Judges
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"I accuse you. Not simply of being corrupt, but of being a corrupter, of making every person around you — even your accusers — more like you. How do you plead?"

What you do is not about justice, because what you fight isn't crime. It's abomination… corruption of humanity, body and soul, by things that look like people to the people around them. But the freaks can't hide from you and me, which is why we have to be judge, jury and yes, even executioner at once. It's hard sometimes, because killing a beast of prey is still killing. It's even harder when that beast hides its nature behind a perfect mask. Then, there are times when you get asked to do the impossible, when you know one of these things is hiding inside somebody, not some trick of flesh, not something dead that just doesn't know it yet. And the others, they look to you, they wait for you to decide, to choose whether some unlucky soul lives or dies, and all you can think is, No, not me, not again — that and, How the Hell did I wind up here, doing this?

The answer is that you're doing what you do because you question it and you question your part in it. If you're dedicated, you make a thousand decisions large and small, in the course of every hunt: Will silver work this time? Do we involve those civilians or not? Can this one be "exorcised", or do we just kill the poor bastard it's controlling before it kills someone else? The problem with being too dedicated is it can make you dead. At which point, all your careful weighing of the facts is over. It's a question of balance, and of knowing how much balance is too much, if that makes any sense to you. Probably it does. You probably spent a lot of your time before Imbuing making these same sorts of decisions as a doctor, social worker, military person, or even as… a judge. No matter what you did day by day, there were always questions at the back of your mind: Does what I do matter? Does it make things better? Can the world possibly be improved by removing some of the people who are in it? Then, one day, you found yourself asking those same questions in situations you'd never have imagined otherwise. That was After.

After is like being in another world, except the real world hasn't gone anyplace — nor have the hard choices that you've got to make. You just know there are aspects of the world that go unseen by most of the populace. You know the right thing may be to tell them, Look, see what we share the planet with? But you know better because they can't see what's plain to you. There'll come a time soon when we'll know what we face and where it hides. Once that's true, going public may be more than the safe course; it might be the only one. It's difficult to tell, but some people seem to serve the forces we fight but not realize they're pawns in a war! Not possessed ones or anything like that, just dupes. And who knows whose ear the opposition might be bending right now? Until we have a clue, discreet valor is the only way.

In the meantime, keep your mouths shut and your eyes open. It seems unfair, like the sighted making decisions for the blind without consulting them. Rely on this: You are frequently going to hate the things you have to do. You hate the lying — to family, to friends, to associates — but the truth is deadly. Telling it to someone who can't see the truth is tantamount to signing their death sentence, not to mention your own. You hate having to judge another hunter, to decide whether someone on your side is more of a menace than the enemy. That's when you hate killing the most, when it seems that you do, what all hunters do, is doomed to fail. but stronger than your hatred of the dark, hard place you now know the world to be is your fear of what it might become if nobody makes the hard choices. Your choices.

Weaknesses

Weaknesses: Indecision is the bane of your existence. Every Judge faces it at some point. Expect it, but don't let it become a constant. That's just an invitation for other hunters to sideline you or follow anybody's counsel. Free-for-alls endanger the very people you try to protect and also draw attention from the law. As tough as you have to be on yourself and your fellows, real judges are sure to be a lot less understanding than you are.

The other extreme is no better. Megalomania is believing that you — and only you — know what's right on the hunt. You're there to keep it orderly, to remind hunters of who they are and what they do — and don't do. You're not there to think for them. Remember your place, but make sure others know theirs, too.

Legalistic Judges are a pain in our collective ass. There's a fine line between establishing and maintaining a code of behavior and becoming hidebound. If you're always certain, you haven't thought of all the questions.

Apocrypha

Apocrypha: You know the signs of Judgement Day's approach when you see them. Many of you gather information before the end. After all, tactics without intelligence is suicide. Many of you regularly cite Revelation or Nostradamus or The Book of the Dead. Others, insistent in your belief that hunters like us are not new at all, point to Joan of Arc or Bernadette of Lourdes as our predecessors. They said and did what was right to save their worlds, and so should you.

A good number of Judges claim to have found faith for the first time thanks to the evils they face and the quest for answers. Others say their notions of a benevolent or guiding force in the universe have been undone or obliterated by the changes in the world. Half of Judges think events have brought them closer to their loved ones, half feel they've never been more distant.

The most proactive Judges take part in their communities through outreach programs and the like, as much to monitor their localities and run efficient hunts as to steady their conflicted feelings about their activities. And about themselves. Consider this advice from the voice of experience.

The Imbuing

The Imbuing: A common denominator among Judges — a rarity among other hunters — is having to face multiple freaks your first time out. These are usually things fighting each other, rather than threatening people directly — which is not to say people can't get hurt in the process. Some Judges talk about their Becoming in terms of a test where you have to identify the most imminent threat and deal with it first. The tests you face only get harder from there.

Starting Conviction

Starting Conviction: 3.

Sobriquets

A.K.A.: Justices, Lawgivers, the Law, Jueces.