The Decadent Abbey, A Slender Man Opera is the new working title.
Notes on The Abbey:
- It is important to understand, that throughout the course of history, while many different groups and Orders from various cultures around the world have claimed control of The Decadent Abbey for various periods of time, this control is often eventually an illusion.For instance, when a European religious Order of Knights took over site of the Abbey in the 12th century from the Shaolin Monks who had been acting as caretakers for five centuries, in truth the Shaolin discipline had fallen apart over a century earlier. The fact that the Shaolins maintained a semblance of order for almost 400 years was nothing short of miraculous. The Templars lasted in the Abbey long after their order had been gutted and disbanded in the “real” World, but they were only an organized administration for 2 centuries before they too fell into disarray and the Abbey fell back into the usual state of chaos it existed in. Never the less, when the next group came along in the Victorian era, theoretically the Templars were still in charge, even though there were still actual practicing Shaloin monks and absolutely no true Templars (although the Christianity the Templars had briefly popularized remains practiced by a small cross section up until present day).
- There is a basement region to the Abbey that is built out of rock and contains a wondrous series of stone heads and drawn representations of various horrors. The heads are believed to chronicle a series of Olmec administrators who had presided over the Abbey beginning around 1200 BC. The portrayals of the horrors have been particularly useful. Most are completely accurate depictions of the actual abominations that pass through out of the Fog as they try to find cracks and make it into the World. How the Olmec administration managed to gain such detailed insight into such utterly deadly monsters remains a mystery. Rakes, Slender Men, Goatmen, Smiling Canine, and Seed Eaters are all overhwelmingly fatal and the percentage of surviving victims across history remains in the single digits.
- It is “Laughing” Renaud, an actual monk who eventually descended into madness (as many do), who is credited with putting together the Abbey brewery that still functions today. It is speculated that alcohol has been made there many times over the course of the centuries, but methods to do so are purged with occasional regularity when a new Order comes in, determined to keep discipline and order. Discipline and order are rarely kept long, and inevitably the production of alcohol begins again. The same with poppy seed harvesting.“Laughing” Renaud is still remembered fondly, as the beer the Abbey brews is referred to as Renaud instead of the various words for beer in the languages spoken by Abbey residents. How he managed to get the supplies into the Abbey from the World is a matter of legend. Apparently he was in touch with an occult order operating out of Prague. Whether they understood who they were in occult contact with is a matter of speculation since it is a long tradition to play tricks with the various occult groups who inadvertently make contact with Abbey residents. Still, using whatever pentagram based system of Magick they employed, the Czech magicians actually managed over a 6 months period to send Renaud the equipment he needed to start a functioning brewery beyond the simple buckets and hoses used up until that point.That the brewery remains functioning today is a minor miracle. Disorder and insanity sweep through the Decadent Abbey with great frequency. Many long term tasks are abandoned, neglected or destroyed. Renaud himself spent his last 10 years stark raving bonkers and yet maintained the brewery with care and precision.
- While the very existence of the Decadent Abbey is almost utterly unknown, occult and religious groups do at times manage to make contact with it, usually believing they have contacted some astral plane, sephiroth or even demonic presence. There are all sorts of occult symbologies drawn and carved about various rooms and chambers of the Abbey, some of them to receive such attempts at contact. For some unknown reason a series of pentagrams in a few connecting rooms off the obsidian hallway of the southeastern wing of the Abbey seem to be the most potent. They were likely carved by Marcel DePaulo, a student of John Dee who had foolishly found and crossed his way into the Abbey, never, of course, to leave. DePaulo’s pentagrams have “rung” almost like psychic telephone lines throughout the centuries and residents will interact with the occult group on the other side for all sorts of purposes. Some will simply play the part of some spiritual entity for laughs, some will try to procure items or simply enjoy contact, and some will desperately try to use this to find a way to leave the Abbey.One girl, Natasha Laws, was contacted by a Parisian clerk who was big into the Rosicrucian scene popular in Paris at the time, but instead of trying to leave to join the young man who had fallen in love with her, eventually convinced him to cross over to the Abbey. Apparently they were quite happy together. They eventually ended their days in Fosters Wing as heroin addicts, but even then were deeply in love.
- Gardening and food production is obviously a top priority, and even during periods where mental and physical deterioration of the residents is at its worst, somehow, some residents have always managed to keep it going. During the worst breakouts of chaos and insanity it is actually the heroin and opium addicts who have traditionally pulled it through.How the original tilling supplies, the earth itself and the water that fills that cisterns were first brought to the Abbey across the Seal is a mystery. Food production has been going on since before any records show, although since papers tend to get burnt during times of mayhem and turmoil, lack of older records is no surprise.It is clear from various surviving documents that poppy production has been going on since about 1500 BC when one of the Vedic administrations began cultivating it.
- Drug addiction in the Decadent Abbey is rampant and always has been. The nature of the Abbey and its location breeds mental and emotional instability as well as substance abuse. Getting substances is quite difficult of course, although through occult contacts not out of the question. Cultivation is the traditional method and opium seems to be one of the first substances favored. Heroin addiction at the Decadent Abbey is thus a problem literally thousands of years old. When certain new Orders suddenly show up, vowing to whip things into shape, they have tried to eradicate all poppy and alcohol production, but the Abbey is big and labyrinthine. There is always a room or a chamber in some wing where someone or some small conspiracy keeps it going. A problem is that while the addiction and degradation inherent in such abominable substances is of course detrimental to health and vitality, addicts to various incarnations of the poppy seed are also the most immune from the waves of insanity that wash over the Abbey periodically, not to mention the gradual descent into madness most residents face regardless. Thus, during the times of greatest chaos and turmoil it is the addicts who have managed, despite their physical deterioration, to keep the gardens going. While this must seem ridiculous, welcome to life at the Abbey.
Nowadays Fosters Wing is simply given up entirely to the worst of the addicts. It’s the crackhouse section of the Abbey. Food is brought there daily by residents from other sections and wings, as few who end up in Fosters Wing still do anything that could be mistaken for work. Many of the residents in the rest of the Abbey have various vices but remain high functioning or at least in various states of functionality. There is a far point in the downwards spiral most residents eventually undergo in which some will inevitably arrive at Fosters Wing and then that’s that.
- If we were to get into sexual deviancy we could fill an encyclapedia. The western religious orders who foolishly make their way to the Abbey, including the ones who attempt to take over administrative duties, are often the most colorful when they finally abandon their carefully controlled libidos and give way to carnality. Many of the most bizarre sado-masochistic rooms where residents indulge their sexual appetites were in fact originally put together by these religious orders under various rationalizations.
- The most nefarious sexual escapades were probably those organized by Grimm Talbert in the 18th century. He had been a Jesuit who had hung onto his convictions for years and provided strong and stern leadership against a particularly vicious wave of abominations who had risen up that century to assault the crack in the Walls. After the last wave had broken, Grimm resigned and suffered a series of mental breakdowns culminating in a rather ferocious sexual appetite. Orgies, bondage soirees, all types of group carnality was his specialty, and over the course of 3 years he orchestrated the height of sexual over indulgence in a place not known for chastity. He went too far, his lust giving way to madness, and one night, unable to quench his over active thirst, he foolishly summoned a succubi into the body of a young woman he had formed a sex magick ritual around. With the succubi unleashed within the abbey, all hell broke loose and it was basically another attack all over again. To his credit, Grimm organized a magnificent resistance, stopped the monster and the others it was summoning, and put it down decisively. He then committed suicide and fell over the side of the veranda into the waiting chaos.
- It is wrong to assume that every resident of the Abbey comes with some fatal flaw or lurking temptation. Most are perfectly nice, normal people who get to the Abbey by pure, tragic accident. Some are part of some group or Order who discovers the existence of the Abbey, a very rare thing in itself. Some misunderstand what the Abbey is and what its purpose is. Some understand perfectly and because of its extreme importance to the fate of all earthly denizens, attempt nobly to administrate and keep the Abbey running as efficiently as possible. The location of the Abbey is such that the human psyche cannot help but be degraded over time. It is a mathematical certainty, although there are residents who have stayed moderately sane and functional and carried themselves quite honorably, minus numerous odd ticks.
- There are numerous ways to get to the Abbey. We will not list many here but will mention a few:-
- Mirrors are common. Recursive loops are a surefire way out of reality to the Outer Walls. Line up two mirrors facing each other, stand in the middle and perform a simple Opening Ritual, or use meditation or prayer to achieve an Alpha state. It’s that simple. You will then be able to step into the corridor. At the end of the corridor, usually about a half hour’s walk is the Abbey. This is enormously dangerous as numerous entities prowl the corridors. Don’t forget, when you open a way out you also open a way in. Assuming you don’t get disemboweled or the soul sucked out of you like jelly in a doughnut, you’ll eventually arrive at a large door. By the time you’re at the door the odds of you finding your way back are enormously slim. Once through the door you will never see your world again. Don’t be too upset, most Abbey residents are very welcoming.
- The overindulgence in photo taking in modern times is a hotbed of recursive looping. Too many photos taken of the same moment, a photo taking an image another camera is imaging which yet another camera is imaging at just the right angles will set up a rift, usually around a person caught in the middle. The riff will not open then and there. it’s like a breeze that begins which will eventually turn into a tornado. Normally a Horror will sniff out this rift and get them first, but on the off chance this doesn’t happen, they’ll get sucked out to the Other Side and with a bit of luck make their way to The Abbey.
- Some have actually managed to escape from the abomination that abducted them. Slender Men for instance: it’s nearly
impossible to escape them once they have you on Earth, and once they get you back past the Veil, forget it. But it is enormously difficult for them to work their way into the World and while easier to slither back out, this is still tough. It is the moment right when they have exited the earthly bubble where you are most likely to worm free. The odds that you will happen to be where the Decadent Abbey is are slim of course, but this happens more than one might think. If you can worm free you’ll drop down to the Abbey. A Slender Man hasn’t managed to breach the Abbey in over half a century, although Rakes have a bit more luck. Still, they don’t stay long. The arcanum and weapons residents have on hand to protect the Abbey are formidable, although it is no secret Mother has been trying to find ways in for as long as the Abbey has stood.
- There are more cracks in the walls of reality than one might think. There’s currently a popular prescription pharmaceutical that enables the mind to perceive some of these cracks. Often, that’s enough. Once perceived, the pull from beyond will grow in intensity until the poor citizen is sucked through assuming a horror doesn’t use it to slither in and take them first, and and if they’re not caught by something horrible and crawling, they may find themselves at The Abbey. If they’re lucky of course.