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AKWeaponsSpecialist
So, I'm playing Dragonfall, and I run into a group that talks themselves up quite a bit. I pay it no heed, because EVERYONE in the shadows is so wrapped up in knowing everything that it's not much to set them apart. Then, playing again in Director's Cut, I do a run for them, and let's suffice to say it's designed to blow up in your face from the start. Who the Hell are these guys, and do they still exist as of 5e?
Sengir
I'm guessing it's supposed to be the Black Lodge, which up until 4th was supposed to be an ultra-secret behind the scenes conspiracy nobody was even sure existed...then in late 4th they suddenly turned into comic book villains whose existence was common knowledge. The only interesting aspect about them is the theory that they are remains of the Denairastas clan, basically the human equivalent of immortal elves.
AKWeaponsSpecialist
QUOTE (Sengir @ Dec 31 2014, 08:00 AM) *
I'm guessing it's supposed to be the Black Lodge, which up until 4th was supposed to be an ultra-secret behind the scenes conspiracy nobody was even sure existed...then in late 4th they suddenly turned into comic book villains whose existence was common knowledge. The only interesting aspect about them is the theory that they are remains of the Denairastas clan, basically the human equivalent of immortal elves.


Ah, okay. Thank you for your help.
Ryu
I┤m running an ED cross-over campaign very loosely based on this idea:
QUOTE (Synner @ Nov 17 2006, 09:43 AM) *
The following section is a summary of what was dropped from the Game Info section of Loose Alliances on the Vigilia Evangelica. It remains unpublished and hence unofficial. I've been saving it in the hope of returning to the Vigilia and the Lodge some day but... I'm not sure I'll be able to revisit them anytime soon, so here's a peek at what I was thinking.

BLACK SECRET
One exception to the Vigilia Evangelica's rule of absolute secrecy is the Black Lodge, for the Lodge and the Vigilia share a secret history. Unbeknownst to anyone outside the order, the Lodge's founders were once the caretakers of one of the original Aquinae Vaults. Some time during the Middle Ages, a brief mana spike released something caged within one of the relics under the Vault's care. An ancient spirit was unleashed and insane from millennia of captivity went on a vengeful rampage, ravaging the abbey it was kept under, killing many of its Black Monks (Cistercians, yep that's where the "Black" in Black Lodge comes from) and Templar knight wardens. However, having depleted its energies, the entity was forced to take refuge in one of the survivors by possessing him and merging their minds as the spike began to ebb.

During convalescence the man became privy to flashes of insight, memories of a secret history of the world. Visions of an Age when the remnant spirit had been a rebel, a Prometheus who had challenged the immortal powers that had then ruled the world and had been brought low and chained for eternity. The monk dreamt that those powers had also survived into this world and were destined to one day return. The spirit weakened urged him to warn the others, to warn the world. Other survivors found enough confirmation of his visions in documents and pre-Classical relics at the Vault that they decided to take the revelations to Rome.

When the then-Pope granted audience and allowed the survivors to speak, the weakened spirit attempted to reveal itself to the Pontiff to warn him of the impending danger. The Pope hadn't realized this was a case of possession and ordered his guards to detain the possessed man and those brethren that had been exposed to him ´┐Ż so that the Inquisition and the Vigilia could perform an exorcism. The Papal Guard was unprepared for even the weakened spirit and his nigh-invulnerable host. Killing several guards, the man escaped using the spirit's power to influence his brethren to flee with him. The fugitives returned to the Melk vault* ahead of their pursuers and took everything they could, convinced that given time Rome would understand the true danger´┐Ż meanwhile someone must prepare for the war that would follow the return of the Immortals. The escape cost the spirit much of its remaining energies and before falling semi-dormant it offered a Spirit Pact to its vessel, one that would ensure it would be survive to execute its revenge.

Meanwhile, the Vatican did not come round, and the Pope ordered the "traitors" hunted down and burned at the stake. The Vigilia, stung by the betrayal of its sacred duty, obliged bringing all its power to bear. The purges that spelled the end of the original Knights Templar are well known, the inquisition of many Cistercians less so. Despite their best efforts, the possessed and his brethren escaped with the help of friends in the regular clergy´┐Ż escaped to plan the future, the spirit's pact keeping the man with the vision alive to become known as the Penultimate Master of the Black Lodge.

So it came to pass that the Black Lodge was ready for the return of magic. It has built its own far-reaching shadowy network of influence, fear and power in preparation for a shadow war against the returning Powers. It has manipulated and maneuvered its pawns and agents into positions of power and influence in the highest circles of political, corporate, and of course thaumaturgic power´┐Żafter all fire can be fought with fire. It has crushed opposition and innocents in its path to power, seeing them as lesser casualties and collateral damage in the great war to come.

Unfortunately for the Lodge, the true story of the schism with the Vigilia has become buried in centuries of bad blood and enemity. Long-forgotten the reason for the Lodge's "treason" all that remains is the memory of the betrayal, to the point that the Vigilia and the Church continue to hunt down the Lodge wherever they come upon its interests ´┐Ż and remain fearful that the Lodge may make a move for one of the remaining Aquinae Vaults and the secrets they harbor.

* The references to the destruction of Melk abbey (both here and in Loose Alliances) are historical, but they're also a tip of the hat to one of my favorite books, one which was inspirational for a lot of the material on the Vigilia.
Grinder
QUOTE (Sengir @ Dec 31 2014, 06:00 PM) *
I'm guessing it's supposed to be the Black Lodge, which up until 4th was supposed to be an ultra-secret behind the scenes conspiracy nobody was even sure existed...then in late 4th they suddenly turned into comic book villains whose existence was common knowledge. The only interesting aspect about them is the theory that they are remains of the Denairastas clan, basically the human equivalent of immortal elves.


It was mentioned in one of the Threats-books before late 4e, wasn't it?
Ryu
The first one, yes.
Sengir
QUOTE (Grinder @ Jan 4 2015, 12:12 PM) *
It was mentioned in one of the Threats-books before late 4e, wasn't it?

Yes, with the story of a mage who uncovers the tiniest trace of something odd and consequently gets told to either join up or get brainwiped.
Orffen
QUOTE (Sengir @ Jan 1 2015, 04:00 AM) *
I'm guessing it's supposed to be the Black Lodge, which up until 4th was supposed to be an ultra-secret behind the scenes conspiracy nobody was even sure existed...then in late 4th they suddenly turned into comic book villains whose existence was common knowledge. The only interesting aspect about them is the theory that they are remains of the Denairastas clan, basically the human equivalent of immortal elves.


Whereabouts in 4th do they turn up again? I have a huge backlog of books to work through...
Sengir
Conspiracy Theories, Dirty Tricks, the former one taking the price for not just treating the question of the lodge's existence about as controversial as the existence of the Draco foundation, but also having Shadowtalkers talk about the Fourth World as if it was the most normal thing...
Adarael
The Lodge and Luca Duerr in Dragonfall are definitely the Black Lodge, yes. Direct from Threats.
Ryu
An organisation of that size will be known to exist - if not what it is up to. Much like other treat entries really.
Wounded Ronin
QUOTE (Ryu @ Jan 27 2015, 02:50 AM) *
An organisation of that size will be known to exist - if not what it is up to. Much like other treat entries really.


Treat entries threaten the world by giving out so much candy everyone develops type 2 diabetes.
Wounded Ronin
When I hear "black lodge" I think of Twin Peaks and checkered floors and dwarves.
Sengir
QUOTE (Ryu @ Jan 27 2015, 07:50 AM) *
An organisation of that size will be known to exist - if not what it is up to. Much like other treat entries really.

Well, the stick of the BL in Threats was that it's not
Ryu
QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ Jan 27 2015, 07:53 AM) *
Treat entries threaten the world by giving out so much candy everyone develops type 2 diabetes.

I do believe sugar addiction even made it into one of the NAN books...

Sorry for missing an h.
Adarael
QUOTE (Wounded Ronin @ Jan 26 2015, 10:54 PM) *
When I hear "black lodge" I think of Twin Peaks and checkered floors and dwarves.


I'm not certain, but I'd be surprised if it wasn't supposed to be a nod to Twin Peaks.
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