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Author Topic: sarcosan knights  (Read 2762 times)
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smeagol
Bane of Legates
****

Spell Energy / Taint +9/-2
Gender: Male
Posts: 635


Hiding from Shadow


« on: August 10, 2006, 12:18:55 PM »

Who wrote this? I believe this was Wil Upchurch.

Sarcosan Knights


Origins

The Sarcosan cavalry is the foremost component of the culture's military domination, both on its home continent and later across Eredane. The horse is the culture's most important symbol, having a wide variety of religious, political, and social meanings. It is not unusual, then, that the Sarcosans who continue to resist Izrador's occupation of their lands have chosen horses and their riders as a symbol of freedom and the living honor of their people.

The Sarcosan knights have played integral roles in every war since they first landed on Eredane. It was their speed and might that helped the Sarcosans drive north to the Sea of Pelluria, and finally to subjugate the Dornish peoples of the Northlands. For hundreds of years the different orders of knights roamed the countryside as the sworn riders of the most powerful princes and the kalif. With the rise of the Shadow a century ago, the knights once again attempted to defend southern Erenland from the onrushing hordes. The sworn riders of many different orders stood together at the fall of Cambrial and others rode in defense of the great cities of the southern coast. Some had turned to the Shadow before the Night Kings brought their hordes, and the grandchildren of these traitors still exert their influence over their occupied homelands.

The Sarcosan knights that remain free across southern Eredane are mostly descended from the great princes, called sussars, of the old empire. Many of them are the disgraced sons and grandsons of those who buckled under the pressure of Jahzir's will and became servants to the conqueror. Others maintain their noble family name after their ancestors were slaughtered by the wave of orcs that quickly destroyed the faltering southern cities after the Last Battle. These differences matter little now, however, as those who still fight against the occupying armies have banded together in the spirit of unity, brotherhood, and freedom.

Organization

The remaining Sarcosan knights are doing everything in their power to retain the honor of their heritage while reclaiming their ancestral homelands. Many of the knights have begun to speak Courtier, the lost language of the Sarcosan nobility, as a way to link themselves with the best of Sarcosan culture. A great deal of social stratification still exists in Sarcosan culture, but the knights are willing to allow someone from any caste to join their ranks as long as he exhibits a willingness to stand with them against the Night Kings. Any who take on this mantle immediately gain the social rank of sussar, although this may not be recognized by those who still live in the cities or accept the rule of the traitorous princes. Families, support personnel, and others who help the knights are treated with respect, but are considered on a lower social rung than the knights themselves. The knights bestow the status of beeshi upon such followers, regardless of their age or occupation.
The groups in which the remaining Sarcosan knights, their families, and their supporters now band are called shaleef, meaning "honored brotherhood" in the Courtier tongue. The knights reign all others within the shaleef, and each exhibits an equal amount of power. They share the responsibilities of decision making, leaving whichever knights are present with the shaleef to decide upon the best course of action should a decision need to be made. The others within the group have no say in these decisions, although certain individuals may be appointed to manage aspects of everyday life for the nomadic horse people.

Each shaleef dedicates itself to one of the gods of the Riding Host, dedicating their actions to him and tracking him across the sky each night. They do not see any particular deity as superior but simply choose one whose lessons are valuable in the dark times in which they live. Religion still plays a key role in Sarcosan life, and all of the members of a shaleef must exhibit the utmost piety or have their loyalty and honor questioned.
Personalities

Anali Moorsar

Anali Moorsar is a sworn rider devoted to Zani Mansoor, the free man's kalif. He is both a warrior and a priest of the Sorshef who provides much-needed inspiration to the weary souls who follow the kalif in his war against the Shadow. Anali spends at least an hour each day reading parables of the Sorshef to the children of the shaleef, and he firmly believes that they will be alive to fight against the Night Kings long after he and his aging general have passed into the realm of the Riding Host.
Anali is large for a Sarcosan, and some of the other knights jest that he has a little too much Dornish blood in his veins to ride his Sarcosan steed, Aski. Still, he bears the familiar marks of a Sarcosan-dark hair and dusky skin-and his devotion to both the religion and the culture of his ancestors makes him a respected and valuable addition to their band. His skill with the Sarcosan lance is legendary among his own shaleef and others across the continent, and it is said that he can spear three orcs upon its tip before he finds it necessary to dump their bodies to the ground.

Dereh Arequun

One of the greatest acts of bravery from the last war against Izrador was the defiant stand of the sussar Jukal on the plains of southern Erenland. Backed by nearly 5,000 horsemen, Jukal stood defiantly, and tragically, against the tide of orcs that swept across the defeated lands. Most of the horsemen as well as Jukal himself were killed at that battle, although some were able to escape into hiding after their defeat. One such survivor, the sworn rider known only as Atil, managed to bring together some stragglers from the battle and evade pursuit by the Night King's army until finally they made their escape.
Dereh Arequun is a direct descendant of Atil and he still leads a ragtag band of horsemen, many of whose ancestors rode with Atil over a century ago. Their band numbers only 15 men, with no support structure or families to speak of. They ride the southwestern plains of Eredane where the swamps of the Aruun begin to turn the hard dirt of the plains into mud and the grass becomes a mixture of weeds and pungent herbs. These horsemen have strayed more than others of their kind, even adopting some of the strange ways of the jungle elves in their bid to survive. Those who encounter them will not find a troupe of horsemen trying to find comfort in ancient traditions, but rather a band of outlaw riders who will do anything to survive another day.

In Your Campaign

The Sarcosan knights and the shaleefs in which they ride can be very useful for the PCs. The sworn riders can be powerful allies, although they always favor their survival over any single strike against the Night Kings and their armies. Knowing the location of a shaleef camp or being able to find one when in peril can give the PCs a place to go when they are on the run or simply need to rest and recover after a particularly nasty encounter. Since the Sarcosan knights are active all over southern Erenland and often come from families who still live within the occupied cities, they can be great sources of information for the PCs, especially in matters of troop movements and similar large-scale activities.

A PC who wants to become a Sarcosan knight can do so as long as he meets the class's criteria. While most of the knights choose to ride with a shaleef, it is not unknown for one to strike out on his own or with a group of allies in search of personal quests or goals that the shaleef simply cannot help him reach. Most such knights are merely considered beeshi rather than full sussars, but outside the rigid social structure recognized by the Sarcosans such matters are of little regard.
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"Il n'est pas besoin d'espérer pour entreprendre ni de réussir pour persévérer" - Devise de la famille d'Orange
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