Scarlet Brotherhood

Proper Name: Great and Hidden Empire of the Scarlet
Brotherhood
Ruler: His Peerless Serenity, the Father of Obedience
(true name unknown) (statistics unknown)
Government: Tilvanot lands appear to be governed
by feudal plantation lords who in turn are managed by
ever-present red-robed monks representing a mysterious
government based in the hidden capital; conquered
lands are administered by a singular "shepherd,"
usually a monk, who enjoys nearly unassailable
sovereignty but is ultimately subservient to the Father
of Obedience
Capital: Hesuel Ilshar (location unknown)
Major Towns: Ekul (pop. unknown), Hesuel Ilshar
(pop. unknown), Kro Terlep (pop. unknown)
Provinces: Unknown on Tilvanot Peninsula; foreign
holdings include part of the Sea Princes (Monmurg,
Port Toli, Jetsom Island, Fairwind Island, Flotsom
Island, Sybarate Isle), Onnwal (Scant only), both
Olman Islands, and strongholds in the Amedio
Jungle and Hepmonaland; the Lordship of the Isles is
an allied puppet state
Resources: Rare woods, fruits, spices, gold, gems (I,
III, IV)
Coinage: Unknown
Population: Tens of thousands (exact numbers
unknown)-Human 96% (S), Halfling 2%, Elf 1%,
Other 1%
Languages: Ancient Suloise, Common
Alignments: LE*, NE, CE
Religions: Pyremius, Syrul, Wee Jas, Bralm, Nerull,
Tharizdun (claimed by Brotherhood agents but not
actually worshiped, except by Black Brotherhood)
Allies: Lordship of the Isles (puppet state), certain
followers of Suloise gods supporting the Scarlet
Brotherhood (Syrul, Pyremius, etc.)
Enemies: Yeomanry, Sterich, Keoland, the Ulek
states, Gran March, Furyondy, Veluna, Verbobonc,
Dyvers, Greyhawk, Iuz, Duchy of Urnst, County of
Urnst, the Pale, Nyrond, North Kingdom, Ahlissa,
Sunndi, Sea Barons, Rel Astra and allied cities, Ice
Barbarians, rebel forces in the Sea Princes, rebel
forces in Onnwal, Knights of the Hart, Knights of
Holy Shielding, Knights of Luna, Knights of the
Watch. Only Iuz can count more enemies than the
Scarlet Brotherhood.

Overview: The Scarlet Brotherhood was until
recently a secret, apparently isolated power in the
Flanaess. It came into its own during the Greyhawk
Wars, toppling governments in a campaign of espionage,
blackmail, and assassination. Prior to revealing
itself, the Brotherhood had planted agents in the
courts of rulers throughout the Flanaess. The revelation
of the order has caused much paranoia and
(often undeserved) exiles and assassinations within
circles of rulership.
If reports from northern spies (often suffering
climate-induced fever, insect-borne disease, or
worse) can be believed, the Scarlet Brotherhood controls
the whole of the vast Tilvanot Peninsula, from
the confluence of Vast Swamp and Spine Ridge to
the immense tropical island of Lof Bosok, off the
northeast coast of the mainland.
The nation's capital, said to be a marvelous walled
city, has seldom been seen by foreign eyes. It is
believed to be hidden somewhere on the massive
Okalasna Plateau. The formerly closed port city of
Kro Terlep now welcomes ships from distant ports,
though few sea captains brave waters rife with piracy
and sea monsters to trade with the Brotherhood. Vessels
flying the colors of the Lordship of the Isles
anchor in the eastern port of Ekul, near squalid shipyards
teeming with activity. At least one ship departs
Ekul for Hepmonaland every day-the purpose of
these voyages can only be speculated upon in the
north, though few believe the activities of the
Brotherhood in Hepmonaland and the Amedio
Jungle to be charitable.
The armies of the Brotherhood, or at least those
offloaded in occupied ports to the north and west,
consist primarily of savage warriors from the southern
jungles, soldiers who give no quarter, and who
are said to indulge in ritual blood sacrifice. These
forces are supplemented by orcs, hobgoblins, and
other creatures. Many in the north speculate that the
Brotherhood boasts a standing army within its own
borders, but little is known for certain. Many nations
have met the impressive navy of the Brotherhood,
which as often as not is supported by "independent"
ships ostensibly from the Lordship of the Isles.
History: Prior to the last decade, few save the folk
of Sunndi paid much attention to the inhabitants of
the Tilvanot Peninsula. Humans of pure Suloise
stock, the southerners appeared to lead simple lives,
taming their land as plantation farmers, trading but
little with the outside world. To the Sunnd, their
isolation seemed a natural result of the Spine Ridge
and Vast Swamp cutting the Tilvanot from the rest
of the world.
In 573 CY, however, red-robed ambassadors from
the south appeared in the courts of the Iron League.
Speaking in whispers, they offered their services to
the merchant lords, announcing themselves as
peaceful envoys of the Scarlet Brotherhood, representatives
of the kingdom of Shar, an Ancient
Suloise word meaning "purity." At the time, few
connected the appearance of these sagely, monastic
advisers to the disappearance of Prince Thrommel
of Furyondy, or to any number of political developments
throughout the Flanaess. The arrival of the
Brothers of the Scarlet Sign did trigger curiosity, of
course, and in short order spies were sent to the
Tilvanot.
Few agents returned to their masters. Those who
did told of an agrarian society along the coasts that
farmed far more than it could consume, with huge
shipments of crop sent to the plateau at the center of
the peninsula. The farmers, it was said, were kept in
line by orderly monks in red robes, men and women
who had on occasion displayed unimaginable acts of
unarmed martial prowess. These monks kept the
populace in order, making examples of those few
who would defy their orders.
The spies also spoke of bredthralls, bizarre slave
races created through magic and arcane science, and
of the powerful wizards of the Scarlet Sign who created
and controlled them. Last, and perhaps worst of
An object lesson of the Scarlet Brotherhood
all, the agents of the north reported that the Scarlet
Brotherhood did not worship proper gods, but
instead gave tribute to dread Tharizdun, the Great
Destroyer.
Needless to say, such reports frightened the rulers
of the Flanaess, who turned to their own trusted
advisers and agents in conference to plan strategies
to deal with the growing threat. Unfortunately, many
such advisers were themselves Brotherhood agents,
and advised caution and patience in the matter. In
time, they reasoned, the Brotherhood would reveal
themselves, and could be dealt with as the rabble
they certainly were.
Time, of course, proved something else altogether.
As the Greyhawk Wars erupted in the north, the
agents of the Scarlet Brotherhood sent aid, advisers,
and weapons to the states of the Iron League, disguised
as succor from friendly nations. After buttressing
Irongate and Sunndi from the attacks of
South Province, the Brotherhood struck in the Lordship
of the Isles, replacing the reigning sovereign
with his cousin, the corrupted Frolmar Ingerskatti,
who declared for the Brotherhood, ceding the nation
and its powerful navy to the Scarlet Sign. With Duxchan
ships and charmed monsters, the Brotherhood
set up a blockade along the Tilva Strait, effectively
choking mercantile trade between the east and west.
Thereafter, agents of the Brotherhood appeared in
the court of Prince Jeon of Monmurg, bearing a
simple message to the nobles of the Sea Princes:
"Submit to the Scarlet Brotherhood or be destroyed."
The princes, lawless nobles and pirate kings who had
faced challenges more threatening than a band of
men in robes, laughed at the emissaries. By the next
morning, twenty-seven of the thirty Sea Princes had
been killed. The conquest of Monmurg ensured the
Brotherhood's hold on the southern seaways. In a
matter of months, Idee and Onnwal had fallen to
invasion and assassination. The Brotherhood made a
move for Irongate as well, but crafty Cobb Darg, who
had known the allegiances of his "advisers" all along,
survived the sudden onslaught.
After the events of the Greyhawk Wars, the goal of
the brotherhood is now clear. Followers of a philosophy
established before the Twin Cataclysms, they
espouse the cause of the Suloise race as rightful
rulers of the Flanaess. Other races will serve as little
more than slaves on whose broken backs will be built
an empire to rival that of the ancient Suel.
Apparently, the organization of the Brotherhood is
divided into three tiers, with monks at the pinnacle
of the order, followed in rank by assassins and
thieves. The leader of the thieves is called "Elder
Cousin," that of the assassins is known as "Foster
Uncle." Lesser members of each order are, respectively,
cousins and nephews.
For a time, it appeared as though the Scarlet Brotherhood
would come to control even more of the
Flanaess. Unsuccessful wartime overtures in Keoland
betrayed a great ambition, and many feared what
might come next. Fortunately, the Great and Hidden
Empire soon fractured. In late 586 CY, South
Province captured the northern half of Idee, and
would own the whole of the territory by the end of
the year. Meanwhile, the peasants of Onnwal threw
down the Brotherhood government in all but the crucial
port town of Scant. In 589, the slaves and former
nobles of the Sea Princes took advantage of
internecine struggles within the provincial leadership
to engulf that nation in a continuing civil war.
Despite these losses, the Brotherhood as a political
entity is now much, much more powerful than at
any time during its long history. While it has lost
land, it has gained enormous wealth, destroyed and
destabilized enemies, and made important gains in
the southern jungles. The Brotherhood commands
the southern seaways, with naval blockades in the
shark-infested waters of the Tilva Strait, and in the
so-called "Southern Gates" of the Azure Sea, between
the Amedio Jungle and the Tilvanot Peninsula near
the Olman Isles. Perhaps most importantly, many
rulers in the Flanaess believe they have purged their
courts of possible Brotherhood agents, giving sovereigns
in courts still populated by inactive agents an
unwise sense of security. Paradoxically, though the
Brotherhood has lost much power since the wars, it
is now more feared than ever before, and arguably
remains poised to strike in several key, as-yetrevealed
locations.
Conflicts and Intrigues: Key Sea Princes and Hepmonaland
holdings are being infiltrated by the socalled
"Black Brotherhood," a sect devoted to
entropy (Tharizdun). New breeds of monsters created
in the Olman Islands are rumored to have taken
over part of one island. Brotherhood ambassadors
dispatched to the northern barbarians report mixed
results, with important ground gained with the Frost
Barbarians.

Kingdoms of Flanaess

Scarlet Brotherhood

The Night Shade of Greyhawk and the Hallowed Revenant Amphoras tatafornow