On the seas of the Pelluria nature is not the only enemy. While storms and shoals are never taken lightly by anyone who plies that body of water for trade or travel the two legged predators can be just as fearsome. The hulks of the Order of the Shadow and the raiders of the Pirate Princes are the most prosperous of those predators however, in their shadows smaller groups operate. One of the worst of those groups is The Black Dogs
The Black Dogs are a group of self serving pirates. Based out of Dragon Island in the Eastern Pelluria, this group is dedicated to getting ahead at all costs and damn anyone who gets in their way. To do this they play the most dangerous game of all: betraying the Pirate Princes to the Order and Order to anyone that will pay their price.
The Black Dogs (minor): AL LE; 55,000 gp resources limit; Membership: 145; Integrated (Sarcosian 75, Erenlander 20, Dorn 5).
Authority Figures: Dal Rishan, Male Sarcosian Channeller 10 / Pirate of Eredane 5, Tibin Rishan, Male Sarcosian Fighter 8 / Pirate of Eredane 8,
Important Characters: Germaine Belin, Male Erenlander Fighter 5 / Rogue 3 / Pirate of Eredane 2, Pan Esban, Male Dorn Aristocrat 4 / Rogue 4
Others: Mixed; War2 / Rog1 (70), War1 (25), Exp6 (3), Exp4 (6), Exp2 (10), Com3 (12), Com2 (15)
Organization Size and Resources
The Black Dogs are based solely off their Galleon, aptly named The Black Dog after the Galleon’s distinctive prow, a giant carving of a Mastiff hound. Its members are mostly Sarcosians from the shore villages of the Pelluria. The remaining members are rogues and reavers picked up from ports of call along the Pelluria’s coast.
The Dogs have an extraordinary amount of resources for a group their size. Most of these resources are in the form of loot stolen from the Order of the Shadow’s ships or from lone pirates. These valuables are traded through Pan’s contacts with Gnome trading families for more usable goods and shares for the crew. One of the ways that the Rishan brothers keep the loyalty of the crew is their honesty when it comes to dividing the spoils and they make sure that the crew knows it.
The Black Dog (Galleon)
Mode: Seagoing; sails.
Advantages: Speed increased to Average through superior sails.
Disadvantages: Deep draft, sluggish.
The Black Dog is a huge ship, one of the few Galleons that still operate on the Pelluria. The four masts are topped with an oversized archer’s nest and sport wide square sails. The fore and aft castles towers over the ends of the ship packed with catapults and ballista’s.
Organization Alignment and Leadership
The Black Dogs operate under their own code. Each of them has committed crimes that both the Resistance and the Order would kill them for. The only thing that keeps them alive is their loyalty to each other and the Rishan brothers.
Dal Rishan: Male Sarcosian Channeller 10 (Hermetic)/Pirate of Eredane 5; CR 15; Medium-size humanoid; HP 75; Init +1; Spd 30 ft.; AC 14 (Touch 11, flat-footed 13); Base Atk +8; Grp +8; Atk +9/+4 melee (1d6 19-20/x2, Ceduku); SQ: Connections, Pirate’s Luck, Skilled and Sure, AL LE; SV Fort +5, Ref +9, Will +9; Str 10, Dex 13, Con 12, Int 18, Wis 12, Cha 12.
Connections: When operating in the Pelluria region Dal gets a +5 bonus to Bluff, Gather Information, and Intimidate checks due to extensive connections.
Pirate’s Luck: Once per day, Dal can roll dice and add it to a roll. Dal may wait to see the result of a roll before deciding whether to add to the roll. Once per day Dal may add +1d8, +1d6, or a +1d4. He may even add more than one die to a single roll.
Skilled and Sure (Concentration): Any time Dal fails a Concentration check, he may make a second Concentration check to attempt to keep from losing her focus. Additionally, he automatically succeeds when casting a spell on the defensive.
Skilled and Sure (Balance): Any time Dal fails a Balance check, he may make a second Balance check to keep from falling. Dal may also stand up from prone as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Possessions: Greater Spell Talisman (Lesser Evocation), Masterwork studded leather armor, Masterwork cedeku, Potion of Cure Moderate Wounds (x2), Leather bound lorebook in a waterproof wooden box.
Tibin Rishan, Male Sarcosian Fighter 8/Pirate of Eredane 8; CR 16, Medium-size humanoid; HP 90; Init +5; Spd 40 ft.; AC 20 (Touch 13, flat-footed 17); Base Atk +14/+9/+4; Grp +14; Atk +20/+15/+10 melee (1d6+6 18-20/x2, Ceduku), Atk +16/+11/+6 ranged (1d8+3 20/x3, Composite Longbow); SQ: Connections, Pirate’s Luck, Skilled and Sure; AL LE; SV Fort +10, Ref +12, Will +10; Str 18, Dex 16, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 10, Cha 10.
Connections: When operating in the Pelluria regions Tibin gets a +8 bonus to Bluff, Gather Information, and Intimidate checks due to extensive connections.
Pirate’s Luck: Once per day, Tibin can roll dice and add it to a roll. Tibin may wait to see the result of a roll before deciding whether to add to the roll. Once per day Tibin may add +1d10, +1d8, +1d6, or a +1d4. He may even add more than one die to a single roll.
Skilled and Sure (Balance): Any time Tibin fails a Balance check, he may make a second Balance check to keep from falling. Tibin may also stand up from prone as a free action that does not provoke attacks of opportunity.
Skilled and Sure (Climb): Tibin gains a climb speed equal to half of his base land speed (20’). He retains his Dexterity bonus to AC while climbing, and opponents get no special bonus on their attacks against him. He must still make Climb check to climb any wall, slope, or rigging with a DC or more than 0.
Skilled and Sure (Intimidate): Once per round, Tibin may demoralize an opponent as a free action instead of as a standard action, and the penalties inflicted if she succeeds are doubled.
Skilled and Sure (Jump): The DC for running jumps is not doubled if Tibin does not have a running start.
Possessions: Masterwork Breastplate, Masterwork heavy wooden shield, Ceduku +1, Potion of Cure Serious Wounds (x1), Masterwork Composite Longbow [Str +3], quiver of 25 arrows.
History: Dal and Tibin grew up in a small village on the northern coast of the Pelluria. Their father died before they could remember him. Their mother was rarely around ever around and the boys were forced to fend for themselves. The two brothers were quite different; Dal was more curious and inquisitive where his brother was more down to earth and pragmatic. The two survived by working on the fishing boats that left the village daily to track the schools of fish.
In their late teenage years the fishing boat came across a large ship anchored off the coast. The crew of the ship politely requested their location and where they could get supplies. Dal and Tibin didn’t hesitate; they both left the fishing fleet and signed on with the captain of that ship. Dal fell in with the navigator of the ship and started studying under him. The navigator, a channeler of no small skill, could feel Dal’s growing arcane skill and encouraged him down that path.
After several years of transporting cargo for the Order of the Shadow the brothers grew bored. They set on their own and fell in with a group of pirates raiding the same fleet that Dal and Tibin once crewed. Eventually they advanced through the crew and seized control of the ship and in a short time formed the Black Dogs.
Organization Membership and Demographics
The Black Dogs have a fearsome reputation and it’s well earned, they recruit the kind of brigands and reavers that even the Order will not hire. However the Rishan brothers pay the crew well, several members of the crew are rich men by pirate standards. The majority of the group is Sarcosian (75%), like the Rishan brothers who trust their own countrymen above others; the remaining 25% is 20% Erenlander and 5% Dorn.
As expected with a crew of pirates the majority of the crew are Warrior/Rogues, men and women that know how to raid both ships and sea side villages. The remaining members of the crew are Experts and Commoners. The Experts see to the day-to-day operations of a ship this size; cooks, carpenters, etc… The Commoners act as labourers on the Black Dog. The tasks that are too low for the crew, pumping out the bilge water, stacking cargo, etc…
Joining the Black Dogs
Characters who wish to join the Black Dogs must demonstrate their devotion to their fellow pirates above all else. Potential crew are taken on the next available raid and forced to commit horrible crimes, murder. Crewmen aren’t trusted until they have proven their commitment to the crew of the Black Dog above all other groups. Necessity has made the Black Dogs skilled at ferreting out spies among their ranks. Spies are commonly flung into the sea by catapult and used for target practice by the crew.
In the Campaign
The Black Dogs can be used in a variety of roles. As adversaries they could raid a village that the PC’s are camping in or near. If the PC’s are travelling by ship it could be attacked by the Black Dogs.
As allies the Black Dogs are capricious at best. They could be quite valuable; their crew has access to shipping schedules, maritime troop postings, and knowledge of port security. This would all provide invaluable to resistance member planning to strike against the Shadow. However, the Black Dogs would provide false information or even alert the Shadow to a coming attack if they felt the advantage was greater exposing the Resistance to the Order.
An important resistance contact to the PC has been captured by the Black Dogs during a coastal raid. The information that the contact has on the local resistance would be invaluable to the Order the Shadow. The Black Dogs are holding an auction and the contact will be given to the highest bidder, both the Resistance and the Order have been invited to bid.
The Black Dogs raided what appeared to be a lone Shadow hulk to their surprise a courier on that ship was carrying important strategic plans to the Fey-Killer in Eisen. They plan to turn over a copy of the information to the resistance to repay an old debt. Once the resistance has the plans the Black Dogs will turn the original plans back over to the Order claiming that they liberated them from the PC’s.