Dungeon Situational – A Faction
A mad month of events is almost over for me, so this should be the last late article for a little while… should be.
Within every nation, powerful factions rise to serve a singular purpose. Military, academic, economic, and philosophical affiliations cause people to draw together, to organise, and to work together in pursuit of a common goal. Where adventurers are concerned, a faction can be a powerful ally, or a dangerous enemy, and the line between the two can be a delicate one, and each step in favour of one can lead powerful individuals away from another.
Servants of the Lantern King do not see themselves as servants. They go into the world to further his causes, to represent him in the wider world, even to the detriment of their personal needs, but they are not servants, they are free people living under the yoke of a benevolent, self-proclaimed king.
Carrying a burning badge of office, a brass lantern emblem with a perpetual candle-like flame burning inside, Lamplighters travel the world to spread a simple “truth”, that one may choose where they place their loyalty, that no one, regardless of birth, is beholden to the same leader as their parents, that the Lantern King deserves their devotion, and that such devotion should only be given freely. Lamplighters are seen as anarchists by many, liberators as others, and almost universally as rebels and troublemakers; wherever the Lamplighters go, mischief follows.
Humans have swelled the numbers of the Lamplighters over a century or so, as have halflings, the two races being both prolific and quick to form strong communities, but Genasi – the elementally infused humanoids descended from various genie bloodlines – are the most numerous by far, firesouls form a majority, but other subraces still outnumber humans and halflings in badge-carrying membership. Tieflings are drawn to the emblem of fire and the ethos of personal liberty, and their natural affinity for beguiling words causes them to rise swiftly in esteem.
Hierarchy within the Lamplighters is unofficial, and entirely based on strength of personality, and the number and loyalty of friends. One’s standing within the organisation is fragile and based wholly on behaviour and recognition, and one misstep too many can bring a member crashing into the lowest “ranks”, and it can take many years of work to rebuild trust and connections, as the branding of gossipmongers can leave a permanent blemish on one’s reputation. The only recognisable titles held are that of the Lantern King, and his Inner Circle, immediately recognisable by their perpetual cloak of golden flame. They are a court of advisers and leaders that surround the reclusiarch, acting as filters and funnels of information, rumour, gossip, and hands of his direct will.
The Lantern King himself is a mystery, dwelling in a vast palace in which his inner circle hold elaborate suites. The King himself sits atop a ziggurat in his glorious audience chamber, the pinnacle is shrouded by layers of gauzy curtains, but his light shines through, and smoke billows from beneath.
Afra Dazieel is older than most genasi by several decades, and she has shown no sign of ageing since the touch of gold introduced to her flame. She does not counsel the King directly, but chastises the impatient among the inner circle in defiance of her impetuous heritage. She favours the gossiping masses among her cohorts, the nattering of old women, cloisters of confirmed bachelors in their hunting lodges, and the assemblies that form outside of temples after prayer.
Trajo’Kannat the Reaver of Stars is a githyanki who helms a small ship, the Hundredth, a skiff that can move from the mortal world and sail from plane to plane. His golden flame also rolls in the wake of the Hundredth as he and his crew spread the mission of the Lantern King further, and bring back word of the machinations of distant and powerful forces.
Fina Mokivin is a watersoul genasi made strange by the flames that now surround his body, even as he swims the deepest waters. He embodies the image and attitude of the libertine, and gives himself to every manner of debauchery placed in front of him, and while it puts his standing on shaky foundations, his revelry yields knowledge unavailable to more “typical” Lamplighters. He is also an agent of unrestrained chaos, and when time comes an establishment needs unbalancing, Fina is the first man to step forward.
The Ghost Queen’s Court – The fanatical devotion to the Ghost Queen bothers Lamplighters and their affiliates, the notion of swearing oaths to a leader is antithetical to their way of life. In turn the Court see the Lamplighters as dangerous radicals. They never come into direct conflict, but attempts to negotiate between parties is an uphill battle that rarely reaches a conclusion that satisfies either side.
Ashes Cabal – The witching orders are deemed by many to be “the villains” in the political landscape, but Lamplighters hold little prejudice against them except when they enforce servitude on others. Lamplighters are slow to trust cabalites, alliances of convenience are commonplace, but not without risk, as Lamplighters infrequently fall in with the cabal in pursuit of power and dominance.
The Yellow Trust – The adventuring organisation gladly recruit and accept commissions from Lamplighters, and they are one of the few groups who enforce a written contract that a Lamplighter is willing to sign. Coin flows between the two groups like the tides, and wherever they cooperate economy thrives. But it is not unheard of for the Trust and the King to conflict, and the subtle wars between the two factions have toppled cities and ended dynasties.
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