While the mission of The Institute is primarily a benevolent one, it remains an unfortunate fact that Agents often find themselves under attack.

These attacks are most often due to misunderstandings as to the Agent's intent. However, there are also those in positions of power who have feared that the learning of knowledge will erode their power base.

It is for this reason that, while on any assignment, Agents are required to carry at least one piece of defensive ordinance. Some of the more common armaments are described below.


The weapon of choice for the Vampire Division. Institute crossbows are as far above normal crossbows in technological development as normal crossbows are above simple longbows.

Standard Class

Contrary to what the name may imply, Standard Class crossbows are almost never used by Agents.

Instead, the name comes from the fact that they are little different from the crossbows one can buy at a Sporting Goods store- -manual draw, manual aim.

Draw weight is typically 100 pounds.

Defender Class Mk I

The Mk I Defender is standard issue for Agents in the Vampire Division.

Its chief innovation is the "Auto-Draw" system. A small motorized device pulls the bowstring back into the cocked position immediately after it is fired, and does so almost instantaneously.

As a result, Agents are able to fire as quickly as they can reload.

In addition, the draw weight of the Mk I is adjustable. Minimum draw weight is fifty pounds, maximum is 250 pounds.

Finally, the Mk I gives the wielding Agent the option of a targeting system.

A retractable cord can be plugged into a port on the right side of an Agent's Goggles. This results in a set of crosshairs being superimposed on the Goggles.

The crosshairs are constantly in synch with the crossbow's motion, allowing the Agent to know exactly where the crossbow is being aimed.

Defender Class Mk II (Prototype)

The Mk II Defender, currently in final testing stages, is expected to completely replace the Mk I as standard issue when it becomes available.

The Mk II has all of the features of the Mk I, but with some features improved, and many more features added.

The primary improvement in existing systems comes from the Goggle link. When used with the Mk II Goggles, the system is completely wireless, allowing the Agent a greater range of flexibility in his motion. There are also minor improvements in the auto-draw system.

The new features on the Mk II are all improvements to the targeting system.

A wind sensor has been added to the crossbow tip. It measures the speed and direction of the wind, and adjusts the targeting crosshairs to compensate.

While useful in open areas, use of this feature can be harmful in closed situations, or anywhere that conditions of swirling winds exist, as the sensor simply measures the wind at the sensor's location, and assumes identical wind velocity elsewhere.

Dual laser sites have also been added to the crossbow tip. A green laser is positioned just to the right of the firing lane, a red laser to the left. These lasers are angled so that they intersect at a distance of twenty meters, allowing the Agent to measure range as well as position.

Finally, when used in conjunction with the Mk II Goggles, the Mk II Defender is able to utilize the Movement Anticipation System.

This system acts by extrapolating the position of a designated target at a future time, by assuming the target's velocity remains constant.

It relays this information by superimposing green outlines of the target on the Agent's Goggles, signifying the position of the target at the designated time.

The Agent can select the displayed times, from one to five seconds, in one second intervals.

In addition, the Movement Anticipation System can be used to show the Agent the best firing solution. It does this by noting the current draw weight setting, and determining the bolt velocity from that, then comparing this to the current velocity of the target. The intersect is noted with a red outline.

Absolution Class (prototype)

The Absolution Class, also in final testing stages, is designed to be the ultimate deterrent against hostile action against The Institute and its Agents.

The Absolution contains all of the targeting functions of the Mk II Defender.

The primary improvement of the Absolution Class over the Defender series is that the Absolution is a fully-automatic crossbow.

A group of twelve bolts are collected into one clip, which is mounted just above the firing lane. By holding the trigger down, the Agent causes the bolts to automatically feed into firing position and then be fired as quickly as the auto-draw system can re-cock the crossbow.

Current firing rate of the Absolution is 4 bolts/second.

The Absolution also is equipped with the Final Shot system. This system prevents the last bolt in a clip from being fired as part of an automatic spread, allowing the Agent to take careful aim for the last shot of the clip, after the previous shots have rattled the target.

This system can be turned off, but it is not recommended.

Since the Absolution would almost certainly be perceived as a offensive threat by most, it will not be issued as standard equipment. Its use will be restricted to clearly hostile situations.

Crossbow Bolts

Just as there are several different types of crossbows, there are several different types of bolts as well.

The standard bolt consists of a reinforced wooden shaft and a steel tip.

The silver-tipped bolt consists of a reinforced wooden shaft and a silver tip.

The silver bolt is 100% solid silver, shaft and tip.

The spring-release bolt is a silver-tipped bolt with a hollow center. On impact, the shaft springs open, allowing whatever is inside to spill out inside of the target. The standard load for the spring-release bolt is a form of Liquid Silver developed by The Institute.


Firearms are the primary sidearms of both the Were and Magic Divisions. They are also fairly common in both the Vampire and Miscellaneous Divisions.

9mm Pistol

The 9mm pistol is standard issue for all Agents. It contains targeting systems equivalent to the Mk I Defender Class Crossbow.

The Mk II improvements are forthcoming.

Other Firearms

Just about every main type of modern firearm has had The Institute's targeting systems added onto it, from Assault Rifles down to one-shot pistols.


All conventional types of ammunition are available to Agents. In addition, silver bullets, as well as silver bullets with crosses carved into their noses, are available for use.

Needler Pistol

The primary sidearm of the Miscellaneous Division. The Needler Pistol uses compressed gas to fire a group of 100 needles. These needles spread out in a pattern analogous to that of a shotgun.

At a range of fifty meters, the pattern approximates a circle with a six meter radius.

The needles themselves are either silver or iron, and each type is evenly distributed within the pattern. Each clip holds 1000 needles, or ten shots.


Most varieties of military-issue grenades are available to Agents, though they are rarely used. More often utilized are grenade types developed within The Institute.

Tangler Grenade

The tangler grenade is a spherical device which, on impact, "explodes" by shooting out thousands of small filaments.

These filaments are each three feet long, made of an extremely strong silver alloy, and remain attached to the grenade body on one end.

Upon impact, the filaments wrap themselves around the target, entangling it. The entanglement should result in a significant lessening of the target's mobility, as well as any damage done by the silver.

A second version of the tangler grenade includes a button on the grenade. After entanglement of the target is achieved, the pressing of this button delivers a 500,000 volt shock to the target.

Holy Water

Carried by some Agents in the Vampire Division, the liquid contained in the ornamental vials is neither holy nor water.

Instead, it is fuming sulfuric acid. It is designed to severely confuse vampires who believe that the vampiric vulnerability to holy water is nothing but Hollywood embellishment.

Other Devices

The above list is by no means an exhaustive one. Research and Development is constantly working on new designs, as well as improvements on existing designs, to insure that Agents have the best possible protection available to them.

In addition, the standard targeting systems can be fitted to just about any weapon necessary.

Research and Development is also able to convert just about any common object into a weapon of some sort, if the need arises.

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