Order of the Ibis: Within the Church of Thoth, operating out of the Arcanum of Magic, is a secret faction known as the Order of the Ibis. This order was founded almost a century ago when the last Thayan invasion of Mulhorand was underway, a group of priests attempted to discover a long forgotten portal hidden in the cellars beneath the Arcanum of Magic.
After journeying through the portal (or so they thought, the group lacked the key to the portal and so triggered a defence that plunged them all into a dream state), the group discovered an isolated pyramid in a grassy plain where the god Thoth spoke to them and imparted his divine plan. They awoke again on the floor of the cellars of the Arcanum of Magic, the Thayan invasion was over, the group vowed to enact Thoth’s will.
Since that time the Order of the Ibis have been working to make registered wizards eligible to join the Church of Thoth as full counterparts (currently registered wizards are automatically considered acolytes but may progress no further than the third rank in the Trials of Thoth. Members of the Order of the Ibis have themselves secretly been learning to master magic like their wizard counterparts.
Watchful Order: Named in honour of the Ire Pharaoh (the Watchful Kings) who reigned briefly from 922 DR to 929 DR, this faction believes that the Church of Thoth should reign supreme over Mulhorand, taking the places of power that the Church of Horus-Re currently holds.
The faction is led by Kethphron Derlaunt and seeks to win favour by using the knowledge of the Church of Thoth to win a war against the Red Wizards and retake Thay for Mulhorand.
The Tome Wardens: This innocuous sounding faction is comprised of only the most elite magic users in the Church of Thoth, and are widely regarded as “unusual” by other priests within the church. The group can be joined by invitation only, members gain access to the Tome Warden only facilities hidden in some of the oldest cities in Mulhorand, but in return one must abide by their strange rule – practicing magic only by night (it is claimed this is in accordance with the sacred rites of Jhonshu whom they claim to revere).
The truth about this group is that they are almost entirely devoted to the pursuit of necromancy (a magical art that has been illegal and punishable by death since Ra was Divine Pharaoh). Members of the order were once much more powerful, but the order split millennia ago and a large portion of the group fled north to the frontier land of Thesgaba.
Much of the order’s knowledge is acquired from the Book of the Dead, which the senior members of the order have near unrestricted access to, since their primary duty is to guard the book (hence the name).
Dogma / Motivation / Goals
Membership / Recruiting
Words not Swords: The Watchful Order have been busy this last 30 years combing through the vaults and archives of the Church of Thoth looking for magic that will give them the advantage over the Red Wizards of Thay. Kethphron Derlaunt has used his influence with his cousin; the Divine Incarnation of Thoth, and accessed some of the most secret archives of Thoth, discovering that during the Orcgate Wars the high priests of Thoth attempted to activate the stone colossi and send them against the qabasen swarming the Netarand.
Kethphron Derlaunt spent decades searching for new information to help him succeed where the high priests of the past failed (the stone colossi ran amok for a year and destroyed the settlement of Sampranasz). He discovered just such a scroll last year from a Durpari trader who supposedly acquired it from an expedition into the ruins around Lake Azulduth. Using the scroll, Kethphron believes he can activate a single stone colossus as a test and send it north to the River of Dawn.
Unfortunately the stone colossus is no longer responding to commands and is now wandering around the Menesankh destroying buildings and any who try to stop it. Worse still, other stone colossi around the original are also activating and every week more begin rampaging across the countryside.
Shayrcheoth (Neutral, Human – Mulan (Lich), Magic User 10): This 2,500+ year old secret of the Church of Thoth is a potential for much shame and dishonor among this organization. Thoth and some of his descendants have been allowed to study the Book of the Dead and attempt to learn it’s secrets, few have been allowed to study the Book of the Dead and none are allowed to study the 26 scattered pages since Shayrcheoth.
Shayrcheoth studied these 26 pages alongside his grandfather, and from the words he learned secrets about both life and death. Attempting to craft what he believed would make him immortal by safely securing his soul away from his body, Shayrcheoth instead accidentally transformed himself into a lich of sorts. He was locked away to keep him secret and prevent him from harming others (his touch drains life energy), and he has remained isolated in a cell (there are no doors, only a small hole in the wall), with only the Tome Wardens to converse with.
Shayrcheoth has long since descended into madness, but his whisperings have imparted some of his learned secrets to those who would listen. His body has crumbled to dust and now he can coalesce that dust into a skull shape that speaks when he desires.
Sphere of Influence
The Book of the Dead: The Book of the Dead is one of the final Trials of Thoth, a set of herculean tasks required to advance in the Church of Thoth. The book itself is rather misnamed as it provides insights into healing and life preserving magic. It is only permitted for the most senior of priests to study this book, and that permission must be provided by the Incarnation of Thoth himself.
The book contains an understanding of language and magic relating to healing and the preservation of life unparalleled in any society on Toril today. Obtaining this understanding takes decades of study and an impressive intellect, and is one of the reasons that the Trials of Thoth requires the study and understanding of this book (at least in part).