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The Brethren

Origin

 
One hundred seventy years ago, Sainted Father Duno Deerwestbegan his life as a humble monk. He was an Acolyte of Boki, a member of a religious order of humans dedicated to Boki, the Goddess of Secrets. He had trained in the Appelkamp Monastery and attained the rank of master. Duno went on to become the greatest hunter of the fell the Acolytes had ever known. When he became too injured to carry on hunting, he returned to the Appelkamp Monastery.   There, he began training the Acolytes in his techniques. Gathering his most dedicated students, he told them the truth about the greater demon Ra'atik'kwa and the traitorous mages who had been supporting it.   These mages were members of the Order of the L'Ahnz, the most prestigious and powerful order in the High Guild of Magic. It was terrible news. His dedicated students believed it to be their duty to stop the L'Ahnz and trusted in Duno to find a way for them to do so.
 
The L'Ahnz were many. Too many for the few who had joined Duno's dedicated circle to directly face.   But Duno was a man full of plans. Restricting their wealth was the first step, so Duno and his circle caused L'Ahnz business ventures to fail.   Spying on servants and getting them so drunk they talked about secrets was the next step. They asked the servants about special deliveries and messeges. This knowledge led to Duno and his students carrying out heists for important objects or papers.   These servants never remembered and always woke up terribly hungover in their own beds.
 
Duno decided his circle needed more organization so they could work on more than one problem at a time. He divided his students into teams of two to five and sent them to carryout their own missions.   Duno came up with a garb for them to wear, normal clothing fit for traveling or blending into the local citizenry as the shopkeepers, traveling merchants and assistants.   As long as the clothes were not designed to draw attention, they were proper Brethren garb. Tans and russets, very common colors in all levels of societies, became their colors.   Several women were in the cirlce but Duno named his group the Brethren. He considered his women deciples his best secret weapons. Duno believed this added bit of deception allowed them to be even better at what they did.
 

Oddes Shoppe

 
Well after Duno had established the Brethren, he received word of an old friend's death. The Oddes Shoppe in Blackstone was now his.   Despite being a remote town on the southern edge of the kingdom, Blackstone manages to draw in a steady flow of wealthy visitors, and his friend had made a very decent living.   Most wealthy visitors come to carry out private trades and under the table deals far away from the suspicious eyes lurking in the more prominant towns and cities of the kingdom.   The Oddes Shoppe seemed to be the perfect place to set up as a secret sanctum for the Brethren.   The Brethren built the modest cellar beneath the shop into what they needed then made it as secretive as they were.   Under the shop they built a little tavern to serve as their hidden chapel and meeting place.   Their altar to Boki hides behind it a very well protected vault. This vault is where the vile things taken from their enemies are safely stored until the Brethren can find a way to dispose of them.
           
by Tama66
   
One hundred and seventy years later, there was a terrible calamity.   The Gateway of Portals, a means of instantaneous travel to anywhere in the world, vanished.   People were stranded all over the world ... except for the Brethren.   They all managed to all get themselves where they wanted to be before it happened.   The High Guild of Magic shattered as did its influence over the rest of the world.
     
 
So did the L'Ahnz.   Broken into small groups cut off from the rest of each other, the L'Ahnz were forced to support themselves.   They often found themselves facing rival mage factions who were also stranded and on their own. Mages of all kinds died in conflicts over who would be the top magical authority in that area.   Through it all, the Brethren watched and waited.
     
  Things have since settled down amongst the magical factions.     The Brethren have returned to watching out for the L'Ahnz. They are now able to more directly confront these smaller factions of the L'Ahnz.     In addition, they are keeping an eye on other mage factions. They particularily watch those factions that have former members of the L'Ahnz within them. The former L'Ahnz just might start them using magic in foul ways.     With the Brethren more scattered about the world without instant travel to bring them aid, they have begun to train new members from the other races of the world. The Brethren are not just for humans anymore.

The Fairchilds

    One master and apprentice pair of Brethren are Thimys Fairchild and his grandson Fawkes L. H. Fairchild.   Thimys Fairchild is the current leader of the Brethren.   Before then, Thimys spent many years with his close friend, a gnome by the name of Korillo Kreegan.   They went on a long and arduous quest to discover the Wheel of Wandering. This eventually led to Korillo building the magical keelboat, The Gosling.   Nowadays, Thimys travels the Darkwater River with his grandson. He carryies out his duties while selling spices. As they travel, he trains Fawkes to be an acolyte and a scholar.  
* * * * *
  Thimys was murdered and his magical bookGarzio'Indar. What will Fawkes do now that he is master of the Gosling? What will he do about the missing book?

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Cover image: Old Fane by KELLEPICS

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