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Weary after many miles of travel, the hooded figure looked left and right to see if the path was clear or if this was yet another road full of petty, avaricious brigands looking for easy prey. Unfortunately for the miscreants ahead, they had no knowledge of the wake of ruined corpses left behind by Arliss Drakken’s men. Individually they came into view—the casual onlooker would note that they were a mismatched menagerie of horrific and beautiful races and faces. Others lurked nearby, some behind a veil of trees, others in shadow, and some unseen, shrouded by the planar barriers of the Astral.
The awestruck roadside thieves were paralyzed by horror and curiousity of what lay before them. Regret crept into their minds as they reflected on the offer that came from Cheliax, a missive in short, “serve or be consumed.” Perhaps they should have heeded and embraced the offer, for as briefly as it was offered, it too was swiftly retracted.
Arliss drew the runic hood away to reveal a piercing sanguine stare and ridged horns that stretched his cherry skin taut to match the jagged, runed blade clutched in his left hand. An inverted garnet star brooch pinned to his cloak would have marked him as a follower of Asmodeus and to an informed traveler, confirmation that agreements and altercations with this group were not entered into lightly.
The thieves trembled and went to flee, but were suddenly unable to move. Unseen forces by dark magi cloaked in shadow gripped their hearts, causing each beat to push against ever-increasing pressure. Sweat poured from the sides of their faces as they struggled to breathe, their inner organs swelling against the self-inflicted blunt trauma with each constricted breath and heartbeat. Their eyes engorged, gripped in terror and forced to fully take in the vision of that band of colorful characters calmly watching the brigand’s last seconds, until all was turned to darkness…
They are known the Progeny of Sorrow, bringers of order that always mete out callous, swift callous justice to those that cross them. Ignorant fools briefly belittle the name until they disappear, remembered only in the keening wails of grieving relatives and loved ones. Shady politicians often hire the Progeny to handle missions of shocking and morally ambiguous natures, and merchants know well the benefit of working with the Progeny for fear of working against them. Some merchants quietly rue the day they entered into protection agreements with the Progeny, but rarely do they have the resources and the nerve to try and break the covenants of the iron-clad Progeny agreements. Those that do face a reckoning, salted with a dash of alacrity and a second helping of regret.
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Purple Dragon (Public)