Friday, December 21, 2018

Factions of the Artifice Saga

There are four "organizations" at play during the time of the Shadow of the Artifice Masters campaign.  Players will have the chance to perform deeds on behalf of these factions--and earning renown with them will affect opportunities available to the players later in the campaign.  From a fantasy perspective, the groups are all military orders; and earning renown is akin to advancing in ranks of knighthood.
I wanted to add other factions based on the source material, such as the Disciples of Zor or the Children of the Shadow--but these factions would not have been active at the time of the Sentinels campaign.

Bonus Renown

Characters may begin play with bonus points of renown in particular factions, in particular situations:
  • All Invid characters begin play with 1 point of renown with the Invid Horde
  • All Micronian characters begin play with 1 point of renown with the Artifice Expeditionary Company
  • All Sentinel characters begin play with 1 point of renown with the Sentinel Alliance
  • Warlocks with an archfey patron (the Faerie Queen or Goblin King) begin play with 1 point of renown with the Invid Horde
  • Warlocks with the undying patron (the Artifice Elders) begin play with 1 point of renown with the Artifice Masters.
These are the only conditions under which free renown is gained as a result of choices made during character creation. 

Artifice Expeditionary Company

The Artifice Expeditionary Company was established after the Orc Invasion of Earth, the human homeland.  The surviving orcs allied themselves with the Micronians, helping their former enemies learn more about Artifice.  Their knowledge being sparse, and expedition to Fantoma was planned to contact the Artifice Masters.

The AEC has built a series of colonies on islands between Micronia and Fantoma with the purpose of facilitating communication with their homeland.  These include: Fort Liberty (nearest Micronia, the largest colony, Fort Equality (near the midpoint between the continents), and Fort Fraternity (nearest Fantoma, the newest and smallest colony).
  • Beliefs
    • Artifice is a universal path that belongs to all.
    • Understanding the Flower of Life is just another form of Artifice.
    • Respect is earned through strength and skill.
  • Goals:  To establish the races of Micronia as participants in the global arena; to promote peace among the various races through military might.
  • Ranks
    • 1, Cadet
    • 3, Lieutenant
    • 10, Commander
    • 25, Captain
    • 50, Admiral

Artifice Masters

Though they once controlled all of Fantoma, the Artifice Masters have dwindled recently--the majority of their number having fled their capital city of Tiresia for parts unknown.  Those that remain were decimated by the Goblin King's forces when he took the city in search of this faction's Elders.
  • Beliefs
    • Artifice is the true path to perfection, biologically and technologically.
    • The Invid squandered the Flower of Life, and therefore lost their claim to it.
    • Those who have power deserve control.
  • Goals:  To regain control of the Protoculture Matrix and the Flower of Life in order to advance the arts and sciences of Artifice; to reestablish themselves as the ruling elite.
  • Ranks
    • 1, Soldier
    • 3, Subcommander
    • 10, Commander
    • 25, High Commander
    • 50, Elder

Invid Horde

The Invid Horde is composed primarily of the Invid themselves, though it is not uncommon to find sympathizers among the other races. There are two invid courts--one led by the Faerie Queen and espousing the tenets of the Cult of the Flower; the other led by the Goblin King and the ways of the Cult of the Shadow.  It is primarily the Goblin King's Horde that the player characters will encounter--as the Faerie Queen's forces only occupy Praxis and Haydon.
For the sake of gaining renown, both Invid courts are considered the same faction.
  • Beliefs
    • Artifice is a corruption of the Invid ways, but has become a necessary tool.
    • The Flower of Life belongs to Optera and its people alone.
    • The body is a tool of the mind--perfecting one perfects the other.
  • Goals:  To restore the honor and glory of the invid people.
  • Ranks
    • 1, Scout
    • 3, Trooper
    • 10, Enforcer
    • 25, Commander
    • 50, Overlord

Sentinel Alliance

The Sentinel Alliance seeks liberation--not only from the goblinoids that currently occupy their territory, but also from the legacy of the Archanomantic Masters.  This alliance is not one of governments, however, but of mercenaries and freedom fighters--which is to say that the actions and goals of the alliance are not necessarily those of their home governments.
  • Beliefs
    • Artifice is not the only path--there are other ways to power.
    • The Flower of Life is a stain on Fantoma.
    • True freedom can only come through self rule.
  • Goals:  To liberate their homelands from foreign influence, and to establish national identities for each member race.
  • Ranks
    • 1, Envoy
    • 3, Emissary
    • 10, Ambassador
    • 25, Plenipotentiary
    • 50, Consul

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