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Old 04-29-2019, 05:55 PM   #71
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Default Re: Holy Cross Commandos or Commandos of the Southern Cross?

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
Okay, even though I'm happy with 'Comando da Santa Cruz' as the semi-official insider nickname for the group within ABIN that works closely with Vatican occult intelligence on covert anti-supernatural operations, I want to make some use of 'Cruzeiro do Sul'.

It seems to me an evocative national symbol, the constellation being associated with Brazil since almost the beginning of national identity. Also, it sounds cool.

What would you suggest?
I like the idea of Cruzeiro do Sul be a symbol of the occult monster hunting commandos and case officers within 'Comando da Santa Cruz'. Like a cross formed by stars.

'Cruzeiro do Sul Comando' does not works grammatically. :( It's Comando do Cruzeiro do Sul.

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Originally Posted by Icelander
Might 'Cruzeiro do Sul' be the name of one of the PSCs which the ABIN uses as cover for its monster hunters, allowing them, for example, to carry valid paperwork as security contractors protecting a Vatican monsignor on a visit somewhere dangerous, like Venezuela?

If so, what would the official name of the PSC be? Something incorporating 'Cruzeiro do Sul' and ideally not too long, but enough to make it a plausible legal name of a security company in Brazil.
Sure!
Grupo Cruzeiro do Sul (Southern Cross Group) seems right. Segurança Cruzeiro do Sul it's another (Southern Cross Security).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander
I'm happy with 'Comando da Santa Cruz', but nothing prevents people from referencing the group by shortened versions of its semi-official moniker, like 'Comando da Cruz' or just 'Santa Cruz'. I'm not sure about acronyms, if only because the official titles (that would change much faster than rumours could keep up) would usually be some form of acronym.
Santa Cruz would probably be the moniker. CSC also can be used.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander
I'd like to name several Brazilian PSCs, i.e. security firms that ABIN would use to cover the activities of the 'Comando da Santa Cruz' monster hunters. Secret agents aren't usually allowed to carry weapons outside their home countries, but private bodyguards with the correct official licenses (and working for the Catholic Church) might be allowed to carry some form of weapon in many jurisdictions in the Caribbean and Latin America.

Could plausible security firms from Brazil, with licenses to operate in neighbouring countries, be named for saints or the Virgin Mary?
Yes, I guess so.

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Originally Posted by Icelander
If so, can you suggest some names that sound like they might be security firms, albeit ones founded by very religious people?

If naming security companies for saints or the Virgin Mary seems weird, can anyone with familiarity with Brazil suggest alternative names for fictional PSCs?
Anjo Seguradora. Angel Insurance/Security company
Grupo Arcanjo. Archangel Group.
SPS - São Paulo/Pedro Segurança. Saint Paul/Peter Security.
Arconte Serviços de Segurança. Archon Security Services
Vigilância - Vigilance Inc.
CATSEC - Catholic Security

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander
Or, you know, if there are any real security companies in Brazil that you think would be plausible as the front for Brazilian intelligence as part of a secret program of covert operations in cooperation with Vatican intelligence?
I can think of Embrase - Empresa Brasileira de Segurança e Vigilância ltda
https://www.embrase.com.br/ (Brazilian security and surveillance company),
and Grupo Protege (http://www.protege.com.br/) (Protect Group).

But that's just because they're POPULAR, so I think they can be in whatever place with ease.
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Old 04-29-2019, 07:35 PM   #72
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Default Vile Vortex Location and Nature of Threats

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I believe it depends on the format of the threat. If it is something big and open (dunno, Pacific Rim style), the Navy and the Army would work together, with both strategies being used. For example, the monsters come from the sea, where the initial confrontation with the Navy occurs; what escapes, receives a cannon volley from the beach ... Whichever comes, would face Marines, Cavalry and Infantry, together. And so forth.

If the threats were more discreet, I think you're on the right track.
The thrreats are never that obvious.

The Vile Vortex is located somewhere southeast of the city of Rio de Janeiro, out to sea. Exactly how large it is and whether it is stable or the boundaries shift are the subject of much specuation among those aware of the occult, as well as being one of the most important areas of research for the Navy's paranormal investigators. There are those who say that parts of Rio itself and perhaps neighbouring areas are within the Vile Vortex, but more cautious researchers stress that the strangest occurances have been observed about 120 miles SE of Rio and that this might be called the epicenter of the weirdness.

The Navy, primarily submarines and oceanographers in research vessels, as well as divers from GRUMEC, have encountered obviously non-human aquatic beings in that area. High-tech measuring devices and even simple recording devices fail frustratingly often within the research area and whenever something truly remarkable happens, it is all but certain that any device that ought to record relevant data has failed or the data been corrupted, leaving only human witnesses.

Unfortunately, eyewitness testimony is notoriously unreliable and seems more than usually contradictory in such incidents, enough so that it is generally accepted that the memories of 'contactees' are somehow affected. Furthermore, while some strong-willed individuals retain memories of fighting supernatural beasts and aquatic humanoids that are clearly not human, any remains removed from the area, and subjected to laboratory examination in brightly lit high-tech facilities far away from strange influences, inevitably fail to reveal anything that supports the testimony of witnesses.

Basically, the gold standard of 'evidence' is personal experience of confused encounters in the night time, with eyewitnesses not even agreeing on what they saw and experienced. Scientific tests don't confirm what they should and if they do, they aren't replicable somewhere else, under controlled circumstances. Those who believe either have an experience of their own and the stubornesss not to rationalize it away, or they were already predisposed to believe supernatural explanations.

Well, that, ormthey find that there has to be something extraordinary happening to explain the horrific rates of death and disappearances. The rate of murder and disappearances is much higher than in the real world. High enough so that homeless people and the most vulnerable sections of society are terrified in every urban area within a few hundred miles of Rio de Janeiro. Unsolved homicides are several times more common in Brazil as a whole than in real life, with Rio's murder rate being more than an order of magnitude higher than in real life. Added to that are many unexplained disappearances per night.

The government blames crime, traffickers and nebulously defined 'guerillas, militants and terrorists'. Official numbers also classify many possible homicides as suicides, overdoses or other accidents, as well as downplaying disappearances of 'drug addicts and criminals' as simply being a consequence of an initerant lifestyle and a dislike of authority among that subculture. In the absence of undeniable evidence of abduction or murder, most missing persons who belong to marginalized subcultures are officially presumed to have just moved away, fled from debts or consequences of criminal activities, etc.

Given how many have died and disappeared in the last 10-15 years, anyone with contacts among people near Rio de Janeiro who spend significant time outside at night, away from the most modern buildings and technology, will know of inexplicable cases with weird rumours surrounding them. Minimal investigation will yield dozens of stories about curses, magicians and monsters. It's just that none of these can be proven in court or a laboratory.

Largely because the magic doesn't seem to work and the monsters don't seem to thrive around crowds of skeptics, under the glare of bright lights and around the most modern technological measuring devices. Whether because some mystical force prevents collisions between the worlds of modernity and magic or some ineffable consciousness guides the monsters into the shadows of society's underbelly, there never seems to be proof positive to convince dedicated skeptics who live in the federal district of Brasilia (or, for that matter, those living and working in well-lit modern luxury in Washington D.C., Buenos Aires or Brussels).

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Originally Posted by Pip Boy View Post
Again, I don't have this kind of detail, but your suggestions seem sound to me. An opinion from someone of the military would be valuable in this distinctions.
Fair enough. Let us hope someone on the forums has some knowledge of Brazil's armed forces.

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Originally Posted by Pip Boy View Post
Yes, it would. Followed by Santa Catarina's.
I don't see why not. I note, however, that Santa Catarina is probably not very heavily affected by the Vile Vortex or confluences of ley lines leading from it to other Vile Vortices (e.g. in the Caribbean, on Antarctica and in the Pacific around Easter Island).

São Paulo, for example, is a lot closer to the Vile Vortex and probably sees much more supernatural crime than Santa Catarina.

Any thoughts on how the various authorities and police forces in São Paulo react to the crisis? Namely, crime running rampant, homicide rates being much higher, disappearances having been higher for years and, for those who know how to listen, rumours of strange supernatural threats behind it all. It won't be as bad as Rio, but there will still be many 'extra' homicides every day, caused by the supernatural (for all that no one can prove that).

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Originally Posted by Pip Boy View Post
The elites' teams of the two police are seen as virtually homogeneous by ordinary citizens, perhaps because of their level of military training. Between civil and military police, the difference of perception is greater, when the ordinary guards, who beat the streets, are in focus. Civilian police are usually seen as less confrontational.
Yes, from what I can find, public perceptions of Policia Militar and Policia Civil tactical teams seem pretty homogenous.

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Originally Posted by Pip Boy View Post
I do not know. What I found on the internet does not support this as a requirement. But I would say that it SEEMS almost mandatory for me because of the level of quality os the officers.
From what I can discover, CORE (or GOE in São Paulo) tactical police are often veterans of other tactical policing units or the Army. That does not suggest that they are experienced detectives with college degrees who then add SWAT-type training, but rather that they are recruited among people with tactical expertise who might not otherwise belong to the Policia Civil.

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Again, I dont know the difference very well :( Here it would be nice to have some advice from someone in the area. I'm from São Paulo, and we do not have BOPE here.
Well, it seems your equivalent is the PMESP GATE and the PCESP GOE, but it's the same situation of both the Policia Militar and the Policia Civil in the state both having a famous and elite unit of tactical police.
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:17 AM   #73
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Default Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus (Universal Church of the Kingdom of God)

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Exactly. Haha!

For the IURD - Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus (Universal Church of the Kingdom of God), the official justification of the Gladiadores do Altar (Altar Gladiators) is as follows:

1. Gladiators of the Altar is a project of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God for guidance and formation of young people dedicated to the propagation of the Christian Faith, which has been working since January 2015.

2. The discipline that the Gladiators project offers its members is only that spiritual.

3. Its members are volunteers of the Universal Youth Force, a social program that has millions of young people throughout Brazil and in other countries and that develops cultural, social and sports activities to assist in the rescue and support of street people, addicts, young people poor and in conflict with the law.

4. The Youth Force also promotes blood, food, clothing and book donation campaigns for needy communities and recovery clinics.

5. It carries out actions of awareness and citizenship - like the incentive to the young person who obtains the title of elector.

6. Provides free vocational courses to poor people and forwards them to the labor market.

7. Support rescuers in emergencies and tragedies, with the delivery of water, food and other necessary materials.

Unofficially, there are allegations of being the embryo of an armed wing of the IURD, a military band of young men imbued with a certain warrior mysticism. Similar to the formation of militias, it is seen by many as a fundamentalist Christian sect, which was even indirectly responsible and important factor in the election of the new Brazilian president. Altar Gladiators have been forming for years in the temples that IURD has in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru and other countries in Latin America.
Excellent.

I can use the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God as a Contact Group useful to Monster Hunters in any of these countries (and in Houston, TX), as rivals or even as antagonists, depending on the situation. Some local churches will probably be populated by priests and faithful who either don't know about the supernatural threat or don't believe in it, others may be populated by fanatical Gladiators of the Altar who hunt witches and anyone involved with the occult and yet others may be subtly influenced by some rogue magician or a supernatural being for their own purposes.
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Old 04-30-2019, 06:44 AM   #74
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Default Brazilian Blades for Monster Hunting

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Originally Posted by Pip Boy View Post
http://g1.globo.com/sao-paulo/soroca...-exercito.html

This is a 2013 link, but it's still current. The cutler Villar still makes the knives for the army elites. He lives in Arkansas, and his instagram is @r.vilar_knives. He post photos of his knives frequently.

So I would choose jungle knives, machetes, and hatchets for special forces.
Ah, cool!

I had seen an article on bayonets and knives from IMBEL by Ronaldo Olive, a frequent reporter on Brazilian tactical teams and weaponry, but this is new to me.

So, any Brazilian monster hunters who are graduates from the Army's Centro de Instrução de Guerra na Selva (CIGS) will own an 'Onca negra' or Jaguar knife, which is probably a Very Fine Long Knife in GURPS terms and may or may not be Balanced as well (the quoted Cost would argue against it, but does approximately fit a Very Fine blade at TL7+).

The COMANF Marines of the Tonelero Battalion might carry a Peixera knife in a typical combat knife size and those whose aptitude or attitude made them particularly suited for beheading slain supernatural foes might also carry machetes. The GRUMEC divers of the Navy would probably use a combat knife good for utility and diving, but might also arm themselves with longer blades for cutting off heads if necessary.

The 'Comando da Santa Cruz' should probably have very special knives, blessed by friendly Catholic priests and ideally refurbished versions of older blades. It might provide some slight mystical benefit if a hunter could track down a blade used by an ancestor or at least have a historical sword blade reforged into a shorter knife.

I think all the 'Santa Cruz' Commandos shall have a steel Facón (Long Knife) in GURPS terms that is Very Fine and Balanced, as well as blessed by a priest and with iron in the grip that the monster hunter touches when the knife is grasped for protection. Obviously, decorated with a cross.

If the individual doesn't have any heirloom blades that can be used as the basis, then they'll receive a Facón made from a cut-down or broken sword from the Catholic Church.
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Old 04-30-2019, 09:37 AM   #75
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Default Re: Brazilian Blades for Monster Hunting

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
The COMANF Marines of the Tonelero Battalion might carry a Peixera knife in a typical combat knife size and those whose aptitude or attitude made them particularly suited for beheading slain supernatural foes might also carry machetes. The GRUMEC divers of the Navy would probably use a combat knife good for utility and diving, but might also arm themselves with longer blades for cutting off heads if necessary.
I don't have experience with decapitating monsters, but I do hunt deer and the butcher I take the carcasses to prefers the heads and feet to be removed before I drop them off. I find a hatchet works better than any knife I've tested for cutting through deer vertebrae and long bones (although admittedly, I haven't tried out my machete yet on a deer). If beheading is frequently necessary, I can see commandos might frequently carry some kind of combat axe.

Although I imagine a breacher saw would also work quite well - at least once the monster was incapacitated. If you've got a breacher saw to gain entry anyway, you might as well use it on the uglies you dispatch.

Luke
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Old 04-30-2019, 10:26 AM   #76
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Default Off With His Head!

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Originally Posted by lwcamp View Post
I don't have experience with decapitating monsters, but I do hunt deer and the butcher I take the carcasses to prefers the heads and feet to be removed before I drop them off. I find a hatchet works better than any knife I've tested for cutting through deer vertebrae and long bones (although admittedly, I haven't tried out my machete yet on a deer). If beheading is frequently necessary, I can see commandos might frequently carry some kind of combat axe.
Hatchets being superior to machetes at dismembering and decapitation is not reflected in GURPS rules, although I don't have any difficulty imagining that I'd probably prefer a hatchet myself for taking the head off a humanoid with paranormal traits.

Of course, I've used a roll against Professional Skill for monster hunters for a similar purpose as Professional Skill (Executioner)and Professional Skill (Butcher) before, i.e. to ensure the same x3 damage modifier as a lucky critical hit allows when decapitating or dismembering a dead, disabled or restrained target. Hatchets might give a +1 or +2 equipment bonus to the skill roll relative to a machete for such tasks.
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Originally Posted by lwcamp View Post
Although I imagine a breacher saw would also work quite well - at least once the monster was incapacitated. If you've got a breacher saw to gain entry anyway, you might as well use it on the uglies you dispatch.

Luke
A sound thought. Best not to take chances.
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Old 04-30-2019, 01:31 PM   #77
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Default Re: [MH] Brazilian Secret Monster Hunters

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Originally Posted by Icelander
1 - The thrreats are never that obvious.
Great! I really like the tone of your setting!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Icelander
2 - Any thoughts on how the various authorities and police forces in São Paulo react to the crisis?
The Military Police of São Paulo is a little more moderate than Rio de Janeiro's, however, they have much in common. I believe the strategy would be very similar, specially when comparing special forces groups and how they reacted to a "shadow war" against the supernatural. Violence probably will be swept way for the outlying areas when possible, keeping the rich and tourist areas 'clean of confrontation'.

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Originally Posted by Icelander
3 - From what I can discover, CORE (or GOE in São Paulo) tactical police are often veterans of other tactical policing units or the Army. That does not suggest that they are experienced detectives with college degrees who then add SWAT-type training, but rather that they are recruited among people with tactical expertise who might not otherwise belong to the Policia Civil.
Yes, my observation about university education is because civilians enter police life, in most cases, going through a public tender, where those have the best grades fill any vacancies available. In theory, this would ensure at least university level (a major in Law is almost universal) for the best agents.

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Originally Posted by Icelander
4 - I had seen an article on bayonets and knives from IMBEL by Ronaldo Olive, a frequent reporter on Brazilian tactical teams and weaponry, but this is new to me.
I really endorse all your sugestions. Looks fine to me, and add some regional flavor to combat.
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:25 AM   #78
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Default Re: Holy Cross Commandos, the Southern Cross, Saints and PSCs

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I like the idea of Cruzeiro do Sul be a symbol of the occult monster hunting commandos and case officers within 'Comando da Santa Cruz'. Like a cross formed by stars..
Done.
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Originally Posted by Pip Boy View Post
Sure!
Grupo Cruzeiro do Sul (Southern Cross Group) seems right. Segurança Cruzeiro do Sul it's another (Southern Cross Security).
Segurança Cruzeiro do Sul (SCS) sounds good. We'll have it be the first cover security established by ABIN and the one rumour-mongers in the occult underground are most likely to know is a front for counter-supernatural covert operations. Not used much these days for actual covert operations, but get a healthy amount of security jobs from the Catholic Church in Brazil and neighbouring countries (the Vatican needs more protection in a world where many rogue magicians and supernatural predators hate and fear priests who are aware of the occult).

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Santa Cruz would probably be the moniker. CSC also can be used.
CSC is the acronym for the informal nickname of the secret monster hunters within ABIN, SCS is the acronym for their first false front security company.

How close is the pronounciation of SCS and CSC in Brazilian Portuguese?

Are there any puns that would occur to speakers in relation to this?

I suspect those in the know would refer to service in the secret group as their time 'under the Cross', especially if there is some variant of such a phrase that was historically used about crusaders.

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Originally Posted by Pip Boy View Post
Yes, I guess so.

Anjo Seguradora. Angel Insurance/Security company
Grupo Arcanjo. Archangel Group.
SPS - São Paulo/Pedro Segurança. Saint Paul/Peter Security.
Arconte Serviços de Segurança. Archon Security Services
Vigilância - Vigilance Inc.
CATSEC - Catholic Security
Ok, first of all, you are aware that the Arconte Serviços de Segurança carries an unfortunate acronym in English and any English-speaking Bible scholar will be hard-pressed to avoid making a joke (trying and failing to avoid the use of the phrase 'making a crack') about Book of Numbers, Chapter 22, Verses 23-31: "And the ass saw the angel of the Lord standing in the way, ..."

SPS - São Paulo Segurança is good.

What about military saints or guardian angels, protectors or slayers of monsters?

Are any of the following popular in Brazil and how would you refer to them if they are?

Saint George?
Michael the Archangel?
Saint Sebastian?
Saint Ignatius of Loyola?
Saint Eustachius?
Saint Hubertus?
Saint Jude (the Apostle, not Judas Iscariot)?

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Originally Posted by Pip Boy View Post
I can think of Embrase - Empresa Brasileira de Segurança e Vigilância ltda
https://www.embrase.com.br/ (Brazilian security and surveillance company),
and Grupo Protege (http://www.protege.com.br/) (Protect Group).

But that's just because they're POPULAR, so I think they can be in whatever place with ease.
I like the name of Grupo Protege. Do they, like many PSCs, have close relations with police forces where they operate and hire many former cops?

What about off-duty police officers moonlighting as private security? Does that happen with Grupo Protege?
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Old 05-01-2019, 10:42 AM   #79
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Default Saint Names for Front Companies, Groups or Teams

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about other names, here people like Saints a lot. Comando do São Jorge is a good possibility, but I don't know other warriors saints.

you can use the Holy Marie variations people here like, but Comando is not appropriate.
Protetores DE Maria Aparecida.
Legião de Nossa Senhora Auxiliadora

change the Maria and Nossa Senhora as you wish. in this case I would use DE instead of DA, but DA is also correct
I like the idea of a few PSCs named for saints or the Virgin Mary.

I presume São Jorge is St. George, always a good patron saint for slayers of monsters?

Why is it that 'Comando' is not appropriate for groups or organizations named for the Virgin Mary?

For example, in English, a (fictional) unit might be the 'Queen's Own Borderers'. Would it be grammatically or religiously wrong to name a Brazilian unit 'Our Lady's Commandos'?
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Old 05-01-2019, 06:26 PM   #80
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Default Re: Igreja Universal do Reino de Deus (Universal Church of the Kingdom of God)

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Excellent.

I can use the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God as a Contact Group useful to Monster Hunters in any of these countries (and in Houston, TX), as rivals or even as antagonists, depending on the situation. Some local churches will probably be populated by priests and faithful who either don't know about the supernatural threat or don't believe in it, others may be populated by fanatical Gladiators of the Altar who hunt witches and anyone involved with the occult and yet others may be subtly influenced by some rogue magician or a supernatural being for their own purposes.
In reality UCKG is money hunting church... they basic brainwhasing their followers so they "donate" their money to the church... they experts in propaganda and control several media resources in Brasil.
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