Blackbird Dreaming

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Blackbird Dreaming


Preface

Gaist Heidegger's post-apocalyptic survival horror game using GURPS 4th edition. A cast of six, having survived the chaotic end of all days, has spent a year hidden away within a bomb shelter off in the hills of Michigan. With supplies finally running out, it becomes time for the survivors to emerge, and witness what has become of the world around them.

This article will at the moment serve as an anchor for transposing the background information into a concerted centralized format for easy reference and for the review of whomever finds an interest in the setting itself.

This game is in progress, and can be found here: http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=2545278

Background

The world finally came to an end, that was made abundantly clear across the media spread of pundits and talking heads, ticker updates and blogs--and those bedraggled men with cryptic sandwich boards had finally gotten their wish. Life ceased as anyone knew it, or ever cared to know it, in the mere matter of one summer afternoon. Heightening political turmoil, governmental dissonance, and the global market crashes of the major powers were simple catalysts for far more shattering consequences. There was no world war III, nor was there a nuclear apocalypse--at least, not like any foretelling ever laid out in times gone by. But the world as we knew and loved it is gone.

Across the nation nuclear silos remain abandoned and unused--their buttons never pushed. No jets were scrambled, no tanks were rolled out. No offensive was staged. There was martial law, yes--for a time. But little by little, what structure remained in place was swept away like that much dust--a dryness, and desolation creeping over the landscapes.

Bird flu? Hardly. But the birds definitely had something to do with it all--a madness took them, flock upon flock desperately trying to destroy themselves, as if to escape some looming terror. Tectonic activity off in the ocean, meteorologists parroting dismay--something about Marianna's Trench, of hurricanes and devastation.

Has it been a year?

You were lucky. At least, by some perceptions you were. Survivors, thanks to a bomb shelter and the practicality to stock it up with canned goods, and all the macaroni and cheese you'd need to repopulate the world once it ended. But those supplies lasted far less then you would have hoped--and what's worse, much of them seemed to spoil and crumble into unusable nothingness.

In the early days, the Internet remained. You kept touch with others, each telling of their own situations. The outlook of the world outside grew more and more grim with each passing day. Eventually, the network was gone all at once, and you were left with older, more tried and true means-- a humble HAM radio. On occasion a crackle led to the comfort of another's voice--but in time, those too became all but extinct.

There is no law. No government. No order. Little seems to remained of any metropolis or major population as well. Time is short, as supplies are shorter. You had managed to scrounge together--and by some incredible endurance, survived each other's company cooped up for so long. The clock is ticking away, and there's little left for you to survive on in here--and frankly, being cooped up for so long has damn near driven you mad.

It's time to leave, or it's time to die.

Three hundred sixty four days, eighteen hours, twelve minutes. The time since going into hiding, since that vaulted entryway reinforced with more than a foot of lead and steel came to a close. Into the wilderness some forty miles from Battle Creek, Michigan--further, from the Michigan Environmental Control offices. Each of the six of you had come under different driving needs, but the core remained unanimously the same; the world just wasn't safe out there, and it was going to get a lot worse.

It was only supposed to be three months, long enough to give things time to blow over, and give Washington a chance to drive things back to order through Martial Law. But then, it was supposed to be twenty five of you. Somehow, only six had made it.

When things started getting bad, reactions were varied, but the resounding call was to seek shelter among friends and family, to stock up on supplies, and to treat the circumstances encroaching on ordinary society as the equivalent to a nuclear disaster--not unlike what had occurred at Chernobyl just a month prior.

A man by the name of Marcus Chesterfield had bought and renovated the bunker years ago for the Y2K scare, and most of the stock had been put into place then. Space and supplies sufficient to sustain twenty five people, thirty in a pinch, for a three month period. Some of you had come to know him, and to find your place here, then.

More than half of the intended occupants would be his immediate family, friends, and their families; when things turned to be a false alarm, there was much relief, and the bunker had gone unused. When 9/11 came and went, there was a period of alarm where invitations were made--this time with some more new faces, new acquaintances. Again, however, it wasn't necessary.

When cerebrosus hit its full stride, it was time to seek shelter again. Most did not make it to the shelter, including Marcus himself. There has been no word from them. The last time word was made with individuals on the outside was four months ago--a DJ in Gross Pointe. It had been the briefest of radio murrmurrs, before a man in an exasperated voice had quoted 'Can you hear me Major Tom?' before silence resumed.

The time has come to return outside, and to face what has occurred.

News Excerpts

Red Waters Visible From Orbit

By RICHARD EVANS and GREGORY BARRETT, Associated Press Writer 412 Days ago

WASHINGTON - Satellite imaging reports have returned images with startling revelations following concern over recent oceanic tectonic activity off the coast of Japan in the North Pacific Ocean. ADVERTISEMENT

Environmental Safety Director Mark Phillips urges caution over alarm at images revealing what is described as a 'crimson tide' surrounding the Mariana Trench, what is regarded as the deepest point of ocean on Earth.

Said White House press secretary Rebecca Shaw: "There is no specific evidence indicating that this should be cause for alarm, nor has research determined this to be a threat to the west coast."

Expedition vessels dispatched to investigate the strange aquatic occurrence have encountered severe winds at sea coupled with torrential downpour. It is estimated that the recent surge of tide anomalies and coastal storms may be linked to the tectonic disruptions over the past several weeks.

"Look, it may be eco-terrorism, but we don't see any plausible reason for that target. The more likely scenario is that this is a natural disaster of some kind" said Shaw. Shaw said U.S. officials "remain very aggressively engaged" with investigation into the matter.

Environmentalists seem to believe that the discoloration may be linked to the upheaval of vast metal deposits deep within the trench, expunging quantities of rust and oxidization bleed-off which have lead to the massive redness witnessed in recent satellite images. Whether this is linked to the sudden rise in acid rains is still being determined.

"We want to just be on the safe side here." FEMA Director Rick Davis said.

Some speculate that these oceanic disturbances may be in part to blame for the disappearance of more than three hundred and ten maritime vessels in the past month. National advisory has been issued to avoid oceanic travel off of the West coast until the situation improves. ___

Associated Press Writers Thomas Lee, Mark Shroeder and Paul Duccard in Washington, Alice Riechmann in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Homicide in Battle Creek

BATTLE CREEK, MI. -- Reports have been confirmed that yesterdays triple homicide were seemingly fueled by the cerebrosus pandemic sweeping the nation. Nathaniel Priest, a twenty seven year old accountant from Monroe, brutally attacked and killed a doctor and two nurses at the Battle Creek Medical Center (per request of the victim's families, their identities have not been disclosed).

According to Battle Creek Police, Priest arrived at the clinic early in the afternoon seeking treatment for a severe infection. During examination, Priest suddenly became inconsolable and violent, strangling his doctor to death before bludgeoning two nurses who came to investigate. A call to 911 was issued, and police arrived to find Priest still within the clinic's back offices, and were forced to exercise deadly force when attacked after attempting to apprehend the man.

Agatha Marks, 32, was injured during Priest's apparent rampage, and is reported to have been blinded in her right eye when the man attempted to remove it from its socket. Agatha managed to evade Priest and lock herself in a supply closet long enough to contact the police.

'The most awful thing I've ever seen in twenty two years of duty.' spoke Sergeant Adam Sheffield of the incident. Reportedly, the most chilling component of the grisly scene was the state of Priest himself. 'He had removed his own eyes when we found him back there--and kept screaming that he could see us. We tried to talk him down, but he charged us, and managed to stab my partner."

Officer Brandon Smith, Sheffield's partner, has been treated and released for the stab wound he received. Both officers have been taken off of active duty pending a full investigation of the incident.

A witness at the clinic later reported suspicion of Priest's condition upon entry to the center, noting several of the stage two symptoms of cerebrosus that have been cropping up around the nation. Severe thinning of the blood producing reddened sweat, a swelling of the eyes and inflammation of the sockets, accompanied by muscle spasms and jittery speech patterns.

If you know of anyone exhibiting signs of cerebrosus, contact the Center for Disease Control immediately at 888-232-6348.

Article dated 384 days ago.

Chernobyl Bloom Threatens Thousands of Miles

By JORDAN RICHFIELD , Associated Press Writer 397 Days ago KIEV, Ukraine - Alarm has been raised at the unexpected climb in radiation levels surrounding the reactor site previously thought contained yesterday. Chernobyl, originally center of the tragic 1986 meltdown, has long been regarded as the world's worst nuclear accident. Many lives were spent in the containment efforts put in place for the health and well-being of millions of individuals across Europe--containment efforts which until now have remained stable.

However, the shadow of radiation looms once again, with the reported area of contamination having tripled since yesterday's disclosed statistics. Evacuation efforts have begun in the surrounding area, while extensive teams of containment personal have been dispatched to ground zero in order to discern the cause of this sudden bloom of leakage.

Repair of the containment barriers has been reportedly hindered by extensive systems of what is being described as acid rain--such storms have been plaguing the area for the past week, and suspicion has been roused in what part this may have had in the reactor containment breakdown.

If efforts are unsuccessful in the coming days and the radiation zone should continue to grow at its current rate, countless millions may be at serious risk and small neighboring nations may be forced to evacuate entire population centers to prevent a mass catastrophe.

Threats

Cerebrosus

Chief threat, a terrible disease from which the resulting epidemic is largely credited for the downfall of the nation--and possibly the rest of the civilized world. Symptoms are varied, as is the incubation period; furthermore, the vector of transmittal remains unknown as well. Once the initial stage of infection is passed, however, victims begin to grow intensely emotionally unstable, prone to extreme aggression and behavior similar to heavily manic or bipolar individuals. Medically, the blood begins to thin tremendously until leaking through the pores of the victim mingled with sweat. Skin agitation and internal cysts and bleeding are also noted components, alongside sporadic cases with symptoms not unlike the Bubonic Plague.

To the extent of awareness, the 'final' stages of the disease seem to drive victims to remove their own eyes; for some reason yet unknown, this brings apparent relief to the infected individual, and what's more--they seem to remain able to 'see' uninhibited afterward. Cerebrosus victims in heavily progressed stages of the disease exhibit intense resiliency and durability to bodily injury and harm; victims seem dulled to pain, to display a heightened endurance and sensory awareness, and an as of yet unknown shedding of the need for sustenance. It is believed Cerebrosus victims somehow yield nourishment from the 'acid rains', another hazard presented to survivors of the downfall.

Cerebrosus victims in advanced stages have commonly been mistaken for 'zombies' from popular horror culture; however, there is strong evidence suggesting that the victims remain entirely conscious and aware of the happenings around them, and may in fact retain full emotional memory of the horrors to which they themselves are submitted in the aftermath of their own uncontrollable actions.

'Boogie Men'

A pallid face slips free from a wrought tunnel, a woman whose cheeks have torn the full length of her jaws and eyes wholly black glistening wetly. The moment seems to freeze as their eyes meet, ghastly thin arms drooping free from the ceiling, long bony fingertips snatching Alex by the shoulders and lifting her unceremoniously off her feet. Brought so near in that instant, Alex smells sulfur and oil, fetid and stale.

A strange and unusual menace which began to emerge some four months after the Cerebrosus outbreak, pandemic, and societal downfall. Though humanoid in appearance, whether or not these creatures were at any time human is largely contested; the moniker 'boogie men' caught on mostly due to the similarities drawn with the more despicable tales of such previously fictional creatures which would lurk within the closets and beneath the beds of naughty children.

These 'Boogie Men', however, seem to be a subterranean species which has been murderously prevalent in the underbellies of large population centers following the downfall. Gaunt, pallid, slimy epidermal tissues with gangly limbs and sickly features; the 'Boogie Men' possess eyes wholly black with no whites, and claw-like bony fingers capable of piercing soft tissue with ease. In addition, and most unsightly, is the ragged maw of razor-sharp teeth these creatures boast, oft breaking into a terrible cackling laughter before a potential kill as the tissues separate along the jaw into a malformed 'grin'. 'Boogie Men' seem always intent on dragging victims back underground, never to be seen again.

Additional encounters with the 'Boogie Men' have been vicious. Individual creatures have displayed fragments of having been formerly human, and one encountered at the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base managed a brief moment of conversational clarity before 'erupting'. Creatures appear quite resilient, with an exceedingly high pain tolerance or altogether lack of the sensation. Individuals seem to degrade progressively worse into these creatures, before exhibiting gruesome adaptations--the most striking thus far being an exceptionally elongated tongue which splits into a hollow feeding tube lined with barbs.

Further consideration of the canine assault on the survivor buses previously may suggest that the animals were undergoing transformations similar to the 'Boogie Men', exhibiting many of the same characteristics (such as splitting jaws, resiliency, and viciousness.) The origin of these creatures and this condition remains unknown.

'Mothers'

Faces emerge, attached to heads drawn together, atop necks bundled and braided, with torsos intertwined and arms interlocked, legs wrapped and joints bent and warped. Skin flows and clings, veins throbbing and straining among obscene patches of hair, runny pus and melanoma splotches. Bones have grown together, muscle has wrapped and reformed--dozens of bodies, melted and melded, as if some macabre sculptor had worked a canvas of corpses. Yet this thing lives, countless eyes brown and blue and green and hazel, blood shot every one of them, gazing hungrily upon Daniel, madly upon his person; the mound, the creature, the monster steps with limbs that are a mass of hands and feet, wet meaty slaps of skin scraping against the concrete of the ramp and leaving a residue of dead cells. Ribs, femurs and teeth are interspersed in the pulsating mass of fetid flesh. From the tram, Evan's eyes are drawn and find familiarity in a thing first seen the day after emerging from his bunker. In Michigan, it had been called a 'mother'.

A large twisted mass of bodies, roughly the size of a small elephant. The mothers are made up of victims of the plague, the cerebrosis victims themselves, or anyone unlucky enough to be subsumed into its bulging mass. The mothers are capable of slinging shards of bone at tremendous speeds, impaling their intended targets, and can heal themselves by absorbing other bodies of both the dead and the living. The souls of its victims are trapped within in a horrific purgatory.

'Floaters'

Encountered first when the survivors sought refuge in a derelict hospital, one of their number, Mark, fell victim to one of these creatures. Elevated by some sort of wispy tendril, these creatures appear to either be some sort of transformed state for human victims, or potentially some kind of 'puppeteer'. Gunfire seemed to have limited effect on one of the encountered creatures, but Becky was able to seemingly kill one by caving in Mark's head--as he somehow became one of the creatures after his body was taken away. The survivors discovered a dark blackish charcoal goo or growth inside of a partially hollowed out body, but the substance dissolved into ash shortly after before closer examination could be undergone.

'Red Heads'

Dozens of infected are swarming the place, and in their midst a figure with a reddened and bloated head, misshapen in places, has extruded a long veined tendril of muscle wrapped in what appear to be its intestines, snaking about up the side of the building in twitchy movements.

A short fat woman without eyes in the bed beside him, the flesh of her neck grotesquely loose; she looses a deep sigh before her head begins to rapidly and violently spin on her neck.

'Red Heads' presumably encountered during the survivor excursion into Dayton from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Advanced-stage, potentially mutant strain of cerebrosus infected victim exhibiting mob control capabilities over other infected and a severely grotesque progression of fungal infection within the skull. 'Red Heads' encountered proved highly durable, tenacious, and persistent and seem to have developed an expanded capacity for extra-sensory perception of un-infected in their vicinity. Highly dangerous, with an extremely high capacity to infect other individuals with utmost potency.

Tarheads

Possibly the result of an attack by a mosquitohead, these things are twisted and held together by the same black ichor that oozed from the scarecrow and was removed from Coyote by Harry. The bodies have twisted, misshapen limbs, within which is a gross tar-like substance that corrodes and corrupts when it hits bare skin; absorption tends to be nigh instantaneous unless copious amounts of clean water are applied or some other barrier is present. Their heads are blackened lumps of tar-like substance, and they seem propelled or puppeted by an outside force, perhaps the nightmare king, perhaps a nightmare creature in the employ of the Pale Man.

Gorger

These things were first spotted in the motel, attached to some woman Alex and Hobbes rescued. Later ran into along with the aforementioned tarheads in Roanoke's hospital. They sport a long sharp probiscus with which they attempt to stab the back of neck/base of the head, then suck out whatever essence resides within, replacing it with a nasty tar-like ichor that is corruption embodied. Nasty things that like attacking from above and hiding in ceiling tiles. They seem able to puppet the tarheads in some fashion, possibly.

Psychos & Scavengers

The Butcher Brothers

Encountered in a burned-out Michigan city holed up within an enshrined and booby-trapped Wal-Mart, the three 'Butcher Brothers' had been searching out survivors in nearby communities, 'fishing' for victims to abduct and take back with them. Victims were vivisected, flayed, and sheared of their limbs before being used as food and entertainment. The last brother was killed June 23rd.

Supernatural Menaces

Redcaps

Artist's Impression

Encountered during the survivor stay at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base following the elimination of the Vultures gang in the vicinity. Purportedly restricted to downtown Dayton, and testimony indicated correlation with cerebrosus infected persons unmolested. Outward appearance is more suggestive of human psychopathic cannibals who have adopted clown monikers, patrolling the city in an ice cream truck. Suggested by Sarah Frost to be the presumably mythical 'redcap' creatures instead. Subjects encountered exhibited extreme strength and brutality coupled with unpredictable and manic mental state. Improvised weaponry, such as a pair of hedge clippers.

Since the first incident more clowns have been spotted. Either the original group of clowns/redcaps moved out of the downtown Dayton area and followed the survivors or there's multiple groups of clowns. Last spotted around the Lafayette area.

Ultra-mother?

A crash sounds out, several trees towards the east shuddering suddenly before an immense moving mass bursts free; eyes drawn to the sharp sound find a menagerie of eyeless bodies threaded and blended together amidst pulsing black tendrils and pulpy protrusions. Tangles of arms and legs bulge into thick blackened masses, shredded sinew and bone peeking free as they pound against the ground with alacrity; among the 'thicker' limbs drape dozens of black tendrils flailing intermittently before re-knitting together, muscle tearing and mending rapidly as its 'bodies' continue to shift and align.

Stretched skin has joined with a mishmash of tarry black hide, ichor clinging in fat lumps while what appears to be a sort of chitinous shell has formed over broad swaths of bundled flesh, blood and bone; the forefront of the monstrosity resembles in part that of the 'mothers' encountered before--a quivering, cavernous maw ribbed with jagged splinters of bone joined by black quills and pitted divots through a sea of bruised and broken meat. Flashes of pink can be seen from within the broader openings--tongues glimpsed among other wet muscle stitched unceremoniously together. Other 'mouths' line the flanks of the bulbous 'head' of the thing--while beyond lay the main difference from its apparent predecessors: here more length is presented, carried upon dozens of limbs and moving with alarming speed. - This chased us out of Roanoke. Allison shot it with a LAW rocket and exploded it.

Doppelgängers

Also referred to as a vardøger by Frost. Doppelgängers could be with the nightmare realm. They are able to mimic the appearance and voices of people, though not their personalities or abilities.

'Vulture'

Encountered in the maintenance bay of the tram system underneath the cold war military holdout. There seem to be two sub-species; one big, powerful warlike. The other smaller, scrawny, always hungry and with excellent noses used for tracking or camp followers.

Ravenous

"Ravenous are like lovelies; neighbors originally who figure out what they can do. Difference should be pretty obvious that they're bloody wicked." -Zuri

Survivors

See Characters in Blackbird Dreaming

Major Entities

The Pale Man

He is cunning, clever and resourceful--possesses a great number of artifacts and hidden accomplices; it is probable that he is a vessel for several spirits, and though he was perhaps mortal once--that is no longer the case." Pupils narrowing to slits, Sobek snarls. "He would do away with the boundaries of the threshold on his own terms--we do not yet know to what ends or how he intends to maintain control should this come to pass.

That may not concern him." Athena offers. "Some creatures simply wish to lay all to chaos and ruin." A pause. "Be that as it may, clearly he possesses or possessed influence in the shadow courts--likely beyond and beneath the Nightmare King. As well, there are many Old Spirits long since lost to trackless reaches--one or more may have resurfaced in his corner. The infected have granted him much power--but we are hopeful that Kebechet's efforts will help to staunch that. -Athena and Sobek

"I see what was once human--but it is doubtful that he is any longer." -Joy

a black eye with a red iris behind it. (the Pale Man's eyes look like this behind the sunglasses)

A once-human gone mad with power. He is in conflict with the Nightmare King and has an interest in neighbors. He has many artifacts at his disposal, only a few which are known. Among those include a briefcase that holds some kind of entity that can rip through humans like butter; a handful of ball bearings that he can control with his mind that act as small guided missles, a pair of sunglasses with some unknown function, a cowboy hat with the same, and a trenchcoat that is probably something special as well. He greatly desires the pocketwatch.

It is suspected the Pale Man and the Nightmare King were originally in cahoots, working together to cause the breach between the dream world and the waking world, and that the Pale Man betrayed the Nightmare King after their success, taking the Infected as his own minions and denying the Nightmare King power over them, thus removing him from accessing a great deal of his power. Evidence for this includes the two entities hatred for each other (they fight on sight) as well as that of their minions (the nightmare creatures, which dwell beneath the earth, and the infected will also immediately battle each other, and the mothers seem to take great delight in destroying and absorbing the infected).

This was confirmed by Zuri shortly after she was pulled into the waking world by Jennifer:

"You mentioned him yourself--the Pale Man. Talk of him around the shadows too, a real wicked geezer; made an arrangement with the King and it didn't pan out the way it was planned. Lot of bastards try to get into the King's graces so they can be somebody--so it's not uncommon I hear to try and make big deals. Thing is, they usually don't get broken--because usually the King'll make short work of you if they do." Zuri purses her lips. "Guy's really something else and word is you want to give him wide berth if you can help it, luv." She levels Jennifer a serious look, lips a thin line.

"I don't know a whole lot about the guy but he's made a lot of enemies and he's picked up some choice support in the meantime; I hear that he has some kind of cult or something that even has spirits throwing their lot in his camp. Some of the King's own swapped sides and he's got some ravenous too--" Zuri pauses, tapping the table with her index finger for emphasis. "--Ravenous are like lovelies; neighbors originally who figure out what they can do. Difference should be pretty obvious that they're bloody wicked." -Zuri

"If he's still ticking then he either doesn't sleep or he's got a way to keep the King away when he does. I know he's also got a lot of trinkets, talismans, all that rot--same with his people. Whoever he is, the guy knows his way around on both sides." -Zuri

The Pale Man is also strongly suspected to be the 'friend' of Dr. Fitch's from the other side mentioned in the emails found at the air force base by Scott. It is suspected that he is the one that initially encouraged Fitch to research the disease affecting the infected and may have made him an unwitting introductor of the second outbreak of the disease (the first having occured in Northern Michigan in the 1990s, and subsequently contained). Its possible Dr. Fitch recognized his mistake and sought to rectify it, according to Nora.

His current whereabouts are unknown; it is suspected he tries to recruit neighbors to join him and turn them into ravenous.

The Old Man

The Old Man is Odin. Yes, that Odin. King of the Norse gods, the Hanged God, etc etc. His hold on the Norse pantheon is challenged by Hel, for as keeper of souls that have not died heroically in battle she has a hell (no pun intended) of a lot of power at the moment. He favors the humans in this war for reality and has aided the group several times, usually with cryptic warnings delivered via dream, gifts of artifacts and other indirect aid. He also sent Hugin after Jennifer for purposes which are still unclear. As father of the valkyries, warrior maidens that are immortal, he is also Jennifer's grandfather.

He was tricked into believing that the Egyptian pantheon had staged a sneak attack on his realm, possibly by the Nightmare King, possibly by the Pale Man, possibly by a combination of both when they were still working together in order to start a war between the two factions, thus weakening and distracting both and keeping them from uniting to face the greater threat. The Egyptians have been informed of this and the group is seeking audience with Odin to reveal this fact to him as well in hopes of putting aside the war and having the two, if not unite, at least be fight the true enemy.

The Faceless Man

"It's the harbinger of very old, very bad things that don't care about thresholds or rules." - Emma

"Harbinger. If we are unable to stem the tide of chaos, that one will sow devastation; presently, he listens to what dreams and nightmares remain--courted by the chorus of the infected." A frown tugs at her lips. "I should very much hope that his arrival was an unintended consequence of the Albino's machinations." -Athena

What will the Faceless Man do if he judges and finds us unworthy/the world too far gone to be saved? "We can only assume the cessation of all dreams as you know them." Athena intones quietly. "All constructs both physical and immaterial wiped away, that the whole of all essence shared among all entities may be repurposed for new worlds and new beings." She pauses, face an impassive mask. "That is what we have come to understand of the harbinger--an extension of the chaos which lay beyond, whence the Old Guard came."

"Rules bent, not broken; the 'faceless man'--it breaks rules. It's a little like a kill switch, in a way--enough chaos is like a whole different kind of invitation." Again she frowns. "But lets not dwell on it--bad enough folks are dreaming about it." - Emma

The Faceless Man has no name, no identity known to the group currently. He is a harbinger of the Cthuluesque creatures that dwell in the far reaches of the dreamworld, here to watch and observe and see whether or not this world is worth saving or if it should be utterly destroyed and remade. It is hoped by the PCs that if they can right the current wrongs of the world he will leave of his own accord, satisfied that the world as it is can keep chugging along.

The Nightmare King

A bloody big and powerful shadow that is damn near primordial." She leans against her elbows on the table. "All the powerful ones are a lot of things, the Nightmare King is another magnitude. Out in the shadow realm, you'll find the 'free agents'--but in the halls, you're talking vassals, generals, the tip top." Gesturing loosely again, Zuri levels a serious look at Jennifer. "You'll know it if you're dealing with a serious nightmare." Shaking her head, Zuri continues. "What's it King of? Think of it like taxes--the King gets a cut from all the rest." She smirks briefly. "As for power, you can start with shaping and creating realms." Her chair squeaks slightly as she reclines again. "Even the pantheons jump hoops for that.

The Nightmare King somehow managed to possess the body of Dr. Robert Fitch's niece. Her name is Nora. She had an inoperable brain tumor. She was supposed to only have six months, if that, to live. She had been having increasingly frequent, vivid hallucinations. Her parents were among the first hit with cerebrosus, and Robert ended up caring for her. The tumor brought attention to a certain chemical composition in the brains of children; it diminishes with maturation. This chemical totally suppressed symptoms of cerebrosus. It was not, however, a cure--children could still carry the disease, it would simply stay dormant. Robert's 'counsel' introduced the first steps of an actual vaccine, but the initial several renditions of it outright killed the infected, and caused severe brain damage to those not. Mixture with the chemicals he had discovered in his niece stabilized it, to a degree.

Nora was having terrible hallucinatory waking nightmares, and they believed her infection with cerebrosus was the cause. In administering dosage to counteract it, she ended up brain dead. Robert snapped, and disappeared for weeks. Dr. Agupta stepped up in his absence. Ultimately, he had one of the C.D.C. teams attempt to determine what made the mixture react as it had with Nora alone. They vivisected her.

Nora Fitch is the Nightmare King's human vessel, his way of reaching into the waking world. Currently posited that the Pale Man and Nightmare King had been working together and that the Pale Man was the one who originally set up the Nightmare King in Nora's body, and that this may well have been why he ingratiated himself with Dr. Robert Fitch.

Nora was removed from the Nightmare King's influence by Jennifer and Martin during the Battle of Mount Weather, when the PCs infiltrated the secret military base holding the Gate at the facility of the same name and defeated him, thus gaining control of the gate. She is currently with Martin at the facility.

The Nightmare King has been pushed back out of this world.

Other Entities

See Entities in Blackbird Dreaming For additional involved entities, beings and 'guests'. WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS

Open Plot Points

See Open Plot Points in Blackbird Dreaming for the current set of goals the PCs are working on. VERY SPOILER HEAVY!

The Dream Dictionary

The Dream Dictionary may be useful to players and people who are up to date. VERY SPOILER HEAVY!