- Only chaotic neutral to evil alignments are allowed to join.
- All classes except for rangers are accepted.
- Races are controversial; a good many would be accepted, with the exclusion of elves, of course the race would need good reason to be in association to Morgion (A celestial of Morgion, for instance? — NO).
- All characters must worship Morgion.
The Shadow clan also extends to the name of the ‘Cult of Morgion’. It’s past in Ansalon’s history is obscure for the most part, their intentions usually coming down to foiling the plans of both sides of the alignment chain without much care as to what the side effects are. The way of Morgion is the way of blight and corruption.
Clerics and priests of Morgion are of the highest order, their role almost specifically to bestow the maladictions upon the chosen foes of Morgion, whether that be as meager an example as a village of peons, to it being an army of men. Fighters and thieves of Morgion tend to play the lesser parts of the inner society, usually making up the bulk of an action in the face of trouble. Warriors tend to accompany the priests as backup, and thieves are occasionally dispersed in the wake of the priests to poison water supplies or steal food stock only to replace it with a corrupted and plague-ridden variety of the food. Those who study the arcane craft in the name of Morgion are almost unheard of, however as even Solinari (God of magic) has his loyal cleric worshippers, even Morgion has the occasional practitioner of magic, usually a member of the Conclave with interests within Morgion himself. Their role tends to be as illusionists or necromancers versed in bringing back the dead of the plague victims to further carry out the plague itself. On the other side of the craft, the illusionists tend to make the actions of the Cult seem so much further from the truth, making deceit come within civilized society by pitting one against each other in blind rage, usually preferring to play the part of one of the citizens and making an almost open show of corruption, making for a riot among the townsmen, only to find even if they
kill their supposed perpetrator, the plague continues. Their mage craft tends to extend further, however, usually in the lines of protecting encampments in foggy misty illusions, to better hide everything that goes on behind the scenes.
The extent of damage done by the Cult of Morgion can be quite varied due to how much effort the clan put into their intended work. Large scale events would fall to the example of the attacks on Kalaman in the second take of the Misfortune’s Year war. Many deaths were caused by the plagues set out by the members of the organization within the city and its surrounding area. Lesser scale examples would be in the attempt at Solanthus during the time of the attacks on Kalaman, a few of the Solamnic positioned troops died of plague and
the Shadow member Zlik held order over the city for a very short time, but in all, there was very little effort put toward it and very little lasting damage upon the city.
The Shadow society is much like that of a thieve’s guild or organization of rogues. The fact that it is a cult, states this alone. Members do not state their affiliation openly, unless it is “Morgion’s will” that the blunt of aggressions find out who their aggressor was.
In the Shadow clan there is also another smaller organization, set apart from the bulk of the clan itself, it is for those few members that acknowledge Morgion and his greatness, but do not formally worship his every aspect, these members can worship almost any member of the darker pantheon. For these ‘followers’ the role is usually a much lesser version, in particular these are guards of a specific priest at times, or a grounds keeper within a Shadow controlled structure. These members do not as actively offer themselves to disperse the plague, but accompany those who do. This is usually set apart from the Cultist fighters by the aspect that they are not quite so willing to offering their lives in battle and are usually little more than mercenaries to some end, receiving payment by the cultists in some form, be it money, slaves, shelter, stature or favor from Morgion himself in a lesser case. These members tend to act upon their own whims rather than the will of Morgion,
unless directly bestowed to them by the priests themselves. Inner struggle sometimes results from these ‘warriors’ clashing with the interests of some of the ranking Morgion cultists who aren’t the payers of the mercenaries wages.
- Mercenary of Shadow
- Associate of Shadow
- Bringer of Famine
- Bringer of Corruption
- Bringer of Suffering
- Bringer of Misfortunes
- Bringer of Plague
- Shadow Diviner
- Chief Diviner
- Dictator of Morgion
Mercenaries of the Shadow
Mercenaries of the Shadow are those few that do not follow in the ways of Morgion, but do however, acknowledge him and give him homage in his or her actions toward their employer. These mercenaries are usually wages in means of different importance, based on the desires of the mercenary themselves, some examples: money; action; a place to call home; stature among a community, perhaps at the end of service, the mercenary would be given the right to rule over land that had been taken by right of plague and corruption; slaves; or simply to have their name among the order for later use, for example, in an attack on a town or the like, if the mercenary is there, they would be kept safe from the ensuing assault. These mercenaries are at the lower end of the mercantile association within the Shadow clan, they are the newly inducted mercenaries, to be exact. They are usually not as versed and broken in when it comes to the treatment of others within the clan, outside of their employer. This usually tends to cause troubles in which the employer
themselves usually has to tend to.
The role of a Mercenary of the Shadow is to be exploited to whatever end the Shadow see fit, in which case they will either continue a role within the clan, or sprout off with their payment, of whatever the pact they sealed was. The cultists almost always hold true to their word on these pacts, the only exception to this virtue would be when the mercenary themselves do not do the job correctly as instructed. There are other ways of coming upon a bad payment, usually being extremely bad for the mercenary to acquire, anything from assassination at a later date, to infecting an object with the plague to be given to the person, only for them to eventually come down with the disease the shadow themselves protected them from while in service. Mercenaries of the Shadow may only advance once, unless they are inducted later on as a true worshipper of Morgion, the God of Disease. Advancing mercenaries join the rank of ‘Associate of the Shadow’.
Associates of the Shadow
The associates of the Shadow are those mercenaries who have gained trust and notability within their work for the clan, they are usually on a long-term goal with the Shadow and usually come to be full-time worshippers of Morgion and members of the cult after much time within the mercenary aspect of the Shadow. This is the highest order of the mercenaries and unless the person becomes a member of the cult itself, they cannot advance any further. This is the promotion position past the ‘Mercenary of the Shadow’ rank. Associates are usually the first choice when it comes to aid among the priests and the
associates have a respect much above their lesser kin for the cult members. Their actions toward the cult is usually with respect, unlike the proposed actions of a lower ranking mercenary, who usually only respects the one feeding him or her payment.
The role of the associates is pretty much the same as those of the mercenaries, however their payment is usually greater, as well as their workload. Associates usually have a steady income for their work, rather than in one sum at the end of the proposed ‘job’.
Bringer of Famine
The bringers of famine are usually the newly inducted fighters and thieves, as well as mages of the cult. These are actually members and this is their starting point (as opposed to starting at clan level 1 which is reserved for mercenaries.). This is the learning stage and devotion stage in the ascension in ranks within the cult. Members of this group usually stay out of the larger scale propaganda, unless directed to, instead sticking back and learning all there is to be learned about their god and the work they are to do upon advancements.
When at work, the bringers of famine usually do little more than aid the higher ranking cultists in their endeavors, usually being a ‘cannon-fodder’ type of position. The bringers of famine are also considered the errand-runners among the clan, if a mercenary isn’t hired for a given task. Usually the errands consist of things like spying, thieving, delivering,
escorting, or even kidnapping. Morgion shines little favor on the still growing members in this rank.
Upon advancement, the selected person is usually given a small task, to prove they are worth becoming an integral member of the Shadow. This task can be anything from finding an item of value for the priests, to assassination of mediocre threats. The advanced rank then becomes ‘Bringer of Corruption’.
Bringer of Corruption
Bringers of corruption are the advanced members of the cult who newly showed their worth to the order and have already successfully completed their advancement task. Usually among this order one would find thieves, warriors, mages, battlemages and an occasional priest who had strayed in their ways and were demoted until they prove themselves worthy.
The sole purpose of the bringers of corruption is to carry out any actions the higher ranking members wish them to, they are occasionally still in an ‘apprentice’-like stage in which they are to do errands for specific members and learn from other members, however they can call upon the lower ranking bringers of famine to do a chore for them.
Bringers of corruption in a battle sense are also among those treated almost like cannon-fodder, they are usually not specialized enough for a given large objective yet, and still accompany as if clueless. They usually do however instill some of the victims with their maladies and play a part in the mind games given to victim towns when ploys are being pulled.
Advancing from bringer of corruption leads a member into the rank of ‘Bringer of Suffering’. Though advancement tests do happen, they are rare and far from mandatory. Usually only in the case of controversial matter of when a given amount of the cult think the person is ready for advancement, but others do not share the belief in their ability.
Bringer of Suffering
The inducted priests of Morgion, usually templars, clerics and a very very rare paladin begin within the rank of Bringer of Suffering and advance from there on, however they can be reduced in rank once, if they are saw fit to be reduced, and after they do not fix whatever is wrong after such a reduction in rank, they are simply removed from the clan, usually forcefully and at times killed outright.
The non-priest members of this rank are those who have gained the knowledge necessary to accommodate them within the ranks of the cult. This is usually where the fun starts for them. The type of errands of this ranking member usually includes the infiltration of whatever is under attack by the cult, usually causing suffering in their wake, corrupting food stocks, putting poison in water supplies, stealing and what have you. Those members that are priests are usually versed already within the ways of Morgion and do not need the true ‘trial-period’ before advancement, this is why they join in at a level within the clan where only the skilled make it.
Advancement beyond this rank usually does not receive a test, but like with the last rank, it can happen under the same circumstances. Making an advancement, the member then becomes in the rank of ‘Bringer of Misfortunes’.
Bringer of Misfortunes
The bringer of misfortunes is more or less just a higher version of the previous rank when it comes to most members, however in the light of the priests, this rank becomes the curve of where the priest was ordained skilled enough to pass the rank of bringer of Suffering. The bringers of Misfortune’s duties are exactly the same as those of the previous rank, however, of course with rank, they hold more sway than the Bringers of Suffering would in a debate.
Advancement from this rank follows the same principals as does the previous two ranks. Tests are not mandatory, but do happen. Advancement brings the rank of ‘Bringer of Plagues’.
Bringer of Plagues
The bringers of plague rank is given to only those who show themselves truly worthy in the eyes of Morgion. They must devote themselves in mind, body and soul by this point, without any signs of stagger or disarray. The bringer of plagues is the ‘elitist army’ category of Shadow, highest rank under that of the leaders and recruiters of the cult. These members are the spies, the thieves, the infectors, the plague-bringers, and the true masters of their skills under Morgion’s bidding, to reach this rank and be treacherous to the cult as a group results in unquestioned death and suffering to any supporters or family members.
The role of the bringer of plagues falls into all the categories of what the Shadow do, these are again, the highest form of normal members of the clan.
To advance from this rank, the cultist must prove themselves in the eyes of Morgion and the clan as a whole, usually given a series of tests of prowess. When one advances, they are given the rank of ‘Shadow Diviner’, these members are usually gifted then by Morgion to have a sensual vision towards those who could be considered a later member of the cult, and are given the power to introduce new members to the clan as a whole. They are thusly the first stage of a recruiter.
The shadow diviners are those who are gifted by Morgion to be able to sense possible recruits to the clan, as well as notice those faithful followers of Morgion within a crowd. The common sighting of a possible recruit or a follower of Morgion appears as though there is a tattoo on the forehead of an upside down axe. This is also true in the case of current members, even if the diviner has never met a member, he has the sight to be able to tell if the member is in the clan due to this tattoo-like enchantment. Along with this gift from Morgion is the ability to see those worshippers of Mishakal, whom Morgion despises to all ends, typically when the diviner feels the presence of Mishakal about someone (usually in the form of a lurking blue or light cyan aura), they treat them respectfully in person, all the while planning for deception. They do not wish for the Mishakalite to realize what is going to happen, but once they do know of someone being a follower of Mishakal, the diviner usually sends out members of the cult to ruin their lives, most of the time gradually. An example of this would be to cause the parents of the follower to mysteriously begin to wither away at an unpleasantly unnatural rate. Another example would be to be to have a member ‘be-friend’ the person and when the person does begin to show signs of trust, the member would slowly begin to mess with them physically, dropping strange things in their food unnoticed and the like, usually causing the follower to become sick, particularly in such a case, the follower either becomes blind, or their limbs begin to wither to the point where their art of healing becomes very unpleasant for them themselves, of course, all the while the member would be deceiving them, making it appear as though they care, meanwhile furthering the displeasure of the Mishakalite.
Shadow Diviners actively seek out new cult potentials within groups, leaving little trace to their affiliations to any of those who shouldn’t ever know. It would be deemed inappropriate for members of this rank to actively obsess in things like alcohol that has much potential to slur their gifts. Any members of Shadow who do consume alcohol regularly is usually prevented from ever becoming this far of rank.
Potential clan members are escorted in secret at a given date to talk among other members and become associated with the organization, if the members in unison deem the person fit, they are then given knowledge of the society’s place of origin.
Advancement from this rank is usually in terms with Morgion himself, or if the person accomplishes some grandeur in some manner. However, this is the final rank that a non-priest can attain, and all but priests are banned from advancing. The next rank of members are the sub-leaders, the ‘Chief Diviners’, this category are the subordinate leaders who only listen to Morgion and the mortal leader.
The Chief Diviners are those recruiters who are ordained as a subordinate leader, whether it be the leader of a select group of cultists based in a specific area, or if it is simply the second in command to the leader. This rank is reserved only for priests, no non-priest may ever achieve here or beyond. Morgion grants the chief diviners the same favors that he would with the Shadow Diviners, however in this case, the recruiter does not so actively recruit members, but if a potential is saw in the chance event, they are of course, dealt with. The chief diviners are usually those who make the battle plans when it comes to who goes where, they are only over-ruled by the one and only Dictator of Morgion or Morgion himself. Usually, as the cult has outlets in different areas, the Dictator’s words are not available to all members at once, in this case, the nearest Chief Diviner becomes their leader until word comes from Morgion or his dictator.
These priests are usually extremely versed in the ways of maladictions. They commonly are the ones behind the actual combining of materials to create ‘super diseases’ in the name of Morgion. They usually don’t let themselves do much of the heavy duty work, preferring to make the things and send someone else to administer them, so that they are not at much of a risk.
Advancement beyond this rank is to the leadership of the cult of Morgion, itself, the next rank is known as the ‘Dictator of Morgion’. There may only be one dictator. He is elected by Morgion’s will.
Dictator of Morgion
The dictator of Morgion is the mortal end of Morgion’s will, he or she must be a priest of his faith, commonly held by humans and not much else, they tap into the same essence of favor that the diviners do and then some.
The dictator’s subordinates are the Chief Diviners, this rank is second in command, usually giving the orders when a branch of the cult is too far away from the dictator him or herself. The dictator usually in the ‘blessing’ of Morgion is deformed due to the sheer power granted to him or her. Such deformities would usually be made unnoticeable before the dictator goes into public either by the illusionists, or by some other means. The dictator attempts to keep his rank out of the knowledge of any of the associates and initiates of the cult. Along with this, his subordinates are not allowed to reveal to these ranks, who the current dictator is. Such a thing could prove hazardous. Wherever the dictator goes he is usually accompanies by a mage or fighter of at least the ‘Bringer of Misfortunes’ rank, any less would be ill-becoming of him or her. The dictator tends to throw their weight around
at times to those who are of standard rank, putting them in their place when needed. The dictator also makes the decision of when a member shall be banished, and if the member is banished, what their significant ‘parting gift’ shall be, whether it be death, or a peaceful banish.
There is no advancement beyond the dictator and new dictators are rarely chosen, unless the current dictator dies. Dictators never stray from the faith, along with the favors Morgion grants his dictator, he also makes it impossible for them to scheme away from his faith. It is however possible for the dictator to become a hit of an assassination, such a case is however rare, as the cult attempts to make the dictator unknown to those not of rank within the order, and as traitors are usually killed, the information usually does
not get around.