The Scarlet Brotherhood
The Suel did not develop the martial arts themselves, but instead allegedly stole them from the Bakluni during their wars some two millennia ago. Most of this knowledge was lost in the Rain of Colorless Fire, and until recently was believed entirely destroyed. This belief was dispelled as reports of the eastern organization called the "Scarlet Brotherhood" became known. The Office of Intelligence unfortunately disregarded early reports of this organization and its connections as false rumors planted by the Aerdi. This was proven untrue in the recent conflicts, as the Brotherhood seized control of several important seaports and occupied areas along our southern border. Our agents have made all possible efforts to learn more about their nature, and as a result staffing of the Office has diminished by some thirty percent in the last two years.
From what we have been able to gather, the Scarlet Brotherhood are a group of Suel supremacists who have taken over a number of territories and infiltrated many kingdoms (including ours) for uncertain reasons. This report can not add to the numerous reports Your Majesty has already received on the strengths and possible goals of these forces. I have, however, uncovered some additional information on the reclusive leaders of the Brotherhood that may be of use.
The core of the Brotherhood's leadership is a monastic order of exactly the type I have been investigating. Though the identities of any of its membership are unknown, I have learned more about these "Brothers" and their skills from refugees from the south. The Brotherhood's martial arts seem to be based largely upon the two foul Suel deities Beltar and Pyremius. From Beltar, the snake goddess, they have developed a form of combat with abilities resembling the movement and strike of a snake. Pyremius, the master of fire and murder, has led them to also develop powers based on fire and flame-like maneuvers. They call this combination Selinshan, which in Suloise means "Snake and Flame".
The actual monks who practice this art are few compared to the sum of the Brotherhood's forces, and they have yet to directly involve themselves in a battle. But reports I have received indicate that their powers are substantial. This order clearly represents a high level of threat to the kingdom's interests.
Selinshan ("Snake and Flame")
The Scarlet Brotherhood practices a fierce martial art they call Selinshan, which contains both snake-like motions in honor of the foul Suel goddess Beltar and fiery manifestations mimicking Pyremius, the Murderer. I can scarcely believe what I've heard of the torments and degradations required of initiates into these schools of combat. Advancement to higher ranks within the style usually requires some form of bloodsport in which competing monks duel to the death for the honor. Some initiates dedicate themselves to one subschool, Snake or Flame, but many combine the two into a deadly whole.
Practitioners of Selinshan do not avoid weapons out of any philosophical bent, but their skills are often used from concealment or surprise and therefore most of their powers do not take weapons into account.
One source told me of another, third style used by the Brotherhood, but before I could elicit any details the man went into some sort of fit and died. I have no confirmation for further details on this possible third style.
of the Snake (L1)
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