Game Features – The Societies (Known and Secret)
These days, Wilhem Alphorner didn’t know what to think. His best friend Lothar Ollbarth was distancing himself from him. He was acting all weird and didn’t seem himself. They were friends since forever and Wilhem couldn’t put a finger on what triggered all these sudden changes.
Sure, there was the marriage of Elsa, Wilhem’s sister, to Lothar, that took place last month. What a wedding it was! There were many festivities and several crates of ale drinking themselves everywhere! There was dancing all around… Yes, it was quite a beautiful day! But since then, nothing happened that could’ve shaken the feeling that Lothar was turning against his best friend.
It was strange and quite sad. Even Elsa stopped talking to Wilhem and seemed to avoid him at all costs. Nothing seemed to make sense and Wilhem, more and more, was under the impression that it would never be the same again for the three of them…
To be sure, Lothar was turning against his best friend. But doing so was easier said than done. Wilhem was like a brother to him. And now, more than ever, Lothar needed him, with all these changes in his life. But he couldn’t. Never again. Unbeknownst to him at the time, Lothar wasn’t only entering a marriage with Wilhem’s sister. He was also becoming a part of a membership, a society ‒ a powerful society indeed ‒ and he hasn’t expected that at all. Never could he have guessed what was about to happen when he said ‘’yes’’ to his bride.
In Lothar’s family, for many many years, a terrible secret was kept behind closed doors. And you could not be in the known unless you married, explaining why it was all happening since his wedding to Elsa. The two of them have been very lucky: often, marriages were nothing more than a social arrangement between two families, without any kind of love between husband and wife, who often didn’t know each other before the wedding. But things were different between Lothar and Elsa; they have known each other since their early childhood. Now it all changed, since he learned he was now a part of a Society. Was it foreseen all along by his father? This marriage to Elsa? Lothar would probably never know… It was lost with all the other secrets he would have to keep from now on.
On his wedding day, everything was going well: bride and groom made it through the ceremony outside the church, and then inside for the nuptial mass, sitting in front of all their guests, exchanging rings and saying ”I do”. Just before the beginning of the feast, the drinking and the dancing, but something had changed, even if Lothar had no idea at that moment. You could feel it in the air. As soon as the words were pronounced, he looked toward his best friend Wilhem, and back to his new bride Elsa, a big smile on his face. It was a beautiful day. Immediately after that, his father Erhard Ollbarth took him apart, took him by his arm, and dragged him behind the altar, in a very small and secret room. That’s when he found out about everything.
The room was like a hidden library, located behind a wall. ”Father, what is going on? What is it?, asked Lothar.
– Son, there is something you need to know now. The time has come. You are ready.
– I am ready for what? I don’t understand….
– For centuries now, we have been a part of something big, something bigger than all of us. And now, the day has come for you to learn it all and become a part of it, with us. You’re part of an even bigger family than you thought.
– What exactly are you talking about? Are we supposed to talk about it right now? At my wedding?” Suddenly his father looked away for a bit. He seemed to realize where they were, but composed himself and continued his speech:
”Yes, it needs to be taken care of today. We can’t wait for another time. You must know the truth about all this.
– Then start talking. Because you don’t make much sense at this moment.”
And that’s when Lothar’s world, as he knew it, changed forever. His father Erhard told him all about the Society, the big organization that they were a part of, since the beginning of their Ollbarth’s descendants. Many other societies existed, though no one ever really knew for sure. But only one mattered. And it was a vile Society, specialized in dark magic and bloody rituals, (nothing less…). Its members believed in heaven and hell, which are home of supernatural creatures, like angels and demons (‘’will less’’ servants on one side and real ‘’might’’ on the other).Their leader was a ‘’somebody’’ called Arch Warlock who ceased to inhabit his body a long time ago.
The more Erhard kept talking, the more Lothar felt worried about his and Elsa’s future. What will they do with all that nonsense? What will they make of all this?
After a while, Lothar’s father stopped talking, looking away, seemingly lost in his thoughts. Unsure if he had learned it all or if there was more information to come, the son looked at his father and waited patiently. Erhard Ollbarth then resumed his speech and told him all about their belonging to the Society.
‘’And that’s not all my son: from now on, you and Elsa are a part of it and you can never tell a soul about it. No one. Not even Wilhem. For his life would be in grave danger. But that’s all I can tell you; we will talk some more later. Enjoy your night!’’
And just like that, they shook hands and it was like it never happened. Lothar took a minute or two to regain his senses and went outside that secret room to find Elsa. He needed to talk to her. “Enjoy your night”? How on Earth could Lothar enjoy his night after hearing something as incredible as what his father’s just told him?
Elsa proved herself to be a sympathetic wife; she understood their new belonging and supported Lothar like he had hoped she would. It wasn’t before a few days later that his father summoned him to a secret meeting in the caves of the city. Lothar always thought they were all ruined and not accessible but they were in fact for the council of the city, mostly made up of members from his Society – at his own astonishment.
It all began with a prayer that seemed a lot like a spell… And after that, everything felt like a business meeting. Mainly, it was a large group of people from all neighborhoods and it was quite impressive. All of them were very important people, but Lothar knew now that it was all part of the Society secret; everybody was helping each other to rise up above all the other peasants. When the meeting was over, all members pledged their souls to demon lords (that Lothar had no idea existed before that). All in order to gain might – like his father had told him on his wedding day. One thing was certain: after hearing for hours all they had to say, this Society didn’t like weakness and its members would stop at nothing to eliminate it at all costs. They were lawless and ruthless, aiming for nothing less than complete dominance, plotting behind closed doors, with smiles and business handshakes.
A few hours later, a motto was still playing in Lothar’s head, again and again: ”Might is all that matters!”. The young man still had a lot to think about but couldn’t help but think that it all seemed so exciting. All this new knowledge, the secrets and the demonic practices of the profane… He could have a lot of fun! And a lot of power.
Lothar was walking in the city streets, lost in his thoughts of dark magic, warlocks and destruction… At a crossroad, he noticed Wilhem, standing about 10 feet away from him. The two just stood there in silence, looking directly at each other. No one moved, No one smiled. The frienship was over, gone. But Lothar was the only one knowing the real reason why he and Wilhem could no longer be the brothers that they’ve always been.
Lothar’s journey with the Circle of the Warlocks has only just begun.