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New Conspiracy: The Ashen Collective

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  • New Conspiracy: The Ashen Collective

    Ashen Collective

    Alchemists of the Grey

    [the alchemical symbols for salt, sulfur and mercury combined together on a crown]

    What is the meaning of soul?

    Some think about is as "higher self" who struggles for good. Others call it the breath of God which brought us to life. Another claim is that it is simply our awakened conscious. For the Ashen Collective, however, it is seen as the key for immortality.

    The Collective is an ancient order of alchemists founded long ago, during the Middle Ages. Their premise was that the Philosopher's Stone, the fabled material which was promised to give one immortality, was no other then the soul itself- and by uniting their body and soul together they will ascend to some higher form of existence. The problem was that in order to transform one thing to another, you must understand the qualities of both the base and the product. Understanding the body was easy- all they had to do was to dissect corpses and learn their anatomy.

    The problem- dead people have no soul.

    That was the ugly beginning of the order- they captured people no one would miss, cutting them open while keeping them alive and searching after the mysterious soul. Yet, without anesthetics, it was hard to keep them alive for enough time to find it. Time after time they were on the edge of discovery- when their patient died too early. Was it in the heart? The brain? The liver? The stomach?

    Everything changed when they found one of the reanimated.

    When they cut the thing open, they discovered something which they didn't found in any other- a burning energy, a fire of creation and destruction. More then that, the creature has even survived the procedure- which allowed them to keep investigating it. This allowed them to come to the conclusion that where the soul of humans was infused better into the humans body- and so it was harder to separate the two- the soul of those "Created" was more separated, which gave the body certain attributes regular humans lacked.

    That discovery was a breakthrough- but it wasn't enough. There weren't many of the reanimated around in the first place, and eventually one of their members was... carried away, and reaped the soul out of the poor thing. While they kept their investigation of the captured soul, they couldn't make any more advances without a new subject. That was when they decided to try and make one by their own.

    And it didn't worked that well.

    While they did managed to steal a soul for heaven, that soul was flawed. instead of giving a dead body life, the vessel was torn apart, and.. things.. were created from its flesh. While they were panicked at first, their scientific curiosity managed to triumph, and they quickly trapped the scattered creatures and put each inside a tube. Discovery requires experimentation- and they had to discover what went wrong. Or right.

    After few more researches, which were all ended up in the same way, the Alchemists came to the conclusion while they didn't managed to reanimate a dead body, the new test subjects were much more efficient. The soul inside them was already raw and broken into its elements. It was much easier to research the Ash (as they called the more static form of the soul) then the Fire. By distilling those broken pieces of life, they made all kind of elixirs and potions which they used upon people to see how they react. They kept creating those monsters, and from time to time they have even managed to create a real reanimated- which was quickly cut to pieces in order to use their precious fire for other things.

    Today, the Collective is still around. Its base is found in Bern,. but it has labs through the world. They steal corpses and kidnap people for their experiments, but they need less such test subjects then before. They have even learned how to make their own humonculi out of the distilled Ash, which would awaken by feeding them some Fire. While they still didn't found the elixir of immortality, they are on the right path- the members of the Crowned Council have lived for hundreds of years by injecting themselves an artificial soul made from Ash mixed with bits of Fire, and they are sure that in the next hundred years they'll managed to separate a full grown soul from a human. Then, by using the Grey to take it apart and the Fire to transform it, they'll turn their body into a divine vessel and become living gods.

    Until, then, they still need their test subjects.

    0- You were accepted to the Collective and gained access to their resources. You can spend merit dots of the Homunculus Endowment.
    000- You have proven your loyalty to the organization and participated in many of their experiments. Seeing your enthusiasm, the order decides to reward you. You get Resources for 3 dots.
    00000- You aare a rising star in the organization, discovering many important breakthroughs by either distilling Gargoyles or dissecting the Created. You have drawn the attention of one of the Crowned, and get a Mentor for 5 dots. Plus, you gain accesses to the elixir. Add 50 years to your maximal age, and that bonus isn't "wasted" as long as you maintain that status.

    Endowment- Homunculus (1-5)
    Thanks to the research of soul, you have learned how to make your own servants. While traditionally the Homuculi were human-like figures, the modern Alchemists have made them in many different forms- cars, guns, cloths and more. You can have one such Homunculus per dot in the Endowment. Those creatures are usually still, unless one of the two happens: 1) they are in the radius of an Azothic Radiance (or "feeling the Warmth of the Fire", as the Alchemists say) 2) the Alchemist feeds them Sparks, which awakens them to an hour per Spark. The Alchemist has a pool of Sparks equal to her Status: Ashen Collective dots, which can be refilled by goping to one of the labs and asking for some. If it was awakened by the Radiance, it is awake as long as it is in the radius.

    Once awakened, the Homunculus obeys the orders of the Alchemists. The car would move without him needing to drive, a statue would fight against the enemies of the Alchemist, a gun would shoot per command. In order to kill the Homunculus, one needs to destroy the object- which is the same as destroying a regular item. If an Homunculus has been destroyed, he can be replaced by going to one of the Collective's labs- but loosing too many in a short time may endanger your Status.
    Last edited by LostLight; 07-10-2015, 05:50 AM.

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  • #2
    Great Promethean inspired group. I would love to use them in my "Alchemy of Heavens" chronicle.

    With that in mind, I have other questions - how Ashen Collective is working with mages? Do they know about Awakened? Are they pair with darker parts of Mysterium on capturing the Created? I assume the Collective steals Ash by the means of Flux from Pandorans they are making?

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    • #3
      Considering that they are an old, occult group, there is a good chance that they have met some mages through the years. I can see the more radical Mysterium members working with them in order to better understand the Divine Fire, in exchange for more information about what a "soul" is. There is also a chance that they have drawn the attention of the Tremere, who keep their eye on them in case few of them would awaken and become Reapers, or that perhaps they'll make a breakthrough in "uniting the soul". I do assume that the mages won't come and tell them everything they know about souls because a) Pyros and the Supernal work differently and b) there is a good chance that if they'll know that the soul of an Awakened is "greater" then the one of a mortal, they'll start dissecting mages. Maybe they already do it, and the Mysterium brings them some captured Left Handed wollworkers.

      And yes, in their lexicon, Ash=Flux

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

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      • #4
        The Promethean Brotherhood-
        They claim to steal the Fire like us, but apparently there are many types of flames up in the Heaven. I would like to check their formulas and compare notes sometime.
        Ascending Ones- Alchemists like us, yet lacking the higher goal we do. They let faith to blind them and shudder from things which are crucial for making a breakthrough. They should let us guide them toward enlightenment- and give us their formulas.
        Null Mysteriis- I appreciate their hunger for knowledge and willingness to make sacrifices for discovery. If they'll be willing to forget their ridiculous theories and join us, they could become so much more.
        Cheiron Group- I have found their logo in one of our older books- with a warning written next to it. We may share the same mentality, but we clearly lack a common vision.

        "Can't you stay still? I'm on the edge of a breakthrough in here!"

        My Homebrew Signature

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

        I now blog in here