Hidden from humans and Nephilim, lost in the substrate of economic, political, military and religious powers, preserving the occult traditions of the West, secret societies try to thwart the Nephilim and steal their secrets, to influence the change of the coming millennium, even to rule the world.
Secret Societies are the primary enemies of the Nephilim. Their capacities are significant, though limited because they must work hidden.
The first secret societies were created during the fall of Atlantis. Some humans, initiated in the secrets of Prometheus, decided to keep for themselves this powerful magical knowledge. They knew they could use these secrets to make themselves powerful and give themselves influence over the affairs of Nephilim and human alike. They established the fundamental credo of the secret societies:
if maintain the secrets by any means necessary, and discover the secrets Prometheus did not reveal, ■ft prevent the Nephilim from dominating mankind, and thwart their alien plans by any means necessary.
l2r recruit human members who are ready to accept these secrets so they might aid them in their struggles, li protect humans from the Nephilim and their strange occult sciences.
The secret societies grew with humanity itself. They invented their own structures of initiation, in mimicry of the Nephi-lim's initiation into the magical secrets. They founded religions on the basis of their stolen understandings and limited knowledge of The Mystery. During this long prehistorical period, secret societies studied the new occult tools left to them by Prometheus. With these tools they hunted down and destroyed the Nephilim surviving the fall of Adantis. They stole Stasis objects and built megalithic monuments to calculate the future movements of the magic fields, so that the Nephilim might remain trapped forever.
Some surviving Nephilim tried to restore the ancient At-lantian order. They used their magic powers to dominate entire human populations, and were the basis for Greek and Assyro-babylonian polytheism. Other infiltrated secret societies with their Simulacrum, to use them and continue die spiritual education of humans, and so became mystics venerated by some as gods. These Nephilim were the origin of legends, such as those of Orpheus or Jason.
Some other Nephilim preferred to make pacts with humans to ensure their own survival. This was the case of druids, some shamans and especially of those humans who later be came Egyptians. The pact between Nephilim and proto-Egyptians was called the Great Compromise. It was made around 10,000 BC, and stated diat Nephilim would incarnate in Simulacrum who would be revered and venerated by all— including the Pharaohs and their families. In exchange, each pharaoh promised to use its magical power to protect the Egyptians and their empire. Furthermore, he would be buried in hermetically sealed sepultures where no magic field could pass, so they could not reincarnate, but they could follow the Western Path to Agartha in the afterlife. These tombs quickly became the pyramids. The Great Compromise was broken only in 1350 BC, because of the mystical pharaoh Akhenaton, and because of the priests of Thebes, worshippers of Amon-Ra. Many secret societies responded to this breach of trust, becoming stridently anti-Nephilim. Thus were the secret societies remade in a form close to the ones they have today. Their eternal goals are to prevent the Nephilim from becoming the rulers of the world, and to themselves reach this position.
M^5ic Sccrct Societies
The main goal of the secret societies is to steal the occult knowledge of the Nephilim, as they cannot use by diemselves the magic fields because they lack the division of Ka-elements found in the Nephilim. Only the very first humans initiated by Prometheus knew how to make Stasis and megalithic constructions. Their successors have found ways to steal the magics of the Nephilim. They know how to sacrifice Nephilim and use its stolen blood to power magic. They have learned to enslave the Nephilim in Elixirs and Homonculi, instead of just imprisoning or destroying them. With their Solar-Ka they can also perform a limited amount of magical transmutations upon the substance of Orichalka, such as designing protective talismans and weapons. Fortunately for the Nephilim, Orichalka is very rare and its is awakening very hazardous. Fortunately as well the limitations of their stolen magical practices have prevented secret societies from destroying all Nephilim and taking control of the world.
Orichalka is rare and hard to work with. The manner of its collection and manipulation are closely guarded secrets. It can be found in trace elements within certain metal and mineral deposits, and is costly to mine. It must be collected at night outside of the view of the sun, and worked during times of Solar Grand Enthronement. Then it must be awakened by Solar-Ka to make it most effective.
In order for an Orichalka weapon to be created and used, first the substance must be collected and refined through Alchemical processes. Alchemical weaponsmiths create the object and inscribe it with magical Orichalka-laden script. The last step is to "awaken" the Orichalka in a magical ritual in which the weaponsmith bleeds upon the Orichalka to expose it to Solar-Ka. For each point of Solar-Ka sacrificed, the Orichalka has the capacity to destroy 10 points of Ka, permanently. Accomplished metalsmiths have been known to use the blood from multiple donors (sometimes unwilling donors) to chaige their Orichalka weapons with hundreds or even thousands of points of capacity. Weapons with greater capacity must use greater amounts off Orichalka, and so they are even more rare.
During this process the weaponsmith opposes his Solar-Ka on the resistance table against the total number of ka-points sacrificed. Failure means die points are lost, but the weapon is not awakened and the ritual may be tried again. On a fumble, the weapon wakens prematurely in a massive alchemical explosion, obliterating the smith and destroying the weapon and laboratory.
All awakened Orichalka destroys ld20 points of dominant Ka upon contact with a Nephilim's blood; Orichalka has no effect on humans. As Ka is destroyed, the Orichalka's capacity diminishes by an equal amount. When capacity reaches zero, the weapon no longer contains Orichalka, but now has trace elements of Litharge.
If Orichalka ever comes into contact with a Nexus, it is obliterated in a blinding flash of light and noise. No physical damage results, but what was once Orichalka has been replaced by trace elements of Litharge.
Litharge is the result of the mutual annihilation of Orichalka and Ka. It is left in trace amount within what were previously awakened Orichalka weapons. Nephilim have learned to use it to create their Stasis objects, and the Secret Societies have found it useful for the creation of Elixirs.
After Elixirs, Orichalka weapons are the most precious things secret societies possess. The original Orichalka weapons were crudely made from pieces of sharpened flint, either used as a knife or placed on wooden swords. Since that time its working has been greatly improved. Now they are usually made of a good iron or hardened steel, covered with strange symbols engraved in a golden alloy containing Orichalka. Orichalka works when these symbols come into contact widi the Simulacrum's blood. A reaction occurs and the Nephilim loses ld20 Ka points. Reduce the weapon's capacity by the amount of Ka damage.
These weapons are very rare objects, jealously guarded. It is said that perhaps fewer than a hundred are left in all the world, among them Excalibur and Durandal, Roland's sword. They are always kept in special Litharge-impregnated sheaths, protecting them from magic fields in general, and especially from exposure to Nexuses.
Talismans have been designed to prevent the infiltration of secret societies by Nephilim, by preventing Nephilim from incarnating in its members. They are made in part of Orichalka, but are usually less powerful than the weapons. They look like metal medallions, thick and decorated with many esoteric symbols. They are often coins, usually quite ancient. Talismans are handed down from secret society member to secret society member as sacred relics.
Each point of capacity in a Talisman adds to the Solar-Ka of the wearer on the resistance table to resist being taken over by a Nephilim. Talismans can also be used the same as weapons to destroy Ka, but so doing diminishes their capacity, and leaves the wearer undefended to takeover, so this is rarely done.
Secret societies have long tried to steal the magical secrets of the Nephilim and pervert them to their own end. Without the Nepliilim's diversity of Ka-elements, humans cannot perform magic. Some among the secret societies have learned to use the Nephilim themselves to this end. The three methods they have developed so far are Sacrifice, Elixirs, and Ho-monculi.
As the Nephilim have learned to spill their own blood to power a magical working, some humans have twisted that knowledge and developed a ritual whereby they may sacrifice a Nephilim's Simulacra and expend its Ka to work their magic. A Nephilim must first be captured or taken unawares. It is slain in a magical ritual, and its blood spilt to power the magic. The Nephilim permanently loses ldlO points of dominant Ka, but then is free to reincarnate or return to Stasis, if it still has one, and if it still has Ka remaining.
The human gains the ability to cast a single Sorcery or Summoning spell, once only, assuming she has already learned the proper Technique and deciphered the focus in which the spell is written. Sacrifice cannot be used to perform Alchemy. For Sorcery, no Ka-element roll need be made, as this works the same as the Nephilim spilling its own blood to perform magic, only the Nephilim is not in charge of its use. For a summoning, or whenever an opposition of Ka is called for, such as when opposing two spells, use the Nephilim's Ka-element ratings as they were before the blood was spilt.
This is messy work, and if done in public, ritualistic slay-ings of this sort always attract the interest of the authorities.
Secret societies have learned to make Elixirs from the blood of captured Nephilim, so that they might later spill the blood in much the same way that a Nephilim spills its own blood, and thus cast sorcerous magic. Elixirs may also be used to perform Summoning or to create the Transmutation Powders for Alchemical magic.
To make an Elixir, the secret society mage first consecrates a vessel in which the blood can be kept, as a rum bottle, per fume flask or Champagne Mathusalem. A captured Nephilim is drained of all its blood, and the blood thickened and reduced and placed in the vessel. Naturally, the Simulacrum dies during this process. As its essence is placed in the botde, the human mage opposes its Solar-Ka on the resistance table against each of the Nephilim's Ka-elements. For each roll that succeeds, the Nephilim loses the entirety of that Ka-element, which goes into the botde. If the Nephilim loses all its Ka-elc-ments, it becomes a whole Elixir, rebuilt into die object and imprisoned forever. If it resists, it survives but with some of its Ka-elements lost. Nephilim in this condition are in constant agony and torment, insane and unbalanced from the loss of entire Ka-elements. Some advanced initiates of the Temperance Arcanum know spells to replace these lost Ka-elements, but the procedure is cosdy and difficult.
When the object has taken each of the Ka-elements (not necessarily from one Nephilim), a strange alchemy occurs and a new elemental creature is created, deranged and incomplete, without shape and unable to ever attain Agartha. It can only survive within the botde. These partial Nephilim are prisoners of secret society magicians, their blood slowly expended to perform magical operations. It is a cruel destiny and the fear of Nephilim everywhere.
The secret societies have developed a ritual which allows them to exploit the Elixirs. The magician spills a drop of blood from the Elixir, permanendy expending a point of the Elixir's Ka-element corresponding with the type of magic being cast. Keep track of the Ka-elements in an Elixir, since they diminish independendy as they are used up. When the last Ka point is spent, die last drop is expended and die Elixir is dry. A Ka-element can be increased once it is incorporated into the Elixir by rolling the humans' Solar-Ka against the combined total of the Ka-element already in the Elixir and the Ka-elements to be stolen from new Nephilim victim.
In Sorcery, the human mage only needs to roll under the applicable magical Technique. If an opposition of Ka is called for, such as when opposing two spells, use the Elixir's Ka-ele-ment ratings as they were before the blood was spilt. Spells that are reflected back or would normally affect the summoner affect the human caster instead of the Elixir.
Used in a Summoning, compare the Ka-element of the Elixir (as it was before the blood was spilt) against that of the summoned creature. The caster suffers the fate of a failed contract, so they are wary to summon the more dangerous creatures.
For Alchemy, the Elixir itself can be poured into a stolen Athanor in a ritual to create Transmutation Powders wliich the human can use. Each point of Ka-element expended from the Elixir creates one point of corresponding powder.
Creating magic with Elixirs is very uncommon and requires much study and time to perform. The magic powers of secret societies are limited, and they have a lot of other ways, much more trivial, to act against Nephilim. Still, the more Elixirs a secret society has, the more powerful it is. They spend an important part of their time hunting Nephilim to convert them into Elixirs. It is rare but sometimes happens that secret societies steal each other's Elixirs. This always leads to great wars.
The third way in which secret societies steal the magic of the Nephilim is through the creation of Homonculi. They have corrupted the arts of Summoning and Alchemy to create an evil binding which twists and transforms a captured Nephilim into an enslaved magical servant. Such a fate is perhaps the cruelest that a Nephilim can imagine, soul-bound into a broken and corrupted body, and forced to perform unspeakable acts at the command of its pitiless master. Homonculi can perform any magic that a Nephilim normally could, including Sorcery, Summoning, and Alchemical workings.
To create a Homonculus a Nephilim must first be captured and its Stasis must be found. The Nephilim subdued, the secret society magician carves a pentagram on its body, binding its soul to his service. Then he subjects the body to an Alchemical process that reduces it to the size of a houscat or small dog. The Stasis item is consumed in the ritual and destroyed. The pitiful creature is forced to submit to magical oaths that prevent it from taking its own life and force it to perform magical tasks for its master. In diis binding process the magician's Solar-Ka is compared against the Nephilim's dominant Ka on the resistance table. Success indicates that the Nephilim is bound in servitude. Failure means the Simulacrum dies, and the Nephilim is free to reincarnate.
Homonculi are pitiful, twisted little creatures. They whine and plead with their masters to end their miserable lives and set them free to reincarnate. Some masters use this desire to make their humonculi perfonn disagreeable tasks, swearing to some day slay them and thus set them free. While it must obey the letter of its master's commands, a Homonculus often tries to reinterpret its orders in ways unfavorable to its master, always hoping for that command given in haste which will allow it to turn on its master and break free.
Homonculi can live as long as Nephilim, perhaps hundreds of years. There is no cure, except death and reincarnation. Sorcerers always fear this, for a Homonculus Nephilim nearly always devotes its next incarnation to revenge. For this reason sorcerers try to destroy Homonculi with Orichalka before they die naturally, or make them into Elixirs and thus cripple the Nephilim's Ka-elements. If a Homonculus' master is killed, the twisted creature is set free from its oaths, but still trapped inside the broken body until it dies. Its love of humanity snuffed out from years or even centuries of enslavement, such a free humonculus is immensely destructive, but fortunately (for humanity at large) often concentrates its destructive urges on the secret society it was once forced to serve.
Human magicians must expend Ch'awe when they cast magic, just as do Nephilim. Figure a human's Ch'awe as being equal to her CON. Expended points return at one per hour, just as with a Nephilim.
The Templars are the most active secret society. They were first formed in 1014 BC as a secret organization of 12 men, high ranking in the military structures of ancient Egypt.
These twelve people, unhappy that the military was denied the secrets of the priests, decided to take them by force. According to their plan, they had themselves named guardians of "the House of Life," a sacred Egyptian temple. There they spied upon the secrets of the priests and learned of the ex istence of the 22 Major Arcana. They decided to assemble the 22 Nephilim treasures, called the Emerald Tablets of Ak-henaton, upon which are written the inner secrets of each Major Arcanum. To do so the original twelve recruited many other members. Their plans were discovered by the priests, who turned on them and tried to exterminate the secret order of the Templars.
They were driven from the temple, but not defeated. From this time onward, the Templars adopted a very secret and covert structure. They would only act in the shadows; no one would know of their existence. They would recruit only the vital minimum. They worked thus, few in numbers, for centuries. They gathered a great amount of occult information and contacts. They designed what the secret societies would later call the Grand Plan. This Plan ultimately leads to die total magical and mundane domination of the world.
The Templars who designed the Plan were not taken seri ously, even ridiculed by the other secret societies. But dieir power grew and they emerged from their dark concealment soon after the Jesus Incident. Their return to open action should have coincided with the fulfillment of the Grand Plan at the time of Jesus' birth, but diey failed and had to wait until the stars were again in their favor. This time they decided to work more in the open, and finally emerged fully in the early 12th century when their Grand Master H (known under the pseudonym Hughes of Payns) and 7 other senior members made the decision to complete the Grand Plan at that time.
They adopted a feudal structure for their organization, similar to other knightly orders of the times. During the Crusades, they set up on the site of Solomon's Temple, where they discovered some extraordinary documents they had lacked in their first attempt to finish the Grand Plan. From this moment, their development was exponential as they spread out across Europe, becoming the bankers of Kings and Emperors. They built commanderies (areas of regional influence) along major communication routes and helped financed the building of gothic cathedrals, a part of their Plan. By the end of the 13th century, they were ready to take control of all power structures of the time. But some courageous Nephilim intervened. They acted and forced the King of France and the Pope to ally and use their power against the Templars, while others entered the Templars' inner sanctum and summoned the inner pentangle of the five great elemental lords to destroy the Templar's stronghold. The fight was short but decisive. The Templars were almost exterminated and the Grand Plan halted.
Some Templars found refuge in Scotland, Switzerland and Portugal, while others fled by the sea and reached the yet undiscovered American continent. The survivors brought the secrets of the Grand Plan. Those who remained in Europe took this defeat as a serious warning and knew diey had to be secretive once again. They knew the Grand Plan might still be concluded before the end of the second millennium. They calculated that the heavens would be favorable again in 1999.
Templars are today among the most active secret societies, as they know the end of the Grand Plan is nearing (they call the approaching end Paroxy). They believe the en-masse awakening of the Nephilim is part of it. They will use any form of coercion: violent action, blackmail—any kind of manipulation to reach their goal. They especially recruit in the political and economical spheres, but also have a cadre of knightly guards and professional killers. Membership in the Templars is by invitation only. They often recruit from other secret societies, usually clandestinely so that dieir new member keeps its old contacts in the previous group. Given time, they take over odier secret societies and absorb them into their own structure.
Since their defeat in the 13th century, Templars have turned from overt bankers to covert brokers of magical services. They are the ones other secret societies turn to when they need a man with an Orichalka sword, or a human sorcerer with some knowledge of Ka-elements. In return they owe the Templars favors, and the Templars collect these favors when another secret society calls for help, brokering the services of one society to another, and always collecting a substantial portion off the top. They can further their Grand Plan by helping those schemes which coincide with it, and hindering the ones which go against their plans. In this way die Templars serve as a sort of umbrella organization for the secret societies.
The Templar's Secrets
Templars use a great number of clandestine recognition signs and secret communication methods. They range from the cross on the reverse of a coat to secret messages hidden within normal FM radio broadcasts. The secret rites of today's Templars were settled in the 16th century, when the society was hounded the most. Some Templars think these rites, called "Strict Observances," are too restrictive to suit the active part the Templars are going to have in the near future. The rites can be very different from one Obedience to the other.
The original Order of the Temple adopted a pyramidal structure. The Grand Master niles the order in a despotic way. He lives in the Temple Hostel from where he issues his orders. He is aided in his occult government by eleven masters, called Bailiffs. They are omnipotent emissaries, feared and respected by all other Templars. They are in charge of verifying the implementation of the Grand Master's decisions.
The current Grand Master of the Templars is Edward Ka-ligan, known among the Templars merely as "G.". His professional training is as an adviser in geopolitics. He rules from his secluded headquarters in the San Andres Mountains of New Mexico, within the permanent Orichalka Plexus caused by the Nuclear testing at the White Sands military base. The American government considers this place to be uninhabitable.
Since the 12th century, the Templars have divided their areas of influence into Commanderies, their smallest unit if territorial measurement. A commandery consists of a geographic region, the buildings owned by members of the Templars, hiding-places, signs and occult locations used for recognition by other Templars of the Commandery, the initiate membership of the Commandery, and the money and goods used to finance the activities of the Commandery.
A Commandery is usually niled by a Templar Commander, called a White Coat. He is helped by six Knight-Companions who rule the rest of the initiate. The initiates are divided into three ranks: knights, squires and pages. Knights are the highest rank; they are fully trained warriors, magicians, or other functionaries of the organization. Each is served by one or more squires, who are knights in training. The Pages are the lowest order of initiate. They perform the menial services and gruntwork for the Templars, and comprise their network of spies.
These are the different secret movements united inside the Templars. Each can have particular goals, rituals, ways of acting, but must always strictly obey the Commandery. They are the remnants of the ancient secret societies that were absorbed by the Templars during history. Obedience heads are often called Crosses. Each Obedience has a specific Cross name, though some may prefer to keep their ancient secret society name.
The obediences are like vassals to the Commanderies. The Commander is the lord; the heads of Obediences are his vassals. In exchange for their fidelity, the Obediences can have access to the occult information and services of the Commanderies. As in every vassalage relationship, tensions occasionally arise between Obedience and Commandery. In times of revolt, the Commandery usually asks all its other vassals (the other Obediences) to come to help. Should all Obediences revolt, the Commandery falls and the Templars lose a part of their power. If two Obediences fight, the Commandery rules and punishes the wrongdoer by a temporary banishment of the organization.
The Companions are the allies of the Templars. They are people or institutions who know of the existence of the Templars and who voluntarily help them to reach their goal. Usually, Templars thank them by allowing them a limited access to magic. They are not very well informed of the Templars' mysteries, and mainly give material help. They might hide members, lend money, finance a media propaganda campaign, etc. They are the technical aides of the Templars.
These are the institutions where the Templars have some kind of influence, whether it is financial (with blackmail) or political. Templars often use Farms to reach their goals, since it does not expend or risk their own resources.
Templars keep extensive records on other secret societies, and have developed an elaborate scheme of codification with which they track the other groups. By their nature secret societies are fractious and divisive, so the other groups rarely agree with or even acknowledge the Templars' system of codification. Reality is not as simple as the Templars' rules and many of the secret societies intermix and intertwine. In truth it is hard to fathom the actual interrelationships, and even the Grand Master finds it difficult to keep the organizations straight.
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