Meet the Factions: Vanguard Sol

What airfield? I don’t see any airfield.

Vampires, werewolves, and mages – check. Faeries, check. Mystically-inclined secret societies vying for control of a supernatural underworld – check. You’ve gotten used to this reality pretty quickly. You’ve had to.

So why not aliens?

Vanguard Sol, perhaps the most secretive of the organizations you can join in Susurrus: Season of Tides, is dedicated to tracking the activities of the extraterrestrial life already on our planet. More importantly, they are dedicated to keeping this knowledge hidden from the general public.

Maybe you were a “the truth is out there” type even before your transformation, before the world, which always seemed topsy-turvy, turned definitively upside-down for you personally. Or maybe you were a skeptic, believing that however wacky things on Earth got, there were only other Earthlings to blame.

But now that you’ve seen the magical underbelly of everything…what’s one more conspiracy theory among friends?

Imani Leveque, by Marty Kulma

Not that Vanguard Sol’s mission doesn’t seem completely legit. Their leader is a liberal US Senator, Imani Leveque, whose scientific background and capable, grounded presence lend immense credibility to the organization. The recovered alien technology you’ve seen so far – holographic shields that disguise black sites as construction pits, hoverboots like something out of a scifi epic – convinces you of yet a different brand of magic sweeping the world you thought you knew. It’s all rather exciting, frankly, and doesn’t even feel like you’re doing anything wrong.

Except the secrecy part. It’s hard, for more reasons than one. Hard to keep quiet about something so spectacular, hard to not shout from the rooftops that truly, literally, there are aliens, people!!

Hard too, though, to know that if most people knew what you were working on, they’d think you were out of your mind.

Adam Brown, by Marty Kulma

Also…well, you’re not entirely sure you’re not. For all the incredible artifacts Vanguard Sol has collected, for all the coverups they’ve staged, for all the fear-driven faith you’ve seen in your short time with them…they’ve never had unambiguous, actual alien contact. You’ve seen Senator Leveque and other high-level people express worry that the aliens have already infiltrated us. But given what else you’ve seen so far…it could be anything, couldn’t it?

On the other hand, it’s hard to believe that the man who recruited you, Adam Brown, is anything other than an alien. (If he were, would Vanguard Sol tell you?) He’s more generic than any human should be, so bland and unremarkable that you forget what he looks like every time he leaves the room. He seems harmless enough, you guess, but with a group that keeps such huge secrets as part of its SOP, it’s hard to say.

Skyler Jarrett, by Duncan Eagleson

The most normal-seeming part of all this is your partner in the organization, Skyler Jarrett. She’s a bundle of nerves, a sweet, over-enthusiastic hacker geek who fell into Vanguard Sol by accident. Seems she was investigating a little too hard with her group of conspiracy theorist friends, and they offered her a deal: join and keep quiet, or. She doesn’t talk much about the Or.

She does talk, though – an awful lot – about nearly everything else. And it’s this, perhaps more than anything else, that endears her to you: unlike the whole rest of the organization, Skyler is anything but tight-lipped. And for that reason alone, you have a feeling you’re going to have to protect her before too long.


Do you want to believe? Play in Vanguard Sol and any of nine other factions in Susurrus: Season of Tides, free on any web browser.

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