Friday, February 12, 2010

Hammersong's Legacy: The Censors of Patranos...

Good Evening, All:

Here's another secret society from Hammersong's Legacy for you to peruse. The only Elder Goddess known to have survived, Psyche, Lady of Dreams, has isolated herself to her own island home, calling her followers to her. Now, a century after the War of All Gods has ended, Psyche's children, the Ordathi (i.e. gnomes), are beginning to return to the continent of Cameria. Some of them have been trained in a new form of magic. These Mages of Psyche, also known as Psychic Mages or Mind-mages, specialize in divinatory and enchantment magics. Being a new form of magic, these mind-magics invoke a variety of reactions among the populace of the mainland. The following secretive order is one such reaction.

The Censors of Patranos
The Censors of Patranos is a secretive order of mage-hunters that undertake the self-imposed mission of hunting down and assassinating known practitioners of Psyche's mind-magics. With fanatical devotion to their cause, the Censors of Patranos are highly skilled at effectively handling mind-affecting magics and those that practice it.
Headquarters: A secretive order, the Censors of Patranos officially do not exist, and thus do not have an official site that serves as the headquarters for their organization. Among those few that have managed to learn something of the order, however, there are rumors that the largest group of Censors gather in Port Salvation, where it is said the best recruits are found.
Members: Again, as most Censors work alone or as part of a small cell, it is hard to determine how many members belong to this order. It is almost certainly more than two hundred, but some estimate that there are almost a thousand members scattered throughout the Shattered Territories.
Organization: Members of the order operate either as individuals or as members of a small cell of assassins. Members with a verified mind-mage kill bear the title of True Censor, while those yet to prove themselves are called Novitiates.
Goals: The Censors of Patranos desire to reduce or remove the influence of Psyche from the Shattered Territories. Operating from the belief that the War of All Gods is not over while Psyche's influence yet extends beyond her self-imposed island prison, the Censors have taken it upon themselves to remove the taint of her strange magic and those who practice it, before it can establish a foothold among the Followers of the Gods of the New Order.
Symbol: While the order has no official symbol, as they do not officially exist, most True Censors prefer to use a krystite dagger to deliver the final blow to a mind-mage. This practice has led to the Censors of Patranos being identified in some areas as the Order of the Krystite Dagger.

And here's some behind-the-scenes information for those who are interested: I don't like gnomes, and I don't like psionics mixed into my fantasy worlds. However, I know that there are some people that like both. In order to make the best of both worlds, and provide an interesting story element I can get behind, I put the gnomes, er, I mean, the Ordathi, into exile, and they are only now returning to the mainland. Thus, GMs like me who dislike them can simply under-emphasize them, and there a reason why you never see them in those particular campaigns. However, those GMs that love gnomes can bring them into the game and even make them the focus of a number of story lines dealing with their new "magic" (aka psionics) and those that hunt them.

The Censors provide that bit of conflict that emphasizes the perceptions that some have of the Ordathi and their new ways. In addition, given the fanatical nature of the Censors, they can easily fall victim to the same fate that afflicts other zealots: the order can become so obsessed in destroying the evil they perceive that they could easily become another face of evil in the process. I think that there's a lot of opportunity for great stories and adventures with this kind of set-up. The coolest part of all, of course, is that I get to kill off gnomes and psions with these guys. Now, that's fun!


1 comment:

James said...

Very interesting. I share your dislike of gnomes and psionics, so I can see great merit in the way you have made both 'optional' in your setting. Great work!