By Dave Seward (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Everyone has a deep need for the spiritual, the knowledge that there must be more than just this mortal coil we have found ourselves willing or unwillingly participants of. Some faithful look to the heavens for their guidance, to some unknowable benevolent God that has given his only son to die for their sins. To others, they look deep within themselves, believing that they are more than this crude flesh that they wear. That they are a part of a bigger picture and that we are all a tiny piece of the universe that has taken on a decidedly human experience.
Whichever the case, these believers wear their faiths like winter coats, hugging them against the cold wind of skepticism, sharing them with others, taking them to whereever they roam. Whatever religion they follow, be it Judaism, Christianity, Buddhism, or Islam, the faithful will endure whatever test that is presented to them, be it scientific theory, or even the ultimate test -- the Shadowlands.
The Shadowlands is the ultimate test of faith for any faithful person. To some, it is the final test that breaks their will, a broken promise by a cruel or nonexistent God. To others, it is the second chance, a chance to spread their beliefs to those who truly need it. To those who were sinful or unminding of the disciplines of faith, they must spread the word, and bring even those who God saw fit to place here, to Heaven. A second chance to fight evil, the true evil of Oblivion, like they could not do in life. Now they have the power to do so, and do so willingly, rightfully, and yes even legally.
This merit works exactly as the Wraith Players guide with the following exceptions:
Light of the World Circle: This Circle of True Believers has gained notoriety throughout the Hierarchy as constant flaunters of the Dictum Mortem. The Circle's methods are extreme to say the least, though to some it is inspiring. The Circle use its wraithly powers to "prove" the existence of angels and therefore the existence of God. Each Circle member takes the name of an angel, and Moliates her features into angelic ones, wings and sexlessness, and then use Embody to appear to mortals as angels. Into doing this, they either save the mortal from danger and claim to be the mortal's "guardian angel" or to tell the mortal that they must change their ways lest they risk eternal Damnation. The Circle also visits churches regularly and appear during services it deems worthy. The most interesting part of all this is that its members really do believe that they are angels, sent to fight the onslaught of satanic Oblivion, and to guide the living.
The Preachers: This Circle travels the Shadowlands preaching the word of Transcendence through the word of Allah. They use Mohammed's teachings to bolster the faith of others and to help fight off the taint of Oblivion. They do not believe that Oblivion is the nothingness that it truly is. Instead they believe that to kill a spectre is to give it a second chance at life and wraithdom so that it can make wiser decisions than it did last time.
The Breakers of the Word: While not really a True Believer Circle, they do deserve a special note. The members of this Circle in life were once extremely faithful, almost to a fault. They lived their lives in true piety, basing all the aspects of their lives, their decisions upon the word of God, enduring the hardships of life with a smile and heart full of hope. When they died, they rejoiced, knowing that they would sit at the hand of God. Instead they ended up here in the Shadowlands, forsaken, lost. They wept at this at first believing that they had transgressed in some way. After further thought, they decided that they were in the right and that God was wrong. So now they will get the ultimate revenge by breaking each and every commandment -- again and again and again.
Dark Revelers: "The wickedness of these -- creatures -- is a stain upon all of God's creations. Suffer no evil, and the light of God shall burn these Satan worshippers into the fiery pit they so richly deserve!"
The Hierarchy: "Poor, poor fools. Their constant denial of a higher power or of Transcendence works against them. Do they not know that every soul cries out for the touch of God?"
Renegades: "I do not pretend to understand them, but it seems that we share the same stigma that the Hierarchy put upon us. They are not our friends, nor even allies. We're just in the same boat."