Organizations of Harqual

Knightfall

World of Kulan DM

Last Laugh Thieves’ Guild

Source: Shackled City Adventure Path
Origin: Thunder Lands
Symbol: The silhouetted profile of a laughing jester or a stylized black and white jester mask made of two four-point stars and a crescent moon.
DM's Note: This entry contains spoilers for the Shackled City Adventure Path!
Leaders: “The guild’s leaders, called Jesters, form an inner circle that oversees all guild activities” (LBWE, pg. 1). The guild has different Jesters in different regions, so the Jesters in the City-state of Cirrus aren't the same Jesters that control the activities of the Last Laugh in the Strandlands. Very few Jesters are openly known to be guild masters of the Last Laugh.
Here is list of some of the known Jesters throughout the Thunder Lands: Jacob Taskerhill (LN male Anorian human, aristocrat 4/rogue 8/monk 8) – Cauldron [lawful faction]; Aryira Oliverio (NE female Ervenik human, fighter 6/rogue 10) – Anoria; “Lady Death” (CE female Tahrannuti human, cleric of Vespin 15) – Cauldron [chaotic faction]; Wyrmarnare (N male half-elf, rogue 10) – Cirrus.​
Notable Members: Darel Willowtree (CN male half-elf, rogue 4/fighter 4); Fulgar Crystalmantle (N male hill dwarf, aristocrat 6/fighter 6); Joaquim Iravedra (CN male human, rogue 8/cleric of Olidammara 5); Nolan Fullecoppe (NE male hairfoot halfling, rogue 8); Vivianne Kerrick (CN female Denilan human, rogue 5/ranger 5).

Purpose

The Last Laugh Thieves' Guild oversees various rackets and specializes in security, blackmail, extortion, and assassination” [in many regions throughout the Thunder Lands and beyond] (“Life's Bazaar” Web Enhancement [LBWE], pg. 1). The guild also wishes to subvert other thieves' guild, and its leaders want to rise to positions of power in legitimate society without exposing their illegal ventures.

Notable Activities

The Jesters . . . rely on an intricate network of spies, agents, and informants. Their immediate subordinates are called harlequins — skilled rogues and assassins who paint their faces and handle much of the guild’s “dirty work.” The guild also uses spies — called mimes — to infiltrate rival organizations, verify rumors, and gather information on troublesome bands of adventurers” (LBWE, pg. 1).


The Last Laugh expands into new territories whenever possible. They are famous for recruiting locals into the guild by giving support to the recruit's family. This support almost always comes with a price. The guild actively recruits members from rival guilds regardless of the risk. The Last Laugh has made many enemies this way, but they come out on top more often than not. They will go so far as to wipe out rivals in brutal gang wars and coups using mimes to subvert rivals from within.

“The Last Laugh mints its own currency by melting down [the] sovereign coins [of nations] and recasting them with the guild’s jester insignia” (LBWE, pg. 1). They use these coins to undermine barristers, guilds, moneylenders, shops, and even governments. The Last Laugh also use the coins to bribe bandits and pirates to do special projects for the guild. They often leave a Jester's Coin behind when they do a special job for their guild masters.

Campaign Notes

Since the history of the Last Laugh Thieves' Guild is strongly tied to the Thunder Lands, those lands are where they have the strongest influence. They once had a great deal of influence in the lands and communities of the Kul Moren Mountains. However, since the formation of the Order of the Silver Hand and the Disciples of the Bloodsun, the guild has fallen on hard times in Cauldron and Kul Moren. It hasn't helped that one of the Jesters of the Cauldron region formed an alliance with the Order. This man, Jacob Taskerhill, is trying to legitimize the Last Laugh in Cauldron under the watchful eye of Lord Mayor Hezekiah Grofus. Note: Taskerhill is also a magistrate in Cauldron.

This has caused a schism through the remaining members of the Last Laugh in Cauldron and Kul Moren. After Taskerhill revealed himself to be a Jester to the citizens and promised to reform the guild, many of his former allies turned on him. This included the Jester known only as “Lady Death.” This vicious woman is actually a middle-class merchant, named Rane Kiduttaan, with holdings in Anoria, Cirrus, Flamerule, and Izmer, as well as in Cauldron. So far she has managed to keep her identity a secret from Taskerhill and the leaders of the Order of the Silver Hand. She has put a considerable bounty on the head of Taskerhill and Hezekiah Grofus but so far, she hasn't had her harlequins go after Argo Flameheart and the other leaders of the Order.

The faction in Cauldron under the leadership of Taskerhill isn't the only group of Last Laugh rogues trying to go legitimate. There is small group of rogues in the Duchy of Minar that are trying to set up a mercenary company using the insignia and name of the Last Laugh. They are led by a woman named Vivianne Kerrick; she doesn't refer to herself as a Jester. These rogues, scouts, and bards seem to have left behind the viciousness of the Last Laugh guilds of the Thunder Lands. So far, they have managed to coexist peacefully with the Eyes of Hande and Tiger Guild. (The fact that these Last Laugh rogues seem determined to operate out in the open as a mercenary company has helped.)

The worst of the Last Laugh can now be found in the Fallen Domain of Anoria. Despite the iron-fisted rule of the Infernals of the Diabolic Enclaves, Anoria is still a city with its own criminal element. The Last Laugh Thieves Guild has existed in Anoria almost as long as it has existed in Cauldron. There use to be several Jesters controlling the activities of the guild in Anoria but now there is only one. Aryira Oliverio is a mean-spirited woman with a lust for vengeance and evil. She is the sister of one of the most famous commanders of Flamerule, Tarsus Oliverio (LE male Ervenik human Ftr18), who now oversees much of the day-to-day activities of Anoria's government. Publicly, the two are enemies but the truth is that the two of them work together to control every aspect of Anorian society.

The Last Laugh can be found in every major city and city-state in the Thunder Lands but each individual guild rarely works willingly with other Last Laugh guilds. The group has become so decentralized that no one person could hope to unite all the guilds into one massive thieves' guild. Many have tried, but they have all failed. The Last Laugh seems to be built around gaining power for oneself, first, and everyone else in the guild, second. There are exceptions, however. The Last Laugh rogues in Cirrus follow the leadership of a Jester named Wyrmarnare. No one in the guild has any idea who the mysterious Jester is, but it is believed that he is nearly a hundred-years-old and cannot be killed.

If they learned the truth, that “Wyrmarnare” is only a name used by the Council of Jesters to control the guild, then the guild in Cirrus would likely fall apart. It was decided ages ago that the underworld life in Cirrus is so complex and divided that no one person should hold absolute power in the guild. However, it has to appear that way to the lower-level members of the guild or the various factions within the guild would go to war on the streets and sky-ways of the city-state. The power of the name has kept the peace in the Cirrus guild for almost forty years and the high-ranking members of the Last Laugh in the city-state prefer to keep it that way.

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Knightfall

World of Kulan DM

The Opposition

Source: Homebrewed
Origin: Unknown
Symbol: A black ring surrounded by burning yellow flames on a blood red field.
Leader: The Opposition's commander is a man simply known as The Father (LE male human*, fighter 10/marshal 10) and he has several overlords that control certain aspects of the group. *The Father’s ethnicity is unknown but most that have seen him and lived say his complexion is pale.
Overlords: Elyiniia the Foulsoul (CE female elf, necromancer 10/sorcerer 10), Horz'bak (NE male gnoll, rogue 10/assassin 5), Krill the Blackened (LE male Ruelian human, ex-paladin 6/blackguard 7), Retan (LE male half-fiend hill dwarf, fighter 7/cleric of Nether 7), and The Crane (LN male Meai human, monk 6/ranger 6).
Notable Members: Unknown.

Purpose

The Opposition is an evil organization of adventurers and nobles that wish to dominate all of the Lands of Harqual. The organization uses any means to achieve their goals from blackmail to murder. They often use their peers, clandestinely, without their knowledge to advance the organization’s goals. This organization thrives on fear and mystery and protects it secrets vigorously.

Notable Activities

The Overlords of the Opposition organizes their membership similar to an adventuring group crossed with a thieves’ guild. It's most notable members are those who are part of the subgroups known as the Father’s Legion and the Blood Dawn. These two groups are the elite soldiers of the Opposition, but they rarely organize themselves into standing armies. They are more like strike forces of unique adventurers and mercenaries who act against enemies of the Opposition only when the overlords order them to. The Father’s Legion takes their orders from the half-fiend dwarf known as Retan. The Blood Dawn takes their orders from a secretive man known as The Crane.

Two other subgroups that aren't as well known throughout the Lands of Harqual are the Black Storm and Vespin’s Hand. The Black Storm are pirates and cutthroats that have been specially trained to attack and destroy ships, both naval and aerial. They work towards dominating the seas and skies for their Opposition Overlord, a cruel, fallen paladin, Krill the Blackened. Vespin’s Hand is the Opposition's own unique assassin's guild; this clandestine organization is greatly feared by those that have heard of it. Vespin’s Hand is controlled by the Opposition Overlord known as Horz'bak, a vicious gnoll assassin.

There are many other subgroups dedicated to the Opposition but most of these are so secretive that nothing has ever been uncovered about them. One of the more infamous overlords is an ancient, elven necromancer known as Elyiniia the Foulsoul. She is believed to have been born a gray elf but now she changes bodies so often that a person who meets her cannot recognize the arcanist from one week to the next. It is believed that she is the Overlord of Magic for the Opposition but this has never been verified.

Campaign Notes

Because the Opposition takes interest in so many activities and its members prefer, for the most part, to remain hidden, tracking the organizations movements is an impossible task. One of the few things that is known about the Opposition is that they rarely employ dwarves and the group often preys on dwarven communities. In 550 N.C., the Opposition were responsible for the destruction of the City of Highstone, which was located in the Greystone Mountains. This event caused great hardship in the Kingdom of the Greystones for a long time, and even now, the dwarven kingdom still suffers under the effects of displaced dwarven clans.

In more recent years, the Opposition has attempted to undermine the civilizations of dwarves throughout the Lands of Harqual. They have tried to sow corruption into the Dwarven Hold of Kul Moren, and they have worked towards undermining the Torin communities of the Far South. When it comes to opposing the expansion of dwarves, they are very overt. While they aren't as brutal towards gnomish communities, they have been known to attack gnomes and their allies on sight.

The Opposition also takes a great interest in any wars that are currently being waged on Harqual. They rarely take sides in such conflicts, but they will provide mercenaries to whoever will pay their price. The Overlords of the Opposition are all great lovers of war and strife. As a result, they have taken to working for various factions fighting in the Tabaxi War. The tabaxi do not trust them, so The Opposition never fights alongside the cat-men. However, members of the Father’s Legion have been seen helping the more despicable louts now infesting the Ruined Lands of Valora.

It is known that the Opposition are great supporters of King Varath Dragonguard of the Theocracy of Thallin. Many of the members of the Opposition (but not all of them) are followers of the Sword Gods. The theocracy has become a breeding ground for evil, which is the perfect environment for the Opposition to use to expand its operations in the Eastern Shores. Here, the Opposition works towards suppressing the Knights of the Honoured Few and the Tiger Guild — two groups that the evil organization wants to wipe out.

The Opposition also have strong ties to the Old Sword Imperium. However, they often come up against opposition from other evil groups in the Old Sword Lands unwilling to share power (such as the Blades of the Emperor and the Lords of Pestilence). On the Ragik Peninsula, choosing to worship the Sword Gods doesn't mean different organizations and religious cults are always allies. (The bloody pie is very large and no one likes to share.) The Opposition is known to operate primarily out of the lands of the Sword South. The City of Yulvanaa is where the Opposition has its strongest membership. However, they can also be found openly recruiting in such places as Miekka, Toraa Bagul, and the City-state of Vesi.

In the Far South, the Opposition doesn't have much power. The peoples of the southern lands rarely see eye-to-eye with the activities of this evil organization. Humans are considered uncommon in the south, and the rank-and-file of the Opposition's membership are humans. Note that this isn't a requirement, but the group has not endeared themselves to prospective members from southern peoples such as lightfoot halflings, the rakasta, and the t’skrang by lording over them. More often, the Opposition's membership in the Far South is made up of evil goblinoids, monstrous humanoids, and other people living on the fringe of society. The Opposition used to have a great deal of influence in the Thorn Republic on the Thenin Peninsula, but since the upheaval there, that brought the Light of Jalivier back to the region, the Opposition's influence has disappeared.

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Knightfall

World of Kulan DM

Striders of the Dawn

Source: Shackled City Adventure Path [Striders of Fharlanghn]
Origin: Thunder Lands
Symbol: The horizon at dawn.
DM's Note: This entry contains spoilers for the Shackled City Adventure Path!
Leaders: Alexandre Theobald (NE male Vindi human, scout 14); Cezar Threlfall (N male Valoran human, druid of the Daghdha 15); Darara Balderama (CN female Ruelian human, cleric of Sanh 14); Meerthan Eliothlorn (NG male half-elf, wizard 16); Shensen Tesseril (LN female half-elf, monk 3/bard 3/druid of the Daghdha 10)*.
*DM's Note: Since there aren't any native drow on my world, I changed Shensen’s racial origin to half-elf.
Notable Members: Fario Ellegoth (NG male half-elf, rogue 7/fighter 7); Fellian Shard (NG male half-elf, rogue 5/cleric of Brenna 9); Gavin Vasswind (LN male hairfoot halfling, rogue 2/wizard 7); Marta Stangassinger (NG female hill dwarf, sentinel 10); Pan Mirelic (NE male half-orc, bard 4/fighter 6); Riannon Jalovartio (CN female Kieli human, barbarian 6/sorcerer 6); Shadlor Zimmel (N male desert elf, cleric of Bast 5/ranger 5).

Purpose

The Striders of the Dawn is a loosely run organization of adventurers (and ex-adventurers) who watch the horizons for signs of great turmoil, and who strive to preserve the Tenets of the Balance throughout the Lands of Harqual.

Notable Activities

The Striders of the Dawn are always looking for that next crisis. The group seeks out troubles regardless of where it is happening. As an organization dedicated to the Tenets of the Balance, its idea of “trouble” doesn't always correlate with the goals of good organizations. Evil groups almost always work against the Striders, but there have been exceptions. The harsh neutrality of the Tenets don't always endear the Striders to governments or a kingdom’s citizens.

For example, the Striders oppose slavery as general rule, which makes the group unpopular in places like the Chara Cities. However, it also opposed to the clear-cutting of forests, which makes the group unpopular in places where forestry is part of a region’s economy (Stonn, for example). Usually, if something protects the sanctity of life (including non-humanoid life) then the Striders are for it. Some monsters fall into this category but only if they have a true ecological niche. So, a dragon that lives within the Balance is to be protected but a dragon that turns “rogue” is considered a threat to the Tenets. Creatures like aberrations and the undead are considered to be destroyers of the natural world, so they are always hunted and destroyed by the Striders.

Note that while the Striders tend towards protecting those that are goodhearted, the group will fight to protect peoples and creatures that live on the fringe of human society that are part of the natural world but don’t always ally with humans (like lizardfolk). The group rarely fights for the lives of evil creatures (or individuals), but when such beings are vital to balancing out good, the group will support them. This has caused conflict between the Striders and peoples such as elves and dwarves since the group has protected evil monstrous humanoids from being wiped out by them. (It’s rare, but it does happen.) These foes (sometimes) balance out elf and dwarf activities, which tend to be more accepted in civilized society.

Note that the Striders don’t hate civilization. Civilization has its place in the world, just not at the cost of the natural world. For example, the Striders have never agreed with the location of the City of Cauldron. Building a city in the bowl of a dormant volcano is not a good idea in the group’s opinion. However, the group won't work to destroy the city as the people who live there are relatively benign. Cauldronites are strong supporters of the natural world, and they work towards protecting the land around Cauldron — now, due to recent events, even more so than before.

The Striders, more often, oppose the construction of cities and towns without consideration to the people and creatures that might be living nearby. The City-state of Cirrus is such as city. It was built quickly, using magic, and is considered by many to be an eyesore on the edge of the Great Expanse. It is also filled with many immoral people who have no regard for the natural world or even their own neighbours. There are good people in Cirrus, but they are not the norm. Thus, the Striders would like Cirrus to disappear under the sands of the desert.

The Striders can also be found anywhere that one facet of alignment (or sometimes two) has gained too much strength. If a community or kingdom has become entrenched with evil (or good) or affected by rigid laws (or uncontrolled chaos), the group acts to return the region towards the Balance. Since many of the Striders are good-aligned, they are more likely to turn a blind-eye toward governments that are extremely benign. Good is almost always better than evil in the minds of most members of the Striders. (Views on law vs. chaos tend to divide evenly among them.)

Both the old Kingdom of Thallin and the Kingdom of Navirosov are two good examples of this. Thallin was always known as place where new ideas were welcome but always had a strong controlling centre to it government. Now, it has fallen into chaos and decadent evil in just a few years. Meanwhile, Navirosov has been strongly lawful and good for so long that the island kingdom is at risk of become dull, stagnant, and annoyingly priggish. Change must become a vital part of Navirosov’s political climate in order to protect its amazing civilization.

The most important thing to remember about the Striders of the Dawn is that the group is as diverse as the many sides of the Balance. Any character who is partially neutral and believes in the Balance could find a place for her or himself in the organization. While a character with an extreme alignment (LG, LE, CG, and CE) could find her or himself as a member of this group, they would have a hard time justifying the behaviours of some of their fellow Striders. Since the organization is made up mainly of adventurers and ex-adventurers it tends to have a lot of rollover. Striders come and Striders go but the organization outlasts all those who have tried to change it.

Campaign Notes

The members of the Striders of the Dawn are wanders (for the most part). They come and go as they please and one could argue that the group is highly chaotic (and unreliable). However, there are just as many lawful Striders as there are chaotic ones. The people of the Lands of Harqual simply hear more about the wild, unruly ones than they do about the law-abiding ones. The strider named Darara Balderama is a good example of the latter.

Born in the city-state of Halandra, Darara discovered at a young age that she was free spirit. The citizens of the city-state learned it too as she often ran around the streets naked. When she was still a child, her behaviour was seen as being naive and childish. However, after she blossomed into her womanhood and continued to behave the same way, it became too much for some of the more prudish citizens to bear. She soon was exiled from the city-state, which suited her just fine. She took up the faith of Sanh and let her wild spirits roar. She fell in with the Striders several years later and is considered one of the group’s greatest leaders. And yes, she still prefers to roam around naked.

Another famous strider is the half-elf wizard Meerthan Eliothlorn. He is famous for being an ally to the Order of the Silver Hand without overshadowing them. In fact, he is in semi-retirement in Cauldron City and is beginning to wonder if it might be time to pass his place of leadership to another. This other is the half-elf woman named Shensen Tesseril. She is quickly becoming a favourite ally of Lord Mayor Hezekiah Grofus and is beloved by the populace of Cauldron. She is already a leader in her own right, but her place among the upper echelon of the Striders would be assured if Meerthan endorsed her.

Every member of the Striders has a story to tell and a goal in life. Whether it be to bring down the Mad One of Thallin or to reform the political structure of Navirosov. However, the Striders of the Dawn is at its best when the group works together and forms alliance with others. The Cagewright Crisis in Cauldron was one of these events and the ongoing tabaxi attacks is becoming another. The Striders hate slavers, and the tabaxi are becoming the worst slavers on the continent. The Striders are working diligently to bring down as many of the cat-men as possible, but they'd prefer to change the tabaxi from within, if possible. Its a tough idea to put into the minds of the tabaxi, as well as those the cat-men have been enslaving.

The whole Storm Peninsula is a hotbed of turmoil to the Striders. There aren't any bans on the cutting down of the trees of the Storm Jungle, tabaxi are hunted as animals by the ignorant and ruthless, and the tabaxi don't help matters by being egotistical marauders out for blood and vengeance after being banished from the world. The Striders have learned that not all tabaxi are evil and many of them wish to live in peace with their humanoid neighbours. The Striders believe that it isn’t fair to judge an entire people on the anger and frustration of its oldest citizens. Yes, the strongest tabaxi deity is a vicious entity but not all tabaxi believe in the Doctrines of Tu.

If there is one place where the Striders believe that evil must be put down, it is on the Ragik Peninsula. The Old Sword Lands have remained oppressive since the time of the Empire of Swords. In places like Kingdom of Ahamudia (brought to Kulan during The Transformation) and the reformed Sword Protectorate there is a new hope blossoming. However, the rest of the peninsula remains a dark place full of evil of every sort. Dark, twisted creatures roam the lands and only those with power are safe (and only some of the time). Evil undead and werebeasts are commonplace throughout the region.

Only the stalwart courage of the Northlanders, dwarves of the Greystone Mountains, elves of the Great Forest, and the druid enclaves of the Hallowed Lands keeps the worst of the peninsula’s evil at bay. Many a strider, near the end of her or his life, has travelled to the Old Sword Lands to cleanse as much darkness from the region as possible before dying a bloody death.

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Knightfall

World of Kulan DM
Tiger Guild
Source:
Homebrewed
Origin: Kingdom of Thallin (before it became a theocracy)
Symbol: A roaring white tiger's head on a black field.
Leaders: Guildmaster Carl Tigerstorm (NG male Maviun human, fighter 10/rogue 10); Crystal Tigerstorm (NG female Maviun human, wizard 16).
Notable Members: Dabuk Tigerstorm (CN male half-elf, ranger of Rillifane 9/urban ranger 7) [part-time member]; Kenneth "Wheezy" Rosser (NG male Minari human, rogue 4/wizard 6); Lyle Outlawe (N male Vindi human, rogue 6/ranger 6); Mesik Tindertwig (LN male fate-touched hairfoot halfling, rogue 7/cleric of Hades 7) [part-time member]; Minx (CG female Qualitian human, rogue 14); Snyder Tolle (LN male Denilan human, rogue 10).

Purpose

The Tiger Guild is a spy network dedicated to protecting the stability of the lands of the Eastern Shores. The guild originally was located in the City of Fruen in the old Kingdom of Thallin, but after King Varath outlawed the guild its leader, Carl Tigerstorm, moved the guild’s headquarters to the City of Tian in the Duchy of Minar. The guild still has a presence in Thallin but it is even more clandestine than it use to be. The guild played a major part in the protection of Tian during the Bugbear War that ravaged through Minar, and it still works to protect its adopted city’s citizens, as well as the rest of the duchy.

Notable Activities

The Tiger Guild is known for its sly members and worthy goals. The guild is more concerned with the protection of the people and the noble of heart than it is with the protection of the wealthy and the powerful. Its members often skirt the edge of law to achieve their goals; they'll even break the law if it benefits society as a whole. Thus, most who oppose the activities of the guild see it as nothing more than a thieves’ guild with slightly higher morals, which is closer to the truth than the guild’s leader, Carl Tigerstorm, likes to acknowledge.

The Tiger Guild once held a considerable place of power in the old Kingdom of Thallin as the previous king, Travathian Dragonguard, relied heavily on Carl Tigerstorm to watch over the people and borders of the kingdom. (Carl and the king were steadfast friends.) The guild never acted against the Dragonguards, which ultimately led to King Travathian’s downfall. Carl knew that his old friend’s son was a horrid man but not even he new the depravity in Varath’s soul. Nor did he know that Varath had corrupted Carl’s closest advisor, a man named Tallos, who now serves the new king.

This betrayal has made the Tiger Guild’s membership even more distrustful than normal, which has impeded the guild’s ability to recover. Now located in the City of Tian, the guild works to overthrow King Varath’s evil reign. Tiger Guilders work clandestinely to support the Thallinite Resistance, and the guildmaster’s own granddaughter, Crystal Tigerstorm, is still in Thallin leading the way against the Fury of the Dragon and the evil humanoids that the king has recruited. She and her followers smuggle out goodhearted people who wish to relocate beyond the reach of the Fury of the Dragon.

In Tian, the Tiger Guild has found a new home. They have been accepted by the citizenry and by the Duke of Minar, Jace Brookwater, although he doesn't rely on the guild for the duchy’s protection or the welfare of its citizens. Yet, the Tiger Guild does in Minar what it did in Thallin just not with the official support of Duke Jace. After what happened in Thallin, the guildmaster decided it was in the guild’s best interest to remain more autonomous in future dealings with external ‘clients’. The guild’s influence in Tian cannot be underestimated, however. Its members protects the people and integrity of its new home without hesitation or remorse.

In the past, the Tiger Guild has ignored regions and events beyond the Eastern Shores (except when Carl was specifically asked to look into something by Travathian), but now it looks towards the Thunder Lands and north of the Wind Cities for anything that would threaten the lands of the Eastern Shores. Of course, getting accurate information from beyond Thallin’s northern border is harder now that the theocracy’s borders are closed to those that King Varath considers seditious or subhuman. Still, Carl Tigerstrom is a resourceful man who is believed to have contacts throughout the Eastern Shores and beyond.

Campaign Notes

The Tiger Guild’s purpose is a bit of an open secret. While it’s primarily a spy guild, almost everyone in the Eastern Shores knows this fact. It is the fact that the guild’s ideals have always been honourable, which has endeared it to the peoples of the Eastern Shores. Yet, it isn't the common man’s guild. The guild is based on a military order originally created during the Second Ogre War by its guildmaster, Travathian Dragonguard, and Jacard Winternight (a renown knight who now rules the Kingdom of Navirosov). During that time period, The Tigers, as they were called, were a special unit of soldiers designed to spy on and fight the enemies arrayed against the allied lands of the Eastern Shores.

The Tiger Guild, now, operates openly in the City of Tian and much of the Duchy of Minar. Its military background helped save the land and its people when the bugbears of the Sunus Mountains attacked the duchy. Those evil armies believed that they would run roughshod over the citizens of Minar without any real resistance. This was a perilous mistake that decimated the bugbears and their gnoll allies. Duke Jace knows that his country would have fallen without the help of the Tiger Guild, yet the guild remains separate from the military structure of the duchy. Duke Jace pays for the guild’s services as if he was paying for the fealty of a group of mercenaries. It’s simply that he get more for his gold lakes than he would for actual mercenaries.

The guild also operates openly in such lands as the Barony of Wolffire, Domain of the Arcane Alliance, the Highlands, the Qualitian Protectorate, and the Wind Cities. However, the guild isn't welcome everywhere. Of course, Tiger Guilders are now hunted in the Theocracy of Thallin, and they have never been welcome anywhere throughout the lands of the Jagged Peninsula. Also, despite a past friendship between the guildmaster and High King Jacard Winternight, the guild is no longer welcome in the Kingdom of Navirosov or in the Honoured Islands of the Light. (It is rumoured that King Winternight has his own group of loyal ex-Tigers who protect only the Kingdom of Navirosov.)

Tiger Guilders are famous for showing up where you least expect them. This includes current members as well as those that never quite made it within the guild. The most famous of these is the guildmaster’s own grandson, Dabuk Tigerstorm. He and his fellow companions have been closely tied to the guild from time to time, but he and the halfling cleric-rogue Mesik Tindertwig are the only ones in their social circle that are official members of the Tiger Guild. Dabuk is famous for his hatred of ogres, and his need for vengeance on those that cross him or his family.

An ex-member of the guild learned this the hard way during the Bugbear War. Jacob Diamondeye was an assassin that tried to poison Dabuk’s grandfather. The young half-elf tracked and killed the assassin. No one every found the man’s body.

Another famous Tiger Guilder is the roguish woman named Minx. Born on the streets of Fruen, Minx was granted a special exemption from the initiation fee required by the guild. Guildmaster Tigerstorm saw something in her that others missed, and he felt that she deserved a chance to prove herself. Once she graduated from the training program she quickly became one the guilds most renown members. She is considered a hero in the Wind Cities, and she continues to operate out of that region. As a former citizen of Fruen she sees it as her duty to fight against King Varath’s tyranny, so she often supports the Thallinite Resistance and not just clandestinely. This makes her a very controversial member of the guild.

As noted above, the Crystal Tigerstorm continues to live and operate guild activities in the Theocracy of Thallin. It is her responsibility to capture Tallos, escort him from the theocracy, and bring him before her grandfather to be judged for treason against the Tiger Guild. This task is proving to be quite difficult as Tallos is a high-level member of the Fury of the Dragon and not easily reachable. Every attempt to capture him has failed. Also, another ex-member of the guild, Bella del Hall, is now a member of Nether’s Deathtide. Rejected from the guild at an early age, Bella took the disgrace very personally and vowed vengeance. However, the guild doesn’t consider her a traitor to the guild since she was never a full-member. Regardless, Crystal has marked her for judgment.

Crystal has a great deal of help in Thallin from other famous members of the Tiger Guild. The most notable of these is the rogue/ranger known as Lyle Outlawe. Lyle was once a trainee in the guild alongside Dabuk. Now he watches the Silver Witch’s back almost everywhere she goes. They have become good friends, and the young man is one of the few people that Crystal trusts. Lyle is smitten with Crystal, but he knows better than to mix business with pleasure. Lyle took Bella’s betrayal of the Thallinite citizenry very personally, since she was also a trainee alongside him and Dabuk. (Minx was part of that group too.) He has made it his personal goal to “gut her like a fish on the docks” as he likes to phrase it.

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Knightfall

World of Kulan DM

Yosyntya (Dark Reborn)

Source: Homebrewed
Origin: Lands of the Miekka
Symbol: A ring of blood-red swords embedded in the ground around a large central blackened sword on a field of red and black.
Leaders: Caleb Oxenbrigg (NE male Ervenik human, ex-cleric of Vespin 10/disaffected 10*); Kaarlo Østerdal (LE male Meai human, fighter 14); Lazzaro Canis (CE male unholy scion, cleric of Angrboda 16); Raphael Korsten (LE male dragontouched, marshal 18); Theophilus Fen Arthin (CN male hairfoot halfling, cleric of the Dark Reborn 14).
*See pg. 30–31 of the d20 sourcebook Requiem for a God for details on this prestige class.
Notable Members: Andras Ytterdal (NE female half-gnoll*, elementalist 8); Buccanelos Smaniotto (CE male half-orc, sorcerer 11); Jukka Aasen (CE male half-ogre, rogue 6/anti-paladin 6); Meggan Thuresby (NE female fire jovian*, crusader 9); Usha Gascoigne (NE female Ervenik human, fighter 10).
*A racial origin from the d20 sourcebook Bastards & Bloodlines: A Guidebook to Half-Breeds.

Purpose

The goals of the Yosyntya are to resurrect the fallen Dark Children and to free Hiisi from captivity in Carceri. The Yosyntya work towards the first goal, before all others; work towards freeing the Lord of Darkness, second; and work towards anything else of interest, third.

Notable Activities

The roots of the Yosyntya are firmly attached to the Old Sword Lands of the Ragik Peninsula. Its traditional name comes from the language of the deities of the Finns of which Hiisi is still a member even in his banished state. In the Old Sword Lands, the Yosyntya works tirelessly to protect the unholy places of the Dark Children from those who would reconsecrate them to other dark gods (or destroy them). Mussin (as the current leader of the Sword Gods) and his followers wish to wipe away the remnants of Angrboda and Hiisi’s brood. This clash of religious doctrine has lead to a bloody feud between the Yosyntya and the followers of the remaining Sword Gods.

Note, however, that the Yosyntya, or the Dark Reborn as it is called beyond the Ragik Peninsula, isn’t considered a religious cult even though many of its members are followers of the teachings of Angrboda, Hiisi, and the Dark Children. It is more like an esoteric knighthood made up of the aimless, the disenchanted, and the roughshod of Harqual’s society. An individual cell of the Dark Reborn works toward restoring a particular Dark Child to godhood, and the cell is usually led by corrupt rogues, disenchanted priests, or unholy knights.

The Dark Reborn believes that if they can free Hiisi from Carceri, the Lord of Darkness will be able to restore the Dark Children to the world or spawn new Dark Children to take the place of the Fallen Ones. The latter is more likely and most of the Dark Reborn would accept new Dark Children to worship. There is some friction in the group’s ranks regarding this idea, and the Dark Reborn is often split between the more orthodox view of restoring the fallen Dark Children and the heretical idea of Hiisi spawning new Dark Children.

The members of Dark Reborn do not operate within a vacuum of their own zealousness, however. They realize that other organizations work towards the same goals or similar ones. The best example of this is the Black Cult of Hiisi, which wishes to free Hiisi from Carceri. While that is the cult’s primary goal they have been known to work with the Dark Reborn to accomplish other goals. However, the Black Cult has no interest in restoring the Dark Children to divinity, and its members would never presume to preach the idea that Hiisi will spawn new Dark Children to replace the Fallen Ones.

This very specific ideology keeps the Black Cult and the Dark Reborn from working more closely together. It also separates the Dark Reborn from the activities of the Cagewrights. The members of the Dark Reborn despise the Cagewrights and will not work with them unless the priests of the Black Cult insist that the three groups work together. However, the Black Cult rarely can influence the members of the Dark Reborn enough to accept the presence of Cagewrights. The Dark Reborn consider freeing anything else from Carceri, including exiled demon lords, to be counterproductive to their cause.

Campaign Notes

The Yosyntya has taken it upon itself to try to free the lands of the Kingdom of Ahamudia from the interlopers that illegally settled there after The Transformation. At least, that's how they see it. Since the Transformation the Kingdom of Ahamudia has become a driving force throughout the southern half of the Ragik Peninsula. The Ahamudians have allied themselves with the peoples of the Goldensoul Monarchy and the Mines of Morhan. They have also actively opposed the aggressive behaviours of the citizens of the Soreney Domain and the brigands of Toraa Bagul. The Ahamudians have even kept the armies of the Sword South at bay.

The Yosyntya consider the Ahamudians to be little better than dogs to be forced into submission. Many of the group’s members have become “freedom fighters” on the northern side of the Rilous Mountains. They attack Ahamudians and their allies without hesitation or mercy. This protracted guerrilla war has been going on since the end of the Ahamudian War. The end result of that war enrages the leaders of the Yosyntya. The most militant of these leaders is an ex-solider named Kaarlo Østerdal. He has personally lead dozens of missions against the citizens and soldiery of Ahamudia. He and his squad rarely take prisoners; they prefer to butcher everyone before fleeing back into the lands of Toraa Bagul.

The Yosyntya have an extreme hatred for the dwarves and gnomes of the Domain of Bitran. The organization works towards destroying these peoples who have defiled the sacred lands of the Dark Children and the Lord of Darkness. The group’s members have heard of the jackal-headed humanoids of Hutaalar, but they have yet to find a way past the hutaakans considerable magical defences. Their unique god, Vaflar, protects them from the assaults of the Dark Reborn. This has frustrated the Yosyntya to no end. The group’s leaders are worried that they are losing ground to too many foes all at once. It is only a matter of time until they become even more militant.

Another place on the Ragik Peninsula where the Yosyntya are commonplace is the region known as the Land of the Miekka. This area is sacred to the worship of the Sword Gods and the Dark Children. Miekka, also known as the Lands of the Ziggurats, is a matriarchal autocracy with strong ties to the worship of Angrboda and her brood. It is in Miekka that the Yosyntya first came into existence, to protect the unholy lands of the Fallen Ones, shortly after the end of the Divinity War. Since Mussin’s takeover of the Sword Gods, his priests have begun to systematically destroy all remnants of Hiisi’s power-base and the legacy of his Dark Children. The Yosyntya rose up to face this coup and have never stopped fighting. It is a strange thing to behold evil battling evil on the brutal stage that is Miekka.

The Yosyntya also fights to undo the changes currently happening in the Sword Protectorate. The Ahamudian War, as short as it was, ended in the capital city of old heart of the Empire of Swords, and it ended with the death of the last Sword Emperor. Now the capital city has been given a new name, Vapaa, and the region is controlled by new military force controlled by the combined forces of the Eight Cities Alliance. This alliance is a farce in the minds of the leaders of the Yosyntya; its member cities have no right to undo the traditions of darkness and evil that have sustained the Old Sword Lands for over a thousand years.

The Yosyntya is rarely encountered throughout the rest of the Lands of Harqual and those that have had run-ins with its members know them only as the Dark Reborn. Beyond the Ragik Peninsula, the members of the Dark Reborn never use the group’s traditional name. It’s not a secret, but it is considered unwise to announce that name to the rest of the continent. The Dark Reborn are strongest throughout the western lands including the Eversinki Suzerainty, Jovian Alliance, Kingdom of Izmer, and the Principality of Shaule, as well as the entire Storm Peninsula. The group has become a problem along the Chara Coast as well. Its members are rarely encountered south of those lands or anywhere east of the Principality of Pretensa in the Thunder Lands.

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