Shattered Covenant Group Patron
Criminal Group Patron The Darburl are an informally organized crime syndicate that operates out of the North. They engage in theft, protection rackets, smuggling, fencing of stolen goods, and the occasional assassination. The Darlburl are mostly made up of those from rural or poor backgrounds, and find new recruits among youth disaffected with poverty and an assumed lifetime of hard labor for little reward.
Founded just after the Spellplague, the Darlburl (whose name is an Auld Thorass term that means "angry") was a union of three families of folk who'd lost everything thanks to the Blue Flames. The early Darlburl considered magic to be a possession of the wealthy, and considered the Spellplague to be the fault of the rich. There are even parts of the Darlburl old guard who still maintain a distrust of mages, although that is largely considered an old-fashioned thing.
Though originally made up of three Illuskan families found throughout the Dessarin Vale (one of the insider names the group uses for itself is "the Three Families"), the Darburl recruit new members from among any disaffected working-class folk. The Darburl, true to their origins, are well-suited for tasks of violence (or the threat thereof) or heavy labor, but they often have to recruit agents to tend to more specialized tasks.
The Darburl are led by six individuals, three Mothers and three Fathers, a throwback to the heads of the three original Darburl families. Anyone given one of the Darlburl titles is expected to take one of the three original family names as their own: Dlarhund, Thentilyr, and Arcri. Everyone in the organization knows the territory and headquarters of each of the Mothers and Fathers, and knows that it is polite to pay respects (often with a small gift) to a Mother or Father upon entering their territory.
- Mother Dlarhund: Sundabar, Silver Marches and Delzoun. A genderfluid half-elf safely ensconced in a defensible inn just inside the gates of Sundabar proper.
- Father Dlarhund: Helm's Hold, Neverwinter Wood. A fatherly, rotund human former fighter who runs a "school" for fighting. He is generally considered a harmless drunk by the locals.
- Mother Thentilyr: Leilon, Sword Mountains. A she-dwarf who runs an eatery in Leilon that provides wholesome meals for folk with coin, and thinner but hearty soups for those who have none at the back window.
- Father Thentilyr: Westbridge, Dessarin Valley. A half-orc who runs the local slaughterhouse, known for his sour disposition, except when there is a new minstrel in town with delightful new music.
- Mother Arcri: Daggerford, Delimbyr Vale. One of the halfling barkeeps at Tymora's Cup, a tavern and gambling house in Daggerford. She seems to know everyone.
- Father Arcri: Mirabar, Frozenfar. A young human finesmith in the city of Mirabar, who specializes in works of gold and silver.
Directly beneath the Mothers and Fathers are the Aunts and Uncles. Unlike the leaders, Aunts and Uncles keep their original given names – they simply add the last name of the Mother or Father to whom they owe their direct allegiance.
The Darburl often cluster themselves into small groups of operatives, each of which usually has a focus or specialty. They are given familial designations, like "the High Road Cousins" (a group who specialize in organized banditry along the High Road) or "Marnar's Brothers." Most of these are collections of bandits and thugs, but they do occasionally include some particularly skilled agents. There are multiple families whose entire membership belongs to the Darburl as well, with youngsters initiated into the mob at adulthood.
Even so, most members of the Darburl are individuals. By day, they are caravan hands, teamsters, day laborers, farm hands, and woodsmen. But each answers the call of their local Aunt or Uncle when the time comes to accomplish some task, and their families thrive because of it. They are willing to take such risks because all Darburl know that even if they are taken by the law and punished, their families will still be cared for.
There are a good many allies that the Darburl have brought to their banner over the years, and with good reason: so long as they are not dealing with those who put on airs, the Three Families are perfectly affable and willing to cut deals that benefit everyone involved.
- Bandits. Though the Darburl engage in some banditry themselves, they also maintain alliances with many bandit gangs throughout the North. Indeed, the leadership of some of these gangs are Darburl themselves. Either way, these groups rarely foster antagonism with Darburl, happy to leave one another alone. Caravans that have paid for Darburl protection are often given large tokens to hang along the sides of wagons to denote them as protected.
- The Emerald Enclave. It is inevitable that some members of the rural and rustic Darburl should have encountered the members of this faction. Though the two organizations do not have formal alliances of any sort, Enclave members tend to be at least neutrally disposed toward Darburl, and vice versa.
- Mercenary Companies. There are a few smaller mercenary companies that have not only done business with the Darburl, but who maintain active alliances with them. They typically turn a blind eye to Darburl activities in areas they are patrol as long as the Darburl aren't actively threatening the mercenary interests there. These companies include the Ysbraven, a company of lancers out of the Dessarin Vale, the Almoren Arrows of Silverymoon, archers who serve in many places across the North, and the Sharptooth Fleet, a small fleet of naval mercenaries up and down the Sword Coast.
It is inevitable that any group of organized crime is going to create enemies, and the Darburl have more than enough of their own.
- Eldreth Veluuthra. Raiders and assassins dedicated to a creed of elven supremacy, the Eldreth Veluuthra ("Victorious Blade of the People," in Espruar) want nothing more than to removal all humankind from Faerûn. Though they focus on areas where human settlements impinge on traditionally elven lands, they bear no love for non-elf folk in general. They are known to have bases in most of the forested areas of the North and occasionally lead Hunts to wipe out human freeholders and frontiersfolk.
- The Lords' Alliance. Over the last twenty years or so, the Lords' Alliance has become more aware of the Darburl's activities. The makers and keepers of laws have always harassed the criminals within their jurisdictions, but the faction as a whole has become more aware of a unified criminal syndicate operating under their very noses, and have begun putting real effort into investigations.
- The Stag Lord. A notorious bandit king that has risen in recent days, the Stag Lord's identity is unknown. More and more bandit groups have aligned themselves with his plans, however. Moreover, the Stag Lord maintains a network of watchers in settled areas, folk who keep him aware of rich caravans to raid. The Stag Lord has, in recent days, slain more than one member of the Darburl, displaying their corpses in public squares with the antlers of actual stags nailed to their skulls.
You gain the following benefits from having the Darburl as your group patron.
- Assignments. Though the Darburl doesn't pay you, but it does assign you to particular tasks. Whether a task the syndicate was hired to accomplish, or something an Aunt or Uncle put together themselves, you are awarded 8/10s of the profit for such undertakings.
- Fences. In a settlement where an Aunt or Uncle is based, you can use their organization's fences to sell goods. You are given a base 60% price (rather than the normal 50%), and you can even sell art objects and magic items this way.
- Contraband. In a settlement where an Aunt or Uncle is based, you can always find contraband goods, including drugs and poisons.
- Immunity. As a member of the Darburl, you are protected from the criminal efforts of other members of the syndicate. The reverse is expected to be true, as well. If you have rivals within the syndicate, however, they might find ways of interfering with your other business or activities beyond the syndicate's purview.
- Safe House. In a settlement where an Aunt or Uncle is based, you can always receive a hidden sanctuary to lay low for a while. This is considered a Poor lifestyle that is paid for by the syndicate. After two days, you'll need to make Charisma checks (DC based on how much trouble it is to keep you hidden) to continue to receive such sanctuary.
- Darburl-Owned Businesses. In a settlement where an Aunt or Uncle is based, there is always a small number of businesses owned by the syndicate. You can receive a 10% discount on goods and services at such locations. You can always identify them based on the marks somewhere on a front-facing doorframe or window-sill.
Choose two specialties that your group is known for. You may be called upon to do any of these (or other) tasks, but when the Darburl needs your specialty tended to, they tend to think of you first.
- Topple the Powerful. Your work involves undermining established power structures, particularly among the rich and powerful. Whether this is by murder, the uncovering (or manufacture) of scandal, instituting corruption among their organizations, or just outright mayhem depends on the situation.
- Acquisitions and Retrieval. Your job is to acquire assets for the Darburl. You might steal important documents or clear out a location for use as a hideout.
- Heists. You plan and execute elaborate robberies that require the skills of everyone on your team.
- Gang Warfare. Your primary job is to ensure that no other crime syndicate gains a significant foothold in your territory.
- Internal Affairs. Your task is to keep all the corrupt, headstrong, and avaricious members of your syndicate in line with the goals and rules of the Darburl.
- Assassination. Your work involves killing prominent people – the sort who have numerous bodyguards and elaborate security systems to circumvent.
- Frontier Defense. You are often assigned to deal with threats to folk in out of the way places who are struggling to make lives for themselves against overwhelming dangers.
- Bandit Operations. Your assignments usually involve dealing with bandits: making allies of them, helping them as part of their alliance with the Darburl, or eradicating those who get out of hand.
- Choose one of the Mothers or Fathers your group knows and is in business contact with.
- You have three Aunts and Uncles that you routinely work for and who are your primary connections to the rest of the Darburl. Choose three locations where you are in contact with Aunts and Uncles around the North.
- Aunt Alindue is a bright-voiced, Rubenesque opera-style human singer out of a festhall that no one knows she actually owns. She is good at getting access to the wealthy and powerful. (Contacts) - Sword Mountains (Thornhold)
- Uncle Kentar is an old stoop-backed dwarven washerman who runs a small laundry business. He knows everyone's dirty laundry, quite literally. (Information Broker) - Delzoun (Sundabar)
- Uncle Discretion is the tiefling center of a fence-and-smuggling operation, based out of his business as a message and package courier. (Fence) - Dessarin Vale (Yartar)