The Secret Order is a covert cult within the Inner Order of The Fraternal Order of Librarians.
Less than 10% of the members of the Inner Order are members. However, it includes a disproportionate number of the formerly possessed. This gives it influence beyond its numbers, as society members tend to defer to the superior knowledge these members are assumed to possess. It was founded by a disgruntled former victim of possession who underwent hypnotic therapy to help recover his memories and discovered a previously unknown talent for Dreaming. Members still serve the cause of preserving knowledge for the Great Race – in fact, they are even more fanatical about it than Inner Order members – but for a very different reason.
Members of the Secret Order are all Dreamers of various degrees of skill. They know that the Dreamlands are ultimately created and rooted in the collective unconsciousness of humanity, and therefore, some time after humanity dies, the Dreamlands will die. However, they hope that if the Great Race of Yith preserves in its immortal minds and records a memory of the art and culture of the human race, then some quantum of the Dreamlands will also survive. The Secret Order intend to be the immortal lords of that quantum. In order to rapidly develop their capacities to dream so as to survive beyond death, they have formed a cult dedicated to the Other God Hypnos, Lord of Sleep. This service to a powerful being of the Mythos, even a relatively benign one such as Hypnos, gradually erodes their sanity and may lead members down even darker paths. The Secret Order are aware of Bast’s continuing influence through their Dreamland connections, but consider it benign. Some of the saner members of the Secret Order have even turned to Bast worship to counterbalance the potentially corruptive influence of Hypnos.
Outwardly, Secret Order members are indistinguishable from Inner Order members, save for a few behavioural quirks. Members are reluctant to go on field trips to Pnakotus (in Australia, outside the major western metropolises, the Dreamlands are supplanted by the Australian Aboriginal Dreamtime which is still hostile to all non-Aborigines (see Terror Australis). Members of the Secret Order are particularly supportive of the Dark Brotherhood, as they do not wish anyone or anything save themselves to dominate humanity’s collective unconsciousness. At a policy level, they urge Great Race members to investigate art and culture rather than factual records, or even consider physically preserving human cultural artefacts (e.g. the Mona Lisa) in their stasis cubes. This has so far met with mixed success, as the Great Race’s aesthetic tastes do not tend to coincide with those of Hypnos, or humanity as a whole. The Secret Order is cultivating ties with the underworld trade in stolen art and artefacts against the day when they can persuade the Great Race otherwise or obtain a stasis cube themselves. As a result, they have in the past had some dealings with the Fate.
Through this, Klaus Scholz has become aware of the existence of the Fate and its self-proclaimed “Lord of Sleep”, Anton Merriweather. As this was a title he had planned to grant himself, he is considering doing something about this.
Creating a Secret Order Member
The Secret Order recruit from members of the Inner Order who have become disillusioned with their service to the Yithians. Many are former victims of possession by the Great Race. All are capable of spell use and of entering the Dreamlands.
Raise Cthulhu Mythos to 20%. Subtract 20 from SAN and add 2 to POW (wash, rinse and repeat if a more sinister Secret Order member is required). A typical Secret Order member has a Dreaming skill equal to his POW + 5 and a Dream Lore skill of 20%+. They are expert speakers of Hellenistic Greek, which is the language they use in meetings.
Members of the Secret Order will know 2d3 spells from The Pnakotic Manuscripts, and 1d4 Dreamlands spells, plus Brew Dream Drug and Assess Significance. They will also know Contact Hypnos and Summon/Bind Nightgaunt OR Contact Bast and Charm Feline. They may have learned additional spells from Hypnos, Bast or the Book of Eibon.
For further details, see Klaus Scholz.