Daggerspell Guardians

Exotic spellcasters who wield matched pairs of daggers and deadly magical powers, the Daggerspell Guardians use their varied abilities to promote their own fair-minded sense of justice. Individual members lead adventuring parties, root out evil hiding in civilized communities, and act as self-appointed investigators and law enforcers when necessary. Groups rarely act together and instead concentrate on training new members, researching new spells, or perfecting new aspects of their unusual fighting style. One of the most interesting aspects of the Daggerspell Guardians is their emphasis on both martial and magical power. Although they still focus on spellcasting as their primary means of dealing with foes, they all wield their twin daggers with surprising skill. Some use their spells to enhance their physical abilities and then enter melee, casting amid a whirlwind of flashing knives. Others use their spells to bring down foes and reveal their deadly sets of knives only when an enemy seeks to target a spellcaster who might look physically weak.

Two spellcasting prestige classes are associated with the guild. The daggerspell shapers appeal to druids and other divine spellcasters, and the daggerspell mages appeal to wizards and other arcane spellcasters. These two groups within the organization are separate only in the type of spells they cast and the training they undergo. In all other aspects, the two hold equal sway and numbers within the organization.

Joining the Daggerspell Guardians: The Daggerspell Guardians have never been large in number, and although they always look for new members, they take only a small percentage of those who wish to join. Although candidates need not be of a high enough level to join one of the daggerspell prestige classes, they usually need some spellcasting ability, a Dexterity score high enough to eventually train in using two weapons at once, and most important, a sincere and compassionate drive to do good. Those hoping to join the guild must find a sponsor—usually an existing member of the guild, but other noted good-aligned adventurers or community leaders occasionally sponsor members as well - and petition the guild leadership for membership. The leadership usually sends a representative to talk with the candidate and measure her abilities. Once accepted, a candidate usually receives training from another member of the Daggerspell Guardians.

Character Benefits: Characters who belong to the Daggerspell Guardians find that opinions vary greatly about their activities and the organization to which they belong. In many places, a member receives a small (typically 5%) discount on mundane services such as lodging and food, as long as she makes it known that she belongs to the guild. On the other hand, some local rulers don't enjoy the idea of a group of powerful warrior-spellcasters roaming through the realm and following their own moral code, however noble their purpose. These rulers, and those who serve them, have been known to turn a cold shoulder to a Guardian's requests and to devise other subtle means of encouraging her to continue her travels in another realm.

Many communities welcome the arrival of a Guardian, but they are also likely to approach her with requests for assistance. Whether the area is beset by a powerful bugbear tribe or one farmer claims that another has infringed on his fields, a guardian is someone outside the immediate community who can provide help and judgment.

Roleplaying Suggestions: Most Daggerspell Guardians are calm and reserved. While they are confident in their ability to decide between right and wrong, they hold their judgment, in part to gauge the reactions of others and to better learn about their adventuring companions. They also do it to ensure that they make a correct assessment of the situation. In most roleplaying situations, a member should ask more questions than she answers and keep her opinions to herself until asked. Another good approach to roleplaying a Guardian is to emphasize her caution when dealing with other people without letting this devolve into outright suspicion.

Typical Member: The typical Daggerspell Guardian is a low-level druid or wizard who has made the unorthodox choice of learning to fight with two weapons - specifically, two daggers. After she has finished her apprenticeship, a member often joins a group of adventurers. The guild encourages members to fight against evil actively, discover lost treasures or wells of power, and work diligently to oppose monstrous creatures that threaten civilized areas. When not adventuring, a typical member lives off the proceeds of past adventures, although a few find work in law enforcement or as special investigators in communities where crime is a problem. Because they are so focused on spellcasting, Guardians often spend time with other guild members, learning more advanced spells or practicing their fighting techniques.

Prestige Classes: Most members of the Daggerspell Guardians aspire to become either daggerspell shapers or daggerspell mages, depending on whether they have an affinity for divine or arcane magic. Members of the daggerspell prestige classes are afforded special respect in the guild, and even those with little spellcasting ability see themselves on the path to entering one of the prestige classes. The highest-ranking members have levels in one of the two daggerspell classes, but powerful and influential members of other classes have forged lasting alliances with the Guardians without taking levels in either prestige class or formally becoming members of the organization.

Lore of the Guild: Many of the greatest treasures of the Daggerspell Guardians are, not surprisingly, pairs of matched magic daggers of great power. Two of the most treasured of these daggers, the emerald knives of seven truths, were lost years ago by a daggerspell shaper who fell in battle against a powerful vampire named Malkan Ry-Ul. Both the knives and the vampire have been missing for many years, but recently travelers from the east have reported that a great city there is haunted by a killer who leaves strange green cuts on the bodies of his victims - a signature side effect of the magic of the emerald knives.

A Daggerspell Campaign: A campaign centering on the Daggerspell Guardians need include only one or two PCs who belong to the guild. Members often adventure with nonmembers, and the group's activities provide an excellent set of hooks for good characters of any class. Because the guild believes in very lofty and open versions of good and justice, a campaign focused on the Daggerspell Guardians should include adventures that deal with subtle moral problems and emphasize that the characters form their own definition of the word "good." A mix of dungeon adventuring and political intrigue is the perfect blend for a group affiliated with the guild.

Source: Complete Adventurer

Organizations of Faerûn
Lands of Faerûn