searched after someone who could translate the book- and found it in the form of an old Chinese occultist. The Chinese told him that the book detailed the ritual of a long lost called which named itself as the Wu Keng, or the "Dark Watch". The cult used a modified version of the cross-dressing tradition practiced in many cultures in the East in order to consort with demons- and cheat their way out. By using a special persona named the "Miàn duì", the cult could make pacts with diabolical spirits- and when the time to pay the price came they just through that persona away, saving their soul from the hungry monsters.

    Feeling desperate, Adam has tried the ritual under the guidance of the occultist- and succeeded. When Jade came to get his price, he discovered that Adam has vanished, never to be heard again. Meanwhile, a new and successful woman called as Emerald showed up in Britain, and she had many plans for her new knowledge.

    Gathering other people who were interested in the occult or who got into trouble, Emerald has started the Theater of Tragedies. Using her wealth, the members opened small clubs, pubs and brothels, using it as a cover while they searched demons and tempted them into making pacts with them. While some were caught unprepared, those who managed to trick the demons became stronger and wiser. No long time after its establishment, the members has discovered that they could not only enjoy the powers of the demon and escape, but also gain some supernatural abilities of their own by "cashing" existing pacts while destroying their former Mian dui.

    Today, the group has became pretty powerful, opening new clubs outside of Britain- mostly in Europe, but even one or two in the US. They also allow women to their group now days, with the current leader of the Theater is a man called Ruby (as traditionally, the leaders always name themselves after gemstones). While they are still not a conspiracy, they do have some greater influence then most compacts.

    The only question left is- are you smart enough to outwit the devil? If you do, then perhaps there is an open role for you! Audition are being taken from Monday to Friday, 14:00-19:00. Wear something comfortable.

    0- You have passed the audition and learned the old ritual. You can buy dots in the Mian dui Endowment
    000- You have been a member of the Theater for enough time to make connections with all kinds of important people. You gain the benefit of Contacts at 2 dots while wearing your Mian dui. When changing your Mian dui, the benefit would return after a week of working in one of the clubs.
    00000- You have been smart enough to defeat countless demons in their own game, and you have an whole club under your control. Get Staff for 3 dots.

    Endowment: Mian dui (1-5, special)

    meaning Face in Chinese, that power is the key for the Theater's survival. Each Mian dui is a separate persona, centered around a single item called a Foci. While holding the Foci (which is usually some kind of a costume), the character is considered to be as a separate person for any supernatural power which direct a specific identity. Sympathetic spells, Pledges and Pacts all see the Mian dui the the user as two different people. When dealing with Pacts (or similar phenomena), the power of the Mian dui is one sided. That means, that the wearer may gain any benefit he should gain from the Pact, but when the time comes to pay the price, the occult energy finds no target to deal with and is nullified. That especially shown in the case of Greater Demons, for when they touch the Mian dui the costume vanished- while the demon gains nothing, leaving the wearer unharmed.

    According to the way the Mian dui works, the persona created is always of the opposite sex of the wearer. A single person may maintain a number of Mian dui, but must buy each separately. While the Mian dui allows the wearer to enjoy the benefits of the pact without paying the price, those benefits are valid only while wearing the Mian dui. An interesting side effect of the Mian dui is that while wearing it, any damage done to it doesn't effect the wearer, and instead counted on a separate, "phantom" health track.

    At any moment, by destroying the Foci, the Mian dui may be "cashed" in for power. The same happens if the Mian Dui dies or suffer an effect which erases it from existence (like a demon trying to take its fee). Once it does, the the character gain an EXP dots equal to the number invested in the Mian dui, plus more EXP dots which are equal the benefits the hunter gained from the different pacts through it (with each such benefit being represented by a merit). Those dots could be used to buy new Mian dui or new Dread Powers. Such Dread Powers could be used in any Mian dui and even while not wearing one.

    The dot rating of the Mian dui represent the depth of the false persona. A single dot Mian dui has only a name. One with three dots have a long and complicated history and childhood, including legal documents. A 5 dot Mian dui is practically a real person. Sometimes, reality itself is transformed in order to include the details of the Mian dui- a weird phenomena some members of the Theater wonder about. It should be noted that while wearing the Mian dui, the character is practically a member of the opposite sex. While biologically they don't actually change, but those who interact with them can see no difference. Even medical exams fail doing so. While some may wonder how it happens, most really don't care. This is magic, not some occult science, after all.

    Sidebar- Other Theaters Across the Globe

    You may ask yourself what happened to the old occultist who taught Adam how to become Emerald. The answer is that he used the knowledge to himself and founded his own cult in the Far East, unrelated to the one in England. That is not a unique case. While the Wu Keng did used the ritual, there were many other groups around the world who discovered that they could create fake personas in order to deal with demons. There is one in America, where Two Spirit individual use a similar ceremony to become their other self. Another exist in Haiti, where people allow the Loa to ride upon their flesh. Amsterdam has its own version of the Theater, who claim to hack to some great computer in order to take new "Avatars" for themselves. Even in Iran some have found such a rite, using it to transform themselves in a more efficient way then a plastic surgery. The question is- does the Theater knows about those many groups?

    Yes, it does.

    While the ceremony is scattered through the world, the Theater is the strongest group to use it. They are wealthy and influential, using it to manipulate both people, demons and other supernatural beings. With their ability to avoid curses and cheat their way out of taxes, the Theater has spread way beyond its original homeland. Lately, Ruby has started to dream big. After coming into contact with other groups of hunters (especially a group of people who claim to come from demons and a group of Anglican witch hunters, with both of those trying to eliminate the clubs and members of the Theater), he has decided that the only way to protect itself, the Theater must absorb or destroy any potential rival. Only when it would have global control, the Theater would be able to face against both demons and hunters, and would be accepted as a true force in the occult world.

    That is the reason for the recent spread of the club. While some members are worry that such attitude may bring the downfall of the Theater, the most trust the Ruby knows what he is doing. Few, however, whisper that Ruby doesn't mind taking chances- that he has another Mian dui waiting for him in another cult, or perhaps in a number of them. In case that the club would crush, he could just leave them all behind, carrying with his life. Some are troubled by the fact that no one knows the true identity of who Ruby was before entering the Theater, for he is never without his Foci. A rumor says that perhaps Mian duis don't age, and that Ruby is actually Emerald, who is the old occultist, who is actually the original founder of the Wu Keng. No one knows the truth, after all. Very few people wear the same Mian dui for more then a few years. In the end, it is for the ST to decide.
    Last edited by LostLight; 06-28-2015, 02:07 PM.

    My Homebrew Signature

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

    I now blog in here

  • #2
    Ashwood Abbey-
    I have seen many of them coming to my club. Many look down of them as sick individuals, but I don't mind. If they have enough money to buy my.. services, I would participate in their games- and trust me, they always have enough money.
    Lucifuge- They condemn us as infernalists, and in a way, they are right. What they need to understand is that one can sleep with the devil in the same bed and get our clean, as long as she has.. protection. If only there was protection during the time of their ancestors...
    Long Night- You can talk about "God" and "Redemption" and "Saving Out Souls" as much as you wish. I've seen you in the club last night.
    Knights of St Adrian- Finally- someone who doesn't try to kill us! Every time and then, they come to our club for intel about certain demons, and we kindly share it- in exchange for them getting rid of our demons. We are just a great team, ah?

    "Let's cut to the chase, shall we- Where do I sign?"

    My Homebrew Signature

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

    I now blog in here


    • #3
      Shouldn´t you include some rules about the effects of a terminated pact? Can´t the duped demon/changeling part find ways to locate the breaker despite his Mian Dui?


      • #4
        The effect of the Mian dui is that any supernatural effect which targets a certain person does not effect the real hunter- only the persona. Technically, it is like a Cover the hunter wears in order to avoid being caught. Unless the hunter wasn't careful and changed faces near the demon, the demon can't track him down in any way which a regular human can not do. Considering that the hunter can wear a new Mian dui, it helps him cover up the evident. Remember that demons aren't aware that some people may just create a Cover of their own, and they won't start searching for a man when they know a woman was the one to trick them.

        About rules for a terminated pact- it is simple. When you "cash" the Mian Dui, you gain the EXP value of the Endowment, plus the value of any benefit gained from Pacts (which is translated into dots in Merits). Once the Pact is terminated, the demon feels it- but as far as he is concerned, the on in debt is dead. Even if the hunter decide to make a similar Mian Dui, it is not the same persona.

        My Homebrew Signature

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

        I now blog in here


        • #5
          Dunno... I think scamming a supernatural should have possible risks and repercussions to balance the crave for power.


          • #6
            considering that it is just "protection from scrying" effect together with "second life", I don't think it is too much a problem. Also, it is balanced with the fact that if the character is too greedy, she would draw some attention. Demons are smart creatures, and they don't die easly. While they can't directly track down a person, if the hunter allows herself to make too many pacts and draw too much attention, and she will get herself killed. In the end, this is a spying game- and the demons are born to play those games.

            Not to mention that the God Machine may notice that someone is hacking its system, and may send someone to check it out.

            My Homebrew Signature

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

            I now blog in here