Society and Guilds
Though Astoria is broken, the mortal spirit thrives. There is no ruling body to watch over and protect the people of this shattered world, and only a few new noble houses or independent kingdoms have emerged from the clamor. While the majority of noble houses have good intentions of reestablishing order to their people, some may even harbor possessed or deranged lords, thus hindering true progress.
The noble houses often interact with one another. Even among the chaos of an uncertain world, members of houses invite each other to grand balls or festivals; there is courtly love and even betrayal among each other and within. Duels are commonplace and of course, there is a great deal of diplomacy as each house strives to make others see to their way of thinking. Every society or gathering of people intertwines to create a continuing saga of passion and power, and sometimes it can lead to harmonious unions, treaties, and alliances. Or they can fall to bitter discontent or all-out war.
Players who create characters in Astoria can choose from the many factions or groups available. Keep in mind the various restrictions or recommendations for which group a character may belong to. Paladins or holy knights, for instance, can only come out of the Knights of the Chalice or House Palladine, officially sanctioned by religious rites. By all means, a holy knight could have a background as a commoner, house noble, or even something less civilized, but the group chosen should simply represent that character’s most recent or current membership status.
It is quite possible to have a character associated with several organizations at once or over a long period of time. For example, a gnome raised by House Lockwood could be a wizard secretly training under the tutelage of the Council of the Magi; later in his adventuring career he joins with the Dungeon Runners, and may even become a lay member of the Deepwater Trading Company while running missions for the Deepwater Militia as a means to protect cargo owned by the Trading Company.