The Themes: Workplace interactions, exorcism, spiritualism, magic and investigation in a modern south-western American setting.
The Setting: Phoenix, Arizona, The United States of America, Earth, Milky Way Galaxy, Reality OS1-a.
The Concept: You are an employee with ⸀A⌟fterlife ⸀S⌟olutions, a consulting company dealing in the investigation and management of matters related to ghosts, wraiths, demons and varying other undead and spiritual beings in a modern day setting where some people acknowledge and interact with the paranormal, the supernatural and the just plain odd whilst most go about blissfully or blatantly ignorant.
Your position falls somewhere between the Ghostbusters during the middle portion of the first movie, and Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden in most of his books; you know your stuff, barring things going bad, you are capable and competent but your skills are only likely to be acknowledged or called upon by those 'in the know' or those who are really desperate for help.
You are not police. You are not government sanctioned. You get a paycheck for what you do that is a bit beyond minimum wage and boasts some hazard pay, but ⸀AS⌟ is lacking the investment backing of some more official organizations so do not expect clean-up crews and helicopter extraction teams if things go bad. Most people will think you are a con artist or a lunatic if you explain what you do for a living and as such you will typically be forced to live by the age old adage; you break it you bought it. For that very reason the first goal of most of your jobs is to try and avoid a confrontation. To convince a spirit to pass on, to trap and exorcise a demon, or to lead whatever other entity you run into away from people and property which might be damaged. With your second being to completely obliterate anything that presents a real threat to yourself or others and cannot be brought down by peaceable measures.
You accomplish either route primarily through The seven S' of Exorcism;
Shrive, Seal, Spice, Sear, Steel, Silver, & Spell.
Sealing a spiritual entity is often the best way to deal with them if they can't be talked down peacefully. Trapping a demon or poltergeist in a reliquary or a Solomon trap or variant ward or runic circle of power, or burying the remains of an improperly laid to rest wraith. ⸀AS⌟ understands that not all spirits are the same and should you have difficulty with determining whether or not a variant of sealing would work for your particular case support researchers are available 'round the clock to assist if you simply contact your branch office.
Spice is way more important than it sounds. Salt can ward spirits away. Certain incenses and oils can pacify, confuse, weaken or wound them. It's a handy tool on any job. Seeing as the majority of this sort of article are reasonably inexpensive at least for the standard quality ⸀AS⌟ typically has quite a selection at hand available with requisitions.
Sear is straightforward; fire is a purifying element and while it may seem like a tv trope there is real power in burning bones or belongings related to spirits. Not to mention it works wonders when dealing with the corporeal undead. ⸀AS⌟ advises caution when dealing with undead in this matter as fire spreads quickly and can be a hazard to oneself as easily as to the objects, remains or entities it is used upon.
Steel is carried to defend oneself. Knives, guns and various more unique articles are kept in the requisitions office at headquarters and can be checked out when necessary. Every ⸀AS⌟ employee must file with the government to make their handling and ownership of such items legal. If an employee wishes to carry personal armament upon themselves during a workplace activity they must make the company aware of it by registering it with the records clerk at their branch office.
Silver is one of the best tools against malevolent spirits there is. It is a purifying agent which can be wielded against the incorporeal to bind them, or to harm them, and it acts as a bane to those fearsome undead which possess bodies of their own. It is a tool which can pierce and wound demons their ilk. It even works wonders on a few non-spiritual threats which ⸀AS⌟ attempts to limit their involvement with.
Spells. They are real, they are out there, and a small handful of folk can manage them. Even the skilled usually only have one big trick, or a bunch of little ones based around one core aspect or ideal, but there are a handful of experts who can manage more. Magic is the brute manipulation of reality. Spellery is the careful application of reality manipulation through pre-concieved words, gestures and symbology. Whenever possible ⸀AS⌟ seeks to have their employees cast spells, rather than employ raw magic to a situation.
I will GM, filling in for all the NPCs you interact with as well as your contacts at the office and the various specters and apparitions you encounter. I'll try and throw a wide mix of ghosts and ghasts from varying mythologies and the like and each one will hold to at least a portion of it's atributed mythos(Meaning if you know your mythology you may know of a weakness that a particular entity has that isn't among the Seven S'. Or, if you play someone who knows that sort of thing I may link you info on the types of beings you interact with.
I intend to make this somewhat episodic, with each case having a clear beginning and ending varying ways depending on how players decide to go about the preparation, investigation, confrontation and wrap-up portion of each job. That way we can stop after the first case if people had fun, but are no longer interested, or we can leave it open to start up a new case, potentially with some of the players rotated out and new people joining depending on continued interest.
Each case will involve at least one Entity; typically a spiritual being of this or another plane, but sometimes a regular old monster mistaken for the sort of thing you specialize in. Each case will also have at least one item, object, or mcguffin which you can take with you and keep that could prove useful in future cases(of course, there's also plenty of stuff that isn't intended to do so which could come in handy later, as well as plenty of just random stuff about that you can take but not really have a good use for. Just like real life.
As we go I'll also be keeping a sort of Achievement Board going, listing the accomplishments of people's characters such as 'most ghosts busted' or 'successfully came back from the dead' or 'funniest line in case 1', 'most creative way to deal with a demon'. That kind of stuff. This will mostly be just fluff, but some of the marked achievements will actually gain you benefits such as your character's continued interaction with the supernatural gaining them visions of things to come, or an increased affinity for dealing with poltergeists.
The Rules: Be grown-up civil human beings to one another and treat each-other with at least a modicum of respect. Try to have fun, and try not to ruin someone else's fun. The goal is at least a post a week from everyone, I'd love for us to crush that and post daily or every two days, but I'm asking that we try for one post a week because frankly things have been slow around here as of late; so we'll shoot for that and just let me know if it will take you an exceedingly long time to get a post up.
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[b]Full Name:[/b] [b]Age: [/b] [b]Appearance:[/b] (An image, or a solid description please.) [u][b]Personality/Mentality[/b]_____________________________[/u] [b]Good Qualities:[/b] [b]Flaws:[/b] [b]Fears:[/b] [b]Overall Description:[/b] [u][b]Experience[/b]______________________________________[/u] [b]Investigation:[/b] [b]Self-Defense:[/b] [b]Spiritualism:[/b] [b]Magic:[/b] [b]Other:[/b]
Appearance: A short man with cropped brown hair and pale powder blue eyes set beneath a brow which seems intent upon upholding a perpetually furrowed state. His face is wrinkled, and etched with signs of stress and exhaustion which have long since become his default state, however much to the confusion of his fellow employees who never see him as anything but serious there are deep-set laugh lines on either side of his face which hint at a fulfilling life outside of work. He dresses most commonly in a simple gray suit, alternating the color of the button-down shirt which peeks from beneath his suit-jacket, and offsetting it with an ever-changing array of striped ties.
Good Qualities: Mr. Cleary is a capable and hard-working individual who focuses keenly on whatever task is presented before him.
Flaws: Mr. Cleary's social skills are lacking. He can be narrow-minded and stubborn.
Fears: Mr. Cleary has a fear of birds. Whenever one is present he will do his best to vacate it's vicinity. If one were to fly at him he would drop what he was doing and run unless lives were on the line.
Overall Description: While he's certainly no charmer the esteemed Mr. Cleary is a hyper-efficient worked and gifted at the finer minutia of the job. He isn't anyone's best friend, persay, but he's typically someone you'd want to have you back in a crisis.
Investigation: Mr. Cleary has a government recognized private investigator's license and six years of expertise. He has successfully solved 9 non-spiritual-related cases and many more in his specialized field.
Self-Defense: Mr. Cleary has a green-belt in karate as well as an concealed-carry permit for a personal firearm and over 300 hours of practice logged at a shooting range, as well as a hunting license from the fish and game administration and numerous successful hunts for deer and elk to his credit.
Spiritualism: Mr. Cleary has the sight and is capable of seeing spiritual entities.
Magic: Mr. Cleary has no practical magical ability. That said; he is aware of and capable of utilizing some lesser ritual lore for calling up guide spirits.
Other: Mr. Cleary has a class a commercial driver's license, allowing him to operate tractor trailers as well as hauling trucks with trailers of a certain weight limit.
Recently ⸀AS⌟ has taken on a woman named Jennifer Santiago as a client. Age 34, Hispanic, works as an administrative assistant for a law office downtown. Miss Santiago has reported the activity of an ethereal entity operating out of a burned down 7/11 corner store. She claims the spirit in question appears intermittently, frightening herself as well as several coworkers and locals by moving objects and creating a terrible clanging, as of chains. In recent days the entity is said to have become violent, attacking several passers-by and leaving them with aches and pains but no visible wounds. Police have been called to the area three times, each time dismissing the situation as a prank or else as an undisclosed drug-related incident. It is the belief of Miss Santiago that should this activity persist it is only a short while before someone winds up dead.
The Follow-up: If you made it this far; thank you for reading through that mess, and thank you doubly for any potential interest. If you aren't interested, that's okay, too. Not everything is for everyone. If anyone has questions, comments, or concerns you can message me here in the OOC, via PM, or on the collective discord.