Mirrors in the Desert
“Veiled Alliance?! You’re asking me for a clothing market? HA! I know as much about merchant affairs as you know about the Dragon! But toss me a fruit or a bit and I’ll tell you the safest taverns.” – unnamed beggar on the streets of Balic
In city states and villages throughout Athas, a secret society of arcane spellcasters (and a few other who share their interests) practices the forbidden arts. The Veiled Alliance rejects defilers and all arcanists in the group are preservers. Each chapter operates independently and it is not uncommon for the goals of one chapter to interfere with another’s.
The Veiled Alliance opposes defilers everywhere, in particular the sorcerer-kings and their templars.
In Balic and Southern Tyr
Though your characters probably won’t know this, Balic’s tradition of dialogue and democracy, however superficial, has created a fecund base for Veiled Alliance cells. Often sponsored by members of House Wevir, or sympathetic patricians, the Balican Veiled Alliance runs a patchwork network all the way up to Altaruk, where a patrician named Arisphistaneles tries to coordinate their operations. While some Veiled Alliance try to pass reforms through the Chamber, most work to undermine templar activities.
Though each cell has its own secrets and security measures, they share — along with almost every Veiled Alliance cell across Athas — a series of code words used to ensure that whoever an agent is speaking with is trustworthy. These codes change each month, making it hard for new members to join and templars to infiltrate.
Example Challenge and Response
A: Welcome, weary traveler! You look as hot as the breath of the Dragon! Come and share our water. I’m sorry we don’t have any fruit to share with you.
B: Don’t worry, I’m about three days from Balic’s bazaars. There, I can find all the fruits and flowers I want.