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Who are you?...

In just a moment, suddenly, you realize to be something more, something different,  from a common human being. The clues were there, even before, but only in that precise moment they made sense. Now you see that, just like yourself, others move among the humans, in plain sight. They do not hide, quite on the contrary. Many try actively to be seen as what they really are, but the masses ignore them and find a logical explanation for any weird behaviour or event. It is not just a conspiracy, it is more like a very long dream from which it is not possible to wake up at command. Well, now you know it, certain things exist. You are one of them, you have been awakened!

The awakened

"Three little pigs go to the market, one falls down into a manhole and smashes its skull open. Two little pigs go to the market, one plays with fire and ends roasted. Oh, I think you are the only one left..."

The horror in the alley

The world of humans is true, it's real, but it is not the only one. The "real" world is real because the human beings believe that it is so, that it is governed by precise and well defined rules. Some things simply cannot or must not exist.

However, for every man and woman living there are different beliefs, some believe in pure science, while others are devoted to a religion, while still others believe in things even more bizarre, from the existence of UFOs to the theory of the Illuminati. If it is true that the beliefs of a single human being are such, it is equally true that when a crowd of people begin to believe the same thing, changes occur.

In the schools of the so called advanced world, teach that the universe has very precise rules and that science studies them and uses them, but also remember that "the legends often have an element of truth." The awakened ones are those who have transcended the rules of science and with them their humanity.

They are creatures, no longer human, that have access to the material of creation and can change the reality at will, this is due to the beliefs of the ignorant masses, the dormant humanity, that even if they claim to be rational, firmly believe in old and new superstitions.

For the foregoing reasons, the awakened can not act entirely in the open, they must move between the sleepers trying to make them believe in them, but without exposing too much. Otherwise risk a heavy denial, a negation that could strip the powers so laboriously earned.

Every mythological creature, every supernatural beast, every being imagined and shared by one or more human, has the potential to take form and life. Just even a single person who believes in such a creature, to make sure that exists. For this reason, the awakened take shapes and powers that resemble those of supernatural beings known and well-rooted in human cultures. They do it unconsciously, and often believe themselves to be such creatures.

Each lineage has its own legends. They often have many legends how many are the places in the world in which they live. For each disappearing, new ones show up.  

The struggling factions

"I warn you. Leave my forest at once. Otherwise, I'll make sure that you stay here for the eternity"

The Green Knight

By their very nature, the Awakened have different interests and goals. Some work to create a better future for everyone, while others are selfish and petty and care only for their own interest. Just like the Sleepers, the Awakaned too experience the whole range of human emotions, but in their cases those emotions can be more intense or dulled, depending on the being the Awakened embodies.

Currently there are three main active factions, struggling and competing for the souls of mortals. The Legions of Apocalypse, the Hosts of Redemption and the Keepers of the Shroud. The first faction is composed mostly by evil beings trying to reach higher levels of power by enslaving or consuming the souls of the sleepers, while the second faction tries to enlighten and awaken all the sleepers to achieve a new state of blessing in the universe, to make Paradise real.

The third faction is the most obscure, and mantains the status quo since eons. The members of this faction believe that too many awakenings  could harbor the end of all time, Ragnarok, the Day of Judgement after which only dust and eternal death would remain.

There are many beings not aligned to any faction, and there are a myriad of smaller factions, both inside and outside of the big ones.


The Legions of Apocalypse

"Hell exists and there is one Hell for every soul that believes in it. We'll make sure that everyone believes."

Haborin, Duke of the Boneyard

The Legions of the Apocalypse were founded relatively recently. The oldest agree to date back to the dark ages of the Middle Ages. The beings that are part are for the most evil and ruthless, are creatures who appear to dormant or even eat them, to strengthen their powers in a systematic way. The symbol of the faction is a snake swallowing the globe, to indicate what will happen when the legions will have enough power to show up and enslave all others. Their approach is fairly typical, they choose a mortal man and seduce him to their cause, using a mixture of "carrot and stick", they give samples of dark pleasures when he behaves "well" and terrible punishment if they dare disobey. If no one intervenes, within a few days, the victim is tied to the Legions through a ritual that can vary depending on the race of the mentor. It can be a kiss of blood to become vampire or a human sacrifice to become a demon, for example. Not all victims reach full awakening, but all are slaves to the will of the Legions of the Apocalypse.  

The Hosts of Redemption

The future must be a paradise of gold for all to enjoy. Those who oppose our hosts do not deserve to see this future, indeed, does not deserve to have a future!

Gavriel, the Golden General

The Hosts of Redemption were founded in the classical age, the mythical epoch in which it was normal that mortals could see the "gods" walking in their garden. A group of awakened decided to join to bring the rest of humanity to their level, they were engaged in the defense of the sleepers and working to redeem them from their lives of hardship and fear, thereby creating a large group of people who believed in them and in fact giving them ever greater powers.

All this lasted for several centuries, until the oldest of all factions, thet remained largely in the shadows, decided to intervene in force. Now the hosts are again powerful, but far from being able to take to the open field.

Although their purpose is "noble," the Hosts use questionable methods to attract new followers and try to awake them. Some use targeted miracles, while others create real sects whose rituals are not so different from those used by the Legions, although usually less bloody. Also in the Hosts many of the chosen souls do not reach the full awakening, and remains mere servants of the Hosts of Redemption. Their symbol is the winged halo, to remind everyone what's their big objective.  

The Keepers of the Shroud

I fully understand her state of mind, after all she has just been attacked by a mad, murderous, junkie high on crack ...

Calibos, the Shadow Spider

The Keepers of the Shroud is the group of awakened with the absolute most recent origins, and are in effect reclusive and paranoid. The only thing that unites them is the desire to keep the "shroud" intact. With "shroud," they mean the cloak of oblivion that makes humans dormant and prevents the full use of their powers.

Despite boasting very ancient origins, some scholar theorizing that the they already existed in prehistoric times, the keepers began to interact heavily with mortals only in relatively recent times, basically since the days when the Hosts of Redemption were created. From there the two alliances clashed several times, but only with the advent of the Legions of the Apocalypse the conflict intensified to a new level. Now, with daily struggles and a dramatic increase of awakenings, the keepers were forced to intervene heavily. They put in place a plan that led to the claim of science on the magic, of rationality over superstition and, in general, of materialism on the spiritual.

Starting from the Renaissance, the Illuminism, and finally up to the industrial age, the great deception has been completed. Now the shroud is active more than ever, there has never been so many mortals who deny the existence of the supernatural, so the powers of the awakened are at their minimum.

The methods of the Keepers of the Shroud depend in part on individual keepers and partly by those who oppose them. If a keeper wants to sink back into the shroud the victim of an awakened, he or she will firstly try to provide a "logical" and realistic explanation about whatever disconcerting event has happened to the victim. If this is not possible, then the keeper would not hesitate to intern her in a hospital for mental illness or even eliminate her, depending on the keeper personality. The symbol of the Keepers of the Shroud is the blinded eye, nothing more appropriate.  

The War of the Harvest

"I was already ancient when you were just a thought in the loins of your father. Leave the field or burn, at your convenience."

Zmey Gorynych

The power of each factions, small or large, is determined by the number and power of its members. At present, the most ancient and numerous, are the awakened belonging to the Keepers of the Shroud, so the Legions and the Hosts are actively looking to recruit in mass to gain an advantage.

The major factions are huge alliances with "large" common goals, but within them there are plenty of families, clans and packs that never turn their backs on their allies, knowing full well that they not hesitate a moment to betray them for a minimum personal gain.

Often smaller groups within a faction are bullied by larger ones, so there is a big frenzy that pushes all members of the Legions of the Apocalypse and the Hosts of the Redemption to recruit as much as possible, in order to have new allies or new slaves.

What in slang is called the "war of the harvest" is nothing but the succession of battles and skirmishes, large or small, that occur when two or more awakened, attempt to wake the soul of a sleeper and, above all, seek to bring it to their faction.  

The Land of Dreams

Welcome to my humble abode. The house rules are very simple, if you manage to get to the entrance of the maze, you can live ...

Quyen, the Lady of the ten thousand nails

The Awakened have such amazing powers that they can shape reality into new shapes. Although primarily change their body, more or less consciously, to adapt more to their beliefs, are not limited to this.

The places that give asylum, even temporarily, to one or more awakened are called Lands of Dreams. These areas can also greatly change in order to comply to the wishes of those who live in. For this reason the places where these entities duel, are bizarre fields of battles, with a certain self-will and fraught with supernatural dangers.

Originally could be simple buildings: schools, shopping malls or dumps, but thanks to the unearthly powers of the awakened, they turn into wonderful places and death traps. Imagine the classic car dump depot, then add strange shadows that move between the twisted metal and the occasional squeak of metal rubbing against metal. Now, perhaps, you are ready to face what lies hidden among the dead cars.  

The Guardians of Souls

I'm afraid I'll have to deeply shake your... skepticism.

Anevay Moonlight

When the keepers have raised the shroud, they got much more than they expected. With the passing of time each sleeper has formed his own Guardian of the Soul. These beings, which in western culture are often referred to as "guardian angels", are a kind of last stand, the last rebellion of every soul against who would want to upset her.

When one awakened begins to actively interact with a sleeper, the first thing you get is a refusal. This refusal may be more or less intense, depending the nature of the human and the approach used, but will always be such. The only way to avoid it is to confront and defeat the guardian, only after the sleeper will realize that there is "something wrong", in its logical and rational world. Although each guardian is different, just like the individual that protect, share some basic characteristics: they tend to resemble the soul which they are linked and become increasingly more powerful with time, starting from when the awakening process has been triggered.

Sleepers are completely oblivious of their guardians and of the beings who try to confront them, but they can experience an instinctive need to move to a safer place, in certain circumstances. This is apparently caused by their guardians, who try to get them as far away as possible from the closest threat. Unfortunately, guardians cannot do much to protect their sleepers from physical threats or more mundane menaces, even if some awakened is their cause.  

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