Dark Sun: Fading Embers
- Campaign Premise
- An Overview of the Veiled Alliance
- The Veiled Alliance in Raam
You Work for the rebellious Veiled Alliance, a secret society or arcanists working against the Sorcerer-Kings and their defiling ways. The alliance sends you forth on missions for the greater good in the hopes of one day finding a way to overthrow the dragon tyrants and undo the damage that has been done to the world.
An Overview of the Veiled Alliance
The Veiled Alliance is an underground movement that strives to protect preservers – arcane spellcasters who refuse to use their magics to defile their world. In addition to safeguarding Athas’s preservers, the Alliance works to protect itself and those allied with it, undermine the Sorcerer-Kings, and oppose defilers whenever possible.
The Veiled Alliance has no central leadership and each city-state they operate as a collection of cells with few if any ties to other cells outside their city-state. The only thing they share are their goals and a willingness to work together when possible, but with so few members and the vast resources of their enemies the Alliance is forced to remain isolated and highly secretive.
In order of importance, the Veiled Alliance upholds five ‘aims’ or goals that its members have vowed to work towards:
- The Chief Aim: Protect the Alliance
- The Second Aim: Protect Preserves
- The Third Aim: Protect Auxiliaries
- The Fourth Aim: Oppose Defilers
- The Fifth Aim: Undermine the Sorcerer-Kings
In the case of the Third Aim, ‘auxiliaries’ are non-arcanists who have sworn to the Alliance or trusted allies of the Alliance.
The Veiled Alliance in Raam
DM Note: The PCs will all be starting in the city-state of Raam.
Major Cells in Raam
As the largest city-state it comes as no surprise that Raam is home to many Veiled Alliance cells though the liberation of Tyr has drawn away some of their number to help ensure that it remains free of Sorcerer-King domination and becomes a true seat of power for the Alliance.
In all Raam is host to three 1st-rank cells, nine 2nd-rank cells and a handful of 3rd rank cells. Below the most influential and powerful cells are noted. Within the city-state there are just over 60 members of the Veiled Alliance, which seems populous compared to many regions of Athas but given the size of Raam and its outlying settlements that is still barely one Alliance member for every people in the region.
The sole advantage the Alliance has within Raam is the hatred its people have for their ‘Grand Vizier’, the assumed identity of the region’s Sorcerer-Queen, Abalach-Re. The disquiet amongst the populace has made it easy for the Alliance to operate without the same fear of discovery they would have in more strict and peaceful city-states; a fact they take full advantage up by shoring up their numbers and being more direct in their efforts.
The following are the most influential and most active cells within Raam. Other cells exist sometimes operating very discretely and apart from the rest of the Alliance for missions the Council does not openly discuss. Others are simply too focused on very specific research and similar goals to garner much attention by the Alliance as a whole.
- Council Leader: Nandra Shatri, human wizard
- Lirr Heart (1st Rank) Leader: Marilsa, half-elf wizard
- Lirr Fang (2rd Rank) Leader: Jadaj, human psionicist
- Lirr Scale (2nd Rank) Leader: Sa’Relka, thri-kreen druid
- Lirr Crown (1st Rank) Leader: Azik Yashar, human minstrel
- Lirr Scepter (2nd Rank) Leader: Ihnial Windchaser, elven merchant
- Lirr Storm (1st Rank) Leader: Cirobe, mul sorcerer
- Lirr Thunder (2nd Rank) Leader: Nazzari, tiefling warlock
- Lirr Wind (2nd Rank) Leader: No leader currently
- Lirr Heart (1st Rank) Leader: Marilsa, half-elf wizard
The Council of Raam’s Veiled Alliance is lead by Nanda Shatri, a powerful wizard on the path to becoming an avangion. Sharti has managed to keep the alliance well-hidden and helped it gain much influence in Raam in her time as leader of the Council. Much of this has to do with her being a gifted Offspring of Raam’s Sorcerer-Queen, Abalach-Re giving her a natural affinity with arcane magic as well as the politics of the city-state. The Council has done well given the unrest in Raam and has many powerful allies within merchant families and other rebel groups who wish to see the Grand Vizier slain.
With the recent upheaval in Tyr brought on by the fall of King Kalak, the Council has begun to considering backing a revolution to take the city and see Abalach-Re dethroned and destroyed. However unless a powerful member of the Alliance comes out into the open and steps in to seize control of Raam, the loss of Abalach-Re may create a power vacuum that sends the city spiraling into anarchy and savagery as power-hungry factions struggle to assert their dominance and lay claim to the city’s resources and riches. So far that is not a risk any have been willing to take as certainly any member of the Alliance who came forward to do so would like fall to assassination or mob violence. Though Nanda Shatri is willing, too many members of the Council are opposed to her doing so because of her value to the Alliance, her high profile nature, and of course her blood-ties to Abalach-Re.
Two other powerful arcanists make up the Council of Raam: The reclusive and enigmatic Midday Shadow, supposedly a guardian of a rare pathway to the Lands Within the Wind; and the cold and calculating Hestllar Ironeye a dray sorcerer who obsessively studies the relics of the past in hopes of finding a solution to the woes of the present.
Though many distrust her, Marilsa, the leader of Lirr Heart, was taken in by the Alliance because her knowledge gained as a former templar of Abalach-Re was too valuable too loose. She made many odd requests before formally accepting a vow to the Alliance and despite having proven her loyalty and worth many times over there are many who do not trust her because her former defiling ways.
Marilsa is a woman of few words and even fewer actions. Whatever work her cell is doing is kept a guarded secret and the only time most other members of the Alliance she her is during meetings of the Council. Then she can be very vocal about certain issues, especially relating to the other templars, but otherwise keeps her peace.
The most notable thing about Marilsa and what garners her some degree of attention is her abhorrent distrust of any psionicists. This of course gives rise to concerns that she is hiding secrets in her mind she doesn’t want discovered but the truth of the matter runs much deeper and is not something Marilsa ever seems open to discussing.
The city’s oldest first-rank cell, Lirr Crown was founded by Azik Yashar, a powerful bard of the merchant caste. Azik has been pushing for the Alliance to reveal itself to several of the influential merchant families and warlords in the city-state in order to strike bargains and alliance with them to see the Alliance through what he believes is an impending revolt. So far Shatri has opposed coming out into the open because they still have too much to fear from the Sorcerer-Queen’s templars and the mansabdars and corrupt warlords they controls.
Azik abides this because he wishes to avoid a revolution if at all possible. While he wishes to see Abalach-Re deposed he does not want to see Raam slip into a state of lawless turmoil. As such, Azik has been sending his cells out to engage in discussion with various factions in hopes of wining them over and preventing anarchy should the dragon-tyrant fall. When necessary, Azik dispatching auxiliaries and hired mercenaries to kill the rivals of these factions and other would-be allies of the Sorcerer-Queen to help slow the progress towards violent upheaval.
Cirrobe, the Mul sorceress who leads the Lirr Storm cell is known for two things: her prowess with destructive magics and the ornate necklace of bones she prominently wears around her neck – each bone taken from a defiler she has slain. Of all the Alliance members in Raam she is the most adamant about hunting down and killing known defilers and as such that is what her cell is most known for.
However Cirrobe’s blind hatred of defilers recently cost her a devastating blow to the trust the Alliance had put in her. Less than a month ago it was discovered that the leader of Lirr Wind, a human named Kyrys, was an infiltrating templar of Nibenay. Cirrobe had brought this traitor into their midsts unknowingly and when he was discovered she immolated him in a fit of rage that almost slipped into an act of defiling that would have seen her suffer requital.
Since that time Cirrobe’s cell has been pulled from their usual missions of hunting down known defilers and put to work on a secret mission given to them by the Council to make amends for nearly costing the Alliance its secrecy and safety.
DM Note: The PCs will all be starting as members of the Lirr Fang cell.
The Lirr Fang is a second-rank cell overseen by the psionicist Jadaj. Formed recently by the Council under Marilsa’s recommendation, this cell is comprised of newer initiates of the Veiled Alliance who the Council wants to test in order to prove their worth to the cause and whether or not they are true to their vows.
Jadaj, the cell’s leader, is a young human ardent who is of Raam’s priest caste. Originally she was a follower of Badna, the false god created by Abalach-Re to prop up her persona as Grand Vizier. When Jadaj’s psionic powers manifested she was able to read the thoughts of one of the Sorcerer-Queen’s templars who was drawing wealth and slaves from the temple she lived in. She heard the truth in the templar’s mind and that night fled into the ghost city outside Raam where she was found by Midday Shadow and brought into the Alliance.
Brash and outspoken, Jadaj hates Abalach-Re and wishes to see her dead at any cost. Jadaj almost seems to echo the unrest of her people and her temperament seems to sway with theirs, which could all be a result of how strong emotions are the root of her psionic talents. She was put in charge of Lirr Fang to learn some discipline and so she had an outlet through which to vent her anger and frustration. As such Lirr Fang is often assigned some of the most dangerous and ‘hand-on’ missions that the Alliance needs completed.