HARP Something Wicked: The First Texts: The Shadow Speakers

Copyright Nicholas HM Caldwell and Guild Companion Publications Ltd © 2017

Edited by Peter Mork for The Guild Companion

"A Sorcerer of the Shadow Speakers is steeped in the lore of demons and has honed his mental fortitude to resist the occult blandishments of infernal beings."

Author's Note:
This is an excerpt from the original manuscript of Something Wicked. The game mechanics for the training package refers to Sorcery which is a type of magic which will be introduced in Something Wicked.

Shadow Speakers

Type: Knowledge

Motto: "Knowledge is everything"

Sigil: An inverted pentagram

Goal and Purpose: To preserve and extend the magical art of sorcery, and to protect the interests of fellow members. If there are other agendas pursued by the Council of Thirteen, they do not communicate them to the rank and file membership.

Candidate Requirements: A candidate must be known to and proposed by an existing Shadow Speaker. Candidates must have the necessary talent for sorcery. Most candidates will belong to one of the mage professions.

Acceptance: The candidate must be able to bring a demon into the mundane world and master the demon through the use of sorcery alone. If the candidate fails to master the demon, the Shadow Speakers will do nothing to save the would-be sorcerer from whatever fate the demon wishes to mete out.

Structure: The Council of Thirteen rules the cabal. Beneath the Council are ordinary Shadow Speakers and their apprentices. Failed apprentices who survive their sorcerous initiation become bondservants of the Council and perform necessary menial tasks at its headquarters.

Advancement: A Shadow Speaker who wishes a seat on the Council must challenge an existing Councilor to a magical duel to the death. If a seat becomes vacant due to a Councilor's untimely death, then aspirants challenge each other until the mightiest is promoted.

Expulsion: Any Shadow Speaker who renounces the art of sorcery or betrays a fellow sorcerer to the enemies of the cabal will be expelled from the order and hunted down by the Council and its bound demons.

Size and Reach: The number of Shadow Speakers is unknown; they are suspected of being resident in many lands.

Meetings: The Council of Thirteen meets formally four times a year to oversee initiations and respond to challenges. They travel from their manses by teleportation and other magical means. The headquarters of the cabal is a closely guarded secret. A magical maze created and maintained by demons protects it from intruders.

Communication/Recognition: Demonic messengers act as the Council's couriers. Shadow Speakers who do not know each other personally may use a series of passwords requiring sorcerous knowledge to establish the bona fides of individuals claiming to be fellow members.

Funding/Expenditure: Ordinary Shadow Speakers pay a tithe to the cabal in return for their training and access to the cabal's library. The tithes pay for the upkeep of the headquarters and such expenses as the Council deems necessary to fund for the security of the order.

Benefits/Coercion: Shadow Speakers receive training in sorcery and access to otherwise lost knowledge as well as some possibility of assistance from other cabal members. The threat of being hunted down by a major Demon ensures that nearly all Shadow Speakers obey the edicts of the Council.

Sorcerer of the Shadow Speakers

A Sorcerer of the Shadow Speakers is steeped in the lore of demons and has honed his mental fortitude to resist the occult blandishments of infernal beings. A shrewd bargainer and practiced liar, the sorcerer reserves his greatest efforts for the contests of will that every successful invocation entails.

Skills Ranks
Arcane Lore: Demon/Devil Lore 4
Duping 3
Sorcery 5
Power Point Development 2
Resistance: Will 3
Trading 3