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Horrors
Of the Big Easy

Design: Jasyn Jones
Commentary: Jake Linford, Ks. Jim Ogle

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The swamplands of Louisiana are murky and dank, a seemingly endless morass of sodden islands and moss-choked channels. The boughs of the trees hang low, brushing the slow-moving water with branches and attendant vines. Alligators slip through the dark water, hunting and feeding. The land is mucky and mossy, each small island nearly indistinguishable from its neighbors. Water flows everywhere and boats are a necessity.

Background

Background on New Orleans (including a map and information on the reality tree) can be found in War’s End, ppg. 58 - 84. Further information can be found in Infiniverse Update, Volume II, pg. 49 and Volume III, pg. 67.

Other information about New Orleans can be found in the following Infiniverse newsletter issues (available as a free download on the West End Games website): issue 23, ppg. 7-8; issue 24, pg. 9; issue 30, ppg. 9-10; issue 38, pg. 10.

Set among these swamps is the famous city of New Orleans. The streets and sites of New Orleans are known worldwide, including the non-stop party hosted in the innumerable bars of Bourbon Street, the timeless buildings of the Vieux Carre, and the annual bacchanalia of Mardi Gras. New Orleans is bright and bold, a home to perennial celebrations and performances.

In the third year of the Near Now, a reality tree of Orrorshan reality was planted in New Orleans, bringing the realm of fear to the Mississippi bayou. The once-peaceful swamps of Louisiana now teem with horrors both monstrous and humanoid.

Meanwhile, a subtle miasma of fear has settled over New Orleans and Baton Rouge. Unlike the monster-infested swamps, there are few obvious signs of Horrors in the city, but still their presence is felt. Unexplained disappearances, seeping Corruption, and violent confrontations now mar the cities’ bright lights and festive atmosphere.

The terrors of city and swamp reflect the heritage of Louisiana. Native myths and legends have sprung to life, producing Horrors unseen elsewhere in the Possibility Wars. The following monsters are unique Horrors of the Big Easy.

Swamp Men

For generations, urban legends and campfire stories have peopled the wilderness with an endless array of sadistic, murderous, and cannibalistic dwellers. Swamp Men embody these tales. They live deep in swamps, forests, or abandoned buildings, waylaying travelers and the lost, and come forth only to kidnap their next meal.

Swamp Men are invariably heavily mutilated, and are frequently missing a hand (often replaced with sharp metal utensils like hooks or carving knives). Their faces are distorted and misshapen, their teeth mostly missing. Their scarred appearance mirrors their disfigured souls.

Swamp Men are consummate trackers, possessing an unearthly ability to follow people through the winding waters of both swamp and city. They’re immune to pain, relentless, and live only to chase down prey. They can run faster than most, tirelessly. They seem to fear little.

Swamp Men can be found alone, but usually live with two to five other Swamp Men. The dwellings of Swamp Men are filled with the discarded property of past victims, as well as their mortal remains. Itinerants and monster hunters are not encouraged to linger in such surroundings.

Swamp Men generally consume their captives, after long and ugly torture sessions. Those victims who survive are scarred and misshapen beyond recognition. It is said, though there is scant proof, that such often reject civilization, embrace the barbaric ways of their captors, and become Swamp Men themselves.

Domain

Swamp Men inhabit abandoned buildings, either in the swamps surrounding New Orleans or within the city itself.

Swamp Men
Dexterity: 13
dodge: 14
maneuver: 15
melee weapons: 20
missile weapons: 17
running: 14
stealth: 17
unarmed combat: 19
Strength: 15
Toughness: 18
Perception: 13
find: 20
tracking: 21
trick: 14
water vehicles: 14
Mind: 8
test of wills: 16
willpower: 17
survival: 12
Charisma: 7
taunt: (18)
Spirit: 13
intimidation: 19

Possibility Potential: Some (20)
Natural Tools: Implanted weapon: Str + 8/23 (Str + 3/17 for anyone other than Swamp Men).
Power Rating: 3
Corruption Value: 16
Fear Rating: 2
Suggested Perseverance DN: 13 alone, 14 in a group
Suggested Weakness: Fire
Suggested True Death: Killed by their own implanted weapon

Notes: The Running Limit Value for Swamp Men is 12. They are immune to Shock taken as a result of pushing their Running movement rate. Swamp Men commonly have Horror powers related to resisting damage (regeneration or attack form resistance) or locating prey (see sense victim, below.)

False Loa

Voudoun (otherwise known as voodoo) is a religion practiced in many nations surrounding the Caribbean. It is a mix of African tribal traditions and Christian teachings. According to voudoun teachings, one great god rules over a host of lesser spirits, called loa. Voudoun religious ceremonies revolve around the summoning of the loa, who possess various members of the hounfor (a family or congregation). (Further information on voodoo can be found in the Delphi Council Worldbook, ppg. 108-116.)

Louisiana is host to a great many worshippers of voudoun (voodooiennes). Voudoun houngans (priests) even warned of the imminent arrival of the horror reality. Since then, a great plague has descended on the many hounfors in the area. Slowly, their rituals and worship have been corrupted, edging ever further towards darkness and evil. There are tales of the rise of zombis and human sacrifice. Bokors (dark and usually Corrupt voudoun priests) are more common than ever.

As is frequently the case in Orrorsh, the blame lies with the Gaunt Man. He has empowered certain Horrors to impersonate the loa of voudoun, in order to lead its worshippers astray. The false loa can impersonate nearly any loa, although Papa Legba, Baron Ghede, and Erzuli seem to be the most common. These false loa attempt to lure followers into committing Wicked acts, slowly and subtly turning the religion into one which serves Corruption. Bokors abound, and their dark deeds have tainted many voudoun worshippers.

Many houngans know that something is amiss, but they are outnumbered by those who have embraced the rituals of the false loa. On their own, there is scant hope of them overcoming the Horrors.

Originally, only members of a hounfor could be mounted, but recently the false loa have begun mounting non-worshippers. Worse yet, there are reports of the false loa manifesting in Haiti and even Brazil. If true, it means that the false loa have moved far beyond the limits of Orrorshan reality, and are threatening all voudoun worshippers everywhere.

Domain

Though primarily found in Louisiana, false loa have spread their influence to other areas where voudoun is worshipped. Voudounistas must now be on their guard anytime a ritual is enacted.

Typical False Loa
Dexterity: 14
dodge: 15
maneuver: (16)
stealth: 16
unarmed combat: 15
Strength: 13
Toughness: 15
Perception: 16
find: 18
trick: (17)
Mind: 15
test: 19
willpower: 20
Charisma: 14
charm: 18
persuasion: 17
taunt: (15)
Spirit: 16
faith (Orrorsh): 23
intimidation: 21
reality (Orrorsh): 17

Possibility Potential: All, 5+ PP
Powers/Power Rating: Possess, plus 3-5 points of other powers
Corruption Value: 25
Fear Rating: 3
Suggested Perseverance DN: 15 - 18
Suggested Weakness: Varies, but always somehow related to the personality of the false loa.
Suggested True Death: Varies, but is tied in with the false loa’s nature (also, see notes).

Notes: False loa exist as possessing spirits, they never materialize physically. The false loa possess others using their possess Horror power, though it functions slightly differently for them than described in the Orrorsh Sourcebook. When a false loa possesses a cheval (“mount,” meaning possessed person), the attributes of the loa replace those of the cheval. Various loa differ in their attributes (see below, for examples).

True loa can only mount those with faith (voudoun), but false loas can possess anyone. All false loa have to be possessing a mount in order to be killed. They are invulnerable when not mounting. If attacked, but not slain with their True Death, the mount is killed but the false loa is not (this is, quite possibly, a Wicked act). False loa can be exorcised using the appropriate miracles or spells.

Specific Loa

The outline above is a generic template, which can be modified as the gamemaster sees fit to represent specific loa. Below are three detailed examples of false loa. Various other loa are discussed in the Delphi Council Worldbook (pg. 110). Gamemasters should feel free to flesh them out as desired.

Papa Legba

Papa Legba is the primary loa, the leader of all loa, renowned for his wisdom and insight. According to voudoun lore, he taught mankind how to foresee the future. He is the Sun and the spark of creation. He is the guardian of the Gate into the Spirit World and is invoked at the beginning of every voudoun ritual. He is usually pictured as an old man, carrying a cane.

As a false loa, Papa Legba is a brutal and demanding dictator, cruel, merciless, arbitrary, and vengeful. He leads through intimidation and fear, always seeking to expand the circle of those he commands. His dictates are are capricious, changing from day to day, and disobedience prompts beatings, sometimes resulting in death. Any slight, real or imagined, is met with cruel reprisals. In combat, Legba is fond of intimidating his opponents.

Followers of Legba imitate his manner and methods. They are dictatorial tyrants, who brutalize and terrorize their subordinates and family. They exploit those under them for their own purposes, and take what they want at will. Resistance to their commands is met with murderous rage.

Papa Legba
Dexterity: 14
dodge: 15
maneuver: (16)
stealth: 16
unarmed combat: 15
Strength: 13
Toughness: 15
Perception: 13
find: 14
trick: (17)
Mind: 15
test: 19
willpower: 20
Charisma: 14
charm: 18
persuasion: 17
taunt: (15)
Spirit: 16
faith (Orrorsh): 23
intimidation: 21
reality (Orrorsh): 17

Possibility Potential: 6 PP per Storm Knight
Powers: Possess, Regeneration, Domination*
*This is a new Horror power. See “Horror Powers” (below) for a description.
Corruption Value: 25
Fear Rating: 3
Perseverance DN: 19
Weakness: Legba is setback whenever he fails to intimidate a target (-1 Result Point or less on an intimidation check).
True Death: Decapitated by a sword blessed by a truly faithful hounfor wielded by a truly faithful voudounista. The hounfor who blesses the sword can also wield it. In order to be truly faithful the character must have 5 or more faith (voudoun) adds and must never have been mounted or possessed by a false loa.

Baron Ghede

Baron Ghede is a trickster and lover of ribald jokes. He is the loa of death and the dead. He is also known for his endless love of rum and boundless appetite for food. He wears a top hat, and always carries a cane and cigar.

Ghede, the false loa, is a brutal murderer, cannibal, and necromancer. He raises the dead as zombis and uses them as laborers. He lacks all respect for life and encourages murder and human sacrifice whenever possible.

Those who serve Ghede share an abhorrence of life and the living. Their rituals inevitably involve human sacrifice and cannibalism. They hate and mock those who love life or protect the living. They delight in raising up the dead and sending them among their former family or loved ones. Many mysterious disappearances can be traced to chevals mounted by Ghede.

Baron Ghede
Dexterity: 13
dodge: 14
maneuver: (16)
stealth: 15
unarmed combat: 14
Strength: 13
Toughness: 17
Perception: 13
find: 14
trick: (17)
Mind: 15
test: 19
willpower: 20
Charisma: 14
charm: 18
persuasion: 17
taunt: (15)
Spirit: 16
faith (Orrorsh): 23
intimidation: 21
reality (Orrorsh): 17

Possibility Potential: 5 PP per Storm Knight
Powers: Possess, Create Horror*, Attack Form Resistance (Physical Damage)*
*This is a new or modified Horror power. See “Horror Powers” (below) for a description.
Corruption Value: 27
Fear Rating: 3
Perseverance DN: 18
Weakness: Baron Ghede cannot take hostile action against an individual who has offered him rum or cigars. If he attempts such actions, he will be stymied.
True Death: Baron Ghede’s True Death is to be burned alive on a pyre of oak. This pyre must have been doused by rum, lit by a cigar, and it must have consumed Ghede’s cane before he can be truly killed.

Erzuli

Erzuli is the epitome of womanhood and the essence of femininity. She always appears as a woman of unsurpassed loveliness. She is both wise and innocent, and embodies luxuriousness, beauty, and love (romantic and otherwise). Only mambos (voudoun priestesses) can invoke Erzuli and only women can serve as a mount for her.

As a false loa, Erzuli is the embodiment of greed, jealousy, rage, and obsession. She seeks to destroy innocence and encourage betrayal, particularly of loved ones. Friendship and love are anathema to her–she will twist and subvert them whenever possible.

Mambos who follow this false loa seek to maximize their own wealth and power. They bitterly resent anyone who bests them in any way, and will go out of their way to belittle or attack them. Mambos of Erzuli never forget or forgive any slight and single-mindedly seek vengeance. They manipulate friends, family members, and loved ones into betraying each other, for amusement, revenge, or material gain. Those in the thrall of Erzuli are known for their overwhelming passions–vehement hatreds, eternal grudges, and possessive, jealous obsessions.

Erzuli
Dexterity: 15
dodge: 16
maneuver: (16)
stealth: 17
unarmed combat: 16
Strength: 12
Toughness: 15
Perception: 13
find: 14
trick: (17)
Mind: 15
test: 19
willpower: 20
Charisma: 17
charm: 25
persuasion: 24
taunt: 21
Spirit: 16
faith (Orrorsh): 23
intimidation: 21
reality (Orrorsh): 17

Possibility Potential: 5 PP per Storm Knight
Powers: Possess, Enslavement*, Seeming (Improved)*
*This is a new Horror power. See “Horror Powers” (below) for a description.
Corruption Value: 23
Fear Rating: 3
Perseverance DN: 18
Weakness: In the presence of a truly innocent person, such as a child, Erzuli is stymied.
True Death: Beheaded by a person who has suffered a great loss because Erzuli manipulated or betrayed them.

Corrupt Bokor

As the influence of the false loa spread, certain houngans were seduced into becoming bokors (“those who serve the loa with both hands.”) Bokors are the dark priests of voudoun, and the majority of those who willingly serve the false loa.

Corrupt bokors have knowingly embraced Wickedness and Corruption. They serve the false loa diligently and are their primary human agents. Corrupt bokors tend to revere one false loa above all others, and strive to embody the essence of that loa (see the descriptions above for the personality traits of the followers of the false loa).

Corrupt bokors infiltrate hounfors and strive to turn their rituals from those that venerate the loa into those that venerate the false loa. Among their primary aims is to seduce all voudounistas to worship of Corruption and Wickedness.

Corrupt bokors worship Wickedness and Corruption, and so cannot call upon the powers of the real loa (including voodoo miracles and spells). The dark powers of Orrorsh are more than willing to answer their cries, however, and Corrupt bokors have access to Orrorshan miracles.

In addition, the bokors frequently use the Occult to duplicate the effects of many voodoo rituals (miraculous and magical). This not only encourages Wicked acts, but also invokes the Power of Fear, fulfilling the dark realm’s purpose. Though Orrorshan magical spells are available to Corrupt bokors, most ignore them in preference to using the Occult.

Domain

Corrupt bokors can be found wherever the influence of the false loa is felt. Most recently, they have begun appearing in great numbers in both Haiti and Brazil.

Corrupt Bokor
Dexterity: 10
dodge: 12
fire combat: 13
maneuver: 11
stealth: 11
swimming: 11
unarmed combat: 11
Strength: 8
Toughness: 10
Perception: 9
evidence analysis: 10
find: 11
land vehicles: 10
scholar (voudoun rites and lore): 12
trick: 10
Mind: 8
occult: 15
test: 9
willpower: 10
Charisma: 11
charm: 12
persuasion: 13
Spirit: 18*
faith (Orrosh): 23
focus: 24
intimidation: 21
*Most Corrupt bokors have a Blessing Vow miracle that increases their Spirit to superhuman levels.

Possibility Potential: Some (25)
Power Rating: None
Corruption Value: 12-16
Fear Rating: 1
Perseverance DN: 12
Suggested Weakness: NA
Suggested True Death: Any
Miracles: Blessing Vow, Blind, Crucifixion, Healing, Hell’s Fire, Paralyzation, Pillar of Salt, Plague, Sins of the Flesh, Staff of (Un)righteousness, Tempest.
(See the Orrorsh Sourcebook, ppg. 89-93 for descriptions of these miracles. Note that these miracles all work for the bokor, even though he is not a Sacellen priest.)

Notes: Corrupt bokors are not Horrors, and so lack Horror powers and a True Death. Upon death, they will be offered the chance to go to a Waiting Village, to become a Horror.

Also, should a bokor be possessed by a false loa, they take upon themselves the personality, aspects, attributes, and skills of the false loa (see above).

Mr. Black

Mr. Black is an enigma, his true nature and identity unknown. Very few have met him, though most know of him. Yet he is often the only hope for those who seek to fight the Horrors of Louisiana. While not a monster hunter himself, he possesses a weapon beyond price: information.

Mr. Black is New Orleans’ answer man. There is little in the city that escapes his attention, and his agents are everywhere. They gather information for their master, information that Mr. Black barters for more information, or for favors.

Mr. Black can usually be found in one of the many jazz clubs that dot the city of New Orleans. Though busy, he somehow finds time to meet with most of those who seek his help.

Those who have lost loved ones to Horrors come to him, seeking knowledge. Most of the time, he delivers sorrow. Occasionally, rarely, if the victim is among the living, he can give a bit of advice as to how the bereaved might find and free their beloved.

Storm Knights, seeking to vanquish one Horror or another, frequently come to him, bargaining their services for clues and hints as to the Horror’s possible True Death. If the rumors are to be believed, a great many Horrors have met their ends at the hands of such Storm Knight bands, all due to the slivers of precious information provided by Mr. Black.

The rumors are true, but are not to be believed.

The Invasion of Louisiana

The creation of the Orrorshan zone in Louisiana has long been a mystery. It has been believed that this was a random act on the part of a few opportunistic Horrors acting alone and without instructions. This belief is incorrect. In truth, the Horrors were furthering a long-term plot of the Gaunt Man.

For years before the invasion of Core Earth, the Gaunt Man scouted the cosm in detail. He traveled throughout Earth, including a small foray into South America. Here he found Those-Who-Wait and the records they left behind, including the Possibility Chalice and the Destiny Map.

The reality tree technology intrigued the Gaunt Man. Such trees could, if turned to Corruption, become powerful and easily overlooked Horrors. More, if the stelae technology could be melded with that of the trees, he would no longer need believers to support his invasion zones- the hybrid trees could project the reality for him. Also, if Storm Knights succeeded in pulling up stelae, the trees would ensure that the reality of Orrorsh would remain.

The Gaunt Man laid plans to draw the Akashans to Core Earth. During his planning for the invasion of Earth, he gave the vampire Mantooth explicit instructions as to how he was to encourage a group of stormers to find the Forever City and light the Signal Fire. The Gaunt Man also created Mr. Black and charged him with acquiring a reality tree seed and establishing a zone of Orrorshan reality with it.

Louisiana was the result of that experiment. As far as the Gaunt Man is concerned, it has been far more successful than he ever imagined.

The creation of the Louisiana zone was undertaken during Thratchen’s short, lamentable reign as the Regent of Orrorsh, by a band of rogue Horrors. Accordingly, no single Nightmare was given dominion over the territory.

Several Nightmares placed agents within the city, many of whom fought each other for control. The confrontations grew so severe and so public that the delicate Ecology of Fear was on the verge of breaking down. Mr. Black, a heretofore unknown, brought a halt to the violent infighting of the Louisiana Horrors.

It was if he appeared out of thin air, trailing rumors in his wake. Within a shockingly short time, he had established himself as an information broker par excellent and a real power in the city. Various Horrors even sought him out, to gain information on their rivals. Every one, he turned away.

Unused to such forward behavior, the spurned Horrors sought to eliminate the impudent mortal. Those who conspired so, soon found themselves the target of well-armed and -motivated groups of Storm Knights, all of whom possessed a disquieting amount of knowledge concerning the habits, haunts, and True Deaths of various Horrors. After several such proxy executions, the remaining Horrors of the city decided to leave Black alone. Mr. Black has become the de facto ruler of the dark side of Orrorshan Louisiana, dominating both Horror and human alike.

After his return, the Gaunt Man declined to alter the balance of power in the city, despite the repeated requests of the Louisiana Horrors. To their dismay, Mr. Black has been allowed to continue his dealings unmolested.

This has unnerved the members of the Hellion Court and the Nightmares, both of whom expected that the High Lord of Orrorsh would put paid to the dangerous and frighteningly well-informed Mr. Black. Rumors circulated among the Horrors as to why this situation was allowed to continue.

Was it a test? A stratagem? Was Mr. Black being led into Corruption? Or was the Gaunt Man merely keeping him in hand, against a day when a Hellion Court member might drift astray (as Wellington did)?

The truth of the matter is unknown, even to the lieutenants of the Gaunt Man. As always, the Gaunt Man sees the fear and doubt the Horrors share, and is well pleased. Mr. Black remains a mystery, even to the Hellion Court, and the truth about him lays buried in layers of rumor and misinformation.

The truth is that Mr. Black is a Horror. He is, in effect, the Nightmare of Louisiana. His dealings and revelations are carefully calculated to nourish the Ecology of Fear. He is an agent of the Gaunt Man, and serves his master well and faithfully.

Mr. Black feeds on the desperation of the powerless. Those whose family members have become victims of the Horrors are in dire straits, and willing to make any bargain for a faint glimmer of hope. Mr. Black’s information is always tendered upon agreement of a quid pro quo- usually a task that the petitioner must complete. The more valuable the information, the more significant the task that must be completed.

Most of the time these tasks are seemingly minor, but they serve to advance the interests of Orrorsh in obscure ways. Pieces of especially important information, however, usually require some kind of Wicked act. This is the Faustian bargain Black presents–Wickedness and Corruption for a chance to save a loved one, or moral cleanliness, though the beloved be lost forever. Either way, the Gaunt Man wins.

Replacing the Reality Tree

In the official campaign, the Louisiana reality tree survives until the final year of the War. However, the Infiniverse being what it is, some campaigns may not have had an Orrorshan tree in Louisiana, or the tree might have been killed (as detailed in War’s End.) This is not an insurmountable problem.

In such cases, assume that the Louisiana zone is not, in fact, projected by a reality tree. Instead, a large hardpoint of Orrorshan reality was created, and that is what causes the realm in New Orleans.

The Desecrated Chapel is a hardpoint of Orrorshan reality. If the GM wishes to use it instead of the reality tree, simply increase the size of the realm the hardpoint projects. In such a case, the Chapel’s Dominant Zone covers a circle of 160 km radius (value 27, the same as a reality tree's), measured from the Chapel. The Pure Zone of Orrorshan reality covers an area 400 meters from the Chapel in all directions.

This situation will cause a few changes. Instead of a stable mixed zone, with relatively few reality storms, the area is a Dominant zone, bordered by fierce reality storms. Core Earth technology is contradictory in the realm, and people will be drawn back towards the Tech of the 1880’s. Ords will eventually transform to Orrorsh’s reality, as will the Unliving- buildings, vehicles, weapons, books, etc.

The Powers of Fear and Corruption will have an even greater hold upon the populace, and the horror reality will be even more difficult to defeat. Which, this being Orrorsh, is perhaps how it should be.

Another option is to use the Louisiana realm with the “universal Orrorsh” rules. This has the virtue of maintaining the realm as-is, while at the same time avoiding the use (or death) of the reality tree. The Louisiana realm works seamlessly with the Universal Orrorsh rules, and requires very little adjusting.

Domain

Mr. Black is a habitué of a string of jazz clubs in Bourbon Street (see below). It is said that he can only be found by those who truly need his help.

Mr. Black
Dexterity: 16
dodge: 22
fire combat: 17
maneuver: (22)
Strength: 13
Toughness: 16
Perception: 22
scholar (realm lore, Orrorsh): 28
scholar (realm lore, Core Earth): 27
trick: 26
Mind: 19
occult: 21
streetwise: 23
test: 21
willpower: 24
Charisma: 23
charm: 28
persuasion: 28
taunt: 27
Spirit: 18
faith (Orrorsh): 21
intimidation: 22
reality (Orrorsh): 20
true sight: 19

Possibilities: 8 per Storm Knight
Powers: Lie Detection (Greater), Lore (Greater)*, Seeming*
*This is a new Horror power. See “Horror Powers” (below) for a description.
Corruption Value: 33
Fear Rating: 3
Perseverance DN: 23
Weakness: Mr. Black hungers for information–it is his obsession. He is willing to do nearly anything to gain information he lacks, and cannot otherwise acquire. Those who can provide him with information he does not already possess can force him to bargain (though this is extremely dangerous). If he is forced to act against such individuals, he is stymied.
True Death: To be lured outside the Jazz Club and killed.

Notes: As long as Mr. Black is within the Jazz Club (see below), he cannot be harmed by any type of attack.

Mr. Black has no set appearance. He differs according to age, stature, skin color, voice, accent, clothing, and so forth. No one can agree on how he looks, and each individual who has met him gives a different description.

The Jazz Club

It is said that Mr. Black can only be found in one of the many Bourbon Street jazz clubs he frequents. Here he bargains with the needy, and meets with the wealthy and powerful, exchanging information for favors.

The clubs are always richly appointed, sumptuous, and expensive. The various bands always showcase the very best of New Orleans’ jazz. Yet patrons are never truly at ease–there is something here just slightly off.

Perhaps it’s the hint of an unearthly scream that sometimes underscores the wail of the sax. Or it may be the pale reflection of a sobbing face, caught out of the corner of one’s eye. Or it might be because the staff smiles all the time, no matter what happens, wide and bright and manic smiles. The strangest coincidence is that no matter the sign outside or the decorations inside, each club feels exactly the same.

They are.

All of the different clubs Mr. Black appears in are in fact the same place. There is only one Jazz Club, whose name, appearance, and location changes nightly. The Jazz Club is actually a Waiting Village, a pocket of extradimensional space that only appears to be a classy bar.

The Club is an extradimensional trap, holding within it not only the normal denizens of a Waiting Village–Corrupt souls who have died and slain Horrors who have not met their True Death–but also a great many souls of the living.

The Jazz Club is designed to draw powerful, influential, or wealthy individuals to meet with Mr. Black. Quite frequently, he has dispatched a Horror to afflict their loved ones, just to drive them to come here.

Often patrons of the club enter and simply never leave. Instead, a Horror wearing their form emerges, and enters society in their place. Many of New Orleans’ luminaries have met this fate.

The trapped souls become part of the staff. They serve drinks, cook meals, and entertain guests. They act out their parts to perfection, trapped inside bodies they cannot control, screaming helplessly in their minds.

This Club is a haven for Horrors. Unlike most of the rest of New Orleans, the Club is a dominant zone of Orrorshan reality. Inside, Mr. Black cannot be harmed. Only when he leaves the precincts of the Club can he be killed.

Possessed Patrons

Those individuals who have been possessed during a visit to the Club maintain their original stats and skills (except faith). They gain the faith (Orrorsh) skill at 4 adds.

Domain

The Possessed can be found throughout Louisiana and the United States. It is even rumored that a member of the Delphi Council has been replaced. They feed information back to Mr. Black and carry out his instructions.

Possessed Patrons
Possibility Potential: Some (25)
Power Rating: Possess, plus 2 other points of powers.
Corruption Value: 19
Fear Rating: 1
Suggested Perseverance DN: 12-15
Suggested Weakness: To be confronted with proof about their condition. This causes them to be setback.
Suggested True Death: To be slain by an immediate family member, a spouse or lover, or a close personal friend who is aware of the possession.

The Desecrated Chapel

Horrors have many forms, not all of which are living. Corrupt spirits can infest living bodies, dead bodies, mechanisms, and, in the case of the Desecrated Chapel, a building.

Universal Orrorsh in Louisiana

Universal Orrorsh is a reimagining of Orrorsh as the reality of universal horror. Information on it can be found in the Orrorsh article.

The setting described herein is perfect for use with universal Orrorsh. This is due, in part, to the nature of the Louisiana realm. The realm was created by a reality tree, which projects a zone nearly indistinguishable from an Orrorshan Domain. Both create stable, storm-free mixed zones, the sole difference being the lack of Orrorshan axioms for the Domain.

For gamemasters who want to use this article with universal Orrorsh, Mr. Black is the Nightmare of this Domain. He has jurisdiction over the Horrors in Louisiana, and has designed and created most of them, and his Lair is the Jazz Club.

The Desecrated Chapel is his locus. It projects the mixed zone of the Domain, and is a powerful Horror in its own right. Slaying the Chapel with its True Death would cause the Domain to collapse (although Mr. Black could create another locus). Slaying Mr. Black would destroy the realm entire.

Few of the Horrors presented in this article need be modified, most being suitable as-is. For example, Corrupt Bokors are considered to be Servitors of the Nightmare, otherwise mundane individuals who serve Corruption.

The one exception is the Desecrated Chapel. As the Chapel is a locus, it doesn’t have (or need) a hardpoint. Instead, the cross is simply the Chapel’s “heart.” Removing it from the Chapel and burning it is the Chapel’s True Death (and will cause the collapse of the Louisiana Domain, at least until Mr. Black can energize another locus).

This chapel, in the French Quarter, dates back to the 1800’s. It is painted white, though the paint is peeling from the clapboard walls. A black wrought-iron fence surrounds the grounds, where a few, scraggly bushes have pushed their way above the overgrown weeds.

A group of mausoleums can be found out back, their marble surface grown gray with age and their inscriptions soft and faded from weathering. Spanish moss climbs over the mausoleums and the nearby statues of angels and crosses. The chapel squats on a back street, unnoticed, and most pass by without a glance.

Though forgotten now, this chapel was once the heart of the surrounding community. Its priest, Father Jacobsen, was renowned for his quick wit and friendly manner. He reached out to members of the community, served the poor and needy, gave comfort to the troubled, and each Sunday he led Mass before a congregation that filled the benches to overflowing. He was not a perfect man, but he truly believed in God and lived to serve his flock.

The coming of Orrorsh changed things a bit.

It was an ordinary Sunday when Mr. Black came to church. The pall of Orrorsh had just fallen over the city, and the parishioners were frightened and troubled, though few could say why. It was just something in the air.

That Sunday, the Padre preached like he never had before. He preached sin and redemption, despair and hope, fear and comfort. As he did so, Mr. Black made his slow way up the aisle. The priest faltered in his sermon.

“I am sorry Father, but I have come to take possession of your chapel,” Mr. Black spoke softly. “Please, be afraid.” The lights went out, the doors slammed shut, and no parishioner ever emerged. Since that day, the Chapel has been cursed.

There is a presence here and it is malevolent. It is restless and filled with an eternal, gnawing hunger. The spirit of the church feeds on dreams and fears. The lost parishioners lie in a kind of suspended animation, trapped in the ground beneath the chapel. They dream and in their dreams they suffer untold anguish and horror.

The chapel watches and waits until it senses a person of goodness and decency passing by- only the souls of the innocent can feed the possessing spirit. Then, it entices them into the Chapel, where they are placed into a trance and entombed in the earth, to suffer nightmares without end.

Those who unwelcome venture onto the Chapel grounds find the earth crumbling beneath them, becoming as dangerous and grasping as quicksand. Once they begin to sink, grasping hands clasp the interlopers’ legs and drag them down to drown. Death usually comes soon after.

The chapel is filled with an eternal darkness that is difficult to see through. The walls are scored and scarred, the paint peeling away in long, sodden strips. Trash and other debris litter the floor, and footing is treacherous.

At the far end of the chapel sits the alter- now barren- and behind it a cross. The cross has been partially burnt, and soot and ashes surround it.

The blackened cross is a hardpoint of Orrorshan reality. It projects a Pure Zone in the chapel, and a Dominant zone out to the limits of the fence.

Domain

The Desecrated Chapel lies somewhere in the French Quarter of New Orleans.

The Desecrated Chapel
Dexterity:
maneuver: – (See notes below.)
stealth: – (20) (See notes below.)
Strength:
Toughness: 30
Perception: 22
disguise: 24
evidence analysis: 25
find: 27
trick: 24
Mind: 20
test: 22
willpower: 21
Charisma: 13
charm: 16
persuasion: 14
taunt: 14
Spirit: 17
faith (Orrorsh): 18
intimidation: 20
reality (Orrorsh): 21

Possibilities: 3 per Storm Knight
Powers: Aversion*, Darkness, Enticement*, Entrance*, Haunt*
*This is a new or modified Horror power. See “Horror Powers” (below) for a description.
Corruption Value: 19
Fear Rating: 2
Perseverance DN: 16
Weakness: A person of unshakeable Christian faith, possessing no less than 5 adds in faith (Christianity), can lead a group of individuals through the Chapel grounds without sinking.
True Death: To have the hardpoint uprooted, moved out of the chapel, and burnt. This will destroy the hardpoint and kill the spirit that possesses the building.

Notes: The darkness inside the chapel is a product of the Horror’s darkness power.

The Desecrated Chapel cannot be maneuvered.

The Chapel’s stealth skill is solely for the purposes of calculating its aversion Power Value.

Grasping Limbs
Dexterity: 15
maneuver: 16
unarmed combat: 21
Strength: 17
Toughness: *
Perception: *
Mind: *
Charisma: *
Spirit: *
*Attributes and skills same as the Desecrated Chapel.

Notes: Grasping limbs are not separate creatures, but are part of the Chapel. They are animated limbs, formed out of dirt, and are only encountered underground.

Other than Dexterity (and Dexterity-based skills) and Strength, the skills, attributes, and powers of the grasping limbs are identical to those of the Desecrated Chapel. Damage done to the limbs is actually done to the Chapel itself.

The limbs can be maneuvered, and any results gained apply to the Chapel.

Horror Powers

The powers granted to Horrors heavily influence the feel of the specific Horror. Gamemasters should feel free to select powers that are both challenging and thematically appropriate.

In some cases, there may be no existing powers that will allow the Horror to do what the gamemaster wants. In such cases, feel free to create a new Horror power, balancing it against the currently existing powers. Orrorsh is about the unknown, and new powers can startle and worry jaded players.

This section includes many new Horror powers (identified with an asterisk), as well as some revised powers. Unless otherwise specified, all revised Horror powers originally appeared in the Orrorsh Sourcebook.

1-Point Powers

Attack*: This is a mystic combat power that does damage to the victim. There are three versions of this power, corresponding to the three types of damage: Physical, Mental, and Spiritual. The Power Value is equal to one of the following attributes: Toughness (Physical), Mind (Mental), or Spirit (Spiritual).

The Power Value is used as an Effect Value against the same Attribute (attack automatically hits). The Result Points are read as Damage on the appropriate Column (ord or possibility-rated). Mental damage can affect the magical abilities of the victim as if it were Backlash (see the Revised and Expanded Torg Rulebook, pg. 205), the specific arcane knowledge or magic skill is chosen at random. Spiritual damage has additional Spiritual consequences (see the R&E, pg. 230).

Attack Form Resistance: This power grants the Horror protection from one type of damage: Physical, Mental, or Spiritual (each is a separate power). The horror gains +5 to the appropriate attribute to resist the damage: Toughness for Physical, Mind for Mental, and Spirit for Spiritual.

Attribute Leech*: This ability allows a Horror to strengthen its own attributes at the cost of the victim’s. The Horror must make physical contact with the victim to do so. There are seven versions of this power, one for each attribute. The Power Value is the Horror’s Spirit, which is compared to the affected attribute. The Result Points are read through the Extended Power Push chart, the final results are subtracted from the victim’s attribute and added to the Horror’s. This power lasts for 24 hours, after which the attributes return to normal. The Horror can only drain one victim at a time, and the power lapses if the victim dies.

Horrors with attribute leech can have the infection or infection II powers.

Aversion*: This power allows the Horror to escape notice, even in the most crowded rooms. Most people will never see the Horror, no matter how unearthly or sickening it appears, and those who do will turn away without registering its unnatural presence. The Power Value of aversion is the Horror’s Dexterity or stealth +5.

Enticement*: This power entices a target, drawing them to the Horror. It can affect only one target at a time, with a Power Value of Charisma +5. This power gives the Horror no control over the target, it merely convinces them to move closer to the Horror, by whatever means are available.

The Horror can use this power on anyone who can see, hear, or otherwise sense the Horror. The Power Value of this power is compared to the target’s willpower or Mind. A Good success or better means that the character begins to move towards the Horror by the most efficient means possible. If the Horror fails, they must wait 24 hours before trying again.

The power lasts for an hour. If the character has not yet reached the Horror in that time, the effect expires, though the Horror can try and reestablish it immediately (assuming the target can still sense the Horror).

Entrance*: This power allows a Horror to place a person in a trance. While in a trance, their breathing slows and they enter a state of hibernation. Such trances last indefinitely, and only end when the person is woken. Anyone can wake the entranced victim. The Power Value of entrance is the Horror’s Mind +5.

Fast Running*: The Horror’s Limit Value for Running increases by +2.

Haunt*: This power, once successfully invoked, causes a series of weird occurrences around the target. His touch may unexpectedly cause bread to mold over in seconds, he may suddenly begin bleeding and suddenly stop, or he may see a stranger following him. These events are intended to unnerve the victim.

The Power Value of haunt is the Horror’s Spirit or intimidation +5. The Result Points are read on the Intimidate column of the Non-Combat Interactions table. Once invoked, the power lasts for a day.

Heightened Wound Capacity*: The Horror can take one Wound before becoming Lightly Wounded.

Lie Detection: The Lie Detection power in Creatures of Orrorsh (pg. 7) is listed as a “1/2 point power.” It is a 1-point power.

Rarity
DN
Known by nearly anyone.
3
Extremely common, known by most people.
5
Common, known by a substantial number of people.
8
Uncommon, known by a few people.
10
Obscure, known by a small and select group.
15
A secret known only by one or two people.
20
Lost or forgotten knowledge.
25
Involves another reality
+5

Lore*: This power allows the Horror to acquire information through supernatural means. Nearly any piece of information can be divined, but the more obscure, the harder it is to do so. The difficulty of this check is based on the obscurity of the information (see chart, right). Each power check can only provide one piece of information.

In order to use this power, the Horror must concentrate for no less than 10 minutes. They do not need to have access to any sources of information, such as witnesses or books. This power simply provides the answers out of thin air. The Power Value of this Horror power is the Horror’s Perception or find +5.

Paralyzing Touch: The paralyzing touch power listed in the Creatures of Orrorsh sourcebook (pg. 7) has a power value of Spirit +15. The actual Power Value is Spirit +5.

Seeming*: This power allows the Horror to change his appearance at will. He can even cause different individuals to see him in two different guises, or can turn invisible. The Power Value of this power is Perception or disguise +5. The power total is used as a Difficulty Number to see the Horror’s actual appearance. True sight can be used to pierce a seeming, revealing the creature’s physical form. Another true sight total must be generated to see the Corruption within the monster.

Sense Victim*: The Horror gains a +5 bonus to find (or Perception) totals when searching for a victim. In addition, whenever a potential victim wanders within 1 mile of the Horror, they are entitled to a find check to see if they notice them.

Spiritual Destruction: The spiritual destruction power listed in the Creatures of Orrorsh sourcebook has a power value of Spirit +15. The actual Power Value is Spirit +5.

Ward Breach: In addition to the protections listed in the Orrorsh Sourcebook (pg. 98) the Horror can choose from among the following defenses to breach:
Psionic defenses
Weird Science/Pulp Powers

2-Point Powers

Attack (Improved)*: As attack, but the power value is the attribute +5.

Attack Form Mastery (Improved): As attack form mastery, but the bonus to damage is +5.

Attack Form Resistance (Improved): As attack form resistance, but the Power Value is +10.

Attribute Leech (Improved)*: As attribute leech, but the Power Value is the Horror’s Spirit +5.

Aversion (Improved)*: As aversion, but the Power Value is Dexterity or stealth +10.

Blur (Improved): As blur, but the power value is Dexterity or dodge +10.

Darkness (Improved): As darkness, but the Power Value is Mind +10 and the penalty to act in the darkness is a -10.

Domination*: The domination power allows the Horror to issue commands that are followed unerringly. The Horror can only issue one command to an individual at one time, and it must be specific and clear, and can only command them to take one specific action.

The Horror uses the Power Value of this power as a persuade total, using the normal rules for such a skill check (see pg. 87 of the Revised and Expanded Torg Rulebook). If the Horror achieves a result two levels higher than the target’s attitude (or a Vow), the target will carry out the action to the best of their ability. Because domination overrides a target’s free will, the target does not garner Corruption for performing the specified action (even if it would normally be a Wicked act).

The Power Value of domination is equal to the Horror’s Charisma +10.

Enticement (Improved)*: As enticement, but the Power Value is Charisma +10.

Entrance (Improved)*: As entrance, but the Power Value is Mind +10.

Fast Running (Improved)*: As fast running and the Horror never takes shock from pushing their Running Limit Value.

Haunt (Improved)*: As haunt, but the power value is Spirit or intimidation +10.

Heightened Wound Capacity* (Improved): The Horror can take two Wounds before becoming Lightly Wounded.

Indefatigable*: The Horror never takes Shock or K/O damage.

Infection (Improved): As infection, but the Power Value is Spirit +10.

Lie Detection (Improved): As lie detection, but the Power Value is Mind +10.

Lore (Improved)*: As lore, but the power value is Perception or find +10.

Paralyzing Touch (Improved): As paralyzing touch, but the Power Value is Spirit +10.

Seeming (Improved)*: As seeming, but the Power Value is Perception or disguise +10.

Sense Victim (Improved)*: As sense victim, but the Power Value is Perception or find +10.

Silence (Improved): As silence, but the Power Value is Dexterity or stealth +10.

Spiritual Destruction (Improved): As spiritual destruction, but the Power Value is Spirit +10.

3-Point Powers

Attack (Greater)*: As attack, but the power value is the attribute +10.

Attack Form Mastery (Greater): As attack form mastery, but the bonus to damage is +10.

Attack Form Resistance (Greater): As attack form resistance, but the Power Value is the attribute +15.

Attribute Leech (Greater)*: As attribute leech, but the Power Value is the Horror’s Spirit +10.

Aversion (Greater)*: As aversion, but the Power Value is Dexterity or stealth +15.

Blur (Greater): As blur, but the Power Value is Dexterity or dodge +15.

Create Horror*: This power grants the Horror the ability to manufacture other Horrors. The newly created Horrors have a Power Rating of 2 and a Fear Rating of 1/2. Other restrictions may apply, on a case-by-case basis. The Gaunt Man (or his agents) closely monitor Horrors with this power, to ensure that they do not threaten the Ecology of Fear.

Darkness (Greater): As darkness, but the Power Value is Mind +15 and the penalty to act in the darkness is -15.

Enslavement*: This power allows a Horror to enslave a chosen target. If successful, the target must obey the mental commands of the Horror for as long as the power lasts. The Power Value of this ability is Charisma +5. The Horror can enslave a target for one day for each Success Level it attains on the power check. The control granted by the power is absolute, but the target will not gain Corruption from any acts it performs while enslaved. A Horror can only enslave one individual at a time.

Enticement (Greater)*: As enticement, but the Power Value is Charisma +15.

Entrance (Greater)*: As entrance, but the Power Value is Mind +15.

Haunt (Greater)*: As haunt, but the power value is Spirit or intimidation +15.

Heightened Wound Capacity* (Greater): The Horror can take three Wounds before becoming Lightly Wounded.

Infection (Greater): As infection, but the Power Value is Spirit +15.

Lie Detection (Greater): As lie detection, but the Power Value is Mind +15.

Lore (Greater)*: As lore, but the power value is Perception or find +15.

Paralyzing Touch (Greater): As paralyzing touch, but the Power Value is Spirit +15.

Seeming (Greater)*: As seeming, but the Power Value is Perception or disguise +15.

Sense Victim (Greater)*: As sense victim, but the Power Value is Perception or find +15.

Silence (Greater): As silence, but the power value is Dexterity or stealth +15.

Spiritual Destruction (Greater): As spiritual destruction, but the Power Value is Spirit +15.

Visions*: The Horror can override a victim’s senses, forcing them to experience any vision the Horror wishes. During this time, the target cannot sense their surroundings or respond to events in their vicinity. The visions last for one minute per Success Level the Horror achieves on their Power check. The Power Value of this power is Charisma +5.

Updated: Apr. 25, 2011
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