The Communists started as priests of Galuldân the Resonant Word, whose cult is based in Tula. The Resonant Word’s faithful have syncretized with the Cult of Thoth in Tula, but the Communion itself continues more as a secular than a sacred entity. It retains some association with Thoth-Voice-of-Enlightenment, but most Communists are clerks, wizards, and sages, not priests.
The Communion uses rarified mental discipline to build a telepathic bond among its members. Through extensive meditation and training in the Cult’s imagery and their secret written language of Galuldûl, the cultists tune themselves to the Communion of the Resonant Word, a telepathic network through which the Communists pass coded information. The mental channels span vast distances, but are unsuitable for normal words and images. Their precise and complex code of Galuldûl allows cultists to communicate swiftly and precisely across staggering distances, conveying messages both personal and public.
The cult offers its services to the public mostly as an information source, though its ability to swiftly pass messages to distant cities and to allow the secure transfer of funds has made it popular among merchants. The cult keeps scrupulous notes of its various financial customers, allowing a merchant to deposit gold in Tula and have an associate withdraw it in Valon in a matter of minutes.
The Communists have accrued significant wealth through the last millennium by serving as bankers, brokers, and messengers (see Communist Services). A Communist kiosk typically has a cultist and several clerks, with several messengers (mostly children) skulking about waiting for work. Clerks handle a customer’s request for information or funds, or for the delivery of a message. The clerks pass the request to the cultist (or call in the cultist for further clarification), and the cultist posts the request to a Communist monastery (a Commune). In the Commune, cultists research an information request, pass a message, or update a financial ledger, as needed.
The cult’s telepathic network hinges on obscure metaphysical concepts and a complex written code that bears no resemblance to natural language. The code language of Galuldûl in many ways resembles the ancient language of the Philosophers. Grasping the language requires fine organizational skills, a firm understanding of psychology and meditation, and competent understanding of arcana. A would-be cultist may technically be able to tune into the Communion, but without an understanding of their code, it’s a blur of psychic noise.
Hit Die: d4
To qualify to become a Communist, a character must fulfill all the following criteria.
Skills: Concentration 10, Knowledge (arcana) 10, Knowledge (physical universe) 6, Knowledge (psychology) 6, Literacy: Galuldûl 10, Profession (clerk) 10
The Communist’s class skills are Appraise (), Concentration (Con), Decipher Script (Int), Knowledge (all skills, taken individually)(Int), Profession (clerk) (Wis), Search (), Spellcraft (Int) Spot (), and Use Magic Device (Int).
Skill Points at Each Level: 6 + Int modifier.
Table: the Communist
|1||+0||+0||+0||+2||Sage research, Communion (1 mile per character level)|
|2||+1||+0||+0||+3||Communion (current map region)|
|3||+1||+1||+1||+3||Communion (current map district)|
|4||+2||+1||+1||+4||Communion (worldwide/ extraplanar)|
Sage research (Ex): Levels in the Communist prestige class stack with the sage class for calculating any sage abilities. Even Communists without sage class levels can use a suitable library to conduct research and retry knowledge checks.
Communion (Su): Upon entering this prestige class, the character learns special meditative techniques to access the coded dialogue channels of the Communion. As the character advances in the prestige class, her focused mind can transmit messages farther and farther.
To access the Communion, a cultist must be focused. The character can make a free Spot check at DC 10 to detect the presence of unread personal messages (and thus, in non-combat situations, can take 10). To isolate specific message streams requires a Concentration check (DC 15 for general-broadcast messages, DC 20 for personal messages, DC 30 to intercept personal messages meant for others). To transmit a message, it must be encoded (which may require a Literacy: Galuldûl check). To broadcast the message, the cultist must be connected to the Communion, and either expend focus or succeed in a Concentration check (DC 20 for a personal message, 30 for a broadcast message). A cultist who receives a personal message may send an acknowledgement as a free action.
General broadcasts last for one minute, but cloistered cultists often re-broadcast important messages. Personal broadcasts last until received or for one hour. In either case the content becomes unintelligible, leaving only the sender’s name and a rough idea of the time sent (within 6 hours).
Some Communists are so well-versed in the workings of the Communion that they can reconstruct old or received messages, issue personal or general messages that are easier to isolate or have longer duration, and even send personal messages that can be detected while the recipient is not focused. Special focus crystals can provide skill check bonuses, and other assistive devices are rumored to exist. At least one golem has been created that can accept commands delivered through the Communion, though such developments are in their infancy.
Most Communists are wizards, especially diviners, and many become loremasters. A significant minority are sages, with little or no spellcasting skill. Though other classes are not unwelcome, the heavy focus on Concentration and Knowledge skills (and Tula’s heavy cultural bias) make non-wizards rare as hen’s teeth.