Two weeks ago, we introduced the idea of major and minor factions, as well as unveiled our first two factions: the Horizon Hunters and Radiant Oath! There's a lot of great information in that blog about our approach to factions, choosing leaders, and more, so definitely check it out. On Saturday at PaizoCon we teased the next two factions, and today we're formally introducing them at last. Let's get to it!
Envoys' Alliance (Major Faction)
Being a Pathfinder's dangerous work. Travel comes with its own dangers, traps seem to be everywhere, and just about everything seems ready to eat aspiring agents. What's more, the Pathfinder Society has spent the last decade increasingly engaged in major conflicts, each of which saw extraordinary rewards yet also loss of life. After virtually nonstop campaigns, the Society's roster is sorely depleted. The Envoys' Alliance aims to change that, making the Society every stronger, better trained, and better supported.
Faction Leader: Once the envoy of an Ekujae elven community in the Mwangi Expanse, Fola Barun (N female half-elf [Ekujae]) came into contact with and later joined the Pathfinder Society through a field commission. She quickly established herself as an attentive leader whose even-keeled, professional approach not only expanded the Society's understanding of the mighty Vanji River, but also helped devastate the Aspis Consortium's predatory operations along that route. Having never trained at the Grand Lodge or absorbed the conventional Society wisdom imparted to initiates, she was appalled upon first reaching Absalom and learning of the many counts of negligence of the past century. She's brought a fresh approach to recruitment and supporting agents in the field, which often sees her collaborating (and occasionally clashing) with the three deans.
Objectives: The Envoys' Alliance is dedicated to recruiting new agents, rescuing Pathfinders in distress, and rebuilding the Society in a way that supports and values the operatives' lives and wellbeing—at least as much as one can in the adventuring world. Through collaboration, the Society can accomplish ever-greater feats—particularly with a powerful faction to advocate for the Pathfinders themselves when tasked with the Grand Lodge's latest projects.
Verdant Wheel (Minor Faction)
No matter how many forbidding jungles, grassy plains, and untamed hills agents scout, the Pathfinder Society is not strictly a nature-oriented organization. Even so, nature enthusiasts of all stripes—from grizzled trackers to bright-eyed ecologists to tenacious druids—gravitate to the Society for the opportunities to witness natural wonders, catalog new species, and better protect the world's pristine realms. The call for a united voice has only grown over the years, and the evolution of the Pathfinder Society provides a perfect opportunity to name this organization: the Verdant Wheel. This faction has a particular fondness for sensing patterns and cycles, such as that of creation and destruction, as exemplified by new growth sprouting from a fire-ravaged field. Yet even those intent on preserving that which exists can find a welcome home here.
Faction Leader: Nobody entirely agrees on where Urwal (NG male lizardfolk) came from, though one Pathfinder admits to having encountered him in Varisia several years ago and being accosted about a copy of the Pathfinder Chronicles containing misleading information. Flustered, the Pathfinder told Urwal that if he were so upset, he could visit the Grand Lodge and file a complaint. In 4718 AR, Master of Scrolls Kreighton Shaine entered his locked office to find Urwal waiting there with five heavily edited volumes of the Pathfinder Chronicles, a stack of supporting documentation, and a disappointed glower. "These are full of errors. I question that your agents even traveled to these places. I will bring more; the stars foresee it," declared the lizardfolk before clambering up a wall and out the window.
After finding Urwal reorganizing neglected entomology collections, correcting placards on a collection of Mwangi artifacts, and painting astrological charts on a Grand Lodge walkway—all helpful yet cryptically explained—the three deans decided it more prudent to recognize Urwal's esoteric knowledge and benign infiltration by granting him a field commission that the lizardfolk's never formally accepted. That he's since organized a cohort of nature enthusiasts as the Verdant Wheel befuddles the Society's leadership, especially given nobody's yet figured out where he came from (even his agents, who maintain ongoing bets about his origins). For all his eccentricities, he is a compassionate mentor who encourages his colleagues to seek out natures greatest wonders and most humble treasures, understand them, and protect them in the way each agent deems best.
Objectives: The Verdant Wheel has no single vision of what it means to preserve nature, leaving it to an individual's interpretation and the region's unique circumstances to determine the best course of action. Agents travel far and wide to study the strange and pristine—journeys often bring them into conflict with undead, fiends, and aberrations. And most of all, the faction is a home for those who revel in the glories of nature in their many forms—even the occasional alien landscape beyond Golarion itself.
We're so excited to see these factions in action. We'll be previewing the last two factions—the two remaining major factions—in July, plus many other previews in the weeks to come!
Organized Play Lead Developer