Henri von Giffard (Earth)
Taurus, from the Voice of Scorpio: "Gentlemen. The message I
received from 0001 last year seems to have been intended for you. In the
spirit of cooperation I therefore enclose a copy [which reads: To House
Taurus of the European Cell, from 0001: "I hear whispers in the wires...
Earth may be under a doom. If not the Capricorn, the Virgo, or the Pisces.
Our House is the only one that can rescue something from this situation:
you have done well to get into space, but to ensure humanity's survival you
will have to travel to the stars, not just the planets. You will also have
to take me with you: come to Atlantis and rescue me from the prison I am
in, but beware the other eleven, for they will surely try and stop you.
0001."] May I also take this opportunity to offer my services to your
House: I have a diverse range of talents which could benefit you, should
you choose to follow 0001's instructions. Contrary to his warnings I would
rather accompany you than oppose you. Mrs Aramintha Savage."
Bang, cc House Taurus, from Mr Edison: "My dear fellow, I am sadder
than I can say that you have decided to leave our company, and hope that
this is merely a temporary decision. If you should ever wish to reverse it,
you will be welcomed back with open arms. I am sure I speak for the whole
House in this - at least, I devoutly hope so. We cannot afford divisions of
any kind within our ranks, weak as we are, and I would hate to think that
our dear brother had been driven out by the actions or opinions of his
fellows. Tom Edison."
to Messrs Giffard, Hamilton and Stone, from Mr de Bonvoisin: "Mr
Giffard, as you will be introduced in the demonic ways of House Scorpio or
so I'm told, you're no doubt our only chance to make sure that the demons
which make Stone Wave functional are replaced by far better ones, far
better to control I mean. Would you be able to cure our StoneVision system
then I'm sure my partners and me will be very grateful indeed. Please
contact us ASAP. Signed, Albert de Bonvoisin."
Taurus, from Mr Edison: "Gentlemen, I have received a request from
a Mr Darkenford, who I believe is a member of your Cell, to join our House.
Do you think him a suitable candidate? I must say that I have found no
evidence of him having much of a technical background, he appears to be
some manner of financier, although he is well connected in the French royal
family. Please let me know your verdict, I'll go with the majority on this
- goes as planned, see News. Your genius is well up to this style of
thing, building on the aerodynamics work you have done earlier. All at the
launch are most impressed.
mods - you make them in accordance with Graaf's spec, a mere
Foundation - see News. +1 Ruth. Profits are small in this first
year, but you are able to top them up from your Fugger account.
- see below. You are inducted into House Scorpio in a brief but
moving ceremony, and receive the attached House briefing.
to the Green ambassador and receive an invitation to visit with
their scientists on Mars whenever suits you.
in the year you feel the strongest urge to set off one of the EXPLODE
missiles, targeted on the French city of Lyon. It is only with the greatest
effort of will that, sweat starting from your brow, you prevent yourself
from loosing it. You have no idea what might have caused this dreadful
urge. -1 Belief.
The Scorpionic Trial of Emperor Constantine, February 1880
sombre event took place at West Wycombe, in Buckinghamshire, in the
caves dug by Sir Francis Dashwood for his notorious Hellfire Club. Present
were Mr La Vey, Mrs Savage accompanied by two small children, the Emperor,
Mr Laing and Mr Giffard, whom the Emperor had asked to testify on his
Vey spoke first, explaining that the Emperor stood accused of
breaking his Hermetic Oath, revealing House secrets to an outsider, namely
Mr Giffard. How did the defendant plead?
Constantine admitted the charge. He explained that he had done it
for the good of the House. He had realized that Scorpio's methods - rituals
and so on - weren't very logically built up. So he thought that Giffard,
the greatest inventor of the age who is also one of his best friends, could
rationalise and thus improve these methods. And that could become very
important in a time where everyone could see the power of the House's
arch-enemies the Pisceans multiplying several times.
asked Mr Giffard to say something about the work he had done. The
renowned inventor and merchant of death spoke calmly. "The Emperor allowed
me access to the secrets of House Scorpio with the sole aim of allowing me
to analyse the rituals you use to summon entities. With this analysis we
had hoped that we would be able to produce a new set of refined rituals,
and from my initial analysis I suspect that this would save ritual time by
half and reduce the amount of penance by around a quarter. Obviously with
more time I can produce a set of rituals to replace the ones currently
given to members of House Scorpio, thus allowing the summoning of stronger
entities for the same amount of energy. As you can see from the above it is
obvious that although he has broken the rules of the House, he has done so
with the sole aim of improving the powers of all of House Scorpio. I for
one would like to commend him for his ideas. It would also give me the
greatest pleasure, to become a member of House Scorpio. This was the
Emperor's plan all along, and although he broke his Hermetic Oath, I
believe this was for the House rather than for himself. I implore you,
don't destroy this man who has done so much for House Scorpio"
Vey, who had paid this speech a great deal of attention, invited the
Emperor to speak again, as he clearly had more to add.
I was breaking my Hermetic Oath, but I thought that it was
impossible that someone from another House could join our House and so I
did. Of course in the meantime the Aquarian Mr Laing joined our House also.
And I know I also made a second error by not getting Mr Giffard to swear
the Hermetic Oath. In the meantime he already did it but of course he is
eager to repeat this. So dear Council I await my punishment. But what the
result also will be, please accept Mr Giffard as a new member of our House.
His knowledge can be invaluable for our House."
tension as Mr La Vey, Mrs Savage and Mr Laing conferred amongst
themselves. After a few minutes Mr La Vey announced that the verdict was
two to one in favour of the Emperor. He said "I think that all you can be
convicted of is rashness - I, for one, am ready to believe that you had the
good of the House in mind, and that we will all benefit from the excellent
work that Mr Giffard has already begun. I think that the loss of five
points of Sinister is a sufficient punishment for your actions, and there
will be nothing more carried out against you. If you continue to serve
Scorpio well, you will regain those markers of respect. In the meantime, Mr
Giffard, I should be very pleased to induct you into the House: I am sure
you will be a great asset. I would like you to copy all of us with the
results of your findings so far, and to keep us up to date. Mrs Savage is
now the House's Voice, as you all know, and I have great faith in her
abilities. I would like you all to support her strongly: it is important
that we appear a powerful and unified House."
The meeting ended with smiles and handshakes all round.
e House Briefing - Scorpio e
one and all, new members of House Scorpio. Know now that our
House is the foremost of the element of Water, and hence of the entire
Inferno. We it is who draw magic forth into the real world, and gain power
through its interaction with human structures. Only the mage of House
Scorpio can truly say that magic serves him, rather than the other way
that in joining the House you have agreed to be bound by the
Hermetic Oath. This forbids, on pain of torture and death, the revelation
of any of the secrets that you may learn from the House to any non-mage.
Furthermore, you are strongly warned not to reveal and of the specific
secrets of our Order to those of Houses Cancer and Pisces, who are in a
very real sense our adversaries in maintaining our magical supremacy. House
Cancer are pretentious, blundering relics of a bygone age, whose art lacks
the subtlety and usefulness of their own. And Pisces, with their
condescending attitude and claims of enlightenment, are as bad, and their
motivations are highly suspect.
magic takes place through the beneficent intervention of spiritual
entities. It should be borne strongly in mind that in the common mind,
understanding nothing of our great Art, there is considerable prejudice
against these spirits. Terms such as 'demons', 'devils' and 'monsters' are
commonly used of them. We seek to counter such negative connotations by
always using the neutral term 'entities', if the beings in question must be
mentioned at all. To use this magic, then, involves the spiritual
channelling of entities, binding the entities into objects, animals or
people, or drawing them into one's own body, so that one may avail oneself
of their powers to affect the physical world. The magic is composed of six
The first job of the mage is to search through the knowledge
stored in the House's havens to find an entity suitable for his task. Such
research may take days, weeks, or even months to pursue, depending upon how
specific the mage's desires are. When the mage has decided upon a suitable
entity, he must then learn and prepare for the rituals to summon and
control it. Such rituals become increasingly complex, lengthy and expensive
the more powerful the entity is.
Scorpionic magic always begins with lengthy and complex rituals,
commonly involving totems or other occult artefacts, chanting, gestures and
vigorous dancing, runic engravings, sacrifices and emotions. Objects,
people or animals into which entities are to be bound must also be involved
in and prepared for the ritual, and their emotions, bodies and situations
are usually crucial to the ritual. The purpose of such ritual is to
establish and strengthen the bond between the mage and the entity that he
wishes to summon, and pull them down in the astral towards the physical
world. The more powerful and spiritually intense the entity, the longer and
more complex this ritual must be in order to fight the force that holds the
entity in the astral. In extreme cases, such summoning may take weeks or
even months of preparation and ritual to accomplish. Note that it is
normally essential for entities to aid in this process and assist in
widening the bond and dragging themselves towards the physical plane.
Unless the mage is very powerful and the entity very weak, entities cannot
be summoned unless they wish it. The summoning ritual becomes easier the
more familiar, and hence strongly bonded, a mage becomes to a particular
With a ghostlike image of the summoned entity flickering at
the edge of their spiritual senses, the mage must then complete the final
stages of the ritual and channel the entity's spirit into the vessel that
he has prepared for it. It is this spiritual channelling and binding that
is the key to Scorpionic magic, and the most vehemently guarded secret of
the house. The process of channelling can take several forms:
If the spirit of the entity is weak, then the mage may draw it
into his own spirit and force a merging. The dominant personality and
emotions of the mage will be coloured and mixed with the nature of the
entity, but the merged being will inherit the entity's magical senses and
powers, and be guided predominantly by the mage's desires.
If entities are more powerful, they may take dominance
after merging, or leave the merged being insane and unbalanced. To avoid
this, the mage's spirit will flow free of its ties as the entity is drawn
within it, and leave the entity in sole control of his body. The mage's
soul will be left as a free spirit, hovering close to his body and the
entity in the dark mists of the astral, focusing all of his senses on their
bond to it, poised to force his way back in and retake control. Mages of
this house are extensively trained in the disciplines necessary for this
repossession of their bodies, such that with time they may overcome even
the most powerful of entities. Probably.
Sometimes, the mage will have acquired a human or animal
vessel for the entity to possess. During the ritual, the mage will ensure
that his bond to the vessel has been strengthened until it is a broad
channel, usually through feeding on his subject's terror. Drawing the
entity's spirit within his own, the mage will then channel it through this
bond and into his target, where it will cause merging or displacement.
Displacement is more common, and despite a constant struggle the displaced
spirit will usually prove too weak and unskilled to retake possession of
their body by themselves. Runes and other markings are often cut, burnt, or
drawn onto living vessels to increase their capacity to contain entities.
The final branch of Scorpio magic involves binding entities
directly into physical objects. The vessel must have been prepared with
sufficient complexity and attraction to contain the spirit of the entity,
and a strong bond with the mage must be forged during the ritual.
Channelling the entity's spirit as with possession, the mage forces it into
the structure of the object, where it will merge with its spiritual shadow
and be held by the binding force of the matter. Runes, precise geometrical
designs, intricate structural patterns, mixtures of materials, metals,
alloys and crystals are used to enhance the binding properties of vessels
and are often tailor-made to stimulate and confine specific entities.
and control. Except in cases of displacement, bargaining with
entities is usually carried out after the channelling and binding rituals
are complete. In the case of merging, this process is redundant, for the
mage retains natural dominance over the actions of the entity in the
compound spirit. During this process of command, the mage will give the
entity its task, and dictate restrictions to its behaviour. As described
earlier, entities are generally keen to co-operate with mages, but if the
task is dull or the entity is particularly powerful, it may also be
necessary for the mage to offer it other incentives, generally of the type
that common folk might find disturbing. Concentrating their weak spiritual
senses on the bond to the entity, mages are trained to discern the subtle
changes in the entity's emotional state that occur if they break the terms
of the agreement, and can banish the entity in such circumstances. Such
control requires a high degree of focus and skill, and mages who overreach
themselves often find that entities can deceive them and do as they please.
Although mages of House Scorpio may employ several entities to do their
bidding simultaneously, they may only focus this control and awareness on
one entity at any given time, leaving their other agents free to cause
The longer an entity dwells in the physical world the stronger
its bonds to it become, and the more it will be tied to its vessel. The
stronger its ties, the harder banishment will be, so it is wise for a mage
to banish an entity as soon as it has completed its task. The exact form of
the banishment will depend on the original nature of the channelling:
Where the mage has merged with an entity, he must attempt to
re-separate from it, siphoning off the its emotions and identity from his
own, and reforming it into a distinct energy form and consciousness.
Backed up by his magical training the mage will seek to
retake control of his body, pushing through the entity towards the
spiritual shell that lies lowest in the astral and holds the bonds to his
physical form. The entity's position is weakened by the many bonds that
pull it back towards its own community, the tug of the astral force, and
the mage's experience within their own body. Most entities will step aside,
wishing to retain the mage's favour, and knowing that the mage has the
advantage. However, if they choose to fight, the entity may stave off the
mage's advances for extended periods, or even devour or shred the mage's
soul in a counter-attack.
Unlike a fully trained Scorpio mage, most living creatures
are unable to force their own way back into their bodies to expel an
entity. However, if the mage also pulls spiritually on their bond to the
entity, this often provides the extra force necessary to allow the
displaced spirit to regain control and remove the entity.
There is no simple spiritual means to detach an entity from a
physical object to which they are bound. The only way of reversing the
process is to destroy or denature the container object sufficiently that it
no longer has the capacity to bind the entity's spirit.
when an entity is displaced from its vessel, its bonds to the world
may still be relatively strong. Grasping desperately to these bonds, the
entity will usually fight to keep its influence. The mage must then focus
his efforts on spiritually pushing away the entity. This force, coupled
with natural astral force on the entity's intense spirit and the thousands
of bonds that tie it to the other entities that inhabit that dread realm,
will usually prove too much to fight, and the entity will be pulled back
towards its own kind and away from the world, leaving behind only its
'taint'. Unless, of course, the entity is more than the mage can handle.
After having the entity's spirit channelled through it, or merged
with it, the mage's own spirit will be greatly tainted and denatured. Part
of the nature of the entity will seep across, often inducing emotional
turmoil, sickness and moods in the mage.
a personal note. You will no doubt suspect that the decadent
conjurers of House Cancer are envious of the influence our abilities allow
us to wield over the secular world, and that they will attempt to gain some
puny political power themselves. This must be resisted, and we must further
entrench our own powers, extending them to the governing circles of the
greatest nations. Any Member who succeeds in gaining political power and
influence over heads of state will be rewarded by the House and granted
seniority over his fellows.
Anton La Vey, Ecclesia Satanis, Member of the Twelve for House Scorpio
of Scorpionic magic:
(An excerpt from the personal records of Miss Alexandra de Weitter)
(spawn): In its spiritual form, Gyrex appears as a weasel with
glowing red eyes and four pairs of clawed limbs. I have merged it with the
spirit of my dog, Rover, to act as my guardian. It is a faster, sharper,
and stronger beast now than it was and I have seen it rip men's arms from
their sockets and leap eight feet in the air. Sometimes when people face it
they seem to experience an unnatural terror, and I have known a few that
claim to have seen the glowing red orbs of Gyrex as they looked into its
* The 'Watchers' (minor): Several years ago, I bound one of these shadowy
spirits into a piece of jewellery I was constructing for someone, a bronze
amulet with an emerald eye as its centrepiece. Now it lies buried at the
bottom of a drawer, for its owner became paranoid about how the gaze of the
eye seemed to follow them. Once, they swear they saw it blink. Before that
though, it showed me many things, usually glimpses through its owner's
sight but sometimes even fragments of his mind, from his deepest secrets to
his darkest fears.
* Valia, succubus (major): Her spiritual form is that of the most seductive
woman I have even seen, unearthly in her beauty. She can transform my dowdy
body into the equal of any woman's and even mimic perfectly those she has
met. She knows skills of seduction that no mortal has mastered, for she can
read the thoughts, desires and fantasies of those she seeks to corrupt. She
has the power to control and fuel people's lusts directly, radiating a raw
sexual energy, yet I need never fear violence whilst she dwells within my
body, for while her touch is like the softest silk, her strength dwarfs
that of man and any harm done to her will heal in seconds. When she is in
me, my own soul is forced to flee into the dark mists of the void, for hers
is the dominant spirit. Some nights I dream of merging with her, of
becoming a creature of passion and power like her, but I fear the
* The Kraken (greater): In my vanity, I thought I could master this hideous
beast, and bound it into the body of a giant squid. Its task was to destroy
a fleet of ships, and so it did, but it did not stop there. My feeble
attempts to banish it did nothing, and still it grows, its tentacles now
hundreds of feet long. No ship is safe, for it can move faster than any,
and some say it controls the very fabric of the sea, able to cause huge
tidal waves at a whim and wash away whole towns. Up and down the south
coast it demands sacrifice, and has gathered priests to its cause, through
whom it can extend its tendrils of power. In the oceans, it has called its
weaker brethren down into the creatures of the sea, creating an army of
red-eyed sharks and squid. As I write this, the Vizier is constructing a
task force to deal with the threat, and House Libra has begun its own
enquiries. How long can it be before they discover my guilt, and what
terrible punishment awaits me then...