Monday, May 2, 2022

The Red Door

The Red Door are slavers who terrorize the countryside looking for victims to fulfill contracts with individuals and nations throughout the Realm. The organization is comprised entirely of shapechangers and it  often uses religious rites to transform its members into shapechangers upon completion of their training, though other existing shapechangers are known to join as well. Recruits spends a full three months being training in battle, espionage, the worship of Malar, and alchemy. Those recruited have to finish a final test to prove their worth to the Beastlord and their pack members by hunting and killing a loved one to show that the Red Door is their new family. Those that aren't yet shapechangers are required to eat the heart of their victim to gain the gift of changing shape from Malar himself. Those who aren't able to finish their training or fail the final test are violently murdered and feasted upon by Red Door pack members.

The leader of the Red Door is known as the Alpha and his real identity  is Luvell Der Quince, the Viscount of  Odegg. He studied with his maternal grandmother from a very young age in magic, battle, diplomacy, and blackmail. He lived with his Gram because his mother died giving birth to him and subsequently his father, Viscount Hume Der Quince, could barely stand the sight of his fourth child and was glad to send him to his grandmother to be raised. His Gram, Eviyaa Ignnon, was rumored to be a witch of considerable power and rigorously trained her grandson to one day grab the title of Viscount from his brothers and sister. To this end his grandmother gave him a copy of the vile grimoire known at the Dtoome which legend says was dictated to Kalimanzos by Iuz while still in Iggwilv's womb. After studying the tome he was an accomplished Enchanter by twelve and at fourteen was accepted as a member of the Steel Chateau, an ancient order of spies and assassins.

By nineteen he had dispatched his three siblings and became Viscount after poisoning his father. By the time he was twenty-one he had formed the Red Door and began to reveal Malar to those he chose to join his pack. Luvell tells his pack members that Malar revealed the vision of the Red Door to him during the longest night of the year when he was twenty-five. The vision was Malar's gift to Luvell after he hunted his Gram down and consumed her heart and it was that night the Beastlord transformed him into a loup garou.

Those that were shapechangers before finding the Red Door hold a position of extra prominence within the organization. Even the Alpha praises them for their abilities which they had before they served Malar. Within the organization they are treated as priests of Malar, beings who knew the Beastlord's love before joining his pack. Though the final test doesn't give them access to shape changing it helps them focus and better control when they shape change and reduces the virulence of their ability to create others of their kind. They speak of Malar's song in reverent tones and explain that Malar is very particular about who should gain these gifts and it should only be those that are chosen by him.

The Red Door are vicious and cunning slavers who zealously follow Malar's will as dictated by the Alpha. Though slaving is their primary business, Luvell's position with lands and title and his past as a member of the Steel Chateau has allowed the group to have a say in politics all throughout the Realm and its members will blackmail sovereign rulers to create and enforce rules that the Red Door benefits from. The current Claymore, the leader of the Steel Chateau, is Wenthy Perlmutter who mentored Luvell in his time with the Chateau and he has always been willing use the Red Door to her advantage as Luvell has no interest in leading the Chateau and Perlmutter knows this allowing them to keeps their relationship harmonious. In fact, on two separate occasions she has used the organization to further her standing within the Chateau and to become Claymore.

1 comment:

Russ said...

This is very cool.

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