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The New Inquisition






Presented here are the major elements operating within the New Inquisition.

Boozehounds are sorcerors who draw their magickal powers from getting drunk. Most boozehounds can accomplish little more than minor divinations with this form of magick, but life-long, hard-core alcoholic Boozehounds can do a lot more. Veteran Boozehounds are usually obsessed with finding obscure and dangerous liquors--referred to as "spirits," of course--which tend to have unusual properties in the hands and liver of a Boozehound. Absinthe is old hat; these guys are after peculiar bottles of the hard stuff brewed by monasteries of corrupt monks with aborted fetuses for flavoring. Most occultists despise Boozehounds; "spirit" magick is seen as a cheap and self-destructive path to power, which draws only cheap and self-destructive sorcerors.

Old-school occultists, Clockworkers--most of whom hail from eastern Europe and in particular Poland and Czechoslovokia--are sorcerors who can craft intricately-worked metal machines (such as wind-up toys) and infuse them with magical powers. "Clockworking" is a lost magical art, practiced by no one (known) under the age of sixty. Most "clockworks" are the size of toys (and resemble toys); they can perform, on command, menial tasks such as sweeping up the kitchen, repairing shoes, and so forth. Many complicated Clockworks have been created and displayed over the years by sorcerors presenting their magical marvels as mere engineering feats, often taking the form of perpetual-motion machines and other such dubious enterprises. The Vatican has a sizable collection of material on Clockworkers, from both primary (Clockworker) sources as well as from independent observers as recent as 1878.

Flesh Mages
Occultists and sorcerors whose specialty is human flesh. They use flesh in their magics, and many of their powers involve the manipulation of flesh--preferably when it's still attached to a living being. They aren't inherently sadistic or twisted--some flesh mages are no more menacing than a potter, and enjoy playing with people's skins to make them more beautiful, or wondrous, or whatever--but most members of the occult underground have a kneejerk aversion to flesh mages. Anyone who might have designs on your skin is bound to raise a few eyebrows, after all, and the worst of the flesh mages tend to be a lot freakier and less pleasant than most other types of sorcerors.

House of Renunciation
A place of energy and destiny which one cannot enter willingly. Instead, you must be forced there by another. Within the house you must renounce some significant element of your life and work against it from then forward. The location of the house is unknown; entry occurs by means of a magickal process, not by physical travel. There are people who live within the house, and who occasionally venture into the real world on strange errands.

Invisible Clergy
Inscrutable and incorporeal, the Invisible Clergy is a conglomerate of humans who have somehow transcended mortal existence and are no longer human. The Clergy exist in some other reality; perhaps the astral plane, perhaps the afterlife, or perhaps something else altogether. They rarely, if ever, communicate with humans directly or take any overt action. Like silent angels, the Clergy simply observe, and occasionally tilt the balance of probability so that events cascade in a direction more to their liking. They don't just understand the mechanics of synchronicity; they are synchronicity. They are luck infused with consciousness. Their very nebulous nature and lack of representation--no one ever sees them, no one really knows which events are due to them and which aren't--has led some observers to dismiss their existence outright or else liken them to the weather: everyone talks about the Invisible Clergy, but no one can do anything about them. Except, perhaps, to join them--but no one knows how to do that, either.

Naked Goddess
The Goddess is a porn star who experienced ascension into the Invisible Clergy during a videotaped sex act. The videotape and bootlegs of it are now highly prized by occultists, as they represent the only documented evidence of an ascension into the Clergy. A sect of devoted followers (or lunatics, depending on who you ask) revere the Goddess as a demigod. They seek out all of her tapes, magazine appearances, high school yearbooks, etc., and search out her words as clues to their own ascension. Her followers are adept at recognizing the skeins of synchronicity in daily life and following a trail of seemingly random, unconnected events that nevertheless lead them exactly where they want to go.

The New Inquisition
Billionaire Alex Abel is on a mission: to make the world a better place to live. Sounds great--he's got the resources to do it, right? But Abel's definition of "a better place to live" is "a world where I call the shots." Abel has his heart in the right place--or used to, at least--but years of cynical manipulation have left him increasingly embittered. His New Inquisition is an occult Foreign Legion: come to work for the New Inquisition and Abel will erase your entire life. No records, no warrants, no nothing. His soldiers get a new life, a fat paycheck, and a crash course in the occult. They do for him whatever he needs done, and they do it well. Mostly this consists of getting magical items Abel wants, or digging up information, or putting the hurt on Abel's enemies--and Alex Abel has a lot of enemies. His troops are often under-informed, but they do the best they can and are almost always frighteningly competent at a variety of unusual skills. His New Inquisition consists of perhaps four dozen people altogether.

The Snowfallen are women who have died violently while searching for their lost or missing children. Their unquenchable agony keeps them tied to the world of the living as spirits, drifting from place to place. They follow winter's path across the Earth and manifest only when it is snowing, then make cryptic prophecies.

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