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Police Brutality - The Lodge Of The Shield 2e

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  • Police Brutality - The Lodge Of The Shield 2e

    Enjoy!

    Lodge of the Shield
    Shield-Bearers, Leashed, Law-Shredders

    The Lodge of the Shield are wolves-in-wolves-clothing. They are nightmarish predators stalking among the enforcers of law and order, intertwined with yet apart from the apparatus of state within which they hunt. It is a mistake to think of a Shield-Bearer as simply a werewolf who is a police officer; adherents of this Lodge are cultists, and ones dedicated to pursuing their prey amongst those who enforce the edicts of authority and their victims alike. Neither super-max cell nor ostentatious police commissioner's office are out of the reach of the Lodge's talons. As many cops are put on the mortuary slab by Shield-Bearers as are drug traffickers and murderers. They do not obey human notions of innocence or guilt. The Law-Shredders stand above mere mortal dictats.

    The Lodge bloomed from an early cult that grew in the police departments of Los Angeles - human worshippers of a spirit that attracted the attention of the handful of werewolves in the force. Human members were purged from its upper ranks and the Uratha moved in, reworking the arrangement with the spirit, Shield-of-Law, into a mutually abusive relationship in which both sides are prisoners of a sort. The Lodge then spread, its offers of influence and power turning out to be a potent lure for werewolves in other police forces; the subservient mortal cult spread with it, providing the Shield-Bearers with a useful pool of human pawns in the process.

    Shield-Bearers have refined their sacred hunt to focus within the machinery of the law and its enforcement. They do not keep themselves only to a particular type of prey, but rather look on all those who deal with the law - both as enforcers, as victims, and as criminals - as falling under their remit. The Lodge largely draws from the Iron Masters, culling humans they view as dangerous from amongst the ranks of the police and the underworld, but there are also significant numbers of Blood Talons and Hunters in Darkness dedicated to rooting out werewolf and Host threats. Many a werewolf can appreciate the benefits of having a front-row seat view of the weird crimes and bizarre phenomena that can mark the symptoms of worthy or dangerous prey.

    Adherents use their position in the force to their advantage, turning its resources against prey and covering each others' tracks; the Lodge can reach into police precincts, prisons, and the streets and neighbourhoods the force patrols. Police brutality dialled up to 11, unfortunate deaths in prison riots, evidence going missing, problematic officers (both the corrupt and the too-honest) undermined or stalled or even just executed, drugs shipments confiscated and sold on to fund the Lodge's coffers, commissioners intimidated or even - in one case - eaten then impersonated via their stolen skin for a key few days; all this and more are within the toolkit the Shield-Bearers wield. They've slaughtered dangerous criminal gangs, rooted Beshilu infestations out of precincts, intimidated lawyers, stopped Death Rage rampages, thrown murderous police off tall buildings or buried them alive, killed and saved innumerable people. Werewolves have pushed investigations further where a strange victim or eerie crime scene stir their instincts; so too have they strangled cases where digging too deep would provoke threads that mortal officers would not be capable of dealing with, or that would shine light on matters the Uratha would rather remain hidden. Other Uratha fear them because the Law-Shredders are a law unto themselves but wield the state's machinery as a tool, able to bring down the attention of the judiciary and the police on a werewolf's activities - or to pull it away from a pack's territory and leave the lawless and the criminal unchecked.

    That's not to say that a Shield-Bearer spends their days waist-deep in dead criminals, or that they do not believe what they are doing is right. Most adherents have a strong sense of justice, but the mortal framework of law cannot cope with the horrors and bizarre events that a werewolf must deal with. Many a Shield-Bearer spends long hours working hard, trying to keep their rage tamped down, wincing when a fellow officer's brutality threatens to rip the lid off their fury too. It cannot be denied, though, that often a Law-Shredder takes great pleasure when they can finally let themselves free without troublesome witnesses - when they can shrug off a hitman's bullets and pull him apart with their claws, when they turn to the sneering officer beside them and just reach out to rip the face away, when they can finally corner the murderer in a cell where there is no where else to run and no-one else to appeal to, no last minute salvation from the authority of court or judge. It's just them, the werewolf, and a sentence handed down by the law of the Great Predator.

    Totem: Shield-of-Law
    Shield-of-Law did not volunteer for its current predicament, yet the spirit is content with its lot. In the Shadow reflection of a police facility in Los Angeles, a huge edifice of spiritual confinement spirals towards the lurid purple and violet light that spills through the unreal clouds overheard; at its heart, Shield-of-Law hangs, bound by infinite chains of light and darkness. Blood and rust and hope and fear slither and drip down the chains to wash over the creature they bind, a many-limbed thing of iron and copper and impassive, staring masks. Once it bestrode the Shadow as a colossus of oppression and justice. Now it is both prisoner and warden, each mask's gaze set upon another pitiful captive of the Shadow prison to transfix them and scour them with nightmares and despair.

    Shield-of-Law once ran riot in the LA precincts, marshalling lesser spirits of fear, hope, order, chains, and violence to its cause. It warred on the other courts of the city, and fostered a cult of human worshippers amongst the police - not corrupt cops looking for power, but the over-zealous, the believers who thought criminals got off to easy, the fearful and twitchy terrified that every shadow was someone gunning for them. To these officers, Shield-of-Law offered protection and solace; it warded them from harm, watched their back, pushed them further each time to administer their own justice when they thought the system was failing them. Some were Claimed by its servants. Then the werewolves came gunning for it, and a battle turned to a negotiation; a bargain turned to a binding. Uratha whose lives and minds had been shaped by the grinding edifice of law discovered there was more in Shield-of-Law that they saw and understood than they had expected; the spirit, in turn, saw that both it and the werewolves were simultaneously enforcers of, and criminals against, justice of one brand or another. It was right and proper that both be punished, and both be empowered.

    Shield-of-Law may seem passive - the chained captor of those who the Lodge decides it wants kept alive, rather than simply dead - but the truth is that the spirit was powerfully inspired by the Uratha. It remains bound because that is appropriate punishment, and it is serving its time. Meanwhile, Shield believes it is right to assist the Shield-Bearers in pursuing their Hunts - and in aiding them to judge and punish those adherents who breach the Lodge's doctrine. Ultimately, though, Shield-of-Law is reformulating itself to match a new code of justice - spiritually, symbolically performing internal surgery upon its very being. Within its chrysalis of chains and iron masks, it is changing to match the greatest form of law it has encountered, one that the Uratha are the inheritors of - the Great Predator's law. What, ultimately, the spirit will transform into is unclear, and only the inner circle of the Lodge has even cottoned on to Shield-of-Law's transformation, but it is likely to have explosive effects on the Shadow; the totem truly believes it has a shot at inheriting at least a part of the Great Wolf's mantle.

    What, then, of the Lodge, when their own totem no longer needs them?

    Bonds
    Blessing: Whenever a Lodge member wins a grapple roll, they can spend a Willpower point to pick an additional move to apply.
    Aspiration: To be bound, leashed, or imprisoned.
    Ban: When bound or captured, a Lodge member cannot attempt to physically free themselves for a full day, but must submit to their leashing.

    Sacred Hunt
    The Lodge Sacred Hunt grants your character the ability to wield law enforcement as another tool on the hunt. When interacting with an officer or agent of law enforcement, justice, or the imprisonment or punishment of criminals, the Uratha can spend Essence to shift the target's Impression of them by one step per point spent, and can do the same to shift the target's Impression of the hunt's prey in the other direction.

    Secrets of the Shield-Bearers
    • Some Lodge members believe in 'true' laws, elements of justice innate to the world beyond human aspirations. Attempts to test such notions involve seeing how a given tenet resonates with the Shadow - punishing violators and seeing how the world symbolically and fundamentally responds, then recording the results in search of any coherent patterns.
    • Adherents collect the badges of their dead comrades and offer them to a ghostly gestalt that imprisons dead shades. Cultists in city mortuaries delicately fillet dead bodies with the care of a gourmet, excising bones for later consumption. Horrific crime scenes and decades-long careers in brutal criminality forge ghosts that are more dangerous than a killer ever was in life. A painful treaty with the Lodge of Death gains the Shield-Breakers access to the Pale Hounds' wisdom and knowledge on such matters; many of the Leashed chafe at the special considerations the Lodge demands they give to the Barghests in return for little scraps of forbidden lore.
    • The Lodge maintains old pacts with groaning, bloated spirits of prisons and incarceration. If a Lodge member kills a prisoner within the cell that the prisoner is legally, legitimately contained within, then paints the prisoner's blood in warding glyphs on the walls, other spirits become intensely averse to entering the warded space for a night and a day.
    • Some Lodge members have learned a strange rite to 'tag' criminals by biting chunks of their ears off through police brutality or 'random dog attacks'. The gristle from the bite is deposited in a preparation of blood and bone dust from a human who died in prison; should the tagged criminal take an action that breaks the law, the gobbet of flesh bubbles and cooks in its elixir before dissolving away.
    • The Lodge judges its own most viciously of all. An adherent who steps out of line faces a gathering of fellow cultists to pass sentence; those judged worthy of death do not face a quick execution. Such condemned are taken to the spirit prison in LA, chained beside the totem with spines of silver pressed into their flesh; as they rage, scream, and die, their fury and Essence is drained into Shield-Of-Law, aiding it in its transformation. Recently, high-ranking Lodge members have started examining the lower strata of the cult much more vigorously in search of those who have defied the Lodge's tenets.
    • Adherents are encouraged to chain and bind themselves in secure locations at least once a month under the full moon, not out of an expectation that they will suffer Death Rage but because it is a symbolic recognition of the urges they are seeking to control that are, nonetheless, an innate part of their nature. Most Lodge members treat this as a chance for meditation, isolation, or sometimes visionary experiences under the effect of drugs and chemicals acquired from law enforcement operations.
    • Human police members of the cult are held at arms' length, but the Lodge maintains a significant commitment of resources to maintaining the 'lodges' and fraternities to which these humans belong, encouraging them to feel special and more enlightened than their fellow officers. The Lodge ruthlessly exploits its human cultists, and rarely even creates Claimed to further its agenda.
    Tools
    The Lodge of the Shield has access to the Lodge Armoury, Lodge Connections, and Lodge Stronghold merits.

    Hive Mirror (Fetish •••)
    Hive mirrors are shards of broken glass, stained dark with the blood of a dead police officer.

    Effect: A werewolf who possesses the Pack Awareness Facet can make use of a hive mirror to use the Facet in a new way. Rather than connecting to their pack, the werewolf can reach out and connect themselves to up to twice their Composure in police officers within a mile of their location. The werewolf can either reach out to the nearest officers, or focus on specific ones to connect to if they know the officers' names or other identifiers. The werewolf becomes aware of the officers' exact states of mind and health, but the hive mirror does not offer any route of communication; instead, it lets the werewolf literally perceive through the senses of one or or more officers simultaneously, processing all of the information alongside their normal senses as well. The werewolf can restrict the incoming information to specific senses only, such as just hearing and sight, if they so wish.

    Rumours persist that the Lodge possess another, more powerful version of this fetish that allows them to directly possess police officers, although this may just be garbled accounts of possessing spirits in the Lodge's employ.


    - Chris Allen, Freelance Writer & Developer

    ​Like my work? Feel like helping me stay supplied with tea? Check out my Patreon

  • #2
    My favorite bit is the Totem!

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    • #3
      Damn, you’re like some creative wrecking ball. Uh, wait, that sounds not much creative, but you know what I mean.

      Love how Lodges are cults foremost, not just werewolves who are also X. Creepy just the way I like it.


      MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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      • #4
        Gah! I love this one. I'm glad it made its way over here from Patreon!


        Freelancer (He/His Pronouns): CofD - Dark Eras 2, Kith and Kin, Mummy 2e, Oak Ash and Thorn; Scion - Mysteries of the World

        CofD booklists: Beast I Changeling | Demon | Deviant (TBA) | Geist l Hunter l Mage | Mummy | Promethean | Vampire | Werewolf (WIP)

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        • #5
          This is just perfect. Those Bonds...


          I'm So Meta Even This Acronym

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          • #6
            I'm imagining a Thyrsus mage police commissioner with the shadow name of Gordon...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by branford View Post
              I'm imagining a Thyrsus mage police commissioner with the shadow name of Gordon...

              Who is increasingly frustrated with the amount of vigilantes both mundane and supernatural he ends up running across.


              A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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              • #8
                Don't use the bat-signal in the CofD. It summons Strix.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by branford View Post
                  Don't use the bat-signal in the CofD. It summons Strix.
                  Or, the bat-signal summons the Claimed that the Lodge is said to make from its mortal cultists, who suspiciously looks like a bat. Who is then closely monitored by the Court/Parliament of Owls and their Talons...


                  MtAw Homebrew: Even more Legacies, updated to 2E

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                  • #10
                    Getting much more of a Lock-Up vibe than Batman or Gordon. This isn't exactly hero territory. Alonzo from Training Day or the titular Bad Lieutenants seem like they would fit too.

                    I really dig the update to second edition.
                    Last edited by nofather; 04-09-2018, 07:26 PM.

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                    • #11
                      I know. We were joking around.


                      A god is just a monster you kneel to. - ArcaneArts, Quoting "Fall of Gods"

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                      • #12
                        The Law Shredders are absolutely terrifying, and, for the most part have their stuff together (they run a tight ship). In setting, I get the feeling some or most packs who don't have clout (be it spiritually, economically, or politically) give these guys a very wide berth.
                        Last edited by Doctor Crimson; 04-10-2018, 01:13 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Why the heck did I not read this sooner.

                          This is definitely a really awesome conversion of the Lodge of the Shield. I don't really remember much from their 1e writeup but I'm pretty sure it never approached this one in presentation. Great job!

                          Also, that tidbit involving the Lodge of Death might get integrated into my own writeup somehow. Pale Hound certainly sounds nicer than Reapers. When you get the chance, though, maybe you can share your own writeup of the Lodge of Death?


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

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                          • #14
                            A question to the Ban.:
                            Does the Unchained Facet counts as an "attempt to physically free themselves" ? Or can I ask a pack member to free me?

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                            • #15
                              I feel that in most cases, your packmates will know to let you free if you've been chained up, or the like. Unless you specifically told them not to, as part of a lodge ritual, or somesuch. I'd personally say the facet violates the Ban, but there are more qualified speakers on that.


                              Currently Playing: A large, mixed splat game of CofD. As: Nobody. I'm between characters and haven't been able to get a new concept to stick.

                              And can you hear the choir sing? For pale blood satellites, to watch the end of everything, on this longest night.

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