The Creed of the Jeweled Dagger, most commonly referred to as “The Creed”, is a secret association presumably formed in Marali. Little is know about their origins or goals to date. It is known, however, that the group is composed mainly by rogues, or at least by people with training handling daggers. Their last known hideout was a complex of several rooms in the shape of hexagons underneath the lich temple, at Skull Island.
Origins and the information from Adelphius Kang’s Diary
The first known reference in the archives comes from the restored diary of Commander Kang, in the Red Moon of 422. Later that year, it is referred that Emma McTyr found their “new” (at the time) location, “not far from Aborek”. It is unknown what their relation was, if any, with the Hauksen family, another of Marali’s problems at the time. In these entries, it is clear that elements of the Creed have murdered many Maralians, but no reason is advanced to motivate these acts.
Despite the bad condition of the manuscript, it is possible to infer that the military organised and attack, led by Valencia Falvo, during the Harvest Moon of 422. From Kang’s record, we learn that they annihilated most of the rogues, recovering one of their objects of cult, “the ceremonial dagger”, whose use is, to this day, unknown. With only one loss from the Maralian Military side, Markov, the Commanders declared the Creed defeated and gone.
One disturbing detail, however, is hinted at in the pages of the diary: a possible romantic tie between Commander Adams and a woman from the Creed. It is due to this relationship that, presumably, the late Commander would have begged Falvo to spare the woman, rather than beheading her, as were Kang’s orders.
For a while, the diary goes on, with no mention of the Creed or this mysterious woman, but Kang’s increasing paranoia makes him suspect he’s being followed. Other political events, however, require his attention, such as the death of a Senator in Andris, the healing of Willow Hauksen, or the first threats of the Black Hand.
Kang’s diary concludes with the taking of the city by the Twins. The last enty, however, seems to have been written by someone else, with revenge in their agenda, boasting of having caught Adams too. Could it have been the woman the possibly enamoured Commander once spared? And what is the name of this woman?
Two mysterious books
For many years, nothing was heard of the Creed again. Their name only came to the public domain through the restoration of the diary of Commander Kang, in 439, but the Maralian Military did a good job of not encouraging any further investigation or public debate into the matter. The diary had been found in a troubling period of activity around the ruins of Aborek, with another book being recovered at the same time. The Marali Vanguard, bravely defeating the enemies on the way, thought it best to take both books to Brigobaen, where they could be restored by a team lead by Evaristos and Amalphus Vei. As it turned out, one of the books was the above mentioned diary. The other remains a mystery, as no one ever inquired publicly about its contents.
It is of relevance to point out that, at the time, groups of brigands were also interested in those books. From the information gathered at the time, the brigands would have been sent by the Mage Jalux, in the beginnings of the installation of his laboratory at the depths of the volcano, with his then-associate Valencius, from the Black Hand.
Since then, although nothing is known about Valencius, Jalux has been successfully developing his creation of Hell Mages, for which he collects skulls from fallen adventurers. He is also known for exporting and selling Hell Mages and Magma Golems to other people’s causes, such as Fyod’s planned attack to Andris. Whether or not Jalux will simply send them to the higher bidder is a matter of a different wiki entry, but it is important to point out that such orders were intercepted on the way to Marali, by the end of 449.
Kidnapping of Commander McTyr
What happened by the end of 449, then? Here, as if always happens when the scribe has no distance from the events (this article is being written during the Bleeding Moon of 450), things get a bit confusing. It all starts with the opportunity given by nature to anyone willing to attack Marali: an infestation of ants, in repeated waves, had resulted in the excavation of tunnels underneath the city. A while later, presumably thanks to the use of this new access, one or several intruders kidnapped Marali’s new commander, Evroulf McTyr.
As it has been later revealed by the Commander himself, this kidnapping was, if not staged, a ruse to lure the elements of the Creed. As he recounted in Mirith in the early days of 450, he had received a letter from Brigobaen alerting him to the return of the Creed to Marali. The letter, he said, had been “written in an old military code” by Mother Mei. Then, with the help of Istra Falvo, who originally had been called to town to help poisoning the ants, the Commander made himself available for kidnap, asking the witch to return to his rooms with his favourite hound, that she was to temporarily sedate with one of her “soups”.
For a while, the city believed that the commander was gone. It was in awe that the citizens witnessed the return of an old advisor to the Majors, a certain Estess Vorund, vanished since a shady business in 439. The Maralians astonishment grew greater as they realised that Vorund had lost his memory, and believed he was still organising the Vanguard against the mage Rivolus, with an absent Vaup still in the command. How and why this memory loss happened is still a detail that must be clarified, but there are clues pointing at the intervention of Falvo’s wonderful concoctions. At the same time, McTyr would have escaped his raptors, with the help of the witch. He did not return his city immediately. Instead, he lived secretly for a while, with a group of his troops, enjoying the hospitality of the guild hall of the Hidden Vale, from where he coordinated the subsequent steps.
Believing himself to be alone in the fortress, Vorund conducted several experiments with ancient tomes in the basement. Some of them ended in explosions, but most were related to summoning creatures and reviving from the dead. McTyr, from his distant hiding place, waited patiently the right moment to attack. Using again Istra Falvo’s secret spices, he made her enchant a book that would, eventually, turn the former advisor into a spider. In his new form, Estess Vorund was arrested by adventurers and the remaining Maralian guards.
Discovery of the Lair and Association with Jeremiah Jalux
The Maralian ruse served to expose Vorund as an element of the Creed. However, it was also known that he did not act alone. With him were two women. One of them, Adla Thera, also lost her memory. In order to give her a second chance, Senator Varouf, a widower, decided to make it his responsibility her reintegration into a life of good deeds. He married her and encouraged her to join the Miners’ Nurses in Andris. So far, so good, and Adla Thera is far from suspecting her own past. The other woman, however, described by Falvo as “woman-child”, is still to be identified.
To add to their loss, during his “kidnapping”, Commander McTyr managed to acquire important information about the Creed’s hideout for all those years. Soon after his return to Marali, the Commander sent forces to Skull Island, to test a Skeleton Key recovered during his escape. As it happened, the key lead to what was clearly the Creed’s space of cult and research. However, the place was well defended by liches and black dracos, giving the elements eventually present the time to escape during the attack.
After the loss of three important figures and also their headquarters, the Creed’s leader had to improvise. It became obvious that a new alliance was made with Jalux and his men. Whether this alliance was paid dearly by the Creed, for a cause that does not interest Jalux directly, or whether the two groups shared a common goal, is still to be clarified, but two things became clear: first, that they were acting together, proved by the use of both liches and wraiths (the Creed’s creations), and Hell Mages and Magma Golems (Jalux’s technology). Secondly, they all seem interested in a new labyrinth of caves discovered in the Atoll. What might they be looking for is still unknown, but is certainly not good.
The Island North of Marali
Recently, the Creed seems to be using the island North of Marali as a base for some dodgy affairs. Or were they the builders of the place, to begin with? What they want, so close to Marali, is still unclear. Are they trying to get their spider back? Are they coming back for McTyr? Are they the threat that made a Mhara emissary come ashore to talk to the Commander? All these questions are still to answer.