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Terrenus / Fracture AMA 2.0

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I am attempting to identify traits/trends/behaviors a reasonable character would associate with the Enrele (not that Caeceila and company are particularly reasonable).  I don't believe, from the information provided, that Safeguard would be of use in this regard.  Also, I don't believe my characters would reasonably and legally have access to this information.

From what I understand, the Enrele possess a Borg-esque ability to adapt to standard detection methods fielded against them.

I recall that this was, somewhere, attributed to how quickly they reproduce, but I'm not certain if older generations also "adapt."  Erring on the side of caution, I'm guessing that older generations either adapt or are culled and replaced for the sake of whichever hivemind they belong to.

That aside, the only solid technique I've come up with is straight up possession of a host body.  Note that this would identify most mind controllers not by name but by means of control, and it wouldn't be possible to establish that a person is infected by the Enrele specifically without tracing interference with possession to a biological source.  However, if the parasite itself is possessed, a trove of information on the hivemind could, hypothetically, be extracted.

I've been discussing the matter with another forum member, who I will refrain from naming because doing so might spoil stuff, via private message.  Said forum member posited that Enrele-infected people might behave differently, causing others who have close ties to an infected subject to realize that something is amiss.  Said member also mentioned that the Enrele might bond with people of different age-groups, sexes, and species differently.  Some infestations, then, might be stronger than others.

One of my characters, Caeceila Glasmann, has attempted establish a causal link between suicides in Hell's Gate and the presence of Enrele, perhaps erroneously.  She is under the impression that people with a history of depression and/or other mental illness are more likely to commit suicide than those who are more stable.  Therefore, people with a history of mental illness who are in a bad way in Hell's Gate and haven't offed themselves are more likely, by her logic, to be Enrele-infected.

Caeceila Glasmann is planning an offensive against the Enrele in and around Hell's Gate.

Spoiler

 

After the thread linked in the spoiler has concluded, I'll be posting in the Terrenus Military Chatter thread in an attempt to contact players whose characters are authorized to represent Michael Commager, Victory, "Bubble" from Chasing Damaged Threads, and other individuals who are unlikely to be compromised.  I don't know of many characters in Terrenus who possess psychic abilities, which seem to be necessary to combat the Enrele, so my characters are looking to capture Xer'Orian queens and princesses from Taen and tap into their network to contest the Enrele in a psionic battle.

The player I am communicating with via private messages is interested in potentially leading what I think is a more conventional assault against a different hivemind, the one that is might displace one of the Genius Loci.

One of Dolor Aeternum's characters, Ilyana Sevryn, has asked Caeceila and company how Enrele might be identified.  It is likely that the information Caeceila and company provide will, without their knowledge or approval, be relayed to the Abbadon Triumvirate.

I've contemplated checking out Yh'mi to determine if there is anything there that might bust an Enrele hivemind, but of late, I haven't done much digging there.  I'm assuming contact with an Eldritch mind would scar an Enrele hivemind like it would scar a normal mind.  I can source Lovecraftian horrors from my catperson cult, the leader of which has a spell list derived from Call of Cthulhu RPG Sixth Edition, but it would be much cooler to grab a terrorhorror that already exists.

Edited by The Alexandrian

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4 hours ago, The Alexandrian said:

I am attempting to identify traits/trends/behaviors a reasonable character would associate with the Enrele (not that Caeceila and company are particularly reasonable).  I don't believe, from the information provided, that Safeguard would be of use in this regard.  Also, I don't believe my characters would reasonably and legally have access to this information.

From what I understand, the Enrele possess a Borg-esque ability to adapt to standard detection methods fielded against them.

I recall that this was, somewhere, attributed to how quickly they reproduce, but I'm not certain if older generations also "adapt."  Erring on the side of caution, I'm guessing that older generations either adapt or are culled and replaced for the sake of whichever hivemind they belong to.

That aside, the only solid technique I've come up with is straight up possession of a host body.  Note that this would identify most mind controllers not by name but by means of control, and it wouldn't be possible to establish that a person is infected by the Enrele specifically without tracing interference with possession to a biological source.  However, if the parasite itself is possessed, a trove of information on the hivemind could, hypothetically, be extracted.

I've been discussing the matter with another forum member, who I will refrain from naming because doing so might spoil stuff, via private message.  Said forum member posited that Enrele-infected people might behave differently, causing others who have close ties to an infected subject to realize that something is amiss.  Said member also mentioned that the Enrele might bond with people of different age-groups, sexes, and species differently.  Some infestations, then, might be stronger than others.

One of my characters, Caeceila Glasmann, has attempted establish a causal link between suicides in Hell's Gate and the presence of Enrele, perhaps erroneously.  She is under the impression that people with a history of depression and/or other mental illness are more likely to commit suicide than those who are more stable.  Therefore, people with a history of mental illness who are in a bad way in Hell's Gate and haven't offed themselves are more likely, by her logic, to be Enrele-infected.

Caeceila Glasmann is planning an offensive against the Enrele in and around Hell's Gate.

  Reveal hidden contents

After the thread linked in the spoiler has concluded, I'll be posting in the Terrenus Military Chatter thread in an attempt to contact players whose characters are authorized to represent Michael Commager, Victory, "Bubble" from Chasing Damaged Threads, and other individuals who are unlikely to be compromised.  I don't know of many characters in Terrenus who possess psychic abilities, which seem to be necessary to combat the Enrele, so my characters are looking to capture Xer'Orian queens and princesses from Taen and tap into their network to contest the Enrele in a psionic battle.

The player I am communicating with via private messages is interested in potentially leading what I think is a more conventional assault against a different hivemind, the one that is might displace one of the Genius Loci.

One of Dolor Aeternum's characters, Ilyana Sevryn, has asked Caeceila and company how Enrele might be identified.  It is likely that the information Caeceila and company provide will, without their knowledge or approval, be relayed to the Abbadon Triumvirate.

I've contemplated checking out Yh'mi to determine if there is anything there that might bust an Enrele hivemind, but of late, I haven't done much digging there.  I'm assuming contact with an Eldritch mind would scar an Enrele hivemind like it would scar a normal mind.  I can source Lovecraftian horrors from my catperson cult, the leader of which has a spell list derived from Call of Cthulhu RPG Sixth Edition, but it would be much cooler to grab a terrorhorror that already exists.

Some information that may be of use:

Currently, there are five different kinds of Enrele, one for each hive mind.

Hivemind Aleth consists of the originals. They have not adapted or diverged in any meaningful way from the bestiary entry. The most accurate detection method is to pull someone's shirt off and see if there's a big ugly tentacle monster attached to the back, or otherwise use any detection that penetrates clothing. They probably also smell bad until the parasite manages full infection, because nasty creatures tend to be malodorous. This is the hivemind based out of Dougton, where the doomsday clock is ticking. Notably, I believe there is an untested injection-based drug/bio-weapon that was developed from one of Aleth's rescued victims. 

In Hell's Gate, there's Hasith. It's the first derivation of Aleth and is both less massive and lacking in tentacles. I would say it's similar to a cymothoid isopod, as its modus operandi is to enter through the mouth and replace one of the host's organs. There is a small window of detection during initial infection: trauma around the mouth, esophagus, and GI system; standard medical procedures up until the host organ is fully replaced. The new organ may have the appearance of swelling or inflammation depending on how hard the parasite is pushing the host body. Incidentally, Hasith never replaces the brain.

We have the other Enrele types hashed out, but in-character there isn't much in circulation about them. That said, Veth is similar in many ways to Hasith, but Daloth and Gamath are entirely different. 

Generally speaking, the host consciousness is no longer part of the body once infection is complete. For Aleth and Hesith, they're trapped in a separate mental space that could be described as an astral farm or an incorporeal data center. When attempting spiritual possession of an Aleth victim, one character was able to enter this mental space and pull out the imprisoned/suspended consciousness. That said, it isn't like the process is perfect. Some host consciousnesses fight back, which may result in Enrele that are erratic. In terms of mental illness, the reasoning is sound. Enrele are constantly optimizing their hosts, and are only able to mimic host behavior to the extent that they can act. They aren't all perfect actors, and some of them might suffer from a kind of psychic leakage from host minds that create subconscious warnings for loved ones. 

As far as Enrele host interactions w/r/t demographic differences, that's dealer's choice. Too many variables for me to comfortably dictate that to someone. Up to you!

Exposing an Enrele to psionics or an Eldritch mind may have unintended consequences, but I leave how the actual interaction happens and how beneficial it us up to the players. 

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18 hours ago, desolate milkshake said:

I believe there is an untested injection-based drug/bio-weapon that was developed from one of Aleth's rescued victims

I would like to build off of this occurrence with Ilyana's recent buy in to a company that is selling products that have injection as a primary method of 'consumption'. I will try and scour through the threads to see if I can find where this occurred but if anyone has a link for me then that would be great.

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On 9/3/2019 at 9:29 AM, Dolor Aeternum said:

I would like to build off of this occurrence with Ilyana's recent buy in to a company that is selling products that have injection as a primary method of 'consumption'. I will try and scour through the threads to see if I can find where this occurred but if anyone has a link for me then that would be great.

This was over four years ago so it's a little fuzzy, but I'll recap and throw some links to you.

A tap on the shoulder in a dark alley. It looks like we never reached the drug manufacturing stage. To summarize the summary, a female gnome named Detta had an incurable disease, the White Plague. When she was body-snatched, the Enrele cured her. It was hypothesized that the Enrele-charged White Plague antibodies from a desnatched individual could be leveraged to create an anti-Enrele drug.  Both Detta and the specialist treating her were kidnapped/rescued from the hospital she was in and presumably taken to an anti-Enrele black site.

While the drug itself wasn't created in-character, the ingredients and patents should be out there and acquirable. 

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Is there a loose rating on Terrenus’ current conflict climate? More of a sentence to describe the level of conflict than any percentage. There is always conflict but is Terrenus largely peaceful right now or in armed struggle (as it was with the civil wars)?

We have/had civil wars, body snatching, that plague thing, that each affected things continentally alongside more isolated conflicts that still combine to give a total overview.

And “conflict” in the way I present the word could be anything from armies battling each other to police battling crime to doctors battling a plague. In short, if it leads to overall high figures of death and destruction, chaos and suffering, beyond dying from old age, then it’s conflict (or a more accurate term that I’ve neglected).

So if someone wants to visit Terrenus, someone else might say “Get to it! Tranquil lands from the big city to the small!” or “DO NOT GO DO NOT GO” based on the overall ‘conflict climate’.

Edited by Die Shize

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1 hour ago, Die Shize said:

Is there a loose rating on Terrenus’ current conflict climate? More of a sentence to describe the level of conflict than any percentage. There is always conflict but is Terrenus largely peaceful right now or in armed struggle (as it was with the civil wars)?

We have/had civil wars, body snatching, that plague thing, that each affected things continentally alongside more isolated conflicts that still combine to give a total overview.

And “conflict” in the way I present the word could be anything from armies battling each other to police battling crime to doctors battling a plague. In short, if it leads to overall high figures of death and destruction, chaos and suffering, beyond dying from old age, then it’s conflict (or a more accurate term that I’ve neglected).

So if someone wants to visit Terrenus, someone else might say “Get to it! Tranquil lands from the big city to the small!” or “DO NOT GO DO NOT GO” based on the overall ‘conflict climate’.

To answer this question I'll be speaking in broad strokes and using the Homeland Security Advisory System as an analog. THe MI5 threat level system is very similar

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeland_Security_Advisory_System

I would say that even during its most peaceful times, Terrenus was Guarded / threat level blue and arguably Elevated / threat level high (except for the peaceful woods and places like that). There was always a "general" to "significant" risk of attack which could manifest itself in any number of ways, from supernatural phenomenon (the cold snap) to international war to terrorist attack and possibly a half dozen more nuanced examples that would suit a nation whose economy is at least in part made up of "adventuring" and exists in the kind of lore that it does. The Wilds is and always has been very dangerous, with the cities much less dangerous in that form of threat (random encounters by monsters or vagabonds) but much more dangerous in other forms (crimes of passion, mad scientist experiments, death cults, etc)

And even then there was variance. In the past Last Chance was much more dangerous than Dougton, sort of the difference between Detroit, Michigan and Hopkinton, Massachusetts (Which apparently has a 0.000 per 1,000 violent crime rate). Now, with the Enrele having a higher concentration in Dougton than other cities, I'd say the opposite is true

All of that latent threat remains and on top of it there have been more things going on in the past few years, which means it should be at least relevant to discussion even if not actively happening in real time. I would say during the peak of the civil war it was Severe. Riots and the like were de facto, may continue to be in places, and the aftermath of some of those civil war things haven't just been swept away. Things are more stable in a very general sense, as in we're past that particular peak, but not a great deal. So I'd say Elevated for day to day masses, High to Severe for a decent number of people, and maybe some new Critical / Ultraviolet classification depending where you are and who you talk to

Does that help?

Edited by supernal

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2 hours ago, supernal said:

To answer this question I'll be speaking in broad strokes and using the Homeland Security Advisory System as an analog. THe MI5 threat level system is very similar

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeland_Security_Advisory_System

I would say that even during its most peaceful times, Terrenus was Guarded / threat level blue and arguably Elevated / threat level high (except for the peaceful woods and places like that). There was always a "general" to "significant" risk of attack which could manifest itself in any number of ways, from supernatural phenomenon (the cold snap) to international war to terrorist attack and possibly a half dozen more nuanced examples that would suit a nation whose economy is at least in part made up of "adventuring" and exists in the kind of lore that it does. The Wilds is and always has been very dangerous, with the cities much less dangerous in that form of threat (random encounters by monsters or vagabonds) but much more dangerous in other forms (crimes of passion, mad scientist experiments, death cults, etc)

And even then there was variance. In the past Last Chance was much more dangerous than Dougton, sort of the difference between Detroit, Michigan and Hopkinton, Massachusetts (Which apparently has a 0.000 per 1,000 violent crime rate). Now, with the Enrele having a higher concentration in Dougton than other cities, I'd say the opposite is true

All of that latent threat remains and on top of it there have been more things going on in the past few years, which means it should be at least relevant to discussion even if not actively happening in real time. I would say during the peak of the civil war it was Severe. Riots and the like were de facto, may continue to be in places, and the aftermath of some of those civil war things haven't just been swept away. Things are more stable in a very general sense, as in we're past that particular peak, but not a great deal. So I'd say Elevated for day to day masses, High to Severe for a decent number of people, and maybe some new Critical / Ultraviolet classification depending where you are and who you talk to

Does that help?

Supremely.

I can use this. I can use it.

I particularly like the correlation between in-universe lore and the tendency of our kind of fiction to cater to writers who are generally looking for conflict and adventure. That's the kind of IC-OOC bridge that I like to see.

You have answered my question to my satisfaction. The system works.

Edited by Die Shize

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12 hours ago, desolate milkshake said:

It's actually peaceful. The residents of all the major cities are clay golems made for attracting supervillains while the real citizens sip martinis in unnamed towns and villages.

Valuclay

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So, the continent is being renamed Fracture, though it is undefined who is renaming it or who chooses to call it that and why. But this begs another question...

Was Terrenus always called Terrenus? Or was that just the name that Odin Haze's regime choose? If so, what was the continent called before? Or did it have many names?

This is worth asking, since localities may choose to simply revert to what they called it locally in past years rather than call it Fracture. Since the Terran Empire has only existed about thirty years supposedly, these terms would still be remembered, presuming as I implied that the name "Terrenus" specifically was determined by the Terran Empire and didn't always exist beforehand.

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7 hours ago, Tyler said:

So, the continent is being renamed Fracture, though it is undefined who is renaming it or who chooses to call it that and why. But this begs another question...

Was Terrenus always called Terrenus? Or was that just the name that Odin Haze's regime choose? If so, what was the continent called before? Or did it have many names?

This is worth asking, since localities may choose to simply revert to what they called it locally in past years rather than call it Fracture. Since the Terran Empire has only existed about thirty years supposedly, these terms would still be remembered, presuming as I implied that the name "Terrenus" specifically was determined by the Terran Empire and didn't always exist beforehand.

I don’t have answers to those questions so like the other stuff I’m leaving up to individual taste to suit this can be too. Feel free to concoct and generate names and have some locals call it x, others y, z can continue calling it Terrenus if they want, etc. It isn’t something I care to be prescriptive about 

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