Midas Circle

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Name(s): The Midas Circle, "The Men Without Faces"

First Appearance: scenario "Bleak Prospect"

Short Description: A business/investment organization, named for their ability to turn anything they touch to profit, founded and led by Theodore Sedgwick in the late 1920s with like-minded investors seeking to profit from Sedgwick's acquisition and secret use of Tillinghast Resonator technology.


History and Scope

The Midas Circle started in 1928, when Sedgwick realized that he needed collaborators to make full use of the powers that Tillinghast Resonator technology offered. He sought out a few men that he thought he could trust, who had the right combination of ambition and moral flexibility. Initially this was just Roscoe Molloy and Casper Brinck, but they recruited Alex Rossetti when they realized that none of them were especially suited to violence. When the stock market crashed in September of 1929, the members of the Midas Circle were among the rare few who profited. Since then, no matter how bad things have become, they have continued to make money. Having obtained a method for consuming the luck and willpower of others, every business decision they make turns out to be the right one. While the members of the Circle attempt to be secretive, the fact that a cluster of men who have beaten the odds all live in a relatively small town has not escaped attention, and a number of newspaper and magazine articles have been written about their amazing ability to make money in the face of adversity.

Identification, Psychology and Behavior

This cult-like group was active through the late 1920s to the mid-1930s. The group's front organization acted as a mutual investment enterprise and scientific/technological research and development think-tank, while behind the scenes its members were actually using Tillinghast Resonator technology to import parasitic aliens which the group was able to use enjoy a life of Vampirism, guiding members to make astute business decisions and then thrive on the misery and misfortune of others through the Depression.

The group were largely reclusive, rarely being seen in public by the 1930s. Evidence suggests that, though ruthless and tending as individual members toward thinly-veiled psychopathy, narcissism, megalomania, and even sadism, most members were averse to directly employing violence and were able to generally avoid openly breaking any laws. Still, rumors persist of the group's involvement in a number of unsolved disappearances and murders in and around the cult's headquarters in Crawley, Massachusetts through the 1920s and 1930s.

While engaged in cult activities, the group - especially its leader, Theodore Sedgwick - were known for wearing white silk masks, which inspired the name "The Men Without Faces" among amnesiac victims who remembered their encounters with the group only as hazy nightmares. Theodore Sedgwick, apparently never seen publicly without a mask by the 1930s, claimed to wear the mask to cover an old "war wound", though evidence of actual war service is either lacking, or appears suspiciously to have been fabricated. Seen without their masks, some members of the group were revealed to have been disfigured in certain nameless, unspeakable ways.

The group mysteriously fractured and dispersed by the late 1930s, and most members either vanished, or would be found dead by the 1950s as a result of mysterious and extreme medical conditions related to their experiments.


Resources

Known Members

  • Theodore Sedgwick, leader and founding member; fits many of the classic traits of a Cult Leader.
    • physicist of mediocre talent, skill, and imagination
    • pale, pudgy, well-dressed man
    • rarely seen unmasked, claims a war wound but actually apparently grotesquely disfigured by his bizarre experiments
    • a former assistant to a vanished Miskatonic University physics professor, Doctor Aston Hawkes
    • missing and presumed dead by the late 1930s
  • Doctor Aston Hawkes
    • professor of physics at Miskatonic University
    • involvement with the group is uncertain
    • missing and presumed dead since 1926
  • Roscoe Molloy
    • factory owner
    • tall, dapper, unfriendly man with a practiced false smile
    • missing and presumed dead by the late 1930s
  • Casper Brinck
    • lawyer
    • an exquisitely-dressed, thin, pale, haunted-looking man with prematurely greying hair
    • missing and presumed dead by the late 1930s
  • Alex Rossetti
    • hired muscle and former petty criminal, apparently hired to do the group's dirty work
    • a large, solid, rough-looking man
    • missing and presumed dead by the late 1930s

Tomes, Artifacts, Sites

  • tome: the Tillinghast Report
  • artifact: Hawkes Device
  • location: Crawley, Massachusetts (where the cult lives together)
  • location: property used for profit and for research and development, including...
    • Prospect House (a private residence in the rural countryside where experiments are conducted)
    • Bentham Hospital (owned and controlled by the group)
    • Ebbet's Cemetery (used for disposal of evidence)
    • The Crawley Examiner (owned and controlled by the group)
    • Crawley Grand Hotel (owned and controlled by the group)
    • Crawley Police Department (controlled by the group)
    • a small number of Crawley textile factories (controlled by the group)
  • Vehicles:
    • Cadillac Sixteen Madame X

Allies, Creatures and Deities

  • The "Ventriloquist's Dummy", a repulsive, staring, puppet-like creature with a monstrous and wordless singing voice, sometimes observed being cradled in the arms of one of the masked, "Faceless" men.
  • "Species 17", a disgusting, parasitic creature of mysterious origins which was, in some strange way, key to the group's strange Vampiric abilities.
  • a number of Crawley officials and townsfolk in other important positions (such as hospital and newspaper staff) are under the group's control through bribery, extortion, and direct threats

Other Resources

  • High Credit Rating: Members were able to generate a great deal of wealth and power through the 1930s, thanks to their abuse of "Species 17"; most of this wealth had dissipated in the years following the group's unexplained disbanding and disappearance.


Heresies and Controversies

Keeper Comments

Quotes

Appearances