Wraith Setting

“Monsters are real, and ghosts are real too. They live inside us, and sometimes, they win…”

~Stephen King

Introduction:

I think we all remember telling ghost stories as kids. Whether around a campfire or under the blanket of a tent fort in your bedroom with a flashlight. As we grew in age we moved away from this and into reading books and watching movies of Horror written from someone else’s imagination. Sure, we may still pass down those stories we heard and shared as kids, but when was the last time you did this?

In Wraith the Oblivion (20th), you have a chance to do just that. You have the opportunity to not only tell those frightening stories to others, but you get to experience them yourself. This time, you get to be the ghost (or wraith as they are called). Just imagine. One moment you are living a normal life, something happens and you die. You wont know it at first. Eternity seems to pass in the blink of an eye. You wake up suddenly being torn from your Caul (A sack like egg made of ephemera). You open your eyes to see a stranger standing over you. They offer you a hand up. You stand and when you look around, you see the necropolis for the first time. A mixture of the current city, along with buildings from the past that were no longer in the Skinlands (The world of the living). Everywhere you look, you see others. Wraiths, that move about performing their daily routines. Some seem mindless, reliving the last moments of their life before death. Over and over again. The others, like you, are free to roam this purgatory called the Shadowlands. You stare into the distance towards the West and see a great storm raging over the Tempest (The ocean). A deep seated fear seems to creep up on you as you hear the wails of Spectres , the Shadow-Eaten. Those wraiths who have fallen to their darkest desires. Those who have been transformed by Oblivion. They seek to add to their ranks. They seek others. Others like you… You hear a voice in your head, telling you to do things. Things that further it’s goals. Things that you normally wouldn’t do. Do you give in?

Welcome to Wraith the Oblivion.

Necropolis: Los Angeles, aka the Island of Lost Angels:

First came the invasion. Yu Huang, eager to claim Stygian territory, invaded LA with a full invasion force. The dead of the Yellow Springs kidnapped, shackled and dragged back dozens of restless to their holdings in the Yellow Springs while the Legions continued to press them back to the sea. When the Great Maelstrom struck, none were prepared.

When the storm reached Los Angeles it brought with it a massive Shadowquake that caused a massive fissure to erupt, The Great Rip. A massive nihil the likes of which none had ever witnessed, unleased the Tempest in it’s entirety across the whole of LA. Spectres became a constant threat, as the Great Rip seemed to fuel the shadow-eaten allowing them to remain when normally they are restricted to the tempest winds.

As the Maelstrom abated, the Great Rip remained, encasing LA in tempest winds on all sides. The hidden oil wells around LA became a hotbed of Spectres as nihils erupted where industry plunged deep into the earth.  As the Wraiths desperately fought to push back the Spectres and ascertain where they were coming from, they discovered a piece of their own ancient history – be it the Great Rip or the Maelstrom itself, a massive Ziggurat, a Mictlan Necropolis was seen within the Tempest winds of the Great Rip as if a lure.

Since the Maelstrom the restless have come to accept the new reality. Stygia is gone. The Legions have their source of power ripped from them while having to contend with the Shadow-eaten, the monsters from the Great Rip, and the crisis of the loss of Stygia. The Dark Kingdom of Jade continues to have a holdout in Chinatown, and the restless in-between have their own ideas on how things should be.

The Guilds have returned, not as conquerors but as traders in the new order. LA’s cinematic restless have banded together to instill order and stability through trade and commerce. While the former Renegades begin gobbling up any territory they can and the Hierarchy and Jade Empire looking at each other from across LA, many look to the Guilds for some semblance of normalcy. But nothing will ever be normal again.

The Empire has Ended.

The Lay of the Land:

Most of LA’s shadowlands is open territory with any manner of restless being found in the nooks and crannies of the cityscape. Where once the Hierarchy held dominion through it’s citadels of power it has since lost them resulting in a patchwork quilt of control depending on who you ask and where you are.

Whitley Heights, the empty landmark zone of old homes owned by Hollywood stars of yesteryear, is the dominion of The Hierarchy. Within this cloistered neighborhood, surrounded by soulsteel walls, gates and manned turrets, it is the last holdout of the Old Empire and the chaos that comes after. A functioning Necropolis, the civilian arm of the Hierarchy maintains law and order however it can, providing the closest thing to stability within it’s little pocket of Hollywood.

Tinseltown Studios, the restaurant that offers people the dream of being a star for a day, is the pathos engine of SAGC-SCAM, a Guild Compact between the Sandmen, Chaunters, Artificers and Masqurs. Made up of those tied to the film industry, SAG attempts to regulate commerce, build economies and regulate this new life – under their watchful eye.

Chinatown hosts the last remnant of the Jade Empire in LA. Trapped by the Great Rip, these Jade Wraiths have come to deal with their Stygian foes for mutual survival and vice versa…but when the smoke clears, Yu Huang’s will be done.

Unnatural Hazards:

Lost Angels isn’t just a turbulent place because of the wraiths.  The city is regularly shaken by Shadowquakes, some of them quite violent, damaging buildings and making passage through parts of the city difficult when they occur.  Massive Tempest-storms regularly wash into the city, fires blaze through the rougher parts of it frequently, and street violence wracks the Necropolis as it besieges itself from within.

The Great Rip is a hotbed of Spectres and monsters of the Underworld who now have a chance to slip into the Shadowlands from below. The Great Rip isolates LA from the rest of the Shadowlands and Maelstroms that hit the city hit it twice as hard due to the Rip’s influence.

 

Note: The setting picks up largely after the events in the WTO: 2nd Ed. “Ends of Empire Book” – the major clarification/exception being that the only relic nuke that was set off was one used by the Dark Kingdom of Jade in their assault on Stygia – resulting in the 6th Great Maelstrom that turned the Underworld on its head, but which has since largely subsided.

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