The Dark Society

While I try to be relatively spoiler-free, there ARE some slight spoilers to be found here – so read on at your own risk!

As with many things that are supernatural, the origins of the Dark Society had their roots in Grove’s Folly, the sleepy hamlet located just down the road from Sovereign City. Grove’s Folly is chiefly famous for two things: its massive Pumpkin Festival held every Halloween and the fact that it was host to one of the bloodiest — and most unusual — battles of the American Revolutionary War.

In recent years, a viral video of the cryptid known as the Straw-Man has given Grove’s Folly a new revenue stream: a surge in tourism related to monster and ghost hunters. Though few know that the city was built atop an open pit to Hell (known as a Hellmouth), the arrival of the Straw-Man has coincided with a number of supernatural sightings and events. The Straw-Man (in actually a gestalt being formed of a young local man named Samuel Hain and Gwydion fab Dôn, a magician, hero and trickster of Welsh mythology) also kicked off a new generation of heroes within the area. In addition to the Straw-Man, several other heroes frequented the area to team up with the Straw-Man or, in some cases, to fight him: Jupiter, Catalyst, Singularity, and the American Crusader.

When a cult attempted to use the Large Hadron Collider at CERN to open portals to both Heaven and Hell in an attempt to bring about the supposed end of days, a collection of heroes came together to oppose this plan. In addition to the heroes named above, Geist, Babylon, and Calavera journeyed to Geneva. In the end, the group saved the world — but at great cost: Babylon was seemingly destroyed in the conflict. In the aftermath, the team swore to come together again if needed.

All of the above is depicted in The Dark Society Book One: Calavera.

Later in the same year, the Dark Society established a headquarters in Romania. It was dubbed The Dark House. They were soon caught up in the machinations of August Messenger, who sought the resurrection of Cthulhu. The Society teamed up with The Peregrine for the adventure, which is shown in The Dark Society Book Two: August Messenger.

If you want more information about the individual members of the team, follow the links to roleplaying game writeups of each — and be on the lookout for the Dark Society tomes, which should be released after the first three Straw-Man titles are released.

Our art is by Gilbert Monsanto.

Calavera (ICONS Writeup)

Valerie Gray
created by Barry Reese

Prowess 3
Coordination 3
Strength 3
Intellect 4
Awareness 4
Willpower 6

Stamina 9

*Blast 8 (Extra: Magical)
*Immortality 1
*Servant 5 (Valerie can raise the dead, which function as shambling warriors at her control)
*Postcognition – Speak with the Dead 8 (Valerie can revive the recently deceased – they are compelled to answer her questions until the time limit (generally around 5 minutes) expires, after which they cannot be revived)
*Telepathy 6 (Limit: Only works with ravens)
*Life Support 10

Art – Writing (Expert +2), Occult

Creepy – she makes people who are ‘sensitive’ very uncomfortable
“I really shouldn’t be enjoying all this death and mayhem so much, should I?”
Sometimes gets unwanted visions of people’s deaths

Background: Valerie Gray is the great-granddaughter of famed hero Lazarus Gray. Her grandmother was also the daughter of Gravedigger, another famed hero of the past. As such, is the product of multiple heroic legacies and was seemingly destined for greatness from birth — however, her father (the hero known as Geist) did everything in his power to drive her away from the family business. As such, she grew up thinking her father was an absolute jerk. Eventually Valerie became a successful mystery novelist, working under a pseudonym and trying to keep everyone from knowing of her connection to Lazarus Gray. When a massive conspiracy targeted her on the brink of the apocalypse, Valerie found herself dealing with attempts on her life, even as she was dealing with the death of her beloved grandmother. Unwittingly, she had exposed herself to a set of sugar skulls that had belonged to her Gran — these sugar skulls were portals to Deadworld, a gateway between the living and the death. As a result, Valerie is ‘partially dead’ – meaning that she no longer ages, she’s unnaturally pale, her skin is cold to the touch, and people get a bad ‘vibe’ from her. These energies also transformed her into the hero Calavera and she was essential to saving the world from the forces of Heaven and Hell. Though not the most powerful hero, she has a strong sense of purpose and always seems to find herself in the right place at the right time.

Geist (ICONS Writeup)

Mordecai Gray
created by Barry Reese

Prowess 6
Coordination 5
Strength 5
Intellect 4
Awareness 5
Willpower 5

Stamina 10

All powers are derived from his suit and equipment:
*Damage Resistance 5
*Binding 4
*Strike 6 (Taser Gloves)
*Gadgets 4

Athletics, Drive, Investigation, Leadership, Martial Arts, Military, Pilot, Stealth, Weapons – Handguns (Expert +2)

“I’m a better hero than I am a father.”
Unusual family
A man of action

Background: Mordecai Gray is the grandson of Lazarus Gray, the founder of Assistance Unlimited. Mordecai was trained from a young age to be a dangerous fighter and when he reached adulthood, he quickly became one of Assistance Unlimited’s most capable agents. To honor a close family friend – Jakob Sporrenberg, a former member of his grandfather’s team – he chose to use an identity and costume similar to that of a 1930s hero known as Eidolon. As Geist, Mordecai has spent most of his adult life battling villains all over the globe, though he has rarely been mentioned in the media. He tried in vain to keep his daughter Valerie from entering the family business and this caused a severe rift in their relationship. After her transformation into the hero known as Calavera, they have both made attempts to mend the wounds in their family. He’s middle-aged now and may have lost a step over the years but he’s still quite dangerous.