Human beings possess an infinite capacity for self-deception. They also have a supreme antipathy for those things that disrupt the routine of their lives. This often leads to humanity’s inability to acknowledge or even see supernatural things or events. Those that deal with occult forces on a regular basis often refer to this phenomenon as, “The Veil.”
The Veil is both a friend and foe to agents of Round Table. Missions are covert in order to avoid panic. People’s refusal to see what is going on around them or to rationalize it away prevents that from happening. However, this disbelief also makes it difficult to save innocents when they cannot realize the danger they are in.
The Veil does not affect very young children, but they do acquire the condition as they age. Usually, the Veil is firmly in place by the age of 13. Occult training or unusual life experiences will stave off the Veil. Mental diseases that induce hallucinations or delusions have also prevented the Veil from forming for the patient.
The Hotep Incident
The supernatural world could be easily seen by most people before the industrial revolution. As science gained a greater hold on the minds of humanity, it became easier for people to explain away or even ignore the supernatural because it was no longer part of their normal frame of reference. This condition became starkly illustrated in Providence, Rhode Island in August of the year 1898.
Round Table dispatched Team 5 to contain a very public outbreak of cryptids in the city of Providence. The team arrived two days after the initial reports. The majority of the cryptids were a harmless flying jellyfish. Another was a wolf-like predator. More surprising than the abundance of the cryptids themselves was the human population’s inability to notice them. A majority of the people simply complained about the number of pigeons and wild dogs that had invaded the city.
Team 5 tracked the source of the beings to the public demonstration of a device billed as a “Etheric Transducer” by a Dr. Hotep from Egypt. The team found the rented hall that the demonstration occurred in. The machine still in operation. None of the building’s maintenance staff would enter the building. They complained of an odd “pressure” every time they went in to clean the mess. Despite their best efforts, Team 5 also found themselves unable to remain in the presence of the Etheric Transducer for longer than a few seconds. They were able to shut it down by cutting electricity to the building. The pressure ended and Providence’s otherworldly visitors faded from existence.
Attempts to locate Dr. Hotep prove fruitless. His identity was false and his accreditation forged. The team’s technomancer, Nicola Tesla, carefully dismantled and studied the Etheric Transducer. The Home Office was eager to discover its secrets. They were convinced that the device was not only to bring the cryptids into our reality, but it was able to prevent most people from seeing them. His report disappointed them.
When asked if the machine could be adapted to help cloak agents from the public view as it had apparently done for the cryptids, Telsa looked surprised and shook his head. “Oh no,” he said, “The machine did not do that to the public. They did it to themselves.”