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 The Cousinhood of Man, BERG, and Revisiting Chapter Four- Max's unfortunate crossfire?

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PretenseAndPoison
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PostSubject: The Cousinhood of Man, BERG, and Revisiting Chapter Four- Max's unfortunate crossfire?   Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:25 am

I've since lost track of the thread in which the conversation which had me considering this so heavily originally took place, but I figure that what I'd like to discuss with this theory is far enough removed from the original subject that it's safe to afford it a fresh thread.

The topic in question- Is The Cousinhood of Man the same group that we've been referring to as the Death Cultists? Alongside that question; speculations that the 'monster activity' they suspect to be occurring in Mayview is BERG, the currently unknown spirit we've come to assume possessed Max as a means of bypassing the barrier.


As discussed, Max is assumed to have been possessed by BERG shortly before entering Mayview, much like the situation where Forge entered Johnny. This sparks his transformation into a Spectral, and within a few short days he is picked up by the Paranatural Activity Club, and embarks upon his first mission- a mission which is prefaced with a lot of worldbuilding context for us.

Here's the order of events, as I believe is plausible=

The Cousinhood pursues BERG for an unknown purpose, causing the spirit to seek shelter, or perhaps wisping them outright- but they are unable to finish the job. BERG seeks the closest object to possess, and takes the opportunity to make Max into a medium just before he enters Mayview, sheltering BERG from their pursuers and/or completing the objective of bypassing the barrier. The Cousinhood reaches out to the Consortium, knowing that they're in possession of the Ghost Train, hoping to gain entry that they may track down BERG- The Consortium refuses, but Boss Leader takes this as an opportunity to finally press Rick Spender into cooperating with another agent- Agent Day (who also has other motivations for entering the town).

Now, this does have several holes in it, and upon further consideration I'm tempted to toss out the notion that the Cousinhood and the cloaked figures (Note that the pixelhounds are assumed to be on the /outside/ of this barrier after riding the train, as well) are the same group; though this page leads me to believe that the pixelhounds could just as easily be the target of the Cousinhood.

In review of the subject, I'm left with the following possibilities to keep in mind as the story continues-

Was the Cousinhood involved in the events that led to Maxs' possession as a medium to BERG, and/or are they targeting the Pixelhounds and/or the cultists utilizing them?

What role does BERG have in this faction dispute, if any?

What 'extra protections' was Boss Leader referring to in regards to Mayviews defenses against the Cousinhood?

On a side note, this page in the beginning of Chapter Four shows two wisps as Spender exits his dream room- both of which we can safely identify with information we later gain in the chapter as Lucifer and the Shadow- which leaves me to wonder if that's why Rick Spenxder doesn't let anyone into his room.

Knowing that all the spirits feeding off a spectral appear in the dream room as wisps, I believe its' safe to conclude that BERG was the thing BL was looking around for in this panel.
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Apophyllite
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PostSubject: Re: The Cousinhood of Man, BERG, and Revisiting Chapter Four- Max's unfortunate crossfire?   Fri Jun 17, 2016 2:21 pm

The few times we've seen depictions  of members of the Cousinhood of man they look completely different from the cloaked figures. So I see no reason to think they're the same group.

I've never thought the spirit possibly possessing Max would be the "prey" the Cousinhood is after but I suppose it's possible... Every time the Cousinhood is mentioned they're said to be after "monsters". For some reason it strikes me as meaning there's more paranatural stuff than spirits, because why would they say "monsters" instead of "spirits". Unless there's ,like, a specific kind of evil spirit they call monsters... If you look at this page, in the second panel, the background seems to depict creatures that probably could be spirits but seem more like werewolves or something like that. The Cousinhood members also seem to have weapons (which I suppose could all be tools) to fight more physical foes. Anyway, either Zach is going out of his way to make the Cousinhood look like they're hunting other stuff than spirits as a red herring or something or they actually are after different creatures.
Also could be BERG was trying to get into mayview for something that's in there rather than because it was fleeing...

Seeing as Doorman doesn't seem to be freaking out all that hard about BERG's reappearance, at least in his opinion, this BERG thing (which seems to be a part of a broken god?) isn't all that important. Or he is underestimating the danger and/or thinking Forge's arrival would fix things...

It does seem most likely that Spender doesn't want anyone in his room because he's trying to keep the shadow spirit a secret.

And yes, I think BL was sensing BERG as well. There being another thing would be a bit excessive from a storytelling point, I think...

(As a side thing, about the whole werewolf theory: I have seen people theorise Mr Garcia might be one or something similar because of this. Could be he just got drunk and wound up there or something. I keep sayng it'd be cool for there to be more supernatural stuff than spirits but it'd be so hilarious if almost everyone in Mayview was a different kind of supernatural being, all hiding it from eachother. Except for Suzy... She's the only normal person in Mayview and she will never find out what's going onnnnnnn. Hilarious but completely unlikely.)
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staircaseofkneecaps
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PostSubject: Re: The Cousinhood of Man, BERG, and Revisiting Chapter Four- Max's unfortunate crossfire?   Wed Sep 14, 2016 10:13 am

Why do we call Max's spirit BERG?
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PretenseAndPoison
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PostSubject: Re: The Cousinhood of Man, BERG, and Revisiting Chapter Four- Max's unfortunate crossfire?   Wed Sep 14, 2016 3:33 pm

It stands for Broken Evil Riddle God, which was the name the commentors came up with after the spirit in question made their first manifestation. Between the archaic speech patterns, the tactical ommission, the mention of not having gotten the sense of humour- context framed it that the spirit was a fragment. That it would be either evil or a god was speculation from how Doorman reacted- as well as its' ability to understand High Spirit and take over Maxs' body at will seemingly without him knowing.

::Edit::Aditional Information:

We've come a ways further into the story now, and the conversation between Agent Day and Mina Zarei has given us a bit more context into the Cousinhood, the 'monsters', and the Consortium itself. Let's take a look at that.

The Cousinhoods' 'Monster threat' is implied to be 'corrupted humans'- This is likely a hint that these 'death cultists' are their target. As I'd previously posited that the Pixelhounds were among their prey, and the DCs were working with the pixelhounds. I feel that I was on the right track- if perhaps I didn't sense the length of the rails. This still doesn't give any credence to the possibility that the Cousinhood was involved directly or otherwise for BERG possessing Max. This page still leaves me the most curious- and throws the most contrary possibilities into my mind. If the phrase "cousinhood dogs" were viewed as suggesting the Pixelhounds were utilized by the organization, it would suggest that the Cousinhood and the Cloaked Figures/Death Cultists were, at the least, cooperating- though the Cousinhood would have to be rather a dark organization to command the hounds. Unfortunately, this bit of exposition on the Cousinhood is coming from a biased source, and even then is quite vague and miniscule.

The Consortium itself is a larger organization than I'd previously given thought to- the presence of a research division kind of threw me for a loop. It now makes more sense that they'd refer to members like Day and Spender as 'Agents', as they're a tool-like deployment of individuals rather than the bulk of the membership. The reasoning behind Boss Leaders obvious distaste for the Cousinhood remains unknown. However, this train of thought does give me a similar idea to what I'd originally considered- the Death Cultists as we've seen them could be a facet of a larger Cousinhood, should the pixelhounds be the interpretation of the phrase 'Cousinhood dogs'- or they could be the 'corrupted humans' which the Cousinhood was seeking out. Only time and exposition will tell.

Of course, there's still no further context to speculate on exactly /how/ BERG got into Max in the first place, what BERG really is, or what the Cousinhood really is That'll likely come in later chapters- and I could definitely see Johnny, Isaac, or Max becoming entangled in Cousinhood affairs.
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