Founded by Medraad Le Fey in 875, this shadowy organization is committed to tracking, infiltrating, and eliminating evil cults and covens all over Pescaliat.
- Medraad serves as the leader of the Shroud, orchestrating plots and directing agents to investigate different cults
- Agents out in the field report their findings to the headquarters in Kanara, and HQ uses this info to determine which cults are on the rise and require extra resources to eliminate
- Almost every major city in Pescaliat has its own cell of Shroud agents spying on the local population and gathering intel. Some cells are as small as just one person (e.g. Frobert in Oblast), other cells number in the dozens (e.g. Oakengaard in Gameth)
As an extra form of income, The Shroud sells its intelligence-gathering services to world governments. The access granted by these governments allows The Shroud to hear rumors of factions and cults among the highest echelons of power.
- 800+ able-bodied agents based on both the continents of Pescat and Liat
- A headquarters in the Avicennan city of Kanara protected by high-level spells and containing powerful relics and magical items
- Direct communication with The Man in Black, a powerful deity from the Far Realms revolted by the destructive violence of his kin
FoundingIn 875, Medraad Le Fey used his downtime from adventuring with the Royal Knights Brigade to wander the city streets of Gameria. In the lower levels he came across a starving man by the name of Asmodeus. Sensing magic and potential in him, Medraad offered Asmodeus power, intelligence, and the promise of a stable job. When Asmodeus accepted, Medraad summoned The Man in Black under a shroud of Darkness as the three of them shared a cigarette. The Shroud was created.
ExpansionOver the next few months The Shroud swelled in followers as Medraad invested all of his adventuring money into the organization. Medraad recruited from the lower ranks of society, highly qualified and capable people caught in hard times or devastated by the cruel whims of fate. Less than half a year after its founding, The Shroud had over three dozen members prowling the streets of Gameth. Medraad's death during the Battle of Faouzia in 876 threatened to dismantle The Shroud, but The Man in Black and Asmodeus ensured its survival for the next decade and half. The Man in Black patronized The Shroud's elite agents with his eldritch powers and abilities, while Asmodeus worked relentlessly to keep the group afloat financially. There are rumors that he didn't sleep for three months straight in 877, but Asmodeus managed to enter into a lucrative intelligence-gathering contract with the kingdom of Gameth in 878 that ensured the group's survival for years to come. In the 880's The Shroud expanded its influence beyond Gameria, purchasing a headquarters in the war-torn Avicennan capital of Kanara and recruiting agents in all over the world. By 888, The Shroud had an agent operating in every nation on both continents, a formidable intelligence operation contracted by many of the world's wealthiest and most influential figures.
Medraad's ReturnThe Man in Black spent nearly 15 years finding a way to bring Medraad Le Fey back from the dead, but it still came as a surprise when Medraad appeared out of nowhere in the middle of Shroud HQ in the fall of 890. Both Medraad and The Man in Black were reticent about how his revival occurred, but Asmodeus was relieved to retire and allow his old boss to resume control of the organization. Asmodeus died of exhaustion two weeks later.
In the 890's Medraad focused The Shroud's resources on a single organization quickly gaining followers in the Elflands: the Cult of the Sunken God. Ever since the world's lone Kraken was killed in 875, cults had appeared that worshiped monsters deities from the oceanic abyss. The Cult of the Sunken God was directly connected to several sahuagin attacks in the Elflands and Glace, so fearing the worst Medraad traveled directly to the Elflands capital of Kassadeia in 896 to warn the Royal Knights Brigade of this rising force and the threat it posed. The warnings went unheeded, and after the New Year's Massacre of 897 destroyed the Elflands Empire The Sunken God had a foothold in the Material Plane (in the form of an undead Amara Fireheart) and an army of sahuagin to do its bidding. Frustrated by the Royal Knights Brigade's inability to stop this massacre, Medraad decided that The Shroud needed more involved measures and tasked agent Beleren Hazid to infiltrate the Royal Knights Brigade and eliminate the Sunken God once and for all. For years Beleren had been working as a double agent within Gameth's secret service, so he was the perfect candidate to join a newly-reformed RKB after the events of the New Year's Massacre. With the Elflands Empire in shambles and sahuagin attacks reported as far east as Avicenna, the hopes of The Shroud and the world at large are pinned on how quickly the Sunken God and his forces can be eliminated.
Leaders of The Shroud
- Medraad Le Fey (875 - 876)
- Asmodeus (876 - 890)
- Medraad Le Fey (890 - Present)
Mythology & Lore
The Man in BlackThe Man in Black is a mysterious deity from the Far Realms who granted The Shroud's founder Medraad with eldritch powers to eliminate cults and covens all over the world. Sometimes referred to as Nyarlathotep, The Man in Black grew disgusted with the chaotic nature of other gods from the Far Realms and their blatant disregard for mortal life and order. He took an interest in the affairs of mortals on the Material Plane, which perhaps explains why he frequently communicates with The Shroud's leadership and its highest-level agents. He went to great lengths to bring Medraad back from the dead, but he refuses to describe the deal he struck to accomplish it.
Calling The Man in BlackMembers of the Shroud communicate with their patron and each other using specially designed cigars. When lit, the cigars cast a combination of the spells Darkness and Telepathy to allow the Shroud agent to communicate with any member anywhere in Ekal. The shroud of darkness allows agents to speak freely without the threat of prying eyes or listening ears. Each cigar is single-use, so Shroud agents typically carry a box of two dozen at any given time.
Granted Divine Powers
Elite agents of The Shroud are sometimes allowed to enter into a pact with The Man in Black known as the Pact of the Great Old One. This arrangement allows the agents to cast powerful spells to enchant and contain cultists on high-risk missions and communicate with The Man in Black whenever they want.
There's a Man Going Around Taking Names
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