The Brotherhood of Vipers
Snake-blooded Assassin Cult; Villainous
Usual Location: They say there is a vipers’ nest in every great city, but the heart of the order is well-hidden. Tales have it in an impenetrable mountain, a sun-baked desert ruin, or an oasis that appears in the material world only rarely.
Agents: Assassins, informers, spies, mercenaries, snake-blooded abominations, all manner of wicked creatures in disguise
Common Knowledge: Assassination is a civilized way of doing war in Khavayin: a single knife stroke or dollop of poison can prevent the deaths of thousands. Most people and organizations of power have their own assassins, or know how to reach them. But the Brotherhood of Vipers are the most feared of all, for they have no master but their Ancient One, and no cause save avarice and spite. Worse, the Vipers have used black magic to pervert their own bodies, turning themselves into blasphemous snake-blooded. There is nothing the Vipers like better than cutting away a city’s linchpin, and watching the populace fall into panic, riot, and barbarity.
Characters and the Brotherhood of Vipers: The Brotherhood of Vipers assign all their most important tasks to loyal children of the Ancient One. But they are not above hiring catspaws, and many adventurers have done the Brotherhood’s work without knowing their patrons’ true identity. Others choose to oppose the Brotherhood, particularly those who have lost loved ones to the Vipers’ cruelly aloof knives — or fangs.
Allies: The Brotherhood have established a professional relationship with the followers of the Slumbering King, some clever minions of the Ghul Queen, and the more ruthless members of the Ascending Flame. They have also worked for jinn and the City of Thieves, though it would be high optimism to refer to either of those fleeting arrangements as “allies.”
Enemies: The Serpent Emirs despise the Brotherhood as false and twisted pretenders. The Enlightened Caliph has decreed a death sentence for any who serve the cult, and the Sentinels on the Broken Wall have lost enough members to the Vipers to proclaim a vendetta.
The True Danger: The Vipers are dangerous enough to anyone who has enemies who might hire the assassins, or to cities whose rulers are poorly guarded, but Fate help the land if they succeed in assassinating other icons.
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