Postfest V: The Order of Keepers
Date: Tue, July 12, 2005
Topic: Power Groups & Organizations
When we think of secret societies, the Silent Ones of Keoland, the Scarlet Brotherhood, or even the Circle of Eight come to mind. But what do we know of demi-human societies and their organizations? The Keepers are one such society which is rumored to have existed for over four thousand years. Turn the page and read further for this is but one secret the Keepers could not keep from us.
The Order of Keepers
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This ancient society is entirely closed to any not of dwarven descent. While this society is rumored to span the entire Flanaess, it is strongest in the United Kingdom of Ahilissa and the Sheldomar valley. Some sages suggest the Silent Ones of Keoland are a human counterpart of this society. As the Silent Ones wish to protect the ancient Suel magic’s, the Keepers wish to protect the ways of the ancient dwarves. Both societies have their secrets and the Keepers appear to have existed for over four thousand years.
Most of what we know of the Keepers has come to us from an ancient tome found in an abandoned dwarven stronghold. It appears that whatever drove the dwarves from this stronghold must have moved too quickly for the Keepers to prevent this tome from finding its way into non-dowarven hands. This group is named after the dwarven god Dumathoin, “The Keeper of Secrets.” It appears many of the founding members of the Keepers where drawn from the mining guilds. Though their charter suggests members from all walks of dwarven society make up their ranks. The Keepers are divided into three sects – religious, martial, and domestic. Each sect holds dominion over its chosen field. When a decision must be made on a particular issue, whichever sect it concerns chooses the course of action to be taken.
One does not seek membership into the Keepers – it is the Keepers who determine whom will join their ranks. It might surprise you to hear this, but many an adventuring dwarf might actually belong to the Keepers. The Keepers are a purely dwarven organization which even exclude the duergar and the accursed derro.
The Keepers wear garb typical to most dwarves. It is believed their once sacred symbol of the pickaxe striking the earth was abandoned to protect their interests. While the Keepers are present in all dwarven lands, it is believed that the United Kingdom of Ahlissa and the Sheldomar valley are major stomping grounds for this group. This organization appears to be well versed in dwarven traditions and laws. Yet in their own charter it states the secrets of the dwarven race are to be kept in highest priority before tradition or law.
While it is not known who their current leader or leaders are, their founder is Gondarr Runefist (Priest 20/Runcecaster, male dwarf, Dumathoin) of clan Brinnidar. According to the notes in this tome Gondarr locked away his own son that was the last of the Runemal (runecasters). This tome is evidence that the tradition of runes is not new to the dwarven race but something they once felt to dangerous to use. If this tome is true than I wonder what the Keepers are doing to contain the secrets of the runes. Their appears to be a note in here but each time Gondarr’s son is mentioned his name is crossed out. The passage read as follows:
“The last Runemal was thought to be immune to the curse of the jotunbrud. Yet he too seems to be suffering from Derrocritin” (a condition or disease the dwarves believed was caused by the jotun magics (Runes).
Wait I thought the Derro where a creation of foul Suel magics! This tome states the Derro are indeed cursed dwarves, but by jotun magics. Could it be the Suel have some knowledge of these magics and sort to control the dwarven race. This would be interesting but all I could do now is speculate. I must find out more about this Derrocritin and who is this son of Gondarr Runefist.
The following is a second edition kit for the Keepers. There are different areas of study for the three sects. Each will be explained below.
The Keeper is a dwarf who is an expert in his field of study. He is trained heavily in dwarven traditions and laws. All keepers have the full backing of their order. Also unlike other kits Keepers can be from any other class or kit that they are already a part of. Though no one ever leaves the Keepers, without dieing in their service.
Requirements: A Keeper must posses a 15 or more in one or more ability scores that pertain to their class, or craft of expertise. The keeper must also have the religion proficiency and local history (dwarven).
Secondary Skills: Any which pertain to their chosen class or craft.
Weapon Proficiencies: Any which pertain to their class or craft. The martial sect gets a free specialization in one weapon of their choice that they are already proficient in. However if a martial sect member is already specialized in the use of a weapon, then he can gain additional specialization or one of the fighting styles which pertain to his specialized weapon.
Bonus Non-weapon Proficiencies: Law (dwarven), Ancient history (dwarven). Those members of the domestic sect gain a + 1 bonus to proficiency checks in their chosen field of study.
Recommended Proficiencies: Disguise, Tracking, Reading/Writing, Alertness, or any thing which might pertain to interests within their sect.
Equipment: Keepers wear no particular set of garb; however a keeper is afforded superior equipment at half the cost when in any dwarven nation. This equipment is derived directly from the organization itself.
Distinctive Appearances: None keepers try to look like every other member of dwarven society. However their equipment seems to be of higher quality.
Special Benefits: Besides those mentioned already a keeper who is jailed or otherwise in a dire circumstance. A Keeper can call upon the favor of their order. So all crimes committed by a keeper while performing a task for the keepers seem to disappear. Although, if the crime involves giving away dwarven secrets, the full power of the Keeper organization will be used to abolish this individual quickly. A member of the religious sect gains access to the Law & Knowledge sphere regardless of alignment.
Special Hindrances: One must never mention they are a keeper to do so is to sign your death warrant. Also the organization may call upon you at anytime, and their call must always be answered.
Wealth Options: Besides gaining a 50% reduction in their equipment and service costs in dwarven societies. A keeper may start with 5d6 x 10 gp. This reflects increased revenue, savings, and titles that come with being a keeper.