Hold fast adventurers! You may have earned your bounties chasing down bandits, or by slaying ferocious predators threatening farmers, but those roads you travel upon and the cities you spend your gold in require upkeep. Open up your money purses and remember—this is for the good of us all! It's time for a bit of lighthearted tax season fun!
TaxfestOn the 15th day of the month of Gozran, Abadaran priests accompany local tax collectors to ensure a fair and respectful collection of monies owed, as well as to ensure no foul play occurs on either side. The church does not believe in free handouts (indeed, going so far as to charge for healing services and scrolls), but on Taxfest, Abadarans put on a lavish feast to as many people as they can fit in their halls. In addition to the free meal, Taxfest provides a means for common folk to discuss directly with civic leaders on how best to spend the newly collected tax funds.
But while the celebrations take place, other members of the church are hard at work in the vaults and accounting offices of cities and nations everywhere.
For some members of the Abadaran clergy, the truth held in Abadar's holy book, The Order of Numbers is more important than the rest of faith's trappings. Less often clerics, oracles, or paladins, in truth these "accountomancers" (as they refer to themselves) are folk who have mastered the intricacies of mathematics and numbers to further Abadar's purpose in Golarion. Residing in the banks and temples of Abadar, accountomancers ensure that proper procedures from The Order of Numbers are adhered to, and carry a ring of golden keys to indicate their rank. The most senior members of the order are addressed as Watcher, and bear a single large, unadorned gold key. Arbiter inevitables are the preferred familiar of accountomancers, as their flight allows the arbiter to assist accountomancers in the high shelves and expansive vaults, or any creature capable of climbing (like monkeys) or flying (like ravens).
Upon the completion of their personal copies of The Order of Numbers, accountomancers usually keep to the church of Abadar, administering to the collection and allocation of city taxes, assisting inquisitors who seek out tax evaders, or offering assistance on business practices and employment to gain Abadar's favor. The best accountomancers are sought out by archbankers and merchant guildmasters to review the financial health of city and guild, and these different divisions work closely together to support accuracy, completeness, compliance, justness, and order in their cities.
Taxfest is the holiest day for accountomancers, for while the cities of Golarion are deep in celebration, they busily record all of the past year's data in The Eternal Ledger. A holy book for accountomancers, the Ledger is held in a new city each year, with accountomancers making the journey to the host city to take part in the Ritual of Transference. The rite copies the entries in The Eternal Ledger to a copy held in the First Vault, and the city's accountomancers enjoy the prestige—and magical bonuses to many of their skills—granted by the holy tome.
Over the centuries of their existence, accountomancers have developed unique skills that have use far outside their dusty basements and dim offices.
School divination; Level cleric/oracle 1, inquisitor 1, sorcerer/wizard 1
Casting Time 1 standard action
Components V, S, F (miniature abacus)
Range 30 ft.
Target see text
Duration 1 round/level
Developed by a pair of accountomancers dedicated to rooting out corrupt city officials in 4027 A.R., this spell was repurposed into combat applications when they had to chase down the offenders. When casting this spell, designate an ally within 30 feet. When you and your ally flank the same target, you gain an additional +2 insight bonus on melee attacks.
New Major Hex
In Triplicate (Su): As a full-round action, a witch can demand a target within 60 feet repeat its previous actions, or suffer the consequence. If the target fails a Will save, it must repeat the same actions that it did in the round previous, in the same order, against the same target (if applicable), for three rounds. If the target cannot repeat its actions, it suffers the effects of the misfortune hex for that round, but if it does manage to repeat three rounds, it gains the effect of the fortune hex for one round. If repeating an action would be suicidal or obviously harmful, the target may make a new Will save. You must have the fortune or misfortune hex in order to take this hex. This is an enchantment (compulsion) effect, and if a creature succeeds on their saving throw against this effect, it is immune for 24 hours. Cackle cannot extend the duration of this hex.
Oaths taken by these Abadaran elite are not taken lightly, and oathbreakers viewed with a curious mix of derision, horror, and grudging admiration. Fraudulent and dishonest acts performed by an accountomancer while performing their duties are punished harshly, and immediately. Depending upon the crimes committed, stories tell of inevitables hunting down fallen members and permanently branding them, cutting them off from the source of their powers, or being cursed with poverty and ill fortune. Such axiomatic brands, often in the shape of a blackened and broken key of Abadar, are permanent, and even Katapesh merchants hesitate before dealing with one of these marked individuals.
Archbanker Darb Tuttle (Guide to Korvosa), Black Olan (Pathfinder Adventure Path #8: "Seven Days to the Grave"), Howell Backus Talbot III (NPC Guide, Wayfinder #3), Jostlin Ferqyr (Guide to Absalom), Poss (Pathfinder Adventure Path #8: "Seven Days to the Grave").
Read more about the Master of the First Vault in Inner Sea Gods, and let us know what else you want to read about in the world of Golarion!
Special thanks to our Counter of Magic Beans, Ashley Kaprielian!