Avernian Gates & Cenotes
Geist: The Sin-Eaters p. 263)
In some places, the wall between life and death is eroded and thin. The formal term for such a place is a cenote, and an even more formal term for any cenote actively used to enter the Underworld is the "Avernian Gate". Others don't bother with such pomp and circumstance, though, referring to the many potential Underworld entrances as "the low places". (
It should also be noted that these places are available to harvest Plasm at midnight each night. Some may be dangerous to get to or enter, but one needn't simply use these places to go into the Underworld; they can also be used as standard Haunts would be. Doing this on an unclaimed Cenote or Gate is called scavenging Plasm.
The Barren Gate
- Haunt: Fluidity 5, Residue 4, Utility 0
- Location: C02, abandoned shoe store
- Key: Calling out one of the names or sobriquets of the Sage Principality will open the Barren Gate without spending Plasm.
- Claim: Unclaimed
- Description: In an abandoned building, apparently forgotten, in the middle of the Commercial District sits a shoe store that's been long since vacated. There are signs of struggle throughout the building and scraps of camping equipment as though it was a place where someone attempted to go caving. The glass panels that held up the shoes around the place have been shattered, leaving broken glass lying about the storefront. The windows have boards in front of them, keeping the Cenote dark and insulated from the exterior world.
- History: It's unclear if this is an older Gate or if it's one that was just recently created. Either way, it leads to what's known as the Barren Dominion, almost directly. The Barren Gate seems to have some resonance with the Principalities, which means that it may have been created due to agents of the Sage enacting Its will upon the mortal world. However it came to be, the Cenote is too powerful to simply abjure.
- Notes: The only way to get to the Barren Dominion is through this Avernian Gate. It's unclear if travelers coming from the Barren Dominion can exit through other Gates, as no one has ever seen any of the Sage's Underworld servants enter the real world. The Barren Gate is associated with the Pit Manifestation.
The Ectophagic Laboratory
- Haunt: Fluidity 0, Residue 1, Utility 1
- Location: B03, in a bunker.
- Key: One must experience true terror, as in they must face a phobia or particularly dangerous fear in order for the Gate to open. The Gate resonates with fear and terror.
- Claim: Unclaimed
- Description: Deep in a laboratory in an underground bunker, there is a room that has part of the wall fallen away. The wall, made of metal as it is, is jagged, with shards of the metal jutting out at all angles like something burst forth from the wall. There is an unnatural kind of shadow within the cracks in the wall. When activated using the Key or via spending Plasm or using a supernatural ability that opens the Gate, the shadows move outward in a sudden flourish and cover the entire length of the wall. Stepping into the shadows feels cold and as though one were being covered in a type of grease or residue.
- History: This seems to be a new Gate, created due to recent actions.
- Notes: The Ectophagic Laboratory is associated with the Torn Threshold.
- Haunt: Fluidity 0, Residue 3, Utility 0
- Location: E01, East End, Hanging Hills - Forbidden Arts Tattoo Shop
- Key: Bring a lock of hair from a newly buried child and burn it at the Gate's opening.
- Claim: Kilo
- Description: Down steep steps and into the gloomy dark, the shop’s strange basement looms uneasy and foreboding. Concrete floors and walls have been left bare and there is an unpleasant dampness that clings to both and hangs heavy in the air. Nefarious and brutal acts are rumoured to have taken place down here, and the atmosphere definitely has that vibe. There is sparse seating for those who would venture down and gather in its depths, braving the haunted cellar lit only by a few naked bulbs dangling from the ceiling. And for those who can see it, a sticky, slimy substance forms down there each night, oozing from cracks in the cement floors and walls and gives off strong, wavering vapors which can be inhaled by the Bound. On the furthest-most cement wall, mostly shrouded In the darkest of shadows, is a huge spray-painted skull and crossbones with a circle around it, heralding the Gate.
- History: Local legends claim the former Forbidden Arts shop owner allegedly kidnapped, raped and tortured a young girl in the basement before finally brutally killing her.
- Notes: The Forbidden Haunt is associated with the Stillness key.
The Glutton's Maw
- Haunt: Fluidity 2, Residue 3, Utility 1
- Location: A02, Pigeon Hill
- Key: Bury a tooth of a man whose appetite caused the death of another human being inside a coin pouch underneath the bench.
- Claim: The Society of Crows
- Description: There is a bench situated directly underneath a lamp, just off the concrete path in a playground in Pigeon Hill. It appears unremarkable, but for anybody who has Unseen Sense Ghosts and the Gatekeeper merit, or for any other supernatural with an analogous ability that would allow them to see an Avernian Gate, they would see the bench alight with black fire. The smell of grease and salt would fill the air, and the light from the lantern above would not reach the earth below the bench, its entirety covered in shadow despite there being spaces between the wooden slats in the bench.
- History: A man by the name of George the Glut was an infamous businessman whose path to success was paved on the broken and hungry backs of his employers. He tended to take more than his share of things, and often cut workers’ pay, while forcing them to work longer hours, longer shifts, and all without breaks. Eventually, one night while he was taking a stroll through the children's park built by his labourers, George the Glut was ambushed by angry workers of his, and beaten to death while he sat on the bench. It became soaked with his blood and other bodily fluids, which dripped to the ground below.
- Notes: Upon opening the Avernian Gate, the bench cracks and snaps as it shifts upwards to form an arch, whereas the ground below sinks downwards into a wide staircase, almost like that of a subway.
- Haunt: Fluidity 5, Residue 4, Utility 2
- Location: Crow Hollow Asylum, Hanging Hills G02
- Key: Kneeling on the bed and whispering one’s darkest, most twisted secret causes the gate to open
- Claim: Unclaimed
- Description: In the basement there is an institutional-style metal framed inmate’s bed with the sickly-coloured green paint chipping off, bolted indelibly to the floor with a filthy, darkly stained mattress on top. For anyone with Unseen Sense Ghosts and the Gatekeeper merit, or for any other supernatural with an analogous ability that would allow them to see an Avernian Gate, they would see glowing footprints leading to this mildly glowing, humming bed.
- History: Sadly, so many patients have shared this bed over the years during Crow Hollow Asylum’s existence; their terror and fear, their pain, confusion and subsequent deaths littering the bed and forever changing the landscape of the asylum. These abuses and tragedies allowed a portal to the fearful terrors of the Underworld to find its way through and bleed its way into reality.
- Notes: By kneeling on top of the mattress and looking over the edge of the bed, the gate will open to those with that ability and ghostly hands will rise up, reminisce of ‘monsters under the bed’, literally pull explorers down below and into the Underworld.”
The Miner's Vigil
- Haunt: Fluidity 1, Residue 1, Utility 1
- Location: Rudimentary Underground Saferoom - Secure Compound - Hanging Hills H01
- Key: Place one grams worth of gold upon the altar before the Guardian Angel statue to open the Gate. One then has to crawl through a claustrophobic opening in the rubble to pass through it.
- Claim: Sabo
- Description: In digging out an bombshelter, someone happened upon an old mineshaft that had been filled with dirt. Overtime, the entire area had been filled over and build upon until the mines entrance ended up several feet below ground level. A bit into the shaft one will happen upon the rubble of an old cave-in. By the rubble stands a single eerie looking cemetery angel in front of an altar marked with Christian crosses and angelic scripture. In the rubble is a very tight tunnel that one can crawl through, if one feels brave, that might lead one deeper into the caved-in part.
- History: The Miners Vigil was once an old mineshaft for the excavation of gold. It was operated by a greedy merchant who spent as little as possible on safety and wages. He forced his men to dig too deep and too fast which in the end caused a fatal cave-in that trapped ten miners to die a painful death. It caused an outcry among the miners relatives who sought justice for their killed brothers, husbands and fathers but the merchant was rich and powerful and had enough money to pay off any attempt to prosecute him. The one night the Merchant disappeared. They found a bloody trail leading from his house to the entrance of the mine, now a pile of rubble. The blood went straight into the rubble and outside they found the merchants clothes and accessories. In order to appease whatever the superstitious people believed rested within that old mine, the merchants relatives erected a small altar and a guardian angel statue. Upon the altar, they placed the gold that was left from the profits before finally sealing the part of the mine shaft not caved in with dirt. Any records of the shaft was burned and the relatives eventually moved, died or forgot. Recent diggings in the area caused the old mine entrance to be rediscovered now more a cave under the earth. Within, where the rubble begins that marks the cave-in, stands the old angel statue by an empty altar made out of stone. If one stands still and silent long enough, the faint sound of pickaxes hitting stone can be heard over the sorrowful, eerie sound of a song sung by several men in unison.
Ossuary of the Ocean
- Haunt: Fluidity 5, Residue 1, Utility 0
- Location: D01, Marina - The Longshoreman’s Boat
- Key: One must take a bone out of a fresh corpse slain within the boat and clean it, polish it, and dump it into the secret hatch below.
- Claim: The Society of Crows
- Description: The Longshoreman’s Boat has been permanently anchored, and is no longer sea-worthy. It is also no longer filled with human remains, but the stains of death emanating from within the ship’s hull cause shivers even amongst those inured to cold temperatures. For anybody who has Unseen Sense Ghosts and the Gatekeeper merit, or for any other supernatural with an analogous ability that would allow them to see an Avernian Gate, they would see hundreds of ethereal bones lining the walls, the ceiling, the floor, and every other surface on the inside of the boat. A trapdoor that leads to a hidden section in the boat reveals an empty room, but upon unlocking the Avernian Gate, the bottom of the hull twists and causes the wood to groan and creak as a gently tunnel straight down opens up, complete with a ladder made from human bones.
- History: Larry the Longshoreman was a dock worker when Fallcoast was first established as a port town. He was a cheerful person who spent his whole life, all the way till he retired at the age of seventy-seven, working the docks. He had a strong back, and a good mind for the work to be done. Most everybody who knew him enjoyed being around him, and he was always up for a game of darts. Larry eventually saved up enough money to purchase his own boat, a simple schooner. Every sixteenth day of the month, he would take his schooner out for a day, and be back by next morning. Nobody knew where he went, or what he did while he was at sea. Larry had several kids of his own, and eventually Larry Junior inherited the schooner. He too would take the boat out every sixteenth day of the month, as would his own child, and his grandchild, all of them longshoremen for the docks. It wasn’t until Larry the Fourth had a heart attack while he was out at sea did anybody finally realize what he and his ancestors were up to. The coast guard found hundreds of human skeletons within the ship’s hull, all of them polished and arranged in a decorative fashion like an ossuary.
- Notes: If the boat were somehow able to be made sea-worthy again and moved to another location, the Avernian Gate would still open up to the same location in the Underworld, regardless of the position of the boat. When using the gate’s key to unlock the gate, any corpse can be used, so long as the corpse has a functional endoskeleton.
Song of Suicide
- Haunt: Fluidity 2, Residue 3, Utility 3
- Location: B03, University City
- Key: Sing a solemn song with sorrow in your heart (with at least one success on a Presence+Expression roll to sing a tear-jerking song), while destroying a vinyl record in front of the window.
- Claim: Unclaimed
- Description: On the top floor of the oldest brick building in town, right up against the northern window, resides an Avernian Gate. It looks ostensibly normal and otherwise nondescript. For anybody who has Unseen Sense Ghosts and the Gatekeeper merit, or for any other supernatural with an analogous ability that would allow them to see an Avernian Gate, they would see blackened footsteps leading to the giant circular window. While the window is completely normal, thousands of hairline cracks shimmer outwards from the center and then disappear, reappearing again in the center and spreading outwards until they fade, the cycle repeating itself like a heartbeat.
- History: A long time ago, the daughter of the owners of the building wanted to become a famous singer when she grew older. She did her best, despite her parent’s efforts to dissuade her or stifle her efforts. Eventually, she met a man who supported her dreams and who was fully capable of bringing her into the world of music, as he was a producer. They fell in love, and the parents of the woman despised this relationship. They desired her to take over the family business, and hatched a plot to make it so. They hired a witch to curse the man to a slow and painful death, and to bring ruin to all those he knew. When he died, the parent’s daughter stood before the large northern window. Her voice echoed throughout the building as she sang out her laments, right before jumping through the window and to her death. The parents, not realizing the ferocity of the curse, suffered financial ruin. They both committed suicide in the same place as their daughter, spraying the repaired stain glass window with their brains.
- Notes: The Avernian Gate is the window itself, and when opened, the glass crackles and breaks apart to reveal a black abyss. From the street it won’t look like anything’s happening, but on the inside it gives a sense of vertigo. The next nearest Domain from this gate is the Drowned City.
Stone of Scalps
- Haunt: Fluidity 5, Residue 3, Utility 0
- Location: H02, Northwestern Crow Hollow Woods
- Key: Lay three human scalps at the base of the stone, cut the palm (inflict 1 lethal damage) of your right hand, and place it in the center of the stone.
- Claim: The Society of Crows
- Description: In the Crow Hollow Woods, there is a small valley some distance away from any road or habitation. In the center of this narrow valley there is a giant four meter diameter boulder bordered by two large trees that almost seem to have grown around the boulder, giving it an almost enchanted feeling. In the center of the stone there is a splotch that’s slightly darker than the rest of the stone, and is barely noticeable. For anybody who has Unseen Sense Ghosts and the Gatekeeper merit, or for any other supernatural with an analogous ability that would allow them to see an Avernian Gate, they would see the bloody handprint as clear as day glowing crimson against the neutrality of the earthen browns and greys.
- History: A long time ago, an Abenaki warrior laid his brother to rest at the base of this boulder. He wrapped him in buskani’gan, and placed his body two feet below the ground, along with his most important earthly possessions. The warrior swore an oath to bring the scalps of those who were responsible for his brother’s death and lay them at his brother’s feet. When stating his oath, he cut open his palm and smeared it with his blood, marking the stone with a large bloody handprint. The man eventually succeeded, bringing three scalps to the site and laying them at the base of the stone.
- Notes: The scalps may come from any human source, including corpses that have been long-buried or mummified. So long as they are laid within two meters of the stone, they can be placed anywhere on the ground. The nearest Dominion from this gate is the Sacrificial Woods.
Throne of Lies
- Haunt: Fluidity 2, Residue 2, Utility 2
- Location: Throne Room - Sunzuwu's Roost (Formerly: Exham Penitentiary), G02
- Key: This gate is keyed to open by an electrocution of living being (animal or human, size 3 or greater) falsely accused in this room of wrongdoing.
- Claim: Daiyu, though all members of The Society of Crows have access.
- Description: The Throne of Lies refers to the electric chamber chair that sits in the execution chamber of Exham Penitentiary. This former prison had an unusual number of wrongfully accused inmates go to their deaths and that has built a resonance with the Underworld. The Cenote extends only through the area once called "The Barn" and not the entire prison.
- History: Exham Pen was once a federal Penitentiary located outside of Fall Coast of the maximum security variety. It was a place where electrocution was performed, and its Warden was particularly corrupt. He would often find a way to execute someone he knew was soon to be found innocent or that might have a chance of a stay of execution. The clock in the execution chamber runs 10 minutes fast, even if replaced, as this was one of the Warden's favorite tricks. Oops, sorry, we just fried him. We thought it was already Midnight...
The Twelfth Drawer
- Haunt: Fluidity 2, Residue 0, Utility 1
- Location: Dove Family Funeral Home
- Key: Open and close the drawers in the correct sequence.
- Claim: Dante Alameida
- Description: The sealed drawers which contain the earthly remains of clients undergoing or awaiting processes for internment at the graveyard or the crematorium. There are eleven drawers with grey painted panels on the front and one black placard in front of the twelfth drawer. By opening and closing them in the proper order, the black drawer can be entered and closed from the inside, allowing entry into the Underworld.
- History: The drawers all come from several different funeral homes, all with strong ties to the necromantic community; drawers one through five are from Haiti, owned by one of Papa Doc Duvalier's "boogeymen", feared for his penchant in burying or burning people alive; drawers six through ten, they were previously held by a San Francisco-based necrophile group, seized by the police during a poorly-timed and executed raid on their clubhouse. The last two drawers are from the original Dove Family funeral home at their flagship station, not used since each was once where a live body was found trapped inside. In the case of the first, drawer number eleven, the person was rescued after over 24 hours of a private hell. The last drawer, number twelve, did not survive the encounter and the interior still has claw marks from their futile attempts to escape. A new set of interior handles has been fitted and tested repeatedly.
- Notes: Attempting the wrong combination will result in the locking of drawer number twelve until the proper sequence is used. Escape is possible, with exceptional difficulty.
Unrepentant Thief's Passage
- Haunt: Fluidity 3, Residue 5, Utility 2
- Location: A02 Old Millhaven Penitentiary, Cellblock A, third cell from the south side
- Key: Bring a stolen item and burn it in front of the Gate.
- Claim: - Pending Claim -
- Description: The gate wall is made of brick and one particular brick, near the bottom left corner can be tugged out and set aside. Sand will spill into the room from the void left by the brick. With fingers or a tool of some sort, the sand must be dug away and as soon as that is complete the wall will shift. A section of bricks makes an opening, becoming an escape tunnel from the cell that leads down into total darkness and the Underworld below. The tunnel isn’t long, going down roughly one floor at a good angle, then opens up into another cell. This one seems darker and more like a dungeon than a cell really. One can hear the sound of dripping in the distance and a flickering of light. The cell doors are all open. Beyond, the hallway stretches out before you, seemingly endless. Cell after cell, door after door, and down and down into the Autochthonous Depths.
- Notes: This Gate is guarded by an ephemeral (ghostly) guardian (rank 4, level 5), anchored here by the Mors’ Dirige Kharon’s Lucerna krewe with the sole intention of protecting this haunt. If you trespass here or plan on using the haunt's traits (Fluidity 3, Residue 5, Utility 2) for any reason without permission, the ephemeral guardian will act aggressively on the krewe's behalf. ( -- Pending Review -- )
Whirlpool of Stirred Echoes
- Haunt: Fluidity 5, Residue 1, Utility 0
- Location: O01 Open Ocean
- Key: Take the boat of somebody who has betrayed you and let it fall from your hand to the sea floor (The center of the gate).
- Claim: Unclaimed
- Description: There is a small, shallow area off the coast where a sunken ship sits on its side, right on the very top of the shallow mound. The gate is inside the ship, at the very epicenter of where the ship meets the sand. It looks like a simple hole in the side of the ship where a cannon ball impacted, but upon opening, the hole in the ground creates a whirlpool that sucks any and all things nearby through the gate. For anybody who has Unseen Sense Ghosts and the Gatekeeper merit, or for any other supernatural with an analogous ability that would allow them to see an Avernian Gate, they would see a swirling abyss in the sand at the epicenter, and the waves swirling around the abyss like it would around a bathroom drain.
- History: A long time ago, there was a small naval scuffle on the open ocean, at the point where land was just a thin line on the horizon, seen only through the lens of a spyglass. Both ships were chartered by the same company and sanctioned by the ruling class of England, both with the same mission. Of course, both captains only desired glory for themselves, and wanted the spoils only for themselves. They fired their cannons on each other, and only one ship managed to make it to shore, leaving its sister ship to sink to the ocean floor.
- Notes: The boat that must be sunk can be any kind, from a real sailboat to a model representation, to even a tattoo or drawing. The main aspect is that the boat must have belonged to somebody who has betrayed the character attempting to open the gate. Upon opening the gate, everything within 50 meters gets violently pulled into it, as if it were a vacuum effect. A character nearby may make a Strength+Athletics roll to resist being pulled in at a -4 penalty. Characters that enter the Autochthonous Depths from this gate are thrown into the Underworld, and must succeed on a Strength+Athletics roll to safely swim out of the way of obstacles that would cause bodily harm. If the roll fails, the character takes 1 point of bashing damage from the sudden and violent entry. The nearest Domain from this gate is the Dead Beach.
To create additional Gates, use the following example listed below.
- Haunt: Fluidity —, Residue —, Utility —