I've heard, on the grapevine, that some of the factions we know exist in the Society are, shall we say, having difficulties in properly motivating their members. I do hope that enough people realise that someone has to keep an eye on the Decemvirate and that Grandmaster Torch's associates won't feel the need to restablish themselves outside the Society.
In the meantime, perhaps we should be extending hands of greeting to some of the factions? It's an awfully long way from Tian-Xia and I'm sure that some of the Lantern Lodge would welcome more allies around the Inner Sea.
Apteryx, Dowager Countess Mantelli.
Friendship is like echos on the wind as two ships sail. If they sail to the same port the communication is strong and they can defend each other easily. If they sail to different ports then the echos get lost the farther away they sail and the effort is wasted. As much as we would wish it so it is not always the case those that fly the same flag sail the same course. We must choose wisely those that choose a similar destination as ours.
i have recently left the Grand Lodge to join the Shadow Lodge.
(Sits at a table with back to the wall) "Barkeep, an mug of ale please."
"Torch is a good man, if a bit misguided about the nature of the decimvirate. If he ever left his hideout, he'd make a good Pathfinder." A cloaked half-elf speaks from the corner of the bar, a mug of ale in his hand."I've always though it would be nice if we simply threw aside our various factions, and had a place where veterans could swap more stories over ale." He smiles. "But let's hear some of yours first."
Misguided, huh? Give that man some more credit. Why do you think he's so focused on the Society's politics before all the other kinds? The way I heard it, he was a good Pathfinder, before all those... issues happened to him. Even though Torch makes sure to tell his contacts everything he's sure they need, ask him questions next time he sees you. It'll show him you don't want to be left clueless.
Something you should learn - Mr. Deun, right? - is that everyone likes to be different from other people, so long as "different" means "better" and not "worse". I'm happy to let other types keep their really obvious secrets. When they find out mine - not letting anyone die if I can help it - they'll think that's all there is to me, and let me keep my other ones.
Oh, and that's kind of you, but I don't drink. I'd just rather talk and listen.
Nothing is as profitable as a little chaos. Yet too much brings devastation. How much trouble are these factions in?
Personally, I see that we have little to worry about. Amongst the Pathfinders that I have most recently met, there is a strong inclination towards our approach to these missions. I believe, comrades, that we are gaining ground. May our work continue to flourish and may we seek to preserve the lives of our compatriots in each of our adventures.
With none left behind,
A halfling wearing the red stoll of the Lucky Drunk and hefting a clay mug sized more for an ogre speaks up from the bar, "If a faction is in trouble, I wouldn't mind so much if it were the Chelaxians."
"I may have to work with them for the good of the Pathfinders - and the fulfilmment of the agenda given to us by the Grandmaster, of course - but nothing says I have to like them. There's too much bad blood in my history to make friends with slavers and devil-worshippers."
He pauses for a long sip from his mug and to wipe the foam from his lips before continuing in a quieter tone, "Besides, while I have run into some strange and disturbing things on my missions, that Paracountess of theirs is what really gives me the creeps."
"Good riddance, I say," he finishes before gesturing to the barman for another round.
|Pontificor the Great|
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Ohhh ohh it is the Andy-or-Anns, they are good sword swingers, they should stay? Jelly Axes, I still do not know what these things are or why they like jelly? Couldn't be the Grand boring they are too, well boring and I guess the same with Tallll-bore. They are a dead country and refuse to see it. Silly talls. Us Zarnies are are too awesome to even consider.
|Ottnal "Two-Tongues" Nave|
(A heavily tattooed and pierced elf wearing a grin says) I am setting aside some time to myself in tian xia. I will do what I can to find some interested minds. Perhaps some of the Tengu clans. (Lights up a fine osirian cigarette) Calistria knows they have a history of subterfuge as well as mistreatment.
A fully cloaked figure near the back of the bar flips a small dagger in his hand. Leaning back in his chair and feet atop the empty table.
"And after offering our help... This guarantees the lodge's security?
Are we so sure, that our information within our ranks will stay there?
What if they become.... curious?"
Now balancing the dagger in his palm.
"Can we trust it?"
Bursting through the door comes a young, silver-haired boy; a wicked scythe on his back gleaming against the candle light. This one obviously does not belong here.
"Harken to me, those who still bow to their former Masters of the Consortium! Spreading your filth-ridden lies about the state of the Crusade will not go unanswered! I will soon know who among you is taint! Soon! The Crusade is stronger than ever!"
He quickly shuts the door without actually having come inside.
|Mukesh ibn Ahriman al-Kultaleh|
Sliding out of the shadows, a vieled men dressed in kelish trsveling clothes and armed with a scimitar and kukri steps forward. His eyes behind the viel are as black as night, & he speaks with a gutteral voice.
"My name is Mukesh ibn Ahriman al-Kulateh, and I owe the life I have now to the one you call Grandmaster Torch. Regardless if the Decemvirate disbands this group, I will still willingly act as his agent. I know from first hand experience how power can corrupt those with even the most noble of us. I have sworn service to the Pathfinder Society, but I will always hold our leaders accountable. If we were disbanded, I would be afraid as I would wonder how the Decemvirate might justify our exit and to what ends it serves them. If the call goes out, I will be the one who will watch the watchmen."
After this, Mukesh slides back into the shadows to watch how others feel about this development.
|Steve of the Ten|
A man at the bar in a monotone voice:
"Fear not, we have spent to many resources on brining you back into the fold. However, more sales would ensure your survivability, the next time you adventure with someone be sure to try and sell some Mayfinders to them. They don't always find the way, but they may. They are made in Tian and you know the Tian make quality stuff. Do this and earn the favor of the Decemvirate."
|Blunderbuss Beltin Shane|
as part of the door that thunder bear pushed open stands a scrawny man with a long cap blue pants and a long shirt and jacket " all right gental-men, and ladies it seems that the factions are in trouble as mrs. Apteryx over ther-e just said, now we need some kind of organization on our part to get anything done in real time." "now thunder bear here wanted me to look over the problem and i have the only way really is to get the real information from the grand masters them selves only then can we have the real info and from there act in a good fashion way does that sound like a good idea?"
Shortly there after, a hooded elf emerges from the shadows along the ceiling, hops down with out a sound, sits in an open chair, and states in a low whisper
"I am Marcus, recently I have returned from a quest that placed me in the favor of the grandmaster of Cheliax, Zarta Draleen. She states to me that in fact not so much from her members, but the politics of the society, have made here aware of the possible decision to remove her faction once and for all. Perhaps this is where we can begin. Although I do not agree with their methods, they could be a powerful ally. Blunderbuss, what do you think?"
and then proceeds to drink a glass of mead.
After having heard rumours that some factions within the Pathfinder Society were in trouble, the latest breezes bring news that it is our Shadow Lodge that ails.
Perhaps we have had some effect, and the Decemvirate no longer sends Pathfinders on foolhardy missions as lightly as one might roll a die, but as Torch himself said
...the threat of slumbering Thassilonian evil has overshadowed that of the Aspis Consortium. How the Decemvirate and the Heidmarchs can so blindly throw well-trained Pathfinders at one task while so blatantly ignoring another is inexplicable and inexcusable!
The need to keep the Society true to its members is as pressing now as ever. My own brother was lost on a reckless task for the masked Ten, and I am loath to see any more give up their lives on their whim.
If that is true of the Pathfinder Society as a whole, it must be doubly true of our own organisation. If we are to keep the Society open and honest, we must first see to it that we are open and honest. We have all heard the rumours. Our leader is an information broker, so he can hardly have failed to hear it.
It is time that Torch climbed out of his bath and told us what is happening. What future for the Shadow Lodge, Grandmaster?
Apteryx, Dowager Countess Mantelli.
An elf who had been standing watching the proceedings gives a high, squealing laugh. "Ain't it obvious, lassie? The Shadow Lodge returns to the shadows! All of this forthright dealings and honest talk shan't do for us or them. It's quite the bad watchman who stands in plain sight - ye must remain unseen if you're to catch the wicked at the unseeable."
He pulls out a small book and flips through the pages. "Nay, companions, ye want to make Pathfinders work together? Ye dangle a carrot in front of them and have a stick behind 'em. Put a cursed artifact at one end of the tomb, and a wall of their sins and 'favors done' to keep 'em working together. Works the same for a wet-behind-the-ears milk-drinking baby-faced recruit or for the Decemverite themselves - the power of secrets simply comes in their magnitude." He winks. "That's why I try to make sure I have enough of 'em." The book vanishes into a pocket.