There are any number of fraternal organizations maintaining local lodges and halls in cities, towns, and municipalities of all sizes. In the past few years the fastest growing lodge worldwide was the Fraternal Order of Vigilance, or the F.O.V. Founded on the precept of protecting its members and communities from the many threats that the modern world presents, the F.O.V. hosts seminars on selfdefense, sponsors finger-printing and other preventative child identification campaigns, and organizes neighborhood watch programs. Lodges are praised by local law enforcement, honored by other civic organizations, and quickly find places in the hearts of the communities in which they open.
However, the truth of the matter is that the F.O.V. has a secret agenda. They are, in fact, an organization of mundanes who recognize Shadow creatures for what they are and are dedicated to wiping them from the earth. To the F.O.V. there is no difference between an elf, a troll, and a patch of green slime-they are all invaders from another place and they must all be eradicated. Local lodges subtly test members' loyalties and beliefs until they are certain who they want to invite into their inner circle. But they are very careful to segregate their clandestine activities from their public persona-they want to avoid getting a reputation for being "monster hunters."
The inner circle of a lodge spends evenings studying material on how to recognize and kill various Shadow creatures. And when they identify such a creature in their community, they begin moving against it. Their efforts are hampered by the fact that most mundanes perceive Shadow creatures as normal folk, so the F.O.V. must begin by isolating and disenfranchising them.
The inner circle starts by encouraging unsavory rumors about their targets, then moves on to producing falsified "proof" of immoral or illegal activities. Often they go so far as to plant illicit substances or materials in the Shadow creature's home or otherwise frame them for a serious crime.
If the target decides to simply pick up stakes and move to another town, the F.O.V. sends operatives to waylay and kill them on the road. If the target sticks it out, chances are good he or she will end up spending at least some time in police custody-and once there the other prisoners are paid good money to make sure the Shadow creature doesn't survive long enough to be released.
Despite its benevolent facade, the Fraternal Order of Vigilance is nothing less than a hate group. It is there unfit for heroes to join. Members of the group do not get any special bonus to level checks for requisitioning materials, but they can count on the complete support of other lodge members.
Ashe's Field Guide
Carlton Ashe was one of the founding members of the Fraternal Order of Vigilance. He was an otherwise mundane man who had the ability to see creatures of Shadow for what they really were. To his shock and amazement, though, very few of his neighbors and friends were able to see what he did- they saw these monsters as ordinary folk. This was intolerable to Ashe, who began taking detailed notes on the behavior, likes, and dislikes of the various bizarre creatures he saw.
Before long he had gathered a handbook that he hoped would let anyone tell the difference a "real person" and a "monster." Unfortunately, his methods were not foolproof, and more than one mundane reader has mistakenly accused a tall, burly human of being a bugbear in disguise. Now in its 3rd edition, Ashe's Field Guide is an item given to every member of the F.O.V., but it is not available in stores.
This book, however, turns out to be even more useful to people who are able to see Shadow creatures for what they are. Using it provides a +5 equipment bonus on all Research checks to understand or predict the behavior of Shadow creatures, determine the species of a creature based on knowledge of its actions, or other similar task.