USW: Tip the World Over on Its Side
The Claws of the Tiger
“You and three of your worst enemies are in a room together, and your enemies all hate each other, too. You’re ready to cut loose and settle scores. But there’s a sleeping tiger on the floor between the four of you, and none of you can leave.
“That’s the situation for the occult underground. There’s all kinds of groups out there. The weak ones want what the strong ones have. The strong ones aren’t big on sharing. The small ones want to be big, and the big ones want to be secret. Almost every group has a reason to think the other groups are evil, deluded, dangerous, envious, or simply annoying.
“Then there’s the tiger, snoozing on the floor. Sometimes its nostrils flare, scenting fresh meat. Sometimes it yawns, revealing a set of death-chisel teeth.
“The tiger is the clueless general public. Right now, the public hears about magick and thinks of David Copperfield. But if anyone gets too careless, the tiger is going to wake up and all the occult groups put together couldn’t stop the public from making them all into tiger snacks.
“That’s why the Sleepers do what they do. That’s why the occult underground is an underground. That’s why smart dukes do it in the dark.”
— Unknown Armies, second edition, page 88