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Sample Mysteries

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  • #16
    Old but gold.
    Good ideas

    "New World of Darkness
    Chilling Images - Volume One
    A compilation of horrifying imagery and disturbing vignettes that are certain to inspire or terrify you for your next World of Darkness game. Written by various forumites from the forums..."


    • #17
      Here's part of the mystery from my next chronicle:
      ​A group of newly awakened strangers find evidence that they did in fact know each other and not just casually, it's just that the evidence comes from events that never actually happened and the thing that linked them all was a person who never was.


      • #18
        I'm in the process of brainstorming for my Mage Chronicle, and I am rather taken with the idea of having mysteries inspired by song lyrics. Here is the list so far:

        - "Psychic spies from China try to steal your mind's elation" Something that feeds off of emotion? Someone trying to warp the shadow on a large scale? Trying to put a theme part out of business?

        - "Getting high on information" There is some piece of information (a picture, song, poem, whatever) that causes hallucinations when you see/hear/think about it. This is a basilisk hack for anyone who is familiar with Eclipse Phase.

        - "What the water wants is hurricanes" Destructive water spirit threatens city.

        - "Playing pianos filled with flames" Seemingly mundane pianist creates manifestations of fire that are visible under mage sight.

        - "It's all right, we told you what to dream" This is, to my mind, the ultimate Seer line.

        - "There's a restaurant we should check out where the other nightmare people like to go" Restaurant that caters to the supernatural, or attracts people who have chronic nightmares.

        - "Or is it worse because it's always waiting where your eyes don't go?" There is something horrible that a character can only see out of the corner of their eye, whenever they try to look at it

        - "A woman's voice on the radio can convince you you're in love" New radio program is somehow influencing listeners.

        - "Tryin' to find a woman whose never, never, never been born" This would make a great ban/bane for a spirit, where they are weak to or have to obey someone who wasn't born. Find a Promethean or build a robot or something.

        - "In the tower above the earth, there is a view that reaches far. Where we see the universe. I see the fire, I see the end." In the viewing deck of the tallest skyscraper in town, if you pay for the binoculars with money shaped tass, you see visions of an apocalyptic future.

        - "I journey through the desert of the mind, with no hope" Temenos/Dreamtine reflection of the Sahara? Something is affecting peoples minds, turning their onieroi into desert wastelands.

        - "Once you're lost in twilight's blue, you don't find the way, the way finds you." There is a place in the forest that is impossible to find, unless you get lost first. Could be a verge keyed to "being lost" or a lair of a cryptid who has been feeding on lost hikers.

        - "You can never ever leave, without leaving a piece of youth." Visitors to an exclusive club are losing their memories.

        - "The impossible is possible tonight" Some sort of large scale effect is warping probability. Whenever anyone would roll a chance die, instead they just roll one die. That might be too subtle to really affect things though

        - "I'll show you a god, falls asleep on the job" A god in the temenos has fallen asleep, and the realm he rules is going to hell in a handbasket.
        Last edited by solidork; 05-13-2016, 06:16 PM.


        • #19
          Originally posted by solidork View Post
          - "Once you're lost in twilight's blue, you don't find the way, the way finds you." There is a place in the forest that is impossible to find, unless you get lost first. Could be a verge keyed to "being lost" or a lair of a cryptid who has been feeding on lost hikers.
          I was thinking more about this, about how you could get lost on purpose. It's probably just a Space veiling spell, right?


          • #20
            I'm running out of music.

            - "Weather changes moods" The weather is supernaturally influencing behaviors of people. Or is it the other way around?

            - "We could plant a house, we could build a tree" An abyssal seed that grew into a house with too many rooms, full of strange backwards things.

            - "Welcome to nowhere fast, nothing here ever lasts, Nothing but memories, of what never was" Large numbers of people can remember something that never actually existed or happened.

            - "A secret star that cannot shine over you" There is an astronomer mage who searches for messages from the supernal in the background noise of the universe via radio telescope. The signal coming a specific star causes mage sight to trigger.

            - "A wild eyed child of the sun" There is a Spirit/Forces legacy that is heavily involved in the local helion spirit courts. It is rumored that they actually worship Helios.

            - "Through sacred alleys" There is a mage/cabal/legacy who believe that living on the streets is a sacred duty/will bring them closer to the supernal. They try to watch over the homeless and know things about the city that no one else does.


            • #21
              Originally posted by solidork View Post

              I was thinking more about this, about how you could get lost on purpose. It's probably just a Space veiling spell, right?
              Or simply go into the woods and pay no attention to where you're going.


              • #22
                New dosage of sample Mysteries to play with Mage Sight from me:Eons ago, in dark reaches of space, there were enlightened civilization that lived in peace, amidst of Hyades star cluster. But then madness attacked it as sickness – called Yellow Sign – spreading first in nobles, then in commoners, leading to mass killings of themselves and, finally, to dusk of this society. This is how ended Dim Carcosa.

                But it’s all Lie. In the Time Before, when Awakened broke reality and storm the Heavens, their civilization left forever imprint on Astral Realms – even when it was instantly edited outside of world by new Tyrants. Today, mages called this place and time “Atlantis”, but they overlooked one thing – Abyss always remembers. In the heart of Void, in the same instant, there were created Abyssal version of “Awakened City” – and it crawls back in to world from the depths of Ocean Oroboros and Astral reflection of Aldebaran star.

                And bonus: Music is 4 chords!

                My stuff for Realms of Pugmire, Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E, MtC 2E & BtP
                LGBT+ through Ages
                LGBT+ in CoD games


                • #23
                  Adding my mystery to the list for ease of future searchers:
                  Last edited by Pale_Crusader; 06-08-2017, 02:34 PM.

                  “Youth ages, immaturity is outgrown, ignorance can be educated, and drunkenness sobered, but stupid lasts forever.” ~ Aristophanes
                  "Virescit Vulnere Virtus" ~ Stewart Clan Motto


                  • #24
                    --- All the plants in a local greenhouse seem to have souls.

                    --- Any time a perception or transportation spell is cast through a particular archway, the end location winds up somewhere (or somewhen) completely out of the caster's control.

                    --- The river cutting through town flows like always, but in the Shadow it has been completely frozen over for decades.

                    --- All the Hallows in the city generate extra Mana, but only when a local sports team loses a home game.


                    • #25
                      Every midnight during the nights of the new moon in a certain graveyard, the coffins of certain Sleepers become Verges to the Underworld. From these Verges appear things that look like ghosts but are far older, self aware and fully corporeal. They hunger for company of the living, but cannot stay here for long, and their presence attracts and mutates ghosts. What are these things? How do they keep coming back even when destroyed? And how do they find so much lore and items of the Underworld?

                      Let Him Speak.


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by GibberingEloquence View Post
                        Every midnight during the nights of the new moon in a certain graveyard, the coffins of certain Sleepers become Verges to the Underworld. From these Verges appear things that look like ghosts but are far older, self aware and fully corporeal. They hunger for company of the living, but cannot stay here for long, and their presence attracts and mutates ghosts. What are these things? How do they keep coming back even when destroyed? And how do they find so much lore and items of the Underworld?
                        So what are they?


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by Michael View Post
                          So what are they?
                          I immediately thought of them as the ghosts' version of Pangaeans and possibly Idigams. The Irises (not Verges; they are places in reality that are closer to the Supernal or the Abyss) would be Avernian Gates that lead to an unexplored part of the Underworld many rivers down. Perhaps even the bottom of the Underworld, close to the Ocean Beyond Life (or what remains of it).
                          Dark Eras showed us that the Underworld was expanding when the Ocean Beyond Life lowered, which lead to the creation (or revelation) of Dead Dominions. There's nothing that says it can't lower further and create (or reveal) something else below the Dominions.

                          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)


                          • #28
                            Shadow Surgery
                            There's a rumor going around appearance-conscious teenagers. It's about a ritual performed at midnight that allows you to manifest your own shadow into a physical entity, and requesting it to shape your body. A supernatural plastic surgery, if you will. They say that wording your request wrongly or vaguely results in mistakes from ridiculous to horrible, like "make me taller" resulting in the shadow extending your waist to popping off your head. "Extend my legs so that they're 5cm longer in balanced body proportion" is usually enough. Reports are abound with how the rite succeeded for failed, but as of now they're all just internet talk and of dubious credibility.

                            Possible Scenarios
                            • The ritual is a Rote that taps into the Death Arcanum to manifest your shadow, and the reason why not everyone succeeds is that you need to be a Sleepwalker at the least to make it work. It's clearly the work of Awakened magic, petty as it may be. Still, a Rote that Sleepwalkers can use hold untold potential in it. More if that Rote can be copied around the internet. Who created this Rote, for what purpose? And more importantly, how?
                            • The shadow that shapes your body is not your shadow. The ritual summons a being made of smoke-like shadow to temporarily possess your own body, during which the entity can make minor modifications to it. If the ritual is disturbed or faulty, the entity is not expelled upon completion and remains dormant in the body. The unfortunate host is still herself, but she gains strange compulsions and hungers and an allergy to strong light. The local vampires have noticed these effects, and they are getting restless.
                            • Turns out that the people who claim teenage culture these days are corrupted by demonic forces aren't entirely wrong. The entity fueling this ritual proudly admits that it a demon to anyone talented enough to track and contact it. It claims itself a trader in "assertive cosmetics," taking undesirable body traits from people and giving traits that they want, no strings attached. That last line sets of the suspicions of anyone in the supernatural world. Just what is this demon getting out of all this?
                            Your Inner World
                            There's a rumor going around in the lucid dreaming community, populated by both mistaken Sleepers and the few Sleepwalkers. First, in that drowsy moment just before falling asleep, you focus on your room's doors. Next, imagine yourself knocking it, and "Please open the door, for I have come." When the door opens, you then say in your mind, "Thank you. Only I can enter this door. Please leave it open until I enter." Then the person supposedly enters his "inner world." It's an elaborate auto-hypnosis schema to enter lucid dreaming, and there's little talk on it. Too little talk, in fact. Anyone who attempts this particular rumor either fail or leave no comment at all, as if they've gone missing.

                            Possible Scenarios
                            • The ritual is a true method that allows even Sleepers to meditate into their Oneiros. The problem is that the ritual doesn't come with instructions on getting out, leading to many people dropping comatose for unknown reasons. Those who succeed, either with luck or sheer determination or prior knowledge of the Astral, lose their memories of the incident just as one's memories of dreams fade away. Which is the critical part, since everyone so far who've successfully escaped made a pact with their Oneiric Goetia where for finding the way out they allowed those Goetia to manifest in the mortal world, complete with a Twilight body Fettered to the person.
                            • People who succeed in this ritual go truly missing and nowhere to be found. In the waking world, at least. A determined mage skilled in the Mind Arcanum can enter the Temenos, track down the missing person's Oneiros, and enter the person's dreams from the Oneiros. There she will find the missing person, trapped in his own dreams, in physical form. Dreams are even more ephemeral than the Astral, so how do people manage to physically enter them? Equally confused are the local court of fairies, who suspect one of their own or their "cousins" behind these incidents.
                            • There's something roaming in the city, something intangible and predatory. The ritual is a powerful effect designed to trap dreaming minds in the world of dreams. It is a trap, that leads people not to their own inner world but the inner world of something else that hounds them down in a bizarre and surreal landscape. Only when the person collapses in exhaustion or caught and devoured by this unseen predator is he allowed to wake up, with the memories fading away as a simple dream. To anyone pursuing this creature, a group of chimerical beasts draped in human flesh approach them, either to help or hinder them.

                            MtAw Homebrew:
                            Even more Legacies, updated to 2E
                            New 2E Legacies, expanded


                            • #29
                              King of the Stones
                              There's a rumor going around in the archaeological community of South Korea. The peninsula possesses an astonishing number of dolmens, accounting for nearly 40% of the world's total. While their variety and sheer number make their chronology difficult to estimate, it's generally agreed that the megaliths first emerged in the Neolithic era and flourished in the Bronze Age. Studies prove that the ancient people had the technology to build the dolmens, but no one can tell for sure just why so many of them were built in the first place. Lately, an archaeologist and a few of his assistants have started to claim that the megaliths are proof of a pan-Asiatic culture that revered gods . This isn't the first time pseudo-scientific rabble has come up in the academia, especially when it comes to Korean nationalism, but the professor's reputation and renown is such that his words aren't so easy to dismiss as a madman's ravings.

                              Possible Scenarios
                              • The scholar is a known Sleepwalker in the local Awakened community, who was studying the dolmens and how they interact with ley lines and nodes. Prior to his "discovery" he went missing for a week or so. While Sleepers dismissed it as one of his usual extensive researches, the Awakened were aware that he was studying an Emanation that he claimed to have witnessed while studying the dolmens. Mages are trying to contact him, to see if his talk of gods relate to the Supernal, but the professor is showing an uncanny ability in dodging even magical pursuit. One of the local Consilium's Sleepwalker agents have reported that, although she finally found him, the professor used Supernal magic to knock her unconscious and escape. Did the archaeologist Awaken? Or is he now the servant of some Supernal power? Or is it something weirder?
                              • Most dolmens were tombs and status symbols as most people know. But the latest one the professor was studying was both the tomb of and altar to a god, just as he claims. The god, after a millennia of slumber, awoke and christened the professor as its messenger in the modern world. Unbeknownst to the Sleeper academia, the professor has started a cult that reveres this god, speaking of prehistoric empires and the bliss in joining an eternal power larger than oneself. Mages who have dug into this cult have reported relics belonging to an unknown culture that, while Fallen in nature, can somehow counter Supernal magic and leave the mages dumbfounded. Just what has arisen from the abyss of time?
                              • It turns out that the dolmens do note ley lines and nodes after all, like the scholar suspected. Powerful Time magic have revealed that the megaliths mark past ley lines, all the way back to the Neolithic era. This is proof that even ley lines change given enough time, just as the continents move slowly across Earth's history. and that's where the studies should have stopped. Except that something is changing the ley lines back to its Neolithic version, along with the attendant havoc the shifting Resonances and nodes are causing both in the mortal and spirit worlds. That something also has enslaved the the professor to its will, making him a conduit of its flesh-shaping and Essence-warping powers. The chaos has alerted the yacha or yaksa, who call themselves Uratha in the spirit-language. The shapeshifters have declared war on whatever is causing this mess, and the first line of suspects are the Awakened.

                              MtAw Homebrew:
                              Even more Legacies, updated to 2E
                              New 2E Legacies, expanded


                              • #30
                                Here is my background Mystery for my west coast (mostly the Bay area and northern California) setting. In this region I have the Gauntlet as being really thin, about a three at the most, with Verges being almost everywhere. I call them Jasper Ruins.
                                ​Jasper was a gold prospector who came to the Bay area back during the gold rush. He was universally regarded as not being the sharpest tool in the shed but mostly harmless, scrounging up just enough gold dust panning to keep him chasing that big score.
                                ​People used to just smile and then laugh at him behind his back, at least until the day old Jasper rode into town with his mule loaded down with gold and silver. Not ingots or dust though, but minted coins of unknown origin, the metal was real enough.
                                ​Jasper told a story of how he found this pagan temple out there in the mountains that was just full of gold and silver, a regular city of gold. He grabbed all of the coin his mule could carry but he claimed there was still more to be had and that doesn't include the giant metal statues of forgotten gods. He spent the day buying everyone drinks and gathering partners to go back with him and clean the place out. Then he hired the most expensive prostitute in town. The next morning when his new partners came looking for him they found Jasper dead in the whores bed, his throat had been slit, but she and his treasures were gone.
                                ​After that folks searched for Jasper's lost El Dorado but in spite of all attempts no one found it and the whole thing would have blown over as just another myth but for the spent coins that were still floating around San Francisco from his one day of living large. One day a coin passed through the hands of a Mage and though he didn't recognize the minting he did recognize the High Speech runes imprinted on the metal.
                                ​Since then the Awakened have discovered several extremely hard to find pockets, some speculate within the Gauntlet itself, that function like keyed or timed Verges. Many are empty spaces, potentially valuable hidey holes for the discoverer, but others contain ruins of unknown origin that have all the appearance of being relics of a Time Before.
                                In my last chronicle one of them was also the prison of one of the Bound.