Background of the Darkcloaks
The Darkcloaks will have you believe that they are amenable people, and that some of the suspicion they encounter is based entirely on misunderstandings. They excel at mixing in with people, talking to people in all the towns and all the societies. For much of the time, they appear to be curious in current affairs, and wanting to help. And people, being trusting as they are, take them by their word. So the Darkcloaks get around, and get involved, and get to know and be trusted by a lot of people, be they good, or evil, or neither.
This triggered both my suspicion and my curiousity. Using my serpent staff to protect myself and my intentions, I have been able to infiltrate their ranks. What I've learnt is certainly disturbing, although I'm not yet certain if it answers my questions….
The Darkcloaks are the followers and disciples of a man called Gorchak. They only refer to him as the Master, and treat him with absolute respect. I've not as yet been able to determine what he is, or where he is from. He appears like an ordinary human, but I can confirm that he displays some fascinating mental abilities and can be extremely… persuasive… at times.
The Darkcloaks believe that their Master is able to "walk the planes", by which I believe he means he is able to transport himself to other worlds, by the power of his will. I have long theorised that there could be such things as parallel worlds in which every possible course of action in any given situation is played out. I believe that Gorchak may have the ability to travel between these parallel worlds, and that that is what he means by "planeswalking". Unfortunately I have not yet been able to observe him on these journeys so I cannot be sure about his abilities.
Gorchak himself claims that he is a scholar, who has come to Sosaria to study this world and its inhabitants. His keep is home to a very large library, which houses not only hundreds of tomes, research notes and all manner of books, but also a large collection of artefacts and antiquities.
Gorchak is a very private man who barely ever leaves his home Malas, save to go the Darkcloaks' lair in Hawk's Hollow near the village of Yew or, possibly, to attend to matters outside Sosaria. The Darkcloaks are his eyes, ears and hands in this world. He allegedly has instructed them to seek out the writings and histories of this world, to report to him of any events he might find of interest, and to offer the Master's aid in matters that are of interest to him.
Alas I remain unconvinced. I believe that it is quite plausible that this Master has a rather different goal and that all this thing about him being a scholar, while not strictly a lie, is a front behind which he hides his true purpose. It strikes me as odd that he frequently calls the more senior Darkcloaks into private meetings at his keep.Unfortunately I myself have not been called into any such meetings as yet and therefor have not been able to discern their purpose.