If you have a campaign that is cosmos focused, you might have a place in it for the Astralytes. Based out of Sigil (or any other cosmic metropolis of your choosing), they are a mix of school and order and offer aid to adventurers and scholars alike as they try to save the cosmos from doom in any shape and form.
What are the Astralytes?
They are a guild. This aspect strikes the chord of guilds being a predominant factor in the workings of Sigil. No matter how much you chose to incorporate into your campaign, they are a group of scientifically minded individuals that look out for each other.
They are a university. The Astralytes do not just gather knowledge. They also seek to spread it. They offer a pretty good curriculum that encompasses subjects such as cosmology and planar dynamics but also covers skills from magic over medicine to history. Their guild headquarters is huge, thanks to extradimensional spaces, and sports a number of lecture halls and laboratories.
They are for hire – if the price is right. Do not get me wrong. The Astralytes are not mercenaries. But they see it as part of their mission to support heroes that fight against evil and will support them in various ways. In return for knowledge (or stories), they will answer questions and provide helpful background information. They have more to offer but will ask the heroes to join them before they provide services such as extensive research as well as transport throughout the cosmos. The upside is that being a member is pretty much free!
What do the Astralytes want?
The Astralytes gather knowledge and seek to spread it. Taking on students and instructing them to become scientists and future teachers is always their top priority. Teaching adventurers a thing or two that will help them on their quest is also something they enjoy.
The guild also sees the cosmos as a very fragile thing, knowing as they do about all the dangers from within and without. As such, Astralytes do what they can to thwart evil in any shape or form, mainly focusing on threats at the cosmic level while not turning their back on small-scale incidents.
How to meet the Astralytes
Getting help from the Astralytes is as easy as walking up to their door and ask for it. Most likely, it will be given freely. The location of their guild headquarters is well known, and most lawful or decent characters will point adventurers in the right direction.
If you want more from them, like hands-on help or in-depth research on your behalf, they will ask you to join their ranks at the most basic level. That will benefit the heroes while not costing them much, but more on that in later articles.
Where to go from here
If you like the concept, feel free to use it in your campaign. I will go deeper into several aspects of the guild in articles dedicated to things like their organization structure and ranks, the subjects taught, and the infamous near-locational teleport. There was also at least one major incident worth sharing what might serve as part of a story arc for you. Not to mention the Astralytic Consortium, which has almost nothing to do with the Astralytes themselves.
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