Basic description and intentions
The Brotherhood is a mystery to all. Guild of malefactors to some, serendipitous saviors or opportunists to others, very few have even an inkling of the organization’s structure.
Striking several years after the king was overthrown, these people have started fighting back in all regions of the Kingdom of Kreis. Claiming to be on the people’s side, they have quickly been depicted as members of a resistance against the Mages’ oppression. But the lines are always blurry and most often, the Brotherhood seems to be rather fighting for its own interests.
It is difficult to date precisely the Brotherhood’s birth. Immediately after the Assembly’s accession to power, protests had broken out all over the country. But they were ruthlessly repressed. As the mages’ control was still feeble, they would mercilessly crush any questioning of their supremacy.
From then on, all rebellion velleities had seemed to have left the population’s heart. The Assembly gradually released its pressure and it is in this context that the Brotherhood blossomed. For the different budding movements, the modi operandi and headcount would vary, depending on the geographical situation and the resources at hand.
- The uprisings close to the Southern border involve many dwarves seeking revenge, living hidden in an underground network.
- In Heldenheim, cosmopolitan city, all races and social strata unite to weave an intricate web, drawing off the capital’s unbridled urbanism to fight against the Assembly.
- In the East, Mazdâra’s influence as a neighboring country translates to much crueler acts than anywhere else. Hate for magic in all of its forms are at the very heart of the recruitment and operation processes.
The Brotherhood‘s upsurge was so sudden that the question of third state interference arises. The Kingdom of Kreis’ military being completely under the Arcanic Assembly’s yoke, it seems quite unlikely indeed that the weapons for the uprising were provided from within the country.
Very little information has transpired concerning this movement. Using both cloak-and-dagger and torture tactics in the dungeons of Heldenheim, the Assembly managed to find out that the Brotherhood is organized in independent chambers, leading their own operations separately, even conflicting with one another when their interests do not align.
It is difficult to make out precisely a semblance of hierarchy within each chamber due to the immense diversity of craft and races joining the Brotherhood. There does not seem to be any form of coherence or preparation of attacks on a state-wide scale. What is a weakness logistically speaking, is actually an unbearable headache for the Arcanic Assembly’s intelligence. It is practically impossible to predict where the Brotherhood will strike next, each Chamber being different from the others.
The advantage from this relative independence between the Brotherhood’s different branches can however sometimes backfire. The Chambers’ interests frequently conflicting, internal struggles have many a time escalated into full blown clashes. That is how Mages, thinking their end might be nigh, went from terror to astonishment while enemy forces started attacking each other to have the privilege to eliminate them.
Members and recruitment
There is no shortage of volunteers to join their ranks, however. The seclusion of the population by the Arcanic Assembly fuels the hate and resentment in the simple man’s heart.
People of all backgrounds wish to join the Brotherhood. Due to the harshness of the magical segregation enforced by the Mages, recruits do not only come from the most destitute classes of the population.
The Assembly is starting to reap what they have sown over more than a century. The other races and kingdoms having suffered from the Kingdom of Kreis’ thuggery now support the Brotherhood and provide the troops necessary to maintain the guerilla operations the rebel movement is leading.
The Brotherhood’s status of fortuitous savior, both self-claimed and bestowed by the population is highly controversial. Despite the high praises from the inhabitants of Heldenheim, streets are deserted when the alert is given. Rival rebel movements have been mercilessly eliminated and the Brotherhood does not hesitate to lead their strikes, indifferent to all collateral civil victims.
All forms of popular support are hence not quite homogeneous. The Chambers need to change regularly the location of their meetings and hunt down traitors within their ranks. Spies, stationed at every corner of the capital’s streets, could bury once and for all the Brotherhood’s rebel movement by communicating on their whereabouts and give other strategic information to the highest bidder.
Of course, the enemy number one remains the Arcanic Assembly, main and frequent target of the attacks lead by the resistance. These clashes have gradually transformed the polis’ streets into a battlefield. The ambitions behind the acts of violence vary and go from sabotage to assassination or kidnapping. There is never a clear claim, or an ultimate goal conceded in the aftermath of the fights. The Brotherhood’s different Chambers thereby simply accumulate wealth, power and assets, at the current ruling power’s expense.
Due to its heterogeneous nature, the Brotherhood also incurs the wrath of other forces, sometimes even beyond the Kingdom’s borders. Elves having fled the Ionian matriarchy, dwarves harboring a desire for revenge, budding magicians from Mazdâra or trolls, shaken out of their lethargy… all important allies but bothersome to the Brotherhood which then needs to weigh out the pros and cons of keeping these members in its midst.
Everything seems to point to the Brotherhood as regards the instigation of the uprising devastating Heldenheim. The protest movements are difficult to contain for the law enforcement authorities for many reasons.
To begin with, the issues in the city are numerous but also and mostly occurring simultaneously. The guard is quite simply overwhelmed, and the mages are outnumbered and cannot balance out the general wave of disapproval.
Unfortunately for the Arcanic Assembly – hoping to regain control of the situation rapidly – on the few occasions where the magicians could have gained the upper hand, the Brotherhood has stricken, backup waiting in ambush, sacking stocks of supplies and stoking the flames of anger.