Okay, been chipping away at this slooooowly thanks to this stupid stupid writers block, but the PC & Cohorts are the only thing left to do, aside from some minor proofreading. Speaking of PCs, Esta's background is more or less set but I'm still hammering out the details of the cohorts' so if anyone wants a tie to one of them this would be a good place to get in. I'll tack on a slightly more detailed description for each of them after this giant wall of text!The Order of the Unblinking EyeOverall Alignment:
Historically Neutral, now Chaotic GoodCommon Classes:
Wizard (Diviner), Cleric (of deities associated with dreams, prophecy, fate, etc), Adept, ExpertRarer, but not unheard of:
Witch (Ancestors or Portents patron), Oracle (Dark Tapestry, Heavens, or Lore mysteries), Sorcerer, BardNever:
Any class without access to divination spellsFavoured Deity:
The Eye has no common culture beyond their shared profession, but said profession naturally leads those inclined towards religion to gods associated with dreams, prophecy, and knowledge.Sigil:
Members mark their shops and wear pins in the shape of a single stylized eye, though the exact stylization varies from person to person.
In times of trouble their sigil can be used to covertly pass messages by mundane means; an open eye gazing straight ahead is the standard position of the sigil, variations can subtly convey a few specific messages.
A sigil gazing to the right means trouble is afoot, no aid yet needed, but other Eyes should be wary
A sigil gazing left means the one who bares it is in immediate danger and in need of help
A sigil depicted with no pupil means the bearer believes they are being watched, by either magical or mundane means.
An eye sigil depicted as closed means the seer who bears it believes they are beyond help and will be killed or captured soon, other members should keep their distanceOverview:
The Age of Lost Omens is an inauspicious one for many on Golarion, Seers and their ilk in particular. The Unblinking Eye was once a major political force in Taldor, but time and tribulations lead to the order publicly disbanding and going underground. Little more than an obscure bit of history, for the past few hundred years the Eye’s power and stability has waned greatly, nearly at the brink of collapse until a recent surge in activity bolstered their ranks and kicked them back into an active mode.
Formally disbanded generations ago, those who still remember the name of The Unblinking Eye most likely know them as a guild of traitors who tried to circumvent the Great Purge and and were disbanded in disgrace, while a scant few may know of their more illustrious beginnings in the service of the crown. Their current existence is unknown to any outside their own ranks, and their continued survival depends on maintaining this anonymity.
One of the first things an initiate of the Eye is taught is that while the truth is at the center of all that they do, it is rarely useful in its raw form. Most people only hear what they want; warning a noble that their ‘innocent little’ affair will cause an irreparable rift between two houses that will persist for centuries, or telling a craftsman that letting his safety procedures go lax will lead to a fire that will destroy two whole city blocks will go unheeded until it’s too late. Couching your warning in vague portents and ominous prophecies, letting the subject of such visions think they’ve figured it all out on their own is far more effective. Often the ‘readings’ a fortune teller of the Unblinking Eye gives bear no resemblance whatsoever to the actual future they’ve seen in the cards, instead crafted from whole cloth to suit the one hearing it.
When divination is not enough, the Order of the Unblinking Eye also employs more mundane methods of information gathering. A fortune teller can glean even more than they give from those who come from readings, observing reactions and reading between the lines of the questions their petitioners want answered. Still others take a more direct approach to information gathering, employing stealth and legerdemain to simply break into the estates of those they need to investigate. The order does not sell or exploit this information, normally, but uses it better understand how to manipulate those that need to be manipulated. Things can get particularly tricky when an important person needs
They now pull the strings from the shadows, trying to subtly influence those in power or positions to make change to prevent Taldor’s further decay and right whatever injustices they can.Notable Historical Members of The Unblinking EyeGrand Prince Leontius Sapphiano, The Veiled Queen (Bard?/Alchemist?)
Leonitus Sapphiano was a lazy, drunken lout whose rule would have been disastrous had he not been shipped off to distant lands by his twin sister Leona, who proceeded to disguise herself as him and take his place as Grand “Prince” upon their father’s death. Her true story exists only among the personal records of one of the first Eyes, in an otherwise dull and dry journal collecting dust on the shelves of whatever library or university her collection of tomes was willed to upon her death. It’s probably for the best; most Taldans wouldn’t believe that one of their storied monarchs - an undeniably effective one at that - had secretly been a woman. Given the length of Taldor’s existence it is unlikely that Leona was the only Grand Prince with a false beard, but that has little bearing on her personal story.
At the start of her reign she was young and impulsive, realizing not long after she covertly seized the crown that her position was precarious at best. Though quite gifted in the realms of mundane disguises, all it would take was one little slip-up for the wrath of both the royal and senatorial houses to fall upon Leona’s young head. Unable to rely too closely on the famed Lion Blades for fear one of the perceptive agents would unearth her ruse, she called upon three of her associates, close friends from her days spent in at the Arcanamirium in Absalom. While Leona’s studies has been focused on potions, poultices and strange elixirs, her comrades had concerned themselves with more traditional forms of the arcane arts. The three of them, two diviners and an enchanter, were appointed as advisers to the prince and acted as intermediaries between Leona and many of the political functionaries she otherwise would have had to personally deal with on a daily basis.
Calling themselves the Unblinking Eye, the wizards safeguarded Leona’s secret for decades, allowing for an unusually progressive and prosperous reign. Though the fact that she never married nor “fathered” an heir raised some eyebrows, Leona adopted a brilliant young man from a minor royal family and named him as her heir, and when she finally left the mortal world the Eye’s services passed on to him.Nailah Farid, Herald of the Rising Sun (Cleric of Sarenrae/Sorceress)
For many generations the Unblinking Eye served as the Grand Princes’ eldritch seers and advisors. Though they lacked the Lion Blades’ martial prowess and stealth, with a few exceptions, their members wielded far more powerful magics and their skill sets were more focused, at the expense of versatility. Over the generations, however, the primarily female order lost favor with the crown. Men who resented seeing women in such positions of power chipped away at the order’s status until the group’s royal associations were forgotten entirely. By Nailah Farid’s time the Unblinking Eye was an independent organization of Diviners, still holding together (though just barely) despite the blow Aroden’s death and the onset of the Age of Lost Omens had dealt to Seers of all stripes.
Though a devout follower of Sarenrae and an ethnic Keleshite, Nailah was nonetheless fiercely loyal to Taldor and its people, so when her visions and those of her follows began to fill with horrible omens of death and destruction, to took her perhaps longer than it should have to identify the oncoming tragedy. There was no time for diplomacy or bargaining; Nailah and other members of the order began spiriting Sarenrae’s faithful out of Taldor, quickly and quietly saving all they could. When swords were finally drawn and temples began being put to the torch the order dropped all pretense of subtlety, using magic, stealth, and guile to evacuate any and all they could. Defiant to the end, Nailah was one of the last people put to the sword. She was slain by Grand Prince Stavian I himself, chained and on her knees before the steps of the palace, her final words claiming that his line would end in disaster and ruin, and that history would remember him as a monster. Nailah’s name and almost all mentions of the order were stricken from the history books, now forgotten by all but a handful of scholars.Maibe Farid, Herald of the Setting Sun (Oracle/Rogue)
With Nailah dead and no small amount of suspicion falling on the Unblinking Eye in general, leadership fell to the dead cleric’s young daughter, Maibe. While not a devotee herself, it nonetheless pained her to publicly and vocally denounce her mother’s actions and faith. She officially disbanded the order, stripping their banners from the guildhouse with one hand, while leading the Eye underground with the other. She lived out the rest of her public life as a quiet scholar, careful to toe the party line as the eye of the royal court was constantly on her, watching for any sign that she might follow in her mother’s footsteps. Beyond their gaze though she desperately struggled to keep the order together, leading and protecting the greatly diminished order of Seers behind a curtain of subterfuge.
Forced to work in secret, under Maibe’s leadership the Unblinking Eye evolved from advisors to puppet masters, operating under the guise of fortune tellers, prophets, mystics and the like. Rather than present their knowledge directly, the underground Eyes were forced to find other ways to prevent the disasters they foresaw. Notable Members of The Unblinking EyeEsta Avarae, (Cleric of Desna / Bard )
As far as most can tell, Esta has done little in the two years or so she’s spent in Oppara, aparently content to enjoy her new rank and privilage. She reads Harrow cards for the wealthy and influential, who find her charming and exotic but frankly a bit of a foolKale Elissos, Spy in the House of the spymaster (Lore Oracle/Rogue (Carnivalist))
Native of Oppara, former peasant, left to find her fortune and returned when she heard Esta, who she’d gone on a few adventures with, was there. Spying on Ebb’s guy/teaching at his school under Verina’s identityVerina Merosette, The Cloistered Scholar (Expert/Aristocrat)
- NPC - ((Note: Verina is specifically tied to Kale and has no further affiliation with or knowledge of the Eye and its dealings))
Nervous little shut in academic, lets Kale use her name and face in exchange for favors.Ellinniel Vanos, (Elven Wizard (Diviner)/Alchemist)
CN Weirdo, doesn’t really give a damn about Taldor, just likes watching society changeAelia, The Eyes of the Streets (Changling Druid (pack lord)/Witch (Dreamweaver))
Angry teenage street rat taken in by a now-deceased member of the EyeStrengths of The Unblinking EyePrescience
- It’s hard to sneak up on those who always see you comingFierce loyalty
- While not technically
banned, if the order’s continued existence ever comes to light its members will likely not fair well, especially when their societal manipulation is discovered. This leads to an impressive degree of loyalty from all its members, above and beyond their devotion to the order’s cause in general.Weaknesses of The Unblinking EyeSquishy little mages
- though many members have a bit of skill with blade or bow, their mystical leanings afford little time for true martial trainingGypsies, Tramps, and Theives
- the vast majority of the members of The Unblinking Eye come from the lower castes of society, and those of more privileged ranks can do little to directly aid them without giving away their common ties.Foreign Relations Worth Noting
Members of the Eye occasionally have visions of people and places outside of Taldor and attempt to get word to them, but don’t have the resources to spread their influence beyond Taldor’s borders.~ PC & Cohort information for possible character tie stuff ~
Esta - PC
Esta is a 22-year-old Cleric/Bard at the start of the game, and she's been in Oppara for roughly two years. The gist of her early life & the circumstances of her aquisition of a noble title are detailed in the write-up for House Avarae. She was your average wandering hobo adventurer from age 14-20, so it's possible she might know another nomadic hero type from that part of her life. For the past two years she's lived in Oppara, tending to her new House and working as a fortune teller. She's also been subtly trying to reform Taldor and it's terrible terrible society, but has been having significantly less luck with that than she did bashing monsters and rescuing damsels and whatever the male equivalent of a damsel is in distress. Her usually sunny disposition has been significantly dimmed as of late, due to powerful (if mostly foundationless) feelings of guilt over the death of the Princess (she liked her much more than the Grand Prince, who she DID manage to save, bleh)
She is obnoxiously charismatic and charming, but the fact that she makes no secret of the fact that she abhors slave owners and doesn't consider a noble title or expensive clothes to make one any better than your average unbearded has significantly limited her social standing. She likes drinking, dancing and conversing with interesting people, and has been known to give impromptu performances at whatever tavern she's found herself in if cajoled enough, with skills that can put even graduates of the Rhapsodic College to shame. She's unofficially declared herself the universal drinking buddy of any member of House Durahan who happens to be in town.
Kale - Cohort, spy
Kale was born in Oppara, in the Grandbridge Vagabond Camp, but didn't stay long. At a very young age she disguised herself as a cabin boy and enlisted on a ship headed for anywhere but Taldor. She spent several years on the ship, endearing herself to to the crew with an innate knack for storytelling. Eventually she had to slip away when it began to prove difficult to maintain her boyish facade, and after a few years jumping between taverns, making a bit of coin as a story teller, her Oracle abilities began to manifest and she was swept up on a series of adventures, not unlike the ones she'd been making coin retelling. One of the people she traveled with for a time was Esta, and though they parted eventually the priestess left a strong impression on the younger girl. A few months before the start of the game word reached Kale that Esta was in Oppara, and she returned to her birthplace for the first time in years, and eagerly joined the Eye after learning of Esta's plans for the order.
With a bit of magic she was able to locate Verina (see below) and strike a deal, posing as the young noblewoman in order to attend the Planudes Academy for the Enlightened Arts and Sciences. After a brief stint as a student she was hired as a faculty member (History teacher? Not sure about this yet) and is currently undercover and investigating the Shadow School.
A daughter of House Merosette, Verina has for many years been considered a disgrace by most of her kin. Though a brillliant scholar she suffers from anxiety problems and a bit of agoraphobia. She's more or less a shut in, and after a very awkward conversation agreed to let Kale use her identity to get into Planudes (though as far as Verina knows, Kale is just a peasant girl who wants an education but couldn't get a scholarship. She's very bright though, and probably realizes this story is unlikely, given how intelligent Kale is.) if she would run the occasional errand for her and attend parties and other social gatherings to appease her mother, who has been trying for years to cajole Verina into at least marrying someone suitable to do her duty to the family.
Though Kale lives in the rather impressive faculty dorms she makes regular trips into town to check on(/take care of) Verina and make sure she hasn't gotten herself trapped under a collapsed pile of dusty old tomes. Again.
Their relationship started out completely professional, but they've began to develope a sort of prickly fondness for one another over the past couple months.
Ellinniel - Cohort (maybe?), wildcard
Elli, as she likes to call herself, is rather unlike most forlorn elves. Rather than the dour, melancholy figure most forlorn elves strike, Elli is almost...chipper. Frighteningly intelligent, she finds humans and similarly short-lived races facinating, considering most of her elven kin comparatively dull. Though she has no particular care for Taldor's fate (to be frank, there seems to be nothing she takes all that seriously...) she joined the Eye a few decades ago to indulge in her odd voyeristic tendencies, and when Esta came along and proposed her plans for grand sweeping social changes she found the girl's wide-eyed optimism amusing. Though still quite young for an elf, just over one hundred years old, she's already seen a few generations of Opparans born, raised, and passed on, and finds the possibility of throwing their society into veritable chaos quite interesting and agreed to help.
Ellinniel is meant to have a bit of a mad scientist vibe. Mad Anthropologist, maybe. Shut up, that could be a thing. I'm not quite sure if I'm going to take her as a cohort, or leave her as an NPC.
Aelia - Cohort
Her clothes aren't nearly that nice, but it's the best I could do. Probalby doesn't show that much cleavage most of the time either
Aelia is a changeling, though she may or may not actually be aware of this. Her mis-matched eyes (one brown, one violet) are the only aspect of her appearance that would place her as anything other than human, though she's rather petite, even for a girl in her late teens.
Aelia was born of a green hag and an unknown Royal, summarily turned out when she showed up on the family's doorstep to save the family a bit of embarrassment. They didn't know of her inhuman heritage though; if they had, she probably would have been quietly killed and disposed of. She survived on the streets for a few years, cared for by a series of similarly homeless peasants. Eventually she was adopted by a former member of the Eye after the woman saw a vision of one of the young girl's possible futures and was too horrified to risk letting it come true. Her life was comfortable for a few years, and she was inducted into the order when she began to exhibit magical gifts. Eventually her adopted mother passed on, killed by a nobleman for some dark secret she'd inadvertently uncovered during a Harrow reading. Aelia returned to the streets, claiming an abandoned building in Crownsgate as her home. She's run with the Underbarons for several years now, though she's nearing the end of her time with them. She cares for a startlingly large number of street animals, everything from stray dogs, semi-feral cats, all sorts of birds and even rats on occasion. Though generally good natured she holds grudges and has a short temper, and will beat you senseless if she catches you being cruel to an animal of any kind.
Given the chance (she doesn't currently know his identity) she will evicerate the nobleman who had her mother killed and whoever did the deed and spread whatever secret he tried to bury to every corner of Avistan and beyond..