Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 3:47 am Post subject: The Society of Winetasters (beta-version)
Society of Winetasters is a secret society of good-aligned sages, heroes and keepers of lore. It was created in CY 500 by a splinter group of the Old Lore. The splinter group saw that the power of the Old Lore had seriously waned due to the stringent entry requirements and they saw that there was a demand for a scholarly organization devoted to the defense of good.
Members of any race and class are invited to the ranks of the Winetasters. Each candidate must be a learned individual who must know some secret which he must reveal to the Society (specifically, to the Host).
Any fully trained Winetaster may invite new members. The new member is called as Candidate and he is elevated to the rank of Winetaster after learning the necessary skills of winetasting ceremony and sign language.
Winetasters work alone or in splinter groups. Each group has a contact person called the Host and one emergency contact called the Secret Host. They are only aware of the Host.
The Winetaster and the Host regularly gather in a secluded place to share knowledge and to coordinate their activities. After they have shared their knowledge, they agree a new place and a time for their next meeting. In order to ensure the privacy, the Winetasters do not mention names out loud (occasionally they say names out loud if it’s a decoy or an emergency or if they are confident of their privacy).
Winetasters have developed a secret sign language which only consist alphabets and limited punctuation. They use a cup of wine in their sign language, so that it appears to casual onlooker as if the Winetaster is simply playing with the cup in an elitist and vivid manner.
Once a Host has taught his skills to new Winetaste he must immediately contact another Winetaster (usually his own Host) and reveal the identity of the new Winetaster. This person is henceforth known as a Secret Host and only steps in and attempts to contact the Winetaster if the Host is dead or disappeared. This is done in order to avoid losing contact with the splinter groups. Secret Host also observes the Winetaster and ensures that he/she remains loyal. This is easier for the Secret Host than it is for the Host, because the Winetaster isn’t aware of his identity.
Information between the members is spread through Hosts. Each Host knows at least one other Host, which helps to establish a link of information. Many secrets and plots against evil are spread through this chain.
Unique skills –
Winetasting ceremony. An intricate ceremony exclusive to the Society. Every winetaster is taught all the major wines of all the realms. In the end of the ceremony each participant has to mention one distinctive quality of the wine, using the lingo of the Society. This is the primary method of recognizing a Winetaster.
Winetasters’ sign language. Their sign language only consist basic alphabets and punctuation (Common). You need a cup to use the sign language.
Candidate = A member of Society without the necessary skills in winetasting ceremony and sign language.
Winetaster = A member of the Society with the necessary training.
Host = A winetaster who has trained another Winetaster and acts as his/her contact.
Secret Host = A winetaster who is prepared to take the role of the designated Host in a case of an emergency. Also acts a secret police, judge and jury.
Society is highly splintered. They have no headquarters, libraries or leadership.
Society’s main concern is to prevent the total destruction of Flanaess, acting a secret society of good prepared to take the last stand against evil.
In Flanaess heroes are few but easy to find. They have temples and headquarters.
However, the forces of good need to fight fire with fire. The rise of Iuz and evil high magic make the defenders of good extremely vulnerable if they just stand in the open. Evil infiltrates, subverts and corrupts the good which doesn’t have the same tools as the forces of evil.
The Society of Winetasters hides from the general populace and governments, trying to do the works of good in secret. Their splintered organization structure makes it hard to hunt them down. They hide even from the forces of the good, because nothing makes a worse enemy than a fallen paladin and corruption is everywhere. Even the most benign ally can be captured and tortured, so it’s better not to trust anyone.
Society keeps many secrets and they have a vast amount of knowledge. They don’t have any libraries. Most of their knowledge only exists as a verbal tradition but lesser secrets are written in hidden and encrypted tomes.
1. Only good and intelligent beings may be invited to the Society.
2. You can mention the name of the Society once to a Candidate. After that it must not be mentioned ever again.
3. Don’t have a sedentary lifestyle.
4. Write things down as little as possible and encrypt them.
5. No more than three Host or Secret Hosts should gather together.
6. Kill yourself rather than become a prisoner.
7. Hide in the crowd, gather knowledge, keep secrets, fight evil.
Joined: Jul 26, 2010 Posts: 1611 Location: LG Dyvers
Posted: Thu Jul 12, 2012 8:41 am Post subject:
Not bad, Sutemi. It would be nice if you could expand this into an article for submission by adding stats and background for some of the Society's members, expand upon the origin of the group, describe some of their major successes, failures, and present undertakings, etc.
I especially like the secret sign language making use of a cup.
Joined: Jul 10, 2003 Posts: 1124 Location: New Jersey
Posted: Fri Jul 13, 2012 9:05 pm Post subject:
At first i thought this was going to be a general story. Like I have a wine tasting group and we happened to discuss WG7 this week. I had no idea it was something that would make for a great article. I agree with Sir Xaris you should expand it further. Seems Olidamarra or Fharlaghan might be interested or supporting this group.
P.S. If you have more ideas like this please feel free to submit them as articles we all enjoy an imagitive twist that is well written and thought out.
Thank you Argon. I gave it my best shot and submitted an article. Now I'm somewhat anxious here because English is not my first language so of course I feel bit insecure if the quality is high enough. I did my best and if it's not good enough, I will improve the article and try again
Joined: Jul 28, 2001 Posts: 385 Location: on the way to Bellport
Posted: Fri Jul 20, 2012 8:53 am Post subject:
I like your idea Sutemi, and the society feels like a good fit for Veluna and surrounding environs, perhaps originally founded by a mixed group including Old Lore bards, priests of Rao, Delleb, Fharlanghn, Olidammara and others, noniz of the Kron Hills, etc.
But I like that the idea could fit almost anywhere across the Flanaess, e.g., be connected to the Children of Johydee in the former Great Kingdom of Aerdy and other former lands of the Splintered Sun, viz., the Iron League.
Thank you mtg. I don't know how the articles are processed in CF but I expanded this idea further and sent it as an article to you which is now pending. If the information is lacking, I'm happy to expand it as much you want.
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