Heralds of the Dark (A.K.A The Heralds)
D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules
by Knight Elf
Entry in the 2006 Nexus Organizations Contest.
The Heralds were established in 249 AC, when a young elf named Karu Andillas, was banished for suspected murder of Kithranan Kanan, brother of Solostaran Kanan. While wandering the forests at the edge of Solace Vale, Karu was attacked by a large group of Dark elves. After he assured them he had nothing of value, and the leader had commented highly on Karu's fighting skill, they offered him the opportunity to join them. Gladly accepting, Karu was eager to once more walk openly among those of his own race. After three months of traveling with the elves, Karu found his way into the good graces of the leader, a feat he was told only few before him had ever done. In the months following, the elves encountered a large goblin patrol. It was in this battle that the leader, now Karu's closest friend, was seriously wounded and died a week later. In the last week of his life, as his condition slowly worsened, Ceran, the elven leader, named Karu in his place. After paying his respects and giving a ceremony fit for a true leader, Karu moved his warriors onward. It is written in the great tomes that Karu used his druid magic to construct a large living mausoleum, but its location is only known to the original members who were present in its construction. On the first day, of the first month of every year, Karu journeys to the tomb and pays his respects. Shortly after the death of Ceran, Karu and his small band travelled the lands in search of new members, and successfully added over one-hundred within the first year of his leadership. Now, in the years following the Chaos war, the Heralds number in the thousands.
Goals and Motivations
The Heralds were established in the attempt to give a safe haven to those banished from their homelands, most particularly the elven lands. In the guild's first years it focussed only upon elves, but in later years Karu allowed those of all races to enter the guild's ranks whether innocent, as was Karu, or otherwise.
Headquarters/Areas of Influence:
As of most recent news, the headquarters of the Heralds is located in small just outside of Solace Vale, but it is rumored that their influence stretches as far as the end of Haven road.
In the wake of Ceran's death, Karu vowed he would not leave his people leaderless, and after taking that vow he made preparations for the leadership after his death. The current order of command is as follows:
Karu Andillas: Elven leader of the Heralds. In charge of all guild decisions, and current commander of the Herald nation.
The High Three:
The Hunters, a group of elven warriors that defend the Solace border, established after the War of the Lance, are the Heralds only allies.
The Heralds are held high on the list of enemies to the Knights of Solamnia, some such thing of honor and they should turn themselves over to the law. Though not largely known, the Heralds are greatly frowned upon by most of those of the outside world, but they are most especially hated by the Qualinesti government. It was not until the later years following the Chaos War that the Heralds were accepted into the elven militia and fought along side their brethren in the battle for their land. After the battle Karu consulted with King Gilthas and vowed for them to stay behind to halt the Knights of Neraka from following them.
In the most recent years, Karu has stepped forward and given the history and information regarding the Heralds. The Heralds are a self-sustaining guild, they have blacksmiths and markets just as any other civilization. As a member of the guild, you are entitled to the protection of the Heralds, and you are given food and supplies for your family to live and thrive.
Each member of the guild bears a small tattoo on his left forearm, resembling a large black aspen leaf, a symbol of their banishment. Inside the borders of the guild settlements, women and children, as well as the elderly, are expected to be able to leave at a moment's notice, attacks were all to common in the years following the War of the Lance. In the event a member travels to a city or town, he is ordered to attract no attention to themselves and were to always look over his shoulders, it would have not have been the first that a town guard had followed someone back to the camp, and it is always such an annoyance to clean up the mess.
Joining the Organization
As Karu has revealed, one does not find the Heralds, the Heralds find you. When news of banishment reaches the many ears of the Heralds, the elf, or whatever race the banished may be, is confronted and offered the opportunity to join, if he refuses, then like the forest of Wayreth, the exile often never sess them again.
Costs and Benefits of Membership
The fee for joining is nothing more than vowing allegiance to the clan, a vow that Karu holds close to his heart and watches carefully to make sure everyone keeps that vow. Upon joining, the new member vows to do all for the clan, and like wise the clan all for the member. As said above, all members are entitled to protection and a safe home.
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