|Motto:||Inspiration, Exploration, Documentation|
|Headquarters:||Penn Sanctuary, New York|
|Allies:||Varies By Chapter|
|Enemies:||Varies By Chapter|
The Trailblazers are a countrywide organization based out of the ruins of Penn Sanctuary, a city under the ruins of the Concrete Jungle. Membership consists primarily of individuals, known as Explorers, that look to explore the Post-War world and record their experiences so that the information is not lost once again.
The Trailblazers were founded in 2225, by an official decree by Penn’s Council, the ruling government of Penn Sanctuary. Referenced to in ‘Edict 225-A’, Penn’s Council called for a group to explore and map the abandoned subway lines in Manhattan. With the city having ended its isolationist policy years beforehand, and coming into contact with the New York Ghosts- another organized group making the New York City subway system their home- the people of Penn Sanctuary needed better maps of the tunnels surrounding their home and where those tunnels went.
Over the next four years, citizens from Penn Sanctuary did just that. Receiving stipends from Penn’s Council, they mapped out numerous tunnels snaking in and out of Manhattan and into Brooklyn, Queens, and The Bronx. After a while, Penn’s Council stopped financing these expeditions, but the inquisitive and curious men and women that were doing the exploring continued. Following tunnels east into New Jersey and north into upstate New York, the mission of the groups changed slightly. No longer were they exploring and mapping tunnels for Penn’s Council. Instead, they were exploring and mapping for the sake of fortune, fame, wealth, and discovery.
The first chapter to be established outside of Penn Sanctuary was in Diamond City, to the north of the group's New York headquarters. It was founded in 2229, the same year as the infamous “Broken Mask Incident” in the city, so it took years before the chapter was able to grow and prosper there. In the years that followed, various other chapters were settled in settlements big and small across the country. The most recent major chapterto be founded was in the city of Shady Sands in the New California Republic, established in 2274. The reason the Shady Sands chapter has grown so influential and powerful in such a short period of time is because of NCR President Aaron Kimbal, who sees the organization as a useful tool in his imperialistic aspirations to expand the NCR across the entire southwest.
The group is currently debating whether or not to leave Penn Sanctuary and move its Grand Lodge to the ruins of the New York Public Library, a few avenues away. The Council of Chroniclers has recently contracted the Builditz to look into excavating and rebuilding the site, located topside within the Concrete Jungle in the ruins of Bryant Park.
The Trailblazers are led a group known as the Council of Chroniclers, which meets monthly in the Grand Lodge at Penn Sanctuary. The group is comprised of individuals representing the various organizational chapters across the country. The council has very little direct executive or legislative power, instead acting as a clearinghouse for information and conflict resolution within the organization as a whole.
Because new chapters appear while others fold, the number of representatives in the council is not static. Members representing each individual chapter in the council are appointed by the Captains in charge of those respective chapters. Representatives are usually usually highly respected and highly knowledgeble members of each individual chapter, but because each chapter captain has the ultimate authority, he or she has free reign to appoint anybody. Some chapters have representatives to the Council of Chronicles that are friends or family. Other chapters have their Captain directly representing the chapter in the council.
The real power within the group lies in the hands of the Captains, the leaders of individual chapters. Their orders dictate the day-to-day activities of the group. While they receive general orders from the Council of Chroniclers, they have free reign to carry out those orders as they see fit. Assisting Captains are his/her Voyagers, members that have been given an official title as a distinction for an act, deed, discovery, or some other action. While these individuals technically do not have any authority, they generally are deferred to by the rank and file Explorers and are leaned on by the chapter Captain because of their experience and knowledge.
The Trailblazers are not shy about accepting members, and accept members of all backgrounds, ages, creeds, political affiliations, morals, and other factors. These men and women apply at their local chapter and are interviewed in order to gain membership into the group. The interview is conducted by either the chapter Captain or a Voyager, and is done to get a sense of the candidate, and whether or not he or she is truly interested in the principles of the organization or not. Once a candidate passes the interview, and pays his/her dues, they are a considered a Scout. For a period of time that varies from lodge to lodge, the Scout must attend meetings and formal training seminars, but when the designated period of time is over, the Scout 'graduates' and becomes an Explorer, a member in good standing within the Trailblazers.
In order to maintain one’s membership, all one must do is pay his/her annual dues, a token sum of caps (or other regional currencies) used to maintain each chapter. Because this is all that is needed to remain an Explorer, many of the larger chapters across the country have large collections of older members that do little but sit around and tell stories. These long-time members generally have been given Voyager status, and as such, their reminiscing about their glory days is tolerated
Activities & Interests
The Trailblazers operate by promoting its three key operating principles: inspiration, exploration, and documentation. Members are to be inspired by the world around them. Members are to explore the world around them. Members are to document and record their exploits, to further inspire others to explore, continuing the cycle. How these principles are lived varies from chapter to chapter, and even from individual to individual. Explorers with artistic talents often document their exploits using artistic mediums. Explorers with the gift of intelligence are often inspired to theorize on various aspects of Pre-War life that is unknown to them. Explorers that simply enjoy the rush of adrenaline often serve in second-hand capacities at exploration sites, filling in as guards, lookouts, scouts, and other necessary roles.
The day-to-day activities of the Trailblazers take place primarily in the individual chapters that make up the organization. Each chapter is independent of each other, and as a result, a great deal of variation exists from chapter to chapter. At the very least, the Council of Chronicles has mandated that a lodge provide members with a safe space to sleep and a safe space to record their journeys. Urban chapters are often larger and wealthier, and as such, provide more services, while rural chapters often smaller, and provide just those bare necessities.
There are numerous Trailblazer chapters scattered across Post-War America. Some are wealthier or politically affluent than others. Outside of the Pathfinder Society’s Grand Lodge in Penn Sanctuary, the chapters in Diamond City, the Kingdom of Swing, Little Israel, New Vegas, Petroleum, Shady Sands, and Vieux Carre are the most influential and important within the organization.
Key to the most basic principles of the group is to explore. As such, individual Trailblazer chapters maintain good relationships with local caravans and trading outfits. By definition, these groups are constantly roaming the American countryside, and as such, many of their goals overlap with those of the group.
The Trailblazers benefits when local chapters enjoy good relationships with local leaders. The chapter in Petroleum, for example, benefits because the organization has cultivated a working relationship with the Salt Family, the most politically affluent family in the area. In some places, such as the New California Republic and Penn Sanctuary, the Trailblazers have members that directly serve in the legislatures of those respective places, resulting in chapters there having a great deal more influence in local politics. Favor with local leaders does not make or break the influence any given chapter may have. The Trailblazer chapter in Vieux Carre has succeeded despite the fact that its leader, Obed Narcisse, sees the organization as a tool of The Royaume to gather intelligence on his city in preparation for an invasion.
The Trailblazers have butted heads with the Brotherhood of Steel on numerous occasions. Though the group does not necessarily advocate for the adoption of Pre-War technology, they often come across such things during their exploration. The Brotherhood of Steel does not trust what it sees as amateurs with such technology, and has come into conflict with Pathfinders on numerous occasions, forcibly taking Pre-War technology from them or chasing them away from Pre-War sites the Brotherhood has deemed a liability in the hands of non-members. Unlike the Brotherhood of Steel, the Trailblazers often work closely with the Followers of the Apocalypse, and has close ties to the organization. Both groups believe themselves to be keepers of Pre-War knowledge, with the two often trading information for their own respective organizational betterment.