The Shifting Spirits are liars who are the sole survivors of a now-dead realm which was torn apart by outsiders— or they themselves are outsiders who have learned to coexist with Creation— or they were exiled from a prosperous series of timelines for their grave crimes— or they have achieved time travel and are working to ensure that the course of events which led to their existence will come to pass— or they are the servants of the Powers Major. Their forms are as fluid as water and revert to solidity with a thought, taking on any form which they would like.
It is hard to tell what exactly they have done, since they can take on any form which they would like and cannot be trusted to tell the truth, but certain similarities can be seen between literary, historical, and mythical characters across Creation and certain members of the Shifting Spirits (whose exact numbers are uncertain). However, it is impossible to tell whether the Shifting Spirits are the inspirations for these or if the Shifting Spirits took inspiration for their own personalities from these characters.
The Guilty and the Damned
They call themselves the Guilty and the Damned. They’re made up of people who think that their only means of achieving salvation is through the blood of the Journeymen, and psychotics who aren’t going to decline an opportunity to kill people at the behest of a large, powerful organization, even if they don’t believe the doctrine. There’s room for both types in the Guilty and the Damned, which has been operating for thousands of years and reaches across every realm in Creation.
According to their creation myth, the Great God T’L ruled over the First Expanse with Its daughters until the Powers Major stormed the many worlds of Its domain and, over many thousands of years of warfare, destroyed the First Expanse and dismembered the body of T’L in order to form Creation— called the Second Expanse by the Guilty and the Damned— from Its remains. Some of the Great God’s daughters survived the war, however, and then survived Outside for long enough to enter the Second Expanse and begin the long work of resurrecting their Father, overthrowing the Powers Major, and bringing about the Third Expanse. Key to their plan is killing the Journeymen, a requirement made unfortunate by the fact that the Journeymen are just as much the victims of the Powers Major as anyone else in Creation, but still necessary all the same.
The Guilty and the Damned believe that energy cannot be destroyed and, accordingly, the electricity which ran through the brain of T’L could not be destroyed by the Powers Major. Instead, it was fragmented and each piece was placed in those who would become the first Journeymen. By killing a Journeyman and preventing xem from passing on xir Identity, the tiny fragment inside him will be freed and will find its way to any other freed fragments. Once all of the Journeymen have been killed in this manner (and so far, twenty-nine Journeymen have been killed by the Guilty and the Damned, which is an impressive number when the difficulty in doing so is taken into account), T’L will become conscious once again and defeat the Powers Major.
Chapman Industrial of Ottawa
Chapman Industrial of Ottowa is the company’s true name, or at least its original name, but today it is also known by such names as German Development, Hendrix Genetics, Spencer Industrial Service, and Murphy Diversified Holdings. Chapman Industrial deals in scientific secrets, reverse-engineering everything from foreign technologies to strange devices obtained from other realms. It is this latter type which is dominating Chapman Industrial’s focus more and more since it made contact with the Journeyman who calls xemself The Jailer twelve years ago. Two years after that they were able to construct their own means of traveling between worlds and no longer depended upon The Jailer, who subsequently vanished.
While they appear to be keeping their eyes on company profits the directors of Chapman Industrial also seem to be at least vaguely concerned with their country (or are perhaps simply aware of the benefits of a good working relationship), and since it has begun operating Canada has achieved a slight edge in its technological progress as compared to other countries in Chapman Industrial’s home timeline. The company’s directors are considering how to best accelerate this even further without tipping anyone off to the fact that Chapman Industrial, and Canada in general, have been retrieving technology which shouldn’t exist yet.
One of the defining traits of The Grasping Messiah is xir use of bone howlers for everything from reconnaissance to guard duty to shock assault. One of the most erratic of all Journeymen, the Grasping Messiah is well-known throughout Creation (by those who know of such people, at least) as being a fanatic visionary who will stop at nothing to achieve what xe believes is the destiny of Creation. From person to person, however, what that destiny is changes as the visionary nature of the Grasping Messiah is filtered through a new mind and spirit.
The Bishop has connections to the Guilty and the Damned, though what those connections are is not precisely understood. Xe has a noticeable tendency, however, to appear in times and places relevant to Guilty and Damned objectives, and these appearances lead to either splendid successes, or horrible, agonizing failures. Most theories about the Bishop include either the idea that xe is working against the Guilty and the Damned using risky tactics which blow up in xir face as often as not, or else the idea that xe is working for them, and sabotages them on occasion in order to keep up appearances.
The Whisperer with Skin of Turquoise likes to broadcast xir appearance. Xe is never subtle about what xe is and by just taking a look at xem, with xir painted skin, it’s obvious that there is something odd about xem, even if the observer doesn’t know about Journeymen or the Whisperer in particular. Hundreds of worlds have urban legends or even places on Most Wanted Lists for a person whose most easily-identifiable trait is the artificial coloring of xir skin. Xe is conscientious about keeping the paint applied and takes on a new coat immediately after washing.
As for what xe does to spark those urban legends and warrant those Most Wanted Lists… That always depends, on who has taken on the Whisperer’s Identity. There is always someone who considers it terrible, however.
The Recordskeeper carries a sack of books with xem, usually slung over xeir shoulder. Or they are tapes. Or they are scrolls, or CDs. It changes with what xe has access to, and what xe is fond of at the moment. Xe doesn’t retrieve historical records which already exist but instead records only what xe can see for xemself and then stores what is recorded in a location which only e knows.
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