Friday, August 3, 2012

Metempsychotics (Cliques and Cabals/Wermspittle)

Discredited theories and outre beliefs fester and proliferate in the shadows of Wermspittle's sagging roofs and crumbling walls. Founded by outcasts, heretics and outlaws, Wermspittle is a seething hot-bed of obscure cults, weird religions and forbidden practices. Few ask any questions regarding anyone else's religious persuasion, lest someone inquire a bit too exactingly into their own spiritual proclivities. Most folk have more pressing issues to tend to, such as providing for their families and avoiding the growing ranks of the possessed, pestilent or plague-riddled masses of Refugees and other foreigners who stream into the city from across the harsh and unforgiving wilderness surrounding this former bastion of no one empire, no particular nation. Those particular distinctions no longer mean very much any more...
One of many such splinter-factions to develop from within the ranks of the Mesmerists, much like the Necro-Mesmerists before them, the Metempsychotics have codified a 27-page creed, a distinctive dress-code, and their own corpus of spells and rites reserved for those initiates who have proven themselves to the Inner Quadrangle.
"We remember everyone. We are everyone. Eventually..."
Excerpted from The Metempsychotic Creed

Metempsychotics seek a personal and abiding union with the souls of those who have preceded them into the gaping black abyss of death. Trained in mnemonics, the art of memory, and esoteric trance techniques originally developed by Mesmerists, Hypnogogues, and their ilk, each Novitiate who petitions for Initiation into the Inner Mysteries of this group is severely tested by way of three increasingly difficult ordeals. The first ordeal is a Mental test, the second ordeal is a Physical challenge, the third Ordeal is Spiritual in nature. Those who fail any of the Three Ordeals are banished from the cult after having their memories purged through a harsh combination of drugs and spells that is both deeply damaging and often debilitating.

All Failed Initiates suffer a -2 penalty to Wisdom and Intelligence. They can eventually recover one or the other attribute, but as they regain 1 point in that attribute, they suffer a further loss of 1 point in the other attribute. Their HD are permanently reduced to D4s, and their chances for spell failure are double the norm.
  • Those who Pass the First Ordeal gain a +1 bonus to Charisma and a +2 Bonus to all Saves versus Charms and Mind Control Magics. This benefit is not lost if the Novitiate fails the next Ordeal.
  • Those who make it through the Second Ordeal gain a +1 bonus to either Strength or Constitution (Player's choice), as well as the ability to Detect Consciousness as a free spell. This benefit also remains in effect, even if the Novitiate fails the next Ordeal.
  • Those who pass the Third Ordeal gain a +2 bonus to both Intelligence and Wisdom in addition to the bonuses granted by the previous two Ordeals. They also now progress as a Cleric, despite their initial class, and have access to the unique spells of the cult. Those who pass the Third Ordeal can no longer be affected by the methods used to deal with those who fail either of the other Ordeals. Should they turn against the cult, they will either be assassinated or abducted and imprisoned, depending upon the decree/whims of the Inner Quadrangle.
No Initiate-Cleric below 9th level may approach the Inner Quadrangle. Those deemed worthy are given a Quest to fulfill. Those that succeed are inducted into the rarefied ranks of the Inner Quadrangle and a number of special spells/powers are conferred upon them.

Or so goes the rhetoric...
No one who has failed the First Ordeal has lived more than three months after being unceremoniously dumped, naked and unarmed in some back alley.

Those who fail the Second Ordeal tend to go mad and die violently within a few weeks of being cut loose. Those who do not develop into full-blown demoniacs, maniacs or ravers tend to suffer berserker-style  rages at seemingly random intervals, until they attract the untender attentions of Hasnamusses, Predatory Projections or worse.

No one who has passed the Third Ordeal ever spoke in their own voice ever again. Those who pass this ultimate test of ideological fitness and self-discipline are rewarded by having their minds expanded, their brains re-channeled and their very souls surgically modified by deeply intrusive sorcerous techniques. They become the active core persona surrounded by a constellation of captured souls. Upon attaining this new level of spiritual development they are expected to go out into the world to capture and enslave as many spirits, souls and whomever, whatever else they see fit to tyrannize. These Initiates are granted the means to Detect, Attract, Bind and Control discarnate entities, souls, and their further progression within the cult depends entirely upon their continued accumulation of spiritual power through the ruthless and continual application of these secret spells and damnable rites. Initiates also gain full XP for those souls they bind to themselves, and only 1/4 XP for anything else.

To the Metempsychotics, there is no distinction made whatsoever between the recovery of long-dead souls or stripping the soul from a still-living person. The founders didn't feel it was necessary to codify morality into their cult's doctrines, allowing thoroughly immoral individuals to assume a great deal of power over their more altruistic, even naive fellow initiates.
Initiate Spell List
Blue=Cleric, Red=Magic-User

First Level Spells
Detect Evil/Good
Detect Magic
Protection From Evil/Good
Remove/Cause Fear
Charm Person
Read Magic
Attract Soul
Bind Soul I
Detect Consciousness
Discern Ectoplasm
Speak to Discarnate

Second Level Spells
Find Traps
Know Alignment
Hold Person
Snake Charm
Detect Invisible
Unnoticeable (modified Invisibility)
Dispel Charm
Disrupt Ectoplasm
Locate Soul
Bind Soul II

Third Level Spells
Locate Object
Dispel/Attract Magic
Animate Incorporeal Dead
Bind Soul III
Cause/Cure Possession
Repel Intangible

Fourth Level Spells
Detect Lie
Arcane Eye
Charm Monster
Hallucinatory Terrain
Remove/Grant Curse
Bind Soul IV
Wall of Ectoplasm

Fifth Level Spells
Dispel/Attract Evil
Contact Other Plane
Hold Monster
Magic Jar
Bind Soul V
Raise Shade (Modified Raise Dead)

Sixth Level Spells
Bind Soul VI
Harmful Word
Metempsychosis (Modified Reincarnation)

There are other spells available to those below the Inner Quadrangle, but acquiring them entails taking service with a 'Tutor' and amounts to a form of indenturement. It is also an option for Initiates to attempt to learn additional spells from studying old texts, scrolls, or from each other...but the established 'Tutors' tend to frown upon such blatant disrespect for their personal accomplishments and have been known to take exception, even great offense at the hubris involved in seeking to learn spells outside of their expert tutelage.

Metempsychotics are not hampered by what they see as a false distinction between Arcane and Divine magics.
More details to follow...


  1. Great stuff. Wermspittle is an intricate and enthralling place.

  2. It will be fun to see these guys go against the Fantomists as they both are heavily infringing on one another's territory quite a bit. That sort of underworld rivalry can only lead to mayhem and raw opportunity for the right bunch of murder-hobos, I mean adventurers...


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