One of the founders of our hobby and one of the most unsung contributors to Dungeons & Dragons, Len Lakofka has passed away at the age of 76.
Along with the many adventures, classes, spells, and rules he created, Len was also father of the Suel in Greyhawk, designer of their gods, and namesake of the Lendore Isles.
The value of his work goes without saying, but his presence will be sorely missed. The adventures of Leomund go on.
For many years some have wondered how the members of the Scarlet Sign could in one night in CY 584 kill 27 of the 30 members of the nobility of the Sea Princes. Many theories abound, but not much has been said in certain terms of how this and other foul deeds could have been done so easily and in such short of a time.
Also as mysterious and controversail are the inner workings and abilities of the inner circle of the Father of Obdience, The Foster Uncle and Elder Cousin of the SB. Well its time for it to end (or not for some ). What are your thoughts on the levels of the SB, not just the Father (or Mother) of Obediance, but the Foster Uncle and the Elder Cousin? Or what of the Black Brotherhood?
Remember this is for conjecture and personal usage only, it is not a pure canonical statement.
Ok to get us started on our Epic heresy, here is a breif history and look at the inner workings of an epic variant of the Scarlet Brotherhood.
In the early days of the Suel Imperium, long before the devastation of the Rain of Colorless Fire, The Emporer of the Suel peoples had many enemies both outside his realm and closer, inside his court. He would often be raised with a Foster Uncle who would help and advise him on more secular matters, and this became tradition a wise learned vetern of suel politics helping protect the suel emporers early on in years of their rule.
After the fall of the Suel Imperium and the resulting turmoil, the early founder of the Scarlet Brotherhood, Kevelli Mauk, would instute this Foster Uncle as a token towards ancient suelish traditions in his new vision of the suel peoples grand destiny. Although the post is usually for a few years lasting normally for just 2 years, there is a secret post, held in the highest tiers of the Scarlet Brotherhood unknown at time even unto the Father of Obedience called the Elder Council. The dwell in an extraplanar fortress and there plot and plan hidden from all veiw the ascension of the Suel. It is here wherein the aspirants, retiring holders of posts of importance in the Scarlet Brotherhood or others of note are taken and given a strict test..this time to the death..they must overcome the senior office holder. If and when a senior holder of the position dies it is greeted well, as a new stronger person has come to term in a new position to lead the Scarlet Brotherhood quietly from behind the scenes. This "new" Foster Uncle is now known as the Grand Uncle, and claims sole right to excute the will of the suel destinies manifest through his blade and cunning, indeed a few weak Fathers of Obedience have met an early end through this person.
In the contest for the postition of Grand Uncle, merely becoming close to an epic level assassin in the Scarlet Brotherhood is cause for the contest to begin, as it is seen that assassination, like any art manifests when potential recruits to the Elder Council become worth notice. The rules are simple;do in the other while surviving yourself through whatever means you can muster and utilize. Although not taken to detriment of the Scarlet Brotherhood, many unseen struggles have taken place with both contestants using their considerable talents to do each other in, with the loser being found dead and concluding a epic tale in and of itself of betrayl, subterfuge and murder.
The current Grand Uncle is Elchir Kortal, suel human (3 human paragon/5 assassin/18 cleric of Syrul), who has held the post for 7 years, slaying all who have come to challenge him. He is in his early 50's but appears no older than perhaps 40, when he is seen in his true form at all. He sometimes wanders as a humble teacher or as a slave when it pleases him, to observe and sometimes foster other recruits to the ranks of the 'nephews'. While he possess a calm demenor, and takes kindly to many he meets, he is very dangerous and cunning having murdered and killed hundreds with his collection of knives and wicked blades. When not disguised he has short cropped blonde white hair with a slight smile on his face watching with patient calm eyes, and moving with a steady almost inhuman fluid grace. His studies have led him to study death and he has taken an study in the domain of death, besides those that Trickery and Evil following Syrul have allowed him. He is also skilled in Silent Spell and Still Spell feats and manifests his spells without moving or speaking.
Ok this is a rough outline, pretty much editoned down as far I can muster it from 3speak. It incorporates some of my veiws of the SB from my game and hints at somethings I have different in my home game, but that aside I would like to hear what you have to say on this matter.
I have not done so yet, IMC, but I think the Vermillion Queen has the potential to be not only an Epic Villain but _the_ savior of the Scarlet Brotherhood after it was so terribly outed in the GH Wars.
Check out LGJ Vol. 1, No. 4 if you haven't met the VQueen yet.
I posted under your Vermillion Queen post some thoughts..and yes, she does give more ideas for a game centered around the members of the Scarlet Sign than that oft mentioned but rarely used SB that we have been shown in the GH Wars. The real idea that presents itself from the Vermillion Queen is the 'heresy' that she could represent.
The relative distance from the main Brotherhood ideals and her position earned by culling her ranks and swaying the assassins sent to silence her to her side either by strength or guile would make her perfect for Syrul. Throw in the mystery and allure of her position and many lower level members of the Scarlet Brotherhood could easily see her as a new leader who embodies a truer ideal of Suelish traits than more hidebound and conservative leaders who had lost so much by becoming enthralled by their own personal agendas..or so she would espouse.
The stats present themselves perhaps I can work something out from my earlier heresy.
Looks like a job for the NPC Archiver. LOL gimme a few days and maybe I will have some progress on a few of em. I'm working on my NPC Villian and Foil submission right now. And I will tell you its been about 8 hours of research alone on just that. =) _________________ Cheerz,
-Rick "Duicarthan" Miller
Editor-in-Chief, Oerth Journal
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