Today we are continuing the explorations of our upcoming release of Hyraeatan, City in Shadow. The demiplanar metropolis is ruled by a Council comprised of fourteen rival factions known as the Parities. The Parities espouse the titular balance of Light and Dark as such claims seven of each. The Parities of the Dark even give wide birth to one of their own, the jailers and executioners known as the Blackblades…
Nicknames: Enders, Breakers, Entroph, Holes
Beliefs: Things exist to cease existing, so says the only scripture the Blackblades recognize. Life is then a journey to the Last Moment. A perfect end for all things and all things made perfect in the end. A Blackblade always presides over each Tribunal for crimes in Hyraeatan, not as judge or bailiff but rather a swift executioner’s blade should it be deemed needed. Each Tribunal consists of the five Parities of the Council most wronged by the criminal. The Blackblades consider their executioners presence enough and rarely request any additional representation.
As that all life is the journey toward the end, the so-named Last Moment, the Blackblades see themselves as purifiers and declarers of the Final State. The Final State is the recognizable form of thing or person that requires the Last Moment. Generally, the Blackblades claim that their members instinctively recognize the Final State and sense the coming of the Last Moment. The Jailers of the Blackblades then also claim to be keeping prisoners for in trust for the perfection of their Final States. This fact that makes their Prison one of the most feared places in Hyraeatan.
It should be noted that outside of the Tribunal and Prison, the Blackblades don’t receive any special protections legally unless specifically bestowed by the Council of the Parities. This doesn’t stop members from “recognizing the Last Moment” and facing the consequences of their killings, arsons and other destructive “Crimes of Perfection” outside their Tower or Prison. Other members just smile and nod as they haul their new charge back to the Prison.
Primary Facilities: The Tower of Blades looms filled with students of destruction, philosophers of finality and channelers of the broken things beyond the stars. Seeking the lore of true endings and power of the shattered these devoted learners for the leadership core of the Blackblades. Most of the general membership never sees the Tower as that their induction and deployment is far more likely to involve the Prison.
Allied and Enemy Parities: The Blackblades find allies in the Ashborn whose maintenance of the armies of Hyraeatan often partners the two organizations up in peacekeeping efforts and urban cleansings. The Hands of Onus stand in favor of the Blackblades duty as executioners and jailers citing their willingness to serve where few would The Thunderchildren on the otherhand split hairs over the difference of the Last Moment (which ends a thing) and the Strike (which is a perfect expression of force, that often destroys things), surprisingly this difference of opinion has boiled to extremes of badblood between the two Parities that is unlikely to end. The House of Height and Chrysalis Covenant both find the concept of Final State enimical to their views leading political oppositions from both Parities.
Desired Membership: Soldiers, murderers, and arsonists are all likely to be sought out by the Blackblades but their all-inclusive doctrine of the Last Moment brings most efforts of recruitment to a dead stop. Rather most of the their membership is generated under the terms of the so-called “Rite of Mitigation” whereby a criminal is accepted into the Blackblades membership in exchange for easements of sentence and early release. Many regret their choices but few who do live long enough for that regret to be a long thing.
Rewards: Members of the Blackblades are giving little at initial assigment aside from access to quality gear. Those who survive initial periods of training and indoctrination are evaluated for secret courses in esoteric means of destruction. Ex-criminal Blackblades whose reformation was doubtful often seem to shift to sincere zealotry near the same time as they develop unusual abilities to break, ruin and destroy. It has been noted that criminal Blackblades can effectively be re-inducted into the Parity and just begin service anew, strip of prior ranks. The Blackblades don’t seem to care about the inconsistency.
Denials: The Blackblades forbid building or creation of any kind. The are allowed to buy weapons and armor, and lore that they can use to bring the Last Moment to those who “need” it. While unrecorded in their dogma this is generally assumed to include whelping children. Black rumors of “reformed” criminals being ordered to clean the wreckage of their past away and what that meant for their families.
More info on Hyraeatan can be found in the Mythic Paths of the Lost Spheres appendix and the upcoming Book of Beyond WIP. Hyraeatan, City in Shadow will be available later this year. For our other products visit: d20pfsrd.com, drivethruRPG, paizo and RPGNow. Don’t forget the GM Sales going on until March 10th!!
OGL Note: None of this entry is considered Open Content.