The Pactmaker culture is named for the type of magic they use, which is able to create all manner of pacts between people and...other things beyond the mortal realm. However beyond that their culture is defined by their libertarian/anarchist philosophies, chiefly anarcho-capitalism.
When society collapsed under the onslaught of Magics of Mass Destruction most groups of survivors gravitated towards creating some new form of governance. This led to most of the other current cultures. The anarchists took it as their moment to bring their ideals into existence, leveraging those who knew pact based magic, mostly lawyers and notary publics at that time, in order to make things "work" without a government. There are many different kinds of libertarian and anarchist philosophies, and there are some groups others still out there for the different types. However when people think of the Pactmakers they think of the anarcho-capitalists, who believe in freedom from governments and their aggression in favor of radical self-ownership and respect for private property. Functions traditional performed by the government instead being provided by individuals, corporations, or pact based magic. Their definition of self-ownership is that "each person enjoys, over himself and his powers, full and exclusive rights of control and use, and therefore owes no service or product to anyone else that he has not contracted to supply."
The "contracted to supply" portion is important to note. Much of the rise of this culture was due to individuals or small cells seeking out groups of survivors that were on the verge of death and offering salvation...to anyone willing to sign the magically binding indentured servitude agreements. This is a common practice on their part to this day. Make no mistake though, they consider themselves highly moral, and any criticism of those actions will be met with pointing out that others were willing to instead sit by and let those people die. Would that have been better? They used no threats, no force, no deception, no dishonesty, merely a bargain. They are similarly able to defend their other libertarian/objectivist beliefs and actions. They don't only employ indentured servants, and are willing to enter into all manner of labor contracts with willing workers. They are known to pay and reward skilled individuals well enough to lure people away from other cultures.
While commonly seen by other cultures as "filthy exploiters", they also have a reputation as being the best people to do business with. They are usually quite willing to put themselves under their own pact based magic as a guarantee of their products and services, or to operate under non-disclosure clauses when helping out with all manner of "personal" matters.
However their dreams of creating large cities have not panned out. They generally blame this on aggression by the "macrogovernments" of the other cultures. Instead they operate from the small towns on the outskirts of other culture's cities, from hidden compounds, from well-defended lairs, or out of their sometimes quite large caravans of wagons, ships, or airships. Usually one individual is ultimately in control of these, with a number of like-minded Pactmaker "subcontractor" apprentices, and however many workers or indentured servants they have under contract.
At the school, it is common for a Pactmaker student to have a relatively high level of material wealth, a servant of some sort, and/or a collared Therian. Though some are currently low on funds and are instead high on ambition.
Pactmaker package (20 points)
Pactmaking (magic, 20 points)
Pactmaking can be used to create a binding agreement between two people. Higher levels of skill allow for more complex agreements and stronger enforcement. At twenty points a contract creates a strong mental compulsion to comply and can attempt to enforce even an "on pain of death" penalty. However both might possibly be resisted by a strong enough individual.
Pactmaking is can also be used to interact with, make deals with, and summon creatures beyond the mortal realm. There seem to be a great variety of such creatures, or perhaps this magic actually forms them from a single type of thing or out of nothing. In any case it works and some things out there are incredibly powerful. Entities can either be summoned to act on their own or summoned to possess the Pactmaker, altering his form and adding their abilities to the Pactmaker's own. Individual arrangements can be made (even rather on the fly), but for every five points in Pactmaking you can have a particular arrangement ready to go (either for possession or separate summoning).
Common examples are Blood Daemon's and Observers, with many Pactmakers of this level of skill having arrangements to summon and be possessed by both, as they demand nothing for their services. However feel free to pitch your own ideas to me. The baseline for abilities an entity has is equal to the points the Pactmaker has in Pactmaking magic, but often the actual creatures summoned have more but have drawbacks or demands.
Blood Daemon (10 points Enhanced Strength (power), 10 points flight (biomorph, wings), 5 points melee fighting (skill)): Blood Daemons appear as humanoids with red skin and bat wings and want little more than to tear living things apart with their teeth, horns, and claws. So long as a Pactmaker quickly provides a target these creatures are fully willing to do his bidding. Getting them to NOT attack can be difficult if they are independently summoned.
Observer (10 points enhanced senses (power), 5 points telepathic connection to summoner (power), 10 points invisibility (power): Observers appear as a vaguely humanoid ripple in the air. They just want to see and experience something interesting and tend to reliably go where they are sent, and relay back what they experience telepathically on demand. But they may be drawn away by something they find sufficiently "interesting". They prefer not to fight. When used for possession ignore the telepathic connection and increase enhanced senses to 10 points
Spirit Servant (10 points, select 20 points of powers). Good help is so hard to find. The sprit servant is an entity that you have dedicated some of your personal essence to in order that they can continually exist in the physical world. Their appearance can be varied, but often Pactmakers have them appear as an almost human butler or maid. They can act independently or be "summoned" which transports them from wherever they are at the moment to the Pactmakers side. As they contain some of the Pactmakers essence if they are destroyed this also weakens the Pactmaker for a day for each point dedicated.
Artifact (10 points, select 20 points of associated powers): Pactmakers frequently have some affluence and it is common for them to have acquired and bonded an artifact.