Everyone knows that the art of writing letters is a dying one. In a world dominated by email, Twitter, and texting, the elegant pastime of communicating on personalized stationary is as obsolete as the 8-track. Unless it’s power you’re after.
Located throughout the world are members of the cabal know as the Epistolarians. Although this group has no centralized location and its members have never met, the Epistolarians are one of the most respected and fear power blocs active in the Periphery. With nothing more than pen and paper, the Epistolarians have thwarted the schemes of Nightmare, altered the plans of mundane governments, and permanently rid themselves of their enemies. The Epistolarians know that by putting something in writing, one can make it a reality.
Although their exact methods are unknown to outsiders, it is believed that the Epistolarians adorn their missives with the secret names of their targets and certain symbols of power known only to them and the long-dead scribes of antiquity who discovered those sigils. These letters are then exchanged amongst the members of the cabal via ordinary post. As the letters travel and are handled by each link in the postal system, they accrue power. These letters are often sent back and forth between Epistolarians several times, growing more and more potent with each exchange. Once the required power has accumulated, the letter is opened and read aloud, its written contents becoming reality with that act.
Even more feared, however, are the letters that are not read. It is said that when the Epistolarians want to remove someone from the world—either the mundane one or the October Country—a letter detailing the life of the victim is written. This letter is then exchanged as usual, but at the culmination of the rite, the letter is destroyed—as is the subject of the letter. Despite the longevity and wide-spread belief of this rumor, there is no way to confirm it because there simply is no evidence. If the rumor is true, this method of destroying an adversary is so efficient it removes all traces of the subject having ever existed, making is as if they had never been born at all.
Although the Epistolarians maintain a veil of secrecy expected of a Peripheral power, a hint of their power has leaked into the mainstream. The birth of the chain letter can be traced to individuals who heard hints of the Epistolarians ability and sought to duplicate it for themselves. Although they weren’t successful, some of the mystique of and belief in graphomancy became a garbled urban legend.