The Hunt Neverending
Beliefs and Methods
As Elders and High Elders died and were initiated over the years, there were changes in the methods for carrying out their mission. There were times when the Veründelier were more actively militaristic, and times when they went decades without ever summoning their armies. There were periods of heavy influence in the political sectors, and times when their actions took the form of guerilla warfare against slavers.
One constant of the Veründelier was their desire to remain hidden from the world. Throughout their history, they have taken constant steps to remove themselves from the public eye. They are known to some, often their symbol is at least somewhat recognized by common people. Most leaders are somewhat aware of their presence, as for a while they had a method of sending an assassin to speak with kings, or any leader, the night they took power. The assassin would make their way into the leader’s private chambers and would speak to the king, telling them that the Veründelier were a brotherhood who were, above all else, a friend to freedom. The would tell the king that they would be friends there in times of need should the king remain a friend to their own people. If they failed their people, they would warn, the same assassin would come for them until they had suffered as badly as they had made others suffer. Though this method of directly contacting leaders of nations was not used throughout their entire history, this tactic made them a known entity to leaders and high-ranking officials of most nations. This had its benefits, as it gained them respect and reputation, but it also backfired on occasion exposing Veründelier safe houses and bureaus. They take care to keep from over exposing themselves to the commoners who they are sworn to protect, as they believe if in-depth knowledge of their existence and methods were known across the world, then not only would people begin to act rashly in their name, but people may come to them to lead their governments. They themselves could easily become the very tyranny they are dedicated to fighting, and knowledge of this possibility keeps them from placing any of their own in direct positions of power.
Veründelier meditate often, for they are spiritual people. Though they do not wholly worship any deity, their High Elders are believed to have some historical connection to Ioun, the goddess of knowledge, and, at least once, were reported to have some sort of exchange with Vecna, the god of evil secrets. While there are clerics among their ranks and there is considerable diversity among their opinions of the divine, all members of the Veründelier universally understand the virtue of clear thought and a clear mind. They view combat as a form of meditation, and will often duel each other using ritual wooden swords to not only stay in practice, but to clear the mind in times of troubles.
The Veründelier are skilled warriors, and have had armies at their disposal throughout their history. In an objective to stay in touch with communities, many Veründelier soldiers would be instructed to live a civilian, peasant, lifestyle among the commoners. This would allow the Veründelier to keep in touch with the thoughts and actions of the general populous, while also having soldiers ready for deployment at the arrival of a messenger. In a few hours, the Veründelier could raise an army in numbers exceeding 200 men anywhere in the world, with more on the way. While 200 may not seem like many, it is said that one Veründelier solider is equitable to 100 of the average enemy. That said, their adversaries are often more than average, and the Veründelier have not gone without their battlefield losses. Though this mass military power is nearly always at the ready, it is rarely summoned, and will only fight head-on with an opponent in the openness of a battlefield if, after meditation and discussion, there is clearly no other way. They prefer to keep to the shadows, quietly disposing of their enemies in whatever way they deem acceptable.
History of the Veründelier
The Veründelier were first organized by a man of the name Eamana. History has lost track of exactly when and where he lived, but it is generally thought to be several years after the Dawn War. Eamana began life as a commoner, slave to the oppression and corruption which plagued the world he saw around him. One day, after a lifetime of suffering and pain, he took up arms against his oppressors not in the name of himself, but in the name of those around him who had suffered in equal or in excess to himself. During the short battle Eamana was captured, along with several of his compatriots, and as an example to others their eyes were cut from their heads. His blindness did not weaken him, he discovered, but it allowed him to see clearly. Through the absence of his sight, he found that for the first time his eyes were truly open. To see nothing was to see everything. The others who had been blinded found the same truth. This is the origin of the blindfolds worn by Veründelier warriors, and the hoods worn by all else. The eye insignia worn on those hoods symbolizes the use of the mind's eye rather than the physical eye, as the physical eye can be corrupted by others while the mind's eye can only be corrupted by oneself. Looking to the world around them, amidst the destruction of the Dawn War, they saw no force actively fighting for the freedom of the common people. Though many factions, governments, guilds, and armies existed with the power to fight oppression, they all focused on naught but personal gain and material possessions. Eamana and his fellows became the first Elders of the Brotherhood of the Veründelier. Since then, the brotherhood has expanded widely but their mission has not changed. Shortly after their formation, the so-far small Brotherhood decided to turn their efforts away from fighting on the seemingly endless battlefields and focused on humanitarian efforts, reportedly one of the only groups to do so. There is no formal record of the Veründelier in any form until after the war had ended, but according to oral history they had been operating well before the establishment of the Embercrest Empire.