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Not to be confused with the profession of architects (though there tends to be significant overlap), the Architects originated from the guilds of masons, stone cutters, and other professions who were involved in constructing large buildings during feudal times (though their "secret doctrines" often claim a much older orgin, dating back for millenia all the way to the builders of the First City. They are a semi-secret society; that is to say, their exitence is widely known (as often are their members and the location of their chapter houses), but their actual activities and rites are not. This has led to all sorts of unkind speculation among their detractors, ranging from demon worships to cults of Shaprat, the Last City among their highest members, but nothing has ever been conclusively proven.

While a significant portion of their members are still architects and others involved in construction work, their membership these days is open to all what they consider "respectable citizens" - especially those of high social status or those aspiring to such. Would-be members must be sponsored by two existing members in good standing and then affirmed by a majority vote by their local chapter house (which can be found in most cities in the north and west). It is further known that members are divided into "degrees" (the total number of degrees is unknown, even to lower-ranking members), with those of lower degrees having to obey those of higher ones. Attaining each new degree means going through a different set of initiation rites which are supposed to reinforce the loyality of the member to the Architects. Rites for attaining the highest degrees are supposed to be quite frightening indeed.

While the fundamentals of contstruction work are no longer a trade secret as in feudal times - in fact, they are a popular field of study at major universities - it is quite possible that the Architects have assembled a significant body of secret lore not commonly known to outsiders, especially knowledge related to nexus towers. That they have come into possession of unique spells and strange artifacts is not inconceivable either. But the main use of the Architects, as far as most members are concerned, is that of a social network - Architects are everywhere and are only too glad to put their fellow members into positions of authority and power.

The symbol of the Architects - an eye floating above a tower - is a common feature on large buildings designed by members. Members also wear it on rings to display their allegiance, and they further recognize each other by a "secret handshake" and a number of password phrases.

Adventure Ideas

Designer's Notes & Resources

The Urbis equivalent of the Freemasons - complete with all the assorted conspiracy theory baggage.


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