Carrion Crown ICT
The Whispering Way
One of Golarion’s most ancient factions, the Whispering Way predates its greatest champion, Tar-Baphon, by centuries. Its adherents revere undeath as a means of transcendence. In undeath, they see no pain or suffering to dilute or dull the pursuit of absolute power. Neither does the fear of fleeting time plague them, for they possess the luxury of eternity. The faction looks upon living creatures as maggots, pitifully growing and consuming resources for the pointless goal of survival. Those steeped in the secrets of the Whispering Way can never turn from it, for its corruptions are so absolute that those who stray or renounce its influence turn to dust.
The tenets of the Whispering Way proclaim that only through undeath can one attain the truest form of existence; thus, its disciples seek nothing short of the death of all life. To attain their goal, they spread the pestilence of their whispered secrets throughout the world, for within their strength lies their lure. Their agents infiltrate magical academies, churches, and other centers of knowledge, drawing out talented individuals and corrupting them to their cause with promises of immortality and power. Others within the faction endeavor to release the Whispering Way’s greatest champion, the lich-king Tar-Baphon, by unearthing and destroying the seals that bind him beneath Gallowspire in Ustalav.
Despite their appearance of pursuing a common goal, the disciples of the Whispering Way are self ish individualists largely acting independently to increase their own personal power. By all counts, the Whispering Way is blasphemous even to other evil factions and religions. Disciples of the Way frequently turn upon each other, slaying or dominating subordinates to fulf ill their own interpretations of their grim philosophy. To faction members, life holds no value, so they think nothing of extinguishing it. A disciple never places others’ needs before his own, for the Whispering Way reveals itself to those strong enough to embrace it, not the weak-willed who readily step aside.
The Whispering Way maintains little in the way of an organized base of operations, though Tar-Baphon’s legacy and prison—the tower of Gallowspire—remains the faction’s spiritual center. Powerful faction members still claim Virlych as sovereign from Ustalav and occupy small domains within its boundaries. Despite the illegitimacy of their allegations, few bother to contest them, as these stricken territories hold little appeal to outsiders. Regardless, all faction members make pilgrimages to Gallowspire, and while there, hold ritual gatherings at these small keeps. Ghasterhall is becoming an increasingly frequent stop for pilgrims.
The Whispering Way provides resources focused on the damnable path of transforming the living into undead. Over the centuries, the faction has amassed thousands of horrifying and aberrant secrets. Since much of its philosophy derides the written word, disciples rely on their fellow faction members to pass along their grim philosophies. The source of their knowledge lies in the warped minds of powerful undead lords known as lore keepers who each dedicate themselves to memorizing and mastering a single aspect of the philosophy and its practices. Lore keepers are the primary individuals sought by faction members requiring aid.