Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 2:17 pm Post subject: Scarlet Brotherhood
If members of the Scarlet Brotherhood are monks, I was expecting to see a reference to a monastery. There's plenty of references to monks but not one reference to a monastery in The Scarlet Brotherhood Greyhawk Accessory.
Am I missing something?
I was thinking of a Greyhawky placement for The Monastery of the Order of Crimson Monks by Members of the Dragonsfoot.org Forums.
Let's remember The Scarlet Brotherhood accessory barely scrapes the surface of the Scarlet Brotherhood. Sean Reynold's said in an old interview or listserv (EDIT: here it is) that he wasn't particularly inspired to write about TSB and was much more excited when he was allowed to use the sourcebook as an excuse to cover the southern jungles.
So if the chapter on the Brotherhood reads like cursory, uninspired, work-for-hire, that's because it is. Greyhawk's premier, secretive, LE masterminds with their mysterious martial powers, international espionage, and dark cults just weren't enough to get Sean's creative juices dripping.
It's also important to remember that D&D banished monks and monasteries during the years that most GH sourcebooks were written. Monks were still included at the dawn of 2e for Greyhawk Adventures and WG8, then they were replaced with priests for FtA. TSB brought back weak-sauce rules for monks and assassins, but I suspect that was more WotC's doing than the author, as Wizards made many overtures to grognards with all of the demons, half-orcs, Gygax interviews, and Jeff Dee advertisements in '98-99. Sean's main thrust was integrating the Suel pantheon and priests into TSB, he ignored past references to monks and Tharizdun.
So yeah, not many monasteries.
There's one SB monastery on Jeklea Bay in The Last Slave Lord (Dungeon #215).
There's a Baklunish monastery in the Abbor Alz in C2/Oerth Journal.
In Dragon Magazine, Carl Sargent placed a Tharizdun temple in the Drachensgrabs, making a good location for a Black Brotherhood monastery.
Last edited by vestcoat on Tue Jan 30, 2018 4:13 pm; edited 1 time in total
Joined: May 12, 2005 Posts: 819 Location: Woonsocket, RI, USA
Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:22 pm Post subject:
FWIW, I placed my version of that monastery (the DMG sample dungeon) in southern Sunndi near the Vast Swamp. Since there’s some evidence that the DMG sample dungeon was a prototype for the TOEE moathouse, you also could place it in the Kron Hills / Gnarley Forest region.
Joined: Aug 03, 2001 Posts: 2866 Location: Michigan
Posted: Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:14 pm Post subject:
WG8 mentions a training ground for monks in Hesuel Ilshar (probably identifiable with the Domain of the Fathers in The Scarlet Brotherhood's version of the city). This part of Hesuel Ilshar, or perhaps the entire city, seems to function as the primary "monastery" for the Scarlet Brotherhood monks, since it's the place where they're trained (WG8 describes Hesuel Ilshar as "the hidden fortress and monastery of the Scarlet Brotherhood"). They might have other monasteries elsewhere, but Hesuel Ilshar is probably the main place. I would interpret WG8 as saying that Hesuel Ilshar is the Scarlet Brotherhood's only monastery (which doesn't mean you can't add more).
The temples in Hesuel Ilshar don't count; that's where clerics live, not monks. Monks have a special role in Scarlet Brotherhood society that has nothing to do with the clerical hierarchy.
Joined: Sep 20, 2004 Posts: 462 Location: London, England
Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 9:21 am Post subject:
On the topic of SB monks, I thought it was interesting looking at which Suel deities actually had levels in monk (as per Len Lakofka's articles in Dragon Mag). Syrul, Pyremius and Norebo are the only three. Although Norebo may be a typo?
Maybe there is a link there that could be expanded on to flesh out the Bortherhood monks? All three have a sly, secretive or tricksy element to them so maybe the monasteries/enclaves are hidden from common view et cetera.
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