Council of Thieves
Slavery is a common practice throughout the Inner Sea
region of Golarion—particularly in Cheliax, where
all manner of non-human humanoids, but especially
half lings, make up the majority of the slave workforce. With
no ancestral home, and having spent generations enslaved
to the Chelish people, the half lings took it upon themselves
to seek freedom and aid other half lings in doing the same.
Thus was born the Bellf lower Network, a decades-old,
ultra-secretive society of freed half ling slaves who engage
in a wide range of subversive and rebellious activities to free
their compatriot half lings from Cheliax and hopefully from
slavery forever. The Bellf lower Network is so named because
of the blue bellf lower members use for their symbol. They
leave it carved on fence posts, embroider it into tunics, and
grow it around their important buildings. Members of the
network can always spot other members on official business
by identifying some sort of blue bellf lower symbol on their
person—a tattoo, a pin, or even an actual bellf lower stuck
in the lapel. In addition, the group communicates using its
own set of code words (see sidebar). The network maintains
hundreds of paths to freedom from dozens of Chelish cities;
most of these paths end in Andoran, though some make
their way into Rahadoum.
Goal: Emancipating Halfling Slaves
The Bellf lower Network is focused on one thing: freeing
half ling slaves from Cheliax. Its members are unafraid
to murder slavers or slave owners to do so, though they
prefer to grab slaves in the night and quickly get them into
the network where they are much less likely to be found.
Those freed often dress as slaves and sneak back into
half ling slave communities or households where they stay
for a time, encouraging the half lings still in captivity to
f lee with them come the next harvest moon. The network
maintains its secrecy by never divulging too much
information to a single tiller or the owner of a single barn.
Tillers typically only know one or two barns along a given
row and the owners of those barns usually don’t know to
what barns they are linked. Should a tiller be captured
and tortured, he could only ever give away at most two
locations and the owners of those locations could reveal
none. Tillers typically only lead their crop by moonlight,
as it’s much easier to hide the short-statured half lings
when fewer people are around to see them. Nearly all of
the barns in Cheliax are located outside the major cities,
also reducing the chance the network will be uncovered.
Though a few barns have been found and destroyed, the
network has never seen a major infiltration in its history
and remains largely a secret within Cheliax’s borders.
Members of the Bellf lower Network are unafraid to
dirty their hands in the name of freedom. Slavers, slave
owners, and unfortunate witnesses have all fallen to their
blades and bows in the name of half ling emancipation.
Bellf lower members avoid direct confrontation whenever
and wherever possible, but they don’t f linch from it when
it’s necessary. Though the group has a rigid organizational
structure, the secretive nature of that structure leaves
the day-to-day operations of each part of the network
largely up to the whims and ideas of the individual—thus
the chaotic nature of the network’s alignment. Freeing
half ling slaves and moving them to countries without
slavery, like Andoran, puts the faction firmly on the good
side of the spectrum.
The mysterious leader of the Bellf lower Network is known
only as the Farmer. Those who have met him (or who claim
to have met him) all say that he’s a male half ling who
walks with a limp and wears a black hood with a bellf lower
symbol stitched onto one side. Some tillers believe that
the Farmer is in reality many half ling men, each of whom
wears the hood when it’s his turn to guide the network. The
tillers who claim this are those who have seen the Farmer
on many occasions and swear that his limp shifts from one
leg to the other, his voice is sometimes different, and his
mannerisms and accent change frequently. Whether this
is proof of several shadowy governors at the head of the
network or simply the Farmer’s way of keeping his tillers on
their toes will likely never be known. The most consistent
rumor between network members is that the Farmer was a
slave in Corentyn, that he was mistreated and abused, and
that he killed his slave master when he escaped by ship to
Rahadoum and later to Andoran. Finally, a recent rumor
that’s gaining traction among tillers is that the Farmer
is funded by the Eagle Knights of Andoran (or is actually
an Eagle Knight himself ) and that the knights are using
the network not only to free slaves, but also to identify the
best routes from Andoran to every major Chelish city—a
strategy they can only be developing as a prelude to war.
Good Class Choices
Bard, Cleric, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue
Challenging Class Choices
Though no one knows where the Farmer is actually located,
there are several locations in Cheliax that are considered
slaves in hiding and several Bellf lower half lings who serve
in households there as spies. They spend the meetings
strategizing the next household to target for freedom, and
they never meet in the same place twice. The entire group
only works with one tiller to minimize the damage that
one or all of them being captured would cause, but despite
that precaution, the Farmer has asked them not to gather
so brazenly—a request they are determined to ignore. In
Westcrown there is a Chelish-owned private pub close to
the docks that’s run by clerics of Iomedae called the Bell of
the Sea. The ground f loor of the Bell is a typical pub and
restaurant, but the basement is a meeting place for central
Chelish Bellf lower tillers and functions as the harvest
moon barn for all slaves freed from that area.
The network welcomes nonevil, trustworthy folk,
particularly those skilled at stealth and wilderness
survival. In most cases, a member of the group seeks out
a PC rather than the other way around, usually
once the PC establishes he’s against slavery and a
friend to half lings.
In addition to performing tasks for the group,
a person directly responsible for delivering a
half ling from slavery earns 1 PA for every
10 half lings so freed. This means that
if a faction mission involves freeing
half ling slaves, a PC earns PA for
completing the mission and PA for
freeing the slaves.
Freeing slaves and slowly moving
them across the countryside by
night requires a lot of resources.
For members with sufficient
prestige, the Bellf lower Network
has certain goods and services
available. These items or services
are nearly always based out of a barn
or hidden along a row.
1 TPA: Find a hidden location along
a known row marked by a bellf lower
that contains enough trail rations and water
for up to 10 people for a week. Finding this
cache requires a DC 10 Survival check.
1 TPA: Purchase simple weapons, light armor,
and shields at the normal price from most barns
(the network routinely supplies barns with these
items so that freed slaves can defend themselves
as they travel).
5 TPA: Purchase mundane items, such as rope,
pitons, tents, blankets, clothes, and so on, at half price
from most barns.
5 TPA: Purchase certain travel-related magic
items from a barn from the following list
at a 10% discount: cloak of elvenkind (6
CPA), dust of disappearance (9 CPA), dust of
tracelessness (1 CPA), elixir of hiding (1 CPA),
hat of disguise (5 CPA), robe of blending (21
CPA), vest of escape (13 CPA).
10 TPA: Rest at any readily
identifiable network location (one
marked with a bellf lower symbol)
without being turned away (though
there are exceptions, such as if a
group of pursuers follows right
on the character’s heels). At such a
location, network members are fed,
clothed, and provided with basic
medical attention (as if attended by a
person whose Heal bonus is +10).
20 TPA: Purchase or upgrade
magical armor or shields with abilities
from the following list at a 10% discount:
arrow catching, arrow def lection, darkwood
buckler, darkwood shield, glamered, mithral
shirt, shadow (all), slick (all).
20 TPA: Purchase or upgrade magical
weapons with abilities from the following list:
defending, merciful, returning, throwing, sleep
arrow, sword of subtlety.
The Bellflower Network uses farming euphemisms as
code words to discuss their activities without fear of being
overheard. Below are several examples.
Barn: A secret hideout, such as a house, business, or
actual barn, where slaves are hidden during the day.
Crop: A group of slaves being escorted to freedom.
Farm: A place where slaves are held against their will,
such as a Chelish nobleman’s estate.
The Farmer: The leader of the Bellflower Network.
Grazing: Observing a location where slaves are held.
Harvest Moon: The best time to travel—namely, at
night. Also describes the night a slave begins his journey
Irrigating: Killing a slaver or slave owner.
Plucking: Freeing a slave.
Row: A path from one secret hideout to the next.
Sowing: Transporting slaves along a “row.”
Tiller: One who escorts slaves between secret hideouts.