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Compact: Société d’Hadès, The Necronaughts

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  • Compact: Société d’Hadès, The Necronaughts

    Société d’Hadès
    The Necronaughts

    Beneath the City of Lights

    Over two hundred miles of human bones form the walls of the dark subterranean tunnels beneath the most romanticized city in the world. This is the Ossuaire Municipal, the famous catacombs of Paris. Only about one mile of the catacombs is available to the public via the official Catacomb Museum, meaning most of the sights and horrors remain hidden.

    The secret guardians and explorers of the catacombs, the Société d’Hadès (Society of Hades), are quite thankful for this. Wayward tourists and would-be adventurers, if left to their own devices, might inadvertently discover that the catacombs quite literally lead into the Underworld.

    The morbid sight of endless corridors with walls made of human remains is bad enough. Factor in ghosts, the occasional necromancer and the living dead and the catacombs suddenly become even more frightening. Members of the Société know how dangerous the catacombs are but venture into it nonetheless. If anything, the long walk through miles of bones hardly bothers them: the real danger, the real excitement, is further down.

    Members of the Société d’Hadès are colloquially called les décèsnautes, “the explorers of death.” They are not soldiers or warriors, not by a long shot. Décèsnautes brave the horrors of the Underworld wearing miners’ helmets and armed with little more than knives, modified sporting equipment and the occasional handgun. Some do it for the thrill, others for the sake of discovery and a few are trying to solve mysteries where only the dead can provide the answers. They don’t particularly like being called hunters – they much rather be referred to as explorers.

    But the décèsnautes weren't always explorers, oh no. Société d’Hadès takes great pide in their descent from la résistance intérieure française, the French resistance. Members of the society honour their founders, twelve Parisians who uncovered an entrance to the underworld while hiding from the German occupation, and who taught the French resistance how to access the land of the dead.

    The war may be over, the Société may no longer fight for their home, but the spirit of La Résistance lives on. Les décèsnautes may be explorers, but no necromancer will keep them from the last fronter.

    The Enemy

    For a small organization that rarely picks fights, the Société has a long list of enemies. As self regarded exploeres décèsnautes mostly worry about who is a threat to them. The Underworld has no shortage of threats. No matter what form danger takes, the Société prefers to avoid danger if they can, and to turn their knowladge of the terrain into a weapon if they can't.

    Ghosts are the most common threat faced by the Société, the Underworld is their native land. The restless dead are often driven by desperation unkown to the living and will go to any legnths to get the aid of someone who can enter and exit the Underworld. Other Ghosts retain dangerous inclinations from their life. Of all the threats Ghosts are the ones the Société are most likely to fight back against. In the Underworld a Ghost is solid, and has a far harder time getting hold of weapons.

    Some necromancers, and even a few Hunters and mediums believe that the threshold between life and death should never be crossed. These people are some of the greatest threat faced by the décèsnautes for they actively seek the Société's distruction.

    It is not surprising that vampires, as they are already dead, feel at home in the catacombs. Like the Société, vampires also realize that the closed-off sections of the catacombs make excellent meeting places. The Société has a general idea of where vampires meet and has decided to avoid the bloodsuckers whenever possible.

    [image]A woman stands in a miners helmet and tough work clothes, she is using a piece of surveyors equipment.[/image]

    Death is a journey.
    You're going to need a map.


    KSI-21: The kind of people who visit the Underworld are rarely safe. If you see another living person be careful. But if they look Russian just turn around and run.

    The Brotherhood Prizrakov: What did I just tell you?

    The Ascending Ones: I swear there's a drug trafficking ring that runs through the Underworld. I've seen what looked like an entire caravan on one of the safer paths, they were surprisingly reasonable and offered to trade supplies for information. But... drugs.

    Null Mysteriis: You want some quick money? Take a bunch of scientists on a tour. Oh? You're interested. We have a subscription to their journal at the clubhouse, I could never get much sense out of it.

    Raison d'Etre
    Members of the Société are defined by why they venture into the Underworld.

    Free Speciality: Survival (Mapmaking).
    Description: Cartographes (Mapmakers) actively try mapping the Underworld. Their Vigil is all about the thrill of discovery. Forget climbing Everest – it’s been done, anyone can do it. The last grand adventure is in the Land of the Dead. Cartographes are the modern equivalent of Jacques Cartier, exploring a frontier no other human beings have dared enter. They are also crucial to the enfernautes as they provide the maps.

    Free Speciality: Pursuasion (Ghosts).
    Description: Égoïstes (The Selfish) join the Société for personal reasons. The most common ulterior motive is to contact deceased relatives or loved ones while in the Underworld. Others want to solve a mystery or answer a question and only a (particular) dead person could know.

    Free Speciality: Occult (Underworld).
    Description: Professeurs (Professors) want to understand the nature of the underworld, or even the nature of death itself. Professeurs range from sober scientists to wide eyed mystics and have an equally wide range in compitency. A few necromancers and mediums are counted among the Professeurs, trading their skills for safe passage and maps of the Underworld.

    [sidebar: La Résistance]

    During the war Société d’Hadès was an altogether different sort of beast and had different factions. Scouts helped move information, supplies and occasionally troops through the Underworld. Saboteurs covered everyone who attacked the occupiers directly. Occultists attempted to harness Ghosts or even the Underworld itself as a weapon).

    Enfernautes gain respect among their peers by surviving repeated journeys into the Underworld. Short trips for a few minutes at a time are nothing worth bragging about; prolonged trips that require survival gear and tents are. Décèsnautes must actually explore the Underworld, not merely visit it. The surest way to win status is to bring back something interesting. A well made map that others can use, a story of reconciliation with a deceased parent.

    ● As a member of Société d’Hadès you have been taught the basics of navigation in the land of the dead. You gain the Underworld speciality in Survival.
    ●●● After repeated trips to the underworld you no longer find it quite so fearsome. When encountering a new and frightful visage you gain +2 dice to resit panic.
    ●●●●● You have spent enough time around the dead to sense ghosts even outside of the Underworld. You gain the Merit Medium.

    With thanks to NineStar for the origonal concept and letting me work on this.
    Last edited by The Kings Raven; 10-14-2017, 05:17 PM.

  • The Kings Raven
    Carte du Monde Mort ("map of the dead") might work; but I still prefer Préparation

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  • LostLight
    yeah, that's why I've suggested the "sort version"- the problem that French is very generous with the number of words :P

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  • The Kings Raven
    Two or three words tops to an Endowment name IMO.

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  • SunlessNick
    Google translate rebered lore of the great below as "la tradition des grands ci-dessous" - interestingly when I capitalised Lore, tradition changed to "connaissance" (the rest stayed the same).

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  • LostLight
    ammm.. while it looks nice, what about a better name for it? after all, every hunter needs preparation if they wish to survive the next night. Maybe something like the Guide de Survie dess Morts ("Survival Guide to the Dead")? Or, in sort, the Guide de Survie?

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  • The Kings Raven
    Shouldn't be hard.

    Préparation (O - OOOOO)

    The difference between success and death in the great unknown is not one of natural brilliance or martial powers, the difference is far simpler. Preparation. The longer a Hunter remains in the company of Société d’Hadès, the more they hear and learn about the great below, and the more they bring with them. For each dot in this Endowment the Hunter gains one point which can be spent to:
    • Gain an automatic Exceptional Success on a Survival roll while in the catacombs of Paris.
    • Add Status to a navigation roll while in the Underworld.
    • Gain the Informed Condition when facing some conundrum in the Underworld: A gate locked shut by a mysterious riddle, a Dead Domain whose old laws are only written in a dialect of the Underworld. An invitation to a powerful Ghost's court with an eccentric and enforced code of manners.
    • Produce a Size 1 or 2 piece of equipment. Often a bribe for a ghost or Ferryman.
    Even the explorers of Société d’Hadès are rightfully scared to delve too deep. Every River crossed increases the cost by one as information becomes scarcer. It is also recommended that if the players form a cell of Necronaughts they share one instance of this Endowment.
    Last edited by The Kings Raven; 09-12-2017, 07:14 AM.

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  • LostLight
    so I've just noticed that those great guys don't have an Endowment of their own! do you think you have enough time to write them one?

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