Bannerets and Sponsors
Twenty-seven thousand sentient creatures are forced to live in the same ten mile diameter circle for five hundred years. They developed some politics.
The governing bodies of Oakenheart have various political reasons for sponsoring bannerets; players choosing these bannerets should expect to be held to a high standard and be involved with cutthroat political games while in Oakenheart.
As the official rulers of the city of Oakenheart, the Council of Illyenos is primarily responsible for all the policy making and arbitration of city resources. Heavily supported by clergy leaders, the Council made the first announcement regarding the Expedition, and have been extremely busy keeping up with its organization and information collection for the last twenty years.
Banneret: A signet ring of platinum, with an oak tree engraved in silver. The Council of Illyenos is unavailable to be chosen by player characters
The official title for the city watch was once “Keepers of the Tree, People, Scales, and the Peace.” Try as they might, no one ever referred to them with this ridiculous epithet, nor the “Watcher” title they tried to put in place after. Someone whose name has been long forgotten once referred to them as Barkers, and it has stuck. Even after finally just settling with Greencloaks, most just refer to them as Barkers, even most of the Greencloaks themselves.
The City Watch doesn’t have much faction interest in the Expedition. If they sponsor an Explorer, it would be to garner favor with the higher government.
Banneret: A green cloak with a gold embroidered oak tree. A Greencloak Explorer never has to worry about finding mundane gear and items while in Oakenheart. In addition, they have the ability to call on Greencloaks for assistance when dealing with conflict within Oakenheart. Finally, they will be allowed to use the Vault, a magically protected demiplane where expensive and rare items can be held for safekeeping.A person representing the Greencloaks will most likely represent Lawful Good values. The Greencloaks will quickly disown thieves, smugglers, and liars.
Oakspeakers are a group of highly revered druids that are chiefly responsible for shaping the Great Oak into homes for the upper class as well as ensuring a fruitful yield of crops each year out of the Life district. Oakspeakers publicly stand for the preservation of Nature; their group claims responsibility for much of the artistic direction of architecture in Oakenheart. Internally, most of the druids are talented children of affluent parents who sent them to the Oakspeakers for the honor it would bring the family. There are still some amongst the Oakspeakers that truly hold Nature to be holy, and they secretly hope the Expedition will free up more space for true druids to come into the fold.
The Oakspeakers want to make sure their views and influence extends into the Expedition, taking a stand on the preservation of nature outside the walls as well as within.
Banneret: An amulet of a magically preserved seed of the Oak tree. An Oakspeaker banneret gets an allowance of 300 gold pieces per tenday to spend on luxuries (taverns, brothels, booze, food). In addition, an Explorer representing the Oakspeakers can get free healing and restoration (excluding resurrection) at the Oakspeaker hall in the upper tiers of the Great Oak.
Caretakers are a secretive group of Druids and Rangers. Until recent history, they were the only group of people explicitly allowed to travel further than a few miles outside the city. They were charged with following the river up the mountain, to ensure it’s clean and undisturbed flow. They were also charged with scouting surrounding lands, to give Oakenheart advance warning of any possible threats. Their order is mostly comprised of scouts, rangers, druids, and a select few others. Being accepted into the Caretakers is not easy; only the best of the best are actually initiated.
The Caretakers have an obvious investment in the Expedition: to act as guides and uphold their mission to keep Oakenheart’s future secure and prosperous. Selfish creatures will not be accepted by the Caretakers.
Banneret: A silvered dagger with a yew handle. A character holding the banneret of the Caretakers can request scouts and guides to take the party to any established settlement, avoiding random encounters.
Oakenheart’s military is made up of citizens from the bluffs, Life district, and Forge district that are looking for a new life (or do not have the skills for the old one). The Golden Legion gives them that. Named after The Unconquered, the Golden Legion prides itself on discipline and rigorous training. Since the Expedition, the Golden Legion has worked side-by-side with the Caretakers to begin building and patrolling roads. Their numbers have also begun to swell as more and more citizens begin to settle the emergent frontier.
The Legion’s investment in the Expedition is obvious: demonstrate their strength and keep their desire for order in place. While not explicitly about keeping the law, the Legion is all about discipline and self control; raucous and unruly characters will find no home among them.
Banneret: A golden brooch, shaped like a shield. A character taking the banneret of the Golden Legion can expect to keep supplied with mundane equipment for free, and has a weekly allowance of 500 gold to spend on purchasing or developing specialized gear and equipment.
The Order of He-Who-Protects-And-Speaks, whose members are informally known as Arbiters, is chiefly responsible for mediating civil disputes. They are called upon to work out fair and acceptable resolutions to divorces, property disputes, domestic crime allegations, and conflicts of interest. They have been given the power to unilaterally determine resolve these issues, and they do so.
Arbiters are impossible to bribe; they wear identity concealing masks and robes that change their appearance and voice to be identical to all the others. In addition, Arbiters give up all material possessions, family, and wealth to join the Arbiters. Once initiated, leaving the Arbiters means becoming a mute for the rest of your life.
Arbiters look to sponsor an explorer simply to ensure that He-Who-Protects-And-Speaks is represented in the field, keeping diplomatic relations as civil and peaceful as possible.
Banneret: an amulet of a golden oak tree. Characters who take the banneret of the Order of He-Who-Protects-And-Speaks should expect to be held responsible for attempting peaceful contact with other sentient creatures and societies. Holders of this banneret will have access to limited numbers of magic items pulled from the Vault.
Oakenheart has its share of private interests in the Expedition; in fact, most explorers are sponsored by a private benefactor. Below are the most prominent and established factions sponsoring bannerets. Their desires and goals are varied, but most simply care about whether or not your explorations are profitable. Where governmental bannerets require their Explorers to uphold their values and support them politically, private factions want to see a profit, and usually expect something of the player character in return for their support.
A circle of mages and alchemists, the Arcanist’s circle has been around since before the Cataclysm, and has books on magic and history in spades. All of the brightest minds and oldest wizards have been focused on the Expedition since its birth; the new flood of reagents, information, magical artifacts, and other arcane discoveries has had the Circle more abuzz than it has ever been.
The Circle’s desires in sponsoring a banneret are to give themselves a frontline representative, who can gather information and study without having to negotiate with a third party.
Banneret: A pair of adamantine tongs. Characters who take the banneret of the Arcanist’s Circle will be granted a bag of colding (a special bag of holding that preserves biological objects placed in the bag). The character will be expected to sample and supply the Circle with samples of any new creature or interesting plant they come across, as well as allow the Circle to inspect any new magic artifacts that come into the character’s possession. In return, the character will be supplied regularly with healing/restoration potions, as well as given a 500 gold per tenday allowance to spend or bank towards purchasing scroll or other non-restorative potions.
The monks of the Claw and Fist participate little in the ways of the outside world, but feel that it is their duty as followers of She-Under-Wings-of-Dragons to send an agent or two with the Expedition to make sure Her interests are accounted for.
The Monastery only desires one thing from the Expedition: to follow the tenets laid down by Shandra herself, “Manifest the dragon’s power. Never cruel or fearful. Let instincts rule you. Protect your loved ones.”
Banneret: a leather-bound, gold-inlaid copy of She-Under-Wings-of-Dragon’s prayer and meditation rituals. A player who chooses this banneret should expect no benefit from the monks, other than their full, unwavering support, as long as you follow the tenets.
A long line of religious priests and clerics have upheld and established the values held by He-Who-Sings-And-Grows. They have celebrated life in all its forms, and those seeking asylum during trials and oppression have always been welcome in their churches and taverns.
The Order of the Rose sees the Expedition as a way to continue proselytizing their values and beliefs wherever the citizens of Oakenheart seek to settle.
Banneret: A small mallet, emblazoned with a rose. A character that chooses the Order of the Rose can expect to always have safe lodging in Oakenheart or any Church of the Order of the Rose they find, and have access to healing and restoration magic at those places (excluding resurrection). The Order of the Rose requires their Explorer to visit the Order every time they have the opportunity, reporting what they have seen and heard.
The Grand Bazaar’s Coliseum has sponsors, and the sponsors believe that bringing an Explorer into the ring occasionally will be profitable and boost their public image, if the Explorer is successful.
The Coliseum’s sponsors look to the Expedition to boost their ticket sales, profit margins, and hopefully encourage setting up smaller, also profitable events in frontier towns.
Banneret: An armband depicting the Coliseum’s logo over clashing katanas. Characters who take up the Coliseum’s banneret will be awarded 800 gold directly (or banked) each tenday. They will be expected to participate in the scheduled fights/events that feature the Explorer (and their party, occasionally) without the expectation of a reward.
The Dragon’s Eye guild motivations are mysterious, but they hold the most effective thieves, assassins, mercenaries, spies, and hitmen in Oakenheart. They don’t take every contract, but they never fail one. Their methodology in determining which contracts they take is unknown.
The Dragon’s Eye guild’s interest is likely an informational one; they need information to continue being successful. That’s what it appears to be, at least.
Banneret: A gold coin, with a dragon eye imprinted on one side. A character who takes this banneret will receive a budget of 500 gold per tenday to spend on poisons, traps, and a couple other special items that change from week to week. The holder of the baneret will be expected to take whatever contract they are given by the guild.
The Perfect Form guild is a coalition of some of the best artisans and most wealthy merchants that Oakenheart has to offer. The guild was established along with the birth of the Expedition, with the sole purpose of establishing avenues of trade and collection of new resources.
The Perfect Form Guild sponsors a banneret to have a face for their products, hopefully drawing the public into buying from their stores and crafters.
Banneret: A bartering weight, engraved with the Perfect Form’s Logo: a five-point-star. A character who takes the Perfect Form banneret will have 20% discounts on anything the guild sells, and can request the crafting of specific items, even magical ones. Characters are expected to freely give any extra or unused magic items to the Perfect Form guild, and can only buy from Perfect Form guild vendors.