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Brought To Light:by Richard Butler
The Darokinian Illuminati
From an incomplete manuscript
by Author Unknown
(As translated by Pliny the Larger, 989 AC)
INTRODUCTION by Pliny the Larger
What follows is a translation of a manuscript that was discovered in the cornerstone of a building in Darokin City, Darokin.
A worker wrenched the upper block loose and there was a great in-passing of air into the cornerstone beneath (this as related to me). What was found inside was a metal strongbox, emblazoned with a symbol of the Sun and below that the words "Breathe Together"- a phrase whose meaning is still not understood to me. Beside the box was a great toad that, I'm told, uttered a blasphemy just before it exploded, killing the worker who released it from it's long imprisonment. I shall not now, nor ever, repeat the uttered blasphemy.
The building, the Grey House by name, was demolished to make way for a public house, which some unknown wag of, no doubt, low upbringing and bad taste monikered the "Exploding Toad". The only remaining evidence of the existence of the so-called "Grey House" is this manuscript of which I translate for you, the reader. All identifying markings of the house have vanished and no one spoken to concerning the establishment seems to have ever known what took place behind it's once-gilded doors. The list of conjectures by locals on the subject is far too long too be made mention of here.
Know this, dear reader, that this translation (from an obscure Glantrian tongue known to some as "Scots Gaelic") has brought about a number of threats upon my life both veiled and overt. With the publication and distribution of this document I fear my life is all but forfeit. I feel that I can no longer act against the forces that are now conspiring against me.
Pray for me, dear reader, as I pray for all those before me who have lain eyes upon this infernal text. As I pray for YOU!
- (signed) Pliny the Larger of Blackpoint, Duchy of Machetos, Empire of Thyatis.
1. The Illuminati's Mithraic Roots
To understand the Illuminati one must understand the Path of Lies- the code by which every Hulean lives...
The concept of folding the truth back upon itself- this notion was not introduced to the men of old Darokin by the Huleans, but by the same Sindhi priests who introduced Mithraism to them. It would be some years before they would encounter the inhabitants of Hule...
The Mithraic tradition began in Sind more than a thousand years ago...
The structure, ceremonies and trappings of the Illuminati are borrowed from those of the ancient Sindhi priests of Mitra (as Mithras was known to them). The cult of Mitra, as practiced in Sind, bears little, if no, resemblance to Mithraism as practiced in Thyatis. The connection to the Sindhi Mitra cult has long since been lost to the clerics of Mithras- but not to the Illuminati who have exploited those few remaining similarities in the past and still do on occasion today...
Mithraism in Thyatis today is a mystery religion, practised in seclusion in caves and hidden temples and bears little resemblance to its roots in Sind...
The Platinum Code
The code of the Illuminati that can unlock untold riches and undreamed of power for those that learn its secret. A magical platinum disk that, when turned produces a light of words that reflect a sunbeam of knowledge into a cone of dreams...
The code is a mathematical equation written in an ancient and obscure tongue (archaic whatever) and is secretly the basis for all money matters in Darokin. Those who mastered the Code use its complex mathematical equations to predict certain future events...
2. The Illuminated Republic of Darokin
Lake Amsorak and Itheldown Island
The Twisted Tower- Citadel of the Illuminati
This is where their (annual/bi-annual/quarterly?) summit takes place. Rumours among the Illuminati point to "Old man Ithel" himself (thought to be long-dead) as the secret leader of the Illuminati...
The Darokin Diplomatic Corps
The DDC is essentially just another name for the Illuminati...
The Illuminated Houses
What dark secrets does this house of evil hold?
The Necronomicon- the Nithian "Book of Dead Names", translated into the ancient Milenian tongue by hands unknown and into Ylari by one Abd Al-Azrad...
"He who has the rules makes the gold..."
The Illuminatus Council
Over the main doors of the "Grey House" is an inscription that reads "Breathe Together". Those doors are gold-plated and feature a bas-relief of the symbol of the illuminati- the all-seeing eye in the sun, an image borrowed from the early Mithraics.
The Malpheggi Swamp
The Treasure of the Irumnith Farphan Rock
The treasure of the ancient kings of Sind are buried here, thousands of feet beneath the waves...
Of this horrible... thing, I dare speak no more, save that I write even this much at the risk of my own life.
The Illuminati Abroad
The Broken Lands
3. LIES (wherein the truth is told)
The Hollow World
The product of an overzealous imagination...
The Two Moons
A whimsical fantasy...
Conveniently, no proof of this place exists
Paranoid delusions of isolationist elves...
The Flying City
Tiny men called "gnomes" are said to fly upon large birds, dead or undead...
4. TRUTH (wherein lies are spread and dissension harvested)
The Atruaghin Plateau
The mysterious red-skinned men of the plateau- clearly the result of poisoning from the "red steel" of which the plateau is composed... Deep beneath the plateau lies yet another "clan"- pale of skin and possessing of power similar to, yet quite unlike that which we understand as "magic". They literally combine human flesh with the type of objects one would find in the days of Blackmoor- devices of metal fused to skin and bone. Ambulatory bodies with no head to speak of. Horrors untold...
The REAL Alphatians
On the island continent of Belissaria, there exists the Great Tree of Magic from which all Alphatian wizards grow...
The Five Shires
Clearly under the aegis of an unseen force, great and terrifying invisible powers roam the woods of the shires. The body of the great Albantadu lies buried beneath the shires, projecting oale upwards upon all who would penetrate its borders
You Came From Space
Before Mystara was populated by man, there were two vast stones suspended in the ether, bigger than the biggest thing in all the world. These two great stones- Telemenn and Wukh, by name- ground together slowly for thousands upon thousands of years until a water of air was formed. The water, which was bigger than the biggest thing in all the world, slowly gathered itself into what the Sages of Lost Ythmathus called the Great Droppe and the Great Droppe fell through the ether into the great mouth at the top of the world and what sprang forth from the orifice on the other side of the world was the form of MAN!
5. Machinations of the Illuminati
The Storm Soldiers of Hattias- Well armed puppet army that can be easily swayed to eliminate any number of troublesome factions and individuals. Good for "vanishing" any pesky Illuminati pretenders in the Empire.
The Gnome Caravan- Illuminati codeword for their gnomish spy network. Has ties to Serraine. While a "real" caravan exists in The Duchy of Karameikos, the spy network has tendrils throughout the Known World.
Supplying arms and money to the Black Eagle Barony- Also good for controlling passage through the Gulf of Halag
Something in the Five Shires
Supplying arms to both Sind AND Hule
Keeping Glantri occupied with the Ethengari Khanates. They have proven to be useful whenever nosy Glantrians got a little too close for comfort.
Keeping Ylaruam occupied with the Vikings. It wastes the resources of the Northern Reaches and provides a diversion for inquisitive Ylari.
The Heldannic Knights- drawing their attention to the Freeholds proved to be a simplicity in itself. Immortal-driven militant cults are very hard to control
Fouling any attempted expeditions to the Hollow World.
The Cult of Halav
"The King in Yellow"- A hoax that perhaps succeeded a little *too* well. This one surprisingly backfired when a *real* King in Yellow play was performed in Darokin City to disastrous effect.
Supplying smoke-powder weapons to the Clan of the Viper (NOT the Tiger Clan).
And there you have it in all it's unvarnished glory. You'll notice references to things specific to my campaign (i.e. Mithraism) and are free to ignore them. Any comments/suggestions? And, no, I don't need any snotty comments about my spelling, thank you.