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The Seekers Of Sendria
A small and hardly visible
part of the Sendrian military operates mostly in the shadows
and behind enemy borders. The unit of some sixscore men has
no official name, as it doesn't officially exist, but the other
soldiers in the army have given its members the name Seekers,
due to the nature of their assignments.
Seekers are trained to hunt, but their prey consists not of
animals or even monsters - it walks on two feet. Their targets
are most often known criminals on the run: thieves, robbers,
raiders, murderers, and suspected traitors. Sometimes they are
sent out to capture spies of the neighbouring nations, even
across borders. Another main task of this group is scouting,
and small parties of four men constantly watch the borders between
Sendria and its neighbours, observing the troops on the other
side for any changes in their routines and numbers.
The ignorant common people are not at all fond of the Seekers.
Almost everyone knows of the group's existence, but no one seems
to exactly who they are and what they do, and not knowing makes
people afraid. Every now and then, people disappear mysteriously;
almost as a rule, the Seekers are blamed, and not always without
reason. These incidents have earned the soldiers of the group
nicknames like Bloodhounds, Thieves in the night, Amer'Loc's
assassins, Predators, as well as some others.
Seekers act under the direct command of the Hand of Amer'Loc,
who at the moment happens to be Piers Aelfgar. All reports and
orders go through Captain Taeron 'Whisper' Magar, a veteran
(9th level) warrior and the leader of the shadowy group, a former
Seeker himself who still sometimes takes part in important operations.
The company is divided into four platoons of thirty men, two
of Scorpions and two of Hawks. The former specializes in hunting
men, and the latter in scouting enemies.
The Scorpion platoons consist of six squads of five men. Four
of the five are regular soldiers while the fifth is the group
leader, usually a sergeant by his rank. The Black Scorpions
are the only part of the Seekers that really hunt men, where
they operate mostly during the nights and in the shadows, unseen
and silent. The Red Scorpions have been trained to commit surprise
attacks and assassinations. Their target's location is first
pinpointed by the careful scouting of a Hawk squad and if needed,
the use of some scrying spells. When the information reaches
the Seeker headquarters in Davnor, a strike force leaves immediately,
mounted on their powerful chargers.
The Hawk platoons are formed differently than the Scorpions.
There are thirty men in both the Silver and Gold Hawk platoons,
but the squad size is four men. In addition to the squads, six
runners deliver messages from a group to another, as well as
between the squads and the operative headquarters. The only
difference between the two platoons is that Silver Hawks work
within the country and at its borders, observing possible enemy
movements, and the Gold Hawks operate outside the nation.
The members of the Seekers are chosen from willing applicants
within the army. At least two years of military training or
similar experience is required from those wishing to apply.
Due to the rarity of women in general in the Sendrian army there
have been no women among the Seekers so far, but no rules forbidding
women to join exist.
The competition in which new members are chosen to join the
Seekers is held annually in a small forest near the capital.
It contains various small contests testing the physical condition,
fighting abilities and observation skills of the applicants,
all of which must be passed. The culmination of the three-day
test is called simply, "the Hunt." The soldiers willing
to become new Seekers are put to the ultimate test, which, if
failed, will mean certain rejection for at least another year.
Five applicants at a time are sent to a forest area roughly
the size of a square mile. The contestants may stay together
or go their own ways, but after a short while five Black Scorpions
go after them. The ones that are able to remain unseen and are
not found by their hunters within a given time period, are then
accepted to join the Seekers. If for some reason the limit of
ten new members per year is exceeded, then the results of the
tests from the previous days are take into account. Such a thing
has not happened in the last thirteen Hunts.
The new Seekers are put into a rigorous, yearlong training before
they are allowed to join any real action. The platoon in which
the novice joins affects the training to some degree. The Hawk
training is focused on scouting skills such as tracking, spotting
and identifying enemy troops, drawing sketches, moving silently
and hiding in nature, as well as climbing. The main weapons
used by Hawks are the short bow, short sword, dagger, light
crossbow, and short spear. Also, they learn to some degree how
to build traps and use caltrops to slow down possible chasers.
Black Scorpion training resembles the one received by Hawks
greatly. In fact they go through most of it together, but train
in hiding and soundless movement to a lesser degree and focus
on running, endurance, and silent killing instead. In addition
to the weapons favoured by all Seekers, Blacks are trained in
the use of nets, lassos, and slings.
Red Scorpion training concentrates on totally different things.
Naturally, they also receive basic instructions in hiding and
movement, but killing efficiently and fast are they specialties.
Blowguns, garrottes, hand crossbows and poison are their chosen
weapons in addition to the basic Seeker weaponry. The Reds are
also trained to become riders of exceptional skill. Their mounts
are bred solely to run. This yields horses of exceptional speed
and endurance at the cost of carrying capacity.
In combat, all Seekers prefer hit and run tactics (or, if possible,
shoot and run). They are too lightly equipped to efficiently
fight hand-to-hand with heavily armed foot soldiers; and without
shields, are easy targets for skilled archers.
(these stats reflect the average seeker; sergeants
and lieutenants should be adjusted accordingly
||17 (longbow, longsword) or 18 (other)
||1 or 2 (per weapon)
||6 (studded leather + high dex)
* Seekers try to use as
much cover as possible to shield themselves from ranged attacks
of their opponents.
Seeker player characters
- Fighter sub-class (Use ranger tables for
Experience, Hit Points and Attacks)
Ability requirements: Dexterity 15, Intelligence and Constitution
- Free proficiencies: tracking, running and endurance (these do
not apply to Red Scorpions)
- Recommended proficiencies: observation, drawing, swimming, rope
use, set snares, survival, tumbling, jumping, bowyer/fletcher
- Required proficiencies: direction sense; all weapon proficiencies
must be chosen from the following list: dagger, short bow, shortsword,
crossbow (light & hand), short spear, net, lasso, blowgun,
- Special benefits: hide in shadows, climb walls, open locks
(Scorpions only), move silently as in Dungeon Master's guide
Table 19, modified by race, dexterity and armor worn; surprise:
+2 to surprise when moving in squads or less; +1 to hit with
- Special hindrances: may not wear armor heavier than studded
leather; weapon proficiency limitation; reaction adjustment
of -4 if known to be a seeker
Thanks to Olan Suddeth for this contribution!