It's official, Ravensrook: The Black Winged City of Bandit's and Brigands is out and available on Drivethrurpg. You can CLICK HERE and get your copy today.
The Lands of the Free Lords is a patchwork of petty kingdoms, bandit lords, and misfit war camps sandwiched between evil empires, do-gooder nations, and religious zealots. While regional warlords rose and fell over the ages, there was one constant within this chaotic land - the famed city of Ravensrook. The Black-Winged City of Bandits and Brigands. The only proper city within the Lands of the Free Lords.
This supplement is fully compatible with 5th edition as well as the OSR.
In the cold north of the Thillonrian peninsula dwell the barbarian tribes of the Cruski (Ice), Fruztii (Frost), and the Schnai (Snow). Molded by their harsh homeland into tough and capable warriors, they have a long tradition of raiding their neighbors and each other. During the summer, they come out of their northern holds through either the mountain passes or by sea, sailing their longships to destinations further afield to sack towns and villages. Chieftains lead these raids, and the Harbingers, or those who bring the doom, are at their sides.
Harbingers are rangers that lead the barbarians to their targets through good and, more importantly, through bad weather. They rely on their survival training and ability to tap into primal magic to ensure success.
While the raiders call upon the god Vatun, Kord, and Llerg for strength in battle, the Harbinger also praises Xerbo, Jascar, and Norebo to give them safe passage. The Harbinger will often perform sacrificial rituals to these gods periodically to keep them appeased until they return home.
Harbingers usually spend years among these neighbors learning the lay of the land and the best targets to riad before returning north. Because of this, Harbingers are traditionally social and friendly, making it easier to mingle amongst potential victims.
The Watchers of the Adri are an elite group of rangers formed by a splinter group of the Knight Protectors of the Great Kingdom in 65 CY. A select few knights with forester skills took to the Adri to protect its inhabitants from the beasts that lurked within. Over the years, as the face of the Great Kingdom changed, the Watchers found themselves the guardians of those living within the forest and refugees fleeing the ever-increasing evil of the Great Kingdom's despots.
The Watchers work in conjunction with the free people of the Adri to ensure that the forest remains a place of refuge for those who flee the evil of the Great Kingdom. They work around the elven Sentinels and respect their charge of protecting the Coldwood. They ensure that treasure hunters or malcontents seeking the Coldwood are turned away before encountering the Sentinels.
Since their founding, the Watchers of the Adri have become an organization no longer composed of Knight Protectors but rangers raised within the forest. Adri is their home and nation, and they pledge their lives to protect it and its inhabitants.
Part of the culture of the nomadic Rovers of the Barrens is the worship of the spirits of the land. Shaman attempts to commune and learn from these spirits, and so does everyone else. Chiefs will make offerings to the spirits of the bear and eagle for strength and courage. At the same time, others might pray and make offerings to the spirit of fish so that they might have a bountiful catch. Among these plains warriors are a group of rangers that are chief among the hunters and gathers; these are the Spirit Guides.
Spirit Guides have a strong connection to the land and its spirits. They cannot only commune with the spirits but can also gain enhancements from them in short bursts to increase their abilities. To achieve these enhancements, the Spirit Guides protect the lands in which the spirits dwell and make simple offerings to them.
While each tribe would have one or two Spirit Guides, their numbers have been reduced to only a handful because of the wars against Iuz. In the past, Spirit Guides were picked by the spirits themselves. Still, with the dire circumstances of the Rovers, many have begun teaching what they can to those that show any promise and hope that the spirits will accept them.
Among the gods worshiped by the Tiger Nomads is Incabulos, the god of plagues, famine, nightmares, and disasters. He is revered by some who wish to win his favor and gain some of his wicked power, but most want only to appease him and keep his vileness at bay. From this belief came the Black Riders, a group of rangers that believe the only way to keep Incabulos pacified is to give him the death and destruction he craves. These rangers did not wish to commit these acts upon their people, so instead, they commit vile deeds upon others in Incabuloses name.
Black Riders conduct their raids into foreign lands under cover of night when possible, but this is not always possible when they roam far from their homes. The Black Riders are also valued combatants whenever the Tiger Nomads go to war as shock troops and scouts.
Black Riders, like their name suggests, dress all in black and even dye or paint their armor and weapons black. A side effect of the indoctrination process turns their skin a pale blue color like that of a corpse. Those who can survive the process are forever changed and must live apart from the rest of their tribe for the tribe's safety.