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  • Death related mysteries

    So I'm going to run a chronicle it seems. The main mystery is going to be the thinning barrier between the Underworld and normal reality. So ghosts, people comming back to live or just not dying when they should become more and more common. Since the chronicle is at least partially gonna be "monster of the week" style I'm looking for interesting smaller mysteries that could arise from the situation. Any ideas?

  • #2
    Someone who just can't die and is using his immortality for kicks.

    Murder victims whose ghosts finally see the time for vengeance has arrived.

    Stone hearted Psychopomp who tries to resolve the whole situation - at any cost.

    Avernian Gate which spews out ghosts from vastly different time episodes (and/or regionality) into the local twilight.

    Ghost Food becomes tangible in the real world - what happens to those who consume it?

    Wells of necrotic essence randomly turning up, in the form of bleeding walls etc.


    My Mage 2e Homebrew

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    • #3
      A cabal member is haunted by a ghost of someone who turns out to never have existed as a living person to begin with

      A local river is discovered to be coming from and going to the Underworld

      "Beached" Cthonians keep washing up in local Twilight

      Every night at 3am an Avernian Gate in a local graveyard opens up and anyone living or dead besides its Geist gets sucked inside

      The ghost of a woman in the area has recently become pregnant

      The ghost of a deadly storm that ravaged the area a few years back keeps manifesting

      A Reaper in the area has lost the ability to tell ghosts from the living and is dragging people to the Underworld willy nilly

      The corpses in a local morgue keep getting up and walking away

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      • #4
        Someone who just can't die and is using his immortality for kicks.
        My idea was people having no idea they died so they keep going on without being aware of their state. Though someone being aware of it and willing to utilize the fact looks like a fun concept, thanks.

        Ghost Food becomes tangible in the real world - what happens to those who consume it?
        This is interesting. My guess is that short term it lets mortals see into Death-related twilight as long as it's in the system but the long term effects are nastier. Maybe as your body incorporates ghost-nutrients from the food you become more and more ghostly yourself. Maybe someone would even be willing to grow the stuff....

        The ghost of a woman in the area has recently become pregnant
        I love this. It's so creepy and "wrong" that I can't help but I love it. Need to think of a way to incorporate this into my chronicle.

        A Reaper in the area has lost the ability to tell ghosts from the living and is dragging people to the Underworld willy nilly
        Interesting, though I haven't read Gheist so I don't know much about Reapers.

        A local river is discovered to be coming from and going to the Underworld
        HIllariously I misread "river" as "driver" and came with the idea of a bus going into the underworld after it finishes it's course. Don't miss the last stop!
        Last edited by Menace; 07-05-2019, 05:55 AM.

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        • #5
          Do you have the second edition of Geist: The Sin-Eaters? It can be mined for a lot of information and inspiration. Especially Chthonians, Reapers, Geists, Rivers, Kerberoi and Chthonic Gods.
          A later stage of the "thinning" between the worlds could be Kerberoi setting up Dead Dominions in the material near Avernian Gates because it's just so much Underworldly. Before that you can have Chthonians not suffering massive Essence bleed in the material, causing a lot of mayhem.

          How much do you care about keeping to the "official" setting? People not dying doesn't really tie into the Underworld as described (primarily in Geist, but Mage is written with most or all of those assumptions in mind). It's a great plot hook, but it would have to tie the Underworld much closer to mortality rather than just ghosts (who themselves are incidentally caused by mortality rather than being the next step in any given human's existence).


          Bloodline: The Stygians
          Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
          Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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          • #6
            I prefer to keep the setting as is but don't mind questioning things in the setting if it allows me to realize the idea I want. There's lot of stuff like that in the setting already so why not more. Another option is having them be ghosts that automaticallly posess their own corpses when they die or something similar.

            And I don't have geist sadly.
            Last edited by Menace; 07-05-2019, 05:57 AM.

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            • #7
              I created some time ago a secret society of people with an hereditary supernatural merit, every winter solstice they used a stygian artifact (some of them learned the merit needed) to summon a powerful ghost from an avernian gateway.
              In a sort of ritual they crowned a stranger as a king, then they offer him and a cup of wine to the ghost, who in exchange offered a bag of strange silver coins

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              • #8
                He is old, he is cranky and his cane is the ultimate enemy of every knee. This old man suddenly showed up in town, offering a bounty for anyone who will help him depose some mad usurpers of the Underworld. Still, these expeditions might be worthwhile, his knowledge of the Mysteries of Death is beyond even the more accomplished masters.

                Observation: He is Hraf-Haf from Egyptian mythology, he wants to depose the Judges of Duat and place the Promethean Osiris in their place.
                Last edited by KaiserAfini; 07-05-2019, 04:58 PM.


                New experiences are the font of creativity, when seeking inspiration, break your routine.


                The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists

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                • #9
                  My pitch is ghost battles repeating in greater frequency and threatening the Veil as you progress from tier 1 to tier 2, assuming it leaves the local area

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                  • #10
                    Kerberos laws being enforced and in effect from 12:00 to the first crow of roosters in the dawn.

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                    • #11
                      Ghostly phenomena is often attached to that which carries strong emotional resonance, but in the affected area, everything destroyed produces an ethereal echo. The plate of spaghetti marinara you eat for dinner manifests immediately a ghost of the dish in Twilight, the simple fright elicited from a horror movie gives rise to a Doppelganger, etc. This is great for the dead in need of fresh Essence, but the Barghests of all those fruit flies are starting to become a nuisance. . . .

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Menace View Post
                        So I'm going to run a chronicle it seems. The main mystery is going to be the thinning barrier between the Underworld and normal reality. So ghosts, people comming back to live or just not dying when they should become more and more common. Since the chronicle is at least partially gonna be "monster of the week" style I'm looking for interesting smaller mysteries that could arise from the situation. Any ideas?
                        Might I ask what causes the Mystery in the first place? Knowing that can lead to new ideas that'll set the players looking in the right direction. Alternatively, if you're working effect first and haven't come up with a cause yet, you might get a few ideas about that as well.

                        Is it tied into, or perhaps a reversal of, the plot hook from Sundered World that the Ocean of Fragments is slowly descending? Don't know if you've read the Sundered World, but the Underworld back then is described as an enormous cavernous ocean with islands jutting out from it, and before that not even any islands; a quite stark contrast to the deep tunnel system with Rivers that far, far down ends up in the Ocean of Fragments at the bottom of the modern Underworld.
                        If connected to the thinning of the border between Underworld and material, it might be that the cavernous systems above the Ocean grew up rather than the Ocean descending; the reason for which being that either Chthonic Gods/Deathlords or the Underworld itself is trying to reshape itself so that it becomes more and more like the material until it can overlap and permanently connect without having any closed Avernian Gates in the way.

                        A smaller idea: Graveyard Gates being created at any places marked by death, not only those marked by mass deaths or burials. That alley someone got murdered in? Now hitting the cobblestones that the blood fell on in the correct order will open the Avernian Gate that formed that night.
                        Later on it might be that deaths not only creates Avernian Gates on their own; they are also created in an open state that allows material beings to fall down (or immaterial beings to rise up).

                        A Mystery you can reuse from out Vampire game: An Avernian Gate is formed at the bottom of a well. Instead of leading to the Autochthonuous Depths it leads to a River. The water of the well is actually mixed with River water, and as long as it is in contact with the Gate it'll still have some properties of the River itself. If taken from the well it quickly loses power, though. (In our game this was an open well in India and the cause was mortal necromancers carrying out some sort of mass sacrifice in olden times to keep supplying their village with water. The effect of drinking directly from the well was being able to see and interact with anything in ghost-aligned Twilight. Going through it we ended up in a lake where multiple Rivers converged. Metaphysicslly speaking the well was "below" Underworld level, hence why River water could remain in the material without dissipating.)


                        Bloodline: The Stygians
                        Ordo Dracul Mysteries: Mystery of Smoke, Revised Mystery of Živa
                        Mage The Awakening: Spell Quick Reference (single page and landscape for computer screens)

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                        • #13
                          Thanks, I haven't decided on the cause yet. Got one idea but I'm waiting for my players to finish their characters before I decide on anything concrete, though I have one idea. I also thinking about it having several cause that just happened at the same time.

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                          • #14
                            A small Mystery idea:
                            The Cabal stumbles upon an automobile accident that resulted in multiple fatalities, perhaps by seeing a picture of the scene or being present and having their Peripheral Mage Sight ping. Further investigation discovers three things:
                            1- The exact same accident has occurred at that spot several times over the years, possibly even giving birth to an urban legend.
                            2- At the site in Twilight the ghosts of those who died there re-enact the accident with the participants frequently changing to reflect the different, identical events.
                            3- As they study the re-enactments they discover that some of the ghosts participating are of people who supposedly survived.

                            The questions are what is causing these repetitive events and who or what walked away from the scene if the real people left ghosts behind?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 2ptTakrill View Post
                              A small Mystery idea:
                              The Cabal stumbles upon an automobile accident that resulted in multiple fatalities, perhaps by seeing a picture of the scene or being present and having their Peripheral Mage Sight ping. Further investigation discovers three things:
                              1- The exact same accident has occurred at that spot several times over the years, possibly even giving birth to an urban legend.
                              2- At the site in Twilight the ghosts of those who died there re-enact the accident with the participants frequently changing to reflect the different, identical events.
                              3- As they study the re-enactments they discover that some of the ghosts participating are of people who supposedly survived.

                              The questions are what is causing these repetitive events and who or what walked away from the scene if the real people left ghosts behind?
                              Living people leave behind ghosts frequently enough that there's a name for it, Doppelgängers.

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