Nice, Jason! When I ran a version of A1 I gender-switched Brother Kerin and had them fight Sister Kerin because I had found an excellent illustration of what looked like a red-haired female Suloise monk. The party's warlock thought he had her with a fireball but she made her save and came flying out of the room and roundhouse kicked him in the head. It was a great moment!
SirXaris, this provides me an opportunity to share that I enjoyed Sister Aspinet, Jongleur, and the Carnelian of Carnage (a.k.a., Stone of Unhinging), particularly their scene at the Salty Serpent.
Have you ever re-statted them for 5e? Have you another adventure publication in the works?
Boy, have you guessed some of my top bucket list items!
I would love to re-stat Agnosco Adventum for 5e. I would love to write a sequel. At the moment, however, I am writing a screen-play for a Greyhawk tv series based on The Keep on the Borderlands.
I am thrilled that you enjoyed those aspects of the adventure. I was a bit worried that the Carnelian/Stone was too complicated for most DMs to remember to apply in the heat of battle. How did it work for you?
True enough in the real world, Doc, but in a world full of magic, it seems the sexes aren't so segregated with respect to the figures in power.
A glance through the rulers of the nations of the Flanaess shows quite a few female rulers and though the majority of NPCs of note are male, some of the most notable are female - Iggwilv, Lolth, Tzuggtmoy, Baba Yaga, e.g.
I think it would be more difficult to subjugate females in a world where magic is equally accessible to both genders. Thus, the Scarlet Brotherhood may call itself that, but needs must respect females with superior ability in order to have the power they hope to attain to rule over everyone else.
I can't imagine a Fraternity welcoming women. Have you considered a Scarlet Sisterhood, auxiliary to the Brotherhood but with an independent organization chart.
Sean K. Reynolds's The Scarlet Brotherhood agrees with you. Although a few factions feature worship of Wee Jas or Syrul, none is expressly focused on empowering women within the Brotherhood.
Along SirXaris's take, I've featured more women as leaders in my current version of the Scarlet Brotherhood than in prior campaigns. Besides Æltesh in charge of subverting Monmurg, I have Ælinka in charge of Poniard. (The other Brotherhood leaders charged with subverting the Hold are all men.)
Below, I explain some of my thoughts on the matter and invite further dialogue.
For Lady Æltesh, I decided to develop an NPC different from "Elder Brother Hammandaturian, Shepherd of the Sea Princes," who is the canon Brotherhood agent in charge of the Hold since From the Ashes. I had a couple reasons in mind: first, I thought there was a fair to good chance that my player characters would defeat the Brotherhood agent whom they would confront in Monmurg. Thus, I made Hammandaturian the Brotherhood agent in charge of Fairwind Island with the thought that he might succeed Æltesh after the PCs defeated her.
Like all the Brotherhood agents, Hammandaturian came to Monmurg for the mass assassination attempt of Richest 583 CY, and he featured in some of the PCs' confrontations with the Brotherhood during those bloody nights but escaped their vengeance. (I could go on about him but will stop now.)
Another reason I imagined for the Brotherhood to send a woman as its emissary to Monmurg was to "disarm" the Hold (so-to-speak) to wonder at the mysterious "Kingdom of Shar," which would send a woman as its emissary. Perhaps the kingdom was slighting the Hold, or maybe it held different mores? In any case, I imagined it as a device to play on the chauvinism / sexism of the Seolder nobility, many of who venerate the Prince of Swords.
Drawing back a bit, I imagine the Flanaess as a whole, and perhaps the Suel culture in particular (as well as the Flan culture), as significantly less sexist that our Earthly European analogues because Oerth has no dominant patriarchal religion but instead several human pantheons that feature many powerful goddesses. (I also hold that sexual mores are substantially less rigid on Oerth than Earth.) Thus, in my Alternate Oerth, heteropatriarchal sexism exists, but it is substantially less powerful than that of Earth.
I'll conclude this post now by positing that the Scarlet Brotherhood may not only distort Suel culture in terms of asserting racial supremacy but also in terms of sexism. At the same time, the Brotherhood is quite willing to use the sexuality of its women citizens to subvert its enemies. Seduction works, and many of the Hold's leaders are (heterosexual) men, so many of its women agents infiltrate the Seolder households in domestic guises, as well as the nubile daughters of Sharian merchants. Just because it's predictable doesn't mean it won't work!
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