The Milieu (as of Campaign #4)
WARNING: THIS IS TOTAL FICTION! I have made up fictional
explanations for real world events to spice up the game world.
Neither my players nor I believe these things are true.
But what if they are? :-)
(I didn't like S.A.V.E., the foundation in Chill, so I made up
a similar foundation.)
The Society has had many names throughout its history.
Most of its past is intentionally clouded and compartmentalized
so that if Creatures manage to take or infiltrate a given base,
the danger to other cells of The Society will be lessened.
In times past, their job was easier. They could safely
hunt down Creatures and their fellow man would endorse, praise,
and fund them readily.
In a nutshell, they almost put themselves out of business.
Their vigorous campaign against The Unknown was so successful
that sightings of Creatures became extremely rare. This
persisted for over a century, during which gunpowder had come
into widespread use. The Society's ranks shrank tremendously,
new candidates stopped seeking them out, and mankind began to
convince itself that there was nothing to fear but fear itself.
Most of the funding agencies felt their investments more soundly
placed in cannons and rifles, for surely such mighty capabilities
would protect them from dangers known and Unknown.
The Society was dealt a grievous blow when Torquemada, a Creature
of The Unknown, infiltrated the ranks of humanity and started
his gruesome inquisition. Many of the greatest masters
of the Art, the metaphysical/magical disciplines that the Society
used to greatest effect in battling The Unknown, were burned
as heretics and witches. The Society was forced to go
Many members of The Society went to the New World. Lacking
the structure, discipline and security they once enjoyed, many
of their members fell by the wayside, trying to use their powers
for personal gain and to evil ends. This prompted witch
hunts in which good and evil, magical and non-magical, perished
alike. It was a dark and frightening time.
There were two things that allowed humanity to make it through
this time. One, The Society had done their job very well
centuries before. Two, many Creatures of the Unknown were
killed as lunatics and wild animals and/or died of starvation,
unable to adapt to a rapidly evolving society that embraced
The Society pooled its resources and "went to ground" permanently.
No longer would they ride through town, swords held high, drinking
in the admiration of townsfolk elated at the sight of the slain
Creature on parade. No, from now on, they would have to
become covert agents, revealing only what is necessary to keep
up the fight.
They began to become dealers in information and, when something
unusual popped up, they would investigate it. When it
was a Creature, they would work quickly and quietly to take
it down. Then they would bring in the charismatic, "Salespeople"
to pick through the details and try to find new agents , supporters,
and/or funding among those that had been victimized and were
not willing to dismiss the horror of what they had seen.
Ever so slowly, The Society regained its strength. It
was a bigger world than before, but now they had high caliber
people, rapid transportation, and the gear to do more with less.
Unfortunately, there were still some powerful Creatures from
centuries before that had lingered on. Attacks on members
and cells of The Society began anew. The ranks of The
Unknown had swollen once again and many of them were a lot more
clever than there brethren from days of old.
Once more, unto the breech . . .
[Note: a few rare PCs would know bits and pieces of this timeline.
It is presented to for your entertainment.]
703 BC: The first records of a proto-Society. The Assyrian
king Sennacherib was known for his ruthlessness and his practice
of decimating opposing nations. Scholars of the known world
attribute this to the brutality of the times. Scholars of
the Unknown have uncovered evidence that the decimation was at
least in part due to a large population of creatures which may
have been vampires. The creatures are described as "fierce
men" which "drank the life of their enemies" and were "shadow-loving."
Society researchers discovered evidence of a group of "learned
men" that gathered in 703 in Jerusalem to seek a "weapon" to use
against Sennacherib's army. They were known as the Coven
of Light and described variously as a group composed mostly of
religious leaders of various faiths, with specific references
to animists, Jews, and priests of the Greek, Babylonian, and Egyptian
700 BC: In his third campaign, Sennacherib stood poised to
destroy Jerusalem when his army suffered a disaster of uncertain
origin. Society records contain documents that describe
a ritual that "called forth the splendor of God." The
Coven of Light is believed to have been responsible for organizing
this ritual, but it is unclear as to whether or not they carried
it out themselves. The ritual reputedly "eliminated the
dark threat of Sennacherib's army."
690 BC: Records have been pieced together of a being with "unholy
power" hunting the members of the Coven of Light. It is
believed that at this time, the Coven of Light dropped its distinctive
monniker and formally went into hiding. Some Society scholars
believe they adopted the name "the Council" but such claims
can not be celarly proven.
21st Century (inclues campaign
#4 and beyond)
14JUN2000 (Thursday) McKinney, TX, USA: Agents John Brockway,
Sarah Doherty, "Bud" Johnson, "Bic" Raker, and a sympathetic local,
Tom Brandt, destroy a Lesser Zombie Master (LZM), formerly William
Foster, a foreman at Frank's Equipment. It's creator, a
powerful Creature that has assumed the guise of Daniel Masterson,
could not be located. "Daniel" is known to have remarkable
powers of shapechange and an apparent immunity to normal weapons.
He stole a magical focus, the Lantern of Souls, that amplifies
magic. It is uncertain whether or not it also amplifies
the Art and the Evil Way, but the reporting office suspects that
is the case because of the Creature's interest in it. At
this time, it is believed by local agents that the Creature created
the LZM as a distraction to facilitate the theft. The only
leads are a possible connection with the Tibet region. Use
extreme caution with this Creature as the means to destroy it
is not known at this time. A trailer park full of people
was used as feedstock for LZM's minions. These Zombies were
neutralized by the team. It was covered up as a suicide
cult by collaborating minions of "Daniel" that had infiltrated
the local police force. There were no Society casualties.
12AUG2000 (Saturday) McKinney, TX, USA: Agents John Brockway,
Sarah Doherty, "Bud" Johnson, "Bic" Raker, destroy a child Vampire,
formerly Joey Mathers, a child that lived near Agent Johnson's
home. The implication of a known friend of Agent Johnson,
Daryl, as well as the location has raised suspicion as to possible
links to the Creature masquerading as Daniel Masterson [see
14JUN2000 entry]. The child commanded a pack of unusually
large, supernaturally intrepid wolves. The team has reason
to believe another Creature created the vampire, but there are
no leads as of yet, a composite
was created by Agent Brockway. The vampire was immobilized
with a stake and killed by immersion in a stream. There
were no Society casualties.
13AUG2000 (Sunday) Barents Sea: Agent Piotr Romanov sabotages
and sinks his submarine, the Kursk, a 14,000-ton Oscar II-class.
The submarine had set sail with a dozen Vampires fleeing a team
of Russian Society hunters. They quietly hijacked the
vessel by turning many of the crew members into Vampires and
imprisoning most of the rest as food for an exodus to Africa,
where they planned to sell the sub to mercenaries and start
a new colony. Unable to counter the threat, Piotr sabotaged
the escape capsule in the conning tower and sunk the vessel,
swimming to safety through a torpedo tube. Other Society
operatives used nationalist contacts to delay involvement of
proper rescue crews until it was certain that the Creatures
had been exposed to running water. He relocates to a Society
cell in Canada and is given a new cover identity as a fisherman.
07SEP2000 (Thursday) Unalaska, Alaska: The 860-foot Manoa,
en route from Asia, reached the port of Dutch Harbor in the
Aleutian Islands late Wednesday. The cargo ship made an emergency
stop to investigate banging noises in cargo container after
cargo refrigeration units broke down. A hole was cut into the
container and fresh air pumped in. Food and water was also provided.
According to official reports, no occupants were found. A number
of illegal Chinese immigrants were found dead near the ship's
dock after the cargo ship docked in California. The Society
has information that five to six Asian Creatures were aboard
the container and the knocking sounds came from captives of
the Creatures that were used as food on the journey. The bodies
were disposed of by a longshoreman that is currently at large.
Any cell that obtains information on these Creatures and how
to destroy them should disseminate the information through proper
channels as soon as possible. The bodies of the victims were
dessicated and emaciated, apparently a traumatic result of he
feeding process and not natural malnourishment.