Redeemers
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"Keep still and you might live. Assuming you weren't dead to start with…"

It all comes down to triage. Who's dead, who's hurt, who can be saved? The others may be here to take lives in order to preserve the lives of others. Your job is to save lives or figure out whether any life remains to be saved. You watch somebody get reduced to cinders by the light of the sun - pale winter sunlight, at that - and it makes you wonder: Are these things really "alive"? Can you heal a walking contagion? Is there a way to redeem a plague that thinks? Hey, they don't cover this stuff in medical ethics. The problem here is that the things we hunt - some call them "Afflicted" - look like human beings (more or less), talk like human beings and appear to crave survival the way human beings do. None of which, in my book, certifies them as such, and yet… you give the the benefit of the doubt. Your first impulse after seeing one is probably, How can I help? You treat them the way you would the deranged… the way you hope someone would treat you, God help you, should you become one of them. Speaking of which, did you ever wonder why we - hunters in general - seem to be immune to vampire or werewolf bites? At least, we don't become like them if they bite us. No answers here, just a suggestion that you avoid such wounds - they still hurt. Maybe "Afflicted" is a better label than anyone realizes. Maybe we're the antibodies for Homo sapiens as a whole. Sure, there could be a monster virus, why not? It's no harder to believe than, say, some Bela Lugosi-Lon Chaney rematch where the participants don't wear make-up and well, aren't actors.

Take my advice: Leave the theories to the prophets. Keep your buddies in one piece, patch up victims as you're able, and save lives. Or maybe save life. People talk all the time about "life-and-death struggles", but nothing in all my years of trying to help people made that phrase resound in my mind as literally as it does now. These days, it's as if the Four Horsemen gallop in at regular intervals. If you've trained yourself to not personify death, or if you believe death can sometimes be good, run-ins with the Afflicted can make you question everything.

Which is probably my way of backing into the subject you've been waiting for as much as I've been dreading it: killing. Death is not always the opposition, as any terminal patient in interminable pain can tell you. But there's a difference between helping someone ease into peace and helping to put down the two-legged equivalent of a rabid dog. The dog didn't plan to get rabies. What if hunters aren't immune to this "monster virus" or whatever's out there? What if we just haven't see anyone get "properly" exposed yet? What if somebody who saved your life turns up as one of these things? Let me say for the record that if you suffer such ultimate bad luck and try to share it with me, I'm going to "contain the infection." Once that's done, if anything's left of the real you, all my energy will go into salvaging you, no matter what any hunter has to say.

My hope is that you would do the same for me.

Weaknesses

Messianic complexes, avarice, absolutionism.

Messianic complexes bedevil the practitioners of redemption. Redeemers may be worse than Avengers where it comes to establishing themselves at the heart of their own religions. The Power can come to mean more than the hunt. Unlike Avengers, who can have their own cult followings yet manage to remain effective hunters, some Redeemers drift away from the hunt altogether toward a "purer" calling.

Avarice seduces even more of our kind. A lot of Redeemers start out doing the occasional "miracle" for some moneybags-type, just to support the hunt. Next thing you know, that dough starts looking better than risking your neck to reconnect somebody else's - and then it's "private practice" time. Money by itself is not evil, and having it can sure make the hunt safer (though seldom easier). But it should always be a means, never an end.

Absolutist Redeemers, the ones who stick to the hunt but develop god complexes of a different sort, are the worst. If you've never seen one in action, count your blessings. They're the Redemption-on-my-terms-only types who can't - or won't - see any alternatives beyond healing some freak or killing it. When they start dictating how the hunt itself needs to go down, it might be time to find a new Redeemer.

Apocrypha

Redeemers try to understand what's happening to you and your world through experience - or lack of it. You scientists, professionals, researchers and the merely informed perceive your states in logical terms - Chernobyl aftereffects, prion infection, general degradation of the biosphere - and some see gloom on the horizon based on the same factors. Someone has to do something about it. The ignorant, uninformed or disillusioned - although no less concerned for others - fill in the gaps with whatever meaning you can: blessing, damnation, personal purpose, a government plot. To the latter, your powers and role simply complement the corrupt world: someone has to try to save the hopeless or deserving if anything good is to follow.

Ultimately, most Redeemers perceive one purpose for themselves: We're here to help. Yours is the task to save those who cannot save themselves. In some cases, when a body can't be healed, saving a monster literally means deprogramming it - helping undo the conditioning that created it. The subject may be willing, with a human soul trapped beneath the surface, or salvation may be imposed through force and punishing treatments until the evil side is broken. The lucky among us can find and redeem perhaps one soul after all our efforts, but we never stop looking for others.

So, we all have the same purpose, yet with some of you, it's as if the rest of us should avert our eyes when you pass. Not that you ask us to, naturally, but the expectation seems to be there nonetheless. Some of you holier-than-thou types are about as trying as you are handy.

The Imbuing

Someone invariably gets hurt during the making of a Redeemer. You've been there: severed arteries, compound fractures, snapped necks. You've worked the miracles, you've stared at your own hands like they were never yours. You may also have worked a little magic on the cause of the mayhem.

Starting Conviction

Starting Conviction: 3

Sobriquets

A.K.A.: Menders, Deprogrammers, Confessors, Healers; Curadores.