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We know there will be faithful and -excuse the pun- free spirited paladins in the game. How about they have a rival/suspicious view of each other? The faithful see the free as posers and glory hounds, while the free view them as posers who want to draw the ordinary folk into their churches via their "charity work".


"Bones heal, chicks dig scars, pain is temporary, glory is forever."

What is glass but tortured sand?
Never forget! '12.01.13.

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The Hive of the Hiveless.

 

A group of people who refuse to live in homes which are part of a network of similar looking homes. (IE most urban streets, blocks, flats, warrens, hives, etc)

 

An urban society, The Hiveless Hive builds unique homes and links them through an underground network, all connecting to a main dome.

The organisation is a group of city dwellers, including slum dwellers and architects, lords and with a dash of criminal enterprise.

City dwellers tired of living in a city where one street looks like the next

Architects which wish someone would use their services for something pretty for a change

Lords who can't stand the averageness which lowers their property value

slum dwellers who hope to find themselves living in a proper home sometime

and criminals who don't mind making a buck in real-estate and insurance, but don't tell the rest of the Hive this.

 

The Hiveless sabotage and destroy buildings which are to their mind ugly, unoriginal, mass produced pieces of crap. Any house which looks similar to another nearby, any building which houses several living quarters for several families which is cut and paste architecture, is a valid target.

 

However. The Organisation is young and small

And it does not seek the attention of the city watch.

So, they have limited their sabotage and destruction. Any member is asked to destroy one of these buildings, for each unique and better designed one they commission or build themselves, with subterranean access to the dome.

Since they're bound to secrecy, recruitment is limited

 

The Dome is a high ceilinged underground garden maintained with artificial light, coming from the entire ceiling and shining nearly as bright as the sun. It's built directly below the City Garden, though the City doesn't know about this.

 

Visionaries or Mad men, Arrogant, foolish, idealist, selfish, whatever the individual motivations of the members, the Hive has been having some modest success with their impressive building projects, and some horrors on their conscience like collapsing buildings with families still inside.

 

The player is likely to encounter the Hive of the Hiveless investigating their crimes, finding their playerhouse demolished or vandalised, construction sabotaged, or by finding a secret entrance to the network that leads to the dome, in one of the Hiveless's homes.

They may bring the Hiveless to justice, or perhaps join their cause. Either would determine the face of the city.

 

Joining them may offer another style of architecture for the stronghold, if certain requirements are met.

 

 

Edit: I think this and my last entry(colurists) should be quite telling in what kind of city I live. :p

We have a saying here in the Netherlands "Waar het hart van vol is, loopt de mond van over"

Which roughly translates to "What the Heart is full of, the mouth runneth over with"

 

Edited by JFSOCC

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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This looks like a fun game

 

Those with broken or fractures souls are not capable of the great feats that those with strong souls or whole souls are.  Their spriits are weak, their goals and drives more limited that those with the strength to seek out great destinies.  But, some few discovered the secret power in having a sundered soul.  When groups of these people come together they are able to each offer a small portion of their soul's strength (little as that may be individually) to the working of ritual magic.  Drawn together by a charismatic leader, more and more of those with fractured souls are joining Mosaic

 

Because Mosaic gains tangible power the more followers it has, it actively seeks to recruit new followers constantly. But, because that power can only be harnessed by the ones guiding these rituals it has a large number of blinds and 'false circles' of initiation that portray the organization only as a sort of exclusive social club or support group.  Member progress through the ranks slowly, participating in rituals they beleive to be simply symbolic, with only the highest ranking members actually understanding the power at their disposal.  The most ambitious of these members are looking for a way to permanently strip away the soul shards of their followers, making other fractures souls nothing but resources to be mined and then abandoned.  Of course all of Mosaic's magics are a form of Necromancy as they center around soul manipulation, and are seen as blackest heresy by many. 

 

The nature of the soul-shard magic makes it easier for them to affect subtle but wide-ranging effects.  Causing a drought or a plague of insects is easier than a fireball, stirring the hearts of an entire populace to discontent is simpler than moving a single person to blind rage.  Therefore, Mosaic increases it's influence subtly, and has adapted to a life in the shadows with agents in many places all working to cary out large-scale plans.  They work from the shadows, seeking to accrue influence slowly and steadily both in their homeland and beyond.  If Mosaic's leaders really do discover a method of prying soul shards away from their owners, they could become one of the most powerful forces in the land.  And only a handful of people even suspect they exist. 

 

Players may encounter Mosaic because strong souls are resistant to the group's power, and that makes them a threat to it's leaders who actively seek to suvert or destroy strong souls.   They may also be introduced to the group as it's disciples seek to recruit them, or come into conflict with it's agents as Mosaic is constantly striving to increase it's power behind the scenes.  Joining Mosaic might allow the character to ascend to positions of power more quickly, while earning the enmity of various groups and churches farther down the line.  Possibly the characters are simply unable to use any of Mosaic's rituals because their own souls are not shattered.  Or, maybe the nature of their strong soul allwas them to enact such rituals far more effectively that the group's current leaders, as they are able to more effectively direct thousands of soul shards all at once. 

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The Cullers

 

Most often druids, but any person who acknwledges the natural order and survival of the fittest can become a Culler.  Well perhaps not any person, as the cullers beleive that the most important factor in the long-term health and survival of a population is not strength of arms, but strength of spirit.  Members of this sect strive continuously to improve the societies they live in.  By day they try to promote order and cooperation among their people; organizing local militias, working to create a stroger sense of community, and teaching their fellows skills for survival.  By night the Cullers stalk the paths and homes of their community, hunting for weakness.  Traditionally a Culler driud picks a specific form for the culling, and other member of the sect choose a particular uniform or weapon.  They assault their fellows anonomously, testing to see whether their new prey will fight or flee.  It is not necessary for the prey to overcome the Culler, it is enough that they are willing to fight, in whatever fashion they have available.  If the victim is willing to stand against their opponent, they have earned the right to live, and the Culler will leave to greet them as a brother or sister on the morrow.  Fleeing from a Culler however (except in the case of laying traps or some other form of gurella warfare) is a death sentence. 

 

Because they must hunt and fight, Cullers must be skilled at stealth and combat.  Because they must be pillars of their community, Cullers must likewise be charismatic or knowledgeable and wise.  Killing a person from stealth defeats the purpose of the Cullers however, so they must always reveal themselves to thier prety before they attack, though preferably in a way that does not compromise their actual identity. 

 

This sect has no true organization, the function as a simple network of comrades, each taking a single community under their wing.  The best Cullers can forge a community into a tightly knit society of brave souls who work together to drive the monster from their midst, the greatest triumph they could hope to acheive.  Sometimes the organiztion attracts bad apples however, who assault and kill for no real purpose other than enjoyment.  That is when their own ranks need a little culling. 

 

Because the organization is so spread out and diverse, few know about or acknowledge it's existence.  If anything, the work of a Culler looks like the assault of a random sociopath.  Character might be introduced to the group either by hunting the terror at night, or being recruited to aid the community by day, possibly both at the same time.  Joining the organization might grant the character knowledge from Cullers in far off lands, and some subtle support or increased reputation with certain Druidic circles or harsh native tribes. 

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I like the mosaic, but the other one seems a bit like fan-fiction of like the most awesum club evah. It's a bit over the top. Its widespread but secretive, it values strength and valor, but also guile and intelligence, while teaching charismatic leadership, and no doubt they help old ladies cross the road.


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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The Technologists 

 

The technologists are a small intellectual group of humans that are obsessed with gizmos and gadgets. They hate other races and groups what they see as primitive. Their members range from farmers to aristocrats. They are unpopular small secretive group but powerful. They are very defensive in nature. They tend to keep to themselves. If one of their members were to be murdered they will retaliate with powerful technological efficiency in seeing that they are avenged.

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Amusingly the Cullers are intended more as a villain or 'evil' organization for the standard protagonist to oppose.  They're power-hungry sociopaths who believe in killing anyone who shows weakness.  They're widespread only in the sense of covering a very large area, there just wouldn't be that many of them because if their activities became widely known they'd be among the most hated organizations around.  Just because they believe they are doing society a favor doesn't actually mean that they are.  And just because they hold to a code doesn't really make them awesome or virtuous.  As far as their huge list of things they are supposed to be good at... *shrug*  That's mostly just survival, sure those skills fit with their intentions, but are also all the things they need to survive for any length of time. 

 

I agree though, the Cullers are... meh.  Mostly a random thing thrown together for fun as a potential source for an interesting antagonist.  Mosaic have a larger storyline potential, though they are pretty close to a stereotype secret society. 

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The Jack in the Green.

 

The Jacks are Druids who minister to the needs of city folk, an idea that appears strange to many at first, until the Jack looks at the grass sprouting through the cobblestones, taps those stones with the heel of his staff sparking fire, points to the weathervane spinning in the wind above his head, watches that wind blow the wooden shingle from a rooftop, shatter on the ground sending rats running and a cat into pursuit. Then he leans forward, taps you on the chest and says. "I minister to all life and animals, even ones so proud as man!"

 

He walks away with his hand brushing the worked stone of a house, and you see it grow strong and firm under his brief ministration, remembering that it is granite, born from the heart of the earth. The crowds of the street part unconsciously as he passes, and the fruits of a peddlers cart ripen and shed their bruising, while a goodwife exclaims over the sweetness of the well water this morning.

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Quite an experience to live in misery isn't it? That's what it is to be married with children.

I've seen things you people can't even imagine. Pearly Kings glittering on the Elephant and Castle, Morris Men dancing 'til the last light of midsummer. I watched Druid fires burning in the ruins of Stonehenge, and Yorkshiremen gurning for prizes. All these things will be lost in time, like alopecia on a skinhead. Time for tiffin.

 

Tea for the teapot!

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Knights of the Open Road.

 

In old country, there was a time when many roads were filled with banditry, washed out during summer rain, rockslides, new rivers cutting through it.

Yes roads were the thing you risked your life on. You only travelled in groups, no-one was stupid enough to go alone.

And without infrastructure empires crumble, Infrastructure means trade, means logistics for fielding an army are less complex. Roads connect cultures and ideas.

 

However the rulers of the many patchwork kingdoms, they couldn't be bothered, or they weren't powerful enough.

And one day, Borg Branik saw his farmstead burned down by a small army of brigands.

But rather than give up, he took his plow-horse, what survivors there were, and went to his liege lord, petitioning for help.

When the liege lord told him there was nothing to be done against, but offered funds and workmen to reconstruct the village.

 

Borg took the money, but choose to equip himself instead.

Borg took the men, but choose to recruit them instead.

 

And he set out after the brigands.

And he found them. Outnumbered, Borg used the element of surprise to raid the bandit camp. It was here where his tactical brilliance first became known.

He defeated the brigands in a story I'm sure every child knows well by know, so I won't bore you with it.

 

After the defeat of the brigands, he scavenged their gear and gathered his men. Borg said that from this day, it would be his duty to protect all the roads.

He had the workmen of his liege lord reinforce the bandit camp. He used some of the spoils to hire workmen to build with stone. He used the last of his funds to buy several more horses.

By the time he returned to his liege lord, he had constructed his keep at the main road, and several walled enclosures with a watchtower, each within sight range of the previous tower, and next to the road.

 

He demanded from his liege lord, for the work the lord could not do, a noble appointment, legitimacy, and that the fort he built was to be his keep forever more.

 

Under his leadership the Knighthood of the Open Road was founded. They spend their days patrolling the road, building wayhouses (the enclosures with the watchtowers soon became reinforced, and equipped with spartan but functional inns, some later grew into villages)

building road improvements, building bridges, escorting VIP's along dangerous missions, sending messages across the realm, and levying toll.

 

It was later during his life that Borg Branik became Borg Dragonsong. And later still that he went missing.

 

In the safest places the Knighthood is considered little more than a glorified postal service, but the Knighthood of the Open Road goes wherever roads need protecting. Their wayhouses are always open to weary travellers, the Knighthood always has work to do. They're engineers and knights and soldiers, experts in cavalry tactics. Their way is practical, not spartan per sé, but that's how it usually turns out.

 

Their service is currently run by Steen Borgson, the 'Borgson' is purely a title to denote the current leader of the Knighthood, just like Borgway is the name of the road Borg liberated and built his fort on. The Knighthood names roads after their more legendary members.

The Knighthood owes no fealty to any king or queen, and protects roads anywhere they're allowed to operate, regardless of the political situations.

 

The Knighthood is always looking for fighters, paladins especially are welcome, and skilled labour is always welcome as well.

Work in the Knighthood mostly consists of patrolling, escorting, and sending messages, and training. Sometimes knights are given special tasks. Any crime taking place on roads protected and patrolled by the Knighthood falls under their jurisdiction .

 

-Questhook, In a perfectly safe place, some of the Knighthood's fortifications have become deserted, knights were sent to check it out but none came back. The road, a relatively minor road, has been closed off by the Knighthood until the problem is solved.

-Questhook. The Knighthood of the open road has joined the new world, they have yet to set up a base of operations beyond their ad hoc quarters in the port city where they made landfall. A whole new land of challenge and opportunity, where a knight trying to make a name for him or herself might still be able to rise fast. Roads here are much more dangerous, and fortifications as of yet are non-existent. What better way to show the locals the benefits of the Knighthood?

 

The Knights of the Open Road carry the emblem of Dragonsong, Their shields are festooned with a Dragon in what with a lot of imagination can be called a singing pose.

Edited by JFSOCC

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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The rooftop runners.

 

A group of athletic young errand boys and girls.

Need a parcel or message delivered? for a coin a rooftop runner, which can be found on the overhanging platforms near the market, will do it at speed.

The Rooftop runners are the freerunner/parkour enthusiasts of the world, Originally a group of smarter beggar children, their leader, a twenty-five year old woman named Pear used to be one of the solitary runners, until one day she got a gold tenpiece for a parcel she delivered.

The woman who she ran the service for noticed her talent and helped her set up, in exchange, she must gather information from all across town and share it with this mysterious lady.

 

The Rooftop runners all work for Pear, and all owe her their earnings. In return they can stay in a well maintained expansive garden which is fairly difficult to reach, except by some athletic ability. (climbing, acrobatics, balance, strength and dexterity)

This garden is where several buildings meet and is hidden from sight by the slant of the roofs. This Rooftop Garden is the Headquarters of the Rooftop Runners, and so far no outside influence has managed to reach it.

All Rooftop Runners help maintain the garden since it grows them food and it is where they sleep. Pear sleeps in the greenhouse they've built in the middle.

 

Joining the rooftop runners is possible if you're young, athletic (you have to be able to reach the rooftop garden) and are willing to run across town on a time limit to deliver messages and parcels. Some of the rooftop runners are sometimes recruited to spy on meetings unseen and report back to Pear. They do not know who the woman is Pear reports to, but they do know that there is someone "behind the curtain"

Whenever they come back unseen, there is always a reward waiting, usually hot food, rarely a coin.

 

At this time, there are fifty-three Rooftop runners, not counting Pear, occasionally one falls from the roof and dies, occasionally a smarter beggar child or runaway manages to find their way to the rooftop, or passes a challenge to earn entry. The runners have not gone unnoticed by everyone however, and the thieves guild has begun wringing them for money, information, and services. Not a few of the Thieves have taken most unsavoury liberties with the children, and the children are beginning to question Pear's leadership, while Pear is looking for a way to deal with the Thieves. Pear's second in command, Frick, has been tasked with finding a help. This is where the player might come in.

 

Unbeknownst to Pear, the woman she works for owns the buildings through various proxies that the rooftop garden is located on. Also unknown to Pear, the woman is a member of the Co-operative of the Wise.

------

The Co-operative of the wise.

 

The Co-operative of the wise is a group Influential people who share some world views, and decided to work in secret to bring about a better world. "We're a group of like minded individuals who believe the wise should lead" They will work with any organisation they see fit, to further a cause of a world where those who are the most wise, those who would empower society the most are the ones in power.

They back individuals and organisations, both publicly and privately who they believes will help bring about this better world.

 

Each member of the Co-operative is required to organise a secret organisation, a front business and a public image. They help each other out when asked but each is tied geographically. They know of each-others fronts and public image, but keep their secret organisations from each other, to increase operational security.

 

Mostly rich philanthropists, already wealthy and educated, they occasionally quiz their fellow influential friends subtly, hoping to expand the membership of the group.

They rarely meet, and never all at once, but their organisation is a buzzing hive of coded messages to and fro, mostly of a friendly nature.

 

One of the most powerful members of this group has built his secret organisation called

----

The Infiltrators.

 

The Infiltrators are an espionage agency which MI6 would envy. The purpose of the Infiltrators is simple: to get men and women in key positions in every organisation of influence. So far they've managed to infiltrate several of the religions, crime syndicates, noble families and trade organisations, though not everywhere have they yet managed to get into key positions.

The Infiltrators don't recruit from outside. They start as children taken from orphanages, the streets, and it is rumoured some are children of the leader of the Infiltrators himself. They are all taken before they are six to avoid any outside influence. Then they are each trained in the use of a dagger and in spycraft. Each child is frequently tested and their assignments are chosen based on their abilities and affinities.

Unlike the cliché they're not treated poorly or without love, but they are kept secret, until they reach adulthood.

When they do, they get their assignment, and it is always for life. They are sleepers and saboteurs, but also active agents.

Should they fail to infiltrate an organisation, they are placed elsewhere. It's too much of an investment to throw away years of training. Infiltrators are encouraged to take initiatives and some may find themselves in other positions than was originally intended. The Leadership doesn't care as long as it is some place useful.

 

Infiltrators are trained to be loyal to the organisations they infiltrate, unless orders specifically countermand this.

They report back at infrequent intervals, but due to their lifelong training, remain fiercely loyal to the Infiltrators.

 

The player may encounter the infiltrators when they find out one of their party members was one of them all along, or someone in their stronghold gets caught in suspicious behaviour (reporting home) They may find the work of an infiltrator during their travels, but it would take a lot of adding up before understanding what the player is dealing with. Most likely the player encounters the Infiltrators when they provide unsolicited help, should they be members of the Dragoling Trade Empire.

 

The Leader of the Infiltrators pays for this expansive spy network with the proceeds of his front:

-----

The Dragoling Trader Empire.

 

The Dragoling Traders is the worlds first privately owned multi-national business.

The Traders have their own docks in port cities, their own warehouses, and their own store fronts.

They can be found in most of the coastal cities with a presence of the church of Hezeng, since the Fleet of Hezeng has a tendency to make trade safe. The Dragoling traders are a fairly well known brand by now, mostly because they have all the best spots in town, often right by the plaza. They trade in magical baubles, imported luxury goods like wine and silk and spices, inks and dyes and paper and furs , and offer passenger service on their sizeable merchant fleet. The real money, however, is on the monopoly of quality marble, currently a popular building material in this renaissance society. The Dragoling Traders have managed to gain control of the few known sites to produce this resource.

 

Employees of the Dragoling Trade Empire often find themselves in city councils, guild councils and other honoured positions. That the Infiltrators have helped the business is unknown to them, mostly the business has found its way to success on its own.

Despite this, the DTE has found themselves at odds with pirates disrupting trade, sudden taxation or import bans instated by the Church of Hezeng, and organised crime. The organisation is also vastly unpopular amongst the many guilds cities have, many of which are forced to trade with them for basic resources.

 

The Headquarters of the Dragoling Trade Empire is on a subtropical private island, guarded by a patrolling flotilla based on a nearby shallow harbour, one which most ships couldn't reach. The site is chosen carefully and lies between the old and the new world, though closer to the new world than the old. Only senior members of the DTE are allowed on the island, and only with an invitation and a naval escort.

Some say that on this island is the secret to the wealth of the Trade Empire, a cornucopic garden, a wish granting dragon, an infinite pit of resources. Wiser men would notice no trade ships ever dock.

Edited by JFSOCC
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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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The Zephalim:
Secret society that wishes to overthrow a kingdom (it is unknown which) and establish their own kingdom formed around their ideals (which is unknown to outsiders). They have agents in every major centre, who are willing to kill to preserve their secrets. The only way into this society is by invitation, and the only way to get an invitation is to show dissent to the current order of things and not have the authorities eyes upon you. The bulk of the members seem to be the more powerful merchants and businesses, with a smattering of lower level individuals. The Zephalim have been blaimed for several acts of terrorism and slaughter, this is untrue.... until recently, it appears they have adopted a new tactic that involves hiring brigands to disrupt Kingdom affairs. There has only been a handful of captured Zephalim, they tend to commit suicide just before capture, providing that the people committing the investigation survive the assassination attempts. The leading theory on how they choose leadership is by virtue of a council with representation across the 3 wings (intrigue, militant, business) it is again unknown for certain if even such a council exists, or how many members there may be in the organization let alone the council

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The Soul Searchers.

 

 

"If my immortal soul does not perish upon death, then I do not truly die. Should what I have then not remain mine?"

This question could have been answered more philosophically than the Soul Searchers have decided to.

The Soul Searchers can be seen as the ultimate form of life insurance.

The Soul Searchers are an organisation tasked with finding you in your new life, and giving you what's yours, for a fee.

You could see them as executers of your not so last will and testament.

 

Rich men and women, to proud and desperate to lose what they have gained in life, unwilling to do it all again find the Soul Searchers, and pay them a part of their fortune. In return, the Soul Searchers will go out into the world, for however long it takes, and find you (your soul) and give you back whatever belonged to you. Titles, wealth, advice, secret knowledge.

 

The Soul Searchers have utterly corrupt upper management. They have a tendency to find your soul reborn in one of their family, conveniently easy to manipulate officials and friends. Because the desperate rich often sign over their property to the Soul Searchers for safekeeping, their wealth has vastly grown.

 

That's not to say that all Soul-Searchers are corrupt, some take their task seriously and use their abilities to douse out the true owners of souls. The upper management realises that without some distracting 'real' successes their scam will quickly fall apart.

Unbeknownst to the leadership, there are a few, truly skilled, who would be better suited at a leadership position. (perhaps the player can help make that so. Or they can cash in.)

Soul Searchers are trained in recognising souls, not all who apply are suited to this task. It requires the ability to recognise class, relative age, and the ability to pay attention to personality quirks.

Whenever someone contacts the Soul Searchers, they are required to an examination, and to have a personal item, attuned to them specifically. (Something the owner cares a great deal about, a childhood toy, the first trophy they won, their scientific credentials, a love letter from their SO)

It's this item which helps the Soul Searchers douse out your soul.

The item is given to the leader of the tuners, a group within the Soul Searchers which can sense whenever an item's owner has returned to the land of the living.

 

The Organisation is not without it's controversy. Thirty years ago they awarded the right to rule a fairly large barony to a mentally retarded boy, fifty-three years ago it was found that they had made a mistake and given a small inheritance to an impostor who had captured and hidden the real soul-owner. (since then a triple verification is required at the organisation's Headquarters or chapter houses.)

Six years ago it was found that a mule held the soul of an esteemed patriarch. The Animal has a fantastic stable and grazing area while the organisation manages his funds, for his own good, of course. And when a beggar child became the frighteningly capable ruler of an estate slightly to the south of Big Big city 1, that set a lot of bad blood with the nobility, who now have to share their table with a peasant.

Finally, the organisation debunked that the leader of a small religion was their prophet reborn.

 

The player can encounter the organisation by entering one of their chapter houses and signing an agreement, by being found by the organisation and receiving a not too small inheritance, by finding out they are the soul reborn of someone deserving of an inheritance which the organisation seems to have failed to provide, or by trying to root out the corruption or opposing the political manoeuvrings of the powerful leadership of the Soul Searchers.

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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The Warreners

 

It was bound to happen. When a city builds layer upon layer of buildings, sewers on top of older sewers, when those who skulk build secret entrances and underground passages.

You create an underground city. A warren of roads.

In the most forgotten part of the underground warren, they reside. Outcasts, pariahs, beggars, lepers, criminals avoiding prosecution, hermits.

They're the Warreners, those who call the warren their permanent home. From here they radiate outwards, they undermine canals to get water, build around open sewers for their own private waste disposal. It was a mess at first

But decades of squalor ended when a couple, an engineer and his wife an architect got banished from the city.

They'd designed a building which collapsed. And while they protested their innocence, put blame on the shoddy workmanship, they still got exiled.

They fled underground, into the warrens.

Life was tough at first, but in the squalor they started working. First a tap for clean water, then an adaptation for the sewers so they could be used by those other denizens of the dark. Then came light, impregnation of the walls to stop the mould which was sickening everyone.

 

This got the attention of those in the warren, and they started silently offering their labour. Showing up with scavenged materials, metal pipes, timber.

And by silent consent the couple became the de facto rulers of their community. They started calling themselves the Warreners.

 

The Warreners see the entire underground city as their domain. And since their primary needs are being met, their secondary needs are being met, they've taken to expansion. While steadily their home improves, they're now patrolling ever more sections of the vast underground networks. They're digging new tunnels, collapsing others. They're setting up checkpoints and setting up strategical fortifications to block access to the warren.

 

There's a lot still to be done. Shylae, the architect, has designed an underground vegetable garden in the centre of their complex. Trimp, the engineer has seen to getting enough artifical light, but the garden is far from finished. There's still little isolation, fresh air, but life is improving lots. and the Warreners, mostly outcasts, have been regaining their humanity, both good and bad. there's a camp circle with musicians which is becoming the equivalent of a pub. There's quarters, a resource pile, and a militia.

 

The Militia is being led by an Aumaua called Rhothland. Rhothland is utterly devoted to Trimp and Shylae, but he has big plans for the warren. He means for the warrenites to become a fully recognised city-state under the city. He's ordering patrols, recruiting bored and starving Warreners, and setting them up on some more used underground paths. He's asking toll. He intends to use this to further the construction works of the Warren, new excavations, another deeper level, and better equipment for his militia.

 

And this is where the warrenites have come into a bit of a pickle. The crime syndicates around town are not too fond of having their smuggling paths blocked by tax collectors of any kind. And it's already come to blows. The warrenites have lost some members, but so have the thieves. The Warren was hardly a blip on the Radar. But the various factions are finding their secret paths to be a little over-crowded now, and the only thing protecting the Warren against annihilation is the fact that no-one knows the exact location. That is bound to change, however. And the Warreners are already past the point of no return when it comes to pissing off the wrong people. The Hive of the Hiveless (see post a bit to the top of the page) is none too pleased either.

 

Time will tell what will happen. The Warreners face extinction without help, or they might be enslaved and put to work for the crime syndicates running the smuggling operation, the other, more elusive groups who find their secret basements broken into may have a hand in matters as well.

And those on the surface who find parts stolen by the Warreners are slowly bringing this to the attention of the city watch.

 

It's a precarious dream, the underground utopia for the outcasts. But, all is not yet lost.

The player encounters the warreners by finding their warren, by working for the thieves and having to deal with the new problem, by solving the mystery of the stolen goods (either by victims or working for the city guard) or searching for an exile living in the Warrens. Either as a bounty or as a witness.

 

What happens next will be up to the player. Should the player choose to aid the Warreners, they can help in different ways leading to different outcomes. It could be a hostile takeover by reinforcing and training the militia and cleaning out the enemies. It maybe a deal negotiated between the crime syndicates and the Warreners, it maybe by aiding in the construction of additional defences for the warren, and helping out in finding resources for its growth and development. Someone skilled in subterfuge may help camouflage the warren's location, or find several blueprints which will aid in construction, and avoiding known obstacles. Finding hidden rooms and buildings which might still function. A city might be built here.

Should the player choose to deal with the Warreners differently, it will improve their standing with factions opposing the Warreners, they may enslave or kill them, work out a protection deal, or simply coerce the Warreners to stay out of other faction's way. Which will limit their growth and keep them in relative squalor.

Edited by JFSOCC

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Bojanis' Club.

 

Selene Bojanis is a Gorgeous woman, pleasant conversationalist, and very very rich. Oh, and she's single. She's the heiress of the Bojanis noble family, and in charge of the Bojanis' Club.

AKA: The Hedonistic society.

 

Out in sunny vineyard country, not too far out of town, there's a huge high walled complex. Palace Bojanis. It's beautiful. It is opulent, and it is well guarded.

For those not invited, it is a place of magic to aspire visiting one day.

For those invited, it is laughter and joy and sex, and drugs(if asked) and music, exotic food and more sex. Inside the place is filled with well tended gardens, alcoves and pillowed open air sitting rooms, hot tubs and pools, private rooms princes dream of, and all staffed with happy but silent servants, eager to fulfil any whim.

They cater to any desire.

A true paradise, IF you can afford it.

 

To experience it, you must pay an outrageous annual fee.

And you must abide by some rules: the servants will do anything you ask of them, provided they can and it doesn't interfere with other guests, but they will remain silent. If you wish conversation or song, there are hired performers, but don't expect conversation with the servants.

And you must obey any directive given by the guards, they are there for your protection, but should they find you off-limits, say, near the servants quarters, they will kindly escort you back to the guest premises.

Other than that, you can do what you please and the staff will happily oblige even absurd requests if it is within their ability.

 

Once a year there is a three day costumed ball where all members can bring a guest, as long as they vouch for them. This is the one day of the year where all guests can meet each other in the giant central courtyard, decorated for the occasion and access to the giant central garden for those wishing a quiet stroll in the moonlight. There are performers, drink, exquisite food, fireworks. The Night ends in a giant orgie where masked men and women can anonymously get every STD they wish until they are utterly spent.

While drunken sex with servants and other guests is expected, fighting amongst guests is not allowed and will earn you a lifetime ban.

 

These festivities are strategically timed right after the annual subscription fee, and if you're a member of high-society, you really can't afford not to be seen going there.

 

Yes, it's all peaches and cream.

 

Unless you're a servant.

 

All servants are slaves. Bought before they were six, imported from around the world, or raised bastards from guests' activities.

The first thing which happens is that the servants, all except those who are chosen for guard duty, have their vocal cords cut.

They are then taught a sign language to communicate with each other.

And from day 1 they are indoctrinated: You are here because you are bad. Your life is penance for the crimes of your past life. Your karma put you in hell, because that is where you deserve to be. The guests are here because they are righteous, they have been born wealthy, a reward for past lives spent well. Do what they wish, even if it means debasing yourself, even if it means death, because through this is the only way your penance will ever be done. The only chance for a better rebirth is total obedience to those who are born good.

 

If you're pretty, you're selected as a personal slave, which basically means sex slave. If you've got obedience problems, you're put to work in horrendous conditions. If you're too ugly but know how to listen, you're trained as a guard.

 

Most slaves are believers. What can you expect, when you're indoctrinated from 6 years old. But occasionally, some do flee. The guards are dispatched to haul them back, any slave caught is killed, but not outside the complex. The guards serve to keep the guests from seeing the horrors of servitude. But they are also trained in non-lethal combat, to subdue rowdy guests, and unit combat, although the reason for that is never revealed.

 

Guards units are trained fighters, rangers (for retrieval)

 

Some "special" servants are tasked with spying on the guests (rogues, cyphers) and report to their betters. They are told that this is necessary to root out any souls which don't deserve to be there, but to what standard this is set is left a mystery, lest they start unconsciously filtering information.

 

Some special guard units are true believers, indoctrination has made them totally obedient. They don't question their orders, and could for gameplay purposes be considered paladins. They're sent on special missions. 'escorting' staff abroad when they seek out exotic goods and slaves, food, entertainment to bring back to the hellish paradise complex.

 

This year, rumour has it, Selene has something special planned for her costumed ball. The whole high society is abuzz with speculation, it is certainly expected that if you are somebody, you just HAVE to be there. Tailors are doing brisk business selling ever more extravagant costumes. Perfumers have had to deal with shortages, and moneylenders have seen a marked increase in high born customers. Whatever it's going to be, it's going to be big.

 

The player will first encounter the Bojanis' Club as something unattainable, a place they can't get entry to, but dominating one of the landscapes they pass through. Rogues may wish to rob it blind (and who could blame them!) Players might need to curry favour with someone to enter the complex as their guest. (or with six someones to get the entire team in.) It is a place where one can encounter hard to meet VIP's, so a player wanting to track down one such might find itself facing the Bojanis' Club that way.

 

Or, alternatively a player may come across a runaway servant, either preventing the recapture, or investigating what the hell happened after failing to do so. The player may investigate the loss of children under the age of six from a distant land, or the kidnapping of a wealthier child also fitting that description. Finding and getting that child out would require entrance to the club.

 

Or the player may be sent to investigate this "special event" Selene Bojanis seems to have planned by any of the interested factions. Not everyone is without suspicion.

 

The Bojanis' Club does occasionally contract freelancers, and since their coffers are full, that comes with interesting rewards. There is a large segment of the work the club can't leave to the slaves without raising suspicion, and joining as paid employees allows a player to raise within the organisation to a management position, if they can stomach the darker side to the operation. And who knows, the attractive Selene might take notice of you. (Ever the charmer, half the men in power, and some women too seem to think they have a special relationship with her)

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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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The Powdermen of Helmberg

 

The guns of Helmberg are known for being some of the highest quality work in the known world. From the cheapest, mass-produced matchlock arquebus to the finest knight's wheelock pistol, the city's dedication to the craft of gunmaking borders on the obsessive. Many of the legendary guns of history - Godsmight, The Horned Falcon, and Fourdeaths - were crafted by one of the Gunsages of Helmberg.

 

But strong guns need strong powder, most powder being intended for guns that would burst if given more than a full charge. While apprentices might marvel at elegant tracery, intricate firing mechanisms, and expert rifling, a true master knows that a gun is only as good as the powder which gives it breath to speak. Helmbergian powder is as sought after as Helmbergian firearms, and the Powdermen of Helmberg are those responsible for its creation.

 

A Powderman is not the unfortunate debtor or indentured servant who actually performs the grinding, but instead the masked and cloaked figure who oversees the toiling mass production in the fortified factory-monastery. Whoever he was before he joined the order, now he keeps his face hidden in public and his true name secret from even his brothers. A Powderman is a dead man walking - either in production or in experimentation, accidents happen. And when powder ignites due to a stray spark or even excess pressure, men are maimed and killed in seconds.

 

Powdermen come from many walks of life for many reasons. Exiles and criminals with the skill to learn the secrets of the order are the most common source, if they are sufficiently desperate, but the Burgher families of Helmberg occasionally send a child to serve the Order in compliance with ancient custom and law. Once a man's face disappears behind the white mask and black robe, his previous life is over and his time as a Powderman has begun.

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The Vengaul 

 

A rigidly ordered hierarchy under the command of a powerful but distant warlord. Their objectives are territorial conquest. They are honest and brutal; either submit to their commands or be obliterated. They often assimilate the local religions and cultures into their ranks so their religion is varied and so are the races in the lower ranks of their hierarchy. Enterprising and skilled tacticians and warriors are welcomed with open arms. Their capitals are melting pots of multiple cultures; the laws are rigidly enforced with extreme, perhaps even fanatical loyalty by their guards. There is no lack of backstabbing among the upper echelons, however the Leader and his foremost commanders are untouchable; revered as semi divine. 

 

At the moment their armies are resting but soon they will march once more and bring all that oppose them to their knees, or die trying. With a focus on mobile, ranged combat and tactics they have swept aside many powerful nations and turn to a new land, ripe for the plucking. Their conquest and successes are seen as demonic by outsiders however civilians who fall under their rule are treated well and the Vengaul have no love for slavers or the practice of slavery. As an enemy they are relentless and and vicious. As an ally they are steadfast and trustworthy. As long as you remain in a low position. The greater leaders are strict but fair as their role is secure, the lesser ones jealous and competitive. 

 

While their scientific knowledge is low, their wide territories and huge revenues have built up a large cadre of skilled and intelligent people in managerial positions. For those who wish to know about the far reaches of the world or the secrets of religion and magic this is definitely the place to be. Their power and influence stretches further than any readily available map.  

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The Chroniclers.

 

Some call it hero worship, others cultural pride. They are historians, story tellers, keepers of lore and secrets.

 

Oh, and they're mostly old people without the strength to do much more than work Sundays.

 

In Big Big City 2, the rulers have seen it fit that whenever someone of importance is about to die, or has died, a statue of that person is raised.

It's not strange that they call it the City of Statues.

Big deal, many cities do that. But the leadership in BBC2(not the broadcasting corporation) found that just a statue seems to mostly get ignored, except for getting a nice icing layer of pigeon crap.

 

It was then decided that each statue from now on would have a chronicler. Someone with time on their hands to keep the statue clean, and answer passers by about the man or woman depicted. Chroniclers are trained to learn as much as they can about their subject, lore, myths, things fans and historians care about. The Base of these statues is hollowed out and in it is the small office of the chroniclers. On the walls you'll find guiding texts to convey the basic information of who said statue was and what their importance was. But if you care to learn more, you can always ask the pensioner who is the chronicler of said statue, for a small fee, of course.

 

Some statues have more than one chronicler, especially more important ones. And the little museums have become quite the tourist attraction, please exit through the gift shop.

 

The Chroniclers themselves are a diverse bunch, they even have younger members, and they've unified under their own guild, with city council permission. Their Guild HQ has a sizeable library containing biographies on most statues, plus information about the statues themselves, should they ever need repair or replacing. During the Iconoclastic Fury about a century ago, many statues were destroyed. After this, the guild maintains a small group of martial artists which can be outsourced to any statue whose chronicler fears it might be defaced or destroyed. The Political landscape of the City of Statues shifts constantly, and sometimes statues need protecting.

 

Unbeknownst to the City council, but a public secret in the guild, is that some chroniclers allow beggars and other vagrants to crash their statue-museums at night, as long as they keep the place tidy. Some Chroniclers take the opportunity to educate the beggars about their history.

 

It's also believed that some statues have secrets, and that some chroniclers are more than just pensioners doing their civic duty. Such conspiracy theories are only natural of course. No doubt some of the chroniclers put that rumour into the world themselves to make their jobs seem less dull.

 

All Public statues (and some private ones) no matter how small, no matter how crappy the part of town, have a chronicler.


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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The Republic of Keller

Historical Rip-off: Republic of Basque

Inherent dilemma: Practical limits of governance, Rights of governance

In the middle of a kingdom is a city that is small but disproportionately powerful for it's size.  Their citizens are known to be disproportionately skilled also, and emigrants have become people in somewhat high places throughout many different societies.  The citizens there have had a different system of government since their advancement in the last 5 generations and they believe their system of government is better than the kingdom's.  The republic has been secluded from other societies because of their mountainous location, which has kept inter-city travel slow and their military defense easy.  Time and again the republic has repelled invading societies, and now the kingdom is finally "asking" the republic to pay taxes, like all the other cities have done for decades if not centuries.  The republic strongly believes in their own sovereignty (and superiority) and refuses the crown.  The republic beats every invading platoon, even the special guard that is eventually brought in.  Finally the kingdom gives up, or perhaps resorts to other/desperate measures as the King's fiscal position becomes dire.

 

The Army of Keller(Replace with obligatory powerful name that isn't a huge cliche yet)

Historical Spin-off from: Army of Flanders

In a war between Kingdoms is a non-political mercenary army that has never lost a battle, but grows increasingly expensive and starts becoming an unbearable burden for any kingdom, but an unstoppable force that can't be left to the opponents.  Eventually the costs become 1/4 of a wealthy kingdom's budget and the army doesn't receive the enormous money they promise.  The army lets the opponents run through the Kingdom until the King promises unbelievable favoritism to the army, even special laws for when the army retires from the war.  However, the army's hubris has grown so much that the leader doesn't accept, instead demanding the throne.  The leader is physically given the crown in a desperate bargaining meeting.  Your involvement can protect the king or help the army, either of which determines the wealth of the kingdom's cities (item availability and costs in shops).  An outcome that might be too complicated would be to have special side-effects to the plot based on the resulting leadership, such as other groups/people available in the kingdom.

 

The Pythinonicus

Historical Rip-off: Pythagoreans (I was so clever at renaming these guys, I know)

Historical Rip-off: Harris v. Jones

Inherent dilemma: Institutional Corruption (small scale), Individuality vs. Paternalism

There is a "cult" of fanatics that believe they have found a great discovery of the relationship of souls with the universe, and the new leader has developed the cult's beliefs while leading them into an increasingly precarious situation.  The new recruits have become skeptical as their cult moves deeper into desolate territory with a decreasing chance of returning to the safe proximities of nearby civilization.  One of them is a beautiful, academically bright daughter to a fairly wealthy relative of another NPC in the nearby city, and her parents have hired you to "rescue" her from the cult and bring her back to a normal life.  As she barely reached adulthood the cult has used incremental social pressures to increase her social dependency to the cult and restrict outside influence, and she is in love with the charismatic leader.  You have multiple ways of bringing back the daughter, but can ultimately find out that the leader's developments of the religion are the incorrect visions of an outcast who found an obsession to comfort his exile.  He has been with the cult ever since he was officially ostracized from a far away city 15 years ago for taking the blame of his wife's mistake.  He and his wife were both professional architects and when an unusually strong year for weather caused a noble's house to collapse, the normal death sentence was expected as the noble's favored son had been killed.  If you bring back the beautiful cult daughter to her parents without convincing her that the leader or the cult is wrong, she will scream for days and resist with everything but lethal violence, including calling the police and accusing you of kidnapping when she is finally allowed a few hours outside of her room.  Depending on your reputation, you may actually go to jail for this crime, as she is a legal adult, or you may be released, based on the "insanity" of the daughter.

 

The Empiricists

Historical Rip-off: Atheists, Aristotelians

Inherent dilemma: Faith vs. Science

-World Overview

Scattered throughout the societies are people who have seen the races improve their self-awareness, and have therefore grown up to favor demonstrable evidence rather than explanations which have notions of forces at work beyond our "normal" senses.  While this is usually just a frame of mind, the people who ascribe to it are usually looking for others like them and may even be forming political networks of their own.  Openly discussing it proves to be very difficult as it is heavily in contrast to common "wisdom" and can make someone a social outcast, officially exiled citizen, or worse (scapegoating, mass persecution) depending on the society.  Thoughout conversations on this topic, some people hate empiricists for the wrong reasons ("I met a stupid one", "everyone knows that's wrong"), and some people have great arguments against it ("Their complicated 'expiriments' can only result in no discomfirmation of the evidence, which is different than an absolute proof, and doesn't directly disprove conventional belief).

 

-Plot Possibilities

One empiricist makes a great innovation/discovery as a result of his empirical thinking, but the discovery is contrary to a widespread understanding of souls in his society (for consistency, this understanding might need to be only believed in his society).  What's worse, it means the miracle recovery of his King was not due to the help of the shamans, who gained significant influence since that event.  Does he fearlessly present it as a triumph of his ideology? Does he try to get political support beforehand, maybe requiring someone else to take the credit?  Does he attempt to mesh the explanation with the current understanding of souls, impuning the methodology that led to his discovery?  Your help or rejection determine if the society starts changing from magic-based to a more technologically oriented society.

 

Previously Mentioned Factions I Like

That "Mosaics" faction is incredible.  I love the way it parallels an aspect of human interrelation but because it's from a basic soul mechanic, it creates interesting moral vices to those involved.

 

Dragoling Trader Empire by JFSOCC (basically the Dutch East India Company)

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but can ultimately find out that the leader's developments of the religion are the incorrect visions of an outcast who found an obsession to comfort his exile. He has been with the cult ever since he was officially ostracized from a far away city 15 years ago for taking the blame of his wife's mistake. He and his wife were both professional architects and when an unusually strong year for weather caused a noble's house to collapse, the normal death sentence was expected as the noble's favored son had been killed.

That sounds familiar

But decades of squalor ended when a couple, an engineer and his wife an architect got banished from the city.

They'd designed a building which collapsed. And while they protested their innocence, put blame on the shoddy workmanship, they still got exiled.

They fled underground, into the warrens.

Which, cool, maybe they're the same people in different stages of the game? that'd be awesome.

 

I really like the Army of Keller, something which starts out as a beneficial agreement corrupting to the point that it becomes burdensome. It really gives lots of options to the player as well. There are so many ways to deal with that.

 

And yeah, a Dutch guy like me, I must at least have been inspired a little by the VOC (East Indies Company)


Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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Customs cartel.

 

There are many currency exchanges in the world. After all, there are many currencies. A Guilder here and a Thaler there. Pounds elsewhere, and if you wish to trade, you must be able to pay.

 

There have been attempts to unify coinage across the world.

But the Customs cartels wouldn't have it. It's their stock in trade, and it has made them rich, and powerful enough to oppose any legislation. They will simply refuse their services. Since most of the known world's funds are stuck in the many reserves the customs exchange houses have, they can effectively stop trade and paralyse cities dependent on it.

 

Officially the customs cartel doesn't exist, they are all independent business, and to be honest, some smaller ones are. In reality the moneychangers are too smart not to unite and ask the jackpot for their services. Since they are found in locations which are well travelled, it was fairly easy for the more enterprising businesses to communicate and start co-operating.

 

The Customs Cartel has determined exchange rates (within set margins) which ensures that anyone doing business will help fill the coffers of the cartel evermore. Being wealthy they ensure competition either joins or doesn't last long. And have a decent amount of influence should they wish to exert it, which usually is not needed.

 

Most trade-hubs will have one, maybe two customs houses where currencies can be exchanged at a steep rate. But it is not the only service the exchangers deliver.

They have started experimenting with a new concept they call banking. Where businessmen can deposit an amount of money for whenever they revisit the city. useful if trade contact if frequent and you don't want to keep changing the same money over and over again. This service costs a small amount, and owners get a writ which they can also exchange at any other business part of this alliance, which ends up pretty much being the entire Customs Cartel. Each "bank" office has their own seal and signature, so at the end of the year they can settle accounts with each other. delivery of a writ at another bank incurs an extra fee, of course.

 

Furthermore, Customs houses offer secure storage of items and in some cases goods, for retrieval later, again at a fee.

 

Some designated customs houses also offer pawn services and lend money. These are probably the best guarded buildings closest to the centre of a city.

It's only a matter of time really before someone comes up with the bright idea of lending deposited money at interest, and carrying over a small amount of that interest over to whomever deposited it. Someone who could help bring that about might find him or herself incredibly wealthy and powerful within the customs cartel.

 

Player interaction with this faction could involve security, investigating theft, exchanging currencies between regions, delivering messages, forging writs (letters of credit) or a daring caper emptying the vault of one such business. working for the cartel could involve 'enforcing' IE destroying competition not part of the cartel. It could be investing in a customs house on a new location devoid of one, entering the guild and protecting your business/expanding it. This could help influence the city's elite, possibly elevate the player to city elite. Interaction might consist of investigating the cartel and it's ridiculous rates and sabotaging them for one of the many factions tired of having to deal with their cr@p. A player might use the business to pawn or get out of pawn interesting items.

You could reinforce bonds between the business making it official (with you as leader, should you go that far)

And you would shape the future of the world by introducing banks as we know them today. (being part of the renaissance! who wouldn't want that!)

Working for the faction in lower ranks earns you better exchange rates, lower fees, free storage, and first pick on unclaimed pawned items.

 

Working against the faction can allow you to break their hold over the business, freeing up competition, and drastically lowering exchange rates that way. Working against the faction for yourself can ruin entire economies while you walk away with the cash.

Edited by JFSOCC

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Sloppers, Raggers and Scavengers.

 

Big Cities create a lot of waste.

There's poo, there's garbage, and there's last year's fashion.

 

And while the wealthier parts in town are having excellent plumbing, the slums do not

One man's trash is another man's treasure

The Sloppers work just before dawn.

They go into parts of town without sewers, and the collect the poo, for a fee, which gets sold as fertilizer outside of town.

They collect the Piss, for a fee, which they sell to alchemists who get sulphur out of it.

They collect the trash, for a fee, and dump it downwind, outside of town.

Some of them collect fresh corpses from the shadier parts of town for a larger fee, which they sell to medical scientists and necromancers.

Corpses which are to far gone to be of use are added to the compost and sold to farmers who will never know.

 

Raggers go around town and pay small coin for any used fabric you don't want any more. They recycle the fabric into rope, canvas, new clothes, and sell the worst to papermakers, who seem to be most happy to have it. They're most willing to sell from their cart to anyone who is interested, since that money is theirs to keep.

 

The Scavengers, are a desperate lot. They pay a coin a day to be allowed on the giant garbage heap outside of town, where they are free to keep what they find. It's like playing the lottery, but it's just enough to not starve everyday for most.

 

The sloppers, raggers and by association the scavengers all work for Ophrey Slopp. Son of a Slopper, once part of the city's crime syndicate, decided he didn't have a taste for that work. Using his connections from both worlds he exited the crime syndicate and used their influence to unite the Sloppers and raggers and scavengers under his banner. They only reason he could leave the crime syndicate was because he helps out occasionally, offering shelter and jobs to crooks who need to be 'on the down low' for a while, disposing bodies, and paying protection money. Though for this he gets some influence as an errant cousin of the crime syndicate, and is considered a loved ally who just 'wasn't cut out for the real stuff

 

His services to the city haven't gone unnoticed, and he's set to be elevated to a minor lordling soon, provided nothing screws it up.

 

Heavily inspired by the character of Harry King, "King of the Golden River" as written by Terry Pratchett

 

''''''''''''''''

 

The Player might encounter this faction investigating a crime; working for the crime syndicate; needing to find an object which might have been thrown away (joining the scavengers who are jealous of their turf); finding hard to get supplies. (Ophrey can find some hard to find items for you, given enough time. his people are everywhere after all, so if you need something, he'll likely be able to locate it.); protecting the new sewers built from sabotage; A player might be asked to take over the operation for a competing crime syndicate. This is bound to lead to a lot of resentment, including amongst the workers, though better working conditions might convince most of them. The player might be asked to do a background check on Slopp before he is made a lord. How the player handle's that is up to the player, but could make Slopp a lifetime ally or opponent.

Edited by JFSOCC
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Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
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Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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The Croquants

 

The Croquants are starving peasants who assail travelers in the country since a famine has begun . Numerous, they are walking in groups of 30, and are composed mainly of men, teenagers but also of some women. Thin, emaciated, they are particularly aggressive and quick. Dressed in rags, they fight with agricultural tools and rusted weapons . A band led by a short, stocky and cruel man, Diszno, will take the lead and organize the movement. A pretty  and opulent village will be looted. girls and women captured and taken to their hideout...

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The Soul Travellers

-World Overview

The enigmatic and silent soul travellers are what seems to be a race that appear at strange places and strange times.  Their appearance is somewhat otherworldly and strained, as if they're living through a long and heavy burden.  Their souls cause them to enter and exit existence in episodes, but alleged sightings are so rare that they are more often seen in dreams.  Alleged contact with the travellers is followed by visions that always seem to have impacts on how their listeners make a decision, or how they make decisions in general.  Are they manipulative demons?  Eternal wanderers?  What are they really up to?  Can others become them or live like they do?

 

I think in general this a typical "deus-ex-machina" race that could be developed to achieve any plot goal, but the most interesting thing I can think of is for them to be "purgatory angels" of sorts that try to protect the entire system of souls from being destroyed by "mortals" (although travellers can also die).

 

- Plot Possibilities

(Two mutually exclusive possibilities)

1.  An enemy leader is trying to destroy the Soul Travellers, because he does not see them as pacifiers or bringers of balance.  He sees their interventions as the largest disruptive force in the world, amplifying or creating the ripples and echoes in time that have caused enormous suffering for mortals.  This view may be rooted in a combination of hard feelings from past tragedies as well as a fear that the faction may try to "equalize" the villain out of the picture.  The villain has a right hand man that is much more scheming and purely evil, and when the Travellers are finally killed, he betrays and kills the head villain, and begins his ambition to destroy the very existence of souls (for reasons which aren't dependent on this faction).

2. A traveller is giving the hero (and others) visions to help them acheive their full potential, because the traveller is jealous of a mortal's free will and ability for moral choice.  Helping the hero allows the traveller to vicariously enjoy this aspect of living which the traveller is forced to monitor but never have.

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The Pristine Order

 

Throughout the millenia The Order has now consolidated their influence throughout large parts of the known world with only a few remote areas that for now live free.

 

Under the banner of freedom and justice they claim that magic is the source of all evil and mankind's only way to salvation is the complete annihilation of anything and anybody touched by magic. As long as a world is tainted by magic, hard working, honest living people can never truely be free. Through brutality, intimidation, doctrines instilled early on in children and the complete control of all resources  they have gathered an army of fanatics that believe magic is inherently evil.

 

While magic exists nobody is equal. Only through equality, can a world be free.

 

Preaching the Pristine way is considered virtuous, implicating infidels, through hard evidence or mere rumors is a pristine's citizens holy duty, lest they risk their eternal soul in the afterlife.

 

Torture will eventually produce confessions.

 

Any living creature is inherently evil, while those touched by magic are the bane of civilization. Only through sacrifice and the relentless pursuit of the way of the order can a soul be cleansed. Only those faithfully following the order's way to salvation will eventually purify their tainted souls and earn a place next to the holy brothers of the order in the afterlife.

 

By now cities and kingdoms fall either to the Orders preaching, losing formerly loyal civilians and soldiers to the perfected art of indoctrination and the promise of true freedom, equaltiy and a glorious afterlife. Or to the eventually arriving armies of fanatics that have grown to a point where they are by far the largest assembled force to ever march across the world.

 

Formerly florishing and peaceful kingdoms get attacked by those ideas from within. Peacful citizens believe they are entitled to more than they have and that those with magic are the personification of injustice. Just Queens and Kings and their entire familes are slaugthered by their very own suspects, who are twisted by those believes.

 

Other countries willingly side with the Pristine Order, realizing they cannot remain independent, trying to gain favor by attacking neighboring lands that have been faithful allies throughout history.

 

Yet others are intimidated by the Pristine's brutality, surredering without any resistance.

 

A true believer is appalled by magic. Standing in the face of magic darkens their souls, taints their blood, corrupts the eternal glory that they fight to install throughout the world and the ensuing afterlife.

 

The Pristines cannot be reasoned with. They embrace their chance to demonstrate faith through the ultimate sacrifice of their very lifes, which are meaningless as long as their souls are tainted by a world that tolerates magic.

 

You can only join them or watch them slaugther everybody you hold dear before torturing you to a point where you beg for mercy, whishing you had never been born.

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The Adrathi

 

The Adrathi are a band of Humans and Orlans living in an encampment near the ruins of an ancient Glanfathan settlement.

They consist of those who have seen the plunder of Glanfathan artefacts by the newcomers to the area, and have vowed not to protect them, but to take them for themselves, catalogue and study them, and keep them in Dyr.

But that's not all they're up too.

 

The Adrathi or "seekers of Adra" mine the shell-like substance and trade the unusual material for profit. They stockpile some of the resource, not just for study and use, but also to keep an even supply of it.

 

The Adrathi scout out other Glanfathan ruins to 'protect' them as well.

 

Lastly, the Adrathi have a single ruin which they have advertised to the world. They've subtly let rumours of an incredibly rich ruin enter the world. While the ruin has been completely emptied by the Adrathi themselves, they've filled it with just enough to entice bold looters to enter ever deeper into the maze, which they have filled with traps.

 

The Adrathi patrol the surrounding area, are friendly to those who visit, but kill any who attempt to leave after visiting their ruin.

Once a month, they send their patrols into the ruins to clear out the corpses, reset and improve the traps, and loot the dead.

 

The gear they loot is then sold to adventurers who are following up on this rumour of a rich forgotten Glanfathan ruin, ripe for the picking. ;)

 

It's a good living, the Adrathi are xenophobic, tend to make fun of their victims behind their back, but maintain a friendly outward appearance while trading with any victim not yet succumbed to their traps or patrols.

 

Once every so often, they send out one of their own to Big Big City 1 with a rich haul, to sell and tell stories of this fantastic ruin he's only just begun to loot.

 

Recently the Hakawati have gotten wind of this story, and subsequently the Adrathi have had to step up to keep up with the increased influx of adventurers.

 

Victims of their own success, so to speak.

 

Adrathi will be suspicious of anyone they don't know, though they'll be careful not to show it. However, anyone demonstrating that they're respectful of the Glanfathan artefacts and ruins might earn their trust. Anyone wishing to study some interesting artefacts might be able to find them in the Hands of the Adrathi, so befriending them might give you access.

 

Should a player manage to befriend the Adrathi, they will be asked to help deal with the Hakawati telling too many tales; Be required to help trap ruins which have just been pilfered by the Adrathi, so they have another fake El Dorado to share with the world; Trade on behalf of the Adrathi, and help spread word.

The player will also be brought along on trips to newly uncovered ruins yet unknown to the world, and who knows what they might find there.

Furthermore, the Adrathi have studied artefacts for a while now, and will likely be able to help the player identify what they've found, and teach them about the hidden qualities some items might have.

 

Recently the Adrathi have stumbled upon a new ruin which is so big, they haven't been able to fully map it yet, and it's in excellent condition, unlike ALL the other ruins.

 

-----

Living in the Encampment is Alèsix Dechamp, a Rich Horticulturist He's managed to get the help of the Adrathi as soon as they found out he has absolutely no interest in anything but plantlife. He's incredibly enthusiastic about his findings, however, as the ruins appear to be supporting all manner of unique plant and wildlife. And these all seem to be found only near where there are Galfathan ruins.

More interestingly they are found wherever there are these ruins, but nowhere else.

Instead of Reporting back home, he's decided to do more research, but OH BOY! when they hear about it back home!

 

The Adrathi have no intention of letting Alèsix go, but see no harm in letting him stay and study.

Alèxis has been gone long enough to be missed, or to be presumed dead. He doesn't care, he's got a thesis to work on.

Edited by JFSOCC

Remember: Argue the point, not the person. Remain polite and constructive. Friendly forums have friendly debate. There's no shame in being wrong. If you don't have something to add, don't post for the sake of it. And don't be afraid to post thoughts you are uncertain about, that's what discussion is for.
---
Pet threads, everyone has them. I love imagining Gods, Monsters, Factions and Weapons.

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