The following factions are available to players in conjunction with character creation and their character backstories and backgrounds. While low-level characters will generally not yet have attained full membership in these orders, they can have a history of working for or with the Greenhands, the Framers, or the Conservators and thus may be considered to be aligned with one of these groups. Over the course of play, characters will have the opportunity to rise through the ranks of their chosen faction (though it is not required to join or ally with any of them), becoming members of note. Because these three factions are the primary driving force behind expanding civilization from Solace out into the rest of Otera, they will also be the most frequent source of missions and quests.
Managing the many acres of terraced farmland built into the city’s outer walls, as well as gardens and greenhouses in the upper and outer tiers, the Greenhands’ primary purpose is to oversee Solace’s agricultural production. This responsibility is undertaken with the guidance of the Earthheart’s clergy and the assistance of the city’s druid circles. In addition to food production, the Greenhands are also entrusted with the training of healers (both magical and mundane) and with death rites, funerals, and watching over the catacombs under the city where Solace’s dead are interred to guard against incursions of undead. Their interests in the frontier are varied, from seeking out easily defensible tracts of arable land for new farming communities, to studying the changes wrought upon the land and its plant and animal life by the Maelstrom. Because real food (as opposed to conjured food, which is filling and widely available, but quite bland) is a commodity in Solace, members of the Greenhands also tend to number among Solace’s wealthier citizens. They value home and hearth, living in harmony with nature, reverence for life, and the cultivation of a pragmatic outlook.
If you’re interested in playing a character affiliated with the Greenhands, the following classes and backgrounds are especially appropriate:
- Classes: artificer (potionsmith), barbarian (ancestral guardian, storm herald, totem warrior, zealot), cleric (grave, life, nature), druid (all), fighter (arcane archer), monk (drunken master, four elements, long death, open hand, tranquility), paladin (ancients), ranger (all), rogue (scout), warlock (archfey, celestial, undying).
- Backgrounds: acolyte, chirurgeon, faction agent, guild artisan (apothecary, alchemist, cartographer, surveyor, chart-maker, brewers, distillers, vinters), hermit, knight of the order, outlander.
Allied under the management of the Architect’s priesthood, the Framers represent the largest of Solace’s factions, having jurisdiction over all of the city’s trade, merchant, and labor guilds. From mercenaries and adventurers, to smiths, weavers and shopkeepers, to inventors and artificers, the Framers concern themselves with all manner of craft, industry, and commerce. They have long been responsible for building, maintaining and replacing the machinery that keeps a city the size of Solace running, but with recent advancements in the application of Essence, the magitech boom has been keeping this faction busier than ever. The Framers seek to grow civilization in order to expand trade and access to resources, and are particularly interested in obtaining any craft or trade secrets that might be unearthed when exploring ruins of the old world. They value skill, industry, ingenuity, business acumen, and the ability to quickly adapt to new ideas and technologies.
If you’re interested in playing a character affiliated with the Framers, the following classes and backgrounds are especially appropriate:
- Classes: artificer (all), barbarian (all), cleric (forge, knowledge, light), fighter (all), monk (all), paladin (all), ranger (all), rogue (all), warlock (fiend, hexblade), wizard (bladesinger, war magic)
- Backgrounds: clan crafter, criminal, guild artisan (all), investigator, mercenary veteran, urban bounty hunter
Also sometimes called Lorehounds or Inkfingers, the Conservators are made up of Solace’s scholars, historians, teachers and diplomats. They are responsible for managing the city’s libraries and archives, the university, the bard and mage colleges, and the mage council, as well as for providing scribe services for the other factions and the city’s governing bodies. Overseen by the Dawnbringer and his clergy, the Conservators are the custodians of Solace’s arcane magic and its arts and culture, entrusted with the education of the populace and the free flow of knowledge. Their interest in the frontier tends to center around establishing and protecting new settlements, as well as studying the Maelstrom and its effects, and the recovery of historical or magical artifacts or lore from the old world. Conservators value free-thinking and education; knowledge of history, the arts, and magic; and the ability to live in harmony with others.
If you’re interested in playing a character affiliated with the Conservators, the following classes and backgrounds are especially appropriate:
- Classes: artificer (all), bard (all), cleric (arcana, knowledge, light), fighter (arcane archer, battlemaster, eldritch knight, samurai), monk (all), paladin (ancients, crown, redemption), ranger (horizon walker), rogue (arcane trickster, inquisitive, mastermind), sorcerer (all), warlock (all), wizard (all)
- Backgrounds: acolyte, charlatan, courtier, cloistered sage, entertainer, hermit, inheritor, investigator, knight of the order, sage, urban bounty hunter
Charged with the defense and protection of Solace and its citizens, the Wardens are Solace’s military arm, broken up into three main branches:
- Shields: By far the largest branch within the wardens, Shields train and fight their whole lives to defend the city’s walls and battlements from the seemingly endless onslaught of storm-born horrors that come walking, flying, or crawling out of the Maelstrom. Since all current members of the Shields are on assignment actually in Solace, only former Shields head out to the frontier, though some of these have been promoted to Arrows. Players are welcome to build characters who are former Shields.
- Badges: Badges are Wardens specially trained as investigators and detectives, charged with policing only the most powerful and elite members of Solace society to guard against corruption. (Think of them like the FBI and the CIA combined. By comparison, the policing of the general citizenry is left up to each city ward’s city guard.) Because Badges are among the most experienced and powerful of all Wardens, starting player characters (at levels 1-3) are not high enough level to have ever been a Badge. For this reason, players may not play as former Badges. You may, however, play someone who was peripherally involved with someone from the Badges, such as an informant, a whistleblower, etc.
- Arrows: The newest branch within the Wardens, Arrows are typically Shields who have been promoted to special forces, trained to venture beyond Solace’s walls on special assignment. When the call came for volunteers to travel to the frontier as explorers and defenders of the Outpost and other new settlements, Arrows were given the option to volunteer on special assignment in the frontier. Players are welcome to build characters who are current or former Arrows.
If you’re interested in playing a character affiliated with the Wardens, the following classes and backgrounds are especially appropriate:
- Classes: artificer (golemsmith, infusionsmith, warsmith), barbarian (all), bard (valor, swords), cleric (order, tempest, war), fighter (all), monk (all), paladin (all), ranger (all), rogue (assassin, inquisitive, mastermind, scout, swashbuckler).
- Backgrounds: acolyte, chirurgeon, faction agent, folk hero, knight of the order, geas’d conscript, investigator, soldier.