Alaran Organizations: The Explorer’s Society

So, we meet again, my devoted and seemingly nonexistant followers. Here’s the plan for the summer:

1) I write a few more posts. Shit like a few more organizations, some more beasts, that kind o stuff.

2) Big fucking update. Like, for srs. We are talking story advancement here. As in, fast-forward five years and see what’s changed. This is mostly ’cause I want to change some shit, and I feel like the best way to do it is through time. And since this is a fictional world I’m fucking with, time can pass with the snap of a finger. Fingers.

3) More posts. No spoilers here about what imma be posting about.

Anyway, on to the explorer’s society.

The Explorer’s Society was founded in the year 655, a date proudly proclaimed on a plaque of their official guildhall. Explorers existed before that, of course, but after 655 they had a society. That makes ’em fuckin bigwigs.

The Explorer’s Society was founded in the wake of famed explorer Hendrick Alantra. He theorized the existence of another continent, a land he called Gúlind, old common for (roughly) “the land beyond.” Technically, Old Common for “the land beyond” would be te’lind tevaera, but that sounded stupid and uselessly alliterative, so he named it Gúlind, lit. “far-land”, and told everyone that it meant “the land beyond”.

Hendrick, with nothing more than a degree in linguistics and a dream, petitioned the then-reigning King Benedict I for a grant to find Gúlind. Benedict I, old, bored, and anticipating peace, grants it. Hendrick sets off in a ship full of hired help, and isn’t seen again for three years.

And then, he appears. Full of tales of giant, dragon-like creatures that could not breathe fire. Tales of men with scales and flickering tongues. Tales of mountains spitting fire. These were originally attributed to insanity, falsity, or drunkenness, but after every man of the crew collaborated the story, it was believed. Funds poured in for a return expedition to Gúlind, and a fleet set off: the flagship Discovery (a remodeled, larger version of the previous ship), the Helena’s Grace, the Zaran’s Will, the Cloudwing, and the Mercy of the King. Much fanfare occurred, and everyone was happy.

Fastforward a few years. Benedict I dies. Benedict II takes the throne. The second imperial war begins with Argan Vas attacking Wyrmspire. People largely forget about the expedition, things like the threat of imminent death distracting them. Then, a large trunk of wood washes up on the shores of a small fishing town in the east, caught in an expanse of canvas that allowed it to be born aloft by the winds of the Cloudsea. Nothing much is thought of this, until a weathered inscription is discovered near the base of the trunk:

The Discovery
642
Archus Bless the King

Among the exploration-interested men of Wyrmspire, a great ruckus occurs. War? Who cares, one of ours died! After holding a large funeral pyre for those presumed lost, the educated motherfuckers found the Explorer’s Society. The broken mast of the Discovery is still displayed in the center of the guildhall.

The Explorer’s Society explores. New island found far to the east? They’re on it. Expedition to map the deadly Omarra desert? Sure. See what’ll happen if we drop a lead block off the continent? They already did that.

The Society currently is one of the most major funders of the technological city of Below. From there they launch expeditions to the center of the planet, expeditions to the Evertorn, expeditions to that island over there, or expeditions along the side of the continent to see what’ll happen. The society outpost at Below is the very definition of bustling, as there’s constantly something being launched.

On the walls of the Explorer’s Society guildhall is the most complete map of Alara thus far known to be assembled. One wall is devoted to Aulind, including the entire Civilized Lands, the entire Wastes, parts of the forest of Requiem, parts of the northern Ebenien Plains, and parts of the Omarra Desert. Another wall is devoted to Norgenar, the bittercold southern continent. Only the northern tip is mapped, and there’s no way to know how large the continent is in full. It’s mapped in extreme detail, however.

The remaining two walls are devoted to the edges of the continents: in-depth depictions of the vertical forest of the rhokari, with the territory of every tribe mapped. The nooks and crannies surrounding Below. The ice gargoyles that live on the sides of Norgenar. Everything known is mapped. It’s rather scary.

The rest of the guildhall is full of artifacts brought back from distant lands, memoirs of famous explorers, and treatises written on said memoirs by people who wish they were exploring. The back of the building is filled with exploration equipment, from machetes to lightweight clothing to iron rations.

The Explorer’s Society often doubles as a researcher’s guild of sorts. They have scriptures pertaining to basically everything in their possession, and as such, when someone important wants to know something, they go to the Explorer’s Society. If they don’t already have the information, they can quite easily be persuaded to go and get it – after all, it’ll probably involve exploring. The Explorer’s Society currently enjoys quite a large amount of funding from the Council.

Important Members of the Explorer’s Society:

Thulin Thunderboot is arguably the most famous explorer ever. He surpassed his idol, Hendrick Alantra, several years ago, after bringing back evidence of a race of horse/men hybrids from the north. Thulin has made more personal contributions to the Society than any other member in the entire history of the organization. His contributions include the aforementioned evidence of the existence of “centaurs”, his leading of an expedition into the Wastes, and his mapping of a significant portion of Requiem. Of course, he set out to map the entirety of Requiem, but gave up after getting a few hundred miles in without finding anything interesting and then being shat upon by a moose.

Thulin is a dwarf. He’s of relatively average dwarfish height, and is, indeed, by all standards of appearance, a relatively average dwarf. This is offset by his clothing, which is often a combination of white robes he got in the north, tribal leather bartered from the savages of Requiem, and a hat made of bones that he got in the Wastes, which he merely wears because it happens to be enchanted to provide a considerable bonus to one’s dexterity. He fights with a combination of bizarre weapons that he procured in various lands, but mostly enjoys the Lynoth, a northern variation on the shortspear which consists of a head a foot long and jagged.

Thulin’s current expedition is one of great ambition: to find the fabled northern land of Swelterholm and map the fuck out of it. He set off on this expedition, under great fanfare and much rejoicing, with three ships and the instructions that if they didn’t hear from him in a decade, declare him dead and have a public funeral. It’s been eight years thus far, but we’re thinking he’ll report back. We hope.

Saer Elthallow is the current guildmaster of the Explorer’s Society. He was, long ago, an explorer, but now mostly contends himself with the research side of things. He basically sits around the guildhall, eating pie and reading of whatever Thulin did recently. He has published most of Thulin’s memoirs, seeing them as educational to the public. This led to the one on the Wastes being banned, of course, as the Council doesn’t particularly want its people to know that there’s an undead threat lurking a few miles north.

Saer is a human man of about seventy, with long white hair and a heavily wrinkled face. Despite his rather dry way of occupying his time, he constantly smiles, and often reads stories to orphans on his days off. Which are really whenever he feels like reading to orphans, ’cause he’s the guildmaster, he can give himself the damn day off. It’s rumored that he was a pirate when he was younger, but these rumors are mostly ignored, probably because they don’t matter.

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3 Comments

  1. Pieboy said,

    June 22, 2008 at 12:05 am

    Hey, cool. I was wondering when this would happen.

    This seems like a good excuse for adventurers. Just put all your guys in the explorer’s society and you have instant campaigns for any level. Also, I like the fourth-wall breaking with the dexterity bonus hat. That was very Earthbound.

  2. tuskedchimp said,

    June 22, 2008 at 5:58 am

    Yeppers. It’s a bit of a cop-out, but whatev.

  3. August 3, 2008 at 1:19 am

    Brilliant!


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