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Museum Secretorum [Witch Finder Conspiracy]

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  • Museum Secretorum [Witch Finder Conspiracy]

    The Collection

    [a black rose with a butterfly covered with amber at its middle]

    the world is wide and deep, more then any human mind can imagine. From the bottom of the ocean up to the void between the stars, man has always wished to know more- to see more, feel more, be more. Yet, it feels like sometimes the world works against that passion, binding mankind inside the complicated lie which keeps them from enjoying the nectar of the gods and become everything it was meant to be. And if things are not complicated enough, it seems that the world is not only wide and deep, but also folded into endless layers- strange intelligences from another worlds whisper prophesies to their followers. Dead souls from the underworld bring cryptic messeges from the world beyond. Mechanical beings hold the great design of the universe in their minds. Owl like shadows, burning angels, sinful demons and mad fairies- each has its own secrets, and all hide them from their rightful owners.

    Enter the Museum.

    The organization tracks its origin back to the Late Antiquity. Its records show it was one of the earliest sect who practiced Hermetism. Still, the organization claims an even deeper roots- that one way or another, it has always existed. As long as man looked to the heavens and reached for the stars, the spirit of the group motivated those people forward, toward the infinity and beyond. It has offices through the whole world- secret museums, libraries and archives which contains knowledge and artifacts no mortal should have known- yet they do. From the living statue of a woman made out of flame, through a room made out of mirrors which shows every dream a person ever had and up to a ticking clock which counts the number of days passed since Lucifer has fallen, the Collection see its top priority at discovering, filing and gathering every occult secret in the world.

    Except of being old, they are also very organized- each agent is given a special duty at tracking a certain phenomena. Vampires. Spirits. Ghosts. Angels. Each person has her own specialty at dealing with the occult. Once an agent shows she is qualified enough to deal with that phenomena, she is sent for her first target- nothing too difficult, rest a sure. A young vampire, maybe. A rumor about the dark ghost. The more experienced agents deal with bigger things- a place which hold a portal to the otherworld. A being made out of smoke and shadows which devours all life. The agents are never meant to destroy those things- no, it would be a waste. They are there to learn about them, and is possible, catch them and bring them to one of the museums for a further study. The point is discovery- and the Collection has learned how to maintain many weird beings trapped inside their halls.

    Only one type of phenomena is not separated as a "specialty"- witches. Every agent of the Museum has the highest priority at investigating phenomena related to will workers of all kinds. While most would be satisfied with an interview with the witch, the ground rule of the Museum is this- if possible, catch the witch and bring her in. This is a dangerous act, of course- for not only that many sorcerers are powerful beings, but that most of those have strong connections in occult groups of their own- groups powerful enough to destroy whole museums without casting a single spell. Because of that, the group focus its efforts on the youngest, loneliest, most broken mages they can find- those who won't be missed by anyone. Once captured, the target is preserved inside a special, amber like material in a state of living death. The greatest museums hold hundreds of such statues, some dating from the very foundation of the group. While in this state, the witches give the Collection exactly what they searched for- the secrets of the universe.

    The process is an old one, and the logic behind it is very simple. Evey warlock is connected to the "higher worlds" through his very soul. By using that soul as a conductor, the members of the Museum can tune to the melody of the heavens, drawing into them the secret words of creation and discovering the truth about mankind. The ceremony itself is complicated and exhausting, but it gives the members the ability to not only sense the ebbs and flows of magic in the universe, but also to manipulate it to some degree. Using that process, the members of the Collection become better suited at finding and cataloging the mysteries of the universe. The problem is that each such statue allows only a certain number of people to use it as a conductor, which is dependent on the power of the soul of the mage before it was bound. By limiting themselves to the lowliest of mages, the group can't give that ability to most of its people- and only those who has proved themselves are allowed to go through the ceremony.

    The question remained is what the Museum does with the rest of its collections? The official stance is nothing- the knowledge gathered by the Museum's research and the beings, items and places gathered in its basements are all meant to unravel the mysteries of the world and opening the eyes of humanity. Yet, some wonder if that is really the case. Knowledge is power, after all, and some of the wonders and horrors hidden in the archives of the Collection are enough to shake the foundations of the earth. Some believe they serve some purpose, like the witches who are bound in amber. Others wonder if they are a part of a greater plan- a complicated ceremony meant to awaken the whole world from the sleep its having. Theories on what is the true purpose of the Museum is an hotly debated topic among its members- especially since the manager keep his mouth shut about the subject. After all, the purpose of the Museum is discovering all of the possible secrets- including its own.

    Status:
    0- you have joined the secret society of the Collection and have passed their rigorous trainings. Choose a single Unseen Sense focus, like vampires, ghosts or werewolves. You get that merit for free.
    000- you have proven yourself worthy to use the gifts of the Museum. You gain access to the Hermetic Path Endowment
    00000- you have became quite famous in your field of study, both among other hunters and supernatural beings. You get Contacts for 5 dots in your specialty.

    Endowment- Hermetic Path (1-5, special)
    Once going through the Black Rose Amber ceremony, the member of the Museum binds her soul to the soul of the witch. By using that connection, the agent may call upon the unearthly powers of the witch- even if in a modified version. Once gaining a status of 3, choose a single sphere of influence. The sphere needs to be specific as possible- something like Fire, Love, Plants, Healing or Divination. Each time you get a new dot in the Endowment, choose one of the Practices of Initiate up to Disciple. You can manipulate that chosen Path by using that Practice by paying a number of Willpower points equal to the Arcana rating of the Practice, and roll Occult + Hermetic Path. Exceptional Success makes the next spell cast by the character free from both the WP price and the roll, while a Dramatic Failure ends up with the spell turining against the caster as a dark taint destroys the spell.

    The character can not have more then 5 Practices in the same time, although they may change them after choosing them by deep mediation with the amber statue using a Resolve + Occult roll (in the same way a Lucifuge may change her Castigations). In order to permanently having more then 5 Practices, or gaining an access to a new Hermetic Path, the character must move through the ceremony again, taking the place of another potential member of the Conspiracy. Each statue can open a number of Hermetic Paths equal to the witch's original Gnosis score. Destroying the statue or freeing the witch would remove the character's ability to cast spells, although that ability could be reestablished by creating a new link with a new statue.While the practice of trapping witches in amber is secret, some members of the organization would allow members of certain Status (3 and above) having access to more statues- if they trap the witch by themselves.

    Another secret is that, in theory, a member could buy Practices of higher Arcana (4-5, no Archmastery in here!). Doing so would require binging 3 of the witch's Gnosis to a single Practice, and any Failure would end up with the spell turning upon the caster- while Dramatic Failure would summon a dark spirit from a place called the Void to hunt the caster down and destroy and amber statue it can find. The Museum believes this is the resoult of drawing the attention of the magi, who send one of their servants against them. The Rank of the spirit equal to the rank of the Practice failed, and it is unaffected by the spells of the Hermetic Paths. Usually, this is when the members run for the witches for help.
    Last edited by LostLight; 06-28-2015, 02:11 PM.


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

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  • #2
    Stereotypes:
    Promethean Brotherhood-
    "Their existence is such a waste. Instead of taking the time in understanding the mysteries of the cosmos, they burn those secrets for temporary power. Notice, however, that coating them in Amber would stop the fire from burning out"
    Null Mysteriis- "Such a passion! such a noble goal! They should join us, and together we would discover the mysteries of both Heaven and Earth!"
    Aegis Kai Doru- "I've heard about their labyrinths and the treasures they protect inside of them. Those relics shouldn't be used like a tool- they should be respected and studied! Those are the evidence that humanity exist- and they should be protected in out museums"
    Long Night- "They talk a lot about God and His angels. I have personally seen ten different divinities- both great and terrible, all covered in our precious amber, preserved for all eternity. It is not to say I don't believe in their words- I'm just stating we have a free spot in our gallery"

    "Fascinating! I've never thought one of your kind could do that! Do you mind elaborating about you theory on the matter?"


    My Homebrew Signature

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

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    • #3
      I've been looking through your stuff in my end as a prelude for getting back into my CofD writeups. Aside from To the Strongest and the Wolf and the Raven, have you ever wondered which of the Companion Eras the Museum could fit in? The Isireion Era is a natural fit, seeing as it builds up from elements of To the Strongest. But what about the others?


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      Age of Azar
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      • #4
        well, the conspiracy as is would start only during the Late Antiquity, turning from a collection of different chapters dedicated to occult research into a true organization as they discover the secret of the Black Rose Amber ceremony. Following that, they emerge to the world just as the whole Roman Empire collapses around them, which may have been the catalyst for their creation (that is, cementing the concept that the conspiracy must "preserve the secrets of the past" or else they would be "lost forever". The Soulless and the Dead present that existential fear- the world is dying all around them, and they must save the pieces of civilization for the future generations. They may also operate during Princes of the Conquered Land, on the side of the colonialists, searching for the mysteries of a distant land to add them to their collections. Lifting the Veil would also be appropriate, considering the obsession that Era has with occult and spiritualist traditions, even though they'll have some harsh competition over the hidden secrets during that Era (like the thaumaturges, or the Order of the Nameless with they "abyssal project"). I'm not familiar enough with the other Eras to give a deep answer, however.


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