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A hive-mind cult of very, very drunk people.
The Lodge of the Chapel Green consists of about twenty adepts, based in the city of Bristol in England. To most people, they appear to be little more than homeless, incoherent drunks, shambling dementedly along the streets and muttering to themselves as they go, and most of the time, that's all they are. However, somewhere in the city there's a reclusive old man who lives in a ramshackle old house and keeps a cauldron full of impossibly potent green liquor in the cellar. It seems to be this liquor that is responsible for the condition of the Lodge's members, and it may even control their actions. No one has ever learned the truth and remained sane enough afterwards to talk about it, but there are lots of rumours about the Lodge and its origins. As the most common story goes, the Lodge of the Chapel Green was founded when King Henry VIII started burning monasteries and killing monks. Apparently, three master brewers were among the victims of the Reformation, and they’d become powerful practitioners of one of the earlier forms of Dipsomancy – so powerful, in fact, that before the King’s men hunted them down they were each able to put a part of their souls into a vat of something green and potent, and the rest of them got sucked into it when they died. The next person who took a sip of the enchanted brew suffered the same fate, leaving behind a mindless shell of a body that could be possessed by the strange, inebriated-beyond-all-reason collective consciousness that had formed from the mixed souls of the three monks, plus this hapless fourth person. That’s what has happened every time someone has drunk from the cauldron that contains the brew (which is probably a lot like Absinthe): another soul gets added to the mix, and another body is left to shamble around the streets, mumbling inane gibberish to itself and generally acting completely demented. Until, that is, the inscrutable hive mind that makes up the Lodge decides to ‘activate’ them: it can possess several of its abandoned bodies at once, and use them with terrifying acuity to sniff out adepts who have been using magick, abduct them and give them a taste of that very special brew. (In game terms, here’s what happens. Every time someone successfully casts a spell or whenever an unnatural phemonena occurs, roll a d100. If it’s a minor effect and you roll a 01, 02, 03 or a 33, the Lodge will notice and its adepts will home in on the area. If it’s a significant effect, the same thing will happen if you roll under 33. There’s no way that they aren’t going to notice if a major effect occurs.)
Given that the original brew is unlikely to have survived for five hundred or so years, it’s hard to be sure whether the magick power is contained within the substance or the cauldron that holds it, or whether all of the souls that have drunk from the cauldron are still floating around in it. One thing is sure, though – there are a lot of adepts’ souls in there, and the mixing of the different magickal powers had had pretty much the same effect as learning two different schools of magick. Not that the members of the Lodge can really be referred to as individuals any more, but this has made them all very, very crazy, as well as very, very drunk.
The PCs might end up in the Lodge if they’re extremely unlucky, but they definitely shouldn’t start out as members. As intriguing as the acolytes of a lunatic, booze-fuelled hive mind cult might be, they’re all a bit too crazy to be viable roleplaying options for the players.
· Find more adepts. Make them join the Lodge.
· Protect the Lodge with suicidal ferocity. Let no harm come to “the Spirit of the Grain.”
· Something else that no sober, sane person could ever comprehend.
High Road: The Lodge seems to have some sort of sense of poetic justice, and will leave decent people alone. Scumbags are fair game.
Middle Road: The Lodge will go after anyone responsible for stupid, blatant uses of magick, and anyone else who’s prying about in its affairs.
Low Road: Every adept they can get their hands on is a target.