Pathfinder Society Factions Preview: Grand Archive and Vigilant Seal

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

In May, we introduced the concept of major and minor factions, as well as introduced the first of our new factions for the Second Edition campaign: the Horizon Hunters and Radiant Oath. Then at PaizoCon (and in a follow-up blog) we shared two more factions, including the Envoys’ Alliance and the Verdant Wheel. Today we introduce the last of our major factions!

Grand Archive (Major Faction)

Archaeology is a destructive science, and adventurers tend to be more destructive than most. If the Society’s to uphold its mandate to study and preserve the past, then documentation and academic rigor are key. Yet members of the Grand Archive do not limit themselves to Absalom’s libraries; these bold explorers’ voyage to the most exciting sites to chronicle the past in person and share those tales with the world.

Faction Leader: Although third in line for the Sky Citadel Kraggodan’s throne, Gorm Greathammer (LN male dwarf) has always been drawn to the adventuring lifestyle. His passion drew him to the Pathfinder Society decades ago, where he distinguished himself as an explorer and chronicler, having numerous publications to his name and countless stories to retell. Even so, he regularly returned home to help administrate the sky citadel. After withstanding the exhausting Ironfang Invasion and direceting peace negotiations with Molthune, he returned to the Grand Lodge on an extended leave of absence. He now oversees the Grand Archive, promoting scholarship and uncovering centuries-old mysteries to solve at long last. Yet those who would expect the Grand Archive’s leader to be a shy, spectacled sage are in for a surprise; Gorm is daring, boisterous, and ready to get his hands dirty alongside his allies.

Objectives: The Grand Archive promotes the ongoing education of Pathfinder agents, the recovery of ancient knowledge, and the mastery of esoteric lore. Thanks to Gorm Greathammer’s leadership, the faction also encourages travel, so that agents can experience history directly, draw their own conclusions, and ensure that all relics receive the care and curation they deserve—especially where a berserker’s boots might otherwise shatter a priceless statue. After years of neglect and several noteworthy attacks, the Grand Lodge’s written records are a tattered shadow of what they once were, and the Grand Archive is dedicated to restoring the Society’s libraries by seeking replacement texts and long-lost documents the world over.

Vigilant Seal (Major Faction)

Rune-sealed doors, buried temples, warded vaults, and ancient keeps…these are among the most tantalizing sites for explorers to delve, yet all too often these ruins were abandoned for the same reason: their contents were too dangerous to leave unfettered yet too enduring to destroy outright. The Pathfinder Society’s track record of unleashing forgotten horrors while in the pursuit of glory and lore is dubious. Yet for every imprisoned fiend accidentally released while Pathfinders explore overgrown shrines, the explorers have also uncovered and defeated slumbering evils that would have otherwise emerged to plague the world unforeseen and uncontested. As far as the Vigilant Seal’s concerned, this tradition of cavalier recklessness must change.

Faction Leader: Among the most famous Pathfinders of the previous decade, Eando Kline (CG male human) famously explored Varisia, infiltrated the Hold of Belkzen, and plumbed the Darklands’ depths to uncover a lost serpentfolk city. Knowing that further publicity would encourage exploration and goad the serpentine villains to attack the surface, Kline returned to the Grand Lodge ahead of his rival Arnois Belzig, urging the Decemvirate not to publish either of their findings. The Decemvirate dismissed his concerns, and in disgust, Eando Kline resigned from the Society. For the past decade he’s led his own expeditions, always endeavoring to explore more responsibly than the organization he left behind. Yet with news of a change in the Decemvirate and respected colleagues rising to positions of power, Eando Kline has returned to the Society at last, accepting his old wayfinder so long as he could lead in the organization’s reform.

Objectives: Just as the Pathfinder Society decrees that its agents must “explore, report, and cooperate,” the Vigilant Seal expects its agents to “protect, contain, and destroy.” Dangerous artifacts are often best kept deep within the Grand Lodge or other secure sites, rather than left where they might cause harm. Where slumbering evils lie chained, agents are expected to ensure every link remains strong. And where those goals are impossible, those agents must be ready to neutralize the threat. The Vigilant Seal encourages its agents to be educated enough to identify and understand hazards, and Eando Kline believes that individual Pathfinders must exercise their own discretion in assessing the danger and knowing when to intervene.

And with that, you’ve now met all six of our starting factions, including four major factions and two minor factions. There are more previews yet to come, and of course even more to share at the new campaign’s launch on August 1st!

John Compton
Organized Play Lead Developer

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Tags: Factions Organized Play Pathfinder Second Edition Pathfinder Society
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Lantern Lodge 3/5

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OMG, the Vigilant Seal is pathfinder's SCP Foundation!

Vigilant Seal - “protect, contain, and destroy.”

SCP - "Secure, Contain, Protect"

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