Order of Eight

Gamemaster Notes

1 Upon returning to Els'tar, the Order put a new plan in motion. They went and talked with some of the Dragon Lords. The plan was to have the armies of the Dragon Lords attack the lands controlled by the Order, and drive the population towards the gate. The Order in turn would "fight" the Dragon Lords' armies and "rescue" the population by taking them through the gate. In turn, the Dragon Lords would get the lands of the Order. A win win for all but the newly displaced population, now known as the Displaced.   Once the Displaced arrived in Karenth, the Order's members were considered the heroes and treated almost as a gods for protecting the people. The followers became a devote populace, willing to do anything. And the Order put the people to work building a new civilization.   The Order returned to studying the crystal. There was an entire new world, full of secrets to explore. The Order grew with new students who graduated and began their own Order of Eight parties. Several of them now search Karenth trying to unravel the secrets, and doing missions for the central Order in Ironholm.
The Order of Eight is a storied group of highly experienced adventurers. From time to time they appear in an area, deal with the situation at hand, and move on. Their numbers are normally eight, but often times they will have a few more or a less members. Currently they number nine members. There have even been times when the Order has several teenagers with them appearing to be apprentices or students.   Their true motives are unknown, but it is believed by many that they have a larger purpose. Sometimes they help the local populace with a problem as they are passing through town, but more often they are looking for information and will question anyone they suspect of having knowledge they seek. Some think the Order are spies of a larger power looking for conquest, but evidence for this is thin at best.   The Order of Eight has been around for many years. The few people who have seen them at different times or places state the membership changes, sometimes a few individuals, sometimes the entire group, sometimes with apprentices, and other times not. This leads many to believe that there are multiple groups.   Members of the Order of Eight sometimes have a visible representation of an 8 somewhere on their person, be it a necklace, engraving in their armor or embossing on their clothing. Rumor has it that one member had a large 8 tattooed on his head!   Members of the Order come from all walks of life, from warriors to clerics, from wizards to druids, from bards to rogues.   Through the centuries, the Eight have always consisted of very capable adventurers. Their membership has changed frequently as members died, retired, or simply disappeared. The Eight often take students when they settle down in an area. This way they can find the best future members of the Order and pass on the secrets and wealth amassed over the millennium. Only the best students become members and the rest simply pass on, either violently or through strange circumstances. Loyalty is rewarded.  

Structure

Primary Leader - Mayor of Ironholm - Solivin Dorsted - The Mayor of Ironholm is the formal title of the leader of the Order of Eight.   In addition to being the primary leader, the Mayor of Ironholm is one of the eight full member, or Primary Circle as they are often called. Once a member of the organization reaches this level, they will focus on individual aspects of the Order, such as training, leadership, mentoring, diplomacy, or research.   The next group of the Order is the Inner Circle. They are made up of retired and former members of The Gwen selected by the Primary Circle.   Current members of The Gwen, active journeymen, and former members of The Gwen, and many of the retired journeymen fall into the next group, Members. The active members of The Gwen actually fall between the Members and Inner circle, having a few privileges of the Inner Circle.   Apprentices find themselves as the next group, having knowledge of the Order, and being sent with Members or The Gwen on missions, or even in small groups with other apprentices as messengers. Once they prove themselves as seasoned adventurers, the move on to become Members.   Novices are those who are just beginning on continueing their training, and are often refered to as apprentices for simplicity, but they do not adventure.   Finally, there are many who work for the Order knowingly or unknowingly, and they are referred to by who Order as a whole as Associates of the Order. These can be mercenaries, non member spies, merchants, or even scholars. Many government officials also fall in this catagory.

Culture

The Order is very secretive to the outside world, although the term can be openly heard throughout Ironholm. They are a true brotherhood and sisterhood to one another.   The Order sows the ideals of community and oneness in all novices and higher. They instill the belief that what they are doing and their desire to control the world is the rightful way of things, as the Order is just and good. Only the Inner Circle and higher know this is not true, that they have a greater purpose and set of goals. They do want to keep communities as autonomous as possible to prevent the need for direct intervention.   Members of any level will help out any other in need of help. It is not uncommon for the Order to gate or teleport members of the reserved Gwen to a location to help out a group. Such members leave with at least one recall glyph so they can return as soon as possible.   Betrayal of the Order comes with an instant death sentence, and the Order will send assassins in one form or another to deal with anyone who should betray their kind.   Individuals who come into to much information about the Order from outside are also hunted down and silenced. However, individuals who are vocal and have desirable skills might also be offered a role for the Order in exchange for their silence, or to seen misinformation.

Public Agenda

To the few who know of the Order's existance, and are not some form of member, the Order tries to show themselves as desiring to bring about order with the world, to prevent wars, and bring about knowledge and enlightnmnent.

Assets

The total membership of the Order is around 1000, with about 500 of those in Ironholm iteself. The rest are associates, or various members sent out as spies, mercenaries, or to explore.   The Order is wealthy, receiving tribute from most of the communities of Karenth Centralis, and some of the other areas also. They have colonies on several other continents.   In addition, there are stock piles of found and made magic items in various places across the known world.   The Order is also heavily involved in trade, and acquires a great deal of money from the various caravans they hire or run.   Ironholm alone has the resources to mount a small army, equip it, and provision it through a couple of seasons of campaigning if needed.

History

Early Beginnings

Founded almost 1500 years ago in Els'tar, the Order of Eight was originally made of eight adventurers seeking money and glory. Over time their ambitions and opportunities changed, and so did their goals. But as the original party got stronger they moved from plundering dungeons and ruins to a brief stint of piracy and banditry, to controlling trade routes and caravans. Their ambitions led them to the conquest of a fairly large city, which they ruled briefly, before a neighboring city decided to "deal with the Eight, permanently", and the Eight were hunted for a time.   After the original Eight found a safe place to continue their work, they gathered students to them and passed on their knowledge. Several members stayed on as some had longer lifespans than others. Eventually the original Eight were replaced entirely and the cycle continues several more times.  

Finding Karenth

About 500 years ago, in Els'tar, the Order of Eight, and their entourage, were tracking down several missing settlers at the edge of the desert when they quite literally stumbled upon a massive magical gate. It was large enough 8-10 wagons abreast could pass through. Assuming the settlers had gone through, and the Eight being quite powerful, they followed in after, only to find themselves in a large desert. The gate itself had a presence in the new world, but only the monoliths making up the sides of the gate. The gate allowed travel in only one direction leaving the Order stranded.   Without a way to reopen the gate, Order headed west through the mountainous desert for several days until they reached the forests on the other side. Settling down for the night at the edge of a river seemed the right thing to do as they were running low on fresh water, and in need of baths and provisions. That night would be a turning point for the Order of Eight.   As they slept near the river, a bright purple flash rose from the ground to the heavens, startling the watch and waking the entire party. It lasted but a few seconds and disappeared again, but its source was spotted, a hole in the ground nearby. It was mid summer and everyone knew winter was coming, but they needed a permanent camp while they got their bearings and to weather the coming storms. They spent the next several months constructing crude houses and fortifications all the while they gathered supplies for the coming winter. Game was plentiful, and the vegetation of the land was similar to parts of Els'tar so finding food was straight forward.   The winter was long and cold, but the Order had a hobby, exploring the cave they had found, and capped with a longhouse. What they found in the mine was worth more than all the gold and magic cummulatively found by the Order in their previous 1000 years. It was a large rough metalic sphere eminating a deep purple glow from holes in its surface. It was easily the size of a barn and located in the center of a large cavernous room.   The Order sought to determine the spheres purpose. The mages' arcane knowledge did little to provide answers, only clues. On the eighth day of research a new clue was found as the room was being mapped. Partially buried in the hard dirt floor of the room was chunk of metal. Excavation of the metal quickly pointed out that this was not just a chunk of raw metal, but the breast plate, helmet and sword of someone quite wealthy, who apparently lost his life to a large stone that crushed his skull. But the armor and sword were old, very old, but not rusted or tarnished, and ornately decorated. The breast plate and sword turned out to have magical properties. The helmet, while crushed and unusable as such, was also untarnished by age and water. The metal was strange and similar to the makeup of the sphere in composition.   Through out the winter, the Order of Eight explored the caves, find an large vein of nearly pure iron ore, among many other man made wonders. But they knew when spring came they needed to figure out a way back home to resupply their equipment for a return trip.   As they set off looking for settlements of people, and seeking answers on how to return home, they came across a large stronghold. Its walls were of a gold colored stone, partially glistening in the sun. Huge butresses flowed from the rocks below bracing the walls of the castle. The markings of the walls were very similar to the stylings of the armor and sword they found earlier. The large doors of the stronghold were smashed off their hinges, great claw marks marked the source of their demise.   After several days of exporing the ruins of the once great castle, members of the Order came across the laboratories of the past resident wizards. Within they found a scroll explaining the gate, how it was activated, and how to disable it. This opened the door for the Order to return to Els'tar.   Upon returning to Els'tar the Order led the fleeing populace of their lands through the gate and into Karenth. The newly relocated people, the Displaced, helped the Order build a new civilization and in turn the Order returned to studying the sphere and exploring the lands.1 Gamemaster notes  

Current Day

Presently, the Order of Eight is building its membership, strengthening its position in Ironholm, and continuing its research on the Sphere of Ironholm.   With over 400 years of population growth in Karenth, the Order no longer has a firm hold on all of the known lands. Pirates work the seas, city states have formed in prosperous areas, other adventuring parties have formed and left their marks on the land. But Karenth is far from being understood and explored fully. The Order continues to put its agents among all of the factions of the world, and in positions of power when possible. With all of the changes of the past few centuries, the Order is turning into a politial and intelligence faction as much as it is an adventuring and research organization. They influence and control much of the trade in the world. What they seek more than anything is information and artifacts of the people who previously lived in this world.

Demography and Population

The Order of Eight consists of members of every race filling various roles within the organization.

Loyalty, stability, curiosity, together as eight

Founding Date
1010 BA
Type
Adventuring Party
Capital
Alternative Names
The Eight, The Order, The Fateful Eight
Demonym
the Eight
Head of State
Head of Government
Government System
Oligarchy
Power Structure
Semi-autonomous area
Economic System
Market economy
Currency
Gold piece
Location
Related Ranks & Titles
Controlled Territories
Related Myths
Current Members Residing in Ironholm


Cover image: by Scott Weeks

Life in Els'tar

  • -1018 BA


    The original members of the Order of Eight begin adventuring
    Gathering / Conference

  • -1010 BA


    The Order of Eight is Founded
    Founding

  • -344 BA


    Magic returns to Els'tar
    Metaphysical / Paranormal event

    Magic returns to the world of Els'tar. The Order quickly reecognizes the importance of the event and focuses their attention on relearning this power and studying its affects.

  • -25 BA

    -23 BA



    Order of Eight Battle with the Dragon Lords
    Military action

    The Order of Eight battle with the invading Dragon Lords and their armies after being invaded by them. The Order manages to keep them at bay until a loose cease fire is signed.

After the Arrival

  • 0 Time of the Arrival

    The Order of Eight lead the Displaced through Freedom Gate to Karenth
    Population Migration / Travel

    The Displaced, being chased by the Dragon Lords' armies, are led to the Distant Wastes by the Order of Eight and through the large strange gate, later to be known as Freedom Gate, to a distant world. The gate disappeared after the pilgrims went through. No one as since come through the gate and it appears to be inert.

  • 429 AA


    The Current Day
    Celestial

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