Deadlands - Divided States of America
The Explorers Society is an organization with roots deep in the past. Their records before the 1600s become sparse, but they have traced the history of the organization back to the days of ancient Rome. The Explorers Society’s roots seem to lie with a quasi-mystical order of what can best be described as “monster hunters.” According to the texts uncovered, this semi-secret society, known simply as the Twilight Legion, was secretly charged by the rulers of Rome with defending the people from any marauding beasts.
While this history has been known to the Society for some 50 years, it is only recently that it has become relevant to them. In the past, many of their own members have scoffed at their “monster hunting” roots, dismissing them as fairy stories.
Although today’s Society has roots centuries old, it was not organized in its modern form as a guild of gentleman adventurers, until the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Since that time, records have been kept in good order and show a roster of members both illustrious and scurrilous. Truly, some members could easily lay claim to both titles. The oldest journals of the Society hold accounts from Africa, China, Australia, and the Americas, as well as many places in the British Isles and upon the European continent.
One of the foundations upon which the modern association was built was a willingness to travel for the purpose of exploring, finding lost civilizations, observing unusual forms of life, and journeying to places where no civilized man had set foot before. It was this dedication to the adventuresome discovery of knowledge that so attracted numerous gentlemen to the Society’s ranks, as it continues to do even now.
Many come to the Society because it provides information useful for hunting and obtaining trophy animals, while others find the Society a comfortable companion in their quests for knowledge. Some simply desire a bit of excitement in otherwise dreary lives in today’s too-civilized world. Whatever the reasons these people seek to join our assemblage, they find themselves welcome, provided they meet the requirements for basic membership. The oldest of these, the unspoken restriction of membership to men only, has been abolished, and the society now to welcomes courageous women into their fraternal order.
The second requirement, that members also belong to the gentry, has likewise been broadened, as the inhabitants of the Northern American nations claim to have no gentry, and so it becomes difficult to determine social status. Because it is difficult for such claims to be investigated, the Society changed the second condition to an initial payment of dues in the amount of $1,000 and $100 annually there after, trusting that requirement will discourage those who are not truly serious about supporting the organization.
This final condition for membership demands attendance at one or more meeting per calendar year. At meetings, each member must report on his or her activities and discoveries from the preceding months. Monthly meetings are held in Great Britian with the exact locations published in the annual minutes. Members are encouraged to attend as many meetings as possible.
Once a member has remained in good standing for 10 years, he or she is awarded the title Explorer and made a permanent member. They no longer pay the annual dues and they may pass membership on to heirs, provided those heirs maintain good standing through adherence to the third condition of membership for 10 years, after which time they are made permanent members as well.
The headquarters of the Society is the Explorers Mansion just outside London. The Society also has a great many subsidiary offices in cities around the world. In the American nations alone, Explorers Offices are located in New York, Boston, Richmond, Atlanta, Des Moines, Kansas City, Dallas, Denver, Tombstone, Virginia City, and Shan Fan.