Society/ Organizations
World Wide
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ID: 5403


November 5, 2010, 10:29 pm

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The Friends


You felt a slight tingle as the man looked you in the eyes, and he is currently approaching confidently with a look of recognition on his face. He smiles and you know you know him, you just don’t know how.

"He was a friend of a friend…"
That is all he said at first, yet you knew him… From somewhere, someplace, sometime… Long forgotten.

This is how an encounter with one of The Friends starts. You meet a man (or woman) claiming to be the friend of a friend sent to aid you, they know of your deeds. Both recent and ancient. They know your secrets, or they hint at them. Who are these Friends, and what do they hope to accomplish?

The Friends

Who are The Friends? That is a very good question. They appear to be a thing of legend, though they say that everyone has a Friend, very few can remember enough details about them to provide a solid explanation for the "Friend of a friend" phenomenon. It starts with a chance encounter with a familiar stranger, they say you will know them, but not know how. A feature or sensation will remind you of a long forgotten friend. Those eyes... That smile... The way she talks... The way his shoulders move... Some aspect of them is innately recognizable in the back of your mind.

...but who... are they?

It is rare for one to realize they have had a meeting with one of The Friend until long after that Friend is gone. The Friends, as they are known in whispered tales of secret worlds and hidden things, are, or were, normal people. They used to be like me or you, maybe you really did know one of them in the past, but that's irrelevant now. Once you're taken in, you're a puppet on a string. However, from the false hands of each of these puppets extends strings of their own. A web of strings, if you will, that reaches across space and time, into the little places of your mind and perhaps even the thrones of the Gods. The full truth is unknown. There is, somewhere out there, at the center of the web, a powerful master of manipulation, a spinner of fate, using his puppets and their puppets to drive the worlds and each of its inhabitants to an unknown destination.

...but what do they do? ...

They will help you, lend a hand or piece of information. Push you towards a goal, I would say. Whose goal it may be is purely point of view. It could be one you hoped to accomplish, or something that now seems like a worthy idea. Rest assured, it will be mutually beneficial.

That is all I can say for certain. And who am I, you would ask? Well, I'm just a friend.

Additional Information and Ideas:

This Organization could be used as a one-time deus ex machina effect to provide information or get the players out of a jam, but is meant to serve the purpose of providing a reason behind the mysterious stranger phenomenon and similar plot devices. This simple idea could be the underlying plot line for an entire campaign, if you wished to take it to such extremes. The puppet master hierarchy is likely to expand pretty high into your world's power structure and could certainly contain a vast about of deception, misdirection and suitable twists. The main spinner may be a lowly hermit who knows not what he does in his dreams, or a divine being of infinite power who plays with the lives of mortals as a toy. I really don't know where to go with this idea, and have done my best to flesh it out into a useable submission. I hope you have enjoyed reading it, can use it, and/or have other ideas to contribute to it.

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Comments ( 6 )
Commenters gain extra XP from Author votes.

January 23, 2009, 10:59
i like the premise!
Voted Strolen
November 6, 2010, 8:35

That is a great idea and excuse for PC pushing. Could be as simple as being manipulated by some local kook that uses a little mind control and limited info about the group to the full world manipulators. Either way those PCs that may be more distrustful of others now have some fodder to work with.

November 7, 2010, 18:38

An interesting idea with solid write-up. But, I still need to ponder more before voting.

Voted Dossta
November 10, 2010, 12:37

I've read this over now several times, and the idea keeps growing on me with each repetition.  As a general rule, I need to have a reason for something before I try using it in a story, and this really does help explain the mysterious helpful stranger.  I like it rather a lot, actually.  Excellent work, Pieh!

Voted MysticMoon
August 26, 2013, 20:36

I kept waiting for the twist where The Friends turn out to be psychopaths who gain the party's trust only to turn around and utterly betray them.

Maybe I've become a bit jaded... Could be I just need a Friend to restore my faith in humanity :p

I think I need to mull this one over. My mind wants it to have a deeper meaning. A secret society which controls the fate of the world through divination and minor acts of kindness, perhaps, although I'm still not giving up on my psychopath theory.

Voted Dozus
February 19, 2014, 10:31
This is a good take on the "power behind the scenes" sort of organization.

Random Idea Seed View All Idea Seeds

       By: Pariah

An example of a mythological worldview misinterpreting scientific practices occurred in Africa, where an aid organization, focusing on slowing and stabilizing population growth, distributed abacuses with red and white beads corresponding to a woman's menstrual cycle. Women were instructed to move one bead a day, only having intercourse on days represented by a white bead. However, the experiment failed, and the population grew in the households using the abacus. The women believed the abaci were magical, and that they would be protected from pregnancy by moving a white bead into the place of the red bead before intercourse.

Ideas  ( Society/ Organization ) | July 12, 2006 | View | UpVote 0xp

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