Meet the Factions: Scale and Compass

The Drafting Room, aka the room where it happens

You sort of knew about Scale and Compass even before your Awakening into this magical underworld. The iconography is familiar: drafting tools arranged with a pointy symmetry, suggesting the kind of old boys’ club whose symbol you’ve seen on building foundations. Naturally, at the time you didn’t think there was anything more mystical about them than an arcane handshake.

Vanessa Haverhill, by Mandy Jürgens

Now, of course, you’re seeing mystical things everywhere. Scale and Compass is no different: another secret society, this one packaged in cigar paper and leather and vellum, a crystal brandy snifter full of magic. When Vanessa Haverhill, the branch manager of the People’s Bank, approaches you with a recruitment offer, it may be hard to resist: the meeting is in Chez Nous, one of the fancier restaurants in the city, and the wine is rather excellent. And her pitch is compelling, too. Don’t you want to experiment with creating exactly the kinds of spaces you want to live in, with exactly the sorts of people you want to be around? Why keep struggling to make the your world a better place when you can make your own world?

Inter-dimensional technology is the key to that world. Scale and Compass, or the Society, as it is sometimes simply called by its members (who also call themselves Architects, if they’re being pretentious or careless) is on the cusp of it, fashioning pocket-dimensions where alternate realities can be sustained. The ultimate in gated communities.

Professor Charles Reddinger, by Marty Kulma

They’ve got fingers in every pot: government, business, military, and of course, the academy. The boss of your local chapter is one Professor Charles Reddinger, chair of the philosophy department at Stratton University. To call the institution “elite” would be understating the truth somewhat. And what Scale and Compass considers “elite” has some definitions that you might find uncomfortable. No worries, though: apparently Reddinger and the rest have decided that you’re the right sort of person for the job.

Christopher Prentice, by Duncan Eagleson

Though you have your doubts about your companion, Christopher Prentice. The younger scion of the illustrious Prentice family, Christopher is rather disappointing in this – and most other – respects, and has been assigned to you as your companion in the Society. But if he’s intended to show you the ropes, it’s not been a particularly successful venture. So far, he mostly seems to alternate between goofing off, bitching and moaning, and begging for your help when he screws up. He seems to have gotten to where he is in spite of it, being carried along by his rich white boy privilege. Yet his hangdog, semi-pathetic ways are balanced by his desire to try hard and do better; he’s starting to chafe under the idea that he’s little more than dead weight in the Society. With encouragement, and maybe a bit of hard-assed-ness, he might even prove useful.

So. Now that you’ve lost the world you thought was real, do you want to be part of building a new one? Think carefully before you answer. But not too carefully. Rome wasn’t built in a day by people who worried about whom they crushed in the process.


Play with Scale and Compass, one of ten factions in Susurrus: Season of Tides. Read about the other 9 factions here.