Something that should be said before this is read is that the work contained in this file belongs 101% to Morton Smith. It was originally distributed privately, to avoid the "Truth" being widely known among players. I am reproducing it now due to its propogation on the SLA List, as I feel that it can do no harm to have it more easily accessable.
If either Morton (who allowed me to put up his previous work but who I could not get in touch with recently), Jageeda or any of the Nightfall crew want this removed, it will come down immediately. My intention is to reduce my mail traffic to those new SLA-L members who so often ask "Can someone mail me the Truth?".
"Stigmartyr is there to protect you from the truth! No more questions."
-- Mr. Slayer 901SD
Stigmartyr is more of an unknown quantity than even the ultra-clandestine Internal Affairs. This group spring up subdue the strange and bizarre happening of the World of Progress and then disappear just as fast. Although billions each year go into their budget none of it is ever accounted for and is written off as Slayers personal expenses. So what is this organisation, why do they answer only to Slayer, what do they do?
From the very beginning of the World of Progress, Slayer knew that there was a real threat from the forces of White Earth and other such entities so as a counter measure he set up the Stigmartyr department. This organisation would deal with all those incidents that Slayer would deem unfit for standard operative investigation. As the effects of controlling such an organisation could not fall to any of Slayers subordinate commanders at the time, he ordered the creation of Guidance to run Stigmartyr.
Guidance is, at first glance, merely a giant bio-genetic super computer housed deep under the Ebb beacon that shares it's name, but is much more. Guidance was the result of the largest collaboration between what was to become Karma and DarkLament. Guidance is much more than just bio-genetic flesh in a tank, it is a living thinking organism that is in contact with the natural as well as the ebb world. The technology that created this anomaly was released to the technicians that built both the Beacon and Guidance by Slayer. Where the advanced tech came from is still a mystery and all records of its design vanished as did all the personnel that worked on the project.
Guidance is in constant contact with every department of SLA Industries with full access, Guidance effectively has a SCL 1 clearance, to every computer database and mainframe evaluating the events of the World of Progress. Scanning to detect any incident that might require the use of Stigmartyr agents. Any communication that Guidance has with it's agents is through fax, e-mail or a telephone call.
Stigmartyrs base of operations is also under the ebb beacon, but no agent knows what really lies in the bowels of their HQ. This complex is under 300 levels of disused factories and power plants that SLA abandoned centuries ago. Only agents know how to get to the Stigmartyr complex although a squad of operatives did stumble on it once by accident and paid the price of knowledge with their lives.
Although this organisation has been well established for the last 900 years or so their carer has been a rather uneventful one. The main reason for this being the nature of their operations do not call for massive acts of valour or large battles.
The bulk of all Stigmartyr missions or clandestine and covert to the extreme only a select few of their actions go noticed. The first of these is in 300SD when Salvation Tower fell. Within hours of the accident that caused the crash of the tower and chaos rained over hundreds of sectors of Mort Stigmartyr mobilised over 170 elite troops to the very "center" of the devastation and prevented the whole sale invasion of Mort City by Carrien and other monstrosities by performing a suicidally brave holding operation while the rest of the SLA operatives and Shivers were left in a state of blind panic. No official recognition could be given for this, but Slayer did give them his personal thanks which, for Stigmartyr agents, was more than enough.
The next time Stigmartyr would be called to the aid of Mort City in such a large scale would not be for 400 years, but again they were ready. A large Chien cult of over 300 members had entered into a mass 'suicide to summon' pact. While the followers, one by one, killed themselves the Priest summoned a collection of truly hideous creatures that should have caused enormous amounts of carnage in Mort. Sensing the start of this ritual ten agents where dispatched to stop this atrocity from taking place. When the agents arrived at the location of the disturbance they quickly found themselves outnumbered by the remainder of psychotic followers that had not yet killed themselves. these followers through themselves directly in the path to the Priest stopping the agents from killing him and ending the ritual.
The agents fought franticly to reach the Priest, but with each follower killed the more horrors would appear from White Earth. Soon finding themselves level with the Priest and the dozens of creatures summoned the agents knew that they could not succeed in a task of this magnitude. Not willing to commit more forces the ten agents swore their oath to Slayer for the last time and detonated several 'Hot Fusion' grenades vaporising themselves, the Priest and the fowl denizens of White Earth.
There are no standard requirements for actually working for Stigmartyr. There recruitment is from the everyday ranks of operatives that have had contact with one or more of the various anomalies that Stigmartyr cases deal with. These operatives are watched and if they seem to be stable and strong enough they are pulled into the department. Stigmartyr service is not compulsory, but if refused it may result in a seriously deep investigation into the operative.
The agents responsible for the recruitment of these individuals or squads are often mistaken for Internal Affairs as they flash their SCL 2f badges and ask a lot of rather threatening questions before telling the operatives that their services may be required by 'a department within the interstructure of the SLA Network' pick up their briefcase and leave.
Stigmartyr operatives are the most frightening aspect of the organisation as their powers are granted by Slayer himself and more often than not can be questioned by no one unless they have a serious death wish. This does not mean that these agents are not untouchable as the nature of their investigations and the mystery of their true identities often makes them fair game for SLA Ops on BPNs that are connected to Stigmartyr missions. Rumours and tales of the exploits of Stigmartyr agents are wide spread, but none seem to give any clear detail as to the whys and hows of their operations. Most stories are of the white armoured assault style troops that lay waste to anything that gets in their way. These are the front line shock troops of Stigmartyr, their military wing if you will. Almost all other Stigmartyr agents are never spoken of as they hold other positions within SLA and are called on only when somethng close to them catches the attention of Guidance. Some Stigmartyr agents will die without ever being called upon to perform and action for their department. Those that do are careful enough to cover their tracks so well that DarkNight and other soft companies have often been blamed for assassinations carried out by Stigmartyr agents to the extent that BPNs have been issued on the incident and operative squads assigned to the mission finding themselves on the receiving end of Stigmartyr agents authority.
Agents are employed from all areas of Operative society and cover all races with the exception of bio-genetic races. There are a few Stormers, but the are not often used on important or extremely dangerous missions. A large amont of Necanthropes work for Stigmartyr and seem to make the best agents. The largest single race employed by Stigmartyr is human with Ebons and Brain Wasters coming a close second. There are few Shaktars in the organisation as it is seen as going against their gods to try and find answers to the 'unknowns' of the universe.
The organisational structure of Stigmartyr is one more akin to a quasi mystical military division of SLA Industries rather than a department of the corporation. The religious order aspect of Stigmartyr was introduced by Slayer when they were founded and it has been a great success as the agents of Stigmartyr see themselves as crusading Knights protecting the World of Progress from the ravages of chaos. Even their motto is a reflection of this "To Blindly Serve". Many traditions and rituals have been introduced to further strengthen this belief. One of the most important is 'The Oath'. Each member of Stigmrtyr must be unquestionably loyal to Slayer and SLA Industries. Each goes through several tests of loyalty at the hands of Stigmartyr Necanthropes. These involve the Necanthrope looking through every aspect of the mind of the agent to make sure that they are suitable to enter the employ of Stigmartyr. If they are not their mind is rewritten and theyare placed back in their old life with no memory of ever coming into contact with Stigmartyr in any shape or form.
The organisation structure within Stigmartyr is unique in the World of Progress and is designed to reflect the crusading religious knight aspect of the department. Each rank has no baring or meaning outside of Stigmartyr and acts as an independent system out with SLA Industries. Regardless of SCL status the rank of a Stigmartyr agent is the true measure of their position within Stigmartyr.
The Department of Stigmartyr is referred to as 'The Order' by those that are part of the organisation. Almost all of the control of Stigmartyr is handled by Guidance and any Rank that people hold is of a purely symbolic nature to make them more at ease. If any of them were to find out that they are actually under the control of a computer there would be disastrous consequences.
Slayer holds this title and power that comes with it. He has total control over the rest of the department, including Guidance, but does little to effect the day to day running of Stigmartyr. Most decisions are left up to Guidance. All members of The Order believe that Slayer gives every command and deals with each case they are assigned to personally.
Always a Necanthrope, the Patriarch deals with all the ceremonial aspects of the order and is also responsible for reporting to Slayer as to any failed missions or other problems within the order.
To ensure that the order is as pure as possible with no outside (White Earth) influences the Grand Inquisitor performs regular screening programs of the Order. Commonly known as The Inquisition or The Veracity Army the Grand Inquisitor and his men are most feared within the Order. Although technically the subordinate to the Patriarch the Grand Inquisitor is very much an independent body within the order. Many arguments flare up between the two, but are normally quickly settled by Slayer.
These are those members of The Order that conduct the screening programs under the watchful eye of the Grand Inquisitor. As with their commander these Necanthropes are feared and respected within the order. The Inquisition are seldom called upon to work outside the Order, but cases of rouge members do crop up from time to time. These are dealt with quickly and in most cases violently. The Inquisitors are among the elite of The Order as any conflict they are likely to encounter is with other members of the order.
These are the generals of Stigmartyr and command anything up to fifty Knights and their retinue. Many Lords are Necanthropes.
A Knight of The Order is an Agent that has performed acts of extreme valour. These individuals normally have at least five years service with the order and have successfully completed numerous missions. Once given this rank they are also given command of seven Agents and two Initiates as their retinue to aid them on any further missions.
This rank makes up the bulk of Stigmartyrs manpower working as solo agents, part of a group or under the command of a Knight. These are the real workhorses of the organisation and deal with all manner of operations that are part of a working life within The Order. Necanthropes joining the order always enter as Agents as their loyalty is garneted by Preceptor Teeth.
For the first year of an Operatives life working for Stigmartyr they are referred to as 'Initiates'. This represents their junior status in the order. They are watched closely by The Inquisition for this first year to ensure their loyalty.
There are many cults and sects in the World of Progress and Stigmartyr have to deal with all of them on a daily basis. The single largest cult that Stigmartyr investigate are those that involve White Earth. The biggest of these is the Chien (she-an) cult. This is the single largest White Earth cult in existence. Their followers are spread throughout the known universe. Find a planet with a human civilisation and you will probably find a Chien cultist. It is rumoured that there are even Chien cultists among the Shaktar Priests on their home world Kn'nth, but their High Lords deny this most vehemently.
The Chien cult is a blood cult that use ritualistic magic, for want of a better word, to summon demons and other creatures from White Earth to cause chaos in the major cities of the World of Progress. They also use this form of magic in a very similar way to the various powers of the ebb especially the healing arts and kinetic force abilities. Using their own blood and sometimes body parts in these rituals Chien cultists are among the most disfigured and yet powerful sect in the World of Progress. The nature of these beasts are only limited by the imagination of the summoner and how much of their body they are willing to sacrifice. Creatures up to the size of a Stormer can easily be summoned with the loss of about a pint of blood or three fingers. Body parts used in this way take a while to heal and other sources of blood have to be found to heal them, normally provided by one of the cultist followers. Stigmartyr have had to deal with all manner of monsters that these cultists bring forth into the world and often take heavy casualties in dispatching them. Ebb using Stigmartyr operatives that come into contact with these creatures and their controllers can find no trace of the ebb in these beasts or the rituals that are used to summon them. This has lead to an in-depth study of the cults 'powers' by the more senior Necanthropes working for Stigmartyr. Their findings so far seem to indicate that the 'magic' used by Chien cultist is to all intent and purpose anti-ebb. A direct opposite of the ebon powers.
The majority of other cults that Stigmartyr investigate on a regular basis are no where near as powerful as the Chien cult and in may cases are just weaker factions of the former. The structure of the Chien cult is very simple, one priest or True Believer and their acolytes which can number anything from as low as ten up to 100 or more. The True Believer is the only one that has any for of magical power that they use to subdue and control the followers as well as summon demons..
There are thousands of priests on Mort alone each controlling their own followers and having little if any contact with other True Believers. In fact on the few documented occasions that two or more True Believers have met the resulting battle has been a very bloody one. As well as their ritualistic magic the Chien cultists have a great number of 'trinkets; and pieces of jewellery that hold power of their own. Recovered samples of these indicate that they are from White Earth. The powers that these trinkets impart on their owners vary, but in the main are amulets of protection that enable they wearer to withstand huge amounts of physical damage.
Another major part of the Stigmartyr operation deals with tracking down and killing rogue Stormers. The incidents of these creatures going on berserk rages has increased dramatically over the last ten years and there is still little indication as to why it happens. Some trigger in the Stormers mind just seems to set them off on a killing spree that ends always in the death of the Stormer. Stigmartyr agents always make sure that there isn't enough of the Stormer left to examine. Stigmartyr justification for their 'with extreme prejudice' order on these cases is that making the cause of this insanity common knowledge would lead to subversive forces utilising this information to send SLA Industries into chaos as Stormers all over the World of Progress go insane.
A more unsavoury side to Stigmartyr operations is the use of the general public and inmates of various insane asylums that are found on Mort. Through chemical conditioning of these citizens and patients Stigmartyr are able to extend their field of operations to those areas that would send agents mad. These 'Drummers' as they are known are given chemical supplement to their normal medication that allows Stigmartyr agents to control them enough to use then in operations. Agents also employ Ebb mind control and possession to use the Drummers in mission unsuitable for standard agents. These make up a large percentage of the kills normal operatives make involving Stigmartyr cases. As roving lunatics are fare game for most operatives.
There are a plethora of drugs that Stigmartyr use to control and subdue the Drummers. One of the most potent is 'Trithol'. this is a powerful hallucinogenic that opens the patient to any for of suggestion up to and
including killing themselves. Trithol is so dangerous because it is equally as potent in any form gas, liquid or solid. As a gas it is orderless and completely invisible. As a liquid it looks just like cloudy water and tastes slightly salty. In solid form it is crystalline in nature and can easily pass as low sodium salt.
Another favourite method of Stigmartyr is to reward the efforts of the insane Drummers by allowing them to act out their various perverse fantasies when they have completed a mission for them. Some of the more intellectual insane have managed to gain themselves the freedom of the various asylums they live in and in some extreme cases they have been set free back into society. This counts for quiet a number of standard operative BPNs being repeated as insane criminals are captured by operatives and then released again by Stigmartyr.
The general public are manipulated much in the same way as those inmates, but Stigmartyr also have another powerful weapon in their arsenal, television. The manipulation of the digital signals that are beamed into peoples homes, places of work, and just about anywhere else are also carriers a hypnotic suggestion signals that leak into the subconscious of the public and change the way they think for the benefit of Stigmartyr. SLA's use of this technique is quite wide spread, but on a more commercial level "You will buy the new Captain Contract toys.", but no where else do they target specific commands to individual citizens to the same extent as Stigmartyr. Add this to the extensive use of mind control drugs and Stigmartyr have a powerful, disposable, task force at their command. At short notice Stigmartyr could mass a small, if slightly docile, army of about 500,000.