For Glory, For Empire
Organizations and Factions
This list is not comprehensive, but is presented to spark some ideas. Please feel free to come up with your own.
The world is rife with temporary causes, flash-in-the-pan territorial conflicts, and rulers who temporarily have more money than warriors to back them up. As such, the area is a prime breeding ground and destination for mercenary groups of all persuasions. The Bloodsworn Swords are well known not only for their battle prowess, but also for their benevolent treatment of the noncombatants they move among. As such, they are highly sought after by groups who seek protection but don’t want to risk becoming the target of those they hire.
Brotherhood of the Midnight Lotus
These monks are unique in that they intentionally operate at night, reversing their schedules from those of the rest of the world. Each temple houses a Midnight Lotus, an ultra-rare plant that only blooms in complete darkness.
The buds of the plant are rumored to grant supernatural powers and wondrous visions. The minds of all mortals are reportedly open to these monastic psychics. They are unwanted in many lands, and openly hunted in certain locales.
These monks are preparing for a prophesied “war to come” and every action is to help maintain their knowledge and readiness.
Fellowship of Flen
Flenouaye is an island crossroads for sailors of all types. The Fellowship of Flen is a loose brotherhood of sailors based in the islands that do not attack Flenoush ships or people, and help each other against any navies arrayed against them.
The Grel exist as the warrior caste of the Bea’txo on their island home of Marit, with the best serving as the personal guard of the Amatsuotome. Further, they serve their individual families as security against the machinations of the other families. Lastly, they serve as messengers and bodyguards for Bea’txo diplomats in the world beyond Marit.
These manifold, and sometimes conflicting loyalties, have given rise to a rigid code that they live by. They will always aid other Grel against non-Bea’txo aggression. They will always fulfill their tasks and duties given them by their superiors. They will always serve and further the goals of their family. They will always give their life for the Eternal Princess. The other parts of the code seem to vary by rank, family, and the situation.
The Grey Watch
The Grey Watch are enforcers of law within the Zalamiri Empire, and are made up of seven branches. The Grey Watch can be a branch of service for Citizenship.
Road Wardens make the roads and highways safe, even where they fall within the boundary of a town or city (normally the jurisdiction of the locality’s constables). Marshals enforce the law within the Zalamiri Army and Navy, and are part of both branches, often treated more as a soldier than a “Grey.” Questioners are specialized investigators brought in on unclear or unusual cases. Arbiters are barristers and judges who will either prosecute or adjudicate a case. Jailers handle punishment, and run the prisons. Ghosts are secretive operatives that infiltrate criminal enterprises for gathering information. Mirrors are the internal control of the Grey Watch, making sure that justice remains impartial and fair.
House of Poughash
The House of Poughash is the most notorious of the trading houses in Salamport, and all of Zalamir. Nearly every story of backbiting, amoral excess, and conspiratorial weirdness associated with the Zalamiri trade house system is likely due to Poughash. They only have one motto, and it is the only standard they operate by: “Profit above all.”
Morals, laws, loyalties, and national boundaries fall by the wayside in the name of wealth. The Poughash acts superficially like many other merchant and trade cabals, but unlike them, it actively manipulates the market and its patrons to achieve its vast wealth. From the lowest dock worker who cares for nothing save for earning his promised pay, to the soldier of fortune willing to spill blood for coin, the House’s masters rely on the supreme power of human greed to further even darker aims.
This academy of learning, set at the southern edge of the Great Fushenti Desert in the free city of Khora, is dedicated as much to the students’ breadth of knowledge as the depth. Every facet of magic, alchemy, philosophy, theology, and the natural world is of interest to someone at the Indajile.
While one must master a subject to teach here (5 years or more), to become a Master of the Indajile requires completion of study (at least one year) in no less than 11 subjects. Masters are come along less than once a decade due to the rigorous demands of each advancement in rank.
There are numerous faculty at the Indajile that are also still students, lacking their last couple of subjects of study, and hesitant to leave campus as a Journeyman.
Journeymen of the Indajile travel far and wide, searching for new volumes, samples, or first hand experience. this will garner them a reputation, earn them a paid faculty position, and possibly even earn them the coveted title of Master of the Indajile.
Kithayeen and Lukar’r are generally made to feel unwelcome within other societies, but the Kri-Tal Scales is a society of friends of those races, offering them support, shelter, and an ally in foreign lands. Scales often are not open about their affiliation and their identity is only known to a few others within the organization.
The Nephalous Thinkers
The Nephalous Thinkers are a group dedicated to removing outside influences from their communities. No laws decreed from outside. No religious zealotry deciding what they can eat, who the can speak with, when they can work or pray.
Thinkers are often on the move, forming a new community far away from any influence, and moving on if it ever gets claimed by an outside government.
Order of the Road
This organization is made up of a select group of Cavaliers, Fighters, and occasionally other classes that find their home on the move. The Order follows a strict code of the Traveler, where the right to move safely through the land is upheld with severe and swift repercussions for those that take advantage of those on the road.
The Protectors of Our Sacred Mother
The Protectors of Our Sacred Mother are militant worshipers of the land and all things natural as the deity “Toreena”, from which all was born many millennia ago. They seemingly draw divine power from trees, animals, rocks, rivers, clouds and the like and channel it into the Jihad, their holy war against technology and the civilized lands. They are sometimes known as Torees (for their protection of their home planet/deity, Toreen/a.).
“Arise Children, Our Mother calls us to Her aid on this Holy night! Arise and run!”
—Rallying cry of Midwife Chandarra on the Night of Fiery Cleansing
These are Druids, Rangers, Sorcerers, Barbarians and the like operating as outlaw Luddite terrorists on the fringes of civilized lands. They profess a desire to “protect” and “restore balance” but instead try to destroy all who get in their way.
The Rangers move from land to land, shepherding the gargantuan herd beasts, the Wosheshina. Wosheshina are prized in some lands for their thick hides, nearly unbreakable tendons, and feared in others because mindless herds of that size can remove towns from the map.
Reulan Academy is Salamport’s foremost center of arcane education. Practicality and universalism are emphasized to the general student body, but specialized courses taught by all manner of arcane practitioners can be found here. The Academy strives to populate the world with wizards who are capable of using magic to help those around them, not just in times of crisis but for everyday needs as well.
The academy recognizes that the more magic impacts the lives of ordinary people in helpful ways, the better its reputation will become among the masses. An angry mob with torches and pitchforks is less likely to materialize if the commoners know they owe their standard of living to the small magical improvements that the Academy favors.
the academy manages the the Queen Fatima IV Library, one of the largest repositories of knowledge in the world, and possibly the largest on arcane subjects.
The Stormbreakers are Baerish fanatics that seek out destruction in the name of the Storm Lord whose name cannot be spoken by others. They typically become frenzied during a storm, and are unpredictable even when calm.
Supplicants of the Black Tower
The Supplicants of the Black Tower are a group of librarians who seek to keep all of the forgotten things. Unlike followers of Darkness, with whom they are frequently at odds, they do not seek to hide knowledge away from the world — just hold onto it for safekeeping. Upon hearing of its existence, many a lore master will search the wilds for the black tower itself and attempt to gain admittance. The price for entry is a piece of information that few, if any, know. The price to become a supplicant is to forget something important to you, your own name.
The nameless brothers of the black tower normally find the solitude of their hidden home more to their liking, but occasionally they will head out into the world. Rumors of lost libraries, forgotten wizards towers, and buried tombs of kings are all the incentive the Supplicants of the Black Tower need to venture out from their home. The lure of ancient and forgotten knowledge is the strongest thing in the world to a nameless brother.
A trade consortium based in Maglion, the Ta’ankish represent all traders, merchants, and businessmen who feel personally slighted by the economic power of Zalamir and/or one of its favored trading houses. Every move within the Ta’ankish is measured against how it can hinder or harm its enemy.
Occasionally, mercenaries, wanderers, and grave robbers turn to Ula’a, a dark “goddess” used to justify their murderous ways. “Kill things, take their stuff, praise Ula’a” is their mantra, and as long as Ula’a “gets her cut”, she watches over the bloody-minded miscreants of the underworld.
The Downers were once a gang of street toughs too small and too weak for anyone to wipe out, then 180 years ago, everything changed. The group got smarter, and tougher, and started removing or integrating other gangs. Now, they get a cut of everything moving through the free cities of Khora and Lale. They are now a major trading enterprise in their own right, and are always looking for ways to expand into other lands and new products.
Zalamiri Shipwrights’ Guild
The ‘Wrights’ Guild not only designs and builds the ships, wagons, barges, and sleds that move the Empire’s goods, but have acquired a percentage of many smaller trading houses, caravans, and prominent shops. They are constantly looking for ways to maintain their advantage in quality and quantity of vehicles, and the goods they move.