Silent Ones

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Greyhawk Organization
Silent Ones
Type Arcane order
Founded 4th century BCY
Members Primarily N or LN humans of Suel descent
Leader Mohrgyr the Old, Wyrd of the Tower
Symbol
Headquarters Silent Tower
Allies Certain Keoish nobles
Enemies Seekers of the Arcane, Scarlet Brotherhood, Cult of the Black Flame, Sons of Marchanter, Cult of the Earth Dragon, Lords of the Elder Elements, followers of the Princes of Elemental Evil, Dustdiggers, Cult of Vecna

The Silent Ones, also called "Those Who Must Not Speak," are an order of sorcerers in the Kingdom of Keoland.

History

The Silent Ones were originally the seers who guided the Suel houses who came to the Sheldomar Valley with Slerotin. They were gifted in the arts of sorcery, former apprentices of the Mages of Power though the arts of true Power Magic had been lost in the Rain of Colorless Fire. They banded together soon after the Great Migrations to protect their secrets (according to Uhas of Neheli, they were mainly concerned that their secrets might fall into the hands of the Oeridians).

After the Kingdom of Keoland was founded, Those Who Must Not Speak demanded that all mages in the kingdom join their guild, but those of House Malhel refused. After the Malhel attempted unsuccessfully to overthrow the Keoish government, the authority of Those Who Must Not Speak was unchallenged, and they were given the authority to put a stop to all unlicensed magics throughout the realm. They also made it their business to hide all remnants of Vecna and his empire.

In the late 3rd century CY, Tavish I (called the Great) lifted all prohibitions against "freemages" from the kingdom, establishing an academy of wizardry in Niole Dra. His son Tavish II (called the Blackguard) marginalized the role of the Silent Ones still further, appointing his own court wizard to be his advisor instead of the leader of the Silent Ones, the Wyrd of the Tower. For thirty years, the sorcerers of the Silent Ones warred in secret with the wizards of the Academy in Niole Dra, ending with the death of Tavish II in 395 CY.

That summer, Keoland's Court of the Land elected Nemonhas of Neheli to serve as the new monarch, but he refused, electing to join the order of the Silent Ones instead. Though this deeply annoyed almost everyone, Nemonhas' choice was allowed to let stand. What happened to Nemonhas after that is unknown, though it is rumored that he lives still and that he may be the same person as Mohrgyr the Old, the current Wyrd of the Tower and head of the order.

In the last two centuries, the profile of the Silent Ones has been low. They work in secret to protect the secrets in their charge by any means necessary.

Members

The Silent Ones are almost always humans of Suel decent; half-elves and Oeridians are rarely accepted.

The Silent Ones are divided into two groups, the Anchorites of the Tower and the Wanderers. The Anchorites spend their lives in study and contemplation. They may be permanently ensconced in cells in the Silent Tower, or they may work as advisors and seers in noble courts or guarding places of magical power. The other group, the Wanderers, actively seek out ancient magics and secrets to protect from the eyes and hands of rival groups and others. They often journey in groups of three or join bands of adventurers.

The Silent Ones prefer to advance their goals through subterfuge and manipulation. They are ruthless in pursuit of their goals, but neither good nor evil. They tend toward lawful ethics, but they will act chaotically if they decide the situation merits it. Member of the Silent Ones are thus either lawful neutral or neutral.

Most Silent Ones are sorcerers; their magical tradition is said to predate wizardry itself, and sorcerers by their nature leave no books that might be stolen by the uninitiated. The ability to prepare at least some spells without use of a book is required. However, there are several wizards among the Anchorites, often working as archivists for the Silent Ones' books of lore. Some of the Wanderers are bards.

The garb of the Silent Ones is typically a drab cassock of gray or brown. They generally eschew martial implements apart from daggers and staves. They rarely carry dangerous spells or corruptible magic items outside the Tower for fear they might fall into the hands of others. They treat their magical equipment as if it belongs to the order as a whole, rather than any individual within it.

Silent Ones must pledge to obey the order's tenets of secrecy and submit to the authority of the Tower and its Wyrd.

Headquarters

The Silent Tower, often called simply the Tower by the Silent Ones themselves, is the headquarters for the entire order. Hundreds of feet tall, it stands on an otherwise featureless plain less than a day's ride south of Niole Dra. It is visible from many miles away in every direction.

The Silent Tower is said by Uhas of Neheli to predate the arrival of the Neheli in the Sheldomar Valley. It is clear that such a structure would be nearly impossible to create with the magic and technology of the present day.

On the ground level are the Receiving Chambers. Above that is the Hall of Lorgyr. Next are the Cells of the Anchorites. Above those are the Archive Arcanum. The next story is the Chamber of the Elders. Above those are a collection of windowless buildings used for housing great artifacts: the Sanctum Maleficarum. Above those are the Offices of the Wyrd, and on the roof is the Chantry.

Beneath the tower are many underground structures. The first level from the surface are the Cells of the Aspirants and their Meeting Halls. The level beneath that is the Libraries and Cells of the Pedagogues. The third level is Storage Chambers and Dungeons. The fourth layer is known as the Well, and the fifth is the Cenotaph. Even the Silent Ones dare not enter the Cenotaph.

Bibliography