|Nicknames:||Black Cloaks, Poltergeists|
The Haunters trace their origins back to the early wraiths who saw the Shroud between the worlds gradually thicken as humanity grew ever more fearful of death, and sought to do something about it - specifically, by tearing down the Shroud. As these earliest Haunters saw it, the more humanity was reminded that the dead existed, the weaker the Shroud became. Once humanity accepted that ghosts were real, overcame its fear of death, then the Shroud would come down once and for all.
In pursuit of other methods to tear down the Shroud, the early Haunters discovered the arts that would become Outrage, but dismissed them; they sought to affect the Shroud, not the Skinlands. Somewhere along the line (the precise details are shrouded in myth), they discovered the Wyld - or more precisely, those fragments of it that remained in the Dark Umbra after their destruction by the Wyrm - and somehow managed to form a connection, allowing them to draw upon a fragment of the Wyld within them to warp reality, thus creating Pandemonium.
The Haunters organized as a Guild not out of any desire for official recognition, but because they sought to pool what they knew, spread the knowledge of Pandemonium, and give more focus and effectiveness to their goals. Rumors that the Proctors sought to claim both Embody and Pandemonium as their specialist Arcanoi helped spur the effort; as it turned out, it appeared the Proctors sought to become the only Guild who dealt with the Skinlands, which has resulted in bad blood between the Haunters and Proctors to this day.
The alliance that became the Spooks went their own way shortly after the Guild formed; the Haunters were not pleased, and attempted to harass the Spooks into staying. It took the Spooks' recognition by the Artificers as an official Guild to make the Haunters see they'd made a mistake, endangering their relationship with a valued ally - of which they had all too few - and they decided to patch things up with the Spooks rather than lose them to the despised Artificers.
By and large, the Haunters played little part in the politics of the Shadowlands, being more concerned with the Skinlands instead. During the War of the Guilds, the Haunters didn't want the Artificers to take the top spot, but couldn't agree on what to do about it, so each alliance went its own way about it; ultimately, their efforts failed, and the Artificers took their place of primacy.
When the Artificers sought to usurp Charon in the Guilds' Revolt, the Haunters joined with the aim of toppling the Artificers once they had succeeded; the failure of the revolt meant that the Haunters' plan never went through, much to their relief, as they found the whole thing entirely too ambiguous for their liking. To the Haunters' minds, the Breaking of the Guilds came as a blessing in disguise, allowing them to focus on taking down the Shroud, which they have continued to work on up through the present day; they claim many of history's most notorious hauntings as their work.
There are several factions within the Guild, known as alliances, each with its own form of organization. While the alliances all (technically) share the Haunters' ultimate goal, they disagree on how to get there, and seek to demonstrate that their route is the right one. Most are not exclusive in their membership, however, and Haunters can and will move between them as they wish.
H.G. Dwellers Edit
The H.G. Dwellers seek to take down the Shroud by reversing time, pushing the clock back to a point before they died. They are the founding Circle of the Guild, and one of the oldest Haunter alliances, tracing their history back to Athens' Golden Age, where they were known as Pandora Skia (Pandora's Shadow, in English). They haunt old places, where the effects of Pandemonium are expected, finding that the Shroud is weaker in such locales, and the Dwellers' work will often linger. Both inside and outside the Guild, they are recognized as the Haunters' leaders.
The Mandelbrots aim to combine Outrage and Pandemonium to manipulate the substance of the Shroud, and as such retain a close alliance with the Spooks. They are the most analytical and research-minded among the Haunters - indeed, they count many scientists among their number - and also the most brutal, seeking to maim and kill those they haunt in the name of getting humanity to remember them.
The Caligarians hold to the precept that since they're no longer bound by physical law, they no longer need to abide by its tenents. They prefer to use Pandemonium for artistic expression, often using their talents to terrify mortal artists, and have apparently little interest in pursuing the Haunters' goal.
The Dantes are an alliance of Christian Heretics. Believing themselves to be in Purgatory, they aim to use Pandemonium to overcome the illusions, deceptions and tests God has placed before them. They view themselves as surveyors and explorers of the Shadowlands - after all, how can you change your surroundings without exploring what you're trying to change? When they haunt mortals, they target places steeped in sin, or owned by sinners.
Even other Haunters see the Bedlameers as insane and Oblivion-touched. Their primary aim is causing fear, and to this end they haunt hospitals, prisons and asylums, targeting the mad, the criminal, and the weak-minded. Like the Caligarians, they appear to have little interest in the Guild's goal, preferring to remain in the Shadowlands where they have power. There are rumors of links between this alliance and the Penitent Legion.
Order of the Glass Menagerie Edit
Members of the Order, believing that the Fog that clouds mortal memories is the Haunters' biggest obstacle, aim to make sure that those subjected to hauntings remember what they've been through. To this end, they have allied with the Sandmen (and, it is rumored, the Mnemoi), who spark the memories of a haunting after the Fog has taken effect. For the Order, haunting is equal-opportunity, and should be spread across all divisions of society to have the best effect. They are the most practical, patient, careful, and diplomatic of the alliances.
Guild Culture Edit
Notes on initiation and other practices here.
Other Notes Edit
As the Haunters understand it, Pandemonium originates from the Covenant the earliest Haunters formed with the Wyld. Every user of Pandemonium has a spark of the Wylding within them, but a true Haunter will embrace the changes in the world around them. The more powerful the Wylding, the more versatile - and less "normal" - the Haunter.