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101 Exarch Cults

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  • 101 Exarch Cults

    One of the most happy things I've seen in Signs of Sorcery is confirmation that yes, the Exarchs can and will build crossover cults to help tighten their grip on the world, including among humans.

    So, here's a thread for some of them!

    1) The Fraternity of the Ascendant Helix: This is an old group, an off-shoot of Blavatsky's Theosophical Society formed near the end of the Society's lifespan after they left for their revised list of root races being rejected by the movement at large - mostly for how said list openly addressed the idea that end of slavery anywhere was a tragedy for not allowing "sub-Aryan" races to be "guided" to their full potential. Shortly thereafter, it was contacted by a Secret Guru claiming that the Society had been corrupted by "banking interests" and it fell to them to secretly guide the world back into the light, to know that the true nature of life was a twisting spiral, eternally upwards and towards a center point of perfection. In reality, said Guru was a Supernal emissary of the Unity, a Beast personifying evolution as an excuse for oppression. These days, the Helix is a backer of "race realism" science, and more academic forms of prejudice; as a Mystery Cult, their Merit teaches ways to translate the High Speech as nucleotide sequences comprehensible to the Sleepers that make up most of its members, and the use of Dream to attune oneself to ancestral memories.

    2) Morpheus Systems: This New York City firm isn't among the biggest and greatest of IT giants; in fact, it's very likely most in IT haven't heard of them, as they specialize in building monetization schemes for video games. Originally, they were a gaming studio in and of themselves, but sadly not one of them had the barest scrap of talent when designing RPGs; one day, after their latest project (Lionel the Lynx: A Feline in Time, a reboot of the much-maligned Mario ripoff mascot marketed to ironic fans of his disastrous previous entry in the series) failed due to its grindy and illogical underpinnings of leveling up, the head developer woke up to a strange email - a hexidecimal code that, when translated, told him to approach the notorious AAA giant Advanced Entertainments with a model for turning their properties into live service titans. This didn't go so well for the games they tried it out on (Star Trek: Battlestations and Elegy, mostly due to AE's own desire to rush them out the door as soon as possible), but the model staved off bankruptcy for a few years - and fell permanently into the back pocket of the Ruin, becoming a tool of the Exarch's desire to crush the idea of creativity in gaming as something compatible with success. Their Merit allows them to construct games suited towards bringing out the Vices of their players to wring money out of them, and using procedurally generated content as a tool of divination.

    3) Venatores Spinam: This Los Angeles cabal is actually an extended motley of changelings, and several other supernaturals they've roped into probationary membership, all based around one thing - the complete annihilation of any entity that deals in a friendly manner with the True Fae. Many of their targets, naturally, have no idea the True Fae even exist, but to the ideology of the Venatores, the Keepers are incredibly sly creatures that regularly approach humans and their transformed relatives in other forms, who all reek of dark power. A being that has supped with a Keeper or their representatives will obviously deal with the Keepers in their true form, a poisonous dream having corrupted them into willing servants. The best part about this for the Nemesis is that he had nothing to do with this; the Lost and their enablers came to develop the insane theology on their own, and it was a complete coincidence that her dreams formed a portal into one of their members. All the Exarch needed to do was seed a few "prophetic" dreams indicating that the Venatores should widen their net to prevention, and volia; instant elite squad of goons to punish those who seem a bit too friendly with any supernatural being the Nemesis wishes to be friendless. Their Merit gives them the ability to craft hunting golems called Slaugth from the Thorns using arcane connections to a target. All Sluagth are ultimately destroyers, but they can be used for sabotage just as readily as assassins.
    Last edited by Leliel; 06-20-2019, 02:57 PM.

  • #2
    Rumor has it that the publishers Reactivevision and Uberloft are also in Morpheus' pocket. A very appropriate cult, I was grinning while reading about it.

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

    The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists (Mind/Time)
    The Szary Strażnik, an Obrimos Legacy whose invisible hands guide through the Glyphs of Fate (Fate/Prime)


    • #3
      I wanted to say I like this thread, I just haven't had time to sit down and really come up with anything to add to it myself. And presumably everything I do will be werewolves.


      • #4
        4) Der Freikugeln: A changeling's Durance is an experience that is harrowing on a level the mortal mind can scarcely imagine and they will go to incredible lengths to avoid being pulled back to Arcadia. In times of true desperation they may find themselves meeting this cult's agents, offering them the Ruin's blessing in exchange for good service.

        Their key ability is the Contract that shares their name. It allows them to cast 6 silver bullets for a willing client, referred to as Der Freischütz (the freeshooter). When shot (not necessarily by the freeshooter), the first 5 bullets are unnervingly accurate and powerful (receive 8-again and deal aggravated damage). The last bullet as well, but it is under the complete control of The Ruin and circumstances always arrange themselves so it hits something or someone very dear to Der Freischütz.

        The bullets require blood from Der Freischütz to be cast and the ritual can only be done by their willing request. A second set of bullets cannot be made before the current ones are used up and no cult member may fire one of them, fate will always conspire to stop them. The Contract's catch is for the ritual to also include a pint blood from someone the client loves and another from someone they hate.

        If the last bullet is used up, the changeling receives a one use "escape the Wild Hunt free" token. But if the bullets are not used up within a week, it actually summons a member of the Hunt upon the city.
        Last edited by KaiserAfini; 06-27-2019, 04:13 PM.

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

        The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists (Mind/Time)
        The Szary Strażnik, an Obrimos Legacy whose invisible hands guide through the Glyphs of Fate (Fate/Prime)


        • #5
          5) The Children of the Patriarch

          The True Children are not so much a single grouping as a recurrent idea: A cult that runs in a deep strain through the Brineborn, children of Mother Ocean.

          Children they might be, but they are not beloved, and the curse of the Bith Balag often leads them to question the need to appease such a vengeful creator. Instead, many of the Brineborn find respite in the faiths of Humanity. And, with the authority of religious dogma readily present, it is only a small step to leap into the half-understood worship of the Exarch of Prime, the Father.

          The Father, the dogma of the True Children says, is the opposite of Mother Ocean. Having taken no part in their creation, he is their patriarch only in that he has adopted for himself the Brineborn and offers them salvation through his sacred text, the Book of the False and True. In it, the case is made that Mother Ocean has relinquished her claim over the Brineborn and so must make way for a new God, who would accept their service in exchange for rigid adherence of religious belief.

          The cult places great emphasis on the following of strict rules on food, relationships, and a regimented day, as well as preaching that the Brineborn must expand their faith both to others of their kind and to humans. Humans, however, are forbidden to read the Book of the False and True: they must simply obey. These cults practice the occasional human sacrifice: Not so much for a particular goal, but because it appreciates it when its adherents demonstrate their willingness to commit murder for the cause.

          The Brine-born's Mystery Cult merit teaches it the details of its faith, allows to gain willpower through religious observance (as per the Vice-Ridden Merit) and at its apex weakens the Brine-Born curse against moving inland.


          • #6
            This one is meant to create a web of prestation and political chaos in the Shadow, a "too convenient to eliminate" kind of problem.

            6) Lodge of Yaksharajan's Tithe:

            Be they self serving or altruistic, the first reality a werewolf learns is how volatile spirits are. While they can possibly do anything, their capricious nature limits their reliability. Every uratha dreams what they could accomplish if they could wield such power. The Cahalith "Commands the Seven Hills" never imagined the god Kubera would see fit to realize it. Visiting him in dreams, he would bestow a way to gather the treasures of the Hisil.

            Each member is endowed with a tool called a Ledger. This is unique to each wielder, some appear as books, other as scrolls, clay tablets or even a phone app. Each cultist receives instructions, via dreams, on how to build them after their initiation, some taking rarer ingredients to make than others.

            Each time the Ledger's owner does a favor to a spirit and they confirm to "owing one" to them because of it, their debt is registered in the Ledger as a point. Each debtor can accumulate up to [Primal Urge] debt points. By calling on a debt, the uratha can gain a Numina of the debtor for a scene, consuming its point rating from the debt (for example, Entropic Decay is a 3 point Numen, so they would need to spend 3 debt points). They can also borrow Influences, but this costs twice the points. Only Numina and Influences the user has seen or knows the name of can be borrowed. The original owner loses the use of the ability while it is borrowed, which makes the services of Lodge members command top fees amongst spirits and mages.

            This power comes with a drawback: if anyone gets the Ledger, they can consume any combination of points to seal the user's non-Auspice Gifts for a scene (the Ledger displays a list), at a cost of one per Facet. If the Ledger is destroyed, a new one can be made, but it requires investing a Willpower dot. For such is his nature, the Lord of Wealth grants prosperity to the worthy with one hand. It is with the other that the Chancellor leaves destitute those too weak to pursue profit.
            Last edited by KaiserAfini; 06-28-2019, 10:23 PM.

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

            The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists (Mind/Time)
            The Szary Strażnik, an Obrimos Legacy whose invisible hands guide through the Glyphs of Fate (Fate/Prime)


            • #7
              I cannot stress how much I like Lostlight's Hunter project on the matter.

              Just a thought

              Thoughts ripple out, birthing others


              • #8
                7) The Remembrance Institute

                Despite the similarity its name to various governmental institutions, the Remembrance Institute is affiliated with no single nation, although it is subsidized by several.

                The Institute was founded in the fifties with the goal of studying patterns in fascist thought and social influence, in order to better recognize and counter them should they reappear. This attracted the attention of the Tethered Staves instrument of the Hegemonic Ministry, who twisted its original purpose into the service of the Unity.

                The Institute’s goals remain, ostensibly, the same: Speak on recognize the ideas and ideals of Fascism, and it holds frequent symposia and press releases on the topic, giving it a modicum of clout in the minds of the media and interested public. It does, in fact, frequently condemn national socialist groups despite those groups’ own service to the Unity.

                The Institute’s view, however, associated Fascisms primarily with symbols. To the Institute, Fascism is uniforms, swastikas, calls for racial extermination, and Nazi salutes. It is a phenomenon associated wholly with Nazi Germany - the Institute acknowledges Italian Fascism only rarely, and all but ignores the poisonous flourish of independent Fascist strains in the thirties - and anything that steps away from that mold is, the Institute insists, perhaps contemptible, but it is not Fascism.

                It is in this, through the implicit imprimature of being, if not wholesome, then at least not Fascist, that the oppressive governments of the world see a chance to put into place that hew very closely to its ideals indeed.

                Despite its avowed opposition to the casual use of ‘Fascist’ to describe policies with which it disagrees, the Institute’s leadership uses online bots and hired trolls to do exactly that, at the least provocation and occasionally completely at random. This has no particular purpose, save to further devalue the use of the word and to further ingrain into the public mind the idea that cries of “Nazi!” are, more often than not, completely fictional.

                The majority of the Institute has no idea of its true purpose, and its volunteers are often genuine in their beliefs that certain terms are over-used. Only the Sleepwalkers and Mages at the organization’s top know of the true purpose and have access to its Mystery Cult Initiation Merit, which grants the ability to equivocate and white-wash, contacts in the Media and, at its apex, the ability to make others unable to recognize a given thing for itself.


                • #9
                  8) The Congregation of the Final Hour

                  You are unworthy of saving. You, in your life, have been vain, deceitful, neglectful and lustful. You have been given to anger and indulged yourself. You have committed crimes against your neighbor, and now you are damned. Death, and the judgment that must - that will - follow it, beckons, and you know that you - and everyone else - are all unworthy.

                  There is, however, a way out. A way out in service and in preparedness, a final hand reaching from heaven to an unworthy world. You are still not worthy - you will never be, and the tasks demanded of you will weigh on your soul - but when that day of judgment comes, the reaper may choose to stay Her hand.

                  So proclaims the Congregation of the Final Hour, whose faith takes on the maniacal enthusiasm of those who know their damnation in imminent. A concentric cult, its human believers are spreading like an inkstain, forming deep wells around particularly fertile ground where people’s homes are soon replaced by readied survivalist compounds and armed guards, attracting in turn a steady pilgrimage of its other faithful.

                  The Congregation itself is already heavily infiltrated by the Tollison Creed of the Lancea et Sanctum, their religious practices corrupted by the Second Estate’s need for blood. The Congregation’s compounds are a blood-slicked oligarchy, where the rungs of the ladder depend on pleasing the vampiric overlords whose dark miracles show the truth of the cult’s faith.

                  The cult, however, is genuine as can be even to the Vampires, whose founders have been touched by an emissary of the Psychopomp and blasted with the glory of the Supernal. They believe, and their fervency helps their faith spread and their compounds grow even as the authorities are belatedly beginning to take note. They are, however, too late, as the Congregation has begun to stuck up on weaponry and deadly nerve gasses, the latter untraceably created by Seers and spirited unseen into the compounds.

                  One day, the Final Hour will ring, and the cult will spring into action, using its hidden stockpiles and weapons against a hostile, oppressive world no longer able to escape the judgment it is due, before locking itself in compounds by the thousands and preparing to fight off any retaliation. When the shocked and outraged authorities finally enter the compounds’ inner sanctum over the bodies of its leaders - and their Ghouls and Larvae spawn, and the children of the Congregation - they will find Pentacle symbols, and the names and locations of other ‘cells’, in truth the Sancta of every Pentacle Cabal of which the Psychopomp’s servants have any knowledge.

                  One day.

                  Until then, the cult simply grows, awaiting the Final Hour.

                  The Congregation’s powers include help with investigation and guilt, as well as the Vice-Ridden (Judgmental) merit.
                  Last edited by Mirthless; 07-09-2019, 03:14 AM.


                  • #10
                    9) Vox Silvus

                    They seek the wisdom of the forest to guide them. They use rituals based off of a hybrid of New Age druidic practices and classical divinations. (based on and then heavily adjusted)

                    They believe that humanity is ruining (or has ruined) the world and seeks to halt and reverse that through the wisdom of Nature.

                    The lower level initiates are shown the sites of damage done by man and lectured about the horrible consequences. They participate in rituals that guide them in destroying their targets. As they are initiated deeper, they begin to be able to lead these ceremonies and ask their own questions. Around this level, they gain the ability to "feel the world's pain" and begin to have visions of the answers that they seek outside the group rituals, some of the time, with an intense sympathetic ritual. (They must align with the world at the place they are, so self flagellation is a common approach.)

                    Those low level initiates that are most committed to the cause are used to attack the worst offenders. This is often physical violence, but can be indirect attacks on their property and so forth. For special events, though, they send what some refer to as "The Wild Hunt " to collect these villains. They sacrifice these captives (in part or entire) who have sinned against the forest or sea in some particularly symbolic way. This grants all of the participants the favor of the wood, both as a group and individually.

                    Their visions of a future are always bleak, but contain some ray of hope, should they accomplish their mission. Destruction of humanity isn't usually required of them by their visions, but destruction of specific peoples is common. Specific corporations, entire ethnicities, specific cities. and the like, must be purged. Sometimes specific buildings of projects must be destroyed in a showy way to force the naughty to think twice before ever attempting that again.

                    The highest level initiates practice cannibalism and self-mutilation so as to reduce the dangers they pose to the world. In exchange, they tend to be granted the answers they seek much more clearly and at better rates, as well as the trust of their fellow Vox Silvus. The chief of the leadership has a tenure for a term of 3-13 years, depending on which branch of the cult they are in. After the term ends, they are ritually slain at winter solstice using a sharp poisoned knife. While this ends their reign, regardless, it's not rare for the slain to rise on the vernal equinox, provided they rest unmolested in a sacred place. As far as the cult is concerned, this removes all rights and responsibilities, from formal oaths to honors of rank, but these figures are considered exceptionally sacred. They are known as Reborn.

                    Some Reborn choose to go through initiation again and others simply retire to teaching and guiding. They can still participate in the rituals.

                    It is highly uncommon, but Reborn have been targeted by visions for execution. It's more common for the enemies of the Reborn to be the targets, though. The most common targets are people of moderate power, such as judges or distract managers or vice presidents of large corporations.or presidents of more modest companies. The tendency to target more local threats isn't explained by visions, so the doctrine shifts between various branches. Some argue that the wood is teaching the Vox to act locally and using other groups to deal with other things. Some think that the Vox is scaling their visions to their capacities. Another approach is that these are the hands getting slapped of much more powerful things, and the lessons are being taught to the proper students.

                    (ed. I was thinking that the crossover with kinfolk and werewolves was implied, but perhaps bears noting.)
                    Last edited by thenate; 08-18-2019, 01:19 PM.

                    Grump, grouse, and/or gripe.


                    • #11
                      10) Notaries of the Black Sieve

                      An ancient cult that believes themselves the chosen mortal bureaucrats of the Ten Courts of Diyu, the Underworld domain of chinese folklore. By punishing unworthy souls, they believe they will be granted reincarnation into a more prosperous life.

                      All members receive an intricately carved seal of their court, hand made from human bone by the chosen craftsmen of the Psychopomp (Seers, geist, ghosts, even the occasional slasher have been comissioned). The seals must be used with an ink paste, which is made with mugworth raised in the water of a river of the Underworld. Each court has its own variation of the recipe, some employ crafters, others have each member make its own, some raise their crop in the Underworld, others raise them in greenhouses or gardens.

                      To use the seals victims must first undergo a ritual death, writing a "last letter" that must be stamped by it. Then they lie in an open coffin for a scene. When they leave, their soul is chained to it.

                      Excluding supernatural abilities, the only safe way to free them is by burning hell money in a candle that has some of the victim's blood mixed into the wax. Destroying the coffin also works, but the soul is subjected to such tremendous pain that it leaves a ghost behind and causes an Integrity Breaking Point. Freed souls instantly appear back in their vessels.

                      Different ways are used to scout for victims, for example, some chapters create companies to promote the "therapy of the false death" as a form of psychological catharsis. Others resort to kidnapping or work with the mafia.

                      What each one does to their victims vary from city to city. Some use the souls to recruit Reapers to fight the Pentacle, some use the soulless husks as a cheap labor force, others pride themselves in being the organ traffickers with the freshest merchandise. They have complete autonomy, but if an edict is delivered, it must be carried out. Woe befalls the poor soul who does not carry it out, for their court's other retainers will deliver punishment.
                      Last edited by KaiserAfini; 07-09-2019, 07:37 AM.

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

                      The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists (Mind/Time)
                      The Szary Strażnik, an Obrimos Legacy whose invisible hands guide through the Glyphs of Fate (Fate/Prime)


                      • #12
                        11) The Golden Thread

                        The alliance between the Seers of the Throne and a cluster of Azlu might be a strange one, but it is also scarily effective at furthering the goals of the Ruin. The cult uses lesser spiderlings as shock troops and servitors, while their more sapient kin hold actual positions of authority, and are granted a mystical modification to the powers of their Gauntlet Webs, allowing them to weave new fates and sympathies around the unfortunate, ensnaring mortals in paths that inevitably lead to their undoing.

                        At first glance, it may appear that the Golden Threat exists only to spread the misery of woeful, iron-bound destinies while exploiting the convenient symbolism of the Azlu's arachnoid forms, but the cult actually does have a greater purpose, a singular focus that requires a very distant eye to perceive, and a deep understanding of secret lore to fully understand. Through dreams and signs, Prelates of the Ruin have received command time and again to track down a specific woman, an entity of incredible power whose ultimate goal, if fulfilled, would deal an aggravated blow to the Tyrant of Fate. Despite her unassuming, middle-aged appearance, she has inadvertently brought down more than a few pylons in her long journeys. She's even killed a Minister. And so the Golden Thread is carefully weaving a world-spanning network of fates in order to catch this proto-goddess in Creation's grandest and most subtle of webs. Azlu cultists have been promised that they will feast on her spiritually charged flesh and attain a greater apotheosis still, while the Ruin will reward his followers with bounty beyond measure for the undertaking of such a valued service.


                        • #13
                          12) Pluto's Servants

                          There are some laws of nature that most people learn to accept. Among these are: Death is common. People are born, live, die. Death is impartial and impersonal.

                          Watching the deaths of innocents, however, or people cut off in the prime of their lives disabuses many of these. Is death really fair? Seeing the sorts of people who die young and who die old, is death impartial?

                          Some who investigate these matters sometimes stumble into a strange society with some odd ideas of its own. The group that considers themselves Pluto's servants believes that Death is a real force that maintains a cosmic balance but it's neither impersonal nor fair.

                          Early initiates are taught that there is some wiggle room for negotiation with Death.If they don't at least convince the higher levels of initiation that they understand that such negotiation is tricky and fraught, they won't progress.They refer to this force as "Pluto" or "Death" almost exclusively.

                          Many of the members are wealthy, but all members must learn to transcend seeing wealth as anything but a means to an end. Pluto doesn't grace them with money, though Pluto has access to troves of riches and cannot be bought. Those who trade favors for wealth or material luxury find their petitions go unheard. Trading for the purchase of a desired tool is a very different case. Giving up one's wealth or circumstances for a loved one does sometimes count for something. Just making an attempt to buy favors from a representative of Pluto with wealth generally leads to that wealth being lost, regardless or further outcome, even, though that's not exclusive. Sacrifices of self or life are generally accepted. Favors are often used between members, but that's not what Pluto awards.

                          Some sort of sacrifice is presented to Pluto or his representative and Pluto accepts it or not as Pluto sees fit. Generally this is a down payment on a more full payment. If accepted, the full payment is required, though the timescale is often flexible and (somewhat surprisingly) based on spirit and intent. When rejected, the petitioner loses the down payment. There are exceptions. Putting a conditional IOU on the table, for example, is allowed, but is believed to be drastically less likely to get a "yes" from Pluto.

                          Payment is generally life. Lives of creatures. Time spent on things is life lost, too, so time promised to the cause is a welcome element. The requirement is to balance the books in some way. It's often that the payment simply isn't enough and Pluto indicates more life is required rather than rejecting the petitioner. Sometimes, the offer is too high, and Pluto either accepts and grants other blessings without consulting (sometimes simply granting favor going into the next offer) or guides his Voice (the presiding priest who is sometimes the petitioner) to remove things from the altar.

                          It's very common that the result is no response at all. Sometimes, an insult is met with death.

                          At higher initiations, it is revealed that life can be transferred, but the balance must be maintained. (Crippling one group's lifespan may allow another's to flourish. Destroying the Deathless might even allow immortality.) The higher initiations are actually taught this calculus in general terms. This has mystical significance.

                          Many of the highest ranks are blood bathers of some sort, who draw vitality from donors. The wisdom of the cult teaches the principles on which that mystical connection is based, though it's not expressly explained.

                          The highest ranks of the cult recognize themselves as low-level servants, but some are elevated above the rest. Those with blessings gain some influence of death and the dead. The most impressive favor is the right to be undying... and some of those live to abuse the privilege. The cult pays close attention to these exceptional examples whenever it encounters them.

                          Sin Eaters and Moros are both fairly common in these cults and their views on reality inform the doctrines. Mummies can benefit or be harmed by the attentions of this cult.
                          Last edited by thenate; 07-16-2019, 03:08 AM.

                          Grump, grouse, and/or gripe.


                          • #14
                            13) The Congregation of Winged Hearts:

                            It all started in the 16th century, in the British village of No Place, County Durham (or Utopia, as the cult would come to call it). A man started to claim he had received a divine commandment, that the world was sick and its true glory was being choked out by the corrupt. By carrying out a mission of purification, it would be remade to uphold a sinless standard and the faithful would be rewarded with the blessings of providence. Many flocked to his message and watched for omens, awaiting the day of the great labor.

                            So it was that in 1585 they made landing in North Carolina, guided by the man's visions, and set about their work. Some engineering to arrange sacred geometry set the foundations, but it was not enough, for the key points needed to have the proper resonance. Soon they engaged in ritual killings, arson, cannibalism and even torture on the name of their cause.

                            When all these required lambs were slaughtered, the man and his founding council set about performing one final ritual. At its height the colony was engulfed in a display of Aetherial lights and the ritualists all had a vision of true glory, the iron seal of Prime. Greatest of them all, it is the Father that decides what is real and what is an illusion. Others may forge the shapes of the world, but without the blessings of mana, they are naught but empty dreams.

                            As they the celestial light receded, they returned transformed, great wings of prima materia were granted to them. But the man had seen farther than they and brought down new revelations. He emerged with his face covered by a mask, his skin now a mirror of the firmament, his voice echoing a chorus of thousands and ringing of eternity. Now calling himself The Choir, he would walk the ages, seeking to enact the ritual upon more cities, "purifying" the Fallen world and blessing the faithful.

                            The colony itself, having had its essence ripped out of it entirely, vanished completely. Or so Sleepers think, there is more to the disappearance of Roanoke than meets the eye. Those more attuned to the supernatural will see it enduring still, people going about their everyday lives in an illusionary, ageless city. Phantoms that have souls, bodies, minds, but no substance, in a perpetual state of fugue over the passage of time. Magic can be used to break one out of it, but great care should be taken, for many are still Sleepers.

                            The merit if this cult is to bestow 6 cards to its adherents. Each one can be used to trap the essence of a non-living target of up to size 6. It takes an action to trap an essence, causing the object to vanish and become an image on the card. Object still age within them, food rots, burning objects continue to be consumed, etc. It takes another action to bring them back into the world. Having a card lost, destroyed or stolen is a grave offense and will have the member's prestige severely diminished until they can prove themselves worthy of a replacement.

                            In general the cult aims for small towns and villages, patiently sowing the discord needed to fuel the ritual. Should they ever target a big city, they would first seek to isolate it from the world.

                            Any cultists that participated in the ritual to help the Choir consume a city gains wings. They appear and disappear in a flash of light, each one unique to an individual. They are manifested by spending a Willpower point and last a scene. They act as per the spell Levitation, with Strength being used for flight speed. Ripping off or destroying these wings is agonizingly painful and instantly knocks out the cultist. They can be restored after months of rituals and are a key component in the counter ritual to free a consumed city.

                            The oldest, most distinguished members are offered the chance to join The Choir, adding their essence to its fold. In reality they become ensared in a purgatorial existence, part of a gestalt mind forever chained to obey the Exarch of Prime.
                            Last edited by KaiserAfini; 07-21-2019, 11:43 PM.

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

                            The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists (Mind/Time)
                            The Szary Strażnik, an Obrimos Legacy whose invisible hands guide through the Glyphs of Fate (Fate/Prime)


                            • #15
                              14) L'atelier du Gray

                              Perhaps one of the oldest endeavours of mankind is the quest for immortality. There exist a profusion of methods to achieve it. Bathing in blood, becoming part spirit, taking up the vigil of a sacred site, all of them come with a price. But for those destined to chart history, those made to crush all opposition as they charge with unstoppable momentum towards their ambition, they may prove inadequate. As oracles of the Prophet, these cultists are happy to provide an alternative.

                              They are mainly composed by artists with a high sensitivity to fate (mainly those who possess the Dream merit), who are guided by omens to chosen ones. They are able to mediate a special kind of Pact between a Demon and a chosen one. First they craft a Philactery, a special item with the face of the chosen one, such as a painting, a chest, a statue or a cameo. Then they must procure the aid of a Demon, which is the most difficult part, since the rogue children of the God Machine are very secretive. The Pact is struck over a scene long ritual, where the chosen one invests a point of Willpower into the Philactery and the Demon annoits it with a point of Aether.

                              A painting Philactery from the early 20th century

                              While the Pact remains active, chosen ones are given the full benefit of Veil of Moments (all Reach included) and can even spend experience under it. Because the effect is supported by the occult principles tapped in by the Pact, it is immune to Disbelief, but overt breaches of the Veil are not conducive to eternal life. Both Demon and chosen one also receive the condition Mystery Commands:Prophet and may only gain beats after obtaining one from advancing the Exarch's goals.

                              The Demon also receives a full Aether recharge every time this is accomplished. Furthermore, Going Loud inside a Temple or Verge of the Prophet does not shatter their Cover. Indeed, it might sometimes be required to test the worth of their charge. They may also borrow any aspect of their charge's life at any time as Cover. They must leave something behind, but anything short of a complete takeover is valid. Supernatural merits and powers may not be borrowed.

                              The cultists receive a max value Vision merit, useable only for Craft or Expression rolls. Their dreams also show the only way to repair damages to the Philactery. Because of that, many enjoy prosperous careers, receiving favors from the chosen as they stretch comfortably behind the throne.

                              Whenever the Philactery is damaged, the chosen one and Demon receive the same amount of damage. The chosen one also has his real age return in proportion to the damage, but without them dieying. This may make them appear decrepid or almost skeletal, which may be the origin of the modern depictions of liches. As the Philactery is repaired, they return to their normal age.

                              Should the Philactery be destroyed, the Pact ends and the chosen one immediately withers to dust. The Demon is immediately forced to Go Loud and loses access to his charge's Cover, while the cultist loses his Vision merit. If the Demon is vanquished, the Philactery is also destroyed and the same consequences apply to the others involved.

                              Curiously, chosen ones come from all walks of life. Prometheans, changelings, geist, even Pentacle mages have been approached. This had lead the cult to occassionally clash heads with other servants of the Tyrants. Some whisper of a splinter cell serving the God Machine, others suggest a complex plan to claim the title of archigenitor.
                              Last edited by KaiserAfini; 07-31-2019, 12:33 PM.

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

                              The Agathos Kai Sophos, an Acanthus Legacy of strategists (Mind/Time)
                              The Szary Strażnik, an Obrimos Legacy whose invisible hands guide through the Glyphs of Fate (Fate/Prime)