|Harbingers of Fate|
|Goals||Restoration of the Age of Glory|
|Members||Former followers of Aroden|
Source: Guide to Absalom, Occult Mysteries, pg(s). 62
Les Précurseurs furent fondés il y a soixante ans par le seigneur Garron, un noble chélaxien exilé qui vivait à Absalom et découvrit le Livre des mille murmures. Cet ouvrage contient des prophéties qui auraient dû se dérouler pendant l’âge des Prédictions perdues et mentionne des endroits et des nations qui n’existent pas. Les Précurseurs pensent que l’âge des Prédictions perdues est une gigantesque erreur de niveau cosmique. Pour eux, chaque événement du siècle dernier participe à cette erreur et ils pensent que toutes les prophéties concernent le monde tel qu’il aurait du être. Après avoir lu le livre, le seigneur Garron fut persuadé qu’il pourrait déclencher l’âge de la Gloire, qui ne vint jamais, s’il parvenait à provoquer l’accomplissement de l’une des prophéties du livre. Il mourut en essayant d’atteindre ce but dément mais sa fille, dame Arodeth, poursuit son oeuvre. Les Précurseurs cherchent les gens, les endroits et les choses qui pourraient correspondre aux prophéties du livre mais bien sûr, les méthodes drastiques qu’ils emploient alors qu’ils tentent désespérément de rectifier l’erreur cosmique de l’âge des Prédictions perdues ne font qu’aggraver la situation. Alors que les échecs se succèdent, cette faction s’éloigne de plus en plus des enseignements d’Aroden pour sombrer dans la folie.
Lord Garron, a faithful follower of Aroden and Chelish nobleman who fell from favor after House Thrune consolidated power in his homeland, founded the Harbingers of Fate in 4648 AR. As a second-career adventurer and mercenary, Garron discovered the Book of 1 000 Whispers, a volume that he believed chronicled prophecies regarding the years from 4604 AR to 4714 AR, which included Aroden's dominion over the Inner Sea. The prophecies from the first 2 years are absolutely accurate, while the predictions following 4606 become increasingly nonsensical. Garron believed the book's assertion that Aroden's death was a cosmic accident, and convinced his followers that if they could arrange for any ofthe prophecies in the Book ef i,ooo Whispers to come true, Aroden would be restored to life, destiny put back on track, and the Age of Glory ushered in. Garron never saw this dream realized, but his daughter, Lady Arodeth, continues his work.
A citizen of Absalom, Lady Arodeth plays the role of the vapid inheritor of a band of mercenaries for hire called the Band of Blades. In reality, however, she is a cunning politician and strategist determined to see one of the prophecies fulfilled. She has manipulated circumstances in the lives of countless individuals for well over a decade in a failed effort to make this happen, and as of 4714, only i desperate, final year remains for the Harbingers to correct the march of history.
The Band of Blades acts as a front for the Harbingers. Though the group also accepts legitimate contracts, which enhance their cover and finance their operations, Arodeth uses dispatches agents disguised as mercenaries all across the Inner Sea without drawing undue attention. The Harbingers continually collect and collate information on individuals and situations that conform to one of the prophecies. This information is used to stage events allowing a prophecy to come true. In this final year, the group has intensified their efforts, and begun actively forcing events to conform to their prophecies. Arodeth used to stop short of doing intentional harm to the Harbinger's pawns, but increasingly, she has started to rationalize that no sin would be unforgivable ifit restored her god to life.
Harbingers of Fate
Headquartered in the city of Absalom, the Harbingers of Fate use the mercenary company known as the Bond of Blades as o front for their true agenda: arranging events so that one of the prophecies in the Book of 1,000 Whispers might come true. The Harbingers of Fate believe if just one of the prophecies is fulfilled, destiny itself will be restarted and the Age of Lost Omens will be replaced by the Age of Glory.
Initiation Fee 200 gp, must have read the Book of 1,000 Whispers
Initiation Test Bluff DC 20
Offerings 200 gp/service period
Obeisance Check Bluff, Diplomacy, Disguise, Knowledge (history), Knowledge (religion), Stealth
Service Period 4 months
Excommunication 3 consecutive failed Obeisance checks
Brandish Blade (+1 Fame) Completing an assignment under the guise of the Band of Blades keeps the Harbingers well financed and well connected throughout the Inner Sea. The completion of an assignment of a CR that equals or exceeds Oyour level increases your Fame score by 1. Investigate Omens (+1 Fame) The Harbingers don't rely solely on the Book of 7,000 Whispers; they routinely investigate other sources of oracular insight, such as people claiming to be able to predict the future, priests and arcanists capable of casting high-level divination spells, and alternate books of prophecy. Successfully retrieving a new source of prediction increases your Fame score by 1.
Blessing of the Author (20 Fame, 3 PP) You can submit yourself to a local chapter house of the Harbingers to receive a temporary magical boon—a continuous nondetection spell. This effect lasts for the duration of one mission, or a maximum duration of 1 week (whichever is shorter.
Fatebreaker (1 PP) If you have a class ability that requires the target to succeed at a saving throw or reroll any die and take a worse result (for example, the witch's misfortune hex), the saving throw DC permanently increases by 1. You can purchase this award only once per class ability.
Forerunner (20 Fame) You are given the title of forerunner and a personalized white gold ring. The engraving marks you as a member of the Band of Blades, but inside the band are engraved the words "No destiny but the Last." So long as you retain this ring, you gain an additional +1 morale bonus on all saving throws against effects that would force you to reroll any die and take the worse result. You can also call upon the network of the Band of Blades and gain an additional +2 circumstance bonus on all Knowledge checks and Diplomacy checks to gather information, provided you have contact with other members of the organization.
Herald (50 Fame) You are given the title of herald and no longer need to pay offerings. Anytime you would normally pay an offering, you receive that amount as a personal stipend.
Using the Harbingers of Fate
The Harbingers of Fate needn't be villains, though they increasingly resort to desperate means to achieve their bizarre ends. In truth, the Harbingers are pawns of the Author of the Book of i,ooo Whispers, and their actions are those of zealots hoping to bring an end to what they see as a century of wrong history that has subjugated their world. As a result, the PCs might find themselves opposed to the Harbingers should the secret society set its misguided sights on the PCs or their allies, or they might see the Harbingers' cause as a sympathetic one. This latter is particularly true for worshipers of Iomedae, whose church took responsibility for most of Aroden's scattered flock after his death, and who are more likely than most to see the return of the God of Humanity as a noble cause.
Author's Identity: Seeing the Harbingers as tools of a greater power, the PCs might set out to uncover the identity and intentions of the Author of the Book of 1 000 Whispers. Doing so might lead them on a number of adventures based upon their own spurious and far-reaching interpretations of the book's text, and invariably includes a number of dead ends. The PCs' search for the Author's identity could even be one of the Author's own plans, making the PCs cogs in the Author's complex agenda, even as they attempt to free the Harbingers of Fate from their mysterious master's subtle manipulations.
Mantis Masters: The Harbingers aren't above hiring the Red Mantis when the prophecies seem to indicate the death of a particular public figure, as the text makes several references to helpful but deadly insects. PCs investigating a Red Mantis assassination might find a Harbinger at the other end.
Mothman Interrogation: The inhabitants of a small town in the backwoods of Andoran are beset by strange weather, nightmares, and inexplicable periods of lost time. The Harbingers have secretly captured a mothman and hold it prisoner. The group has demanded that the mothman reveal the purpose for its race's heightened activity just prior to 4606 AR, which abruptly ceased after Aroden died. The entity has remained silent and intractable, and its goals in Andoran, good or bad, remain unmet. The Harbingers plan to crucify the creature if it will not speak, and meanwhile the radius and intensity of the strange phenomena that surround the town grow larger and more cataclysmic by the hour. If the PCs do not thwart this stalemate, something terrible will happen.
New Blades: The PCs are inducted into the Band of Blades as probationary members. This provides a means of introducing low-level PCs to the Harbingers gradually, and potentially letting them undertake adventures and missions for profit and experience. Offerings are not required until the PCs are formally initiated into the Harbingers. Once they learn enough about the organization to question its agenda, they must decide whether to continue to support the Harbingers fully, or to put a stop to the group from within.
Sodden Secrets: While the Harbingers range all across the Inner Sea in pursuit of their prophecies, they're often drawn to areas specifically linked to Aroden's death. While agents in the Worldwound tend to have a difficult time because of inquisitions among the crusaders (and the occasional disembowelment by a demon), the scattered settlements of the Sodden Lands provide a perfect location for some of the organization's more public and potentially obj e ctionable experiments. PCs traveling in the region might stumble across whole towns twisted by magic or slain in bizarre ways, ormore benignly-harbingers attempting to use powerful magic or artifacts to reclaim portions of the land from the fury of the storm.
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