Presented here are the major characters operating within the New Inquisition.
More spoken of than seen, Abel is still one of the pivotal characters in our story. He's the proverbial eccentric billionaire, a strutting turk in his late thirties, and he's got a hard-on for the occult. Abel has founded what he calls the New Inquisition: dozens of hit men, legbreakers, ex-detectives, computer hackers, you name it, all of whom do his bidding within the occult underground. Abel also has an agenda. He wants to ascend to the next level of existence and join the Invisible Clergy. They act behind the scenes, they don't have bodies, and they're the baddest motherfuckers in known reality. From time to time, people ascend and join the clergy. Usually it happens to clueless schmos who didn't know a thing about the occult, everyday people who fall into the wake of synchronicity patterns. But some have done it deliberately. Abel wants to be one of the latter, and he'll do anything it takes to make it happen.
One of Abel's recent additions to the ranks of the New Inquisition, "Eponymous" used to have a name and a life that he no longer has to worry about. He's good with a gun, doesn't mind gouging out someone's eyes to get them to talk, and is your basic cynical hardcase badass. Eponymous didn't know jack about the occult before Abel recruited him, but he's learned a lot in the six months he's been with the Inquisition. He thinks Abel is a stone cold freak, but doesn't care--he's doing what he likes to do, and he's getting paid well to do it. If that means he's duking it out with sorcerers and plugging bullets into magical clockwork automatons instead of running drugs and kacking stool pigeons, well, life goes on.
Daphnee is the Heirophant of the Sect of the Naked Goddess, thank you very much, and don't you forget it. The Naked Goddess is the name given to one of the everyday normals who lucked into ascending to the ranks of the Invisible Clergy. She was a porn star, and her ascension happened right in the middle of a taping session. It was caught on videotape, a first, and the bootlegs of the tape kicked off a new wave of occult activity. One element of this is that a cult has grown up around her, obsessively digging up information on her life just like any fan club. Daphnee Lee was in the studio the day that the Goddess ascended, and saw it first-hand. It changed her life, and she's devoted herself to serving the Goddess. Of course, the Goddess has never contacted Daphnee--but that's the way these things go. Daphnee's followers are single-minded in their adoration of the Goddess, endlessly watching her skin flicks for symbols and clues about the nature of the Goddess and the form Her worship should take. Most people consider Daphnee's cult to be a bunch of rank amateurs, but the funny thing about synchronicity patterns is that even rank amateurs end up in the right place at the right time. No matter the circumstances, when heavy shit goes down it's a dead certainty that Daphnee and her crew will be involved for the most unlikely of reasons. Daphnee is turning into a sorceress of no mean skill, and her followers are adept at using sex magick to get what they want from people. Daphnee understands the importance of synchronicity well enough that she'll take even the most banal event as a sign to do something; usually she's right, and she's becoming a major player as a result.
Allen is an aging, dissipated writer with a small following and a lifetime of bad drugs, bad marriages, and bad choices. He's a Boozehound, someone who draws magickal power from getting plastered. Usually this form of magick offers little more than divination gifts, but Allen has been a boozer for most of his life and he can pull some serious shit if he's sufficiently drunk. Allen's goals are muddled at best. A hardcore alcoholic, he's not sure if he pursues booze for the sake of power, or power for the sake of booze. Either way, he's a mean old bastard. At present he's on the trail of life-restoring magicks, as his health is so shot from a lifetime of hard drinking that he'll be in the grave inside a year without serious help. Going sober and getting medical treatment, of course, is out of the question.
A well-meaning young chaos magician from Portland, Zaraya isn't too interested in the intrigues of the occult underground; she just wants to ditch the astral parasite some neophyte stuck on her in a flubbed ritual. Trouble is, astral parasites do more than sap your energy and occasionally possess your body. They're a magnet for weirdness of every sort, and as a result Zaraya is getting caught up in events she could care less about. Her friends are also a problem. Many of them are occult dabblers (like Artemis, who stuck her with the parasite) who know just enough to get themselves into trouble and not enough to get out. Occult hardcases like finding innocents like Zaraya's friends and using them for whatever purposes their personal agendas require. Zaraya is motivated by getting her friends out of danger, and by her efforts to ditch the freaking parasite. Its given name is Inversus (its true name, of course, is a secret), and when it possesses Zaraya's body it uses her to further its own goals. This usually involves doing loathsome things and getting Zaraya in deep trouble.
An enigmatic troublemaker, Linz straddles the old school and the new wave of the occult underground with ease. He's a self-admitted operative of the little-known King in Yellow (who some say is just a fiction created by Linz), and has at various times run an occult publishing company, been a graphic designer whose work allegedly drove people mad, and made short films in the Kenneth Alger vein. An inveterate scenester, he looks to be about 35 but may be much older. Linz has no allies, but no lasting enemies either; depending on who you ask he's either a punk who is beneath notice or an honest-to-gosh avatar of the King in Yellow himself and therefore no one you should screw with. Linz just smiles and pursues his own arcane, seemingly-random goals, popping up where he can be most annoying to the big boys. One of the few things anyone knows about him for sure is that his affable exterior masks a capacity for cruelty and bloodshed unequaled by anyone else in the occult underground--or is that just another one of Linz's fictions? Most agree it's better not to ask.
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