The Theft of Lands
The Varnish Syndicate
Started by Maeger Varn, the Varnish Syndicate of Adventurers is an organized conglomeration of adventuring and mercenary parties. The goal of the Varnish Syndicate is to provide the pivotal connection between those who need help, and those who can provide it. Like its rival organization, the Pathfinder Society, the Syndicate has offices in most towns and at least posts at other settlements, like forts and trading posts. Unlike the Pathfinder Society, the Syndicate is localized mostly to Brevoy, and whereas the Pathfinders are about travel, exploration, and storytelling the Syndicate are about making money.
The Syndicate grew popular very quickly based on a simple fact – Normal people – townfolk and cityfolk alike – don’t trust wandering adventurers. Why should they? The wandering adventurer is as likely to be a bandit as a hero. Adventurers are unkempt, brusk, rough, and intimidating. Adventurers know they are mistrusted, and so spend much of their time in taverns or traveling society houses – mixing with other adventurers. But other adventurers are not the ones who have troubles to overcome, maidens to save, or cargo to protect (if they did, they would do those things themselves instead of hiring other adventurers). The normal folk have all the need for adventurers. So how do you hire adventurers to do a task without risking life and limb if you are a common farmer? And how do you find adventures enough to keep steady coin in purse if you are an hero? Traditionally for the townsfolk it meant through posting notices on a common area or talking to the local tavern owner and hoping that the right sort of person came along, performed you task, and didn’t rob you blind in the process. For the adventurer it meant constant travel hoping that this town would have a job waiting for you rather than a pitchfork.
The Syndicate provides a special bridge between the people and their heroes-to-be. The normal folk go to a nice clean office, staffed by townsfolk they can trust and tell the official of their problem. An adventuring group registers itself with the Syndicate and states its preferred types of jobs or specialties. The Syndicate matches the job to the campaigner and takes a small finder’s fee (along with an application fee when the adventuring group registers). The adventurers can go about their business, taking jobs from the syndicate as they have time and doing their own free-agent work on the side and more-or-less be sure of a steady stream of income (need more cash? Visit the Syndicate offices more often!), and the peasants get to hire trusted people in a sterilized manner with less fear of being robbed by those professing to help them.