In 3203 AR, the organization’s most powerful member, Tar-Baphon, rose from the dead as a lich and initiated the Whispering Way’s golden age. Styling himself as the Whispering Tyrant, Tar-Baphon began for the first time to make the organization’s vision of an undead utopia into a reality. He easily conquered Ustalav and the Hold of Belkzen and then began invading the neighboring countries in the hopes of attracting the attention of the god, Aroden. The Whispering Tyrant believed that humanity’s rise during the Age of Enthronement was linked to the god, and that be defeating him in battle, Tar-Baphon could not only bring an end to all humans, but drive a stake into the living heart of Golarion itself.
His plan did not work. A collection of mortal states and peoples initiated the Shining Crusade and the defeated the Whispering Tyrant in 3827 AR; Aroden’s attention remained focused elsewhere. The lich-king was imprisoned under his fortress of Gallowspire, and his armies were crushed in battle.Since this time, the Whispering Way has slowly rebuilt itself. Some members continue to accumulate personal power while others search for ways to free Tar-Baphon from his prison at Gallowspire.
The death of Aroden in 4606 AR caused members of the Whispering Way to wonder if the Whispering Tyrant had somehow succeeded in defeating his old foe after all. They finally decided that it really didn’t matter who killed the god of humanity, and that Tar-Baphon’s prediction had been accomplished and began preparing for the final death of the planet.
he central message of the Whispering Way is that undeath is the truest form of existence. The undead know no pain or fear, and so have nothing to distract them from their pursuit of power. Living creatures are seen as pitiful, pointless beings too weak or stupid to escape the cycle of life and death. Unsurprisingly, the organization is heavily involved with necromancy.
The Whispering Way is a secret that is not, and cannot, be written down or otherwise recorded. Instead, it can only be passed down from person to person, and achieved through effort and machination. Each adherent holds a piece of this secret, and by networking amongst themselves and sharing their discoveries, they gain ever greater power over life and death. This is perhaps the only reason adherents ever work together in their competing quests for power.
At its most basic level, the secret of the Whispering Way is a formula for becoming a lich, and of all paths to undeath, lichdom is understood as the noblest. Liches are not only among the most powerful undead, they are perhaps the only that become undead solely by means of their own power, owing their existence to no other being. Most living members of the Whispering Way only remain so in the hopes that they will one day have the means to embrace lichdom.
The goal of the Whispering Way is not merely the transformation of its members into undead, however. All life is anathema to the Way, and few of its adherents are content with the idea of an eternity surrounded by the choas of living things. The ultimate vision of the Whispering Way is a dead world.
Though members of the Whispering Way may revere gods or demon lords of undeath, such as Kabriri, Orcus, Urgathoa, or Zura, the philosophy itself respects no deity.
Powerful members of the Whispering Way make frequent claims that the cursed land of Virlych in western Ustalav is their sovereign territory, though none outside the organization recognize it as such. Nonetheless, members of the Whispering Way make frequent pilgrimages to this land.