Ephemeral Entities

   
Ephemeral Entities

The Ka of Lauren Darrow

Type Ghost-Reflection

Lauren's ghostly reflection. Doesn't like her, but forced to protect her because their existences are tied together. At best, it's spiteful, petty, and enjoys playing mind-games with Lauren.

Mostly, the reflection uses the Ghost Sign power to frighten and unnerve Lauren, and gently sabotage relationships as best she can. If forced to protect it's existence by protecting Lauren, the reflection uses the Snatch numina, dragging offenders to cool their heels in a mirror for a few hours. Materialize is the power of last resort, which the reflection has been extremely careful about using in any situation where it may get back to Lauren. Mostly, it is used to make life more comfortable for the reflection, such as by ensuring a supply of stagnant water and rotted corpses (via sabotaging graves and such).
Type Reflection

Attributes: Power 4, Finesse 4, Resistance 4
Willpower: 8

Initiative: 8
Defense: 0
Armor: 4
Speed: 13
Corpus: 9

Morality: 3

Essence: 13/13
Numina:
The Reflection can take solid form, stepping out of its mirror and into the real world. It appears exactly the same as the vampire, except that it can walk in broad daylight, has a shadow and can be heard on telephones and recording equipment. It still doesn’t show up in mirrors, film or photographs, however. The Storyteller spends three Essence and rolls the Reflection’s Power + Finesse. The Reflection can stay in material form for one hour for every success rolled.
Materialize,
The Reflection reaches out from the mirror, TV screen or picture it has just manifested in and drags someone inside. The Storyteller spends three Essence and rolls the Reflection’s Power + Finesse – the target’s Resolve + Blood Potency. For every success the Storyteller rolls, the victim becomes trapped within the reflection (banging his fists noiselessly against the glass) or image (stuck in an attitude of terror) for one hour for every success rolled. The Reflection can communicate with an imprisoned victim (and in lieu of any other power to communicate, might use this as a way to talk), or choose to attack. The Reflection can use this power on its vampire. Should a mortal be killed within the mirror, their remains simply vanish; thus, Reflections cannot use this method to feed.
Snatch, Savant (Snatch), Unknown, Unknown

Nigel
Sir Nigel Galsworthy, 4th Baronet of Bishop's Lydeard (Deceased), Invisible Member of the Suicide Circle

Type: Ghost
Rank: Knight of Death (Rank 2)
Born: 1980
Died: 2007



Virtue: Humble
Vice: Shy

Background: As forceful and confrontational as a rabbit confronted with a piece of celery, Nigel grew up in the shadow of his father, Sir James Galsworthy, the 3rd Baronet of Bishop's Lydeard. A forceful and potent man, Sir James was a banker, his own grandfather raised to a baronetcy for services to British finance. Nigel grew up under a massive weight of expectations, one which he shouldered poorly. Instead of a barrister or financier, his few talents tended towards painting and dealing with animals, and he was cripplingly shy in social circumstances.

But Nigel was rich as Croesus, had a luxurious estate out in Somerset County, and he had a title. So when his father died suddenly of a stroke, Nigel found himself the target of entirely more attention than he'd ever been subjected to before. In short order, he found himself engaged to an exceptionally attractive young woman of artistic background, and for a few months, the young man was deliriously happy. He bought a wedding ring from De Beers with enough diamonds to feed a small country and started planning a honeymoon across the world. They'd visit Italy first, then perhaps a few weeks in Greece...

Then his fiancé was caught in flagrante delicto with one of the groomsmen, a school-friend of Nigel's, and the wedding was cancelled under a cloud of scandal. Nigel was actually willing to go on with it, but his own family vetoed that idea thoroughly, and it was entirely arguable as to whether the young lady in question was more fond of Nigel or his money. Regardless, Nigel sunk into deep, deep depression, interspersed with bouts of blatantly self-destructive behavior (visiting prostitutes, both high-class and low, drinking till he was insensible, etc). It was not long after this that a distant friend of his father suggested that Nigel could at least channel his misery to constructive uses.

Joining the Suicide Circle was cause for some perverse pride on Nigel's part. It required his death, but it was death for a cause, and the Romans did say that to kill oneself restored one's honor, didn't they? Thus, on New Year's Eve, 2007, Nigel Galsworthy underwent the Three-Fold Death. He drank from a cup of wine mixed with cyanide. He was hanged by a silk rope. And he was disemboweled with a sacred sickle. His blood fed London for one more year.

Of course, even in dying, Nigel managed to screw things up. Through Lauren Darrow's presence, she was initiated (somehow) into the Suicide Circle, despite being already dead by most standards. The other Invisible Members were not well-pleased with this, though the situation was eventually resolved.

These days, Nigel is technically part of the Suicide Circle's Invisible Membership, though since he's somewhat frightened of them and they think (in so far as any opinion can be discerned) that he's an inveterate screw-up, they mostly avoid each other. Instead, Nigel has become the Cat's Cradle's official ghost, and spends most of his time hanging out with the people there, especially the changeling Bat, with whom he has a slow, romantic relationship (they go on picnics to graveyards).

In life, Nigel was a short man with soft blond hair and a babyish face dominated by a pair of cornflower blue eyes. At his death, he was dressed formally, in a black suit with a bright green checked tie. In death, his face has gone pale, chalk-white, and he bears the marks of his death upon him: a smell of bitter almonds, the shiny-red ligature marks upon his neck, and the open, rancid wound upon his gut. He is able, for a time, to look as he had before, though even then he wears a black noose about his neck.

Presently, Nigel's personal anchor (his wedding ring) is in the possession of Bat, having been excavated from his grave at Kensal Green cemetery. He is also anchored to the Reform Club.
Type Ghost

Rank: 2
Attributes: Power 3, Finesse 5, Resistance 4

Willpower: 9
Innocence: 7

Initiative: 9
Defense: 3/3
Speed: 13
Corpus: 9

Essence: 15/15
Influences: Anchors ●● (The Reform Club, The Suicide Circle, His Engagement Ring)
Numina:
This Numen grants a mortal a vision of a task the entity wishes him to accomplish as well as a magical determination to see it through. The entity pays 2 Essence and rolls Power + Finesse. On a success, the subject receives a short vision of whatever the entity wishes him to do and is under the Obsessed Condition regarding carrying that mission out.
Implant Mission,
The entity is very good at being overlooked. Perception rolls to notice the entity are penalized by 2 dice. This Numen does not require a roll to activate and has no cost.
Innocuous,
This Numen disguises a Materialized entity as a human and can be used at the same time as the Materialize Manifestation Effect. Using the Numen costs 1 Essence and the human seeming lasts for activation successes in hours. The human “costume” is flawed — witnesses may make a Wits + Composure roll penalized by the entity’s Finesse to realize that something is wrong. Characters able to sense the entity in Twilight do not suffer a penalty to the roll.
Mortal Mask,
The entity accelerates into a blur of movement. The entity chooses whether to spend 2 or 4 Essence when activating this Numen. Spending 2 Essence doubles its Speed for the remainder of the scene, while spending 4 Essence triples it.
Speed
Manifestations: Twilight Form, Materialize, Image

Ban: Cannot harm any servant of the City of London, from the Lord Mayor down to the garbage men, while they are on duty.
Banes: Royal Blood

The Man Under London
The Unnamed Incarnae, The Gentleman

Type: Spirit
Rank: Incarnae (Rank 5)
Themes: Subterranean Places, Trains, Lost Things
Incarnated: ???



Background: Some believe the Man Under London is actually the spirit of the Tube train. It’s certainly possible — he’s always found in the tunnels, Tube stations or on the trains themselves. None have ever seen him above ground, in or out of the Shadow. Still, the spirit won’t admit to being that spirit, and says he’s simply a “man of London.”

Physically, he seems unassuming. He looks to be an average man in a dark suit, white shirt, dark tie and spit-polished Doc Martens dress shoes. He has sharp features, bright eyes and a perpetual smile. His accent is crisp but cannot be easily attributed to any one part of London over another.

Despite his relatively simple appearance, the man pulses with a kind of power. Anyone in his presence can feel that aura, like a metallic scent in the air, without effort. He is friendly, and will offer small aid for bits of Essence or easy tasks. The werewolves believe that he knows everything that goes on inside the city, regardless which side of the Gauntlet it happens upon. Stranger still, the man seems to be the keeper of many lost objects. Whether a pocket watch, a left-footed sock or a treasured fetish, if it goes missing in London, very likely the Man Under London has it or knows who does. (Lost items or information regarding them, he doesn’t give out so easily. Forsaken seeking help in this manner should expect to pay mightily.)

Befitting a spirit of dark places beneath the earth, the Man Under London is a creature of mystery. He has a number of strange alliances -- he is connected to the ancient vampiress Abonde, who knows him by a different name, and before their destruction, was a hidden patron of the Suicide Circle (though this fact is still not widely known). He has enemies as well, the Worm Shamans of Whisper Court among others. And who knows what lies further below London, in what lightless spaces the Unnamed Incarnae walks. In modern nights, it seems probable that the Man is attempting to become Lord of London Below. He looks unfavorably upon those who explore too deeply, and his ire is not to be risked idly.
Type: Spirit

Rank: 5
Attributes: Power 13, Finesse 15, Resistance 12
Willpower: 27

Initiative: 27
Defense: 13/13
Speed: 38 (Species Factor 10)
Size: 5
Corpus 17

Essence: 50/50
Influences: Trains ●●●●●, Lost Things ●●●●
Numina:
The entity may wound opponents at a distance. Range is equal to 10 yards per dot of Power and the entity does not suffer range penalties. The entity rolls Power+Finesse minus Defense, and deals Lethal damage.
Blast (Tentacles of Cables, Spectral Trains, Third-Rail Electrical Strikes),
The entity sends out a wave of powerful — and distracting — emotion. This Numen costs one Essence and lasts for a scene or until the entity uses another Numina. The activation roll is made once but anyone coming within 5 yards of the entity must make a Resolve + Composure + Supernatural Tolerance roll. If the activation roll has more successes, the victim suffers a –2 dice penalty to all actions as long as the aura remains. If the victim gains more successes, he is immune to the aura unless the entity uses the Numen again.
Emotional Aura (Confusion and Forgetfulness),
The entity is very good at being overlooked. Perception rolls to notice the entity are penalized by 2 dice. This Numen does not require a roll to activate and has no cost.
Innocuous,
This Numen allows an entity to know the quickest route to a destination. The fastest route isn’t always the safest, of course; the Numen doesn’t reveal any dangers on the way, only a set of directions to the target. If the destination is the subject of the Safe Place Merit, the activation roll is contested by the lowest Resolve + Supernatural Tolerance among any owners. The Numen costs 1 Essence and lasts for a scene. If the destination is too far away to reach that quickly, the entity must use the Numen again.
Pathfinder,
The entity creates messages or images in any media they would be able to access to be used by a mortal — it can write in the condensation on cold glass, produce images on computer screens, and send audible messages via phone lines. The Numen costs one Essence to activate, and if successful creates a single message.
Sign,
The entity accelerates into a blur of movement. The entity chooses whether to spend 2 or 4 Essence when activating this Numen. Spending 2 Essence doubles its Speed for the remainder of the scene, while spending 4 Essence triples it.
Speed
Manifestations: Twilight Form, Image, Reaching, Shadow Gateway, Fetter, Unfetter

Ban: Unknown
Banes: Unknown

Mitya Gushin
Dimitry Ivanovich Gushin

Type: Ghost (Revenant)
Rank: Squire of Death (Rank 1)
Affiliation: Guardians of the Veil
Cabal: The Mortlake Division
Born: 1992
Died: 2009

Virtue: Trusting
Vice: Stubborn (Even when alive, Mitya tended towards the hyper-focused. With the clarity of death, he's an utter obsessive.)

Background: Mitya Gushin died because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Unlike with most people, however, his story did not end there.

Mitya was born in London to Russian Jewish parents that had fled Russia right after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Many people did the same back then - Moscow-on-the-Thames, some people joked, and they were half-right, really. Mitya grew up thoroughly Anglicized, but steeped in a good amount of Soviet-Russian culture along the way. Mostly, Mitya was an unexceptional kid. He was maybe a little smarter than average, but Oxford and Cambridge did not beckon. He was a bit on the scrawny side, but he was a good runner and on his local comprehensive's track team.

The one place where Mitya did excel in was painting. Somewhere along the way, Mitya developed a love of art. The fact that his dad was a guard at the British Museum, with all the backstage passes that implied may have had something to do with it. Since he was a kid, Mitya wanted to draw, and so he took all the art classes at the comprehensive, managed to finagle his parents into paying for after-school art lessons, and had some hopes of turning it into a career, graphic design, maybe.

Had Mitya not fallen in with a bad crowd, that would have been the end of it. But he did. Not a very bad crowd, but some of his friends fell in with some dubious people, and Mitya, as susceptible to peer pressure as any teenager, soon found himself engaged in some fairly petty acts of criminality. Nothing serious, but there were some drugs, some shoplifting, and when he was caught on camera, a stint before a juvenile court where Mitya was released to the recognizance of his thoroughly mortified parents.

Until, that is, someone decided to break into the British Museum, and needed Gushin Sr.'s help to do it. Mitya's name was known to the local Mafiya, and so the plan was hatched. Mitya's memory of those few days is mercifully vague. He was lured away at night and kidnapped, by some thoroughly terrifying people. He thinks he was beaten, and then one of the kidnappers, a truly demented creature, killed him. All Mitya remembers if blinding pain, and then oblivion.

Then the face of a certain green-haired goth-girl looming over him and gently cutting the threads that she'd bound his mouth with. Mitya had died and come back to life -- Whim had urged his soul back into his body and tied it there, at least for the foreseeable future.

To some extent, it was basic Masquerade preservation. It was also to let his family down easily, to spare them the trauma and pain of having their son murdered in such a gruesome fashion (and it was gruesome, Mitya was flayed alive). The plan was for Mitya to quietly fade away, to 'live' for another five-ten years, and then perish in a car accident, or some similar thing, when his unaging appearance was no longer possible to hide. Or maybe he'd just vanish and serve the Guardians of the Veil. Either way was possible.

These days, Mitya's eased his ties with his family, moving out and preparing the ground for his eventual disappearance and second death. He didn't go to college, but with the obsessiveness of an undead artist, Mitya's become quite good despite being self-taught. The Guardians of the Veil use him as a 'court recorder' of sorts, actually, sketching objects, places, or people that react badly to cameras.

Mitya is... largely underwhelmed by this course of events. He was a focused, driven fellow when he was alive, and death has only sharpened his focus into a kind of obsessiveness. He's obsessed with providing for his family, with his art, and with serving the Guardians of the Veil. He doesn't need to eat, drink, or sleep anymore, but he needs to act out on his emotions, or else he just withers away.

When not engaged in one of his obsessions, Mitya tends to slip into lethargy. He's depressed and bitter about his lot, and finds it easy to simply not care about anything else. Any medical diagnosis would probably register Mitya as bipolar (though his real problem is that he's an undead revenant). Mostly, Mitya just sits around in a corner and sketches things or people.

Looking at Mitya, one can definitely get the impression that something is off. He's a pale, scratched-up looking teenager (he was 17 when he died) with a rounded face, hazel eyes and curly brown hair. His skin is covered in a latticework of tiny scars, where his skin was literally stitched back together, and his lips have larger, criss-crossing scars where Whim had threaded them together as part of the resurrection ritual. He mostly dresses in street-casual, but with a fondness for turtlenecks and jackets with hoods, the better to obscure his features, and Mitya always has a sketch pad and some drawing pencils near at hand.

Rank: 1
Mental 2; Physical 2; Social 2
Willpower: 1
Drive: 1
Notable Powers: Revenant Artist

Alex
Alithak Imirlunim, Moonlight-in-Winter

Type: Spirit
Affiliation: The Guardians of the Veil
Rank: Greater Jaggling (Rank 4)
Themes: Winter, Moonlight, Mad Ideas (of a genteel, academic, eccentric sort)
Incarnated: ~1600; Raised to its present rank ~1850

Background: The spirit known in the First Tongue as Alithak Imirlunim (Moonlight-in-Winter in the human tongue) has served as Luna's hands in the mortal world for centuries. Its began its existence as nothing more than a beam of moonlight one winter night, illuminating the quest for knowledge of some human scholar long ago and far away. The scholar's skewed mind gave the spirit form and purpose, crafting his muse into a being of brisk winter air and cold moonlight, of ideas that come in the cold night air, and of a very specific sort of lunacy. Not mad, ravening, rabid madness, but the kind of bright-eyed insanity of the student and the scientist, the internally coherent worldviews that intersect only diagonally with conventional reality.

From these humble beginnings the spirit progressed, becoming greater and stronger with the years. It inspired poets and philosophers alike, driving them gently into the world of their minds with whispered words and midnight visions. In time, it attracted the attention of Ever-Shifting Luna, and was elevated higher yet. It became a direct servant of the moon goddess, tempering its mad ideas with service and duty -- insofar as a spirit of eccentricity can possess duty.

Decades passed so, centuries even. Moonlight-in-Winter proved an able agent, subtle and unpredictable in the way of moonlight and winter air. It was rewarded, with choice mortals upon which to impress its peculiar brand of greatness -- it claims to have been the inspiration behind certain of Lord Byron's poems, and the half-abashed way in which it states this gives its claims all the more credence.

Most recently, Moonlight-in-Winter arrived in London to look over the efforts of Avery One-Shot to unite the Packs. Though these efforts have fallen through, at least from Avery's side, Moonlight-in-Winter remains in London. There are others who have been inspired by Avery's example, and perhaps Luna's servant can tarry for a time in this strange city.

In modern nights, Moonlight-in-Winter goes by 'Alex', at least in part because it makes identifying it as a spirit of gentle madness trickier. It is a member of the Ithalunim Choir, the spirits of the Crescent Moon, spirits of wisdom and knowledge, though it has more than a hint of the divinely inspired Cahalunim to it. It's a very human spirit, adopting human form and able to communicate reasonably coherently for a Lune. It seems nice, which people don't expect, gentle in a way, though the silver sword it wears can be frightful as well.

As what the werewolves call a Greater Jaggling, Alex is just a few steps shy of being a lesser Incarnae in its own right. It is deadly powerful, and is perfectly capable of standing toe-to-toe with a whole pack of werewolves. Nevertheless, this isn't Alex's style. The spirit prefers subtlety and creativity in its missions, using its ability to plant divine inspirations in mortal minds to arrange matters to its liking.

In appearance, Alex is a gorgeous, androgynous human youth, all in shades of white. Alabaster skin, silver eyes, a short, bob hairstyle with the faintest golden tinge to it. A pure-white suit. Folded wings with white feathers. A sharp silver blade that in times of war burns with a cold fire. Alex is fascinating with all aspects of human culture, though it doesn't really get them very well -- in particular, the concept of personal names seems to escape it, as it tends to refer to others by complex titles.

Warbuilder

Type: Spirit
Rank: Lesser Jaggling (Rank 3)
Themes: Monumental Construction, War-Manufacturing, Subordination to a Cause
Pack: The Architects of Steel
Incarnated: ~1940

Background: Warbuilder first came into conscious being during the Second World War, in the great Royal Ordnance factories that were built to provide the British war machine with munitions. Day and night those factories ran, for there was no time to rest. In streamed workers, materials, time, energy, and out poured the mighty weapons of army and navy and air force. It was hard, dangerous work. People died in building the weapons, and many, many more died in their eventual use.

It was a good time to be a spirit of war or construction or death, for essence ran in the gutters, and the vultures of the Shadow grew fat. Warbuilder was one such, a spirit of construction and destruction, of the subordination of man to mission, characterized by a certain ruthless, selfless aspect appropriate to its being. It was far from the least of the spirits of Britain's darkest hour, though hardly the greatest.

What it did manage, which not all could, was survive. In time, the war ended. In time, many of the Royal Ordnance Factories were closed. Later, they were privatized. Where there had been a glut of essence, now there was a drought. Rather than stay and fight over the scraps, Warbuilder moved on, south and east, towards that great engine of war and construction, London.

These were lean years for Warbuilder, when it scuttled around the feet of greater genius loci and fed off the scraps thrown off by the great building sprees of the 80s and 90s. Still, Warbuilder was efficient, it was calm, and it had an insectile logic that kept it from ever pressing its luck too much.

Then a werewolf summoner bound the spirit to serve as totem and patron, and thus Warbuilder became one of the Architects of Steel. This suits the spirit nicely, for werewolves are ever creatures of violence, and Anderson & Smithfield more than fills its constructive needs. Once more, Warbuilder's grown large and strong, a spirit on the rise and on the move, master of a hundred buildings throughout London.

Now, it wouldn't be quite right to say that this makes Warbuilder happy. The ant-like spirit is a cold and logical being with a weak sense of self. For Warbuilder, all that matters is making things bigger, more deadly, to create the kind of constructions that make all who look upon them feel like, well, ants. That isn't to say that the spirit is an unthinking beast -- hardly. Warbuilder behaves like television show's idea of a robot, at least if that idea involved giant ants. It is always calm, always rational, without emotion to cloud its thoughts. It considers how to achieve its goals and works ceaselessly towards them, and expects all who ally with it to do likewise. Sloth is something that Warbuilder will never tolerate.

Considering its power, Warbuilder is a surprisingly small spirit. It resembles an ant about the size of a cat, and is usually found perched on Angela Citysmith's shoulder during pack business. It has a markedly heavy carapace that resembles the shiny copper of a bullet, with verdigris forming faint patterns like strange knots or sigils. When it speaks, it does so in a cool female monotone, like an announcer coming across the loudspeaker of a factory.

Totem Boons: Strength +1, Resolve +1, 1 WP

Ban: Warbuilder abhors sloth. The pack must spend several hours daily in productive activity, whether building or moving things, patrolling, or fighting. Even if one of the Architects is badly injured, he cannot engage in bed rest for the entire day without offending the pack totem.

Spell
Nimi Hazare

Type: Unknown (Spirit)
Rank: Greater Gaffling (Rank 2)
Themes: Raw Magic, Time, Invisible Physical Forces
Pack: Blue Spiral

Background: The trouble with Spell, for werewolves, is that it's not certain that she should exist. It's clear she does exist, but it's not entirely certain that she's actually a spirit. Spell, as near as anyone can tell, is a spirit of Magic. Which is a force that affects things in the world, so some werewolves consider this to make sense, and put no more thought to it. Others are less convinced. Awakened magic and the spirit world are not domains that tend to overlap - and besides, if spirits of magic existed, surely there would be more than just the one?

Mages have a different problem. Some think Spell is a Supernal being, which makes it something of a Holy Grail to the Mysterium or other mage groups. Some think Spell is an Abyssal being, which means her very existence is an anathema to reality. Some think Spell is just a spirit, but a spirit of magic is still of incredible interest to a magic user. The problem is, if Spell is an Abyssal or Supernal creature, that means her pack is likely to become Corrupted werewolves - which are traditionally killed in Urathra society. And no one can get close enough to do an in-depth study, because her pack is very protective.

It gets even more complicated in that the Blue Spiral pack consider her to be Nimi, their lost relative, somehow transformed into a spirit. In fact, Spell also thinks she's Nimi, and certainly seems to have the girl's memories. The pack keeps this silent, speaking to her only in Sanskrit to keep their relationship private. Except humans are not usually known to become spirits, or supernal creatures. They are known to become Abyssals, but the Blue Spirals aren't acting like Abyssal Infected wolves. At least, not yet.

What is known is that Spell seems to feed on magic. Or more accurately, she feeds on excess magical energies from Awakened spells. She began her spirit life about the size of a man's pinkie, but she quickly grew to a two foot long, slender creature. The Guardian's control on magic has stunted her growth, certainly, but in a city the size of London there's plenty of magic to be found. And there's certainly little sign of it stopping or slowing, anytime soon. In fact, with the breakaway of the People's Republic, it's likely to start picking up.

Spell herself is unaware of any controversy surrounding herself. Her personality is simply that of an innocent, curious young girl, one who is fascinated by people, by other supernaturals, and by magic. She also seems to have a fascination with the concept of time, and can be found staring at ticking watches or grandfather clocks. Her innocence is the bare thread binding her family together. She has no notice of her grandfather's coldness, her mother's envy, her father's slow disintegration. But that means all three of her pack can talk to her without all the baggage they hold with one another.

The innocence is slightly worrying to a few, at least. Spell's killed before, a mage who was trying to kill Indra. It doesn't seem to have impacted her worldview. She's not human any more, if she ever was.

Spell is a small serpentine spirit, a ivory colored being about two feet long. She has a faint blue glow around her, and large shimmering eyes that are usually blue or green. There's a pocket watch hanging around her neck like a collar. Gravity does not appear to have an impact on her movements. She tends to sit on her grandfather's shoulder, but will float off to go investigate anyone or anything particularly interesting. Her voice is that of a young, curious girl, with only the faintest hint of an accent to her English.

Grandfather Rabbit

Type: Spirit
Affiliation: People's Republic
Rank: Lesser Jaggling (Rank 3)
Themes: Trickery, Underdogs, Reversal of Power Relationships (Prey over Predators, Weak over Strong, etc),
Incarnated: ~1400-1600

Background: Long, long ago, a hunter in Sub-Saharan Africa was thoroughly humiliated in his efforts to hunt a rabbit. Truth be told, this had relatively little to do with the rabbit and a lot to do with the fact that the hunter wasn't terribly good. But since 'I am a bad hunter' makes for a poor story, the way it was told was that it was the rabbit who was unusual, far cleverer and cannier than one might expect. Things rather snowballed from there.

By the time the Europeans came, Grandfather Rabbit had a nice and cozy place in the local spiritual hierarchy, which is to say he was outside of it. The lapine trickster's task was to make sure that no one in power was too comfortable with that power. Whenever some mighty Incarnae or self-righteous shaman or proud hunter started getting too full of themselves, along came Grandfather Rabbit to show them he still had a trick or two, and bring them right back down to earth. He was the leveler and the equalizer, the court jester who could speak truth because he phrased it as a joke, the designated pricker of overblown egos. He loved it.

When the British came, Grandfather Rabbit just included them in the circle of things he was supposed to keep humble. But even a spirit can notice changes, and by the time the British formally annexed Nigeria in 1900, it was clear to Grandfather Rabbit that there were some folks across the ocean who really needed being brought down. Since trickster-spirits tend towards the footloose in the first place, no one was terribly surprised when Grandfather Rabbit accompanied the immigrants of his land to London, sometime in the mid-century.

Strangely enough, despite being an old spirit from a world away, Grandfather Rabbit's acculturated quite easily to modern London. He's been knocking around London for fifty years now, and being a clever and flexible spirit, is perfectly at home here. He rests and relaxes among the British Nigerian communities of the Seven Sisters, but beyond that Grandfather Rabbit will wander quite nearly anywhere he likes.

The trickster's main occupation is figuring out ways to invert the usual power relationships of the world. Grandfather Rabbit's a dyed-in-the-fur revolutionary. He's always rooting for the underdog, always helping the rabbit outsmart the fox, the poor man beat the banker, or the fledgling outmaneuver the elder. He thinks its good for everybody if those in power don't get too comfortable in their shoes, and that no one starts showing too much pride and vanity. There is nothing Grandfather Rabbit loves more than humiliating some pompous windbag.

Sometimes, the old spirit does it himself. He's well versed in human ways and manifests easily. Other times, Grandfather Rabbit picks a protege, helping them along in some struggle with a greater force, and applying centuries of wisdom and out-of-the-box thinking to the problem. He tends to help out the Children of Anansi -- he tends to figure that Anansi, he's a cousin, or maybe an uncle, so he'd best look out for his cousin's kids. Plus they like to pull a few fast ones too, and Grandfather Rabbit can get behind that.

At the end of the day though, while the spirit's a clown and a con man, what he isn't is he's not nice. Grandfather Rabbit can be an absolute charmer when he wants to be, but he very rarely wants to be. Furthermore, his humor has a quite pointed edge. He's a trickster, alright, but he's the of fellow who tricks the ogre into eating his own wife first. It doesn't happen always or even often, but what looks like just desserts to Grandfather Rabbit can easily look like a Greek tragedy to everyone else. Of course, if things start falling apart, than the old spirit makes a hasty exit -- he's a rabbit, not a wolf.

In his natural form, Grandfather Rabbit resembles a wizened old black man, bent in half, wearing rabbit skins. He's got bright, liquid eyes, and he twitches his nose when thinking, and he usually carries a stick. He's a spirit that can modernize fairly well -- in London, he's as likely to be walking around in a hoodie as in rabbit furs, and he actually knows how to use a phone and a computer (the possibilities for trickery are vast).

Ebon-Eyed Magpie

Type: Spirit
Rank: Lesser Gaffling (Rank 1)
Themes: Catastrophic Chain Reactions, Ill-Thought Out Mischief, Poor Impulse Control
Pack: Brick and Bone

Background: The attraction of magpies to shiny objects is a well-known one, to the point that it's spawned a phrase in the English language. For the most part, the birds pick up lost items or trash - a missing earring backing, a bit of ripped foil. It's not known what the bird who would create Ebon-Eyed Magpie stole, but it must have been something highly significant... and problematic. The resulting chain reaction both empowered the spirit, and granted it an irrefutable resonance of disaster.

The thing is, the spirit never means for everything to go wrong. Certainly, it's a trickster, and often steals things for no other reason than the hell of it. But it's never a malicious act. The spirit considers it harmless pranks, assuming it's not doing things to try and help someone. It's just that Ebon-Eyed Magpie has a profoundly poor understanding of human nature, logical consequences, or common sense. The spirit simply has a talent for doing the worst thing possible, causing the most chaos possible, and seems incapable of recognizing what went wrong - or that it's at fault.

Unfortunately, the spirit is cheerfully proactive, which means if it can do the wrong thing, it almost certainly will. Worse yet, it is remarkably easier to screw everything up than it is to keep the status quo running. This might not have been so bad had the Ebon-Eyed Magpie not wound up the totem of a large pack of Werewolves, Brick and Bone. It's not really certain how much of their problems are Ebon-Eyed Magpie's fault, how much is the pack's, and how much is just monumentally bad luck - but the pack is a walking disaster zone, and their totem doesn't help. And it won't ever abandon them, no matter how hard they try to make it.

Ebon-Eyed Magpie is a small, black-and-white bird, indistinguishable from most of its kind but for its eyes of black cut-glass. It is a very talkative and active totem, albeit a troublesome one.

Ban: Ebon-Eyed Magpie demands that Brick and Bone steal one small thing that will be missed from every person who gives them anything (money, information, a job), and leave it where it will be found. If they fail to do this, Ebon-Eyed Magpie tends to take matters into its own beak rather than punish the pack for it.

Red Jack
Jack has a hundred names. Plenty of vampires know him as Ruddy Jack, Gian’ Rosso, Jean Rouge, Rot-Johann, Ivan Krasny, Sean Flann and so forth. Sometimes he’s Bloody Jack, or Smoky Jack or Jack Scarlet… when he isn’t Queen Mary or Bloody Mary

Type: Mirror Entity (Possibly a Spirit, possibly a Reflection, possibly a rather peculiar Strix)
Rank: Greater Jaggling (Rank 4)
Themes: Mirrors, Blood, Faustian Pacts

Virtue: Confident
Vice: Cruel & Arrogant (Red Jack’s the sort of fellow who’d pull the wings off flies – which wouldn’t be so bad if he didn’t consider everyone else flies).

Background: The way the Kindred hear it is like this. If you need something from a mirror, you have to ask Red Jack. Whatever it is, Red Jack can hook you up. He knows the True Ways of Seeing, the Secret Door to Your Enemy and all sorts of useful tricks like that. All you have to do is smear a little of your blood on the mirror and say Veni Ioanne Rube, “Come Red Jack” in Latin, five times. He’s a natty looking fellow in a frock coat, top hat and a cravat, with a big Snidely Whiplash mustache and a waxed goatee. He’s always smiling, always in a good mood. That’s not the problem. If he appears wearing smoked glasses, he will grant your request. If he appears without them, and you see his eyes, well — the stories kind of trail off there.

Other Kindred hear it a little differently. To start with, he’s not always Red Jack. Plenty of vampires know him as Ruddy Jack, Gian’ Rosso, Jean Rouge, Rot-Johann, Ivan Krasny, Sean Flann and so forth. Sometimes he’s Bloody Jack, or Smoky Jack or Jack Scarlet. But the descriptions tally pretty closely across the board — and almost every vampire who knows the story knows about the smoked glasses. (They don’t call them sunglasses, or even dark glasses as often as they might, either.) The clothes, the mustache, the top hat: Red Jack is an apparition of habit.

Except when she is; about a quarter of the stories about mirror spirits are about Queen Mary instead of Red Jack. On average, according to those Kindred in the Ordo Dracul and elsewhere who make it their business to keep track of new rituals (Frances Black among them), there are more stories about female vampires successfully summoning Red Jack than there are about male vampires seeing Queen Mary. No one's entirely certain what the actual rates of success for rituals are (Kindred summoning potentially-dangerous and definitely powerful mirror spirits do not usually respond to mailed-in surveys).

You don’t summon Queen Mary with Veni Ioanne Rube, of course; she comes to Maria Regina Invito, “I invite Queen Mary.” Other than that, it’s the same thing, a smear of blood on the mirror and a chant five times in the dark, except that with the Queen, you see her eyes, but you don’t see her teeth. She smiles a lot in a satisfied, secretive, occasionally inviting way, but she keeps her lips closed. When she talks, she’s too wellbred to open wide, murmuring in ladylike (but crystal clear) fashion. But if she should grin at you, it’s not a happy smile but a skull-faced rictus.

From word-of-mouth speculation, cryptic hints in moldering tomes and high-powered divination, the Ordo Dracul loremasters have assembled the following list of possibilities about Red Jack’s identity and origin:
  • Red Jack is the Devil, Satan. Why exactly Satan would bother appearing in vampires’ bathroom mirrors remains unclear, especially if the Kindred are already Damned.
  • Red Jack is Jack the Ripper, who was a powerful ceremonial magician, or a liver-eating Jigarkhwar from India or something puissant enough to make himself immortal and hide out in the mirror world.
  • Red Jack is the mirror reflection of the First Vampire. Be he Akhenaten, Longinus or an Etruscan shaman, the first man to look into the mirror after turning saw Red Jack looking back. When Red Jack walked away, he took all Hollows’ reflections with him.
  • Red Jack is the Aztec god Tezcatlipoca, known as the Smoking Mirror, who dined on burning human hearts and blood for centuries before the conquistadors toppled him from power in Mexico. Admittedly, Red Jack doesn’t look particularly Aztec now, but if Quetzalcoatl could be a white god, perhaps so could he. And, of course, as master of the mirror image, Red Jack could make himself look Aztec, or Spanish or anything.
  • Or Haitian. Alternatively, Red Jack is Maître- Carrefour, the voudun lord of the crossroads. A crossroad is a mirror image, after all, and voudun bokors use mirrors in shrines to Maître-Carrefour and his mirror image Papa Legba, who is invoked with the phrase “O fathom the mirror, O Legba.”
  • Queen Mary is the reflection of the Gorgon Medusa, caught in Perseus’ shield in the age of heroes. She has flitted from mirror to mirror since then, changing her appearance bit by bit over the centuries. Only her teeth retain the power of the Gorgons, and when she has bathed them in enough vampire blood, they, too, will be normal. Red Jack is a cockatrice, and her consort.
  • Red Jack is a demon summoned into a magic mirror by Vergil Magus, or Agrippa, or John Dee or Merlin, or some other human mage who bit off more than he could chew. Rather than try to banish the fiend, the cowardly sorcerer merely hid the mirror somewhere and moved on. Ever since, Red Jack has bounced from mirror to mirror looking for a way out. If that “mirror zero” could be uncovered, the finder would have something Red Jack wants — a way out.

Abonde knows, or thinks she knows. Frances has some educated guesses, but then, she would. The Scathain are Red Jack’s particular… students? Acolytes? Fellow-travelers? He appears before them more commonly, and he treats them with a little more dignity than he does most vampires. Not that this is saying much, necessarily, but it’s a little safer.

Red Jack dresses in the height of century- old fashion, in bottle-green satin frock coat and matching top hat, starched collar, mauve ascot, kid gloves and a narcissus blossom in his buttonhole. He pomades his hair, waxes his mustachios and favors silver-framed, smoked eyeglasses. He usually looks like a middle-aged man of indeterminate Mediterranean ancestry, although in some lights he seems more like a gaunt Anglo-Saxon type. His teeth are very strong and fine looking.

When he appears as the Queen (if they are, in fact the same entity), she is the epitome of romantic goth, all black lace and pale lipstick and heaving bosom straight from Edgar Allan Poe’s wettest dreams. The only incongruous notes in her pallid lustmord chic are the occasional bloodstained tear tracks running down her cheeks.

Red Jack is a dashing figure. He is all smiles and good humor, with a hint of menace that seems almost camp to thoroughly modern vampires. His 19th-century circumlocutions are quaint, and the quirk in his lip shows that he knows it. He resembles nothing so much as that century’s folk characterization of the Devil, all suave menace and glib repartee, and one could be forgiven for assuming that he is a ham actor playing that part deliberately.




 

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