The Concords

I'm all dressed up with nowhere to go
Walkin' with a dead man over my shoulder
Waiting for an invitation to arrive
Goin' to a party where no one's still alive

Dead Man's Party - Oingo Boingo

Concords are worldwide, well-established groups of Wraiths who follow a common philosophy, and seek the same general goals. These goals may be political or spiritual, violent or pacifistic, helpful or selfish, but they all come back to the same basic need: finding - or imposing - sense and order upon the Deadlands, or their Wraith's own relation to them.

Given how fractured and disjointed Deadlands' society can be, it may be strange to think of a Concord as a worldwide organization. They may share a common history - however obscured - along with a philosophy that sets them apart from the others, but a Concord's priorities, rules and by-laws may differ greatly from Necropolis to Necropolis. And as they are in no danger of having someone "greater" than themselves come into town to usurp them, they can do pretty much what they like.

That said, the fact is that the Concords are as large as they say. It's just that they cannot pretend to have any real power or influence within a city that directly results from however widespread they might be. As with so many other things in the Deadlands, it all comes back to the Necropolis, and what its inhabitants are willing to do to hold onto their corner of it.


Time and Tide

As The Order's history would have it, the Concords - more specifically, The Order - were born in the wake of the Sundering, as a way to organize and rule over those Wraiths left behind. Naturally, The Order claims the mantle of being the first Concord, or at least the first large group of Wraiths to use that name. And they still see everyone else as pretenders or usurpers, regardless as to whether they are allies or foes.

Other Concords, such as the Believers, say that they pre-date the Sundering, itself, and have only changed their name - and a few modes of operation - over the ages. Still others have only come about in comparatively recent times {if you consider five centuries or a millennium to be "recent"}, or claim to have changed greatly from what they once were.

Unfortunately, with the Storms being what they are, Deadlands history is little better than a sheer contradiction in terms. For all anyone knows, everyone's understanding of what took place could be somewhat mistaken, if not sheer fantasy. And since the Ferrymen will neither confirm nor deny - much less correct - the record, everyone is left to wonder what really happened, and where it all truly came from.


Order and Purpose

Some might ask why the dead would bother to join an organization at all, much less create one. They already have their Anchors to deal with and Essence to gather, and can get help from their Circle - who cares for territory, politics or prestige?

The first answer is simple: barring the Concords, there is no overriding organization that Wraiths are expected to slip into. Some of the more forward-thinking {or backward, as the case may be} Necropoli might play at having a leader, or a ruling council, but most are too caught in the Game of Houses to see the wisdom of such a move. Without the Concords, there could be no order at all, and the spectre of mere anarchy tends to frighten Wraiths more than the prospect of endless turf wars.

There is also the fact that Wraiths are creatures of passion and purpose. Should they lose one or the other, they may stumble in their tracks, and lose sight of why they're bothering. Such directionless Wraiths are in danger of being Lost, or slipping into the troubled, uncertain slumber of Ossification - either of which claim far too many of the dead.

So, in order to create purpose, and companionship beyond the bounds of a mere Circle, the Dead often allow themselves to be organized. They may find purpose and truth in the Concords, or they may merely submit to the rules and rituals of the larger group in order to have something else to do. But while such activities may not be the best cure for loneliness, despair or the oncoming weight of the ages, it's better than sitting alone in a Haunt and wondering if you're going crazy.


The Concord that Isn't

While the Solitaries are listed below for the sake of the reader's convenience, they should not be considered a Concord, but rather something of a social phenomenon amongst the dead.

"Solitary" is something of a catch-all term, used to describe those Wraiths who either haven't joined one of the other Concords yet, or refuse to get involved in dead society. They often link up with one another for mutual protection and friendship, but a lack of cohesive goals and philosophies make them little better than an extended Circle.





The Order