Over the many years we’ve been playing Wraith, our ‘Game Timeline’ has diverged somewhat from the World War Two chronology you’ll find in the history books. Indeed, through the actions of various NPCs (and even some players – Mulderry!) space-time has become so fractured that the numerous parallel worlds, bubble universes and temporal parodoxes make such a linear chronology impossible. There are, however, certain features and characters that seem to exist in most of the Realities so far encountered…
Various organisations, secret societies and cults conspire in the shadows – some seek the destruction of the PC’s while others seek to recruit them. Party members often don’t know for whom their companions are working. Very often they don’t know for whom they themselves are working.
BSIS & OIC
British Secret Intelligence Service and Operations Intelligence Command.Pretty self-explanatory.
Hazardous Offensive Operations. Fictitious covert section of commando forces. (HOO do that Voodoo that you do so well.)
Combined Operations Command was established in the British War ministry in June 1940 with a view to executing commando raids in occupied Europe. MO9 was headed by Admiral Roger Keyes who was succeeded in October 1941 by Lord Mountbatten Significant operations followed in the Mediterranean, Sicily, Italy, Burma and Normandy.
The American Office of Strategic Services was formally constituted on 13th July 1942 to replace the prewar Coordinator of Information (COI) with Col William ?Wild Bill? Donovan as its director. Donovan had worked with British SOE from 1941.
The Government soon recognized the need for an organisation to deal with intelligence gathered on the paranormal and the arcane. Former naval officer Commander Denton Soames and an intelligencer codenamed Archangel established Project Seven in the spring of 1940.
Project Seven was originally an attempt to create a super-warrior or weapon using unexplained forces and technology stolen from Germany but within a short space of time, Archangel had turned it into an Occult Black Ops wing of the SOE, sharing resources and intelligence. The Project Seven Committee (P7C) was swiftly formed to analyse stolen items, plans, artifacts and to develop its own occult experimental technology.
By mid-1941, P7 had been divided into three sections:
- P7A – For operations abroad. (Frequently in conjunction with the SOE)
- P7B – For operations in Britain.
- P7C – The research, analysis and design department.
|Executive Head of P7||Archangel|
|Head of Staff||Cunningham|
|Head of P7A||Seraphim|
|Head of P7B (and SOE Liaison Officer)||Soames|
|Head of P7C||Merlin|
|Deputy Head of P7C||Dr Eugene Bliss|
Shanghai Imports and Exports
Shanghai Imports dates back to the early 1900’s (possibly earlier) and originated in the British Quarter of Shanghai. Initially it provided a service to export rare archaeological and esoteric artifacts and antiques from China. (No one really knows its true purpose other than if you want something with no questions asked – they can get it!)
The company was set up and originally owned by an English Gentleman known as Mr M (possibly a title that is passed down). SI&E has offices all over the world and employs a variety of agents to ‘negotiate’ the acquisition of artifacts. There have been many questions asked about the connection with Chinese Crime gangs and various dark ‘foreign’ cults but there have also been a suspicious amount of disappearances and accidents to anyone who asks too many questions.
The intelligence department of the German Armed Forces. It was organised into three branches – espionage (with seven groups focusing on military, technical, political and economic intelligence) sabotage and counter-espionage. There were also a number of KO?s (Kreigorganisatinen) operating secretly in other countries.
The SOE (Special Operations Executive)
The Special Operations Executive was formally established (on Churchill’s orders) July 16th 1940. It was initially created from Section D (part of the Secret Intelligence Service which dealt in sabotage); EH (a semi-secret Foreign Office propaganda department) and an obscure part of the War Office known as MI(R). Hugh Dalton, first political head of the organisation was ordered to ‘set Europe ablaze’ with acts of sabotage and subversion to create mayhem and disruption to the enemy forces.
Teething problems were soon apparent in that the SOE clashed with the existing powers of the Security Service (MI5) and more noticeably the Special Intelligence Service (MI6 aka ‘Z’) which valued a level of anonymity and secrecy now dramatically threatened.
The SOE established its HQ in Baker Street and developed Special Training Schools outside London (often in such grand houses that the phrase ‘Stately ‘Omes of England’ became a new meaning for the acronym). Would-be operatives were coached in fieldwork, map-reading, weaponry, surveillance techniques, wireless operation, morse code, parachuting, survival, forgery, printing, assassination and numerous other skills.
Initially, the SOE was organized into three parts:
- SO1 (propaganda)
- SO2 (Operations)
- SO3 (Planning)
SO3 soon became absorbed into SO1 and by August 1941 it was rechristened the PWE (Political Warfare Executive) under the control of the Foreign Office. Find out more about the SOE by following the links on our Links page.
The Occult Bureau
A wing of British MI5 throughout the thirties which investigated the links between governments and occultism.
Also known as The Order Of Lore or The Lorists. A British and European lore-based occult organisation about which little is known.
The Thule Society
The Thule-Gesellschaft (Thule Society) was founded August 17, 1918, by Rudolf von Sebottendorff. It aims to establish psychic links with the Atlantean ‘Masters’ now residing in a secret world beneath the Himalayas. Their objective is to create a super-race, and eliminate inferior races.
The Order of the Black Sun
The most sinister of the secret occult societies to spring from The Thule Society in Germany during the first decades of the Twentieth Century. Very little is known about their objectives but they constitute a major threat to Wraith, to Britain, indeed to human life everywhere.
The exact structure of Wraith is never explained. It may be part of the Secret Service, the occult section of Black Ops surpassing the OB at the start of WW2, or simply the brainchild of an eccentric and benevolent millionaire. Wraith may have been around for years, even centuries, albeit known by other names. Members must agree to function strictly on a need-to-know basis. The introductory letters are signed by Magi – the Recruitment Officer. Missions begin with a letter or a telephone call from Pilgrim. Characters must honour the rules of the organisation which are made clear as they go along. Service to Wraith is extremely well rewarded. Large sums of money will make their way into the accounts of loyal servants.
NPCs (non-player characters)
During the course of the game the players encounter many npc’s (non-player characters)- both malevolent and benign. Of course, in this world of espionage and intrigue, no one can be entirely sure about anyone. Trust no one. Suspect everyone. It goes without saying that some NPC’s are not even human.
Players are likely to encounter this character at least once in their careers. As head of Project Seven, he frequently sits at the top of the chain of command for player missions. He does not suffer fools gladly, and is liable to have players shot if they don’t live up to his high expectations. Do not antagonise.
Agent A Cunningham
Related to the famous naval commander Admiral Andrew Cunningham. Was involved in a special operations unit of the BEF in the 1930’s, and possibly HOO. A major backstage player in the experiments that lead to the founding of the SOE. Cunningham discovered his expendibility when deserted by the SOE in the Little Berwick fiasco. He remains linked to and respected by the SOE but he is wary of all organisations now and particularly cautious of Wraith. Will remain on good terms to the players that helped him in Little Berwick. Archangel’s second in command.
Commander Denton Soames
Former Naval Intelligence now the secret founder of the SOE.
Top boffin at Project 7, Dr. Bliss heads the team working on the classified. While he and his fellow scientists have succeeded in miniaturising the device, they are still having a few teething problems. While very much a ministry man he is always concerned about the welfare of his “subjects”. He is mild mannered though somewhat absent minded. Shame about the stutter, too…
Leading figure in The Order of the Black Sun, Malicant has been behind several attempts to destroy the Allies using arcane powers and non-human minions.