Orpheus: The Taste of Ashes - Characters and Setting - Orpheus

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Susan Blakemore, Banshee

Susan has just graduated high school. She is extremely shy, and seems to have difficulty speaking above a whisper. Zeta Crucible.

John "Blink" Carruthers, Wisp

Blink is as outgoing and charismatic as one might expect from someone who was a stage magician. He also suffers from cancer, but he doesn't seem to let that get him down. Zeta Crucible.

Adrian Challis, Wisp

A very precise, well-spoken Englishman. Head of Gamma Crucible.

Ben Cotton, Poltergeist

Ben grew up on the wrong side of the tracks, and he never lets his fellow trainees forget that. Perhaps as a result, he seems to be perpetually angry at the world around him and especially at those he perceives as having had it easy. He seems to view Tom as a particular rival. Zeta Crucible.

Kate Dennison, Banshee

One of Orpheus' interviewers and trainers, Kate is an acid-tongued woman who isn't shy about telling people when they don't measure up to her high standards. Her criticism, however, is as constructive as it is biting, and she is always willing to offer advice on how to rectify the faults she sees. She is Orpheus' first skimmer, and pioneered the techniques they use today. Her methodology is a combination of mysticism and meditation, something which has been known to disconcert the far more scientific Dr Harper. This has, on occasion, led to some friction between the two. Alpha Crucible.

Craig Forrest, Skinrider

Head of Spook Security at Orpheus, Craig is Orpheus' other full time PLE employee. Perrenially looking washed out and monochrome, Craig was a member of Orpheus' Babysitters (mundane security who look after skimmers' bodies in the field) before he was killed, not on the job. Craig hasn't let a little thing like death interfere with his duty, and he is now even more dedicated than ever. His job isn't helped by the fact that his position isn't officially recognised by management, although various members of Alpha Crucible, Chet and Kate included, use their pull to make sure he has what resources they can offer. Naturally, as in all other things, Beta Crucible don't feel bound by his requests in the slightest.

Dr Annie Harper, Unknown

Annie is one of Orpheus' few full-time post-life employees. She is a sociologist by training, and is in large part responsible for the formal codification of post-life existance. In life, she was employed by Orpheus to travel the world and research how the post-life condition is viewed by various cultures. While in Rangoon, some local drug lords took exception to her questions and shot her dead. As a post-life entity, it took her about a year to make her way to the Orpheus headquarters. Being dead actually allowed to add a new dimension to her research, as she took the opportunity to question other post-life entities in the countries she passed through on her way home. These case studies formed the basis of the taxonomy that Orpheus uses today. Technically part of Alpha Crucible, but very rarely goes out on any missions that aren't information gathering.

Tom Hayes, Poltergeist

Although not normally a trainer, Tom sometimes gets dragged in to show new poltergeists the ropes. Gamma Crucible.

Carter Jones, Banshee

A somewhat clincal member of Delta Crucible, Dr Carter Jones is the man that Orpheus management prefers to try and teach Banshees the use of Forebode, due to his fairly pragmatic nature and scientific explanation of the phenomena. To date Teresa Reilly is the only one who has mastered his course of dry technical terms and analogies. Craig Forrest asked for and received his assignment to Delta Crucible, as precognition is invaluable to security.

Thomas Knox, Haunter

Tom is an ex-policeman. He, Teresa and Ben have been assigned as team-mates for their first case. Zeta Crucible.

Chet Mason, Skinrider

Chet is an ex-army man, the likely source of his near-death experiences. His avowed intention is to make sure that none of his trainees get "any deader than they already are" and his training methods reflect his military background. Of the latest batch of trainees, he has displayed a special interest in Tom Knox, viewing him as something of a protege. He has let Tom know that "if the shit hits the fan, you can get hold of me day and night". Chet is a sleeper. Alpha Crucible.

Hoyt Masterson, Haunter

Hoyt has a liking for fast cars, whether he's in the driving seat or simply wearing one. Gamma Crucible.

Alex Pretorius, Skinrider

Generally considered arsehole amongst arseholes, Alex is without doubt a competent arsehole. Ex-Special Forces, he and Chet have a history of tussling over the position of alpha soldier in Orpheus. Still, this doesn't stop him and various of his team showing up to the shoot and eat meets fortnightly which Chet organises. Apparently, he can leave his attitude at work. Head of Beta Crucible.

Shelley Young, Haunter

A thin, geeky looking woman with glasses, Shelley goes for as long as she can outside her body. When acting as security, she typically inhabits a part of the building. (The Orpheus building is too big for one projector to totally inhabit.) When on assignment she spends large amounts of time interacting with noone, just watching and waiting. She wouldn't have it any other way.

Teresa Reilly. Banshee

Teresa worked as a psychiatrist before being recruited by Orpheus. Zeta Crucible.

Zoe Vitt, Poltergeist

Zoe is a stuntwoman, with all of the daredevil, devil may care attitude that suggests. Zeta Crucible.


Tyler Ford, Director of Security

A bland, fairly forgettable man, Tyler is nonetheless very efficient. He tends to blend in and let his team do their job without pulling rank. Heaven help any of his staff who force him to step in though.

Tracey Harper, Receptionist

The position of Orpheus Receptionist involves manning the main switchboard and front desk. As there may be agents out in the field at all hours, there is always someone on duty to answer the 'phones, etc. There are three shifts: day (nine to five; normal business hours), evening/night (five to one) and early morning (one to nine). Tracey handles the day shift.

Maria Jenkins, Floor Supervisor for Sub-Basement Levels 2 and 3

Maria's duties include room allocations, among other things.

Matthew Peterson, Manager

Matthew has been assigned the task of managing the group composed of Tom, Teresa and Ben.

Rodrigo, Driver

One of the drivers Orpheus uses to ferry around projectors.


Orpheus Main Building

The Orpheus building is located in Queens, New York City. It moved to this location two years ago, in a five story building it had designed for it by a local architect. What isn't as well known is that this local architect was deceased at the time. The price for his help was the breaking of his tethers. The aboveground offices are where all the day to day work is done by the mundane staff, as well as holding several function rooms including, on the top floor, an entire ballroom. The first basement level, and the only one that anyone outside the company knows about, holds a carpark. The lower levels hold the guts of Orpheus, where projectors are trained and based.

Sub-Basement 2 This level holds quarters for those projectors who live on site, which includes all four of the full time post life employees, a rec room, including a wide screen prjector TV and two pool tables, briefing rooms that also double as class rooms as need be and a fairly sizable gymnasium. Most projectors don't live on site after training, and Maria Jenkins, the floor supervisor (who does live here) tries to make sure that there are always a few rooms spare just in case they are needed. (A not infrequent event.)

Sub-Basement 3 This level holds the projectors' offices (generally two to an office), research laboratories, a fully equipped medical facility, the security room and the Nursery, which is divided into the skimmer lounge, outfitted with comfortable couches, low lighting and soothing music playing in the background and the sleeper bay, which is a cold, sterile room lined with chrome and steel cannisters.

Sub-Basement 4 This level is rarely visited by any projector, holding as it does the servers, data vault, emergency generators, HVAC equipment and general storage.


Investigations (Projectors)

Alpha Crucible This is the crucible in the loosest sense. Alpha Crucible consists of the most respected and experienced Orpheus projectors. Given the mortality rate of the early years of Orpheus, these people are generally the remnants of earlier teams. Kate Dennison and Chet Mason, the head trainers, number among the five projectors who make up this crucible. Dr Harper also officially belongs to Alpha Crucible, though she has far less field experience in Orpheus Ops than any of the others.

Beta Crucible Beta Crucible considers itself something of an elite within the projectors. Most of it's seven members have had combat experience, either as soldiers or more urban combat (criminals). As Ben puts it, "These mothers have at-tit-tude." They keep apart from the rest of the crucibles, and make no secret of the fact that they consider them to be fuckups just waiting for the Beta cavalry to bail them out. Alex Pretorius heads up this crucible, and actively encourages this attitude. Despite Orpheus' tendency to stamp down hard on this kind of intracompany strife, management seems unwilling to touch Beta Crucible. Beta Crucible are highly paid and highly trained. Ben was considered by Beta Crucible, but apparently blew them off.

Gamma Crucible Gamma consists of projectors not yet quite experienced/respected enough to make Alpha. Most of them have been a part of Orpheus for about a year. In general, they usually work together as a team for difficult assignments, or those that management wants to show off on. Adrian Challis heads Gamma. Hoyt Masterton and Tom Hayes also belong to Gamma.

Delta Crucible Craig Forrest, Orpheus' other full time PLE, heads Delta Crucible. Craig also heads Orpheus PLE security, and he has selected his crucible with the ability to be able to handle these duties. Carter Jones, Orpheus' other Banshee capable of Forebode, belongs to Delta.

Epsilon Crucible Epsilon Crucible represents the intake of projectors prior to Zeta Crucible.

Zeta Crucible This crucible consists of Tom Knox, Susan Blakemore, Teresa Reilly, Ben Cotton, Zoe Vitt and Blink.

Eta Crucible Eta Crucible consists of trainees currently undergoing tutelage under the commanding eye of Chet and Kate.


This section handles Orpheus security, both onsite and offsite. Tyler Ford heads up secuirty.


This section is tasked with offsite security for projectors. Their main use is looking after the bodies of skimmers who have to project in the field. They only have four full time members, which means if there is a rush on, they often have to borrow people from other security sections. Bureaucracy being what it is, unless management is pressing on this one, they don't exactly get handed the crop of the other departments.