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Old 05-23-2019, 02:49 PM   #1
Icelander's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default Self-designation Terms for Different Monster Hunter Teams in the World

I'm looking for what terms 'Monster Hunters' who belong to various secret groups or organzations in my setting call themselves.

I've already established the fact that the British commandos of the Shadow Court call themselves Rangers (which is short for the tongue-in-cheek Queen's Paranormal Rangers, and yes, is not unrelated to Tolkien).

I'm looking for a variety of other names, which other Monster Hunters in the setting, public or private, might call themselves.

For example:

1) What do the PCs and their fellow hunters who work for the eccentric billionaire J.R. Kessler in Caribbean by Night call themselves? 'Monster Hunters' or something more unique?

2) What do the secretive priests, exorcists, former Swiss Guards, Knights of Malta and other experts who perform occult covert ops for the Vatican call themselves?

3) Which group of hunters call themselves 'The Regulators', because there is no point in living if no one does?

Brazilian Monster Hunters use a variety of terms, with those from police tactical units often favouring 'Caveiras' (particularly those from Rio's BOPE and CORE). Brazilian military hunters often use 'Caçadores', with religious hunters often calling themselves 'Caçadores de diabos'.

I set my MH-esque* campaigns all in the same setting, a version of Earth that is apparently identical to ours before the supernatural starts to subtly emerge** in the 1980s. To everyone except those with supernatural gifts of their own, the world continued to look identical to Earth in the 1980s and 1990s, though history diverged very subtly in that violent crime rates and disappearances did not drop after 1990 as in our world.

Actual magic mostly did not happen before the year 2000, with the exception of easily explainable coincidences or placebo effects. Some people had Medium or Oracle and saw or knew things they shouldn't, but they could not prove it under controlled circumstances and thus only convinced close and trusted friends or those already disposed to believe. Nevertheless, some people started to investigate the supernatural, mostly in secret.

The fact that several high-ranking people in the Vatican had magical talents, as well as Queen Elizabeth II having prophetic dreams, meant that secret factions or conspiracies to research the occult coalesced around the Holy See and the British Crown, respectively, at some point in the late 80s or early 90s. These grew slowly in knowledge and influence until they had become something at least semi-formal, if very secret, on either side of the year 2000. The goal, for both conspiracies, was to collect evidence and prepare the legal authorities for the eventual discovery of the supernatural.

In the 2000s, a few gifted occultists started to be able to produce subtle effects through their rituals, using the Path/Book system from Thaumatology. Given the constraints of the mostly-not-magical world they still lived in, they usually needed extensive preparations, the right time, the right place and a desired effect that could be interpreted as a coincidence. And no modern technology around or skeptical people.

Whatever mystical tides govern the rates of paranormal phenomena and the fluctating Mana Levels seem to be steadily rising. At some point after 2010, the Path/Book system eventually evolved into Ritual Path Magic, at least for the very small group of occultists who are aware of what is going on and actively working to learn more about thaumatology. At the same time, various dabblers and esoteric believers are starting to form a kind of occult underground in various places around the world.

While instability, violence, crime rates and disappearances kept climbing worldvide in the 2000s and 2010s, most of Earth is still Very Low Mana (-8 to -10) and many modern buildings in big cities full of secular people are No Mana during the day and might only reach Very Low Mana (-10) at midnight of significant astrological dates.

Only Vile Vortices, ley line confluences, Places of Power and other magical hot spots are higher mana than this and the mana levels are in constant flux. Parts of Earth, e.g. the Poles, some isolated areas of ocean and spots in Brazil, the Caribbean, Pakistan, Tibet, the Middle East, Africa and other places are sometimes as high as Low Mana (-3 to -7) and may be around -8 or -9 even in urban areas in daytime.

Because of the Vile Vortices that cover parts of their homelands, Brazil, Pakistan, many Caribbean nations and several African ones have a much higher rate of belief in the supernatural than the rest of the world. Some, like Brazil and the UK, even have an informal conspiracy of those aware of the supernatural that acts like a Deep State within the government, with the purpose of defending humanity from hostile spirits, evil magic and monsters.

Somehow, however, the supernatural is still secret in 2019. Governments do not accept supernatural explanations and in most secular Western countries, only extreme fringe political candidates would ever suggest them publicly. After all, every single proper scientific experiment carried out by independent scientists under controlled conditions fails to replicate wild claims of magic and monsters made by various religious fanatics, oddball occultists and unfortunately traumatized eyewitnesses to mysterious events.

In fact, there seems to be a sort of Facade that prevents most ordinary people from accepting any evidence of the supernatural, no matter how blatant (see Christopher R. Rice's 'Mask of Humanity' in Pyramid #3/97).

However, many people who spend a lot of time on the mean streets at night or near any kind of supernatural hot spot, simply experience too much inexplicable stuff to be content with rational answers. Almost every police department, MEs office and hospital will have people who privately fear that humanity is being preyed on by something occult and unseen. Social workers, priests, aid workers and the people they help live and die among the increasingly occult underbelly of society.

As a result of this and the difficulty of convincing anyone who doesn't come into nightly contact with the unnatural of the Truth, there are not many agencies formally organized to counter the supernatural, outside a few unusual countries where a coordinated secret response exists. Most of those trying to do something are unaware of anyone else trying the same, except maybe a few trusted friends and colleagues. And even where there is a large-ish network of occult-savvy individuals in a given agency or location, few do more than share information and maybe try to counsel survivors.

Across a whole world, however, the exceptions add up. I'm looking for self-bestowed titles those who take arms against the darkness might use. I'd welcome suggestions for any type of Monster Hunters, from a few friends in a small town to secret government agencies of the very few countries where someone in power knows the Truth.

What are the Monster Hunters calling themselves?

*One might just as fairly call the genre Urban Fantasy and many campaigns have been some or all of Supernatural Horror, Occult Mysteries, Paranormal Covert Ops or Unnatural Tactical Shooting. Ken Hite's writing usually has a big impact and Suppressed Transmission is usually my aspired-toward-ideal.
**Re-emerge, perhaps? There is some evidence that magical rituals developed in various occult and religious traditions in the distant past may have worked then as they work now and that supernatural phenomena occurred often in the recorded past. Occultists disagree on which historical reports of the supernatural are true and when magic might have stopped working, but it is generally accepted that absolutely nothing supernatural happened in the 20th century before the 1980s, with some occultists declaring that magic gradually stopped working during the Industrial Revolution.
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!
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monster hunters, shadow court, suppressed transmission, vile vortices

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