Secrets of the Emerald Order: Emerald Order Initiate

The Emerald Order is one of the few organizations in Demon Cults & Secret Societies that is not actively malicious. There are certainly many evil members who pursue their studies in the order for personal power and gain; however, their overall goals are not necessarily evil. In the first installment, we provided you with an arcane tradition available only to Emerald Order members. Presented here is a new background for those characters who have been brought up according to the esoteric doctrines of the Emerald Order.

EMERALD ORDER INITIATE (New Background)

You have spent your years being groomed as a member of an elite secret society, one that claims to possess and harness the very secrets of the universe itself. During your time in the Order, you have acquired knowledge, trained to be subtle and watchful, and prepared for the revelations of even greater secrets should your masters judge you trustworthy and loyal.

One thing you must decide is your current relationship with the Emerald Order. Are you still a loyal initiate, or have you since parted ways with the organization? Do you still have ties? Was the parting amicable or not? Whether you are still a member or have abandoned or been blacklisted from the Emerald Order, the organization has left an indelible mark on your personality.

Skill Proficiencies: Arcana, Deception.
Tool Proficiencies: Disguise, forgery, or poisoner’s kit.
Languages: Two of your choice.
Equipment: A bottle of green ink, a quill, a small knife, a journal in which your notes and scribblings are written in your own personal code, and a pouch containing 10 gp.

FEATURE: SECRETS OF THE ORDER

As an Emerald Order initiate, you are privy to certain secret callsigns and pass phrases, which can provide you with needed assistance from those you speak with or access to places, people, and information that might otherwise be unobtainable. The GM determines if a particular NPC with which you are interacting has ties to the Emerald Order. If they do, then indicating that you are part of the order with a callsign or pass phrase gives you advantage on any Intimidation or Persuasion checks made when interacting with that NPC. NPCs that discover you are not a member of the order or not operating on their behalf cannot be affected by this ability.

SUGGESTED CHARACTERISTICS

Emerald Order initiates are shaped by an organization that values control and secrecy, even above the pursuit of knowledge. An initiate is drilled to be guarded, cautious, and suspicious. This conditioning makes it difficult for an Emerald Order initiate to trust those outside the order, even if they are no longer part of it. Some even become paranoid. On the positive side, Emerald Order initiates are typically knowledgeable, attentive, and good at keeping secrets. One challenge of roleplaying such a character may be using the knowledge taught by the order to assist the adventuring party while not making compatriots privy to secrets and violating the tenets of the order.

d8 Personality Trait
1 I rarely answer a question directly, responding instead with vague or evasive answers or with another question.
2 I am observant of details that give me insight into others’ lives, using that information to my advantage.
3 I always have a backup plan for even the simplest situations. Not everything is as it seems.
4 I’m always calm and pleasant. I never know who I may need as an ally, and I never want to alert an enemy to my true intentions until it’s too late.
5 Puzzles, riddles, and mysteries attract my interest and make me rise to the occasion.
6 I guard my knowledge jealously.
7 Anyone showing kindness or generosity to me has some ulterior motive or expects repayment of some kind.
8 I enjoy learning new things and teaching others.

 

d6 Ideal
1 Power. I wish to rise in the hierarchy of the order so as to serve its best interests, or perhaps my own. (Lawful or Evil)
2 Knowledge. The key to power and prosperity is the attainment of knowledge. (Neutral)
3 Greater Good. With the knowledge I attain, I can help change the world for the better. (Good)
4 Curiosity. I pursue knowledge to satisfy my own insatiable curiosity. (Chaotic)
5 Stability. I will use my knowledge to maintain the order or universal balance. (Neutral)
6 Aspiration. I seek ultimate enlightenment from my studies. (Any)

 

d6 Bond
1 I was wrongfully expelled from the order and seek to regain my place.
2 I find the order’s jealous hoarding of knowledge abhorrent and wish to change things.
3 I must uncover certain secret knowledge to aid myself, a friend, or a family member.
4 Years ago, I was witness to a strange event. I seek the knowledge to unravel that mystery.
5 I hope to rise in rank within the order and help uphold its ideals.
6 Protection of the order’s knowledge is paramount, and I will kill to protect it.

 

d6 Flaw
1 My hunger for knowledge often overrides caution, putting myself and others in harm’s way.
2 I’m suspicious of others’ motives and often seem paranoid.
3 I tend to overthink situations.
4 When faced with a problem, I can obsess over solving it.
5 My tendency to secrecy can strain friendships and incite suspicion.
6 Loyalty to the order means sacrifice. Even friends and loved ones come second.

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