Category:The Fraternity of Shadows

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Canon Information

The Fraternity of Shadows was described in Domains of Dread as a neutral evil secret society of wizards dedicated to discovering the secrets of the Land of Mists. Only neutral evil male wizards who can cast illusion spells are allowed membership, and the upper echelons of the society are composed entirely of illusionists.[1][2] Van Richten's Arsenal added that the Fraternity had sorcerers among their ranks as well.[3]

Members of the Fraternity identify themselves by their possession of a signet ring in the shape of two intertwining asps whose mouths form the setting for an onyx; this ring can cast a darkness 15' radius spell once per day.[1]

In Van Richten's Arsenal it was revealed that the leaders of the Fraternity are known as the Umbra, and that (as a Dread Possibility) Lord Balfour de Casteelle, president of the University of Dementlieu, is one of the Umbra.[3] In Gazetteer II "S" reveals that her attempt to join the Fraternity was rebuffed because of her gender, and that the Brautslava Institute in Darkon is a center of the Fraternity's power. However, many of the Core's institutes of higher learning also provide hubs for Fraternity activity.[4] The University of Dementlieu is an exception, as Lord de Casteele has barred the Fraternity from operating there.[3] Of other past meeting places, the Radiant Tower and the Great Library are among them.[1]

Noncanon Information

Prestige Class

The prestige class for members of the Fraternity appears in the articles Scholars of Darkness[5] and Perilous Pursuits[6]

The Umbra

As detailed in Quoth the Raven volume 13, the present leaders of the Fraternity of Shadows are, in order of seniority, Tarnos Shadowcloak, Count Wilhelm von Lovenhorst, Lord Balfour de Casteelle, Malcolm Scott, and Jan Mikkelson.

Women in the Fraternity

Countess Karla von Lovenhorst, daughter of Count Wilhelm von Lovenhorst, a member of the Umbra, was allowed to join[7], but it is unclear whether this is an exception or a precedent. Professor Viktor Hazan indirectly addresses the matter while slandering Professor Mirella Agrippa: "I chuckled over and annotated her errors, emotionally-based comments and weak hypotheses. (No wonder that women are rarely accepted into our Fraternity. That’s just how it is, I guess.)" [8] Professor Viktor Hazan also shed light on the ambition of "S" to join the Fraternity, describing her in these terms: "a stern scholar for whom I once sat as token out-ofbranch examiner in Darkon. She tried to impress the Brautslava cell’s admissions committee by her superior wit, yet failed the second figment quiz. Her own arcane interests, she’d sullenly retorted, lay elsewhere. It’d been a while since I saw her work in the occult journals; I wondered what had happened to her and what kind of trouble she was involved in now." [9]

Real World Organization

The Fraternity of Shadows is also used as the real-world name for the moderators and managers of the Fraternity of Shadows website, presently the largest active Ravenloft site on the Internet.


  • 650 BCNetbook-captioned.png Membership is only at 16, but the spread of the organization will begin to speed up soon after.[10]
  • 683 BCCanon-captioned.pngLamordia joins the Core.[12]Netbook-captioned.pngAs this and the other more advanced domains form, the Fraternity spreads to the educated classes of these other lands.[10]
  • 707 BCCanon-captioned.png Dementlieu forms.[12]Netbook-captioned.png Following this development, the highly sophisticated domain draws many brothers of the Fraternity to it.[14]
  • 750 BC-755 BCNetbook-captioned.png The Kargat and the Fraternity achieve (slightly) more peaceful relations in Azalin's absence.[10]
  • 760 BCNetbook-captioned.png February By this time, Alfred Larner has learned of Van Rijn's treachery and begins surveying Zherisia in the hunt for the renegade lich.[24]
  • 760 BCNetbook-captioned.pngJune An assassin attempts to murder Alfred Larner, but he foils the attempt. Under interrogation, the culprit is revealed to be doppelganger sent by a "dead thing". The Paridonian Brothers take this to be Van Rijn[25]
  • 760 BCNetbook-captioned.pngAugust-September Viktor Hazan discovers Dirac stranded on a rock near the harbor of Graben-town. Delirious, cold, and almost unconscious, Dirac is fished out by Viktor and the sailors under his employ. Delivered to Dr. Gunnar Illhousen for treatment, Dirac makes little progress for the next several days. Eventually, Dirac escapes from his cell and walks into the sea. However, Dirac leaves behind some notes on the Drowning Deep he wrote while under the mental influence by Virundus.[27]
  • 760 BCNetbook-captioned.pngOctober A series of strange murders occurs in Paridon. Because of the taint of strong necromancy on the bodies, Alfred Larner links the murders to Erik Van Rijn (though he is not the culprit of all the murders). However, Larner suspects the lich may have already fled the city.[28]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Domains of Dread p. 138
  2. Under the Second Edition rules for specialist wizards, this meant that necromancers could not join the Fraternity, and the highest ranking members of the Fraternity could not cast necromantic spells.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Van Richten's Arsenal p. 147
  4. Gazetteer II p. 27-28
  5. USS2002 - p15
  6. Quoth the Raven X - p45
  7. shown in the framing fiction to the Undead Sea Scrolls 2001
  8. Nocturnal Sea Gazetteer, p119.
  9. Nocturnal Sea Gazetteer, p119.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Undead Sea Scrolls 2002 p. 8
  11. 11.00 11.01 11.02 11.03 11.04 11.05 11.06 11.07 11.08 11.09 11.10 11.11 11.12 Quoth the Raven Issue 13 p. 72
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 12.3 12.4 Domains of Dread p. 17
  13. 13.0 13.1 Van Richten's Arsenal p. 146
  14. Undead Sea Scrolls 2002 p. 9
  15. Book of Sacrifices p. 64, he is 38 as of 754 BC.
  16. Book of Sacrifices p. 63; see 716 BC to get deerifq5ion.
  17. Undead Sea Scrolls 2002 p.40
  18. Zherisia Gazetteer p. 107
  19. Undead Sea Scrolls 2001 p. ii-x
  20. 20.0 20.1 Quoth the Raven Issue 10 p. 34
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Souragne Gazetteer p. 5
  22. 22.0 22.1 Fraternity of Shadows Message Board Post
  23. Souragne Gazetteer p. 67-69
  24. Zherisia Gazetteer p. 6
  25. Zherisia Gazetteer p. 64
  26. Nocturnal Sea Gazetteer p. 7-8
  27. Nocturnal Sea Gazetteer p. 219-224
  28. Zherisia Gazetteer p. 94
  29. Quoth the Raven Issue 16, p. 39-43

Data from the Ravenloft Catalogue

Rldb society.jpg Rldb primary.gif

Domains of Dread
Ravenloft Gazetteer Volume II

Rldb desc.gif

Domains of Dread p138
Ravenloft Gazetteer Volume II - p28

Rldb alias.gif

Fraternity of Shadows, The Fraternity of Shadows


This category has the following 7 subcategories, out of 7 total.