Factions

FACTIONS
Factions are like political parties, religious organizations, or secret societies. Players can choose a connection to one of five factions: the Weavers, the Order of the Gauntlet, the Emerald Enclave, the Lords’ Alliance, and the Knights of the Cross-Trade. All five factions have their own reasons for opposing the evil threatening The Ledge. However, none fully comprehend the gravity of the threat at the adventure’s start …
The Weavers and the Emerald Enclave operate on personal relationships, so the characters might have met their contacts before the adventure starts.
The Lords’ Alliance and Knights of the Cross-Trade, on the other hand, have an elaborate system of pass phrases and secret signs that identify their agents to one another. You’d be well advised to seek some face time with your local contacts as soon as possible.
In the beginning, your rank is low, and such contacts can’t promise you specific resources or reinforcements> Still, they’re friendly faces who know the lay of the land and can offer guidance. They can pass messages to higher-ups; however, any reply is slow in coming. As time passes, the factions may become more helpful as they start to recognize your worth, and the seriousness of the events you are trying to avert.
THE WEAVERS
A scattered network of spellcasters and spies, the Weavers advocate equality and covertly oppose the abuse of power, magical or otherwise. Agents operate in secret and emphasize stealth and subtlety, or at the very least discretion. Bards, wizards and rogues are their most prominent members – hence the organisation’s same, taken for those who ‘weave’ the threads Pattern (magic), social influence or political intrigue.
Weavers operate in small cells throughout The Ledge. They work to maintain the balance of power between the various groups competing to influence the land. In Antipodea, the Weavers warn travelers and adventurers to stay clear of the Cryptwood and Witchinghall. Weavers also watch the ruined Halls of the Hunting Axe.
THE HAND OF PENT
This faction is primarily a military organization made up of paladins, clerics, and monks. Members of the order are faithful and vigilant seekers of justice who protect others from the depredations of evildoers. They exact swift retribution against those who violate the law.
The headquarters is (of course) the Fortress City of Pent, established long ago to guard against the denizens of the Crytpwood. However, the order has little political influence beyond the south-west coast of the Great Lake. It hopes to correct this weakness by establishing alliances with local leaders who share its goals, such as the Mayors of Havendell an Pineshire.
THE EMERALD ENCLAVE
This widespread group of wilderness survivalists preserves the natural order while rooting out unnatural threats. Many ofthe Enclave’s members are barbarians, druids, and rangers. Some wander the untamed forests and mountains. Others make their homes on the outskirts of towns and villages, where they help to protect travelers from the dangers of the wild.
The enclave’s greatest stronghold in the region is the fortified farm and abbey to Chauntea called Goldenfields. {Spoiler} is a senior agent of the Emerald Enclave. In the High Forest to the east lies Shadowtop Cathedral, another of the enclave’s meeting places.
THE LORDS’ ALLIANCE
The Lords’ Alliance is a shaky compact of aggressive political powers concerned with mutual security and prosperity. Fighters and sorcerers are prevalent among alliance agents, and they are often glory hounds seeking personal recognition. Most agents are lawful or neutral; in the courtly circles of the various town and city mayors. Those who don’t follow the rules seldom last long
Trade along rivers and roads links the cities of the Lords’ Alliance, so its operatives eliminate threats to that trade as soon as they appear. The Alliance sends members to any prosperous center of commerce where various groups vie to control wealth and influence trade.
KNIGHTS OF THE CROSS-TRADE
This shadow network seeks to expand its influence and power base throughout The Ledge. Its members coerce, persuade, or buy their way into every major area of influence. The regular hearsay claims halfling travelers run the organisation, and the ranks are filled with rogues and warlocks. However, the faction recruits any who can conduct its business without too many moral reservations.
The “Knights” might be found in any settlement, but in Antipodea the organization is based in {spoiler}. The Cross-Trade’s mercenaries and spies meet within its many private chambers.
Most folk of The Ledge aren’t even sure that the Knights exist – especially not as an organized group. Indeed, many of the network’s low ranking members are concerned with commerce, running the gamut from shopkeepers and tavern owners to black marketeers. However, the higher up in the network one goes, the more nefarious it becomes – or so say the few defectors who lived long enough to tell their tale.
MINOR FACTIONS
A number of minor factions also seek influence in Antipodea: the Greenwitch Elves, The {Spoiler} (from Pinesire), and the Primal tribes.
The Greenwitch Elves
The Cryptwood once sheltered a great elven realms beneath its boughs, but it was destroyed during the First Breach. Several decades ago, a group of elves left Aelfheimr Tower and set out to explore and protect the ruined monuments of that forgotten age.
Few beyond the borders of the Cryptwood know much about these elves; they have no single leader and make little contact with the outside world. They call themselves “wood elves” and reject the comforts Tower – instead aiming to resurrect The Ledge’s first elven kingdom.
The Hinterlanders Union
A famous chronicler once said that everyone in Pineshire is after money or power—preferably both—in as short a time as possible. The Weavers, the Lords’ Alliance, and Knights of the Cross-Trade all compete within the city.
The Hinterlander’s Union is a guild of woodsmen, hunters and other foresters (but also rumored to front a local thieves’ guild), vies for a larger piece of the action, but infighting has kept them from having much influence. Until now, that is, as local rumors suggest someone has risen up to unify and organize the group.
The Mageguard
This secretive group of Warrior-Mages has protected the Ledge since the First Breach. Havdendell’s Mageguard Toward as constructed by Mathias himself, and serves as the place where initiates undergo their first grueling year of training. The tower’s current custodian, Ushien Stormbanner, is sympathetic to the Order of the Gauntlet.
Tribes of the Primal Men
The Primal Men are ape-like humanoids who have dwelt in the Cryptwood and deepest part of the Sacral ood for as long as anyone can remember. Their people were devastated by a terrible curse possession inflicted on them during the Second Breach. The tribes defiled by the curse roam the Crytpwood as Devil Apes to this day.
The few uncorrupted Primal Tribes rove the forests , holding to ancient customs of ritual and taboo. They are notorious for their hatred of magic, disavowal of any gods but their own, and hostility to anyone not of their tribes. Many Antipodeans – particularly those from Pent and Pineshire – regard the Primal Men as little better than their degenerate devil-possessed cousins. Two tribes are the most troublesome to folk of Antipodea: the Tree Ghosts and the Elk.
Even so, the occasional Primal Man will appear in a city – usually as a bodyguard or mercenary accompanying a particularly open-minded merchant.

Factions

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