The Pathfinder Society is an organization of explorers, historians, and adventurers that spans the known world. Its headquarters are located in Absalom, the world’s largest city. Members of the society send back copies of their journals of exploration and adventure, which the society then edits, compiles, and publishes as The Pathfinder Chronicles, a popular series of books that collect the history and mystery of the world of Golarion.
The Society is run by local leaders called Venture-Captains, each of which runs a local Pathfinder Lodge in cities throughout the world. These Venture-Captains remain in constant correspondence with the Grand Lodge in Absalom. Venture-Captains run several expeditions of Pathfinders on missions simultaneously. Local lodges serve as places where Pathfinders can rest, exchange stories, and (sometimes) borrow equipment.
To become a member of the Pathfinder Society, an applicant must apply in person at a local Lodge. Part of the application is a written, first-hand journal of an adventure or exploration that the applicant has accomplished. He or she must agree to several oaths of loyalty and make pledges of service and to share knowledge gained with the Society. An initial entrance test is given, followed by 2-3 years of training, then a final practical test. This practical is essentially a prospective Pathfinder’s first mission; success on the mission grants the applicant full membership. Occasionally, the Society recruits independent adventurers of some renown. Generally, the entrance requirements are waived in those cases.
There are rumors that the Society has a hidden agenda, and may not be the benevolent organization that it presents to the world. As many of these rumors come from rival organizations (such as the Aspis Consortium) or from failed applicants, not many pay much heed to them.
There is one Pathfinder Lodge in Varisia, located at Heidmarch Manor, in Magnimar. It is led by Venture-Captain Shiela Heidmarch.
The Pathfinder Society
Headquarters: The Grand Lodge, Absalom
Leader: The Decemvirate, A board of ten individuals who do not reveal their identities in public.
Structure: Loose affiliation of local Lodges, each led by a Venture-Captain.