The Sarkari Order is dedicated to the gathering of wisdom and ancient lore. To this end, they train their initiates in mnemonics and self-defense, so that they can memorize whatever wisdom they may uncover and bring it quietly home, to be poured into the great pools of memory from which the order draws.
One of their most basic tests is the mastery of the Sarkari Staff – a complex bit of engineering incorporating a good many hidden mechanisms and a bit of daily magic to keep the whole thing in good order and operating smoothly.
Once a Seeker has mastered his or her staff – each with it’s own, unique, combination of grips and studs used to activate its functions – he or she has demonstrated the mnemonic skills and powers of concentration he or she will need throughout his or her career. After all, the studs are all superficially identical – and so actually controlling such a staff in combat is a considerable challenge.
- A typical Sarkari Staff’s weapon modes include Staff, Nunchaku, Bladed Staff , Spear, Three-Sectional Staff , Staff and Chain, Hooked Pole (also useful for climbing), Pole Axe, Lance, and Pike. All such weapons are masterwork, and the ability to switch between them quickly provides a +2 bonus to the user’s attacks.
- A typical Sarkari Staff’s special mechanical functions – and the number of “shots” available for each before reloading – include: firing a heavy crossbow bolt (1), firing a pellet of some type (6), firing a pellet of some other type (6), spraying some sort of liquid (3), electrifying the ends of the staff (or the blade or blades of other weapon modes), firing a grapnel and line (1) or rewinding that line, extending forcefully (Str 24, 3 uses before the springs need rewinding, also provides a large bonus to jumping), and spraying burning oil in a 10′ cone (3).
- A typical Sarkari Staff’s magical functions are very limited. It can cast three cantrips per day from the following list: Shield (blocks six points of damage), Flash, Deflect (deflects one arrow or thrown missile), Tao Chi Wheel (provides a brief Shield effect), Ten Thousand Staves (a multiple-strike illusion, which makes an attack almost impossible to block), Microkinesis (on the staff only, allowing the user to hurl it long distances, set it aside and call it, or manipulate the grappling line), and Balancing.
In Eclipse, the Sarkari are represented with a package deal…
- Seeker of the Way: Exotic Weapon Proficiency/Sarkari Staff, Specialized/requires a great deal of practice to master any particular Sarkari Staff, Corrupted/marks the user as a Sarkari Seeker, who may know very valuable secrets (2 CP).
- Harvester of Wisdom: Double Enthusiast, Specialized in Skills for double effect (provides 4 SP), Corrupted/only usable for Knowledges (4 CP) with Adaption (changing a skill point allocation only requires 1d4+1 hours, Specialized/only for Knowledges, 1 CP) plus Immunity/the restriction against using points from Enthusiast to buy Specific Knowledges (Uncommon, Minor, Major, Specialized/requires a creditable source or having taken a particular specific knowledge before, 1 CP).
- Mnemonic Training: Immunity/the requirement for study time when investing an enthusiast point in a specific knowledge of a view that the user is currently looking at – such as a particular city view or map, an inscription or picture, or the appearance of a group of creatures (Uncommon, Minor, Minor, 1 CP).
- Sarkari Seeker: Privilege/member of the Sarkari Order: is granted a free Sarkari Staff, access to the Pools of Memory (allowing access to many ancient secrets while at the chapterhouse), and gains a modest salary – enough to support normal travel and living (3 CP).
The Sarkari are gatherers of wisdom. They will seek out – and, if necessary, rescue, great teachers and sages, gather (or at least try to study) rare tomes, hoard secret names, record ancient myths, and preserve rare maps. While they are not necessarily ritualists or magi, they are well suited to such paths – and do often follow them.
On the other hand, they are targets. Anyone seeking some occult secret, ancient ritual, or other bit of obscure information – especially terrible secrets that no one should have – will turn to the Sarkari. Worse, occasionally one of them will stumble across some terrible corrupting secret, or fall to temptation, or commit the Necronomicon to memory, or some such – and his or her fellows will have to deal with that.