Discuss (0)  

Guardians of Civilization

Author: Faelinn Shadowmoon
Date: June 1011

Guardians of Civilization - the Benevolent Order of Wellmen


By Faelinn Shadowmoon
June 1011


The Wellmen are a mysterious but very old organization. As with all secret societies, not much is known about them. This is by design as the Order sees it as their duty to use secrecy to better aid them in their task: ensuring the survival of civilization.

We must stand together to fight the Infinite Dark to stand any chance of survival.

The time for secrecy has come to a close.

History

Early history in many cultures is not written down and what tales remain from that time are handed down through oral traditions. The earliest written mention of the Benevolent Order of the Wellmen is the document entitled “On the Sealing of Bedlam” speculated to be written in what is believed to be the year 56 of the common Realms calendar. This document chronicles the “Great Work” done by the Wellmen which was the sealing of the plane of Bedlam.

It is speculated that the Wellmen have existed in one form or another since the dawn of mortal civilization, particularly of that of the humans. Civilization, knowledge, and society are things generally attributed only to higher sentient creatures. In a discussion with a member of the Order, he claimed that civilization was the only thing separating men from beasts.

Organization

The Wellmen are organized by family, tracing their lineage through biological relatives. Cousins, children and even those adopted into the Order through a patron become one of the line. Should they choose to exercise their right by blood or by patron, any of the line can become a member of the Order. There were twelve original families of Wellmen, though some were thought to be lost of all time. Even if one family member exists, the line can be rekindled and reconnected to the Order of Wellmen.

The Wellmen are governed by the council known as the Conclave of the Mind. This decision-making body answers to the nominal leader of the Wellmen known as the Soul. It is believed that the position of the Soul is inherited through a specific bloodline, documented by hints in Wellmen documents about Bedlam. A position known as the Mouth speaks for the Conclave and disseminates orders to the Wellmen.

The line of Banecroft has the strongest claim to the Soul for they are scions of Rubis Banecroft, heir to the Soul of his generation who was destroyed by an Eater of Memories. The line continued through siblings, cousins and marriages for generations. The most well know of this line are Baron Sir Diamond Banecroft, Magus Savyne Banecroft and their son.


Who are the Wellmen?

Who is a member of this secret society? That is hard to say. Members have been know to keep their involvement with the order a secret even from their husbands and wives. Wellmen have been known to carry their secrets to the grave rather than divulge information about the order and who else may be a part of it.

As stated before, there are families of Wellmen each tracing their lineage to before the first fight against Bedlam. Some families have been well documented in papers pertaining to Bedlam such as the Banecroft and Hamofel lines. Others remain obscured and well-hidden unless you know what to look for, but they have also been documented. Samuel Cowperthwaite has become the “face” for the Wellmen in dealing with the adventurers of the Realms. He was first met in Chimeron in 1008 posing as a merchant with a fabulous treasure dungeon. Since then he has been the known contact person in dealing with most things Wellmen related. A friendly face for the Wellmen to engage with the adventurers of the Realms.

The other well known Wellman is a woman known as Maudlin. She was first encountered in 1005 on the expedition to open Bedlam. Many of the initial documents on Bedlam and information about the Wellmen were found from her as she had “borrowed” documents from the Order. Prior to the expedition, Maudlin leaked a serious of private missives from the Wellmen message courier system. This line of communication became known as the “Maudlin line” and was monitored after the opening of Bedlam. Though Maudlin hasn’t been seen since 1005, there is at least one agent of the Wellmen who is looking for those who have used it in the past. Anyone who gained access to those private missives and those who ventured with Maudlin from Perdian to open Bedlam should beware of a man named Dinas Kingsman. No further warning was given about who this man is or what his intentions are.

Presently known Wellmen operatives:

Samuel Cowperwaite
Cover: merchant
Base of Operations: Chimeron
Status: alive

Gene Fitzgibben
Cover: author
Base of Operations: unknown
Status: alive

Iapeth
Cover: merchant
Base of Operations: City of Ivory
Status: alive

Maudlin
Cover: unknown
Base of Operations: unknown
Status: unknown

Gad
Cover: merchant
Base of Operations: City of Ivory
Status: unknown


Suspected Wellmen and Operatives:


Dinas Kingsman
Cover: unknown
Base of Operations: unknown
Status: alive

Erastus
Cover: unknown
Base of Operations: City of Ivory
Status: unknown


Deceased Wellmen (First War with Bedlam)

Gerald Harden
Cover: unknown
Base of Operations: unknwon
Status: deceased

Stewart
Cover: unknown
Base of Operations: unknwon
Status: deceased

Rodic Hamofel
Cover: unknown
Base of Operations: unknwon
Status: deceased

Phiranos Hamofel
Cover: unknown
Base of Operations: unknwon
Status: deceased

Ruis Banecroft
Cover: unknown
Base of Operations: unknwon
Status: deceased


Bases of Operation

n the fall of 1010, the adventurers were allowed into a complex known as Wellmen Central. The means of getting there were obscured as were the means for leaving the complex afterwards. While this complex might have been a central location, there remain satellite bases in operation in both Chimeron and the City of Ivory.

The Wellmen have been allowed to operate unmolested in the City of Ivory and the lands of Ivory by securing their missions through legitimate merchants and guilds. When their presence was made known the the City Council, it was decided so long as they worked for the betterment of the City and did not violate any laws they were allowed to continue operations.

Places of learning and knowledge such as churches, libraries and universities or schools can be homes to Wellmen and their agents and have been confirmed as such. The Library of Ivory as well as the Library in Chimeron have been havens for Wellmen agents in their goal to preserve knowledge. Merchant guild, caravans, and even adventuring groups have been used to conceal and transport Wellmen operatives as they make their way across the Realms.

Known Operations of the Wellmen:

Project Rosebud
Purpose: unknown - Gerald Harden was assigned to it

Project Gatekeeper
Purpose: unknown - last status known 1005/pre-reopening Bedlam

Project Bookwalker
Purpose: Utilize the Book of the Moon artifact to combat Bedlam abroad.

Project Nightshade
Purpose: Bypass possible Skinwalker interference for full disclosure.



Tools of the Trade

While the Wellmen cannot be everywhere at once, they keep track of information and monitor situations through agents. These agents can be petitioners to the Order, family members, or adventures either with or with out the knowledge of who they are truly working for. Wellmen have been known to monitor their operatives through magical scrying as well as warding meeting between agents..

During the first battle with the Infinite Dark, the Wellmen created weapons to combat the growing darkness. Weapons such as the Light Cannon were constructed to better combat bois. Caches of weapons were stored in secret locations, such as the tomb of Tristan the LightKeeper, were scattered all over the Realms. Some were lost to Bedlam or the memories of the Order. Others are suspected to remain in controll by the Wellmen and have yet to be fully utilized.

As well as physical weapons, the Order of the Wellmen have another powerful tool at their disposal: faith. The worship of Aurora, Goddess of Light, is held in high regard among many of the Order. Samuel Cowperwaite attended a meeting of the Church of Aurora in December 1010 to keep his fellow Wellmen of faith appraised of the situation. Samuel admitted that there are some who have harnessed more arcane and dangerous practices of Auroran faith. Those Aurorans seek to utilize whatever tools they have at their disposal, including personal sacrifices and blood magic, and may have fallen to the despair of the Path of Shadow. There is an old Auroran saying “The Light is always brightest just before it goes out”. It is feared that some have given the ultimate sacrifice to fight Bedlam even if just to gain a small temporary advantage.



The Heralds of Destiny

Not much is known about the Heralds of Destiny. They were first mentioned in a document recovered from the Black and White Masquerade in the fall of 1009, but first “came into play” so to speak at the annual Feast of Chimeron in 1009.

The Heralds of Destiny are dangerous creatures, heralding a time when the world becomes unstable and the future is no longer clearly divined. They are great boons in the fight against the Infinite Dark, but as more come into play the harder and more impossible the task to defeat the Dark becomes. The Heralds of Destiny are the safeguards that civilization has put into place in order to preserve itself against the flowing tides of Bedlam. The Wellmen have hinted that the appearance of the Heralds is a signal that the civilization and society is in danger.

The document recovered in the vault at the Black and White in 1009 was translated as follows.

“After a visit from my young friend. I am sorry that Emerauld had to leave so soon. Her young company is a welcome joy to these tired bones. She is still but a girl, though, and she would not be delayed. I have to wonder, is Emerauld truly a daughter of Banecroft? A descendant of Wayland? Is she a lost connection to two of the first? Regardless, her fate is clearly entwined with our own. I wish my divinations proved more clear.
  • **

    Gem stems from warrior

    Twice must it fall

    Risen the third, the sunset is marked

    Creation does battle

    One falls or all

    The shadow selves must know to follow

    The Emerald Path is only for them.
  • **

    Further thoughts: could Emerauld be a Herald of Destiny?

    Clan Defender – she is no warrior.

    Empowering Soul – possible but she is still young.

    Giver of Life – she has greed, so this cannot be her.

    Kindred Spirit – not until she knows herself.

    Light Keeper – she does not seek to protect knowledge, but seek it – there are better options.

    Lucid Dreamer – the most likely for she seeks information which was lost.

    Mercy Bringer – her heart will harden beyond this, or all. That much I can see.

    Spear of the Just – can she kill so willingly?

    Taker of Death – what man can take this role?

    Voice of Reason – not so early in life.

    Weaver of Names – she shows no control over creation.
  • **

    Emerauld’s story has only begun. Would that it began sooner, so I could see it through to the end. If only I could meet the followers of The Emerald Path in-person, I have so many questions for them. On my honor, a Wellman, I will set the remainder of my spells to be of aid once I may help no longer.”


    The author of this work is unknown, but was a friend to the young woman Emeraude Banecroft, the cousin of Rubis Banecroft. At the time of writing this (June 1011), two of the Heralds of Destiny have been activated.

    In the creation of the ZulaBois, Zula Darkwillow became tainted with a darkness that threatened to consume him utterly and create a living gate of darkness. After brainstorming and failed ideas, it was decided to utilize an artifact known as a Tear of Aurora to cleanse the darkness within Zula. This came with the side effect that Zula would forever be changed and become of the Light. Zula was ritually infused with the essence of the Tear and, unknowingly, the Herald of Destiny known as the Light Keeper was activated. This took place at the Feast of Chimeron in 1009 and the first of the Heralds was put into play out of order bypassing the “unlocking” mechanism. Zula’s duty as Light Keeper is to preserve knowledge so that it may be kept from the Infinite Dark and not be consumed.

    The second Herald of Destiny to be activated is Clan Defender. This“unlock” condition was the only one known for the Heralds. This was unwittingly met, for none of the Heralds can be “forced” into play. While searching for a Lost Rune in Paradise, Laurante D’Rhian of Folkestone gave shelter to a small girl by using a shield. The consequences of the “unlock” being met on that snowy day weren’t realized until weeks later. At the assault on Wayland fortress and the final battle against the smith, the Church of Vandor opted to stay behind to fight off the sweeping tides of Bedlam so that others could escape. In making that choice, the Church of Vandor was activated as the Clan Defender. The Church stood their ground and prevented Bedlam from claiming the live of those fleeing.

    The Emerald Path

    It is unknown what exactly the Emerald Path is exactly. It is thought to be named after Emeraude Banecroft, cousin of Rubis Banecroft, who walked a path of discovery long ago.

    As the heroes from another realm embark on the journey of discovery along the Emerald Path, the information gained transfers to a copy of the book located at the Broken Harp Tavern in Perriden.

    Not much is known about the heroes from another world, but they can sometimes “see” though our eyes and “know” what we know. A trip to Perriden might reveal more information to anyone curious. There in the Broken Harp Tavern, Emeraude’s journal is being revealed.

    Author’s final notes

    I sometimes pretend or imply that I know more than I actually do. This time, I am sad to admit I don’t know everything we need to win this war. I know enough. I know that the knowledge cannot be allowed to be take from those who wish to fight the Infinite Dark and that it cannot be allowed to die with one person. In my three documents On the Infinite Dark, The Many Woven Branches, and Guardians of Civilization I have tried to find how Bedlam affects others, who might be our enemies and allies, and how we could combat this threat..

    How do you combat the threat of a Skin Walker taking all the information and keeping it from those who would fight? You put the information for all to see. Information can be a powerful tool or a deadly weapon. The time for secrecy has passed. If you have read my documents, you know what I do. I suspect there will be some who will not be pleased at the revelation of secrets and my life might be forfeit in their eyes. I would give those of the family business the honor of introducing themselves first but time is of the essence.

    You are part of my extended family, but times are changing and cooperation is needed. I have done your work hand in hand with my own for the preservation of knowledge and life. I’ve taken the advice and doing the family’s work again, but in my own way.

    If we are to survive, we must do so in the light.

    I pray that those shrouded in mystery will come forward to all and share what they know.

    I pray that it will be enough.

    In closing I leave you with the words of Gerald Harden, a former Wellmen on his deathbed, to think about.

    “I am a Wellman to the end, and I did what I did to save humanity. I can think of no nobler goal. We were right to tell them to fear us, Stewart. We are the enemy - more so than any king, or demon, or monster. We have lost our light and been consumed by the shadows we sought to protect others against. This was the only solution.”

    ~Faelinn Shadowmoon
    High Priestess of Aurora
    Lady of the City of Ivory
    Knight of the Crown
    First Lady of Faerie
    Lady of Darkvale
    Magus of the Realms
    Kathrani-To
    Ichigiritorrennin-Ma
  • Created by Faelinn Shadowmoon (Leanne Micciche) at 06-10-11 12:20 PM
    Last Modified by Faelinn Shadowmoon (Leanne Micciche) at 06-11-11 08:31 PM