Meet the Factions: The Directorate (DSI)

“You’re quiet, but it’s a loud kind of quiet.”

The Recruiter, Alan Sharpe, by Jon Hunt

The Directorate for Special Investigations (DSI) is hardly the flashiest of the factions  floating around this city. An obscure branch of the government, they were originally founded as an elite unit of a larger intelligence agency, targeting top-tier organized crime figures who were hard to pin down using conventional means. A few high-profile successes put DSI firmly on the map. Their activities thereafter prioritized a return to more uncharted corners.

Which is not to say that they didn’t get the job done. On the contrary. Their success continued, for a time, but the nature of the quarry requires hunters who can hide in plain sight. There’s a reason DSI personnel generally wear blue suits. Standing out in a crowd is not in their interest.

The boss, Samantha Lerner, by Duncan Eagleson

Their obscurity, along with high power and low accountability, made corruption nigh-inevitable. It started with simple collusion: some members started working with crime figures in exchange for cash. Soon, this became a strategy for controlling organized crime in the city: after all, it’s easier to control criminality with blackmail material than to arrest and remove crimelords, only to see them replaced with more powerful ones. If you step in and control their business…well, you’re preventing the worst abuses altogether, right? It’s just a matter of making some compromises.

Things got a bit hazier when a powerful psychic took an interest and swooped in. Soon, the DSI was as involved with vampire lords and powerful mages as it was in bringing mafia figures to heel. (Plus, it’s not as if the worlds are all that far apart, anymore.) It was a short hop from there to exploiting the agency’s existing corruption – blackmailing Directorate leaders with their own blackmailing activities – and the DSI was quickly under new control.

Now, the place is crawling with psychics. Now, they’re interested in you.

Your companion, Carolina Perez, by Duncan Eagleson

It’s pretty creepy the first time you see an unassuming woman in a blue suit on a park bench, only to realize that she’s talking to you inside your head. But if you follow the trail, then by the time you get to the place they call The Laundry, it’s almost charming when your new colleague, Carolina, starts making snarky remarks at you without moving her mouth.

If you choose to work with DSI, you’ll learn all kinds of fascinating things: how to project an emotion onto someone, and how to defend against someone doing it to you; how to hack into people’s heads; and of course, how to use the intel you find there to make their lives difficult, and the DSI’s job easier. Neutralizing criminal threats to the city, including supernatural threats. Simple, right?

Maybe. As you go deeper, you start to think there’s something more going on. There’s tension in the ranks, and it’s getting hard to tell, sometimes, exactly whom you’re meant to be working for. It’s hard to imagine a government agency full of psychics doing double- and triple-agent espionage work not having more internal strife and infighting than it lets on. But you’ll need to stick around to find out exactly what that means…


Play with the DSI faction or one of 9 others in Susurrus: Season of Tides.

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