The Veiled Priesthood
The Veiled Priesthood is like an ill wind – you cannot see it, but you know it exists. These clerics keep their identity and the location of their temple absolutely secret. A member of the Veiled Priesthood would rather die a thousand horrible deaths than risk angering the Vengeful One by revealing the location of one of his Houses.
Assassins often pay homage to the Silent Slayer and virtually every assassins’ guild houses an altar dedicated to him. Indeed, the House of Knives runs and operates many assassins’ guilds. While it is true that the Veiled Priesthood receives profit and favors for their work, they do not kill to gain worldly goods. They kill to please their dark god. They believe that the Father of Murder sells the souls of those slain by his clerics to the god of Death or to any other god who would claim a soul.
Some say that a cleric of the Seller of Souls can read the vengeful thoughts in a person’s mind. The cleric then persuades that person to either act upon those thoughts himself or hire the cleric to exact his revenge. Still others say that it is the Unseen One himself who plants the seeds of murder and revenge in a person’s head and sends his clerics to reap the evil harvest. In any case, the vengeful one who hires a Veiled Priest may name her exact revenge, and the cleric carries out the instructions precisely as requested. Of course, this work is not without price.
The payment for assistance is two-fold: money is paid, and a favor is owed to the House of Knives. The favor may be called upon at any time, and could be anything. For example, if a prince received help gaining the throne, the Veiled Priesthood might request money, a special item of power, that a cleric or follower of the Seller of Souls be appointed to an important position or a combination of these. Failure to pay leads to certain and horrible retribution.
Adventures: Adventures for Veiled Priests are missions given to them by their superiors or (in the case of high ranking Veiled Priests) mandates of the faith. They might involve working alone but more often involve working with a small team. Each member of this team has a specific mission: guard, distraction, assassin, etc.
Characteristics: Veiled Priests use their stealth and magic to kill their victims. While somewhat skilled in combat, they avoid direct confrontation. The best kill for a Veiled Priest is one that leaves no witnesses – including their victim, since speak with dead would easily identify them.
Background: Young Veiled Priests are often recruited from thieves’ guilds, and from young nobles looking for adventure and willing to deviate from society’s laws for their excitement.
Races: Veiled Priests come from any race. Interestingly, halforcs do not often become Veiled Priests, despite their orcish nature’s predisposition toward murder in the dark. Some speculate this is because these conflicted creatures tend more toward unplanned, chaotic attacks.
Relations With Other Classes: Veiled Priests prefer the company of rogues. They avoid paladins and other clerics too free with zone of truth or similar spells. An alert wizard is a dangerous character to be near, so the Veiled Priests attempt to stay on good terms with them if possible. Evil bards are often close companions, since they give the Veiled Priests easier access to their victims. In fact, Veiled Priests often disguise themselves as bards.
Relations With Undead: Clerics are encouraged to animate or create undead in their attempts to further the faith. If intelligent undead must be controlled, the cleric must free them of control as soon as possible. Clerics may freely destroy undead created by junior clerics of their faith, but should not those of peers or higher-ranking clerics. A cleric is allowed to destroy undead created by another faith, if those undead hinder an act that furthers the faith. Violating these restrictions may cause the cleric to lose temple rank, or undergo a quest to atone.
Role: The Veiled Priest can be the eyes and ears of an evil group. Their ability to sneak into an enemy camp can enable them to decapitate an enemy’s leadership.