Spectres are ghosts that have, in so many words, given into their dark side. When a spirit accumulates too much dark emotion, its dark side takes over permanently and it becomes a Spectre; its humanity and former identity are replaced with a truly evil, sadistic personality tied into a massive hive-mind. In the process, the ghost forgets about its old tethers, friends, and ideals, which keeps it from Transcending. Spectres roam desolate parts of the world of the dead thereafter, minions for Oblivion.
Spectres generally form when the Shadow, or dark side of a wraith, takes control over the wraith's Psyche. Special types of Spectres, like Mortwights, may enter the Shadowlands with their Shadows already dominate, essentially becoming Spectres instantly upon their death.
Although Spectres are basically made of the same stuff as wraiths, Spectres also differ from them in a number of notable ways. Spectres, due to their proximity to Oblivion, tend to lead very brief, very violent lives; the rare few who manage to survive for centures become among the most powerful of beings in the Underworld. Oblivion also dulls their senses, and they lack the heightened sight and hearing they may have possessed as a wraith.
However, Oblivion also gifts them with new Arcanoi known as Dark Arcanoi that allows them to manipulate the Oblivion, the Tempest, and other things off-limits to wraiths. Spectres can also track down a being that puts forth large quantities of Willpower.
In addition, Spectres possess Deathsense, which allows them to see the inherent Oblivion in a being and judge how close to death and darkness they are, and Deathsight, or the ability to clearly see the Shadowlands. Spectres do not, however, have Lifesight; to see the Quick through the Shroud, a Spectre must have the Dark Arcanos Shroud-Rending. The Shroud is also much harder for a Spectre to travel through, but it can be accomplished.
Orpheus Spectres, like the spirits, are a bit different. Spectres in Orpheus form the same ways as Wraith Spectres, but the Shadow is replaced by a mobile form known as a Doppelganger (or a Gemini for Orphan-Grinders). Like wraiths, they cannot travel or see through the Stormwall unless there is a nihil present. Luckily for Spectres, the larger hives conveniently form tunnels of sorts through the Stormwall.
Wraith Spectre SocietyEdit
Wraith Spectres have a decided pecking order. Mortwights are the lowest of the Spectre castes, because their dark natures confine them to the Tempest and Labyrinth; many of them quickly grow resentful towards their low position. Doppelgangers come next in the pecking order by sheer numbers alone; almost all wraiths that fall to their Shadows fall into this rank upon joining forces with Oblivion. Nephwracks come next because of their constant exposure to Oblivion, and Shades, among the most powerful Spectres, are above them. Malfeans, of course, rule over all. Striplings are unique in that they exist outside the caste system and serve at all levels of Oblivion.
Orpheus Spectre SocietyEdit
Spectres in Orpheus have actually become split between two factions, those who serve the Malfeans and those who serve Grandmother. The two groups use the Spectres to build Spectral hives, breach the Stormwall, and fight out a war that has repercussions in the world of the living as well as the world of the dead.
It is possible, under the right circumstances, for a Spectre to remember something from its old life that triggers it to disconnect from the hive-mind and return to being a ghost. Spirits who manage to do this become Orphan-Grinders.
Wraith Spectre Types (arranged by book) Edit
Orpheus Spectre Types (arranged by book) Edit