Expert DM Competition 28: Muster a Constabulary!

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XDMC 28: Muster a Constabulary!
Welcome to the twenty-eighth Expert Dungeon Master Competition! The primary purpose of the Expert Dungeon Master Competitions is threefold:

  • To create a resource for new Dungeon Masters drawing on the vast talent pool of the experienced Dungeon Masters of this forum.

  • To create a fun and vibrant competition that is sportsmanlike and friendly.

  • To showcase the creativity and talent of Dungeon Masters like you.


The best way to keep informed about the competition is to join the Expert Dungeon Master Competition group. There you can review the rules, archives, and future contest ideas, and get broadcasts telling you when new competitions begin and when results are released!

The topic for this competition is Constabulary. Player characters often work outside the law, but are also generally trying to uphold the law. This can place them into a strained, yet dramatic and often entertaining, relationship with the local government. You must design a constabulary that is charged with enforcing the law in a population center who will interact with the player characters in entertaining and memorable fashions.

Required Elements


In order to enter this competition, your entry must fulfill the following required elements:

  • Name: Name your entry.

  • Constablewick: Describe the area in which the constablulary has jurisdiction.

  • Leadership: Describe the individuals in charge of the constabulary. You may, but need not, include stat blocks for these individuals.

  • Roster: Describe the composition and organization of the constabulary. You may, but need not, include stat blocks for these individuals.

  • Friend and Foe: Describe at least one encounter in which the constabulary might support the player characters and at least one encounter in which the constabulary may oppose the player characters.


Optional Elements


Your story must include at least three of the following optional elements:

  1. Bigoted: The constabulary either favors or disfavors one specific faith, race or culture.

  2. Disreputable: The constabulary has a poor reputation in the constablewick, whether deserved or undeserved.

  3. Elite: The constabulary acts only when the constablewick needs its specialized expertise.

  4. Inhuman: No member of the constabulary is humanoid.

  5. Insubordinate: The constabulary directly or indirectly supports an agenda opposed by the entity it ostensibly serves.

  6. Military: The constabulary also serves as the constablewick's military.

  7. Nongovernmental: The constabulary does not work for the government, but rather (i) for coin, (ii) for a guild, (iii) for a church, and/or (iv) as a vigilante organization.

  8. Police State: The constabulary controls the entity it ostensibly serves.

  9. Rural: At least one of the encounters does not occur in an urban setting.

  10. Secret Police: The entity the constabulary ostensibly serves does not officially sanction or recognize it.

  11. Voluntary: Those members of the constabulary who are not in leadership positions receive no remuneration for their participation.

List the optional elements you intend to include. If you do not, the judges will credit you only for the optional elements they happen to notice.

General Rules


Following are some general rules of the Expert DM Competition. The complete list of rules is in the Expert Dungeon Master Competition Group Wiki.


  • Code of Conduct. All entries must comply with the forum's Code of Conduct.

  • Contest Duration. Contests usually run for two weeks, beginning with the post announcing the competition. The Coordinator may extend the duration of the contest at his discretion after consulting the other judges for that competition. However, such extensions should be done very rarely.

  • Edits Made at Entrants' Own Risk. A judge may download your entry any time after it is submitted. So any edits you make might not be considered by a judge. For this reason, you should submit your entry in as complete a form as possible. Use the preview function liberally. Once winners have been announced, entrants may edit their entries.

  • Images Allowed. If you want to use an image in your entry, you must first post it to your profile gallery.

  • Multiple Entries Prohibited. Each applicant may only submit one entry during the period in which entries may be submitted. Submitting multiple entries disqualifies all entries. Additional entries may be submitted after the competition closes, but they will not be judged.

  • Multi-Post Entries Prohibited. Each entry must be contained within a single post. The judges must ignore any subsequent posts.

  • Outside Links Prohibited. Entries may not include material hosted on a website other than the post on which the entry appears.

  • Plagiarism and Peer Reviewing Prohibited. All entries must be the original, exclusive work of the applicant. Entries found to be copying the work of another, or that have been posted for review prior to the close of the competition, will be disqualified.


Judges and Schedule


The contest will run from today through Friday, June 10, 2011. All entries must be submitted no later than 12:00 midnight at the end of that day (Eastern Standard Time). The judges of this contest are ClanBattlerage, Fuka, and RogerC, and the coordinator of this contest is wrecan. Good luck and have fun!!
Questions and Answers

(questions posed by potential entrants and the coordinator's response)



Q.  For purposes of the "Bigoted" optional element, must every member of the constabulary be bigoted?

A. The organization must have a policy, rule, or culture of intolerance or favoritism (whether it be written or unwritten).  Individuals who act more evenhandedly should understand they are breaking a written or unwritten code of the constabulary, and should be regarded by the rest of the organization as doing something wrong.


Q.  For purposes of the "Bigoted" optional element, can the constabulary merely be perceived as being bigoted, when it is actually acting in a way that is not bigoted?

A. No. To meet this optional element, the constabulary must actually favor or disfavor one specific faith, race or culture, and not merely appear to favor one specific faith, race or culture.


Q. For purposes of the "Secret Police" optional element, what is the "secret"?

A. The relationship between the constabulary and the entity it serves must not be common knowledge to the people who live in the constablewick.


Q. For purposes of the "Nongovernmental", "Police State" and "Secret Police" optional elements, what is the "entity it ostensibly serves" if the constabulary is a vigilante organization?

A. A vigilante constabulary serves no entity and therefore cannot also meet the police state and secret police optional elements.


Q. For purposes of the "Nongovernmental", "Police State" and "Secret Police" optional elements, what is the "entity it ostensibly serves" if the constabulary works for coin?

A. A private constabulary (one that works for coin) serves its clientele for purposes of the police state and secret police optional elements.
Entry List

  1. Nyarlathotep's Glass Dagger Society

  2. quid.tu.facis' Lich King's Guards

  3. Fedosu's Warders of Baurgs

  4. BugMinion's Hemet and Memet

Supplemental Entries:

Medalists and Scores
We are pleased to announce the winners of Expert Dungeon Master Competition 28!

The bronze medal goes to...

BugMinion
for
Hemen and Memet!


The silver medal goes to...

Nyarlathotep
for
Glass Dagger Society!!


and the gold medal goes to...

Fedosu
for
Warders of Baurgs!!!
This means Fedosu is our newest Heroic Dungeon Master and our newest eligible judge!Congratulations  to all of the medalists for some great entries and thanks to all who participated in this competition, but especially to our judges, ClanBattlerage, Fuka, and RogerC!

Stay tuned while we plan Expert Dungeon Master Competition 29.  In the meantime, enjoy these carefully tabulated scores:





















































No.CreativityUsabilityThemesClarityBonusTotalEntant's Entry
113 1/31398 1/343 2/3Nyarlathotep's Glass Dagger Society
212 1/36 2/36 1/35 2/331quid.tu.facis' Lich King's Guards
313 1/312 2/3109146Fedosu's Warders of Baurgs
411 2/310 2/398 1/339 2/3BugMinion's Hemet and Memet


Regarding optional element 10...

Secret Police: The entity the constabulary ostensibly serves does not officially sanction or recognize it.



I think this is a case of the name of the optional element clouding our interpretation of it, but... is the intent that:

the existence of the constabulary itself is secret?
the relationship between the constabulary and the entities within the constablewick are secret?
any scenario where the constabulary proclaims itself the constabulary without the consent of the entities within the constablewick?

 
If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one. Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.
Regarding optional element 10...

Secret Police: The entity the constabulary ostensibly serves does not officially sanction or recognize it.



I think this is a case of the name of the optional element clouding our interpretation of it, but... is the intent that:

the existence of the constabulary itself is secret?
the relationship between the constabulary and the entities within the constablewick are secret?
any scenario where the constabulary proclaims itself the constabulary without the consent of the entities within the constablewick?

 


The second one: the relationship between the constabulary and the entity it serves is not public knowledge.

This is a constabulary I've used in my current campaign.  I figure it could make a good sample entry.  Please note that I only go into as much detail about the city as I do because it's so alien to the standard village.


Sample Entry
The Sphinxes of the Secret City

Introduction


Deep in a secluded mountain in the natural world, no so deep as to enter the Underdark, not so shallow as to be seen by prying eyes, is a city.  The city is virtually unknown, except in rumor.  It exists as a refuge for any unnatural creature that seeks to escape from the wars between divine and primordial, demon and devil, fey and fomor, aberration and nature, and wars among the shadows.  It is called a "Secret City", protected by complex ancient rituals and as long as the gods, primordials, demon lords, archfiends, aberrant entities, dark lords, archifey, fomorian kings, and great primal spirits are unaware of its existence, that secret is safe.

The responsibility for keeping this secret falls on the enigmatic sphinxes of the city, for they founded it before even the Dawn War, they maintain its protective rituals, and they must maintain its secrets.

Constablewick: The Secret City


The Secret City is a large metropolis in scale, because most of its residents are Huge or Gargantuan in size.  Its residents are renegade angels, aberrations, immortals, demons, devils, elementals, fey, and shadow creatures.  Since many of the residents do not require sustenance, sleep, or shelter, the layout of the Secret City is unique, with few shops.  Rather, most residences have large parlors for meeting, fantastic libraries and curios, and towers of study.  The most common shops purvey rare ritual components, and tomes of ancient and forgotten and forbidden lore.

The City is divided into eight sectors, named after the dominant style of creature.  Six of the sectors are set on the land, one cuts throughout the city, and one is established in carved caverns in the great domed ceiling of the city.  The Quarterhell houses the devils.  The Furnace sits clockwise to it, and is the dwelling place of elementals.  The Tumults house the city's aberrations.  The angels and other celestial immortals live in the ironically named Utopia.  The fey live in the Gardens, which houses most of the city's subterranean parks, and the Umbrage sits beside it as a pale imitation, housing the city's shadow residents.  The demons live in the Gorge, a massive chasm that cuts across much of the city, including up its walls and into the ceiling.  The sphinxes themselves dwell in the caverns city's roof, in a place known as the Aurora.

The City is governed by a council with representatives of each of the nine sectors of the city.  This is a rotating position, with one seat becoming vacant each decade.  Each sector may decide how to select its representative.  The sphinxes' representative does not get a vote, unless for some reason there is a tie.  The council supervises the city.  If violence breaks out within a sector, it is expected that the sector's leadership will handle it.  If violence breaks out across sectors, it is expected that all the uninvolved sectors will swiftly ut an end to it.  If they don't the sphinxes will, and they will do it with brutality and finality.  The council has no say over the actions of the Sphinxes. 

The sphinxes serve to enforce the city's secret and to keep the peace when the council is unwilling or unable to do it.  They are aided by a specific ritual (called the Sphinx' Riddlement) that the city's founders devised millennia ago.  Any individual who wishes the safety and anonymity of the Secret City must voluntarily undergo the ritual.  The ritual makes it impossible for a creature to reveal the location of the Secret City.  Any attempts to do so, whether through writing, speech or telepathy, are rendered unintelligble gibberish, untranslatable even by other magics.  Moreover, the ritual grants the sphinxes a measure of hold over the residents.  Any sphinx can, with a standard action, banish a resident who is adjacent to the sphinx and is not of natural origin.  The resident is immediately shunted to their plane of origin, and will be unable to recall the location of the Secret City.  If a banished resident somehow returns, the sphinxes become immediately aware of the exile's presence.

The city's primary defense is its secrecy.  However, ocassionally, uninvited entities will find the city.  The sphinxes are charged with defending the city by vanquishing all such interlopers and either slaying them, ritually imprisoning them, or naturalizing them with the Sphinx' Riddlement. 

Note the Secret City works best for Paragon or low Epic adventures.

Leadership


The sphinxes seem to act in one accord and there is no obvious hierarchy amongst them.  Informally, the sphinx who then sits on the ruling council will settle disputes amongst the sphinxes if there is one, but this is rare.

Roster: Only Sphinxes Need Apply


Only sphinxes enforce the city's secret, or those ocassionally retained to aid the sphinxes.  You can use the sphinxes int he Monster Manual or Monster Manual 2.  Often, I will modify them to make them a bit more higher level.  The sphinxes have access to most rituals, and will use them to their benefit.  Most packs of sphinxes who appear to enforce the City's secrets will have been subject to a telepathic bond ritual, at least.

Friend and Foe


Because the Secret City is so ancient, there are many reasons adventurers may discover it and come into contact with the Sphinxes of the City.

Foe: A resident of the city has stolen an ancient artifact.  The party is able to track the thief to the Secret City.  When it is discovered that mortals have found the city, a hue and cry is mounted.  The party is then chased through the massive city streets as residents hide in fear of the dread sphinxes.  The party must steal back the artifact, and escape without being caught by the Sphinxes.  If they are caught, the Sphinxes will allow them to keep their artifact, but only if they agree to be bound by the Sphinx' Riddlement, thus preserving their secret.  Otherwise, the players will be subject to a different ritual: Imprisonment

Friend: The sphinxes discover that there is a plot afoot to destroy one of the sectors in the city, beginnign a holy war, but they cannot determine which one, or the identity of the plotters.  The players have a reputation for honor and justice, so the sphinxes clandestinely seek them out.  If the party first agree to the Sphinx' Riddlement (if they haven't already been subjected to it), they will be given permission to enter the city and must investigate this plot and unravel it.  If they can find evidence of the conspiracy and the identities of those seeking to upset the delicate balance in the city, the players will be handsomely rewarded, and the ringleaders banished.

Optional Elements:
Inhuman: The constabulary is made entirely of sphinxes.
Military: The constabulary also serves as the sphinxes' military, though this is rarely needed.
Non-Governmental: The constabulary does not serve the council.  It is, in that sense, a vigilante organization, though nobody dares oppose it.
Voluntary: The sphinxes have no obligation to serve -- they do so out of loyalty to the city, and not for any tangible reward.
I'd like to point out that I think Batman meets all the required elements and at least three optional elements.



na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na Bat-Man!



Now I want to make a supplemental entry that's just Batman.  >.>
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
I'd like to point out that I think Batman meets all the required elements and at least three optional elements.


Sure.  He's a one-man constabulary.  I see nothing wrong with that. 
Yay! This will be fun.  Go law enforcement.  
I live and work in Japan, near Mt. Fuji, teaching English to High Schoolers. In my spare time I also happen to be a husband, a father, and an Otaku. I run a biweekly DnD game on Sundays and blog about it every other day of the week at http://thedumpstat.blogspot.com

15.jpg
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Stormtrooper: Let me see your identification. 
Obi-Wan: [with a small wave of his hand] You don't need to see his identification. 
Stormtrooper: We don't need to see his identification. 
Obi-Wan: These aren't the droids you're looking for. 
Stormtrooper: These aren't the droids we're looking for. 
Obi-Wan: He can go about his business. 
Stormtrooper: You can go about your business. 
Obi-Wan: Move along. 
Stormtrooper: Move along... move along

 
I'd like to point out that I think Batman meets all the required elements and at least three optional elements.



na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na na Bat-Man!



Now I want to make a supplemental entry that's just Batman.  >.>



Hm.  Good thinking.  I also just noticed that Doctor Who would also totally work for this and he definitely satisfies at least 3 of the optional elements.  I'm not saying that I want to do that for my actual entry, but maybe at the end of the competition, when this is done, we should draw up some of the famous constabularies (wow that word is really hard to spell) and add them in as suplementals.  
I live and work in Japan, near Mt. Fuji, teaching English to High Schoolers. In my spare time I also happen to be a husband, a father, and an Otaku. I run a biweekly DnD game on Sundays and blog about it every other day of the week at http://thedumpstat.blogspot.com

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I'd like to enter, and will try to, but with my wife in recovery this may not be possible.

I suppose that wouldn't be a bad thing, it would give someone else a chance to win gold
Resident Shakespeare
Aw, not the Death Squad... still, this looks to be entertaining too. I might just work out the constubalatory that I will need anyway for an upcoming session.
Heroic Dungeon Master
Then again, you could always make a Constabulary that is also a Death Squad....  ;)  ELITE!!
I live and work in Japan, near Mt. Fuji, teaching English to High Schoolers. In my spare time I also happen to be a husband, a father, and an Otaku. I run a biweekly DnD game on Sundays and blog about it every other day of the week at http://thedumpstat.blogspot.com

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Would this count as Secret Police, Police State or Secret Police State or none of the above:

The constabulary is a mercenary force (non governmental, operating for coin) that also engages in unpaid secret actions to control and manipulate the constablewick in order to secure their position and continued profit in the area. The populace thinks the group is a mercenary force that provides security services, not a political entity. 
Give your players awesome loot: Loot by Type
Would this count as Secret Police, Police State or Secret Police State or none of the above:

The constabulary is a mercenary force (non governmental, operating for coin) that also engages in unpaid secret actions to control and manipulate the constablewick in order to secure their position and continued profit in the area. The populace thinks the group is a mercenary force that provides security services, not a political entity. 



I'm afraid we can't advise you on specific hypotheticals.  Is there something specific about the rules you think are unclear?
Would this count as Secret Police, Police State or Secret Police State or none of the above:

The constabulary is a mercenary force (non governmental, operating for coin) that also engages in unpaid secret actions to control and manipulate the constablewick in order to secure their position and continued profit in the area. The populace thinks the group is a mercenary force that provides security services, not a political entity. 



I'm afraid we can't advise you on specific hypotheticals.  Is there something specific about the rules you think are unclear?



Okay, let me reframe this: In the case of nongovernmental organizations, particularly those that operate for coin, what counts as the entity that the constabulary serves (ostensibly or otherwise)? I can see different distinctions including individuals who have purchased their services, those who can purchase their services, the general population that resides in the place the organization operates or even things like shareholders or investors. 

A neutral example that might help clarify this is the classic Private Eye in NYC. Does he serve the entirety of NYC, only potential customers, or just the dame that brought him the case that rainy afternoon? Who would officially sanction or recognize him? If he unearths some sort of plot that threatens the dame but saves the city, would covering it up be insubordination or would rescuing the dame at the expense of the city be insubordination?

Hopefully this clarifies some things. Most of the optional elements I want to use are 'entity' elements, aside from being a nongovernmental organization, and I'd like to make sure I meet all the reqs.
Give your players awesome loot: Loot by Type
Would this count as Secret Police, Police State or Secret Police State or none of the above:

The constabulary is a mercenary force (non governmental, operating for coin) that also engages in unpaid secret actions to control and manipulate the constablewick in order to secure their position and continued profit in the area. The populace thinks the group is a mercenary force that provides security services, not a political entity. 



Disclaimers:
I am not a judge for this competition.
I am not participating in this competition.
I have never judged a competition.
I have never participated in a competition.


I don't see that as an example of a Secret Police, because the constablewick publicly employs the force. As far as Police State, it plays with the idea, but it's not outright.

"Not only are you wrong, but I even created an Excel spreadsheet to show you how wrong you are." --James Wyatt, May 2006

Dilige, et quod vis fac

In the case of nongovernmental organizations, particularly those that operate for coin, what counts as the entity that the constabulary serves (ostensibly or otherwise)?


That helps.  For nongovernmental entities that serve a church or guild, obviously the church or guild would be that entity.

For entities that work for coin, the entity would be any organization or individual that hires them.  That may make it more difficult to meet the police state and secret police optional elements.

Vigilante organizations serve no entity by definition.  So making a vigilante organization would mean the constabulary could not also meet the police state or secret police optional elements.  However, that's why we have eleven elements to choose from.
I've added the most recent questions to the Q&A
Eh dammit... won't be able to make the deadline for this one. Guess another competition will have to be my debut.

Best of luck to the rest of you!
Heroic Dungeon Master
Eh dammit... won't be able to make the deadline for this one. Guess another competition will have to be my debut.

Best of luck to the rest of you!


You have until the 10th!  That's 11 days from now. 
You have until the 10th!  That's 11 days from now.

Graduating tomorrow, then two days with family before going off on vacation. :P No days left. My awesome debut will have to wait!
Heroic Dungeon Master
Ah.  Well congrats on graduation!
All right... I think I've got some ideas tumbling 'round. The optional elements just sorta neatly fell together. Hm. Should probably get it in sooner or later lest someone have similar ideas and beat my pants off in creativity.
If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one. Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.
I have two questions.

One, just to be sure though I think I know the answer:  the Inhuman optional element refers to the Humanoid subtype and not to the scientific 'humanoid' shape definition, correct?


Two, does the constabulary meet an optional element if they meet that element at all times while they are eoployed as a constable, but not necessarily at other times?  (An example, Batman is a 'caped crusader' while on-duty and a 'billionare tyrant' when not.  If there were a 'caped crusader' optional element, would Batman meet it?)
The difference between madness and genius is determined only by degrees of success.
One, just to be sure though I think I know the answer:  the Inhuman optional element refers to the Humanoid subtype and not to the scientific 'humanoid' shape definition, correct?


Correct.
Two, does the constabulary meet an optional element if they meet that element at all times while they are eoployed as a constable, but not necessarily at other times?  (An example, Batman is a 'caped crusader' while on-duty and a 'billionare tyrant' when not.  If there were a 'caped crusader' optional element, would Batman meet it?)


Yes.  There is a difference between the constabulary, which is the organization and the member sof the constabulary.  The elements only deal with the organization, not the individuals.




The Glass Dagger Society:


The Glass Dagger Society is a recently formed organization in the city of Tyr (See the Dark Sun Campaign Setting for details on this City).  It is a semi-secret society in that many people know it exists, but very few people outside of the organization know who is a member.  Ostensibly, the organization seeks to maintain the rule of law in the city by tracking down thieves, bandits, defilers, con-artists and other such elements and eliminating them (usually by driving them out of the city or killing them).  Secretly, the group is a front for King Hamanu of Urik whose actual goal is to undermine support for the current regime in Tyr by underlining the decided lack of law and order that has come about because of Kalak’s fall. Hamanu hopes that this will provide a rallying point for a future time when Hamanu might “restore” said law and order to the city and bring it under his control.  However, only Narrak and his closest advisors know of the ties between the Society and Urik.


The society gets its name from its habit of sending an obsidian dagger to their target as a warning to tell them to leave the city and never return.  If the warning is not heeded within a day or so, the society will send people to follow the criminal and at a time and kill him or her at a time and place that allows them to do the deed without being seen.  The body is then dumped somewhere where it will be found with a mark carved into the chest, identical to the one used to brand criminal exiles from the city back in Kalak’s day.


 


Leaders:


The Glass Daggers are lead by a man named Narrak Kamroth.  Publicly, he is the head of House Kamroth, a minor merchant house in Tyr that deals mostly in obsidian weapons from Urik.  At least that is the house’s public face.  In reality, House Kamroth has long been a front for Urikite spies in the city (even before the fall of Kalak) and Narrak is a templar for King Hamanu. He presents a front as a concerned citizen of the city, seeking to help maintain order amidst the chaos that the fall of the cities sorcerer king has brought.  He likes to tell the story of how the robbery and death of his son by some elven bandits in the city prompted him to form the society.  In reality, the incident never happened and by forming the society, he is simply acting upon orders from his true master.


Narrak also has three trusted lieutenants, who help him run the society and are aware of his true allegiance.  Their names are Harbin, Krole and Zhark.  Harbin is a powerfully built ex-gladiator turned bodyguard, Krole is another Urikite templar who poses as just another member of house Kamroth and Zhark is a half-elf rogue with contacts all over the city.  All serve Narrak directly both in administering the society and in using their unique talents against powerful and/or difficult targets.


 


Narrak
Medium natural humanoid
Level 10 Elite Controller XP 1000 





















HP 216; Bloodied 108



Initiative +8



AC 24, Fortitude 22, Reflex 22, Will 23



Perception+10



Speed 6  Saves: +2



Standard Actions


 Hamanu's Fist (Psychic)  At-Will


Attack: Melee 2 (one creature); +15 vs. AC


Hit: 3d6 + 6 psychic damage.


Effect: Narrak slides the target 1 square.


 Eyes of Hamanu (Psychic)  At-Will


Attack: Ranged 5 (one creature or two creatures); +15 vs. AC


Hit: 3d6 + 6 psychic damage.


Effect: Narrak pushes the targets 2 squares.


 Fettering Glare (Psychic)  Recharge  


Attack: Close burst 2 (enemies in the burst); +13 vs. Will


Hit: 2d8 + 7 damage, and the target falls prone. The next ally of Narrak that hits and damages the target before the end of Sarhan’s next turn can reroll one attack roll before the end of the ally’s next turn, using either result.


Skills Insight +15, Intimidate +16, Religion +15
Str 16 (+8)                Dex 17 (+8)                Wis 21 (+10)
Con 20 (+10)                Int 20 (+10)                Cha 23 (+11)


Alignment Evil        Languages Common
Equipment: Robes, Obsidian Dagger


 


Roster:


The society is a loose network of only a few dozen individuals.  The rank and file members of the society know nothing of the society’s ties to Urik and view it as a means to keep their persons, their families and the livelihoods safe.  Members keep their affiliation with the society secret, except to prospective recruits.  They form a loose network, with each member usually only knowing a few other members and only a few members actually knowing any of the leaders.  Members usually communicate by word of mouth, one member gets news or orders and he spreads it verbally to other members and so on.


The average member would be is a merchant or laborer, not a fighter and would use stats for Human Rabble, Human Thugs or Human Dune Traders. These members are usually fine for taking out your average market thief.  However, some of their targets are more dangerous than that, so the organization does keep a small roster of trusted mercenaries, who are paid on a per job basis, to help bring down bigger prey.  These mercenaries are largely former gladiators (use mul gladiator stats) and a handful of corrupt templars.  These mercenaries are not actually members of the society and the actual society members will conceal their identities when dealing with then (usually by use of masks or veils) so the mercenaries know they are working for the society, though not the identities of any members.  Actual members often accompany these mercenaries on jobs, though.


 


Constablewick:


The Society operates in the Free City of Tyr, and views the whole of the city as under their “protection”.  Any kind of crime against persons or property is fair game for them but they realize that their numbers are two few to go after every minor thief in the city.  They tend to go after criminals who have gained some degree of notoriety, those whose crimes have drawn attention in some way; either through the crime’s sheer viciousness, by the criminal bragging about his exploits or just by repeated success. However, a petty pickpocket who is unlucky enough to steal from a member of the group had better hope he can’t be identified or he will be the recipient of an obsidian dagger soon enough. 


Escaped slaves and enemies of Urik also have an unfortunate habit of drawing the group’s attention.  Narrak justifies this to the regular members by telling them that Tyr cannot become a haven for rabble fleeing other cities.  To keep it from being too obvious, he extends this policy to escaped slaves and fleeing criminals from all other cities but some members may have noticed that fugitives from Urik draw notice more than fugitives from other cities do.  No member has made an issue of this yet, however.


 


The Glass Dagger Society as a Friend:


The Glass Dagger society specializes in ridding the Free City of Tyr of criminals.  Any time the activities of an adventuring group line up with that goal, they could find allies in the society.  Given the society’s use of mercenaries for dangerous foes, the society could also act as a patron and/or occasional employer for a group of PCs, especially if that group has a good reputation among the merchants of the city.


Another possibility for friendly relations with the society is if the PCs and the society are both tracking the same target.  It could happen that some NPC that the PCs need to find for some reason is also being sought by the society and they PCs and the Glass Daggers could join forces.  A skill challenge representing such a manhunt is below.  The PCs are seeking a rogue defiler who has gone to ground somewhere in the city with information the PCs need (perhaps the location of the bandit gang he works with).  The PCs are looking for him and find out that he went into hiding after receiving an obsidian dagger.  Perhaps they can help the PCs find him.


 


The Manhunt


 You now know that you are not the only one looking for your foe.  A secretive vigilante group called the Glass Dagger Society seeks him as well.  Perhaps your party and the Daggers can help each other out…


Setup:  To find the rogue defiler before he escapes the city and before the Obsidian daggers kill him, you must contact and enlist the aid of the Glass Dagger Society


Level: Equal to the level of the party.


Complexity: 3 (requires 8 successes before 3 failures). 


Stage 1: Locating the Society


The PCs must first find a member of the society to negotiate with.  This will require poking around the merchant stalls of the city.  The PCs must get 4 Successes in this stage before moving to stage two.


Primary Skills: Diplomacy, Streetwise


Diplomacy (High DC by Level):  The Character talks to a few merchants and convinces them to talk to others they know in hopes of attracting the attention of the Society.  2 Successes maximum


Streetwise (Moderate DC by Level):  The character follows up the underworld grapevine in order to find an agent of the Society. 


Secondary Skills: Insight


Insight: The character can identify possible members or sympathizers.  This gives a + 4 to the next Diplomacy or Streetwise check.


Stage 2: The Negotiation


Now that the group has gotten the societies attention, they must convince them to join forces.  They meet with a representative of the group (actually Zhark) who remains masked the entire time.  The Daggers are picky about who they team up with and wary of being entrapped by corrupt Templars in the employ of the city’s criminal element, so they require some convincing.  Note that if any PCs have a criminal reputation (as determined by the DM), then all difficulties are raised by one level (difficulties already at hard are raised by + 2).


Primary Skills: Athletics, Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate, Streetwise


Athletics or Intimidation (High DC by Level):  Either of these skills can be used to impress Zhark with sheer physical presence or an intimidating demeanour.  Only one success can be gained from each skill.


Bluff (Hard DC by Level):  This can be used to lie about the groups motives, background or exploits.  Unlimited successes and this skill is not affected by a criminal reputation


Diplomacy (Moderate DC by Level):  Simple negotiation and the gaining of Zhark’s trust.  Unlimted successes.


Streetwise  (Moderate DC by Level): This can be used to impress Zhark with the characters acumen in dealing with the city’s criminal element.  One success maximum.


Secondary Skills: None


Success:  Zhark admits that the Society has found the defiler’s hiding spot and agrees to let the PCs deal with him as they see fit, provided that dealing with the defiler entails either killing the defiler, arresting him or driving him from the city.  Success also means that the PCs will gain a monetary treasure parcel’s worth of influence with the society and they might hire the group for other jobs in the future.


Failure:  Zhark tells them nothing.  The Society moves in to kill the defiler on their own.  The PCs might be able to salvage this by shadowing their contact to where he is meeting their attack squad and following the Society’s agents to the defiler’s location, or other such means.  Otherwise, the defiler will be found dead in the market square the next day and the DM will have to find another way to give the group whatever essential information he had in his head when he died.


 


The Glass Dagger Society as a Foe:


The easiest way to gain the ire of the Glass Dagger Society is by committing a notable crime in Tyr, especially if that crime victimizes a member of the society.  Even if the group is not of a criminal bent, however, there still exist opportunities for conflict.  Any PCs with the ‘Escaped Slave’ theme could find himself targeted.  A member of the society could falsely accuse them to the rest of the members due to a personal conflict.  Lastly, adventurers tend to make enemies and  the PCs could make enemies among the templars or nobles of Urik and Narrak could then find himself ordered to declare them as criminals (falsely if necessary) and the PCs could then find themselves hunted.


Regardless of how it happens, the result would be the same; a courier would deliver an obsidian dagger to the targeted characters.  If asked, the courier would claim to have been hired by a man who never showed his face and offered no explanation.  An Easy Streetwise roll would reveal the meaning of the ‘gift’.  If the PCs are still in Tyr after Sundown the next day, they will find a group of hired thugs and society members have come to execute them.  The encounter below assumes a mid-heroic tier group.  Adjust accordingly for different levels. 


 


Glass Dagger Society Enforcer Squad (Encounter Level 5, 1075 XP):


1 Human Dune Trader (Dark Sun Creature Catalog or Compendium)
4 Human Thugs (Monster Vault or Comepndium)


1 Human Knife Fighter (Monster Manual 2 or Compendium)


 


The Squad will try to corner the group in an alley or deserted side street.  The thugs will come from one direction, the knife fighter from another.  The Trader will stay behind the thugs.  The knife fighter is a mercenary and will flee if bloodied and the others go down.  The trader will flee if the knife fighter goes down regardless of his own condition, however, it will only be in order to bring back a stronger force to kill the PCs.



Using the Society in other settings: 

Though the Glass Dagger Society is created for a Dark Sun campaign, it would require only minor re-fluffing to make them usable in any campaign.  The city of Tyr can be replaced by any city that has suffered recent large scale civil unrest or that has a weak central government.  Instead of working for Hamanu of Urik, Narrak could be working for any city that is a rival of the city the society is placed in.  Alternately, Narrak could be sincere in his desire to rid the city of crime and not be working for a rival at all.  Beyond that, it is simply a matter of changing fluff and descriptions; i.e. instead of an obsidian dagger, the society’s warnings could come from delicately crafted glass daggers and so on.


 


Optional Elements used:


Insubordinate:  Though it appears to be dedicated to protecting the city of Tyr, it is actually dedicated to opening it up for future invasion and further unrest.


Non-Governmental: The Glass Dagger Society is a vigilante group


Secret Police:  The Glass Dagger Society is not officially sanctioned by any group in Try and members keep their affilation with the group a secret.

Looks like firsties for me.
Yes, indeedy!  First blood has been drawn by a glass dagger!  (And the list is updated.)
Ya know, I should have read the questions and clarifications BEFORE posting my entry.  I might then have noticed that it had been decided that "vigilante" and "secret police" had been deemed incompatible.  They fit in the way I interpreted "Secret Police" (indeed, my entry came about because I thought it might be interesting to try and mix those two) but if I get spanked hard in themes for not hitting the optionals, I quite understand.  My own damned fault.

The Lich King’s Guards


Beneath the seaport city of Roland’s Bluff, beneath the graves of countless ages and deeper than the unnamed tunnels lies the crypt of King Tintagel, last of the royal bloodline of Roland the Merciless. Secluded away and forever imprisoned in his own tomb, King Tintagel sits as he has sat for a thousand years on a duplicate of his throne deep in meditation, while the Lich King’s Guards rule Roland’s Bluff waiting for his return. At least, that is what the more superstitious residents and wanderlust-types tell stories of around the dinner table.


An unseen force, some think it is ghosts and ghouls, runs Roland’s Bluff and the surrounding countryside of three or four days walking distance. When a person first arrives at Roland’s Bluff, they see Roland’s Bluff like any other city. People go about their business, merchant’s sell their wares, seasonal markets spring up in the town square, ships from far away enter the port. It takes on average, about a week for a person to sense something is different, even sooner for those who like to skirt the law. You see, there is no law in Roland’s Bluff. At least, there are no recognizable colors patrolling the streets, no bureaucrats keeping track of the comings and goings, no fat men riding around in their guarded wagons collecting taxes. There is a castle, but no guards defend it and every story told is that no one who enters comes out alive.


A less than scrupulous person of ambition might see this as an opportunity. The more intelligent of the type, however, probably realize things are usually more than what they appear. That is why your most humble servant came to Roland’s Bluff, to seek out the truth and to pass that truth onto you.


For all indications there is a crypt of the last of the royal bloodline, but it is not beneath the city but somewhere outside the city walls, three or four days travel on foot it is expected. Perhaps less, the old manuscripts only said a large number of people travelled together leaving the city empty for ten days for the burial of their King. The King was entombed and by the ingenuity of an unnamed sage the tomb was lowered into the earth.


With the loss of the King and no heirs, foes from all directions converged on the city and those in a position to take the city from within set upon each other with assassins. In less than a week, a paladin named ‘The Sun’ who had led the King’s personal guard imprisoned the entire court, converted their personal retinue’s to the King’s Guards and set out to defeat the invading armies, leaving behind only a handful of trusted men who were too old for the march.


‘The Sun’ met four different enemies on four different occasions in a span of a month and defeated each of them. By the start of the last battle, the previous battles’ toll reduced the forces of ‘The Sun’ to less than a third of its original size and they were outnumbered ten to one by the enemy. Still, they fought and the enemy fled the field suffering heavy losses including the death of their own king. A handful of survivors, returned to the city, three of them wrote their accounts down in personal journals, which are now in the possession of your most humble servant. All three journals give the same account of the battles, more or less and the death of ‘The Sun’ and the enemy king. Knowing the enemy had sundered his army, ‘The Sun’ galloped into the enemy king’s personal guard killing every man who stepped before him to keep him from reaching their king. Finally, with his last breath ‘The Sun’ brought his sword down upon the enemy king’s head killing the man.


He had saved the city but at the expense of the state, nothing remained of it except the few old men who guarded over the imprisoned court. Now it is the story of the imprisoned court and the tens of thousands who died in battles defending the city that have led to the superstition of the ghosts and ghouls that now rule Roland’s Bluff. That is not the truth, merely the imaginations of a superstitious people supported by a devious mind for its own purposes.


The truth is a single man rules Roland’s Bluff, a man with no name and whereabouts, but every investigation leads back to the same description: an old man with a beard and broad smile, aided by a tall cane with a light cloak draped over his shoulders and no shoes.


Whoever is this man, he knows the city well having already alluded agents sent out to find and follow him back to his home. Happenstance has thwarted every attempt to establish a network of spies to increase the efficiency in finding this man. Within a day’s time of giving instructions to an agent to do so, that agent suddenly draws away by greater opportunities or goes off on some ill-advised adventure and never returns.


Setbacks can teach the wise and the old man has revealed his hand. He rules the city by rumor and innuendo, knowing which ear to whisper into to set off a series of events leading to the desired result. That was the idea and plans were set in motion to prove the idea.


In a city a month’s travel from here, is a well-established thieves’ guild. The guild received a letter explaining the lack of authority except for the superstition of the people. A separate agent from the letter carrier followed a group of thieves sent to Roland’s Bluff.


Once that group arrived in Roland’s Bluff, agents went from searching for the old man to keeping tabs on the group. In two weeks, the group had established themselves with a base of operations and by the third week had begun to conduct operations on a small scale. Then suddenly, the group changed tactics and successfully robbed a very wealthy merchant who had decided to move a valuable item to a presumably safer location, but to allay suspicions decided only to lightly defend it on its travels through the city on the advice of one of his trusted servants. Interviews with the servant revealed the old man had first suggested the approach.


Following the robbery, no word had spread through the city about the merchant’s misfortune and willingness to pay handsomely for the item’s return. Still, a particular group of adventurers had met with the merchant and within two days had discovered the group of thieves in their base, destroyed the operation and recovered the item. Interviews with the adventurers discovered they had learned of the misfortune from the old man.


It appears the old man keeps tab on what happens in the city. Although how the old man accomplishes that is still undetermined. He then arranges by suggestion certain things to happen. In the case cited, neither the merchant nor the adventurers and certainly not the thieves understood how vital the role of the old man was in the events that happened.


As a side note, and likely related in how the old man operates; an adventuring party that had gained some repute in the city for their bravery and heroism had become entangled in some endeavor that took them away from Roland’s Bluff. That was two years ago and though word arrives on occasion about the adventurers no citizen really expects their return and one hears their name less and less as the days pass.


Although the entire story of the old man is yet unknown, we know the general truth of the matter. Unfortunately, a certain matter has become apparent, which is far to the north and which is not ignorable. The agents are no longer in operation and your most humble servant will shortly leave Roland’s Bluff.


Good luck with your further investigations of the old man.


P.S. It did come up in thought why no army has attempted to conquer Roland’s Bluff since the death of ‘The Sun’. Rumors are that ‘The Sun’ still commands an army of the undead who wait in their graves, an army more powerful in death than they were in life. Research did discover that an upstart noble some twenty years ago had mustered an ill-trained army with the purpose of taking Roland’s Bluff. The surrounding nobles, however, believed it was a ruse to the real intentions of conquering them one at a time. They allied their personal guards, which by all accounts was completely unexpected, and imprisoned the noble while scattering his army on the battlefield.

Can I just say that the right-aligned picture in the first post is driving me crazy?
If you look past the plot and the voice acting, Metroid: Other M was an okay game. Not a great game, but an adequate one. Not using the Metroid item collect jingle though? That, was a mistake.
Bump!
The Warders of Baurgs

Constablewick – the City-State Baurgs


The Warders are the military and law enforcement for the city-state of Baurgs. Baurgs was a monarchy ruled by the Mage King Mrovan, until 26 years ago when a powerful tiefling sorcerer from the Witch Sea murdered the King and much of his court. Without an heir or any clear line of succession there was chaos as various factions from both in and outside the city vied for control, most of the groups employing small armies of magic users. The Warders at first attempted to focus on damage control, but with the city literally in flames, it was time to bring their foot down. A powerful anti-magic field was created that encompassed the entire city, and the Warders instituted martial law. Although the curfew has been lifted, and the right to free assembly has been reinstated, the Warders still enforce martial law as ordered by the Captain General.


The artifact that powered the initial anti-magic field has since become drained and useless, but the Warders still brook no magic other than their own within the walls of Baurgs. It is possible now to perform magic within the city, but Warder Arcanauts will detect it and dispatch a unit to apprehend the perpetrators. A magic using Warder will not trigger their alarm because they weird an enchanted ring that leaves a distinct signature in the magic that the Arcanauts recognize. If the wearer of one of these rings dies, the gem instantly shatters, making the ring useless. The ability of Arcanauts to detect the use of magic ends at the city walls, even though there is still quite a bit of settlement beyond them. The Warders operate a hospital where one may receive magical medical care.


Technically Baurgs is governed by the City Council, but the Captain General of the Warders makes the decisions in council meetings, although he can be overruled if four of the five Ward Captains vote against him, or two of the Ward Captains and the Arcanaut Major. City Council is not made up of just the leaders of the Warders, other powerful individuals also have seats on council, but their votes are effectively irrelevant and they serve primarily an advisory role by informing council on the needs and issues at hand in the city.


Leadership


While the Warders of individual wards of the city are commanded by Ward Captains, often shortened to just Captain, the Warders as a whole, and consequently the city as a whole, is led by the Captain General. Captain General is an elected position, but the vote is restricted to Warders, both current and former. A special section of the Warders, called the Arcanauts, detect magic and send out patrols to arrest the perpetrators, they are led by the Arcanaut Major, roughly equivalent to a Ward Captain.


The current Captain General is a young human named Orrick son-Orrel. He is well known for his martial prowess, and is seen by many as a force for change and betterment in Baurgs. His critics see him as naive and idealistic, and indeed many of his plans for change have been hampered by the cruel face of reality. He is also facing renewed aggression from forces of the nameless tiefling sorcerer who threw the city into chaos all those years ago. The fact that is drawing the greatest criticism is that he has dragged his feet so much on the matter of building a fleet to defend the city. He has earned some disdain from Askaire Blackhelm for blocking her proposal to expand the city walls and thus the Arcanauts senses and jurisdiction.


The eldest and most respected/reviled Ward Captain is actually the Captain General’s father, Orrel son-Hoster. Orrel has been both supportive and critical of his son, attempting to guide him by making him consider all the options and their consequences. As the last Ward Captain remaining from the death of King Mrovan, Orrel is something of a divisive figure; he is regarded either as the hero who saved the city from destruction, or the villain who engineered a 20 year reign of terror, there is very little middle ground in these opinion.


The other most powerful member of the Warders is the Arcanaut Major, a half-blood named Askaire Blackhelm. Uniquely half-elf and half-dwarf, magic was required for her very conception; as a result, while others must be trained to detect magic, Askaire has the ability innately, and she can even detect magic use outside of the city walls, though her sense of it wanes the further away it is. The rings that allow Warders to use magic within the city without triggering the Arcanaut’s senses are based on Blackhelm’s magic, and so she does not need a ring to blend in with the others; she guards the secret to how the rings are made very closely, doing all the work herself. Her slightly greater power in City Council, counting for two votes to overrule the Captain General, has led to some animosity from the Ward Captains, but she is hated more by the many wizards, sorcerers, priest, druids, and other magic users who can no longer exercise their power because of the Arcanauts vigil.


Roster


Like the city itself, the Warders are made up of members of many races. Most common are humans, dwarves, and elves, but dragonborn, halflings, half-elves, and muls also make up sizeable portions of the membership. A notable exception to this are tieflings; tieflings are the primary inhabitants of the islands of the Witch Sea, and their efforts to build a new Turathi Empire have resulted in hostility with Baurgs. Inside the city tieflings are treated as third class citizens, and most of the tieflings of Baurgs actually live outside the city walls. There has not been a tiefling in the Warders in nearly a century.


There are six ranks that one can hold in the Warders, and when you retire you retain your rank and the right to vote when it comes time to elect a new Captain General. The lowest ranks are those of Apprentice Wardman, Journeyman Wardman, and Master Wardman, often shortened to Apprentice, Wardman, and Master respectively. Apprentices and Wardmen may cast one vote each in the elections, and Masters may cast two. Next are the officer ranks of Lieutenant, who may cast three votes, and Ward Captains who may cast five votes in the election. There are five regular Ward Captains, and a sixth in the form of the Arcanaut Major. Finally, if a Captain General chooses to retire before their death they may cast ten votes in future elections.


Friend – Tiefling Toughs


This encounter assumes the party are level 6.


On a dark night in Baurgs, the party stumble across four badly wounded Warders. Before falling unconscious, the Master Wardman commands the party to transport the downed guards to the Hospital for care. Once the Master is revived, and he discovers his men did not survive, he requests the party’s aid in apprehending the tiefling gang responsible for the attack and bringing them to justice. The Master and a Journeyman Wardman spellshaper accompany the party on this mission against the tieflings. The spellshaper enables to party to use magic, by stealing magic from them just as it is being cast and channelling it through his own powers; if the spellshaper dies, the party will be unable to use magic without triggering the Arcanaut’s alarms. After the battle, Claevis may remain with the party for a time, so long as they remain inside the city, especially if they choose to hunt down the gang’s kingpin.


The gang of tieflings at the hideout consists of:
Tiefling Fury x2 (see compendium)
Tiefling Shadowblade x2 (see compendium)
Tiefling Heretic x3 (see compendium)
Tiefling Tough x8

























































Tiefling Tough
Level 5 Minion Brute
Medium natural humanoid
XP 50

HP 1; a missed attack never damages a minion; Initiative +4
AC 17; Fortitude 19, Reflex 16, Will 17, Perception +2
Speed 5; Low-light vision
Resist 10 fire
Traits
Mob Attack
The tiefling gains a +1 bonus to attack rolls for each adjacent tiefling ally.
Standard Actions
Spiked Club (weapon) ♦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +10 vs. AC
Hit: 8 damage.
Triggered Actions
Wrathful Demise (fire) ♦ Encounter
Trigger: An enemy hits the tiefling with an attack.
Effect (No Action): The triggering enemy takes 5 fire damage.














Str 18 (+6)Dex 14 (+4)Wis 10 (+2)
Con 13 (+3)Int 8 (+1)Cha 16 (+5)

Languages Common

















































































Polem, Master Wardman
Level 6 Striker
Medium natural humanoid (human)


HP 52; Bloodied 26; Healing Surges 8; Initiative +3
AC 22; Fortitude 21, Reflex 19, Will 20, Perception +3
Speed 5
Traits
Phalanx Soldier
Polem gains a +2 bonus to AC while ajacent to at least one ally.
Close Quarters
Polem deals an extra 1d6 damage on attacks against creatures adjacent to him.
Standard Actions
Longspear (weapon) ♦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 2 (one creature); +10 vs. AC
Hit: 1d10+11 damage.
Minor Actions
Single Out ♦ Encounter
Effect: One enemy within 5 squares of Polem grants combat advantage to him until the end of his next turn.
Triggered Actions
Heroic Effort  ♦ Encounter
Trigger: Polem misses with an attack or fails a saving throw.
Effect (No Action): Polem gains a +4 bonus to the attack roll or saving throw.
Power Strike  ♦ Encounter
Trigger: Polem hits with a lonspear attack.
Effect (No Action): The attack deals an extra 1d10 damage.
Skills Skill +X, Skill +X














Str 18 (+7)Dex 10 (+3)Wis 11 (+3)
Con 15 (+5)Int 8 (+2)Cha 14 (+5)

Languages Common





























































































Claevis, Wardman Spellshaper
Level 6 Leader
Small natural humanoid (halfling)

HP 51; Bloodied 25; Healing Surges 9; Initiative +5
AC 21; Fortitude 18, Reflex 21, Will 21, Perception +4
Speed 6
Traits
Ranged Specialist
Cleavis gains the benefit of superior cover from partial cover.
Nimble Reaction
Cleavis gains a +2 bonus to AC against opportunity attacks.
Standard Actions
Rod (weapon) ♦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +12 vs. AC
Hit: 1d6+2 damage.
Mire the Mind (charm, psychic) ♦ At-Will
Attack: Ranged 10 (one creature); +10 vs. Will
Hit: 1d6+7 psychic damage, and the target takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls until the end of Claevis's next turn.
Inspire Blunder (charm, psychic) ♦ Encounter
Attack: Ranged 10 (one creature); +10 vs. Will
Hit: 1d6+7 psychic damage, and Claevis slides the target 2 squares. During the slide, Claevis or one ally can make a melee basic attack agains the target as a free action, with a +2 power bonus to the attack roll.
Move Actions
Inspire Escape ♦ Encounter
Effect: One ally within 5 squares of Claevis slides 4 squares.
Minor Actions
Healing Word (healing) ♦ 2/Encounter
Effect: One ally within 5 squares of Claevies can spend a healing surge.
Triggered Actions
Second Chance ♦ Encounter
Trigger: Claevis is hit by an attack.
Effect (Immediate Interrupt): The attacker must reroll the attack and use the second roll, even if it is lower.














Str 8 (+2)Dex 15 (+5)Wis 12 (+4)
Con 14 (+5)Int 13 (+4)Cha 18 (+7)

Languages Common

Foe – Unlawful use of Magic


This encounter assumes the party are Level 10.


Using magic within the city walls of Baurgs is a dangerous prospect. This encounter should be used to highlight the low-tolerance that the city has for magic use of any kind; preferably the Warders should be responding to a fairly innocuous use of magic, such as a healing word, a light spell, or prestidigitation. The spell need not be actually used by the party, but if that is the case then the injustice of the situation should be emphasized to encourage the party to oppose the Warders in defence of an innocent. A few short minutes after a magical effect is triggered, a heavily armed group of Warders will arrive on the scene and immediately declare that they are arresting the offending individual or individuals for Unlawful Use of Magic.


There are here two options, the party could attempt to run, or they could choose to stay and fight. If the party choose to fight, it should be stressed that any use of magic in the combat will cause additional guards to arrive soon (after 10 turns). If the party choose to run, they then engage in a skill challenge to lose the pursuing Warders and then hide. If the party use magic in their escape, even an ultimate success will result in a bounty being placed on them by the Arcanauts, and they will have to deal with the consequences of that later.


Fight


The Warder detachment consists of:
Arcanaut Lieutenant x1 (see Virarr in compendium)
Apprentice Grunt x12
Wardman Archer x3
Master Wardman Sneak x1 (see Thuranni Assassin in compendium)         


If more than 50% of his troops are killed, the Lieutenant will attempt to retreat and await reinforcements. Reinforcements will take the form of another wave of Grunts.
























































Apprentice Grunt
Level 10 Minion Soldier
Medium natural humanoid
XP 125

HP 1; a missed attack never damage a minion; Initiative +7
AC 22; Fortitude 23, Reflex 20, Will 21, Perception +8
Speed 5
Traits
Phalanx Soldier
The Warder gains a +2 bonus to AC while adjacent to at least one Warder ally.
Standard Actions
Pike (weapon) ♦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 2 (one creature); +15 vs. AC
Hit: 10 damage, and th target takes a -1 penalty to attack rolls until the start of the Warder's next turn.
Triggered Actions
Endure Pain ♦ Encounter
Trigger: The Warder takes damage.
Effect (Free Action): The Warder makes a saving throw, and on a success it takes no damage..














Str 16 (+8)Dex 14 (+7)Wis 16 (+8)
Con 18 (+9)Int 8 (+4)Cha 10 (+5)

Languages Common




























































Wardman Archer
Level 9 Artillery
Medium natural humanoid
XP 400

HP 74; Bloodied 37; Initiative +9
AC 21; Fortitude 19, Reflex 24, Will 21, Perception +8
Speed 6
Traits
Ranged Specialist
The Warder gains the benefit of superior cover from partial cover.
Standard Actions
Crossbow Butt (weapon) ♦ At-Will
Attack: Melee 1 (one creature); +14 vs. AC
Hit: 1d8+8 damage.
Crossbow (weapon) ♦ At-Will
Attack: Ranged 10/20 (one creature); +15 vs. AC
Hit: 1d8+8 damage, and the target takes ongoing 5 damage (save ends). If the target is already taking untyped ongoing damage, it increases to ongoing 10 damage (save ends).
Volley (weapon) ♦ Recharge  
Attack: Area burst 1 within 10 (creatures in burst); +13 vs. Reflex
Hit: 1d8+8 damage, and the target takes ongoing 5 damage (save ends). If the target is already taking untyped ongoing damage, it increases to ongoing 10 damage (save ends).














Str 12 (+6)Dex 18 (+9)Wis 16 (+8)
Con 14 (+7)Int 10 (+5)Cha 8 (+4)

Languages Common

Flight


The party will engage in a Complexity 4 skill challenge to escape, using streetwise, strength, and dexterity as the primary skills. Each failure results in the entire party losing a healing surge, and failing the skill challenge results in the party failing to escape and having to face the Warders anyway. Creative use of skills should be encouraged, but any given non-primary skill should usually be allowed only once, and would be most appropriate to attempt to cancel a failure.


Optional Elements


Police State


Baurgs was once ruled by a king, but times have changed, and the Warders have now been in control of the City Council for over two decades. The last of the curfew and assembly restrictions finally been dropped by the Captain General, but the Arcanauts continue to maintain the ban on the magic that wrought so much destruction on the city following Mrovan’s death. Even a simple priest or shaman must refrain from brewing a potion, and traveling performer must shy away from magical light shows or face the unknown terror that awaits any transgressor in Askaire’s Black Tower. Warder control of Baurgs may ultimately be for the good of the people, but it is still a police state, pure and simple.


Military


During times of military need, the Warders have always served as defenders of Baurgs, with the power to conscript what citizens they require to fulfil that end. Little has changed in this respect except for the ban on magic. Formerly most conscripts were chosen for their magical abilities, but the current laws make that a more difficult prospect. After several recent raids on the harbour by New Turathi pirates, Orrick son-Orrel has asked the Arcanaut Major to look into creating a ring that would allow conscripts to use magic for a limited time without triggering the alarms.


Disreputable


The heavy-handed manner in which the Arcanauts dispatch Warders to apprehend magic users has garnered much ill-will among the populace. Activating even the simplest of magical trinkets can land you in the stocks for days, and there are many stories of people disappearing into the Black Tower and never being heard from again. It is, however, a fact that only about a third of these rumours are true, and another third were started by the Askaire to maintain the fear in the populace. In any case, the actions and attitudes of the Arcanauts have earned a poor reputation for the       Warders as a whole among some segments of the people.


Bigoted


While many people in Baurgs dislike tieflings, the Warders take it to an altogether different level. A tiefling using his infernal wrath may well be apprenhended and tortured for days before being hung in a cage outside the Black Tower without food or water for a week and being lucky to survive. In contrast an eladrin fey stepping in the city might be arrested, but will be let off with a warning if that was their only transgression. Even outside of Arcanauts, regular Wardmen will often hassle, taunt, and even attack tieflings for no reason other than being tieflings. These attitudes are given weight and legitimized because of the unstable relationship with the New Turathi and the tiefling murder of King Mrovan and his court.

Nothing.

That is all.

Hemet & Memet



There's this respected little forge and shop in town called "Hemet & Memet, Arms & Armor". The shop is situated in one of the worse districts of town, but especially in the streets around the shop, everything is exceptionally peaceful.
The two brothers Hemet & Memet see to it - if necessary with an iron hand.

Years ago they were successful adventurers from the southern lands. Rumor has it that they made a little fortune by raiding forgotten tombs until they settled down and opened their forge.
Hemet, the older brother, is of physically overwhelming appearence. He is the one running the forge, while his younger brother Memet cares for the shop.
Both are anticipating and caring, partly because their cultural heritance dictates kindness and gentleness to customers, guests and neighbors. They are higly liked and respected in the local community.

They usually will not interfere in local jurisdiction and law enforcement, but in some special occasions they will spring into action.
When the local guards are unable to catch a murderer or arsonist, when a crime lord can't be nailed down by law, or when especially gruesome crimes are committed, the delinquents would be best advised to watch their backs when walking a dark alley.
They will also act if they are asked to do so by certain local dons or elders.
Hemet & Memet will never accept money for their action.

What makes Hemet & Memet so successful are mainly 3 things:
1) They are respected in the community. People will talk to them and give them information that they would not give to the local guards.
2) They are highly experienced adventurers. They know loads of tricks and are not prone to dirty fighting.
3) They are merciless and brutal in their vengeance. In many cases they will display the dead bodies of their victims by impaling them or hanging them in some public place or in the place where the victim commited their crimes.


Constablewick
The whole town where Hemet & Memet live is considered as under their protection.


Leadership & Roster
Hemet is the brawn while Memet is the brain - but neither of them is "in charge".
Hemet is a warrior type, preferring heavy armor, while Memet is a rogue type relying on mobility and stealth.
They should both be of Elite type and have plenty of special powers.

Hemet & Memet will mostly work alone. However, they have quite some influence on the local people and can easily rally them to their aid.
If necessary they can hire a small army of armed peasants (minions).

Friend & Foe
Classical Foe:
Hemet & Memet were originally designed to deliver swift retribution to characters that act stupid because their players feel that the local guard is no match for them anyway.
Example: One player has caught attention of the local law enforcement for whatever reason. He is to be arrested, but resists and kills the guards. Further attempts to arrest or kill this PC go down the same road.
The captain of the local guard himself could ask Hemet & Memet to help him get a hold on the dissident. He offers to send some guards the their help as well.
Hemet & Memet will plan an ambush in a location where the guards (minions) can be placed in elevated positions to use ranged attacks.
Hemet will directly confront the party and ask them politely not to resist and hand over the dissident into custody. He will not do any bargains and he will state clearly that anyone who helps the dissident is considered a criminal as well.
If the dissident is not handed over quickly he will not waste anymore time and attack. Memet will immediately join the fight and will try to sneak attack the main target.
If the fight does not go too well, the guards may flee, but Hemet & Memet will stay at least until the original target has been brought down. Only if they see no time to achieve their goal they will retreat and plan another ambush.
Hemet & Memet will have some secret escape route prepared that will be hard for the party to follow (a boat, a hidden entry to the sewers, a flying machine - depending on the city and style).

Classical Friend:
Hemet & Memet found out that some BBEG is residing in their town. They know about the bad deeds of this individuum and will not accept his presence in their city. Unfortunately they also recognize that this villain is way more powerful than the brothers.
By chance, they find out that the PC party is after the same person. They will approach the party, or the party may be directed towards Hemet & Memet by townsfolk.
Hemet & Memet want to face the villain and will work out a strategy together with the party on what course to take.
Some elder may confront the party and make it clear to them that the survival of Hemet and Memet is crucial - any harm done to them will cause the wrath of the people.
Opposed to this the BBEG may have spotted Hemet & Memet as a possible complication and may pick them as preferred targets. The party has to make sure that the heroes of the people survive.

This could turn out in different ways:
A third option for an encounter would be that a local merchant hires the party to track down and kill Hemet & Memet. He claims that they run some horrid secret business themselves (depending on your game style this can be anthing between 'slavery' and 'sexual child abuse').
Truth is of course, that the merchant himself is trying to set up a crime organisation in this town and wants Hemet & Memet out of the way.
If the party starts investigations they may easily find out that something is wrong with this quest. They can confront the merchant on their own, or they could band up with Hemet & Memet before.
If the party just rushes in there are again several options. The party may overwhelm and kill Hemet & Memet, only to find out later that they were innocent of the accusations of the merchant. They now have to deal with an angry mob, the town guard and the merchant.
The party may as well be overwhelmed by Hemet & Memet. Instead of killing them, they are curious why they were attacked and who hired the party. They could demand atonement from the party which could lead to several follow up quests, or simply to confronting the hiring merchant.


Elements
- Elite
- Nongovernmental
- Voluntary
The list is updated!  Keep it coming, DMs!  The contest ends tomorrow night!
For the "bigoted" requirement, I have two questions:  

1.  Does the organization as a whole need to be bigoted towards X, or can it be a majority with a few good apples?

2.  Can it be perceived bigotry, where the group acts in such a way where outsiders view their actions as bigoted, but in actuality are caused/rooted in something that is not inherently bigoted?
Salla, on minions: I typically use them as encounter filler. 'I didn't quite fill out the XP budget, not enough room left for a decent near-level monster ... sprinkle in a few minions'. Kind of like monster styrofoam packing peanuts.
1.  Does the organization as a whole need to be bigoted towards X, or can it be a majority with a few good apples?

The organization must have a policy, rule, or culture of intolerance (whether it be written or unwritten).  Individuals who act more tolerantly should understand they are breaking a written or unwritten code of the constabulary, and should be regarded by the rest of the organization as doing something wrong.

2.  Can it be perceived bigotry, where the group acts in such a way where outsiders view their actions as bigoted, but in actuality are caused/rooted in something that is not inherently bigoted?

No.
I was hoping to muster an entry in the short time I've had available, but I'm leaving for Europe this afternoon and have too many other tasks to finish before then.  Please enjoy this unfinished, mostly unformatted, and therefore obviously supplemental entry, and I'll see you all a couple of contests from now!

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Baeran's Redbanners

Optional elements:
2. Disreputable
8. Nongovernmental
9. Rural

The Redbanners are a small fleet of pirates who operate within approximately three days' sailing from the free port of Indona.  Two major trade routes pass through the area, making it a perfect home for several bands of pirates.  The Redbanners, however, are notable for the number of pirates that sail in the fleet, their strict hierarchy and excellent training, their willingness to employ any creature that will obey orders, and their brutality.

Many of these qualities are due to the leadership of the half-elf captain Baeran.  His flag, the banner after which his fleet is named, is a red field bearing the claw symbol of Bane in black.  His sailors and mercenaries swarm over the decks of grappled ships, slaying anyone who takes up arms against them and plundering every item of value--up to and including the clothing from their victims' backs.  Their reputation is so fearsome that many merchant captains run up a flag of surrender as soon as the red banner appears on the horizon. Those who resist are destroyed, and occasionally eaten by the more monstrous members of the fleet.

Constablewick

The port of Indona is an independent city-state on the lee side of the largest island in a chain of barrier reefs.  Although Indona itself has a deep and generous harbor, the surrounding reefs are dangerous and shallow .  In combination with the prevailing wind, the reefs force ships into one of two channels before attaining the open ocean--making the surrounding waters excellent hunting territory for pirates.  Merchant ships of all kinds, including slave trade and even the occasional treasure ship, pass through Indona on their way to the coastal empire nearby.  Although many pirates ply the area, few have the fearsome and merciless reputation of the Redbanners. 

However, every resident of Indona--and everyone who berths there or expects to do business there--is sworn to uphold the Indona Compact, and the Redbanners are no exception.  The Compact is an informal agreement which is nevertheless strictly enforced among and by the pirate captains and freeholding merchants and shipwrights of Indona.  It stipulates the following:
* Do not harm prisoners.
* Requests for parley or offers of surrender must be honored.
* The terms of any surrender agreement must be honored (although the Redbanners are certainly not alone in focusing on the letter of such agreements, rather than the spirit).
* Do not take or transport slaves, and likewise do not accept surrender from slavers.

In fact, the Redbanners under Baeran are more vigilant than most in enforcing the Indona Compact.  It's public knowledge that Baeran personally hates slavers, and it is rumored that he was once a slave himself; many of the most dangerous and savage members of his crew were once slaves, as well.  Baeran has also been part of a handful of efforts against fellow pirates who violated the Compact, and in fact acquired the Lancer from a fellow pirate who once dropped a shipload of prisoners into the deepest part of the channel one by one. 

Leadership and Roster

Gallant, flagship
 * Baeran, half-elf pirate lord
 * Merrimoor, halfling first mate

The Gallant is a three-masted, fore-and-aft rigged schooner approximately 90 feet long, and carries five officers and approximately 20 sailors.  It is relatively quick and well-armed, sporting two swiveling ballistae on the forecastle, and is an excellent vessel for general use.  The Gallant's figurehead makes clear that the name of the vessel is a black joke: the ship takes its name from a grinning wooden skeleton with a bouquet of bright flowers in one hand, and a dagger in the other.  The hull of the ship is the red of good wine--or fresh blood.

Lancer, heavy with crew
 * Barak, half-orc captain
 * Dinnan, human first mate

The Lancer is a carrack approximately 70 feet long, and has three masts outfitted with square rigging.  It carries three officers, 20 sailors, and 20 dedicated marines--making it the Redbanner's choice for boarding actions against large vessels, or where overwhelming force is necessary.  The Lancer is also the most heavily armed of the three Redbanner ships, with two ballistae mounted on each side of the main deck and a catapult near the bow.  The Lancer is painted in black and gray, and in place of a figurehead it mounts a cruel iron ram.

Prosecutor, fast pinnace
 * Miralinda, human captain
 * Plenaeros, minotaur first mate

The Prosecutor is a 50-foot cutter, carrying two officers and 15 crew.  It is faster than the Lancer, has a shallower draft than the Gallant, and is and easier to maneuver in light winds than either of the other two ships; Baeran generally deploys it as a skirmishing or pursuit vessel.  It mounts only a single catapult as armament, but maintains a versatile stock of alchemical ordnance.  The ship is blue and gray in color, with a leaping dolphin carved into the prow beneath the bowsprit.

Total Roster
8-10 officers
15-25 marines or mercenary troops
50-60 common sailors

Baeran's Redbanners: Foe (1,750 xp; level 8 encounter for 5 level 6 PCs)

Two major trade routes pass within a few days' sailing of Indona, and the PCs are on an outbound trip when three vessels come into view over the horizon.  The ships are flying red flags with black insignia; one crewman screams and jumps overboard, and the first mate begins arguing with the captain over the idea of surrender: the mate thinks their ship can outrun the pirates, but the captain believes it's not worth the risk if they fail.  After a few minutes, they explain the reputation of the Redbanners to the PCs (a DC 16 History or Streetwise check reveals most of the information under the heading "Baeran's Redbanners", above).  The Captain puts the question to the party, as the most capable combatants aboard: fight, or flee?

Flee!

This is a complexity 3 skill challenge (8 successes before 3 failures).  Easy checks are at a DC of 13, moderate checks are at a DC 19, and hard checks are DC 27.  The primary skills for this challenge are:
  Athletics (Moderate DC): the PC offers to assist with putting out extra sail to run before the wind.  This involves climbing, hauling, and similar tasks.
  Diplomacy (Moderate DC): the PC attempts to rally the morale of the crew, instilling the will to deal with the fearsome threat.
  Perception (Moderate DC): the PC takes a lookout role, trying to spot dangers in teh water ahead in time for the helmsman to steer clear.
  Special: A ranged basic attack against AC 22 counts as a success in this challenge, as the PCs pick off a member of the Redbanner's crew.  However, the -2 penalty for attacking at long range applies, and this tactic only becomes available after two failures--that is, once the Redbanners are almost upon the PCs.

If the PCs fail the skill challenge, proceed to combat as outlined below.  If they succeed, the ship has outrun the pirates, for now; however, stopping at Indona for supplies is now out of the question (because that may be the next port of call for the Redbanners, as well), and the ship may have to harbor at an even less savory port in order to avoid starvation at sea.

Fight!

The Redbanners have closed in on the PCs' ship.  The Prosecutor stands off with its catapult clearly readied, and massive grappling hooks fly from the ballistae on the Lancer, seizing the PCs' ship and pulling it close.  Suddenly the ship is full of leaping pirates, and the PCs must fight for their lives...