Shortly after Choral the Conqueror’s died in 268, certain members of House Rogarvia began to worry that the Aldori swordlords would soon rebel without the unspoken threat the dragons and their commander imposed. In order to secure House Rogarvia’s dominance, certain members of the House pooled their resources in 269 to create an organization known as the Dragon’s Claws.
The Claws were mostly composed of rangers, druids, and rogues who were saddled with the task of securing the loyalty of dragons. To this end, the Claws’ members scattered to the four winds in search of beasts with which to protect House Rogarvia’s interests in the wake of Choral's early death. While the Claws failed to secure any new alliance with dragons, they did succeed in obtaining the loyalty of several exotic creatures: A few Blink Dog scouts, some trained War Basilisks and other more particular creatures, though unfortunately not enough to stem an incipent rebellion by several remaining Swordlords and the minor noble house of Carrascone.
The Claws were on the verge of being disbanded and folded back into the regular military when cache of wyvern eggs (several in fact) was brought in by an enterprising scoundrel. His true name has been lost to time but he was known to the Claws as Jack Wyvern. The scars he wore bore testament to the difficultly of his catch, though within a year of the Kingdom's High Druids’ care the clutch grew into a ravenous fighting force.
With a flight of trained Wyverns in addition to the other creatures allied or trained by the Claws, House Rogarvia crushed the rebellion.
After putting down the rebellion, the Dragon’s Claws maintained facilities in hard to approach locations that could best maintain, support and shelter dragons, should they ever return. Once the wyvern flight was operational, Jack Wyvern personally took command of the many scouting ventures they were deployed on, conducting surveilance into the Wasted Lands, the River Kingdoms, Numeria, and Iobaria. When asked why he chose to do this rather than simply take his compensation and retire after finding the creatures Jackreplied, “I once lived scrounging for others' scraps with my feet firmly planted on the ground; but now I intend to soar, building castles in the sky.”
Some of the missions the flight took were explorative ventures, some were smuggling maneuvers, some flights bore west into Fallion and the Dark Forest, trying to find new wyverns to add to the flight.
Still more expeditions were tasked with finding dragons and establishing diplomatic relations with them, but the dragons had disappeared. It has been over three hundred years since anyone in the Lands has seen a dragon and many over time came to believe that the stories of Choral were but propoganda.
Over many years, Jack compiled hundreds of maps of the Lands, ranging from sea to sea some say. Others claim he even traveled as far south as Qadira and Osirion.
Legend holds that Jack keep two sets of the maps he forged, one which he turned over to the Dragon’s Claws and another hidden set that bore his personal annotations.
Fall and Rebith of the LegionEdit
In times of war the Claws were a great boon, offering shock troops, transportation, scouting and versatility that most enemies found hard to match. However, in times of peace, the Nobles of House Rogarvia began to debate whether the Claws were worth the price of maintenance, lost livestock, and damaged diplomatic relations due to their espionage activities. On occasion, those troops even broke free and caused trouble in the countryside. Additionally, over time, House Rogarvia came to be pressured by some in other Noble Houses, such as House Medvyed whose political line was that the effective enslavement of the creatures was wrong and that one day the Wyvrens would turn on Brevoy and raze it flat.
House Medvyed went so far as to allow several discontent members of the Claws, who felt that the Claws were mistreating their creatures, to be spirited away from the Claws and to form the Monastery of the Four Broken Beasts on Medvyed lands bordering Iobaria.
After nearly a hundred years in existence, the Claws were retired from official military duty in 395.
This was not the end of the Claws however; the demobilized members reformed themselves as a secretive Adventurer/Mercenary Guild that same year, calling themselves the Fanged Legion. House Rogarvia served as their primary client and hid their existence for several years until House Medvyed's political favors waned. The Legion thus managed to crave out a niche for itself in the cutthroat world of House politics, though not without casualties.
When the time was ripe, the Legion went public and hired themselves out to Royal Houses. When not hired by a Brevic House, they explored ruins or engaged in mercenary work for merchants, or city-states in the River Kingdoms.
During the transition from the Dragon’s Claws to the Fanged Legion, many former members did not join the Legion, either because they felt they could make more money on their own, or becuase they decided to retire. The deserters were especially dangerous, with their special skills and powerful beasts at their command. Needless to say, there was an uprise in unusual bandit attacks over the subsequent years.
Some of the former Dragon's Claws, fleeing retribution from House Rogarvia and the Fanged Legion, eventually traveled south to carve out a life in the dangerous Wasted Lands, where their ancestors had formerly hunted House Rogarvia's enemies.
The disappearance of House Rogarvia has torn the Legion apart. Although they formerly retained decent ties with House Surtova, the Legion's leadership rejected House Surtova’s calls for them to swear allegiance.
Without the money and protection of House Rogarvia, the Legion was unable to fully sustain itself. Many of its members have departed in the chaos to pursue their own interests.
Those that remain have resorted to unsavory activities, up to and including, banditry and smuggling.
Despite difficulties, the Legion survives.
Currently, their primary goal is to find what became of House Rogarvia. Thus, the Legion’s agents turn up in the most unlikely of places.
Captain of the Legion – Roland Fitz-Rogarvia (N Human Ftr 7) – Claims to be a bastard of House Rogarvia, the last of the House left after The Disappearance. He is responsible for coordinating the Legion’s quest to learn what happened to the Rogarvians.
First Forward Scout – Sir Barksworth the IV (CG Blink Dog Rgr 3) – A wily Blink Dog with an overpowering sense of adventure, Sir Barkswoth stands above the pack.
Wyvern Flight Commander – Jerome “Cut Once” Huxley (NE Halfling Rog 6) – Jerome is an extremely capable commander who was the first to suggest the Legion engage in unscrupulous activities, such as robbery or tomb plundering, in order to finance itself (and has even picked up these actions in his spare time).
Arch-Druid – Sound a canyon makes in a soft breeze, more commonly called Morgan (N Dwarf Drd 8) – Morgan feels that the Legion is the perfect model to be applied to the world at large, all manner of creature working together to accentuate their strengths. He hopes to some day guide a nation based on these principals.
Grand-Enchanter – Leland Mountebanks (CN Elf Enc 5) – Responsible for keeping the more rambunctious beasts docile, Leland has unprecedented authority and resources to figure out how to peer into the mind and control it. So far Leland’s experiments with humanoids have been trivial, but only time will tell if they stay this way.
The Gnome Caretakers- (LE Gnome Exp 2/Rog 4-10) Obstensibly a group of expert carpenters, gardeners, and caretakers of the beasts, these gnomes are deadly assassins though few know their secret. (Note: They probably had something to do with Duchess Nathaline Surtova's death in 549.)
Kiera Nightingale - (CG Oracle 4, Summoner 2, Druid 1) Believes herself to be a bird. Kiera was raised by awakened ravens in the wilds of the Wasted Lands after her parents abandoned her because a Priest of Min explained that she was cursed as a vessel of the Goddess of Misfortune, Sudekei...at least that's what she claims, the more likely explanation is that she was abandoned because she is deaf. Her eidolon looks like a mix between a unicorn, a wyvren, and a giant blackbird with gossamer butterfly wings.
Rats of NIMH - Awakened animals. Delivered to Ms. Frisbee, who they killed.