The Decemvirate is the ruling body of the well-known Pathfinder Society and is headquartered in the Grand Lodge in Absalom. As per the name, it is composed of 10 experienced Pathfinders. The identities of the Decemvirate are a closely guarded secret, and their motivations are often shrouded in mystery. Pathfinder members often shrug off strange orders from above as simply the "will of the Ten". Nevertheless, members of the Society are sworn to absolutely obey the will of the Decemvirate, or risk expulsion or an even darker fate.
The Decemvirate has existed almost as long as the Society itself. It was created as a result of the increasing complexity of the growing Pathfinder Society, and instituted as a way to maintain the numerous far-flung lodges and facilitate communication between members.
Because their identities are unknown, some say even masked to the gods, members seem ageless. It is assumed that the position is passed down through a hidden method, although it is not beyond reason that the Decemvirate age very slowly or are truly immortal. Their members wear artifacts known as Decemvirate Helms, which help protect them from scrying while obscuring their true appearance and letting them see through any illusion.
From time to time, an unconfirmed rumor will go around the Pathfinder Society that one or more venture-captains have joined the Decemvirate. What is certain is that the Ten's secretive nature allows them to keep an eye on the Society as a whole, while staying above the fray of its internal politics.
Powers and responsibilities
Although the full powers of the Decemvirate, like the identities of its members, are shrouded in secrecy, it is known to have the following responsibilities and powers:
The Decemvirate is directly responsible for collecting stories of the best exploits of the Pathfinder Society, and publishing them as the Pathfinder Chronicles. These are then passed on to the venture-captains, who distribute them to the membership at large.
Each member of the Decemvirate is believed to have access to a small group of elite Pathfinders who perform secret missions outside of the Pathfinders' regular command structure. These include the Three Deans: the masters of the Society's three branches, the Scrolls, the Spells, and the Swords.
On rare occasions, a person will so distinguish him or herself, either through a ground breaking archaeological discovery or through scholarly work, that he or she will be admitted into the Pathfinder Society without having to go through any testing or training. These are called "field commissions", and only the Decemvirate has the power to bestow them on individuals.
Founding or closing a Lodge
On rare occasions, the Pathfinder Society closes or opens a Pathfinder Lodge. It only does so by a direct order of the Decemvirate.
Maze of the Open Road
The Decemvirate steers the Pathfinder Society quite clear of any involvement with the internal politics of the Foreign Quarter (where the Grand Lodge is located), or the state of Absalom as a whole. Even though venture-captains (and most likely the Decemvirate as well) run missions within Absalom, they try to avoid ruffling any political feathers among the city-state's politicians. In return, the government of Absalom takes a hands-off attitude toward the Pathfinder Society.
- Tim Hitchcock, Erik Mona, James L. Sutter, and Russ Taylor. (2009). Seekers of Secrets: A Guide to the Pathfinder Society, p. 3. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-178-7
- Tim Hitchcock, Erik Mona, James L. Sutter, and Russ Taylor. (2009). Seekers of Secrets: A Guide to the Pathfinder Society, p. 25. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-178-7
- Tim Hitchcock, Erik Mona, James L. Sutter, and Russ Taylor. (2009). Seekers of Secrets: A Guide to the Pathfinder Society, p. 26. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-178-7
- Joshua J. Frost et al. (2009-2014). Guide to Pathfinder Society Organized Play, p. 14. Paizo Inc.
- John Compton & Mark Moreland. (2013). Pathfinder Society Primer, p. 5. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-534-1
- Owen K.C. Stephens. (2008). Guide to Absalom, p. 31. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-141-1
- F. Wesley Schneider. (2012). Artifacts & Legends, p. 58. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-458-0
- Tim Hitchcock, Erik Mona, James L. Sutter, and Russ Taylor. (2009). Seekers of Secrets: A Guide to the Pathfinder Society, p. 7. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-178-7
- John Compton & Mark Moreland. (2013). Pathfinder Society Primer, p. 29. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-534-1
- John Compton & Mark Moreland. (2013). Pathfinder Society Primer, p. rear inside cover. Paizo Publishing, LLC. ISBN 978-1-60125-534-1