Vata has not always been the most prominent deity among the D'Shar. Some would say that to this very day he isn't. The Black Stallion is a god of prosperity, cooperation, and trade; his chosen guise an embodiment of the very commodity by which a man's wealth was measured in ancient times. He is the god of the D'Shar cities, merchants and their caravans, the patron of the new way of life that became prominent as the alliance between the D'Shar and the newly founded Kingdom of Pendor grew into something more.
But the old ways are not dead. Outside of the cities and beyond the trade routes, the various nomadic tribes still cling to the faith of their forefathers, raiding their ancestral enemies for loot and slaves and waging war upon each other over rivalries whose roots have long faded from living memory. Even within the new cities of stone, the pride that lies at the heart of the D'Shar is not easily quenched, and when the honor of one man or his family is offended, all too frequently it is the blade of a saber that provides the answer. These are the laws of blood and vengeance, and their patron is Hadar, the Feuding Father.
Theoretically, pursuing a feud is the responsibility of the wronged person and his family, creating the very rivalries that separate the nomadic desert tribes to this very day. Among the permanent settlers, matters are usually handled by duels. These can either last until first blood or until death, and proxies can be appointed to represent a family as long as they can produce blood ties to the family in question. As a result, it is not unheard of for a squabble between children to end with a duel between renowned blademasters. Only when more than one person of a family feels offended and tempers run particularly high, families sometimes resort to ambushes and raids, with groups of armed combatants storming houses or celebrations to wash their honor clean in the blood of their enemies.
Such a direct course of retaliation, however, it not always an option for the wronged party. Maybe the rival family has a highly skilled champion that no member of an opposing family can hope to defeat. Maybe the family is too well connected and protected, enjoying the favor of a local noble or khan. Whatever the reason may be, those wealthy or desperate enough may turn to the disciples of Hadar to enact their vengeance for them, the most notorious of which are the fabled Scorpion Assassins, unequaled in the arts of secrecy and murder.
Upon joining the order, all templars of the Feuding Father ritually join into the greater family of the order, renouncing all loyalties to their former family but establishing blood ties to the order, allowing any Scorpion Assassin to act enact vengeance as a representative of their former family. Prices for the services of the assassins are steep, including children to be given as tribute to the order, political favors, or great amounts of gold and wealth.
For the longest time, the Bahadur Khans of the principalities were content with respecting Hadar and his rights of vengeance, but recently Kadan Bahadur Khan, irritated by how these feuds deprived his armies of talented warriors, broke with tradition and outlawed feuding, not only bringing him at odds with the priests of Hadar, but ironically also increasing the demand for the services of the Scorpion Assassins.
At first, their knights may seem the stronger of all, but weapon wise they are not as strong as the other high tier orders. Equipped with a decent shield and a D'Shar Scimitar or Strange Ebony Sabre, as well as with throwing assassin knives, they do hit fast and these hard hitting swings are deadly in sieges, where longer range weapons can't do their full swing or directly get blocked mid-way. Their throwing knives are a good harass that can kill the horses of knights before they can charge at them, making them fall to the ground and removing any advantage given by the horse (speed and charges).
The Scorpion Scions are strong halberdiers that will switch to scimitar-shield warriors, giving a nice support to the Assassins in the frontline. They may also have the Assassin Throwing Knives, making the ones that have these very threatening for shield-less troops and horses.
You must have a Qualis Gem to found a chapter of this Order, as well as 20,000 denars, 5 Honor and wary (-10) or better relations with the order. Creating a chapter of this order will lower by 20 relations with D'Shar Raiders and Inquisition (Order's rivals).
They start being neutral to the player (0 relation).
They are allies of The D'Shar Principalities, the Singalians and the Order of Eventide, and they will support each-other if they are nearby. They are in odds with Empire Immortals, Lady Valkyries Sisterhood, Order of the Griffon, Order of the Dawn and Order of the Kraken, as well as with the Hateful factions.
Scorpion Assassins can rarely be encountered if the player is ambushed by bandits while walking around a city at night. They are arguably the most dangerous such encounter, given their extremely fast sword attacks and lethal throwing knives, and far superior armor to common bandit troops.
Changes from 3.8.4
- Honor required to join them and found their chapter lowered from 10 to 5
- They have now a traveling knight, thus a knight may be seen in taverns and asked about their story. Can also be asked if in party
- Adventurer Companies changed to Inquisition as rival of the Order (the other being D'Shar Raiders)
- Level raised from 47 to 50
- Prestige cost raised by x1.2.
- D'Shar Sabre and D'Shar Heavy Sabre changed to one Strange Ebony Sabre and six D'Shar Scimitar (most will have the Scimitar, few the Ebony Sabre)
- Now upgrades from D'Shar Ghazi Spearman instead of D'Shar Warrior
- Level raised from 35 to 36
- Strength raised from 21 to 24
- Agility raised from 15 to 24
- Melee Proficiencies raised from 300 to 320 (Throwing remains at 300)
- They are given a Southern Glaive
- They are given Assassin Throwing Knives (but not guaranteed, meaning only some will use these) (before they had no throwing weapons even though they had high throwing proficiency)
Player: Dear warrior of the D'Shar, could you tell me about your order?
Assassin: I can indeed bring you up to speed of whom we are. Like the soft eroding sands of the Shavanir Desert, we slowly infiltrate our way into the world. We are men bound by creed and secrecy, loyal to those who would support our brotherhood. We are the men who you come to if you have a problem that is lawfully out of your hands. Our only incentive, is the gleaming shine of coin. For there is no greater motivator than man's folly for wealth, which breeds conflict, and for us, work.
Player: That is certainly good to know, how does your order operate?
Assassin: Our order is based in the south where our people live. After the formation of the Principality, we were legally founded as an order under the Validus Charta. Our foundation was funded by Baltar al-eaqarab, one of the few leaders of the combined tribes competing to rule as Khan of the nomads. Unfortunately, his power and influence weren't as great as the leaders who traded with the northerners. So when the Red Plague wiped out nobility in the year 198, the power vacuum made all the tribe leaders lunge for power in the southwest. If there was no King, then there must be a Khan. So Baltar thought smart, and hired men to take care of his opposition. He founded the Scorpion Brotherhood as a household guard. Underneath that veil were trained assassins, my ancestors.
Player: Your order sounds like it has influenced event in Pendor with your methods of solution.
Assassin: We have and will continue to do so as long as coin exists and problems arise. Supply meets demand. As I was saying, Baltar nearly eliminated most leaders of the tribes, absorbing them as he took them out. It quickly came to be that our order was known to operate as we do now. To avoid dying a pointless death, many leaders chose Baltar as their Khan and he in turn rewarded their loyalty. Our charter allowed us to be hired out in armies as well, to provide morale and support. A scorpion is never fearful, we can strike at a moments notice and if our blade won't kill you, our poison will. If we find you, either on the battlefield or in a dark alley, just know that it's nothing personal, just business.
Player: I will remember that, thank you.
The knights belonged once to The D'Shar Principalities troop tree, in the commoners' branch. They were the strongest unit by far of the D'Shar until 3.8, when they were removed of the troop tree, made footmen and settled their own order in Ishkoman (before, the city had a 10% chance of hosting Windriders). They were 500 proficiencies riders equipped with Sabres and Throwing Darts.