Servants of the Sunken Pantheon, the Hidden Ones make their home in coastal towns and villages around the world. Through corruption and interbreeding, the Hidden Ones irrevocably link their community to the sea and to Dread Father Dagon, Deep Mother Hydra, and the other ancient deities that they worship.
The rise of sterile cities has forced the Hidden Ones further into the shadows and has pushed them towards the isolated communities where it is easier to go unnoticed. The families can prey on their neighbours, considering them little more than talkative sheep ready for slaughter.
Food is not an issue for these ancient bloodlines that hide amongst the rest of us, and their numbers are growing with each cycle. In this Shadow War, the Hidden Ones are underestimated by their enemies. It will prove to be their enemies undoing.
Knowledge is power, so the adage goes. To the adepts of the Priory, this is a literal truth as they have been curating their knowledge of Mythos for generations. It is the power by which humanity will be saved from the predations of the Old Ones in the Shadow War.
Over the millennia, shamans, soothsayers, skalds and scholars held the keys to the power of Mythos but were unaware of its greater purpose. Those fortunate few used it sparingly and merely glimpsed behind the curtain to barely retain their sanity.
As humanity became increasingly arrogant in their own manifest destiny, this precious lore of Mythos was discarded in favour of technology, and the illusion of safety created by our increasingly modern world. So the Priory have been charged by their mysterious coordinator Madame Adrestia to remember the old dangers that still lurk in the darkness and to fight it at every turn so that the Priory emerge victorious in the Shadow War.
Naturalists and biologists will say that Nature is a living thing in perfect balance. But what they do not realise, is that such harmony has only been reached through the influence of the ancient force known as the Wyld.
This power was worshipped in its own right in ages past and even today can be found in the roots of many more… sanitised religions.
The Wyldborne still remember the old ways, however, and all the raw power that comes from those who walk in its shadow.
The story of the Custos Crypta begins in the year 700 BCE at the height of the Kushite Empire when the authority of Pharaoh Neferkare Shabaka was considered absolute. Shabaka was said to be blessed by the ancient Egyptian Goddess Khepera.
It was in Khepera’s name that Shabaka ruled, from Nubia to the Nile Delta and a blood sacrifice was made daily in his name. For this tribute, the Kushite Empire was gifted the service of the Custos Crypta, a sentient insectoid species that acted as both guardian and custodian of Shabaka and his people. But time and the treachery of humankind are the only constants in this world and Shabaka was murdered by his nephew Taharqa.
The remaining Custos Crypta were entombed alongside their Pharaoh in the pyramid at el-Kurru, there to remain for the rest of eternity. At least that was the plan…
It is a fool who thinks that an ancient power like the chiropteran god Belial would not punish those who interfered with their great plan. After gunning down a notorious crime-cult known as the Sons of Belial, every member of the Augusta police department was touched by that vengeful god and marked as his playthings. Each officer was cursed so that they could only exist as things shifting in form, somewhere between the winged creatures of Belial’s realm and the darkened aspects of the people that they once were.
At first, these transformations were uncontrolled and painful, but over time many of the department learned to control it and even use their newfound strength and abilities in the line of duty as they continued to try to serve the city. Such is not the purpose of the Bat God, however, and as the police under Lieutenant Jim Dugan’s command respond to criminality with their newfound preference for brutality and lethal force, they unwittingly continue to carry out Belial’s great plan in the Shadow War.
The future may not be read with impunity. The threads of destiny for a person are wrapped through the days of their lives, known only to the omniscient beings known to their followers as the Fates.
The secrets of the Fates are hidden from the eyes of mere mortals and only those with the gift of Mythos may begin to lift that veil. For the Odani people, as servants to the Fates, the gift of foresight is passed down through the female line.
From Mother to Daughter, the ability to see that what will be has allowed the Travellers to remain healthy, wealthy and wise. Of course, it has the added benefit of staying one step ahead of any authorities that wish to limit their nomadic lifestyle.
It is a great and noble thing to devote a life to the pursuit of knowledge. Some are obsessed with knowledge for its own sake and push the boundaries of understanding within their chosen field of study. However, there are those who seek the power to dominate others through their knowledge.
Chester Barreman is a man such as that. Even in his youth, Chester had an interest in history, more specifically in ancient civilizations and their religions. He was fascinated by the various interconnected beliefs of people across the globe stretching as far back as the written word, hieroglyphs or even cave paintings allowed. It was only as his studies matured that he realised he was at the beginning of a very dangerous path. A path defined by a single word: Chronozon.
Like the Custos Crypta, the Silver Venators have arrived in the middle of the Shadow War to find they are in a world much removed from their own. The Venators are a coven of huntresses who travel the angles of time as their master’s demand.
Each Venator is entrusted with a silvered key, an object attuned to their own Mythos energies. With their key, the Venators can travel through a narrow passage of 120 degrees or less through the gates of time. Using the knowledge of their masters, the Venators emerge from that same corner at the preordained point in the past or future.