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The Pathfinder Society

"And we should open the doors of our realms to this... 'society' in hopes that they might serve the common man more diligently than our own governments? Our own knights? Our own powers of order?"
~ Shalidor, Viscount of Aarunsurlye
Precisely.
  "You have met these... so called 'Pathfinders' during your tenure as the luminary of the Marigold Merchant's Guild in the Freelands, is that correct, Mr. Morpheon?"
~ Azrael Errancar, Dragonspeaker of the Magisterium

I beg your pardon, Dragonspeaker, but you may simply call me Holland; But, yes, I have met them, and known them for a number of years.
  "What virtues do these individuals display that our enforcers, and men-at-arms do not?"
~ Drin, the King Eternal

They are the finest men, and women that I have ever known. Their skills are extraordinary, and their bravery is without equal. They are not only exceptional individuals, but as a group, capable of feats undreamed of. They have done what armies, and knights alone could never do... Now they seek to help the realms. Now they seek to create a society of heroes that might safeguard the ages to come. You may see them as only adventurers, mercenaries and profiteers of misfortune, but had you known them as I have known them, you would understand that they are champions, and their purpose is to help the world of Orr.
~ Notes from the Treaty of Adventure, 5108AR
 

Formation

The Pathfinder Society began as a group of individuals exploring the Marigold Realm, and helping the citizens of Tantallion where their small guild was based. Even in those early days it was clear that these individuals possessed skills, and apptitudes of heroic quality. They quickly became well known throughout the Freelands, and established themselves as community leaders. Many of their number joined the Braves of Tantallion, and assisted the city in growing and prospering into a true capital.  

Achievements & Members

The feats and achievements of the first Pathfinder Society are numerous, but the events that have become legend and which they are most known for in the Marigold Realm are thus:  
  • Establishing the Pathfinder Guildhall in the city of Tantallion
  • Driving back a band of Iron Halo raiders upon the shores of the Silverhawk Coast
  • Journeying to the mysterious Illadian Isles
  • Defeating the sorceress, Zorza Morpheon, and putting an end to her 'ninth' spelltower
  • Saving the city of Tantallion from the Primux orc clans of the Cascade Mountains
  • The destruction of the profane abbots of Shadowbrook
  • Discovery of the Labyrinth Stone, a foci crystal believed to have belonged to Rizion
  • The defeat of the four undead Elven kings of the Valenruun
  • Saving the city of Laefalorn, and stopping the incursion of the season courts of the Feywilds
  • The destruction of the demon lord, Farron
  Their guild consisted of:  
  • Galadhwen - The druid, Galadhwen, was one of the founding members of the Pathfinder Society, and served as its first guildmaster. She became a herald of Gozrah, and obtained the legendary Staff of Seven Rivers from the waterfall caves of the Cascade Mountains. She established a fairy arboretum in the city of Tantallion using seeds found from a lost Fey Garden that has become a vivid attraction of the realm. She was known to be kind, wise, and to have wielded impressive powers over storms, and lightning. Galadhwen perished at the hands of Zuriel, one of the four undead kings of the Valenruun, although it is rumored that her spirit was ressurected, and that she fled the Marigold Realm to begin a new journey.
  • Oscar Batton - A founding member of the Pathfinder Society, and a skilled ranger who traveled the realms with his armored boar, Rush. Oscar's tenure in the society was shorter than many of his compatriots, but during his time as a hero of the Freelands he helped bring peace to the Silverhawk Coast by thwarting a group of Iron Halo slavers lead by Zodion, visited the Illiadian Isles, and helped to defeat the sorceress, Zorza Morpheon. Oscar left the guild after those events in order to help rebuild the region that had been devastated by the dark magics unleashed from Zorza's profane 'ninth' spelltower. Claiming ownership of the land, with the approval of the Tantallion council, it was renamed in his honor as Batton's Rest. Following his death of old age, the region was renamed Pheonix Rest, in hopes that his spirit might one day be returned to Orr, and also as a nod to the impressive feat of the taming of a wild Roc that still protects the region. While his adventures were cut short by these new responsibilities, Oscar did obtain the legendary Oathbow during his travels. What became of the impressive artifact, none can say.
  • Bryzewen - Another founding member of the society, Bryzewen was a sorceress who specialized in illusion, and evocation magic. She accompanied her compatriots to the Illiadian isles, and helped defeat Zorza Morpheon. Her tenure ended when a flower of romance blossomed between herself, and a member of the Iron Halo, named Barda, who was captured and reformed following Zodion's attack on the Silverhawk Coast. She, and Barda, fled the Marigold Realm by way of ship, heading southeastward towards the continent of Infidia, and what became of them is unknown, although it is rumored that the Pathfinder Society often receives anonymous donations of gold brought to Tantallion upon Infidian merchant vessels even to this day.
  • Ornstein -- The fearsome, half-orc barbarian of Infidia arrived upon the shores of the Silverhawk coast after escaping from an Iron Halo ship, and joined the Pathfinders several months after their initial founding while they were traveling through a snowstorm that had engulfed the Cascade Mountains. Ornstein helped the members of the society fend off a gruesome attack by frost giants, and joined their ranks following the conclusion of that battle. He participated in the endeavor to save Tantallion from the raid of the orc Primux clan, the defeat of the dark abbots of Shadowbrook, and eventually met his end in the caves near Kayin at the hands of the mad, dragon-mage, Erramix. Ornstein's spirit has been known to return to the world in times of crisis to lend aid, and it is believed that he was one of the Valkyr who guided the ships of the Centurions of Iskandar in the century to come.
  • Brudius -- A former archmage of the Circle of Nine, the gnome, Brudius, specialized in evocation magic (specifically the element of fire). He was a founding member of the Pathfinder Society and journeyed on many adventures with his compatriots. A talented wizard even before his travels in the Marigold realm began, Brudius' power climbed to even greater heights as the challenges facing the guild amassed. He left many arcane hideaways where he stored magical artifacts that he collected during his journeys, and secrets that had been uncovered by the guild, and was responsible for the impressive magical wards which still defends the guildhall of the Pathfinders to this very day. Brudius met his end alongside Ornstein, and Fenrir, in the caves of the dragon-mage of Kayin in an attempt to recover a relic of power sought by Zirada Wu. A statue of Brudius was created in honor of his bravery, ingenuinety, and accomplishments at the academy of magic which he helped found in the city of Tantallion.
  • Fenrir -- The Elven paladin of Kassandir, Fenrir, was the last of the founding members of the Pathfinder Society. He joined Galadhwen, and Brudius during their first adventures in the Thornwilds, proving the shining nature of his character by helping put to rest the spirits of several Elven nobility that had long awaited slumber. He journeyed to the Illiadian isles where he inspired the members of a community there to take up the faith of Kassandir. He helped defeat Zodion, Zorza Morpheon, and the abbots of Shadowbrook. He trained Targon Beauclaire, who would later go on to become the guildmaster of the society, and met his end alongside his friend Ornstein in the caverns of the mad dragon-mage. He was accompanied by the great, white wolf, Ein, during his journeys, and it is said that the mighty dire wolves of the Marigold realm who hunt amongst the Thornwilds are descendants of his faithful companion.
  • Rafiq -- Known as 'Ironsides' to his friends, and 'the Brave' to the wider world, Rafiq joined the Pathfinder Society at its most critical junction. When the Primux orc clan of the Cascade Mountains threatened to destroy Tantallion, he arrived with bow in hand to help throw back the dark scourge. Rafiq would go on to become one of the most talented archers of his era, gaining the monicker of 'Starhunter' for his precise aim, and from the magical bow which he carried. He helped defeat the abbots of Shadowbrook, stopped the invasion of the Feywild in Laefalorn, and at the castle of Lafayette, single-handedly defeated a Pit Fiend from the bellows of Hades atop the castle tower. Rafiq began his career as a simple thief of the Marigold thieves' guild, and experienced a number of hardships and losses over his life which served as reminder of the great stakes that were at play during his adventures. He joined the Braves of the Freelands before departing upon an important mission that would see him vanish from the annals of history, but his feats and deeds have earned him a memorial altar in Korroc 'Vahl, the hall of heroes.
  • Whurhim Holderhek -- The dwarven cleric of Baltizan, Whurhim, arrived in the Marigold Realm in search of clues of his missing brother, who had been taken by giants when he was young. He joined the Pathfinder Society just before the raid of the Primux orc clan, and was instrumental in their defeat. He would go on to nearly single-handedly destroy the dark abbots of Shadowbrook with his command of the earth, and became the second guildmaster of the society after the death of Galadhwen. For many years he tended to the guildhall, its initiates, and heroes, but the quest to find his missing brother eventually drove him to pass on the mantle and continue upon his journey. It is said that he left eastward towards the Skybeyond Mountains where the storm, and fire giants of the world still maintain their thrones. It is unknown whether he ever found his family, but it is said that the giants of Nausica curse his name to this very day.
  • Navi -- The sylph witch of the Thornwilds, Navi, joined the Pathfinder Society near the end of their great works in the Freelands. She was accompanied by her barn owl familiar, Jareth, and joined the company of Galadhwen, Orlandu, and Heath as they attempted to thwart the powers of the undead Elven kings of the Valenruun. She was witness to the death of Galadhwen at the hands of Zuriel, and some say had a role in the druid's ressurection, but Navi's greatest contribution to the Pathfinder Society was her cunning manipulation and defeat of the dark lord, Farron. The events of that final crisis are hard for historians to accuretely detail, but it is believed that when the Pathfinders were summoned to the castle of Lafayette it was at the brink of destruction, on the eve of a final midnight, where Farron hoped to throw down the Endless, Pondera. Part of this ritual required that he join in mortal bondage with an advocate of his faith, and that individual was Navi. During the crux of the ceremony, Navi presented him with a maddening silver mask, given to her by Tobias, which trapped the demon in an endless trance, and left him vulnerable enough that the Pathfinders could slay him once and for all. Navi abandoned the society after these events, choosing a life of freedom, and adventure that would not bring shame to the members of the guild who she had come to know as allies, if not friends.
  • Heath Strangleheart -- The dashing, and daring swashbuckler of the high seas, Heath, joined the Pathfinder Society as the race to defeat the undead lords of the Valenruun began. Captain of the Snapdragon, and friend of "Black Heart" Lucatiel, Heath gained ownership of the legendary Silvertongue Espada during his adventures, a weapon that has since gone on to appear as a rapier of choice to impressive duelists throughout the realms. Heath assisted the Pathfinders in driving back the season courts of the Feywild in Laefalorn, helped defeat Zuriel, and slew his brother Lafayette in the midnight council during the ascension of Farron. After these events had transpired, Heath left the society, hoping to aid his friend Lucatiel, who had bargained her soul with the dark lord in order to help assemble the Pathfinders for the final conflict.
  • Masiro -- A founding member of the Pathfinder Society, Masiro was a bard of no small talent who helped create a bardic college of playwrites, music, and arts in the city of Tantallion. He acted as the first Chronicler of the Pathfinder Society, keeping records of the guild's adventures, and sought out new initiates to join the guild in the years following the disbandment of its original members. Masiro has gone on to become one of the most well known bards of the Marigold realm, and still acts as a Grand Chronicler for the guild to this very day.
  • Orlandu -- The Tengu swordmaster, Orlandu, arrived to the Marigold Realm from the distant continent of Infidia and its Lion's Eye Mountains. He sought, as all swordmaster do, the riddle of steel, and had heard rumors of the legendary smith Quon visiting the region. Joining the Pathfinders shortly after the terrible losses they had suffered in Kayin, Orlandu delivered the final blow to the undead Elven king, Zuriel, whom he had watched slay Galadhwen. He was present during the battle at Laefalorn, and played a part in the defeat of both Farron, and Lafayette during the guild's final crisis. It is rumored that Orlandu continued upon his journey for the riddle of steel, seeking out the legendary swords crafted by Quon that remained scattered throughout the realms. Whether he ever laid his talons upon such a blade, none can say, but there are rumors that upon the slopes of the Lion's Eye Mountains in Infidia, there are new cuts as wide as canyon ravines that have appeared since his disappearance.
  • Tobias -- Mage of the Circle of Nine, and follower of Anser, Tobias joined the society near the conclusion of their great works in the Freelands. He participated in the battle of Laefalorn, helping defeat the season court of the Feywild, and fought against the undead Elven kings of the Valenruun. His greatest contribution to the society was the creation of a maddening silver mask, which he gave to Navi. This mask left the dark lord, Farron, paralyzed and vunerable to the attacks of the Pathfinders, ensuring their victory, and thwarting the demon's dark ambitions. Tobias remained with the society for a number of years, until becoming a professor at the college of arcana that the guild had helped establish in Tantallion. He went on to teach many magical arts, before eventually leaving to return to Dalair to join the Magisterium as a trusted advisor to the councils of sorcery.
 

Chroniclers

  The members of the Pathfinder Society are organized and lead by Chroniclers. These individuals are responsible for creating meaningful trials to test new iniatiates to the guild, and of course inducting them officially into the society should they prove themselves worthy. The Chroniclers of the society are also responsible for gathering the stories of the Pathfinder's adventures, and quests to be scribed into historical record. This serves several purposes, the first and foremost being that the guild's actions and accomplishments often leads to the adoption of new, and powerful enemies which the society must be prepared to face. Artifacts, and treasures recovered by the guild may also pose such a threat, or be of such significance that they must be destroyed, sealed away, or researched to understand their true purpose. Should the guild fail in one of its quests, the writings of the Chroniclers can be used in order to prepare the band which must follow in the footsteps of their fallen brethren. The Chroniclers also act as treasurers, and in some cases diplomats, in order to request and receive funding for the guild's efforts, or to negotiate matters of dispute between the guild and the sovereigns of the realms. Chroniclers are the unofficial 'guildmasters' of the society, and see to all the necessary arrangements of their branch, while communicating with the other guilds of the society, and reporting to the Pathfinder guildhall in Tantallion which is the official base of the society.  

The Writ of Adventure

  In 5108AR, nearly a century after the first Pathfinder Society had been formed and disbanded, the remaining members reached out to the soverign powers of the realms, requesting a 'Writ of Adventure' that would allow the Pathfinder Society to establish itself within their borders, as a neutral mercenary force. Masiro, the Chronicler of the first society, and Holland Morpheon, the luminary of the Marigold Merchant's Guild, were chosen to act as ambassadors once the powers of the realm agreed to form a council. The Magisterium were the most difficult to convince in adopting such a treaty, but after several months of discussions the sovereign powers agreed to the Writ of Adventure.   The Writ simply states that the Pathfinder Society may pursue their quests, and adventures throughout the world of Orr without interferance from local powers, and governments of the realms. So long as their missions remain nonpolitical, and do not intercede on matters of war, or the government of those nations, they are beholden only to their own codes of coduct, and cannot be imprisoned, or put to death by the soveriegn powers without fair trial. While this does, essentially, allow the society to operate with impunity throughout the realms, the signing of Writ required that the Society establish a code of conduct, and ethics which the soveriegn nations could bring to trial in the event that a member of the society should stray. The Writ also allows the Pathfinder Society to train mercenaries, and adventurers in arts of warfare, and sorcery. This matter of the Writ was highly debated, and the primary reason why even today there are many who wish to see the Writ revoked.   Each member of the Pathfinder Society is bestowed an icon of the Writ, in the form of a magical badge, to prove that they do belong to the Society. These badges are magically bonded to their owners so that if they should perish, or the icon be stolen, it shall not grant the protections of the Writ to an undeserving party. Should a Pathfinder stray from the codes, and conduct of the guild, the badge can also be 'deactivated' from afar by the Chronicler of the adventurer's guildhall.
"The guildmaster of the Pathfinder Society is Targon Beauclaire, a half-elf paladin, and follower of the Endless, Kassandir. Targon was a child when the original members of the Pathfinder guild took him under their wing, learning the merits of honor, valor, and justice from those extraordinary individuals. He is considered by many to be the greatest hero of the fifth age."
— Holland Morpheon, the Blue Dragon
Type
Guild, Adventuring

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