Parties of Interest brings you brand-new organizations to add depth and flare to your campaign and expand your roleplaying opportunities.
To some, the industry of making war is as important as the grape harvest. Members of the White Orchid Hunting Lodge know that war profits the wealthy and powerful while leaving the commonfolk broken and powerless. When tavern mistress Lauritzo Denicci’s three sons were killed in a single season of warfare, she took loans against her holdings and sought tutors in the arts of subterfuge, medicine, and murder. When she was ready, she joined the free company her sons had belonged to as a surgeon. After a series of vicious battles, she took her vengeance, killing the company’s captain and its lieutenants, masking her actions behind their mostly minor injuries.
In the years since, Lauritzo has gathered other like-minded individuals, and she gives them a place to gather and gain knowledge, masked as hunting enthusiasts in the basement of her tavern, the Trophy Room. Her partner, the diviner Uthero Iomatti, gathers information from his network of informants and maintains a record of personages requiring services. During the season of war, members of the White Orchid prioritize contracts involving the assassination of military and mercenary targets. Between war seasons, they offer cheaper rates to common folk for the dispatch of warriors who harmed them or their community. Most members of the lodge focus their arts exclusively on military and mercenary targets, though a few take whichever contracts suit their fancy.
Joining the White Orchid Hunting Lodge. Prospective members of the lodge must be able to prove they have killed a ranking member of a military or mercenary company. Each year, on the first day of Springmelt, they must pay annual dues of 120 gp and submit the symbols of rank of one officer they killed the previous year. Uthero is skilled at spotting deception and has led several potential spies to their own accidental-seeming deaths.
What is Expected of a Member. Hunters of the lodge, as they call themselves in casual company, are expected to pass the information about contracts they can’t take to the lodge for other members to consider. They are to assist other hunters as their contracts allow. Lauritzo insists each hunter spend some time each year availing themselves of the tutors the lodge has made partnerships with. Hunters are to be cautious and careful how they deliver death, and Lauritzo and Uthero investigate members whose hunts regularly result in collateral damage.
Order Axioms. The core beliefs of the White Orchid Hunting Lodge are as follows:
- The stag is our shield. Reveal the nature of the lodge to no one.
- Incompetents who propagate war deserve no mercy or consideration.
- Be patient. Your prey will create your opportunity.
- Death is an unexpected gift.
Important Texts or Dogma. At the end of a member’s third year with the organization, they are given a copy of Luthero’s Treatise on Physical Humors, a well-illustrated surgical text on humanoid biology.
Allies and Enemies. Members of the lodge often execute their plans in a manner that hides their presence from observers, so the breadth of their activities has gone largely unnoticed by most.
Benefits of Membership. Being a member of the White Orchid Hunting Lodge has a number of perks:
- All members have access to safehouses scattered throughout the region.
- Members have access to a wide web of contacts and affiliates. Most services, including specialized ones, are available to members at a reasonable fee.
- During downtime, members can train with lodge partners. For a 150-gp fee, members can learn a language or earn proficiency with a set of tools. For a 400-gp fee, a member can learn any other skill. Training requires 250 non-consecutive days that must be completed within a 2-year period.
- Members of the lodge can purchase weapons, armor, and standard equipment at a 10 percent discount.
In Midgard: White Orchid Hunting Lodge at a Glance
Type: Alliance of vigilante-assassins
Symbol: A longbow wound with stems of blooming white orchids, floating above a stag
Disciplines Taught: Archery, camouflage, poison-making, surgery, tracking
Affiliated Weapons: Longbow, stiletto
Important NPCs: Lauritzo Denicci (LE human assassin), Uthero Iomatti (N elfmarked mage), Hylia Oeterro (CN shadow fey duelist*), Javro Valence (CE minotaur city watch captain*), Pen Denicci (NE human battle mage**), Idri Nehoulo (LN war chaplain** of Bastet)
Primary Sanctuary: The basement of the Trophy Room
Major Sanctuaries: Single room safehouses in all of the Seven Cities, small hunting cabins dotting the White Forest
* See Tome of Beasts
** See Creature Codex
- Duke-Admiral Andreos Galatino knows officers of the Triolo Navy are being targeted for execution. Through the work of his spies and informants, he has discovered the existence and name of the White Orchid Hunting Lodge, but he has yet to discern who the members are or where they operate from. He is willing to pay good coin for information that leads him to the leaders of the lodge.
- Lauritzo Denicci (LE human assassin) is the founder and head of the White Orchid Hunting Lodge. She remains vital, even as she enters old age, and has a hand in recruitment of new members. Lauritzo’s grandmotherly facade hides her vengeful broken heart.
- Uthero Iomatti (N elfmarked mage) is Lauritzo’s partner and advisor. Uthero’s skill at divination has kept the Lodge safe from the authorities and other enemies, despite some close calls. Though their passion has waned as they have aged, Uthero is fiercely loyal and protective of Lauritzo.
- Javro Valence (CE minotaur city watch captain**) is the Lodge’s man inside the Triolo city watch. Javro is planning to murder the First Duke-Admiral in a manner so showy and explosive the city will tell tales of it for generations.
The White Orchid Hunting Lodge can be brought into your campaign in a number of ways:
- Mharoti agents have discovered the lodge’s headquarters, and they will pay locals handsomely to pose as bereaved Trioloans and arrange the murder of high-ranking naval officers.
- Duke-Admiral Andreos Galatino requires skilled foresters and inquisitors to investigate a corpse discovered in a small hunting cabin in the White Forest.
- Javro Valence’s true loyalties have been discovered by his superiors in the city watch, and they are setting up a sting operation to capture as many lodge members as possible.