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  • [Conspiracy] Order of the Void

    Order of the Nameless

    The Silent Club


    [a shattered, bleeding mirror]

    We live in a shattered mirror.

    Most people don't notice it- they live in their own bubble, thinking that all that exist is all they see, feel and touch. They think that their perception objective, that they know the truth. They don't think about that the way they perceive the world is manipulated by their society, by their biology, by their very soul. Each lives in his own, little world which is govern by stupid laws, unaware of the chaotic dangers on the outside, of the deep darkness which surrounds those little bubbles like a sea of spilled blood.

    Is there a truth out there? Is there a light which reflects in the broken, bloody shards?

    Maybe, but it doesn't matter. Why should you seek after the light, when you could never see it? Nothing is objective. There is no such thing as "truth". Even if you where to see a part of this "high world", you could never comprehend it as it is- you'll have to understand it using your own broken perception, and by claiming that shattered truth into being all that is, it would not be true anymore. It would become a lie.

    In that case, if no matter what you could never know the truth- wouldn't it be better to simply know how to lie to yourself?

    That is the philosophy of the Order of the Nameless. The group is an old one, claiming their origin up to the days of Ancient Greece. They say that their founder was a forgotten student of Socrates. They say that Plato, a friend of their founder, has misunderstood his teacher, where the other- who is usually called as the Nameless or the Other- has saw the true meaning of his words. The Ideal world could never be touched by mortal men. The light of the heavens isn't what creates a true philosopher. All that that would do is blinding you. Instead, you should never leave the cave. All you need to do is be aware of the fire, and learn how to control your own shadow.

    Some among the Order claim that the beliefs of the Other were so heretic that Plato has forced him into exile and erased any record of his existence. Other think that it was done by the Nameless himself, for by leaving behind a written record of his philosophy and history would go against his faith- after all, the world is full of lies. People just need to choose the version they like the most.

    Through the ages, the Order has always existed in one form or another. Its members always made sure to get their ways into the highest circles of society- royal courts, religious leaders, wealthy merchants. Eventually, they came to be known as the Silent Club- a brotherhood of gentlemen who walked behind the scenes, offering great power and resources beyond imagination. Yet, while gaining power was their aim, it wasn't their finale goal. It was only a mean to the Endgame: making their lies into truth.

    And how could they do that?

    The answer- the Void.

    The mirror is broken, after all- and each of the shards is separated from the others by small, delicate, sharp outlines. For someone who would look at it from the outside (like the truth itself), it won't look like the shards are too far away from each other- but for the shards themselves, well, that's an whole different story- the distance between one shard to the other would look huge, as if they are separated a a wide and bottomless abyss. For the shards, it would seem like they are defined by those very edges- but if they were not that fixed? What if they were just lies the shards tell to themselves?..

    The member of the Order see those broken outlines as an whole different dimension- the Void which is found between the worlds. They don't worship the Void, for by doing so they would become its slaves. Instead, they seek to take over it in order to define themselves and their reality in the way they would want to. However, gaining power over the Void is something easier said than done- the Void is filled with great and terrible creatures, who threaten to break and mind of anyone who dares to stare into its depths for too long. More than once, the Order had to kills its own members for falling prey into the dark influence of the darkness- yet they don't give up. They search after the monsters who lurk in the broken spaces and bind them, torturing the demons in order to gain their dark secrets and bind them in impossible places. While until now no one has managed to find a way to bind the Void itself, they have made certain progresses- with the latest being the discovery of a cult which apparently worship and whole other dimension which defies everything the modern society consider as "holy".

    The world is great and terrible, and has no laws or order. Everything you know is a lie. You were asleep this whole time. Don't wake up- its not worth it. Instead, you should make your dreams come true...

    You agree? Excellent! Now please sign here, here, and here.

    Status:

    the Order of the Nameless is truly old one, and its history is filled with controversy and misleads- yet one thing has remained unchanged through the generations: women were not allowed. That was an unspoken rule, which many have found all kinds of justifications to keep it that way: women were too weak to handle the darkness. They are too pure for the Void to tolerate. They can handle the complicate philosophy of the Order. They can't keep their mouth shut. They are not important enough to help the Order. They are fake and soulless beings created by the gods of the Void to tempt them from higher understandings. Each Cell had its own version to "why", but the result is the same- no entry for women, who are better only for giving birth to children, if at all. Some factions has even claimed that having a perfect, male body is a sacred act, and that they should all strive into having a physical perfection. Lately, however, things has started to change- more and more women has started to get into key places, and they have found out about the Silent Club. Slowly, women has also started to join the group, although many of the male members hate that new reality. Currently, the stigma against females is strong enough to stop them from achieving the higher ranks of the Order, but the women who enter the Club are resourceful, powerful and intelligent, and actively working toward gaining seats in the Inner Council. It is only a matter of time before one of them would be powerful enough to shatter the mirror once again, for better or worse.

    0- you have joined the Order and learned the secrets of the Void. You can buy dots in the Shards Endowment.
    000- you have gained access to the resources of the Club and the support of your friends to your dark goal. Once per Chapter, you can use access to a 3 dots worth of Resources, Allies or Contacts for any cause you like. This is also the highest a woman may get in the Order.
    00000- You have gained a seat in the Inner Council, learning their blueprints for the new world and their secret strategy for taking over the Void. Also, the Void leaves its mark upon you, branding you as its for all eternity. You get Abyssal Resonance for 5 dots.

    Endowment: Shards (1-5)
    The world around you is broken, but some can gather the pieces together and create dark miracles and terrible sorceries. Those who are a part of the Order name those broken pieces of shifting realities as "Shards", and they believe that by harnessing that energy they may one day take over the darkness and make it as their own. The Shard Endowment is similar to Willpower by the fact that it is actually 2 separate traits- a permanent and a temporary one. The permanent one has 2 uses- first, it limits the maximal amount of Shards one may have. Second, it may be used as a Supernatural Resistance trait during Clash of Wills.

    The temporary trait has a different use- it can fuel Dread Powers. In order to get access to those Dread Powers you must buy them separately. While you are not limited by the number of Dread Power you may buy per see, they do limit you maximal Integrity, which is limited to 10-[total DP dot worth]. You can activate a Dread Power by using either Willpower or Shards, yet if you use Willpower you must roll for an Integrity Breaking Point, for the Shards offer some protection by not actually channeling the Void through your own soul. You may replenish your Shards pool in a number of ways: the first, is that every time you can fulfill your Virtue/Vice for WP, you may instead gain a single Shard from the act by dedicating it to the Void. In order to do so, you must turn the act into something twisted, which satisfy both yourself and the Void (the ST should decide if the act is twisted enough for the Void's taste). While that way may not be so healthy, the other one would be gaining it as a gift from the dark demons of the Void in exchange of one Shard per Essence used, who never give anything for free.

    While fueling Dread Powers is the main use for Shards, it does have another use- banishing or bolstering the beings of the Void. In order to help such entity, you may simply channel your Shards into it by being in contact with either it or something it is connected to, and for each Shard you give it heals one level of Lethal damage or Essence. In order to hurt it, you must attack it or some it is connected to and roll Clash of Wills against it. If you succeed, the beast suffer for one level of Lethal damage per success.

    EDIT- changed the name to the Order of the Nameless
    Last edited by LostLight; 10-08-2015, 05:19 PM.


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  • #2
    I still don't see what the Shards are or how are created. Do they take the form of dedicated fetishes and amulets?

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    • #3
      Shards are like Essence or Mana or Willpower. They are a form of supernatural energy- and literally pieces of the world as it being broken by the Abyss.


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      • #4
        Stereotypes:
        Barrett Commission: "I was about to sign up a new recruit, when those guys showed up and offered a better deal. They are worthy opponents to our ambitions, even though they lack a greater vision"
        Lucifuge: "we deal with out own demons, and they deal with their own. As long as their own blood doesn't turn them against our researches, we are happy to stay out of their way"
        Ashwood Abbey: "Oh- so much wasted potential! If only they would have invested half of the effort they put int their games in our projects, we could have made so many great discoveries!"
        Knights of Saint George: "We prefer to stay away from England. Or more exactly, the United Kingdom. Actually, I prefer to never set a foot anywhere near an Anglican. Believe me, you want those "Angels" to stay asleep.."

        "The first rule of our Club is that there is no first rule. Once you get it, everything else goes nice and smooth"


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        • #5
          Will of the Abyss

          Ok- you got it. The Order of the Nameless is a secret club of gentlemen who toy with weird forces from beyond the world, and want to use their magic and influence in order to rule the world. The main question is- how do they do it? What separates them from hundreds of other groups, cults and occultists who wish to do the same? What makes them to uphold the Vigil and hunt the monsters of the night?

          Simply- their blueprints.

          Years ago, the group was a simple, small cult who followed the heretic teachings of an unknown philosopher. Sure, they had money and status, but there is only much you can do with such earthly wealth. Even when they discovered the ruin tablets in Athens which detailed the ritual used to gather the Shards of reality, it was not enough to get what they wished. The Void is a vast place, filled with thousands of horrors who care nothing for mortal men. They can hope all they want- but without a real action plan, their goal can not be achieved.

          So they they thought about one.

          The operation was not easy. According to some stories, they had to break into the libraries of 4 other conspiracies (the Malleus Maleficarum, the Lucifuge, the Aegis Kai Duro and the Knights of Saint George) in order to do do it, but somehow, they did it: they found the pieces of a map, and not such any map. It was the map of all reality, something which details the whole cosmos and how it may work, the blueprints of all creation: the map of the Black Sun.

          While the map was incomplete, it did detailed enough of what they searched after- the knowledge of how to manipulate the Void between the worlds. Those "blueprints of the Void" are the conspiracy's most treasured knowledge, with only the members of the Inner Council having access to it. While most of the other members don't know what is the exact strategy of the Council to take over the Void, they do know that their their mission, orders and assignments are all based around that "greater plan".

          That reason is why the members of the Club uphold the Vigil- while their missions are varied, they do have some things in common: finding and containing beings or phenomena from the Void, gaining hidden knowledge of the Unrealm and destroying any competition. All of those missions means that the members of the Conspiracy won't only have to handle the demons of the Void, but it would also force them to attack cults and worshipers of Nether beings. After all, such cults summon and serve such creatures, usually have occult knowledge and also seek to gain the power of the Void for their own. While handling terrifying spiritual abominations and mortal cultists is hard, it isn't the hardest thing they have to work against.

          Witches also work with the Void, too.

          Most of them don't. Most see it as some terrible place which curse their power. Yet, even those who work against it sometimes summon parts of it into the world- which is both a threat and an opportunity for the Club. However, things become worse when such witch decides to work with those demons- or worst, hosting them in their body and soul and channeling the Void's chill through their magic. Thankfully, thanks to their ability to hold Shards in their body the hunters of the Order are immune to the way magic erase itself from mortal mind- but it doesn't offer much protection when they have to hunt down, rob or torture one of the servants of the Great Beyond. In fact, the group has been clashed with an Awakened cult named the Secret Order of the Gate more than once, and those clashes have always been a bit "bloody".

          Yet, witches are not the only threat. The Void wears many shapes, and infect other worlds- it mutates spirits, it devours ghosts, it change the blood of the undead. Everywhere you look, you can see its influence- and the secrets hidden inside its madness. Yet, it doesn't going to be that way forever- lately, the group discovered a rival cult of cannibals near Salem, and since then they have announced they have started to move into "Phase Two". Again, no one outside the Inner Council knows what that "Phase" is, but they do know it includes the potential destruction of the Cult and turning their research into a new direction: into time travel.

          While the world in which the Club works is terrifying, and their plans even more, there is one detail which is scarier than any other thing the Order works on- something most of the members of the Club miss when they join: That if there are plans to take over the Void, then there is someone- or something- who is already controlling it. That the Void is not just a terrible realm with endless potential, but it has mind, agenda and even a will of its own. And if that is the case, maybe, just maybe they- and everyone else this world and any other- is just a marionette bound in strings, a toy in the hands of a mad god. And if that being is all knowing being, maybe commanding the Void is not such a prize at all, but more like being a spider tangled up in its own web..

          Maybe, just maybe, the true Will of the Abyss is not to rule the world.

          Maybe it simply wants a way out.


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          • #6
            Bonus Material- Dark Era: Age of Spiritualism

            You don't want to be an hunter in the Burned Over District.

            Really, it was a bad time to be an hunter- especially a witch finder. Cults and new religions has sprouted like mushrooms after the rain, and you couldn't spit without hitting a wannabe medium or one of its followers. Hedge magicians worked their potions and rituals for the masses. Psychics talked with the dead. Cults worshiped things no one should know. Witches whispered their spells for money. So many dangers, so many dark powers which could have turned the life of any hunter into a living hell- and if it wasn't enough, they had to find away to locate the "real deal" among the dozens of charlatans and people who lied so well, that even they believed their own lies. More than once an hunter thought he managed to track down a dark witch, only to discover that the real one escaped, using the fraud as a scapegoat.

            While you can expect first tier hunters to fall to such traps and misinformation, you could have thought that the conspiracies- with their old knowledge and great resources- would do better job. Only that they didn't. Some had almost no hold in the district- the proud Malleus didn't stood a chance against the epidemic of new religions, and VALKYRIE was still way far from even taking form. Others simply went lost among the many cults and faiths- the Lucifuge constantly searched for diabolical influence while they be themselves were hunted by certain occult societies. The Ascending Ones tried to monitor the dangerous cults from the harmless, yet even their connections with hermetic orders wasn't enough. Even true witch finders, like the Aegis Kai Doru and the Knights of Saint George, had hard time to distinguish a certain witch from a one who thought herself as such, forcing them to long researches and many failed operations.

            Yes, it was a bad time to be an hunter.

            No wonder many have decided to become cultists.

            Some had it more natural than the others- the Les Mysteres talked freely with the spirits during that time. The Order of the Southern Temple has quickly used the opportunity to rise in power in foreign territory. Even the Knights of St George lied a bit less about themselves in order to get more information about the different cults in the district. It was an harsh competition, with all the people in the district already being "burned" by the zeal and faith of the competitors.

            No wonder that the Order of the Nameless felt right at home.

            Sure, that time wasn't when the Order was founded. In fact, it wasn't even when it turned into a conspiracy- yet it was a good time. The Inner Council has established itself in New York just as the Second Great Awakening has started thanks to the prophesies one of its members gained by gazing into the Void, giving in a leverage upon any other conspiracy who tried to enter their turf. During that time, it was truly a gentlemen's club- no one was a member of the Order, no matter how talented she may have been. For them, it was a great time to recruit new members and get themselves into positions of power. Many have styled themselves as mediums and miracles workers, using their dark gifts in order to impress the gullible and get into their wallets. Yet, money wasn't the only thing they were after.

            They wanted souls too.

            While it was a good time for the Order as a cult, it was a very bad time for them as hunters. Many of them have looked into the Void too much- and things has started to look back. With so many charlatans, they have forgotten that dark beings really did walked in the shadows. Some of the new members were not as friendly as they seemed, carrying with them dark agenda given to them by their unknown masters. The mediums they have talked with whispered the answers of ones Beyond, corrupting their minds with terrible knowledge. Slowly, the Void took hold in the Order- and it didn't let go. Suddenly, they have started to talk with witches- the darker kind. Then, they wrote down blasphemous prophesies given by psychics who could have seen into the Void. Then, they stopped banishing demons. Then, they started to talk with them. Then, they started to summon them.

            Before they could notice, more than half of them were corrupted by the Void, and those who didn't had to keep their mouth shut. Their hands stuck in tens of cults, they were eventually bound by those they thought their controlled. Their researches, who were seen at first as clinical and scientific, has started to take religious tones, darker tones. Blood sacrifice has became more and more common- and in the darkest nights, they even turned into human sacrifice. When they finally noticed the corruption in their own ranks, it was too late- the warlocks of the Void has found their place not just as advisers, but as members of the Inner Council itself. The cancer has spread from the cells, and has consumed the conspiracy whole.

            Of course, the Order survived. Near the end of the 1840s, the few, none corrupted members of the Orders discovered a terrible secret- the Club has prepared into a great ritual, which would open a door to the Void and swallow the District whole. Knowing that if they wouldn't start acting now darkness would descend on New York- and maybe even the whole world- they had to start plan a counter attack against the corrupted members. They had to find a way to save both their Order and everyone in the District and stop the dark ritual- yet alone, they wouldn't stand a chance. On the other hands, if they would turn to help to the other hunter organizations, they would not hesitate to burn the whole Order down. What should they do? What can they do? Is there really no hope to save their ancient traditions?...

            As everyone knows, New York survived- the dark ritual was stopped, or failed. No one really knows the details- after all, the Order doesn't like to talk about its past mistakes. Whiel they still sit in New York City, they have became more careful, doing a careful research on each new recruit and not wildly sending their agents to any New Age movement. Their active hunt after cults has started on that day, taking it as a lesson to never let the Void enslave them, that they are the ones who wish to enslave it. While no one remembers the ones who saved the Order, their legacy lives on, protecting the Order from any future corruption.

            For that reason, those who wants to know what really has happened among the corrupted cultist and the righteous hunters of the Order has only when choice they can follow- they need to take their place in that dark, Dark Era and play it out.


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            • #7
              Hmm, I'm kind of surprised that shards don't power witch mysteries, did you just want to make the order available to those who don't have Witchfinders?

              Or would witch mysteries or werewolf whatever they called gifts in spirit slayers be available too?

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              • #8
                yeah, it was because I'm assuming not everyone has Witchfinders. If you have the books, you can also buy Mysteries as if you were a witch and power them with Shards. The same goes to Dominions (I think that is the name for "gifts")


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                • #9
                  A Name That Must Not Be Written

                  You heard about the Batin, didn't you?

                  The Batin- those crazed magicians which worship the Void, call down terrible horrors from beyond existence and use twisted symbolism to cast weird magic. Ancient enemies of the Knights of Saint George who play with powers they don't truly understand. A group of mad people who infiltrated the Ottoman Empire as a dark cancer, and spread with it through Europe- even reaching to the New World with Columbus, and which worship a "Name That Must Not Be Written"?

                  Sounds like the Order of the Nameless, doesn't it?

                  Well, it is a bit more complicated than that- while the members of the Order during that time truly were called "Batini", and they lost a number of their members to the efforts of the Knights, they were not the only ones out there- that is, while every member of the Order was a Batini, not all of the Batini were members of the Order.

                  While people would like to think about an whole dark conspiracy which engulfs the whole world, the fact that all of those mystery cults, occult orders and sworn brotherhoods are just that- a collection of many, weird, a bit misguided and not well understood groups of people. Some are mad, some a bit less. The Order of the Nameless, of course, claim to be the first- they claim to be the first to use the word "Batini", or the "hidden", in order to describe themselves. They claim to have had a powerful branch in the Ottoman Empire, and that the ones to fight the Dragonslayers were their own people. They say that either the Knights or other witches has found their writings, mistakenly or knowingly used the name they gave themselves in order to brand all kinds of groups who deal with the Void and mistranslated their term for the "Nameless" with a "Name Which Must Not Be Written". That's all.

                  The question is- is that claim true?

                  Again, it is a bit more complicated than that. As far as it may seem, one of the Order's earlier incarnations truly was in the Ottoman Empire, and they did used the term Batini. Now, were they the first to use it, or even the ones to decide to use that name, is truly unknown. The question whether they were the ones to attack the Knights of Saint George or not is also open ended- the Knights hate magic, and they made their fair share of enemies during that time. The "Name Which Must Not Be Written" also heavily features in the literature of the Knights, and it usually reference to some Outer God or the Faceless Angels (or at least, one of them) rather to some lost disciple of Socrates, and both of them would agree that the chances are the Angels and the Nameless are two different beings (well.. probably). Some among the Knights who investigate the subject think that the Order is no more than a collection of cults united during that time out of desperate attempt to survive the Knights' crusade. Dozens of weird theories, ideologies, agendas and heresies has united together, forming the base upon which the Order was built. There is not ancient disciple, not grant theory of the Void, just a bunch of misunderstood nonsense in which they were the ones to not use the "Name That Must Not Be Written" wrongly.

                  And there is another option- that is, both sides are right.

                  Yes, there was the Nameless- a lost philosopher who grew fascinated with the Void. Yes, there is a Name That Must Not Be Written, which represent the collection of Outer Gods appeased by the Knights. Yes, there was a cult called the Batini which eventually turned into the Order in the Ottoman Empire. Yes, that cult was united with many other groups out of fear of the Knights, and the event has shaped their view of the Void and their agenda. Yes, the Order killed its share of Dragonslayers. Yes, the Knights killed their share of dark philosophers. The truth is neither here or there, but somewhere is the middle. Such an Era would be an interesting time, of course, for both groups- as the Knights and the Batini both fight toward control over the Void: one is united and seeks to put it asleep, and the other is diverse and seek to take over it. However, both groups are independent, neither was formed from the other or developed using the other's rites and texts.

                  Still, one question is left unanswered.

                  If the Nameless and the Name That Must Not Be Written are truly two different beings, does it necessary mean the two are not connected? That is, if the lost philosopher truly became Nameless, what do you think that happened to his Name?


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                  • #10
                    So Nameless are Scelesti wannabies?


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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
                      So Nameless are Scelesti wannabies?
                      More or less- after all, a Scelesti is a wide term. They are an Abyssal cult, but they don't worship or serve the Void. Since the Burned Over District incident, they constantly check for abyssal corruption and supervise their members. They are, in more than one way, an order of hedge magicians and psychics who investigate the Void and seek to exploit it. There are, of course, Scelesti who support those goals- but where the Awakened can achieve things like Ascension on their own, the Order has to use low magic and teamwork of countless years- and of course, there are more than enough Scelesti who would see their goal as "heretic". The closest group in terms of world view among the Awakened is the Secret Order of the Gate, and the two try to tear each other apart especially the later tries to keep the status que while the Order tries to change it. Some Scelesti also took a major part in effecting the group during the Ottoman Empire, as part of the many cults which were taken over by the Order.

                      But that's for the members of the Order. For the Nameless himself? If he ever existed, he is nothing less than one of the Aswadim.


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