The Dragonlance Nexus

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Blooded Pinions

D&D 3e (3.0/3.5) Rules

by Clive Squire


History

The Blooded Pinions, commonly called Pinions, are a band of guerrillas fighting on the isle of Kathay, whose goal is to ultimately see that the minotaur forces are forced to retreat out from the isle. The organisation was started by a female Kyrie, called Brightwing, a former slave to the minotaurs that managed to escape into the mountains of Karthay.

From there, she has managed to remain uncaught, even though her former master has placed a hefty price for her feathered head. She has slowly built up a band of elite fighters, who like her, seek blood on the minotaurs. This band is made up of those done injustice by the minotaurs, former slaves rescued by the Pinions, as well as some of the local humans.

Goals & Motivations

The Blooded Pinions goal is a straightforward one – the total elimination of all minotaurs currently living, working and breathing on the isle of Karthay. To that end, the group have performed small skirmishes against outposts of minotaurs, in part to gage their strengths and weaknesses, in part to harass them. They also raid the all too few caravans, freeing the those enslaved, trying to get the healthiest and most able to side with them, if not, to get them away from the minotaurs and into safe holds.

The Pinions know that to win this battle they need weapons, powerful weapons, magical weapons. To this end, they have begun targeting minotaur supply wagons, singling out any wagon with weapons or strange materials, and spiriting them back to the few Pinion mages. Other Pinions act as go betweens, entering the local towns and villages and reporting the movements of minotaur forces back to the Aerie. Many of the Pinions also act as guides to those they deem worthy, a risky business, but the rewards in steel and supplies for their war effort are gladly welcomed.

Brightwing has recently approached the Legion of Steel, in the attempt to illicit the Legions aid in their struggle. In return for this aid, the Pinions have offered the legion access to a couple of secret aerie outposts, only accessible by the Kyrie flying into the Bloodsea, a strategic location to watch and report on the doings of the minotaur navy.

Headquarters & Areas of Influence

The Pinions are active throughout the isle of Karthay, as well as sending out regular (although not quick) reconnaissance patrols of the northern shores of Kothas. The actual headquarters for the Pinions is a ruined labyrinth, dating back to the time of Istar, in the Shattersky Peaks, called simply the Aerie. The ruins, little more now than caves set deep within a sheer cliff, is only accessible by flight and the only approaches to the headquarters is carefully monitored.

Clerics of Chislev, working for the Pinions, have summoned powerful elementals of earth and air and placed them to guard the Aerie from the minotaurs, who constantly attempt some incursion into the mountains.

Through acting as lowly guides to the non-Kyrie of Karthay, the Pinions have managed to gain a little bit of sympathy, but not nearly enough to sustain them in their guerrilla war. The Pinion maintains a lookout near every major settlement on Karthay, always on the lookout for minotaur movements or new and powerful looking allies.

Leadership & Organisation

The Pinions are currently a matriarchal organisation, having been founded by a female Kyrie, Brightwing. She, through watching her former masters, has learned much on the tactics and management of forces. She has arranged the Pinions into a various wings, each containing between 2 and 6 members.

Each wing is lead by one wing leader, who is appointed by the renown the Pinion has achieved in battle. Each wing says within a camp aerie for no more than one month, before setting off to another aerie. The leaving wing always leave a marker, high in the trees or hills, letting the next wing who wish to camp there that the camp aerie is safe and still undiscovered. The wings travel in a circular pattern, so that each wing becomes knowledgeable about the different locations the Pinions watch on Karthay.

Allies

Currently, the Pinions have few allies to speak of. As mentioned above, they have approached the Legion of Steel for assistance in dealing with the minotaurs, but due to the current plight of many other peoples, the Legion is hesitant in committing to an open war with the minotaurs. They have, however, sent various supplies as well as a legion scout, Marsus Ershire, to asses the situation.

The only other allies to the Blooded Pinions are a small group of Dargonesti warriors, calling themselves the Tiderippers. These fierce warriors have made a loose pact with the Pinions and have made their camp in the deep waters below the Aerie cliffs.

Enemies

The primary enemy of the Pinions are the minotaur army. The very fact that the minotaurs have started training troops for a mountainous battlefield suggests how strongly the minotaurs take the threat posed by the Pinions. A minotaur warrior that manages to snag a Pinion member, receives a hefty pouch of steel as well as praise from the Emperor himself!

Membership & Joining

The only sure fire way to join the Blooded Pinions is to be freed from minotaur slavery by them. The Pinions, ever watchful for minotaur duplicity, never accept a candidate on face value, in fact, only after months in the front lines, battling minotaurs are would-be members giving a hint of respect and trust.

Anybody can join the Blooded Pinions. Although it was founded by a Kyrie, the ultimate motivation of the group is to create a peaceful land where all can live, and it is one that strikes a chord with many of the enslaved of Karthay. The Pinions have a variety of races within their ranks, from humans, who act as spies and informants, to dwarves, who tend to the Aerie's fortifications and forge the much needed weapons of the group.

Even a few afflicted kender can also be found in the ranks of the Pinions, all too willing to pay the minotaurs back for the grievous wrongs they have had done to them. The main magic source for the Pinions comes in the form of a few clerics of Chislev, who see the work against the minotaurs as retribution for their acts against her favoured children, and a some mystics of various tenets. The only form of arcane magic available to the Pinions, is Crucix, a disguised mature silver dragon. He has not disclosed his type nature to the Pinions, and it doubtful whether even Brightwing knows his secret.

Costs & Benefits

There is no cost in joining the Blooded Pinions, all members are allowed to keep whatever funds and equipment they own, as long as they use it in the furthering the Pinions goals. Any magical item ransacked from minotaurs is taken to a nearby aerie and tested for it power and usefulness. Many are allowed to be kept by the Pinion who snatched it, a trophy of war. Characters who are affiliated with the Blooded Pinion can take the Pinion prestige class.

Classes

Nearly all of the Bloody Pinions are fighters or rangers with a favoured enemy of minotaurs. There are a number of support clerics and mystics, specialising in spells of healing and divination (having taken the Healing or Divination domains).

Current Activities & Hooks

The Bloody pinions are seeking to use a gap within the minotaurs defenses, caused by their recent deployment in Silvanesti. In a startling move, Brightwing has ordered a wing of Pinions to make their way to the Silvanesti forests to scout out for further encroachment by Pinion forces. She hopes that such a move might cause the minotaurs to divert forces away from Karthay, opening an opportunity for the Pinions there to make a decisive attack.

Character Blooded Pinions could be assigned to this wing and sent into enemy territory to prime for hit-and-run attacks, designed to draw the minotaurs into a conflict on two fronts, hopefully over extending them.

Playing A Blooded Pinion

A Blooded Pinion is a guerrilla warrior, a fighter for an ideal – freedom. That very fact draws a number of the disenchanted to the ranks of the organisation. Another aspect that many would-be members find is the organisations feel and outlook; there is no comeuppance for doing the things that are necessary, such as killing or robbing. The organisation is totally set on the end goal, and although it would walk a fine line between what is generally considered good or lawful, they do not stomach evil in their midst.

Combat: Blooded Pinions are noted for the dexterity in combat, nearly all Pinions make ample use of fly special ability, to zip around the battlefield, confounding their opponents. Those that remain on the ground are just as difficult to pin down, using Tumble to move about the battlefield.

Advancement: Advancement within the organisation is simple – the more minotaurs you dispatch or successfully deal with, the more favourably your chances of increasing through the organisation.

Blooded Pinion Lore

Characters with ranks in Knowledge (local) can gain information about the Blooded Pinions.
  DC 10: The Blooded Pinions are a mercenary group from Kathay that hate minotaurs.
  DC 15: The Blooded Pinions are a guerrilla group, making hit-and-run attacks to vex the minotaurs into leaving Karthay.
  DC 20: The Blooded Pinions make ample use out of ranged weapons, and many members are capable fliers.
  DC 25: The group is lead from a mountain Aerie by a militant Kyrie, called Brightwing.
  DC 30: Pinions have been sent to Silvanesti on raiding missions.

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