The Order of Serpenthia has been a social group that uses Sarethian motiffs. It has been a gentleman’s/ noble order for many years. It seems to center around supporting traditional values and forms, as well as respect for Elders.
The Pillar of Zech is a quasi-Masonic secret society that exists throughout the continent of Laurentia. The goals of the Pillar are the active promotion of the Seven Princely Virtues (courage, honour, independence, intelligence, integrity, piety and revenge) across the world.
The King’s Hands are a secret espionage group. These agents secretly support the Crown, feretting out traitors, investigating military and political manuverings of other countries, stealing copies of plans and spells that would unbalance the status quo, and in short, making the world safe for good decent people and the Crown that supports them.
The Brotherhood’s goal was to preserve traditional Eshal practices and customs, with emphasis being placed on the belief that every member of the tribe mattered and that to ignore his rights and contributions, would result in the Clan collapsing.
The principal axiom of the Curalon Hestaris, and the basis of all its teachings, is this:
"Inhale. Kill. Exhale."
Via Humanitae - For Humans to live and thrive, non humans must be removed.
The Liberators of the Coin is primarily an organization Halflings devoted to (insert trickster/thieving/Halfling god). They pattern themselves after a myth of the god stealing gold coins from his brother on the evening of his wedding. The stolen gold was a part of the wedding ceremony and its absence meant that the ceremony could not proceed. The theft resulted in the trickster being able to marry his brother’s intended.
This organization began with a simple idea to protect the common people from the danger of magic run amok. Far too many disasters and atrocities were being commited by irresponcibe, evil, or mad wizards with no one to answer to but their own degraded consciences. But like so many things, it started off good and has shifted to the dark side.
Smeer was dragging a cart full of strings. Another cart of another strings, it was heavy, but probably the best job in these works for a weak boy. He brought it to the machine that weawed the ropes; the hands of older boys powered it. They were paid a few coppers more, but could barely move after a whole day of work. Smeer hoped to get older and stronger one day, to help his family out of poverty. Pulling the cart back through the yard, he suddenly noticed something. Does not that pebble look like… a coin? A glistening silver coin?! That would help for a few days! Looking around, he carefully picked it up, and hurried to work to stay unnoticed.
But something has noticed him.
An organization whos guild hall has been around more more then 1500 years. Here is where Rangers skills are tested to their limits…
The Clan is the original unit of social organization for the people of The Known World. Humanti society is becoming more diverse. The Guild or professional organization is taking the fore in the Known World. Except on the Sea.
Deep within the cold northern ranges live a reclusive tribe of Keirn with knowledge though long lost to the ages. The Fajro Mmang’i roam the frozen wastes with an ancient knowledge glinting in their eye.
The Guilds of Antioch are the most important social group in the region. The Guilds have replaced the Clan as the central social organization of society. Each Guild Head (or representative) meets with the Guild Council to determine laws and policy of Antioch.
Because of this the culture believes in a death walk for those that are getting near natural death, whether it be from oldness or some kind of terminal sickness. They are to leave the home and go through the Death Gate into the Sullen woods where they spend the last days of their life. Once they pass through Death Gate they are never allowed to return. But having a death gate in your own backyard may create more problems then it solves.
When the characters approach a clearing in the forest, they will see 4 ogres who are guarding, and preventing from escape, 4 human males, and 3 human females. The ogres will see the party and leap to attack. The females will scream "OUR SAVIORS!!" and run screaming straight across the currently forming battlefield, in between ogres and party members, to hide behind the rearmost party members. They will be safe there. The males will try to skirt the battle to the north side to join the women.
To the south, giants will be hiding in the thick underbrush until the party has engaged the ogres and then attack the most opportune target EXCEPT the ones that the females are next to.
It should be noted that the female commoners are not female commoners at all, nor are the male commoners actually male commoners. The female commoners are the hags, who have polymorphed themselves as the commoners in their stewpot to escape detection. The males skirting the battle are actually MORE ogres, the hags were in the process of polymorphing ALL the ogres into regular humans for ambush purposes. The REAL commoners are already dead, having found their way into the coven's cauldron for dinner.
The hags (the women) will position themselves near to any spellcasters in the rear first, and then near anyone else in the back of the fight. The ogres (the men) will wait until the hags shift form, and then attack first the rear folks, then shift into the melee.
It is possible that the characters, as they approach the ogres, will notice the giants in the bush, and be able to warn the others of the ambush.
GAME NOTES: If you sell the screaming women correctly, they will not even be suspected until it is too late. Therein lay the problem. This encounter is ESPECIALLY deadly to the rear eschelon of the party. It is entirely possible that the hags will finish off half the party before they even realize they have been duped. Caution is required if the game master wishes to avoid a TPK(total party kill).