By David Eber.
The world of the Ascended is one of Byzantine plots and convoluted intrigues far more vast and deep than anyone could imagine. From their shadowy centers of power, the members of the Lodge play a delicate and intricate game of maneuvers, misdirection, and machinations as they unfold their schemes and plans, some of which take years, even decades, to reach fruition. Though the Lodge is supposed to work as a unified whole, the secretive and complex nature of their organization means that things are not so clear-cut. Areas of influence occasionally overlap, members pursue individual agendas, interests sometimes run counter to each other, and every once in a while it gets so complicated that no one is quite sure who really is in charge. This world is the domain of the man known only as Mr. X.
Like the Ascended itself, Mr. X is an enigma, even to members of the Lodge. Very few people know his real name or his heritage, and even they themselves aren't sure. Further, no one really knows what his position or function within the Ascended is, or from whom he takes his orders. He has been around for a long, long time, and he could certainly sit in on board meetings, though he represents no family anyone knows of. However, unless he specifically has business with someone, he remains invisible and at large. Theoretically, he takes orders from the Unspoken Name. In practice, he serves only the Ascended itself, and only on his own terms. True, the Lodge could try to find him if they wanted to, but the enterprise would be dubious at best. Besides, Mr. X has an uncanny ability to show up and offer his services exactly when they are needed. This makes the Unspoken Name nervous, but as he has never shown any outward signs of disloyalty he has not yet had any real reason to pursue the matter. In truth, Mr. X follows his own plans, plans which sometimes run counter the orders of the Unspoken Name of the board. That the Ascended remain in power is all that concerns Mr. X, not its individual members. As he well knows, people can always be replaced...
What almost no one knows is that Mr. X is a transformed chameleon, one of the very few in existence. His animal nature has given him the ability to change his appearance and to blend into the background. This, combined with years of experience in disguise and subterfuge, along with an extensive information network, has made Mr. X an expert in areas of infiltration and covert operations. He can become any type of person that he wants to be, and he can assume any identity that he wishes, and of course, he is always discrete. When dealing with the upper echelons of the Lodge, he appears as a man of indeterminate background somewhere in his thirties, though even this is a ruse. While working, he never uses the same identity or appearance twice, and makes sure that anyone that could expose his involvement is quietly eliminated. However, Mr. X's long involvement in the secret war has taken its toll. Mr. X has made it a point to always be on top of all the schemes and plans going on around him, but the result has been a gradual loss of identity for himself. He has ridden the waves of intrigue for so long that he has become permanently a part of it. Every day is a new identity, a new deception. He exists now only as someone else, never as himself.
(See Transformed Chameleon for details on the schticks.)
Last modified: December 22, 1996; please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.