Notices


The Golden Room

   
One Canada Square

Library

The library is, relatively speaking, not all that large, but it is very eclectic. The books are arranged strictly by author, and the card catalog is a bit of a mess. You do notice four general themes:

1. Alternative dimensions, dimensional travel, the possibility of alternative reality. They've got things from scientific journals on the subject to some fairly obscure occult books about higher realities.

----They're most interested in places informed by subjective reality. There's a chance this Platonic math plane is a sub plane of one of the major planes.


2. The occult history of Britain, and particularly London. They have a lot of British history stuff here.

3. Geomancy and sacred geometry. Begin at Pythagoras and go on from there. The most interesting aspect here is the heavy element of Christian geometry. Someone's been stealing from the Freemasons.

----To imitate what the cult did, you'd need a spare half a billion dollars or so. From the looks of a few files, they did a lot of venture capital raising and behind-the-scenes manipulation to get this place.

4. Transhumanism. This is where the books get very weird. They're mostly scientific journals, but you have articles on memes, articles on organ transplants, articles on neuroscience. You have some pretty old books about creating artificial life via alchemy...


A couple of other things:
--This is a very multilingual library. You have things in English, French, Latin, Greek, Russian, German, and Italian.
--It's also got some weird stuff in here. Literally, there's a complete collection of the back-issues of Eerie Tales. Eerie Tales are some very obscure pulp magazines put out from Manchester back in the 1920s and 1930s. They're also crazy-rare collectors items these days.
--You also notice that there are a lot of things which aren't books but notebooks. Quite a lot of slim, black-covered notebooks filled with handwriting. About a third of it is in one hand, and written in French, and Erin can't make heads nor tails of it. Of the remainder, about a tenth is written in what you think is Ecclesiastical Latin. And the rest, written in the same hand, is in English. But it mostly consists of a lot of poetry and short stories.
Notably, neither the French author nor the Latin & English author is the same person who wrote up the notes on the medical files.

The Medical Laboratory

The medical laboratory is divided into two parts. Both are very high tech, state of the art, and ridiculously expensive. Two-thirds is a biomedical research lab, small but very elaborate, with a focus on genetic research. Lots of little petri dishes, lots of cages of white rats, etc. The remaining third is the kind of surgery bay that the Mayo Clinic would drool over. They've got anesthesia, sterile equipment, those little robotic surgery things to prevent shaky hands (scientific, I know). Basically, they are fully equipped to put things into and take things out of anyone you care to mention.

---If it hasn't been made sufficiently clear yet, the cult is loaded.


The gold mine, however, is the cabinet full of medical files in the corner of the biomedical research lab. This is a gold-mine for two reasons. First, it tells you precisely what the cultists are doing. And second, it tells you who they're doing it with.

To begin with, as you have probably guessed by now, the cult is very heavily into organ transplants and organ replacements. Basically, they like to try and make people better. So they'll take a man, and they'll stick a new liver into him. Or a new heart. Or a set of lycanthropic muscle tissues. Or a new soul. Among other things, the cult thinks that it can transplant souls.

---How do you swap souls? The cult apparently does it through surgery. What Ilkin was witnessing was one such surgery - or a "performane" variant thereof. You take out a little organ found in the base of the spine, behind the heart, and swap it around. This organ is not on standard medical charts. They have a spare supply of 'good' souls... usually, stick them in a saline solution and store them at some place called Site B4. They occasionally trade it to an extradimensional entity. Occasionally they take the military-people souls and stick them into the murderers or bad people and send them on their merry way - simple swap.

Their favorite little trick is the following: They'll find choice human bodies. Ex-soldiers, military contractors, and so on. They recruit them or kidnap them or whatever they prefer. Then they strap them down onto the table, and swap their souls with those of some scum-of-the-earth dreg they have. Murderers, rapists, acquired at leisure. They apply vampiric mental control. Drugs. Then they improve these ex-soldiers. They're particularly good at slipping bits of werewolf grey matter into the soldier's brains, creating latter-day berserkers. What you end up with is a brainwashed supersoldier who is fanatically loyal to the cult. On the surface, they act like normal people. But they're basically hollowed out shells, and it's very arguable if they still count as people.

---The gentleman knocked out earlier is one of them. His medical file is in here. He's got super-fast healing, berserker strength (as in, Strength 6+), and can extend claws from between his fingers. At the moment, the cult seems to have eight of these supersoldiers, judging from the records. Most of them have the berserker augment and some manner of personal claws/wrist-spike, though beyond that the augmentations do vary. The cult experimented with hyper-twitchy reflexes, super-speed (not quite Celerity level, though), and two of the older ones have freaky hypnotic/terror-inducing eyes, though this apparently does a number on their aim. I'm guessing the drugs and dominate didn't do wonders for their resistance stats.

The supersoldier program is the cult's most finished project. Basically, they've been doing this long enough to work out most of the kinks. There's other experimental projects, which basically consist of "stick this into a homeless person and see what happens." Sometimes the body rejects the transplant despite the cults best efforts, and the person just dies, or gets very sick, they catch him again, and take it out. A few times they get positive results, but can't control the experiment, or can't reproduce it. In one case, they embedded slivers of silver found in a church into a man's brain, and managed to produce someone who could pass through solid objects.... and became sort of violently insane. They couldn't even shoot him, so they had to lure him into the Nexus and summon something they term an Umbrelic Vampyre to get rid of him.

---An extremely unpleasant extradimensional entity (possibly a hobgoblin). As in, "flays a human's skin from his body, drinks his blood, and then steals the head to lay eggs in it".

One of the other things the cult is researching is identity theft. Only in the "I steal your face and now look like you" sense as opposed to swiping insurance information. What they basically do is strap you down, slice off your face, and then attach it to themselves. As of yet, they've only managed to get consistent results with vampires, but they're working on human-to-human face transplants. Generally, the cult likes to 'combine' their torturous medical experiments. They'll take a person, steal his soul, drink his blood (vampires), take his face, and swipe any internal organs of note.The bodies are then apparently smuggled out and eventually thrown into the ocean with some lead weights tied to their feet.

---This is reading between the lines, but the files refer to a boat a few times in conjunction with disposal.


Now for the with. Based on the medical files, you also think you know where the cult is getting its money. Essentially, the Cult is, with its various experiments, on the bleeding edge of medical technology, and has been for a good thirty years (claims of ancient heritage notwithstanding, the files only really go back to the 1970s). As a result, they're very heavily invested in several medical corporations. Their particular partner is a company called Weide GmbH, which is a German company that specializes in high medical technology and designer drugs, cutting edge in medical transplants. They also work with a British company called Barthes Incorporated, which produces prosthetics and neurology equipment, and a pharmaceutical company called Jones-Klein-Beauchamp.

---Site B4 is apparently a Barthes Inc. production facility in Northumberland. Apparently the reason for the souls being elsewhere is due to what is referred to as the "1983 Incident". They don't describe it in detail, but reading between the lines, it seems that having several dozen free souls hanging around when summoning extradimensional horrors is a bad idea.


The cult does not own or rule these companies. Instead, the cult has itself positioned as more of an independent medical research firm. Their screwing around with what Should Not Be is sometimes made into something practical, then sold off. In a slightly twisted sense, the cult has probably helped advance medical technology quite a bit in its time. The overwhelming majority of the people in these companies have no knowledge of anything peculiar, but at least some of the vice presidents and directors are involved, and a few are even lower-ranking members of the cult. This doesn't account for all of the cult's money, but they've basically found a way to monetize their transhumanist research.

For the record, there appear to be only three cultists/doctors that are actually doing this stuff. Or at least, only three peoples' handwriting that is on the medical files. You can recognize them as the hand that wrote the French documents (this person has the least notes), the one who wrote the English and Latin (most), and the person who labeled the medical files.

The Moulding Room

This room, with its strange geographic and spatial properties, is basically a Rubik's Cube of multiple dimensions, brought close together. Smack in the center of the room (10 yards above the center of the pit) is what may be best described as a dimensional singularity, or at least something approaching one. A single point where these dimensions are brought together, and where the differences between them fall away.

The actual point is barely a pinprick in reality, a few molecules, but it means that the fabric of reality in the rest of the room, and indeed stretching out to the entire skyscraper and the surrounding area, is extremely thin. That's why it's a Rubik's Cube. Normally, this doesn't mean anything. Thin is not the same as nonexistent. But you can solve the Cube. Shift the walls, change how things work, and specific realities become congruent. It's more mathematical formula than spell, if you can make a math formula in multi-dimensional architecture.

Depending on the realities made congruent, the aspects of this reality alter. In a very real way, whoever manipulate this room can change how physics works in a limited area, though the effect past the walls of the room are weak enough as to be mostly unnoticed. The repercussions of this are multifold, but it means that one can travel through the other realms, and that at least in the here and now, the impossible may become possible.

At present, the Room is aligned with some kind of purely theoretical plane of higher mathematics. To those who understand how this works, this speeds logical processes, providing a +3 bonus to all Intelligence rolls (this applies to power-activation pools as well). Erin can explain this to the others, and if they succeed at an Int+Occult check, they gain the bonus too. Erin also understands how to solve the Rubik's Cube to shift to Arcadia, though the consequences of that are unclear. She could also try fiddling with the arcane controls (it's mostly a matter of painting things on the wall, lighting or dousing braziers, and using some white-noise machines tucked away beneath the medical cabinets), but what happens then is anyone's guess.

Whoever designed this place, however, was a metaphysical genius on the level of Jean-Michel Verite. He was also completely insane.

The Golden Room



The Golden Room

The Golden Room is premised on a very simple question. What next? The ageless Residents of the Golden Room are uniquely positioned to watch the ever-shifting course of society, the ever-accelerating pace of technology, the magnificent evolution of the human race. Consider. The earliest human civilizations emerged in China and Sumer some six thousand years ago. People began to write. They began to make pots. They made wagons, and formed a government of kings. Now, fast forward fifty-eight hundred years. People still do much the same. Books are still the only form of knowledge. People still make their pots by hand. Humanity can still move at no faster than the speed of a horse. The world, with few exceptions, is ruled by kings.

Now look at today.

This is what the Residents of the Golden Room see. They see the transformation of humanity, a lightning race into the future. The Golden Room was born out of fear – for how long till humanity pierces the shadows? The Golden Room was born out of power-lust – for he who controls the transformation can guide the world. Most of all though, the Golden Room was born out of curiosity – what next?

Cultists: The human initiates of Golden Room – the Visitors – represent two kinds of people. Half of them are the rich, the beautiful, the influence-mongers and image-peddlers. Minor celebrities, actors, politicians, pop stars and athletes. They are the people that control society, and they are the people that want to control society. They’ve been promised power and influence, and here’s the thing. They get it. The Visitors are encouraged to help one another out. The unliving Residents needn’t lift a finger.

The others? They’re the ones that the Golden Room cultivates. They’re explorers into the unknown. Scientists. Engineers. Poets. Occultists. They don’t have money or fame or power, but they have something the Golden Room values even more highly. They have curiosity, an urge to delve beyond the reaches of society. They ask the questions, and every so often, one of them gets an answer.

The higher echelons of the Golden Room, the half-supernatural Guests. They’re experimenters and mystics, or simply the kind of people who want to know everything. Except they don’t just stop at the edges of society. The Guests want to twist up reality itself, pull back the curtain and peek at what’s there.

As for the three immortal Residents, the masters of the shadow cult? They’re a curious bunch. Vincent Moon babbles about the God-Machine and space elevators into an alternative reality, and governs all of his actions by mass-market occult trash, partly because he knows it’s no more meaningful than anything else. And partly because he’s completely insane. Sophie Penrose came to replace an elder lost to something beneath London, and she struggles to fill a mighty pair of shoes, and keep two mad Elders in line. But the rewards are worth it.

Praxis: The Golden Room seeks transformation. They want to change the world. Change human society, change human form, change human reality. Visitors and Guests are encouraged to experiment, subverting their very lives in service to some grand, transhumanist vision. They take ever more exotic drugs, create ever more bizarre media plays, alter themselves with transformative surgery. They twist society, and they twist reality, and in the end, they change themselves into something other, or die in the process.

The Golden Room sees the technological Singularity on the horizon, when magic and technology unite to create something that would be by definition unimaginable. But here’s the secret. They have no idea what they’ll do with it. There are some vague thoughts of power, or control, or survival. But in the end, the Golden Room pushes the borders not for any cause or goal. They do it because they can.

Ceremonies: The Visitors of the Golden Room meet on the first Monday of every month, in some rented club or the home of a member, and they perform post-modern magic rites with the trappings of pop-culture. They pray over iPhones and sacrifice photographs of the celeb du jour. They re-enact and re-film a notorious celebrity sex-tape, changing it with each iteration, transforming it gradually into a surreal horror of blood and death. Then at the end of the evening, the Residents and the Guests take them to a second ceremony, where the transformation extends even to the very flesh, and the magic is very, very real.

Initiations
For all its post-modernist sensibilities, the Golden Room is structured like a mystery cult from the days of Greece and Rome. There are three circles of initiation, and advancement to the higher ones is a question of merit and commitment. The Residents rule personally from their great center in London, with high ranking Guests managing major cult operations in Boston, Kinshasa, Mexico City, and Singapore. Smaller cells (half a dozen Visitors led by a Guest) are scattered through a dozen other cities throughout the world.

The initiation to higher levels are structured with odd spiritual rituals, invoking totems of surveillance and surgery, and involve the spilling of blood upon a photographic fetish. The Residents keep these, and Failing the Golden Room, even in seemingly simple tasks, is never good for a cultist’s health.

• The junior Visitors number some three or four hundred, and few even know the name of the Golden Room. They attend the most basic rituals, mingle with the other Visitors, and learn to watch. The character gains a Surveillance specialty in the Investigation skill.
•• The senior Visitors have been members of the Golden Room for some time, and they number nearly a hundred. They’ve attended the rituals that the Residents host, and have caught just a glimpse that there may be something more to reality.
••• The Guests of the Golden Room are sorcerers and psychics, cultists of other secretive orders or simply those too curious for their own good. They number just over forty. The Golden Room encourages its members to explore, to join other occult societies, or to recruit their members for the Golden Room. This cross-pollination allows Guests of the Golden Room to purchase Allies and Friends in suitable occult or supernatural organizations at (new dots x1) experience points.
•••• The dozen or so senior Guests have peeled back the curtain. They know of the God-Machine and the Space Ladder, of the secrets of Egypt and the Aztecs. They’ve met the Residents, and lead cells of their own.
••••• The three immortal Residents of the Golden Room sit at the head of a massive cult of arcane and temporal power. But more than that, the Residents have been doing this for a very long time, and they’re a canny crew. Each Resident gains a limited version of the Common Sense merit, applicable only when dealing with other dimensions or their residents.
Shadow Cult Merits: Allies (The Golden Room) 6, Allies (Biomedical Corporations) 5, Allies (La Sociedad) 5, Allies (Grassic Lewis) 3, Allies (The Sparrowclaw Circle) 3, Contacts (Entertainment Industry, Finance, Government, Police, Medicine) 5, Friend (Jack Scarlet) 5, Friend (The Maestro) 3, Friend (Ermenjart la Charpentière) 3, Herd (Eager Cultists) 4, Resources 7, Retainers (The Men in Grey x8) 4 each
Shadow Cult Haven: One Canada Square; Size 3, Geomantic Nexus (Intelligence; Potency 2, Size 2), Library (Interstitial Terrain, Secret Societies, Transhumanism) 3, Locus 1, Occultation 5, Ritual Area (Dimensional Nexus) 3, Secrecy 4, Security 4, Workshop (Surgery, Surveillance) 2

The Men in Grey

The Men in Grey (MiG) are Britain's answer to the Men in Black, sinister government agents who cover up the supernatural with intimidation and violence. While there may be others who use the image (for it is a useful one), the Golden Room's Men in Grey are carefully engineered supersoldiers, the strong arm of the Golden Room. Each of the eight Men in Grey is former military, implanted with alien horrors and foreign souls, and broken into obedience with vampiric magics and carefully selected drugs.

The Golden Room's Men in Grey are:

Davies, a slim red-headed young man.
Roberts, a tall, Afro-Caribbean man.
Brown, a brown-haired man with soft features.
Jones, an Asian woman, dark haired.
Smith, a blocky-looking man, bald.
Evans, a pinch-faced dark-haired woman.
Wilson, a short, blond-haired man who smiles all the time.
Taylor, a dark-haired man with bright blue eyes.

All are in their late twenties or their thirties, and all of them are considered to be legally dead. They live in a barracks at One Canada Square when not needed, and rarely go in groups of fewer than two. Lethal individually, the full group is capable of inflicting a great deal of damage to something.
The Men in Grey, Mk. II

Mental Attributes: Intelligence 1, Wits 3, Resolve 4
Physical Attributes: Strength
5 + 1 per 1L in combat
3, Dexterity 4, Stamina 4
Social Attributes: Presence 3, Manipulation 1, Composure 1

Mental Skills: Crafts 1, Investigation 2
Physical Skills: Athletics 3, Brawl 2, Drive 1, Firearms (Assault Rifle) 4, Larceny (Breaking & Entry) 2, Stealth 2, Survival 1, Weaponry (Knife) 4
Social Skills: Intimidation 3, Streetwise 1, Subterfuge 1

Merits: Fast Reflexes 2, Fighting Style (
Add Firearms to Initiative, Reload as a Reflexive Action
Combat Marksmanship) 2, Fighting Style (
Reflexively determine initiatives, add AP 3 to melee attacks, grapple at Strength+1, +1 per additional round
Modern Army Combatives) 3, Natural Immunity 1, New Identity (MiG) 2, Quick Draw (Firearms) 1
Thaumatechnology:
When in combat, gain +2 Strength & Iron Stamina 3, as well as a further +1 to Strength for every 1L suffered. Must roll Resolve+Composure whenever 2L+ is taken, or go berserk/retreat
Berserker Splice 3,
Grants Magic Shield 4, -1 to Degeneration checks
Banality Worm 5

Willpower: 5
Morality: 1

Initiative: 7 (11 w/ Firearms)
Defense: 3
Armor: 2/4B (Dragon Skin)
Magic Shield: 4 (Banality Worm)
Health: 9
Speed: 12 (14+ in combat)

Attacks.......................Damage.........Dice Pool.....Special
FN FAL.......................4L (9-Again).......13................Range 200/400/800, Capacity 20, Fully Auto 3(3/4/5), Laser Sight (+1 at Close Range)
Sig-Sauer P220...........3L.....................11................Range 30/60/120, Capacity 7, Silenced
K-Bar Knife.……...........1L.....................11...............+1 per Lethal Wound, AP 3
Grapple......……...........N/A...................7...............+1 per Lethal Wound, AP 3

Equipment
All MiG are equipped with ear-piece radios.





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