Organizations & Factions

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There are many organizations within The Weird and within those organizations there are factions and individuals. It is important when forming opinions about an organization to remember that all the information available is inherently biased by the person presenting the information. Just as in the real world, there are no facts, only perceptions and evidence.

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The purpose of organizations is to motivate game play. Rather then view the information below as canonical fact, please read it as inspiration! Everything should be questioned, contradicted, and ignored however will best promote engaging role play.

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WARNING - some transcripts include strong language.

 

The Sentinels
The Sentinels are an old-world society dating back to the 800’s. They have served in many “armies of Christ” through the years, notably in the Crusades. They specialize in the elimination of demons and devils. However, they sometimes lack nuance when dealing with occult users. They were allegedly involved in The Spanish Inquisition and the Salem Witch Trials. Many accuse them of hypocrisy due to their own use of magic, but they see their magic as divine, and therefore acceptable.

Transcript of journal entry by M. Hues:

Sentinels

They're some sort of old world crusader types. I keep running into mention of them in occult texts - particularly historical info in old-world coven records. They are typically enemies of magic users - Inquisition Style Bad stuff. Some folks think they had a hand in the Salem Witch Trials too. Bad guys? I don't know.

I read a "handbook" from the Cabal of the Eye and they listed the Sentinels as a "Necessary Evil." Apparently the Sentinels spend most of their time/energy fighting demons and stuff. They have zero online presence.

The Sentinels also claim to have the Christian God on their side. They have religious traditions and engage in all sorts of trials of faith. However, they make no claim of having divine power. And they definitely dabble in arcane magic. They are a subset of the Sentinels, or maybe a partner organization called Brethren (though all genders are permitted). The Brethren are scholars of the weird and cast magic. They also have Archivists who keep the ancient knowledge + artifacts safe.

 

Cabal of the Eye
Operating as a cell organization, the Cabal of the Eye is a powerful collective of magic users spread across North America. No two cells have the same initiation rituals, traditions, passwords, etc. However, all cells are bound by some variation of the same basic rules often referred to as The Covenant of the Cabal:

  • The Eye sees all

  • Consideration of consequence is paramount

  • Action must service the disadvantaged

  • Rightness of actions does not remove responsibility for consequence

CotE cells generally operate non-profit organizations like group homes, homeless shelters, and hospice houses. To join the CotE a magic user must already know magic - they don’t recruit or teach from the ground up. If you are a powerful enough magic user to find them, they will consider offering you a chance at the trials of membership.

Transcript of journal entry by M. Hues:

Cabal of the Eye
So, most of the covens I run into are sort of social groups, you know? They get together and “focus their energy” and meditate and stuff. Maybe they toss in some old world lore and theology, etc But the CotE? These folks are the real deal. They are hard to find and harder to join. It seems they have a cell structure because the folks in different cities have vastly different practices. Like, in Chicago they all have arcane marks of the eye on their foreheads. In Oakland they have this weird handshake that creates a small burst of arcane energy in the shape of the eye. As far as I can tell they are only unified by the relic they call The Eye of Kie. I think there’s just one, but the elders/high-mages/whatever seem to have some way to tap into its power.
What power? No clue. I’m guessing it’s a primordial artifact, but I didn’t ever find out for sure. The cells are generally tied to the same core beliefs, though how they phrase things varies.
Tenets typically include:

  • Something about “The Eye” seeing all

  • Something about caution being the better part of valor

  • Something about the purpose of violence being protection of innocents

  • Some affirmation of the “necessity of sorrow”

Mostly the CotE organizes orphanages, foster homes, homeless shelters, halfway houses, etc. They don’t use those populations for recruitment, though. It’s almost like it’s taboo to mix services for the “innocent” with their occult stuff.
Speaking of Occult stuff, they are some fucking powerful magic users. You basically have to already be a pretty capable caster just to find them. When someone does find them the “trials” are pretty intense. I interviewed someone who didn’t make the cut, and it sounded like the CotE are pretty well versed in astral plane travel. The reject described it as “Dr. Strange level weirdness". By which I assume they meant the CotE use the astral plane to avoid interacting w/the material place when they do magic stuff like initiation trials.

 

Hermites
Mad scientist may be too harsh a title, but Hermites lean into that archetype from time to time. The Hermites are scientists who reached the limits of technology and turned to the occult to advance their studies. By blending science and magic, they create objects and creatures - for research purposes, of course.  Hermites often make deals with devils to increase their resources and magic, but they are not inherently evil. Most members of the organization are well meaning scientists who are very passionate about their work.

Transcript of journal entry by M. Hues:

Hermites

Mad scientist m***** f***ers. Very rarely do I come across weirdness and think, "Well, that's an affront to nature." Honestly, most of the Weird makes sense. Monsters are animals we can't easily defeat. Demons are being with wants and needs. Magic follows laws and rules even if they aren't the ones you read about in AP Bio. But what the Hermites do is just plain f***ed up. I sweat, if there is a zombie outbreak or something, it'll be the a**holes who caused it.</end rant>

Anyway, the Hermites blend magic and science. They are the epitome of being so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should. Most of the Hermites I've come across started out as legit scientists, but when they hit a barrier of insufficient technology they turned to the occult.

Also, Hermites have no qualms about dealing with the devil. <line of text struck from the journal> Let's just say that "selling your soul" isn't literal; it's the things the devils have them do that damns their souls. I'm sure they all started with the best of intentions, but what they do is just f***ing wrong.

 

“Bureau 13”

The actual agency name is unknown, but the dark web has taken to calling the anti-occult branch of the US government Bureau 13, likely after the 1990’s video game. They are often referred to with general terms like Feds, Suits, and Agents. Common theory on the dark web is that B:13 is an agency within the NSA. Their purpose, as best as anyone can tell, is to suppress the dissemination of occult information and eliminate occult threats. Sometimes this means “disappearing” people who get too involved in the occult or witness occult events. Smart demon hunters, occult investigators, spell casters, and supernatural beings do their best to stay off B:13’s radar.

Transcript of journal entry by M. Hues:

Bureau 13, no, really.
So, back in 1995, a game was released called, you guessed it, Bureau 13. Apparently it was based on an RPG - some cyberpunk thing. I don’t know if the government agency is actually called Bureau 13, but that’s what the internet has decided to call them.
Despite all I’ve learned about the world, the real world, I like to think I’ve maintained some objectivity. I like to think that I’m still mostly rational. However, I think there is actually an agency or something in the U.S. government dedicated to the suppression and elimination of the occult.
God - even writing it makes me feel a little crazy. But I can’t deny that some weird shit happened after I started digging into all this. My emails and social media accounts felt hinky - like I was looking at them through a filter, or someone was watching me use my accounts. And old messages and conversations were just gone. It was like someone scrubbed out any clues about the Weird from my online presence.
I’ve run into mention of government interference by lots of names like “suits” “feds” and less kind terms. Maybe I’m naïve, but I’d like to believe the Bureau 13 folks are also doing good. It’s a little hard though, because I’m pretty sure they have intercepted my mail, stolen from Steve’s house, and might be actively interfering with my investigations. They are the reason I started this offline journal, I think. My cloud got hacked and I lost all my research. Every email - every document - every scan. After that I had to go into the dark web for answers. That’s when I found out about Bureau 13.
The online occult community has so many nut jobs it’s hard to know what is true, but I did make contact with a few largely sane folks who gave me some insight into B:13.
The “agents” don’t declare themselves or anything. They sometimes present themselves as FBI, CIA, Homeland Security, US Marshals, etc., but they aren’t part of any of those branches. The best guess is that they are part of NSA.
They’ve been seen being good-guys, saving civilians, etc. But also those people they save sometimes vanish. They also sometimes hunt down covens and eliminate them. They also clash with the Sentinels sometimes. I’m not sure where the B:13 draws the line between enemy and ally, friend and foe, etc. I’m writing etc. a lot. Bah. There’s just a lot I don’t know about B:13 and I’m not sure I want to. I’m concerned that if I put any of this on the web, or even over the phone, I might get disappeared too.

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