Horror Recognition Guide is a sourcebook for Hunter: The Vigil. The Book references other Chronicles of Darkness games, including Geist: The Sin-Eaters. The book chronicles many of the characters introduced in and , which are the same characters from the Philadelphia section of the . While the book's case files are set in Philadelphia, they are generic enough to be used as information for any ongoing chronicle of Hunter.
From the Onyx Path catalog:
- Strange Encounters
- The Vigil brings no easy explanations — every night is a new mystery, a bizarre creature, an unknown terror. But hunters are humans, and humans must categorize — they take notes, keep journals, snap pictures and attempt to illustrate the horrors they meet on the hunt. By doing so, hunter cells try to find patterns, solve enigmas, and most important of all, keep hold of their sanity in these long, dark nights.
- A Chronicle Book for Hunter: The Vigil™
- An "artifact" book detailing the secret files of a lone hunter cell operating in the city of Philadelphia.
- Can be used as a prop in any Hunter: The Vigil game, or can be used by Storytellers and players as a resource from which to draw new encounter and story ideas.
- Digs deeper into the mysteries surrounding the monsters of the World of Darkness (those known as well as many that remain singular and uncategorized) as well as the strange compacts and conspiracies that hunt them.
- Connects with the Hunter: The Vigil corebook and its supplements by reintroducing and revisiting ideas, locations and characters (the city of Philadelphia, Alicia Mangum, Michael Moryken, Emily the Talisman, the Chevalier Theleme, and more).
Blood Dolls Edit
The first chapter of the guide starts with the narrator describing his experience during a night following a Goth rock band, "The Razorkids", that gets no record deals or major touring contracts, and their sponsors, The Blood Dolls, who always seem to throw lavish parties with groupies crazed to be with the real benefactors of the band.
The Cat Lady Edit
Investigating a mysterious death near the house of a classic "Cat lady", the hunter narrating discovers the old woman's feline friends are not only using her for food, they're talking to her, and even helping her fly.
Oleg Chernenko Edit
Told from an FBI interrogation of a former Bulgarian mobster, the guide tells of a man named Oleg Chernenko, a mob boss from Russia who felt no emotion, made everything around him heat up, and apparently couldn't die.
City of Ghosts Edit
A log of emails between Martin, a children's writer, and his relative in the hunter cell, the log details how Martin's move into a new house with his wife gives them an unexpected group of deadly housemates.
Close Encounter Edit
After an interview with a man who not only claimed to have been abducted by aliens, but who came back with an extra organ as a parting gift, a hunter is menaced by apparently otherworldly men in black.
Frostbite Girl Edit
The tale of a girl, nicknamed "Shakes", who is just as cold in heart as in body temperature.
Gillen, Emily Edit
After a rash of child abductions, in full view of witnesses, the hunter cell must match wits and morals with a deranged slasher.
When a woman's husband undergoes a new drug treatment for depression, he becomes a completely different person, and she fears he is no longer the man she married.
The Market Edit
A singular tale about one of the hunter's investigating and, for the time being, taking down a strange swap meet known only as "The Market".
The Ogre Edit
Pieced together from a correspondence between two members of Network Zero and Null Mysteriis, the cell finds out that a certain Eagles fan is bigger, and more otherworldly, than he lets on, and the Network Zero team must pay a price.
Shy's Kill Edit
Snakes vs. Birds Edit
A hunter goes out of his way to help another cell, only to be tasked with protecting a mystic egg from being taken away, despite all his attempts to let it go.
Ten Photographs Edit
The cell finds ten pictures in the suit of a destroyed leech, only to discover that, while the pictures seem to be in Philadelphia, the pictures and their reality appear to be worlds apart. At least, they hope so.
Thing from the Deep Edit
A member of the cell finds a woman dead from an apparent sexual assault by a squid-like creature, and is approached by two other hunters who warn that the Devil's minions are too much for mere men.
The Vivisection Edit
A Philadelphia Police officer finds a body with strange properties, and must avoid a conspiracy in her department to learn why a body was split cleanly in two.
Theleme and Maman Edit
The final log that was found, it details the travels of Chevalier Theleme, a Frenchman with a history where the devil really is in the details.
Background Information Edit
Memorable Quotes Edit
From Blood Dolls:
Delicious service/Your feelings fall into the flow/You love her you hate her, it doesn’t matter/The red river takes it away/My love, my enemy I would smash a marble statue for you/With my bare, cursed hands The one I made of you, for you/Waste all my art/Delicious service
From The Cat Lady:
So, no setting fire to the old lady's house. It'd be quick, but monsters take the quick path. I'm human, and that's a much harder road to walk. Thank God.
From Oleg Chernenko
Yevgeny, who gets shot for upsetting a Serbian Mafiya man about a month after he tells me this, swears to me that he saw the last man who crossed Oleg up and walking a week after Oleg shot him, and said to Oleg, “Didn’t you kill Maxim Andreivich Romanenko last week?” and Oleg laughs and says, maybe, maybe not. But Yevgeny saw the bullet come out the back of Romanenko’s head. And he swears to me that when he saw Romanenko walking around, he still had the hole in the back of his head.
Yevgeny drank a lot.
From City of Ghosts
When it was over, there was no place to go except through. The children, all those children, they were trapped down there a long time by their fear and hate. Now that the doctor is gone, they can leave. But they have no
one to help them. No one to guide them to wherever it is they’re supposed to go. No one to watch out for them.
No one but Barb and me. So that’s what we’re going to do.
Goodbye from the city of ghosts.
From Close Encounters
WATCH YOUR BACK.
From Gillen, Emily
She had killed before, and she was going to kill again. I could see it in her eyes, the kind of…dead look. You’re nothing more than meat to those people. I had to. It was self-defense. It was self-defense.
From The Market
That’s the price I paid for my family — knowledge I can’t share with them.
From The Ogre
You've gotta know before you read this: it's not just that door in the bar. It's any door.
From Ten Photographs
I woke up this morning and looked out of the window, and saw the towers and skyscrapers from my apartment window. And you know what? I closed my eyes. I closed my eyes and saw, for a second, a huge spiderlike creature whose body was almost entirely made of a single eye. I opened them, and it was still there. I turned away and looked again, and it was still there. Looking straight at me.
And I went into my kitchen and ate breakfast, and then went to the window again. The spider-thing had gone.
I think I’m going mad.
From Thing From the Deep
Ever since that night, I sometimes catch the faintest hint of that smell and get a glimpse of someone with that
gross, discolored skin, and they’re always staring at me with that same vengeful expression. Once or twice, I’ve caught the scent near my apartment, and now I have to wonder about the bum in the next-door vestibule or the woman camped out in her car, under a broken streetlight.
I hate this fucking job.
From The Vivisection
You know, the hell with this. Yes. There’s a conspiracy. I’m not going to wreck my brain trying to make every piece fit. I’ve got some ideas, and they’re good enough for me.
Lost in the world between worlds Can you hear me?
The Razorkids: An obscure post-gothic rock band that is actually composed of ghouls, addicted slaves of vampires. While being (unwillingly) interviewed by a reporter who begins to realize something is wrong, they warn their undead patron, who sees an ideal childe in the unfortunate interviewer.
The Clutter: A strange assortment of cryptids, resembling nothing so much as starved, mangy cats with unusual intelligence. They attach themselves to women who become archetypal "crazy cat ladies" due to their malevolent influence, making her take care of the little monsters. In the story, they are the "pets" of one Ella Mae Simmons, who they give experiences of the people and animals they've killed, and while she and most of the Clutter are killed, a few of the demonic cats remain to menace the world.
Oleg Chernenko: Claiming to be a Ukrainian born mob boss, Oleg is a major part of the third chapter, "Oleg Chernenko". In truth, he is a Zeka, a Promethean brought to life by using nuclear power instead of electricity. In the end, he manages to take his revenge on the man who tried to reveal his true identity to the FBI.
Shakes: No longer using her real name, Shakes is a changeling who was taken to a Fae who ruled over ice and cold. Helping the other captives and herself escape, she continues to hide out, yet remains desperate for human contact, also sending others to her former master in her stead, trying to appease him, so she can stop looking over her own shoulder. It is unknown how many she has killed this way.
Emily Gillen, "Emily the Talisman": Once a normal housewife with a loving husband, his death drove Emily to become a slasher who targeted children, skinning their faces and replacing it with a crude mask. Though she is apparently dead by the end of the story, it is unknown whether or not it will be permanent (and in Collection of Horrors, it isn't, as she returns as a vengeful revenant, furious over her demise).
The Man With The Grey Beard: An old hunter who may or may not remember his real name, who plays the various compacts and conspiracies against each other, and helps his fellows find hidden truths, at the behest of unknown masters.
"Dr. Logos": A psychologist who is actually a mage in service of the Seers of the Throne. peddling a drug called "Batch 12" that gradually erodes the personality of the person taking it, until they become nothing more than a mindless puppet for him and his pylon's own minds to inhabit. He attempts to use these to control the Strix, but it backfires spectacularly, killing him and most of the other mages in the process, as well as cluing the wife of one of his victims into the existence of the Seers.
Bob: A paranoid changeling with an adept ability for trapping pursuers in a very secure Hollow. He suspects everyone of working for his Keeper, and despises watchers (who he thinks are stalking him).
Robin Garter: A piano jazz player who may or may not be human. He is an organizer for the followers of the Snake, a primal spirit of wisdom, deception, and passion. He and his fellows wage a secret war on the Snake's rival, the Bird, who the founders of America invoked when building the nation, which he regards as a betrayal (since the Snake championed the initial rebellion).
The Doctors: Corrupt, extremely old hunters of the Aegis Kai Doru whose abuse of Relics to extend their lives has given them psychic abilities. They are obsessed with curing their advanced age, and abduct people off the streets to clone them and experiment on the new bodies (resulting in more than one hunter finding their own body autopsied).
Theleme: One of the oldest and most successful members of the Lucifuge, the 400 years he's lived is finally catching up to him, not to mention his demonic mother, who he cannot harm.
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