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  • Silent Imperative [Dark Eras]

    The Silent Imperative

    The Escape Route

    [a winged sword with the words "Men's Heart is Evil from Youth" written below it]

    What is sin?

    For some, it isn't such an hard question. A sin is something impure, which goes against everything one considers as "holy". In a way, a "sin" is a crime against humanity, against the gods, against the world itself. Today, especially among the Western Culture, the definition of "right" and "wrong" is pretty solid- yet not so much long ago, things which are today seen a "terrible acts" were accepted, while other things which are seen as conventional were treated as the most horrible evil upon the face of Earth. You don't need to go as far as the Aztec religion of Roman gladiators in order to find such examples- few hundred years ago, in Salem, people were burned alive for a "sin", something which in the modern United States would be seen as unacceptable.

    During the Witch Hunts, the hunters of Salem has faced the question from another angle- what, spiritually speaking, is a "sin"? Is it something you do and you need to "wash away", like mud? Does it always stays with you, always clings to you even when you can't see it, like smoke? Or perhaps you are born with it, and with it being a part of you it would never go away? It doesn't matter which of those answers is the right one- the answer won't give any comfort. If it is the first one, wouldn't it mean that every sin can be forgiven, even the most hideous ones? If it would never leave you, wouldn't it mean that there is no meaning for redemption? And if you are born with it, that it is a very part of your existence, can you really call it as a sin?

    Among the many groups who operated during that time, the Silent Imperative was one to claim that there is hope for the wicked. Sins are not something you are born with- they are something you do, and if you are given the right treatment, anyone can find redemption. While they operate during the Witch Hunts, they claim an older roots- that they once were a former branch of the Lucifuge, dedicated to save the lives of those deemed as "heretics" be an unforgiving Church.

    While the Imperative is a new reincarnation of the older organization, it still remembers its origin. In fact, some claim that its founder, Mireille, still operates the Escape Route, even though centuries has passed since she was born. Whether it is true or false, the Imperative doesn't care- for them, it is a reminder that no matter how you were born, even if you are a child of Satan, it doesn't mean you are a sinner. Some say that this was the reason the group has separated itself from the Lucifuge years ago- that for the Imperative, it is not that you need to try and redeem your own existence, it is simply that your existence wasn't flawed from the first place.

    While the two groups have an ideological disagreement, Salem's Witch Hunts are not the time or the place to debate over ideology. The two groups work together and support each other, with the many agents of the Lucifuge seek after the Escape Route from the efforts of militant groups such as the Divine Artificer and the Shadow Court. The Knights of Saint George, who are the power behind the Court, hunt down the Imperative with zeal- for they effer their help not only for hunters, but for witches too.

    More exactly, the Silent Imperative helps all kinda of monsters- sure, some are evil and should be dealt accordingly, but some are simply people who suffer from a condition which was forced upon them. A vampire who doesn't kill other humans is just trying to survive. A werewolf who was forced to change in the middle of the night didn't wanted to kill anyone. A witch is still a human being, and there is nothing "wrong" with her magic as long as she doesn't harm anyone. All of those people- yes, people, not monsters- are not sinners, and so they shouldn't be put on trail and be hanged for the joy of the mad mob.

    As one may guess, because of that view the Silent Imperative doesn't have many allies- most groups who work with the Shadow Court see them as traitors and cowards who are afraid to do the right thing and can't get the fact that the monsters are just wearing a human face in order to fool humanity. The Knights, the Scarlet Watch, the Divine Artificer, Cainte Heresy and many others all had their efforts being disrupted because of the Imperative's actions, and the Court itself has pronounced the Escape Routes and its agents as slaves to the monsters who should be hunted down like their inhuman masters. For that reason, most members of the Imperative keep on a low profile, hiding their identity as members of the group and sometimes even operating as double agents in other compacts- until the time comes and they should save another soul from the stake. No one is sure how long the compact would survive under the constant persecutions, but its members only know one thing- that as long as there are monsters, there would be hunters, and as long as there would be hunters, there would be someone to save the monsters from them.

    Status:
    0- you are a young member of the compact, dedicated to protect the innocents both human and not. During your training, you have learned how to cover your tracks and hide your connections to the group. Get one dot of Anonymity for free
    000- you have saved many lives while working in the Imperative, and have made many connections through the supernatural and mundane community. Get Contacts for 3 dots
    00000- In order to save the innocents, you need to learn to recognize the sinners. Get Unseen Senses (Sin) for free. Those Unseen Senses triggers every time you meet, face to face, a person with an Integrity equivalent of 4 and below.

    Endowment- Skeleton Key (0-00000, Style)
    A secret knowledge given by Mireille to the first agents of the Imperative, each of the compact's members go through special training which are meant to make sure that there would be no lock, no door and no barrier which would stop from escaping. Some think that those training contain a mystical nature, thanks to the strange rites they need to memorize and bitter potions they need to drink, but most just think about it as advanced training in finding a way to escape. The merit is built like a Style, in which every dot symbolize a more advanced use of the Merit
    0- Lock-pickling, add your dots in the Endowment to any attempt to open a lock
    00- Weak Spot, add you dots in the Endowment to any attempt at breaking a barrier
    000- Maze Sight, add you dots in the Endowment to any roll needed to help you not to get lost
    0000- Shadow Movement, add you dots in the Endowment to any attempt to track down a target or against being noticed.
    00000- Dimension Door, you can use your dots in the Endowment in order to force locked gates from between the worlds to open. In order to do so, roll the following using your Skeleton Key + Occult as a Dice poll
    Dramatic Failure- you have misunderstood a crucial detail in your attempt to breach between the worlds, and locked it instead. The Door become closed for the next 24 hours, and even supernatural powers can't make it open again.
    Failure- you failed opening the gate. You can try again, but you suffer a -1 die penalty per failure.
    Success- you have opened the dimensional breach, and it is opened for the following scene.
    Exceptional Success- not only you opened the gate, but you understood an important feature of those types of doors. You add +1 modifier for dice rolls next time you try to open a Door of the same origin.
    Last edited by LostLight; 07-10-2015, 05:55 AM.


    My Homebrew Signature

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

    I now blog in here

  • #2
    I'm kind of surprised that there endowment has nothing that directly helps with stealth, sure being able to come and go as you please is nice, but it seems to me that their goals would be best met by people not realizing they were ever there, during or after.

    Rescuing a witch isn't the end of the story if the hunters can just follow your tracks and capture her again, or getting caught breaking the witch out of jail doesn't help anyone.

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    • #3
      yeah, I've thought about giving them Stealth powers, but it was late in night in here and I didn't knew where to put it (maybe instead of Tracking, but I'm nit sure)


      My Homebrew Signature

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

      I now blog in here

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      • #4
        Or maybe make it a package deal, a bonus to track and a bonus to avoid being tracked in turn.

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        • #5
          sound nice, I like it


          My Homebrew Signature

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

          I now blog in here

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          • #6
            Still seems a little odd that members of the silent imperative are as noisy as anyone else, but I guess stealth would be a rather common skill among them.

            Unless you saw fit to make skeleton key more like castigation and make it a "take as many powers you have levels" kind of thing, which would allow you to come up with more than five powers for them.

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            • #7
              you know, the main reason I've presented that Endowment in that way is mostly because as a Chemistry student, I barely have time to breath. Making hunter orgs is my hobby, and it helps me focus on studying after I get the ideas out of my head :P


              My Homebrew Signature

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

              I now blog in here

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              • #8
                I was wondering about the odd endowment system, at least off the top of my head I can't think of any other endowments that have a strict 1 to 5 progression like a martial art, the knights of st george come close but they have a choice of three paths.

                However, it's not like I can think of anything innately wrong with the system, so no reason not to keep it if that is how the muse hits you.

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                • #9
                  Anyway, I've changed Tracking into Shadow Movement, which helps you both tracking a target and protecting yourself from being noticed while you actively try to hide- that includes tracking you, stealth, moving silently etc. In a way, the Skeleton Key works very similarly to the D&D's 2E Thief, which had a special set of "thief skills" who cover all kinds of criminal actions (except of pick pocketing people. The Imperative are not thieves, after all :P )


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

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                  • #10
                    Stereotypes:
                    Knights of St George-"Those people are filled with so much zeal and self righteous, that it blinds their eyes from the truth. Magic is no different then a blade, or a gun, or a prayer- it is just a tool, which can kill with one hand and protect with the other. Killing the innocents out of some primitive fear is something which I can not tolerate"
                    The Scarlet Watch-"Blood is thicker then water, as the saying goes. I can appreciate their loyalty to their families and how dedicated are they to their older roots. But hating someone for centuries for some crime one of their ancestors did to yours isn't going to solve anything- that blood has already been dried up. Besides, those people have families too"
                    Les Voyageurs-"those people can be of a great help when you are wondering in the wilderness and save the life of an helpless witch. We do have our own disagreements, however- more then once one of our members had to save a feral from their traps, and so have been chased down by their members for doing so"
                    Acheron Shipping & Trade Guild-"you know, I'm not a big fan of "black and white" stereotypes- I always seek to see the whole picture, but there are exceptions. One day, I helped a witch escape thanks to a deal I've made with one of their agents. He promised me he would help her get to "safe place" in Europe. The next time I've seen him to ask how it went, I saw he had different eyes- her eyes. Sure, they offer their healing remedies and treatments for all- but it isn't enough to pay for their sins. Nothing is"
                    "We are all humans, and we all share the same fate. If you are going to the stake, then I'm going there with you"
                    Last edited by LostLight; 07-06-2015, 11:22 AM.


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

                    I now blog in here

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