Heir of Siberys outside of the House

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So I have a half-elf player who plans on having the Siberys Mark of Storm. She was raised with pirates and is, herself, a pirate and treasure hunter. When her mark manifests, I'm trying to figure out how House Lyrander will react. My assumption is that the first course of action would be to try and convince the heir to join the house officially and bring her into the fold, teaching her their ways. I'm certain that this is something the character would immediately rebuff. What would their response to such a rejection be? Heirs of Siberys are powerful and dangerous to have running about unattended. Would House Lyrandar eventually come to the point of hiring, say, Phiarlan of Thuranni to assassinate a rogue Heir of Siberys?
Call me Ender.
I doubt they would go that far unless the PC were actively working against the house in much more direct of a manner than just raiding the occassional shipment.

I mean, this PC represents the absolute pinnacle of Lyrandar power, the rarest of the rare.  Its far more likely that if they couldn't talk her into joining up officially they would work to start attatching strings to her left and right so they could control her. 
I mean, this PC represents the absolute pinnacle of Lyrandar power, the rarest of the rare. Its far more likely that if they couldn't talk her into joining up officially they would work to start attatching strings to her left and right so they could control her.



This is a good point. The Lyrandar are ambitious, power-hungry, and feel entitled to control their destiny. If you carry the Siberys Mark of Storm then you are a powerful symbol and tool for them, and like it or not they likely feel entitled to use you to further the goals of the House, more so than most Houses would anyway.

They're unlikely to flat out kill you, you're important for their marketing (so to speak) as a symbol of their power. Going out and killing someone like that would make the House seem divided when they're trying to present themselves as a leader. Right now they would likely treat you as a marketing error. Something to be corrected so it can further the influence of the House like its supposed to.
Assassination certainly wouldn't be the first option. And I don't know that I'd even want to run a campaign with the constant threat of an assassination against on of the PCs playing a big part. What I'm thinking is this, though:

The PC is a pirate. She has raided Lyrandar ships in the past. Now she has the ability to outperform almost any Lyrandar heir she encounters. What strings do you attach to her? How do you control someone that is in direct conflict with your business and now carries an advantage. More over, she's bad press. There's a rogue Lyrandar pirate roaming free stealing from ships and causing trouble? Something might have to be done. And fast.

Mind you, the plan for the character is to transition her from simple pirate to legendary hero. So, she may ultimately be far less of a threat than Lyrandar may initially think. And that certainly solves the problem. Plus the party has a patron that is trying to keep them a well-kept secret (so long as it suits him to do so).
Call me Ender.
So they can't match her in a direct confrontation, what about the other aspects of her life? What is she going to do if her port of call is suddenly wracked by terrible storms that her Mark only seems to intensify?

Does she have loved ones? What happens if the House manages to convince them to become well-kept scions of the house, on the condition that she joins. They could all retire to luxury in Stormhome, she just has to stop attacking the House and do some PR for them. Or maybe they disappear entirely and everytime she attacks Lyrandar interests, one of them turns up, quite a bit worse for wear.

Circulate a bounty among her social circle, not for her, but for anything she has. Have people constantly taking her possessions and attempting to rob her of her pirating conquests. Heck, just have someone take her favorite comb. And that dirty glass she never even cared about until it came to her attention that she no longer has any others. Or take what no sailor can live without: her booze.

Think of Lyrandar as a storm descending on her home. She might be able to survive just fine, but that storm will easily destroy everything else. There are many ways to destroy a woman, and Lyrandar has the resources to explore every one of them.
Think of Lyrandar as a storm descending on her home. She might be able to survive just fine, but that storm will easily destroy everything else.

That is a fantastic analogy.

And, again, I'm certainly not arguing that she has to have assassins after her, but I am looking for ideas and how to deal with situations that may arise from her actions.
Call me Ender.
You are also grossly overestimating the effectiveness of that mark, IMO.

The syberis DM does not grant the powers of the other marks, and at most lets her cast Storm of Vengeance twice a day.  Once a day if she hasn't finished maxxing out the PrC. 

Yes, it is a powerful spell with a huge area of effect, but it's duration is very limited.  10 rounds, thats 1 minute.  And she can only do it once, maybe twice a day.  Given that this PC has to be pretty darned powerful just to take the PrC in the first place, its not like the house would be trying a full frontal assault on her with reasonable force to begin with.  Effectively, her mark doesn't matter as far as how she would be attacked outright. 

House Lyrander would definitely be trying to control her through indirect means.

You said she was raised by pirates, so direct threats against her family probably won't mean much, as her family would be the pirates she's with.  You could always ruin her name though.  Get another member of the house to impersonate her and start raiding villaiges, killing innocent people, etc.  Turn the tide of public opinion against her until even her fellow pirates (that aren't literally on the ship with her to know better) refuse to deal with her or her crew.  Or start tracking her movements and attack any place she visits after she leaves, so that everyone fears to come close to her because they know death and destruction always follow behind her.  Or start bribing all of her contacts to be informants and traitors to her cause.  Make it so she can't trust anyone because every last pirate in the sky is taking bribes to stimey her every chance they get.

If you can't attack someone directly, you attack their support base instead.  Cut off their access to fresh supplies, harry them with small losses until they are in a Death by 1,000 Cuts scenario.  Instead of trying to fight her in the way that uses hitpoints and dice rolls, fight her ability to live the lifestyle she wants to live.
And, again, I'm certainly not arguing that she has to have assassins after her, but I am looking for ideas and how to deal with situations that may arise from her actions.



What situations are we talking about here?

Lyrandar will want to bring her into the House, both to contain and maintain their precious bloodline (at least stop her from spreading outside the House) and to manage her mark. The actual use of her Mark is likely not very useful for actual House business, but its an important brandname, so they're likely to be more interested that she doesn't use their brandname to injure the House (like being a pirate for example).

I think they'd try to buy her out. Lyrandar might not be on good terms with the pirates of Lhaazar, but its still part of an important shipping route. Having the pirates pay extra attention to Lyrandar vessels because of mysterious storms haunting their ports isn't good for business, so it'd likely be cheaper to either buy her into the House or act indirectly through others.

I'd suggest buying out or otherwise eliminating the crew of her vessel(s), assuming she rejects the offer to work for the House in lieu of pirating. Really, treating her like a competitor and squeezing her out of the market would be a route Lyrandar would be quite gifted with, and it'd allow them to push her into a position where she'd work with the House willingly, instead of as a prisoner. Its not like they want to lock her in a tower and make her wait for a prince or something, just having her stop attacking merchant vessels would be good enough.

Or maybe they'd be willing to work with her in her chosen profession, using her to work against other pirates in the area. Then they can claim that they are doing their part to redeem a criminal and fight piracy. Not sure if she follows some crazy pirate code, but working against the Cloudreavers or Bloodsails doesn't seem like it'd conflict too much with her rep as a pirate. They all accept bounties and gold from major political parties anyway, so her working with Lyrandar to some extent wouldn't raise too many eyebrows.
While I suspect you are aware, be careful before you start targetting NPCs the player has a bond with. You are giving the wrong signal, namely that caring about the world is a bad thing that can be exploited by the DM to force the player into a situation he does not want to be in. Furthermore, if Lyrandor really had that kind of resources, why the hack do they tolerate piracy? The fact is that they are a business and at some point the costs outweight the benefits. Besides, it is not as if she ever has been part of the house and honestly betrayed them nor is she telling the whole world she is a member of the house.

I would imagine that once they learn of her existence, they would check her records. If she is a vile murderous pirate, they would just keep an eye on her until her actions draw their ire, but that would be through normal piracy and not the mark. It is not as if Lyrandor acts enmass to the Bloodreavers and similar brutal pirats. If she is a general respectable pirate, stealing, but not murdering, and shown to be at least somewhat trustworthy, they are likely to approach her in secret with a few missions that test her mettle and trustworthiness. They might not even mention they are part of Lyrandor. Once she and her crew have proven to be at least somewhat reliable, they might approach her with an actual offer sweetening the deal with a powerful elemental ship a rich salary for her, her crew, her loved ones and jobs of her liking. If she refuses, so be it. Keep offering, especially when she could really use their help (for example when she really needs help against those bloodreavers she angered). Help her through little ways. Show her the friendly face of the house and how such an alliance could benefit her as well. For example, let Lyrandor learn about a plot against her by a rival pirate gang and warn her, free of charge of course ;)

Mind you, all of this assumes they even learn of her existence. Granted, hiding a Sybernis mark is not easy, but nor is its detection automatic. Ask your player what she wants. Obviously, the character is well aware that the mark is going to draw a lot of attention. Would she want to show it? But also as a player, does she want it to become the focus of a sideplot of the campaign? Or does she want to keep it to behind the scene stuff? In the end it is her character, and doing anything drastic with a PC should never be done without that player's concent. Sometimes a player makes his PC an orphan because he does not want the hassle of parents, sometimes it is an open invitation to do something with it. Just make sure you as a DM knows what it is ;)
Furthermore, if Lyrandor really had that kind of resources, why the hack do they tolerate piracy?

Because piracy is an industry with many, many players.  The PC is one person that has caught their attention.

Like you said, its a cost to benefit ratio.  The cost of stamping out the entire pirating industry is enormous, and would cost more than they are actually losing due to it.  The PC however is a single individual.  The cost of taking down one person is much, much lower, and the benefit of not having a rogue member of the house with the power to level small cities while walking around with what amounts to your corporate logo on their backs is enormous.
Furthermore, if Lyrandor really had that kind of resources, why the hack do they tolerate piracy?

Because piracy is an industry with many, many players.  The PC is one person that has caught their attention.

Like you said, its a cost to benefit ratio.  The cost of stamping out the entire pirating industry is enormous, and would cost more than they are actually losing due to it.  The PC however is a single individual.  The cost of taking down one person is much, much lower, and the benefit of not having a rogue member of the house with the power to level small cities while walking around with what amounts to your corporate logo on their backs is enormous.

You actually need to succeed on an Arcana check to recognize the mark for what it is. Most would not recognize it, although admittedly, there are not that many half-elf houses to pick from. Furthermore, there is a difference between a bit of piracy, especially if the PC(s) are not the brutal kind of pirats, and leveling cities. Lyrandor is not really a military orientated house, and while there are a few examples where Lyrandor brought down their resources upon a single pirate prince, they are rare and usually reserved for the worst of the worst. Obviously, this is my personal interpretation of House Lyrandor and the situation, your milleage might varry ;)

Finally, and more importantly, the DM decides how much resources a group of NPCs has, what they can and cannot do and how successful they are at it. You certainly could crush the PC if you want to, just remember that chances are the player will see it as you stepping down on her for picking something. If you are going this route, I feel that you should make the player aware of the risks (and allow the player to take the necessary measures to protect themselves) ;)
Any power House Lyrander doesn't have directly, they have a shipping empire that can more than afford to hire House Deneith mercenaries.

And actually its a Spellcraft check to ID a mark, but that includes knowing what abilities it has.  I would not require a check at all to go "Yup, thats a Dragonmark.  No idea what it does, but thats definitely a Dragonmark on a half elf.  Must be one of them thar Lyranders."
And actually its a Spellcraft check to ID a mark, but that includes knowing what abilities it has.  I would not require a check at all to go "Yup, thats a Dragonmark.  No idea what it does, but thats definitely a Dragonmark on a half elf.  Must be one of them thar Lyranders."

No such thing as Spellcraft in 4e ;) Anyway, it could be a Medani mark ;) It could also be an aberrant mark, which looks different, but I am unsure whether John Doe would recognize the difference...
No such thing as Spellcraft in 4e ;)


If you're doing Eberron in 4e, you're doing it wrong.Tongue Out
No such thing as Spellcraft in 4e ;)


If you're doing Eberron in 4e, you're doing it wrong.Tongue Out



Hey !  I'm doing that right now..  Take that back ! :D
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

In retrospect, I was, perhaps, exaggerating the effectiveness of her mark. I'm biased in that I read the Draconic Prophecies trilogy and had an image of Gaven stuck in my head as how the Siberys marks should act. And I suppose that stuck with me. After reading the Legacy of Dhakaan trilogy, I'm more aware of how a house is willing to deal with rebellious Heirs of Siberys. My player is planning on taking a number of classes and feats to expand her storm-related capabilities, but ultimately I think you're right; there would be little reason to send assassins after her unless she did something so extreme that it was necessary to protect the House as a whole.
Call me Ender.