Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras 2

Created by Richard Thomas

Chronicles of Darkness: Dark Eras 2 starts out presenting a chapter for each of six historical eras; each of which features two Chronicles of Darkness game lines which include Vampire: The Requiem, Mage: The Awakening, Hunter: The Vigil, Changeling: The Lost, and more! The rules in this book are compatible with second edition Chronicles of Darkness. Each terrifying time period and location is examined through the supernatural creatures that dwell there.

Latest Updates from Our Project:

May Dark Eras 2 Update!
26 days ago – Fri, May 24, 2019 at 02:05:49 PM


Hello DE2 backers!

RichT here:

The Dark Eras 2 chapters  are finishing up in Editing and sketches are getting approved in Art Direction right now, and when the  edited text is  done it'll go off to Layout and have the art added to it. 

Thanks!

Meanwhile, here's developer Matthew Dawkins with a look at the Seven Wonders:

A World of Wonders

A World of Wonders

The Seven Wonders are more than just noteworthy works of art; bound in a mystical miasma that pervades the Hellenistic world, they serve as the focal points for a crossing of realms and a bending of otherwise ironclad laws. For changelings living in this time, glamour flows like the Nile, a steady stream that periodically floods its banks, running over with the pure energy of dreams, ambitions, and hopes. For Prometheans, the cast-off half-children of Demiurges caught in the feverish zeitgeist of the Wonders, the Principle — the Divine Fire that animates them — is closer and more present in their lives than ever before. Yet, all things must come to an end, even and most especially the good. These few decades will see a flourishing of the Created and the Lost alike, and exchanges between them that will fade along with the Wonders, remembered only as legend.


Egypt

Egypt, once-great, a power that stood for as long as history remembers. Egypt, conquered by the Greeks, ruled by the sons and daughters of Ptolemy and whatever lieutenants he saw fit to install beneath him. In the age of the Seven Wonders, the Ptolemaic Kingdom is still young — Ptolemy II Philadelphus, son of Ptolemy, began his reign in 285 BCE, while the Colossus was still being built, and his son will succeed him as Ptolemy III Euergetes in 246 B.C.E. Ptolemaic pharaohs often share power with their wives (who are usually their sisters, if not another relative), who rule as co-regents or, later, in their own right.

Ptolemy not only created a new god, Serapis, to combine the features of Apis and Osiris, but instituted a state religion centered on the cult of the deified Alexander. His family continued the practice after his death. Many Egyptian gods are portrayed in the Greek style, their animal features pared back or eliminated entirely. Statues of gods from both cultures are modeled on the Ptolemaic pharaohs and their spouses — Arsinoe II, Philadelphus’ wife, is used as a model for Isis, Hera, and other goddesses. The Ptolemies themselves take on a divine role within the state cult of Alexander, following in the footsteps of the pharaohs they replaced — many are legally deified following their death, their images subsumed into the growing state cult.

Despite the conquest and the period of adjustment to rule by foreigners, Egypt remains at the heart of trade both in the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, but reaching into Mesopotamia and Asia Minor as well. Their alliance with Rhodes secures their freedom to trade on the seas, and so the cities of Egypt are thriving cosmopolitan centers of culture.

Culture Clash

Throughout much of its history, Egypt was remarkably ahead of its time when it came to the rights of women. Though certainly still patriarchal, women could own property, work, manage temples, and in several cases become pharaoh. Ma’at, translatable as harmony, justice, law, or balance (and personified as a goddess) was central to the Egyptian view of the world, and ensuring a harmonious and orderly life was essential, because one’s station in life would be exactly replicated in the afterlife.

The Ptolemies, however, were very thoroughly Greek, a culture that even by the standards of the time was on the misogynistic side. Women were sheltered from the world, expected to weave, have children, and do very little else. However, when they took control of Egypt, they followed Alexander’s example, and left the established social structure in place — Greek law coexisted with Egyptian law, and Egyptian women were permitted to carry on much as they had. Over time, the local culture influenced the Greek ruling class more and more, until they were more a melange of Greek and Egyptian rather than culturally Greek. It wasn’t until the decline of the Ptolemaic dynasty and Rome’s simultaneous rise in the 1st century BCE that the Roman legal system would slowly steamroll local conventions.

Giza and Alexandria

The Pyramid of Khufu is almost unimaginably ancient — by the time of the other Wonders, half of Giza lay buried in the advancing sands, and the Pyramid still shone brilliantly in the sun, as heedless as the passage of centuries as the sky itself. It was more than just a monument to a man worshipped as a god, though. Within the Pyramid, hidden within stone and sand, buried within the structure itself, lay a secret driving Egypt’s greatness.

Savants believe Egypt is the place where the living first caused the dead to rise, creating the first Prometheans. Some go so far as to say that not only were the Egyptians practiced at creating Prometheans, but they institutionalized it, made it part of their state’s policy using advanced funerary magic now lost to memory. Those who know of the great strength and unmatched stamina possessed by most Prometheans must admit that there are few other ways the ancients could have built such a magnificent structure, one that has endured unmarred for thousands of years. Of course, given that yawning gulf of time, it’s impossible to say whether this is true, but the fact remains that Egypt was and is a golden opportunity for any Prometheans who journey there. The land is rich in the Azothic memory, qashmalim come and go like the rising and setting of the sun, and when Tormet proves to be too much, isolation and solitude is only a short walk into the desert away. Giza is no exception.

The Pyramid is not just a tomb, but an Athanor to surpass all Athanors, constructed to guide the spirit of Pharaohs who crossed the river of death and returned. The site is known to Prometheans throughout the world, passed on through word of mouth or glimpsed in the throes of an Elpis vision, and rare is the Promethean in this era who does not at least try to find her way here. A few make a semi-permanent home here, considering themselves the stewards of this magnificent and ancient miracle — they will venture elsewhere on their Pilgrimage sooner or later, but there is always a newcomer who will happily replace them.

Prometheans are not, however, alone in their veneration for the site. Hundreds of years ago, during a period of chaos and instability in Egypt between the Middle and Late Kingdoms, a Court of the Lost came together at Giza and used the Pyramid — whose power they sensed even if it was beyond their ken — to bind the Great Bargain. Henceforth, the Hedge would be open, more open than ever it had been before or since, and though this would allow the Keepers much more access to the world, it would also leave the doors open for those they took to return, and for those who did so to remain free from the threat of Hunters.

So it was for centuries, until Euphrasia, a sage of the Lost hiding within Ptolemy’s royal entourage, posed a question as she watched the Pharos of Alexandria being constructed: “Why not gift our trapped fellows with a beacon, that they might easily find their way through the Hedge?” It seemed, to Euphrasia and her peers, that rather than build one of their own, they might instead make use of the Lighthouse itself, and so, with care and stealth they worked great magics upon it each night, binding it to their service as well as the service of mariners who followed its light. In the Hedge, the Lighthouse of Alexandria shines like a beacon of pure glamour, visible even from the borderlands of Faerie. It is no surprise, then, that the trickle of refugees from that dread land rose to a torrent. As a result, Egypt under Ptolemy fairly seethes with the Lost, the Fae-touched, and fetches alike.

Priest of Alexander, the Once-Living God

Heliodoros’s father served under Ptolemy, who served the Divine Alexander, and so it seemed only right that he follow tradition in the way best available to him — and it certainly helped that with priesthood in the Imperial Cult of Alexander came privileges and prestige that the son of a low-ranking officer who happened to save a relative of the great pharaoh Ptolemy I Soter could otherwise never aspire to. Tending to the Tomb of the Divine Alexander himself, he is surrounded by luxuries from across the world, including many sacred texts taken in conquest and held as the god’s personal property, unknown to the great Library that bears his name — late at night, when he can arrange to be alone, he peruses these texts, and he has learned much of the secret arts. One day soon, he will test that learning, but not on Divine Alexander. Not yet, anyway. 

Academics (Architecture, Burial Rites, Warfare) 4, Occult 3, Survival 2


Cynical Tour-Guide

Ana was born in a village a few miles from the Pyramid of Khufu — according to her mother, her family have lived there since before it was built, but she hasn’t believed that since she was a child, long before familiarity with the Pyramids bred contempt. Now, grown and with two daughters herself, she makes a little extra money on the side by acting as a guide for wealthy Greeks who visit the area, taking them on a tour of the grounds and repeating the nonsense stories her mother used to tell — about how, before the sands came, the Sphinx would prowl the land, spiriting away any who hoped to burgle the tombs of the pharaohs, or how the stars themselves descended in bodies of light to make obeisance before the pyramids. Whether visitors believe it or not, they pay her well enough for the effort, as do the Odd Folk who dwell nearby and who, best as she can tell, drink down the excitement of the wealthy Greeks the way she drinks down their wallets. She’s come to know them all by sight. Some are her neighbors; one is the old woman who watches her children from time to time. They look at one another, nod knowingly, and say nothing. Ana may be a cynic, but she’s no fool. 

Academics (History) 5, Empathy 3, Expression (Storytelling) 3


The First Athanor

The Pyramid at Giza breaks all the rules for Athanors, combining multiple types and projecting its effects much farther than any “normal” Athanor ever could, bathing Giza in Azothic energies. It is attuned to the Refinement of Gold, acting as a Refinement Furnace to ease the transition from death into life — and despite being unimaginably ancient, any Promethean in Giza may avail herself of this, not merely the long-lost creator. It also acts as a Sanctuary, and is a powerful Pilgrimage Marker as well.

Unfortunately, such benefits do not come without costs — the sheer Azothic radiance of the Pyramid is such that Pandorans can sense it for leagues in every direction, and Created who dwell here must always be wary of hungry mouths lurking in the dunes around them, some of them Pandorans, others weird Lifeless creatures known as Shuankhsen.


Here's Our Current Kickstarter:

Cover mock-up, not final
Cover mock-up, not final

Here's the link to the KS which started this week: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/200664283/pirates-of-pugmire-a-realms-of-pugmire-tabletop-rpg

Pirates of Pugmire is a chronicle sourcebook for both Pugmire and Monarchies of Mau. It’s usable in either game, or as part of a joint experience. Some highlights include:

    * Two new species for players to enjoy: lizards and birds
    * Six new callings, including two for dogs and two for cats
    * Rules for building, sailing, and sinking ships
    * A trove of new allies, enemies, and treasures
    * Information on Waterdog Port and Port Matthew
    * “Going on the Account,” a chronicle of three new adventures, taking characters from 1st through 6th level

(You can also hear Eddy discuss the writing and design of Pirates of Pugmire on this week's Onyx Pathcast podcast on your favorite podcast venues, or here on : https://onyxpathcast.podbean.com/)

April Dark Eras 2 Update!
about 2 months ago – Wed, Apr 24, 2019 at 10:01:41 PM

Hello DE2 backers!

RichT here:

Like last month, the Dark Eras 2 chapters are in Editing and Art Direction right now, and when the  edited text is done it'll go off to Layout and have the art added to it. 

Again, thanks so much for your patience as we get to these stages of the  project. We know we mentioned during the KS that writing the sections  after the KS like this one was set up (as opposed to having the text all  finished for the KS as we do for most every one of our KS projects now)  meant that there'd be a longer wait - but you folks have been great  about it.

Thanks!

Meanwhile, here's developer Matthew Dawkins with a look at the Disciples of Jannes and Jambres:

Disciples of Jannes and Jambres

We are the vessels of gods, the tongue of the ancient mulch, the eyes of that which cannot see. We fight fire with fire, and we do what the Church and the state cannot.

Despite being one of the oldest sorcerer-cults, the Disciples have almost on a constant basis renewed themselves and their views throughout their existence. This has led to a frequent change in members and leaders, and skepticism from other cults, often leading them to underestimate the massive power the cult withholds. The Disciples are a group based in Oslo, Norway and is known as one of the largest and most influential cults of Scandinavia. Although they have faced change throughout the centuries, their primary goal has never faltered; to destroy any threat to God. When talks of witches leading good Christian men and women to the devil reached the group, they were the first to lead the purges throughout Norway. They mercilessly dispatched anyone who they deemed a threat without going through state or Church. News of a vigilante group killing in the name of God quickly spread throughout Scandinavia, giving them a certain notoriety. For some, the Disciples were angels in disguise, sent by God to do what the Church could not. This opinion was almost exclusive to Protestants, who already believed in the separation between God and Church. For Catholics, the cult was nothing but sinners, going against every law issued by the Church.

The Disciples of Jannes and Jambres took their name after the sorcerous couple represented in the Bible. Despite hunting and killing those who supposedly use magic, they are not hesitant to practice its use. They firmly believe magic in its nature is not evil and frowned upon by God, and they see Jesus as one of the most powerful wielders of magic to have ever walked the Earth. However, magic in the wrong hands, especially in the hands of devilish men and women, can certainly become evil. Attempting to kill witches without knowing the weapons they use against God and his people is like fighting without a sword — useless and dangerous. Therefore, the group uses every ancient gift granted upon them to fight against what they believe to be truly evil.

History

The Disciples originated in Egypt like many other sorcerer-cults, and their first pursuits were not in the name of Christianity or with malicious intentions in mind. When a group of three male scholars stumbled upon an ancient papyrus written by the god-king Hakor, they became so enthralled with the weird and other-worldly text, they forgot their duties and were stripped of their titles. Meanwhile, their fascination grew so strong, and their minds so twisted they could no longer see right from wrong. Petu, the eldest of the three, could not live with the rest of the group knowing about the papyrus, and in a hypnotic fury he murdered both.

After seeing the blood of his dearest friends on his hands, he knew he could no longer face the gods’ judgement. He had heard talks of a new God, an omnipresent God to overrule every other God, based in the religious beliefs of Judaism and Christianity, and to Petu it made sense to worship him instead of the older gods he had already angered. This was his chance to start anew. With the magical scroll in hand, he soon traversed not only the Persian Empire but Europe to search for groups of people sharing in his beliefs. He has seen with his own eyes what evil magic can do, but was also deeply fascinated by it, and so he decided to remove magic from the hands of those who could not contain it. This philosophy has served the cult ever since, and the witch-trials in Scandinavia were the perfect opportunity to kill and destroy their enemies without having the world against them.

Goals

Magic is a powerful tool, and just like any other object that can be utilized for destructive purposes, when it falls into the wrong hands it can have dangerous consequences. The Disciples firmly believe they are the only true sorcerers and the only beings who can truly wield magic like God bestowed upon Jesus. Magic should be limited and controlled, but not completely destroyed. Men and women from simple villages who know nothing of the world have no control over magic, and might easily attract the attention of Satan if they access it without control. They see it as their task to remove and destroy any other wielders of magic than themselves, since they are the only true sorcerers.

Judge Worship

Bastu (The Stare): The Disciples know their former crimes, but believe they cannot be judged for them as they were all a part of the larger scheme. Without it, their cult would not exist. They feel connected to Bastu, and its punishment for avoiding one’s just sentence.

Kenemti (The Penitent): Anyone using magic besides the Disciples is to be destroyed. Many cultists who utter the name “Kenemti” officiate in churches or other religious places, protected by their stone walls and words of false prophets. The Disciples feel a strong bond to the Judge who punishes those responsible for desecration of holy places.

Maa-Nantuuf (The Seer of what is Brought Forth): Only through self-sacrifice and pain will a body lose former bonds and allow new ones to form. Mutilation is a large part of the Disciples’ rituals, therefore they feel a fearful bond to the Judge of body despoilment.

Guild Links

The Disciples were originally tightly connected to Sesha-Hebsu and their inscriptions of texts, and Scribes are indeed curious about the ancient god-king scroll in the possession of the Disciples. As time passed they saw themselves serving the Maa-Kep with increasing regularity. Their strict values of order in chaos and control over magic catered to their needs. Although the Disciples primarily believe in the Christian god, they have not lost touch with their ancient beliefs, and in all secrecy they still firmly believe in the Judges of Duat, as decreed by their original Arisen masters.

Initiation Ceremonies

Every cult has its own set of rules or rites for individuals to become new members. To the Disciples, these consist of a concoction of both Egyptian and Scandinavian traditions. No one can enter the cult without being hand-picked by Hilde, and even then she might see a potential member unworthy even after years of service. Hilde knows she cannot just let anyone know the secrets of their duality in beliefs and their magical powers, especially not in a time where all magic is seen as evil. If she finds a suitable member, he must connect with both the new God and the old gods, and the only method making this possible is sensory deprivation. The aspiring member is hung on a wooden cross, with his arms and legs bound to its surface. His ears and eyes are covered, and he is stripped naked. The eldest of the sorcerers draws symbols from the papyrus of the god-king while chanting the names of the 42 Judges of Duat. After five days in complete starvation and darkness, the soul has reached duality and the body is cleansed and ready to worship both old and new gods.

Disciples Rituals

• And Jesus Saw: The Disciple uses this rite in trials and to track down magicians. This rite can also be used to locate places of magic like Avernian Gates and tombs. Firstly, a sacrifice is required wherein the sorcerer must thread a small needle through the sclera of their eyeball without assistance. Such an action requires at least four successes on a Stamina + Resolve roll. Once threaded, a cross must be attached to the hanging thread. Secondly, the participants need a piece of the body or something stained with one of the humours of the person they want to use it on, or a fragment of material from the area they seek to investigate. By dragging the cross over the focus item, the sorcerer can detect its owner’s or originator’s location. Arisen participating in the ritual typically takes the form of donating Ren, providing the sorcerers with knowledge of their target’s name, history, and connections.

• The Blood of Christ: The sorcerer dips their hands into a blessed chalice full of the freshly drawn blood of a witch, sacrificed specifically for this rite, and drinks what they can hold within their palms. They repeat this until the chalice is empty. The first drink requires a single success on a Stamina + Resolve roll, the second requires two, and third requires three, unless the sorcerer is used to drinking blood. The sorcerer partaking in the Rite gains additional two dots in one Physical Attribute of their choice in their next battle. If an Arisen contributes Ba to this rite, normally by cutting their hand and holding the open, unbleeding wound in the full chalice, the sorcerer gains two dots in every Physical Attribute. This modifier lasts until their next battle concludes.

• The Holy Trinity: This mass rite requires the presence of three sorcerers or more. In unity, they create a circle on the ground beneath them and join hands atop the symbol. In the center of the symbol must rest the bones of a holy individual, such as a priest or saint. A knife passes between the participants and they take turns cutting into their hands. Their blood circulates through them unnaturally, leading to gross bulging of muscles, popping of veins, and an alien rage within that increases the difficulty of Resolve and Presence-based rolls for the next 24 hours. Each participant gains access to the Wits and Composure ratings of the participants with the highest ratings, lasting three days and three nights. The bones disintegrate upon completion of the ritual. If an Arisen stands in the circle and contributes a point of Ba, the new Wits and Composure ratings remain in place for seven days and nights.


OUR CURRENT KICKSTARTER:

A Contagion strikes the Chronicles of Darkness...

The world is ill. You have everything to lose through its  sickness. Loss. Change. Chaos. Your own blood will rebel against you.  Your own herd. Your own loved ones. Do not believe that just because  you’ve had a hundred years on this Earth you’ll be exempt. Just because  you were ignorant of it until now, does not make you immune. Your waking  to the reality of this world — of the great machine in its heart, and  the sickness in its veins — is just the first step. You must find others  like you and me and make them swear to drive back this Contagion.

This world doesn’t have long left. You may be a monster, but  perhaps with other monsters, you can drive back the destruction of  everything.

The Contagion Chronicle includes:

• The first Chronicles of Darkness book to provide guidance on playing creatures of all kinds in a shared story.

• Systems and powers enabling teams of vampires, werewolves, mages,  Prometheans, changelings, Sin-Eaters, hunters, mummies, Beasts, demons,  and Deviants all in the same group, encouraging you to explore all  permutations of crossover.

• A new mythos — the terrifying Contagion — acting as a catalyst for unifying disparate monsters into allied groups known as the Sworn and the False.

• Over ten settings from diverse locations all around the globe, each wracked with its own Contagion, and all waiting to be explored by the Sworn and the False.

LESS THAN ONE DAY LEFT! TWO ADDITIONAL BOOKS HAVE BEEN CREATED VIA STRETCH GOALS - COME CHECK IT OUT!

March Dark Eras 2 Update!
3 months ago – Fri, Mar 29, 2019 at 02:02:12 AM


Hello DE2 backers!

RichT here:

The Dark Eras 2 chapters are in Editing and Art Direction right now, and when the  edited text is done it'll go off to Layout and have the art added to it. 

Thanks so much for your patience as we get to these stages of the project. We know we mentioned during the KS that writing the sections after the KS like this one was set up (as opposed to having the text all finished for the KS as we do for most every one of our KS projects now) meant that there'd be a longer wait - but you folks have been great about it.

Thanks!

Meanwhile, here's lead developer Monica Valentinelli with a look at the Followers of the Mansa Hunter compact:

Followers of the Mansa

Quote: “We will protect everything that is good.

Overview

When monsters crept in over the borders and sprung up in the shadowy places where the fearful refuse to look, a few brave men and women faced the darkness and bound themselves in agreement to fight what others would not. The founders of the compact were deeply devoted in their service to Mansa Musa I and out of that love for king and country swore never to allow harm to come to the Mansa or his great empire. Though Musa has passed, the Followers of the Mansa remain loyal to the throne, adhering to the compact’s principles to defend the kingdom and its rulers.

The Followers of the Mansa recruit members from the critical but unsung members of society. Scribes, auditors, investigators, and palace guards who have had the scales fall away from their eyes and take up the Vigil are welcomed into the ranks of the Followers. While the seat of the compact resides in Niani, any hunter willing to make the journey to the capital and be formally accepted into the ranks is welcome to join, as long as their loyalty belongs to the empire and the empire alone.

Choosing membership from the empire’s most innocuous places allows the Followers of the Mansa to move unseen through society. No one looks twice at the sweaty-faced dock laborer as he unloads his wares (though he is listening to and watching everyone around him), or gives a moment’s consideration to the hurried, overworked scribe and she travels down the masjid’s halls (she has uncovered an arcane secret in her translations, and it must be revealed to her cell, post-haste). Their eyes and ears are everywhere within the empire, and they will give the enemy no quarter and no reprieve.

Where the military handles mundane threats to the empire, the Followers shoulder the burden of pursuing and destroying supernatural threats. Certainly, they often employ bows and lances, but it is the strength of knowledge and economic savvy that give the Followers their advantage over the monsters that creep in the night. They are everywhere, and they have the resources of a vastly wealthy, powerful kingdom behind them. A word in the right ear and the river port closes, preventing a vampire from making its escape that night. Another nudge in the right direction and all inventory manifests from incoming caravans are audited, revealing dozens of smuggled, cursed objects. The Followers will not let monsters prey on those they protect.

The Enemy

The Followers of the Mansa, in their pursuit of demons, have found that they crop up most often around societal centers: important buildings, institutions, social constructs. If they are to hunt down and drive out these monsters, they must trace them to their hunting grounds. This means using the trade network to pass along critical information and artifacts or to block the corrupting actions of a demon trying to stir unrest or spread lies.

As their primary quarry is something immense and uncertain, the Followers of the Mansa avoid reckless conflict with monsters. Rather than shooting first and asking questions later, the Followers choose thorough investigations and strategic strikes. Demons are unparalleled liars, and one false lead could result in the death of an innocent, or the dismantling of an entire organization — perhaps exactly what a demon wants.

The Response

Though the Followers adhere to a practice of general caution, when they know they are facing a demon, they do everything in their power to avoid a direct conflict with the monster. After losing a number of members to a conflict with a demon that turned violent, the compact forbids overt combat with the Fallen. In place of violence, the Followers instead encourage their hunters to subvert and undo a demon’s plans, to try to reveal its true nature, and to drive it out with their own supernatural abilities. All of this is, perhaps, easier said than done, and sometimes a hunter may find that violence is the best answer.

Upon learning that demons exist, the Followers made an agreement to avoid direct, violent conflict with these incomprehensible beings. Instead they chose to accumulate knowledge and archive every advantage they can muster to turn away the Fallen’s corrupting influence. The Followers have made a strategy out of rigorous observation. Hunters are directed to watch, learn, listen, and act indirectly — striking at supply lines, misleading informants, ad cutting off the monster’s access to vulnerable people. They encourage doing anything to weaken the corruption without facing the demon directly. If direct conflict becomes the only option, the Followers urge their members to fight as prepared as possible and be ready to exploit their target’s every weakness.

Hunters

You work as a scribe in one of the many prominent masjids in Niani. Though your name does not appear on any prestigious placard, all the employees and attendees of the masjid know your name. You spearhead the recruitment for the Followers of the Mansa, and ensure each member will add value to the group. You are opposed to the use of violence and are willing to sanction members if you’ve discovered they are ignoring the rules.

Though few people know your full name, you served as the quartermaster stationed in Niani for years. Your connections in the military are valuable, and your dedication and hard work have earned you a favorable reputation. You often find yourself at odds with other, less experienced hunters who don’t understand that violence is sometimes a necessary solution when dealing with the supernatural.

You are a new member who was chosen because you served in the royal palace. You have access to sensitive information that you share to gain favor with your fellow hunters. Because of this, you’ve been granted status in your compact that other hunters feel you don’t deserve. You want the opportunity to prove yourself, and are and excellent scout with an outstanding memory. One day, you know your observations will save lives. One day.

Factions

Three groups of hunters take different approaches to the hunt. Of the three groups, Scribes are the largest, and Students are the smallest. This may change over time as the compact acquires more knowledge of the supernatural.

Scribes believe that the Vigil can only be upheld if knowledge is carefully amassed, recorded, and taught to other hunters. Scribes abhor violence and will only fight as a last resort.

Soldiers are convinced that military tactics and battle plans are effective tools to deal with their supernatural enemies. They are insistent that violence is necessary. Many soldiers want to train other Followers in the art of self-defense.

Students are hunters who study and use recorded knowledge to fight. While they can and do attack monsters, they prefer to seek non-violent solutions to avoid a confrontation that will result in harm.

Status

Status amongst the Followers of the Mansa is closely tied to a hunter’s reputation.

• You’ve just been inducted into the ranks of the Followers of the Mansa. If you weren’t already,

you’ve been promoted to a person of minor standing, but not too important. Gain a Skill

specialty in Politics or Expression relevant to your position.

••• Your fellow hunters are impressed and speak highly of you. Gain two dots of Allies

(Followers of the Mansa).

••••• You don’t seek fame or wealth, and your fellow hunters know you are an example to be

followed. Gain three dots of Resources to aid you in your hunt.


OUR CURRENT KICKSTARTER:

A Contagion strikes the Chronicles of Darkness...

The world is ill. You have everything to lose through its sickness. Loss. Change. Chaos. Your own blood will rebel against you. Your own herd. Your own loved ones. Do not believe that just because you’ve had a hundred years on this Earth you’ll be exempt. Just because you were ignorant of it until now, does not make you immune. Your waking to the reality of this world — of the great machine in its heart, and the sickness in its veins — is just the first step. You must find others like you and me and make them swear to drive back this Contagion.

This world doesn’t have long left. You may be a monster, but perhaps with other monsters, you can drive back the destruction of everything.

The Contagion Chronicle includes:

• The first Chronicles of Darkness book to provide guidance on playing creatures of all kinds in a shared story.

• Systems and powers enabling teams of vampires, werewolves, mages, Prometheans, changelings, Sin-Eaters, hunters, mummies, Beasts, demons, and Deviants all in the same group, encouraging you to explore all permutations of crossover.

• A new mythos — the terrifying Contagion — acting as a catalyst for unifying disparate monsters into allied groups known as the Sworn and the False.

• Over ten settings from diverse locations all around the globe, each wracked with its own Contagion, and all waiting to be explored by the Sworn and the False.

You've fought your way back from death... but are you ready for your next challenge? Find others to help you defeat a new threat... join us in our campaign on Kickstarter!

February Dark Eras 2 Update!
4 months ago – Thu, Feb 28, 2019 at 01:33:51 PM


Hello DE2 backers!

RichT here:

The Dark Eras 2 chapters are finalizing the last few notes for the chapters and getting all the chapters ready to send to White Wolf for approval. After that is Editing and Art Direction, and when the edited text is done it'll go off to Layout and have the art added to it.

Meanwhile, here's developer Meghan Fitzgerald with a bottle of rum and a parrot on her shoulder, now:

Hi all! Meghan here, with a preview from our Golden Age of Piracy era, The Devil and the Deep

Blue Sea. Enjoy!


Company of Thieves

The pirate-mages of the Company of the Codex are not ones to just batten down the hatches and hope the storm passes. Some are genuine believers in the Order’s ideals of democracy and equality, but more than enough allow selfish desires and obsessions to drive them — they take what they want, and damn the consequences.

Many Company willworkers are talented seafarers, expertly weaving nautical skills together with their magic. On the high seas, they hone their rapacious thirst for occult secrets; like locusts, raiding cabals of Company pirates drain Hallows and defile whatever magical resources they cannot take with them — if they can’t have it, no one can. The mages who take part divide the spoils between them, and then hoard them for themselves or trade them to other Picaroons, Nameless, and apostates.

Some Company cabals transgress further, becoming monstrous in their depredations. They dabble in antinomian magic, or visit ghastly atrocities upon victims — tearing souls out and feeding them to the greedy ocean, chaining wailing ghosts to their ships, or marooning fellow Wise on desolate islands where strange ripples in space and time prevent escape. The Company’s egalitarian approach hampers attempts to restrain such excesses, even as these mages’ own peers look upon them with growing unease.

The Mystery of Salt

The vast ocean’s ebb and flow are hard to grasp. So many ripples, currents, and winds, ever-moving, ever-changing, can play havoc with the magics of Fate, Space, and Time. The chaos of the sea, its constant battery of minute changes, can serve as a form of protection — a clouding haze of possibilities born from its roiling avarice.

Any Awakened using Fate or Time magic of the Practices of Knowing, Unveiling, Weaving, or Patterning to affect a subject that has been at sea for at least a day (including herself) must spend one additional Reach. The same goes for any spells cast sympathetically and any Space magic to pinpoint or change a subject’s location; even with the necessary sympathetic Yantra, the mage must spend an extra Reach to find the subject or the destination out on the jealous ocean.

Crimson Gull

This rot’s too deep already. You’re going to die. I could stop it, yes, but then I’d not see the color of pus that leaks from your eyes at the end.”

Background: Pirate captain Crimson Gull fed her name to a spirit of secrets, bound it to a casket, and sank it to the bottom of the sea. The Thyrsus’ past died with the rest of the slaves and crew on a ship struck by disease; her Awakening accompanied oozing sores and fever-hot flesh.

The sole survivor joined up with the Mysterium, but chafed under the Consilium’s rules and mentor-apprentice structure; she wanted the freedom to use her magic as she chose, and came to believe no one had the right to tell an Awakened what to do. When she looked through a spyglass and saw something vast, feathered, and grotesque looking back, her cabal saw nothing and advised her to work on becoming wiser, for fear she was losing control. Resentful and restless, the sea-Shaman fled to the Company, where an Obeah woman of the Brethren Dead initiated her into the age-old Legacy of the Keepers of the Covenant as she sought an understanding of spirits that preyed on humanity at sea.

Description: Crimson Gull is a wild-eyed, rictus-grinning black woman who wears bright colors and sings loud songs. Her forearms jingle with copper bangles and bracelets, and she hangs leather cord loops laden with bird-skulls around her neck. She possesses a constant frenetic energy and can’t sit still, and likes to shout orders at the top of her lungs. In battle, she prefers shapeshifting and magic to pistol or cutlass; in parley, she’s ruthless and impetuous, with no patience for standing on ceremony or for hemming and hawing, but she’s personable and laughs easily. She’s known to make snap decisions without consulting her crew occasionally, but they forgive her for it when she inevitably leads them to massive hauls or saves the life of a dying crewman.

Her Immediate Nimbus is the exhilarating high of flight far above the ocean, the heady rush of salt-spray winds and a bird’s eye view. Her Signature Nimbus is the disappointment of coming back down to earth, the heavy feeling of being chained to land by gravity. Her Long-Term Nimbus makes compasses spin and confuses the senses; navigators find themselves lost and birds fly overhead in strange formations.

Storytelling Hints: Crimson Gull studies the spread of disease through the Caribbean, particularly contagions that break out among the close ranks of a ship’s crew. She follows stricken vessels as an albatross, and sometimes even entreats spirits to spread sickness on purpose among her rivals to watch its progress. Gull wants to understand the secrets of suppurating flesh that Awakened her while others died; she sees meaning and patterns in the sore-covered gums and rancid coughs of sailors, and views disease as a natural extension of the Primal Wild reaching into the Fallen World, forcing living things to adapt and overcome to survive. Illnesses and spirits she’s never seen before intrigue her, and she goes out of her way to study them. She seeks communion with spirits of disease and avian deities as she chases her Obsessions.

Path: Thyrsus

Order: Company of the Codex

Legacy: Keepers of the Covenant

Virtue: Generous

Vice: Greedy

Obsessions: Understand the disease spirits of the Caribbean; Find and appease the bird-god (p. XX)

Aspirations: Maintain luxury and freedom; Discover a new disease

Attributes: Intelligence 4, Wits 4, Resolve 3; Strength 3, Dexterity 3, Stamina 3; Presence 3, Manipulation 3, Composure 2

Skills: Academics 2, Animal Ken (Birds) 2, Athletics 3, Brawl 4, Crafts 3, Firearms 1, Intimidation 4, Medicine (Disease) 3, Occult (Spirits) 4, Persuasion 2, Science 2, Stealth 3, Survival (Maritime) 4, Weaponry (Flintlock Pistol) 1

Merits: Contacts (Mysterium), Destiny 1, Familiar (Albatross Spirit) 2, High Speech, Mana Sensitivity, Mystery Cult Initiation (Brotherhood of the Codex) 3, Plunder Mana (below), Resources 3, Shadow Name 2

Willpower: 5

Wisdom: 4

Initiative: 5

Defense: 6

Speed: 11

Health: 8

Gnosis: 4

Mana/per turn: 13/4

Arcana: Fate 2, Forces 1, Life 4, Prime 1, Space 2, Spirit 4

Dedicated Magical Tool: A hand-mirror of polished copper

Nimbus Tilt: Grants +1 to Resolve rolls, and +1 and the 8-again quality to Survival rolls.

Attainments: Body Autonomy, Conditional Duration, Counterspell (Fate, Forces, Life, Prime, Space, Spirit), Honorary Rank, Improved Pattern Restoration, Mage Armor (Fate, Life, Space, Spirit), Oath of Synthesis (below), Sacred Invitation (below), Spirit Eyes, Sympathetic Range, Targeted Summoning (Life, Spirit)

Praxes: Break Boundary (Space 2), Exceptional Luck (Fate 2), Fools Rush In (Fate 2), Shapechanging (Life 4), Transform Life (Life 3)

Rotes: Gossamer Touch (Spirit 2, Intimidation), Howl from Beyond (Spirit 3, Medicine), Knit (Life 3, Survival), Reaching (Spirit 3, Medicine)

Weapons/Attacks:

Attack Damage Range Clip Initiative Dice Pool (unformatted for preview)

Unarmed 0B Melee — −0 7

Flintlock pistol* 2L 15/30/60 1 −2 5

*Flintlock pistols take five turns to reload.

Notes: Fate is Crimson Gull’s third Ruling Arcanum.

Legacy Attainments: Keepers of the Covenant

 First: Oath of Synthesis

Prerequisites: Initiation (Fate 2, Spirit 1, Survival 2)

Upon initiation into the Legacy, the mage binds her destiny to the Shadow, permanently gaining one dot in the Destiny Merit (Mage, p. 100) for each Legacy Attainment she knows. She may only use Destiny points acquired this way on rolls to interact with spirits, the Shadow, or the Gauntlet. Her Doom is to, someday, become Claimed. No combination of this Legacy’s Attainments and purchasing Merit dots can grant a character more than five total dots of Destiny.

In addition, this Attainment emulates the Spirit 1 spell Exorcist’s Eye (Mage, p. 180) with a Duration in turns equal to the mage’s dots in Spirit, allocating its Reach to instant use.

 Second: Sacred Invitation

Prerequisites: Fate 2, Spirit 2, Survival 3

The mage extends an open hand across boundaries, welcoming a spirit into the material world. This Attainment emulates the Spirit 2 spell Opener of the Way (Mage, p. 181), but the willworker may only use it to shift Resonant to Open, not vice versa. Upon using this Attainment, she may spend 1 Mana to specify one stipulation by which any spirit using the Condition the mage creates to enact a Manifestation must abide, such as refraining from attacking a particular person or staying on board a ship. The stipulation must be something the mage could perceive a violation of if she were present, mundanely or with Spirit Eyes (Mage, p.193). By manifesting via this Condition, a spirit tacitly agrees to this provision; should it break that agreement, the Open Condition immediately vanishes, and the spirit loses Essence equal to the mage’s dots in Fate. This Attainment allocates its Reach to advanced Duration, requiring a scene of preparation.

 New Merit: Plunder Mana (••)

Prerequisites: Prime •, Resolve ••

Effect: Your character draws mana into herself with rapacious swiftness. She takes only 10 minutes to perform an Oblation at a Hallow, rather than the usual hour. If she successfully Counters a spell with any Mana cost, she regains one Mana.

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First DE2 Update of 2019!
5 months ago – Wed, Jan 30, 2019 at 01:53:59 AM

Hello DE2 backers!

RichT here:

The Dark Eras 2 chapters are working their way through the  Development phase, and our devs continue to go over the drafts and work to  make sure the chapters are all formatted correctly and that their redline notes were adhered to. 

Because we have so many gamelines involved - at least two per chapter- this process takes a bit longer as our DE2 devs are also working with developers from specific gamelines to be sure the Dark Era works right.

And here's developer Matthew Dawkins with a dispatch from the trenches of WWI, now:

Lost Lineage — The Faceless (Tortured Ones)

Pain is one of the great motivators in human history. Make someone uncomfortable and they will constantly strive to improve their position. Light a fire under anything living and it will instantly run, jump, crawl, climb, do whatever it can do to get away. The Faceless may have been among the worst experiments conducted in the name of warfare, but within their statuesque countenance they bear pain with the stoicism of sheer rock.

As much as constant agony is certainly something that can drive a soul deeper and deeper into Torment, it is also eternal and incontrovertible proof you are alive. The singing of nerves gives proof to a Promethean’s place among humanity, a common feeling which is in great supply in the trenches of the Western Front.

The Faceless seem outwardly to be the very model of calm and placid contemplation. Inside, they are eternally burning and experiencing the death throes of thousands of undying nerves. This constant grief drives the Faceless to seek solitude, even from each other. Faceless tend to avoid throngs where they can, preferring to observe humanity’s path in unobstructed contemplation. They are obsessed with understanding the reason for their suffering through understanding the suffering of others. While this can express itself in a Tortured One being moved by those who show selflessness and courage in the face of personal agony, it can also drive them to inflict great pain upon others in search of surcease to their constant suffering.

Their name is well earned as the Faceless’ features are those of stern, mud-golems. Their outward shell is hardened and blackened mud which cakes the internal tangle of limbs constantly burning in a putrid, self-contained vat of deadly chemicals. They are hulking and square in stature. The eyes of a Tortured One are deep set holes that they have personally bored into the cracked lines of their faces during their agonizing creation with their thick fingers, their mouths are thin, fissured slits that are painful to move. They can show no expression as their hardened surface does not lend itself to great movements of the face, they cover this up by donning large gas masks that cover their entire head, giving them their title.

The first Faceless was brought into being by accident. A lightning storm in France struck the ground where a mass of bodies, killed by chlorine gas, lay buried in the mud. The resulting reaction caused vaguely human shapes to rise, roaring in agony, from the ground. Those who witnessed it whispered among their ranks and word soon reached their superiors of the Entente and Central Powers alike. While the officers dismissed these tales as the rantings of fear-addled minds, Mortal alchemists working in the research and development labs of both sides pushed for these techniques to be refined and used, creating an army of new soldiers to take the place of those who lay dismembered on the scarred earth, their bodies killed by the gas, blown apart by shelling and churned among the mud.

By slowing the circulation of gas masks to front line troops, the alchemists ensure an ample supply of sites to create the Faceless and bolster their ranks. The alarming convergence of death and chemicals lead to staggering numbers of these Faceless appearing in even greater numbers than other Lineages. Their numbers trigger Firestorms across the various battlefields, and though some are seen as unnatural instances of devastation, most are assumed to be part and parcel of the Great War’s seemingly endless bombardment of artillery fire and chemical death.

The first of the Faceless are deployed to the trenches in Ypres where they had fallen. As more are created, they appear on various fronts. Sometimes, Faceless are deployed on opposite sides of the same battle line and tales circulate of hulking figures storming across no-man’s-land, able to withstand huge amounts of fire without stopping their maddening charge. Only artillery and highly concentrated fire can stop them in their tracks.

Though they do not often speak, Tortured Ones are often fluent in multiple languages, from English, French, and German to Algerian and Hindi. To the eyes of a shell-shocked soldier, they appear to be immensely large, dirt caked men, but the more inquisitive immediately realise that these Created are not one of them, leading the Faceless to regularly move from trench to trench to avoid difficult questions, often switching sides to try their luck elsewhere. What the Faceless know for sure is that this is the one place where they can roam with any sort of freedom. In a city or small village, they would be instantly recognizable.

Faceless regularly possess ragged scraps of uniforms of both sides that they mend into a hodge-podge covering.  As one of the few beings able to move between the opposing trenches of the war, they can be turned to the purpose of spying or spreading rumor and misinformation among an enemy trench, a feat that either side could benefit from.

Given their multiple perspectives, they often suffer from confused loyalties, it is not uncommon for German and Austrian dead to mingle with British and French in the mud of the Western Front. In the dirt, all are equal. Their differing points of view can give Faceless a bizarre and unique perspective on their plight, though they may not deign to share it with their comrades in the trench.

Faceless have a special disdain towards Frankensteins. Not so strong as a hatred, just a general distaste. Their prattle of suffering and their misfit, outcast state would wrinkle the noses of most Faceless if they bore noses beneath their masks. Not only do most of them have trouble relating to anyone who simply talks so much about themselves, the idea that so many of the Wretched chose to be here of their own volition, seeking some sort of bloody awakening or epiphany is anathema to their pain. What the Frankensteins truly suffer, so far as the Faceless are concerned, is an ugliness in scarring that dominates their life. This is not nobility, but narcissism.

Of all Created, they identify most closely with the Tammuz, particularly as many of their number may have been dug out of their birthing mud by the shovels of Tammuz engineers. The Faceless have a strange respect for people who quietly get on with their job and lack pretention. The Tammuz do not assign station and rank upon themselves, they find their truth in labor and a hard day’s work. They appreciate the simple beauty of a job well done. When a team of Tammuz are lengthening a trench or laying barbed wire, you will often find a Faceless watching over them. It is not clear if they have taken to guard them or if they simply find a strange catharsis in their toil.

Creations

The Mascot

Filthy Hamish is a regimental mascot. He has been adopted by the men of the 1st Lanark Militia due to saving their captain’s life simply by walking in front of him during an attempted advance. The men huddled behind him all the way back to the trench.

“He’s so dirty the bullets can’t pierce him!” they joke. What they don’t know is he’s the one who keeps ripping the legs, wings and heads off of the messenger pigeons sent to their trench. He doesn’t say much, but he watches the other lads very closely.

The Carer

Fraulein Marta is the den mother of her dug-out. She was found by the German Army in the remains of a medical outpost. Some of the men say they didn’t have the heart to shoot her, others say shooting her didn’t work. One oversized uniform and pickelhaube helm custom made by Oberjager Christoph Feldstein was enough to secure her place as an enlisted man. She has been known to treat the wounded though her care can often be a bit rough.

The Refugee

After wandering from the field, Grand Pierre joined a refugee train heading west. His observation of the families dispossessed from lands they cultivated for generations unnerved the others at first, but he was invaluable in warding off the vultures who preyed on the homeless and starving people fleeing the French countryside. After helping a family pull their dead child from the ruin of their farmhouse, he not only carved out a burial site himself but stood vigil during the modest ceremony the poor girl could be afforded. The family noticed him shedding yellow tears, which escaped from his gas mask and sizzled and smoked on the exposed, blackened mud of his chest.

The Homesick

Rajesh is not sure where he’s supposed to be, but it isn’t here. A voice in his head is calling him to head east; east through the German line and off to a home he only understands from flashes in his mind and memory of a language he doesn’t remember learning. He gathers a small team of men and women and listens to their stories of home. The blistering, humid summers of India. He feels he remembers with clarity his muddy flesh baking in the midday sun as he tended to a small herd of animals, one of whom could fit inside his hand. What he remembers most of all is the peace of it all. He promises to return these people home safely and concocts a plan to do it. They can call it desertion all they like. What are they fighting for if not to save home from this horror? And what is home without these people in it?

The Equestrian

Horses seem to have lost their place in war. Now they don’t carry soldiers, they carry crates. Phyllis on the other hand is more than capable of carrying horses. She sees those poor beasts left to die in craters. Discarded by their owners, shot even. She sees herself in the tragicomic reflections cast by their long, humorless faces. She sees a beast of burden staring back at her from every deep puddle. The others of her kind carry supplies now. They dig trenches and soak up fire. How long will it be before their masters ride them into battle? Well, all she can do is try to save something from this mess and it seems to her that the horses are the only innocents in this field.

Humour: Chlorine. The humour of the Faceless guarantees them internal torment as much as their exterior ensures they can never fully express that suffering. It imbues them with inner fury and almost insane, thoughtless bravery but can make them prone to acts of self-sacrifice. The fastest way to cease their torture is to end their existence after all. While this is one of the traits that ensures their Lineage’s temporary nature, it is not the only one. Their pain drives them to seek out the focus of their Pilgrimage with incredible, single minded dedication.

As much as their lack of physical expression makes them seem almost emotionless as statues, the internal burning of their humour also gives them a brooding, gruff aspect. Most Tortured Ones speak only when spoken to or, even then, at the uttermost end of need. They use words sparingly but observe and contemplate.

Their large size and formidable strength and toughness makes them physically intimidating and their rivals often shrink from them when confronted. Even the hardiest of Uratha would think twice before rushing headlong at a Tortured One without knowing what he was or what he might do. Most of the time, their quiet, brooding nature sees them easily confused for large, dirty soldiers. It is when they are found among the civilian population they truly stand out.

Bestowments: Living Wall, Chem-Shell

Faceless Bestowments

Living Wall: Your outer layer is hardened like stone and both bullets and blades alike ricochet off of your hide. Any that penetrate often simply become lodged within as part of your monstrous structure. If rolling dice to defend or evade attacks from simple melee weapons or firearms, the Faceless may reroll any failed dice, but must accept the result of the second roll.

Chem Shell: Channeling their inner rage, the Faceless can sacrifice part of themselves to create a hardened, explosive shell, fused with Pyros and deadly chemicals. The Faceless spends 1 Pyros and loses 1 Health level as it uses part of its own body to create this shell. It can then project the shell to a point it can see up to 100 feet away and detonate it. Alternatively, it can be placed somewhere like a conventional explosive. The blast destroys objects and structures caught within it and inflicts 10 aggravated damage on anyone within a 20ft radius. Anyone who survives the blast suffers from the Poisoned Tilt (see Chronicles of Darkness p. 286).

Stereotypes

Frankensteins         They do not understand suffering.

Galateids     At least they know themselves.

Osirans        All knowledge, no drive.

Tammuz      Kindred spirits, tools of another kind.

Ulgans Proof there is more than flesh and pain.

Unfleshed    If only these had been more numerous we may have been left in peace.

Extempore  A place to hide the shame of your life.

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