|Michael VonHasseln Venture-Captain, Missouri—Cape Girardeau aka Arnim Thayer|
|Steve Miller Venture-Captain, North Carolina—Raleigh aka MillerHero|
|Mason Whitlark Venture-Captain, Michigan—Detroit aka Wabajck|
Paizo / Messageboards / Paizo Publishing / Pathfinder® / Pathfinder Society® / Faction Talk / Grand Lodge
Ah, the Grand Lodge is the place to be! None of this squabbling about political affairs of countries or groups we should not be beholding to, but pure exploration and adventure for adventure’s sake! Come, pull up a chair with me and let’s enjoy a mug of ale and some smoked leaf together. Tell me the tails of your adventures, and I will regale you with stories of wonder, danger, and Old Deadeye…
Kelvinathus Longthorne, Elven forester/wizard
I hope all is well in our lovely homeland. I long again to return to the towering forests of Kyonin, but know that first I must finish the task I have set myself.
When first I traveled from Kyonin, my thoughts to join the Pathfinder organization were fueled by two things. The first was the desire to see the artifacts of my people returned safely from the hands of those with both shorter lifespans and insight. The second was to exact vengeance on the Aspis Consortium for their desecration of the elven family tombs of my people... the enemies of my enemy is my friend, after all. I was approached by an Andoran countrymen who asked for my help with certain tasks alongside my missions with the Society, him invoking the cause of freedom for all to entice me to toward his endeavors.
It was after a particular mission in the undercity of Absalom, finding a lost compatriot of the crime lord Grandmaster Torch, that I began to question whether I was able to serve two masters, those who I had pledged to aid in the Grand Lodge and those Andorans who asked me for increasingly questionable tasks in the name of freedom. After much soul-searching, I realized the truth, I could not. I rejected the call of the Andoran taskmaster, instead redoubling my efforts for those Venture Captains I knew I could trust for their loyalty to the Pathfinder Society. In return, they taught me how special tactics to use against the Aspis Consortium and how to recognize them when I see them. My heart is now light, knowing I can serve the Society with a clear heart!
Give my regards to mother and let her know I am well. As always, my heart is with you all.
Your loving brother, Kel"
I was born into wealth and have lacked nothing but purpose. Now I am a Pathfinder and seek knowledge throughout Golarion. The Grand Lodge seems the purist way to follow the ways of the Pathfinder Society.
I would read or hear every story of Pathfinder adventure, and share those stories of my own adventures although I am new to this. With my father I travelled the world from Katapesh for trade. Know I travel the world on my own feet for adventure.
Well met, adventurers of the Grand Lodge
Khasekar Bakare of Katapesh
Bedmyr strides into the Grand Lodge, his trademark cologne of sweat and gunpowder pervading the nostrils of those closest to him. He flashes a grin that, framed by his soot-covered beard and moustache, seems to put people on edge rather than relaxing them.
"Greetings, fellow Pathfinders! How are we all today?" Bedmyr drops himself into an empty seat and swings his legs over it's arm.
"Seamus Luckleaf, Golarion's luckiest 'alfling, at yer service. Ye may 'ave 'eard of caravans bringin' 'alflings along fer luck, but no 'alfling's ever brung as much luck as a member o' the Luckleaf clan. And no Luckleaf's ever been as lucky as me."
"See, a few years ago, Lady Luck 'erself - that's Goddess Desna ta most folks - she came ta me in a dream. And she says to me, 'Seamus', she says, 'Ah want ya ta spread the luck around. Tell folks ta believe in the stars, and follow their dreams', she says."
"Now, who am ah ta argue with a goddess, specially one dat's always been so good to me clan??? So naturally, ah agreed. And ah've been travelin' the world, spreadin' the luck around, and spreadin' faith in the stars and dreams, ever since."
"As fer all this faction nonsense, ah jus' don' get it. We're all Pathfinders, ain't we? I 'elp every Pathfinder jus' the same, bringin' 'em all luck durin' every adventure. Jus' dinnae ask me to get into the fisticuffs. Ah'm just a wee 'alfling, not strong enough ta fight. So ah leave tha' part ta the big folks, and ah just bring 'em all luck and 'ealing, the way Lady Luck 'erself give me tha power ta do."
"Well met Seamus" laughs a young half elf, "it is good to find someone who follows the same dreams, lady luck is certainly smiling on me today. It has been a lonely journey so far, from my home in Varisia, but I can see that has changed," she laughs again and turns to rest of the group throwing her arms wide, "well met to all of my fellow pathfinders. I, like the rest of you, find serving the pathfinder society enough, at least for now, these factions hold little faascination for me." As she swings back to continue her conversation with the halfling her wild, long blonde hair and deep purple robes swing round as well and rarely settle like the woman herslf.
*A bronze-skinned Garundi man enters the hall. He has a blade at his hip and light mithral plates covering his upper torso, and a holy symbol of Pharasma dangles over his heart. Although he is holding a Pathfinder Chronicle and seems engrossed in it, every so often, his body flows fluidly into a strange martial art stance.*
"Greetings to you, my fellow loyal Pathfinders. I am Iakhovas, and by my honor I must warn you all that I am a wanted murderer and thus a fugitive from my homeland. Unlike in missions to far-off places, however, here in the heart of the Grand Lodge, I believe there is no danger of any of you being harmed by an attempted extradition. Even so, I would have no more harmed for my sake than already have been so."
*A young male elf with stark white hair walks out of the corner twirling a dagger and sipping from a small waterskin.*
"Well met everyone. I am Cherolas, like a few others, I do not care for any of this faction nonsense. I am here only to do what the society needs me to. I have no homeland, I am always moving... *cringes* always watching."
*a smaller, pale male elf looks up from a book.*
"Oh good heavens! When did everyone come in!?! I am terribly sorry, I was merely reading up on the various forms of dragon, and I was just so absorbed that I didn't notice any of you!"
*he fubbles around at the small reading desk in the corner, collecting a slew of cronicles placed out in a seemingly erratic order*
"You see, we all know of the general trends of dragons with regard to alignment between the high holy planes and the lower unholy planes; Metalic dragons tend to be good, chromatic dragons evil, and the primal elemental dragons neutral in regard to alligence. My thesis is on the less studied trends of dragons alignments between the lawful planes and those of chaos. I wanted to see if there were similarities between those who favor one alignment or the other in regards to elemental affinity, habitat, or type of breath. Sadly..."
*He pulls out a series of graphs and etchings*
"There is none that I can find. Even things that would commonly be taken as truths, such as the stability of stone implying law or the uninhibited freedom of air implying chaos, mean nothing when dealing with dragons. Their personalities, colors, elements, habitats...none of it lines up! I've even expanded my research data to include multiple non-true dragons, drakes, and wyverns from all over Golarion, but to no avail!"
*He throws his hands up in exasperation, scattering papers about. Just as if it looks like he's about to leave, something in the arrangements of the papers catches his eye. He quickly turns back to his research*
"What's this? Maybe...no....that's not it..."
"The Grand Lodge is only faction that remains true to the original mission of the pathfinder society, that being to unearth and recover old knowledge of the past so current generations can benefit from and improve on it."
*Says a smiling man in the corner*
"I am loyal to the Decemvarate who are loyal the original goals of the pathfinder society. That is my service to Abadar."
Ta me, that seems as bad as bein' loyal to one a dem factions. Ah'm no more loyal to the Society than any o' the Pathfinders that divide their loyalty 'tween us and their home nations. Ah just wanna stay outta that faction nonsense and 'elp out all Pathfinders. Ah joined to travel the world, and spread some luck around, 'elping folks out, ya know?
*Footsteps are heard coming down the stairs and in walks a young man carrying bow and quiver upon his back and quite out of breath.*
"Greetings..." he manages to say between deep breaths. "Lucius Caro. Ranger..."
"Before anyone asks how a ranger can be out of breath... I've just been chased by those Apsis Consortium rats... I ducked down a side street or two... to lose their decidedly less than intelligent goons..."
*Regaining his composure, he straightens himself up*
"I figured I would be safest in the Grand Lodge so I hopped in through the upstairs window to completely throw them off my trail."
"What's that? Am I tired after a little jog through the streets? My good Dwarf, I ran here from Magnimar. Some debacle after I sketched a map of the secret entrance to the Consortium's headquarters there and some damned neophyte rogue thinks this a good opportunity to loot them for all they're worth (which isn't much) without back up."
*He pours himself a drop of beer and sits down before the fire to remove the cold Autumn chill*
"Somehow... word reached their ears that I had drawn the map and they sought to ensure I didn't draw any more of them. With my business in Magnimar being complete and not desiring to waste an arrow on the wretched fools, I joined a caravan headed for Absalom. Some ways down the road, however, the Consortium's thugs were lying in wait and ambushed the caravan. Under the pretext of looking for me, they saw fit to loot as much of the goods as they saw fit (basically, everything) and killed whoever raised so much as a finger to them."
*He takes a long final draft and stands up to pour himself another only to find the keg has run dry.*
"Pity. Someone should call one of the kitchen staff."
*Remembering his waterskin, he pulls it out and proceeds to quench his thirst, then sits down again.*
"I realised they wouldn't stop until they found me or all the caravan guard were dead, so I stowed myself in one of the goods wagons and waited for the scum to search it. It didn't take long. A particularly ugly looking one climbed up and started rooting through the stock of ale they took a great liking to. While he was bending over to lift a barrel, I crept up behind the brute and cut his throat (I did say that I wouldn't waste an arrow). I let his corpse drop like a stone. I wanted it to. Sure enough, my actions were rewarded when the leader and two of his guards wandered over to check the commotion. I waited for my moment and once they were in position at the back of the wagon, I heaved the stacks of barrels on top of them. I jumped down to further assess the situation then but unfortunately realised the leader had to good sense to stand a good distance back and let his underlings do his dirty work. A beast of a fellow. A giant half-orc in half-plate. I bear no ill-will towards half-orcs but this stout fellow certainly wasn't the type to give his race a good name."
*He takes another draw from his waterskin and continues on...*
"As it happens, the caravan was stopped just beside a small wooded area. I just managed to duck underneath the blow of a massive orcish axe and make a run for it while the leader was screaming to the remainder of his men to get after me. Now I don't need to tell you that a ranger in a forest will never be found, unless he wants to be. This half-orc didn't know that. My gamble paid off when he and the rest of his men followed me into the trees giving the caravan guard a chance to escape. With that taken care of, I was confident enough to simply wait for nightfall and slip away without them ever noticing, but not before creating a little menace in their minds. Payment in kind, I thought. A few snapped twigs here, some crisscrossing tracks there, even some spare cloth caught on a thorny bush. Confusing them but giving them enough of a trail to follow. And follow it they did, right where I wanted them to. On the outside it appeared to be some small, dead-end cave, and that's what I thought it was too, until after 4 hours they hadn't walked out but one or two large bears had..."
*He empties his waterskin and sets about finishing his tale*
"By that time the darkness had well and truly settled and I set about my escape. I looked to procure a mount for myself at the next town but when their mercenaries failed to report in that evening, the Consortium sent messengers to every town on the road with orders for their members to either capture or kill me. That is, what I'm guessing they said, of course. They never got close enough for me to find out. All of which brings us to the events of the past half an hour. I must say thank you for letting me share my tale even if none of you listened. Cheers!"
Hope that wasn't too long for this thread. This wasn't an adventure I played, though it does reference the Rise of the Goblin Guild at the beginning. That said, I might turn it into one now.
An orange cat on the bar next to him empties the last of some liquid from a small saucer.
I buy you a drink for that one. Hey mister! Another whiskey for Amber and for me. And one for this guy here too.
"Whiskey, you say? Granite, you and I are going to get on just fine. And Amber of course..."
*He strokes the cat's smooth fur and it purrs in approval*
"So how did you and Amber find each other?"
*He turns to the crowd in the Lodge common room*
"Here! My round! What are ye drinking?"
"I'll take a mead, kind sir," calls a flamboyantly dressed good looking Varisian woman, "and I'll drink your health for saving the lives of those caravan guards. Life on a caravan is hard enough without the Aspis Consortium on your heels," the name of that organization came out as though it left a bad taste in her mouth. "I have just returned from Magnimar myself where the auction was disrupted by them although that was not my first meeting with them. My companions and I only just made it out alive and my journey back was spent looking over my shoulder."
Why didn't he duck?
"He didn't duck because he was too miserable trying to find the ranger, he didn't notice when the blow came!" A Half-Elf in a cloak steps out from a back table, a longsword with fresh blood on it strapped to his back. "Whoooeee. Orcs are bad enough. only thing we have up on them-they're not too smart. Half orcs, though. Smart little barbarian, they are. I'm personally impressed with the man. Another drink for the ranger, on me!" He shouts to the barkeep. "We Grand Lodge watch out for our own!"
"Many thanks, sir. And who does me this favour, if I may enquire?" Lucius asks of the new-arrival.
"Also, as a word of advice, you should clean that blade as soon as possible. Dried blood weakens the steel and dulls the cutting edge. Last thing you need when gutting Apsis Consortium rats is a flat club rather than a sword. Dull blade, dull mind, my father always told me."
"Thank you kind sir, I was just about too." He pulls out a rag and begins scrubbing the blade vigorously. I learned the mistake of that in Varisia. Tried to take out a man who attaked me. Could barely use the dagger. Used my mace instead." His sword now freshly polished, he pulls out said mace and begins washing it. "Don't mind varisia, though. Mead is amazing."
"Good afternoon ladies, gentlemen!" An exceedingly cheerful gnome enters the bar and looks around. "It warms my heart to see so many of you in good health and good spirits!"
"That's what I'm all about, you see, keeping people in good health. Some people would call me doctor, but I'm nowhere near as smart as most who bear that title. I'm just a humble herbalist, curing people's aches and pains and trying to do right by Sarenrae."
"I might have lived out my days nice a peaceful in Willow Grove if I hadn't got this idea. I figure Sarenrae put the thought into my head, kind of like a special calling. Barjandar, she says, sometimes you need to be more proactive about healing. It's mighty hard to replace a man's arm after he's been mauled by a bear, but if you protect him from getting attacked by bears in the first place wouldn't that accomplish the same thing?"
"She's right of course, her being goddess of healing and all, so here I am. This Pathfinder Society seems to be full of people who suffer injuries and ailments while they're out in the world trying to do the right thing. I aim to help with that, best as I can!"
"I like a man-or gnome, I guess, who admits his faults and his true title." Kyros finishes wiping the blood off his mace and starts inspecting the numerous throwing knives lining his person. "'Sides, I've been on the wrong end of a healing wand a few times if you know what I mean. Foo." Seeing nothing wrong with the dagers at the moment, he starts relaxing. "Say you were touched by a godess? I hear the most loyal servants end up meeting their gods. I hope it for you. Feel like a mead? It's on me."
*A bloisterous gnome come traipsing in*
"You guys should be call Grand Boring. I swear I would bleach myself out if I had to listen to the blah blibbity blah blah you guys have to go though. I mean you do nothing for yourselves on this wonderous places they send us to loot. I do no know what kinda doctor Barjandar is but being a gnome I am sure he is awesome too. I beat he uses colorspray to heal people. I mean seriously you guy makes it seem like you have to give up your freedom to the people suffering, without them praising how awesome you are, well atleast I am. Maybe you talls are just lonely sad people, I pity you. I geet to and am encouraged to loot, because there are always awesome things. I got to be a tree once. I made friends with a fairy dragon made wipple-something. Sad sad sad faction. Atleast you have one gnome to show you the light."
"You were turned into a tree?" Barjandar looks at the newcomer, intrigued by the tale. "I can't say I've ever had to heal any of my companions from being turned into a tree. That would be tricky, hmm, but you seem to have recovered with no ill effects!"
"I do think you're underestimating Grand Lodge, though. As a representative of the whole Pathfinder Society, I get to go on interesting adventures with all manner of people. One day I'm investigating an ancient temple with the Osirians, the next I'm escorting a Qadiran caravan across the desert, and the day after that I'm tracking down some beastie with the Chelaxians. I can't say I much approve of dealing with devils, but at least they track down the ones that get loose. It's never dull in the Grand Lodge."
"Fahh you Grand Borings do not realize what us pathfinders do. I got on greta adventures too. I once saw this ugly bird sing this song that was so awesome I had to go see it, but this witch wrestled me with her hair until I snapped out of it. We loot and steal things in the sake of some December-Vicars. Your Captain Armbrush Vaseline gives you boring tasks in theese great places we go to.
*In a deep falseto*
"Hello, minions of the Grand Boring, I am Mister Captain Armbrush the Grandiest Boringest. Go be the slaves of this other captain person so we call all pretend we know what a dismember-vitals is."
* Back to his Sing songy voice*
*With a concerned look*
"I do believe this... "colourful" fellow is referring to a spell known to druids and rangers alike", Lucius pipes up from the back.
"Allow me to demonstrate", he says as he places his hand on the gnomes' head. "Tree shape!"
And lo! The gnome became a tree.
"Best turn back or you'll break the floor." Kyros turns around. "Never did have much time for magic myself, but I'm pretty good on the frontline. But that's beside the poijnt. The Grand Lodge is about moderism. About acceptance. I'm in the lodge because it's been in my family for generations. A friend of mine lives on the roof of the lodge. But it doesn't matter. Because we're accepted. We're paid with what we find, in our hearts, souls, and pockets. THAT is what the grand lodge means to me."
"Don't get me started on trees!"
"So, we're in Nidal, right? In some shadowy demiplane full of ghosts and wind and horror. And we come across this pit, where this big black tree is waving its branches and shrieking and twisting in the wind. I think, by Desna, this is going to take some gunpowder to take down!"
"The shadow-panther of my friend leapt at it and immediately froze, poisoned by needles hidden in the creature's armour. My companion, Trell, leapt into the branches to slash at it with a shining, holy knife - unbelievably, it was working. I don't know if trees can feel pain, but this blighter was screaming like it'd been skinned and rolled in salt."
"There was a horrible cracking noise. I saw Trell go limp and the holy weapon fell from her empty hands. Her face was blank."
"I wasn't even thinking by this point. My mind just reverted back to my training and I'm stuck there loading my musket and firing away into the blasted thing's wounds. One shot. Three. Five. The roar of my musket was deafening."
"By this point, the behemoth was bearing down on our scholar. A librarian by trade, he was one for simple healing spells, nothing that could harm a beast like this. The creature ignored me as it bore down on the scholar Vross, ready to crush his ribs with it's enormous claws..."
"I can't remember if it were the 10th or the 14th shot that stopped it. All I remember was there was a bang and the beast was still. Vross was still alive. Sap flowed everywhere, as black as Besmara's heart."
"So that's my story about trees. It's not a merry one, but it's a true one, and that's what counts when you're drinking with Dwarves."
"A toast then, for fallen Pathfinders! May the Decemvirate bring them all back one day!"
[Posted as Gruckalus Rugatonn]
An old man, 60 if he was a day, moves in to the bar. Slow deliberate movements seem almost easy for the oldtimer in his finely made dress uniform of the Chelixian military. A sour look rest permanently on his face as he gazes around. He quickly orders a cup of hot water, puts some loose tea in a steeping ball, and lets his mixture prepare itself.
He leans back in the chair, briefly leaning forward to sniff the mixture. His arm freshly bandaged, showing signs of a recent injury. For now, the old man seems content to watch, listen, and give almost begrudging nods to those that make eye contact.
"Sometimes the best die young..." Kyros remembers wistfully" We were in... Andoran someplace. Had to investigate a cathedral. "We were strolling a hallway, when out of nowhere the hallway split, and two hobgoblins killed our Oracle with a single hit from each of them. There was nothing anyone could do." He cries a little, then downs his mead and continues, voice slightly wobbly "found out later his name was Euclid. Healer by trade. No family, no nothing. I guess that was a small mercy."
"Silly talls, more of that december-rating nonsense. The best do not die, look at me I am still alive. Plus you wasted like 9 or 12 shots on that tree. I used one pit and then let other people threwed fire on it. Euclid musta not been a very good oracle. The heavenly spirits that pest me and cursed my arms told me I an orcalish person too. If you had me I woulda colorsprayed those baddies. Plus Euclid's math was off the heavens told me they are curved. See you talls need more gnomes so you can drink to your successful lootings instead of the poor mooks that weren't able to cut it."
*pats poor old Kyros on the back, orders him another ale.*
"Pontificor, I think the fact that you're still alive is more due to your ability to hide behind the shins of your fellow Pathfinders, than anything else."
"Certainly if you started jabbering at the enemies of the society like you are to us, they may be likely to chop YOU up first, and not our poor comrades."
"Thank you my lady, now I must get you one. And there's no shame in hiding behind shins. Once, a golem (stone guardian) charged down a hallway. I stood my ground, allowing our sorcerer to fire off a rather large array of magic missiles. Everyone has a purpose, and mine is to serve" the Decimverate. The only true tragedy is when one dies without knowing their purpose. I don't fear the Reaper."
*tilting his head and trying to look sternly but failing.*
"Fah, I want those enemies to come at me. My colorspray only goes 15 feet, so I guile them in range and poof. I then let you stabity stab them while they are napping. You must think my colorspray is like one of you talls using colorspray. My colorspray has taken down a demon. A flying one at that. I admit my 35 pounds of awesome gnomieness does not let me carry that flim flam metal you wear to protect yourself. But I colorsprayed a porcupine lady that turned wingied horses into zombies. I am sure I can handle whatever threats the decimaterater enemies are. Plus you talls do what you do. Let the better smarter race ride you as you bring us where we are needed."
Sniffs the steeping tea in front of him, removes tea-ball, and leans back and takes a sip. After taking a moment to savor it, he speaks. His voice is old, cautious, and creaking.
"When you are the only thing standing 'tween you and your fellow Pathfinders being torn limb fer' limb by a walking-punching-killing statue. You will find yer lil' magics are hardly worth two bags of Firepelt dropin's. Guns rarely let you down - if you treat 'em right."
He takes another slow deliberate sip from his cup. He gives Kyros a brief - almost sympathetic - nod.
"Mr Kyros, is the smart one here. He knows what's down. And yes Gruckaluckmuses colorspray does not work on statues that attack you. I tried it, I know. MOTHER. But thats why I got the pit spell. Statue monsters are not so quick and they easily fall in the pits, or I make on the grease I put under them and watch them go fishy like on the ground. What's a Jelly Axion? I do not think I want a uniform of that, but I do like guns and fireworks."
"Teacup? No offense my good sir, but you do not seem like a monster's cup of tea. All actuality, the sorceror fired off a grease as well. Not very dextrous worked. Pray tell, Pontificor, how did you gain Color Spray as your iconic spell? I've met a few sorcerors and none had anything whatsoever to do with anything other than Evocation."
"You see, I was just getting sad that in my adventures that my wonderfull wonderfull colorspray was becoming less effective. The you see the heavens came down and offered me knowledge of a way to make colorspray more powerfull based on how awesome I was. I said I am the most awesomest. They said it would cost me. I said double cost me. Now the heavens haunts me with ghosts and they burned and shrivled my arms. So now even the biggest baddies go down like a kitten from my colorspray, and I can even unlucky them if they happen to try to resist. Plus I am not a bully wiard I do not like to hurt people with magic. If they hurt themselves from my magic that is their fault, or if you stab them in the eye, that would be *pointing his blackened frail arm at you* your fault"