As time and humans have spread so have lycanthropes and the Brotherhood of the Pact.
The Rite is a battle to the brink of death for those involved and sometimes those stupid enough to get to close. The idea is not to kill but to fight to the edge of death. You must be willing to trust your brother with your life and what better way to prove it then bleeding together. This battle is not for the weak of mind or body. You cannot use any device unnatural to your body. Blows that have the ability to kill in one shoot are pulled in-order to protect our brethren. Some have been known to die because of this rite but the Pact believes those who do not survive were not meant to join. However we do honor their deaths. All ritual combat within the Pact includes the practice of the blood bonding ritual. When a new member joins the Pact they start with the standard -12 penalty on a willpower check to harm the Pact or a Brother. This protection extends to ordering, paying or even suggesting another to harm the Pact. The Pact itself is comprised of the Brethren, their homes & families, the adytum’s, or other structures of the Pact. Additionally continuous involvement with blood-bonding through ritual combat increases the penalty, one point per even degree. Only one person (not necessarily a participant) needs to know this ritual. Participation need not be voluntary. Ritualistic battles will occur before moving up in Rank/Title. During Ritual combat a pact member will never lose his degree, a degree can only increase. If a brother enters ritual combat and wins he gains degrees but the loser does not lose degree status. If the lesser wins the battle it is more like being brought up to a higher plane. If a pact member only able to go into ritual combat by a much higher degreed brother he may still be able to gain a degree if he is beaten. When this occurs the much higher ranking may still deem him worthy (GM decision). A good base for much higher is 10+ degrees.
This system has built in checks and Balances with the exception of the Grand Master. Everyone in a position of power must answer to someone above them and most positions have more then one person they must answer to. This prevents anyone below the Grand Master from gaining more then their given power.
Absolute ruler over the Pact.
Acts as both deputy and advisor to the Grand Master. Answers to the Grand master and the Grand Council as a whole.
Oversees a region of Midian. Answers to the Deputy Grand Master and the Grand Master.
Made up of all the Grand Titles (Grand Warden, Grand Chaplain, Grand Deacon and Grand Secretary) the grand council is not powerful enough to over turn the Grand Master but is there to advise him on his Path. In all honesty in could be disbanded by the Grand Master but has not been to date.
Oversees all wardens. Answers to the Deputy Grand Master and the Grand Master.
In charge of a City/Country inside a Region. Answers to Grand Warden and Regional Master.
Spiritual Leader and Advisor to the entire Pact. Oversees all Chaplains. Answers to the Grand Master and Deputy Grand Master.
Spiritual leaders over a City or Country inside a given Region. Answers to Grand Chaplain and Regional Master.
Acts over all Deacons. Answers to the Grand Master and Deputy Grand Master.
Acts as Priest over an area inside a city or country. There can be many Deacons in a large City or no deacons at all in a small country. Answers to the Grand Deacon and Chaplain of the given City/Country.
Oversees all the Secretaries. Answers to the Deputy Grand Master and the Grand Master.
These are the bookkeepers and record keepers of the Pact. They are in charge of keeping track of everything within the Pact of their City/State or Country. Answers to the Grand Secretary and Regional Master or Warden of the State.
Highly Regarded/Respected Non-lycans. These titles are awarded and their position is honorary in nature and Highly limited.
Highly Regarded/Respected Non-lycans. These titles are awarded and their position is honorary in nature. Acting Stewards after 10+ years. Only One or Two in all of Midian
These are the Highest Ranking Brothers. Each oversees a region of Midian. They are in charge of all brothers within that region during a hostile situation. They are the leaders of War. They answer directly to their Regional Master and the Grand Master. They are often advised by the other Offices but are not controlled by any other office.
You become a brother.... that’s it but that is still something
Blood bonding ritual + 1 Hit point
Able to support a new recruit. This does not mean you can enlist a new recruit only that you can bring them in to "try out." + 1 Life Point
Known Brother (status), people in your hometown that are not members may very well know that you are. +1 reputation, +1 hit point.
Plus 2 hit points and 1 Life Point (Ritual Battles have strengthened you).
Pact member far and wide may know your name. Social Retest. +3 hp and 1 life point
Many ritual battles behind you, now you can nearly sense a hostile act and react to it +2 Initiative.
During Combat you get a bonus +2 initiative, +3 to hit, +1 to damage. Bare in mind those above have this bonus already, which makes this more useful when fighting those below. At this time it may occur more often then one might think!
Now a well-known member of the Pact, those above you know your name and those below you will be honored to be of service, Social retest, +5 reputation, +2 Life points, +2 Hit points.
Regarded as a Hero to your brethren. Ritual Combat has hardened you, + 2 Armor Class, +1 Damage reduction
Among the highest member of the Brothers, you may be called on to become a Commander. This is not automatic but you can now "apply" for this title (Seek the Grand Council in the forums).
Greatness! +2 Life Points, + 2 hit points, +2 Initiative, +2 to hit, +2 damage. All brothers will know you! You are skilled greatly at one on one combat and are able to better read your opponents movements. Plus 3 Interrupts per fight, win ties.
- Please feel free to use these different positions of authority in your game as you see fit. If you Game is taking place in a given region or state feel free to give names and stats to the Officers you need as NPC however I am developing NPCs to hold the various Grand Offices for the Forums. The rest of the Titles are there for use during tabletop game sessions. I laid out these positions to show the check and balances that the Pact has.
- Petitioning the GM for increases can occur at anytime. But keep in mind that the GM will decide if anyone is around to battle for that Degree increase and if they like they may assign a new degree and ritual damage or Choose to use a NPC to do dice battle.
- Benchmarks are bonuses a pact member is entitled at that mark. A good gamer well remember to petition for extra bonuses along the way. Remember you will be battling plenty as a pact member. It is Brethren tradition… Level increases can also occur while on an adventure matter of fact it should happen often. But there must be the ritual combat either between Player and GM or as numbers passed down by the GM. And it would only occur when the GM saw fit. If no one in the town you are in is fit to battle in ritual combat (based on the GM saying so) then it is impossible for gains in degree. It depends on how much the GM would like to embrace my little PACT here on whether it has spread into their game world or not.
- You have been formally welcomed into the Pact and fought the mandatory first battle.
- This status indicates that you have been blood-bound to multiple brothers. Some within the Pact increment the level of this status each time they are bound to a new brother. Thus, someone can brag that they are bonded x12 for the twelve brothers with whom they have personally have been bonded to after fighting.
Adytum by definition is: a sacred place that the public was forbidden to enter; an inner shrine For the Brotherhood an adytum is the gathering halls of the brethren. For the major gathering in cities or regions where The Brotherhood has a strong following an adytum is in itself a great hall and important shrine. This is where one will find the officials of the Pact. In rural areas or regions where the Brotherhood is gaining hold the adytum may be as simple as a brother's home that acts as a meeting hall. Any given adytum will have at least one dedicated protector or guardian. As the adytum grows so does the number of dedicated guardians. These guardians are known as Zuijin and they well battle to the death to protect their sacred grounds. The Zuijins are supported by the Therons. Therons are not restricted to protecting an adytum but are commissioned to protect the secrets of the Brotherhood. "They clean-up problems."
Zuijin and Theron will be worked out in a future compendium. The current plan is for them to be a modified class for the brotherhood...
Along with the Guilds, the Brotherhood has and continues to establish or support institutions of formal education. The main purpose for supporting education throughout the reach of the Brotherhood is to improve the overall conditions of life and to better educate their brethren and their own children. The Brotherhood also actively recruits from these schools. They act as a training and proving ground from which the Brotherhood can pull the best candidates.
Caerwyn - Work In Progress
Caerwyn (White Fortress) is a self-sustaining university in the Heldannic lands. It was founded on the lands of Grimr the great great grandfather of Master Marcus Son of Zane Vandilblood. Master Marcus and Caerwyn have become rather wealthy through Marcus' ability to teach, and inspire others. Many well known and notable families of both the Heldannics lands and north Formour send their children to be trained within the walls of Caerwyn. Caerwyn is not free and either the pupil or the Guardian/s of the pupil pays for the service provided by Caerwyn. These "payments" vary case by case; often the fees are covered in gold but not always. Other services, trade, & land have also been known to cover expenses. Caerwyn now covers some 2,000 acres, including farm land, which a number of great structures have been built. Buildings are another great example of covering the expense of sending ones offspring to Caerwyn. One such structure is a Great Adytum of the Brotherhood. The Brotherhood is a known supporter of Caerwyn. This relationship between Caerwyn & the Brotherhood is truly beneficial to both. The Brotherhood has the opportunity to recruit some of the best as new members and Caerwyn gains the support and protection of the Brethren. The Great Adytum of Caerwyn has been used frequently through the years by all the great leaders of the Brotherhood. The natural and structural fortifications of Caerwyn offer great Protection for the Grand Master and Grand Counsel to meet in safety. Master Marcus is a well known member of the Brotherhood and so are many of his students.
Marcus is no longer alone in his position as teacher. He has "collected" the help and experience of some of Midian finest educators. There are few, if any, greater schools Caerwyn.
Current Structures of Caerwyn: (The numerical breakdown is in works)
Great Adytum: the meeting hall for the Brethren in/around Caerwyn
Housing: the Housing of Students and Teachers is based on time & Experience.
Classrooms: Students are educated in a variety of fields.
Hospital: this is a glorified clinic.
Mess: Chow Hall
Arena: Combat arena
Grain Storage: Silos
Guilds of the Pact
The Brotherhood of the Pact is a social organization; it draws its members from all rank and file. This leads to most trades and crafts being able to organize within the Pact. Grand Master Amalric has always acted to support this aspect of the Brotherhood and he pushes it to grow.
The Grand Master has established an order that decrees the formation of a Logging & Milling Guild from within the Brotherhood. The will work to properly and safely log and mill lumber. The lumber will be used by the Brotherhood and be sold to Nations and Countries throughout Midian. The Carver's will strive to protect the forests they log and will not practice clear cutting. They will practice reseeding in area they log and will make effort to reforest areas that have been striped by others. In areas where it is possible they will grow fast growing pines, trees that grow to cutting age quickly and make suitable lumber.
The Carver's will use their multi-national connections to set up logging and milling facilities with all major nations. Letters will be sent out to Heads of States to gain their support. A forest logged by the Brotherhood is a forest that will remain healthy for lifetimes to come. Lumber produced by the Brotherhood will be durable and of the greatest quality.
A current long term goal is to spread to Osterre, a land full of trees. First through the Gothic South and then possibly through the Orckish Northeast.Carver's insignia will be the traditional tools of the trade, axes crossed or the Brotherhood's Triple Horn. This has been set forth by Master Carver Silvius
The Grand Master has established an order that decrees the formation of a shipwright’s guild from within the Brotherhood. The first base of operations has been established in Magnus Primera. Plans have been drawn up to build a dry docks, wharfage (Wharves) and piers. The shipwrights’ guild will be known as Ceolsige (Ship-Victory). Ceolsige will act as a school for shipwrights, as a business where ships are built and repaired and as Adytum’s for the Pact. The Grand Master has decreed that Master Shipwright Okeanos shall lead the Guild of Ceolsige. Master Shipwright Okeanos after assuming control of the guild design the insignia for Ceolsige. The insignia shows a Galleon at full mast in the foreground and the triple-horn of the Brotherhood in the background.
By order of the Grand Master Amalric, an academy of Archery shall come to order. The Archers' Academy will be known as Kyūdō. This means the "way of the bow". Grand Master Amalric has ordered Master Archer Teucer to lead the academy.
Teucer, the Kyūdō Master has established the Kyūdō insignia of a bow and arrow in the foreground and the triple-horn of the Brotherhood in the backgroundKyūdō will act as a school for archers. These archers will follow a strict technique that is unique to Kyūdō. Kyūdō is a style of shooting on Earth, it requires practice with a certain style of bow on Earth, for Midian it is a Guild and a set of techniques that can be applied to any bow style that is drawn and shoot (no crossbow in Kyūdō).
By order of the Grand Master Amalric, a guild of Masons shall come to order. The Masons’ Guild will be known as Macian. The guild is named for Master Macian, the builder of the earliest Adytum which still remains to this day. Grand Master Amalric has ordered Master Mason Seneca to lead the guild.
Master Mason Seneca has established the Mason’s Insignia of a hammer and chisel crossed in the foreground and the triple-horn of the Brotherhood in the background.Macian will act as a school for masons; they have taken on the role of building the great wharfage, piers, and dry docks for Ceolsige in Magnus Primera.
Grand Master Amalric has ordered the formation of an undertakers guild. Grand Master Amalric has called Marcovan Calaway to lead the Guild. Master Calaway has set order for insignia, a foreground of a closed casket set against the triple horn. Yes this is a Necro Guild, it is not specifically Necromancers but Necropolitians. It however is possible that some of these Necropolitians are Necromancers
Grand Master Amalric has ordered the formation of a Blacksmith guild. Grand Master Amalric has called Brother Tvaster to lead the Guild. Master Tvaster has set order for insignia, a foreground of hammer & anvil set against the triple horn. One Great Foundry will be established in Caerwyn and another in Citadel. These will also act as apprenticeship schools. The Smiths are actively recruiting aspiring blacksmith to join their order, Metalsmith. New recruits will be trained by Master Blacksmiths and become new members of the Brotherhood of the Pact.
The Brotherhood and Blood-Bonding
Brotherhood & Blood-bonding
All ritual combat within the Pact continues the practice of the blood bonding ritual. When a new member joins the Pact they start with the standard -12 penalty on a willpower check to harm the Pact or a Brother. This protection extends to ordering, paying or even suggesting another to harm the Pact. The Pact itself is comprised of the Brethren, their homes & families, the adytum’s, or other structures of the Pact. Additionally continuous involvement with blood-bonding through ritual combat increases the penalty, one point per even degree.
The Teachings of the Brotherhood
The Teachings of the Brotherhood
The Pact is accepting of any/all religion as long as they do not conflict with our own teachings. Our Deacons & Chaplains are well versed with various Religions. They avoid conflicting directly with the practices of our Brethren.