Religious Orders and Secret Societies of the Perilous Lands
The pages that follow delineate some of the more notable groups extant in the various nations of the Perilous Lands. They vary from martial religious orders to criminal syndicates. All are of interest and can find a place in any campaign.
|Flaming Houri||Rogizini Empire|
|Maenads||Worshippers of Dionysius|
|Daughters of Blood||L'p'nth, Marentia, Katai|
The Dark Riders - Salaq
The Dark Riders are a female, militant religious society that worships the goddess Morrigan. All priestesses of the cult are war trained. The elite, those who prove their right to be known as daughters of Morrigan, are Dark Riders. The most worthy of the Dark Riders serves as the Queen of the Dark Riders, Sangu Mah of Morrigan and one of the Queens of Salaq (the other is the Queen of E'pona).
With the first rise of Salaq their gods decided to form a Triad of Power to serve their chosen people and good in general. All were required to provide might to this alliance. Manannan brought power and his sea children (whales and dolphins). E'pona aided by increasing the prosperity of the realm and granting use of the horse.
Morrigan saw the value of these powers. She also saw that more was needed. Her people needed powerful defenders if they were to prosper and grow. This decided, she came to a worthy priestess in a vision and the Dark Riders were born. Her daughters served the land well throughout the height of Salaq's might. With the rape, their Queen was misled. She took the riders off to face a non-existent threat. Before she could return, Salaq was in flames. She led her riders into a Donaran ambush. Most were captured or slain. Kotothi creatures slaughtered the survivors. Except for a small group of veiled priestesses, the cult died.
After hundreds of years of Donaran rule Salaq regained its independence. Twenty years later the chosen avatar of Morrigan earned the right to be a Dark Rider. Morrigan's daughters returned to the land once more.
NOTE - If Salaq is part of Donara in your campaign, the Dark Riders do not exist. The Survivors (descendants of the surviving veiled priestesses and other Salaqi émigrés) do. Dark Riders can only exist in an independent Salaq. Morrigan will not empower them otherwise.
All priestesses of Morrigan in Salaq come under the control of the Dark Riders. Only some 30% of them are members of the cult. To be a member, the candidate must be female, have perfect milk white skin and raven black hair. All are mortal reflections of the divine mother Morrigan. They must share her appearance.
Those members who achieve Dark Rider rank have Ashipu and Mashmashu training as priestesses of Morrigan. They also possess exhaustive combat training, some eroticism and are as physically perfect as possible for them. Each has an A'mora as her mount. They are metaphysically bonded, as much husband and wife as mount and rider.
Generally, one in four members of the cult achieve Dark Rider rank. Their Queen and ranking leaders have Urigallu training in addition to the knowledge stated above. The Queen is viewed as the mortal representation of the Goddess. Her person is sacred.
Veiled members, i.e. those members who failed one of the tests to become a Dark Rider, serve as foot soldiers. They are trained Kalu, Tariti or Qadishtu Mah priestesses. All serve with a Salaqi war hound in battle. In combination with their elite sisters, they are deadly.
Girls with the proper appearance are selected for training, if they wish it, at the age of seven. They are taken to the temple at Morriga and uniformed with five veils. From that moment, they are trained as priestesses and warriors.
Beginning at the onset of puberty, an acolyte may request testing. There are five tests to pass to become a Dark Rider. It is up to her when she tests. If the last test is not completed by the time she reaches the age of eighteen, she fails.
With each test completed one veil is removed. When the last is taken, she faces the sword challenge. A black sword is tattooed on the centerline of her body from breasts to just above her pubic area. If she takes it adamantly, making a sound less than three times.
At this point she is assigned a quest. It is her duty to ride off and perform the assigned mission. She may not return until she succeeds. Once she has told her sisters what occurred and how she triumphed, she is a Dark Rider.
The tests required of a Dark Rider acolyte, in order, are:
The woman stands is a circle wearing panties and armed with a sword. Three armed and armored felons, one bearing a shield, face her. She has one hour to defeat them all without leaving the circle for any reason. If she fails, any survivors rape her and go free.
A test of dedication and endurance. The priest must show the will and stamina to adamantly serve her divine duty without betraying her duty to the mortal children she must serve. To succeed she must struggle on until she is physically unable to do so any longer. Nothing less suffices.
The acolyte stands as the shield of another priestess. It is up to her to protect that person from magical attacks. She fails if the priestesses attacking harm the lady in any way.
The acolyte is hooded and gagged after her ears are stopped up with gutta percha. This done, her hands are shackled behind her and she is taken to a cave at dawn. On the other side of its caverns is an exit. She must find it and exit the cave by dusk to succeed.
5) Divine Choice
The one veil acolyte is given the plaited lasso of a Dark Rider and led to the plains. She must leave at once and cannot return without the A'mora who will be her mount. It is up to her survive alone and win his favor when he comes. If it takes a day or a month, she is on her own.
NOTE - Dark Riders reflect the perfection of Morrigan. All are sent to Morrigan when they enter menopause. In most cases, they are sent by being sacrificed on the high altar of the Dark Rider temple. There are no exceptions to this. From Queen on down, they go. This rule does not apply to veiled priestesses.
The uniform of a Dark Rider is her weapons, a lasso, honor jewelry she has won and a pair of sheer black panties. The sword mark she bears is sacred. She may never put clothing over it. It is the rider's duty to remain a perfect reflection of the goddess for as long as she lives.
|Samantha Bialar, A Dark Rider||AGE||20||SEX||Female|
|Mana Lvl||17||Casting||98||Mana Regen||11|
The granddaughter of Venicia Bialar, Avatar of Morrigan. She achieved Dark Rider status at the age of 16. The woman is a fine example of a talented young Dark Rider.
NOTE - All Dark Riders except the Queen dwell at the barracks of Morriga with any children they may bear. Only the Queen is allowed to have her own home and a permanent consort of her choice. Other Dark Riders serve the fertility of Salaq with any appropriate man as the rites demand.
The Sea Star Society - Salaq
With the Rape of Salaq the remnants of its might was scattered to Ced, Aratad, Ticasi, Shiben and Chiros. Given pressure from La Ced and Aratad, the Salaqi counties of Ticasi, Shiben and Chiros became independent nations. Most of the émigrés from Salaq settled in these nations and La Ced. (The Survivors of the Dark Rider cult settled in Shiben).
Some ten years after the rape the Donarans placed the rightful claimant to the throne of Salaq on a puppet throne as their Duke of Salaq. He secretly made contact with various elements of the survivors and formed the Sea Star Society. Five years later he was hanged for treason. His five year old son was taken to Donara to be raised "properly" after being crowned Duke.
This setback did not break the society. They continued to organize and plan. Over the course of the next twenty years they returned home and began working for freedom. Until the Sea Star is again in royal hands, they operate as midnight assassins, smugglers and thieves. Once it is they will form the cadre for the Salaqi army of Liberation.
Approximately eight hundred men and women are secretly members of the society. They cover the entire spectrum of Salaqi society, from the lowest peasant to the younger brother of the reigning Duke. They are outlawed by Donara and the Duke. That Duke is a loyal Donaran. After the execution of the six Dukes before him for treason, he thinks there is no other choice.
Some two hundred members of the society are called the Codari. These members are warriors, assassins and thieves who actively combat Donara. One of them is Vobal the Dancer, younger brother of the reigning Duke.
The goal of this society is to resist Donara as possible and find the Sea Star. Once they have it, the war of Liberation will commence with the execution of their Duke who they consider to be a traitor to Salaq. Vobal the Dancer will take his place as King of Salaq. The nation will be mobilized and descendants of Salaqi émigrés will be called home from the independent counties that once were a part of Greater Salaq.
NOTE - The Sea Star is a powerful artifact. Only the rightful King of Salaq can use it. Any other who tries to use it, or mar it, is struck with MEL20/EL10 Lightning. When used by the King it can cast MEL20/EL10 Lightning at sea. It can also call the children of the sea (whales and dolphins) to defend Salaq. That call is only allowed in the bay of Salaq. The star is currently buried in a storage bin in a curio ship in the city of Donara.
|Vobal the Dancer, Salaqi Royal, Codari member||AGE||20||SEX||Male|
|Mana Lvl||20||Casting||NA||Mana Regen||NA|
Publicly Vobal is a fop, coward and drunk who will do anything to protect his life. His brother has often lent him to various Donaran noblewomen to curry their favor. In truth, he is a tortured man and talented slayer. He killed his first Donaran at the age of ten. Few men exceed his talent with the dagger. Nothing less than the freedom of Salaq will satisfy him. He believes it is his divine mission to make this happen.
The Flaming Houri - Rogizini Empire
Flaming Houri came into being with the overthrow of the old dynasty by Boris the Great, the grandson of Shamshiel. They serve the empire as an elite militant force. They also serve a salacious role in the name of their gods (the Seirim).
NOTE - If the dynasty of Maoud still rules the empire, the Flaming Houri do not exist.
There are 400 Flaming Houri serving at any time. All must be unmarred women with red hair. They are selected for divine service at the age of puberty. As the Rogizini Empire's people have little in the way of red hair, most are gathered from other lands or from the slave population of the realm.
The first six months of an acolyte's training are spent in the sacred enclosure of the hidden temple of Shamshiel (Eighty three miles south west of the city of Musci). Through a combination of luxury, magic and drugs she is shown the glory of divinity that awaits her. In essence, she is conditioned.
After the six month initiation candidates are allowed to choose whether they will become acolytes. Few refuse. From their acceptance to the age of 17 they are trained in combat, eroticism and temple arts.
On the woman's seventeenth birthday she is taken to the high temple of Shamshiel in Rogh'sa. After being ritually deflowered on the altar, a ruby is set in her navel. From that moment she is one of the Seirim's Chosen, a Flaming Houri.
The best of the new priestesses fill any vacancies in the 400 woman unit. The rest are added to the Houri Service Regiment until vacancies occur. Women in that regiment guard temples of the Seirim and serve the temple brothel. All are soldiers, eroticists and Tariti priestesses.
Women who make it into the 400 woman strong Flaming Houri Guard unit serve the Emperor, the royal army and the temples of elite Seirim only. The required brothel service is only on important feast days or at the divine will of the gods or the Emperor. At all other times they are elite cavalry honing their talents as warriors.
Like the other houri mentioned, these priestesses are trained Tariti. If they choose, and their talent allows, they may also train as Qadishtu, Qadishtu Mah, Kalu or Baru. The commanders of the houri decide whether or not it will be allowed. If so, the woman is assigned to a priest of Shamshiel for the necessary training. It is her place to serve his will as he chooses until the new skills are mastered.
Houri remain in service until the gods make them one with the divine. Sometime between the age of 31 and 40 (1D10+30) they will be called to the hidden temple. Once there a ritual is performed. They are wed to a Seirim and taken from the mortal realm forever. They serve their husband, and his brothers, for the rest of eternity in the Gardens of Shamshiel. Those who are truly worthy do so as more than whores.
|Karin Forneir, Marshal of the Flaming Houri||AGE||33||SEX||Female|
|Mana Lvl||13||Casting||88||Mana Regen||10|
Rogizini merchants "invited" Karin to leave her home in Loch Svear and join the Flaming Houri when she was ten. After a year's journey, and another year awaiting puberty, she went to the hidden temple. Five years later she was serving in the regiment. Three years after that she was assigned to the guard unit. After eight years of service the Emperor appointed her to command the Flaming Houri. She has been the Marshal for five years. She is a powerful warrior and beloved leader.
NOTE - Flaming Houri are only allowed congress with men in the temple, as a part of their duty. All use contraceptive methods at these times. They are the property of the Seirim. It is not their place to give birth to any other male's child. Any who does is guilty of heresy. They keep their beauty perfect for their future lord's use.
The Morzug - A'Korchu
The Morzug are an apolitical, non-religious society dedicated to the service of the God Emperor. They never involve themselves in the periodic dynastic wars of A'Korchu. When one claimant shows his right to rule, they swear fealty to him and help eradicate the power of the other candidates.
In the fourth year of his reign A'Chori the Great weighed the might he wielded against that of potential enemies. When he considered the past dynastic turmoil as well, he decided that stabilizing his rule demanded the use of potent covert power.
The Morzug were created to answer that need. They serve as the secret police, enforcers and assassins of the God Emperor. That is their only reason for living. When they uncover a threat to the throne, or the God Emperor demands any action, they strike with precise, deadly force.
The Morzug is composed of three classes of members. They are elite, soldiers and informants. Of these, only the elite truly count as Morzug. The other members are tools they use. None are officers.
Each Korchi city, province and island has one net of informants. An elite agent of no less than Captain's rank governs each net. The more important the city, and less dependable its Governor, the higher the rank of the net commander.
Morzug soldiers are battle hardened veterans hand picked for the service by Morzug officers of at least Major rank. All have intelligence, at least five years experience in military service and dependable loyalty to the God Emperor. As part of their initiation to Morzug service they learn fear for their betters and get a sample of the rewards proper service will bring. Few will ever consider betraying the Morzug.
The elite of the Morzug are trained assassins, spies and military officers. No less than 40% at any given time are also wizards. Every member of the elite is trained from birth. Those agents who are not selected until later in life are commonly taken back in time for training. Age regression when such is needed is not uncommon.
The Morzug have one Colonel, four Lt. Colonels and sixteen Majors. All other elite members, however many there may be, are Captains, Lieutenants and trainees. The chart below shows the number of soldiers each has under his command. (All Morzug agents, except informants, are male.)
|* At least 50% of the cavalry are griffin riders.|
The Morzug training center is located in a secret location near the city of Nerghu. It is a walled castle high in the mountains with sheer cliffs on three sides. Access is only possible through a cavern system or by flying. All trainees remain at the center from birth to the age of sixteen. Those who fail their initial training, about one on three, plummet to their death in the ravines or are used as terminal subjects in training other candidates. From sixteen to twenty one, the trainees are probationary officers. They spend nine months of each year performing various duties for the empire. Three months a year they return to the training center. Their performance is analyzed. As needed they are instructed, retrained or liquidated.
When the center commander decides they are ready, the trainee becomes a Lieutenant. He is posted to the command of a Major or better for missions. The best of the trainees are always posted to the capital.
Lieutenants and Captains are sent on missions with their forces. In general, Lieutenants perform missions in their commander's area of authority. Captains may be sent anywhere.
Most of the higher rank officers are permanently stationed in cities, on islands and in provinces. Some 10% of them are agents at large who perform important missions. All agents at large are under the direct command of the Colonel. He is stationed in the capital. His office is in the temple of Abaddon. He is the titular commander of all Morzug wherever they may be.
NOTE - Other soldiers are trained personnel who primarily fill a non-martial function. Some of the common skills are physical trainer, martial tutor, personal servant and accountant. The one with a trainee is always a physical trainer. The one with a Lieutenant is a martial tutor or physical trainer. The infantryman with a trainee is his bodyguard.
|Asa a'Keko, Colonel of the Morzug||AGE||203||SEX||Male|
|Mana Lvl||16||Casting||150||Mana Regen||8|
|* An enemy poison crippled Asa 52 years ago. When not moving magically, his DCV is 2.|
Asa a'Keko is a royal blood Korchi. He has been Colonel of the Morzug for one hundred and seventy two years. He is a cold man whose only passion in life is his divine duty to the God Emperor. NOTHING comes before that.
MEL11/EL7 Darkling Light (stemming from his familial tie to Ba-en-kekon.)
All Morzug elite have two decades of training before they are granted the rank of Lieutenant. They are highly educated, as close to physically perfect as possible and hardened as thoroughly as possible. The best of them, intellectually, are also trained magic users.
The basic training the Morzug elite master is shown in the table below:
|.LT. 6||None||Magical and psychological conditioning. Physical training.|
|6-8||Private||Basic education, extensive PT and continued conditioning.|
|9-11||Senior Private||A'Korchu oriented education, PT, combat training, talent analysis.|
|12-14||Corporal||Exhaustive education, combat training and PT. Where warranted, magical instruction, special education* and conditioning. Training in sexual arts and torture.|
|15+16||Sergeant||As for Corporal plus assassin and espionage training. Testing on a Pass or Die basis. Class rating determined.|
|16+up||Ensign||On the job training and agent training, retraining.|
|* Candidates whose talent analysis shows the potential for true talent in a useful field receive special education to develop that talent. All magical and special training is additional to the normal course load. The candidate is expected to handle the extra load his talent demands. If he does not, he dies.|
|Bora Korland, Lt. Colonel, Training Center Commander||AGE||53||SEX||Male|
|Mana Lvl||20||Casting||209||Mana Regen||13|
Korland has been in charge of training and the city Nerghu for 22 years. He is a pragmatic monster with more than a touch of sadism. His first duty is preparing agents. The bulk of his sadistic glee is reserved for candidates who prove themselves unworthy. Many of those boys are happy to die once he gets through with them. The Lt. Colonel is a talented sorcerer and is also homosexual.
|Horlam Gee, Captain, Adjutant to Training Center Commander||AGE||24||SEX||Male|
|Mana Lvl||17||Casting||NA||Mana Regen||NA|
Horlam has been Bora's adjutant and lover for three years. Unknown to him, he is also spying for the Colonel. Should Bora's proclivities adversely affect the training center, Horlam has orders to report that fact and kill him. The Captain is an ambitious sociopath. He will do what it takes to make higher rank. Only an action that betrays the God Emperor or the Morzug is beyond him.
NOTE - Horlam has maximum EL training in horse, dog and griffin husbandry (EL80 for all). He also has a high EL as an Eroticist (EL12). All were special education he mastered in his trainee years. Gee's father is a rank 7 priest of Abaddon. His grandfather was a Colonel of the Imperial Guard before his death in battle against Fomoria. The family has influence.
The Wu Wang - Katai
The Wu Wang is an immense, powerful, criminal organization. They are primarily known for the assassins who rule the guild. In addition to assassination they engage in protection rackets serving other criminal organizations, smuggling and various kinds of short term entrepreneurial projects to keep the coffers overflowing.
According to legend, the Wu Wang is named after the assassin who founded the organization eleven hundred years ago. This original elder was a native of Choundeu province. During the half century of his active career he is known to have been personally responsible for 119 assassinations.
At the age of 57 he decided solo adventure was no longer wise. The Wu Wang was born. He spent the last 35 years of his life setting up a network, earning his guild a name and training assassins. When he died at the age of 92 the Wu Wang was a power in Katai. By the death of his son, and successor (forty years later), it was one of the most feared powers in the empire.
The Wu Wang is ruled by its assassins. All are trained elites. Their watchword is anonymity. Each has a code name. Only the Inner Council of the guild knows them by any other identity. Some ten percent of the "members" of the Wu Wang are assassins. The rest are merchants and various criminal specialists who support the elite's needs and desires.
The Inner Council of the Wu Wang consists of the twelve best assassins with at least twenty kills and twenty years of profitable service. They are chosen, when a vacancy exists, by the reigning Elder. Each council member is responsible for a district. The districts, in toto, cover Katai, Chunrey, Tiansar and Eastern Cerulea. Maintaining the Wu Wang's security and profit in the district is that Councilor's responsibility. Success brings him immense wealth (15% of the gross profit is his). Failure is generally fatal.
The Elder of the Wu Wang is the one assassin who the Inner Council acknowledges as superior to all others. He is generally an Inner Council member with no less than thirty years of profitable service. Once he gains the post he rules absolutely until his death.
A hereditary Sorcerer supports the Elder's rule. He is a direct descendant of the younger brother of Wu Wang. His existence is only known to the Elder and the Inner Council. The Sorcerer keeps tabs on dangers to the guild, Inner Council members and deals with any threat the Elder believes is best removed by magical power. Beyond this he lives a wealthy, secluded life in his lushly appointed tower. A dozen Wu Wang assassins swell there as his guardsmen. It is their duty to insure that he remains a happy, loyal friend of the Elder.
Wu Wang assassins are trained in their art. They are also skilled thieves and smugglers. Most have professional training in a good number of weapons and hand to hand combat.
The vast majority of assassins learn a number of other skills also. They are used to forge cover identities that allow the assassin to remain incognito as he travels and performs his duty. Many are merchants and actors.
Non-assassin members of the Wu Wang have no power in the guild. They can, however, gain immense wealth in service to it. For most criminally oriented citizens of the area that more than suffices. As a general rule, these members of the guild are hereditary members whose families have belonged for generations. Most of those who are trained to be assassins are selected from their number.
Within the assassin class there are field assassins and artists. Field assassins are new or untalented killers who work in teams to accomplish their missions. They are among the elite but never achieve leadership rank. All wear completely concealing black garb on the job.
Artists always work solo. They are assigned specific targets or missions. It is up to them to deal with the assignment successfully. Success is achieving the goal with as little notoriety as possible.
All artists have a signature killing method and prosaic name they are known by. For anyone other than the artist to kill using his method is a heinous crime to the Wu Wang. If the person responsible is discovered, they will take slow, painful and fatal vengeance on him.
To reach Inner Council rank a person must spend at least ten successful years as an artist (as a part of his twenty years of service). Artists rarely work the same district two years in a row. All have numerous cover identities that they play exceptionally well.
|Slashing Silver, Elder of the Wu Wang||AGE||69||SEX||Male|
|Mana Lvl||18||Casting||NA||Mana Regen||NA|
|Wou Lo Wang, Sorcerer||AGE||79||SEX||Male|
|Mana Lvl||14||Casting||82||Mana Regen||8|
|Field Assassin, Non-Character||AGE||18 + up||SEX|
|Mana Lvl||5||Casting||NA||Mana Regen||NA|
Slashing Silver assumed the leadership 13 years ago on the death of Dark Lightning. He is a hedonist and voyeur. He is also an EL10 assassin with an immense reputation in Katai.
Wou Lo Wang has served as the Wu Wang's magician for 41 years. He is likely to die in the next few years. His son Asa will take his place as Sorcerer when he does. Asa is 33 years old, more powerful than his father and greatly drawn to courtesans and recreational drugs. He will be both controllable and useful. Slashing Silver supports his ascension.
The Elder Star - A'Korchu
Toward the end of the reign of A'asu the Cursed (744) an Urigallu'lama in the temple of Choronzon in Lamalallu performed an ancient ritual and had a revelation. It was clear that the proper steps at the proper times would result in freeing the Elder Law.
As the priest was a proper Korchi, he brought his discovery to the attention of his Sangu Mah and the God Emperor. A few minutes later he was floating in the bellies of more than one griffin. The God Emperor had no interest in anything that would end the mortal realm and his power. He executed the priest and his Sangu Mah to stifle the knowledge.
Unknown to A'asu, the priest confided in others in addition to the Sangu Mah. When these five men learned of his fate, they aided the opposition working to depose A'asu and formed the Elder Star Society.
In the chaotic years that followed the five built an underground organization dedicated to making the prophecy of the fallen priest fact. Over the centuries since, four of the five have died. The last, Zaratoram A'nerga, still works for the rebirth as Grand Master of the Elder Star.
|Zaratoram A'nerga, Grand Master of the Elder Star||AGE||280||SEX||Male|
|Mana Lvl||17||Casting||305||Mana Regen||14|
The society is not a large group. Their members stem from the most radical and fanatical elements of Korchi society. Those who find their way into the Elder Star are borderline lunatics with power. Most (75%) are wizards or priests. Of these, some 20% are royal blood Korchi. That fraction (15% of the total membership) rules the Elder Star.
The current membership of the Elder Star is 87. They are located in the following areas:
|* The hidden citadel of the Elder Star, residence of its Grand Master, is located in the southwestern mountains of this province.|
|() - Those listed in parentheses are female.|
The Grand Master possesses a tome that charts the steps and times that must be accomplished to return the Elder Law to this existence. Members are dispatched at the appropriate times to insure that the step whose time is due occurs as it must. There is no limit to what they will do to insure that fact. If a city must die, so be it.
The God Emperor, and others in the ruling elite, is aware of this group. They tend to consider them to be psychotic fools. As their actions do not directly interfere with divine power, in general, they are ignored. This has been the case for two centuries.
The minimum MEL for wizards or priests of this group is eight. The minimum CEL for others is 6. The others are ranking officers (at least Colonel), wealthy merchants, professional craftsmen of note and important scholars.
NOTE - When the next period of dynastic war arrives the Grand Master plans to take an active hand in the struggle. His chosen successor will take his place as Grand Master and seek the divine throne. Zaratoram plans to insure his success by dying as all the power at his command slays the other viable candidates. The chosen is Lor a'Cha, a Mashmashu of Ba-en-kekon who resides in the city of Lammas.
|Lor a'Cha, Chosen heir, Mashu'Lama of Ba-en-kekon||AGE||84||SEX||Male|
|Mana Lvl||19||Casting||240||Mana Regen||11|
The Mashu'Lama is a charismatic megalomaniac. His goal is to destroy existence for the glory of his god. Returning the Elder Law will do that nicely. Slaying anyone who stands in his way is not a problem for him. Nothing of form has any right to exist in his god's realm.
Total immunity to Darkness powers.
The Society of the Trembling Throne - Ma'helas
The Society was founded in the year 1051 with the approval of Xagh the Builder. Its purpose is to weigh threats to Balance and act against them as needed.
A triad of three men directs The Society. They are the Sangu Mah of Manu, the Sangu Mah of Poteh and the Society Elder. Its main headquarters is a large walled manor in the city of Matan. The temple of Poteh officially owns the grounds and buildings.
Those members who serve for ten years without a major demerit are enrolled in the Throne Club. This structure is located a few miles west of Matan. It provides relaxation, training and resources for the use of the senior members of value. It is officially a secular retreat owned by the temple of Manu.
When on a mission with royal approval members of the group often travel with diplomatic credentials issued by the King. At other times, letters from important people whose word might smooth the journey are generally arranged. Throne missions are always planned meticulously before anyone takes a step on the road to do them.
NOTE - Because the facilities are owned by the faiths, actions that harm them or those resident there are classed as heresy. The penalties for heresy are severe (no less than 30 years in Oblivion).
The Society Elder is the single eldest member who does not have any major demerit on his record. He is responsible for assigning the agreed missions, testing new members, controlling the membership and directing necessary maintenance tasks (getting food, weapons, etc). He or she generally resides at the headquarters in Matan.
The current membership of the Society is 203. Of these, 131 are soldiers, 22 are wizards, 38 are priests and 12 are other specialists. There are currently 49 senior members (20 soldiers, 8 wizards, 18 priests and 3 other). The Society Elder is Maia Ternol, a Qadishtu priestess of Sarameya.
The Society prefers to organize its members into permanent four person units, i.e. strike teams. The optimum for such a unit is one wizard, one priest and two soldiers or others. Eight teams are kept on foreign service at all times. They rotate with others on a yearly basis so no team is away from home for more than two years. The foreign cities where these teams are based are:
|Rogh'sa||(w, 2p, o)||Kirazan||(w, p, 2s)|
|Maren||(p, 2s, o)||Dirllar||(2w, 2s)|
|Cerul||(2w, 2s)||Erdan||(w, 2p, s)|
|Donara||(p, 3s)||Gom||(2p, 2s)|
|W = Wizard P = Priest S = Soldier O = Other|
When a mission needs doing, the closed foreign service unit is sent. Another unit is sent to take their place on station. On completing any mission, the unit reports home for debriefing, reward and rest.
Finally, the society is noted for its magical potency. A part of this might is shown in communication. Orders for a mission are sent magically, not by courier. In many cases, replacement units are sent magically as well. Where the distance is too great, they are sent to the closest society safe house.
|Maia Ternol, Society Elder||AGE||51||SEX||Female|
|Mana Lvl||17||Casting||149||Mana Regen||13|
Except where the future of Balance is concerned Maia is a kind, generous woman. When the Balance is threatened she is pragmatic and deadly. She prefers her teams to strike with surgical precision doing no more damage than the severity of the threat demands. She is the mother of four children. Her eldest son is a wizard serving the society in Dirllar.
Mother's Children - Clima
Prior to the rise of Heirana Ghova in 194 Clima was an egalitarian society with an Elder religion. Few of the leaders of that faith survived the pogroms and rapine of the first Immortal Ghova. One of those who did, with a small cadre of temple guardsmen and young acolytes, founded this society.
Mother's Children are dedicated to the following goals:
- Ending the rule of the Immortal Ghova and state sponsored worship of the Court of Sammael.
- An end to Climan militarism.
- Rebuilding the Mother's faith.
In nearly a millennia of existence the sect has made little progress toward accomplishing their goals. Most times surviving at all is a difficult task. The wealth, power and magic of the Chaos regime is far more than scattered groups of hidden cultists can easily handle. Despite this fact their resolve is adamant.
The sect primarily worships the goddess Gaea. Other FEMALE elemental gods are also important. Where appropriate, worship of other Elder and Sidh gods is allowed as well. They do not give worship to any male deity. In the view of their faith the female is the divine core of true existence. Their divine manifestations alone are worthy of worship.
The sect is organized in small cells throughout the south and west of the island of Clima. Most villages have a cell. Each has 1D10+1 members on the average. In addition, the cities of Shimama and Melecin have cells. The Shimama group has 3D10+10 members. There are D100+20 in Melecin.
The majority of the members of the sect are peasants, fishermen and farmers. Some 20% are traders, soldiers and skilled craftsmen of various kinds. Six are priests and one is a wizard.
NOTE - The primary activity of the sect at this time, and most times since they were formed, is to worship the mother and gain converts. In the rare instances when it can be safely done they strike against the Chaos rulers of the land. Without the addition of a few powerful, intelligent agents with true power and charisma they will never be more than a gnat on Sammael's rump.
|Ainora Chorvan, High Priestess (Melecin)||AGE||36||SEX||Female|
|Mana Lvl||16||Casting||140||Mana Regen||14|
Ainora is a blocky woman with average appearance. She is the widow of a marine sergeant and makes her living running a clothing boutique in the slums of Melecin. Behind that front, she is High Priestess of the sect and is called Mother by its followers. She is an Urigallu priestess of Gaea with knowledge of Elemental powers for Earth, Fire, Air and Water. Ainora is an extremely cautious woman who never makes any decision in haste. She is a direct descendant of the sect's founder, as all who hold her rank must be. She has a 12 year old daughter and a 15 year old son. The son was shanghaied into the fleet at the age of 13. He is lost to her.
|Drom, Farmer, Cult Member (Shimama)||AGE||30||SEX||Male|
|Mana Lvl||15||Casting||NA||Mana Regen||NA|
EL7 Immunity to Fire (All forms except Astral).
Drom was a sergeant in the Climan marines for 10 years. After the last war he was granted a transfer to the Home Guard of Shimama and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Soon after his arrival he met the leader of the sect there and was seduced. She is his lover (and wife by the rites of Gaea). He protects the cult in the city. More than one person hunting them in the eastern warrens (where they are based) has had an unfortunate accident.
Maenads - Worshippers of Dionysius
Maenads are a sect that is related to the Dionysian Mysteries. They are associated with temples of that faith in some nations. In most, they are a secret sect tacitly supported by some members of the priesthood.
Maenads are female worshippers of Dionysius. Through certain sacred rites, and a sacred wine, they experience a sacred frenzy. While affected, they engage in violence, wanton rapine and other frenetic, sometimes destructive, activities.
A worshipping Maenad has the following attributes:
- S and St are both +25 for 2D6 hours.
- Libido is heightened by a factor of five.
- She loses all inhibition and must operate at 20% of her normal W, Em and I.
- E is doubled while the affect lasts.
- The woman does not feel pain while worshipping.
After her frenzy ends, the Maenad loses 2D10+ the EL of the priest who cast the rites energy points. If that leaves her EnL at zero or less, she dies. Additionally, the S and St increases affect HPV while they last. Should she recover from the ritual having more hits on her than she can normally take, she dies.
NOTE - Maenad rituals are generally performed with 2D10 women, 1D6 willing or kidnapped men and the casting priest. As a rule, the ritual takes place in a secluded place well away from the nearest city.
While affected the Maenad is an irrational creature of sensation. She does as she wishes with no thought of the consequences. Her actions tend to be extremely salacious and violent.
Any man encountered by a pack of Maenads, except the casting priest, will, at the very least, be raped. Unfortunate ones have been known to be torn limb from limb by frenzied Maenads. Finally, it is not uncommon (40% chance) that the Maenads will consume the gonads of any man they take after he can no longer perform for them.
This sect is tolerated to a point in the nation of Gom. What Maenads do in the countryside is basically ignored. Any who wander into the city while frenzied are arrested. The damage that must be inflicted on them to do so generally results in their death when they recover. There is an organized "club" supporting the Maenads that operates in Gom and Shieram. Its members are called "Daughters of the Wild". The most important meeting center for them is a bordello/restaurant called the Velvet Chain. It is located in the northern district of the city of Gom. The location is near busy wharves and in a large tavern district.
In all other nations who worship Dionysius the cult is outlawed. A discovered Maenad is subject to a mid-level penalty for the culture. The priest who cast it on them, if caught, is banished or executed (depending on the culture).
|Vin Zalabora, Owner of the Velvet Chain||AGE||43||SEX||Male|
|Mana Lvl||11||Casting||NA||Mana Regen||NA|
Vin is an obese pragmatist who is a devout worshipper of Dionysius. He is also a greedy individual with an unstated hatred for handsome men. His support of the cult feeds all three of his main drives. Selected customers of the Velvet Chain are kidnapped for use in the ritual. Maenads who return heavily damaged, or whose energy loss is enough to claim their lives, are saved by his healers. They wake nude in chains on their way to the slave markets of the Rogizini Empire. Only those who are members of extremely influential or powerful families are ever excluded from this treatment.
In Vin's eye, the god decided that those women should die. They would not have lost so much energy or been so badly wounded otherwise. This being the case, taking them as slaves is just. The status effectively kills them as far as society is concerned. The God's will is done and Vin makes a profit. It is a win win situation.
NOTE - Men who come asking about family members who have been sold tend to disappear. The handsome are used in the next Maenad ritual. Others find themselves on the block in the Rogizini Empire.
|Alcine Droll, Maenad, Wine Merchant||AGE||31||SEX||Female|
|Mana Lvl||14||Casting||NA||Mana Regen||NA|
Alcine has one child, an eleven year old son. She is the third ranking vintner in the city of Gom and a fanatical worshipper of Dionysius. Her husband Tomir is an Urigallu'Inai of Dionysius. He is the priest who most commonly performs the Maenad ritual for the sect in Gom. She donates the wine, herbs and other materials used for the ritual. Alcine LOVES the ritual.
|Tomir Droll, Urigallu'Inai of Dionysius||AGE||47||SEX||Male|
|Mana Lvl||13||Casting||69||Mana Regen||9|
Tomir loves his wife passionately and dotes on his son. He introduced Alcine to the Maenad ritual eight years ago because she was seeking a way to better show her devotion to god. Since, her insistence that the rite be performed regularly has become a feature of his life. He must serve or lose her love. As there is nothing he would not do to keep Alcine, he is the Chaplain of Maenad for her. He normally performs the ritual six times a year.
The Daughters Of Blood - L'p'nth, Katai, Cerulea, Marentia
Three years before her ascension to divinity the first ruler of L'p'nth, Mou'lan Kri'gair, created the daughters. After three years of recruiting and organization they were the only ones present to watch the god Lemashtu grant Mou'lan divinity (by draining her life from her on the High Altar of L'p'nth).
Since that time the sect has dedicated itself to the sacred goals set down by their goddess Mou'lan Kri'gair. The most important goal is to spread the glory of Unlife throughout the Middle World. The secondary goal for members is to earn the blessing of Vampirism for themselves. They strive for both with sociopathic cunning.
Only females may become full members of the cult. The males who work with them are mostly property. Some 15% are free associates of the sect. All men obey the commands of the membership, whatever they might be. The penalty for any disobedience is much worse than death.
The sect secretly operates out of the temple of Sier in the city of K'p'ch'. Thirteen members, including the Blood Queen, and thirty males (22 property and 8 free associates) are there at all times. The sect has station teams in every city in L'p'nth. Each team has six members and 3D10 males. (The average full member controls 1D3 men).
The active element of the faith is its thirteen action teams. Each is comprised of three members, 1D3 Vampires or Lamia and 2D6 males. They operate in Marentia, Cerul and Katai. The point of their effort is to create Unlife wherever they go. They have been known to move into small villages and stay until everyone there receives the blessing of Unlife.
NOTE - The laws set down by Mou'lan Kri'gair restrict the total female membership. New members are recruited to replace those who die or who earn the blessing of Unlife. If a new city is founded, six new members will be added to form the station team. That is the only way the number of females can ever increase. (There is no restriction on the number of males who serve the sect. As they are property, they are irrelevant).
Once each year, the anniversary of Mou'lan's ascension, the Blood Queen performs a sacred ritual. Prior to chanting the rite for it, they bathe in male blood, going to the altar in nothing else. Thirteen men, generally captives or acquired slaves, are drained to death to provide the needed blood. The rite celebrates Unlife and maintains the sect's tie to the true gods (The Court of Lilith). At its conclusion, the Blood Queen rips the throat from the man she rode during the ritual. She uses her teeth. As she spits his flesh into the sacred flames, and his blood runs down her body, the tie is reforged.
Full members possess the gift of Lilith. When dealing with a human male who is not aligned with Chaos their Influence Chance is doubled. If they succeed in influencing that man, it has the affect of an EL0 Fascination spell. Until he frees himself from that spell he cannot ignore any request she might make. (Members do not use this power on property or free associates. It is a weapon for laying the enemy.) No member of this sect will ever be seduced by a Succubus or Incubus. None will be attacked by a vampire without the explicit permission of an Immortal Akhkharu. In most cases, Lamia refrain from attacking their men also. They are not required to do so.
|Ulsara Ten, Blood Queen, Qadishtu'Kai of Princess Naamah||AGE||34||SEX||Female|
|Mana Lvl||15||Casting||194||Mana Regen||11|
Ulsara achieved rank as a Qadishtu at the age of 16. After seven marvelously successful years in service to Princess Naamah she was recruited into this sect. Her performance during the next six years was spectacular. With the ascension of her predecessor last year, she was selected as Blood Queen. She is an ambitious sociopath who revels in any power she can wield, especially power that demeans a man. At the current time she keeps four men as property and has two free associates. None of the property is in the best of shape and all six are humiliated often. The men would happily die for her.
NOTE - A special rite is performed at the temple of Sier when a new Blood Queen is needed. After seven days, and the sacrifice of thirteen men, the gods give the celebrants the name of the member who must be the next Blood Queen. That woman is found and ordained at the first dark of the moon after she reaches K'p'ch'. The ordination ritual takes three days and costs seven men their lives.