Thursday, 14 April 2011

L is for Longshanks

The Longshanks, needless to say, continue a threadbare theme found in my Blogging A to Z entries. A theme that takes adventurers out of the dungeons or many urban settings and into the wildernesses of the Empire and beyond.

The Longshanks are the templars of the cults of Taal and Rhya, likely the most pervasive and ancient cult in the Old World. Yet knights or templars do not properly described the Longshanks, though they fill the role in context of the cult.

The Longshanks are often dismissed as rangers or scouts by other knightly orders as they eschew armor and martial weapons like lances, swords and axes, favoring bows and knives and light, highly maneuverable leathers for armor. Many Longshanks must fashion their own longbow as a right to initiation. The Cults of Taal and Rhya rely on the Longshanks to protect the holy sites--temples, shrines, and glades. The strictures and duties of the Longshanks take them across the Empire to many of the remotest villages, and often crossing great distances in short periods to abide by the Wandering Vow each takes on entry to the order.

Mechanically, the Wandering Vow is a Lesser Magic spell that is taken willingly and must be followed or a harsh rebuke in the form of a permanent 1d10 reduction in the character's Toughness Ability occurs. The vow can be very motivating in roleplay, as a Longshank vows never to remain in one place for more than a week.

A Longshank moves from shrine to shrine, temple to temple, glade, circle or barrow as tasked by the order. His or her vow tends influence the order's leadership which is loosely set as need arises. It also affords "packs" of Longshanks to often form near many sacred sites, especially when Chaos threatens forests in war. Longshanks often form units in battle as scouts and outriders in service of the Empire. Moreover, Longshanks are tenacious protectors of the cults sacred sites. Often, a Longshank will embark on hunting down and killing those that defile the aforementioned holy sites.

They are analogous to the Ranger classes of D&D and Pathfinder. And thus, one might see my love of the Holy Warriors of Taal and Rhya embodied in the Longshanks.

The Longshanks are detailed in Tome of Salvation, along with the templar orders of all the major cults of the Empire. Sigmar's Heirs also provides an introduction sub-cults of Taal and Rhya including an excellent introduction to the Longshanks. Mechanically, Longshanks are not Templars and gain no special benefits. Instead Longshanks follow the two advanced careers of Scout and Targeteer.

I love the flavor invoked in the Longshanks. So much possibility that doesn't involve an elf.
Posted by caffeinated at 7:00 AM in d10