Children of the Night
All membership fees are a one-time fee for entrance into the society, and all members must pay yearly fees or lose the benefits of the edge. Military schools (fencing, fighting, or anything similar) teach secrets to characters who have been active members for three years and have reached Legendary rank. Academies have been known to wave the time requirement for members who perform particularly remarkable feats in service to the academy (a quest, obtain rare items, win great glory in the name of the school, etc.).
Otherwise, Societies work exactly as normal edges, with their own unique requirements. Reputation must be earned through in-character action, not bought through an edge. Then, characters are approached or may approach representatives from the school and request entrance into a society. Characters make a -4 Persuasion check, modified by the required Reputation bonus as well as bribes. Success allows characters to purchase the edge. Example bribe: each 100 gp provides +1 to the Persuasion roll. Other schools may value other items or deeds, equally difficult to obtain or perform as 100 gp.
Anaphexia: Requirements – Reputation Anaphexia 2, unknown
An order of assassins allegedly formed to support the Cult of the Reaper of Reputation. A secretive order said to have caused countless murders, those who knew too much. It is said that even speaking its name draws its murderous attention. It is said those murdered by the Anaphexia are beheaded and their secrets stolen from their minds. They claim these secrets for a more enlightened age, sworn to the god Norgorber. Membership Cost: Unknown. Membership Dues: Unknown.
Ascanor Lodge: – Requirement: Shudderwood Reputation 2
To be a member of the Ascanor Lodge is to know modern luxury alongside untamed wilds. Its elite travel from far across Ustalev, and beyond even, to partake in the saunas, culinary delights, and other decadence in the unique landscape of Shudderwood. Membership Cost: 800gp. Membership Dues: 400gp.
Benefit: Any member in good standing may stay the night at the Lodge and bring 1 other guest for temporary and limited stays. Each full day of rest at the lodge allows characters to roll a "natural healing roll" with a +4 modifier for expert medical care, the finest foods treated with Shudderwood's finest healing agents, physical therapy, and grounds that soothe the soul – some say magically. In addition, members who stay at least 8 hours may make Socialize checks at +2 to discover information on Ustalav's elite, current rumors of the country, and local rumors. Finally, members gain +2 Common Knowledge: Shudderwood, Culinary, and Spa Treatment.
Aspis Consortium – Requirements: Reputation – Aspis Consortium 2
An unscrupulous multinational trade organization based in Ostenso, Cheliax, but with interests in many parts of Avistan and Garund. Directed by a group known as the Patrons. Membership Cost: 800gp. Membership Dues: 400gp.
Benefit: Agents of this shadowy organization know their business. They receive -20% discount to purchase 1 item per month in a town with 2,000 or more inhabitants. Over-using this favor reflects poorly on the agent and the organizations, and no one wants that. Money is power, and it also opens doors. Agents receive +2 situational modifiers to Persuasion or Socialize when trying to gain entrance to auctions, banks, shops, or any other place where commerce rules. Finally, agents are kept abreast of current shifts in trade. Such matters are now "Common Knowledge" for the character and they receive a +2 to rolls. Members also gain one of the following languages: Andoran, Taldane, Varisian, Cheliax, Kyonin, Dwarven, Tien, Kelish, Osiriani, Polyglot, Ustalav, Qadiran, or Vudrani.
Caliphas Quarterfaux Archives: Requirements – Reputation Caliphas 1, Knowledge Occult D8+, 1 other Knowledge D8+
The Archives operate as both museum and academy to Caliphas’s young nobles. The curators of the Quarterfaux Archives prefer to bring the world's wonders to Ustalav where they can study its secrets with patience and the proper tools (and in the safety of the stone walls of the Achives). They do employ traveling professors and work with other organizations of means, such as the Aspis Consortium. Consequently, the museum's impressive collection ranges from Ulfen longboats and mysterious northland fossils to living elven root sculptures and strange Mwangi fetishes. Membership Cost: 800gp. Membership Dues: 400gp.
Benefits: Members may make use of the University archives for at least 4 hours and receive any +2 Knowledge check. In addition, University members may requisition the use of a single item for exploration, research, or other studies. They must return these objects or cover the costs (the purchase, the paperwork, and cost of labor to obtain said artifact or item). With Reputation 1 members may requisition simple, non-magical maps and other useful tomes (<200gp). With Reputation 2, members may requisition expensive items, such as traveling alchemical labs, rare tomes, or cheap magical items (<500gp.). With Reputation 3, members may requisition magical items that are easily (relatively) replaced (<2500gp.). With Reputation 4, members may gain access to any of the Quarterfaux artifacts in a private study. Members may bring one other individual but are responsible for any damage. This may include one-of-a-kind historical tomes, specific treatises, powerful magical artifacts, and other unique items. With Reputation 5, members become honorary royal advisors to the crown Prince Aduard Odranti III, This confers a number of benefits such as a free Reputation edge, as well as less palpable advantages of influence and station. Members are learned men and gain +2 to Common Knowledge rolls involving Anatomy, Philosophy, Mathematics, and History, and one of the following languages: Andoran, Taldane, Varisian, Cheliax, Kyonin, Dwarven, Tien, Kelish, Osiriani, Polyglot, Ustalav, Qadiran, or Vudrani.
Esoteric Order of the Palatine Eye – Requirements: Occult D8+, Socialize D6+, Reputation – Univ. of Leipstadt 1
Arcanists pursuing various mystical paths of Osiria and Garund in nature. Founded by Aldus Anton Canter in Vieland. Later removed from head of the Esoteric Order. Said to be behind any number of acts, from ritual murders of nobles, to organizing the Palatinates, to securing lost treasures, to guarding powerful secrets. In truth, its various cells form around local agendas. While the chapter in Lepidstadt pursues an egalitarian agenda, Caliphas’s society meets to further the schemes of prominent aristocratic members, and the group in Vische shelters magic-users in the intolerant county, with others pursuing their own goals as their members and leaders see fit. Occasionally, the order has been known to collaborate around a more cohesive goal. Membership Cost: 800gp. Membership Dues: 400gp.
Benefit: Members may choose a single Knowledge at the start of every story to gain a +2 situational modifier to reflect recent studies and conversations. In addition, characters know if there are any local members of the Order, and if so, they may consult with such members as if they had the Connections advantage. The nature of this Connection will vary from city to city, but all members study the Occult and esoteric lore deeply. Finally, members learn the Order's cryptic codes, secret language, and learn of its secret gatherings. Members gain +2 Common Knowledge to Architecture, Philosophy, Geometry, and Anatomy and one of the following languages: Andoran, Taldane, Varisian, Cheliax, Kyonin, Dwarven, Tien, Kelish, Osiriani, Polyglot, Ustalav, Qadiran, or Vudrani.
Ferro Academia de Caliphvaso – Requirements: Novice, Florentine, Agility d8+, Fighting d6+
Run by two Caliphvaso brothers, Antonio and Mariocci, the Academy of Iron (Ferro) is a private institute. The brothers teach the Florentine style of fencing. When fighting with two weapons or a weapon and cloak against a single foe armed with a single weapon, the character gains +1 Parry (in addition to the bonus gained from Florentine to hit this opponent), as if the second weapon were a buckler. Ferro academy students are also taught to use their two weapons to good effect against opponents with a shield. In this way, the +1 Parry for this Society Edge applies to opponents with a shield and one weapon, as well as opponents with just one shield. Example: When fighting an opponent with only one weapon, the student receives +1 Parry as well as +1 to attack (Florentine & Ferro). Example: When fighting an opponent with one weapon and a shield, the student receives +1 Parry (Ferro). Students may learn the Wall of Steel Edge at Seasoned Rank. Members also gain +2 Common Knowledge War History, Ballads, and Philosophy. Membership Cost: 800gp. Membership Dues: 400gp.
Secret: Opponents with First Strike or Improved First Strike do not receive a free attack against the hero due to his whirling blades.
Gateguard Brotherhood – Requirements: Novice, Agility d8+, Fighting d8+, Lunge or bonuses and abilities only apply with a reach weapon, must be in good standing with the University of Leipstadt
Clement “Longstride” Stoyan, an active professor at the University, founded his academy to develop a community of men “in fighting shape” with which he could practice and hone his skill in the sword. Academics who wish to learn the art of the swordplay join this academy. And while many of them do join for the social advantages, the more recognized students take their craft very seriously. They understand their lives may very well depend on their ability to use the sword when they search for artifacts in the swamps or fend of would-be thieves. Gateguard graduates find themselves holding honoring positions as captains of important city guard precincts or guard companies for reputable merchant companies, sometimes the head of the guard for a very rich and powerful noble, or other important positions where martial expertise, a certain degree of education, and social skill are all requirements. As such, Gateguard can be found in Whiteshaw for important events, proudly displaying their badge – a simple raised sword on a circle held by a fist, as if striking.
The brotherhood teaches variants of the lunge maneuver, but Stoyan adds a few tricks. The school has an obvious weakness, of course, in that the techniques are useless against adjacent foes. The key to using this school successfully is keeping one’s foe at bay.
When using a standard lunge (+1 Reach), the character receives a +1 bonus to Parry until his next action as he keeps his body lower than normal. In addition, the hero may use the First Strike edge at a range of 1”. Members also gain +2 Common Knowledge War History, Philosophy, Dance. Membership Cost: 800 gp. Membership Dues: 400 gp.
Induction: The Gateguard marks new members in a bi-annual ceremony in which a tale of a notable Gateguard is told with accompanying orchestral music. This acts as the commencement speech and indicates the history and character members are stepping into and expected to uphold. Afterwards, it is customary to celebrate with various notable people in the Gateguard community as well as the nobility at large, and new members are challenged by other Gateguard members (not necessarily new members). Such challenges are meant to demonstrate the unflagging skill of the school and at least symbolically make the student prove his or her worth. Performance in this challenge often sets the new student on a certain path of fame. Knowing this, Gateguard members often go easy on the new members, though they do not generally let them win. Such a thing would denigrate the more experienced Gateguard. Still, a well-fought challenge marks the student as a new, up-and-coming student to watch. Or, on rare occasions, it may mark the student as a poseur, a pretender to the Gateguard heritage who may have bought his way into the school. Such shocking ceremonies spark rivalries that last entire lives.
Secret: The most experienced members of the brotherhood are taught to be able to strike like vipers with their lunge maneuver at any number of opponents. Heroes may use the Improved First Strike edge at a range of 1".
Guild of the Senses: Requirements – Reputation Caliphas 1, Socialize D8+
This guild, housed in Vauntil, the “City of Senses,” and home to the annual festival “The Last Breadth,” brings together connoisseurs of various persuasions – perfume merchants, incense dealers, florists, chocolateurs, vintners, alcohol experts, and other purveyors of delights. Membership Cost: 800gp. Membership Dues: 400gp.
Benefits: Anyone can bake a pie, but only the true connoisseur can touch the most sensitive places in the heart with that morsel. It takes more than skill. It takes a refined knowledge of presentation and audience and context. For true connoisseurs, the Guild of Senses provides a benefits to reward their commitment. Characters receive +2 to gain entrance to any events that might draw such connoisseurs: high society soirees, royal dinners, back-room tastings, herbalist conferences, even academic events with historical relevance for previously unknown aspects of cultures. Members also gain +2 Common Knowledge Culinary Arts, High Society, Ustalav Festivals/Celebrations and one of the following languages: Andoran, Taldane, Varisian, Cheliax, Kyonin, Dwarven, Tien, Kelish, Osiriani, Polyglot, Ustalav, Qadiran, or Vudrani.
Harlequin Society: Requirements – Reputation Karcau 2, Socialize D4
Whispers in Karcau allude to a Chapel of Depravities, from which gluttonous ecstasy and violent pleasure echo down the maze of darkened waterways beneath the city. For a pittance of gold one might receive one of their gold-filigreed invitations. Members come to understand the full truth of their deserving natures and the true nature of morality. Membership Cost: 1000gp. Membership Dues: 500gp.
Benefits: Becoming a member of the Harlequin Society requires the character to demonstrate remarkable passion – for an art, for a human being, for experience. "What" does not matter so much as "how passionate." Members benefit from the Connections edge, but the nature of the benefit varies. Secrets are revealed in the illicit events of the Harlequin Society, and sometimes those secrets can open doors if gently pushed. Members need to feel safe, so there is a clear understanding that no one reveals what they learn in such events. Nonetheless, a certain camaraderie develops when two people share unique experiences. In addition, since members of the Society range from a variety of occupations, often, information about a wide range of activities can be learn, especially the high society of Ustalav. The biggest benefit is, of course, the experience of attending their private events. Members also gain +2 Common Knowledge Taboo Practices, Ustalav Celebrations/ Festivals, Culinary Arts, Performance Arts.
Karcau Academy of Martial Performance – Requirements: Novice, Fighting d8+, Acrobat Edge
The teachings of the Karcau Academy, are more about embarrassing your opponent than finishing him quickly. Students receive +1 to Fighting rolls when performing a Disarm or Entangle maneuver. They receive a +2 bonus when attempting Agility Tricks. Members also gain +2 Common Knowledge War History, Operas/Epics, Philosophy. Membership Cost: 800gp. Membership Dues: 400gp.
Secret: The character learns a wide variety of Tricks as well as how to avoid falling for them. He has a +2 bonus to resist Tricks and opponents attempting to Disarm or Entangle the character do so at –2.
Lodge of the Moon – Requirements: Novice, Agility D8+, Shooting D8+, Extraction
The Lodge of the Moon is based out of Shudderwood, with its current senior member being Dahrlif Louka, the master ranger. The lodge is a loose fraternity of rangers, some of whom have trained in the neighboring elven kingdom. There are elves in Kyonin who feel a sense of responsibility for helping Ustalav continue to be guardians of the Whispering Tyrant – some even say they might feel a certain degree of guilt for leaving the country in the state they did once the Whispering Tyrant was entombed in the Shining Crusade. In the present day Lodge members travel Ustalav's wildest places watching for signs of the Whispering Tyrant, though they see Shudderwood as a home and central gathering ground. They may be found in the Hungry Mountains and Virlych and other little-trafficked places as well, though still exceedingly rarely as their total numbers are quite small for such a large ranging area.
The Lodge teaches that all things are connected: the land, the people, the stars above. To these rangers, it is an illusion that these things are separate. One can learn about the working of larger things through the smallest things. The blight effects of plant-life on Virlych indicate the arch-lich's taint remains. The Whispering Tyrant literally changed the nature of the world, remaking it. Legendary rangers have been further taught the secret that the elves discovered about the Whispering Tyrant's true purpose for the blight. He was actually bringing the Realm of Shadow into Golarion.. The elves named the Ustalav rangers the Lodge of the Moon because of its ultimate charge. In keeping with an elven poetic sensibility, the Lodge is a guardian against the plane of shadow. It is the "light of the moon" at night. To support this guardianship, the elves taught the rangers to know detect the effects of blight, and the Ustalav rangers work to know every single element of flora and fauna in Ustalav.
Habits: When Lodge rangers meet on the road, a rare occurrence outside Shudderwood, they meet for "roadside picnics" in which they tell stories and sing song to uplift spirit, and trade one gift each – perhaps a stone with crystals they've found, a plant with healing properties, or other such symbolic gifts that precipitate the share of knowledge. Since they often spend many days without talking to anyone, this is an important practice that helps to keep Lodge Rangers connected to civilization. The elves trained the Lodge members to each be able to play one instrument at least passably. Favored instruments are the lute and the flute (given the elven root), but in the hundreds of years since the Lodge of the Moon took on its own Ustalavan culture, the Sczarni violin has become just as common, and even a well-trained voice will do. Known sayings: "With each passing day we move farther from the light." – said ironically, a bit of very dry Ustalavan humor. "Live free, and let no one be left behind." – said in parting or after a difficult challenge. "Weakness is a great thing, and strength is nothing."
Induction: Recruits are often taken from people who don't want to stay around one place and have few ties. This means recruits are sometimes ex-thieves or people on the run for criminal behavior who wish to lose themselves in Shudderwood. Generally, this is a bad way for the common criminal to escape the law because of the dangerous Rite of Passage. Anyone who abuses the Lodge of the Moon name in extreme ways (using it to loot and pillage for instance, like common bandits) is hunted down by the Lodge and killed. The Lodge depends on their name not becoming synonymous with bandits, otherwise they would not be able to buy supplies in desolate places where there are few options. The Rite of Passage is for a prospective recruit to spend a week surviving in a blighted area such as Virlych, or in more recent times, northern Shudderwood on the border of old Sarkoris, or some places in the Hungry Mountains, or even the Furrows. Ustalav has plenty of options for "blighted" areas, and many different kinds of blights. Once there, the recruit must discover signs of the blight or otherwise prove oneself as a caretaker of Ustalav. This is usually done by one's self, but not always. Certainly, accompanying a team of rangers into Virlych or the Hungry Mountains generally necessitates a group! The induction ceremony is held at one of the monthly "moots" in Shudderwood. These are celebratory affairs with stories, food, sometimes hallucinagenic mushroom trips, and a formal welcome for new members.
All students learn to Parry with their bows and bracers. Bows are considered a Parrying weapon for these archers. In addition, when using the Extraction maneuver, these rangers receive a +1 to the Agility roll. They receive a +2 bonus to Common Knowledge Elves, Local Flora and Fauna, and Local Geography. Membership Cost: 800gp. Membership Dues: 400gp.
Secret: The character learns to aim quickly – characters with Marksman who move may still benefit from the Aim maneuver without taking an additional action. Senior members of the Lodge of the Moon are consequently strongly encouraged to learn the Marksman edge if they have not already.
Malkenclaw Brotherhood – Requirements: Novice, Agility d8+, Fighting d8+, Two-Fisted, must be in good standing with the University of Leipstadt
Lajos Martin, a visiting professor- turned- associate professor at the University, founded his academy to “build physical and spiritual character in pupils” as well as their minds. Academics who wish to learn the “true” art of the swordplay join this academy. And while many of them do join for the social advantages that come with the competing Leipstat brotherhoods, the brotherhood nonetheless succeeds in developing disciplined, combat-ready academics. They understand their lives may very well depend on their ability to use the sword when they search for artifacts in the swamps or fend of would-be thieves.
The academy teaches students to get in close to counter the Gateguard brotherhood techniques, but Malkenclaw has improved on this style of swordplay. Students are taught to use two weapons, one being the dagger. The swordsman may move, make an attack with the sword, then make an additional one 1' (2 yards) and attack with the off-hand dagger. This attack is done at a +1 to hit because it comes at an unexpected angle, often sliding past defenses. (So if a student has the Two-Fisted edge, but not the Ambidextrous edge he attacks at -1 total. This in turn leaves the Gateguard opponent unable to remove himself from close combat with leaving an opening for an additional attack.
Members also gain +2 Common Knowledge Art History, Philosophy, Lineages. Membership Cost: 1000 gp. Membership Dues: 500 gp.
Secret: The hero receives a +1 Parry vs. First Strike and gives opponents’ attempts to Sweep, Disarm, or do Tricks a -2.
Marian Leigh School for Defense – Requirements: Novice, Fighting d6+, Taunt d6+, Socialize D6+, Charisma 1+, must be female
Located in Marian Leigh, the School is run by a woman named Tuscenda Balzac. She only accepts those ladies who prove themselves able to hold themselves with remarkable poise. To Balzac, the art of war may only be mastered by those who master the art of control, and social control is the highest form.
Men have long underestimated women, and this school attempts to exploit that weakness. Exactly why Balzac chooses to teach women military matters is known only to her. Some say that that Balzac started her school after some great slight, such as being cut out from an inheritance because of her gender. Others say she simply grew sick of seeing Ustalav’s men drink and eat when so many dangers threatened to tear it apart.
Students of this academy may take the Dirty Fighter and Really Dirty Fighter Edges at Novice Rank. In addition, their use of feminine charms and distractions gives men –2 on Fighting rolls against them. Members also gain +2 Common Knowledge History (Women), Philosophy, Style and +1 to Socialize rolls opposed by men. Membership Cost: 800gp. Membership Dues: 400gp.
Secret: The character’s good looks are as dangerous as her blade. The character may add her Charisma to her melee damage. Roll the dice as normal, then add the Charisma bonus to the total.
Old City Guild - Requirements: Novice, Agility d6+, Fighting d6+, Throwing d6+, Thieves' Cant & Symbols Language
Despite it’s name, the Old City Guild, isn’t a guild or even a mercenary company, it’s a loose association of thieves and ne’er-do-wells in the Caliphas undercity. The Guild Master, Luca Petrescu. Located in the under city, the guild does not advertise its presence, and knowledge of its existence is through word of mouth only.
Petrescu primarily teaches knife combat, and students inflict Str+d6 damage when using a knife. Thrown knives have their range increased to 5/10/20. Members also gain +2 Common Knowledge Caliphas Sewers, Trade, Black Market. Students are encouraged to take the Close Fighting and Improved Close Fighting Edges as well. Membership Cost: 500gp. Membership Dues: 250gp.
Secret: When using a knife, the character draws an extra initiative card and keeps the best. This stacks with Level Headed and Improved Level Headed.
Old Cults: Requirements – Reputation Old Cult 1 (specific to the god)
Worshippers twisted by forces from another world, unhinged completely and completely distrustful of even their allies. They pray to a thousand unnameable gods with titles such as Azathoth, Nyarlathotep, Shub-Niggurath, and Yog-Sothoth. Membership Cost: Unknown. Membership Dues: Unknown.
Benefits: Entrance to these cults is normally not very difficult, but once committed, the character will find it exceptionally difficult to back out. Rumors abound that the hidden cost of membership is that members are permanently disfigured physically or mentally, but this disfigurement also provides otherworldly benefits. In addition, members of the cult can generally rely on each other, and as such, gain the Connections edge. Members also gain +2 Common Knowledge Local Flora, Local Fauna, Local History
Ordranti Gargoyle Tradition – Requirements: Novice, Agility d6+, Strength d6+, Fighting d6+, Two Fisted
This school is run by a large Ordranti by the name of Dougal Mellantis, and teaches the use of buckler and long sword, a style which went out of fashion across the Inner Sea almost a century ago.
Students learn to use the buckler as a weapon, and may use it to deliver Str+d4 nonlethal damage. If the character performs the Defend or Full Defense maneuvers while using a long sword and buckler, he gains an extra +1 Parry (in addition to his bonus for using a buckler) or +2 to his Fighting roll respectively. Members also gain +2 Common Knowledge War History, Philosophy, Engineering. Membership Cost: 800gp. Membership Dues: 400gp.
Secret: When armed with a long sword and buckler, the character may make an additional Fighting attack each round with either the sword or the buckler. This stacks with Frenzy and Improved Frenzy.
Red Breadth, School of – Requirements: Novice, Agility D6+, Fighting d8+ or Shooting D8+, Peasant Lore
This school began with Duristan Barlhein rather informally amongst allies. Ailson Kindler and he taught bands of mercenaries-turned-hunters to track and kill monsters. While the founder is believed to be dead, killed in a battle with Galdyce, the nosferatu of the Valley of the Red Breadth, small offshoot schools do exist in Leipstadt, Caliphas, Karcau, and Ardis. They frequently occupy a fort on the edge of these cities or modest defensible estates. In Duristan's absence and Ailson's abstinence from all hunting, a mysterious swordsman in Caliphas calling himself Calanvald Kindler is purportedly the senior member of this school. Individuals or cells of hunters dot Ustalav, but they remain more secretive, and offer little in the way of teachings. Prospective members must be agile and resilient, and extremely capable in melee or ranged combat, depending on the proclivities of the hunter. Finally, members must also understand that in Ustalav peasants hold much wisdom, and that all learning does not only exist in books.
In return for strict requirements and a commitment to a grim future, a student of the School of the Red Breadth who does not move in a round may draw and drink a potion as a free action once per round as per the usual free action rules (so this action may not be repeated that round unless the character has access to another whole round of actions that same round, such as with the Quickness spell). The members of the Red Breadth understand they fight supernatural creatures and to do so, one may need to even the field of battle with arcane tincures. Members receive +2 Common Knowledge rolls to Folklore, Local History & Geography, and Local Fauna. Membership Cost: 800 gp. Membership Dues: 250 gp. donated to a village or hamlet. Students are taught to safeguard the peasantry, for no one else will.
Induction: Members are taught how to record their hunting activities and occult findings and they are informed about a system of secret libraries across Ustalav. All major cities and many smaller towns have an aging member in the library that takes such recordings and places them in an innocuous section of the library that would not be accessed by anybody (a top shelf secret compartment in the quilting section for example). The best secrets are in open view, or so the thinking goes. Members are inducted by a circle of witnesses gathered for the event, and the prospective member recites an oath of commitment given to them just a day before in front of the witnesses. There is little ceremony, and the new member must destroy the oath. There is no physical proof of membership. The oath is all that remains to bind the member to the School. The witnesses scatter and spread word of the new member.
Secret: Students of the Red Breadth have learned to Spot Weakness in any supernatural creature that fails an attack on them exactly as if they had the Spot Weakness Edge. That is, if a creature rolls a 1 on an attack, once per combat, the hunter gains +1 to Fighting and Shooting rolls vs. that creature or creatures of the same type for the remainder of combat. This bonus is cumulative with Spot Weakness if the hunter knows this. For example, if a ghoul rolls a 1 on the attack roll against a character, the character gains +1 to Fighting and Shooting rolls against all ghouls for the remainder of combat.
Royal Ardis Academy – Requirements: Novice, Agility d8+, Fighting d8+, must be Ustalav
Located in Ardis, the Academy is as much a social club for the Ardis aristocracy as anything else. According to one report, it is also a nest of the young and revolutionary minded. There is a chapter located in Caliphas which inevitably leads to the occasional duel between a Royal Ardis member and a duelist from the Caliphvaso Iron Academy (Ferro Academia) school.
Students learn to conserve their energy by letting their opponents make the first move in a fight. The character may take the Riposte Edge at Novice and the Improved Riposte Edge at Seasoned.
Characters on Hold receive a +2 bonus to interrupt a foe’s action. If the character does not move in a round (a Lunge counts as movement for this purpose), he gains +1 Parry until his next action. This stacks with the Defend maneuver if the character remains stationary. Members also gain +2 Common Knowledge War History, Philosophy, Ustalav Traditions & Royalty. Membership Cost: 800gp. Membership Dues: 400gp.
Secret: If the character does not move in a round, he may make a riposte against every Fighting attack made against him, no matter the source. For instance, the character could make two ripostes against a foe with Frenzy who failed both attacks.
Sincomakti School of Sciences: Requirements – Any two of Knowledge Religion D8+, Knowledge Occult D8+, or Knowledge Science D8+
Founded in Rozenport under the dual principles of broad education and guarded ignorance. The school is devoted to studying the natural sciences and unearthing ancient mysteries. Operating under the three umbrella schools of Bhaltvrest Tower, Gray Tower, and Hermitage Tower. These three school focus on the Old Cults, Arcane Secrets, and Biological Sciences respectively. Membership Cost: 600gp. Membership Dues: 300gp.
Benefit: Members gain the benefits of a stationary lab or library focused on one of the skills above, chosen by characters when the edge is purchased. This reflects permanent offices the character holds in one of the three towers of the school, and it provides a +2 to the related Knowledge roll when the character has access to the lab or library for 4 hours or more. Members also gain +2 Common Knowledge Philosophy, Local History & Geography, Geometry, and Architecture.
Tamrivena Military Academy: Requirement – Fighting D6+, Shooting D6+, Repair D4+, Guts D4+
Graduates become one of the guard of the city Tamrivena, dedicated to eternal vigilance against the orc nation of Belkzen. They maintain strict discipline in various military arts, especially those focused on defense of border keeps. Members receive at least novice training in siege engines, ballista use, and use of weaponry to defeat overwhelming odds. “Given a good wall, one man can defeat a thousand.” Membership Cost: 500gp. Membership Dues: NA. Instead – salary!
Benefit: Members of the guard may choose to either purchase Throwing skill for free at D4 or Vehicles skill for free at D4. In addition, they may use siege weapons and fortress defenses without negatives. Any member may earn a decent wage as part of the Wall Guard, and even gain rank. Officers earn considerably more wages that common guards. Officers may even negotiate wages when they are not stationed in a particular city if they can make a convincing case for how their work will benefit the Guard directly. Members gain +2 Common Knowledge: Battle, Military History, Orcs. Members also gain basic knowledge of Orcish.
Tatterdemalion, College of Fools: Requirements – Socialize D6+
Run by Wim Ilomos, a crafty dwarven puppeteer who holds his students to high standards and resolutely regards their craft as highly as any of the lofty arts in Karcau. More recently, he is losing control of his school to his albino, ever-smiling master of mime, Arlecht. Membership Cost: 500gp. Membership Dues: 250gp.
Benefits: Members of the College of Fools receive a +2 to Socialize rolls when they are able to perform for at least 3 rounds. They may delight with shadow puppets, hum a little bit of a familiar tune to lighten the mood, or recite a few lines of poetry to woo the object of their affections. In addition, the college specializes in many arts that require a deft hand. Members receive +1 to any roll involving fine manual dexterity (lockpicking, picking pockets or other feats of legerdemain, even cheating while gambling). Members gain +2 Common Knowledge Performing Arts, Folk Tales, Ustalav Celebrations/Festivals.
University of Leipstadt: Requirements – Reputation Leipstadt 1, Knowledge (Occult) D8+, 1 other Knowledge D8+
Founded by brothers Liron and Cadamon Treyes after destroying the structure known as Kalexcourt in Vieland in order to gather their research and pass on their findings. It focused traditionally on history, philosophy, and theology, but in the past decades it is known increasingly for its schools of alchemy and medicine. Membership Cost: 800gp. Membership Dues: 400gp.
Benefits: Members may make use of the University archives for at least 4 hours and receive any +2 Knowledge check. In addition, University members may requisition the use of a single item for exploration, research, or other studies. They must return these objects or cover the costs (the purchase, the paperwork, and cost of labor to obtain said artifact or item). With Reputation 1 members may requisition simple, non-magical maps and other useful tomes (<200gp). With Reputation 2, members may requisition expensive items, such as traveling alchemical labs, rare tomes, or cheap magical items (<500gp.). With Reputation 3, members may requisition magical items that are easily (relatively) replaced (<2500gp.). With Reputation 4, members may requisition truly powerful magical items and exceptionally rare artifacts of historical significance (<5000gp.). Finally, with Reputation 5, members may requisition the University's most valued treasures. One can only hope the standing member does not lose the item, for these are irreplaceable items. Members gain +2 Common Knowledge Philosophy, Biology, History, Mathematics, and one of the following languages: Andoran, Taldane, Varisian, Cheliax, Kyonin, Dwarven, Tien, Kelish, Osiriani, Polyglot, Ustalav, Qadiran, or Vudrani.
Ursu Guild – Requirements: Novice, Agility d6+, Strength d6+, Fighting d6+
Nicolae Moldoveanu founded this pugilist’s ring ten years ago. It’s less of a guild and more of a Saturday night brawling tournament held regularly enough for participants to gain camaraderie and share skills. Nicolae, professionally trained in the sword, returned home to Shudderwood and shared his knowledge of the sword with his hometown, and word spread. Central to his philosophy is that a man should never be defenseless, even without his blade, for Shudderwood does not wait for the man to draw. Although few men can live by his views, there’s plenty who see the benefits of his ideas.
Students inflict Str+d4 damage with their bare hands (or feet, elbows, or head).
Students are also taught to use whatever is to hand as a weapon, and may take the Improvisational Fighter Edge at Novice Rank. Likewise, Nicolae’s “win by any means” attitude allows students to take the Dirty Fighter Edge at Novice as well. Students are encouraged to take the Close Fighting and Improved Close Fighting Edges as well. Members also gain +2 Common Knowledge rolls Shudderwood, Drinking Stories & Drink, and Local History. Membership Cost: 500gp. Membership Dues: 250gp.
Secret: Students of this academy never count as Unarmed Defenders.
Whispering Way: Requirements – Knowledge Occult D8+, Knowledge Religion D6+, Reputation among necromancers 2
The ages-old cult of undeath flourishes in Ustalav. Many of the morbid society of undead obsessed magicusers, servants of Urgathoa, and maniacs plot their routes to immortality and the death of the world from the haunted monastery of Renchurch, short miles from the Whispering Tyrant’s prison-throne of Gallowspire (whereever that is). Some say, these are only rumors, misunderstanding a sect of necromancy that seeks to usher in a golden age of untapped potential through life and death magic. It certainly doesn't help their cause that the Whispering Tyrant was said to be their greatest follower, but some say the path is neutral. It is the individual who took it to such dark ends.
The Witchhunters – Requirements: Novice, Strength d8+, Fighting d6+, must take Hindrance: Orders Barstoi
Phrasmin witchunters are based in Barstoi’s Chapel of Guilts, and search for deviancy of any kind, but especially arcane magic, which is strictly forbidden. They lead the inquisition while practice disciplined worship of Pharasma and exact the police-state justice.
Witchunters of Barstoi favor slashing weapons, such as sabers, over rapiers. As such, their attacks tend to be furious blows rather than thrusts. The character increases the damage of his weapon by one die type when making a Wild Attack with a slashing blade. In addition, he may buy the Frenzy Edge at Novice Rank and Improved Frenzy at Seasoned. Members also gain +2 Common Knowledge Torture, Pharasma, Local Geography. Membership Cost: 600gp. Membership Dues: 300gp.
Secret: The character suffers no penalty to Parry when making a Wild Attack.