D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules
"Chaos, at any cost."
Throughout most of the history of Ansalon, a single group has lurked in the shadows. Having denounced all the deities, they work to topple order itself. They remain the only mortals to worship the Father of All and Nothing. This group, filled with agents, spies, assassins, and renegade mages, is known as the Bloodblade Confederacy.
Note that the Bloodblade Confederacy has written its own legends about history that contradicts the history found in other documents. Aesthetics from Palanthas have managed to compile perhaps the most definitive history of the highly secretive group.
Legend: The Bloodblade Confederacy, according to their legends, was created by seven humans who were part of Reorx's Chosen, the Smiths. When Reorx cursed the Smiths and changed them into gnomes, the seven, tapping into wild magic, hurled themselves straight into the Plane of Shadow to avoid Reorx's punishment. Reorx followed them into the dark plane, but could not find the wily human Smiths. Nobody knows what happened there, but all seven returned as Krynn's first liches.
However, something went wrong when the liches returned to Ansalon. The Greygem of Gargath was released from Lunitari by a gnome tinker. The group of liches, on their return to Krynn, felt the Greygem's power. Seizing the Greygem for a few minutes (impressive, considering the Greygem's power), the seven liches felt the power of Chaos inside the crystal. It changed them and empowered them with a new mission - eradicate order across Krynn. The seven created the Bloodblade Confederacy to this end.
The truth, however, is somewhat less glamorous. The seven humans were not Smiths, but instead high-ranking clerics of Chemosh who became liches. They did not travel to the Plane of Shadow, but they were changed by the Greygem's power. Chemosh's priesthood cast out the renegade priests, who vowed to annihilate order across the world.
Reliable evidence about the newly built Bloodblade Confederacy in those early years is exceptionally difficult to find. What is known is shocking. The seven liches installed themselves as the Council of Sin, and began recruiting agents across the world, as well as a disposable army.
Age of the Liches (Age of Dreams): In this period, the Council of Sin created the Bloodblade Confederacy and began carrying out their nefarious schemes. The nations of elves, dwarves, humans, and minotaurs had no idea of their existence. Even as the Confederacy executes numerous assassinations (one of the specialties of the group, and one that they are most known for), they gradually reveal their presence. The liches are targeted and most are destroyed. By 2000 PC, only a single lich, Cazadrax, remained.
As Ergoth and the Orders of High Sorcery began to develop, the Confederacy fought to eradicate order in the world. The rebellions in Ergoth were a hopeful sign, but when Vinas Solamnus took over the rebels and created the Knights of Solamnia, the Council was forced to shift focus to defeating the knights. Cazadrax always considered it his one great failing that he could not subvert Solamnus into the Confederacy.
As Cazadrax wreaked havoc across the nations of Ansalon, he realized he could only do so much damage. Even recruiting Galan Dracos, infamous renegade mage and leader of Takhisis' forces, into the Confederacy (though in secret) was not enough for the ambitious lich. Using powerful magic, Cazadrax accessed the Anvil of Time, where the Device of Time Journeying was first created. There, the lich received a vision from Chaos, giving him a new purpose for the Confederacy - to destroy the Divine Blades, powerful deific artifacts once wielded by the gods themselves in the All-Saints War, now lost. The resulting blast of power could even be enough to annihilate the gods themselves. Cazadrax remains in the Anvil of Time even as Huma drives Takhisis back into the Abyss.
Even as few recognized the Confederacy's power and influence, it was solely responsible for numerous atrocities. Lord Gargath, the kender hero Balif, the minotaur king Kothas, and the elven king Sithel were all secretly murdered to further the Confederacy's plans. Some of the plans went off spectacularly well, like the destruction of the dwarven nation of Kal-thax, the start of the Kinslayer War, and the attacks that prevented the Conclave from building all seven Towers of High Sorcery.
Age of the Great White Hell (Age of Might): The next thousand or so years nearly saw the destruction of the Bloodblade Confederacy. As one of the greatest instigators of Chaos, the Confederacy and especially its sole leader, Cazadrax, became high priority targets in the Age of Might by the Kingpriests of Istar.
The Confederacy did have some minor successes in the early years of the Age. Their greatest triumph was when Cazadrax, emerging from the Anvil of Time, encountered another lich, this one newly incarnated. The lich's name was Fistandantilus.
Even as Cazadrax rebuilt the ranks of the Bloodblade Confederacy, his efforts were under attack at every turn. The major nations in the world had been made aware, by the Silvanesti elves, that the Bloodblade Confederacy still existed. Working with the Knights of Solamnia and even in some cases the wizards of High Sorcery, clerics of the gods worked to thwart Confederacy plans at every turn. Cazadrax could not even begin his search for the Divine Blades. While he worked desperately to increase Chaos from his base at the City of Lost Names, Istar grew even more law-inclined. In the later years, Istar's edicts nearly saw the eradication of the Confederacy. Cazadrax did what he could to spread chaos, having particular success with two Solamnic families, inflicting upon them a streak of lust and evil that would never be dispelled. The family names were Soth and Matar.
As the Age waned, the Kingpriests' power grew. The cleric created the Knights of the Divine Hammer to stamp out wizardry and the Towers of High Sorcery came under attack. Fistandantilus, High Mage of the Conclave, requested Cazadrax's assistance in the Lost Battles, but the elder lich withdrew his support with a sneer. But even as the wizards were forced to destroy two of their towers, Fistandantilus plotted revenge.
Meanwhile, Cazadrax saw another opportunity to cause havoc. Even as the wizards closed the Towers of High Sorcery in Istar and Palanthas, the lich sent his soul into the Black Robe wizard Rannoch and possessed the mage. Unplanned for by Fistandantilus, Rannoch cursed the Tower of Palanthas until the Master of the Past and Present could open it. This, Cazadrax viewed, as one of his greatest triumphs. High Sorcery was almost destroyed.
(Note here that the tome Towers of High Sorcery states that Fistandantilus engineered the cursing of the Tower. As the chains of information from that period, especially concerning mages, are unreliable at best and impossible at worst, we have provided the Bloodblade Confederacy side of the tale, rather than Fistandantilus's side.)
But an angry and vengeful Fistandantilus remained. The wizard lich descended on the City of Lost Names with a vengeance, allying with the Knight Loren Soth to destroy the bastion of Chaos. Even as Soth clashed with the Confederacy, Fistandantilus managed to destroy Cazadrax in an epic magical battle - but not the elder lich's phylactery. Cazadrax's soul survived on the Material Plane in a greatly weakened state. Fistandantilus would later meet his end years later at the hands of an ex-Confederacy member - Raistlin Majere.
The Bloodblade Confederacy, however, was crippled. Hundreds of the secret agents and assassins were caught (and most often killed). The Knights of the Divine Hammer had particular success in wiping out the Order. But a few managed to survive, rotting in the dungeons of Istar, Palanthas, and Solanthus, vowing revenge.
It is important to note that Cazadrax's most devious plan was instituted during this period, a plan still not widely acknowledged by the rest of the world. Enlisting dozens of beautiful and rich women, Cazadrax magically planted triggers in their minds that would carry over with their children, triggers that naturally left the women and their children with an inclination towards Chaos. The full extent of the "Breeding Project" is unknown, but the Conclave has confirmed, from studies of their archives, that it has been entrenched too far to be eradicated entirely. They also suspect Fistandantilus was somehow involved in crafting the spell, mixing High Sorcery with wild.
Age of Triumphs (Age of Despair): The day that destroyed Krynn was the day of the Bloodblade Confederacy's salvation. That day was the Cataclysm. Even as the world was sundered, the Confederacy agents, long imprisoned, freed themselves from broken cells. They exalted that the gods, one of their primary enemies, had left Krynn to its fate. They exalted in the chaos and the war that followed the Cataclysm. For the Confederacy, this was their time of power.
The remaining agents, called by Cazadrax's waning soul, traveled to the ruins of Valkinord, site of one of their greatest victories. There, Cazadrax addressed the few remaining members in a speech that would have impressed the Kingpriest himself to continue the fight, giving them new vision and purpose. With that, the lich's spirit finally dissipated.
The Confederacy wasted no time. Infiltrating dozens of towns, they roused the peasants against the Knights of Solamnia, driving the once-mighty forces into shame and weakness. Many Knights, now poorer now than peasants, joined the Confederacy in their despondency. A new Council of Sin was created, based around the Red Code. The assassins who belonged to the Confederacy worked to rebuild their ranks. Even as the Queen of Darkness infiltrated the world, the Confederacy established itself as a power, albeit a hidden one.
In those early years after the Cataclysm, the Confederacy was responsible for many disasters, at least partially. The Dwarfgate War, the invasion of Qualinesti by human raiders, and the collapse of the Knighthood were all great successes. Unfortunately, in all of that period, no matter how hard they tried, the Confederacy could not burn down the Great Library in Palanthas.
Despite all of its successes, the Confederacy still focused on its main mission: the finding of the Divine Blades. Whether the Confederacy recovered any, records have not told, but the Breeding Project did continue. The Matar bloodline of Solamnics was undeniably tainted, but other bloodlines, like the Crownguard, Gunthar, and Brightblade bloodlines, failed spectacularly. The project did continue, though, and did manage success in the elven lands later on - eventually producing Tanis Half-Elven, one of the Confederacy's greatest hopes and greatest failures. Other elven bloodlines in both Qualinesti and Silvanesti proved much more accommodating to the Confederacy, however. The dwarven Fireforge line was targeted, but the leader of the clan, Reghar Fireforge, did discover the plot and managed to stop it. Infuriated, the Confederacy released a contagion into the Fireforge family that raised the risk of early heart attacks drastically.
Three hundred years after the Cataclysm, the current leader of the Council of Sin, a renegade wizardess named Rowena Irehelm, had a vision concerning a particular Palanthian bloodline. Infiltrating the bloodline, Rowena had a daughter she named Rosamun - Rosamun Majere.
But Takhisis did find out about the Confederacy's actions, and moved to stop them. Driving the Confederacy out of Sanction, their new base, Takhisis' armies set up camp. The new leader of the Council, a human man named Kolon Ariakas, made a strategically important decision. Becoming a cleric of Takhisis (something specifically forbidden by the Red Code), he resolved to increase Chaos by infiltrating the armies. His son, only known as Ariakas, became the next leader of the Council of Sin - and the leader of the Dragonarmies.
The remaining members of the Council were infuriated. Throwing Ariakas out of the council for his lawful nature, the Confederacy began enlisting secret spies and assassins in his army. Meanwhile, the Breeding Project continued full steam. Council members began to suspect that the random pairings and infiltrations might actually create results.
Then the War of the Lance broke out. Agents on both sides pulled off remarkable feats, and chaos was rampant. In particular, the Council of Sin, from their hidden base in the Khalkist Mountains, watched eight companions - companions who would later become the Heroes of the Lance.
It is important to note that both Kitiara uth Matar and the death knight Lord Soth did join the Bloodblade Confederacy, abet as secret members. Kitiara, the culmination of the Matar line, was viewed as one of the greatest successes, even as her secret son would become a hated target later on.
As the war progressed, the Council realized that the Companions would not likely be swayed to the cause of Chaos. However, one Companion did join. Raistlin Majere, after leaving the Great Library in Palanthas, vanished into the Khalkist Mountains. There, he was accosted by Confederacy members, who urged the powerful mage to join them. Raistlin was curious, but after using the dragon orb to communicate with the long dead spirit of Fistandantilus, he was intrigued even further. He was especially interested about the Anvil of Time, a sacred hidden location, according to the Confederacy. After due thought, Raistlin did join the Confederacy before continuing on to Neraka. There, he made a specific request of Highlord Ariakas to send draconian soldiers to search the City of Lost Names for any trace of a portal to the Anvil. They found nothing.
Raistlin secretly did rise to the Council of Sin, but only because he was hungry for the power the Council had concealed. Admittedly, he wanted to learn more about the ancient organization. However, Raistlin was not a servant of Chaos. Blatantly violating Council decrees, he worked to end the War of the Lance. Worse still, he entered the Tower of High Sorcery in Palanthas as the Master of Past and Present. Worst of all, Raistlin then sent a secret letter to Astinus, along with a journal that told the scholar everything about the Confederacy, an organization that had long been concealed from Astinus by ancient spells cast by Cazadrax. To add injury to insult, Raistlin secretly traveled to the Council's hiding place and murdered every single one of them, including the lich Rowena Irehelm, his secret grandmother.
The Confederacy did recover from this disaster, and a new Council of Sin took over. However, Raistlin had also appropriated a great deal of information about the Divine Blades, causing a monumental setback for the Confederacy. Whatever Raistlin actually did with the information is a mystery. It has been reported from Dalamar the Dark that Raistlin never mentioned the Confederacy in any discussions or in his journals, so we must assume the information has been destroyed or hidden.
The Bloodblade Confederacy worked hard to promote chaos throughout the world; however, they weren't very successful. The Knights of Solamnia proved a stubborn bulwark to their best plans.
Then a new threat arose to the Confederacy's plans. Through spies in the Knights of Solamnia, the Council of Sin learned of the existence of the Knights of Takhisis. Even as two of their best bloodline descendants in the elven lands, Senator Rashas and General Konnal, created havoc, the Council built up its forces to fights against the Dark Knights.
Then everything changed. The leader of the current Council of Sin, a human renegade wizard named Lyras Frozenfire, was scrying towards the north when he saw, to his everlasting joy, Chaos arrive out of the broken Greygem on the Island of the Irda. Informing the Council of this new development, Frozenfire decided that Chaos must be assisted in the war that he would make on Krynn.
But in the excitement, the Confederacy nearly forgot the Knights of Takhisis. The Dark Knights, after capturing Palanthas, discovered Raistlin's journal in the Great Library about the Confederacy. The hidden tower of the Confederacy is attacked and destroyed by the Knights of Takhisis within days. Thousands of the Confederacy's best members were killed, but the Council managed to escape to the City of Lost Names.
Then the Signs of Chaos began. As Chaos' forces poured into the world, the Council put forth new plans. Paying off Austric Krell to assassinate Lord Ariakan, setting forests on fire all over the continent, and sending crucial information to the daemon commanders were the Bloodblade Confederacy's contribution to Chaos' war effort.
But then Chaos was defeated, and driven from the world. And because the Council was scrying on the battle, they all knew it too.
Age of Wyrm's Hell (Age of Mortals): The Council of Sin was disheartened and despondent after seeing the defeat of Chaos. But, even as Chaos left the world, he sent a single daemon warrior with instructions to the Council of Sin. Chaos knew that the deities had left the Divine Blades on Krynn when they fought against the Father of All and Nothing, and Chaos could return to the world if the Blades were recovered and destroyed. The Confederacy would be the instrument of that goal.
The Confederacy had won a victory, however. The gods (as far as they knew) were long gone. A harsher blow was the loss of High Sorcery and typical arcane magic, but the Council recalled the legends of wild magic and sorcery. Within five years, the Council had mastered wild magic.
What the Council of Sin was not prepared for were the dragon overlords. When Khellendros returned to Krynn, one of his first stops was the City of Lost Names, where he discovered what was left of the Bloodblade Confederacy. They managed to flee from the monstrous blue, though half the Council died in the flight.
The Confederacy slowly began to rebuild its ranks, but it was much more difficult. Khellendros told the other dragon overlords about the organization, and each overlord dispatched their own agents to ensure that the Confederacy wasn't infiltrating their territory. This was a devastating blow to the Confederacy.
The Council rejoiced when the Dragon Purge began. They were chaotic times, and the Confederacy didn't have to do anything. The Council of Sin used this time to search for the Divine Blades. They did manage to pinpoint several possible locations, but draconic intervention prevented the Council from recovering the mythic artifacts.
But problems were arising in the Council itself. The current leader, a cloaked figure known as the Shadow Sorcerer, had abandoned the Confederacy and sold out to the Last Conclave. Infuriated, the Council set out several assassination contracts on the sorcerer.
The Dragon Purge ended, but the Bloodblade Confederacy weren't planning on the chaos stopping yet. In a secret invasion, their agents expanded out into Ansalon. In a series of lightning raids, the Council managed to recover nine of the eighteen Divine Blades.
But Beryllinthranox, the Green Terror, found out about the powerful magical swords and coveted them immensely. Using her own scrying methods, she found two more of the Divine Blades - in Gellidus' territory. Employing her agents, she tried to steal them from the white dragon's treasure hoard, but the Bloodblade Confederacy fooled both dragons, stole both the swords, and placed a curse of madness on Gellidus, one that would take years to manifest.
Yet, slowly, but surely, the Bloodblade Confederacy felt the power of sorcery begin to wane. As they had two liches on the Council, they soon recognized it was the dead doing it, and were able to reclaim much of their former magic. The Council was aware that something was changing in the world.
Then came the Great Storm. Even as the Council had recovered five more of the Divine Blades, bringing their total to sixteen, they could not locate the last two. The storm struck the Council's tower in the Khalkist Mountains hard. The new leader of the organization, the sorcerer-lich Kumathor, heard a voice in the storm. With Chaos-born insight, he recognized the voice as that of Queen Takhisis. He knew then that something was terribly wrong.
And something was wrong. Three years earlier, three of the seven Council of Sin members had been contacted by Queen Takhisis to assist her in the training of her champion, Mina. In return, Takhisis would give the Bloodblade Confederacy her Divine Blade. Even though such pacts were forbidden by the Red Code, the Council members took the bargain.
But Takhisis went back on her deal. She left her blade buried under the stone of Godshome, and drove the Council members away, concealing those memories. Kumathor realized that his Council knew something of Takhisis' return.
Breaking the memory blocks on the Council members, Kumathor discovered the truth. Going to Godshome, the furious lich demanded that Takhisis fulfill her end of the bargain. Instead, the Dark Queen gave Kumathor a new offer. The Bloodblade Confederacy would funnel information to the Dark Queen. In exchange, Takhisis would transform the entire Confederacy into sentient, powerful undead creatures and hand over her Divine Blade. Even though Kumathor through there was something Takhisis wasn't telling, the lich agreed to the bargain.
At first, things worked. The undead forces of the Confederacy were able to create even more chaos across the world, but Takhisis had a plan of her own. In a swift maneuver, she drained the souls of the Confederacy forces of their magic and energy to fuel her own, giving the goddess immense power, far beyond anything she had before.
But she couldn't destroy the entire Confederacy. Kumathor, the last lich on the Council, had used his own, Chaos-born magic combined with wild sorcery to achieve his lichdom. Takhisis had no power over him. He cut off the information chain and hid himself in the mountains.
Then Mina came. Armed with Takhisis' power, she approached the powerful lich and ordered that the information chain be rebuilt. Kumathor refused and attacked. Mina, armed with dark power, destroyed the lich's body in a magical blast, a blast that scattered the Divine Blades across Ansalon. To Takhisis, the Confederacy was finally destroyed.
Or so it seemed.
Kumathor's phylactery had not been destroyed. Like the legendary Cazadrax before him, the lich's spirit floated throughout the Material Plane, waiting for the right time.
That time came was when the gods returned. Takhisis was stripped of her divinity, and Paladine sacrificed his. Kumathor saw his chance. That divine power would have dissipated, but the lich's spirit absorbed it like a sponge. Immense power flooded into the lich, enough for Kumathor to reincarnate himself in a created, chimeric body and create a new race entirely, one born of divine magic and Chaos magic - the pakladites, a race of shapeshifters, spies, and infiltrators entirely loyal to Kumathor, the ideal Confederacy agents.
Using his new power, which approaches that of the deities themselves, Kumathor cast a new spell of masking over the Confederacy, allowing them to operate in total secrecy from the gods. Rebuilding the Council of Sin, Kumathor now works to bring Chaos back to the world by recovering the Divine Blades - and this time, Takhisis would not stand in his way.
Note: Some aspects of this history contradict what most races commonly believe as what actual history is. It is important to note that few acknowledge the recruitments of the Confederacy of certain people, primarily most of the Dragon Highlords and the renegade wizard Raistlin Majere. However, it is important also to note that the Confederacy was a highly secret society, hidden for thousands of years under a cell/webbed structure and layers of security, both non-magical and magical.
The Bloodblade Confederacy's goals, despite being cloaked in layers and layers of secrecy, are very simple: to cause as much chaos as possible. Often times few understand this, and find it difficult to comprehend the methods used by the Confederacy. However, each individual Confederacy member has a different way of approaching this goal. Thus, chaos may be created in various ways. The Confederacy encourages this, but members are forbidden to work at direct cross-plans to each other (example: to foil another Confederacy member's plan would be decrease chaos, and thus would be against the Red Code).
The goals of the Council of Sin are much more complex. Primarily, they desire total secrecy in their actions. Next, they want to ensure the development of Chaos on a larger scale, preferably by causing war between nations. Their final, and most secret goal, is to seize all of the Divine Blades, and thus (according to their lore) return Chaos Himself to the world.
Headquarters/Areas of Influence
The current headquarters of the Council of Sin is in the Khalkist Mountains, in the old ruins of Takar. Buried deep underground and protected by insanely complex traps, a terrifying maze, and hordes of fanatical cultists, the Council is entrenched and well nigh-invincible, a condition they have desired for hundreds of years.
The area of influence of the Confederacy is vast. It stretches northward into Nordmaar, westward to Sancrist, eastward to Flotsam and the Blood Sea, and southward to Tarsis. Most Confederacy members are concentrated in Solamnia, Neraka, Abanasinia, Northern Ergoth, and Balifor. However, a Confederacy agent could be encountered anywhere, particularly where there is trouble to be caused.
The Bloodblade Confederacy is led by a seven member group called the Council of Sin, a group of horrendously powerful agents who run the Confederacy according to the Red Code and promote the spread of Chaos throughout the world. The current leader of the Council is the demilich Kumathor (male CN demilich sorcerer 22/ archmage 4 / Confederacy Agent 5). Obviously an enormously powerful figure, Kumathor hides himself in an impenetrable wave of secrecy, protecting and hiding his incredible power. Kumathor often takes the form of an aged human sorcerer when working with the Council, even though they know he is a lich. Other council members include:
Despite the large number of evil members on the Council, Kumathor has declared any particular allegiance to a particular ideal. He does what fits chaos best, and has no cares for good or evil.
Succession in the Council of Sin is not regimented at all, but currently Kumathor is leading because he indisputably has the most authority and might. None of the current Council members come close to his power, and they all know it. Ascension to the Council is a matter of "removal," either via persuasion, blackmail, or assassination.
Despite Kumathor's leadership, the Council is remarkably democratic. Each member has an equal vote on all decisions. Another surprising thing is that the Council (indeed, the entire Bloodblade Confederacy) has no opinions on racism. The very concept of one race better than another is a procedure of law, and thus is forbidden by the Red Code. Thus, in the Council's eyes, all races are equal, and there is no time for useless prejudice.
Considering none now currently know of the full extent of the Bloodblade Confederacy, it has no official allies. However, several ogre warlords have pledged their loyalty to Regulus Ogreblood, and he now manipulates their loyalties to his own chaotic ends.
However, during the Summer of Chaos, the Bloodblade Confederacy had one, enormously powerful ally: Chaos Himself. The Confederacy had enormous power in this period, and even a single agent could call on massive chaotic forces of destruction from the All-Father.
No reasonable race or organization has ever accepted the Bloodblade Confederacy's meddling. The Knights of Solamnia and of Neraka, the Knights of the Divine Hammer, the elven nations, the minotaur islands, the dwarven kingdoms, the Orders of the Stars, and the Orders of High Sorcery are all staunch enemies of the Bloodblade Confederacy. The Knights of Solamnia, the elves, and the wizards in particular hold a great deal of hatred for the Confederacy, and have been its fiercest opponents.
However, only the Conclave of wizards has any inkling that the Confederacy is still active. The spell that hid the Confederacy didn't quite reach the Tower of High Sorcery in Wayreth, and, despite the efforts of Kalrakin, an insane renegade sorcerer and hidden agent of the Confederacy, the wizards were able to reclaim the Tower. Few, however, have delved deep enough into the musty tomes that reveal the Confederacy's existence. The wizards' primary goal right now is to rebuild their ranks, not fight the invisible forces of chaos.
Membership and Joining the Bloodblade Confederacy
First, the applicant would have to know that the organization actually exists, a task in itself monumental. The Confederacy operates in a webbed cell structure, with numerous cells reporting to another agent, who would report to another agent, and so on until one reaches the Council. Thus, tracing the information chain is made exceptionally difficult.
However, due to powerful scrying magic, the Confederacy does occasionally approach those who it feels advance the cause of chaos. An agent will appear to them and give them a choice: join or do not join. Those who do not join die and their bodies disappear.
Those who do join face a many-layered, complex testing and indoctrination regime, devised by Cazadrax ages ago to ensure loyalty in the subjects. Depending on the willpower of the applicant, this can take between several days and several years. Key points of this activity are the memorization of the Red Code and the complete sense of abandonment of order in the applicant's life, a process that is exceptionally difficult for most.
The final indoctrination ceremony, recently conceived by Kumathor, is the Soul-Burning. The applicant is brought before the Council of Sin and his or her alignment is tested. If the applicant has embraced a chaotic alignment, a mark is placed on his or her soul, permanently burning Chaos into him or her. The alignment of the character is permanently chaotic and any lawful actions cause irreparable damage to the applicant's soul. Failures are sent out for more rigorous "indoctrination," a process that few survive.
Costs and Benefits of Being a Bloodblade Confederacy agent:
Perhaps the greatest bonus to Confederacy agents is the massive information network that they are all apart of. It is ingrained in the Red Code that all information must flow freely in the organization, and thus the Bloodblade Confederacy has perhaps the greatest intelligence system ever created.
Another benefit for higher ranking members is the service of pakladites to a certain degree. When called upon to perform a chaotic mission, pakladites are remarkably efficient and powerful. As agents advance, they can call upon these creatures more often.
An added benefit for spellcasters is the excellent flow of magical items from the Council of Sin. Kumathor makes it a priority that all Confederacy members receive the best possible items, especially those related to stealth, disguise, transforming, and anything related to chaos.
However, none of these benefits are not without costs. Every year, every agent is called on his anniversary of his Soul-Burning before the Council to show the fruits of his labour. All agents must give evidence that they have been using the Council's gifts for the advancement of Chaos.
All classes can become members of the Confederacy at some time. It may require a bit of alignment change, but it is always possible. Sorcerers are the most common class, closely followed by rogues, barbarians, and ex-clerics.
Clerics deserve a special note here. No devoted cleric would ever join the Bloodblade Confederacy (they would be prohibited from joining, actually), but several ex-clerics have joined the chaos-devoted group. The ur-priest prestige class is most appropriate when advancing these agents (this prestige class is found in the Book of Vile Darkness and Complete Divine, but with the minor exception that an evil alignment is not required, only a chaotic one. Other changes to the class may be made at the DM's discretion.
Current Activities/Adventure Hooks
Playing a Bloodblade Confederacy Agent
When one takes on the path of the agent, they have two incredible hindrances to their adventuring. Firstly, unless the entire adventuring group has joined, the agent is now keeping secrets from his or her best friends. Secondly, he or she is required to behave erratically by the Red Code. Indeed, if the agent does not follow the cause of Chaos, incredible pain and damage is inflicted upon his soul. This often puts him at odds with his friends, who cannot understand his chaotic behavior. Most often, agents end up working alone.
However, even through Chaos is the primary path, an agent can still enjoy his life to the fullest, as long as he causes mischief and havoc wherever he goes. Few agents ever experience the actual burning on their souls, because they are so content with their chaotic lives that they perform their acts willingly and happily. Again, not all agents are evil, and most are as good as the staunchest Knight of Solamnia.
However, chaotic behavior often puts the agent at odds with the more lawful members of society, who, if they do not know if the agent is part of the Confederacy, deem him a troublemaker and an anarchist (which he is). This unwanted attention causes most agents to hide in the shadows and before their chaotic acts invisibly, while living a cover life. This tactic works exceptionally well in most cases.
Combat: Bloodblade Confederacy Agents work towards chaos, and thus find several obstacles, namely the forces of law in the world. Often times, they must defend themselves.
Confederacy agents have one thing ingrained into their consciousness since indoctrination: none must discover the existence of the Confederacy. Thus, agents almost always strike to kill, and will only summon pakladites if their situation is exceptionally dire.
Other than that, Confederacy agents fight however they desire. Imagination and innovation are also essential parts of the Red Code, and the agents will always seek to confuse and stun before striking the killing blow.
Advancement: Agents advance through the ranks by performing chaotic mission. The more chaos it causes in the eyes of the Council of Sin, the better the action and the faster one advances. Competition is often inspired within the Confederacy, but the Council maintains a tight lid, and sabotage attempts often result in the "removal" of the saboteur.
(Note: One might ask how so many chaotic schemes can function without some working against each other. This is inevitable, but the Council makes sure that all agents are aware of other plans by fellow agents, thus to avoid this problem).
Lore of the Bloodblade Confederacy
Characters with ranks in Knowledge (local) can occasionally find information about the Bloodblade Confederacy.
DC 10: Who?
(Note: The DCs here are unnaturally high to find out information about the Council, and for good reason. This is an incredibly secretive group, and not suitable for low-level play. PCs would have to reach high levels to deal with the Confederacy.)
Confederacy Agent Prestige Class
All members of the Bloodblade Confederacy have some levels in this class, at least one, the higher ranking members having more. To be a member of the Council of Sin, the Confederacy Agent must have five levels in this prestige class.
Alignment: Any chaotic.
Class Skills: Bluff (Cha), Climb (Str), Concentration (Con), Craft (Int), Disguise (Cha), Hide (Dex), Knowledge (Local) (Int), Listen (Wis), Move Silently (Dex), Profession (courtesan) (Wis), Spot (Wis), Use Magical Device (Int).
Weapon Proficiency: The confederacy agent gains no additional proficiencies with weapons.
Confederacy Knowledge: This functions identically to bardic knowledge. If the agent has bardic knowledge already, the uses stack. The Bloodblade Confederacy teaches agents to be excellent in retrieving information and studying their surroundings to funnel down the track.
Confederacy Knowledge also has another usage. Using extensive observation and information given from superiors, the Confederacy agent can take 20 on any Knowledge (local) check if this knowledge is used to advance the cause of Chaos.
Magic Requisition: If the agent appeals to the Council of Sin, the Council may, if the applicant is in good standing and has a mission to advance Chaos, supply limited magical aid. The applicant may request a magical item worth up to 10,000gp per Confederacy Agent class level. This item is not a gift, but a loan, and will be returned at the end of the mission. Disposable items, like wands and scrolls, may be requested at half of the value noted. If the item is not returned to the Council immediately after the mission is completed, the Council will retrieve it - and ensure that the applicant never delays again.
Soul-burn: If, at any time, the Confederacy agent acts in a way contrary to chaos or his chaotic alignment, he or she immediately takes four points of Charisma damage and xd10s worth of damage, where x equals the character's total level multiplied by two.
Bonus Feat: At levels 1, 3, and 5, the agent, in order to serve chaos, is given the power to tap into a new fighting technique.
Summon Pakladite (Sp) : To increase Chaos' presence, the Confederacy agent is allowed to summon a pakladite to complete his plan once per day (treat a pakladite as an ethereal doppelganger (see Monster Manual II) with the anarchic template). This ability functions otherwise as a summon monster spell, with caster level equal to the character's level.
Eternal Soul-burn: Once an agent has reached this level, he or she has sworn his or her soul to chaos. If he or she acts in a way that is contrary to his or her chaotic alignment, the agent instead takes 4 points of Constitution damage, 8 points of Charisma damage, and xd20s worth of damage, where x equals the character's total level multiplied by three.
Force of Chaos: At this point, the agent has reached a high point in the Bloodblade Confederacy and is a potent force of chaos. He or she gains the anarchic template and all benefits that accompany it. The character may also use shapechange once per week with caster level equal to twice his or her character level.
Note: This is an exceptionally powerful prestige class, so the DM must be very stringent on what counts as a lawful act in terms of the soul-burn.
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