1. Blood Drinkers

I taste the salty sweat on her collarbone and receive a flash of insight, a pale echo of her exictement. My tongue seeks her mouth and her arousal flashes through me as I respond. She shivers under my gentle bite, then screams as I rip at her neck and taste the salty blood...her life flashes before our eyes...

This rare talent manifests itself as an outgrowth of Psychomancy. The magician or adept can use thier psychometric abilities on the flesh and fluids of metahumans and other beings, gaining insight into their nature, abilities, history and character...but they suffer a geas (or psychosis) that requires them to actually taste or imbibe the substance.

Blood drinkers make excellent forensic detectives (particularly dissectionists and autopsy specialists), and commonly associate in small fraternal groups where they participate in blood-letting and blood-drinking ceremonies, comingling their blood in chalices to share with the group. Blood drinkers scrupulously test their members for blood-born diseases, especially HMHVV and its variants. Anyone found HMHVV-positive is declared anethema and typically destroyed.

Vampires and nosferatu with this ability/affliction typically make extensive use of it, especially during feeding. It is not unknown for a vampire or nosferatu to become addicted to the ectasy to pain generated by their blood-drinking, eventually degrading into blood-thirsting monstrosities (not a far fall, according to some). Others, particulary those nosferatu past their first century, enjoy subtler psychometric residues in blood, and may even use their abilities to "taste" younger vampires, nosferatu and vampiric pawns in order to determine something of their sire. In this way, a handful of elder nosferatu have become embroiled in an extended project to map the various "bloodlines" of the Infected.

While Black Magicians, whose tradition depends on a perversion of religious dogma and ceremony, especially but not always Catholic, sometimes manifest this ability; true Corrupt magicians and Blood Magicians rarely possess it...the impact their activities leave in the body and blood of their victims makes any use of such psychometry an act of "instant karma" so to speak.

2. Flesh Eaters

The attendant is diligent, yet caring. He is a professional, and performs her autopsy with loving care. A dry voice rasps into the microphone the length of the incisions, the angle of descent, the caliber of the bullet. Almost as an afterthought, a sliver of quiverring purple flesh passes his pallid lips. The black horror of her death closes in on him, and he shudders in horror...or delight...

A variation of the above, the first Flesh Eaters began as a small society of Blood Drinkers who became infected with Krieger Strain HMHVV due to improper precautions during a blood-mingling ceremony. However, other groups have since arisen across the globe.

They maintain, for the greater part, their intelligence and magical ability, and have used their refined psychometric abilities to appreciate the nature of their meals. Circles act as magical support to the Ghoul Liberation movement, as a council of advisors to Thelma Louise, and as a penitent monastical order in a disused Catholic leper colony in Turkey. Aside from these, two other circles stand out:

Les Zombu are in service to a wendigo houngan that follows Baron Samedi, and operates in Paris. Members typically induct only ork or troll members, with one member being served as a feast to all (including the wendigo) every new moon.

The Judges of Duat, by contrast, are a martial order of Hekau magicians dedicated to Anubis, Egyptian god of the Dead, and seek to stem the depredations of shedim and scarab shamans in Egypt. The Judges are skilled at ancient Egyptian mummification techniques, and often perform this service for those who can pay...in exchange for a certain amount of the body being removed for later consumption. The Judge's technique includes tasting the corpse's heart and other major organs, in an attempt to judge how they lived in life.

3. Entrail Readers

Mama Bebe grabs a black cockerol by the head, and wrings its neck. An old wood-handled butchers knife slices open the poor bird as it mindlessly kicks and twitches and defecates. The sunglasses hide her eyes, but her wide white-tooth grin tells her she likes what she sees.
"Whatchoo see, Mama?" says Gabriel. Mama clucks her tongue before she answers.
"I see dinner, boy. Pluck dis her cock and stick 'im in de pot."

Mainly practiced by followers of the Greek and Roman pantheons, although also adopted by the practitioners of Voudoun and some of the more grisly Aztec priest-magicians, Entrail Readers focus their use of Divination through their skill at sacrificing a living animal (typically a chicken or goat), and reading the entrails by way of color and lesion.

Aztec and Celtic priests occaisionally go further by reading the entrails of a human victim sacrificed for this purpose, but only for special occaisions: they prefer to save their victims for more meaningful sacrifices. When such a sacrifice is performed, the body is usually further violated in some way: wrapping the exposed intestines around an oak tree, or dropping the heart of the victim into a brazier to carry the prayers of the priest to the gods.

Some ghouls and wendigos are very eager to learn this technique. Not only because the magician-priest typically consumes the animal's flesh afterwards-but because of the strange visions granted when they use psychometry as they devour the victim's eyes or brain.

4. Necromancers

I can hardly contain my enthusiasm, to have finally recovered my old enemy's skull. Some witch-doctor out in Hindustan had made it into a cup of all things. To think he thought of it only as a heathen fetish. The fool. You cannot gain the power of your enemy by drinking wine from their skull. You have to make them tell you their secrets, first. For knowledge is power...

The Speakers to the Dead practice an ancient (and occaisionally abhorred) version of Divination, where they speak to the corpse of one who might know the answer to their question...and the corpse answers.

Traditionally performed with the bleached skull of a magus or magician, which answers from beyond the grave in a dry whisper only the magician can hear, modern variants include a twist on the summoning of ancestor spirits.

When the magician, who is in possession of the intact corpse (or at least the disembodied head, although at least one report of a detached hand fluent in sign language or capable of writing has been reported) summons the ancestor spirit of the individual to whom the corpse (or part) belongs to, the spirit immediately possess the corpse (or part). For the duration of its services, the spirit remains in the corpse (which cannot move significantly: only to write or move its jaws, or crane its neck to peer at somethng with its eye sockets; and never for any purposes of combat or defense) and answers the summoner's questions in a voice audible by all present.

Some necromancers have managed to bind ghosts to their remains, creating artificial chains. The exact method of these unique enchantments is unknown.

5. Medicine Men

The girl was sick, and malnourished. Old Dog applied a mustard paste to her face and chest, washed her forehead with cool water, and made her smoke three hand-rolled cigarettes of clove, tobacco and marijuana he had grown himself. very soon, the girl was better. As he left, Old Dog pressed something in her hand and said.
"Take these, and call me in the morning."
The girl opened her hand to find a pair of aspirin sitting in her nut-brown palm.

A variant on the Alchemical school, the Medicine Men (derogatively known as Potion-makers) are a style of magic common in many cultures. Typically sorcery adepts or conjurers that specialize in banishing, potion-makers possess a geas that they must apply some medicine-be it a poultice, ungeuent, ointment, powder, pill, elixir, tincture or other applicable substance for their spell or exorcism to have effect.

Many Medicine Men are traditionalists of one sort or another, using holisitic and herbal techniques; while others use archaic or ultramodern medicinal techniques in addition to their magical abilities. Almost exclusively non-violent, Medicine Men focus on spells of the Health category almost exclusively; others, particularly adepts of the Catholic or Judaic exorcists, use holy wafers, oils and the like to drive out evil spirits from victims. Most Medicine Men learn spells with a range of Touch rather than Line of Sight, and make excessive use of Anchoring and Enchanting to make healing potions and elixirs of various varieties.

Understanding any Medicine Man formulae or making use of their libraries requires a minimum of Medicine or Herbalism:4 skill.

Medicine Men initiations typically focus on ascetism and meditation, using purgatives, sweat lodges, diets and exercise techniques to purify body, mind and spirit.

6. Poisoners

He was dressed in the latest neo-Victorian fashion, glad-handing the glitterati with a willing smile and bottles of non-FDA-approved diet pills, sexual performance enhancers, and little bottles of human adrenochrome or distillate of toad skin extract. When he got to me, I told him he couldn't have anything I would want. He smiled and said to me: "The candyman can!"
Quick as a wink, he puffed a bit of powder into my face, and I sneezed. The next day my lungs began filling with fluid. I felt like I was dying.
Now it's the third day, and the doctors have all gone. This is beyond their medicine. The candyman is back, sitting at my bedside, fingers gently ordering my thinning hair.
Then he pulled out an empty syringe, and grinned. His gums were raw and ragged from where he rubbed them with novacoke, his teeth long and yellowed. Oh God, help me...

Derogatively known as "Candy Men," these darksome variants of the Medicine Men possess the same geas but opposite inclinations. Where the Medicine men heal, the Poisoners harm. They prefer a greater range of spells, including those of Illusion to simulate fear or hallucinogenic effects, and those of Manipulation to dull the mind or enact frightful and harming transformations. In contrast, they are limited in Health spells to ones that harm their "patients," such as Wither Limb.

The medicines applied by Poisoners are typically contact poisons and drugs, which they apply through manners modern or archaic (the hollow reed filled with powder is a favorite among the bruja of the North American southwest). Others are "quack" medicines, such as magnetic water or peneal gland extracts from devil rats, which provide psychosomatic relief at best.

Poisoner formulae and libraries may only be understood by those who possess at lesat the Toxicology or Chemistry:4 skills

7. Sponges

The circle sat in prayer, and I watched as the pyramid of power grew above them. Their sending was almost complete. With a flash, their energy expanded and launched itself, the spell dissapearing from my astral vision. On the physical, the circle master Reverend Rick was tired but triumphant. Brother Daniel would soon have the strength he needed to overcome the demoniac sorcery of the Elven paladins.

A technique created by evangelical prayer circles to infuse their champions, this ability ahs unfortunately become associated with racist organizations such as the Humanis Policlub, some chapters of which are determined that the only way to [i[fight[/i] magic is with magic.

The target of the ritual is a friendly sorceror or magician skilled in Absorbing, and who is made aware of the ritual in advance-timing is usually crucial. When the time is correct, the magicians gather in prayer, performing an act of ritual sorcery directed at the target magician. If all goes well, the target magician uses their Absorbing technique to harmlessly absorb the energies directed at them by the prayer circle...energies which are then directed at their enemies.

Naturally, the target magician is the "sponge."


Any number of cultures believe in the magical potency of human remains, from the flayed human skins used by Aztec priests to the baby fat purportedly used by witches in Europe. So why not use this?

Specifically, NPCs may use animal materials from human beings in their magics, giving that little something extra to freak out PCs. Examples:

A necromancer builds and enchants a golem...out of human body parts.

After making a sacrifice, an Aztlan blood mage flays the victim and uses their skin as a component in their foci.

A bruja creates a Hand of Glory (unique focus or radical to be used in some ritual or just to cause trouble.)

A Toxic Shaman who can't learn Sacrificing nevertheless begins slaying his victims, and using the blood in Aztec-style rites to cleanse the elements (great for misleading PCs!)

A shady talismonger sells street magicians bits of paranormal animals for their foci...only they're actually human remains, and the talismonger is a vampire disguising her feeding.

A helpful magician is selling magical compounds or "healing potions" (anchored "Heal" spells)...but the potions contains bits of human skin and blood, and the magician is a Wendigo corrupting his victims.


Picture, if you will, a body being found somewhere in the city, flesh and bloody, only minutes dead. A magician passing by notes that the area of astral space around the corpse...indeed, everywhere around the body for dozens or hundreds of yards...is relatively undisturbed. This is unusual, because death, especially such an apparent murder as this (let's say the victim's stomach was cut open and the entrails surgically removed) leaves an astral background count. What could have happened?

The idea is this: murder leaves a background count behind, and multiple murders in one place over time can create a sustained background count. But what if the murders happened in a moving vehicle? Would the background count develop at the physical location of death (which the vehicle would travel past, having no mark), or would the background count be confined to the vehicle itself.

Imagine a serial murderer driving around in a car that's a black morass of pollution on the Astral.

Imagine a Corrupted mage bidding on a car that was in a drive-by shooting. Maybe he wards the vehicle to keep others from seeing the dark energies he enjoys.

Imagine a travel-trailer used by a team of organleggers, trying to avoid the scene of the crime.

Imagine Ambulance 13, where the EMT, through clumsiness or bad luck, keep losing patients...and the wraith that ends up following it...

Imagine a blood spirit rising from a sacrifice made by a crazed magician in the back of a cab in the shadow of the Aztechnology building; and that the free Blood Spirit is confined to the vehicle, masquerading as a cab driver to lure in unwary fares and thus feed its ravaging hunger.

The runner team buys a former book-mobile (possible Hermetic-library, medecine lodge or Enchanting shop on-the-go) or ice cream truck (keeps bodies and weapons cold, great for defeating thermal scans and hiding armor) on the cheap for a great price, only to find that it's haunted by a former occupant.


The Concept: an ex-insect shaman.

When the insect shaman's queen dies, the insect shaman loses all magical abilities and becomes mundane thereafter.

Such a character may or may not regain what passes for sanity, but they'd have a good background in magic which would make them a good excuse for a magic-savvy if secretive PC or NPC. Bonus: they still have a chance to summon and bind free spirits, especially free insect spirits.

If an ex-insect shaman manages, somehow, to bind a free Queen Spirit, they can use her as their personal totem, regaining their full magical abilities. This time, however, they won't fall into the same trap that almost destroyed them.

If an ex-insect shaman joins the Aleph Society, they also regain their magical abilities...and now have access to the Sacrificing metamagic as well. An ex-insect shaman would be ideal at dealing with a dark spirit like Gaf, because they've got plenty of experience dealing with the like.