Coven of the Ebon Rose

History
The Coven of the Ebon Rose was formed when Moira Belmont created a schism between The Bloodthorn Coven based out of Ustalav and the Baba Yaga Coven in Irrisen. The schism, an elaborate ruse created by Moira, her Husband Simon, Her sister Illirial, and the rest of their old adventuring group ignited a horrible conflict, dubbed the Witchwar.

Moira recognized the evil growing in her Coven when she discovered that the leader of the Bloodthorn Coven, Lady Arissa Devonavich of the county of Lozeri went on a vision quest to Gallowspire to study the writings of the Lich-King Tar-Baphon, gaining vampiric powers in the process. Renaming herself the Tyrant’s Mistress, Lady Arissa instituted a reign of terror, spreading her corruption and influence across Ustalav.

Fearing for the lives of her husband and her unborn daughter, Moira manipulated several of the upper echelon witches. Using subtle suggestions and innuendo, Moira coerced the Bloodthorn leadership into a plot to kill Yaga’s current daughter on the throne through a deniable proxy, and then offer the coven’s assistance to hunt down the offenders thus strengthening their tenuous alliance with the northern coven.

Once the seeds were sown Moira used her resources to leak the plot directly to Baba Yaga, but not until after her daughter was slain. Outraged, Baba Yaga sent forth her fourteenth daughter, Queen Elvanna, to assume the throne of Irrisen and strike back at the betrayers.

In the days leading up to the ignition of the war, Moira secretly gathered those witches from both Baba Yaga’s and the Bloodthorn covens whose moral, ideological and philosophical outlooks differed from that of their covens. These witches lived a life of constant fear and paranoia, concealing their true feelings to avoid ostracism, torture, and potentially death at the hands of their own coven.

To these witches Moira offered a new path, a coven devoted to training and protecting witches who have good in their hearts and creating a safe environment for the witches to raise the next generation. Dozen flocked to her banner, the Coven of the Ebon Rose.

The Ice Queen’s wrath was a force of nature, tens of thousands died in a bloody swath of frozen corpses ranging from the frozen tundra of Irrisen and The Realms of the Mammoth Lords in the west all the way to the haunted Shudderwood of Ustalav in the east and reaching as far south as the Tusk Mountains of Belkzen. The rank and file of the Bloodthorn Coven was destroyed. However Tyrant’s Mistress and several high ranking members of her coven fled to Gallowspire and hid within the pinnacle of black stone and rent iron.

Even Lastwall felt the bitter sting of Irrisen’s fury when a tribe of frost giant raiders and their white dragon mounts traversed the Tusk Mountains and breached the city of Vigil. In a bid to gather her own allies, Moira and her newly formed Coven of the Ebon Rose, used their power to aid in Lastwall’s defense. The frost giant raiders succumbed to the combined might of the Coven of the Ebon Rose, the Knights of Ozem, the Order of the Crimson Dawn, and the other martial orders housed in the Watcher-Lord’s demesne.

Moira offered her fealty and the services of her Coven to the Watcher-Lord. Fearing a public outcry should he openly acknowledge any witches, Watcher-Lord Anders, quietly bestowed a tract of land south of Hammer Rock near the Northern Fangwood, but no title, to Moira and her order. The land contained the ruins of a keep overlooking the Fangwood and the Coven quickly repaired the structure renaming it Shadowbriar Keep.

The Coven of the Ebon Rose flourished for several years until a string of events threatened to tear it apart. The founder, Moira, died mysteriously shortly after giving birth to her daughter Isabeau. While most attribute her death to the complications of a difficult birth, several in the coven, midwives experienced in such matters, believed otherwise. Shortly thereafter Simon Belmont arrived to take custody of the child. The Coven refused to give up their last remaining link to their founder, but after revealing Moira’s wishes for Isabeau to join her father in a will Isabeau and Simon created should the worst befall them, the Coven reluctantly agreed.

The Bloodthorn Coven, weakened from the Witchwar but not defeated, plagued the Ebon Rose with a string of assassins and undead abominations created by Tyrant’s Mistress with the vast necromantic knowledge she gained from Tar-Baphon’s library.

As if matters couldn’t get worse, knights from the fort of Hammer Rock razed Shadowbriar Keep in response to a series of blights, poxes, and sacrificial murders plaguing the countryside. The knights, fueled by the superstitious fears of the peasants, blamed the witches for the various curses. The coven dispersed into small cells and went into hiding across Varisia, and northern Avistan.

Recent History

Isabeau Belmont recently returned to the world of Golarion to attend the Mercenary Academy. In her senior year she was approached by Sister Beatrix Kiddo who requested Isabeau to look into the assault on Shadowbriar Keep. Kiddo also informed Isabeau that she was asking her to do this against the wishes of the order.

Isabeau traveled to Vigil in Lastwall along with several of her schoolmates. Isabeau used her healing talents to aid the beleaguered knights of Vigil and gained the attention of Watcher-Lord Ulthun II. Attending a private luncheon with the leader of Lastwall, Isabeau stated her case to investigate the attack on Shadowbriar. The Watcher-Lord gave her an official writ to allow her investigative powers.

Isabeau and her compatriots traveled to Shadowbriar Keep surprised to discover a contingent of elven soldiers from the Red Arrow clan led by King Malakia, the High Seas Majestic, guarding the site. After heartfelt reunions and an awkward argument between Malakai and Moira’s Spirit, the king explains that he was guided, by his spark of divinity, to protect the ruins and the powerful and dangerous magics held within until such time it could be reclaimed by the coven.

Isabeau and her group explored the lower levels of the keep and discovered, through Enya’s visions that the knights assaulted to keep to gain a powerful artifact, a staff that can turn anyone into a werewolf under the owner’s control. She also learned that the leader of Hammer Rock was magically coerced by a powerful elven court wizard to lead the attack.

After traveling to Kyonin to defeat the wizard, Isabeau, now carrying a Spark of Divinity along with her cousin Enya, and recognized as an elven princess and heir to the elven throne, returned to Lastwall to report her findings to Watcher-Lord Ulthun II. In recompense for the unjust actions taken against the coven, Lord Ulthun offers to help cover the costs of rebuilding Shadowbriar Keep. Isabeau, following her mother’s footsteps, offer her support and that of her coven to the lord’s cause. Isabeau asks Sister Kiddo to oversee the construction.

Coven of the Ebon Rose

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