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In a world where every conspiracy theory, every myth, fable and urban legend is true, three ancient societies pull the strings and decide our fate. Forced into alliance by circumstance, they stand united against the rising darkness, but remain divided in pursuit of power.
"Deliverance From Evil.."
the Templars are the lions of the secret world. When they roar, everyone listens. Old Europe is theirs, and the Templars' marble hall dominates the old London borough of Ealdwic - historic capital of the secret world. It's not just a show of strength. Nothing is just for show with the Templars.
At the forefront of the war against darkness,
they decide for themselves what counts as darkness. Never backing down from a fight. Never forgetting a grudge. They have tradition to uphold. For thousands of years they have been single-minded in their mission to obliterate evil in all its forms. Where angels fear to tread, the Templars kick down doors.
you will benefit from their military might. They have hoarded vast occult libraries and the hard-won knowledge of battles throughout time. Their traditional magics, the old mysticism of sorcerers and priests, of life and death, are powerful still. And the loyalty between Templars may be old-fashioned, but it is absolute. You will not stand alone.
"Sex, Drugs, and Rockefeller..."
but they remain forever young and hungry. In every growing empire they have played for it all. And they play for keeps. Stealing the Americas from under the Templars' noses, they grew with the United States to become a shadow superpower. Their corporate headquarters, the Labyrinth, is in an undisclosed location beneath Brooklyn, New York.
unless the occasion calls for a gunshot, the Illuminati push for a New World Order. It will be empowering and ruthless. Failure is not an option. Complacency is worse than not an option. Their arsenal is the ambition of a new media startup, the rhetoric of a congressman and a mogul's business sense. Working hard, playing hard and fighting dirty.
money, and glamour, but the real power they offer you goes beyond that. Information worked from every civilian, government and clandestine organization in the world. Advances in modern magics, in the 'New Magic', that the secret world has never seen. They can give you everything...and they can take it all away.
"The Art of Chaos.."
this Asian group is the most secretive of societies. With no fixed territory or structure, the Dragon have dissolved and reformed throughout history. They believe that a closed, controlled society is a sick society. Only through collapse and rebuilding, the natural chaos of life, can the world be in harmony. Recently, they have taken root in a nameless district of Seoul, Korea.
To an outsider,
their strategies are incomprehensible. Fractal patterns, chaos theory, random numbers, unrelated events. The Dragon understand that there is no pattern, only acts of great change to be committed. From a whisper to an explosion, they divine that an incident here, a disappearance there, can change the course of everything; acupuncture applied to a paralysed planet.
you are given the entire cosmos in potential. They have practiced martial and mental arts attuned to the true harmony of the world. The most dangerous and unpredictable of magics bend to the wills of those who are dangerous and unpredictable. In the approaching dark times, things will never be the same again. You are in the Dragon's element.
Somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean, wreathed in strange weed and an eldritch fog, lies a warped place.
Seafaring cultures for as long as there have been seafaring cultures have run afoul of the strange magic of this navigational dead zone.
Their ships have endured as forsaken monuments, their unfortunate crews transformed into the aquatic corpse-horrors known as the Draug.
Few who have seen this cursed place ever leave it. Those that do are marked, doomed to be reclaimed by drowning, or by the rare visitations of the pale Draug. And so, when the fishermen of the Lady Margaret escaped as unwitting tomb-robbers, they drew the full attentions of its dark powers.
The Draug rode out in pursuit on a pale carrier -- The Polaris, a cargo ship, broken loose from the outermost ring of derelicts and carried across the sea north and west by the roiling, creeping fog bank. In its hold, an ancient lord of the creatures, long since outgrown its human form, exercised its powers to command flesh and fog alike.
The ship's passage was inexorable, but unmanned, running aground on a rocky outcrop not far from the coastline of Solomon Island. Spilling from the wreck, the Draug and the fog continued across the waves towards the unsuspecting community of Kingsmouth.
What no one knows, however, is that a greater threat has traveled in the wake of the ship. An immense beast, born from the material that re-made the first Draug, and formed in an echo of the terrible thing dreaming beneath the sea:
The Ur-Draug, watching over its foul progeny from between dimensions, waiting.
The towering Kingsmouth lighthouse was built in the late 1700s by the Illuminati, not only to guide ships into safe harbour, but also to make a clear and powerful statement: This was Illuminati territory, their eye was all-seeing, their light shone brighter and stronger than any other. After being forced to flee a Europe increasingly under the iron rule of the Templars, the Illuminati had now claimed North America as their domain.
Illuminati symbology is still prominent both inside and outside the lighthouse, and it is said that the massive tower contains many secrets; from a hidden staircase spiraling down into the rock the lighthouse stands on, to bronze panels laid into the walls inscribed with Egyptian sigils meant to protect the lighthouse from any occult attacks; from forgotten Illuminati tomes, to a massive lightbulb constructed by Thomas Edison that has the power to destroy ships a hundred miles away.
The lighthouse was automated years ago, and since then it has been mostly deserted and falling into disrepair. Recently, however, it was rented out to the bestselling -- and famously eccentric -- author Sam Krieg for reasons known only to him. Rumours have it that Krieg is suffering from writer's block, and sought the silence and solitude of this remote ivory tower in order to finish his long-awaited novel. After the fog arrived, Krieg was believed dead, but in recent days shots have been heard from the top of the lighthouse, and the narrow bridge across the rocks on the savage coast of Solomon Island appears to be well protected.
THE ACCURSED WOODS
"We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far."
Beneath the dying moon, the angry sky and the dense canopy of the New England backwoods; in the shadows of towering trees and gnarly roots; below the soft soil and the pale grass, deep down in the haunted ground, in the nethermost caverns, they slept. From time to time, one of the hideous things would stir, hungrily, and slowly make its way to the surface. It would hunt for some unholy nourishment before descending once more into its eldritch tomb.
These accursed woods have been theirs for a thousand years, but they have remained unclaimed and empty, visited only by those who were blind to the darkness. Dogs would howl, birds would fall deathly silent, and the beasts of the island would all shun the eerie ground. Not until the corpse-white fog rolled over Solomon Island did the things that slept finally wake -- all of them. Scrabbling for foothold, biting, scratching and clawing, they rose through the black soil into the sour air. Now their foul nests infect the monstrous trees, strange weeds strangling gnarled boughs, and the ancient forest reeks of death and pestilence.
Soon, very soon, these horrors beyond horrors will leave the woods, and quaint Kingsmouth will fall to their chittering chorus.
As far as most people are concerned, Innsmouth Academy is a private coeducational boarding and day high-school (grades 9-12; ages 15 through 18) for privileged rich kids, situated on a tiny island off the coast of Maine.
In actuality, the Academy is an educational facility for secret worlders; more specifically, the children of secret worlders affiliated with the Illuminati, although the school sometimes admits exceptionally gifted students -- and faculty -- from other societies. It is considered one of the premier occult prep schools of the secret world, and a degree from Innsmouth Academy opens many doors for a budding magus and occultist.
Founded and constructed in 1798 (and rebuilt in 1852, 1906 and 1967, after, respectively, a devastating fire, an earthquake, and the opening of a dimensional portal in the elementalism lab) with investment from a group of mysterious benefactors -- ostensibly wealthy businessmen with local ties -- the Academy has endured, mostly thanks to a long row of dedicated headmasters and fiercely loyal faculty.
With a skeleton in every closet and deals with various devils inked into the very blueprints of the buildings, the Academy is an occult powderkeg primed to explode -- as it very nearly has during attacks in its past. Though the few survivors do what they can to bolster the wards, it requires a great, and unflinching, magical talent to plug all the leaks, and headmaster Hayden Montag has taken that responsibility seriously and single-mindedly.
ATLANTIC ISLAND PARK
In the early 1970s, ruthless industrial magnate Nathaniel Winter purchased the land around the old Henderson farm. With its picturesque location on Solomon Island, a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean, and easy access from Kingsmouth Town -- a burgeoning tourist destination -- it seemed like the perfect location for an amusement park.
Despite the promise of a major financial windfall for the county, however, the locals were almost unanimously opposed to the plans. The Henderson farm had a dark history, they said, and the grounds were tainted with cursed blood. The land should be left undisturbed.
But Nathaniel Winter hadn't built his vast empire by yielding to anyone, let alone a bunch of superstitious farmers, and amidst whispers of bribes and threats, he acquired all the necessary permits. Construction of the Atlantic Island Park began in the spring of 1975.
As soon as the ground was broken, the freak accidents began. Several workers fell to their deaths; others committed suicide, seemingly without good reason. Rides would fall apart as soon as they were switched on, employees and visitors complained of recurring night terrors, and there were persistent rumours of strange whispers and ghostly sightings.
Nathaniel Winter persevered, however, refusing to cut his losses or yield to public opinion, and despite a skyrocketing budget and numerous delays, the Atlantic Island Park finally opened in the summer of 1978.
Unfortunately for Winter, and despite precautions, the freak accidents continued unabated, and when a crazed employee in a chipmunk costume stabbed two teenagers to death, the park was finally forced to shut down -- for good. Nathaniel Winter vanished along with his vast empire, and was never heard from again, leaving his estranged wife and an only son: Nicholas Winter.
Now the skeletons of the enormous roller-coaster and Ferris wheel cast long shadows over the abandoned paths and candy stands. For more than thirty years, the Atlantic Island Park has remained silent and asleep...
Abandoned since the 1980s, the lonely shell of the Overlook Motel marks another of Solomon Island's failed attractions. Like those other attractions, it was built on the site of an older establishment, with an older history. A history that has run quiet for years, but never truly left the place. The doors were boarded shut. The rooms were sealed with less visible, but considerably more powerful means. The locals don't talk about it.
But since the closure, it has seen more visitors than it ever did during season. Some of these curious souls have left again, disappointed. Others found exactly what they were looking for. Now, surrounded by the fog that choked the life out of the island, things are starting to check out. Terrible things. And they're bringing some of their local colour.
CHAPEL OF THE PRINCE
In the earthy darkness of an ancient European forest - one of the first forests - rests this 14th century monument to a forgotten prince. No mourners have prayed for him in centuries, as the forest is no longer a place for men. In the unkempt graveyard, mausoleums and tombstones once decorated with knightly statuary have been worn smooth by time. Some still bear the marks of a hurried, ignoble defacement.
Time has caught up with the chapel and its guardian forest. The graves are messily exhumed, the doors flung asunder. Someone, or something, is familiar with its sleeping prince, and they have no care for the sanctity of his rest. The shadows in the trees grow darker, and the smell of earth has turned to smoke and rot. If there is peace left here, it is only in the faint echoing sound of water trickling against rock.
The source of the sound is a mystery. The stones are dry, and repeat nothing.
THE CRASH SITE
Egypt is a land of secrets, but few better concealed in plain view than this temple city. Its edifices were raised in the darkest hour of the Pharoahs by slaves and madmen. Its great avenues are testament to a god that only briefly shone its terrible light across the Black Land. Overthrown in desperate rebellion, the city became a tomb for its creators. All mention was erased from history. This accursed place was sunk into the sand, guarded eternally so it might never be rediscovered.
So much for the best laid plans. The eyes of a certain multinational corporation are everywhere, and their hungry tentacles are soon to follow. An archaeological discovery beyond compare to interested parties, the temple city of the sun god has been uncovered, its defenses breached. The horrors trapped within for so long have responded in kind. This was never a city of the living...only of death.
London's secret heart appears much like the rest of the ancient city: where the grunge meets the glorious. Food wrappers and strip club flyers scattered on Roman roads, all-night chip shops shouldered against private bookstores that never open. Pagan incantations bombed on ancient stone, posters plastered over posters dating back centuries. No cabbie with a Templars ring will drive you there the same way - Ealdwic could be anywhere in London. It's a shifting address, a nightmare for the little old lady who runs the Tudor-look post office.
The Templars run the show, sharing patrol duties with a muzzled Metropolitan Police. The society settled here when the British Empire was everything, then never let the dream go. In a rare display of tolerance, though, Ealdwic is open to all regardless of affiliation. And that means all. Agents of secret societies, refugees from pocket dimensions and vanished races. Immortal vagrants and mortal runaways. Constantly in a state of barely contained, barely concealed chaos, London has endured as the social and cultural hub of the secret world. In times of great turmoil, all eyes turn to it for an early storm warning.
Currently, Ealdwic is under complete police lockdown, keeping mundane eyes away from the bustle of activity within. All three of the great societies are mobilizing, thrown together on these streets in numbers not seen for centuries. Other parties have come to observe, as infuriatingly cryptic as the ancient sphinxes and oracles. If this is the storm warning, it's going to be a big one.
There are alligators in the sewers, cults in the brownstones, all that and more. Since New York's founding, freedom of religion has guaranteed its inhabitants freedom to experiment. To create new philosophies, new magic, new masters. When the city opened its arms to the huddled masses, immigrants flocked in from the hidden places, too. Occult influences shaped its growth into a new powerbase for the secret world.
The Illuminati, scenting that power, moved in from the New England colonies. They took Manhattan, then bought out everything else. This is their town now, but their control is discreet, hands-off – while still reassuringly expensive. They planned the new urban landscape of black glass towers, golden capstones and energy field-disrupting sculptures. They pull the strings of credit and industry from Wall Street out to JFK. Look for the puppetmasters, though, and you'll only find their trace in the uncaring black eyes of CCTV cameras, in hieroglyphic graffiti left on underpasses.
Embracing the faceless corporate age, the Illuminati have remained where they began: underground. Off the East River, in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge, one of many nondescript warehouses opens into the Labyrinth. This sprawling, high-security tomb, removed from the distractions of human life, has been a gathering place for the order's movers and shakers for hundreds of years. Entrance is strictly invitation-only, but a small occult neighborhood has grown above it - taking advantage of real estate that has been forever condemned, never redeveloped.
A ghetto for conspiracy theorists, magical burnouts and deadbeats, there's a thriving trade in occult knick-knacks and paranoia here. Members of other secret societies are neither welcomed or forbidden by the Illuminati...at least, above ground. The 'diplomatic incidents' resulting from encounters with the Labyrinth's military-grade hardware and Rockefeller wards have become urban legends of their own.
This was once a city of walls, of planned mazes set in tile and clay. Careful geomancy observed in every angle, welcoming spiritual fortune and shunning evil influence. As Seoul grew rampant into a megacity, though, the new mazes of concrete and neon were not built to follow the old methods. Seoul's psychic fortress has been compromised by dreams of change and renewal. So, slowly and quietly, the Dragon have worked their way into the fabric of the city.
The society has no native connection to Seoul, though they have passed through Korea before in times of great strife. In the previous two centuries, Dragon powerbases have manifested, then dissolved, in Hong Kong and Shanghai. Permanence means nothing. The Dragon seek the scent of change in the psyche of a place, all the better to attract new acolytes. From a string of seemingly unrelated events – scandals and violence, sudden endings and new beginnings – they have gathered resources for their nest in the city.
Just as they came with Seoul's troubled dreams, they now occupy a dreamworld of their own. The district of the Dragon is fogged, unclear - caught between times, or existing outside of time. It is a forbidden city, its winding streets imperceptibly doubling back on themselves. The air is heavy with rain and coincidence. People are wary and subdued, unsure of what brought them to this place, or what prevents them from leaving it again. The green-robed ranks of the Dragon are, as ever, inscrutable. Some could not speak even if they chose to, having sacrificed their voices to better hear the sound of chaos.
Still, the trinket shops, boutique hotels and PC bangs go through the motions of life, accompanied by tacky lighting and overenthusiastic karaoke. Locals and newcomers debate which pieces in the Dragon's puzzle they are fated to play. Seoul is now a city of anticipation. Change is coming.
THE SCORCHED DESERT
In the tall shadows of ancient history, a long forgotten god has risen, a cruel Pharaoh is stirring in his grave and the Plagues of Egypt have returned to haunt the Black Land.
It all started in a small and secluded valley in the Egyptian desert when a massive earthquake ripped the ground open and a black, oily substance leaked out of the cracks to corrupt the land. In its wake, storied monsters have crept out of the dark places, ancient cults have taken the minds of the innocent and a forgotten temple has been rediscovered.
The villagers of Al-Merayah live in constant fear, wedged between crazed cultists and the prophesied protectors of their ancestral land, the Marya.
And with darkness rising, all the agents of the secret world - good and bad – gather in the small valley; to fight for the spoils, to help those in need, or to answer the call of the Black Pharaoh.
• The Wendigo •
"The vestiges of humans who turned to cannibalism."
The vile Wendigo of North America are said to be the vestiges of humans who turned to cannibalism. For their spite of humanity, they were outcast not just by their fellow man, but by life and the Earth herself.
In truth, the Earth bears no spite towards any of its children. The Wendigo strain stems from a less caring mistress, the particulars of its genesis now lost to millennia. But before modern man was man, there was hunger - and in that red place within us the curse incubates, transmitting silently through generations. The early Native Americans tried at first to succor those who had transformed, rehabilitate them, but they came to realise that once turned, these once-men could only be destroyed. Rage heightens their hunger; the hunger never abates. It is a cycle that makes the Wendigo's unnaturally long life one of feast, famine and fury.
More sickness than species, the Wendigo have endured, solitary, in the last wildernesses. Their accursed metabolism is a torture: however much they consume, they can never be sated. As the craving for flesh grows, so does their desperation, driving them further out of their habitual hunting grounds in search of prey.
• The Deep Ones •
"Natives of the cold black depths of the Atlantic."
Natives of the cold black depths of the Atlantic, the Deep Ones are rarely seen by the light of day, even more rarely at the water's edge. The sea has kept its carnivorous secret, other than what is recalled in fisherman's tales or turn-of-the-century fictions.
These clammy, ancient creatures are humanoid but share little with humanity, more akin to the deep-sea terrors that are only occasionally witnessed or washed ashore. If they once had society or civilization, no evidence remains, at least none explorable by man under the great pressures of the abyssal trenches. Indeed, the Deep Ones' preferred method of feeding is to drag victims into a death-dive until the unfortunates are crushed into more edible material.
Just as animals react en masse to upheavals in their environment, so too have the Deep Ones responded to the doom that has come to New England. For the first time in lifetimes they have emerged from the waves, slick and dripping, losing little of their sea-quickness even on two legs. The warbands of the Draug drive them ahead like cattle, or leave them to lurk in slime-bound rock pools and inlets. They dispassionately observe the changing coast from behind shark-dead, unblinking eyes.
• The Ak'ab •
"They were the cold, pale things of native myths."
"Out of the unimaginable blackness (...) there flopped rhythmically a horde of tame, trained, hybrid winged things that no sound eye could ever wholly grasp, or sound brain ever wholly remember. They were not altogether crows, nor moles, nor buzzards, nor ants, nor vampire bats, nor decomposed human beings, but something I cannot and must not recall."
They came to this island from the mysterious south, from the nightmare countries, on ships bearing the mark of the hideous sun. Sorcerers and necromancers commanded them, sent them forth onto these shores with bloody intent.
They were the cold, pale things of native myths, of scary bedtime stories for children, of gothic horror for a morbid audience: chittering creatures with torn wings and spiky legs and terrible jaws, mad things of exceptional malignancy from the abysses between stars, entombed in black vaults beneath the tainted soil of these accursed woods and desolate mountains.
They have slept a thousand years, nestled amongst the roots of sinister monoliths, but now they stir, hungrily, awakened by whispers and by the insistent song they have craved for so long. Their black eyes turn to Kingsmouth, to the new arrivals on Solomon Island, and to the thing that sings, that once bound them and has now freed them again from their prison...
• The Revenant •
"All they crave is misery, pestilence, and death."
Amongst the ranks of the living dead, the Revenant holds a special place. No mere reanimated corpse, the Revenant has formed from the restless fragments of those who, in life, did great evil. Devious and clever, the Revenants serve no master, no greater plan or intelligent design. All they crave is misery, pestilence, agony and death. They feed on terror and pain, and their presence is always an omen of impending doom.
Imbued with strong occult magic, they are able to change themselves into creatures associated with death and darkness: ravens, rats, spiders and worms. They can leap huge distances, crawl upside down at great speeds, and squeeze themselves through the narrowest of spaces. Revenants typically use poison and disease as weapons against the innocent, and their weapons - often twin knives - can cause hideous infections in those without protection against dark magic.
Drawn to areas where a disaster - natural or manmade - is imminent, Revenants have been instrumental in spreading pest and plague throughout history; from the bubonic plague and smallpox in Europe, to flu and typhus pandemics across Asia. In 1905, they arrived in the United States, carried across the ocean aboard freighter ships, hiding as rats and crows in the cargo. They have recently been spotted on an island off the coast of Maine, where, it is rumored, a great evil stirs.
The Revenant is one of the most terrifying creatures of the secret world. Not easily defeated, they are known to reform from the smallest fragments, and their poisoned blood and dark minds infect everything around them with their eldritch disease.
• The Draug •
"The cause of a hundred ghost ship tales."
The Norsemen who fought in the Darkness War paid a great price for their victory.
None of the boats that set off from the North American coast would return home with their crew unchanged. Some would not return at all, but those that did would travel through the roiling fogbanks and alien weed stretching out from that accursed sea-grave: the Filth manifested, gathering under their fingernails like soot, catching in their throats like smoke, running fingers through their nightmares. And in their nightmares, it found the tales of the Draug.
By the time they returned to their coastal villages, the Vikings had fallen sick, and the sickness spread despite the administering of their dreamspeakers and shamans: worse, it overcame them, too, in their trances. In the course of weeks the once-thriving villages were left abandoned, for outsiders to wonder what had drawn them all out to sea. It was the call of the darkness, gathering its newfound instruments, bringing them back to escalate the physical and mental changes in their bodies beneath the waves. Not dead, but now consumed by some horrible unlife, these Draug shed their old skins in the brine to grow tougher, colder flesh. The matter they sloughed off in the primordial deep joined with the Filth weed, coalescing into new forms, colonies and pods that supported their new, unnatural reproductive cycle.
In the years to come, they would prey on seafaring nations - the cause of a hundred ghost ship tales - drowning the crews, putting them to work as slaves and eventual material for the creation of new Draug. Now, the Draug are on the warpath, empowered by the activity of commanding whispers and dark dreams...
• The Fire Jinn •
"Masters of the elements. Fierce and proud Warriors."
The Jinn are found mostly in Egypt, along with the hellish planes of their exiled home.
Elemental demons with a proud lineage going back Ages, the noble Jinn once lived side by side with humanity, until war caused them to turn on their masters and makers, and they were cast out into the howling other-world. They now nurture a burning hatred of the detested monkeys that infect Gaia, and only their respect for and love of Earth stay their hand.
A schism between the Jinn has recently manifested, however, causing brother to turn on brother, and forcing some of their kind - against their instincts - to ally themselves with humanity against their own blood in order to protect our world from devastation. Masters of the elements, they are fierce and proud warriors who don't fall easily, and whose dreaded war cries echo between dimensions.
• Scarecrow •
"A manifestation of fear and hatred."
With their puppet-masters gone, the Scarecrows have been sleeping a pitch black, dreamless sleep...until now.
From the ruins of a cursed family rose the Scarecrow animated; undead guardians made from terrible instructions in grim tomes and dark grimoires, imbued with the fresh organs of human prey, hay sprinkled with unguents and oils, and clothes stitched with horrid runes. Willed into existence with whispered words of fear and hatred, they were single-minded in their mission. When their terrible master passed on, they fell into a deep sleep.
In dark places across the world, other magi would follow these unspeakable rituals, enacting the very same rites and sacrificing the living in order to create golems malevolent in spirit, sadistic and brutal in nature, both addicted to death and immune from it.
• Spectres •
"Creatures with terrible mass and terrifying physicality."
Spectres are here in flesh and bone, and they are mad.
Spectres are the victims of violent and unfair death who have chosen - or been forced - to return to the world for a time: some as spiteful troublemakers, others more miserably searching for warmth to ease their eternal cold.
Regardless of the era of their death, they manifest in bedraggled turn-of-the-century finery reflecting perhaps the place between places they now inhabit; players in a slow parade through the ragtime dirges and drowned pavilions of a frigid, underwater otherworld. Their descriptions of this haunted place match a score of submerged and forgotten towns from previous centuries, from Bittersweet to Minnewanka to Jindabyne.
Unlike the faint and harmless apparitions of the deceased - the ghosts of history and legend, mere memories replayed over and over again - Spectres are creatures with terrible mass and terrifying physicality, capable of manipulating matter and ripping an enemy's head clean off. The moaning dead haunting deserted mansions and spooking the elderly these are not.
• Zombie Hulk •
"Infected by the black disease. Imbued with dark magic."
When the impenetrable fog pulled back from Kingsmouth and Solomon Island - becoming instead a wall around the island - there were few survivors left. Everyone else had vanished; pulled, by some pale-skinned Pied Piper, into the ocean, leaving behind tables set for dinner, idling cars, TVs showing only static, and a thousand unanswered questions.
At first, there was only the distant crying of white gulls, the quiet push and pull of the ocean, and that impossible wall on the horizon: churning, impenetrable, deadly. The few who remained behind banded together, most of them, building safe nests in the eye of the storm. Waiting for some sign, some resolution. For life, or for death.
Then the others came back, all of them.
In the beginning, they were all human, or at least recognizably so. Some had been worn down by years underwater or in the ground, others were only hours dead; faster, angrier...hungrier. But as the survivors retreated behind their barricades, fighting their friends and family, some of the undead mutated.
Infected by the black disease, imbued with dark magic, or simply given strength by the cannibalistic gorging on rotten flesh or by their Draug masters - regardless of the cause, these undead creatures had grown into lumbering monstrosities that now threaten the survival of those few survivors still left on Solomon Island.
• The Locust •
"A monstrous reborn Plague swarms across the desert."
Arbeh, a locust god, has recently been awakened and has returned to haunt the Egyptian deserts now that the dark days are coming.
An old and powerful spirit that was once conjured from the hellworlds, the Arbeh has lingered beneath the sands for millennia and is once again stripping the land free of food and the humans of their flesh.
A malign and hungry creature, he will raise up his swarms of locusts to feed on the crops and pick the land clean. As if with one intelligence - part of one animating spirit like individual fingers on a hand – the swarms move indiscriminately across the desert, devouring all in their path like a long lost remembrance of the Plagues of Egypt.
• The Hand of Aten •
"Cursed undead acolytes, faithful for eternity."
Long, long ago, the Egyptians created a kind of magical technology to prevent their souls being bound to their bodies. They called it 'mummification'. The worshipers of Aten, forever looking to pervert the traditional way of doing things, created 'anti-mummies'. Their bodies were converted into terrible magnets for the spirits of death, drains into the dark spirit world. The Aten Mummies are filled with former cultists' spirits, funneled from their afterlives into the heavily treated corpses of their former lives.
These acolytes called The Hand of Aten are what passed for success stories in the Aten cult's necromancy: in their early unlife, their flesh remained wet and warm to touch, and their eyes burned with the hateful intelligence of a single occupant. Having renounced the afterlife, these immortal cultists were neither living nor dead, but at some cursed in between. Sorcerers of note in life, their time in the beyond had taught them further dark arts, and on their return they drank of the Filth to learn its ways. Utterly devoted to their king, they remained at his side even after he became too vile for his human subjects to stomach audience with, attending his megalomaniac decrees.
After centuries of biding their time below the baking desert heat, they have returned to take their place as his honor guard - his most faithful, the Ones Who Waited - hands and faces still blackened with the touch of the Filth.
• Boogyman •
"The monster from your nightmare comes to life."
This spindly freak is a being of pure evil. He has lived solely to prey on the fears of lost children, but during these times of global darkness he aggressively strikes out at all who dare challenge him.
He resides in an abandoned amusement park from the ’70s that was forced to close after a series of unexplained deaths. Now the Bogeyman lurks through the park’s attractions and rides, biding his time until someone wander into his hunting ground.
The Bogeyman doesn’t face his prey head on. Gathering power from the surrounding rides, which he can manipulate at will, he’ll draw you into his own nightmarish realities, using illusions and trickery to gain the upper hand as he taunts you.
• Mud Golem •
"You know you are in trouble when even the ground rises to crush you."
It takes the insidious will of an evil puppet master to animate the very ground to do his bidding. The dirt beneath your feet, with all the rocks, roots, water and junk found within, takes the shape of a huge monster, and a Mud Golem is formed.
Golems are perfect servants, having no desires but to serve. They are not intelligent, but are virtually indestructible to mundane weapons and are incredibly strong, capable of lifting whole cars above their heads. Those facing off against a Mud Golem must be prepared for a long and dangerous fight ahead.
The tradition of creating golems started with Kabbalistic mages, but the practice of Golemetry has spread across the world in these dark times. This has caused the formidable golems to appear more and more frequently, wreaking havoc wherever they roam.
• Jack O' Lantern •
"And I used to love pumpkins..."
The foul curse cast on this poor creature has changed it in a horrific manner. Having been wronged in a cruel way, vengeance is what drives Jack now. His present form is a gruesome sight to behold, and spells doom for the unfortunate souls which cross its path.
The Jack O’Lantern likes to hide in pumpkin patches during the harvest, bursting forth from the ground to attack unsuspecting passersby. Beware of his minions, the Will O'Wisps, for where they roam Jack is not far behind.
Time and again, this cackling creature rises from the fresh soil to feed his bloodlust with the changing of the seasons. For the residents of Solomon Island, winter can’t come soon enough.
• Wrath •
"Death comes for us all, but few wish a scythe to be their bane."
An even more terrifying form of the Spectre is the Wraith. Wraiths can use their viciously sharp scythes to rip a shred from the fabric of time itself, letting them warp around their hapless victims in the blink of an eye.
The Spectres with the most hatred for humanity become Wraiths: scythe-wielding ghost lieutenants who orchestrate evil like a maestro conducts a symphony. To face one brings on deathly chills, seemingly emanating from the Grim Reaper himself.
Wraiths are truer reflections of their human origin, fueling their powers through hatred and malice. Their immense strength makes them formidable opponents, and only the powerful can stand their ground against them.
HOW TO GET AROUND "THE SECRET WORLD"
In this world, many things are located in many different places, making travel rather difficult for the "surface folk", or the people who do not understand, nor' believe in the happenings of the Secret World.
For those of us that believe, a network of endless possibilities exists that allow us to travel from place to place in the blink of an eye; it is known as "THE WORLD TREE" and is your main way of 'getting around'.
the world tree.
because why not.
Every area in the known world contains an entrance to TWT only by those who hold "pearls". These small "gems" must be on your person at all times to discover these entrances. Once passed through an entrance (which looks like a giant blue spiral of stars) you will meet the view of the World Tree, a network of branches that stretches millions of miles with thousands of different teleportals to different locations in the world. While in this plane of existence you have the in-human ability of super-speed to traverse the branches of the tree and reach the appropriate teleportal.
(Picture - Fantasy or Real Life Only)
Alliance/Faction: (Templar, Illuminati, Dragon)
Abilities: (Refer to "Character Rules" for power/ability limits)
People interested in this:
Bare with me while I get the entirety of the OOC up, however, feel free to post your CS :)
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