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Old 02-12-2020, 01:12 AM   #16
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Join Date: Mar 2006
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Default Knowledge About J.R. Kessler, the PCs' Patron, and His Occult Network

Originally Posted by Johnny1A.2 View Post
Do any of the bad guys of your world know about Kessler? ISTM that if they did, taking him out might be a priority. Has Kessler made any provisions for his untimely demise? Or for his own natural death, for that matter, which is probably not too far away if he's over 100?
In occult underground circles, J.R. Kessler is notorious as a billionaire interested in the paranormal, who surrounds himself with mystics and mercenaries, and lives on a yacht that functions as a mighty Sanctum with a powerful Threshold. Few know the full extent of Kesler's activites, as most of what he spends he does through complex corporate ownership structures and the activites of the 'Night Riders' (Monster Hunters) are concealed behind layers upon layers of shell companies, offshore holdings and flat-out proxies whose connections with Kessler are not commonly known.

There is also the fact that even most people who've heard of Kessler's interest in occult research and know of him as an important force behind academic and scientific research of paranormal phenomena in the 1990s consider him senile by now. It is commonly believed in occult underground circles that the network of people concerned with the occult financed by Kessler's wealth is now controlled by others, although theories about exactly whom vary wildly.

Of course, there are any number of superstitious occultists who believe that Kessler is more (or less) than human and still working toward some undefinable goal of his own, but as none of them agree on the specifics, this remains a fringe view.

Kessler has made many provisions to reduce the odds of an untimely demise, including full-time security that rivals some heads of state and even better occult protections. However, as far as the PCs know, he has no heirs and no ackowledged plan of succession, although it is always possible that a secret plan of some sort is in place.

Edit: As for these cultists in particular, they should certainly be aware of the potential threat posed by people connected to Kessler, as the mysterious Consortium that was providing logistical support to the cultist has already been in contact with Kessler's people, attempting to negotiate for the return of the Girl with the Kaleidoscope Eyes, a young woman carrying papers in the name 'Gwen Delvano' (but whose real name is Gisella Ester Cortés Rojas), a sorceress of the cult captured by the PCs and secreted away onboard the Penemue, Kessler's yacht.

As it turned out, the PCs refused to hand her over to the representatives of the Consortium, even when offered her weight (around 115 lbs.) in gold. Not even when it was made clear that this offer was good for them personally and would not have to be shared with anyone else. Instead, the PCs reported the offer to Jean-Michel Dieudonné Alexandre, Kessler's Haitian valet, steward, major-domo, man-of-all-work and right hand.

After consultations between various senior people aboard Penemue, some of which the PCs were privy to, some of which went on without their knowledge, Alexandre told them that Monsieur Kessler wanted the girl turned over to the police. The biggest factor in that decision was the legal and political risk of concealing her aboard now that somebody knew about it, as she was wanted for questioning due to a suspected connection with a kidnapping (of Alice Talbot, a PC).

So, the one would expect at least some of the cultists of the Keepers of the Last Hearth to be aware of Kessler in general and also of the specific fact that the Penemue is docked at Galveston, with people aboard who are willing and able to use violence and supernatural abilities to oppose the cult.

That being said, the cell structure of the cult means that only the leadership in South America received any reports from those who actually met the PCs and these were brief and unsatisfactorily status updates during operations, not full after-action reports. And as the representatives of the Consortium and the cultists of the advance team were all killed, captured or forced into panicked flight from law enforcement shortly after, the South American leadership has only received incomplete information.

Which means that the other cultists will also have limited information. They might know that some people with connections to the eccentric billionaire J.R. Kessler somehow got wind of the advance team and reported them to police, but they almost certainly consider the ongoing law enforcement response the true threat and the people responsible for calling the police merely annoying busybodies.
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Last edited by Icelander; 02-12-2020 at 01:57 AM.
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