What goes unsaid could fill a hundred tomes in most people’s lives. Even messages of grave importance remain unspoken, flickering away with a last breath. This is even more true in the world of the restless dead, where spirits have passed on with words left unexpressed.
Some ghosts cling to the incorporeal afterlife because their life or death was in some way tied to a message or communication. Perhaps the spirit died with an important piece of information, or perhaps in life the person was responsible for giving messages (such as a spy, courier, or reporter). Other messenger ghosts began life as another type of spirit, and they now reaffirm their unliving existence by finding a purpose in delivering messages.
Although more advanced than many spirits, messenger ghosts are still only loosely tied to the physical world. Most of the time, they are insubstantial and invisible, although through great effort they can become part of the real world for brief periods. Primarily they do so to deliver their messages. Parapsychologists speculate that it takes a Joe of energy to manifest, but successfully doing so reaffirms the ghost’s existence and gives it more essence; thus the cycle of unlife continues.
If a messenger ghost chooses to manifest physically, it generally appears as an indistinct form of the person it was in life; gender is determinable, but only the most obvious physical characteristics – such as missing limbs – become apparent. Usually, though, the entity chooses to remain invisible, becoming corporeal only to fulfill its duty.
The most important aspect of a messenger ghost is its message. What the spirit wants to convey, however, can cover a wide swathe, depending on both the ghost’s purpose and strength. The most basic messages are raw emotions, such as rattling a window to indicate displeasure or rocking a chair to show contentment. These messenger ghosts differ from poltergeists in their ferocity and intent; poltergeists manipulate objects primarily for mayhem, whereas messengers want others to understand them.
More advanced messenger ghosts spread messages via complex means, such as writing in the dust of an undisturbed bookshelf or rearranging word-game tiles to make simple sentences. These messages are often tied to a specific purpose or intent (such as “FIND MY DAUGHTER’S KILLER” or “SOON IT AWAKENS”), although some messengers are potent enough in spirit to carry on simple conversations. For example, one spirit is tied to an old subway terminal in a major city; it is aware of many of its secrets, and communicates them by tearing headline words from discarded newspapers or writing letters on exposed skin. The most advanced messengers can even become tied to an individual, serving as a general guardian (albeit one limited to spying and relaying information).
Messenger ghosts are universally mute; at best they can manipulate noise enough for a loud wailing or other incomprehensible tones. Weaker messengers usually disperse when they successfully resolve their situation (such as finding the murderer of a spirit’s daughter); stronger ones can exist almost indefinitely. Although vulnerable to any attacks that affect ghosts, messengers’ greatest weakness is being deprived of either an audience or a means of conveying its meaning.
Typical Messenger Ghost
Reflexes 2D: sneak 3D
Coordination 3D+2: sleight of hand 4D+2
Knowledge 2D+2: scholar 3D+2
Perception 3D: hide 4D, search 3D+l,
Presence 3D+2: imimidation 4D, persua-
sion 4D+1, willpower 4D+2
Strength Damage: 1D
Move: 5 (because of intangibility)
Fate Points: 0
Character Points: 2
Body Points: 16
Wound levels: 3
Disadvantages: Devotion (R3) to delivering specific message (or delivering messages to specific person); Hindrance (R2), mute, is unable to speak Advantages: Trademark Specialization (R1), +2D when delivering specific message – or delivering message to a specific person – by a specific way
Special Abilities: Intangibility (R3), +9D to damage resistance score against physical and energy attacks with Additional Effect (R3), intangible state is the default and can become tangible for one minute per rank, with Restricted (R2), requires Very Difficult willpower roll to become tangible; Invisibility (R14), +14 to dodge, sneak, and hide totals, with Additional Effect (R1), always on, and Restricted (R2) requires Very Difficult willpower roll to become visible; Longevity (R1)