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

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Spectres, or Shadow Class entities as Orpheus refers to them, are something of an unknown quantity in the post life world. Rarely interacting with the living, they mostly seem to prey upon PLEs. Most are humanoid of form - some even strongly resemble certain deceased individuals underneath their mutations - but some are not. Further confusing the issue is the fact that older and more malevolent PLEs tend to acquire mutations of their own. Many younger PLEs can also temporarily mutate their form. Any link between these facts is currently unknown.


Over the course of Orpheus' investigations, Dr Harper has assembled a rough taxonomy of various different 'breeds' of Spectres. This is still very much a work in progress and we are learning more about this exciting field every day.


These Spectres appear in response to the rapid expenditure of vitality. They in general far more homogenous in appearance than most other shadowclass entities, resembling a humanoid hound constructed of rusty metal held together with bloody tendons. They have been observed appearing out of nowhere, or even from blips or drones. (Whether this was just a camoflaged form is not known.) Fetches, collectively, have accounted for the most deaths amongst Orpheus projectors.


These resemble victims of severe trauma. Spectres who resembles victims of car or airplane crashes or industrial machinery accidents have been found. In general, they seem preoccupied in killing others in the same way that they met their ends. The most likely type to interact with the living.

Lost Boys

These spectres resemble starved and battered children. Many of them have been positively identified as children who died of abuse or neglect. Generally speaking, one of the less dangerous singly, they usually exhibit a pack behaviour.


These Spectres have possessed humans. The humans in question gain great physical prowess and resistance to damage, but generally seem to have limited planning skills. The mechanism for possesion is yet unknown.

Reaper class

Informal name given to spectres able to damage a skimmer's flesh with lethal force. In general, they appear to be very powerful, but highly individual. Ones so far encountered (confirmed) are the Reaper, an insectoid centaurish spectre and one bearing the form of a small child. Two of these have exhibited the ability to teleport in a manner that seems more profound than that exhibited by Storm Wending, possibly coming from somewhere else entirely.



This is the name assigned to a Jason that was created during a botched Terril & Squib operation near Orpheus Headquarters. His current location is unknown and there is a sizable internal bounty on his head. Craig Forrest suspects that the T&S botch wasn't exactly accidental, but he's cynical and a little paranoid by nature.

The Reaper

Resembling Death from medieval depictions, this shadowclass entity wears a black cloak and wields a scythe with frightening combat potential. It has been known to emerge from looks like a rift in reality. The Reaper always seems to have an objective when he appears, which often seems to be a person or persons. The only way anyone has survived meeting him is by fleeing. Ripcording has had a better success. None of his seeming targets have survived to date.

The Reaper was to all appearances hunting Teresa Reilly, so Beta Crucible used her for bait and successfully managed to draw the Reaper into a trap, where it was then dispersed. Noone is sure whether or not it will return.


A distorted double of a ghost named Gwynneth, Not-Gwynneth was encountered in Chains, a night club. After a brief battle, she was dispersed. She had apparently dominated Gwynneth into luring spooks here for purposes unknown, although there was a huge spectral mass in the basement. Although dispersed, Gwynneth claimed that she was still talking to her, and that she would return.

Creepy Little Girl

Encountered in the attack on Orpheus, this Spectre looks just like a pale little girl. She is apparently Reaper class, able to shred gauze with a gesture, fascinate someone with an effect similiar to that of Unearthly Repose and open up portals.

Cloud of Darkness

Another spectre encountered in the attack on Orpheus, this just resembled a shapeless cloud of darkness. It could devour gauze by engulfing it and open portals.