Cerberus Assembly

The Cerberus Assembly
Official art of the Cerberus Assembly symbol, by Claudio Pozas.[art 1]
Organizational information
TypePolitical
Scholastic
BaseThe Candles, Rexxentrum
GoalsObtain power and advance political influence within the Dwendalian Empire[1]
Recover magical relics from the Age of Arcanum to advance own magical knowledge[1]
History
Established~570 PD[2]
Membership
Total members8
LeaderMartinet Ludinus Da'leth
Associated classesWizard
Relationships
AllegiancesDwendalian Empire
RivalsThe Cobalt Soul

The Cerberus Assembly is a group of extremely powerful mages in the Dwendalian Empire centered in Rexxentrum[3] with others scattered through the continent.

Description[edit | edit source]

Those not allied with the Cerberus Assembly are wary of their growing power.[4] The mages of the assembly are involved in virtually all aspects of governance of the Dwendalian Empire, including spying operations involving Volstrucker, protecting it against foreign invasions, the supervision of the Soltryce Academy and the Hall of Erudition, foreign relations, and discovery of powerful artifacts of the Age of Arcanum.[1] Those allied with the assembly, such as Pumat Sol, claim that the assembly keeps the Crown in check and prevents abuses of power. They also note that the assembly has promoted education for the middle and lower classes in Zadash.[5]

The mages of the assembly have lavish lifestyles, earned populace's mistrust through intimidating history of political and economic control, and evoke fear, acting in public with little fear of argument or resistance.[6]

Relationships[edit | edit source]

The Cerberus Assembly and the Cobalt Soul have a fairly antagonistic relationship, which has been in place since the assembly was first founded. Their relationship is a political necessity, and they do at times need to begrudgingly work together; however, the Cobalt Soul sees itself as a check on the assembly. Both factions frequently try to limit the other's influence within the Empire.[7] Outside the Empire, the assembly is regarded as a dangerous faction to be involved with, a necessary evil, and treated with distant respect.[8][9]

Symbols[edit | edit source]

The symbol of the Cerberus Assembly consists of kite shapes with the longer portions pointed inward towards each other, representing the three heads of the assembly. Beneath that are eight spires which represent the assembly's towers, the Candles.[10]

Members and operations[edit | edit source]

There are eight archmages who make most administrative decisions within the Cerberus Assembly, and the families of each member are appointed as annexes, lesser members without responsibility. When a member is declared dead, or when a standing member abdicates their position, the remaining members then recommend a replacement from the list of current annexes, and vote on the mage to be elevated into one of the eight major offices.[6]

Archmages[edit | edit source]

Annexes[edit | edit source]

Directly beneath the eight chief mages of the Assembly are their deputies and assistants, known as annexes.[20]

  • Pumat Sol: Owner of The Invulnerable Vagrant,[21] a shop selling magical items and spell scrolls in Zadash. Pumat described himself as an annex to the Cerberus Assembly,[22] and was treated extremely harshly by Vess DeRogna when she found out he was holding up some urgent business.[23]

Other agents[edit | edit source]

  • Farrhan Yost: Human archmage who participated in a Cerberus Assembly expedition to Eiselcross' Mutalos, safely returning but loosing her staff of power. Farrhan craves to return her former possession and willing to deteriorate into violence to get it back.[24]
  • Korberta Horswell: Gnome mage who works to study and duplicate Aeorian artifacts in Balenpost.[25]
  • Wardlow Akron: Human mage in charge of general operations in Balenpost.[25]

Former members[edit | edit source]

Wind of Aeons[edit | edit source]

The Assembly maintains a small sailing ship, the Wind of Aeons. It is built of redwood in a style that appeared significantly different to the other ships at the Nicodranas docks when the Mighty Nein saw it. It sails under the flag of the Assembly.[32] It appears as though it is rarely used, and is somewhat garishly decorated with gold inlay.[33]

History[edit | edit source]

The name "Cerberus Assembly" is a reference to a group of powerful mages also called the Cerberus Assembly that existed during the Age of Arcanum.[34] However, the current faction took the name as inspiration and is unaffiliated with the group.

Around 570 PD,[2] tensions arose between mages of the empire and the assimilated high-born magic practitioners from the Julous Dominion, which escalated into a national-scale conflict, leveled two wards of Rexxentrum, and caused "hundreds" of casualties among civilians. Eventually, all involved individuals were chained up and brought to the King Manfried Dwendal. After days of negotiations, a compromise was reached, their crimes were absolved from the legal punishment in exchange for their submission to the Crown and the goals of the empire. The mages established themselves as the Cerberus Assembly, a power under the rule of the king. This event subsequently became known as "The Eve of Crimson Midnight".[35][6][fn 1]

In the subsequent centuries, "the Cerberus Assembly has subtly ingrained itself within most facets of the empire's government, becoming a force of political and military power that many say could rival the king himself", which has strengthened already pre-existing strains with the Crown.[6]

In 833 PD, Essek began conspiring with the Cerberus Assembly to study the Luxon beacons outside of the Dynasty's approved methods. To do so he stole two of the beacons and had them sent to the Dwendalian Empire, where they would be studied by Ludinus Da'leth, Trent Ikithon, and Vess DeRogna. In their arrangement, the findings of these studies would be sent back to Essek.[36][37]

Campaign 2: The Mighty Nein[edit | edit source]

In 835 PD, one of the beacons was being held in the Hall of Erudition in Zadash under the supervision of Oremid Hass. During the Pre-Harvest Gala on 28 Sydenstar, a pair of Kryn operatives attacked the Halls and retrieved the beacon; [38] both Kryn soldiers were killed, and the beacon was taken by The Mighty Nein.[39]

Ludinus Da'leth and Vess DeRogna studied and experimented on the remaining beacon in Felderwin with hired help from Yeza Brenatto. They were able to synthesize at least one Potion of Possibility from the beacon before their experiments were interrupted, and they intended to mass-produce those potions in the hopes that they could be used in war.[40]

The Cerberus Assembly kept their possession of the stolen beacons a secret from King Bertrand Dwendal and his court until, a number of weeks before 13 Thunsheer 836 PD, Trent Ikithon uncovered another Luxon beacon within the Age of Arcanum-era ruins of Shattengrod.[41] When the opportunity arose, Ludinus proposed that the Assembly, together with the Mighty Nein, could use the beacon as a bargaining chip to end the War of Ash and Light.[42] All parties agreed, and on 11 Unndilar 836 PD, one beacon was returned to the Kryn Dynasty as part of the peace negotiations, leaving the Assembly in possession of the other.

The Cerberus Assembly and the Kryn Dynasty also had competing interests in the ruins of Aeor. There had been decades of quiet violence and bloodshed in Eiselcross between the two nations, which continued during and after the War of Ash and Light. While many artifacts were recovered by the Empire's excavations, they were all held by the Assembly (rather than by the Cobalt Soul).[43] When Vess DeRogna hired the Mighty Nein to accompany her to the ruins of Aeor, Ludinus was unaware of the proposition, though he later learned of it.[44] At the A2 excavation site in Eiselcross, the Mighty Nein discovered the remains of Zana Deelio, Ludinus' annex, who had been sent to the ruins days before.[31]

A few days after 3 Sydenstar 836, Trent Ikithon attacked the Mighty Nein at the Blooming Grove. After his defeat, he was imprisoned in Rexxentrum, and Astrid Becke took his place in the Assembly as the Archmage of Civil Influence.[45]

Between Campaign 2 and Campaign 3[edit | edit source]

Between 836 PD and 843 PD, the Assembly took control of the Aeor site.[46]

At some point, Ludinus Da'leth of the Cerberus Assembly started cooperating with the Unseelie Court and Otohan Thull, the leader of the Paragon's Call of Bassuras, to build a Malleus Key in the Fey Realm with the help of Ira Wendagoth, who left the Unseelie Court project.[47] In 836 PD, Birdie and Oleander Calloway stole the Moontide Crown from Feywild's Malleus Key, hoping to delay progress. By the next year,[48] though possibly earlier, Ira Wendagoth had left the project and began working against Ludinus and Otohan as well.[49]

At some point after this, the Ruby Vanguard, affiliated with Ludinus, began their work on the Key in the Shadowfell.[50] In Unndilar 843 PD, three months before "Axiom Shaken" (3x43), the Cerberus Assembly forced members of the Grim Verity at the Aydinlan Seminary from their excavating ruins in the Hellcatch Valley, a site on the Material Plane that overlapped with the nexus point, so that the Vanguard could begin building a Malleus Key there.[51]

Starting in or before 843 PD, the Paragon's Call began receiving crates marked with the Assembly's symbol and containing Potions of Possibility.[52][53] Armand Treshi had three of these crates, each shipped months apart,[54] transported through the Menagerie Coast and across the Ozmit Sea, where they were received and held in Jrusar by Jiana Hexum before being sent to Paragon's Call in Bassuras.[55]

Campaign 3: Bells Hells[edit | edit source]

When Bells Hells met Caleb and Beau at the Tishtan excavation site on the eve of the 843 PD Apogee Solstice, the two members of the Mighty Nein told them that Ludinus was operating outside the Assembly, and mentioned they had been working on taking down the Cerberus Assembly for the past decade.[56] Only some of the members of the assembly know of his operations. Keyleth's contact in the Dwendalian Empire also heard rumors of discontent within the organization as a result of Ludinus' machinations connected with the Ruby Vanguard.[57] Not long after, it was confirmed to Bells Hells that the Assembly had abandoned the Empire, with most members remaining loyal to Ludinus.[58] At least one, Astrid Becke, had defected,[59] and Bells Hells led by Essek Thelyss apprehended her in Chastity's Nook in Zadash with the goal of interrogating her to learn more of Ludinus's intentions.[60]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

Notes and references[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 2: "Factions and Societies", p. 41.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 1: "Story of Wildemount", pp. 16–The Eve of Crimson midnight occurred around a quarter of a century after the Marrow War ended in 545 PD.
  3. "Whispers of War" (2x18) at 1:30:51.
  4. "Steam and Conversation" (2x09) at 1:04:19. Members of the Knights of Requital complain about the Cerberus Assembly.
  5. "Zemnian Nights" (2x11) at 52:10.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 2: "Factions and Societies", p. 41.
  7. "Unwanted Reunions" (2x88) at 4:06:16.
  8. "Pyrrhic Return" (3x35) at 2:57:13. Lord Eshteross gasped upon hearing its name.
  9. "Pyrrhic Return" (3x35) at 3:28:00. Orlana Seshadri described the Chandei Quorum of Jrusar's relationship with the assembly.
  10. "A Tangled Web" (2x77) at 3:11:49.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 "Whispers of War" (2x18) from 3:40:00 through 3:41:43. Caleb reads about the Cerberus Assembly at the Cobalt Soul
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 2: "Factions and Societies", p. 42.
  13. 13.0 13.1 "Fond Farewells" (2x141) at 5:44:14.
  14. "A Tangled Web" (2x77) at 2:32:00. "Marquis" was a temporary title.
  15. "Titles and Tattoos" (2x84) at 39:33.
  16. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 2: "Factions and Societies", p. 42.
  17. "Titles and Tattoos" (2x84) at 39:38.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 2: "Factions and Societies", p. 43.
  19. Lunidus only mentions "a vacancy" rather than multiple vacancies. Weeks later, Astrid is noted to be joining "the eight". "Fond Farewells" (2x141) at 5:44:14.
  20. "A Tangled Web" (2x77) at 2:16:28.
  21. "The Gates of Zadash" (2x08) at 3:14:46.
  22. "Zemnian Nights" (2x11) at 41:51.
  23. "The Chase Begins" (2x112) from 1:57:48 through 2:04:30.
  24. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 3: "Wildemount Gazetteer", p. 128.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 3: "Wildemount Gazetteer", p. 126.
  26. "An Open Window" (2x114) at 2:24:27.
  27. "Unwanted Reunions" (2x88) at 4:07:55.
  28. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 3: "Wildemount Gazetteer", p. 109.
  29. "A Tangled Web" (2x77) at 3:04:26.
  30. "Solace Between the Secrets" (2x118) at 3:17:23.
  31. 31.0 31.1 "Malice and Mystery Below" (2x119) at 2:20:51.
  32. "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97) at 26:31.
  33. "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97) at 41:47.
  34. "Whispers of War" (2x18) at 3:39:13.
  35. Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, Chapter 1: "Story of Wildemount", p. 16.
  36. "The Fancy and the Fooled" (2x97) at 3:53:57.
  37. "Dark Waters" (2x98) at 16:58.
  38. "Midnight Espionage" (2x12).
  39. "Lost & Found" (2x13).
  40. "Homeward Bound" (2x48) at 3:34:05.
  41. "Unwanted Reunions" (2x88) at 2:59:28.
  42. "Punishment and Politics" (2x87) at 3:08:12.
  43. "Dinner with the Devil" (2x110) at 1:36:41.
  44. "High Seas, High Stakes" (2x99).
  45. "Fond Farewells" (2x141).
  46. "Where The Red Fearne Glows" (3x94) at 2:45:50.
  47. "Breaking Point" (3x31) at 20:50.
  48. "Reunion & Revelation" (3x30) at 3:13:22. Ollie says that they've been working on the Veilscatter Scope for six years.
  49. "Breaking Point" (3x31) from 20:00 through 21:12.
  50. "Axiom Shaken" (3x43) at 2:55:39.
  51. "Axiom Shaken" (3x43) from 3:23:56 through 3:30:00.
  52. "A Stage Set" (3x32) at 3:27:48. See "A Stage Set" (3x32) at 3:39:09 for identification.
  53. "What Dreams May Come" (3x34) at 2:24:30.
  54. "Fight at the Museum..." (3x21) at 3:30:41.
  55. "What Dreams May Come" (3x34) at 1:46:56.
  56. "Red Moon Rising" (3x50) at 3:22:33.
  57. "For The Tempest" (3x68) at 1:57:25.
  58. "Where The Red Fearne Glows" (3x94) at 2:47:54.
  59. "Where The Red Fearne Glows" (3x94) at 2:48:44.
  60. "Where The Red Fearne Glows" (3x94) at 3:42:15.

Footnotes:

  1. At one point (see "Whispers of War" (2x18) at 3:39:53), Matt says that the Assembly helped conquer the Julous Dominion, but the Explorer's Guide to Wildemount indicates the formation of the Assembly post-dates that of the Julous Dominion, and this is never mentioned again.

Art:

  1. Official art of the Cerberus Assembly symbol, by Claudio Pozas (source). This file is a copyrighted work. Its use in this article is asserted to qualify as fair use of the material under United States copyright law.