The long white hooked beak of the mask of the Plague Doctors is unmistakable. Even today, the sight of a single Plague Doctor will clear a busy street or market instantly. Founded in the early third century TA, the first cloistered sanitarium was founded northeast of City-State along the banks of the River White. Called Hill House for its prominent location overlooking the river and plains, it is only modestly fortified since not even orcs would attack the structure. It is here that those with disfiguring illnesses, disease, obesity, and incurable psychosis are "treated". It is rumored that the patients even include some undead ghouls and wights.
The patron deity of the order is Surmata, Goddess of the Plague. Surmata is a First Age deity brought from the Old Kingdom - more of a myth since there are few stories of her existence. Surmata is thought to hold back all the plagues of the underworld - keeping the Realm safe for the living.
Unlike the Order of the Red Angel who focuses on treating wounds and ordinary illness, the Plague Doctors do not cure their patients - rather they are "treated" for their lifetimes locked away from society where their maladies are safely contained. Those of wealthy or noble status remain at Hill House, in relative luxury. Those of a poorer standing are often shipped north into the Orc Nation to the leper colony at Drodden.
While little is known of what happens behind the gates of Hill House, it is known that the Plague Doctors are fabulously wealthy. It is said that the inside the perimeter of the sanitarium is a sanctuary filled with fabulous artwork, the finest woven rugs, and golden utensils adorning the tables of the Doctors. Playing on the fears of nobles and the general population, the Plague Doctors "cleanse" streets and building with expensive and elaborate rituals. While there are some cases of cures being effective, mostly they come for patients in their black horse-drawn carriages wearing the hooked beak masks of their profession.
Rumors persist that the Plague Doctors often pry family secrets from their patients - giving them sway over the nobles and merchants of the City-State. Immune from the actions of the military and the Watch - none of whom will approach the gloomy confines of Hill House, the Plague Doctors enjoy almost unfettered freedom to purvey their trade.
Those wishing to join the Plague Doctors should see the high cleric, Hieronymus Bock, at Hill House in Teufeldorf.