American Cabals

Cabals are shorter-lived than Orders, on average, and new ones often arise from the ruins of old ones. The history of American Cabals illustrates this.


From the founding until the War of 1812 (Genre: Gothic)

The first US Cabal and first Ulterior agents were recruited from the same pool of American Mesmerists. The Inner Ring of the Cabal was trained in "mesmerism" by "magnetic sovreigns" or "potentates" (invisible Lovecraftian monsters), and used it to boost aggression, lessen caution, and drive obsessive focus in their tools in the outer rings and hangers-on of the Cabal. Goal: thirteen little banana republics, with more to come, which they could rule feudally (secretly if desired), courting European "patrons" whom they would go on to "magnetize." Roanoac just kept harrying them through the Napoleonic Wars until the US solidified too much for their plan to work. Then the Tyranny abandoned them and they were then taken out by resentful European Cabals.

The Augusti

From the War of 1812 to the eve of the Civil War (Genre: Western & Tall Tales)

Also calling themselves "Fortune's Favorites," the children of Manifest Destiny, using prognostications from "ancestral spirits" in a cooperation/competition to found an empire encompassing all North America (and expanding from there). Aaron Burr's Golden Circle conspiracy was a precursor. Emperor Norton was a late, harmless, well-meaning echo of this. This Cabal was deeply genocidal toward Indians and forced formation of the Grandmother Spider Society, which took them out in a campaign of assassination, weakly assisted by Roanoac (hindered by its own master-caste phase; some Roanoacs wanted to join the Destiny game).


From the run-up to the Civil War until late in its course (Genre: Steampunk)

The Inner Ring belonged to an extended family (intermarried survivors of Second Ringers from the Augusti) and believed itself to be eugenically produced by their ancestors (who, in the light of updated science, they believed to be the magnetism-based Lovecraft monsters of Mastermont, not the mere ghosts of the Augusti). They planned a much longer Civil War that would leave both sides exhausted, so they could arise and "rescue" the Union in a system that let the South keep slaves to be bred for servitude and the North breed factory workers the same way. Three-caste system: domesticated humans (black and white), normal humans, Elder-hybrid humans (the Cabalists). Taken down by the Dare Lodge and Roanoac in a direct assault on their headquarters and labs, under cover of the war.

The Golden Barons

From Reconstruction to the Great Depression (Genre: Pulp SF)

Founded by entrepreneureal tools of Monticello. In the Barons' view, none of the previous Cabals (in so far as they knew about them) were practical enough, and Monticello's stuff about being semi-human was rot. These Barons found the Lovecraft beasties could be persuaded, with appropriate sacrifices, to give skills, data, and luck wherewith to build fortunes. The Great Depression was their plan to destroy the US (and the whole West), leaving a power vaccuum where the Cabal could call the tune as they rebuilt. Roanoac and the Dare Lodge took them out in 1931 but of course the Crash had already happened and the Depression rolled on.


From World War II through the Seventies (Genre: Atomic Horror)

The Committee for Extra-Dimensional Alliance and Research (dubbed by the Dare Lodge "the Inhumanists") re-discovered the backers of the Golden Barons and decided they were "Extra-Dimensionals," "EDs." There were two factions of EDs, they thought: one simply wanted to wipe out life on Earth; the other was willing to defend us for a price—tribute in the form of people to possess, brains to re-wire and use as "control centers," and vampiric pyramid-schemes of vitality-drain. The tangible return to CEDAR was Mad Science weaponry usable against the hostile EDs and, of course, against human resistance. Their goal was an Earth as a military dictatorship, able to stand off the hostile EDs. They worked as an infiltration network in labs, colleges, and the military. They did not found but vastly extended the Mad Scientist system of Boston Below, drawing on the stranger lights of Harvard and MIT. They took the demise of the NICE as a lesson and an opportunity. The lesson was "don't operate in the open, even through a front." The opportunity was international scope, the chance to move into the vacuum left by the NICE. Scotched, not by Roanoac or Logres, but by the international coalition that Logres stimulated when it began renewing contacts.

The Tech Barons

From the Seventies to the present (Genre: Cyberpunk)

A reversion to the previous Barons of the Roaring Twenties, but with added Mad Science to provide toys and tools. They believe the "pro-human" EDs of CEDAR won, even if CEDAR itself was a casualty, and the world is their transdimensional oyster as long as they can keep trading with the EDs. There is a sharp division between the Inner Ring (of both scientists and financial types), who know about the EDs, and the outer rings, who are ultra-Randian materialists and merely know their superiors offer Mad Science toys, though they can only conjecture about the origin.

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Copyright © Earl Wajenberg, 2015