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The Civil War- When Conspiracies Fall

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  • #16
    Originally posted by LostLight View Post
    ammm no- it works quite differently actually, Instead of having a single merit called Benedictions, you buy each Rite individually. Because those Rites have no associated ranking, each time a player buys one he choose how many dots he invest in it, and when he activate the Rite he adds that ranking to the Dicepoll. For example, Father Lucas buys Armor of St Martin for 2 dots and Fortitude of St George for 3 dots. When he cast the later, he'll roll 3+Composure. When he cast the former, he rolls 2+Stamina. The two Benedictions are not related to each other mechanically. While it may hinder the effects of the Benediction when used by a single hunter compared to a member of the Malleus, it reinforce their need to work together- giving hunters another reason for working together, other than the bonus which may give their Benedictions a lot more brute force (again, part of the theme of the group)
    Now, it makes a lot more sense. Thanks for clearing that up. And yeah, I can agree now with the fluff behind the mechanics. Looking at it again, it does fit for the Brotherhood when you consider how aggressive and militant they are compared to the mainstream Malleus in this scenario.

    Originally posted by LostLight View Post
    one of the points of the Civil Wars is to show you could hack the different effects of the Endowments into new crunchy uses. I also hate writing individual powers, which is another reason for me to use the same powers as the original conspiracy. In the Order's case, they were given the effect of "improvised Benedictions" in order to turn them less scholar-like and more into mystics driven by divine inspiration- which does work if you decide to make the canon form of Benedictions into "evil magic"
    Originally posted by LostLight View Post
    Second, each Failure includes suffering one level of Bashing damage per dot in the Endowment, while Dramatic Failure turns that damage into Lethal. However, using the Benedictions in order to heal or protect someone innocent gives the hunter +2 for all rolls.
    To add to this, I can see some ideas from Mage: The Awakening's Creative Thaumaturgy working well with the Order's improvised Benedictions. And on the mention of divine inspiration, maybe the Army of Light from the Skin and Bones supplement could be another thing to consider for developing a set of True Benedictions. A lot of their Lumen abilities could be rewritten as Benedictions discovered by the Order of St. Ambrose since they broke away. (I also had this idea that the Lumen could inspire ideas for angelic counterparts to the Lucifuge, but that's something for another time.)

    I do have an alternative idea that perhaps you can go for a merit-based system to the Order of St. Ambrose's approach to Benedictions. But where the Athanasians purchase individual powers as 1- to 5-dot Merits, the Order of St. Ambrose's hunters could buy them as three or four dot Merits with attached prerequisites. This could reflect the fact that the lack of libraries and texts in comparison to their counterparts means they are rather selective on who they teach their craft to. I dunno. It's still a rough concept.

    "My Homebrew Hub"
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    • #17
      I'm not much of a fan on the mechanics behind the Lucifuge. If we're going by 1e systems, they seemed to fit more as a lesser template, complete with a power stat (and juice) to go along with their Infernal Aspects. Porting that to GMC rules, we could reimagine the powers of Children of the Seventh Generation as being similar to Wolf-Blooded Tells. They could be innate supernatural gifts which are still retained even in the wake of an Awakening or First Change. Of course, that presents more complications and issues, but whatever floats your boat. And I'll be putting my suggestions on a more apt thread.

      Anyway, I may do my own take on a Lucifuge Civil War when I got the time. But rather than focus on the conflict between them and L'Enfantes Diabolique, my version will deal with a hypothetical split within the Lady's organization.

      "My Homebrew Hub"
      Age of Azar
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      • #18
        feel free to do so- like I've said, everyone are welcome to add their own Civil Wars- I just wanted to make "real" mechanics" for the L'Enfant for a long time :P

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        • #19
          The Lucifuge

          Since the first of their number were brought together by the Lady, the hunters of the Lucifuge have learned to harness the powers of their demonic heritage to fight back against the forces of Hell. For those who cleave to the philosophy of the Denial, and a sizable number who espouse the Reconciliation, this is a mission they take up more or less out of their own volition. But there are some who remain skeptical, those who seek to uncover the Truth behind their bloodlines, their organization, and even the very Lady who commands it. They know many things do not add up, and they won't rest until they know why.

          What they discover changes everything. Concurrent with the events that set the Malleus Maleficarum upon each other, hunters of the Truth have learned why the Lady meets regularly with Padre Baudolino. They realize that every hunter in service of the Lady is nothing more but a pawn in her schemes, expendable pieces in a game of infernal politics. And when they also discover that their benefactor is nearing her endgame, they try to act quickly and warn the rest of the conspiracy.

          Unfortunately, those of the Truth were not as secretive as they hoped to be. The Lucifuge declared them to be L'Enfantes Diabolique, and issued a command to her remaining followers to hunt them down and execute on sight. Those in and near Milan perish first, and the majority of the Truth within the rest of Europe are slain in a matter of weeks. Those based in other countries are quick to go to ground, and soon find themselves engaged in a shadow war with those whom they sought to protect from their former patron's machinations.

          In this setting, the Truth have taken heavy losses. Many of their number were either killed in the purge, or forcibly converted back to the Lucifuge's cause. Even so, they carry on, rechristening themselves as the Defiant in the face of certain destruction. Without the resources they received under the Lady, they are forced to rely more on themselves while attempting to rebuild their numbers. Every Child of the Seventh Generation saved from both the Lady's lies and the reckless abandon of L'Enfantes Diabolique is another soul potentially saved from damnation.

          Defiant receive slightly different benefits from those of Lucifuge Hunters:

          Status 1: You have been taken in by the Defiant, and have been told of the ongoing war they wage. You know there are others like you who are being manipulated by the being known only as the Lucifuge, and you are now receiving training on how to harness your infernal legacy against her. You may now spend dots on the Castigation Endowment.

          Status 3: You have managed to hold your own against Lucifuge hunters sent to kill or detain you. A number of horrors have fallen by your hand, and the Defiant have begun to see you as invaluable to their war effort. You have two dots of Allies [Defiant], reflecting the alliances you have made with your fellow hunters.

          Status 5: Perhaps you foiled some of the Lady's more crucial plans. Or maybe a fair number of the Lucifuge chose to defect after you convinced them of the Truth. Whatever the nature of your accomplishments, the Defiant have placed great faith and trust in your abilities, and they will readily come to your aid should you require it. Gain four more dots to split between Allies [Defiant] and Contacts.

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          • #20
            The Union

            In the World of Darkness, most civil wars remain secretive, behind the closed doors and shuttered houses and barren fields where the innocent need never find the truth. Other times, reality barely covers itself.

            By the time of the US presidential election, the Politicals had finally become fed up with the system. The rich and the bosses were letting madness rule the economy, and the workers were suffering for it. There was no time to wait for the votes to be counted or the oath of office, there needed to be action. In a thousand backyards and garages, in dozens of workshops and backrooms, the Politicals planned and plotted. No more, they said to each other. No more.

            There was one last chance to avert disaster, a few members of the General Strike and Home First that some thought would be sympathetic. Many were, but some weren't. They pleaded for reason, for patience until after the election could decide where the nation was going to go. The Politicals didn't listen, they charged ahead. Those who knew tried to spread the word, but feared that revealing the upcoming storm would also implicate themselves, their families and friends, and rip the shroud off the eyes of the world.

            In a semi-coordinated attack (We are talking about a web forum after all), major chain stores guilty of labor violations for years were bombed. Managers and lower executives were shot in their beds, or assaulted on the streets. Simultaneously, every vampire and witch that could be found with their fingers in the pie was assaulted and either driven underground or killed. The fallout was tremendous, and suddenly the Feds were sniffing around. Every conceivable agency, from Homeland Security to the FBI, and most worryingly the government's monster hunters themselves. The forum was shut down, and suddenly the Union was shattered.

            Desperately, the General Strike and Home First cells still in contact with each other decided that the Politicals had gone too far. They gave information to the government, and only the government, only who was who. Then they set out themselves to stop the Politicals before it went any further. Unfortunately, the Politicals were ready for betrayl as well. On the anniversary of the death of Holly Ramirez, they struck first. Brothers and sisters were shot in their homes, their cars, their offices and factories. Information was "unguarded" and supernatural enemies descended. The lucky ones didn't live to see what happened to their loved ones.

            Unfortunately, the Politicals soon reaped what they had sown. Publicly, labor movements and organizations were scrutinized and crushed by the power of both the government and public opinion. The United Auto Workers, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, and even the mighty International Brotherhood of Teamsters were all laid low by the public outcry. Unions and labor rights were once again dirty words around America's dinner tables, and even putting a union sticker on your car would earn you a foul look. Desperately, the Politicals kept lashing out in a vain attempt to try and right things, and failed. As the Feds raided house after house, the MIBs put the final nail in the coffin as they swept down on a Political safehouse in Cincinnati, Ohio. Names, addresses, and phone numbers were all there, as many as needed to shut down the Politicals and their threat.

            Those that escaped want nothing more to do with the Vigil, at least as far as organizing goes. They'll protect their neighborhoods, their jobs, and their own. Anyone comes near, they'll fight. But no more forums, no more "union reps" travelling city to city, and no more mixing the Vigil and politics.

            The Politicals can't even claim to have a compact anymore, and instead roam the nation trying to escape and hide out. Technically domestic terrorists, even other extreme hunter groups want nothing to do with them.

            Functionally, there is no more Union, or even a new compact from the ashes. Worse, anyone who was known to be associated with the Union is at best kept at arms length in the Vigil, even if they proved they were never part of the bombings and attacks. Treat this as a -2 to -4 on all social rolls to other hunters, depending on how involved that person was


            • #21
              Whoa. This is the first civil war write-up wherein a hunter organization is taken out for good. Excellent write-up.

              "My Homebrew Hub"
              Age of Azar
              The Kingdom of Yamatai


              • #22

                The Barrett Commission

                Sometimes a civil war isn't so much a war as it is a battle of ideals. The maneuvers and machinations of one against another in the same organization, using proxies and pawns to carry out the objectives necessary to achieve victory. Even if such a war becomes a running battle, the various parts might not even realize the greater game at play.

                It started when members of the Quorum and Five Stars came into conflict over the infamous "VALKYRIE" budget item in the greater DoD budget. The Quorum was trying to dig deeper, hoping to at least get a better idea on what was going on, while the Five Stars kept either stonewalling their efforts or outright denying information to their brothers and sisters. Incensed, the Quorum tried to take the official route and subpoenaed members of the Five Stars to appear before Congressional committees dedicated to parceling out the tax money. The Five Stars fired back by invoking national security statutes enacted since 9/11 to protect certain projects from having the budget made public. Furious at what appeared to the be military overstepping it's bounds by outright denying information to the Congress, the Quorum used their contacts to dig up whatever they could on VALKYRIE.

                Instead of engaging with each other, both the Quorum and Five Stars contact small, independent or even compact-affiliated cells in cities across the country where information on VALKYRIE might be found. Saying they were now part of an organized effort to uncover/conceal a vital government operation against those that would harm the nation from accomplishing their objectives, these proxy cells spread through the nation engaged in a running shooting war with each other that the larger conspiracies wisely remained apart from. Information slowly started to trickle in to the Quorum, painting a vague picture of a US-backed monster hunter force using high tech means to bump back. Other pieces revealed a strange connection to something called "STERNE" and "ADAMSKI" that seemed to be focused on more cover-ups and back-alley dealings than even the Quorum felt comfortable with.

                By now it was too late to back out though. The cells used by both factions were in a continual shooting match with each other, either being arrested or killed without even realizing who they were fighting for. By now the Five Stars were pushing back, equipping the more loyal cells with higher-grade weapons and materiel with which to accomplish their objectives more easily. As local authorities tried to stem what felt like sudden rashes or gang violence across the country, the Commission leadership continued to squabble over VALKYRIE and what it was so valuable for.

                Eventually the Suits tired of watching the civil war, especially knowing that the vampires were starting to pick up on the fact that the nation's hunters had seemingly become wrapped up fighting each other. Inviting both sides to a conference, the three groups hashed out an agreement where the Quorum was given some information on VALKYRIE, while the Five Stars were promised that the Quorum would hand over the original documents they had found. All parties left satisfied with the results, and quickly went back to their business.

                Functionally, the Barrett Commission comes out relatively unscathed. Interactions between members of the Quorum and Five Stars does suffer (A -2 to all Social rolls between the two) but for the most part are still functional as a compact. The fallout is instead on the smaller cells used and dropped by the squabble. All the cells have either lost their safehouses (All cell members have lost their Safehouse dots), some have gained criminal records (-2 to all Social interactions with any law enforcement), and have even had their cells fracture over working with such dark and mysterious men (Hunters lose a Tactic, a shared Safehouse, or status in a compact). Conversely, cells that proved themselves useful might have gained benefits in the form of money (+2 Resources), friends in high places (1 dot Contacts: Government elites and 1 dot Allies: Government elites), or information on their enemies.


                • #23
                  I like it- a Civil War which ends up with the leadership still intact, while the lower level members are scarred by the power struggle, showing that not every group has to be torn apart because of an internal struggle. Well done!

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                  • #24
                    The Long Night

                    God is allegedly omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent according to even the most basic Christian scriptures. Man, however, is flawed. So terribly, horribly flawed.

                    The Long Night split started over a small doctrinal dispute among the Merciful and Hopeless over what should have been a small matter. A cell in Kansas affiliated with the Hopeless had firebombed a building they claimed was full of evil shapeshifters. The Merciful countered by saying that contacts they'd made among the more reasonable creatures said that the building was being used as a refuge for families of shapeshifters moving from city to city. And said shapeshifters were not happy and out for blood. The Merciful, desperate to calm the situation, asked that the Hopeless cell try to make amends in some small way to prevent further bloodshed. The Hopeless responded that the opposing cell was under the thrall of dark forces, and gathered allies together to take the cell down. Desperate to defend themselves the Merciful cell did the same.

                    As the battle lines were drawn up, the Faithful in positions of power and influence realized this was at last their chance for true salvation and worked to accelerate the coming war. They quoted Revelation and the second seal, of brother against brother and the arrival of the Red Horseman. They stirred up the conflict, pouring money into both sides to see the final battle shift the way they wanted it to.

                    The fighting finally broke out in the Midwest, as churches in Kansas started to firebomb each other and members of the faithful gunned down their foes in the chaos. Soon the fighting spread across the globe, Long Night affiliated cells from South Korea to Scotland fighting one another to finally save themselves, each calling their movement the true inheritors of the Long Night mantle. Other compacts and conspiracies did their best to contain the fighting, or even contain Long Night cells that went out of their way to do as much damage to the monsters as possible. Delicate peaces built up over long decades fell apart overnight as vampire nightclubs were burnt and witch glades were destroyed. Entire megachurches were used as companies of Christian warriors, and once more the news was filled with separatists cults and hideouts claiming that the Federal government was the instigator of the end times and the president being the anti-Christ themselves.

                    Convening rapidly, the powerful players of the Vigil agreed this threatened to become Waco on an unimaginable scale. Contacting smaller compacts, they put out the word: The civil war was going to be stopped. Hard. The compacts, sick of the Long Night killing themselves, other cells they felt "unholy", and of monsters that might actually be of use, agreed to either step back and watch or even help put a stop to the madness before something made it out onto the nightly news.

                    In cities with a strong Malleus presence, the Long Night civil war was put down with force followed by mercy. Once strong congregations of independent churches soon were put under the watchful eyes of the Mother Church. Many were convinced to convert, others were pushed from the Vigil after seeing what "real" holy power looked like against monsters. Union cells that aided were basically breaking legs and taking the weapons, thinking that the only way to stop these lunatics was to beat the sense back into them. The Barrett Commission trawled through the halls of power, forcing out those they found with ties to the Long Night or otherwise castrating their ability to fund the civil war.

                    Task Force: VALKYRIE landed the killing blows in the Midwest, sending in MRUs against various Long Night compounds and "fortresses". In the dead of night, dozens of locations were stormed, neutralized, and cleaned before the media could even realize that there was a civil war even happening, much to the anger and frustration of the ever-frustrated Network 0. Shattered, broken, and essentially beaten back to where they began, the Long Night was left with a few scattered cells that either hadn't participated, were considered somewhat trustworthy by other cells, or turned into domestic terrorists.

                    The Long Night still exists in a basic capacity, the civil war having made it clear that they actually wanted the world to end. Though many Long Night leaders are still able wordsmiths and orators, they've lost their fellow cells they could count on for backup (3 Status no longer grants Allies). Treated as social pariahs in the Vigil (-2 to all social rolls with other hunters), the Long Night is on a long road to recovery before it can claim to be something useful again, and will wait even longer until anyone can think of trusting them. The Malleus isn't complaining, since they now have even more holy warriors for God's duties (+1 to Allies: Malleus). Neither is the Union, who the conspiracies now see as willing to calm the waters as much as they are (+1 to Social rolls dealing with conspiracies)


                    • #25
                      The Cainte Heresy

                      It's hard to imagine a Civil War growing inside such scattered organization as the Cainte Heresy. For those who look at them from the outside, such event would be surprising not because the Heresy fell into some internal struggle, but that it managed to stay together for so long- each member of the group is, after all, a zealot bridge burner who is willing to use any means in her disposal to destroy bloodsuckers. They are highly paranoid, always searching for signs of vampiric corruption, attacking anyone who's seem suspicious without thinking twice. Their society is so chaotic, it everyone agree it shouldn't even exist- but it still does, and for a single reason. Their sources.

                      Because of that, when the Civil War started among the Heresy, almost no member of the conspiracy even noticed that- In fact, for most of the Heresy's hunters, that Civil War looked almost no different from their ordinary missions. They all got their missions and information as they always did, and like always they were sent after certain targets, set traps and ruined enemy resources. It took them a few months to understand that this time, their enemies were not vampires, ghouls or even blood dolls. They were other members of the conspiracy.

                      That, of course, created an whole mess inside the organization- members has started to think about different theories about why such attacks were conducted. Some claimed that it was an inside purge inside the conspiracy, that some cells turned traitors and started to serve vampires and their kind. That made sense, considering that many of the Heresy's members were survivors of vampire abuse, and there was a chance they would return to their old habits. Some members even claimed that the sources themselves were compromised by vampires, who either hijacked their communication lines or converted the sources themselves to their goals, and as such stopped taking orders from the sources. That, of course, led them to be targeted by the other members of the conspiracy, who got orders to attack them from the sources. however, obeying the orders didn't protected the hunter from such orders- in fact, as time went on, those members were even more likely to be marked as a future target. Eventually, it came to the point certain members got two different sets of orders at the same time, which usually conflicted with one another. Bribes were offered, threats were spoken. That was when the hunters finally got what was happening- the sources started fighting among each other, and they used them for their little "Civil War".

                      Some of those hunters who realized the truth were filled with anger for being manipulated in such way, as pawns on a chess board. For them, the "sources" were no better then the vampires who enslaved them once before. Filled with anger, they have started to find other members of the conspiracy and revealed them the truth. Those who agreed with their opinion joined in. Those who remained loyal to the sources- or simply didn't cared- were executed. Those individuals has started to make a proper hierarchy for their organization, investigating all they know about their blood magics and gathering all the information gathered from their former patrons. For them, in order to gain true freedom and not simply switch one tyrant for another, they had to not be so consumed with vengeance and start understand just who exactly were they and what exactly was their goal. Surprisingly, as the group was established, the conflicting orders has stopped coming- instead, all the loyal members to the sources got the same order: run away, and attack the renegades.

                      Some have thought that the reason for the change in orders was that with the creation of a new enemy, the warring factions inside the sources has united, leaving small disputes behind when facing the lose of their conspiracy. Others wondered if that was truly the case- that perhaps the creation of such organization was a part of the sources plan, or at least the plan of one of the faction. Maybe some among them has decided that a stable, more recognized conspiracy was a better module than the scattered one, and that what ever the reason was for shattering their hierarchy was once before it is no longer relevant. Or maybe that even if the creation of the new faction was not a part of the plan, the sources simply decided to ride on the wave and divide the conspiracy between themselves. While the new organization denies any connection to the sources, many of the Heresy's loyalists wonder how did they managed to decode the logic behind their blood magic (even if in a bit different way) so quickly, and whisper rumors about dark figures which were seen near their bases and meeting with their leaders. And, of course, there is the matter of how the new conspiracy calls itself- the Aves Minerva, the Night Birds.

                      While officially the Civil War is over, the two factions do occasionally fight against one another- the Aves Minerva still see the Heresy as pawns, while many of the Cainte have lost members (and limbs) to the efforts of the Birds (not to mention that the sources do still send "attack" orders from time to time). The Heresy, of course, had to eastblish an whole new system of codes and signs in order to hide its members form the Aves Minerva, a reformation which was not that hard to preform- although they did kept two things for themselves: the Question and the Sign, although they stopped being used for recognizing one another and were kept only for their rituals and while hunting vampires. In general, the structure of the Heresy was kept as his, with all the Status benefits. The Aves Minerva, on the other hand, have an whole new system for their organization, a reformed organization based around occult research and understanding of vampire history, condition and origin. Use the Status Bonuses from Paterfamilias to represent them. A not is that the modern order does not worship Minerva directly, and instead see her as a symbol for knowledge which grants freedom from the chains of lower emotions such as anger and vengeance.

                      As for the Endowments themselves, use the Red Rituals from Paterfamilias to represent the modified rites. Alternatively, allow the player to use rituals from the Rites of Denial, with the next changes- the rituals now can effect any being with Supernatural Tolerance trait or manifested/possessing beings, but can not have access to more rituals than her dots in the Endowment. The blood for those rituals is specifically prepared by the conspiracy's female Archivists, and it requires access to the conspiracy's libraries to learn new rituals.
                      Last edited by LostLight; 06-12-2016, 01:53 PM.

                      My Homebrew Signature

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

                      I now blog in here


                      • #26
                        The Ashwood Abbey

                        How do you have a civil war when your organization is already so loosely organized, franchised, and dispersed that one safehouse can barely agree on what to hunt for the weekend? Well, to put it simply, it's because you get bored.

                        Eventually, the membership of the Competitors grew just as jaded as they always do. Vampires, werewolves, witches, maybe a fairy to break up the tedium, but where was the same zest as before? Where could the excitement and danger be found? It wasn't fun enough to just kill or be killed anymore. So, on a whim borne by conspicuous consumption of booze, cocaine, and several more exotic drugs, a cell of Competitors from the original Abbey chapter made an announcement. Whichever chapter could kill the most creatures of darkness by the new year would win half the assets of all involved.

                        The race was officially on as chapters around the globe started to hunt with relish. Vampires were ashed faster than a man could blink, as werewolf packs were run down with SUVs and speared with silver knives. Witches were lured with the promise of arcane secrets to death traps designed to knock them unconscious long enough to enjoy the kill. Nothing was out of bounds anymore, as the Libertines pursued ever greater extremes to reach that next emotional high. Not to be outdone, the Competitors did the same. Pursuers either picked up the pieces left behind or actively tried to keep up, anxious to get any secrets and files their fellows had.

                        Like in the North American Beaver Wars, soon the hunting grounds ran dry. Monsters hid when they realized that the hunters were suddenly out in force to get them, and so the hunters of the Abbey scoured farther from their normal grounds. So it was probably inevitable that two cells operating in Milan came to blows over trying to destroy the same abandoned orphanage filled with the ghosts of children inside. By the time the fight was finished, five Abbey members were dead, the orphanage was burning, and the ghosts inside scattered across the city.

                        When the news of the fighting spread, nothing was off the table anymore. Abbey members killed each other and the monsters, even in broad daylight. A supermodel was shot by an assassin in Prague during a massive fashion show, as her estate was suddenly seized by a rival who attended many of the same social clubs as the victim. A judge in Oklahoma City was found in San Francisco with several men who were clearly more than friendly with him, to the shock of the judge's wife and family, thanks to a tip from an anonymous source. Things escalated to the point where entire safehouses were burning nightly, and eventually the original chapter house in Scotland decided enough was enough. Since other hunters couldn't touch their members due to the power and prestige offered by their positions, the highest members of the compact did what they felt was the ultimate option. They revoked the franchise rights.

                        At first, they were proven right. For a short time, the madness died down. Then it suddenly swung right back up again when the membership realized that all they were buying was a name. The Ashwood Abbey was, in spirit, licensed. Hellfire Club wasn't.

                        Now, the world is scattered with dozens of new Hellfire Clubs under that and a dozen other names. The actual Ashwood Abbey has suffered a massive blow in terms of funding and numbers. Now instead of one single organization of solipsistic rich lunatics, there are dozens upon dozens spread across the world. While the Abbey still retains the benefits of membership, they now suffer from suspicion and outright hostility from the many new clubs (-3 to all Social rolls with Hellfire Club splitters). This has also made Abbey members targets in the eyes of many hunters, since the "civil war" only created a bigger mess for everyone involved in the Vigil. (-4 to all Social rolls with other hunters).


                        • #27
                          The Les Mysteres

                          While it may not seem that way, the Les Mysteres are quit a young organization (if "organization" is the right word). Sure, shamans, witch doctors and witches have stood on the crossroad between flesh and spirit since humanity walked by the rivers of the world, but each of those groups remained isolated from all others, keeping its own traditions and belief systems. Individuals cells has rose and fell from grace all by themselves, with local compacts (and even few conspiracies) were formed and destroyed with the march of time. Eventually, the Atlantic Slave Trade who forced people out of their homelands and sent them across the sea created the first melting pot in which old traditions had to adapt with new beliefs, creating the syncretistic base of the Mysteries. Only when that network spread among different Spirit Emissaries all around the world, the confederation of cults and covens was formed, creating the conspiracy in a, more or less, functional way.

                          While syncretism and understanding of the spirit world has allowed the network to exist, there is little in common between the many different cells of the conspiracy. Worse, spirits are not, in any way, a unified force- they are selfish beings, trapped forever in a circle of eat or be eaten. Even choirs require certain common traits and the presence of a local spirit strong enough to force its authority over the others. In fact, spirits are not a unifying factor for the conspiracy as much as balancing them is. Each local spirit has its own needs, and while most of them agree that they rather have a world of flesh and spirit mixed together, and that certain werewolves are in their way, even that is not a consensus among the Shadow Lords. The only thing which kept the conspiracy together was their willingness to accept the endless diversity and paradoxes, mixing their own belief systems and make compromises about their world view.

                          No one promised it could actually work forever.

                          For the Les Mysteres, it wasn't as much as a "civil war" as much as it was drifting apart. While certain groups celebrated the diversity inside the organization, most cells were formed from like-minded individuals, practicing similar methods and using similar paradigms. People who believed that werewolves and monsters were the main enemy eventually created mini-compacts dedicated for killing shapeshifters. Practitioners of Haitian Voodoo and similar religions discovered they have little in common with crystal weavers and alien abductees, creating closed communities inside the Mysteries. Eventually, it came to the point that many of those sub-organizations just didn't recognized the others as a true Spirit Emissaries, saying that their methods and world view were just wrong. Few proud loyalists to the syncretistic ways of the conspiracy claimed that what they do makes them more vulnerable to spirit manipulations, but they were largely ignored. One by one, the different organizations broke apart, and by doing so their turned the Les Mysteres from an unexplained phenomena into an event which was forever marked in the history of the Vigil- for from their ruins, five new organizations were birthed, crediting them as the "Cradle of Conspiracies".

                          Four of the new organizations were based around the four different paths of the Crossroads- for while the Mysteres were meant to move between different paths over time, eventually the creation of "Path dedicated compacts" was what practically killed the organization. Those who walked the Path of Fellowship were usually the most practical of individuals, using their connections with the spirit world for the benefit of their people. Most of their people drew inspiration from European mystery cults, with the idea that man is above nature and spirit, and as such he should manipulate them for its own gain. That world view created the Tenders of the Dionysian Vineyard, or simply the Vinters. Drawing inspiration from the Dionysian Mysteries, their faith is that the spirit world is like wild grapes, and that only human intervention could turn it into rich wine. They maintain their 3 dot Path of Fellowship bonus and gain Resources for 3 dots as their 5 dot Status bonus, as a result of their influence and connections.

                          The Path of Spirit took an whole different direction- for them, human intervention was seen as the most dangerous act, for it meddled with the delicate balance which exists among all living beings. Their faith was that spirits were the true guardians and gods of the world, and by serving them as "temple guardians" of some kind they promoted the old, true order of the world. That movement was especially strong among members of oppressed minorities, who blamed the White Man for the destruction of the balance between worlds and tried to reestablish the old traditions in the service of the old gods, with a major influence coming from traditional African religions, eventually creating the Shango's Thunder, who communicated with the spirits of the world and fought against Wounds, Magaths and similar corruptions of the spirit world, and they have even established a very suspicious alliance with the Pure. They retain their 3 dot Status bonus, and gain a free Supernatural Merit as a gift from the spirits at 5 dots, and they also gain an Honorary Rank of half their Status rounded up.

                          Some hunters, however, believed that communicating with the spirits was not their primary duty as much as destroying the enemies of the world- werewolves and other monsters. What is the difference between the Forsaken and the Pure? And if those hybrids of flesh and spirit are wrong, why does certain spirits Claim mortal men? And in general, why should spirits be venerated and not hunted, considering that they only respect those are strength? True harmony could only be found while in hunt, and a true shaman should also be a great hunter. Establishing themselves around native american belief system, they were eventually formed into the Great Spirit Society, which teaches that in order to be accepted into the Hunting Grounds you should prove your worth while hunting spiritual prey, with the greatest hunters joining that realm while in life. They retain their Path of Beasts bonus and their 5 dot bonus turns into an Unseen Sense toward spiritual phenomena and beings.

                          From the Path of Souls, came the ideology of isolation and watching from the outside. For them, even talking directly with the spirits could lead into corruption and destruction. Spirits manipulate the flesh just as human transform the spirit. In order to find a perfect balance between the world, the shaman should act without acting, think without thinking. Werewolves who hunt spirits defy that natural order, but so are shamans who summon and spirits and use them for personal gain, and totems who form cults around themselves and play with flesh puppets. True shamans serve an higher order, existence beyond existence and the void which between all and nothing. The greatest influence upon this group came from East Asian religions such as Buddhism, Taoism and Shinto, eventually creating the Tianxia Order, in which everything has a place under heaven which should not be interfered. They maintain their 3 dot Path bonus and get to add their [Status: Conspiracy] to any Exorcism and Abjuration attempts at 5 dots.

                          Finally, while many of the organization's members has left the shattered organization, many were left behind in the ruins either because they felt unwelcome in any of the new factions, out of loyalty to the old system or simply because they believed that by committing to a single path they allow the spirits to manipulate them even further. Maintaining their old system, those cells have became even closer than before, relying on things like the internet and similar forms of communication in order to not break apart. Certain shamans has grown into importance, creating a more rigid order and making sure no group should be too extreme in its view, tracking the current Path of each member and giving an order that each Cell should have no more than 2 Emissaries with the same Path. They have encouraged syncretism and pluralism in the conspiracy, trying to stay true to their old ways as much as they could. Eventually, they changed their name into "the Mysteries" just to become more global. They still draw a lot of inspiration from Haitian and Louisiana Voodoo, adding to it many other New Age traditions like alien mediums, snake handling and crystal weaving. They maintain their old Status system as is, yet suffer from -2 to Social rolls when interacting with the other factions.

                          Now, time has to do its own. With each of the approaches of the conspiracy becomes independent, all wait to see who would fall, and who would thrive. That Civil War acts not against each other, but against time itself- for the last one to stand would be the victorious one, showing the others that they were right all along, and that are the one and true Spirit Emissaries.

                          So, for the Endowments:
                          The Mysteries maintain the same old system for learning rituals, of course. The Tenders lose the possession immunity and ridden bonuses and penalties (as they are in full control while using the rituals), but their libraries and occult texts allow them to learn all rituals freely without the Status limitation. The Shango's Thunder instead channel the spirits directly through their bodies, having instead a 1-5 merit, which allows them to have a number of rites which their total rating is equal to their Endowment. However, they only require a single roll to enter into possession for the next Scene and can then use all their powers freely without Appeasements, rolls or costs, and gain to the roll a modifier equal to their Status. They may also add their Endowment to their Attributes (chosen while Possession), but suffer a -[Endowment] modifier for the next Breaking point after possession.

                          The Great Spirit Society has to skin a spirit if they wish to use its abilities, granted in the form of Talisman while going through the rite of passage. The Talisman is a 1-5 merit, which must be maintained by using Essence taken by defeating spirits in battle. Activating the Talisman requires a single Essence and lasts for a Scene, and the hunter may only use Rites while the Talisman is active. She can learn any Rite with a rating below her Talisman, and does not require Appeasements. The modifiers relate to the skinned spirit. The hunter regain one Essence per Rank of the spirit/ Supernatural Tolerance of the monster she defeated or by draining a Loci. She also lose her possession immunity for most time, but regain it when wearing the skin, and during that time she may also interact with the Twilight's spiritual frequency. Losing the Talisman requires crafting a new one from a spirit.

                          Finally, the Tianxia Order cut off the spirits from the rituals, going directly to the source instead- those hunters also has a single, 1-5 merit which allows them to improvise rituals. They may cast any ritual with a rating equal or bellow their Endowment, and require using sacred geometry and a system of banes and bans in order to activate the ritual. Doing so is the same as Appeasements, but it surrounds a bigger territory. As long as the hunter in the limit of the territory (which is one km radius per Endowment from the focus of the ritual, which is where it is cast), the hunter may only to roll for the ritual once. Afterward, as long as she does not cross the boundary, she may use the spell as many times as she wishes without rolling again (although costs are required to be paid). Dramatic Failure while casting the ritual means the same geometry can not be use again and must reconstructed. Maintaining the barrier requires one Willpower per hour, although going outside of it would break it immediately. She also gain an Essence pool equal to her Endowment which could be used to power the rituals or maintain the barrier, and could be replenished from Loci or Meditation.

                          EDIT- ok, that's the last time I'm pulling such thing again. No more than 3 factions from a single Civil War :P
                          Last edited by LostLight; 06-14-2016, 07:11 AM.

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

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                          • #28
                            The Knights of St George

                            How many times you need to repeat a lie before it turns into truth?

                            Lies are, after all, the Knights specialty. The fact that the truth is too terrible to handle is the very reason the Revelation system is used among them. By controlling the access for information, the Knights can supervise their members, revealing what most would see as an heretical blasphemy only for those who can handle the truth. Only the ones to pass through all three Revelation hear the full story about the 72 Faceless Angels and the dreams they spawn in their death like sleep. For the most, the Knights are "just" an Anglican conspiracy, who use the secret teachings of the Christ in order to cast out the demons in their own souls through Christian Iconography. Only the ones who are prepared for the terrible truth learn it, one step in a time.

                            Imagine what would happen if the truth would leak out too early.

                            It could be an accident- a low level member overhears a conversation he shouldn't have heard, or somehow stumble upon the Treatise of Saint George. He panics. He should run to his superiors, but he is afraid he would be silenced (and not without reason). Maybe he runs to his cellmates and start to spread the truth. Maybe they won't believe him and turn him in- but the seeds of doubt and sown. Or maybe he is going to his superiors, and they try to calmly explain him that what they do is the right thing, and that the lies were necessary. Maybe he is smart enough to act as if he accept what they say- but in his heart, he is still thinking about all of them as heretics. At any case, the secrets start to spread, moving from one cell to another. The conspiracy tries to silence those whispers, but doesn't worry too much- there has always been rumors about them. But this time its different. Their own hunters lose faith in the order, and one by one they gather together, planning for a rebellion against what they see as "corrupted leadership".

                            On the other hand, it could be a deliberate sabotage done by another conspiracy- Network-0 lurks behind the Knights for eternity, until they finally managed to film a 3rd Revelation Initiation and sent it online. The Churches of Rome and England never truly saw eye to eye, and perhaps the Malleus Maleficarum have managed to find the "deal breaker" in an attempt to destroy the Knights once and for all- especially if they are used as scapegoat in their own little Civil War. The Loyalists of Thule have a book detailing 30 groups who are baneful before god, and the Knights are included. They decide to investigate further. The Lucifuge's blood is burning every time they are near the Knights and they don't know why- and they check for demonic manipulation only to discover they are right, in a way. The Aegis Kai Duro witness how one of the Knights defeats a witch- and they want to know how. Discovering it is just another form of magic, they decide to use the Knights mistrust in order to turn them more vulnerable. Or maybe, just maybe, does are not hunters who meddle with the organization- witches are, after all, excellent investigators. Maybe the local English mages decide that the threat of the conspiracy is too big, and decide to let it torn itself apart by revealing the right information to the right people.

                            Whatever the case may be, the Knights were not ready for the truth to spread- while those who passed the 3rd Revelation (and most of the 2nd) would side with the Dragonslayers, the conspiracy is, after all, built as a cult- most of the members are either squires or 1st Revelation agents. Many of them see themselves as faithful Christians. Suddenly, they discover that they are not that different from the witches they hunt, and that they worship powers which should not exist. Mayhem starts. Things go out of control. The Knights deny the truth, but they lose many of their lower ranked members, especially Squires which grant them important access and resources. Members leave the order en masses, and then turn upon them with their own broken knowledge. Worse, that makes them vulnerable enough for the monsters to join the party. They lose many strongholds, limiting their influence. Some wonder why should they even keep the Revelation system with the truth out in the open- dark rumors about demonic heresy is one things. Knowing exactly what that heresy is just misses the point.

                            However, the Knights are anything but survivors. While they lost many of their bases, their influence in England- London especially- is as strong as ever. They claim to have found a dark heresy inside their own order to which they were not aware and pronounce certain high ranked members as guilty of the betrayal. The condemn them to death- yet no one witness the execution. Some of violence wears of, and few new members even start to join back the order, but many still suspect that the corruption was not that local. The suspicion around the Knights is stronger than ever, and many of their few allies have left them to die. Even the old Knight Commander finally resign, allowing the woman to take his place as a sign of "reformation". She create a more closed organization than before, keeping the knowledge away from most of the new members but ruthlessly kicks out any member who doubt her commands, suspects the order, asks too questions or does not accept the truth of the Revelations once given. In few years, the order becomes even more secretive than before, with the number of those who know the Revelations is supervised directly by the Knight Commander and granting further Revelation requires her personal permission. Anglican aesthetic starts to wane under her rule, and the order becomes more secular on the outside. Being Christian is no longer a requirement- only being faithful to the conspiracy legacy and values, with Goetism taking a much bigger place in their works.

                            On the other hand, those who did not believed in the order's "reformation" are still out there. They are united together by their faith and a new charismatic leader- the other nominee for the Knight Commander's position, who rides the wave in order to establish his own vision for the organization. Some of the old guard wonder if perhaps he was the one behind the whole thing just to rise into power. Under his leadership, the organization mix Christianity together with the Gnostic truth of the Revelations- Jesus was their savor, who wished to lead his people beyond the falsehoods of this world. By embracing the truth of the Christ, you could command the powers of the Prince of This World with the Lord's authority over Hell. By conquering your own sins- your own dragons- one could turn the powers of Hell against itself. Those acts are evil, sure, but they are necessary evil if one were to defeat witches and other agents of Hell. By casting those sins outside of them, they could maintain their spiritual purity even when preforming acts of evil. While witches are still a threat, with their new focus around purity and sin and leaving the Faceless Angels behind, they start to deal more with spirits and similar ephemeral beings more, and their rites and changed to do so (some wonder how their new leader have managed to so easily transform the occult rites, and may wonder if there is a reason the Knights yearn so much for Royal Blood in their leadership).

                            Now, for mechanics-

                            The old Knights maintain their Endowments and 2nd Status dot, but with the new lack of trust and lose of members Retainers are not that easy to find. Instead, they learn how to tune into the minds of the Faceless Angels and see the future in their nightmarish dreams, getting the Omen Sensitivity merit which operates by using their Status instead of Wits, as the power comes from the order itself and not from themselves. They also suffer -2 for any Social rule involving a Christian or Witch Finder group as part of their reputation as witches and heretics. That rise to -3 when dealing with their rival conspiracy. They Revelation system is also new detached from the Status, meaning that highly respected members don't necessary knows things lower level members know. The 2nd Revelation also changes from "we serve sleeping gods" into "there are other gods but the Lord out there, which influence the world around us".

                            As for the rival conspiracy- let's call it the Church of Original Sin, shall we?- they maintain their 3 dot Status bonus, seeing it more as "mentoring" young generations of hunters, and they no longer use the terms "Squires" for lower level members. For 2nd dot, the Church gains a free specialty in Expression, Persuasion or Socialize, as the new order puts a lot of emphasis at getting legitimacy and talking to other people. They also suffer the -2 modifier and -3 from the Knights. As for Endowments, the Church's hunters still require meditation, but they are not limited to total 5 dots anymore. Instead, each power is bought separately, without the "tree" structure of regular Endowment. The focus of those powers also changes- Endowments which targets spells now target Influences and Numina, Source for Essence and witches for spirits and ephemeral beings. While the amount of powers is not limited, it can't be denied they have corruptible effect on the mind- each rite gives a -1 modifier for Breaking Points, and must roll for [Composure]+[Resolve] - [Number of Rites] (minimum 1) to resist indulging her Vice when she has an opportunity.

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

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                            • #29
                              The Cheiron Group

                              Usually, a civil war is a matter of ideology- some people either object or have different views about the ways their organization should operate, ending with a huge split in the structure and hierarchy and forcing it to shatter into two or more new groups after reaching to a point they could no longer on how they should carry the Vigil. Such civil wars are usually bloody, but are done with heavy heart. Friends turn upon their friends, cells are being teared apart. Emotions and values on one side, friendships and loyalties on the other. Those are wars of blood and tears, of broken hearts and shattered souls.


                              Sometimes, it's just business.

                              When someone joins the Cheiron Group's Field Project, he agrees to all kinds of weird terms and conditions- with one of them being that his taumatech being actually a "company property", and as such his all body is actually owned by the company. For that reason, if someone decides to quit, than he has to return all of those "leased properties"- although the employment contract does not detail that the company should give you back your original organs, something which could be a bit of inconvenience (like when you replace your arm with a werewolf's) or something a bit more.. problematic (like eyes, or brain, or heart). That also mean that is you just run away, you are stealing the company's property- which means the Cheiron Group has the legal right to hunt you down and harvest you for the stolen goods. Now, you may wonder why does the "legal right" has any meaning (after all, it is not like there is a court dealing with those kinds of things, right?), but we'll get to it later.

                              As any good company, the Cheiron Group has business rivals. Some are more mundane, like other pharmaceutical companies who want to steal their patents, while others are a bit more.. esoteric (Daeva Corporation for example). Like any good company, you can expect that such cases contain things like industrial espionage, something the Cheiron Group would really, really won't like to happen. However, they accept that from time to time, a spy would manage to get in- they just want to make sure he won't make out in one piece. Still, where all of the members of the Cheiron Group's are all supervised and loyal (if one could use that word in terms of "fear" and "desire for great profit") to the company, such spies are the one weak link in Cheiron's complete dominance over its employees. Such spies come willing to betray the company, knowingly (or not, usually not) endangering their very life in the process.

                              That is, as long as they won't double cross their own organization for a third party.

                              Like the criminal underworld.

                              Stealing from the company would automatically turn you into a criminal, after all- so if you want to get out of the company with one piece, you need some people who are specialized in such things. Things like kidnapping important personals in the company, breaking into laboratories, stealing important materials and sell them through the underworld. There is, after all, a black market dedicated for organ traffic. So, let's assume that there is that employ who, for long time, felt unappreciated by his employers. He was promised a lot of money in quick time and without much efforts. Yet, until now, he discovers that most of his members were either killed or went insane because of those crazy monsters. He want to quit, but his boss calmly explain to him the situation. Since then, he feels like the company is tracking his every move- but he play nice enough to not rise suspicion. Eventually, the company gives up- but he doesn't. He makes contact with one of Cheiron's rivals, hopping for them to save him. They agree, and he starts to transfer them information. Eventually, he makes a mistake. He is found. He escapes. He calls his other employees, but they say there is nothing they can do- a contract is a contract. Apparently, while he was spying, Cheiron secretly took over their assets- he was spying against his own company for his own company all of this time. Such a messed up world. They hung up the phone. He is dead meat. He has no where to escape. Then, he gets a call- apparently, someone else was watching him. If you'll give them the information, they would help you.

                              He goes down under.

                              As a part of such an organization, such a person becomes a great assets- he knows all the important places, all the important people. He knows where they live, when they sleep. He knows their ways of communication, their dirty secrets, which other employees are also dissatisfied with their current positions. He can make contact with them, he can promise them a way out of the company and a path for quick money if they'll join in. They agree. Some of them turn into long term spies. Others just steal a computer or two and escape like bats from hell. The company notice that trend and starts to act against it. Supervision around new employees goes up, new rules are being established, people are getting a raise in order to keep them in. People are getting slaughtered for even a slight suspicion of betraying the Group. Cheiron becomes even more closed than before, until it eventually manage to stop the leaks, replace all employees and return to its regular course.

                              Bu that Civil War is just beginning.

                              Suddenly, missions start to go wary- easy things, like capturing a vampire or a young witch, end up with the monster being stolen by a rival organization and the agents dead. Other members with something which looks like taumatechonlogy shows up, and those who are getting captured and dissected show a remarkably similar technology. Cheiron's greatest secret is now out, and is being used by others, by people who do not carry Cheiron's Sign. The Board of Directors start to panic. They want the organization dead- but it works like a network, like a snake. They are everywhere and nowhere, their leadership found deep in the underworld (or perhaps, the Underworld). Laws, trade and contracts- that is how Cheiron works, how it always worked in its many incarnations since ancient Greece. An enemy which does not play those rules is an enemy it can't fight, at least not how it use to. They need to find a new strategy to get rid of that nuisance, before it would manage to grow into a real threat- and their only weapons are their money, and their Field Project agents.

                              The Ningishzida Trade Network would not fall easily.

                              So, unlike other Civil Wars, Cheiron as whole wasn't really changed in the process- it was an internal strife down quietly. While it lost many of its members either to Ningishzida's attacks or recruitment together with other resources and technologies, it was able to cover the whole thing up and replenish everything it lost- but the fact that the leak in their technology still exists is like a thorn in their hip. Still, it has done some damage- with the Harvest Market gaining life of its own and turning against Cheiron, the company can't use it any more for R&D. Ningishzida, while being an whole different organization with different methods of operation, are still not that different in their status system- while by using reverse engineering, basic understanding of human and inhuman anatomy, stolen information and kidnapped scientists, the organization managed to mimic the Taumaetchnology Endowment. At 3 dots Status, the hunter gets access to the underworld's information and connections, giving 2 dots in Contacts (underworld mobster). The group use the same bonus for 5 dot Status (after all, quick money is what they use to lure new members), but they also get a Key to an Avernian Gate which leads to one of the conspiracy secret bases in the Great Bellow.

                              Now, as for the Endowments themselves- while Ningishzida has managed to crack the occult process for the transplant to work, the method is not that stable. In order to use a Taumatech, the hunter must first roll for [Stamina]+[Composure]. Failure means the hunter suffer one level of Bashing Damage per dot in the Endowment. Dramatic Failure turns that damage into Lethal. Exceptional Success makes it you don't need to roll for the next time you use the Endowment. It also means no Endowment is "passive", and is it should be working constantly it works only for a scene. The hunter may add spend Willpower in order to add +2 modifier to the roll. There is, however, a benefit for that unstable method- that's called "Occult Evolution". Under the right terms, an Endowment may "evolve" to an higher dot Endowment. That means that while the hunter has to use the implement system in order to get new Endowments at least once (and she may use more), there is another path for her to get advanced Endowments. Occult Evolution works as the following- first, the hunter has to have a transplanted Endowment of one dot bellow the "evolved" form. If that condition is in effect, she may buy the evolved Endowment without the surgery, and choose a certain "activation condition". When the conditions are met (or, alternatively, by spending a Willpower point), the hunter can gain access to the Evolved Endowment while losing access to the original one. The hunter may also buy Evolution upon Evolution in that way, although any Endowment can only be evolved into one form. The opposite process, called "Occult Regression" is also possible. no more than 5 Endowments may be tied that way, and when the conditions are terminated (or after a single use if paid with Willpower, unless the hunter wish to Evolve it further) it returns to its original form.

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

                              I now blog in here


                              • #30

                                Unlike certain conspiracies, VASCU is already undermanned organization which is desperate for more budget and resources. The Director of Operations is working 24/7, doing all he can in order to keep the organization functioning and supervising each of the potential members. Worse, many of those agents are untrained members, creating a system in which it is very hard to fill their ranks easily. It doesn't stop the agency from reaching even out to Europe, but it is to show that unlike certain conspiracies, VASCU just can't afford itself a civil war- with so many threats around them, such a war could endanger their very existence, not to mention that it would be against the rules.

                                Sometimes, it is not about the rules. It is about doing what's right.

                                Being a Vanguard agent is not an easy task- there are protocols you need to obey, laws which need top be carried on. Anyone who can't obey the regulations is kicked out of the organization, and anyone who try to expose the truth of VASCU's abilities and the secrets of the Wintergreen Process would end up in jail for crimes he didn't committed (or, at least, never thought would get to court). However, the most painful moment is when the agents manage to capture a dangerous murderer, send him to trail- and he gets free. It usually doesn't happen with the more "harsh cases" (most of the Scourges never get to court), but influential cabals like the Hunt Club has connections most slashers do not, allowing them to support each other when one of them is caught by the Law. The agents, of course, know they are guilty- they have seen those murderers and madness through the eyes of those killers themselves, but psychic powers are not accepted as valid evidence at court. Worse, they now know that those slashers would, undoubtedly, kill again- and they can't act until they'll do. More lives would be lost, fear would spread even further, but that's how the rules work- the law is harsh, but it is the law, and it can not be broken.

                                People are the ones to break.

                                The way that VASCU is built makes it that experienced hunters who survive for long enough are well known through the agency. While experience is important, the problem is that the more time an hunter spends in his job, the more likely he is to try and bend the rules in order to bring justice to the slasher. As long as he is only bending them, all is well- but if he actually breaks one of them, he is automatically removed from field assignments, sometimes for good. Most are moved to Lansing, others to the many research departments, but the only important thing is that the Director's eyes watch them closer than ever now. Bitterness is quick to grow in such agents, but removing them is essential for the organization- their popularity may make other agents to justify and mimic such behavior, and if everyone would just do what they want VASCU would be shut down. Being a VASCU agent is a thankless job, but someone has to do it- and for the greater good, they should shut up and do their work.

                                If someone were to exploit that bitterness, things could go very, very wrong- for example, a former high level agents who was moved to the Neuro-Cognitive Research Team starts wonder if they are really using the Wintergeen process as they should, that maybe be operating outside of the laws and regulations they could achieve the true potential of their abilities. Another was a psychic even before joining VASCU, and through all of his life he learned to rely on his "sixth sense"- and eventually, he chose his intuition over his commands. A third is serving at the Lansing Facility, and every day he pass over the faces of those inhuman freaks who just want to skin him alive or make a status out of his bones. The only reason that they are alive is that they can't even trail them, and that it is illegal to just kill them- but doesn't it mean that in those cases, the law is just, well, wrong?

                                Now, let's assume that those three individuals come in contact with each other, and that they start pulling old connections in order to try and make a change in the organization. Their former partners and underlings are drawn to them, and they seem to agree with what they have to say. The Director of Operations hear the rumors, calls those involved for hearing and kicks the ones responsible out of the organization. Knowing what expects them, they go underground, and it seems that even VASCU's agents can't find them (or that maybe those agents don't really try to hunt down their former colleges). That should be all of it- but then, they return, and they are not alone. Someone has contacted them, supported them and helped them hide. Old Dr. Wintergreen shows up, and she has some quit new advances in her Process. They call for the agents who believe in doing justice- true justice- to come and leave the bound organization. Many stand up and leave their offices. The Director can't allow that to happen.

                                Is the Director just a normal person, with a lot of connections and influence? Did he worked day and night in order to evolve his own psychic powers beyond any mortal capability? Or maybe he is truly a n angels of the God Machine? Who knows what resources he has available in order to fight that growing movement. Whatever his true identity, a fight starts inside VASCU- more of an ideological fight than gun fight. Those agents loyal to the Director and the organization as whole arrest those who try to leave the group. No one knows what exactly happens, but when they return they don't seem to want to leave anymore- well, those who are seen again. Others are kept in detain, until one day they manage to escape. No one knows who broke them out. No one can be trusted. Darkness engulf VASCU, as the Director desperately tries to return to work. They don't have time for such nonsense, he says. There are monsters everywhere, and the slashers use such infighting in order to slip between the cracks. Two escape attempts were preformed at Lansing, and they were barely stopped- and not without price. For now, the Director manages to keep it all in the dark from the rest of the FBI- but if that "civil war" would be revealed, the organization would be torn to shreds. But the rebels do not seem to care- they have their own motto, one which they'll follow at any price.

                                Let justice be done, even though the skies may fall.

                                So, while VASCU remains, more or less, unchanged, their relationships with the rest of the FBI are starting to stretch. The higher up start to notice that something is going inside the department, and they want answers. For that reason, while the agents maintain their Status inside the agency, they suffer from -2 modifier from interacting with agents outside Vanguard. As for the new, underground movement- they work in a lot less organized way. While Dr. Wintergreen and the founders are standing in the top, their belief in justice above all makes it that they are really an unorganized group. working through a network of underground facilities through Wintergreen's connections, the group gains access to all kinds of information and resources. Many of the group's members has already moved to Europe, taking the moniker of the Society of Twelve Keys as an attempt to legitimize themselves and absorbing many of the claimed members, reducing VASCU's influence in Europe drastically. Some think that the infrastructure for such an event in which VASCU is torn apart was so well planned, that maybe Wintergreen has her hand in the events- but if so, the old doctor is reveals nothing. Still, thanks to her resources and connections, the members of the Society gain a number of alternative benefits- their 3 dot bonus turns into a 3 dot Safehouse, in the form of one of Wintergreen's underground facilities. At 5 dots, they gain a special bonus developed from Wintergreen's research- a version of Unseen Sense dedicated for murderers, shown in the form of blood covering the hands of the murderer. In case of old murders, the blood gets dried up- but slashers are seem to be "overflowing", eventually leaving a trail of blood wherever they go.

                                As for the Endowment, the agents of the Society but Teleformatics as a 1-5 merit, like the regular hunters, yet instead of a single merit the treat it as 3 different Endowments, according to the "spheres". Unlike the regular VASCU members, the "improved Process" creates a "fixed potential", which determines the power level of the character when it is preformed- the hunter may only have a single Sphere are 5 dots, one at 3 dots and one with only 1 dot. That choice is not required to be made at character creation, but should be considered. Each Sphere has to bought in a linear way, from 1 to 5, and other than mental damage or something similar can not be changed afterward. While that Process does grant the hunter more powers than the usual Vanguard agent, the members of the Society are marked by their powers- each hunter suffer from a Glitch for every odd dot rating of a Sphere. Additionally, when they reach the maximal value of their Endowment they gain a Persistent Condition of a negative effect (alternatively, the hunter may take further glitches instead). The glitches gained are minor for 1 dot, major for 3 and catastrophic for 5. Those glitches are permanent.

                                My Homebrew Signature

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

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