The Scarlet Brotherhood: Its Origins Revealed!
Date: Thu, June 20, 2002
Topic: Heretic's Nest
The Brothers in Red are an elusive mystery to most scholars of the Flanaess, being almost unknown until recent decades. Only the most learned sages know the truth of their past, present and future goals.
On the Origin of the Scarlet Brotherhood
(Used with Permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.)
In my campaign history, the Scarlet Brotherhood is indeed descended from an order that was around, if not prominent, during the Suel Empire days.
In the text of the Arcanistra of Jasid (the 'bible' for followers of the lawful aligned half of the Suloise pantheon, and Wee Jas in particular), there is a much debated qoute from the seer Thelbican of Zeltra, which says:
"In the eyes of the Holy Mother, a fist of steel or a fist of bone is as impure as a fist of death. (referring to Wee Jas prohibition of practicing necromancy, earlier in the book) For those who seek to embrace the Mother's province upon their transcendance, fists of flesh and fists of power are the only paths of purity."
Mother's province is a term generally used to refer to the special area of Wee Jas' celestial domain where wizards go when they die. The passage is in essence a proclamation that a mage of the Jasidan tradition may never use a weapon if she wishes to remain 'pure' in Wee Jas' eyes.
Being a Wizard was considered a great honor in the Empire, and most who followed it took their obligation to Wee Jas, and the laws of her church, very seriously. As in all things though, there are those who miss the point. A small sect of radical Suel fundamentalists took the passage to mean that all Suloise people should refrain from using weapons beyond their body or their magic, lest their immortal souls be cast into Beltar's pit to rot for all eternity upon their transcendance. Outcast from the Empire's spiritual center, Zeltra, for their heresy, these fanatics eventually migrated over the Kendeen Pass and settled in what are now called the Good Hills, in a village called Weeping Springs, near the bustling Oeridian/Flan trading town Cryl Leohr (now Cryllor). Donning their Red robes as a nod of respect to Wee Jas, the Ruby Queen of the Suel pantheon, they eventually established themselves as a monastical order and shunned most contact with the other, lesser, humans and elves of the region. Time was not to be kind to the group though, and over the years, their reputation as mysterious and sinister isolationists eventually drew a visit by forces of the nearby empire ruled by the insane but powerful lich, Vecna. Vecna's forces, led by the loyal and mighty Kas, burned their village and monastery to the ground, and slaughtered all who would not submit to the authority of Vecna, but a handful of the monks fled to Cryl Leohr and took passage south on Javan river boats.Unable to find a suitable home in the marshes and wilderness of the southern Sheldomar region, they eventually travelled east across the Azure, settling on the shores of the Tilvanot peninsula, founding a village that would eventually be known as Kro Terlep. Unwilling to mingle with the locals, the monks took to a strategy of using their magic and the martial prowess to subtly influence local events to ensure their safety and secrecy. For the time being, they were quite content to remain isolated and uninvolved in the events of history.
The mass migrations that occured at the end of the Suel/Bakluni war, and the mass exodus shortly after the Twin Cataclysms, changed this. Their numbers swelled as more and more Suel began to find their way to the Tilvanot region, disillusioned with the 'old ways' and open to the teachings of the Scarlet Robed monks. The brotherhood decided that the Rain of Colorless fire was actually punishment served upon the Suel by the gods for their blasphemous ways, and bolstered by their new numbers, slowly started to plan the conquest of the Flanaess in the name of a new, pure, Suloise Empire. It was concluded that manipulating the lesser people, which included Suel who did not share their ideals, into fighting this war for them was a better alternative than raising an army and flooding out into the mainland, so the spies, assassins, monks, and thieves that we all recognize as SB trademarks started to show up all across the Flanaess, slowly but steadily working toward their goal. Wrongly judging the time for obvious action had come, they openly waged war during recent years, but have begun to realize their folly and retreat back into their scheming and plotting, leaving the rest of the Flanaess to wonder what exactly goes on in their hidden cities on the Tilvanot peninsula.
It should be obvious to everyone that the SB are a bunch of deluded, racist, zealots. Most of their ideals and crusades are based on either misinterpretations of events or Suel religious canon, or outright lies.
Religion, Scarlet Brotherhood, History