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Subject: Eternal Lies Campaign [OOC] rss

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Karl Larsson
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IC || OOC || wiki




This is the OOC-thread and character generation for my Eternal Lies campaign. Let me first warn, that this thread, and the IC threads, will be full of spoilers for the campaign.

It is going to be a long campaign, and it is expected that some players may drop out. If you are interested in joing, let me know, and I'll keep that in mind if a spot opens up.

Anyone should free to post in this OOC-thread.

Current players are:
Nathan Lewis
United States
McKinney
Texas
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Lev
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Fredericksburg
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Jan
Belgium
De Haan
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Characters:
Dr. Paul Odko
Alfred Elliott
Doctor Eron Reinhartz

Dorothy Astor - Dead
Dr. Ernest Wagner - Dead
Father Carl Meinardus - Dead
Professor Roman Sagris — Dead

Retired Character:
Dr. Evelyn Malley

Current IC-thread
Finished

Previous IC-thread
Eternal Lies Campaign. Act I [IC]
Eternal Lies Campaign. Act 2 — Part 1 [IC]
Eternal Lies Campaign. Act 2 — Part 2 [IC]
Eternal Lies Campaign. Act 3
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Karl Larsson
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The story so far [Spoilers]
This is a summary of events covered in IC-threads so far

The investigators first met through the common acquaintance of Janet Winston-Rodgers. Her father had, Walter Winston, a rich industrialist, recently passed away, and she had started to dig into his past. She had always known that he had been some sort of vigilante or investigator in the 20s, and that he had ended that when things had gone horribly wrong. She was worried her father had gotten involved in something dangerous, and both because she wanted to make sure nothing would come back to hurt her, and out of curiosity, she wanted the investigators to uncover the truth of the matter.

Her only lead was one of her father's allies in the 20s. The man Douglas Henslow, He had been sending her father letters regularly for over a decade. Reading through the correspondence, they learned Walter and Douglas were investigating criminal activity in '24, and that an operation went horribly wrong. Many people died, and the two men were never the same again.

Savannah
The investigators borrowed Janet's plane, and the use of her pilot, Frank Kearns, and traveled to Savannah. Here they discovered that Douglas was locked up in a mental institution, and had been only been allowed to live with his mother in the family mansion a couple of times since his hospitalization. They also learned that the asylum holds a second person that survived the '24 incident. His name was Edgar Job, and apparently he was one of those investigated.

Talking to the two men they learned that the '24 investigators were looking into a cult worshipping someone called Gol-Goroth, also called the Thing with a Thousand Mouths also called The Fisher From Outside. The cult was based in Los Angeles, and were heavily into orgies and drugs and led by a man called Ramon Echavarria. Edgar Job was a student at ACLU and got introduced to the cult by his professor, George Ayers.

On the fateful night, Ramon Echavarria tried to summon something powerful, and used Edgar as part of the spell. As the ritual reached its climax, the '24 investigators arrived at the location. The two men had problem remembering exactly what happened, but most of the investigators and cultists were killed, either by each other, or by some multi-mouthed monstrosity.

Douglas also let the investigators know that the last time he was at his mansion, he managed to write down most of what he remembered in a notebook. The investigators managed to find this. It included more brutal descriptions of the night in '24, but also directions to a bank deposit box in Los Angeles, supposedly holding more information about the '24 investigation.

As they were leaving, the investigators were threatened by someone caucasian and asian men. The men weren't able to speak, but handed the investigators a note, telling them to drop the case.

Los Angeles
The investigators retrieved the bank deposit box. In it they found several lewd pictures, depicting an orgy, and an economic ledger. Following several leads, they tried to dig up the extent of the '24 cult. First they learned that Edgar Job's professor, George Ayers, disappeared shortly before the '24 incident. He was supposed to go to a dig in Ethiopia, but never returned. In Ayers' papers, and the lewd photographs, they also discovered that several minor celebrities were involved in the cult. Olivia Clarendon managed to get out early, and was now a mega-star, but Richard Spend was killed in the '24 incident. Ayer's research showed that he considered Echavarria's worship of Gol-Goroth flawed, as Gol-Goroth was just a cosmic buffon.

The most rewarding lead was the ledger, which led them to Abraham Buchwald, Echavarria's accountant. He, as well as the other sources, helped the investigators piece together the structure of the '24 cult. It was led by Echavarria, and had Ayers and someone called Samson Trammel as his lieutenants. The source of the cult's wealth was a drug they produced called Nectar. Used by the cultists in orgies, it also had a high street value.

Following up on some more leads, the group were again threatened, but this time by an incompetent private investigator. They discovered that he has been hired by Samson Trammel, and decided to pay him a visit.

Rather than risking violence, the investigators broke into his villa in Pasadena. Here they first found an occult library, from where they stole many volumes, including Trammel's diary. They also discovered that almost everyone in the mansion was in the basement, having an org. More disturbingly, in the orgy-chamber was a massive mouth, embedded in one of the walls. It used its tongue in the orgy, and its saliva was put in bottles by workers. This was clearly the Nectar spoken of by others.

Escaping the scene, the investigators read Samson's diary. A disgusting and depraved manuscript, named The Dripping Mouthes’ Emanates. Here he detailed his insane religious beliefs as well as his correspondence with other branches of the cult. First of all, he believed Echavarria lied when he said the worshiped Gol-Goroth. Much research has instead led him to worship the Black Man instead, a form of something called Nyarlathotep.

Amongst his correspondence was someone called S.S, which operates a cult in Bangkok. S.S. was very knowledgeable of the Mythos, and wanted to learn more. An other important person was Montgomery Donovan, who produced huge amounts of Nectar in Valletta.

Finally, J.B. had a worsening relationship with Samson Trammel. He used letterhad from a company called Luz Records in Mexico City. Samson Trammel also had a record from this company.

Discussing what to do next, the investigators decided to go to Mexico City, but first they wanted to report to Janet and visit their families. After reconvening a week later, they found out that Ernest has gone a head of them, and that Evelyn no longer wanted to participate in the investigation.


Mexico City
Following the correspondence Trammel had with Brooks, lead to a post deposit box. Finding an unpaid gas bill, allowed the investigators to locate the various buildings used by the cult. They quickly discovered that the cult had gone underground, most likely because of the conflict with Trammel. The main purpose of the cult seems to have been recording the music of Brooks' wife Leticia de la Luz; music that may drive you mad.

In Mexico City the group interviewed several people involved in the cult's effort, most of them wanted to get away from a cult they saw as descending quickly into depravity and self destruction. Brooks recent activity had mainly been to sever contact with former collaborators in the music industry, and set up his own studio at a secret location. They are followed by the private investigator Gonchi. He is employed by Brooks, but the investigators convince him to join them, and he provides valuable information.

During their investigation, the group also finds clue to cult activity elsewhere in the world. Brooks was corresponding with Savitree Sirikhan (S.S) in Bangkok, and were both discussing the location of some place called The Devouring Mountain as well as Brooks recently sent expedition to the Yucatan. Brooks seems to think Trammel is wrong about The Black Man, and wants to prove the identity of Gol-Goroth and his connection the the Mayan god Guxomal.

After a little digging, the investigators found the backing band at Brooks' recordings. They met them at a party, and learned from them more about the cults operation. Most importantly that Leticia often sung with someone simply called The Mouth. The band had never met this person, but knew that he was not very mobile and was the reason Brooks wanted his own studio. The party was later crashed by several cultists, and they killed Dorothy after an argument. The remaining investigators fled, but managed to pick up the trail of the cultists, and follow them to a secret hideout.

At the hideout they found a nectar-producing mouth, similar to the one in Los Angeles. They also met Leticia, who had been terribly disfigured by nectar consumption. The investigators killed Leticia, captured Brooks, and fled the scene. Interrogating Brooks they learn that he is trying to break with Trammel by finding evidence of his error in theology at an ancient temple in the Yucatan, as well as questioning him further about Savitree Sirikhan and "The Devouring Mountain". Before they can finish talking to Brooks he is killed, bitten to death by mouths appearing in the chair they have tied him to.

Returning back to the cult hideout, they find it empty. Putting the body of Brooks inside, they torch it and leave for the Yucatan.

Yucatan
Arriving in Merida, the investigators try to find out what happened to Brooks’ expedition. They read up on the destination of the expedition, Chichen Xoxul, and learn that it was the home of the Xoxul people, before the Spaniards discovered the Mayan homeland. The also discover the Xoxul were outcasts amongst the Mayans, worshipping a dark deity called Golxumal.

Trying to find out what happened to the former expedition; they learn that they vanished in the jungle some weeks ago, and that someone recently came out of the jungle, gravely ill. Visiting the person in the hospital, they discover that it is Ernest. The malaria is far advanced, and he dies later the same day. The priest that has stayed with him, Father Carl Meinardus, has been told of the horrible cult the investigators are chasing, and join the party. A colleague of Roman, Dr. Eron Reinhartz also joined at this time.

Before they can follow the expedition the investigators first needed to hire a guide. After some consideration, they picked Pablo Garza, a careful and pious man, who had serious reservations about the expedition. They also decided to visit the man who owned the land Chichen Xoxul was located on, Francisco de la Vega, to ask his blessing. They have a pleasant evening with Francisco, but he also warns them against the expedition. He doesn’t know what happened to Brooks’ crew, but expect they were killed by bandits.

The investigators trekked into the jungle, and found the landmarks of the Xoxul. Ancient standing stones depicting a frog-like monsters being fed the heads of the sacrificed. The party made good progress, and got near Chichen Xoxul nearly without incident. Just as they were about to arrive, they were attacked by bandits, and fled inside the ancient city. Here they are again attacked by some trans-dimensional monster, which ends up killing Pablo. The party split, fleeing underground and into the temple pyramid at the site. They encounted a ghost underneath Chichen Xoxul, a remnant of an old Spanish explorer. He claimed that he is also in Chichen Xoxul, but a parallel dimension to the one the party is in. They also encounted a survivor from the Brooks expedition, and the massacred remains of the others. Before they got much out of him, the survivor was killed by the twisting of time and space in the room he was in.

With the use of a special chamber inside the temple pyramid, the investigators managed to travel through the various times and places Chichen Xoxul waslocated in. Here they accidently stumbled upon the living form of Golxumal. Most of the party passed out, but Carl and Roman managed to converse with the awesome creature. He told them that he is Gol-Goroth, the Fisher from Outside, but that his name has partly been usurped by an imposter. This imposter is the Eternal Liar, the Thing with a Thousand Mouths, Y’Gollonac. Gol-Goroth hates this deity, and gave to Carl and Roman the means to summon him, if they ever get close to Y’Gollonac’s true form.

Their sanity shaken, the group returned from the lair of Gol-Goroth, and made their way back to civilization.

Ethiopia
Having investigated all opportunities close to the United States, the group had to pick one of the destinations farther away. Paul had a strong desire to speak with George Ayers, so the group decided to go to Ethiopia to find out what happened at the 1924 archeological dig that Ayers was part of. After a few weeks of rest, they travel together by boat across the Atlantic Ocean. Switching ships in Europe, they eventually arrived in Massaua on the coast of Eritrea. Trying to find out more about the 1924 dig, they learn that the easiest way to get there was by the railway to the south, based in Mersa Fatma; and that George Ayers partner in 1924 is with the Italian army in Ethiopia. The group decides to first talk to Ayers old partner, professor Acuna.

Taking a detour, they went to an Italian army camp near Adua to meet Professor Acuna. He told them several interesting things about the 1924 dig at Dallol. The dig was plagued by accidents, and progress was slow. They were digging up an old temple, and eventually breached the inner temple in 1926. Here they find a disgusting stone statue, in the shape of a gigantic mouth; horribly realistic, but otherwise calcified. Supplies now completely grinded to a halt, and Ayers and Acuna went back to Mersa Fatma to secure supplies. A volcano at the dig site exploded while they were away. Acuna was tired of all the problems, and returned to his home university, but Ayers returned to Dallol to see if anything could be salvaged. Acuna never saw him again.

Travelling to Mersa Fatma, the investigators procured the service of the closed down rail line. First they travel to Kolluli, which was the closest the train will take them to Dallol. Here they were met by an ancient group called the Guardians, who had been tasked by protecting the land from the foulness of the Liar. They explained that they were the once who originally destroyed the Mouth at Dallol, thousands of years ago, and also caused the volcanic eruption in 1926, to prevent further meddling at the old temple. They also told the investigators that they met with Ayers when he returned, and also taught him techniques which broke the grip the the Thing with a Thousand Mouths had on him. He has since then remained in the desert.

The investigators travelled on to Dallol, and found here a disturbing cult of flagellants. It seemed as if the Thing with a Thousand Mouths was returning to the place it had previously been banished from. Not daring to stay too long at the village, they travelled on to the old dig site. The volcanic eruption in 1926 that had destroyed most of what was there, leaving the investigators little for their efforts. In a desperate gamble, they traveled into the desert looking for Ayers. By a stroke of luck, he found them, and Paul finally had the opportunity to question him. Ayers had a Mouth of the the Thing with a Thousand Mouths directly on his body, but it had withered and died. The Guardians had taught him mental discipline, and he was now able to survive untouched by the Liar. Carl surmised that someone pure enough, could withstand the taint of the the Thing with a Thousand Mouths, and possibly destroy one of its Mouths. Even more, Ayers also mentioned that the Mouths the group has witnessed on several occasions surely must be connected to something: a stomach, of some sort.

With the help of Ayers, the investigators got back to Mersa Fatma. Being close to Europe, they decided to go to Malta next, but needed to regain their strength first. Finding the need to be close to the ones the loved, they arranged for them to meet with them in Lisbon. Disaster struck as the ship they had arranged for them to travel on, sunk on the coast of Africa. A note left at the hotel of the investigators strongly implied that this was the work of the the Thing with a Thousand Mouths's cult. Grief stricken, the group traveled on to Malta.
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Lev
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I'd be interested in any academic-type pre-generated character (with some tweaks maybe). Got any?
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Mixu Lauronen
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I was about to start an Eternal Lies campaign as PbF. Now I don't need to.
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Karl Larsson
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Let's see
Dr. Paul Oko, the alienist driven by curiosity
Dr. Evelyn Malley a medical doctor driven by the loss of her child
Ralph Haas, an antiquarian with a thirst for knowledge
Dr. Louise McConnel, a Professor obsessed with her scholarship.

Those are pre-gens in the supplement, but I have plenty others from other scenarios. They are not better because they are from the supplement itself. We can tweak as much as you like. A gender-change perhaps...?
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Wouter Dhondt
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Yeah, lots of respect Karl for running this as pbf. You can put me on the backup list if you ever need someone.
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Karl Larsson
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Mixula wrote:
I was about to start an Eternal Lies campaign as PbF. Now I don't need to.

I am sorry. There might be room for two.
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Karl Larsson
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Kwakkie wrote:
Yeah, lots of respect Karl for running this as pbf. You can put me on the backup list if you ever need someone.

Sure, I'll keep a list. It is a fairly long piece, so I am sure there will be some changes along the way.
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Beau Bailey
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karlkrlarsson wrote:
Let's see
Dr. Paul Oko, the alienist driven by curiosity
Dr. Evelyn Malley a medical doctor driven by the loss of her child
Ralph Haas, an antiquarian with a thirst for knowledge
Dr. Louise McConnel, a Professor obsessed with her scholarship.

Those are pre-gens in the supplement, but I have plenty others from other scenarios. They are not better because they are from the supplement itself. We can tweak as much as you like. A gender-change perhaps...?

I like the idea of Dr. Evelyn Malley if no one else wants the character.

I need to think about the gender though. While I can imagine how terrible it would be to lose a child as a father, I'm not sure I can put myself in the place of a mother losing a child.
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Karl Larsson
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Evelyn is a pretty interesting character. All characters have a Drive, sort of the weapon the GM has to push the character forward. Evelyn has Sudden Shock, she pursues the Mythos because of some horrible previous experience. Not an easy on to use well.

Here is her backstory:

Background: It was never your plan to get married. It was never your plan to get pregnant. You always wanted to focus on your career. Medical school had such a cost in time, money, and social investment that you weren’t going to give that up easily. But then you met — and married — Jeffery. And then you had Matthew. And you thought life had thrown your plans aside — had something else in store for you. But something was wrong with Matthew’s body. He had a growth on his lung. He couldn’t breathe like other newborns. He died after three weeks.

So you went back to Lenox Hill Hospital — this time as a specialist rather than as a general practitioner. Your desire to understand what happened to Matthew drove your research into birth defects, disfigurements, and other physical oddities. Somewhere along the way you lost your connection to Jeffery, too, and he filed for divorce. Maybe it’s for the best. There’s more to life, to the physical structure of the living, than a husband and kids and the normal things. There is the odd, the strange, and your work.




With some changes it could work for a male, though I guess it feels less painful somehow.
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Beau Bailey
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karlkrlarsson wrote:

With some changes it cold work for a male, though I guess it feels less painful somehow.

I think I'll try to play that straight up. That's a bit more complex of a backstory than I was expecting. I agree that it would lose some impact if it was changed to a male.
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Karl Larsson
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Dr. Evelyn for Beau then.

Don't forget the options to make your own characters. But do whatever you feel comfortable with.
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Aaron S
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Hmmm. Ralph Haas sounds interesting. Karl, what's his backstory?
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Nathan Lewis
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I'll make a new one. I'm thinking of a Private Investigator who ended up finding out the wrong information about some mobsters.
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Karl Larsson
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How much help do you d Nathan?

A good start for a character is to think about occupation, and what drives them in their work on the Mythos. Gphere is a list of choices:

Occupations:
Antiquarian
Artist
Dilettante
Doctor
Journalist
Police Detective
Professor
Alienist
Archaeologist
Clergy
Criminal
Hobo
Military
Nurse
Parapsychologist
Pilot
Private Investigator
Scientist

Drives:
Adventure
Antiquarianism
Arrogance
Artistic Sensitivity
Bad Luck
Curiosity
Duty
Ennui
Follower
In the Blood
Revenge
Scholarship
Sudden Shock
Thirst for Knowledge
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Ralph Haas
Background: As an autodidact, you came into this business sideways. Your contemporaries all have PhDs, and you never bothered to graduate from elementary school. But their interests in relics and documents, as intense as they might be, are no match for your innate need to collect and understand as much as you can. It started, mundanely enough, with toy cars when you were an adolescent. You filled your parents’ spare room with them. When you had a complete set, the pursuit lost your interest, and you sold them for a fair profit. Then you did the same with pulp novels and soon after with rare erotica. Several lucrative hobbies later, you now contend with greedy aristocrats, historians, and museum curators to get your hands on every religious relic, cultural artifact, and timeworn document you can. And you’re better at it than any educated collector you’ve met
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Karl Larsson
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Repute
As we make characters, you need to think of something called repute. Why are yoyr character in the investigation.

Here is something from the book:

A wealthy benefactor — Janet Winston-Rogers, daughter of entrepreneur and armchair occultist Walter Winston — confronted with a family mystery reaches out to one or more of the Investigators, offering money and resources to solve it. Most Investigators are invited directly by Mrs. Winston-Rogers, but others may be drawn in by other invited Investigators.

The protagonists of this campaign all agree to the investigation because they are Investigators — because they are the players’ characters. Think of this character dynamic as having two key parts: Drive and repute. A Drive is already a key component of any Trail of Cthulhu Investigator. Repute simply describes what it is about your character that drew the attention of Mrs. Winston-Rogers. Repute explains why your character was invited to participate and a Drive explains why your character says yes.




let me also say that the family mystery is the sort that Ms. Winston feels could use a wide variety of talents, the occult, crime & law, writing & photography and so on

The pre-gens have everything, except repute.

Reputed can be both mundane (I know ms. Winston, she is my neighbour) or more extreme (I am an expert on the occult, I just published a very popular novel about the mafia).
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Lev
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I suppose I'm interested in Dr. Paul Oko, the alienist driven by curiosity.
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Karl Larsson
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Remember that I only posted four matching Damon's request.

Here are the rest of the pre-gen from this particual scenario:
Margaret Sullivan - Police Detective Driven by Duty
Alfred Elliott - Private Investigator driven by Ennui
Joseph Westmore - Dilettantw driven by Ennui
Cora King - criminal driven by adventure
Dorothy Astor - Author driven by Curiosity
Fr. Carl Meinardu - Clergy driven by Duty
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Karl Larsson
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Dr. Paul Oko
At medical school, your interest in the intricacies of the mind far surpassed any draw the menial functions of the rest of the body held. Your professional career began at Dixmont Hospital for the Insane, where your curiosity continued to thrive. While your contemporaries were primarily driven to cure their patients of their psychological afflictions, you’d rather prolong them if only to study them better. As the Great Depression set in and the hospital lost a majority of its funding, you decided to go into private practice rather than suffer a reduced salary. But the inane complaints of the clients who could afford your services soon bored you, and you began to seek out stranger and more disturbed customers — whether they had the cash or not.
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Lev
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Allow me to introduce myself, I am Doctor Paul Oko. I study the peculiarities of the fragile human mind. Prior to budgetary cut-backs I worked at Dixmont Hospital for the Insane. Since my departure from the Hospital I have entered private practice. And most exciting - I have started to shun my office in favor of "field" psychology. I visit several soup kitchens and homeless shelters to talk to the down and out. They have quite fragile minds, you know. Many of these poor souls have quite fascinating stories to tell. Indeed they tell unbelievable tales. I have helped them to unburden their troubled minds with the simple introduction of thinly sliced peyote buttons into their soup. Unethical you say? Nonsense, this is cutting edge scientific research and quite interesting. Many mental ailments tend to concentrate around preposterous ideas concocted by sick minds. I won't trouble you with their horrors. The introduction of indigenous natural medicines has helped my subjects to communicate their neuroses, psychoses, and other behaveral quirks. In fact, it was my work with these unfortunates that brought me to the attention of Mrs. Janet Winston-Rogers. I helped her cousin, Jonathon Meyers, through his troubled times. Unfortunately Jonathon was very sick and took his own life. But Mrs. Winston-Rogers was grateful that I helped her suffering cousin through his break from reality. Sometimes success in the mental illness profession is measured in a way that confounds the uninitiated. Now she provides a modest stipend so that my current research can continue. I am thinking of adding various extractions from the Asian poppy into my study.
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Nathan Lewis
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Change of plans. I'll go with Alfred Elliott. It's close enough to what I was thinking and I'll expand on whatever background you have for me, Karl.

As far as Repute, Alfred did some unsavory work for Mrs. Rogers. She knows he is good...very good.
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Jason H
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Well, I think I'll go with Astor depending on the backstory.
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Aaron S
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Hmmm...

I think i'm going to create my own character -- with pre-generated abilities.

Dr. Ernest Wagner

A archaeologist driven by a thirst for knowledge.

Ernest Wagner was always a curious child, seeking to understand the world and uncover the vestiges of our past. He became an archeologist, thrilled to travel the world, cataloging, digging, and writing papers. However, one particular site changed him for ever. Ernest Wagner stumbled upon an ancient tome, bound in a leather that looked frighteningly similar to skin, written in an ominous and undecipherable script. The book itself felt as if it was sentient, peering into Ernest's soul, amused at the confusion it witnessed.

Ever since then, Ernest has made it his sole pursuit in life to make sense of the tome. The archaeologist has begun travelling the world on any trace of something similar to the script he found. The obsession has become draining on his marriage - resulting in divorce. At times when all is quite, and he is alone with the artifact, Ernest swears he hears it whispering.

He has become increasingly less interested in the academic, and orderly aspects of his profession - and more open to notions of the arcane, and pseudo-scientific.
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Karl Larsson
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Alfred Elliott
You were in the trenches during the Great War. Bullets caressed the air next to your tin hat, and mortar shells blossomed only footsteps away. It was miserable while you were there, but you kind of miss it now. It’s hard to sleep in all this quiet. For a while, you thought being a cop would be the closest approximation to life in the infantry.

But that was a big disappointment — all paperwork and politics. Forget the uniform and regulations; you went into business for yourself. You’re a real licensed private eye now. Snooping on cheating husbands, tracking down delinquents, shaking down the crooks the cops won’t touch. You even get into a fistfight now and then. That gets the blood boiling again. It’s not exactly St. Mihiel, but you never know where the next case could take you
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