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Organisations in the Wyrmsteethby John Calvin & Giulio N. Caroletti
B1. THE KILLERS IN THE NAME OF LAW
The Killers in the Name of Law, also known as the Red Hammer, is a small but extremely dangerous organisation that is growing constantly in power in Norwold. It is made mostly of humans and dwarves, and led by the Wurkrest Clanmaster Baldur Borneth. The FreeHunters were created in 811 as a dwarven reaction toward the lycanthropes that were threatening their community. In fact, although nothing really seems to support this fact, there have been great tensions for several years, between dwarves and lycanthropes, before the two groups came to an agreement signed in 831.
But let's get deeper inside the history of the turbulent years following the announcement by the Dragon Mors Rufus in 802.
In 802, the Year of the Great Plague in Glantri, Mors Rufus, one of the mightiest dragon suzerains of Norwold, invited the Kildarkok clans to move in the mountains of Wyrmsteeth, and work for him in several mines, because he had never had the skills to do so by himself, nor had the scarce human population of the region, who was also too superstitious and ignorant to work beside creatures of great power like dragons- especially himself. Although the dwarves had experienced traumatic situations in Glantri, not mentioning the hard travel to cross the Wendarian and Heldannic regions to Norwold, some of the younger dwarves, led by an independent clan leader, Baldur Borneth, left for the region, eager to open a new chapter in the glorious dwarven history.
The new clan was to be named Wurkrest clan, and to become soon one of the most strange dwarven community in Brun. Here, although the dwarves had taken a revolutionary attitude toward life with the non-dwarven creatures, the Wurkrest developed an even more misanthropic culture. One of the reasons for this has to be found in the second step by Mors Rufus to secure for himself a "stock" of useful followers and servants: the invitation to other Glantrian refugees (804), at the beginning namely Averoignese, hunted down because they were clerics or followers of Immortal philosophies, but after some time also lycanthropes. Most of the Averoignese and Glantrians who made their way to Wyrmsteeth were bandits, many also werewolves, some were in fact clerics and their families, hunted down in an especially fierce way during the Plague years.
At the same time, most clerics from all over Brun were called by Mors Rufus when possible, and visited in dreams by Pearl otherwise, to join the Wyrmsteethian nation and create a more organized and useful clerical order that had to worship Pearl and the dragon-kind in all its expressions in Mystara.
During the 804-812 years, the Glantrians arrived little by little, and with them were also a consistent group of Norwold Heldannic people.
There were immediately problems between the Averoigne bandits and werewolves on one side, the Heldann freemen on the other, and the dwarves on the third. With Mors Rufus quite puzzled by the outcome of this situation, and embarrassed by his ignorance that the three races could have problems of coexistence, it was the clerics of Pearl who was charged to take control of the situation: they tried to do so offering the dwarves the support of their clergy. The duty of the clerics would have been to help the dwarves that had been infected with lycanthropy, and at the same time help the dwarves in their war against them. So Baldur Norneth, Clanmaster of the Wurkrest, counter-proposed the creation of an elite squadron that would have eliminated all the lycanthropes from Wyrmsteeth: the Killers in the Name of Law were born on the night between the 21st and 22nd of Kaldmont 811.
The Killers in the Name of Law were made of dwarven selected warriors, known as "Crusaders" among their own people; they were joined by the clergy of Pearl, and alliances were forged with the most important Freemen leaders after years of massacres. The blood was shed in copious quantities, with Kildarkok dwarves involved in the fights, and even more brigands and werecreatures coming to Wyrmsteeth from the nearer areas in Norwold and Wendar, hoping to enter in control of a safe place from which conduct their raids. But eventually, the Red Hammer, as the Killers in the Name of Law had been known by then, were more organized and managed to drive off many of their enemies, while the clerics of Pearl were secretly conducting negotiations with the less hostile Averoigne werewolves, that didn't want to cause trouble, but just to have a safe place to live in (828).
When the dwarves became aware of this, the satisfaction of the Wurkrest clan for the victory over the "renegade" settlers of Wyrmsteeth rapidly changed into wrath (an at the same time Mors Rufus was asking himself "why on the Abyss had I to create this mess? they are so noisy..."), and the situation was on the brim of a new explosion of violence.
Fortunately, the Kildarkok dwarves and the newly formed Order of the Holy Blood Sword decided to mediate between the two groups, and, after three years of instability, a Constitution was declared. Then, the Claenra and the Red Hammer, with the second unaware of the first, did the rest.
B2. THE RED HAMMER TODAY
The Red Hammer is today an elite dwarven organisation, with a few human members, mostly clerics. The Red Hammer has, since 831, taken on itself the duty of exterminating all lycanthropes that refuse to adhere to the Constitution. Although not all people in Wyrmsteeth knows this, the Red Hammer has also interfered frequently with the Wyrmsteethian society, helping the military to eliminate potentially dangerous human leaders (both normal humans, and effective werewolves) with false accusations of being renegade lycanthropes, or other falsehoods.
But, unknown to the Red Hammer dwarves, several non-dwarven members of the Red Hammer are Claenra, put in the association to watch over its machinations.
The leader of the Red Hammer is Grain Borneth, son of Baldur Borneth, that once was the founder of the order. Grain is a very capable leader, that has tracked down and killed renegades for more than 50 years in his life. He is a proud dwarf, and he is convinced that werecreatures are equal in rights to any other creature- only if they follow the laws of their nation. The werecreatures that don't live in Wyrmsteeth officially, the so-called renegades, are to be eliminated, because they are a dangerous and anarchical attempt to destroy the society, in his eyes.
This view on things is shared by most members of the Red Hammer, and by most dwarves in the nation. The Red Hammer is friendly only to the lycanthropes of the Canine Protection Society, outside Wyrmsteeth, because it believes that it is trying for the first to receive a legal status inside their state, and for the second because it is an internal factor of discord among the hated Glantrians.
This is probably a very strained friendship, as the Red Hammer would have to choose who it hates the least. Obviously they hate the Glantrians more than they do the lycanthropes. Hate is probably too strong of a word to use when referring to the lycanthropes...the dwarves probably see them as a sort of vermin. When they have to bring one down, it is like pest control, but they probably feel pity more than hatred.
The relations between the Red Hammer and the Claenra could also be a big potential for adventures in Wyrmsteeth. An interesting campaign could be led with the players being members of the Red Hammer, and then discover the existence among them of spies...in fact, non-human shapechanging creatures: the Claenra! And then they could discover the truth behind deportations of renegades and criminal citizens alike, and find out that things are not what they seem to be...maybe a civil war could erupt between citizens and dragons, with the clergy of Pearlin full support of the dragons, some dragon ruler siding with the rebels in order to seize the throne and the power from Mors Rufus...quite an interesting plot, isn't it?