Raafsteen Group
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The desire to avoid death drives many powerful people, and this is also true of some in the government of Hogenrood. This has caused them to start a joint research project with the Athanatos Club - the former providing supplies (including a number of experimental subjects), the latter providing expertise in the form of Mark Raafsteen, a highly skilled alchemist with a PhD from Praxus University who has spent several years studying under masters in the Tsan Empire.

Dr. Raafsteen believes that the essential nature of a person can be distilled from his bodily fluids and, after careful alchemical preparation, be injected into someone else, which would gradually transform that individual into a copy of the original. While he still has a long way to go to perfect the process, he is making progress and is convinced that a breakthrough is imminent - and his sponsors believe him, which is why they continue to support his work even though the body count is getting just as impressive. Currently, the transformation takes place over a matter of days or weeks, depending on the similarity of the subject to the original and a host of other factors which are hard to isolate. The process is also fairly unreliable - sometimes it reverses or accelerates during times of stress, and the new personality may only be in control part of the time. Finally, the implanted personality always seems… off in some way, often displaying various forms of insanity.

However, recently the project suffered a major setback, as a number of the experimental subjects managed to escape the facilities - among them copies of Dr. Raafsteen himself. While some of them have been recovered, others remain at large in the population. Thefts of alchemical supplies seem to indicate that the implanted personalities seem intent of further multiplying themselves, and government agents are desperately trying to recover or eliminate them before they spread further. This is made even more difficult by the fact that the copies of Dr. Raafsteen can just inject a random stranger with the alchemical serum, and unless the victim reports the assault to the authorities a new copy will be able to start a new round of infections later.

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