The Esoterrorists comprise a fast-growing international conspiracy drawing from all walks of life. Conspirators range from Washington power brokers to backwoods cannibals. When they started out, they were able to influence people only through suggestion. They practiced rituals but their evocations were limited to persuasive parlor tricks.
Their generation-spanning plans for global control only began to come to fruition in the 1990s, at the end of the cold war. As old power arrangements shattered, Esoterrorist agents stepped in to fill the gap. Their ritualists feed off the growing globalization of electronic media and the accelerating pace of islocating social change. Whenever the world appears more disturbing or surreal than it is already, the veil between the ordinary material world, bounded by the laws of science, becomes permeable.
Illogic becomes its own logic. The surreal gains physical form.
Esoterrorist rituals seek to harness fleeting elements of subjectivity and use it to poke holes in the membrane. When they weaken it enough, they can bring forth creatures which they claim come from their own imagination, unremitting horrors. In a world where vampires are a pop culture staple and the dread elder gods are available as plush toys, traditional monsters have lost their power to terrify and appall. Esoterrorist creatures may recall demons, ghosts or the undead, but always with an unexpected twist. Additional creatures and information on the Esoterrorists can be found in the GUMSHOE Book of Unremitting Horror
The exact origins of the Ordo Veritatis are unknown to all but its most senior members. Field agents know
that it arose in response to the nascent Esoterror movement, and that its
activities have on several occasions prevented them from decisively piercing
the protective barrier between the natural and the supernatural.
The OV, as insiders call it, is organized in a cell structure, to limit the potential damage of Esoterrorist infiltration. Members typically perform investigations under assumed identities, which last for only the duration of a single case. Mistakes in maintaining cover can lead to disaster: Esoterrorists love nothing better than to send assassins and creatures to torture and kill investigators’ families and friends.
Teams stick together and rarely meet their peers. New teammates are shuffled in as old ones are killed. Rookies may be entirely new to the OV, or transferred out of defunct teams.
Briefings are conducted on site by high-ranking operatives, many of them ex-investigators. They invariably introduce themselves as Mr. (or Ms.) Verity.
Investigators are fact-finders first and enforcers of the unwritten
laws of civilization second. Once they’ve determined the dimensions of an
Esoterror plot, identifying its principals and their bases of operation, they
can step aside and call for back up. When the perpetrators are easily taken
down, the team may perform mop-up duties on its own. In the case of large
concentrations of enemies or supernatural creatures, they instead call in Ordo
Veritatis sweeper teams. These heavily armed paramilitary units perform the
necessary killing, destroying, and burning, while the team heads back to a
rendezvous point for debriefing. Efficient and overwhelming force is a hallmark
of a Sweeper Team operation.