Wednesday, September 18, 2019

OSR: The Brotherhood of Broken Chains: Broken Blades

[The following is a compilation of a series of documents transcribed by Interrogator-Lord Marwen of Soliko, agent of His Imperium, the Emperor of Joyous Exultation, Lord Marzan's prayers be upon him.  The information contained within should be recognized as the opinions and thoughts of a law-breaker and do not in any way reflect the opinions, thoughts or desires of His Imperium or the agents of the Emperor or his loyal subjects.

All subjects detailed below are considered outlaws and law-breakers under Imperial Law.  All agents of His Imperium, if they encounter one of the individuals below should make all efforts to seize them, so that they may be brought before a Justice of His Imperium to receive due punishment.  Additionally, if any subject of His Imperium possesses the sufficient strength or skill with arms to apprehend one of the criminals, they should be awarded just compensation by an agent of His Imperium.

However, if any of the individuals mentioned in this file are to be caught, the agent of His Imperium strongly believes that they would be much more help alive and should be brought in for questioning and contrition.  Maybe they could be turned against their so called 'Brothers' and provide valuable information on the internal dynamics of the Brotherhood.

For further research, consult File E137-a-2 in the Imperial Archives for more information on the Brotherhood of Broken Chains' leadership and supposed history, File E137-b-56 for information on a particularly relevant group of criminals or File E137-f-31 for a look at some of the low-level members of the organization.  So says the agent of His Imperium.
]

There is a certain subset of Brothers I like to refer to as my 'Broken Blades'.  These are Brothers who are too useful for me to be rid of, but to troublesome to be permitted free rein.  As such, I keep them around, for the moment, but this is a situation that may change, depending on their performance.  For if any of my Broken Blades snaps again, I will arrange for their immediate termination.

                                                      by artikid
Vani, Daughter of Mettix

Vani is one of those Brothers who is a problem because I can't quite determine what my problem is with her.  Is it because of her impulsiveness?  Possibly.  Vani has difficulty keeping herself under control.  To put it simply, she is a degenerate, constantly falling in with rough men.  I'd say she lets herself be taken advantage of, but that undermines Vani's own contribution, which I am not going to understate.  The woman is notorious for her torrid affairs and infidelity.  I have permanently barred her from coming back to the island, forcing her to work out of one of our safehouses, on account of a certain incident where three senior Brothers got into a punch up over who's baby was growing inside her, as she was quite pregnant at the time.

I honestly don't know how she does it- her appearance is strange, or so I am told, even for a flat-face.  She is a Human, but with sagging skin, a large, pronounced jaw and strange, serrated teeth.  Yet for some reason, she never has trouble finding men.  I suppose that shouldn't be that much of an accomplishment in an organization composed mostly of unattached men whose central creed is based around breaking down the creeds, codes and restrictions that bind us, but still, it strikes me as odd.

Another thing that troubles me is that my spies have reported to me several times that Vani was pregnant and was going to or have already given birth to another child.  They told me this so I could prepare for her replacement, as most females in my organization who get pregnant retire from it, which is an acceptable risk, with certain exceptions.  However, Vani has never approached me or any of the other Pillars to ask for permission to retire.  Instead, she has always reported for duty and her children always end up vanishing under mysterious circumstances.  She is doing something with them, I am sure of it.  I have a Brother currently assigned to monitor Vani, with her objective to find out what Vani is doing with those babies.  And whatever she is up to, I have a contigency plan.  

Weakness:
Vani is fiercely protective of her children, at least while they are with her.  She will not do anything to risk them and will flee from any situation that might endanger them.  I am also told by my chief Physician that she is pregnant right now.  I wish her all the best, though she would be advised not to put her children before her Brothers.  That would be, unwise.

Statblock:

Vani, Daughter of Mettix
HD 3  AC 13  Atk (+3) Trident 1d8/1d8
Mor 7  Saves 9 or less is a success

Darkvision: Vani, Daughter of Mettix has incredible vision.  She can see in anything but pitch darkness, though when she is in the dark, she becomes highly sensitive to light.

Water Breather: Vani, Daughter of Mettix is a powerful swimmer and can breathe water as well as air.

Succubic Secretions: Vani, Daughter of Mettix, as an action, may secrete a pheremone cloud that affects all males within 15'. All within this cloud must save or be charmed by Vani, Daughter of Mettix, operating under the Maxim, "I love Vani and want to protect her."

Tactics:
- Charm some males
- Avoid direct conflict if possible
- Fight near water or darkness, preferrably both
- Ambushes are your best friend

Status: Active.  Vani is currently deployed with the rest of her team on a mission of minor importance, though she and her Brothers have been told otherwise.  I do not particularly care about the outcome of this mission in particular.  This game is a test, meant for them.  I have dispatched one of the senior Brothers to monitor their mission.  She will watch and wait, and see how this affair goes.  Regardless of what happens next, I look forward to reading the reports.

                                                     by NateHallinanArt

Baggolio Yori Utiko Manz Vorge

Baggolio Vorge is a skilled and cunning thief.  He was a highly successful cutpurse and highwayman, relieving many a nobleman of their jewels and silks.  He had made quite a name for himself in his local area, but the thing about successful criminals is that the second they get any notoriety, it tends to get to their heads.  Vorge was no exception to this rule and was soon boasting about his talents.  Thus, when he was asked to come along on a job to rob the Temple of a minor God, he decided he could pull it off. 

I've heard all about his plans and even knowing how they panned out, I am still impressed.  It could have worked.  But in every heist, there's always that one unexpected factor, that one situation you never thought to prepare for.  Every system, not matter how sturdy, hides the potential for Chaos.  And Vorge knows this better than anyone, as the night he attempted to rob that temple, he made the unfortunate discovery that the Deity had returned early.  Vorge choose to beg for mercy while his allies choose to flee, abandoning him.  He made the smarter choice, as most of his allies died soon after, cut down by the Deity's retainers or obliterated by the Godling.  Vorge was going to be sacrificed for his crimes, but an agent of mine intervened, springing him from the dungeon before the night that it was due to occur.  I still have no idea how that Brother did that under a Deity's watch.  Maybe the Brother bribed the Deity with a better sacrifice, or simply convinced it that Vorge wasn't worth such a noble death.  Or maybe the Deity wanted Vorge to end up in my clutches the whole time and permitted his escape.  If so, such a God is far crueler than I ever could be.

Vorge is an excellent thief and while he claims otherwise, he is also a skilled taker of lives.  His precision, focus and cunning made him a natural choice for team leader.  However, Vorge presents a problem for me in that he is just a little too smart for my organization.  For while the Brotherhood has a great need for intelligent operatives, it does not have the need for operatives smart enough to wonder why they should be taking orders from me.  So often do these types forget what their betters, nay, what I have done for them.  I hope that Vorge does not entertain such thoughts, or he may find himself returning sooner than he like, in a form he'd never want to be in.

Weakness: Vorge is proud.  He thinks himself more clever than he actually is and is thus, vulnerable to being tricked.  He won't fall for an obvious trap, but he will fall for something a little more complex.

Statblock:


Baggolio Yori Utiko Manz Vorge
HD 3  AC 15  Atk (+1) Daggers 1d6/1d6 or if thrown, (+3)
Mor 5  Saves 8 or less is a success

Knife Fighter: If Vorge manages to land a successful hit with his knives from melee range, he may, instead of making two attacks, burn one attack to automatically do 1d6 damage to the person he struck earlier, as long as he is in melee range.

Tactics:
- Throw knives at strong opponents to soften them up
- Then get in close and try to hit
- If you hit, use 'Knife Fighter'
- If you don't hit, start over

Status: Active.  Vorge has been told he and his team are on a simple mission to infiltrate an Imperial Governor's manse and retrieve a few valuable pieces for me.  However, I have also left a series of clues to reveal that this mission is actually an attempt to root out a traitor among their team.  Vorge believes he has discovered this due to his own cleverness.  And while this is completely false, the mission's secondary purpose may turn out to not be, especially if Vorge gets any funny ideas...

                                                                by GORILAZ4EVAR
Kina Artlett of Maggino Park

Kina Artlett is a Doeling, one of those delicate, skittish folk that have been comfortably squatting beneath the bulk of the Orzanian Giants towering over the world.  However, while the Doelings are usually characterized by their agreeability and conscientiousness, Artlett is anything but.  According to some of the other Doelings I've had cause to speak to, Artlett seems to fit their definition of madness well. 

This isn't much of a problem for me, though.  After all, where would the Brotherhood be without the mad?  Artlett is consumed by the belief that he is a much better fighter than he actually is.  He consistently underestimates his opponents and overestimates his own abilities.  He is not a frenzied individual, prone to rages or fits, but seems quite lucid.  His madness manifests in that whenever he assesses an opponent, he is almost always wrong.  It'd almost be amusing, if it wasn't so sad.

This is why Artlett is here instead of assigned to another squad.  For while I have absolutely no worries about Artlett even thinking about betraying me, his madness has destroyed almost all of the potential he had, crippling him.  And the worst part is that he doesn't even realize it himself.  The amount of pity I feel toward this unfortunate Brother amazes me.  Sometimes I worry I have grown soft. 

Weakness: Kina Artlett cannot gauge the strength of his opponents.  He almost always underestimates his opponents and often quite seriously.  It is a miracle he hasn't decided to pick a fight with an opponent absurdly stronger than him yet, as there is no internal reason for him to not have done so already. 

Statblock:

Kina Artlett of Maggino Park
HD 1  AC 12  Atk (+1) Fists 1d6 or Sunday Punch
Mor 11    Saves 7 or less is a success

Inaccurate Assessment: Kina Artlett is insane, so his reason has consumed him, warping his reality into a self-reinforcing loop.  This means that Artlett consistently underestimates his opponents.  When assessing an opponent, Artlett has a 5-in-6 chance of underestimating an opponent.  He will be correct in guessing an opponent's strength occasionally, but that is pure, dumb luck.

Sunday Punch: Kina Artlett can make a stronger punch that does 1d10 damage, but only against targets with weak armor.  It also doesn't work against those wearing helms.  Artlett may only use his Sunday Punch every 1d4 rounds. 

Tactics:
- Inaccurately assess your opponent's strength
- Rush in and attack the closest or strongest opponent
- Be totally fearless

Status: Active.  Kina Artlett is currently on two missions.  The first is from me and is to accompany his fellow Brothers on their retrieval mission.  The second is self-assigned and it is to fight every single strong warrior in the world.  I wish him success in both of his endeavors.

                                                            by ZhaKrisstol
Nazaria Golga

The Brotherhood of Broken Chains is an organization that has persisted for so long because of its segmented, compartmentalized nature.  Brothers are only told what they need to know and squad leaders only know slightly more.  Among our ranks, knowledge is often more valuable than gold and guarded far more zealously.  It could be said that the best way to think of my organization is not as a cult or a criminal organization, the hypocrites, but as a vast web of secrets.

But nature abhors a vacuum and since facts are difficult to come by, my operatives have busied themselves with inventing all sorts of wild theories about how the organization functions and what my final goal is.  I have even utilized this process myself, using certain loyal Brothers to insert rumors into the main body of the organization, to misdirect operatives from certain ideas and to plant others in the minds of a select few.  However, most of these rumors are simply home-grown.

Most of these tales are wild and salacious, falling in and out of favor.  There is one tale I wish to recount here, though, as it is very popular and very long-lived.  It is the story of the Executor.  The Executor is a secret operative who directly serves the Master of Chains, an Elder Brother who possesses almost as much power and knowledge as the Master himself.  But unlike other Brothers, the Executor has only one mission.  To find those who are going to, or already have, betrayed the Brotherhood and to eliminate them.  From there the rumor has spawned dozens of competing theories about who the Executor is and what they are.  Some say that the Executor is my Shadow, or a Senior Brother everyone would recognize.  Others insist that the Executor is actually some sort of magical beast or hideous monster, or maybe even a vile demigod that dwells in the lowest levels of my stronghold, feeding on the souls of traitors.  A few even suggest that the Executor is hiding in plain sight, pretending to be some low-level Brother while hiding their true potential.  This is the theory I have worked hardest to discredit through covert means, as it is true.

While I do not refer to her as, nor even use the title of, Executor, I do have a Brother who secretly receives assignments from me to remove certain Brothers from the organization.  Her name is Nazaria Golga and she has proven most effective at her job.  Golga is a ruthless and skilled operative, with almost no regard for her own safety and the frozen, burning hatred I find oh so useful in this line of work.  Golga has filled the position for several years now, skillfully maintaining her cover while exterminating traitors and suspected traitors.  Several times I have even ordered her to infiltrate highly secure prisons to terminate Brothers who had been captured and I supected would crack under pressure.  I never expected her to actually succeed at these missions, but she has.

This is actually a cause for concern, if I may be honest.  Golga is a killing machine, of course, but the level of success she has achieved is nothing short of pretenatural.  I have decided that I will keep her where she is for now, but I am also making plans to remove her from her position, as well as from my organization, permanently.  This will be my immediate course of action if I find out that Golga's victories were of anything other than her own merit.    

Weakness: If Nazaria Golga possesses a weakness, it is that she takes great pride in her unbroken string of successes.  She will make any and all attempts to complete a mission, even at great risk to herself and others.  She is obsessed with victory.

Statblock:

Nazaria Golga
HD 5  AC 14  Atk (+4) Atlatl 1d8 or (+1) Dagger 1d6/1d6
Mor 9   Saves 10 or less is a success

Enchanted Spears: Nazaria Golga has imbued her Atlatl's spears with magical power.  Anyone who is hit by one of them receives an additional effect, a -1 penalty to all attacks and damage rolls per hit.  At any point, Golga may lift these penalties from someone as a free action.  See 'Spontaneous Combustion' for what happens when she does that.

Spontaneous Combustion: If Golga wishes it to, any person with a -1 penalty on him has that penalty removed from him, but he also takes 1d6 fire damage.  This stacks per -1 penalty, to a maximum of 3d6.  Once the initial burst, the target also takes an additional 1d6 damage per round he is still on fire. 

Tactics:
- Lay penalties on the most dangerous foe
- Light them up
- Avoid melee combat unless absolutely necessary

Status: Active.  Golga is a highly skilled operative, which is good, because she would be wasted doing almost anything else.  Right now, she is traveling with a group of Broken Blades who are on some issue of minor importance.  Her primary mission is not to complete the mission, but to watch the group.  If any of the other Brothers commits one of the unpardonable sins, she is to immediately terminate the offenders and bring me back proof of their demise. 

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