Coin of the reaper, two sides.
Nembra’s origin story.
The society of historians is an anomaly as organizations go. Its members have no ambitions to leverage their deep knowledge of the language of creation. Instead, their goal is to perfect what they call “the alchemy of truth”.
The associates of the organization believe in extreme self-restraint in the usage of magic. Even when persecuted, members do not retaliate using their arts. They believe in a prophecy, that they will play a key role in restoring balance to the world, but only if they hold true to their vows until that day comes.
The Myth games were some of my favorite war strategy games. This video lists all the cool journal entries that preceded every campaign mission. I could play the same level tens of times, and still wouldn’t ever completely master it, forcing multiple play attempts, because of bullshit RNG and the A.I. responding to your plays, plus the absolutely overwhelming enemy armies. You often had a squad of 10-30 men only, against 200-300 enemies. You had to use high-ground positions, predict enemy movements, use formations with very quick on-the-fly improvisations, in reaction to mindboggling situations that would transpire.
I binged the Peaky Blinders in just a few nights. It’s the story of a bunch of Birmingham gypsies who, through trials and tribulations, become a formidable organized crime organization. And I’m going to steal the characters, to work as the conceptual backbone of one of the more central organizations of my story, the wizard mafia. As magic has been forbidden by law, it has gone underground and become a big black market business. The brothers will encounter these guys in their quest for new spells that could heal Tarot’s mysterious illness.
I might shift some things around, maybe even name the organization to be a less direct reference to the show.
One of the coolest ideas in the Warhammer 40k universe is the emperor of mankind being a corpse holding together the galaxy with his vast powers. There’s so many layers of coolness to this, I want to steal the idea and give it a unique spin. One of the three nations is going to have a zombified ruler.
Found this cool post about the “false hydra”, a monster from Dungeons and Dragons.
The military nation of the revisors spans centuries. Formerly a race of hyper-muscular slaves that was specifically bred to serve as physical labor for an advanced civilization that perished mysteriously, the revisors survived their humble beginnings and became a dominant culture with the most powerful warriors and smartest tacticians the world has ever known. The secret to their power is a strange ore they mine from the mountain near which they built their capitol, Remanor. This ore they use to craft impenetrable armors and unbreakable weapons.
There are stories that inside of the mountain, there rests a relic of divine origin that is turning the rock into another mineral entirely. This has never been confirmed, as there is no path into the mountain’s depths. No other place on the planet is known to host this specific material, which is why the empire built their capitol near the mountain, with the bulk of their army there.
Interesting picture I found describing the underground resistance in Poland. Perhaps the historical society is literally underground after nations of the world decide to ban their research. These are highly accomplished academics after all, some of the smartest men and women the world has known, they would be capable of organizing themselves like this.
Extremist groups are interesting to study. When a society has problems and huge disagreements, there tends to be a rise of extremism which the established power structure tries to suppress, creating the very demons they try to exorcise. These groups can be very complicated and difficult to define. The story should definitely have a few extremist groups that the brothers meet and interesting characters within these organizations they interact with.
For example, since we have crazy cults that worship murderous gods, we could also have groups that champion freedom of religion. Perhaps the aristorcracies are attempting to ban religion, as these cults are getting more powerful in the wake of famine and social problems increasing, but this is opposed by other groups who view religion as a positive.