Who can truly predict popularity?
Certain bright, patchy-patterned scarves, vests, and other knitwear have become hugely popular of late. Everyone knows they’re knitted by the innumerable women who form the loose coalition known as Anne Arundel’s Cotton Knitwear.
AACK, as it’s more commonly known, formed around the prodigious knitted output of its eponymous founder. Anne is a near-legendary figure of benevolence and industry, who recruited dozens, then hundreds of other women to knit caps, scarves, gloves, and other items of clothing in distinctive patterns, with a small but significant profit making its way back to Anne herself, of course.
It’s been a boon to many a struggling farmer’s purse, though some grumble that they’re encouraged to overwork themselves by overly-aggressive members of the organization.
And the knitwear produced by these women have indeed found widespread popularity. They just seem to keep you warm (optionally granting +2 on Constitution or Wisdom (Survival) checks to resist natural cold effects).
As a friendly faction, AACK grew out of unexpected popularity, and has suffered all the growing pains of a grassroots organization. It doesn’t extort money from its members, but some of its representatives can be overly enthusiastic and run their knitting circles like factories.
Members can be found in all but the tiniest villages, and frequently need someone to check on a caravan or tinker that’s on its way with a shipment of particular yarn or dyes.
As a foe faction, AACK’s members are unwittingly part of a very large, secret plot. Anne Arundel is secretly a hag, and each piece of knitwear forms a thread in the massive tapestry of a spell that will make her a demigod. When the ritual activates, it will steal life essence from anyone wearing the clothing.
Anne keeps the equipment for this ritual in a secret chamber in the sewers underneath the major city that serves as AACK’s headquarters. She keeps a few high-ranking members of AACK as bodyguards, who will defend her to the death in her sewer hideout before she transforms and uses all of her hag spells against the party.