City: Mystery Cult
|Map||Districts||Directory: Portland, Oregon||City||Neighborhoods|
|Spheres||Mystery Cults||City of Roses||Embassy||Cast List|
- The Co-Op
- Heralds of the Void
- The House of Roses
- Portland Fight Club
- The Rose City Guild
- Society of the Cinders
- The Portland High Rollers
- The Temple of Inner Illumination
- Pantheon of Muses
- Undercity Survivors
- The Dreamhold
- The Rising Shadow
- The Sisters of the Fundament
(Supernatural Only - Full Template Required)
In the Unaligned District there is a building that houses a group known simply as The Co-Op. The building, also referred to as The Co-Op, is a stone affair, and is kept well protected by the members of the Co-Op. The group’s members are all members of the supernatural community dedicated to working together towards their individual goals as well as towards the common good of the Co-Op. Members are expected not just to tolerate or be kind to one another, but to cooperate with and help each other. The general belief of the Co-Op’s members is that there is strength to be found in unity and diversity. It is not uncommon for members to help each other with projects, research, or job searches.
The building itself aids the Co-Op in it’s mission. The Co-Op benefits from its members living in a single building, thus reinforcing the close bonds formed between the members. Given the diverse needs of its membership, the Co-Op succeeds in large part due to the efforts of the mage and changeling who first struck a bargain in the creation of the building. The changeling and the Mastigos worked together to tie the building’s apartment doors to both the hedge and remote locations of the fallen world. While the actual details of the building’s creation are complex, the results are less so, although no less wondrous. The door to each member’s apartment, when opened with their key, leads to a living area best suited to their needs. For changelings this could be a hollow in the hedge, for a mage it could be a remote basement study with a small hallow, vampire’s rooms are almost universally havens away from any threat of sunlight, while some werewolves find forested dens guarding loci. Each ‘apartment’ is bounded by space magic, so that the only way in or out of the area is through the apartment door (although rarely the Hedge manages to shift a trod into the living area, such trods are almost always simply walking paths that loop back to the same living area). While not exactly common, it is neither rare for a minor spirit or an experiment-gone-awry to escape someone’s apartment and pass through the halls of the Co-Op. Usually the intruder is stopped my supernatural defenses, or else by other members. Such disruptions are minor, but keep things interesting in the day-to-day. Fortunately, the building also prevents pure mortals from noticing or remembering the odd goings-on in the main areas.
As members become more well-known and earn renown among their peers for their helpfulness to the other members, they often become a bit more entrenched in supernatural affairs, and it becomes necessary to either separate their mortal and supernatural identities, or else to strengthen their bond to their humanity so as to maintain the balance needed to live such a life with their morals and sanity intact. Eventually the most notable members manage to collect trinkets and items of power from their fellow Co-Op members, and even learn to activate those items with their own internal powers as they internalize some of the diversity of their group.
The Co-op is a group dedicated to aiding one another to mutual benefit. Living proof that the whole can be more than the sum of it’s parts, the Co-Op is made of members determined to use their unique talents, insights, and abilities, to aid those who have pledged themselves to do the same. In doing so, members not only excel in their own endeavors, but learn more about the other factions as well.
Much of the Co-Op focuses around a magical building in the Unaligned District. While not a relic, per se, it is a wondrous place integral to the cohesiveness and success of the Co-Op.
“Now this is the Code of The Co-Op, which every member must know,
And the one who keeps it will prosper, but the one who breaks it shall go.
As the Willamette flows through Portland, the code goes on without stop;
The success of the Co-Op’s the members; the member’s success the Co-Op.
Give aid to your fellow members, for they will aid you in return
Through cooperative effort and help from each other, each member can thrive and can learn.
The room of the member is the member’s, and none this sanctum shall breach;
The whole of the building is the Co-Op’s, however, owned and protected by each.
Do not inform on your neighbors, nor to mortals their secrets reveal;
Visitors of factions are welcome, if they don’t cause hostile zeal.
Withhold not your knowledge nor power, from those who share this our abode,
For to do what you can to strengthen each other is the goal of the Code.”
- The Co-Op is open to membership from full supernatural template characters only
- (so currently Changelings, Werewolves, Mages, and Vampires)
• The newest members have around-the-clock access to the Co-Op’s safe house. The building is a safe haven for all members to gather and learn from one another. They gain one dot in Safe Place as a shared merit split between all of the Co-Op’s members.
•• As members become more integrated into life at the Co-Op, they often move into one of the numerous magically-accessed apartments. These apartments are not exactly in the building, per se, but they can only be entered and exited through the building, and customize their co-located position according to the needs and desires of their occupants. Members at this level gain one dot in a location-based merit appropriate to their faction, such as sanctum, haven, hollow, or den.
••• Once members have begun to live together, they have more opportunity to benefit from the knowledge and contacts of their fellow members. Oftentimes their fellow members aid them in making new contacts and friends around the city (either in the mortal world or the supernatural one) or in finding jobs where they can put their particular talents to good use. They gain 2 dots in any combination, split between Contacts, Allies, and Resources.
•••• As members become further embroiled in their supernatural lives, and also gain ties to the community around the Co-Op, it becomes necessary for them to work to help each other better balance their mortal and supernatural lives. They gain 3 dots in merits appropriate to helping maintain that balance or divide in their lives: Alternate Identity, Shadow Name, Many Mask, Touchstone, Blood and Bone Affinity (Bone only), and Anchored. The chosen merits must be ones available to the member’s faction.
••••• As a member reaches the highest level of integration within the Co-Op, the differences between his own supernatural abilities and those of his fellow Co-Op members become less meaningful and divisive. The member gains 3 dots of item merits from factions that are not his own: Enhanced Item, Imbued Item, Fetish, Token, Hedgespun, Artifact, or similar merits at ST discretion. Furthermore, a member at this level is now able to use his own power stat (gnosis, blood potency, wyrd, primal urge) and power source (mana, blood, glamour, essence) to activate supernatural devices. Any stat for which there is no equivalent for (e.g., a mage using a Fetish that references his Honor rating) is treated as a 1.
- Drake Roberts
“You’re special, you know. So few are brought to the central chamber. So few get to touch the Black Stone. So few are truly worthy of The Void’s wisdom. At least, receiving it so directly. But they’ve been watching you. They told me you’re ready. Ready to see just what you’ve been working towards. The transcendence you’re so close to achieving.”
“Just this way. Through the hall, and into the door on the left. It’s locked, but it will open for you. Nobody else should be in there. It will be on the altar. You’ll know it. A simple touch, and you’ll hear it. Trust me when I say it will change you forever.”
“Me? No, I’m not coming with you. It’s something you have to do alone. But don’t fret. You wouldn’t be doing this if They didn’t already know you were ready for it….”
The Heralds of the Void are a Cult built around the Renatus Dynasty’s message of spiritual transformation and occult knowledge. With the right information, you can transcend. With the right knowledge, you’ll be capable of anything. With the right support, you can make full use of what Power you have. Of course, few know of their true benefactors behind the scene.
Unlike the Renatus Kindred themselves, however, they usually only hear The Void in one of two ways: speaking with a member of the Dynasty (who lead the Cult, of course), or being allowed to Commune with it through the Black Stone, a relic of sorts at the center of the Cult that allows a temporary connection with The Void directly. A dangerous thing for a living mind.
The Renatus Dynasty (a Mekhet lineage) leads the Heralds of The Void, who can be made up of other Kindred, mortals, and other supernatural individuals, towards a sort of preternatural enlightenment focused on sharpening one’s supernatural abilities in order to strengthen the soul and one’s overall potency.
The general goals of the Dynasty and Cult involve a sort of warped version of the Ordo Dracul’s creed, a transcendence past one’s limitations through whatever knowledge can be put to that use. Supernatural power is encouraged, through whatever means, so long as you don’t harm your own growth or that of the rest of the Cult/Dynasty.
Overall, the Cult’s members are expected to have access to each other for assistance in developing their abilities, whatever they may be, and will often be temporarily grouped together by those in higher positions for the sake of matching those that need assistance with those most likely to be capable of providing that sort of help. Those of lower initiation are expected to follow groupings decided upon by those higher up (often members of the Dynasty itself).
In addition to these ‘internal’ methods of improvement, members are all expected to use whatever contacts and means they have to learn of Occult relics, artifacts, tomes, and other potential sources of knowledge or supernatural potency, provide that information to the Heralds’ leaders and to each other, and then ultimately to retrieve them in the case of physical items. The exact methods of coming into such things varies between members, but little care is generally given for the legality involved.
Finally, all cultists are expected to keep the secrets of other members from the outside world, unless explicit permission is given to provide such information. This isn’t just supernatural secrets, like psychic capabilities or faction affiliation, it includes personal weaknesses, criminal history, and whatever else might come up.
The Renatus are said to be inherently distrustful to the point of near-hatred with regards to Invictus Vampires, due to a past rivalry with a failed dynasty aligned with that covenant. They’ve since left, but the Kindred within the Heralds, and sometimes the more knowledgeable members of other factions, still tend to distrust the Invictus.
- Kindred involved in the cult (ideally most), most ghouls, and all mortals/supernaturals will use the Mystery Cult Initiation merit, with mechanics as shown below:
• Initiates are clued in to some new, hidden aspect of the world, or are made to further the experience they already have. They gain an Occult specialty of their choice. They also count as members of the Renatus Dynasty for the purposes of those Kindreds’ Dynasty Membership merit.
•• Those Adepts that have taken their first significant steps towards transcending their limitations learn to apply what they’ve learned to all aspects of themselves. Generally, these are more trusted, proven members. They gain Interdisciplinary Specialty for their Occult specialty (or another Occult specialty they already have).
••• Those Seekers that have become notable in the cult have become trusted guides and proven scholars, proven members of the Heralds, respected for their abilities and the way they’ve assisted their kin. All of them gain Legendary Language to better assist them in uncovering information from any source, and 1 dot of Goblin Vow, representing power granted by The Void and magics borrowed from other members through their shared connection. The purview of the Vow must be something that makes sense for The Void, the Heralds, or the Renatus Dynasty. Some examples might be Evening, Unspilled Blood, Pitch Darkness, Supernatural Power Research, Prophetic Dreams, or Shared Curiosity. This cannot grant Contracts to those that can’t normally use them, but can grant an equivalent XP-worth of their own powers. For Changelings, this can take Goblin Vow above 5 dots.
Note: There are special conditions to get to MCI 3+ IC. See the Cult Contact for details.
•••• Those that have proven their knowledge, power, and dedication to the cult, the Speakers, have learned of the Dynasty and the origins of the Heralds, and remain dedicated to the cult’s cause. They become entrusted with directing the less informed in the name of the Enlightened, organizing the day to day affairs of the group, and assisting other members in the usage and development of their own powers and abilities, as their own supernatural presence continues to grow. They gain 3 dots to spend among the following merits, depending on their personal methodology: Support Network (Representing the support of their kin), further Goblin Vow (as above), Mr Lucky (A shadowy Void-like figure), or Destiny.
••••• The Enlightened are those Kindred that have truly embodied the ideals of The Void (Generally, only Kindred reach this level of Initiation, and usually only the Renatus Dynasty). While all Dynasty members have a sense for The Void, only those that truly work towards its ends garner any real attention. In addition to whatever information it might provide on its own (ST/Narrator discretion), once per chapter it will provide IC information in response to a question asked by the player that can be answered with a yes/no/maybe (The character doesn’t need to be seeking it specifically; the player decides what the void is going to show them), though it may be answered with more than that. This requires no roll or expenditure.
- This is not to say a mortal can’t reach this peak. It just means that they won’t be mortal for long.
(Changeling and Fae-Touched Only)
Rose House followers will normally go out of their way, even to risking themselves, to protect the innocent and serve the greater good, regardless on how they define innocent and good.
The Blue Rose Crown. True Blue Roses don’t exist in the real world, only in the Hedge. Because of this Blue Roses in literature are symbols of love, prosperity, immortality and unattainable ideals. This hedgespun circlet of Blue Roses never fades or wilts.
The member of the House of Roses believe that Hope is the greatest and most powerful emotion, and that it is only through promoting and encouraging it in themselves and others can the Others and their servants ever finally be overcome. They do this by protecting and serving others so that they can understand that no cause is ever truly lost as long as you believe, and that the right will always eventually prevail. Only together can we survive and grow.
• All Rose House members first learn that things don’t change overnight. As long as you never give up, you will succeed. They gain the Patient merit.
•• As they advance, the House of the Rose teaches the mysteries of the Rose. They gain Goblin Vow (Roses).
••• Rose House followers learn to focus their hope and belief against supernatural powers that would sway them from their goals and duties. They gain the Indomitable merit.
•••• Lords and Ladies of the House of Roses learn to impart some of their hopes and aspirations into physical things so that they can be carried on if they pass. They gain the 3dot Master Shaper merit.
••••• An embodiment of the ideals of the House of Roses, they gains 3 dots of Court Goodwill that they may divide any way they like among the Courts (other than their own). At the beginning of each Story, the Rose may redivide these dots as they choose.
(Members must have Brawl 1)
“Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever.”
- Lance Armstrong -
The Portland Fight Club is a fusion of eastern martial arts and traditional American values; diligence, competitiveness, individualism, and the ‘can-do’ spirit are upheld as the highest ideals, expressed through training in different sorts of martial arts. Rigorous exercise regimens culminate in bare-knuckled brawls, often leaving participants with bruises and scrapes as they return to their homes and families. Leaders foster a spirit of camaraderie in the Club and disputes are solved through duels — if you got a problem with someone, take it to the ring or keep it to yourself. Ecstatic motivational speeches serve as the Club’s sermons, instilling pride, loyalty, and feeling of unstoppable drive in those that listen.
• Recruit The first thing expected of initiates is to learn the basics of fighting. They gain a Brawl Specialty of their choice.
•• Member Once the basics are down, they are honed over and over again until they’re perfected. Gain the Area of Expertise merit assigned to the specialization afforded by the first dot of Cult Initiation.
••• Fighter Although newer members are expected to participate in fights as well, it is not until this rank they are allowed to participate in any major brawls or tournaments. As such, they receive more intense training and gain a dot of Brawl.
••••Veteran At this rank, members are accustomed to both pain and fatigue and are no longer affected much by either. Gain three dots in the Iron Stamina merit.
•••••Master Only those who display true physical mastery in the ring rise to the highest ranks within the Club. These are the men and women responsible for training members of lower rank. Gain three dots of fighting style merits distributed as the player see fit (that is, one one-dot fighting style plus one two-dot fighting style, three one-dot fighting styles, or one three-dot fighting style). These must all use the Brawl skill. Additionally, characters at this level have unrivaled experience when it comes to understanding the nuances of different martial arts; when purchasing a Fighting Style in the future, gain two dots instead of one.
Lugh, Vrys Sarkhet
When the Embassy was founded the Guild forced their way into a seat at the table- much to the consternation of the other factions. This was accomplished through the Guild’s goal of Identification- they brought with them an entire binder full of names, pseudonyms, and photos of almost every single member of the newly formed Embassy. Knowledge, not petty supernatural tricks, was the power that carried the day for them.
Since the war, the guild has only grown and been split into chapters formed around various professions with the over goal of protecting mortals and the covert goal of continuing Identify and preferably gain leverage over other supernaturals. Each chapter actively recruits mortals, psychics, and other minor talents that don’t fall under the other factions’ aegis.
Detect. Identify. Protect.
This is the Rose City Guild’s mission. Though the organization has its roots in the founding of Portland, the modern incarnation of the Guild came about during the War of the Four when professionals and businessmen came together with strategies to keep their communities safe from the supernatural menace. Through the 70s the Guild became more open to ‘Parapsychology’- psychic powers - and successfully recruited some of these people to help them protect humanity. When the war finally ended in 1980 The Rose City Guild was well established, well financed, and dedicated to keeping the city safe from the supernatural monsters of the city. They had also proven that the greatest powers one can have is organization, motivation, and knowledge.
Though the RCG is a Mystery Cult, it does not count against the MCI cap or 5 dots, and all mortals may receive 1 free dot of Rose City Guild Initiation at Character Creation.
• Members of the Guild know one another and gossip flows freely, they gain Contacts (RCG) (•)
•• It’s a dangerous world and established members of the Guild have safe houses to retreat to when necessary. This may be combined with other RSG Safe Place dots to create a larger and more secure safe house used by multiple guild members. Gain Safe Place (RSG) (•)
••• Awareness of the supernatural creatures in the city have heightened guild members perceptions over time. Gain Unseen Sense (••)
•••• The guild leader’s unseen senses become enhanced and she gains the Unseen Sense, Advanced (•••) merit.
••••• The highest tier of guild leadership gains the Unseen Sense, Epic (•••) merit.
(See: New Merit - Unseen Sense Advanced/Epic)
None (This is an NPC run Cult)
(Open Membership for levels 1–3. For levels 4 & 5 members must be a veteran of the War of Four)
“You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace. […] But these comparisons are idle. I want peace, and believe it can only be reached through union and war, and I will ever conduct war with a view to perfect an early success.”
- William Sherman -
During the War of Four Factions, sin burned liked flame, condemning many a good person to ash and to dust. The Society of the Cinders caters to those diamonds the rough, survivors and sycophants that lasted through the flame. Officially, the Society of Cinders is a social club dedicated to advocating for the rights of Veterans of Four Factions and offering support to all Veterans. They gained a reputation from stopping a series of executions that were thinly veiled attempts to settle old grudges.
Not all veterans, even among those who receive services, are actual members. However, the cult claims to represent all veterans regardless of their actual membership. The cult wraps itself in the narrative of the war and wears its scar like a fine suit. The Society of the Cinders takes it upon itself to deal with the lingering monstrosities from the war. They also simultaneously serve as a living, gruesome reminder for what transpired there, a reminder for why this peace is necessary, and as a gatekeeper against the worst stories.
Never forget the war and what happened there, so that it might never happen again. Never forget those who sacrificed so that it ended. Never forget that there are monsters out there who would weave the sins of the past into an atrocity for the future.
A simple urn that contains ashes from those lost in the war. The urn contains the ashes from all five factions, and despite its small size is said to contain the ashes from hundreds or thousands of soldiers. Those in the cult who die, even if they were not veterans of the war, have the option of being cremated and having their ashes placed in the urn, along with a memorial that tells of their exploits.
The cult is a meritocracy ruled by consensus. It’s a network of social ties built on respect and shared trauma, bundled together and given direction by a few people. War stories and veteran rights are the only doctrine, though secretly the cult takes a keen ear to who should be sharing what story.
• You can tell yourself that you haven’t joined a cult—you’re just a Drinking Buddy who likes to hear stories. You’ve started to frequent places where Veterans from the War of Four Factions tend to visit, and they know you. You gain Contacts • (War of Four Veterans) representing the stories they are willing to tell you about the past and the present. All you have to do is listen and appreciate.
•• Advocates are told the troubles that Veterans from the War of Four Factions have and are expected to respond favorably. Veterans know who has their back, and in turn they have yours. You gain Allies • (War of Four Veterans).
••• Those who delve into the secrets and atrocities of the past and wear those scars proudly are call Heroes, often in mockery of the villainy they performed. Gain the Air of Menace or Empath merit, depending on whether you carry those scars with you or help others face them.
•••• Correspondents graduate from responding to the needs of Veterans to anticipating when politics will turn against them and proactively mobilizing other members of the cult. Each faction gets their information from a different source. Changelings and Mages peer into dreams, gaining Dream •••. Mortals and Werewolves rely on their interpersonal connections and quid-pro-quo, gaining three dots of Contacts. Vampires read the secret signs scattered around the city and the political climate from afar, gaining Cacophony Savvy •••.
••••• Some cults become Legends in their own time, iconic names whose stories are uttered in the same breath as the war itself. These are either people who lived and fought during the war, or have made such great strides for veterans that their name is synonymous with protecting them. They learn to cultivate a mystique of desperation and insanity, while toeing the line between “crazy” and “too crazy,” and few will harm another veteran while in their presence. All members at this level receive Fame • related to their past service or their current efforts as well as Jack-Booted Thug. Jack-Booted Thug applies applies to all Veterans of the War of Four Factions and all members of the Society of the Cinders instead of Carthians. The user may use their Mystery Cult Initiation in place of City Status, while onlookers may use any supernatural status in place of their City Status.
With money comes power, everyone knows that. What you might not know is that the rich get bored. There’s only so much you can do with you money before you’ve done it all. That’s where the High Rollers offer to alleviate some of that boredom. While money gives you an edge, you don’t need to be rolling in dough to gain membership. If another member vouches for you, then you are given a chance.
Their primary meeting place is the basement of the Crimson Crown casino, which is owned and operated by Esme Wallson. Whether you’re looking to take a risky bet, get an adrenaline rush, or leap out of your comfort zone - the High Rollers get up to all of it. This group is not for the faint of heart.
1. Do not share information about club activities to non-members
2. A snitch is a snitch. If you have a problem with what goes on in the club, it is strongly suggested you speak to a club leader (Status 4+) first.
3. You must attend at least one meeting every four months to maintain your membership. (Goal is to have a meeting once a month or every other month)
4. While we have fun, we do not play for fun. We play for keeps. Any bets made are final and once the game is complete they cannot be retracted. The exception to this is if the betters are able to come to a mutually agreeable alternative arrangement.
5. We are not liable for any injuries you may incur during group events
•Straight- A new member of the group, you’re still gaining the trust of the others, but you’ve got that little extra something that allowed you membership in the first place.Benefit: A skill specialty in Subterfuge, Larceny, OR Empathy
••Flush - When you’re playing for keeps, sometimes you need to bide your time and have a keen eye in order to win big. Benefit - Patient (•) OR Trained Observer (•). You may now also vouch for potential new members.
•••Full House - You’re a regular at group events. You’ve networked and have a solid footing. Benefit - Allies (•) High Rollers OR Safe Place (Crimson Crown) •. Additionally, Increase Resources by 1.
••••Quads - You can’t play a player. You’re one of the top dogs in the group and when people go up against you, they know they’re in for a challenge. Benefit - (Choose 1)
—A: Resources Increase by 1, Empathy OR Subterfuge increase by 1.
—B: See The Flow (•••)
••••Royal Flush* - You are one of the biggest risk takers in the group. You bet large, take the craziest dares, and most people look at you like you’re batshit crazy. Who knows, maybe you are. You always have a habit of coming out on top though. Benefit - Choose a single skill. Any rolls made with this skill exceptionally succeed on 3 successes instead of 5. Additionally, once per scene you may choose to automatically succeed on a roll involving your chosen skill. Drawback: The next roll you make must be rolled as a chance die.
- As part of earning the 5th dot in this MCI, the member must touch the skull of Andrew Vandenberg.
The Temple of Inner Illumination is a spiritual (but non-religious) cult that promotes inner peace and enlightenment through meditation, martial training, and service to the community. Based loosely on traditional tropes of Shao-lin and other eastern sects, the Temple is, quietly, a Silver Ladder Cryptopoly, with the goal of guiding promising students to Awakening through the practices of the temple.
- Serious Martial Arts students, Wuxia fans, Scared Citizens Wanting to learn self defense, Anxious office workers needing meditation.
• 1 dot of Meditative Mind Merit (may be combined with purchased dots of same merit). The initiate is taught how to calm and focus their mind and how to achieve inner peace.
•• 1 dot of Defensive Combat (Choose Brawl or Weaponry) Merit. The student learns how to defend himself against attackers without causing harm.
••• 1 dot in Expression Ability - At this level, the student becomes a teacher. They also learn how better to express their inner light to others through art or other media.
•••• 3 dots in Biokinesis Merit. The teacher now becomes a master, able to channel his inner light to augment his physical abilities in ways beyond the mundane.
••••• 3 dots in Inspiring Merit. In addition, if the Presence + Expression roll results in an Exceptional Success, all Inspired targets also gains one WP point immediately. (This is in addition to the WP point gained when the Inspired condition is resolved) The grand-master of the temple is a truly inspirational figure, able to rouse others to great efforts or acts of belief with the revelation of his own inner light.
The Temple is located in the Woodlawn neighborhood (there is a Buddhist temple there).
The pantheon of muses is a society of spirituality touched artists and performers, a community in the bounds of Portland’s expansive creative people. In its upper echelons though, there is a Vision of Sissy, an elevation of that creative prowess to the level of the divine. To be god-touched and gods themselves. Modern Muses, spreading the fire of Inspiration through the world, and the words of the gods both wicked and divine
The Muses seek to elevate their arts and talents to exceptional and even supernatural levels, pursuing them with a passion bordering on and perhaps well past what could be called madness. Through their prowess they seek to inspire the people around them with their messages, and become mediums between the human world and the realms of gods
Recruit the artists of the city with supernatural gifts to bring out their talent to the level of true divinity. All magical artists can be Muses. Do not be exclusive. Take under your wings to inspire those without such magical gifts, and perhaps awaken gifts within them
Passion is the seed of talent is the seed of Inspiration is truth is beauty is passion. Pursue your passions and talents with every possible ferver. Sacrifice everything for your art. Nothing is a step too far in the pursuit of artistic genius and perfection. Starvation, drugs, depravity, complete madness. If it brought your talent out and brought you closer to the divine than every bit was worth it. This is true whether seeking inspiration yourself, or guiding someone else to it.
No art is unworthy. Whether your craft is song, poetry, painting, sculpture, street art, sex work, photography or anything else, all art is the medium through the words of gods and no art should be discounted by any member. Cultivate all artists, and seek the truth, meaning, and inspiration in any talent you find. There is truth and enlightenment everywhere
Magic is art. Blending of art into magic, and magic into art is key to unlocking the highest potentials. Seek to find the places where they are one and the same, that is where the gods live. Likewise seek to find how your magic can heighten your art. Likewise, bring out the magic in the artists you take under your wing. This is not just acceptable it is encouraged
The Pantheon of Muses has ties to Portland’s expansive creative people. Street performers, painters, poets, strippers, prostitutes, even graphic designers might know about the Muses as a loose community and fellowship of artists where one might find tips and tricks to develop their talents and bounce ideas for their next piece off of. Or perhaps just find their next hookup or decent drugs, their meetups might seem a little culty but they’re always a good time with lots of energy and people up for whatever.
Among the supernatural community however, they are often drawn from and too those that Admire creative powers, influencing humanity, magical experimentation, and faith in strange gods. Vampiric Acolytes of the Crone, Silver Ladder and Free Council mages, many of the assorted fae with artistic gifts are prized members and proteges, and cahalith werewolves may find some truth in their pursuits. Many of the Gifted mortals may find a place in their community as well
• “Talents” far and wide are welcome to the Muses, almost nobody is turned away and the cult in it’s lower levels is very easy to join. Usually those with peripheral membership are those with artistic talents being mentored and guided by the more experienced muses. They have access to the rest of the membership to develop and advertise their arts, and gain a bonus specialization in either Crafts or Expression from their association
•• “Patrons” find themselves just higher up, and learn not only to develop their art to its best but to immerse themselves in the artists around them. They find and learn about the other members talents, and gain a higher understanding of art as a whole. They gain the Taste merit (WoD 2e)
••• “Inspired” begin to hear the whispers of the divine within their artistic and impassioned reveries, and the true magical nature of the cult is revealed. While in the depths of their inspration, visions and whispers reveal truths to them from beyond. They gain the Dream merit at 2 dots (MtA 2e)
•••• “Muses” not only hear the words of the divine, but begin to inspire sending out whispers of their own. The Muses have heightened their craft to ecstatic levels, and can infuse their art with true godly inspiration. They gain the merit “Song in their Heart” (WtF 2e)
••••• “Gods” those at the highest pinnacle of passion, talent, inspriration, and truth can use their art for truly incredible feats. The entire world is just one vast story told and sung and painted by far away gods, and new gods of this level of power may alter this story in a limited fashion, weaving into the narrative a degree of plot armor from the slings and arrows life has to offer us as they perform in the stage of life.
Because of this, fortune seems to favor the Gods at every turn, little things just always seem to work out for them. They never hit traffic, they don’t accidentally stub their toes, they seem to just effortlessly dance through life at every turn. When the greater slings and arrows come their way, their luck rarely fails them too, always managing a way to write themselves out of the worst threats. Twice per chapter, they can reflexively benefit from one of the following conditions. Charmed, Steadfast, Resolute, and Prepared.
The Undercity is a new, yet old thing, with the Undercity temple holding portraits of the signers of the Accord. The spirit of Cooperation that lives within, ever happy to help, builds a cohesive working group for those who are willing to truly work together. Misfits, unfortunates, psychics without a place… All are welcome, and with the destruction of Maelstrom, a new beginning is forming. The people of the Undercity were originally drawn by the promises of Maelstrom, but without his hand to lead them through his manipulation of the spirits, they are back to the basics, trying to forge their own paths forward.
Living in the tunnels, trying to make ends meet, the psychics of the Undercity are a hearty group that is used to struggle. Together, they hope to forge a new place for themselves. The Undercity, above all else, is a community that feels that it doesn’t quite fit anywhere else. While some may eventually find places among the factions, most feel displaced, and just as happy to stay among the others that they have lived with and next to, since the debacle with the Lucky 7 and their fight with the Rose City Guild began.
Not the most trusting people, considering their recent learning of the fact that they were held under the sway of captive spirits, they now are willing to follow the two who brought them back to their freedom. The two who are willing to help them keep their freedom. Now they work to rebuild, both their homes and their community. Not to mention their trust in the world around them. The hope is, they’ll be something for the rest of the city to eventually look up to, instead of down at.
All members have access to the Temple within but are not required to live in the Undercity. It is more a cult formed out of mutual wants for the survival of the people there. All splats are welcomed. The goal of this MCI is to build on the community so that they can be more self-sufficient, and to make certain that they continue to maintain their freedom.
Recently the undercity was held under the thumb of Maelstrom and his band of goons. The vampires used their skill to remove the goons from the Undercity. Remy, with Charlie watching his back, removed Maelstrom and helped to free & heal the oracle and spirit choir that Maelstrom had taken over to keep the undercity people under his rule. The Undercity was damaged by the recent earthquake, Remy, Charlie, VB, and Sam want to make sure that those who wish to stay in the Undercity, have the help they need to make their life better. Those who wish to leave the Undercity will also have the option to try living on the surface
- Safe Place 1, The Underground Temple -
The temple is the social market of the Undercity, people trading, building and working together. As such, it is possibly the most defensible place within the tunnels. Newcomers to the Undercity are often even sheltered within until it can be found what best they can do to help their community.
- Direction Sense -
The tunnels are hard to navigate, having been turned into smuggling tunnels years ago, but with some work, it becomes easier to note symbols and sigils to navigate further out to the outskirts of the Undercity.
- Locus 2- Undercity Temple -
The deeper levels of the temple contain a small but important Locus that has been the hub of the Cooperation spirit’s influence on the area. Those who are proven worthy enough, often the most helpful for defenses or procuring supplies, are granted access to the Locus, where the spirit’s influence can help deepen their resolve.
- Biokinesis 3 -
Heroes emerge in small groups where cooperation tends to be a survival tool. A mother lifts a car off of her child, a man wrestles a bear away from his family… The Undercity takes it a step further, with the spiritual influence flowing. Those who prove themselves heroic to the cause of the Undercity are able to shift strengths to fit the situation that they need, whether, from exposure to the Locus or something else, those that achieve this level within the Undercity’s structure are able to shift stats to better take advantage of their bodies.
- Master Shaper 3 - Undercity specific -
Perhaps more a side effect of Remy’s meddling in the Undercity, a twisted form of his spell casting has become intrinsic to the Undercity itself. Any who would be considered a leader within the group, are able to affect the items and landscape of the Undercity to help the people in either positive ways for the people, or negative ways for the intruders (books that read themselves, statues that guard the tunnels, etc…)
One must always keep in mind the veil that shrouds the fair world of blissful ignorance and the darkened world of the supernatural. Our most potent rules lie around it: protect them from ourselves and us from them. Though what of the other threats that lurk in the dark places? They don’t always come for you but sometimes they come for them: humanity.
Whether you were broken by the nightmare fae from beyond the world, awakened and found a spark within you, felt that connection to the primal world and the moon ignite within you, or felt your life darken to a shadow like the night sky, you know the importance of humanity. The bulwark has failed you, the embassy grows weak, and the bonds of unity waver. That failure doesn’t define you and though your world has changed forever we can make it so others have a chance at life with their loved ones. Take up arms, focus your magic, turn failure into success as we slip right past the notice of the ones we protect. We won’t fail them. We can’t fail them and we won’t fail you.
The Dreamhold is devoted to protecting humanity from the dangers of Arcadia, the Abyss, and other twisted realms. It’s members may or may not be part of a Freehold and some have rejected the freehold in favor of focusing their efforts on keeping humanity safe instead of their own hides. All members are encouraged to keep a watchful eye on their neighborhoods and towns while fae members often walk the local dreaming roads several times a week to look for local threats.
- Moon: Sentinels of the moon take up the banner of protection for the dreamhold and all of humanity around them. Knowledge gained from this path cultivates the sentinels body and soul to be more resilient. Often times they bare moonlit tattoos or a plethora of scars from rigorous training.
- Stars: Sentinels of the stars take up the roll of the sword against the enemies of humanity. They use not only their keen blades to cut down foes but also can use the very world around them to strike at their foes. Many Sentinels of the stars bare a mark on their brow.
- Sky: Sentinels of the sky embrace the ideals of support just as the sky provides rain to the crops and rivers. These sentinels are strong in the ways of healing or offering potent boons in the way of the finest goblin fruits. Many own plots in the hedge or tend to gardens in places where the barrier between worlds grows thin in the real world. Sentinels of the sky bare a mark above their heart or in the palm of each hand.
- Earth: Sentinels of the earth take up the mantle of reinforcement to make it more difficult for the agents of arcadia or elsewhere to intrude upon the world. Objects can be made with some semblance of intelligence and can be trained to fight even. These are the most potent artificers within the Dreamhold. Sentinels of the earth bare a mark on the back of each hand.
“I pledge to guard humanity and help guide them to a better future. I vow to act as a guiding light just as the stars, light the darkness like the moon, inspire the mind like the sky, and support like the moon. With these ideals at heart I will make the right choice when fear awakens. United together, our strength from each other, I promise always to be brave.”
- Symbols: The moon, stars, beds, hearth,
- Hedgespun items that are appropriately themed. aka moonblade, cloaks, star pendants or shields
- Full Moon
- Any Celestial Event
- Blood Moon
- Solar Eclipses
- Emberlight - Hollow
- A future music venue/theater
|•||Sentinel||Empathy Specialty (Dreams)|
|••||Guardian||Moon: 1 dot hedgespun weapon, Stars: 1 dot hedgespun weapon, Sky: 1 dot hedgespun armor, Earth: Esoteric Armory|
|•••||Knight||Moon: Protective: Temple Guardian (••), Stars: Offensive: Hedge Battler (••), Sky: Healing: Bounty (••), Earth: +1 to Crafts|
|••••||Warden||Moon: Augmented Resilience. Gain 2 dots in stamina which can go above the characters normal cap. When deprived of willpower she gains 2/1 armor. Stars: Gain three dots in a supernatural or mundane fighting style of your choosing. If an element is required, theme it towards light or darkness.(•••), Sky: Laying on Hands (•••), Earth: Master Shaper (•••)|
|•••••||Queen||Three dot merit or major advantage: Cohesive Unit (•••): Everyone gains +2 to actions helping the team. They also gain a pool of (presence) dice for actions relating to the current established purpose. Once per scene team members can reroll a failed result.|
The purpose of crime is always profit. But the cult seeks more. It seeks control, knowledge, and power. Crime is merely the most expedient tool to achieve those aims.
The cult has two relics actually. Lower members are aware of the Collection. As the name implies, it is a collection of artifacts, all of which are related infamous criminals or crimes. Crimes of passion need not apply here. Only crimes carried out in the name of profit are worthy of joining the Collection. Items include a shell casing from the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, a bank note from the Lufthansa heist, and a fedora that once belonged to Meyer Lansky. High ranked members know of a second artifact, known simply as The Hand. And it is exactly that. A blackened, bloated, dismembered hand that seems to be preserved for unknown reasons. And on the back of the hand, tattooed in white ink, is the symbol of the all seeing eye.
At its lowest levels, the cult is simply a network of criminals, across all factions who seek to control and manipulate the criminal underworld for their own advantage. But at higher levels, it is a conspiracy of power brokers who find amoral criminals to be useful pawns in their quest for dominance. The group has its fingers every criminal enterprise known to man – prostitution, smuggling, drug dealing, theft, murder for hire, and anything else you can think of, but its true specialty is blackmail. And while the group does accept criminals of all stripes, there is a distinct pattern of favoring Russian interests and associates. Members are expected to aggressively collect and compile dirty little secrets on those around them, especially anyone in a position of authority that can be subverted for the cult’s benefit. All these little secrets are not necessarily immediately put to use. Some stay filed away, waiting for the opportune moment to pass. Meetings always involve the sharing of secrets, with those who obtain the juiciest material on the most useful targets moving up the ranks quickly.
|•||Associate||You’ve made a name for yourself on the street as a reliable, resourceful thug with at least one specialty. We can use someone with your talents. Take a spec in Larceny, Streetwise, or Investigation.|
|••||Made Member||The Rising Shadow has officially accepted you into their ranks and initiated you as a full member. Only now do you get a sense of how deep this conspiracy of crime runs. Some doors are about to open for you, my friend. Gain a dot of status within the Crime Sphere.|
|•••||Captain||You’re not just a crook, you’re a criminal mastermind. The question that remains is are you prepared to step beyond goal of immediate profit and expand your vision to include control, power, and knowledge? Take a skill dot in Larceny, Streetwise, or Investigation.|
|••••||Underboss||You’ve not only embraced crime as a method of gaining influence and power, you’ve embraced the cult’s obsession with secrets and operating from the dark corners of the world. Violent amoral pawns, a collection of dirty laundry and blackmailed servants, all at your fingertips. No one’s dark little secrets are safe. Knowledge is truly a weapon in your hands. Gain the Deep Background Merit|
|•••••||Boss||You have reached the pinnacle. You not only operate from the shadows and darkness, you have become one with them. The night has become your domain. Gain Creature of the Night Merit..|
Deep Background - (3 Dots)
- Spend a point of WP and roll Wit+Invest.
- Choose one of the following benefits.
- Upon an exceptional roll, choose two benefits.
- Choose one of the following benefits.
- Knowledge of the extent of the target’s merits in the following
- Allies, Contacts, Resources, Retainer. Actions taken to target or reduce these merits gain +2.
- Knowledge of the target’s dirty secrets or pressure points
- Maybe they were accused of something improper in college, but it got swept under the rug. Maybe their kid is in deep to the wrong people. Maybe they’re in financial straights and have an outstanding loan that can be called in if you pull the right strings. Whatever it is, it’s a weakness and one that can be used as leverage. Target gains the Leveraged Condition.. You may also add the bonus to persuading others to join you in opposing the target at Storyteller discretion. Alternately you may choose to expose their dirty little secret, bringing about whatever ruin comes from such revelations.
- Knowledge of the target’s enemies
- Maybe you don’t want to directly be linked to someone’s ruin. Maybe you want to offer a carrot of assistance against ones foes instead of just the stick of blackmail. Learn of one person or group who the target considers to be an enemy or rival you were previously unaware of. +2 when interacting with those enemies if you mention your mutual problem.
- Knowledge of the target’s personal patterns and routines
- Learn their personal habits, their favorite spots, their personal routines. Sometimes a tool refuses to be used, and then there is only one thing left to do. +2 when setting up an Ambush.
- These benefits can be shared if the information is shared. At target’s dots in Anonymity and Safe Place are applied as penalties to this roll.
Deep Background can only be used against the same target once per month.
- Based this kind of off Social Engineering, but made it more about blackmail per the MCI’s established M.O. Removed the ability to flat out remove merits and just gave the ability to identify them and a bonus when targeting them. Also took out the access to havens/safe places, as that’s pretty extreme. Lastly, I made it so you only get one benefit for a successful roll. Rather one benefit per success.
Creature of the Night - (3 dots)
- Spend a point of WP and choose one of the following benefits for the night:
- Add a dot of Strength and Dexterity..
- Add a dot of Wits and Manipulation.
- Add 1/1 armor. (this can stack with wearable armor)
- Add +3 to your perception rolls, take no penalty for darkness, double the range of your senses, gain +2 init
Boosted Attributes do affect derived stats and can go above the normal limits.
- During the day, your character suffers a –2 to all actions. If she does not sleep at least eight hours of the day, she suffers the Lethargic Condition
- Slightly tinkered with the benefits. Swapped out Stamina for Dexterity and Presence for Wits - both which I think fit criminals more thematically. And then removed the Danger Sense from the last option and gave +2 init in its place
The Sisters of the Fundament were founded in the advent of the Witchcraft Revival of the 1960s, which came hand-in-hand with Second Wave Feminism in a messy, glorious explosion of the exploration of femininity and spiritual tribalism. As the Hippie Movement was spreading all across the country, psychics and pagan practitioners (both with and without legitimate powers) came together in Portland out of a desire for that similar sense of tribal community. Thought it was formed not long after the Rose City Guild, the Sisters existed outside the Guild. Many of them were not even aware of the Guild’s existence, not at first.
The Sisters developed their Doctrine over the course of the decade as the membership grew into their powers and the national dialogue around women shifted after the publication of Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique. They became devoted to the success of their members, whatever form that success meant, and to the elimination of those who stood in the way of that success. In the public eye, the Sisters were outspoken activists at feminist protests and rallies, while in private they worked to hex the status quo. In the mid 1970s, however, the cult’s attention was diverted from the glass ceiling as the War of the Four spilled into the mortal lives of Portland.
Six years ago, the cult ostensibly vanished when High Priestess Siobhan Walsh was found dead in her Crestwood home, which also served as the headquarters of the Fundament. The remaining sisters scattered to the winds, seeming to vanish off the grid overnight. Siobhan’s daughter, Juniper, has returned to Portland and begun to discover her mother’s secrets, including the Book of Shadows, the cult’s secret ritual space beneath the house, and the truth about what she thought was simply her mother’s coven. Though the cult has laid broken these past years, Juniper will come to believe that it is time for a renaissance of the Fundament— especially as Portland’s nights grow more fraught with danger.
By exploring the intersection of feminine power and spirituality, the Sisters of the Fundament provide a foundation of support while pushing the boundaries of the Self, achieving their Goals, and banishing Obstacles that stand in their way.
There is a Book of Shadows that has passed from one High Priestess to the next, containing in it the rites of the Fundament going back to its founding.
The Sisters are, first and foremost, devoted to each other’s success. Each Sister declares different Goals that they aspire to achieve and the Cult works with them to help make those Goals manifest. The Goals that each Sister declares can cover a wide variety of spheres, mundane or supernatural, physical or emotional. There are no wrong answers. One Sister’s Goal may be to bring more wealth into her life, another’s may be to expand her psychic abilities, while another may be to try and heal a psychological trauma that haunts her from the past. The Cult teaches that each Sister brings with her unique strengths and weaknesses, which should be celebrated. All of these, then, weave together to form the Fundament. As they believe that united they are stronger, the Sisterhood channels the Collective Power of the Fundament to help each Sister achieve her aspirations. When an Obstacle stands in the way of a Sister’s goal, or worse, a Sister is in danger, she can always count on the Fundament banding together to banish this threat to her success.
Page of Cups
MCI Status •
The Page of Cups, like the Pages in all the suits, represents some sort of beginning or renewal. The Page of Cups indicates the surprising and unexpected nature of inspiration that comes to us from the realm of the unconscious and the spirit. Inspiration is seen to be something which comes upon us most unexpectedly and often in a manner which we do not understand.
Ace of Wands
MCI Status ••
In the Ace of Wands, a hand reaches out from a cloud, as if a spiritual opportunity or offering is being made, to grasp a wand that is still flowering, growing and developing. The leaves floating down with the wind signify material and spiritual progress and balance. In the distance on the left, there is a castle that represents the promise of what opportunities may come.
Knight of Pentacles
MCI Status •••
The Knight of Pentacles, like the Knights of the other suits, represents work, effort, and the responsibility that follows upon the dreams of the Page. The Knight of Pentacles sits upon a heavy plough horse in the midst of a field. In his hands he carries a single gold coin. His eyes reflect careful thought and consideration. The Knight is engaged in the often toilsome, routine efforts required to realise the dreams of his heart. He is building the foundations to support his dreams and his goals.
Queen of Swords
MCI Status ••••
The Queen of Swords sits high on her throne with a stern look on her face indicating that no-one can fool her. In her right hand, she comfortably holds a sword pointed to the sky, and her left hand extends as if she has something to offer to others. Behind her is a spring sky, different from the winter settings on most other Swords cards, and this has an emergence and growth quality to it. The sky is clear, representing her clarity of mind as she considers matters of the intellect. The bird above her head symbolises the mind’s ability to soar above day-to-day issues in order to arrive at appropriate solutions.
MCI Status •••••
The High Priestess is also known as Persephone, Isis, the Corn Maiden and Artemis. She sits at the gate before the great Mystery, as indicated by the Tree of Life in the background. She sits between the darkness and the light, represented by the pillars of Solomon’s temple, which suggests it is she who is the mediator of the passage into the depth of reality. The tapestry hung between the pillars keeps the casual onlookers out and allows only those initiated to enter. The pomegranates on the tapestry are sacred to Persephone. They are a symbol of duty (because Persephone ate a pomegranate seed in the underworld which forced her to return every year). The blue robe the Priestess is wearing is a symbol of knowledge. She is wearing the crown of Isis symbolising the Triple Goddess. The solar cross on her breast is a symbol of balance between male and female.
|•||Page of Cups||Though you are not yet part of the Fundament, you have taken an interest in improving your life and understand that it is better to walk this path with others. At this point, you probably do not realize the extent of the Fundament’s supernatural abilities. You are welcome to come to the Sisterhood’s events and have a sponsor at ••• or higher that meets with you to help visualize your goals.||Allies (Sisters of the Fundament) •|
|••||Ace of Wands||At this level, you have become an official Sister. You have joined the Fundament, and in doing so have declared at least one Goal that you want to make manifest in your life. Your Sisters will help you achieve that goal. Additionally, as you experiment, expand yourself, try new things, and sometimes fail, your Sisters are there to support you and give you advice.||Support Network •|
|•••||Knight of Pentacles||At this level, you have achieved at least one of the Goals that you declared when you joined the Fundament and you are expected to lend the wisdom of your experiences to aid your Sisters. The support of your Sisters, and the rituals of the Fundament, have galvanized you against those who would stand in the path of your Success.||Supernatural Resistance ••|
|••••||Queen of Swords||At this level, not only have you achieved some of your own Goals, you have helped your Sisters achieve theirs. You are a touchstone amongst the Fundament, serving as a point of leadership with responsibility over a number of Pages, Aces, and Knights. They are in your care and you are invested in seeing their Goals made manifest. As such, you have been trained in one of the Fundament’s techniques for removing Obstacles from a Sister’s path.||Curse Effigy or Evil Eye|
|•••••||High Priestess||At this level, you are a beacon of support to your Sisters, blazing brightly from the fulfillment of your Goals. Your journey is not over, but you are interwoven with the Fundament and deeply familiar with each Sister’s Goals and the Obstacles she might encounter.||Access to the Fundament (see below)|
- When you and your sisters gather together, you can each contribute your power to accomplish each other’s Goals. As a member of the Cult takes an Action, you can act as a point of leadership and call upon other members to support her. Sisters that are present in the scene may reflexively spend Willpower to add +3 to the roll. Characters that spend Willpower and also possess this level of MCI add +4 instead of +3. Note that this does not increase the amount of Willpower a character can spend per turn, but does allow multiple characters to spend Willpower on a roll.
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