This is the result of too much Love N Rockets, among other things...
THE MIRROR PEOPLE
A prominent Balseraph of Fate has dropped out off the face of the earth. If the PCs are angels, this should be someone who has bedeviled them in the past, who they'll notice is gone. If the PCs are demons, it can be a friend, a superior, a rival or just someone they've heard about over the grapevine.
Some demons of Fate are looking for him, and a couple of demons who were working under him. Eventually the mortal authorities, of all people, find him. Tracing reports of the disappearence of various children, they find him in an apartment, calmly and disinterestedly munching on the entrails of one of the children in question. The other children, also dead, have been stripped clean of any flesh, except for their eyes. He doesn't resist as he is taken away to jail, staring placidly at his captors.
Whether or not the PCs get involved or not (if demons, they might get assigned to spring him, if their Princes are friendly to Fate), when one of the PCs is alone, he is attacked. By himself. Or someone who *looks* like him, but with different abilities. After fending off the attack (the entitity in question is low on Corporeal Forces), the PC may or may not notice something odd -- he no longer casts a reflection.
What's going on? One of the demons working under the missing Balseraph had been assigned to help corrupt a sorcerer, a man named John Derrington. Derrington was an up-and-coming young sorcerer: smart, selfish, well-informed and powerful. A little too well-informed, unfortunately -- during a brief contact with a Servitor of Destiny (which his "patron" slew to keep him away from Derrington), John found out about the Songs of Entropy (increased distrust of demons, in the form of believing they're holding out on him, was the first step toward his Destiny), and has been bothering his "parton" demon to give him the keys to immortality. The demon denies that such a thing exists, at least, without a price -- but he's not a Balseraph like his boss, and Derrington doesn't believe him.
Derrington, as mentioned before, is a little too well-informed, and like many sorcerers, impatient as well. What his "patron" didn't know is that Derrington had acquired a sorcerous grimoire with an ancient, lost working -- the Curse of Mirrors -- and despite the Hermetic encoding and some outright mistakes in the text, Derrington had figured out how to make it work. Unfortunately for the celestials in the area, it was designed to work on humans, but Derrington managed to get it to work on celestials anyway. This means that every Celestial in a several mile radius -- including the PCs -- have been inflicted with the Curse of Mirrors. Unfortunately for Derrington, the working stole a good portion of his life force and killed him, simultaneously releasing a Mirror Person with his face.
Who are the Mirror People, and how does the Curse work? The Mirror People are a group of nightmare-generated Ethereals: cold, unfeeling monsters with a variety of supernatural powers. Each has their own nightmarish quirk -- the thing captured by the police is a Mirror Person, and many of them have habits which, while just as horrible, are more subtle than killing children and eating them. They are created with one Force less than the person they look like, but with their character points and Forces distributed however the GM likes: they are fond of Ethereal Songs and due to a long-time association with Sorcerers and an strong alliance with Beleth, many of them have the Sorcerer attunement and the appropriate skills! If the Celestial they're copying has multiple Vessels, so will the Mirror Person, all looking identical to the Vessels of the "original", though the vessels might be bought at a lower or higher level. This makes them more dangerous than a mere relfection of the person in question, because there is no way of telling what they can do. In addition to their other powers, they can step into any mirror and then step out of any other mirror they have seen.
The Curse works like this: When no one is looking, a Mirror Person will step out of a mirror the victim had looked into at one time or another. Naturally, the Mirror Person will look like the victim. Until the Mirror Person is killed or goes away, the victim will cast no reflection. The first thing the Mirror Person will try to do is kill the person they look like -- they'll retreat if badly damaged, but they'll keep trying, biding their time and using their ability to travel through mirrors to set up an unexpected ambush. Once that person is dead, they'll settle in for a long period of time on the Corporeal Plane, terrifying mortals and enjoying themselves in their own cold and alien ways.
Already there are five Mirror People out there: Three for the Balseraph and the two demons working under him (including John's "patron"), one for John, and one for the PC who was attacked. More will be forming, and stalking the Celestials they are a reflection of. Since the Curse has never been directed at a Celestial before, these Mirror People are the nobles of their kind, more powerful than those normally released on Earth -- they haven't been to Earth in centuries. This is their biggest weakness -- they don't understand the modern Earth, and especially modern technology, very well. Some of them don't even speak any modern languages...
Once there are enough Mirror People around, they will begin to hold court, a twisted reflection of a monarchy, conducted in an incomprehensible dream-language. Others of their kind will start to arrive -- the Mirror People of the Dead, reflections of people who have died recently, who do not need the Curse to enter the corporeal plane, once enough Mirror People are gathered. It is unusual for so many Mirror People to be released at once, and they intend to take advantage of it. If they have their way, they will transform the local area into a living nightmare.
Fate knows their agents were killed -- they snapped back to their Hearts, after all -- but they're still in Trauma except for the Balseraph, and they want to figure out what's going on before letting anyone know what happened. This is especially true since the Balseraph remembers being attacked by himself, one of his subordinates and John, though the subordinate in question had snapped back to his heart a couple of hours earlier. Beleth knows what's going on, and it pleases her -- she's not going to tell anyone anything. This odd behavior from a Balseraph of Fate has, of course, interested the Game...
On the Heavenly side, it hasn't gone unnoticed that this has happened right after a Servitor of Destiny died. Blandine has some inkling of what's going on, and likely will send down Servitors to work with the angels of Destiny to figure out what's going on. Michael and Janus, seeing this as an opportunity to capitalize on chaos on the demonic side of things (the Mirror People for the local demons will, generally speaking, come out first, since John meant to direct the Curse at a demon), will be sending in servitors as well.
Regardless, any demons or angels that arrive on the scene, rather than being locals, will NOT be affected by the Curse -- something that should confuse the PCs even more. Aside from killing all the Mirror People (difficult, since some of them are very good at hiding), there are two other ways to get rid of them: Smash the mirror John used to cast the Curse (it's still in his apartment, guarded by his Mirror Person doppleganger), or convince them to go away. The latter is easier than it seems -- the Mirror People rely on their ability to terrify, and are, in reality, cowards. A sufficient show of force followed by a threat, perhaps backed up (probably falsely) with Beleth's name, should see them beating a hasty retreat into nearby mirrors and not returning. They can also be convinced to go away if given a large number of mortals to drag back to the Mirrorlands with him -- really only an option if the PCs are demons.
Kirt "Loki" Dankmyer <email@example.com> PGP key avail. My opinions are my own. love * Eris * RPGs * Anime * Magick * Carroll * techno * hats * cats * Dada I waked, she fled, and day brought back my night. --Milton
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