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Chasseurs de Tetes [Dreamcatchers, Project O-X, VIII]

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  • Chasseurs de Tetes [Dreamcatchers, Project O-X, VIII]

    The Enraged Ones

    [frontal look of a bloody guillotine]

    "There is no such thing as happy ending"

    In the world were vampires stalk the night, werewolves run wild and witches play with dangerous powers, it is very easy for a person to slip to the long road to hell, no matter how well intended his actions are. More time than anyone can count (or wish for), a potential carrier of the Vigil falls from grace, turning upon his kind. While it is a bad thing when it happen to a single hunter- it is terrifying when an whole compact falls that way and turns into a murderous cabal- the shining light of their collective candles is extinguished at once, becoming lost forever and ever.

    And it doesn't end in the Vigil.

    It is all about the idea- and how ideas having ideas of their own. Things like liberty and equality sound all good and well at first, and then people are starting to lose their head- and too literally than one may want to believe. Just notice how many so called "revolutions" has started from something which sounds good at first- and ends up as a living hell. Sure, there are few none-violent revolutions here and there, and some of those actually succeed: but so much blood has been spilled on the other cases that such example drown in the crimson sea which is called history. The story is almost always the same- some people see how corrupted the world is, and they go out to fix it- but then they cross one step too far and it all turns into one huge, red mess. This is the story of every revolutionist, and in a way, it is also the story of every hunter. And just like the former, darker shadows are formed when those bright visions for the future fall down.

    So imagine how surprising one may be when the opposite thing happens.

    One such rare example could be found during what many westerns would call the "iconic Revolution"- that is, the French Revolution. Motivated by noble ideas, the people rose against the monarchy and declared themselves as masters of their own fate, but that was only the beginning. Suddenly, Liberty, Equality and Fraternity were less important than Madam Guillotine, and heads started to drop like rain. The Terror took life of its own, telling the same old story, and those who listened to it found in themselves enchanted by it, even as it told their own doom. Those few people has started to take interest in the heads the Madam has left behind, collecting them, cleaning them, hugging the white skulls with feverish yearning. They didn't stopped at that, of course- as the Terror went on, they has started to target specific heads, making sure certain people would be sent to be executed, or even being the ones to cut the rope and allow the blade to descend. Some even didn't waited for the Madam to do her work, and instead searched for new heads for their collection by themselves. It was a bloody time, after all. Few more murders won't change too much.

    That mad group was the foundation of the Chasseurs de Tetes- the Headhunters. That grim group with their focus over skulls- especially royal ones- has prospered during that violent era. The head was rational, clean of falsehoods, symbol of status. By having one's head, you also had his soul. Collecting more heads would give you powers over life and death. Each member had his own reason- but they were united by their dark passion, by the idea which crept into their minds. It was as if a demon lurked in their own skulls, seeking the company of others. They were not spared from the Revolution, of course- by they didn't mind that. If their own heads would satisfy the grim Madam, so be it.

    And then, the Terror stopped.

    A Republic rose for a split of a second, only to fall once more by the march of Napoleon. A new-old story was told- bringing new ideas, ones of greatness and power, the story of an Empire, while the story of the Terror has ended. That was meant to be the end for the Headhunters- and it almost was. Some has turned one upon another, others were purged as loyalists of the former dictatorship, and the few who left weren't suppose to last that long. It would just be a matter of time before people would notice the murders, or find the underground basements filled with the preserved skulls, or notice as their nightly journeys to the newly established catacombs...

    But the idea had ideas of its own.

    She was known simply as the Madam- named after the device so many of them worshiped as a god. What name she had before is irrelevant. They say she was beautiful, cold and bloodthirsty as the guillotine she was named after. She had a new vision, new ideology for their group- she told them that just as people butchered each other in the name of their ideals, others butcher them for far more selfish reasons. She told them how she saw in her own eyes how monsters walked in human skin, taking the forms of others and killing them to steal their place in the world. How those monsters tricked people into pacts and oaths bound by terrible power. How they styled themselves into courts and monarchies just like the royals they hated so much. Faeries walked among them, stealing life which shouldn't be their to take.

    That night, she led the headhunters to their first hunt for the Vigil- and they didn't stopped since then. At first, it was simply in order to fulfill their own twisted blood lust, but eventually, their members has truly started to care for other people. Suddenly, doing the right thing was important again. And more than that- other people were drawn ton them, following the whispers of the same idea which led the headhunters. The spontaneous awakening during the Vigil has turned them into naming those people as the Enrages, the Enraged Ones, after the small anarchistic group who stood for the common men. The story of the revolution never ended- it just changed its face.

    No one knows how exactly the Madam has found her end. There are many stories among the group about her "great finale battle", either as she fought at dual against a fae monarch and defeated him with her last breath, or as she led a raid against a palace of filled with such creepers or how she chased an age old enemy into a thorny maze from which she never returned. No matter how she dies, her legacy carried on- for the Headhunters kept fighting the influence of the Fae and kill both them and their loyalists. Even as they learned the "truth" on those so called "changelings" and how they were kidnapped by mad beings which devour souls and replace them with hollow echos of themselves, they didn't stopped- for their existence doesn't give them a reason to make their replacements less important, and being a victim doesn't makes up for the crimes you do. After all, the Chasseurs are a living example for that- they still keep the heads the find, after all, together with all the heads they collected since the Revolution. That was their story, and this is how it would eventually end: as another head on the shelf.

    And perhaps, that is the real reason for why the idea inside their head keeps whispering to them they should kill those "Lost". That is, that the story of those changeling doesn't end with their escape- it is just the beginning. Their story is unfinished, waiting for them to take the finale roll and make the unavoidable act.

    There is no such thing as happy endings, not without writing it with blood.

    Status:
    0- You have either heard the Idea whispering in your dreams or saw the common thread between your own ideology and the one of the Headhunters. You may buy dots in the Decapitation Endowment.
    000- Your peers view you with admiration, and that is reflected into the Idea which whispers in their ears. Once per chapter, you may activate a 3 dot Allies merit, composed out of random people and members of the conspiracy which the Idea gathers together.
    00000- You are as legendary as the Madam, and people see you as the Idea incarnated as you fight the war against the living stories of Arcadia and their spawn, and you become sensitive to those stories. Get Unseen Senses for free focused around either Changelings, Huntsmen, the Hedge or Talecrafting.

    Endowment: Decapitation (0-00000, Special)
    The Chasseurs are the children of the guillotine, and they carry it in their dreams as the Idea give them secrets unique to them. Decapitation is a group of 1-5 merit, which has a special requirement- heads. In order to use the Endowment, you must have at least one skull which was ritualistically dedicated to the ideas of the Endless Revolution and based around the specific Decapitation Endowment, with your effective such Decapitation rating equal to the number of such skulls (up to the actual rating of the merit). And additional skull grants +1 modifier for Decapitation rolls, although you can not benefit from more skulls then your Status: Chasseurs de Tetes for a single Decapitation. Such skulls do not need to be dedicated to a single Decapitation.

    Each of the Decapitation Endowments is focused around another Merit, which the hunter may or may not have. By rolling Decapitation + Presence vs the target's Composure+ Resolve, the hunter may block the target's access to the merit for a number of days equal to the Decapitation's rating. In case of Exceptional Success, that time is doubled. In case of Dramatic Failure, the hunter suffer from one level of Bashing Damage as the Idea buzz in their brain without being expressed. In an addition, even having one Decapitation gives a more offensive use, meaning an actual decapitation. In order to do so, use the [highest rated Decapitation] + Manipulation as an attack Dicepool which ignores Defense- both magical and mundane- and follow the regular combat system. When killing a target, the attack would always express as beheading the victim.

    While Decapitation is supernatural in nature, its cutting nature has a special effect- it may be used even under conditions other supernatural powers may not work. Even the Utterances spoke by mummies and dispelling effects created by spirits and witches can not withstand the sharp blades of human hope and despair.

    Stereotypes:
    Task Force: VALKYRIE- "they claim to bring peace and fight for their country- but all I see is another form of oppression worth fighting against"
    Cheiron Group: "filth! Abominations! Off with their heads!"
    Union: "they know the strength of numbers and the power of mutual help. If they were to embrace the Ideal, we would have a powerful weapon on our side"
    Long Night: "their faith is blinding them. Not everyone deserves God's mercy"
    Scharlach Spinnwebe: "many say that businessmen are the royalty of the new world. I agree- and the heads of those oppressors should join their predecessors"

    "Death to all nobles!"
    Last edited by LostLight; 02-16-2017, 06:15 PM.


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  • #2
    The conceptual guillotines they wield are a cool and interesting thought. I dig that, but I think its offensive mechanics need a little more clarification or pondering. It's an idea they are bringing to bear in a tangible and forceful way after all, and it doesn't read as if that's the main use of their symbolic dream weapon. That part of the endowment could possibly use some kind of cost, in Willpower or otherwise.

    I'm not sure what the last sentence is trying to say. Or more like, I can't come up with any situation where it's relevant. It sounds like a really vague and uncertain statement to be backed up mechanically,
    Last edited by YeOfLittleFaith; 03-08-2016, 07:19 PM.

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    • #3
      balancing the offensive mechanic with a WP cost sounds like a good idea- and it really isn't meant to be the main use of the Endowment, something that could be represented by it requiring a fuel to work while the other powers do not. It's point is to show the Idea's purest, most brutal manifestation- cutting things apart. I've tried to make it a bit less "standard weapon" by using Manipulation as a part of the Dicepool against the target's WP- they in fact convince their enemy they should be cut, and so they are. The Idea tells them a story about the Revolution, and they listen. It is not just a brutal slash which cuts through the air, but a very weird form of mind control which tells them they have just lost their head. I do understand it didn't came out that way. I wrote this piece half asleep, after all :P

      As for the last sentence- I assume you talk about the beheading thing, or is it about the "working in antimagic zone" thing? If the first, it is a pure fluffy thing- it is like saying that if a vampire is killed by sunlight he turns to ash, so everyone who gets killed by Decapitation is beheaded- the finale blow just cuts of his head. The target is going to be dead anyway from all the damage, so at least it could be done in an appropriate way :P . If the later, I was talking about powers like Rebuke the Vizier which nullifying supernatural powers.


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      • #4
        I can digest that explanation. Even if you were half-asleep, it's somewhat implicit in the seeming nature of the power.

        I meant the second thing, yeah. I got the physical decapitation fluff. Doesn't Rebuke The Vizier only work against magic anyhow? For... varying definitions of magic I suppose.
        Last edited by YeOfLittleFaith; 03-09-2016, 07:51 AM.

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        • #5
          So... I'm confused; is this supposed to be a genuine hunter's group, a near-fallen hunter's group (borderline villains, ala Ashwood Abbey, Cheiron Corp, Les Mysteres) or an outright fallen hunter's group (villains, ala Hunt Club and Promethean Brotherhood)? Because I honestly can't tell.

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          • #6
            I meant the second thing, yeah. I got the physical decapitation fluff. Doesn't Rebuke The Vizier only work against magic anyhow? For... varying definitions of magic I suppose.
            well, this is an homebrew in a crossover territory- so it ends up in the decision of every personal ST for what is considered to be "magic" and what isn't. All that line says is that even if there is a supernatural power which is meant to block the activation of the Decapitation Endowment by the right of it being a supernatural power, it doesn't work. now- what would happen in case of two Decapitations working against each other? Beats me :P

            So... I'm confused; is this supposed to be a genuine hunter's group, a near-fallen hunter's group (borderline villains, ala Ashwood Abbey, Cheiron Corp, Les Mysteres) or an outright fallen hunter's group (villains, ala Hunt Club and Promethean Brotherhood)? Because I honestly can't tell.
            well, they are meant to be confusing! In fact, they are a pretty unique case- they are not a fallen compact/conspiracy, but a "fallen" cabal- they started out as slashers and ended up as hunters. After the Madam and the end of the Terror, they no longer kill other people (at least, not more than the regular hunter, and certain individuals may fall into slasherhood just as any other person), but they kill monsters- mostly faes of all kinds, including changelings. Yes, they still have obsession with heads- but no one said those heads must be if human kind. Still, I could assume they have an high percent of "fallen hunters" when compared to the more standard groups- it is hard to let go of old habits, after all.


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

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            • #7
              Ah. So they're supposed to be "the good guys", then?

              Chalk up another black mark on Hunter's scoreboard for me, then.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by VoidDrifter View Post
                Ah. So they're supposed to be "the good guys", then?

                Chalk up another black mark on Hunter's scoreboard for me, then.
                I don't think I understand- first, like I've said before, they are not slashers of any kind: the average Headhunter could be a very nice person, motivated by his wishes to protect humanity. The fact that the group was, long time ago, based around a cabal does not make any modern member of the group into a murderer, just as the modern members of the Loyalists are not Nazis, and the Lucifuge are not L'Enfant Diabolique.

                Second, considering that the scale of "good guys to bad guys" is purely subjective, it is your decision were to put them- I, for example, wouldn't put the Les Mysteres in the "borderline" group, so there is a grey range in which people can argue where to place each certain group. If you think they are not good guys, no one force you to think that way. You can use them as villains if you wish (and in case you run Changeling, the chances are this would be the right path).

                Finally, and most importantly- this is just an homebrew, which is not supported by canon books, writers or developers. How can an homebrew which you don't like give a "black mark" to the official game? I've read my fair share of homebrew hunter groups which I didn't liked for many reasons. I've never blamed Hunter for that- or even the ones who wrote it. They were just not my cup of tea, which is ok. That is the nice thing about homebrew- if you like, you can just ignore it without any consequences.


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

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                • #9
                  ...I struggled with whether or not I should post this. I really did. I don't want to be threadcrapping, no. But you answered my questions in all fairness, you are honestly confused, so I think you deserve the same sort of forthrightness.

                  Firstly, I would say that the fact you immediately presume my problem with them stems from the fact that they used to be slashers who killed humans for their own obsession with hunting heads, rather than the fact that they now butcher changelings, one of the less offensive splatlines, purely on the basis of changeling cultural trappings and because the conspiracy's own cynical belief that "nobody gets to have a happy ending!" says a lot in its own right as to why this conspiracy rubs me the wrong way.

                  Secondly, whether or not I have the right to perceive them as "bad guys" doesn't change the fact that the write-up itself is clearly leaning towards the "they're sympathetic, heroic figures" interpretation. That's not wrong, that's just annoying to me on a personal level, which fails to capture my interest.

                  Thirdly, my choice of words was poor; what I was effectively saying was "note another Hunter faction I have little or no desire to use and less interest in".

                  Finally, I will be succinct. I have noticed a tendency in Hunter fandom. I do not know if it is a majority opinion, or just a very, very vocal minority opinion. I don't really care either way. It is a tendency to exhort Hunter as the game of, in /tg/ terms, "Humanity, Fuck Yeah!" And it is a tendency that aggravates me. I try not to make a fuss about it. This is a forum for everyone, nobody's forcing it down my throat, or at least not so I have perceived. It's just something that sours my mood and makes my guts roil. You just had the bad luck to be there when I couldn't contain the bile, and for that I deeply apologize.

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                  • #10
                    No group is for everyone, so it's ok for you not to like them, no worries

                    Also, I just want to note that there is a reason for their motto and why they hunt for changelings. It is a bit deeper than "Humanity, Fuck Yeah!", and yet in a way is meant to knowingly represent that idea. The "Project O-X" is not just there for no reason. There is a reason that motto should rub you the wrong way, and there is a reason they should be a bit disturbing. For now, I keep it as a secret- but eventually it would be unfolded.

                    I'll just give you this- the quote in the headline was not said by any member of that conspiracy.


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

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