"What ploy?" you ask? Why, this very encouragement for members of the Shadow Lodge to openly identify themselves as such, and perhaps to even let slip an unwise word in the company of those they believe to be their friends. I myself have never made any secret of my beliefs, or of where my loyalties lie. My record speaks for me - my weapons and skills have been used on several occasions in the name of the Pathfinder Society and the Decemvirate, and used well. But others are not so outspoken, even though they may share my misgivings. How many missions have been compromised because the Decemvirate chose poorly when selecting the agents for the quest? How many agents have been lost because they had inadequate support in the field? And yet nobody is ever brought to task, and asked to account for this profligate spending of lives.
That argument is akin to the pathetic rationalizations of the collaborator Torch, Tellgard. We should not be acting as an advocacy group towards the Decimverate, as though Pathfinders were some special interest group that only sometimes merit their attention, on a par with state-sponsored spies or criminal networks. Pathfinders are the base of the organization, and deserve much the higher consideration. Furthermore, a loyal opposition ceases, over time and by degrees, to be an opposition. Instead of emasculating our organization and being complicit in the Decimverate's emasculation of the Pathfinder Society as a whole, we should be making the most of this concession to build our organization, to fight for the best elements of the Society, so that we may be prepared when the Decimverate decides to turn the wheel against us again.
I once followed the ways of the Andorans and they were good ways often. They seem to be good people, but once I knew of the Shadow Lodge, I felt that these ideals were closer to my own. I will keep my eyes and ears open. The motives of the Decemvirate do not always have the best interests of Pathfinders foremost.
Humans can be strange and cruel. Especially to each other. Sometimes I watch in silence behind my mask. I see a lot that makes me feel that humans lack a basic respect for life. I can not stop them, but I will stand apart from them and choose my actions by my own ways and beliefs. Where it seems there is none, I will find brightness.
Know that I will be watching and for those in need of assistance, I will be ready.
Elf of Mordant Spire, Enemy of the Aboleth, Lover of Life & Captain of the "Gull's Perch"
(to Elves I am known by my name, Wilverel)
To assume that the Decemvirate is unaware or stupid is amoung the worst kinds of arrogance, so do not assume the worst of them simply because you hate them. Yes, it is necessary sometimes to shake things up, complacency is amoung the worst of sins and we can all end up embracing it, but to go too far and we could end up like Galt. How much of your hate is because you or others have been wronged and how much of it is because it is easy, oh so easy to simply keep hating them and not see what changes have been made.
I am elven and by many people's standards I am old but by others including my race I am young. It is easy to grow attached to an area and to others who are long lived, while feeling detachment from those who live shorter brighter lives so as to lessen the pain of their absence. However, I have spent much time away from many of my race and instead with those who live such shorter more vibrant lives and I have chosen to embrace that bond with each and every one of the friends and associates I have and will make.
I will pick the one over the many. That it will be an individual's choice to sacrifice their self instead of being sacrificed. To be selfish, as some would put it, and put my friends first instead of some goal.
I do not consider the Decemvirate evil, stupid, or foolish and sacrificing people needlessly is all three; but I do believe they are complacent and so I will stand forth proudly and say:
I am watching and ready to question you, so stop and question yourself if what you are choosing or doing is right!
Just because you are called paranoid, doesnt mean "they" are not watching you...
|Reynard "Rey" Heyerdahl|
"Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean that an invisible demon isn't about to eat your face." Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden.
Might I say that the Society itself is like a bonfire. We huddle around it for light and warmth, and the many benefits it brings. But like the flame it is uncaring, as eager to cook us as our food.
Like the fire, all it wants is to consume. As long as we remember that, then we should be kept warm.
(Yes, I know this analogy might upset certain faction heads. Deal.)
All this hostility... I can't say I fully forgive the Decemvirate for what happened to me (I can still remember lying delirious with fever on a simple delivery mission for a meaningless artifact), but I don't believe they are plotting against our fellows at every step. Almighty Nethys, my sword is less paranoid than some of my affiliates. I enjoy helping my Pathfinder allies, and that is why I joined forces with the Grandmaster.
Let us forget about our duties with the Pathfinder Society for a while and have a pint of Cayden's finest. Once we have enjoyed our little getaway from the rigors of adventuring life, we can return to making sure the Pathfinder Society is trying to do what is best for those who have entered the Grand Lodge seeking fame, fortune, or even a reprieve from the ordinary life. The Decemvirate has their plans for the Society and as members of the Society, we should do our part while making sure our fellow members are not mistreated.
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Me Mash! Me barbarian! Me battle cry is "MASH CRUSH KILL DESTROY!!!"
Me meet Grandmaster Torch before first mission fer Society, long time ago. Torch say us should watch out fer each other, cause when we on mission, we all we got. Me think that make sense. Me join Shadow Lodge when get back from that first mission, after buncha gillmen try to kill me and new Pathfinder friends.
Me learn lot from Torch. He say me need to be more friendly and learn to be more diplomatical when talkin' to people. Me train with teacher he recommend and get better at talkin' to people me meet on missions.
After me get clobbered in Ruby Phoenix tourney, Torch make me take break to train. Me learn iron will. Me learn value of accuracy instead of just power in swingin' weapon, so me switch from great axe to nodachi like friend Chibiko uses, but me better with it, cause she weak witch who mostly use magic. Me buy better magic cloak to protect from danger. Me more better adventurer cause of friend Torch good advice.
Me say all Pathfinder need listen ta Grandmaster Torch. Torch good man, give good advice.
... Has it bothered anyone else at the... varied nature of some of the tasks that are asked of us? I swear, it feels like I'm getting objectives from two completely different sources. Which would not bother me at all, except for the fact that half of the time I am trying to assist my colleagues as best I can I have to perform sordid tasks behind their backs. As long as I am not confronted with anything Daemonic in origin that I am not allowed to utterly destroy...
Aye Mash, the Paracountess is a weird one. I have been asked from time to time by Master Torch to do 'favors' for her and her ilk. Sometimes to maintain an eye on those who so openly favor the infernal, we must do 'favors' for them. It takes a strong stomach to handle these tasks, and more than a few pints and hours staring at the names on the Wall of Names to remind me why we watch folk like the Paracountess and the Decemvirate.
To them we aren't folk, we're pawns on a board. Well let me tell you something.
From the right distance, looking down the barrel of Ol' Painless my musket, they don't look like people to me either.
They look like targets.
I like to keep that notion in mind when I do favors for Master Torch and have to deal with the 'Loon from Cheliax'. It gives me a warm feeling in my stomach and makes the dreams that come from dealing with her go away for a time.
Remember, we're here to keep our fellows from being used as pawns in 'the greater game'.
I dunno, that Chelaxian woman, while she gives out funny work, seems to like me! And that's why I gave up on those money grubbing anti-gnomist Qadirans! That first Pasha wouldn't give a little guy like me the time of day! But that Chelaxain...whoah! I mean, Torchy is soooooo much cooler and doesn't give me jobs that are big giant traps and stuff. And he looks out for everyone no matter how tall they are or how bad their comedy routines are!
|Reynard "Rey" Heyerdahl|
I don't see much of an issue doing a favor for the addlepated Chelish, as long as the Pathfinders get the credit. We must also remember we're for our brothers in the field, not Decemberbate-lite.
All of us in the Society know the risks we take. We've all lost something; coin, friends, family...other things
*Holds up a gloved left hand, deprived of pinky finger*
The thing that sets us apart here in the Shadow Lodge is that we take it upon ourselves to keep others from losing what they don't have to. We get our men out alive.
So the Ten send us on suicidal missions at times. So they don't think about how many lives they'll forfiet. That's why we exist. We cut those numbers back. We heal the injured, we disarm the traps, we hold the line so that the others can escape. That's why we signed on. We bring our men home.
Me n Ogre will find a home in Cheliax, the devil you know.
|Ronja the Bestial|