In the world you’ve Awakened into, you’re rarely surprised anymore to discover wonders and horrors burgeoning in the shadows of the City. Yet Phaedron Labs is still an odd one. Combining research into the human genome, advanced cybernetics, and the occasional mystical meddling, Phaedron is essentially a superhero factory.
Or at least, that’s the goal. Unlocking hidden human potential, is how Dr. Wing Li, the brilliant geneticist leading the department, would put it. And for a good cause! Countless subjects have come to Phaedron with little hope of life left. That is, of life without constant pain, or severe disability, or an early death. Dr. Li and her team work with these desperate souls, using bleeding-edge technologies. The selection process is highly competitive, of course. And it carries significant cost. But those who volunteer trade life as a broken person for life with profoundly enhanced abilities, beyond any ordinary human.
Naturally, the subjects must detach from their old lives. If you’re dying of a rare genetic disorder, it’s likely your family will be made to believe you have died. They were expecting it, anyway. It’s better this way.
After all, once Phaedron agrees to work with you, you are contracted to them. These treatments are very costly, unimaginable, and those who pass the selection process pay for them with service to the agency. It’s worth it. You’re not just getting healed. You’re being pushed a little closer to godhood.
Of course, the missions and work these operatives undertake is highly classified. But what could a genomics and cybernetics laboratory require of highly-enhanced powered individuals that calls for so much secrecy?
Perhaps, if you join their ranks, you’ll find out. When you first encounter Troy Aston, captain of their security team, you have a chance to help him out with a tricky takedown mission. “The enhanced,” as they are euphemistically called, sometimes step out of line, and it’s Aston’s job to discipline them. It’s likely that he’ll take notice, and you may find yourself courted.
If you do choose to join, you’ll be working with a partner: Melinda Corazon. She’s been brought on as a handler of enhanced operatives, and her tough-minded, pragmatic approach gives you grounding and confidence. She’s hoping to earn enough credit through her work to get some enhancement procedures of her own. And from what you can tell, she doesn’t seem to mind the risks. Somehow, Melinda wanting it makes Phaedron Labs seem a little less sinister.
Still…how far into the enhancement business are you willing to go?
We at Evil Overlord Games have been working hard to assemble a brilliant selection of Evil Swag for your enjoyment! To that end, we are proud to introduce our new Threadless Artist Shop!
Through the shop, you can order fine art prints of Duncan Eagleson’s fantastic concept art for Susurrus: Season of Tides. Or, get T-shirts with our logo, the Susurrus logo, or a reproduction of Guru Dan’s shirt from the Church of Eternal Life. (Patchouli sold separately.)
Grab a mug of your favorite hot beverage and cozy up with Cody, or any of the companions or elders from the game. Sport the Evil Logo on your phone, journal, or water bottle. Or let your fellow beach-goers know that you’re evil with an Evil Overlord beach towel. (Yes, really.)
As we build out the shop, we’ll be adding more products, so you can get your favorite character portraits on a T-shirt, or get a print of That One Piece of Art that you love from the game.
Meanwhile, check it out and have a click around. We think you’ll find something you like!
“You’re quiet, but it’s a loud kind of quiet.”
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.
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.
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…
Friends, fans, countrypeople. Lend us your ears. (We promise to give them back. Probably.) Next weekend, January 12-14, 2018, your Evil Overlords and Susurrus will be at Arisia, New England’s largest science fiction and fantasy convention!
We will have two main presences at the con, and we hope you’ll stop by and visit both!
First, Evil Overlords will be at the Indie*Expo, an expansion of last year’s Indie Game Expo to include the Artists and Authors Alley along with game creators! We’ll be there to demo the game, give out some convention-only swag, and say hi.
Second, our art director Duncan Eagleson will be showing his work for Susurrus at the Arisia Art Show. Gawk, get prints, and meet the man behind our spectacular art team at Arisia’s most anticipated yearly offering!
We hope to see you there, at the Boston Westin Waterfront Hotel, from Friday, January 12 to Sunday, January 14! Tickets here!
Happy New Year to all you evil ones. Here is a cartoon from 1905 by John T. McCutcheon, who clearly wished for 1904 to let the door of history hit it in the ass on the way out. We’ve made some appropriate changes. Please enjoy.
The existence of Hermes is certainly nothing new. But since you began to perceive magic, you’ve noticed there’s something… odd… about the internet. Sometimes you feel like the search engine is watching you. Sometimes you have the strangest dreams if you’re browsing too late at night.
Hermes. The biggest tech conglomerate in the world. Your ISP. Your webmail. The most popular search engine. A line of phones. Petasus, the largest web retailer. New projects like H-leaks, an archive of leaked information on corporate corruption they maintain as a source for the common good; or the controversial H-spec augmented reality glasses. Hermes is everywhere, helpful, innovative, free when possible, affordable when not. It’s not a monopoly if they have competitors in every individual service they provide, right? Competitors who never manage to do as well as they do?
But there’s more you don’t realize until a black-suited woman you’ve never met before saunters up to you in the favorite bar of the supernatural community and asks you how it’s hanging. That’s how you meet Agent Mandalia: she’s on a mission to taste every form of alcohol in the world, has a tarantula called Robbie, and yes, her first name is Agent. And she’s here to offer you a job. Step into the world of spies, working for Homeland Data Management, because your skills have caught their eye. How, you don’t know. How she leaves herself as a contact on your phone, you don’t know.
It’s nothing too sketchy, she promises. No renditions, no assassinations, just perfectly legal surveillance. Good steady work.
Perfectly legal surveillance conducted with all the data collected by the biggest tech conglomerate in the world. Because ever since an obscure government ruling, HDM has had access to everything Hermes knows. Agent Mandalia works for the joint office. And now, if you choose to drop down this rabbit hole, so do you.
Then again, so does Oluchi Emeagwali, and you can’t imagine any organization that Oluchi Emeagwali would work for being all that bad. A brilliant scientist and mage, specializing in cutting-edge robotics and AI, friendly, outgoing, devoted to the common good. About the only flaw he has, far as you can tell, is being a workaholic. He has a pet robot spider he built for fun. Agent Mandalia calls it Robo-Robbie.
Your boss–well, he’s a little more like what you’d expect from a strange joint surveillance office of technological spies. Ethan Rye is brusquely professional, a career operative, but for all that he’s a hardass in some ways, he’s very level-headed and tolerant of his office of eccentrics. He also just might be a werewolf.
But the rabbit hole keeps going down and down. You have no idea where Ethan stands in the chain of command, or what he does when he’s out of the office for weeks at a time. The internet, Hermes is discovering, has a mind of its own: spontaneously emergent sites that appear and disappear in the bowels of the deep web, defying indexing or categorization. And you still don’t know who that man you met in your dreams was, with the dark eyes and the wide smile and the polo shirt, but for some reason you keep expecting to turn an office corridor and find him…