MAGNA VERITA COSMBOOK
Sourcebook of the Apocalyptic Reality
Revelation 6 The Seals
1 I watched as the Lamb opened the first of the seven seals. Then I heard one of the four living creatures say in a voice like thunder, “Come!” 2 I looked, and there before me was a white horse! Its pale rider held a bow, and he was given a crown, and he rode out as a conqueror bent on conquest.
3 When the Lamb opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” 4 Then another horse came out, a fiery red one. Its rider was given power to take peace from the earth and to make people kill each other. To him was given a large sword.
5 When the Lamb opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” I looked, and there before me was a black horse! Its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. 6 Then I heard what sounded like a voice among the four living creatures, saying, “Two pounds of wheat for a day’s wages, and six pounds of barley for a day’s wages, and do not damage the oil and wine!”
7 When the Lamb opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” 8 I looked, and there before me was a pale horse! Its rider was named Death, and Hades was following close behind him. They were given power over a fourth of the earth to kill by sword, famine and plague, and by the wild beasts of the earth.
9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the alter the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. 10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” 11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.
12 I watched as he opened the sixth seal. There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, 13 and the stars in the sky fell to earth, as figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind. 14 The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place.
15 Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and everyone else, both slave and free, hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 16 They called to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! 17 For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can withstand it?”
Magna Verita is a world similar to Earth, and yet unique. On this world, the French Pope won the Papal Schism, and the Hundred Years War, and went on to conquer the world. In the name of God- so the Popes claimed.
On this world the teachings of the Church are absolute truth. The world is flat, Jerusalem sits at the center of the universe, with Heaven above and Hell below. The One True God is absulte, and all other beliefs are heresy. Magic, and any technology not found in the Holy Writ, are the work of Satan.
But on Earth, the reality of Magna Verita was altered. The Black Cross, Ebenuscrux, integrated the technology of a Cybernetic Reality- ushering in the reality of the Cyberpapacy.
The Cosm is divided between the Dark Medieval and a Techno-theocracy. The pieces are set, and the Apocalypse has begun.
AXIOMS AND WORLD LAWS
Magic Axiom: 10
Magic has increased by three points form Core Earth’s making the alteration of living beings possible, and minor conjurations feasible. Sustained by the magical energy that imbues the realm, entities in the forms of demons and gargoyles now exist freely. The GodNet, a matrix of tele-communications and commuters, is more than just a collection of circuitry and wires; it is also affected by magic. Demons exist within it, as do angels, self-aware beings who were once human, but who now serve the Cyberpope inside the GodNet.
But magic in the Cyberpapacy is considered to be the work of the Devil. Any one suspected of practicing any form of magic is branded as a witch or sorcerer. They are ruthlessly hunted down by the Inquisition and burnt. Only spiritual power is considered to be holy and good.
Developments in magic have not kept pace with the tech surge, while spiritual powers, such as miracles, have adapted somewhat. This is doubtlessly due to the Cyber Church’s suppression of magic. Given Aysle’s proximity to the Cyberpapacy, it is probably just a matter of time before tech specific spells appear.
Social Axiom: 18
This axiom has been permanently decreased by the advent of the Cyberpapacy. The democracy of France has been swept away by a bureaucratic government that views all life as subservient to the needs of the Papacy. Freedom of thought and expression are in the process of being eradicated. The Social axiom allows the state to dominate all walks of life. The reach of the Church is long, and unforgiving of those who seek to weaken its power. If the doctrine of the church were ever to catch up to the technology, the Cyberpapacy would become a totalitarian state so complete, so intrusive and pervasive that individual freedom would be extinct and the capacity for individual thought threatened.
But the doctrine has remained the same for years, and is ill-suited to adapting to their new circumstances. The bureaucrats and bishop appointed sinecures see society as completely static. On Magna Verita this view was largely correct. In CyberFrance this view is ludicrous given the huge spiritual, technical and magical upheavals the nation has experienced. But the bureaucrats fervently believe that all France needs is time to settle down, to prove that the Church’s methods for running a medieval empire are perfectly adequate for running the most technologically sophisticated society on Earth. This attitude is perhaps the Cyberpapacy’s most glaring weakness; they have held Magna Verita at the equivalent of a Social axiom 13. The concepts of personal liberty, equality and brotherhood, constitutional government, capitalism and communism are all possible in the cosm; Malraux’s church has effectively frozen the development of society. But France already understands these concepts, and citizens accept them as part of political reality. Now rather than suppress developments, the church must attempt to reverse the flow of progress to a point beneath the natural level of the cosm, a task of considerable difficulty. Efforts to restrain society are bound to create further resistance.
Within the bureaucracy administering Magna Verita, a breed of cynical and often corrupt official has evolved. The power of the church is abused for private gain; Malraux has usually overlooked (and occasionally encouraged) these transgressions. These officials are used to thinking of themselves as above the teachings of the Church, which they view as means to keep the peasant and laborer working faithfully and fearfully for the servants of God, who are, of course, themselves. These officials believe in God, but as firmly believe that Jean Malraux is the Vicar of Christ; whatever Pope Malraux condones must be right with God as well. Any sins they are committing must be permissible because they are permitted.
Fortunately for France and the rest of Core Earth, a corrupt bureaucrat with a medieval mind set is not the most efficient overseer for a technocracy such as the Cyberpapacy. There are myriad cracks in the system which can be exploited by the brave, the clever, and one willing to match the fervent beliefs of the Cyberpapacy with a faith of her own.
Attitudes in the Cyberpapacy
The change in the Social axiom has made the rigid theocracy acceptable to most of the transformed population. They look to the Cyberpope as their saviour. The apocalyptical events which heralded his coming have been accepted totally. The transformed Ords fear the power of the Antichrist, witches and sorcerers. The reality which has invaded western Europe has shocked many people into accepting that the Cyberpope is their protector and only hope against the forces of darkness.
Viewed from an outside perspective, the Cyberpope and his followers are evil. But from their own medieval viewpoint, they are merely upholding the values of their society. If anyone opposes the Church, they threaten the well-being of society. Eradicating heretics and others who threaten to destroy the Church are therefore justifiable acts. As most of the population sees things this way, life in the Cyberpapacy is hard for those who don’t conform. But the reality of the Cyberpapacy has been distorted.
The cyber reality, that formed the basis of the Tech Surge, was home to some very tough-minded and callous individuals. Cyberpunks who would cheerfully slice and dice any who got in their way. Cyberleggers who made their living from selling and fitting cyberware ripped out of unsuspecting donors. Fixers who could lay their hands on anything your required, providing you asked no questions and had the readies to pay for it. And console cowboys who ran the data matrix looking for a score. These characters all exist, and most of their morals are very suspect. They live in the cracks of the Cyberpapacy, coming out at night to ply their trade. Most live in urban areas, in cities such as Paris, Marseille, Lyon, or Bordeaux. They live in fear of the Inquisition, but they are also skilled at avoiding it.
The people who have suffered the most are those Ords who were not transformed. They have watched in shock as apocalyptical events rocked first the world and then France. They have experienced the hardship of the Collapse, and watched in stunned amazement the effects of the Tech Surge. Fearing for their lives many have turned to the Cyberpope, but there are those who refuse to accept the fate that lies in store for them. They have begun to resist. The flag of Free France flies above Paris, Marseille, the Massif Central and the Les Vosges mountains.
At the time of the Malraux Heresy, many of the Corporations which supply the needed technology of the realm secularized, becoming publicly traded, and even expanding into heathen markets. With the resumption of the Possibility Wars, GWI, and many others, have once again bowed to the will of the Church. But they remain independent – Neo-Feudal Kingdoms that dare think themselves the equal of the Church.
The rights of women are severely curtailed under Cyberpapal reality. All extant female corporate executives from before the invasion are possibility-rated, and are under investigation by the Inquisition. Today a Stained-Glass Ceiling exists, few women graduate from the remaining secular universities in the realm. Those that do are able to gain jobs as secretaries until they get married. Advancement for women and non-whites is almost unheard of.
Spiritual Axiom: 14
The Cyberpapacy, like Magna Verita, is founded upon its power to perform miracles. Its religious items are filled with spiritual power that allow the clergy to work miracles more easily. People have witnessed the techpriests’ and Cyberpope’s spiritual power. With so much widespread evidence that the powers of the Cyberpapacy are real, many have totally accepted its teachings. They conform to the new reality around them and look to the Church to save them from the powers of darkness.
The Cyberpope and his followers are also affected by the Spiritual axiom. They believe that God is actually guiding their work and they see His hand in everything. According to the Papacy’s beliefs, the Tech Surge was not an accident, but proof of the will of God.
Tech Axiom: 26
In the Realm, first came the Collapse, followed by the Surge. Possibility energy seared through the area bounded by the stelae, transforming people at an unprecedented rate. Even Possibility rated characters did not escape entirely; they too were dragged into the future world of the Cyberpope. The Tech Surge transformed a large number of them into characters from a Cyber Tech reality. This freak occurrence drained them of Possibilities, but not for long. The changes in realities was too fast. The Darkness Device, already pulsating with the energy it had gathered during the Collapse, could not absorb all the Possibilities released when the Tech Surge transformed so many people at once. Instead, the stelae literally radiated possibility energy; some of it transformed the land, some of it poured into empty reality-rated characters, refilling the Storm Knights.
The ordinary people of France were not so lucky. Thousands died as the Surge ripped across the land, transforming them a second time. Millions of others have been transformed into loyal subjects of the Cyberpapacy.
In back street workshops and laboratories, people experiment with the new technology. Cyberware and designer drugs are produced in hidden factories and sold on the streets to those looking for thrills, or a way to fight back at the Cyberpapacy. Developments are uneven, and not always safe. But anyone with the money can find a cyberlegger who’ll do them a quick chop and fit.
After first ignoring weapons in favor of expanding the GodNet and developing cyberware, events have forced the Cyberpope to take a keen interest in weapons production. The new technology has made weaponry available that the Cyberpope thought only belonged to God. The names of the new weapons strongly reflect this belief: GodMeeter, GodLight and GodsFire, are just some of them. While the mammoth God’s Word Industries produces Cyberpapal armaments 24 hours a day, the demand is too large for even that megacorporation. Bishops award contracts to gunsmiths working from small workshops, and they have been turning out these weapons using computer controlled lathes. Corrupt officials fatten bank accounts by letting plans and prototypes slip from the these small factories. Equipment is often available for sale on the streets a few weeks after it has been issued to the false Pope’s own forces.
In the Cosm of Magna Verita, the Tech axiom did not originally cause a Tech Surge. The increase in the Tech axiom made the existence of tech level 26 items possible. People in Magna Verita continue to live as they have always done. Oppressed peasants labor for their rich masters in the Church using tools that have remained unchanged since the Sixteenth Century.
The Cyberpope is not one to turn his nose up at what he believes are the gifts of God. He had begun to transfer cyberware into Magna Verita, and construction of a cyberware factory began near that cosm’s Avignon. The Cyberpope saw cyberware as a means of control; its benefits are (officially at least ) restricted to the Church.
When the World Storm changed Earth, it also crossed over into Magna Verita. Europe, North Africa, and portions of the Holy Land have been transformed. Urban sprawls, under neon light, have replaced the medieval cities. Hovercars, maglevs, and highways connect them. Peasants have been driven into the cities by the advent of genetically enhanced crops and livestock, and advanced machinery to tend the fields. Many have been conscripted into the Church Police and their Medicinal Technun Auxiliary. Others have found less sanctioned uses of technology: cyberlegging, netrunning, and even outright revolutionary heresy.
Magna Verita Axioms
Magic Axiom: 10
The magic of Magna Verita has always been the province of the Devil. And the Cyberpapacy has done little to change this aspect of reality. With the exception of the Technomagic of the latter, there is no functional differance.
Social Axiom: 13
Magna Verita remains locked in the medieval mindset. The Feudal system exists, as a Theocracy. There are Three Pillars of society, Those Who Pray, Those Who War, and Those Who Toil.
Those Who Pray
At the center of civilization is the Church. The Church is divided into a variety of Orders.
There are the Canons Regular, priests who lead Parishes, Churches, etc. These are the most political of the clergy. While there are nuns attached to these churches, Priests are distinctly in charge.
A Parish is a local community, consisting of a section of a large city, or one or more small villages. These will look primarily to a Deacon, though some will have a dedicated Priest. Poorer Parishes will rely on Mendicants to visit them regularly.
While a Parish may have a center of worship, a proper Church is the next level in the hierarchy. Here, a deacon, nuns, and lesser priests answer to and assist a single Priest. This cleric is the supreme authority for a large congregation. His Church is as much a Manor House, and even a fortification as it is a meeting place for religious rites. Particularly prosperous regions might have their leader declared an Archpriest, and his seat of power may even be a veritable palace – a Cathedral.
A collection of Parishes and Churches are organized under the authority of a Bishop and his Diocese. A Diocese holds the place a Barony or County might have in Ayslish society. A Bishop is more concerned with governing than spiritual matters.
Above them are the Archbishops and the lowest of the Archdiocese. An Archdiocese may be divided into several Diocese, or simply be a particularly large, and powerful Diocese. An Archdiocese is the equivalent of a State or Province on Earth, or a Duchy of Aysle. Particularly powerful Archdiocese were once Kingdoms, these realms are ruled over by Cardinals. Other Cardinals preside over the various aspects of the Bureaucracy (see Clerks Regular), and the most influential are the Cardinal-Bishops conferred the title of Patriarch.
There are ten Administrative Areas, known as Patriarchies. These regions cover vast portions of a continent, with the Patriarch serving as a surrogate for the Pope, effectively speaking in his name. The Western European Patriarchy is traditionally the seat of the Pope. But with the new schism, Pope Francis-Remoir rules from New Avignon, South America.
The Monastics are monks and nuns who live apart from society, performing dedicated tasks for the Church. These include craftsmen responsible for the Churches’ Holy Texts, arms and armor, and fine art. It also includes educators, and communities dedicated to prayer- providing their faith to support great, lengthy, rituals.
Mendicants include roaming monks and friars. They serve as missionaries, like the Jesuits, or as the dreaded Inquisition.
Clerks Regular are the monks, nuns, priests, and even Cardinals who preside over the Church Bureaucracies including the Chancery and Penitentiary.
Those Who War
Once the masters of the cosm, these are the remnants of the nobility. Though all the greater nobles have been removed, the counts, barons and knights remain. Their purpose is to maintain the day to day operation of Diocese and Parishes. Tax collectors, bridge builders, sheriffs, and other civil servants are under their authority. Their sons are elite soldiers of the Church.
Though once they were landowners, today they are but servants themselves, their homes and finery a sufferance of the church. They earn this through hard work, and loyal service. To insure that the nobles can never rise up against them , the Church arranges marriages between families, and claims a number of sons and daughters to serve the clergy.
Those Who Toil
Beneath it all are the common folk, who perform the labor needed for civilization to thrive. Carpenters, Bakers, and Farmers, be they Europeans, or the Lesser Races of Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas. Through over ninety percent of the populace falls in this group, they are often overlooked. The Church controls the wealth, the land, and the weapons. They have the education, and the Power of God. The Nobles share in all but the last of these benefits. But the commoners have none of this. Through sheer numbers, they could rebel and change everything. But they trust in the Church, accepting the defiance would mean damnation.
This does not mean there are no criminals or heretic however, as most bandits, witches and other such offenders do come from this class.
This class includes Guilds, non-guild craftsmen, villeins, serfs, slaves and outlaws (even those who originally belonged to a higher class).
Though half of all Magna Veritans are women, including a large number of nuns, women are the lowest rung of society. Blamed for the sins of Eve, they must constantly strive to contain their inherent wickedness. Women are always considered subordinate to men in their social strata. For example, the leaders of monasteries should nominally be equals. But the Priest (Father) in charge of a group of monks will be deemed superior to the Mother or Mother-Superior of a convent. Even if he is barely in his adulthood and she is an elderly woman. Among the nobles and commoners, women seldom have any authority or rights of their own, being entirely under the dominion of their fathers, brothers or husbands.
Storm Knights are viewed as nobility or outlaws depending on their religious inclinations.
Spiritual Axiom: 19
The Apocalypse has begun, the time of judgement draws nigh. All who do not bow to the will of the One True God shall face eternal damnation. With angels, demons and even the Four Horsemen themselves walking the world, it is impossible to not recognize the truth. Though the axiom level does not prohibit atheism, there are none native to the cosm, and few agnostics. The clergy of the Avignon Papacy in Exile are granted fantastic power to confront the foulness of the Cyberpapacy and its master below.
It is possible (though extremely difficult) to travel to Heaven, Hell, or Purgatory- and these regions overlap with the GodNet in areas under Cyberpapal reality. Spiritual entities may Manifest in the physical world.
Tech Axiom: 15
Magna Verita remains forever at the cusp of the Renaissance. But shall never experience that rebirth. The minds that would usher in new ideas were silenced, the books that carried knowledge of the ancient world were burned.
Superstition and leeches predominate, with those who can afford it relying on the rituals of the church- or turning to the unholy spells of witches.
Plate mail, crossbows and ballistae are the pinnacle of Magna Veritan warfare. Gundpowder is possible but forbidden.
Transportation and Communication
Horse and sail are the order of the day. The Galleon is the height of ocean travel. The printing press exists, but is the sole province of the Church, no one outside that body has discovered the secret of movable type.
the following section is copied from the Cyberpapacy Realmbook. Any attitudes attributed to that organization also applies to its schismatic sibling, the Avignon Papacy of Magna Verita – unless otherwise noted.
The Law of the One True God
Cyberpapal doctrine states there is but one true god, and that only those who worship him can have spiritual power. Of course for the Cyberpapacy, the one true god is the one who chose Jean Malraux I as the Vicar of Christ. As a result only members of the Cyberpapacy are able to perform miracles normally. Members of other religions have their difficulty levels increased when attempting to perform miracles. The following table shows the amount that the difficulty number is increased by.
Character’s Faith Modifier
Children of the Fallen , Cyberpapacy*, Avignon Papacy* +0
Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Knights Templar +1
Protestant, The Sacellum, Cathari, The Way of the Race +2
Muslim, Jew, I’lani, Slaves of the Higher Power,
The Dagger of the Burakumin +3
Hindu, Aysle religion, Egyptian, Norse, Greek, Pyrian,
Coar, Aka, Zinatt, or Tenno No Ketsui +5
Shintoist, Buddhist, Taoist, Palanic, Findaru, or Kindaijin +6
Haitian, Shaman, Animist, Keta Kalles, Magisters of Doom,
Irishantism, Rec Stalek, Cobra Cult, Holuku, Karruk/Darok,
Mehret, Olakaa, Raya +7
Cult of the Dominant +8
Example: a Catholic priest attempting to perform a bless has his difficulty number increased from 10 to 11.
* When attempting to use miracles in the opposing reality, the difficulty is increased by 2. That is a Cyberpriest in a region of Magna Veritan axioms faces a +2 modifier.
The Law of Heretical Magic
The study or practice of magic is condemned by the Cyberpapacy. This makes magic more difficult to cast, but also increases its power when used
successfully. The underpinning assumption is that magic is the tool of the Devil, and that the Devil aids his disciples, but in time he extracts his due.
Specific game effects include:
1. Any character attempting to perform magic suffers a +3 increase in the spell’s difficulty number, and a +3 increase in the backlash number.
2. Any character who suffers any backlash other than just shock points (K, knockdown or any wound), may have a demon appear and attempt to possess him. To determine whether a demon appears, the mage uses his Spirit to beat a difficulty number of 3. The difficulty number is increased by the result points of backlash. Therefore a mage who suffers a backlash of 10 result points, must overcome a difficulty number of 13 (3+10) with his Spirit.
The appearance of a demon does not affect the success or failure of the spell, although the mage may feel otherwise.
3. Any spell which is cast successfully has a bonus modifier of +5 when determining effect. It’s harder to cast spells within the Cyberpapacy, but they are more powerful than normal once cast.
The Law of Ordeal
The “judgment of God” in the form of trial by ordeal is open to all members of the Cyberpapacy accused of performing criminal acts, with the exception of heresy. Trial by ordeal is a common way of determining guilt in the Cyberpapacy for all crimes except heresy, which is judged by Inquisitors using whatever methods they deem appropriate. The citizens of Cyber-France have come to expect these public trials, and the church finds them a fine way to reinforce their teachings while pandering to the blood lust of a mob.
The important social assumption of the Law of Ordeal is that such trials actually determine guilt or innocence, and that eye-witness accounts, circumstantial or material evidence is of only the slightest importance. The Law of Ordeal expressed another fundamental underpinning of the church, which is all of the faithful are capable of sin, and must stand ready for judgement at any time. The faithful must prove their innocence, and the heretic or heathen, as well as the guilty shall be found through these trials. The clergy of Malraux’s church, as representatives of the Vicar of Christ, are entitled and obligated to accuse the faithful of crimes. They may bring to trial anyone, at any time, for any reason; the victim may have been accused by a member of her community, or she may actually be implicated by the evidence of a crime; the priest may have simply had a bad lunch; the reason is irrelevant. In the Cyberpapal view of the world, the choice of a priest to accuse a character morally obligates the character to prove her innocence through a trial by ordeal. Failure to take the trial is an admission of guilt, and not incidentally, heresy.
There are four types of trial by ordeal practiced in the Cyberpapacy. Prior to the actual ordeal, the accused is ordered to spend three days fasting and in prayer. The ordeal is then carried out under the watchful eyes of the cyberpriests.
Ordeal by Boiling Water: This ordeal is sanctified by the belief that water is representative of the Old Testament flood in which only the virtuous few escaped destruction. Exorcised water is brought to the boil in a blessed cauldron. For minor crimes, the accused plunges his hand into boiling water (damage value 13, but a minimum of one wound) and then withdraws it, or is ordered to retrieve a ring or a stone from an appropriately measured depth. For more serious crimes, the arm is plunged in up to elbow (damage value 16, with a minimum of one wound). After immersion, the hand or arm is bound up in cloth, and sealed with the signet of a cyberpriest, to prevent tampering with the wound. If the character spends a Possibility to reduce the damage rather than take it, the priests see this as obvious collusion with Satan. The accused must then stand trial for heresy.
After three days the accused’s guilt is determined by whether or not he still shows visible signs of burning. If he does, he is considered guilty. If no burns remain, he is pronounced innocent.
Game effects are described below:
1. To heal from the ordeal by boiling water, the accused must beat a difficulty number of 13 with his Spirit, or faith if the character has faith in the Malraux religion. No healing by physical or magical means is possible (although the K results and shock damage will go away.) The character may spend a Possibility to increase the total. If he succeeds, then no burns remain on his hand after three days.
2. The accused receives a bonus modifier of +5 to his Spirit if he his innocent of the crime; and a -5 penalty, if he is guilty.
3. The accused remains wounded (all wound levels) if the ordeal finds him guilty; only a miracle of healing can now help him. If he is found innocent, he suffers no damage from the ordeal.
Ordeal by Cold Water: The pure element of water, being divinely influenced, must necessarily reject the body of anyone guilty of a crime or a sin. This ordeal is used primarily for those accused of witchcraft. The accused is bound hand and foot and lowered into the water on the end of a rope, in which a knot has been made at a distance of a long hair’s breath to half a yard long. If the accused sinks, and pulls the knot down with him so that it breaks the surface of the water, he is cleared; but if the accused and the knot float, he is found guilty. Game rules are described below:
1. A practicer of magic, defined as a character who has magic or occult skills, must generate a Spirit or faith total of 40. This total must be generated to pass the ordeal; there is no way to “fake” or surreptitiously pass this test.
2. Other characters float only if they generate a Spirit or faith total of less than 8. This total is modified by -5 if the character is actually guilty, and +5 if innocent.
Ordeal By Fire: Fire points to the general conflagration of the Last Judgement which will consume the earth. In this ordeal the accused carries a sanctified lump of red-hot iron for nine feet. The priests instruct the accused of when to take a step, and while they usually allow the accused to complete the distance in one round, they occasionally take longer, sometimes up to three rounds. The damage value is 15, and the accused will end the ordeal with a minimum of a wound. The victim’s Toughness is increased by any faith adds he possesses, although he always takes at least one wound.
If the victim passes out when performing the ordeal, he is considered to be an obvious heathen, and therefore guilty. If he succeeds in staying conscious, the hand is then bound and sealed by a cyberpriest. At the end of three days, the bandages are removed; the accused is found guilty if burns still remain on his hand. Ordeal by fire uses the same game rules for recovery as ordeal by boiling water.
Trial by Combat: This form of ordeal involves single combat between the accused and a champion of justice chosen by the Cyberpapacy. It is to the death. Non-powered melee weapons are always used. During the trial by combat, the following rules apply:
1. Guilty characters suffer a -5 penalty to dodge and all weapons skills. If a character is unskilled, she is still unskilled.
2. Innocent characters gain a +5 bonus to dodge and all weapons skills. If a character is unskilled, she is considered to be skilled (gaining the roll again on a 10 or 20) for the duration of the trial.
3. The skills of the church’s champion are unaltered.
The Law of Suspicion
This law states that individuals within the Cyberpapacy are suspicious of anyone they do not know. In game terms this includes:
1. A character’s willpower or Spirit is increased by three when resisting a charm or persuasion attempt.
2. Proof of identity (real or otherwise) of the character attempting the charm or the persuasion reduces the above increase to +1.
3. Attempts to taunt or intimidate have their bonus increased by +3. Characters may be suspicious, but they have a healthy fear for anyone who stands up to them.
When the reality of the Cyberpapacy and Magna Verita collide, fierce reality storms occur. In the cosm, where there are no stelae boundaries, the borders are quite fluid. As such, vast areas have been desolated. And it is in these regions that the Horsemen stalk. Details on their predations can be found in Chapter Three.
Characters crossing between realities face storms ranging from 10 to 25. These storms prohibit aircraft above more than 1000′ (300m), and make oceanic travel unsafe at a moments notice. Space Travel is completely impossible.
Cyberpapal and Magna Veritian characters follow standard character creation rules except as follows. Cyberpapal character may select cybernetics up to a Cyber Rating of their Spirit +3. Magna Veritan characters start with 5 points in Blessed (or Enchanted) items (rules below).
Characters from both realities have the option for Magic (3) or Miracles (2). Witches must take the disadvantages Secret or Heretic (2) and Damned (1). Clerics take Employed (1+), and Devotion: Faith (1+). Clerics with the miracle Blessing Vow may begin with up to a three point Blessing Vow.
Restricted Cyberware (CR/2 pt. Advantage) allows characters access to items not normally available, such as items with no list price, or items from another reality.
Psychological Counseling (1-3 pt.) for each point of this advantage, the character has reduced their Cyber Rating by 3 points (minimum of 1 pt./item)
Additional Blessed Items (1 pt. Advantage) for each point in this advantage, the character may have an additional point of Blessed (or Enchanted) items. Cyberpapal characters my take this advantage as well.
Faulty Component (1 pt.) the implant fails on a roll of 2.
Cyberpsychosis (1 pt.) the character’s Cyber Rating is increased by 3. This does affect the amount of cybernetics the character may start with.
Damned (1 pt. Disadvantage) this character is doomed to go to Hell upon his death. Most commonly found in Witches, and others imbued with the powers of Satan. No spells, miracles, or GroupPowers that will restore a character already at 6 wounds will function on this character.
Excommunicated (1-4 pt. Disadvantage) this character has been excommunicated by the Cyberpapacy or the Avignon Papacy in Exile, as per the Miracle. The point value determines the Faith value of the invoking cleric. 1) Priest 2) Bishop 3) Archbishop 4) Cardinal or higher.
Heretic (Criminal 1-2 pt. Disadvantage) this character has been declared a Heretic. 1pt. Heretics are Laity, while 2pt. Heretics are Clergy or witches. If this in not publicly known, the Disadvantage is considered a Secret instead.
Illiterate (1 pt. Disadvantage) as per the core rules, the character can not read. Common among both Magna Veritans and Cyberpapal characters from the Cosm.
Minority- The Church (both of them) hold that God decreed White Males have the natural right to rule over all others. Minority confers a penalty equal to the value of the trait on most social rolls. With GM discretion, it might confer bonuses to Trick, Taunt, or Intimidation based on the reputation of your people.
1 Halfbreed, one of your parents is white, and you look enough white to almost pass.
2 Africans, Asians, American Indians or any other non-White race.
+1 Female- women are inherently sinful due to Eve’s original sin.
-1 Cleric- The character is a member of the Cyberpapal (or Avignon in Exile Papacy) Clergy.
Underlined Skills are Difficult, skills with a * require a focus.
Cyberdeck Operations– Net Attack, Net Defence, Net Find, Net Manipulation, Net Stealth, Net Tracking
Language*- French, Latin, others as per Earth
Scholar: Cosm Lore- Western Europe, Easter Europe, Holy Land, Northen Africa, Southern Africa, Northen Americas, Southern Americas, China, Japan, Austalias
Conjuration: Materialization- used by demonic entities to enter the physical world from the spiritual one.
Faith*- One True God, Cyberpapacy, Roman Catholic, Martineism, Knights Templar, Cathari, Children of the Fallen, Judaism, or other lesser faith
Manifestation- used by angelic entities to enter the physical world from the spiritual one.
Occultech- as per Tharkold, details below.
Witchcraft in Magna Verita, and the Cyberpapacy comes from the Devil, it is harder to use, but more powerful (as explained in the Law of Heretical Magic, Chapter One). This section covers the basics of Magna Veritan Witchcraft, the technomagic additions of the Cyberpapacy, and finally the use of Occultech in the realm.
Witches may learn any of the 4 magic skills, or any of the Arcane Knowledges (however Essence magic is rare). TechnoWitches may also learn the Occultech skill. Witches may know (of have available in a spellbook or SpellChip) one spell per add in the four magic skills.
Note: the term Witch generally refers specifically to a female practitioner, who are more common. Males are called Warlocks.
Magna Veritan Witches can learn and use the following spells from the Core Rules and Pixaud’s:
Abrasion, Black Bart’s Deadly Darts, Fields of Death, Shadow Bats, Away Sight, Zero Light, Cleanse Area*, Detect Magic, Dispel Magic Fire, Enchant Armor, Enchant Bow, Find Things, Lightning, Prismatic Alteration, Telekinesis, Telekinesis Major, Awaken, Detect Living Beings, Facade of Normality, First Aid, Gain Sense, Heal, Improve Dexterity (or Agility), Improved Magical Strength, Light Levitation, Sixth Sense, Suggetion, Vigor, Fly, Paralyzation, Scarebeast, Detect Truth, Disguise Self, Gain Language, Haste, Increase Charisma, Jump, Ritual of Mind Preparation, Ritual of Perception Preparation, Silence, Slow, Snail Wit, Stealth Walk, Strength, Telepathy, Weaknees, Arm or Air, Fighting Whirlwind, Floater, Frigid Air, Wall of Air, Windy Ears, Brittle Wall, Dust to Water, Earth Shield, Earthly Arms, Pathfinder, Quicksand, Stone Tunnel, Altered Fireball, Improved Altered Fireball, Fiery Visions, Ochial’s Flaming Circle, Bullet, Dagger Throw, Fool’s Gold, Keen Blade, Kelfain’s Sword Shatter Spell, Lodestone, Open Lock, Steel Shower, Plant Shackles, Thorn Staff, Bath of Death, Cleanse, Fog, Ice Bolt, Sweet Water, Water Spray, Crumble Structure, Flame Strike
R- Heretical bonus to range, D- heretical bonus to duration
Axiom Level: 10 (17)
Skill: Conjuration/Folk 16
Backlash: 16 (19)
Difficulty: 8 (11)
Effect Value: 24 (29)
Bonus Number to: Effect
Range: 0 (touch)
Duration: 9 (1 min.)
Cast Time: 9 (1min.)
Manipulation: speed, control, duration
The witch takes a simple blunt melee weapon, and rubes broken glass over it. The glass is absorbed, and she makes some striking motions. Afterwards, the weapon gains five charges of the spell’s effect, which must be used withing the next minute. On a successful melee attack, in addition to the normal damage the spell is released. The target is hindered by intense pain for the rest of the round. Compare the Effect Value to the target’s Endurance on the Trick/Taunt Table.
Cyberpapacy-Reality Witches add the following from the Core Rules, Pixaud’s, and Tharkold:
Rocket, Block NeuraCal, Cyber Eyes, Cyber Psych, Destroy Cybergear, Jack-a-Nape, Living Steel, Muzzle Booster
Axiom Level: 8
Skill: Alteration/Inanimate Forces 15
Backlash: 17 (20)
Difficulty: 8 (11)
Effect Value: 15 (20)
Bonus Number to: Effect
Range: 0 (touch)
Duration: 9 (1min.)
Cast Time: 9 (1min.)
Manipulation: control, range
This Focused spell is cast by manipulating the damaged item, tracing cuts and tears, and otherwise using gestures to indicated the necessary work. The Effect Value of the spell is read on the repair table.
Axiom Level: 10
Skill: Alteration/Living Forces ??
Backlash: 18 (21)
Difficulty: 14 (17)
Effect Value: 18 (23)
Bonus Number to: Duration
Range: 0 (touch)
Duration: 18 (1 hr.)
Cast Time: 12 (4 min.)
Manipulation: cast time, effect
Focused The recipient’s brain becomes an effective CyberDeck. She may jack in by touching anything connected to the Net- a computer, phone, or communication line. This functions with any Tech 23 or higher computer. With those less than Tech 26, she gains a +3 bonus to her Cyberdeck Ops skill. The Effect Value is read on the Power Push Table, the results are divided between Response, Stealth and Processor. She may have generic versions of attack, defense, scan, shroud, evasion, or trace, with a maximum value equal to her Processor rating.
If she has a Chipware socket, she may upload or download files.
If the decker is still jacked in when the duration ends, or is physically separated, it acts like a hard dump.
Through the use of the Law of Heretical Magic, Cyberpapcy-Reality Witches may employ Technological or Cybernetic devices imbued with magical power. This permits the creation of item which would normally require a Magic Axiom of 16, but is a contradiction in any other reality that does not have the Law of Heretical Magic and a Tech Axiom of 26- in other words outside of the Cyberpapacy.
Enchanting CyberWare: Occultech skill can change ordinary cyberware. This takes one day. At the end of the day, generate an occultech total against a difficulty of 8.
On a Minimal or Average success the item is transformed, but is a flawed system.
On a Good or Superior success, the item becomes enchanted with all its normal functions intact.
On a Spectacular success the item becomes so attuned to the magical vibrations that it is not capable of systems failure. This benefit can be negated by shoddy installation.
Those with Faith: Children of the Fallen may use that value, rather than just Spirit for Cyberpsychosis ratings versus enchanted cyberware. Enchanted Cyberware can also be imbued with further spells later- both temporary and permanently.
Two common Cybernetic items exist:
Technomagic Surgery CR Price Effect
Backlash Buffer 10 Moderate +2/+4/+6 NA Increases Willpower for purposes of resisting backlash by the Cyber Rating
SpellChips — — NA May cast impresses spells, create VX components
Technomagical devices: These are constructed using the same procedures as non-magical cyberware, or mundane devices.
Enchanted Weapons or Armor are made under the same rules as technomagical cyberware, with a “cyber rating” equal to their damage add used whenever a cyber rating is needed in the process. Items with a fixed value use that value as the difficulty.
Cyber Rating Difficulty Number
Common Technomagic Weapons include: Burning Blades (fireball or similar spell), Lightning Wand (lightning spell), Pain Staff (pain spell), Winter Wand (ice bolt spell), Enchanted Bullets (any spell that does damage), or Tracer Bullets (Fire Combat +2). The difficulty of the process is equal to the Effect Value of the spell.
TechnoWitches may imbue any spell known to them into any sort of item. The GM should adjudicate the appropriateness of the item.
Create Spirit Chip:
This is a very difficult process, and is not to be attempted lightly. To begin, the Witch needs a high end Dat Chip, upon which she etches the true name of her target. The target soul must be in purgatory or hell. If the latter, she must also have permission from her demonic patron. She must then plug the chip into her Chipware socket, and jack in, traveling to the requisite area of the GodNet and seek out the soul she requires. She must subdue it, and then perform an Occultech check with a difficulty of 18 if the target’s Spirit is 8 or less, increasing by 3 for each additional point of Spirit.
If she fails the check, or is subdues by the spirit, the spirit possesses her, and the chip is burned out. An exorcism or banishment will cast the spirit out, and back to its proper place. If she fails the check by 9 or more, she is transferred onto the chip, and the spirit assumes permanent control of her body.
Even if the spirit is willing, she must make the Occultech check, and face the dangers therein.
The Church of the One True God
Also known as the Avignon Papacy in exile. This is the faith of Magna Verita as it has existed for centuries. Pope Francis Remoir I continues to preach that the True Word has remained unchanged. That Satan has seized control of Avignon and installed the Antichrist, who’s face may change but proclaims himself Cyberpope.
It is the duty of all who hold the true faith to fight in the name of God, and cleanse Magna Verita, and the New Earth of all who have heard the Word and Know it Not. The Pope sends his Jesuit Missionaries to pave the way, followed by Crusaders, Priests, and other servants of Heaven, and finally, the Inquisition to root out any remaining Heresy.
With the Apocalypse begun, faith has never been stronger. The People of the Americas and Australias truly believe that only by rigid, unswerving obedience can their souls be saved. There is no doubt that the Four Horsemen have been unleashed upon the world, or that the forces of Hell seek to claim the souls of the unrighteous.
Though not all have cast aside their sinful, human natures, the Church and the majority of those who serve it, are True Believers. Those who seek to bribe their way into Heaven, or who think their Good Works can excuse a secret sin, are sentenced alongside Witches and Cyberpapists.
Magna Verita’s spiritual axiom is 19, meaning that the Invocation Difficulty for the Church (and sadly, Magna Veritan Fallen) is 36. The enemies of the faith include: demons, devils, and those who serve them (including the Children of the Fallen), any magic-using entities, spirits, the undead, and anyone with cybernetic or biotech implants. Any of these may be warded against using the ward enemy prayer. The high axiom also allows for Permanently blessed items, and creatures and places imbued with spiritual power.
|Prayers of the Magna Veritan Church
||Rituals of the Magna Veritan Church
||Bless Holy Symbol
||Bless Holy Water
|Crisis of Faith
||Plague of Vermin
|Part the Sea
||Ritual of Hope
|Presence of God
||Ritual of Purification
|Walk on Water
The heresy with the largest congregation on Magna Verita. Their beliefs are very similar to the same faith on Core Earth. The Torah bears close resemblance to the Old Testament of the Papal Bible, with the addition of apocrypha like the existence of Lilith, Adam’s first wife, and the mother of monsters.
The faith is held almost exclusively by the Jewish people. And is very harsh, even compared to the Avignon Church. Jehovah is a God of Wrath. This world of sin and toil will be punished, destroyed again if need be. But when all is done, Jehovah’s Chosen People will inherit the world. So spoke the God of Abraham and Moses.
Patience and Penitence to the True Word are essential. For centuries, they have suffered at the hands of Avignon, Rome, Babylon, Egypt. Always, powerful forces have forced the Jews to bow. But in secret, they have always held to the True Faith. Soon will be the time, when the Son of God is born to the House of David, and the gentiles will be forced to admit the name of the True God.
Judaism often uses the six pointed star as its symbol. Demons, undead, and evil magic practitioners are enemies of the faith. There is some dispute on this last, with some holding that not all magic comes from Lucifer, but that even Solomon practiced the arts.
|Prayers of Judaism
||Rituals of Judaism
||Bless Holy Symbol
||Bless Holy Water
|Crisis of Faith
||Plague of Beasts
|Part the Sea
||Pronouncement of Doom
|Pillar of Salt
||Ritual of Hope
|Presence of God
||Ritual of Purification
|Sins of the Flesh
||Staff of Swift Iron
|Walk on Water
The CyberChurch is in firm control of Europe, but is less so elsewhere in the cosm, as there is still resistance to high technology there. The Cyberpope himself resides in the realm, allowing his cardinals and bishops to run affairs of Magna Verita.
There are other faiths within the Cyberpapacy, most notably the CyberReformation, Knights Templar, and the Cathari. They are opposed by the Law of One True God, which increases the difficulty of miracles cast by non-Cyberpapists. The Spiritual axiom of the Cyberpapacy is 14. This allows the faithful to call upon spiritual powers through prayer, ritual, or invocation. Invocation, though difficult, produces irrefutable evidence of divine agency. Requests of the faithful are sometimes granted, often in a dramatic fashion. The focus difficulty number for such invocations is 39.
The relatively high Spiritual axiom allows items to be imbued with spiritual powers. This has given rise to a number of holy relics and items within the cosm. These items may vary in effect from increasing faith or focus to striking dead the enemies of the faith.
The tenets of the CyberChurch are as follows:
The Antichrist has come to plague the world and his forces are legion. Only be embracing Mother Church can his corrupting influence be staved off. Only by listening to the guiding words of his Holiness, Roger-Benard I the Cyberpope, can eternal damnation be avoided. Yet enve those believers in the True Faith are of the flesh, and those of flesh must fall prey to the weaknesses of the flesh. Thus, even through the faithful can the Antichrist take hold.
Seeing the plight of his children, the Lord graced, his servant upon Earth, the Cyberpope, with the blessed, and holy cyber technology.
Cyberware is the body of our Lord incarnate.
To possess cyberware is to share in the body of our Lord.
By integrating the body of the Lord with our own weak flesh, we can shore our bodies, and thus our souls, against the power of the Antichrist. Its power is great indeed.
But the holy power of cyberware does not alone guarantee our salvation. We must be ever Vigilant against heresy, both our own and that of those around us. To suffer the existence of heresy will give the Antichrist purchase on our souls and bring the forces of perdition closer to victory over the CyberChurch.
Acts of heresy include, but are not limited to: eating meat on Fridays; speaking ill of a cleric; sacrilege; blasphemy; sorcery or witchcraft; harboring heretical thought; failing to show proper respect to his Holiness, the Vicar of Christ, Roger-Benard I; worshiping any false god; and reading any false scripture.
If one of the faithful spies another committing acts of heresy, it is their holy duty to inform the Inquisition as soon as possible. Those who commit heresy and consort with demons shall not be tolerated.
In the fight against the Devil, the Lord has also seen fit to grant his most holy minion, Roger-Benard, the use of the GodNet. The GodNet is a sacred and revered place, full of the power and the glory of the Lord. There are some heretics who would seek to pervert this glorious thing to their wicked ends. As such, the most holy and righteous CyberChurch must firmly regulate access into the GodNet. Forbidden entry into the GodNet is of the most severe order of heresy, and is punishable by immediate damnation.
Though the rest of the world falls to the forces of darkness, those of the True Faith shall remain strong in the knowledge that the Lord, and his servant Roger-Bernard,in whom God has placed his confidence, shall deliver them from evil.
The faith of the Cyberpapacy is one that controls the faithful through fear and oppression. Among the faithful, Jean Malraux is seen as the chose of God. His very word is law, and those who would go against his hoy decrees are branded as heretics, excommunicated, and executed.
The Cyberpope’s faith appeals to many in this war-torn world, and he has found it relatively easy to gain converts. As such, Cyberpapist faithfulcan be found all across Europe, and in parts of the Holy Land, as well as on Earth- particularly in CyberFrance, Quebec Liberte and Argentina.
All priests of the Cyberpapacy possess, or have possessed, holy cyberware. Their miracles are enacted by calling upon the Lord in a loud, stern voice, and asking him to do what they require. This does make cyberpriests rather prone to attract attention when using miracles.
Anyone with Faith:Cyberpapacy, may – if there cybernetics are all properly sanctified – use that value to resist Cyberpsychosis. Priests of the Cyberpapacy may never learn miracles from other cosms.
The enemies of the Cyberpapal faith include: demons, devils, and those who serve them (including the Children of the Fallen), any magic using entities, spirits, and the undead. Any of these may be warded using the ward enemy prayer.
|Prayers of the Cyberchurch
||Rituals of the Cyberchurch
||Bless Holy Symbol
||Bless Holy Water
|Crisis of Faith
||Create Spirit Chip
|Part the Sea
||Exorcise Spirit Chip
|Presence of God
|Walk on Water
||Ritual of Hope
||Ritual of Purification
Not all Cyberpapist believe Roger-Benard is the chosen of God. Some faithful, while accepting many tenets of the religion, do not accept his word or his dark and single-minded attempts to stamp out heresy. These are the types of cyberpriests most likely to serve as player characters. There are three major schismatic groups, though many minor variances can be found.
The most conservative are the Roman Catholics. This group- based in the almost forgotten Italian city of Rome- have studied the doctrines of Earth’s Catholicism. They believe that the Church need not be what centuries have shaped it to be. The basic aspects though, the hierarchy in particular, are useful in guiding the people to the path of Righteousness. Technology, in their teachings is neither good nor evil, it is how it is used. The faithful may possess cyberware, or not- it is a personal choice. Roman Catholics learn the prayers and rituals known to Core Earth. They may attempt to learn Cyberpapal miracles by rolling the Attainment Rating.
Cyberprotestantism, also called Martineism, is the doctrine of Luther Martine. There are many divergent beliefs under this banner. A common tenet is the rejection of the central authority of the Cyberpapacy or Avignon Papacy in Exile. While some, like an emerging sect in the British Dioceses do maintain a hierarchy, individual priest are not as beholden to it. And such hierarchies and organizations tend to be more democratic, with decisions on doctrine and behavior set by the majority. Dissenting opinion either fold in, or split to form a new sect.
Martine himself is said to be in the Germanies on Magna Verita, though his church is also heavily present in the northern Free France- with a major congregation centered on La Rochelle in northwest France.
The predominate tenet all these sects share is that Cybernetics are a gift of God, and that their possession shores up weak flesh. Cybernetics must only come from the Church. Back alley Cyberleggers do not properly sanctify their work, and the use of such mechanisms is sinful.
Cyberprotestants recognize the same enemies of the faith as the Cyberpapacy, and may use all Cyberpapal miracles except Excommunicate. Cyberprotestatnts may use their faith value against Cyberpsychosis like Cyberpapists.
The Knights Templar (Militant Reformationists)
The fighting abilities of the famous Poor Knights of the Temple of Solomon, otherwise known as the Knights Templar, are legendary both by historical account and in the Arthurian legends. The modern incarnation of the Templars in the Cyberpapacy, based around Carnac, have access to several miracles which made their predecessors fearsome warriors in their service to the Lord.
Any of these miracles will cease to have an effect if the recipient attempts to injure someone with Faith: Christian. Extra roll agains will be lost, shock will begin to accumulate as normal, etc.
Knights of Avalon may also have access to these miracles. Given that a Crusader may firmly believe that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend,” these miracles might even be able to be used by Honorable Ayslish.
The Templars are the third major Reformation faction in the cosm and realm. They hold much in common with the Roman Catholic sect of Magna Verita, but reject all vestiges of the central authority which branded them diabolists and enemies of the Church. Their primary purpose is to bring about the fall of the Cyberpapacy and the Avignon Papacy in Exile. If successful, they will allow those more responsible to rebuild.
Some sects in the Americas operate using only the medieval weapon of the cosm, while the larger groups based in Portugal as well as the Atlantic coast of Free France on Earth, utilize guns and modern technology. Most reject Cybernetics however, felling that it is against the will of God to change the body He has given you. Some will utilize implants- particularly Neural Jacks, in order to more properly fight their enemy.
|Prayers of the Knights Templar
||Rituals of the Knights Templar
||Bless Holy Symbol
||Bless Holy Water
|Crisis of Faith
|The Power and the Glory
||Ritual of Hope
|Storm of Battle
||Ritual of Purification
|Strength of the Righteous
“Kill them all and let God sort them out.”– Attributed to Simon DuMontfort, as he embarked on the Albigensian Crusade in 1229
In 12th century France, there arose a religious doctrine which posed a direct challenge (and threat) to the hierarchy of Rome. This religion was known to its practitioners as “Cathari” derived from the Greek word for pure. However, the rest of Europe referred to them as Albignsians, as the Cathari had a stronghold in the French town of Albi.
The Cathari beliefs were strongly dualistic, declaring the world to be sharply divided between good and evil. They believed that the material world was created by an evil god, and that the savior was sent down by the good god to free the divine spark of man from its prison of flesh. The physical world is evil, the world good filled with spiritual light.
While these thoughts were heretical enough for the medieval Church of Rome, the death struggle was initiated over another belief. The Albigensians believed that the Church and its clergy were designed by Satan to trick Christians into thinking that they could be saved through the offices of the church. This sparked a series of crusades which culminated in the destruction of the final Cathari communities in 1229.
The Cathari had established their own hierarchy, ritual and doctrine. Within the hierarchy two basic levels existed, “the believers” and “the perfect”. The believers led ascetic lives. They practiced and were taught Cathari doctrine until they were ready to move up to the ranks of the perfect.
To become perfect, a believer had to undergo the sacrament of consolation, a ritual which removed all sin from a believer. The sacrament of consolation could only be taken once during the believer’s lifetime. If one of the perfect sinned after taking the sacrament, upon death he would be reborn into the body of another, to begin the long spiritual journey once again.
The Modern Cathari
The outbreak of the Possibility Wars led to a new outbreak of heresy in Albi. The events which took place there in the first year of the war are filled with exaggerations and wonder, but there is no doubt that they all begin with Victor Berigard.
Berigard grew up in the town of Realmont, near Albi. A strong religious upbringing (and a large dose of clumsiness) separated him from his peers; he later attended seminary for one year, before deciding the priesthood was not for him. He drifted for two year, until he discovered his aptitude for computers. Working for a small design firm in Albi, Berigard immersed himself in the world of computers, a world that he thought of as pure. When the axiom wash rolled over France, he fell quickly to the promise of new technology.
Jacking into the GodNet for the first time was a spiritual experience. Here was Berigard’s ideal world, a world of thought and light, a world shaped by belief, hardware, and the speed of thought. But Berigard could not help but notice some of the evils which came with I, the invasive loss of privacy as the cyberpriests began to monitor every computer in CyberFrance; their rigid hierarchy being established which would limit citizens access to information and regions of the GodNet. Worst was the miracle of rid damnation, which routed believers to Purgatory in the net. Berigard strongly believed in the potential good of the GodNet; therefore, Malraux and his’ church had to be the source of the evil.
Berigard began the conspiracy of the Cathari Circuit, a group comprised of old-fashioned hackers and engineers, disgruntled clergy and a few deckers. In secret meetings, theological reasoning and technical evidence merged to form the Cathari doctrine.
If God had created the GodNet, their reasoning went, then its spiritual power is not derived from its physical housing. The housing (the optic cables, CompPlexes, and telephone exchanges) are merely ways of accessing the GodNet. If true, one should be able to sever the connections with the exchanges controlled by the Cyberpapcy, reroute the signals to maintain telephone and cable connections within the region (but isolated from the rest of France) and still access the GodNet. This conclusion was literally a leap of faith for Berigard, but he managed to convince enough of the others to begin his plan.
On the night of July 14, 1992, engineers bolstered by teams of Jaz fighters sabotaged the trunk of lines connecting the Albi exchange to those of Montauban, Toulouse, Carcassonne and Rodez, cutting Albi off from the rest of France. Software engineers slipped their version 1.0 cimpware into deckers, chipware that theoretically would help a decker navigate ill-defined, possibly even random, cyberspace. Victor Berigard and other prayed for the six deckers as they jacked in.
The two who survived were incapable of speech for several days. In that time, Cyberpapal technicians had reconnected Albi to Toulouse and Rodez. Church Police and the Inquisition went house to house trying to find the heretics. Some of the software engineers were discovered and eventually burned as witches. Order was said to be restored.
But jackpriests and Babel monitors knew better. Athwart the VX lines into Albi were entities which did not come from Avignon. These watchdogs appeared as huge, shadowy behemoths, with loose, folded shapes. As they moved, the folds shifted, revealing glimpses of neon-bright bones and dimmer connective tissues. Called “Bright Bones” by the jackpriests, these entities searched for and caught the signals of Malraux’s agents as they tried to enter the data vaults of Albi.
Today the sect still exists right under the nose of Avignon of both Earth and Magna Verita. The Cyberpapacy has yet to bring sufficient strength to bear to end the heresy, due to the need to devote those resources to the struggles against the Antipope Francis-Remoir, as well as other larger heresies.
|Prayers of the Cathari
||Rituals of the Catari
||Ritual of Hope
||Ritual of Purification
Children of the Fallen
Excerpt from the Tome of the Fallen:
The popes speak of the powers of Hell coming to claim the souls of those who don’t follow their path of divine belief, and to a certain extent, they are correct. What they fail to see however is that the powers of Hell have already arrived, and it is only a matter of time before they storm the very gates of Heaven. Their foolish faithful believe that their God is powerful, but he has, in truth, always been less than a match for the forces of the Devil.
The Devil left the weak and fawning mortals alone so that they could foster hope of eternal salvation, and this hope will make their eventual destruction that much sweeter. No matter how they defend themselves, whether through cyberware, or faith, or physical force, their might is as nothing before the wrath of Hell. Soon, the hordes of Hell shall run free on the Magna Verita, consuming the souls of mortals ina malefic glut of violence and destruction.
We, as the mortal vassals of Hell, have traded our eternal souls for a place in the Devil’s new world order. He has granted us his powers of magic to wield against the popes and their minions. Even now, the demons of the Underworld wreak havoc in the GodNet, consuming Roger-Benard’s servants as they will soon consume him.
The Church Police and the Inquisition fear us, and yet unknowingly they serve our purpose, for we are the ultimate agents of terror. The hedonistic desires of the clergy play directly into our hands. The false holy men of the CyberChurch already fall to our temptations. Likewise the Crusaders of Francis-Remoir send to their graves souls that are destined to swell the Pits.
Weep, ye who would believe in these popes- for you, there is no hope.
Though there may be some truth to the old adage, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend,” it definitely does not hold for the Children of the Fallen. Those Storm Knights who would seek them out for aid against the CyberChurch or Avignon Papacy in Exile are in for a rude awakening. The Children of the Fallen are pure evil.
Members of this cult can be found throughout the cosm and realm, posing as normal citizens. On the night of the full moon, they hold their evil conclaves in the Inferno, the fiery catacombs under Below both cosm and realm, or within Hell Sector of the GodNet. The miracles of the Children are invoked through signs such as the evil eye, and through ritual sacrifice.
There is corruption within the CyberChurch, corruption enough for Lucifer to protect his children. Because of this, the Children of the Fallen are always successful when tested by the Law of Ordeal.
The Children of the Fallen consider members of all other faiths to be enemies. The exception to this are those members of the clergy or the faithful who are evil and corrupt.
|Prayers of the Fallen
||Rituals of the Fallen
|Crisis of Faith
||Ritual of Hope
||Ritual of Purification
|Presence of God
|Speak with the Dead
Bless Holy Symbol
Spiritual Rating: 10
Community Rating: 10
Ritual Length: 21 (4 hr.)
Effect: imbues a holy symbol with the power of faith
Attainment Rating: 22
This miracle is found in many faiths and cosms, including Aysle, Earth, Khem, Gaea, Lereholm, and the Aztec Empire, among others. A holy symbol imbued with this ritual provides a bonus to the Faith (or Focus for clerics) of the wearer. The Bonus provided is determined in part by the level of success, and in part by the size of the symbol. Small, easily concealed icons can not provide the same benefits as great alters. See the chart:
+1 Small easily concealed in pocket (1” to 4”)
+2 Medium, concealed by jacket or robe (6” to 1’)
+3 Large, a torc or one-handed item, such as a Crusader’s Broadsword
+4 Very Large, a two-handed item, such as a staff
+5 Extremely Large, an Alter or other item to heavy to be easily moved. Or a Magic Relic or Unique Item
Create Spirit Chip
Spiritual Rating: 14
Community Rating: 18
Ritual Length: 18 (1 day)
Effect: transfers a soul in purgatory to a specially encoded DatChip
Attainment Rating: 25
A rare ritual, known among Technopriests and Inquisition. The priest takes high end DatChips, and encodes it with a special formatting. He then inserts it into his deck, and jacks in. He travels to Purgatory and claims the soul to be installed. Alternately, if the target is a prisoner, and subjected to Net Damnation, the soul is claimed as soon as it fails to resist the demons. They return to Purgatory, and the soul is transferred to the chip.
Kill Technology (Magna Veritan)
Spiritual Rating: 19
Community Rating: 7
Range: 11 (150m) radius centered on the priest
Effect: renders technological items useless
Attainment Rating: 22
This prayer causes any item with a Tech axiom above 15 to cease operation while within the radius of effect. The miracle does not suffer any Many-on-One penalties, anyone in its radius of effect is affected. The items will function once more when removed from the radius of effect. Creating a reality bubble will not eliminate the effects of this miracle. A Faith total greater than that of the priest who invoked it will restore that character’s items.
Spiritual Rating: 11
Community Rating: 10
Ritual Length: 18 (1hr.)
Effect: spiritually cleanses an implant, allowing the faithful to install greater amounts
Attainment Rating: 18
This miracle may only be utilized on cybernetics in ordained factories. Demon Cyberware, or Cyberlegger construction can not be sanctified. If a member of the faithful installs only sanctified cyberware – and all his cyberware is sanctified- he may use his Faith to resist Cyberpychosis rather than Spirit.
Magna Veritan Characters begin with 5 points in Blessed Items. The maximum bonus in any particular item is limited by the character’s Faith adds. The maximum numerical bonus for a starting character is +3. Blessed Items can include Holy Symbols, Weapons (Melee, Missile, or Thrown), Armor or Shields. Items may also be imbued with miraculous (or profane) effects.
Permanent Blessings are created through the use of a particular miracle, with a modifier of 33-19 (Magna Verita’s Spiritual Axiom)= +14. Cyberpapal characters do not normally have such items, since technology suffices, but for them the modifier is 33-14= +19.
Created using the Bless Holy Symbol ritual. Provides a bonus to either Faith or Focus. Due to the availability of the ritual, Cyberpapal reality characters might take this option as an advantage at character creation, and both realities might gain one in play.
1 Laity, Monk or Nun
2 Priest, Nun (Mother)
3 Bishops, Nun (Mother Superior)
4 Archbishops, Cardinal
5 Patriarch, Pope
Created using the Bless Weapon ritual. The bonus is added to both the Damage Bonus and Maximum.
Armor or Shield
Also created using Bless Weapon ritual. Note: This ritual does not normally provide Armor bonuses, and can only be used for permanent blessings. If the GM is agreeable, any faith with access to Bless Weapon may learn Bless Armor by generating the Attainment Rating. It is statistically identical .
Blessed items may also be imbued with the effects of other miracles. These may be used a certain number of times per day. The advantage cost is determined by the miracles’ difficulty and the number of times per day it can be used.
Advantage Cost Difficulty #/day
1 10 or less 1
2 11-15 3
3 16-20 6
4 21+ 1/round
For example, a Crusader’s Sword might be Blessed with a +2 bonus to damage and the miracle Call Lightning, usable 3 times per day. This is a 6 point advantage (2 points for the damage modifier, 2 more for the difficulty (15), and a final 2 for the number of timer per day).
Profane of Enchanted Items
Children of the Fallen, Witches, and their allies may also have such items drawn from unholy miracles or spells. Systemically this is the same process. Permanent Enchantments require 33-10 (Magic Axiom)= +23.
The most significant item found among witches are Wands. Wands can provide bonuses to one or more magic skill. Like Holy Symbols, the greater bonuses require larger items. The following Chart determines the bonus provided, based on points spent and the number of skills affected. Wand may only be enchanted with spells using the miraculous effect chart.
Advantage Cost Number of Skills
1 2 4
1 1 – – Wand (approx. 1’)
2 2 1 –
3 3 2 1 Rod (2’-4’, can be used as a club)
4 4 2 1
5 5 3 2 Staff (4’ or more, can be used as a quarterstaff)
Example: For 4 points, a witch might possess a Rod which provides a +1 to all four skills, +2 to two, or +1 to four. Or a wand providing +1 to one skill, and Conjured Fireball (difficulty 6) 3 time per day.
Magna Veritan Currency
1 Denier (d) = $0.42 copper coin
1 Sous (s) = 12 Denier = $5 silver coin
1 Livre (L) = 20s = 240d = $100 gold coin
NORMAL MELEE WEAPONS
Tech Damage Value Price (Value)
Dagger 7 +3/18 10s (9)
Short Sword 8 +4/19 30s (11)
Broadsword 9 +6/21 4L (13)
Two-Handed Sword 10 +7/22 7L 10s (15)
Staff 7 +2/17 5s (7)
Battle-Ax 8 +5/20 15s (10)
Mace 8 +4/19 1L (10)
War-Hammer 8 +5/20 1L 5s (11)
Morning Star 11 +6/21 2L (12)
Ball and Chain 10 +6/30 4L (13)
Pole-Arms 8 +4/19 12s (9)
NORMAL MISSILE WEAPONS
Tech Damage Value Range (S/M/L) Price (Value)
Throwing Dagger 7 +3/18 3-5/10/15 1L (10)
Spear 5 +4/19 3-5/25/40 5s (7)
Sling 7 +4/19 3-10/40/100 6s (8)
Short Bow 8 +5/20 3-10/40/100 14s (10)
Long Bow 12 +6/21 3-10/100/300 3L (13)
Composite Bow 13 +7/22 3-10/60/250 4L (13)
Light Crossbow 11 15 3-10/100/200 1L 10s (11)
Heavy Crossbow 12 16 3-10/100/250 2L 10s (12)
Tech Damage Value Range (S/M/L) Price (Value)
Ballista 11 18 3/150/250/375 250L (22)
Tech Value Fatigue? Price (Value)
Leather 5 +2/20 no 4L (13)
Cuir Bouilli 8 +3/20 no 4L 10s (14) AGI-1
Chain Mail 12 +6/25 yes 75L (20)
Ring Mail 12 +4/20 no 60L (19)
Silk Lining 12 +2*/21 no 5L (14)
Plate Mail 13 +7/25 yes 80L (20) Fatigue causes 3 shock, AGI-1
Improved Plate Mail 15 +7/25 no 100L (20)
Tech Value/Tough. Fatigue? Price (Value)
Buckler 8 +2/16 no 4L 10s (14)
Small Shield 12 +4/18 no 5L (14)
Medium Shield 12 +5/19 no 7L 10s (15)
Large Shield 12 +6/20 yes 10L (15) Fatigue causes 3 shock
GENERAL GEAR CHART
Tech Price (Value)
Hemp Rope (100’) 8 3s (6)
Silken Cord (100’) 12 1L 10s (13)
Torch 5 1s (4)
Oil Lamp 7 5s (7)
Candles 10 1s (4)
Sundial 9 1s (4)
Glass mirror 10 2s (5)
Canoe 3 6L (14) Speed STR-3(+value of rowers) Man. -2 Pass 1-20 TOU 10
Coach 12 100L (20) Speed 48kmh/30mph/11 Pass 5 TOU 12
Wagon 8 50L (19) Speed 48kmh/30mph/11 Man. -2 Wt. 13 Pass 2 TOU 10
Longship 9 200L (22) Speed 10kmh/6mph/7 Man. -2 Wt. 19 Crew 30 TOU 15 Ram (D 24)
Galleon 10 500L (24) Speed 20kmh/12mph/9 Man. -4 Wt. 30 Crew 220 TOU 25
Iron Spikes 10 1s (4)
Belt Pouch 12 2s (5)
Sleeping Mat 9 5s (7)
Map Case 12 6s (8)
Cloak, cloth 7 10s (9)
Cloak, fur 7 2L 10s (12)
Prices in Francs/Dollars/Values
Cyberware Surgery CR Price Effect
FFO EyeStealer 6 Wound +2 20k/3000/18 Record and display retinal ID patterns
DATAS Sonar 8 Wound +3 6500/1000/15 Substitutes echo location for Sight. +3 to find totals.
CyberHam Truthear 6 Wound +2 10k/1500/16 Stress analysis. Mind +3 to detect lie. +3 vs. verbal attacks
CyberHam Touchmike 6 Wound +2 3500/500/14 Pick up sonic vibrations in walls, windows, etc.
+injector sacs 7 Wound +2 +2700/400/14
+ Electro-Weapon +2 +1 +13k/2000/17 +3 Shock
5-slot Chip Holder 6 Wound +3 33k/5000/19
DatChip 5000/750/15 20-40 Datablocks
Armor Tech Value Fatigue Price
Synthleather 26 +5/25 no 12k/1800/17 Includes Diffrax (TOU+6/25 vs. Energy weapons, electroweapons and Plasma only)
FN Legionnaire 26 +8/30 yes* 1m/150k/26 AGI-1 if disconnected. 1 Std Cell/Month
FN Liberator 26 +10/30 yes* 3m/500k/29 STR, Lifting and Climbing limits +2. AGI and STR -2 if disconnected.
1 Std Cell/Month. 2 Gun Mounts.
Jets (MRJ +5, MRF 13. 1 Std Plasma Cell/Hour)
Screens (Energy Damage -5 (+Many-on-One) for area. 2 Std Plasma Cells.)
* Imposes fatigue penalties if disconnected, or if the user does not have a Nervejack.
Firearms Tech Damage Ammo Range Price Notes
GWI Cherub Snub Pistol 25 15 9 3-10/20/30 3000/450/14
FN Sanctifier SMG 26 19 24 3-15/40/150 5000/800/15 Sanctifier = Makes things ‘Holy’
GWI Smite Heavy Assault Rifle 26 22 30 3-40/180/600 6000/900/15
MAS Lt. Chaingun 26 24 12 3-40/200/800 10k/1500/16
GWI Radiance 26 20(5) 50 3-50/100/200 16k/2500/17
GWI Illuminator 26 21(5) 30 3-150/400/2k 25k/4000/18
GWI GodsBlaze Light Plasma Rifle 26 30 20 5-50/300/500 65k/10k/20 Burst 3/6/10
MM6 Pulse Gun 26 28stun 50 5-10/30/60 25k/4000/18 “K” = “KO”
MAS 50mm Grenade Launcher 26 Grenade 6 5-25/200/500 6500/1000/15 Single Fire or Burst
MAS Med. Chaingun 25 27 20 3-120/500/1k 25k/4000/18
MAS Hvy. Chaingun 25 29 20 3-250/1k/2k 40k/6000/19
GWI Annihilator Plasma Cannon 26 39 10 3-125/500/1k 1.3m/200k/27 Burst 6/15/25
MAS Rockets 26 29 3 100-1.5k/4k/6k 350k/50k/24 Missiles 10k (20) each
Capital Laser 26 38 – 10-500/5k/20k 500k/75k/25 Also found in Tharkold & Kadandra
50mm Grenade 26 27 B6/15/40 650/100/10
+Plasma 26 +2 +1/+1/+1 x250% (+2)
+Smart Round 26 x150% (+1) Heavy Weapons +2
Plasma Melee Weapons Tech Damage Price 1 Std Plasma Cell/week
Dagger 26 +5/19 1300/200/12
Broadsword 26 +8/22 3000/500/14
Whip 26 +12/27 6500/1000/15
Vehicles Tech Kmh/mph/value Man. Wt. Pass TOU Price Notes
Peugeot Destrier 26 600/400/16 +3 13 1(2) 12 30k (23) Jump DN 0, FN Sanctifier
Archangel Trans. 24 1600/1000/18 +2 19 8 20 2.25m/15m/36
Uriel Fighter 24 3750/2345/20 +4 23 1(0) 22/+3 7.5m/50m/39
ECM, 2 Devastators or Hvy. Chainguns, 6 Rockets
Angel VTOL 26 1000/600/17 +4 21 2 31 10m/1.5m/31 3 H Nose and Wings
Flying Ark Carrier 26 2250/1400/19 0 25 2(100) 27 160m/25m/37 30k kg/2 HT/12 HV/16 LV/100 Troops
Peter Frigate 24 65/42/12 140 44 $3.5b/52.5m/48
ECM, 2 Missile Launchers (80 Rockets Each), 2 155mm, 4 Annihilators (A40 each), 1 Archangel, 3 Drone Uriels
ECM 26 x150% (+1)Cancels Smarts, +2 to avoid Sensors
Screens 26 x250% (+2)Energy Damage -5, as per Armor Screens.
Due to improvements in sensory cybernetics, related to reverse-engineering Tharkold implants, Cyberpapal implants now have up to four systems.
FFO Eyestealer: Stores hundreds of retinal ID patterns in its memory and can mimic any of them. The Eyestealer has a laser scanner that can record new patterns from living subjects or subjects that have been dead for three minutes or less. It is necessary to maintain direct eye contact with a subject for 10 seconds, at a distance of 10cm or less, in order to record his retinal pattern.
DATAS Sonar: Generates sonar ranging signals, which allow movement as if sighted even in total darkness or with vision otherwise impaired. It grants a +3 to all find totals to locate objects that would be visible to normal sight in daylight. It cannot read print, or distinguish texture or color.
When a character uses Sonar, his location is automatically known to anyone in the area with any form of high-frequency sonic detection gear. Including DATAS Hi-Freq or Sonar.
Sonar operates off of a power cell and needs recharging about every three months.
Truthear: This is a voice stress analysis unit that can measure stress patterns in a speaker’s voice and can attempt to verify whether she is telling the truth. The user can generate a Deduction +3 total against the speaker’s Mind or Charisma (whichever is higher) to detect a lie.
Truthear also can offset the effects of verbal manipulations, revealing the speaker’s actual nervousness, intention to deceive, etc. It raises the user’s resistance value against verbal trick, charm, or persuasion by +3. If the speaker is telling what she believes to be true, then the user’s resistance to trick, charm, or persuasion is reduced by three.
Touchmike: Acts as a microphone picking up vibrations in walls, windows, or other thin barriers, allowing the user to listen in on conversations in adjoining rooms. Inputs can be routed through any Auditory implants the user has, enhancing the signals.
Injector Sacks: Slicers, Slashers and Fangs can be equipped with injectors to pump drugs or poisons into victims of a successful attack.
Electro-Weapon: These weapons shoot a jolt of electricity into a target on contact. The weapon does normal damage, but if the target takes any shock damage, increase the shock damage point value by 3 points.
Electroweapons use a standard power cell. This requires reloading or recharging after the weapon has been in use for 20 rounds. Electroweapons may also be constructed of as Monofilament weapons. Melee cyberweapons, such as Slashers or Slicers, may be made as Electroweapons as well.
5-Slot Chip Holder: an improvement in Chipholder design, this implant may hold up to 5 Chips of various design.
DatChip: Improvements in data encoding allow these chips to hold 20 to 40 Datablocks.
Data Type Datablock (db) Size
Still Photos 2000 pictures/db
VX Recording 12min./db
Program Storage Program Size in db
Datafile storage File Size in db
UltraCAD Design Pattern Value in db
Referential Material Skill adds -1 in db (Scholar +3= 2db)
ActChips or MemChips Provides a Skill Bonus of +1 to +5, skill bonus= db
FN Legionnaire and Liberator: These are both for sale to Free France and are used extensively by the Free France Army, with some sales to Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, and other European countries that benefit from Tech 26. The latter’s Strength bonus does not stack with Cyberlimbs. Mounted Weapons are at -2 To-Hit if the suit is not jacked in.
GWI Smite Heavy Assault Rifle: optional underslung MAS Grenade Launcher.
MAS Light Chaingun: Fires in bursts only (ammo is rated in bursts). Can be fitted as an arm mount for Heavy Power Armor.
Overload: all Cyberpapal Energy Weapons may overload as per the rules in Tharkold Realmbook page 118.
GWI Radiance and Illuminator: requires two power cells. Damage in parenthesis is armor defeating. Note Screens ignore this and reduce the damage by 5.
GWI GodsBlaze Light Plasma Rifle: This is a handheld rifle with internal plasma cells.
MM6 Pulse Gun: If a “K” condition is scored, it is treated as a “KO”. “KO” is treated as “KKO”. Additionally, if the target has any cybernetic implants, the damage is lethal.
MAS 50mm Grenade Launcher: This is a very heavy weapon, and requires either a crew or a Strength of 15 to carry. Light Vehicle Mount.
MAS Medium Chaingun: Light Vehicle Mount
MAS Heavy Chaingun: Heavy Vehicle Mount
GWI Annihilator Plasma Cannon: Requires one plasma cell per shot, magazine can accommodate up to ten cells. Heavy Vehicle Mount.
MAS Rockets: Heavy Vehicle Mount.
Capitol Laser: Very Heavy Vehicle Mount. Since the weapon is powered by the fusion engine of the vehicle of fortification it is installed in, it has effectively unlimited ammunition. This weapon is also found in the arsenals of Tharkold and Kadandra.
Smart Rounds: The accuracy bonus is cancelled by ECM.
Plasma Melee Weapons
If unpowered, the dagger and broadsword reduce their damage by 2. The whip is reduced to STR +2/18.
Peugeot Destrier: Speed Value -2 (half) if carrying a passenger.
Flying Ark ay carry 30,000 kg or two hover tanks, or 12 heavy vehicles, or 16 light vehicles, or 100 troops in combat gear.
Peter-Class Frigate: The backbone of the Cyberpapal Navy both on Earth and Magna Verita. Heavily armed with missiles, ballistic and plasma cannons. Some replace the Annihilator Plasma Cannons with Capital Lasers for long-range punch. Additionally, 3 drone Uriel fighters and an Archangel transport are stowed in a hanger below the aft deck.
Drone: A variation of CyberControls, costs the same as standard. The pilot is linked via GodNet and Satellite.
Cosm: Magna Verita
Tapping DN: 19
Purpose: To cleanse Christendom of corruption
Powers: Strength +9/24, against enemies of faith also does Spirit +6 spiritual damage. When used as a Holy Symbol, provides a +3 bonus. Also acts as a Talisman of Magna Veritan reality.
Group Power: Uplift
Restriction: Requires Faith: One True God, Templar, or Christian to wield, otherwise functions as a normal broadsword (STR +6/21)
Description: A Templar’s Broadsword, which once belonged to Jacques Demolay, the last grandmaster of the order. Set with two rubies and two sapphires in the hilt.
Spear of Longinus
Cosm: Magna Verita
Tapping DN: 16
Purpose: Grants victory to the wielder
Powers: Acts as a Talisman of Magna Veritan reality. Damage Value STR +9, Range 3-5/25/40.
Group Power: Shift Possibility
Restriction: Requires some form of Christian faith to tap, even if the possibilities are to be used for an Unchristian purpose.
Description: A heavy Roman spear, stained with the Blood of Christ.
Cosm: Magna Verita
Tapping DN: 18
Purpose: To lead the righteous into sin
Powers: Once per act, the bearer may use the Temptation miracle. The Shard provide Focus.
Group Power: Create Talisman
Restriction: Requires Faith: Children of the Fallen
Description: There are thirty of these coins in existence. These are the coins paid to Judas Iscariot to betray Christ.
Shard of the True Cross
Cosm: Magna Verita
Tapping DN: 20
Purpose: To save and heal
Powers: Once per act the bearer may use Healing, Cure Disease, or Cure Poison miracles. The Shard provides Focus.
Group Power: Create Talisman or Life Thread
Restriction: Requires some form of Christian faith to tap.
Description: The True Cross was shattered into splinters, and hundreds may be found across the world. Some of these posses Life Thread, but others have Create Talisman.
Sidebar: Cyberpapal Relics
Few Shards exist for this young reality, and most are cybernetic implants that once were integrated into exemplars of the faith
Arm of St. Gerard
Tapping DN: 19
Purpose: To defend the faith from heretics
Powers: STR +10, with integrated Monofiliment Slashers doing STR +5 damage, and GWI Godbeam with Smartgun link (Damage 21(5) Ammo 50 Range3-100/300/500). Cyber Value of 12 (for those who meet the faith requirement, this is reduced to 6).
Group Power: Create Hardpoint
Restriction: Requires Faith: Cyberpapcy or Martineism. If the bearer does not have a Trigon CyberSkel to handle the load of this implant, it only provides STR+5.
Description: A chrome right-handed Trigon Magnafique cyberarm, sculpted to fit a muscular male. This once belonged to a Church Police Commander responsible for putting down a riot in Avignon, Magna Verita following the desertion of Antipope Francis Remoir.
Eye of St. Jean
Tapping DN: 17
Purpose: Holy Relic to defend the faithful
Powers: Holy Symbol (Faith: Christen +3), CSI Eyekill Mk. IV (to-hit +3 with Smartguns, Cyber Value 0).
Group Power: Insight
Restriction: May not be used by those of other Faiths (Optics will not function, Cyber Value +4) and Tapping DN +10/27.
Description: A CSI Eyekill Mk. IV component, which may be integrated into any Cyberoptic. Formerly belonged to a Renegade Hospitaller who died saving Singapore from General Avery Wellington.
Throat Mike of St. Emile
Tapping DN: 19
Purpose: To proselytize the unbelievers
Powers: Persuasion +3, Holy Symbol +3, Throat Mike, DATAS Boomer, Cyber Value 2. Comes with an Auditory Implant with CyberHam Reciever and Decoder, Cyber Value 4.
Group Power: Herald
Restriction: Requires Christen faith that accepts cybernetics.
Description: A cybernetic Voicebox, which can be used to send radio messages and amplify the bearer’s voice. This once belonged to a Jazuit who was martyred in the invasion of New England.
Tapping DN: 18
Purpose: To access the glory of the GodNet
Powers: J-Jack or EpiphaNeur neural jack, Cyber Value 2, Holy Symbol +1, Talisman of Cyberpapal reality.
Group Power: Create Talisman or Net Gate
Description: These neural implants once belonged to devout Netrunners who died online while fighting the enemies of the faith, or the Cyberpapacy.
Net Gate Group Power
Use Cost: 12
Range: base reality skill value or special
Effect: creates a gate for travel through the GodNet
The Group Power is a derivative of Gate. The Gate is two meters in area, and appears at a spot two meters or less away from the lead character. The other side is Netspace in the same physical location. This power allows access to the GodNet, Grid, or other Virtual Reality Pocket Dimension- or Spiritual Pocket Dimensions like the Dreamtime on Earth, or the Spirit World on Magna Verita.
Each round in which the gate is open, the lead character must generate another reality total against the difficulty number or the gate will collapse. Once the lead character has entered, the gate closes, and the characters may travel about as they please. Eating is problematic, and may require magic or miracles. Once the group is finished, they may reopen the gate (requires a new reality total, but no possibility expenditure). They may exit at a different location from their entry- and may even cross from one system to another before exiting. For example Entering from Marseilles on Magna Verita, traveling to the Kadandra sector of the GodNet, and from there access Kandandra’s DataGrid, and leave via a network connection in Hub City in the Democratic Alliance.
Magna Verita, on the surface seems to look very much like Earth. However, the world, and the universe around it, couldn’t be more different. Magna Verita is a flat disc, and the universe orbits around it.
The absolute center of the universe is Jerusalem (0oN 0oW). The spot in Antarctica which is the South Pole on Earth is approximately 15o from the “bottom” edge of the disc.
Alaska is at the absolute western edge of the disc, surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. Siberia is at the absolute eastern edge, on the Oriental Ocean. Anyone sailing out will fall off the edge of the disc, most likely ending up in the Inferno. Likewise anyone braving the extreme cold and inhospitable mountains at the north and south edges will reach the edge.
Below the world is the Inferno. There are caverns across the world which allow the unwise to travel there. Inferno exists at an intersection of Magna Veritan reality, the Land Below, and the Spirit World (also known as the GodNet in areas of Cyberpapal axioms).
The sky above marks the borders to Heaven, and the sun and stars are part of that Celestial Kingdom. This is part of why Cyberpapal aircraft can not reach as high as the clouds, since it is not possible for man to reach Heaven through technological means. Any attempt results in the vehicle taking an automatic 11wound KD KO 16. Occupants take 31 + Law of the One True God modifier for their faith in Spiritual Damage (Atheists or Secular Dwarvenists take +10, or Damage Value 41).
Timeline of Magna Verita
1054 Schism between Eastern and Western Churches
1095-9 First Crusade preached by Pope Urban I
1099 Jerusalem captured
1119 Knights Templar founded
1123 Clerical marriages declared invalid
1146-8 Second Crusade
1182 Fall of Jerusalem
1189-92 Third Crusade
1201-4 Fourth Crusade; sacking of Constantinople
1209 First Albigensian Crusade in southern France
1212 Children’s Crusade
1219 Fifth Crusade
1228 Jerusalem recaptured
1232 Pope Gregory IX establishes the Inquisition
1248-51 Fifth Crusade under St. Louis of France
1252 Innocent IV allows torture to the Inquisition
1309-78 Papacy moves to Avignon
1312 Pope Clement issues a Papal Bull disbanding the Templars, Phillip IV permitted to seize their assets in France
1314 Templar Grand Master Jacques de Molay is burned at the stake,
1337-1419 Franco-English War
1378-1417 The Great Schism begins with two Popes
1409 Council of Pisa: three Popes
1414 Council of Constance. Benedict XIII (Avignon Pope) is poisoned by his successor, Benedict XIV, who does not attend the Council.
Histories of Earth and Magna Verita diverge.
1415 Benedict XIV hires mercenaries which wins the Battle of Agincourt for France. Henry V slain, England collapses into civil war.
1418 Benedict XIV excommunicates Roman Pope and sacks Rome.
1419 France defeats, absorbs Burgundy, Charles VI endowed with England by the Pope, killed at the Siege of London. Pope lays claim to France and England. Black Death ends.
1435 Spanish Crusade launched, Spain falls by 1440. Moors driven into Morocco and pursued east.
1440 Peasants’ Revolt (Franciscan attempt to curtail Papal Corruption) savagely crushed
1453 Constantinople falls to the Turks
1456 Gutenberg prints the first Bible. The Great Halt begins.
1489 First Index of Banned Books
1492 Columbus discovers the Americas
1519-1521 Mexican Crusade
1520 Constantinople recaptured, Greek Orthodox and Jews forced to convert.
1521 Holy Land recaptured
1523 Martin Luther burnt as a heretic
1525 Egypt captured by the Papacy
1528 Persia captured
1532 John Calvin disappears into the hands of the Inquisition. Brasilian and Biruvian Crusades
1564 Destruction of Mecca, Inquisition begins systematic eradication of Islam.
1583 European Heretics begin flight to the Americas
1591 Songhai Crusade, beginning of Sub-Saharan Crusades
1600 Indian Crusade
1644 Chinese Crusade
1692 Salem Witch Trials
1776-81 American Crusade
1841 Julian III declares the world to be united under Papal rule, Orders Julian Bible published (following year)
1890-1995 Jean Malraux gains the Darkness Device, begins new Crusades
Organizations and Personages
Cyberpope Roger-Bernard I
A consummate politician and PR man. Roger-Bernard not only convinced the College of Cardinals to elect him over Archangel August-Challier and Grand Inquisitor Bernard-Jenet, but also persuaded much of CyberFrance to forget the Malraux Heresy, reject the Maquis resistance, or Republican government in Paris, and put their faith in the Cyberpapacy.
His foreign policy is often referred to as “Malraux did it”. Putting the blame for the most egregious of human rights violations and the invasion itself on his predecessor, while not repudiating any of the benefits the Church gained from those acts. This has appeased the governments of North America and Europe, including Germany. He has even sent envoys to Rome, claiming to seek a reconciliation, or at least peaceful relations with Earth Catholicism.
He has denounced Aysle (both Light and Dark) and the Akashans. This rhetoric, coupled with economic and technological benefits lead to the South American Fator Humano welcoming in the Cyberpapacy.
While GWI, and other major Cyberpapal Megacorps went public before his elevation, he has not objected to this action. Instead, the Church has bought a controlling interest in the Avignon-based firm, and much of the outstanding stock in several others.
His plans include engineering a terrorist attack in Marseilles, which will target the Maquis in that city, while justifying expansion into North Africa.
Aware of Heketon and the Gaunt Man’s betrayal, the Cyberpope has been very light in condemnations of the Godless Marketplace Corps, Heretical Nile Imperials, and the heathen savages of the Lost Worlds. Instead focusing on Orrorsh, Aysle, Tharkold, Lereholm, Nolava, Aztec Empire and of course the Antipope.
Antipope Francis-Remoir I, Pontiff of the Avignon Church in-Exile
Francis-Remoir was always zealous, though flawed. Now he sees it as a mandate from Heaven that he must be sinless, and lead his flock by example. He employs flagellation and self-mutilation to curb any sinful impulses he might feel. He has had two slaves convicted of witchcraft, and burned to end affairs he had been engaged in. He is unaware of the son one of these produced.
Francis-Remoir understands that the Apocalypse is here. It is the duty of the Pope to lead the faithful against the forces of the Antichrist, Roger-Bernard, and his minions from Hell.
The Magna Veritan Pope has put his attention foremost on the War against the Fallen and the Cyberpapacy. In the realm on Earth, many stormers and storm knights from other realms are simply presumed to be witches or heretics. They must repent, and face judgment, but they are not the Pope’s primary concern.
Francis-Remoir will not tolerate heresy or sin among his Church. He has had the Inquisition investigate even the Curia itself, in order to ensure that the Army of God is pure.
The College of the Way
The College originally consisted of 10 Cardinal-Bishops, 20 Cardinal-Priests, and 30 Cardinal-Deacons. The Cyberpope (and Antipope) personally appoint Cardinals, and both have created new Princes of the Church to fill gaps in their ranks.
The Cardinals act as the Pope’s councilors and assistants, and as his legates to the farthest corners of Magna Verita. They also head the various Curial departments. As a ruling body, they are exempted from religious service. Most do not even attend mass. Some, in the Cyberpapacy, to maintain appearances, have had complex programs created to allow a VX image of themselves to attend masses in the GodNet.
The Cyberpope created new Cardinal-Deacons from Core Earth. Three of these are scientists from the Côte d’Azur, who are treated to the luxurious lifestyle of all Cardinals. In reality they wield no power, but the Cyberpope values the suggestions and opinions of the Cyber Council on cyberware and the GodNet.
Three Cardinals were sucked into the GodNet during its formation and were transformed into the High Tier Angels of the GodNet. Cardinal-Bishop August-Challier, a “cousin” of Malraux, entered the GodNet on his own free will and acts as the Cyberpope’s Legate in the GodNet.
The Cardinal-Bishop is, however, an ambitious man, who sees the GodNet as a way of expanding his own power at his “cousin’s” expense. Cardinal-Bishop August-Challier rules the Angels of the GodNet from Babel Central. His position within the GodNet provides him with an ideal opportunity to spy on the Cyberpope and also to meddle with data to suit his own purposes. The Cardinal-Bishop is too shrewd to make any overt moves against the Cyberpope, but he has learned as much about the GodNet as any being in the cosm.
The other three Cardinals within the GodNet are all loyal to the Cyberpope and administer the areas of the Net for him. Cardinal-Priest Peter-Renier guards the gates of Heaven, and Cardinal-Deacon Julian-Cartre oversees the creation of the HolyVids. Cardinal-Priest Christopher-Luguar took great delight in being in charge of Purgatory, but is now a prisoner of the demons in control of the sector.
The Apostolic Chamber
This chamber administers Papal finances. Headed by Cardinal-Priest Emile Delboius (Cyberpapacy) and Rene-Aurelian (Antipapacy), it collects taxes from around the Papacy and makes available dispensations for crusades against the infidel. Following the false Papacy’s expansion to a world power, its offices have grown dramatically. In rooms in Avignon, Magna Verita, thousands of scribes collate and administer a vast fiscal empire.
In the realm of the Cyberpapacy, the Apostolic Chamber has benefited tremendously from the cybernetic transformation. Vast areas of the Avignon data bases are taken up with its accounts.
Cardinal-Priest Emile Delboius
During the confusion of Malraux’s Martyrdom (heresy) and the corporate secularizations, Emile siphoned large amounts of funds, and had a vast palace built at Saint-Tropez, with a large staff of servants drawn from suspect minorities and cartagras.
His indiscretions were excused by the new Cyberpope when he negotiated new terms with GWI, and the other corporations.
Born in Lima, Biru. Rene previously oversaw the gold mines of that Archdiocese. The new pope has made him responsible for providing all the funds necessary for the New Crusades. He knows that failure means death. To this end he has agents in the mines of Biru, Argentine, and Mexico, as well as the smithies of the western hemisphere. Any slackers or thieves are dealt with swiftly and harshly by the Penitentiary.
Each year thousands of Papal decrees pass through this department. Hundreds of rooms in Magna Verita are filled with its output. These range from instructions detailing the administration of the Papacy’s estates to the finer details of what exactly constitutes heresy.
In the Cyberpapacy, Roger Bernard is concerned with ensuring that his rule is unquestioned within his territory. The vast resources available
to him in the form of cybernetics have been classified by the Chancery. New departments have been created to keep a record of all those fitted with legal cyberware.
The Chancery is headed by Cardinal-Priest Jean-Pierre (Cyberpapacy) and Francisque Blanchard (Antipapacy).
The Cyberpope’s Inquisitors may be fanatical in their pursuit of heresy, but even the most sin-stained heretic can be accepted into the flock of the
Cyberpapacy. All it takes is a sheet of paper and a data entry in the GodNet. All the heretics have to do is join the Crusade against heresy, and they’ll receive an Indulgence.
Indulgences are also for sale to the discreet. The prices vary with the extent of the sins absolved, from 1,000 francs for mere peccadillos to 25,000,000 francs for serious, publicized cases of heresy or resistance to the authority of The Church. Indulgences are issued by the Chancery
and bear the Cyberpope’s seal. They absolve sinners of their sins. Indulgences place people technically beyond the reach of the Inquisition, and
announce their return to the faith. As long as a devout life is led, the owner of an Indulgence has nothing to fear.
However, an Indulgence from the Pope is not a license to continue to commit sin. It absolves past sins, not future ones. Anyone accused of committing heresy after the date their Indulgence was issued, could still face the terrors of Inquisition.
The Avignon Church-in-exile has less tolerance for sins. Where once the laity might buy absolution with mere money, now those sinners must also join the Crusade, and offer their lives to end the Malraux Heresy, and defeat the forces of Satan.
Jean-Pierre knows everyone’s dark secrets (since he has records of everyone’s indulgences). He could destroy any member of the curia if he wanted. Instead he has become the power behind the throne, acting as a personal advisor to the Cyberpope.
His private records would be invaluable to the Resistance – or to his rivals.
Cardinal-Priest Francisque Blanchard
Secretly a Cyberpapal agent. Francisque fears the antipope’s fanaticism will kill everyone. So he secretly crossed over to Earth, and made contact with Cardinal-Priest Rogerio Gabriel, leader of the Pax Dei in South America. Francisque converted, and underwent cyber-surgery, returning to the cosm as a spy for the Cyberpapacy.
He uses his position to help hide those with Cyberpapal sympathies from the Inquisition, and uses black mail to compel loyal but sinful clergy to inform him or sabotage the Antipapacy.
Legal matters are dealt with by this department headed by Cardinal-Priest Jacques-Christopher (Cyberpapal) and Raymond Montagne (Antipapal). All litigation passes through its chambers, from non-payment of taxes to charges of incompetence. It is responsible for maintaining discipline and the smooth operation of the Papal bureaucracy.
Converting the Heathen
Monks and priests who work for the Penitentiary are in charge of converting the heathen. This is an outgrowth of the fact that dealing with heathen has always been a tricky legal matter, treading lightly around the grounds of heresy. Avignon Popes eventually decided that those who understood the law best were least likely to inadvertently cross the line of heresy when dealing with the heathen. The Penitentiary has flourished under this assumption.
The Cyberpope is not one to deny the chance of salvation to his people. Everyone, including Jews, Muslims, the godless and heretics are given a chance to convert. This is a sign of his magnanimity. Admittedly they are treated as second-class citizens, who will be ultimately contained within ghettoes and watched carefully to ensure that they embrace the Cyberpope’s teachings completely. Even heretics who willingly confess
their heresy and repent are accepted back into the fold. But those who cling to their heretical beliefs are shown no mercy. They are rooted out by the
Jacques-Christopher recognizes that Ebenuscrux is the true higher power in the cosm. He worships it, providing corpses for the Gospog fields, and providing manpower for any task the Darkness Device requires. In return, he has benefited more than any other cardinal, and nearly as much as the new Cyberpope.
Cardinal-Priest Raymond Montagne
Raymond is a former inquisitor, newly appointed to his position. He had discovered his predecessor was helping heretics to flee to Earth. The Inquisitor, having secured evidence, arranged for the former cardinal to be crucified alongside almost a dozen sinners who might otherwise have escaped judgment. For his service, Pope Francis appointed him the new head of the Penitentiary.
Still an Inquisitor at heart, he works in the realm to convert the heathen with the Fear of God.
Council of Monitors
The Council of Monitors is headed by Cardinal-Priest Rene-Clairvaux. It is based (physically) in Avignon and has responsibility for monitoring all activities of the GodNet. It traces the origin points of calls and dispatches Church Police to arrest illegal users.
The Electronic Trail
When a GodNet monitor or cyberpriest detects suspicious activity in the GodNet, he is supposed to send a VX messenger to Babel Central and exchange routes. In observance of six centuries of protocol, the messenger must stop at each exchange along the route and inform the Abbot Monitor of six pieces of information: where he is bound, who the message is for, and from whom the message comes, how long the message is, which exchange he just came from, and which exchange is next. The VX messenger then moves on to the next exchange.
At the end of each week the Monitor Abbot sends VX messengers to each exchange to which he is connected. Each Abbot messenger carries
the list of all messengers routed through the Abbot’s exchange that week who should have next arrived at this exchange, and the rudimentary information on the message. Each Abbot monitor compares these incoming lists with the list of all VX messengers which did arrive. Any missing messenger, or discrepancies in the message information is flagged, and cyberpriests are put on the case.
This primitive form of “error-checking” worked well in the communication system on Magna Verita where response time was measured in weeks,
and where an Abbot might see a dozen messages in a week. Now tens of thousands of church messengers flow through the exchanges each week, and
messenger who is a week missing has probably given the Resistance a huge window of opportunity with which to hamper operations in the GodNet.
As bad, the regular, scheduled transfer of information by the Abbot messengers makes an ideal target for deckers. A week’s worth of who has been talking to whom, where, and for how long, often gives valuable insight as to the current priorities of the Cyberpapacy.
Many Cyberpapal officials recognize that this method of message transmission and recording is crippling the Cyberpapacy’s efforts, particularly against deckers. A few have tried tinkering with the system, but with little success.
Cardinal-Priest Rene Clairvaux has the Cyberpope’s blessing to circumvent this problem in the Council of Monitors. VX messengers with his seal may bypass the exchanges, making long distance links to Babel Central from whichever exchange they are located at. Bernard’s staff personally logs the messages, but allows Babel Monitors and Jackpriests to respond to the messages without observing protocol. This change allowed Babel Central to quickly reinforce data vaults which had previously had to rely strictly on local resources. Dozens of deckers were fried during the initial weeks of
Rene chafes at the constant oversight and usurpations of August-Challier and his angelic cronies. He has secretly been cultivating heretic netrunners to use in eliminating the false angels.
The Cyberpapacy is geared towards ensuring the subjugation of the flesh to the spiritual will of the Pope. In practice, the Pope is an absolute monarch with the power of life and death over all his subjects. Ultimately, the Inquisition is the body which ensures that society conforms to the Pope’s wishes. Anything else is classified as heresy. Malraux’s Inquisition is headed by Grand Inquisitor Bernard-Jenet.
Within Magna Verita there was no popular opposition to the Inquisition, but disdain for it existed within the Church. The Inquisition is the upholder of the faith; the public execution of a heretic is an event for celebration as it maintains the purity of the faith. In the Cyberpapacy, the Inquisition has met with antagonism. The Cyberpope and Inquisitors credit this to the wide-scale extent of heresy allowed to proliferate under the Roman Church on Earth. (They have no official explanation for the proliferation in the cosm). The Inquisition seeks to eradicate these heretics by restoring the Church to its rightful position as the basis of society.
Within this viewpoint, individuals have no rights, they function only for the sake of the whole of society. An individual who impinges on any article of faith immediately forfeits any rights which the law would normally offer. Aberration from the faith is a sign of intellectual arrogance, but also an act of rebellion against the authority of the Pope. It is an infectious disease which must be burned out of the body of society.
Inquisitors see themselves as doing God’s work. Loyal Catholics have nothing to fear from them…but the Inquisition defines what constitutes
loyalty. Only those who seek to undermine society and pervert God’s will become the targets of the Inquisition.
In the Cyberpapacy this authoritarian and pragmatic view has gained many converts. In this world gone mad, there are many who accept the Cyberpope as their savior. It is their solemn duty to report heretics, for they oppose the will of the Vicar of Christ and allow the Antichrist to grow stronger. Those who resist the Inquisition are a threat to society; these heretics must be dealt with accordingly.
The Inquisition answers directly to the Pope. No other member of the Curia can interfere in any action of the Inquisition. Nor would they want to. In doing so they would be proclaim themselves to be heretics and subject to the enquiries of the Inquisitors. No one, except the Pope is beyond the reach of the Inquisition. He uses the Inquisition to maintain his position and power. His word is law. His Inquisitors ensure that he is obeyed in all matters.
The Inquisition has been active in its war against heresy. The faithful are encouraged to turn their neighbors and colleagues in. Many have done so,
helping to further fuel the fear and uncertainty gripping the nation.
Grand Inquisitor Bernard-Jenet
Bernard-Jenet is a devout Cyberpapist, and has continually replaced his sinful flesh with flawless machinery. He has replaced both eyes, ears, skeleton, tendons, legs, an arm with ShocKnucks (for the torture of heretics), GodLight, inter- and exodermal plating (without NeuraSkin), and a stimulant implant allowing him to go for days without sleep.
He pursues heretics and confessions tirelessly and without hatred or compassion.
Grand Inquisitor Marcel-Anton
A cunning sadist, with an army of spies. The Pope grants him leave to go anywhere, and question anyone, all in the name of protecting the Church and its congregation from the forces of Hell. Marcel-Anton was originally appointed by Malraux, but rejected the Cyberpapacy and fled to the Americas. He has used the division in the Church as justification, allowing him to torture suspected heretics to his heart’s content. Piety is not important to him, though he pays lip service in order to remain in the good graces of the Pope.
The Cyberpapacy has transfigured many of its loyal priests and nuns into angels (The Choirs of Cherubs, Thrones, Dominions, Powers, Virtues and Angels). These beings serve the church within the GodNet, protecting Babel Central, the Holy Exchanges and Heaven. They also combat the forces of Hell and heretical Netrunners in the other reaches of the GodNet.
Throne (Cardinal-Bishop) August-Challier, GodNet Legate
A “cousin” of the late Jean Malraux. Since his ascension he has proclaimed himself a Prince of Heaven, and rules both that sector and the Holy Exchanges. His angels are often sent to explore the Catacombs and Kadandra link. He intends to bring the Word to both realms, but is facing heavy resistance. With demons in control of Purgatory and the Datapaths to Trash, the Legate has called upon more JackPriests to be sent into the Net to reinforce the Church’s rule of the GodNet.
August-Challier believes he is the rightful heir to the Cyberpapacy and Ebenuscrux, and that Roger Bernard’s appointment as Cyberpope was in error. He uses his position, outside the scrutiny of the Inquisition to plot his rise to power.
Cherubim (Cardinal-Priest Peter-Renier), Guardian of the Gates of Heaven
Head of the Heavenly Host. He works endlessly to defend it. He ignores, and is out of touch with, the politics of the Temporal World.
Throne (Cardinal-Deacon) Julian-Cartre, HolyVids
Julian-Cartre spends much of his time manifested on Earth, where he utilizes the higher Social Axiom for market research and tips on propaganda and brainwashing techniques. He then uses this to form strategies maximize the saturation and effectiveness of the Holy Vids, in much the way Pre-War Hollywood execs promoted their movies.
Domination (Cardinal-Priest) Christopher-Luguar, Former Overseer of Purgatory
A prisoner in Hell, tortured endlessly by a variety of demons. Recently, the Warlock has asked that he be remade into a Balrog. Once his transformation is complete he will lead a force from Hell against the Cyberpapacy.
The Church Police form the military and police arm of the Cyberpapacy. They assist Inquisitors and cyberpriests and nuns in their duties, and are stationed in cities, towns villages throughout the Cyberpapacy. The Church Police also act as front line troops and are equipped with the latest vehicles and weapons from the factories of Avignon.
Originally, all Church Police were crusaders from Magna Verita. They now include elements of the French armed services and police who have been fitted with Faith Chips and Homers. Right-wing hit squads have also been integrated into the Church Police. Leadership positions are, however, retained for natives of Magna Verita.
The Commanding General has subordinate Generals commanding CyberFrance, Quebec Liberte, Argentina, Nuncio Security, and in the Patriarchies of East and West Europe, the Holy Land and the Orient. Beneath them, each archdiocese in their realm has a colonel. Each diocese has a captain in charge of its Church Police detachment.
Mathieu Desrosiers, Commanding General of the Church Police
Desrosiers is from Magna Veritan Norway, is 2 meters tall and 150kg, and has the visage of his Viking ancestors.
He believes Ebenuscrux is a Divine Instrument, and serves with unquestioning loyalty. The Cyberpope has to constantly restrain him from initiating hostilities with heathens in areas the Church is engaged in diplomacy.
Desrosiers continues a tradition of rivalry with Grand Master Modest of the Hospitallers. He considers their reputation to be overblown, and that they are too closely tied to GWI rather than the Church.
Hospitallers are an order of elite warriors who trace their origins back to the First Crusade in the Holy Land. They operate independently of the
Church Police, but Hospitallers are frequently attached to Church Police Units. Hospitallers also guard Godware Hospitals throughout the Cyberpapacy.
Grand Master Modest Baptiste of the Knights Hospitaller
Modest works closely with Gods Word Industries. CEO Marin has provided him with stocks, and the Order with priority equipment upgrades.
He considers the General Desrosiers and the Church Police to be amateurs, who rely on sheer numbers and automatic fire to catch a single heretic. As such, he expects them to yield to the authority of his knights.
Grand Master Vincent Nazaire, Avignon Church in-Exile Hospitallers
Vincent Nazaire acts as the commander of the Magna Veritan invasion force in Brazil. He is staunchly opposed to the Cyberpapacy, finding Cybernetics (and Biotech Implants) to be abominations in the sight of God. However, he has come to suspect that the Roman Catholics are not wrong. He realizes that this belief, if discovered by the inquisition would lead to his destruction, but he does not relent.
He has deliberately focused the Crusaders under him against Cyberpapal, or other overtly heretical enemies, while largely ignoring the “misguided” local Church. He has also taken it upon himself to question captured Catholics, and to investigate their scriptures. Always he is careful to denounce it before the inquisitors, though this can not continue much longer without their official notice.
Grand Master Jacques de Molay of the Knights Templar
An Earth native, and direct descendant of the Templars of old. A romantic, who is in love with the chivalry of that simpler time. Like all Templars, he does not trust the Catholic Church, but he has aligned his Order with Free France. The Magna Veritan Templars also respond to his leadership. In the cosm, they thrive in the frontier regions, but have maintained a stronghold in Portugal as well. Jacques advises that neither Church can be trusted, but neither can the Templars afford to weaken Christendom’s defense in the face of the Adversary.
Among the many corporations of the Cyberpapacy, God’s Word Industries, Clear Sight Industries, and True Spirit Enterprises are the most powerful, and their representatives advise the Cyberpope on matters of Cybernetics.
Antoine Marin, GWI
Secularization has proven incredibly profitable – both to the megacorporation and to the Church. Under Marin’s leadership, GWI now sells Tech 24 weapons, vehicles and other products on five continents. Cybernetics remain restricted. This has brought the positive side of the Cyberpapacy into homes, winning hearts and minds far more effectively than Jazuits.
Raphael De La Fontaine, CSI
Raphael and his senior execs are under the scrutiny of the Inquisition, since CSI and FFO have begun producing identical designs. Is it Heresy or Industrial Espionage, and if so, by which company?
Sabine Perrault, TSE
The CEO is a figurehead. The chairman of the board is a VX construct. The true power is a woman. Sabine Perrault was a senior exec in the company that became TSE. Under the Cyberpapacy she was relegated to a mere secretary. But she used her business acumen, and personal finances, and assumed controlling interest and covert leadership of the Board. The Inquisition suspects that TSE has been infiltrated by Kanawa. They haven’t noticed the woman sitting outside the CEO’s office. Sabine is loyal to the Church, but disagrees with the view that women are inferior.
She is currently engineering the takeover of PLP.
Many years ago, the man who would rise to lead the Church in these times of Tribulation, succumbed to the sins of the flesh. And while he was away, serving in a Crusade to another cosm, the slave he had fornicated with gave birth.
What he never learned, she was a priestess of the Fallen. And their child was raised by her coven. Dedicated before he was born to the service of the Lightbringer. His True Name has been concealed. With the death of his mother on his father’s orders, no mortals know it.
He is known only as, the Warlock.
Following the True Death of the Gaunt Man, the Darkness Device Heketon initiated a contingency plan that the pair had previously devised. Heketon, now infused with tremendous amounts of Possibility Energy, sought out agents to allow it to subvert the home cosms of the other Darkness Devices, as well as continuing the invasion of Earth.
The Obsidian Heart found the Warlock, and made him an offer. The power to bring about all his desires, and in the process aid Heketon’s agenda.
The Warlock acts in the capacity of a High Lord, planting Stelae, Gospog fields, and arranging Maelstrom Bridges. Thus far neither the Cyberpapacy or the Avignon Church-in-Exile realizes that he exists.
1) Destroy the Church. The Warlock wants to see the Avignon Church destroyed. And encouraging the two schismatic factions, as well as any other Christian factions that have emerged, to fight each other serves this purpose admirably.
2) War in Heaven. The Warlock will not be satisfied with merely destroying the Church, but wishes to see his lord, the Fallen Angel, Lucifer, return to challenge the throne of Heaven.
3) Spread the Gospel of Hell across the Cosmverse. The Warlock has arranged for numerous covens to travel to Earth and spread the faith of the Fallen. But this is only the beginning. Once Magna Verita has burned, he wishes to see his followers spread to the other worlds of existence.
Aysle – the Warlock has a cordial relationship with Uthorion. Both have expressed a willingness to cooperate, or share magical resources, if the other is in need. The Light sees magic as a tool, neither inherently good or evil. This can be used to spread Magna Veritan doctrine.
Akashans and Jakatts – both are hostile to the forces of Magna Verita and the Cyberpapacy. This makes them adversaries to the Warlock.
Orrorsh – the Warlock is on favorable terms with Victor Manwaring and Skutharka.
Lereholm and Nolava – both Sabathine and Basjas wish to win the Warlock as an ally (against the other). Should he find himself in trouble, he might take advantage of the situation. For now, he strings both along.
The Warlock is aided, directly – or more often, indirectly – by covens of witches.
Covens refers to any group, regardless of size or composition, that gains dark powers from the forces of Hell. These include witches and warlocks, who gain arcane power, which they may wield at their own whim – but which opens the user to becoming a vessel for the demonic source of that power. It also includes the priestesses (and priests) known as the Children of the Fallen. Children of the Fallen, still make pacts with demons, but rather than possessing power of their own, they pray to their patron for profane power.
Note: in other cosms Witch and Warlock have greatly different meanings. A witch might even be considered a benevolent spell-user. While warlocks are always considered to be betrayers or practitioners of the forbidden. In such cases, witch may be a gender-neutral term applied to both sexes. This is not the case on Magna Verita. Since all magic comes from the devil, and is a perversion of the will of God, there is no such thing as benevolent magic in the cosm. As such witch and warlock are gender specific terms for such arcane practitioners.
A coven may be as small as a single individual – generally if a witch has struck out to form a new coven, or is the sole survivor of an Inquisitorial raid. But generally the smallest number will be three. The largest number of actual witches in a coven will be thirteen. Should the coven grow larger it will split into smaller covens, spreading out in order to further the will of their dark master(s).
Covens will have limited contact with each other. This prevents the Inquisition from forcing a witch to reveal the names or locations of others, since she can’t betray those she has not met. Witches will use secret signs and codes to recognize each other. Though the Inquisition can learn these over time. As such basic recognition symbols are generally marked in public places as seemingly innocuous things, which might be overlooked, or passed off as innocent. A flower with seven petals or interlocked rings on the sign of an inn for example. Once inside, the visitor might then use a particular phrase or word in order to indicate her own heretical nature. If the local witch wishes, she may then reveal herself.
A coven will pledge itself to a specific demon, and through him (or her) to a particular sin, such as wrath, greed, or lust. This patron determines the sort of spells the coven will learn. Wrath demons, like Balrogs, teach Fireball, or Increased Strength, while Succubi or Incubi will certainly teach Charm or Heightened Charisma.
In a world where men are so thoroughly in control in every aspect of daily life, it should be no surprise that at least two in three members of a coven will be female. And entirely female covens are quite common. All male covens are quite the exception.
Children of the Fallen often poses as members of the clergy, performing the role of subservient nun, or dutiful priest; using their position of power to corrupt the laity, or other clergy. It is also common for such dark clergy to serve as a part of a coven with witches, generally in the role of advisor, serving as a go-between for the coven and their master.
There is some division in the ranks of the heretics regarding the two realities in the cosm. Some see their own reality as the superior, and seek to forcibly convert their sisters in the opposing axiom set. Other covens see the warped realities as irrelevant to their purpose, and ignore their differences, while working to tear down both schismatic factions of the Church.
By the time of Pope Julian III, Magna Verita was divided into 10 regions, known as Patriarchies. These are sub-continent sized areas, with an appointed Legate, referred to as a Patriarch. These Patriarchs answer only to the Pope, and have authority over all the archdiocese in their realm.
In a world where communications required months, or even years, it was essential to have these surrogates to insure the Church’s supremacy. However, with the rise of the Cyberpapacy, and the resulting schism, these regions have often become independent – answering to the Pope of choice, both, or neither. The Americas and Australias are firmly Magna Veritan, Europe and the Orient fall under Cyberpapal axioms. The rest of the cosm varies.
Note: A location name in Parenthesis indicates the Core Earth analogue to the location in question. When discussing Archdiocese in this chapter, we are generally discussing the realm of a cardinal, and not that of an archbishop, unless otherwise noted.
Sidebar: Cardinal Archdiocese of Magna Verita
Atlantic – Cardinal-Bishop
Ohio – Cardinal-Priest
Great Plains – Cardinal-Deacon
California – Cardinal-Deacon
Mexico – Cardinal-Priest
Canada – Cardinal-Deacon
Brasil – Cardinal-Bishop
Venesuela – Cardinal-Deacon
Argentine – Cardinal-Priest
Chile – Cardinal-Deacon
Biru – Cardinal-Deacon
Australia – Cardinal-Bishop
Melanesia – Cardinal-Deacon
Indonesia – Cardinal-Deacon
Philippines – Cardinal-Deacon
Palestine – Cardinal-Bishop
Arabia – Cardinal-Deacon
Syria – Cardinal-Deacon
Persia – Cardinal-Priest
Bombay – Cardinal-Bishop
Calcutta – Cardinal-Deacon
New Delhi – Cardinal-Priest
Himalayas – Cardinal-Deacon
Pakistan – Cardinal-Deacon
Samarkand – Cardinal-Priest
China – Cardinal-Bishop
Japan – Cardinal-Deacon
Korea – Cardinal-Deacon
Malaysia – Cardinal-Deacon
Mongolia – Cardinal-Deacon
Siberia – Cardinal-Deacon
Egypt – Cardinal-Bishop
Ethiopia – Cardinal-Priest
Libya – Cardinal-Deacon
Algiers – Cardinal-Deacon
Morocco – Cardinal-Deacon
Ivory Coast – Cardinal-Bishop
Cameroon – Cardinal-Deacon
Congo – Cardinal-Deacon
Madagascar – Cardinal-Deacon
Zimbabwe – Cardinal-Priest
Russia – Cardinal-Bishop
Poland – Cardinal-Priest
Austria – Cardinal-Priest
Hungary – Cardinal-Priest
Greece – Cardinal-Deacon
Romania – Cardinal-Deacon
Nicea – Cardinal-Deacon
France – Cardinal-Bishop
Spain – Cardinal-Priest
Italy – Cardinal-Priest
Britain – Cardinal-Priest
Germany – Cardinal-Priest
Switzerland – Cardinal-Deacon
Norway – Cardinal-Deacon
Capital: New Avignon, Brasil (Sao Paulo); Seat of the Antipope Francis-Remoir I.
August-Francis realizes that he, and the College created a monster that will see the world burn for heresy. To that end, he made an attempt to make the Pope a martyr. But the assassin’s bolt missed the target, and hit him instead. This has elevated him in the eye’s of Francis-Remoir. He has become the Pope’s personal confidante, above suspicion, even by the Grand Inquisitor.
So now, while he is safe from investigation, he can attract no potential allies, since any attempt would be deemed an attempt to root out traitors. So the Patriarch is forced to watch helplessly as it all crumbles around him.
Witches effectively control the western half of the Archdiocese. From there they are working to subvert the eastern half, as well as assisting in a rebellion to the north.
A deadly Plague has devastated the tribes still hiding in the Amazon Jungle, survivors have fled, spreading the disease to coastal Brasil and Venesuela. Even the miracles of the Antipapacy find the illness difficult to cure.
New Avignon has swollen with the influx of the families of Crusaders, as well as the refugees from the west and expatriates from Europe. A few years ago, the population was about a quarter million, but it is now nearly twice that. The rapid increase has lead to considerable problems with sanitation, and the supply of clean water and adequate food.
The city has a large Jewish population, which has served as overseers for the native slaves. The Inquisition is watching closely for signs of the Jewish heresy in their ghettos.
The capital of Bon Air is ironically covered in a foul cloud from the continuous smithing that is requred to provide arms and armor to the Crusades on Earth, and across the Atlantic.
The largest source of gold in the Avignon Church-in-exile’s domains. The archdiocese has large mining operations, as well as extensive weaving and textiles.
Capital: New Clairvaux (New York City)
The patriarch is guilty of numerous violations of at least half the Commandments, notably adultery, covetousness, false witness and murder. As such, the new pope would have him executed in an instant. To avoid this, Guillaume makes a very conspicuous display of piety and religious fervor. He makes certain that his domain always exceeds the demands of New Avignon for crusaders, arms, or other exports. All the while he is investigating the rumored gate northeast of his capital, which connects with Earth near Boston.
The people of the east coast, following their spiritual father’s (apparent) lead are fiercely loyal to the pope in New Avignon. Recruiting for the Crusades is being done at every church in the land, with able-bodied young men volunteering by the thousands. Smiths are forging weapons nonstop. And all industry is being turned to support of the effort. It is understood that failure will mean the Antichrist will rule the world, and every soul will be perverted with unholy machinery.
Ohio and the Great Plains
The two regions, stretching over a thousand miles between the continents two largest mountain ranges, are experiencing a massive drought. Vegetation is dying at an alarming rate, and Famine runs rampant throughout the region. Many are fleeing east, where they are quickly pressed into the war effort. The red-skinned slaves are being abandoned to fend for themselves.
A coven of witches, about one hundred miles south of St. Richelieu have taken to river piracy. They have effectively blocked all traffic on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, stealing whatever they desire and slaying any resistance. The Archbishop at St. Richelieu has requested aid from the Cardinal at New Orleans in breaking these heretics.
One hundred fifty years ago, silver mines were discovered near St. Francis. This brought a massive influx of people from the Atlantic and Mexican Archdiocese, as well as from Europe. The mines are largely played out, but the realm on the Pacific coast, with its mild weather, remains the third largest region of the continent. Cité des Anges, St. Francis, Portland, and Duwamps all have over a hundred thousand souls.
The drought in the east has touched the southern, desert regions, but has had limited impact thus far.
Reformation priests and witches are both providing support to slave revolts throughout the southern reaches. Generally, the slaves will attack a village, then fade back into the jungles for safety. Their hit and run tactics have made it hard for the Church to effectively hunt them.
Capital: Port Innocent (Sydney)
Arnaud-Valerian has not had contact with the pope since he returned from the Papal Conclave of 1991, seven years ago. He has only had limited contact with India or the west in the last three. And the Orient is under the sway of the cyberheresy. All ships bound for other Patriarchies never return. There is no way of knowing if they even reached their destinations. Thus isolated, the Patriarch holds to his duty, and defends Christendom to his utmost.
As noted, Australians are loyal to the Antipope, but being on the far side of the world, they are effectively on their own. However, the more inhospitable areas have begun to slip from his grasp. Le Retour, always sparse and arid, is facing full Famine.
The larger islands have fallen to Plague, with inhabitants fleeing to the southern coast of Asia, or southwest to Australia. The latter seldom make it, and plague ships may be found adrift throughout the southern Oriental Ocean.
Cardinal-Deacon Urbain is engaged in naval conflict, with hundreds of galleons, armed with ballistae and catapults, being employed against Peter-Class Frigates. Random fluctuations of reality decide these conflicts, with the Exile Churches miracles sometimes failing, or at other times, the enemy’s reactors and cybernetics shut down.
Recently, the Philipino forces made a successful raid against Hong Kong.
Capital: Peking (Beijing)
At eighty-four, Francois-Michel has installed BelleView 20-20s, DATAS Snoopers, a partial skeletal replacement, and an artificial heart. But he still feels the approach of death, and has petitioned for angelic translation.
A strict, but fatherly man, who is relatively faithful by the loose standards of the Cyberpapacy. In his younger days, he played politics like any cleric, but beyond the covetousness and greed inherent in the desire to rise to the top of the Church’s ranks, he has few serious sins. And even the natives, over whom he has ultimate authority, generally view him with high regard.
Heathen Corps are producing unsanctified cyberware. This began as a collective of Cyberleggers, programmers, engineers and heretical priests. But with the discovery of UltraCAD technology, they grew, incorporated, and turned chopshops into Cyberhospitals. These corporations are threatening the Churches supremacy in Macau, Shenzhen, Chungking, Wuhan and Sian. The Patriarch has ordered the Church Police and Inquisition to make ready for a Crusade to root out the Corporate Execs and their followers.
Shinto Heretics have cut off the Holy Exchanges to the mainlands, taken the city of Edo (which they have renamed Tokyo), and proclaimed a new Emperor. Factory production in the heretics’ city is at maximum, and it is only a matter of time before they seek to drive out the Church Police at Kyoto.
The Cardinal-Deacon has ordered an increase in the subliminals in the Holy Vids, and the installation of Faith Chips in as many of the laity as is feasible.
Refugees form Indonesia have brought the plague. The dead rot in the streets, while the survivors remain in sealed towers. When the plague gets in – with shipments of food or other essentials – it sweeps the building rapidly.
The clergy remain jacked in, using Mana and Attune Mechanism to remian in the ‘Net indefinitely. The laity may access them exclusively via Virtual Experience.
Patriarch: Andre Maxime
Bombay, Calcutta, Delhi
Throughout the subcontinent, Famine, Plague and Death have free dominion. One in three, native and Franks alike, are dead already. This includes significant portions of the local Church. The cardinals of Bombay, Calcutta, and Delhi are all dead. This has left the young archbishop of Bombay with the unenviable duty of leadership.
Archbishop Andre Maxime has sent messages to Avignon, and the various Patriarchs, and has promised his allegiance to anyone who can save the Archdiocese. His messengers, even to nearby Pakistan, have yet to bring back any word.
Hospitallers out of China have taken the capital city, and establishing a Cyberpapal Hardpoint. Their stated purpose being to ‘combat the ongoing drought in the region.’ But their presence also aids in securing roads between the Orient and Europe. The local church officials and their soldiers have fled to caves in the nearby mountains. There they plan their retaliation, and await the return of their messengers to Bombay.
Patriarchs: Marcus-Casimir (Cyberpapcy), Simon Lambert (Antipapacy), Bartholomew (Knights Templar)
Portions of the region are under Cyberpapal axioms, while the rest of the Patriarchy is effectively a Mixed Zone, shifting from one reality to the other at a whim.
Jews and Templars hold Jerusalem itself. There is a tenuous truce between the two groups, and shared custody of the Temple of Solomon. Knight-Commander Bartholomew and the Sanhedrin (council of elders) have the framework for a deal in which the region will belong to the Jews, while Christians will be allowed free access.
In theory, it might work.
But many younger Jews want reprisals for centuries of abuse. They have secured a cache of automatic weapons and even some cybernetics, which they employ in fighting the various forces seeking to retake the city.
Local Saracens have revolted, overthrowing their Frankish betters. They effectively control the entire peninsula. But once they drove out the Franks, their unity ended. Without anything greater than the individual tribe to believe in, the Saracens have turned to infighting. There are at least a dozen major factions, each controlling an oasis, or city.
Some, like the city of Bahrain have access to advanced technology stolen from the Cyberpapacy. While others, like Medina, rely on sheer numbers and simple steel.
The central portion of the peninsula shifts constantly between realities, creating deadly reality storms.
Patriarch Simon Lambert fears the locals will follow the example of their neighbors to the south. To prevent an uprising, he has been conscripting Saracens and sending them against Jerusalem. His own forces are held in reserve to defend Baghdad.
The Cyberpapists have regrouped at Tyre. Marcus-Casimir demands the immediate recapture of Jerusalem. Whenever reinforcements arrive from Europe, they are sent directly into combat. His Church Police commander, eager for blood, is only too happy to follow orders, and send troops to the slaughter.
Knight-Commander Nicodeme LeBeau of the Hospitallers objected. He wanted to build up troop strength and make a concentrated effort. This disobedience was seen by the Patriarch as direct defiance of the will of Heaven. He and his knights have fled. As criminals, they can expect no aid from Avignon. So they have taken to carefully planned raids to secure supplies, and attempt to recruit survivors of the Patriarch’s madness.
Capital: Cape of Good Hope
Loyal to the Pope in-exile, Thaddeus-Gallus is heavily involved in plans to take the Crusade to the Cyberpope’s door, and reclaim Avignon. He is more of a warrior than is typical of his fellows, and will personally take part in the Crusade when it begins. This obsession would leave him open to being deposed by a more ambitious, political, cleric. But with the Apocalypse at hand, there are few willing to risk eternal damnation.
Most of Africa is under Magna Verita Axioms, though occasional freak storms do bring manifestations of Cyberpapal reality.
The Antipope has moved one hundred thousand crusaders to the Cape of Good Hope, intending to march north, capture Maisonblanc, and then cross the Straits of Gibraltar into Spain. The Avignon Church-in-exile intends to amass an addition one hundred fifty thousand over the next six months.
Plague runs rampant throughout the interior of the Congo. The larger communities controlled by the Church have been gutted, leaving only smaller villages – some unsupervised by the Franks.
Demons have openly overthrown the Church and now rule the island directly. They are forcibly converting the population to their worship. Witches and Priestesses now act in the capacity of Jazuits/Jesuits and Inquisitors to combat the ‘heretics’ of their domain.
A Reformationist Sect, the Presbyterians, has organized. Named for the legendary kingdom of Prester John, their chief dogmatic point is equality for all men regardless of the color of their skin. This is quite popular with the natives, and has some following among the outnumbered Franks as well.
North Africa is nominally under Magna Veritan axioms, though the Patriarch is looking to Avignon for help. He feels that the old ways have failed, and that Francis-Remoir and his exile Church can not save North Africa, or Magna Verita. His emissaries have been received, and Roger-Bernard is prepared to extend his hand. However, it will necessitate Church Police, Techpriests, Hospitallers and GWI Cyberhospital personnel. And enough stelae to stabilize Cyberpapal reality in the region.
Egypt and Ethiopia
A plague has swept north from the Congo, through Ethiopia, and is working its way into Egypt. With the Patriarch seemingly helpless, the native Saracens are on the verge of rebellion.
Libya and Algiers
Drought in the Sahara has brought Famine to the northern coast. And worse, the fish along the coast are gone, leaving food shortages in their wake.
A maglev line runs from Maisonblanc to tunnels at Tangier, crossing the straits to Cadiz, Spain. While power for the line is generally unavailable, as the region falls under Magna Veritan axioms, it is necessary for the Cyberpapacy to protect it. As such both cities have been placed under Church Police control, with the aid of hardpoints and talismans. Full stelae installation is coming in the near future, along with further Church influence.
Matheo-Aquila believes that the Apocalypse has begun. And he believes that it is the direct result of Francis-Remoir and his followers rejecting the Word of God as handed down to His servant Jean Malraux – Blessed be his name. The proof of this is the signs of Tribulation which are found almost exclusively in regions where the Antipapacy holds sway.
The patriarch has ordered the Church Police and Inquisition to make rooting out any remnants of this false religion from his domain. This is to take priority over any lesser offense. Including murder, theft, or even the manufacture and installation of unsanctified cybernetics.
He has also called for the ordination of additional jackpriests and recruitment of more jacknuns. He is certain that the plain of Gehenna lies somewhere in the GodNet, and it will fall to the Churches’ faithful to gird themselves with programs and force the host of Hell back to the pit.
Cyberpapal forces have done a good job of eliminating organized resistance through most of the archdiocese. Agents of the Inquisition are everywhere. Even your own family might report you if you stray from the will of God.
But there are exceptions. Like much of Eastern Europe, there has been a resurgence of Orthodox Christianity. In Russia, Orthodoxy has support of no less than the archbishop of St. Petersburg. He does not advocate resistance against the Cyberpapacy, and encourages only passive acts of disobedience. It is for this reason – and fear he might be a martyr – that the Inquisition has not moved against him.
Poland and Greece
Also strongly influenced by Orthodoxy.
Orthodox Christianity on Magna Verita is similar to Roman Catholicism, with the exception that there is a desire to eliminate central authority – and the corruption that such power brings. The corruption of the Church makes this popular in part. Though with the rising chaos in the world, some feel that now is not the time for rejecting a unifying leadership. Over all the desire is to peacefully reshape the Church. Though there are some – particularly those who have lost loved ones to the Inquisition – who advocate open revolution.
Austria and Hungary
Martineism has found followers in these Archdiocese.
A coven of witches in Bucharest have installed fangs, and assumed the roles of vampires, gluttonous spirits of the night. They use their magic to ensnare Church Police patrols, and leave the bodies, minus cybernetics and blood to be found in the morning. These horrific acts have the laity in their homes before nightfall – excluding those who must work the night shift. Even these, believing the Church can not help them have turned to the protections of folk tales. Which only strengthens the belief in the very mysticism the coven practices.
The Constantinople Metroplex is over twenty-six centuries old, and has the largest population of any city in the cosm, at over 25 million. The exact number is uncertain at the moment, due to a massive influx of refugees from the Holy Land. These have established shanty towns on the outskirts of the metroplex, as they seek employment and more permanent settlement. Able bodied men are able to find work either in the factories, or in the Crusades. But since the latter means going back into the chaos they just fled, most will not take up the cross willingly.
Crime in the outer sectors has of course greatly increased. Some is hostility of the cities’ natives against these unwanted guests. But the disaffected homeless have also taken to hunting in gangs, robbing and even killing in an effort to find food or replace the wealth the lost (or believe is due them).
Not a few have found work as bodyjackers, slicing cybernetics from their victims for sale in cyberlegger chopshops.
Patriarch: Gerard-Pierre (Also serves as Papal Legate in the cosm)
Roger-Bernard has taken a soft stance, allowing sin and heresy to flourish in the interests of making friends with the unbelievers of Earth. Gerard-Pierre, long a loyal lieutenant to Jean Malraux, has no such weakness.
Gerard-Pierre has a flawless public image. To the laity, he is an exemplary man. Even among the Church, he has kept his sins quiet. Though rumors of his peccadilloes are in the Catacombs. He has managed to contain the information so well by rewarding his ex-lovers with generous promotions.
His current mistress is Mother-Superior Marie Rosette, who serves as the senior nun for the Palace of the Popes. She was recently transferred to a Spirit Chip, and installed into a Cartagra made from the body of an eighteen year old rebel. Like her predecessors for generations, Marie has access to the second best spy network in the city, if not the cosm. Her sisters are as much a part of the background as foreign slaves, and can listen in on vast amounts of data. So long as the Patriarch keeps his mistress happy, she will keep providing him with details on what his rivals are planning.
The old nation-states of Europe were dissolved over twenty-five generations ago, their languages are dead. Modern grudges stem from geography, not race or nationalism.
The London Sprawl includes Buckingham Cathedral, The Cardinal of the Islands seat, and the districts of Canterbury, Dover, Winchester, and Oxford. It is a hotbed of Protestant Heresy and Witchcraft.
Ireland is suffering a Famine, a sign that the Tribulations are not just visited upon those who reject technology.
Overcrowding is a fact of life in the islands, and recruiting for the Crusades is quite brisk.
Home to several naval ports, and the Steelworks of Toledo. The shipyards at Lisbon, Barcelona, and Valencia, are busy building frigates, transports, and even submarines, for the eventual use in the American Crusades.
Rome is a backwater, which was strategically stripped of any reminders of its history as the seat of an Empire or the Church. The Tech Surge has largely ignored the peninsula, leaving it decades behind the rest of the Cyberpapacy.
Agents of the Roman Catholic church have infiltrated, and are supporting a reformation movement.
Several industrial cities, particularly Munich, have had reformist activity prompting an increase in Church Police and Inquisitors.
Witchcraft is rampant in the Foret Noir, and they have recently struck the GWI automotive works at Munich, and have equipped a large band of brigands with hovercycles and cars. With these, they have begun hit and run raids against corporate and Church transports throughout the region.
The forbidding nature of the northern peninsula has long been a factor in prompting the young men to take up the Cross. And this has not changed. Nearly one in four have already volunteered for North Africa and the Holy Land.
The Inquisition has noted an upswing in witchcraft in recent months, and are in the process to working with the Jackpriests to track the offenders down.
Avignon sprawl includes Marseilles, Nice, Monaco, Montpillier, and Orange. It might have expanded further, but the Alps and Mediterranean block expansion in those directions. Avignon is headquarters of the Cyberpapacy, all its branches, and several megacorps. A transportation and communications hub for Europe, Asia, and the Holy Land. It has a population of about twenty million.
The Palace of the Popes is a city within a city within a city. A sprawling complex of churches, rectories, museums, and private mansions of the curia. The museums hold the artifacts of over a dozen cosms, with large portions sealed off to hide a variety of heretical items considered too valuable or beautiful to be simply destroyed. (There are no Eternity Shards among these exhibits).
GWI has over a dozen factories throughout the metroplex, and employs over a third of the city – including about four million slaves from throughout Magna Verita and its various conquests. The corporation also employs around 1.5 million women in minor capacities. Of course all supervisory and executive positions are held by white males. There is a difference between efficiency and being foolish.
GWI’s arms and automotive factories are in the process of upgrading from Tech 24-25 products to Tech 26. These use power cells reverse engineered from Tharkold and Kadandran technology, as well as caseless ammunition. The newer factories also employ UltraCAD and MakerMods. GWI holds this technology as proprietary – though the Church has access of course. Any private citizen found to possess such technology can expect harsh treatment by the Penitentiary.
Malraux Memorial is the newest and largest Cyberhospital in the city, with an excellent therapy ward, and the best doctors in the cosm. The adminstrators – unaware of the true story of the late Cyberpope’s death, are lobbying to change the name to St. Jean Malraux Memorial.
The Avignon Church still rules in the southern two thirds of the country, with pockets of Corporate Fiefs. Resistance can be found, but mainly along the northern border. The central regions are predominately faithful. Resistance focused against the Cyberpapacy, Corporations are not generally targeted.
The rapid growth of Avignon has swallowed the southern half of the Region, and conflict between urban industrialization and rural agriculture is escalating. If not for the loss of much of the nation’s farmland to the heathens in the north, the Cyberpope would fully support the former. As it is, the farms in the departments bordering the alps are vital.
Marseilles is a city under corporate rule. The resistance has not been completely eradicated, but it was gutted by the Inquisition during the papal crisis. The survivors eke by, smuggling cybernetics out, and food in. They act only to counter the worst offenses of the Church. But then, they number only a few dozen.
Cyberpapal Naval Command is also in Marseilles.
The Albigensian heresy has become an open secret. The Cyberpapacy knows they are still there, but does not but in the effort to eliminate them. This is because the Cathari are taking a strategic view. When they do strike, there is the inevitable round of crackdowns. Once peace returns, the cycle begins again.
The Cyberpapacy has lost control of much of the Trans-Pyrenees. In addition to the rampant violence of the cygoyles, the region has also been occupied by a company of Templars. A new offensive is in the works.
Lourdes remains a popular pilgrimage destination, and even Christians of other sects have visited. Julian-Cartre has saturated every aspect of the city with holographics and VX imagery to inspire conversions and heightened fanaticism.
The ruins of Parentis have become a base camp for an elite force from Free France. These operatives engage in hard assaults against Church targets – not always with a concern for civilian casualties.
Poitou-Charentes, Limousin and Auvergne
Agricultural regions on the border of Free France. Open conflict along the border is a fact of life. The Church keeps the loyalty of the populace via Faith Chips. Church Police in this region are always heavily armed, and have extensive armor support.
Bourgogne and the Franche-Comte
The vineyards of these regions have been claimed by the Church. A few remain for the pleasure of the clergy, the rest have been redesignated for general produce. The plastics industry is vital to Cyberfreance, and a key target for their neighbors.
In the later years of the war, Storm Knights organized a coalition of French Army units, rogue Hospitallers, Templars, and Parisienne resistance. They began with the capture of Bretagne and Calais. But before plans for the liberation of Normandy and Picardie could be formalized, the Cyberpapacy handed them an opportunity. Jean Malruax’s final address.
Before the Cyberpapacy could recover, the resistance had liberated these regions and five others.
Free France is a Republic (formally the Sixth Republic of France), with corporate influence, and a member of the European Union. It is lead by President Jacqueline Charbonneau, a former leader in the PLM.
Carnac, the Templar stronghold, stands at the southeast corner of this desolate former agricultural region. Efforts by science, miracles, and even magic are slowly restoring the fields.
Loire and the Centre
The garden regions of Free France. The Cyberpapacy desperately needs these back, and the fighting is intense. When the Free French army took the Centre, they captured two cardinals before they could flee south. Both are proving useful sources of information.
Normandy was hit hard in the invasion, like Bretagne. It is also in recovery, and is faring somewhat better. Rogue military units (brigands) still stalk the region.
High gang activity is still a major problem in the capital. FFO, Marlenes, Trigon, and FN have all established a presence in the city, and their security forces are getting involved. The Sun Kings and Crazies are both major targets.
Picardie, Calais, Champagne-Ardennes
Recruiting for the army has greatly eased the unemployment that had ravaged the regions.
Fabrique-Nationale’s primary factories are in these border regions. Though a major target for the Church Police, their security forces, as well as the FFA maintain a large defensive presence, as well as offensive forces directed into the Franche-Comte.
FN Legionnaire and Liberator armors are generally considered to be superior to their GWI alternatives. The Sanctifier and FN-GAR SMGs are popular with storm knights and special forces, but the FN-MBR Carbine is generally considered inferior to the GWI Hellfire. The FFA maintains a stockpile of the older weapons, though it is expected that they will need to replace the Hellfire in the next two years. FN is working on a counterpart to the GWI Smite HAR or Hellfire Mk III.
Belgium, Monaco, and Switzerland
The latter two are Roman Catholic Protectorates, depending on VSS and Catholic recruited soldiers for their protection against a new Cyberpapal occupation. Belgium is in chaos, but has become a part of the EU.
Cardinal Deacon Claude-Rousseau sees his nation as too isolated, too far from Avignon. With the focus on South America, Quebec is being ignored. They face embargoes from NAFSA and the EU, unemployment is high, and shortages are common. Rousseau is agitating for conflict with NAFSA in the hopes this will force the Cyberpope to offer greater assistance.
There is some public opinion in favor of reconciliation with Canada, which is a recruiting tool for the resistance.
The Cyberpapacy was invited in by the Fator Humano – the government of South America. This was possible thanks to well placed Cyberpapal agents and puppets in Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, and Uraguay.
The general belief is that the advanced technology and miracles of the Cyberpapacy could help repair the damage caused by the Akashans. The newly appointed Cyberpope seeded eight stelae zones from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires.
At Carnivale 1997, a Maelstrom Bridge was dropped. But before the Church Police could secure the realm, a second bridge fell. The Warlock’s agents had planted stelae as well. And the three northern zones shifted to Magna Veritan reality. With the corresponding deaths of thousands.
Cardinal-Priest Rogerio Gabriel
As head of the Pax Dei, Rogerio’s primary mission is coordinating with, upgrading, and eventually integrating the Catequils. He was born in Brasil on Magna Verita, and is ashamed of his homeland for rejecting the Cyberpapacy. He is that Rio de Janeiro, which should be a shining beacon of Cyberpapal prosperity, is instead wallowing in the filth of the dark ages. The defeat of the Antipope and his minions is his number one priority, so much so, he is even willing to talk truce with the Roman Catholics.
Rogerio believes, as most do, that Francis Remoir is also a High Lord. Cutting him off from the source of his power is a key goal to the conflict.
Caracas has a strong Cyberpapal presence, a naval base, GWI factories and a hospital. Should stelae be planted, the Cyberpapacy would prove a strong check against Aysle. However those resources are occupied in the conflict with the dark papacy, so it could be some time before this happens.
The eastern half the country is under alien axioms. Asuncion, and most of the region, are Cyberpapal. Local industry includes extensive steelworks and pharmaceuticals, which have benefited from the change. The Brazilian border, from Bela Vista to Montecarlo is under Magna Veritan occupation.
A prosperous nation. In addition to sheep, horses, soy and beeswax, it is also a major software producer. VX programming has become a major export. And Cyberdeckers a top import – for the resistance.
In Buenos Aires, like Asuncion and Montevideo, has seen mass recruiting drives of the able-bodied men recruited into the army, while women work the factories. This invasion has seen improvements in health, standard of living, and public morale – since propaganda has driven the populace into a fanatical zeal – focused on driving the Dark Medieval Church out.
Beyond the realm, the Pax Dei, aided by the Inquisition hunts Comaghaz cells – a convenient label applied to anyone who opposes the Church. On occasion they have actually infected heretics in order to provide evidence in support of their actions. Unfortunately, the hive mind was therefore warned by the new additions. It remains to be seen how the virus will react.
Pax Dei and Catequil agents known as “Antibodies” are deployed in areas near Chile. They wear GWI Chasseur or Armor of God, with full gauntlets, and enclosed helmets, to prevent infection. Squads are armed with GWI Hellfire Rifles with underslung grenade launchers. A heavy weapons specialist carries a GodsFire Plasma Rifle. Officers are armed with Radiance Laser Pistols. Their duty is to prevent the infected from crossing the border and causing a new outbreak.
The double invasion has damaged the effectiveness of the hardpoint of Cristo Redentor. The dominant zone covers the upper portion of the mountain, allowing the church at the statue’s base to serve as a refuge for Earth and Cyberpapal natives of Rio de Janeiro. Both Rome and Avignon have airdropped in food and troops. Cooperation between the two is fraught with tension.
The rest of Rio de Janeiro, along with Sao Paulo, Parana, Santa Catarina, northeast Rio Grande Do Sul, and southern Mato Grosso Do Sul have returned to the dark ages. The people have rejected modern technology and flocked to the protection of the Avignon Church (in-exile) against the coming apocalypse.
Details on the Domed World of Inferno are found in the Lost Worlds Cosmbook.
There is a dimension that pervades alongside the material world. Some on Earth know this as the Dreamtime. Where the Cyberpapacy overlaid Earth’s reality, it became the GodNet. But a Spirit World also exists on Magna Verita. It descends below to Purgatory and Hell, is ascends to Heaven. And from it, Angels, Demons, and other entities may watch unseen.
The Spirit World operates under the axioms and world laws of Magna Verita. Where Cyberpapal reality holds sway it is reformatted into the GodNet.
Beings in the Spirit World use their normal attributes, skills, and abilities, as if in the material world. Those with magic may possess the conjuration specialization Materialization. Celestial beings and others, such as the Horsemen, possess manifestation which functions similarly, but functions off the Spirit attribute.
Materialized or Manifested entities, if physically or mentally killed, simply return to where they came from. To truly destroy such a creature, it must be killed by spiritual damage.
Most demons, and other entities, have the ability to materialize from the GodNet. This materialization power is a form of conjuration magic, and allows them to exit the GodNet at a jack or other interface. To materialize unopposed requires a materialization total of eight. When materializing through a jacked-in character, that character’s cyberdeck operation value (Perception if unskilled) is the difficulty number. If a character has defenses against magic, specifically conjuration/ entity, these may be used instead of the cyberdeck operation value, if the decker so chooses.
The entity can return to the GodNet by touching a jack or other interface and generating a materialization total of eight.
Magna Veritan Entities may also materialize from the Spirit World. Doing so with out a jack is difficult. In areas where the two realities as close (such as the epicenter of a hardpoint) it is possible to cross at difficulty 8. Elsewhere, the difficulty is 11. It is possible to take others with, this is treated as a One-on-Many action.
Manifestation is a Spirit-based skill, but functions identically.
The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse
These four beings have been unleashed by the Lamb, and ride freely upon the surface of Magna Verita – and its realms. They are spiritual beings which may manifest from the Spirit World. It is unclear whether they serve Heaven, Hell, or something else. What is clear is that their power comes from the souls of the many cosms Jean Malraux and Ebenuscrux destroyed.
The Horsemen will not often directly confront Storm Knights or the forces of either Church. They travel where they will, do what they wish, and depart. If they are confronted, they will normally ignore the opponent, and proceed with their goals.
Famine rides a black horse, and carries a pair of scales. His power derives from the many who died as the life of their cosm was taken from them (the chaos created by the activation of stelae zones, such as those killed in manufactured tragedies, or those who were transformed into demonic creatures, or slain for gospog fields).
Plague, also known as Pestilence, rides a white horse, and carries a bow. His power derives from the misery wreaked upon their cosm in the name of Jean Malraux’s god (those tortured who would not convert).
War rides a red horse and carries a flaming sword. He is clad in blood red mail. His power derives from those stormers who died defending their realities.
Death rides a pale horse, and carries a scythe. His power derives from all those left behind after Ebenuscrux had drained their world of all Possibilities. He is the most seldom seen of the four.
There are choirs of angels which defend the faith of the Avignon Church-in-exile. Their powers and abilities are comparable to those found in the GodNet in the service of the Cyberpapacy or the Christian God of Earth.
High Tier, Guardians of Heaven and Councilors to the Pope. Shielded in a golden glow, these white winged angels wield fiery halberds.
Middle Tier, Warriors, stand between Hell, Purgatory, and Magna Verita. Surrounded by a blue halo, with white wings, and armed with shields and spears.
Low Tier, Watch over the Material World, Guardian Angels. White winged angels with glowing staves.
A virtual reality world that exists within computers. Created by the axiom wash of Cyberpapal reality over the Dream Time/Spirit World. Every home, office, business, church – basically everywhere – has uplinks to access the GodNet.
The Holy Exchanges, or the Promised Land, is the region made up of every Cyberpapal church computer system on Earth, in space, and in the cosm of Magna Verita. It is shaped like a glowing cross to users who first jack into the Net, and is the area where most GodNet activity takes place.
The Promised Land was named by Jean Malraux when he first entered the GodNet. He looked at the great data constructs as they formed and was awed by the power he had unleashed. Never before in his invasions of countless worlds had he witnessed anything so beautiful. Here was a land that sang with the voices of angels and shone with the light of heaven. Churches and cathedrals marked this wondrous land which was devoid of the sins of the flesh. It was a dream come true for Jean Malraux.
Within the Promised Land lie the data constructs of the Cyberpapacy. Huge data fortresses rise above a landscape dotted with glowing cathedrals, churches and monasteries. At the center of the cross is Babel Central, the primary monitoring facility of the GodNet.
Upon Jacking in, the user will appear in the virtual representation of their physical location. To go anywhere outside that construct, they must then pass through the nearest church – and be recorded doing so (unless they are a decker, and can slip through undetected).
The GodNet is present in Magna Verita’s Europe, Orient, and parts of the Holy Land and North Africa. This represents one segment of the Cross that is the Holy Exchanges. In order to cross to the other segments, one must pass through Babel Central.
The other three segments of the Holy Exchanges represent CyberFrance (and Free France), Quebec Liberte (and various nuncios), and South America. Access from each requires uplink to Firmament. In France this requires transiting to Venasque Cathedral. Quebec Cathedral serves as the primary uplink for that region. Rio de Janeiro was supposed to be the uplink for South America. But with the loss of that city, the uplink was reestablished in Buenos Aires. As new realms are created, the Holy Exchanges will expand.
It is possible to create an uplink, this requires a microwave uplink device – any satellite dish can be modified in short order to serve. Then the decker must conceal his illegal signal accessing the Firmament network (Net Manipulation DN 27). Afterwards, they may transit the rest of the Holy Exchanges as normal.
Babel means the gate of God. From the stepped tower of Babel Central, cyberpriests watch over their new land, ready to despatch Angels against transgressors within the GodNet, and Inquisitors and Church Police against those outside.
The construct of Babel Central has its origin in the Monitor Tower at Avignon. From hundreds of terminals, cyberpriests monitor and watch for movement in the Net. Through Babel Central lies the datapaths leading to the regions of Purgatory, Heaven, and Hell, as well as to the many church exchanges throughout the Net.
The walls of Babel Central rise in stepped levels toward the sky above. Lights flash around it constantly and circuitry-filled clouds float past its upper floors. Within Babel Central are thousands of cells, the contents of which are designed to awe and confuse intruders. Stairs and balconies jut out from the walls at unbelievable angles, and cell walls appear to be transparent, offering tantalizing glimpses into other cells.
Magnificent gardens set up to resemble views of the Garden of Eden are present in many of its data cells. Cyberpriests often come here to relax and soak up the HolyVid entertainments put on for their benefit.
The data vaults are light and airy, and are positioned at the end of long corridors. Within the vaults are data files which the Cyberpapacy has no desire to see fall into the hands of deckers.
Entry into Babel Central is hard, but not impossible. Using Shroud programs, deckers have entered its data vaults and escaped with highly sensitive files. Within Avignon are locked the Cyberpope’s plans along with thousands of computer analyses of projected actions and outcomes. The data vaults are massive, containing inventories of all cybernetic parts and components produced by the Cyberpope’s factories, plus just about every fact currently known about the Cyberpope’s new realm. The Chancery has already compiled millions of files on activities in France and other realms on Earth. Deckers who make it into Avignon’s vaults will be hard pressed to decide which files to take out with them – if they can make it out, that is.
Cyberpapacy Data Fortresses
Data fortresses are huge medieval castles that seem to sprawl over the terrain of the GodNet. Some are connected to churches or cathedrals; others stand alone to protect files from intruders and thieves. They contain high concentrations of data protected in an equally high concentration by Sentinels and cyberpriests. The Avignon Data Fortress is the largest of these fortresses, with hundreds of cyberpriests constantly jacked into the GodNet to monitor the defenses and operation of the Palace of the Popes.
Cyberpapacy Cathedrals and Churches
Cathedral and church constructs serve as exchanges and monitoring stations for specific areas of the Promised Land (and the departments and regions they correspond to on the outside). They also provide places of worship and confession for the masses, and hold data files containing information relevant to the running and organization of the church or cathedral that the construct is based in. The information they contain never gives a complete overview of Cyberpapacy plans and developments. Entry to Avignon is necessary to extract that kind of information. Nevertheless, the data churches and cathedrals do hold information that is useful for battling the Cyberpapacy on a local level. As these constructs often act as strongholds for the Cyberpapacy, they also make prime targets for Resistance strikes.
Church Police Garrisons
The constructs of the Church Police resemble small medieval castles. Data in the vaults deals with inventories of supplies, armaments, cyberware, troop numbers, and stations. The activities of the Church Police within an area can be discovered by raiding their vaults.
Monasteries and Abbeys
Research establishments appear in the GodNet as fortified monasteries and abbeys. These establishments deal with a vast variety of research projects, from new programs to new cyberware and weapons development. They make prime targets for deckers.
Organizations independent of the Cyberpapacy also have data constructs within the GodNet. They resemble hi-tech domes and tall glowing office blocks. Those in Cyberpapal controlled territory are open to the cyberpriests, as their owners fear the wrath of the Cyberpope, and were transformed to match the medieval architectural styles of Magna Verita.
In Free France, the religious influence of the GodNet is less pervasive and local users of the GodNet have developed their own idiosyncratic styles of constructs. For example, the Sun Kings’ construct resembles the Palace of Versailles, complete with multi-colored peacocks and fountains. The Mouvement National’s construct resembles a World War Two bunker with trenches and barbed wire defenses.
The known entry to Purgatory is via a huge, dark stairway that descends from the bottom of Babel Central. Along the way deckers pass through cells depicting all manner of sins and their punishments. The stairs finally rise up to enter a desolate plain covered in a dank,gray mist. The extent of Purgatory is vast, but it is impossible to say where one cell begins and another ends. Virtual selves ripped free of their bodies drift across the dark plain, bewailing their isolation and loneliness. Only rarely do these disembodied souls come into contact with each other, and then only momentarily.
Purgatory is not a place that most deckers willingly enter. It was where the Cyberpapacy conducted conditioning sessions and created spirit chips. Time has no meaning in this region. People who have only spent a week in Purgatory have claimed that they were there for hundreds of years.
In the center of the plain lies the construct of the Church of the Abyss: the controlling center of Purgatory and the former cybernetic home of the cyberpriests-turned-Angels who controlled its operations. It is now under the control of Hell.
The Church of the Abyss stands on a high rock pinnacle, its towers disappear into the ever-present mists, and Sentinels in the forms of gargoyles peer down ceaselessly onto the plain below.
Deckers captured by Demons, but who possess valuable skills, and even willing volunteers, are all brought to the Church of the Abyss. That is, their minds and spirits are brought there, for as part of the GodNet, Purgatory is not a place for the flesh. The bodies of deckers are left to rot wherever they reside. Their faithful’s bodies are kept on life support machines and fitted with chip processors to provide bodies for spirit chips when needed. When Demons are convinced that their charges have been sufficiently corrupted, they test them for loyalty. Those that fail are killed or sent to Hell.
The Cyberpapacy tries to contain access to Purgatory, with Thrones and Virtues clustered along the datapaths. However, the Demons bypass this by creating temporary links to the Catacombs or Holy Exchanges.
The pit of Hell can be reached from the edge of Purgatory or from cells bathed in flames which appear randomly throughout the GodNet. Hell is where the entities that were sucked into the GodNet during its creation exist. Within this region, Demons are led by three Archdemons whose demonic followers war constantly among themselves in this perverted cybernetic reality. From Hell, Demons venture out through the randomly appearing cells to devour deckers, cyberpriests and Angels alike.
The entities of Hell are secretive, preferring to prey upon lone deckers or cyberpriests and then slip back into Hell. Although the Cyberpapacy is aware of the existence of Hell within the GodNet, they believe it to be an area where souls are condemned to everlasting torment, rather than as the home of the entities. If they knew what went on in Hell, they would be far more reluctant to have the souls of heretics flung into it.
Hell is a deep, spiraling pit. Upon its numerous ledges, captives are tormented by Demons in a manner designed to match their supposed sins. The cells of Hell are configured to appear as a symbolic representations of the punishment of sinners. Burning deserts, deep mires, rivers of boiling fire, pools of muck, and trackless expanses of woodland fill its upper levels. Further down lies a lake of ice where sinners are frozen up to their necks. The souls of hundreds of heretics languish in torment within Hell.
But Hell is more than even what the Cyberpapacy and the entities know. It extends beyond the limits of the GodNet, touching upon the shores of distant dimension. What enters the GodNet via this path is beyond the power of Church, and some whisper that Hell is but an extension of the true Hell of religions throughout the infiniverse.
Heaven is an area of bliss and serenity where faithful cyberpriests are transformed into Angels, or else are further indoctrinated into the new cybernetic religion. Heaven is reached from Babel Central by ascending a glowing gold stairway into the sky above the GodNet. It is surrounded by a low wall which rises higher to block passage whenever a decker approaches it. Breach and Attack Programs cause no lasting damage to the gates of the wall, as they instantly restructure themselves to prevent access.
The gate to Heaven is guarded by a cherub who assesses all who come before him to enter Heaven. Of the cyberpriests who have experienced the rigors of Purgatory, the vast majority are allowed entry to Heaven, while a few are turned away and are consigned to the pits of Hell. Of the others who try to enter, most are turned back. A few are allowed entry through the golden gate to the area behind. Here they are given a taste of a cybernetic Heaven where the will of the Cyberpope, channeled through his Darkness Device, rules supreme. Those who witness this aspect of the Cyberpope’s power are left with no doubt that he is indeed the servant of his god. What they, and the Cyberpope, do not realize is that his powers derive from the Nameless One.
Heaven contains the heart of the Cyberpope’s Darkness Device. Within the glowing expanse of Heaven, the Darkness Device reaches out to encompass the GodNet and mold it to its own will and that of its master, the Cyberpope. Cyberpriests who come into contact with it are transformed into Angels. They reside in Heaven, ready to venture forth to do the Cyberpope’s bidding.
They are closely scrutinized to determine their suitability as tools of the Cyberpope. Awed by all they experience, most become his fanatical followers, believing totally in his mission to eradicate heresy and increase the earthly power of the Cyberpapacy.
It is here that the Cyherpope’s doctrine of redemption through cybernetics receives its fullest expression, and where cyberpriests undergo therapy to reduce their cyber values by reducing the cyber ratings of their equipment. It takes a solid week of net-inspired healing to reduce a cyber rating, and only one piece of equipment may be worked on in a single trip. The cyber rating of a piece of equipment may not be reduced below one. The character uses his faith value against his cyber value; result points are read on the Power PushTable, and the cyber rating is reduced by Power Push adds. A cyberpriest can lower his cyber value by as much as six points in a single trip.
Heaven, however, is not everything the Cyberpope or his Darkness Device think it is. It seems to extend beyond the limits that Malraux has access to, and he and his followers are barred from exploring this region. Additionally, benevolent entities in the GodNet, including higher levels of Angels than the ones working for the Cyberpapacy, claim to be servants of Heaven and a power that is opposed to Malraux and his False Papacy. Until more is learned, both Heaven and Hell remain mysteries to plague the Cyberpapacy.
The Catacombs is a region of the GodNet that is the rumored to be a safe haven for netrunners and others seeking to escape the watchful eye of the Cyberpapacy. As there are no exchanges in this region, Monitors cannot easily oversee activities here. They must send cyberpriests down into its dank cells to drive out the heretics.
The Catacombs’ cells are cared for by priests, monks,and followers of the True Church who have been fitted with neural jacks either as a result of the Cyberpapacy’s raids or to better work against the False Papacy. The Catacombs are used as meeting places, areas of true worship, and to prepare for raids on Cyberpapal constructs.
The way into the Catacombs is not easy or generally known. Many of its entrances lie within Cyberpapal constructs, secret datapaths hidden from deckers as well as from Monitors and Guardians.
Where do programs go when they are dumped? Where are files once they have been erased? Do they Simply disappear? No, they go to a region known as Trash.
Trash can be accessed from any construct, as all processors have connections to its haphazard vaults. Still, getting into Trash is hard, and getting out again is almost impossible. Gates into Trash range in difficulty from 18 to 23, but gates out of this region are difficulty 31 or better.
There are times when deckers have to go digging in the unending vaults of Trash, however, to reclaim lost files or programs, or even comrades who somehow were lost to Trash’s hungry gullet. It is rumored that there are entities within Trash that seek out programs and destroy them utterly, and if these exist they cannot tell the difference between a data file or a virtual self.
The last known region of the GodNet is the one that interests the Cyberpope the most. It is the remains of the virtual reality of Dr. Hachi Mara-Two’s data plate, the VX of Kadandra that helped create the Cyberpapacy. As the source of much of what Malraux now is, Kadandra is often visited by the Cyberpope so that he can learn about the original cyberworld (at least as far as he understands it).
Kadandra is unlike the vast majority of the GodNet, as it is built from happy memories and experiences. The region also has links to the DataNet of Kadandra. Kadandran Netrunners are able to enter the GodNet essentially at will, permitting them to provide assistance to Storm Knights anywhere on Earth or the invading cosms with access to an advanced computer network.
The world wide web, or information superhighway, is not sophisticated enough to support virtual reality. Generally a netrunner must link his deck to a computer that is attached, and then operate through it in the way they might use a slave link. The internet is too slow, and lacks programming for VX imagery.
Marketplace is working toward a virtual world, and netrunners can enter it via the realms in California, Japan, Korea, or Taiwan. The Network looks poorly rendered, like early CGI special effects, and reactions are slow and awkward.
Tharkold DemonGrid and JhouGrid
The Tharkold Realm in Los Angeles allows access into the DemonGrid, though Tharkoldu security and long-distance links make it difficult to traverse far into the cosm. The Hong Kong realm likewise allows entry to Jhougrid.
The Deep is the sea of night in which the regions of the GodNet float. It is the vast potential space of the cyber-dimension, and what else may roam its darkness is anyone’s guess. The Mad Monks of Wandrille are seeking to learn the answer to that question, but thus far none who have floated freely into the Deep have emerged to tell what they found.