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Against the Shadow  |  Organizations  |  House Dalashan of Alvedara, the Blade Dancers
House Dalashan of Alvedara, the Blade Dancers

The Blade Dancers

(The prestige class and some further background information on the Pellurian Blade Dancers can be found in Star and Shadow [MN 13])

The Tradition
The Pellurian Blade Dancers were always based in Alvedara, serving as an exotic bodyguard elite to the King of Erenland. Their services were sought out by others as well, and they reaped both honor and wealth selling their services to sussars and Erenlander lords. The possession of a blade dancer's contract was considered great prestige, and the swordsmen themselves were often given great luxuries and honors while in a lord's service, and served until death, or their contract was ended. Ultimately though, all blade dancers swore allegiance to the House of Dalashan in Alvedara. Though not a true noble house but more a swordsman's guild, House Dalashan wielded both power and prestige in the third age, and the leader of the house has always possessed the rank of sussar.

The Shadow
Much of their power was lost when the Shadow poured south, broke the nobles and rearranged the established power structures. Though many blade dancers were cut down defending their wards, House Dalashan managed to survive, as some of the Pellurian Blade Dance and its practitioners chose to, at least formally, bow to the new king. When Jazhir Kamael entered Alvedara, he rode with a blade dancer guard in addition to that of his orcs and personal retinue, securing house Dalashan's survival in the new era.

There have however, been changes. The limitation on weapons in the south apply to the blade dancers as much as they do to any others, and the only swordsmasters allowed to bear arms are those in service to a legate, false sussar or other Shadow minion. Also, House Dalashan has been given the dubious honor of training and maintaining the Sword Brothers in Southern Erenland. To add further grief, several blade dancers have willingly joined the Order of Shadow and now guard Izrador's temples as Sword Brothers. Many of these are of Erenlander origins, but the legates have ordered House Dalashan to accept and train them, despite their lack of respect of tradition and honor, and their thirst for blood, violence and power.

The Resistance
Not every blade dancer was killed at the end of the third age or has become a traitor. A few swordsmen survived, and the heirs of their traditions and skills now wander the length and breadth of Erenland as wandering warriors, doing their best to help where they can. Whenever they find a talented and willing youth, they will take him or her as an apprentice and train them in the way of the shurapoli, and teach them the old codes of honor, duty, loyalty and faith, teachings that are now warped or forbidden in the halls of House Dalashan.

A small group of the blade dancers have also taken it upon them to guard the Sahi, and act as protectors of the true southern faith. These men and women represent the only organized resistance offered by the blade dancers, but is also the most limited resistance, as they have sworn themselves to he Sahi, acting as their bodyguards and cannot undertake many offensive missions. Many of these start off as defenders, and are only later taught the ways of the sword. As such, they are able to offer protection without requiring the presence of the massive swords commonly associated with the masters of the shurapoli.

Important Figures

Taharan of the Dalashan: The head of the house, Taharan is an aging man who bears his years worse than he should. As the head of the house of the blade dancers, one could expect Taharan to be a master swordsman. In his younger days, he was. However, he once attempted to interfere in some of cruel business of the Order of Shadow. For his efforts, he had a few hours of glory, before he was destroyed. Rather than kill him, the legates had his back broken, forever denying him the use of his legs. To compensate for his newfound lack of mobility, they "gifted" him with two eunuch orcs and a great cushioned chair in which they could carry him around. Taharan is now a broken man, both in spirit and body, and his orc slaves remain loyal to the Shadow, ensuring that should anything be amiss, the Order will know, and they are a constant threat to Taharan's life.

Shaari of the Dalashan: The younger sister of Taharan, Shaari has been the Dalashan family's unofficial mistress of blades for the past 25 years, ever since the legates took half of Taharan's body. Originally a gentle and bright spirit, duty forced her to harden her body and spirit, and set aside her womanly traits in favor of a steel husband. While she was always part of the Dalashan and expected to learn the ways of the blade, she was never trained for the responsibilities that were put on her shoulders by Taharan's heroic folly. Over the years, she has done her best to keep the house's reputation in good standing, but the effort has been strenuous. As a further attempt to harden herself and destroy her gentle, caring sides and remove any notions of true love, she has taken many lovers, even legates, and done her best to hate and discard every single one of them, earning her a reputation as a man-eating bitch as well as that of a terrifyingly determined swordswoman.

Karan Talmark: Karan epitomizes the disgrace House Dalashan endures in the fourth age. An Erenlander bastard who learned his fighting as a mercenary in the Westlands, he is an unkempt, unshaven, unwashed and uncouth man. However, Karan is also a worshipper of Izrador, a master swordsman, and a Sword Brother of the Order of Shadow. He has killed more than one overzealous Sarcosan intent on defending the purity of the shurapoli and its practitioners. Personally, Karan has never bothered learning the ways of the blade dance. In his thirties, his best days have gone him by and he now enjoys his position of power as the Order's overseer of the training of new Sword Brothers.

Author: Bleak Knight

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