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Hunter: the Vigil “Loyalists of Thule”

Posted on May 27, 2008 by Matt-M-McElroy

Previous Hunter topics include Light in Shadows, Professions and Endowments. Each of them explored just a bit more of the setting of the upcoming game.

We’ve talked briefly about the daily lives of the Hunters, made a small mention of compacts and conspiracies once or twice already. There has been a lot of speculation about each of these words (and their possible meaning) on forums and blogs.

Just to recap some of that text:

Hunter society is small and secretive, even in large cities like London or New York, but it is also vibrant and constantly in flux. Individual hunters band together to form cells, pooling their skills and resources to take on solitary monsters that threaten their communities. Sometimes these hunters become aware of other cells in their area and they form broader ties that grow into larger compacts, creating a network that spans entire cities or regions. In rare cases, hunter compacts grow so large that their resources and influence span entire countries.

These conspiracies, while powerful and ruthlessly efficient, must contend with the same inter-agency politics, bureaucratic inertia and conflicting interests common to any large organization. Examples of these three organizational tiers can be found in nearly every city around the globe, interacting with one another in an uneasy balance that forms the basis of hunter society as a whole.

So compacts can be contained to an individual city or region. Interesting. It is rare for a compact to span an entire country. Yet they can become bogged down with internal issues and petty disagreements and other human elements.

How often do they break down due to internal fighting?

How much do conflicting interests prevent different groups from working together?

We’ve got a pretty big teaser today. The Loyalists of Thule are a sample compact that I’ve been provided by the folks at White Wolf. So far, this is just one sample, I’m only offering the bits-n-pieces that I’ve seen for folks to enjoy…

Sample Compact—
Loyalists of Thule
The Loyalists of Thule spent the first decades of the last century looking for that Ultimate Source — to their eternal shame. Back then, they were the Thule Gesellschaft, a German occult group who took their belief in that Ultimate Source to its eventual conclusion: that a master race had descended from Lost Thule, the Aryans were the oldest and most highly evolved of people, and the perfect Aryans were the German people. And then, two of their members founded the German Workers’ Party, which, in a couple of years became the Nazi Party.

By the time the Nazis came to power, none of their leaders had anything to do with the Thule Society. In fact, the Nazis banned mystical societies and suppressed the Thule Society’s literature. The majority of the Thule Society’s members dispersed, leaving a minority to hang on, illegally, to face the horrors their theories and philosophies had wrought. When the truth came out at the end of the war, some didn’t believe it. Some denied it, and joined even less savory Volkisch societies. And some admitted they were wrong.

Their horror at what their actions had helped create was compounded by the fact that throughout the 1920s and 30s, their studies had actually borne fruit. They had discovered the true existence of ancestral ghosts. Some had met the ghosts of the Rmoahals, the tribesman who had roamed lost Atlantis and fought in the armies of the sorceror-kings. Some had sneaked into Tibet and found evidence of Shamballa, barely escaping with their lives. Some had narrowly escaped confrontations with spirit-summoning witches, demons, werewolves, vampires and other, even more bizarre things.

There was a secret world, a world of the night, and the Volkisch weren’t any kind of master race. To the hungry dead, humans – Aryan or not – were just food. To the werewolves, they were breeding stock and prey. And to the demons, and the other, more alien creatures that waited behind the corners of reality, we were just insects to be played with and squashed. The newly reformed Loyalists of Thule stopped looking for Atlantis, instead seeking to find out more about this invisible world. They wanted to know, needed to know — but at the same time, they felt a kind of duty to the world. They owe it to the human race. They are the Indebted. They will never make full payment.

The Enemy
The Loyalists of Thule are scholars first, above all. They aim to know. They’re investigators: archaeologists, antiquarians, students of academic ritual magic, detectives. This isn’t to say that they’re not capable of being physically adept — they have their share of tomb raiders and two-fisted investigators into the unknown. Frankly, with the kind of things the Loyalists investigate, it’s not surprising that even the most closeted scholars eventually learn how to handle themselves.

Philosophies
The Loyalists seem to be mostly on the same page when it comes to methodology: find the supernatural, and research it to death (metaphorically and sometimes literally). Simple. It’s the reasons why that vary.

Most of the Loyalists of Thule are simply Scholars. They collect information about supernatural threats to humanity and disseminate it among those who would defeat or destroy those threats. They’re cautious and prudent, and although they sometimes end up on the front line, it’s others among the Indebted who do the fighting.

The Penitents are more proactive. They’re the gun-toting archaeologists of popular culture, the tomb raiders and barnstormers who put themselves in terrible danger to learn ancient secrets. It’s about atonement. It’s about guilt. It’s one thing to help others to make things better, but the Loyalists should be doing something about it themselves. They should be playing an active part. If they die in the process, well. It’s the price they pay.

Sounds like the Loyalists could be an interesting group for an investigation style game. Archaeologists, occultists, investigators and other lore seeking characters studying the myth and legend of various monsters around the world.

The line about more alien creatures that waited behind the corners of reality reminds me a bit of the “Reality-Bending Horrors” chapter in Second Sight. I think that could be pretty cool. I’ve found the World of Darkness supplements quite useful for my Vampire: the Requiem games previously. Having mention of elements like this makes it sound to me like these books could be useful in Hunter games as well.

I also noticed:

Most of the Loyalists of Thule are simply Scholars.

The Penitents are more proactive.

Those two lines stood out for me because of the “Scholars” and “Penitents” capitalization. The word “Indebted” comes up a couple of times in the text as well. Interesting…

Are these types of Loyalists or are they archetypes within the overall Hunter setting?

What do you think?

You can Pre-Order Hunter: the Vigil at Amazon.com.

You can also pre-order Witch Finder, the first Hunter: the Vigil supplement and the Hunter Storyteller’s Screen.

Find out if your local retailer is taking part in Free RPG Day so you can get your free Hunter: the Vigil Quickstart on June 21st!

Join the Hunter: the Vigil LiveJournal Community today!

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2 Responses to “Hunter: the Vigil “Loyalists of Thule””

  1. Fiat Knox says:

    I worked on the core book, and it was a blast. I enjoyed what I did, and some of what I wrote was described as “ridiculously cool”, which really jazzed me.

    It’s a great team that’s worked on the game line. I’m proud to be a part of all of that.

    Reply

  2. chuckles says:

    I am seriously digging the pulp vibe.
    Can we hope to see some gadgeteer/gadgetry rules so as to silence the whining?

    Reply

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