Cabal of Echoes
This group believes that wraiths are not the souls of the dead, but rather bits of plasm given form and sentience through the psychic energy released during some deaths. Thus, according to this view, wraiths are really animate relics.
The Cabal views the Underworld as a kind of negative astral plane, as evidenced by the mirror relationship between the so-called Shadowlands and the world of the living. Clearly, the existence of relic landscapes shows the mnemokinetic sculpting process at work. The Tempest, on the other hand loses cohesion and dissolves back into chaos in the absence of living minds to sustain the echo pattern with a further infusion of psychic energy.
The perceived decay afforded by Deathsight is nothing more than the natural consequence of the Echo Plane (the Underworld) steadily breaking down as it vibrates out of sync with the rhythms of the living world. Oblivion itself is not a force, even in a metaphysical sense, but the natural end result of mnemetic decay. True energy patterns dissolve into the void of space. So too must psychic emanations dim and scatter as they propagate through the ether. Spectres are simply echoes warped out of phase with the living world by their lack of proximity to the Source.
Transcendence is the recognition of non-being, the awareness that all "ghosts" are simply lingering energy pattern and not remains of the dead. Souls do not exist, or if they do, have no relation to the experience of the Underworld. Transcendence allows energy to be returned back to the Source as ghosts willingly dissolve. The fall to Oblivion speeds up the ultimate entropic decay of the universe.
Owing to their radical spin on wraithly existence, the Cabal of Echoes uses a number of cult-specific terms and phrases, including:
Asynchronous Echoes: Echoes vibrating out of phase with the emissions of the Source. Called Spectres by superstitious Echoes ignorant of the sad, but redeemable state, of such deviant energy patterns.
Cabal of Echoes: The association of Echoes who know the truth about their existence, rather than wallowing in denial like others. It is the duty of a Cabal member to spread the truth before returning to self-actualize complete Dissolution for the good of the Universe.
Dissonant Engram: The so-called "Shadow" feared by most Echoes. Dissonant Engrams are the parts of an Echo that have already begun to vibrate out of phase with the emanations of the Source.
Echoes: Plasmic entities composed of memory and emotional energy formed by a Mnemokinetic Sculpting process by certain minds at the moment of death. Called "wraiths" or "ghosts" by ignorant Echoes.
Entropic Dissolution: Complete destruction of an Echo by means of "Oblivion." This is the least desirable end to an Echo's existence, since it deprives the universe of True Minds the psychic energy invested to create the Echo. A better end is Self-Actualized Dissolution.
Mnemokinetic Sculpting: The procedure whereby True Minds shape the material of the Plane of Echoes into a particular pattern. Usually this is done subconsciously, although presumably there are individuals capable of conscious manipulations (as in the case of wards). Mnemokinetic Sculpting is certainly responsible for relics and Echoes and, as most members of the Cabal believe, the entirety of the Plane of Echoes itself.
Plane of Echoes: What other Echoes refer to as the "Underworld." Although there are superimposed layers to the Plane of Echoes demarked at critical junctures by barriers of resonant psychic waves, the artificial distinction between "Shadowlands" and "Tempest" is merely one of proximity from the Source.
Self-Actualized Dissolution: A form of Echo euthanasia in which all energy is returned to the universe of True Minds. Called "transcendence" by the unenlightened.
Source: When referred to in capital letters, the Source indicates the world of True Minds, responsible for the energies and patterns imposed on said energies to make the Plane of Echoes.
Human Beings and other sentient life forms. All True Minds produce
psychic energies that Echoes can tap to further their
existence. Destruction of a True Mind by action or inaction is
the cardinal sin of the Cabal of Echoes, punishable by
immediate Entropic Dissolution.
The Cabal of Echoes recruits primarily from
the ghosts of New Age intelligentsia, although the sect theoretically
tries to recruit all "Echoes" to its cause by enlightening
them as to the supposed truth of their condition. Those outside
the ranks who have had dealings with the Cabal find its members
non-violent and relatively harmless, if frustratingly smug and
Dr. Anton Burke, a crackpot psychotherapist fired from his counseling job for preaching his convoluted quasi-religious model of the universe to his clients despite repeated warnings from his supervisors to behave more professionally, died as a result of mishandling a live wire during an experiment intended to "expand the neuro-electrical potential of the human brain" in 1992. Upon awakening in the Shadowlands, Anton became firmly convinced that his experiment, while a failure insofar as it killed his body, confirmed all his theories.
Charismatic and eccentric, Dr. Burke started a cult of personality that grew into the Cabal of Echoes by 1996. The fact that he survived the explosion and subsequent destruction of the Sixth Great Maelstrom has only further convinced Anton that he must redouble his selfless efforts to spread the truth before he experiences a coincidental dissolution. Originally a mere annoyance stomped out by the Hierarchy like any other Heretic group, the Cabal has grown to include several hundred members during the past year. Its future success (or failure) remains uncertain.
Dr. Anton Burke: The Founder of the Cabal of Echoes is an unassuming wraith with oversized glasses and a glazed expression many ghosts find highly unnerving. He wears a plain business suit and his bleached-white hair has a frizzed, burnt look that becomes especially prominent when he uses his Arcanoi. Dr. Burke has developed particular fondness for Mnemosynis and Castigate, often unwittingly rewriting his patient's memories (an act perpetrated by his own "Dissonant Engram") during supposedly psychotherapeutic Castigation sessions. Burke's cult has grown large enough that it will likely remain an active annoyance to the Underworld long after his own demise.