The Hidden World

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Ringmaster, Jul 29, 2015.

  1. Advertising for a 1x1 in an urban fantasy/horror RP adventure path.

    Basic premise is that most urban fantasy stories are true and live in the same world.

    OC's only, but they can be derived from Canon Sources.

    Examples include BPRD agents, Dresden File Wizards, Section XIII assassins, etc.

    Following posts will be a campaign intro. Post here or send to my inbox if interested.
  2. The world is built on secrets and lies.

    If you're gonna make it in the eldritch and often terrifying aspect of our everyday life, that's the most important thing to remember. As a race, humans are the most widespread and keep a long memory of things we've since discarded as a whole.

    Hardly anyone believes in magic. In wizards and witches, casting spells and researching in their towers. Or of Hunters, stalking prey like the bloodthirsty vampires or the savage werewolves or exorcising demons in the night.

    Shapeshifters and old trickster legends, of the Great Ones like Anansi the Spider or wily old Coyote? We laugh at them and their exploits as we read the stories aloud to our children in ignorance.

    Further East, they got their own stories. Of cursed weapons, fox spirits and humans capable of incredible feats thought unnatural.

    All just stories of course.

    Don't mean the stories aren't true though.

    "The Masquerade."

    "The Hidden World."

    "The Nevernever."

    Call it what you want, it all boils to the same thing. Which is basically this in a nutshell. Magic exists. It is real and thriving in the shadow of the world we know today. Your neighbors, the people on tv and even people high up in government could be part of the Hidden World.

    But lets examine it a bit more closely, shall we?

    On the surface, you have what are basically civilians. Everyday, normal folk. They live out their entire lives and the most exposure they might have to magic might be bumping shoulders with a true practitioner at the supermarket...And perhaps not even that! They have no idea of the truth of the world around them and a lot of powerful beings have conspired to keep it that way. With limited degrees of success, as we'll show in a few minutes.

    And while most regular Hidden World denizens tend to scorn them, there is a reason why we don't advertise ourselves. Because for every one we might put down, a thousand-thousand more rise up. Why do you think the Frankenstein's Monster fled from a mob? Same basic principle here. We try not to rock the boat, because nuclear missiles and high-caliber weapons tend to even out the field immensely. Which brings us to our next level.

    Entering the Hidden World

    It ain't easy, keeping the lid down on the Hidden World.

    Besides the fact that in recent years, its been far too easy of late for information to spread(one cellphone video of a Hidden World event away), you also have to consider the denizens themselves.

    In parts of Europe for example, a few highly placed coven's of vampires are waging a centuries-long war against their shapeshifting Lycan enemies. In the USA, rumors of a secret branch of the United States Government abound that deal with the paranormal dating from the second world war, that uses a demon as their field agent.

    We may be basically running in the same circles, but it don't mean that we're all hunky-dory with one another. Some feuds are passed down through centuries and a lot of times, the easiest solution is to stay as far away from each other as we can.

    And despite all our efforts combined, something leaks out.

    This is where the fun begins.

    The world suddenly seems a lot bigger then we imagine. Magic is real, the monsters under the bed most likely exist and overall, things couldn't get better. Or maybe they just get worse.

    Many a Hunter who has lost family to some vampire or similar was intro'd into the Hidden World this way. Or maybe some kid just got an owl bearing a letter letting him know that making his toys float in the air is actually normal, under the circumstances. It all depends greatly, but this is usually the turning point for people.

    On the one hand, you could forget all about it. Spend years in therapy, write a book on how traumatic it was and get enough royalties and talk show opps to last you a lifetime. Or, if you were like me.... Instead, you end up taking the plunge and finding out how deep the rabbit hole goes.

    You'd be surprised how many chose to write the book.

    You'd be surprised how many more chose otherwise.

    The First Level

    Still with us?

    Well, welcome to the first level. This is a particular area most of us live out our lives and die without ever progressing further. This is the Hidden World equivalent of the first level. Maybe you become a productive member of your magical society. Perhaps as a professor at Durmstrang or a field agent of the B.P.R.D. You might even end up as a Church Agent. I hear that Iscariot XIII and the Executors are always interested in pius and lethal people.

    This is the civilian level of most Hidden World Societies, in varying forms or another. They have been immersed in their respective circles for a majority of their lives and think nothing about it whatsoever as it is normal.

    Like the wizard who hails the Knight Bus in the London area or perhaps the supplier who forges blessed, silver bullets (In high caliber and handgun molds for the discerning buyer). For many, this is the pinnacle of their career. What more could be out there?

    What indeed. Lets find out together.

    The Second Level

    Ahhh, now this is where it gets interesting.
    Here is the level where fame and infamy alike await for those who progress past the second level. This is for those who are either highly experienced, extremely dangerous or both and more. This is the level for those who not only make a name for themselves in their spheres, but also make splashes in others. Some notable names to watch out for as a slide rule are the following.

    Sam and Dean Winchester: Human through and through....Outwardly at least. Rumors disregarding, on their own merit the Winchester brothers are among the most dangerous Hunters you can have on your trail. If you believe half the stories about Demons and Hellgates and Angels...And even if you don't, think about this for a moment. In a world with all sorts of dangerous monsters, things that go bump in the night and worse...These two, seemingly average humans not only survive but thrive to the point where Coven Lords who hear their name leave town rather than chance an encounter with them.

    Think about it.

    The Red Devil: An urban legend in the states. A demon named "Anung Un Rama", Son of the Fallen One. And if I gotta tell you who the Fallen One is, then boy are YOU out of your depth. But back to the Red Devil, they say he's a pretty nice guy. Works as a clean up man for paranormal happenings.

    The Man in Black: And speaking of clean up, that brings us our next contestant. A man all in black, who shows up mostly in outbreak areas. Wherever disease and pestilence lingers, he shows up. Almost like he's tracking something...Or someone. We call him the Man in Black for his outfit, like some old-style cowboy dispensing vigilante justice...And we call him the Gunslinger, for his signature weapons. I had the good fortune to drink with him once...Dour sort. Just stay out of his way and he'll do the same for you.

    Connor Macleod: Widely acknowledged as one of the best if not the top swordsmen in the world. Hidden and otherwise and for a good reason. Imagine the greatest and most skilled swordsman in the world. Think of all the training he or she has done to get to that point. Now realize it had only taken them one lifetime. Connor Macleod on the other hand has had more. Neither fish nor fowl as the saying goes, the Immortals are unique in the sense they don't have a true society. Only the Game.

    There's a lot more we hadn't named of course, but essentially this is what the second level consists of. Those who both made a name for themselves and who regularly cross Hidden World Boundaries to follow their agendas. Most don't make it. But those that do? Well, it gives you a certain aspect in the Hidden World hierarchy. Almost like diplomatic immunity. Or at least, the werewolf who's about to rip out your throat will listen first to who you are.

    Which brings us to the next level.

    Though humanity as a whole has progressed further than ever with their military drones, communications and cheeseburgers, the Hidden World runs on a Feudal System mindset. We're REALLY old world that way.

    On the bottom, you got the basic civilians. Then your second level cronies and their bosses, keeping everything nice and smooth. But if you actually believe that the Minister of Magic has any real power outside his sphere, then I got bad news for you kid.
    "Feudal System". Remember that, because its going to be important soon. Imagine the world divided into several kingdoms...What authority that one society gives to someone might not be recognized by others. Justice and law is generally doled out by the authority whose territory they find themselves in. Penalties can range from deportation and exile to flaying the perpetrator alive and binding their soul to slavery for centuries.

    The alternative is war, which is the one thing everyone agrees is a BAD idea. A skirmish is one thing...But when magic as a whole is threatened to be exposed, that's where the hammer comes down. So here are some of the big fish in the pond that rule the world today. As a side note, if you manage to draw their attention then congrats!

    You are now royally fraked with only a slim chance of escaping unscathed. Good luck.

    The Church: The big G. The most worldwide and proficient ground for Hunters and would-be Agents to be recruited. And even past that, you gotta deal with the extensive resources the Vatican can field in order to send out their people. Primarily Heretical Hunters and bane of the monster races, just pray they don't send an actual Executor on your tail. Or God forbid, one of the Knights of the Cross.

    The White Council: Now your basic wizard or witch, depending is a highly independent creature. With a lot of pride to go with it. A natural coven or gathering of witches and wizards is generally one. Which makes the White Council so unique, as it tries to actively unite all witches and wizards as one.

    Its policies and especially what has been come to be known as the Seven Laws of magic however has prevented a few powerful organizations from flocking to its banner. The Clocktower and the Ministry of Magic for example are prime examples. In a twist however, till such time as they actually join, such outsiders are NOT regarded as true wizards or witches and can actively be fought and killed with their branch of magic. Aren't choices just great?

    Vampires: Vampires have always been with us, in ancient myths and stories passed down from early man. From the Babylonian Ekimu to the Chinese Kuang-Shi to Motetz Dam of the Hebrews, the Mormo of ancient Greece and Rome to the more familiar Nosferatu of Transylvania.

    Vampires are odd that way. They come in varied forms, wield varied powers and feed on classic blood or even emotions. Its difficult to actively keep track of all the types that seem to pop out of the coffin. There's even a crazy rumor about vampires who sparkle when touched by sunlight if you can believe it. But they all share a few traits in common. Almost all of them are manipulative bastards, all of them shun sunlight for what it does to them and all of them require blood in one form or another. As a ruling power, they tend to be extra-territorial.

    A coven in a town might have run out all other rivals beforehand for example. And consider the land as undisputedly their territory. As you can imagine, this makes for a lot of "bad blood" between the free-roving werebeasts and the hoity-toity vampires. Best you can do if you gain the attention of a powerful coven is to be polite as possible. And never, ever make a promise without considering the consequences.

    As a final note to this level, there are many, many creatures out there we hadn't covered. Each with its own set of unwritten rules and methods of dealing with them. But so long as you keep your head about you and play it smart, you should be alright. Which brings us to the final level and some seriously, heavy stuff that hardly anyone sees. Hell, if you got this far then congrats. Just pray you never get to the next point at any time...

    There are powers in the world, beyond our understanding. Sometimes they come down on a whim. Other times, they devote themselves to a particular goal such as preserving the peace. Many more are devoted to actively destroying us if they can, down to our souls. And so I present to you the following list of who's-who in terms of the Fourth Level of the Hidden World.

    The Devil: "Old Scratch.' The Fallen One.' The Adversary." Head honcho of the demons and actively setting himself against the big G. himself. Think of a spider, who manipulates other spiders to get his flies for him. They'll always be weak-willed, suffering and folk who believe they have nothing to lose. And who should show up, but a stranger who represents someone who claims to care. Plenty of people who derive their power from such deals believe they can get out of it. They think they're clever enough and smart enough to be the one that got away.

    Which is just what he wants you to think.

    The Endless: Freud once said "a cigar is sometimes just a cigar." He never had the fortune to meet the Endless. Aspects of concepts that we barely grasp ourselves for all our progression and ancient wisdom. Dreams, Delirium, Desire...Death. All immensely powerful and generally as noticing of our lives as we do of an ants. But on occasion you can talk to them. Good folk to get information from, if you can pay the price and know how to call them.

    The Powers: The most well-known figures even in the first level...We once worshiped them as Gods and they gave us gifts and suffering in equal measure. Odin. Coyote. Zeus. They are the Primal Forces of the world and still dance among the music of the spheres in their own ways. Perhaps forever. Who knows?

    The Host: Guardian Angels, Cherubim and other such beings. Heaven's vanguard and certainly a power to be reckoned with. Besides their obvious backer and abilities, an Angel on the hunt can mean a seriously bad, bad day for the unlucky guy to warrant it. They rarely interfere but on the whole, an important thing to realize is their zealous air...Breaking rather than bending. And the smug mask of virtue triumphant can in its own way be as horrible as the face of evil revealed.

    So. Lets take a quick break and review. We've talked about those just entering the Hidden World. We've spoken about those born in it, living out their lives knowing the world is richer than most. We've mentioned what happens if you live long enough and take enough risks to make a name. We've covered some powerful earthly organizations as well as some specific races and Great Powers. What else could there be beyond this?

    The answer isn't pretty in the slightest.

    They are known by many names, but as a group altogether those in the know call them "The Outsiders." For that is what they truly are. Alien Gods and concepts shaped by Creators not related to our own. Eldritch abominations who now and then, attempt to gain our world for their own desires. The King in Yellow and the Laughing Man are two such beings bent on gaining this world as avatars of the Outsiders.

    And numerous cults and the like actually exist that venerate them as Gods and attempt to bring our world to an end. Crazy stuff and the general attitude of anyone who meets them is to end them. As Outsiders they are subject to their own Laws and Rules which are incomprehensible to most of us.

    As for us, the one rule we try to impose as a whole is to never, ever, ever, ever, EVER make contact with them.

    Anyone who usually does deserve whats coming to them, but for the fact it usually drags the rest of us with it.

    So that's the Hidden World altogether. And whether you refer to it as the Masquerade or the Nevernever, congrats. You are officially a citizen of a world long since thought dead and gone. You are a denizen of the Hidden World and all that it entails. And whether you transform at the full moon or cast spells or anything else, you are unique in your outlook at life and might even amount to something.

    If you survive.

    So remember all we talked about and drop by again.

    See you in the shadows.