A Magziev arcanist of the Greylords Covenant and an heir of noble blood, tasked with leading a team of the Covenant’s hand-picked agents. A Widowmaker, a master of the rifle and the wilds, sending her foes to Urcaen before they hear the gunshot. An Assault Kommando, veteran of war and a leader of troops, a father to his men. An agent of the Prikaz Chancellery, blessed with the gifts of a warcaster and climbing the ranks of the Covenant. Each Meet the Party article gives you an entire group of ready-to-play adventurers (maybe even some heroes) for your gaming needs for a variety of systems and settings. This time we’re heading back to the Iron Kingdoms of Western Immoren to meet a team from Khador’s Greylords Covenant, from the Iron Kingdoms RPG by Privateer Press! For the Motherland!
The last time we visited the Iron Kingdoms we traveled to Llael to met Godwyn di Perth and his fellow Heroes of the Llaelese Resistance. This time we’re heading north, across the border to the Khadoran Empire and its Greylords Covenant. The Greylords are the arcane society of Khador, founded centuries ago to support the Motherland. Characters, like those below, who choose the ‘Greylords’ adventuring company concept act as agents of this Covenant. Their tasks are potentially many, anything that could further the goals of the Empire: acquisition of arcane artifacts, intelligence gathering, fighting enemies of the Motherland, conflict with rival arcane orders, and more. It’s tough work, but there are benefits. Narratively the party is beholden to the Covenant but given great leeway in how they achieve their objectives. Functionally every Gifted character receives an extra spell, while non-Gifted (hired agents or military personnel on loan) receive the Iron Will ability.
Magziev Maxim Descra, Greylord Arcanist/Aristocrat
Race: Human (Exceptional Potential)
Physique (PHY): 5 Speed (SPD): 6 Strength (STR): 4
Agility (AGL): 3 Prowess (PRW): 4
Poise (POI): 5 Intellect (INT): 5 Arcane (ARC): 4
Perception (PER): 3 Defense (DEF): 11
Initiative: 13 Armor (ARM): 12 Willpower (WIL): 10
Archetype: Gifted (Will Weaver)(Starting Benefit: Additional Study)(Arcanist Benefit: Rune Reader)
Starting Abilities: Great Power, Good Breeding, Extra Language, Privilege
Starting Military Skills: Hand Weapon 1, Pistol 1
Starting Occupational Skills: Lore (Arcana) 1, Research 1, Command 1, Etiquette 1
Starting Languages: Khadoran, Cygnaran, Aeric
Starting Connections: Greylords Covenant, Khadoran Nobility
Starting Spells: Blizzard, Frostbite, Protection From Cold, Fog of War, Banishing Ward
Starting Assets: Axe, Hand Cannon (with powder and 5 rounds of ammuntion) Tailored Plate, Great Coat, 9 Gold Coins
Maxim Descra provides his team with the deepest pool of magical resources, with more spells and (thanks to Great Power) easily-maintained upkeep spells. He has offensive power with Blizzard and Frostbite but also defensive utility, increasing his teammates’s ranged defense with Fog of War and removing harmful spells with Banishing Ward. He’s the intellectual powerhouse of the group, fitting for a Magziev of the Covenant, and can provide steady funds through his noble connections. He’s not bad with that Hand Cannon, either.
Widowmaker Roza Drohzsk, Rifleman/Ranger
Race: Human (Exceptional Potential)
PHY: 5 SPD: 7 STR: 4 AGL: 4
PRW: 4 POI: 5 INT: 3 PER: 4
DEF: 14 Initiative: 15 ARM: 10 WIL: 8
Archetype: Skilled (Starting Benefit: Preternatural Awareness)
Starting Abilities: Crack Shot, Dual Shot, Marksman, Camouflage, Pathfinder, Iron Will
Starting Military Skills: Rifle 2, Hand Weapon 1
Starting Occupational Skills: Climbing 1, Detection 2, Survival 2, Sneak 1, Tracking 1
Starting Languages: Khadoran, Cygnaran
Starting Connections: None
Starting Assets: Ammo Bandolier, Heavy Rifle w/Scope (with powder and 45 rounds of ammunition), Sword, Gunsmith’s Kit, Armored Great Coat, Bipod, Spyglass, 2 Gold Coins
Roza Drohsk isn’t just the best shot on the team, able to deliver deadly blows with amazing accuracy at ludicrous ranges with her Heavy Rifle. She’s also the best member of the team when it comes to the wilderness, thanks to her Ranger career. Survival skills, keeping a sharp look-out, sneaking through the undergrowth, or following a target are all talents she brings to the table. She also has the best Defense in the team, which will only get boosted by her Camouflage ability, and Pathfinder lets her ignore difficult terrain, a unique gift among her teammates.
Point of order: The ‘Greylords’ adventuring company in Kings, Nations, and Gods has some specific career requirements, and Roza does not meet those requirements in her current form. However, the Rifleman/Ranger combination is what that same book recommends for players wanting to play a Widowmaker, and Widowmakers are often associated with the Greylords in both the fiction and the Warmachine game. This seemed an odd discrepancy to me, so, watch out! Here be house-rules! If your group wants to use this team but your GM doesn’t agree with me about Roza, let me know! I have a Field Mechanik waiting in the wings for you.
Kovnik Sergei Meshik, Assault Kommando/Military Officer
Race: Human (Exceptional Potential)
PHY: 6 SPD: 6 STR: 4 AGL: 4
PRW: 5 POI: 5 INT: 3 PER: 3
DEF: 11 Initiative: 14 ARM: 13(14) WIL: 9
Archetype: Mighty (Starting Benefit: Righteous Anger)
Starting Abilities: Defensive Line, Onslaught, Battle Plan: Call to Action, Natural Leader, Team Leader, Iron Will
Starting Military Skills: Hand Weapon 2, Rifle 1, Shield 1, Pistol 1
Starting Occupational Skills: Command 2, Detection 1, Medicine 1, Navigation 1
Starting Languages: Khadoran, Llaelese
Starting Connections: Khadoran Military
Starting Assets: Assault Kommando Armor, Vislovski Carbine (with power and 10 rounds of ammunition, Assault Shield, Strangle Gas Grenade Launcher Rounds x3, Scattergun (with powder and 5 rounds of ammunition, Officer’s Uniform, Great Coat, Surgical Kit
Sergei Meshik is a veteran Assault Kommando, and it shows. He’s built with close-range fighting in mind, equally skilled at delivering melee and ranged blows. What really makes him shine is his Abilities. Onslaught means that he can fire off a round before charging into the fray, Righteous Anger means that hurting his komrades only makes him more dangerous, and both of his Leader traits make him the best combat commander the team could ask for. Battle Plan: Call to Action means that you can’t keep a good Khadoran off his feet, because Sergei will have them standing back up and ready to fight. Finally, his Surgical Kit and rank in Medicine means he’s the one tasked with keeping the team alive after they take hits.
Rastovik Kovnik Irina Vyshkovich, Khadoran Warcaster/Spy
Race: Human (Exceptional Potential)
PHY: 5 SPD: 6 STR: 4
AGL: 3 PRW: 5
POI: 4 INT: 4 ARC: 3
PER: 4 DEF: 13
Initiative: 15 ARM: 10 WIL: 9
Archetype: Gifted (Focuser)(Starting Benefit: Fast Caster)
Starting Abilities: Bond, Battle Plan: Shadow, Cover Identity (Bounty Hunter), Extra Language
Starting Military Skills: Hand Weapon 2, Pistol 1
Starting Occupational Skills: Command 2, Detection 2, Deception 1, Disguise 1, Sneak 1, Intimidation 1
Starting Languages: Khadoran, Cygnaran, Ordic
Starting Connections: Khadoran Military, Prikaz Chancellery
Starting Spells: Boundless Charge, Jump Start, Razor Wind, Transference
Starting Assets: Light Warcaster Armor, Forged Identity Papers, Assassin’s Blade, Sword, Manacles, Goggles, Great Coat, Repeating Pistol (with powder and 5 rounds of ammunition), 1 Gold Coin
She might be a novice Warcaster and Maxim’s subordinate in the Greylords, but Irina Vyshkovich is still plenty dangerous in her own right. Along with the usual and starting benefits of being a Khadoran Warcaster her Transference spell means that her teammates can actually use her Focus to help their own attacks, and she’s no slouch with a blade herself. As a Spy she’s both trained and equipped to go unseen, whether hiding in the shadows or in plain sight. Her Cover Identity, Extra Language, and Papers give her unique utility for when the team leaves the Motherland and interacts with Her foreign enemies.
Who They Are
A distant relative of Forovi Descra, Great Prince of Feodoska and himself a Koldun Lord of the Covenant, Maxim Descra‘s high station surprises few. He took to the arcane traditions of the Greylords and the political maneuvering of the great houses with equal aplomb, and he quickly rose to the rank of Magziev. However, even in sometimes stratified Khador one’s connections can only do so much; you must prove yourself worthy or the Motherland herself might break you. Maxim relishes the opportunity that this team of Covenant agents can provide, both for the Motherland and himself. He will never surpass or even meet the influence a Great Prince, but Kolden Lord is not the highest rank in the Covenant . . .
Roza Drohzsk is the third daughter of a peasant hunter from a volozk that is remote even by Khadoran standards. Khadoran women are not required to serve in the military, but they are welcomed, so (with her older sisters already married) Roza grabbed her old hunting rifle and enlisted. She turned out to be a phenomenal shot and earned her place in the elite Widowmakers, the pride of her village and family. Her assassination of a Cygnaran journeyman warcaster along the border might have gotten her coveted Marksman status, but before it could be awarded she was snapped up by the Covenant. A quiet sort by nature, Roza has yet to feel entirely comfortable with the change, at least until she settles into the familiar view of her scope.
Sergei Meshik is no stranger to unorthodox missions. A veteran of the Llaelese invasion the Assault Kommando served under the warcaster Kommander Oleg Strakhov with distinction, rising to the rank of Kovnik. Strakhov’s knack for risky but successful plans made the transition after Meshik was loaned to the Covenant an easy one, although he misses the like-mindedness of his fellow Kommandos. He earned a reputation for fierce combat, a knack for rallying the troops, and a genuine care for the men and women under his command. There might be fewer of them now (and he might not be in command anymore) but he is determined to hold himself to the same quality of service.
Irina Vyshkovich‘s magical talent was noticed early, and she was recruited by the Greylords at a young age. Gifted with a sharp mind and quick tongue she was soon assigned to learn the ways of the Prikaz Chancellery, the branch of the Covenant tasked with maintaining the internal security of the Khadoran Empire. It was only on a mission gone bad, cornered by the cortex smugglers she was investigating, that Irina’s waracaster talent revealed itself and awoke a slumbering Juggernaut to crush her foes. After being put through the Druzhina to hone her new talent she was returned to the Covenant for her journeyman tour, to season her in the field. A sociable sort by nature, Irina is actually the usual face of the team when abroad, although her actual nature as an apprentice of the Prikaz remains a secret to her comrades. Her future is somewhat in question: she could continue to climb the ranks of the Covenant and the Chancellery, she could advance to Kommander and become a full warcaster of the Motherland, or she could try to balance the two. Truthfully Irina is the sort to always love a challenge; testing her talents to see which option suits her best is a welcome task.
How They Interact
Maxim is conflicted about Roza. On the one hand, she is a mere peasant and he a member of one of the lofty great houses. On the other, the Widowmakers have never cared about accidents of birth. To view Roza as truly lesser would be folly. Kovnik Meshik is something of a convenient partner: although Maxim maintains his authority when it comes to strategy and mission goals he is smart enough to acknowledge Sergei’s superior tactical experience. Rastovik Vyshkovich is a curious case. She has been placed on Maxim’s team and as a Magziev it is his duty to tutor her in the arcane. Still, her talents make Maxim suspicious of her true place in the Covenant.
Roza is inclined to dislike Maxim, plain and simple. She follows his orders and respects his talents, but his in-born sense of superiority can be grating. She is waiting for him to prove that he is worthy of giving a Widowmaker orders. There’s a certain sense of comradery between her and Sergei, as they both come from elite arms of Khador’s military. As the two most experienced members of the team in actual warfare they sometimes trade stories. Irina reminds Roza of herself in a way, ambitious and determined to excel. The young warcaster is much more outgoing, however, somewhat overwhelmingly so for Roza’s usual tastes. Still, the Widowmaker has promised to watch her back in the field.
Sergei respects Maxim’s authority as a Greylord, but is glad that the Magziev is willing to listen to him about tactical matters. Sergei remembers his time as an enlisted man, and has set himself up as Maxim’s second in command. Roza is an excellent addition to the team, but a distant one. The Kommandos are a tight-knit group, so Sergei is making efforts to bring Roza out of her shell. Irina’s automatic promotion to Kovnik, standard procedure for a warcaster who has graduated from the Druzhina but has yet to finish a tour, troubles Sergei slightly. Not because he distrusts her, but because the current set-up of the team does not give the young woman a chance to practice leading troops. Sergei has set himself to tutoring her in the art of command.
Irina knows that her time at the Druzhina mastering the skills of a warcaster has, in some ways, slowed down her study of magic itself. As a result Maxim is a welcome teacher, but ferreting secrets out of the noble Greylord will also make good practice for dealing with actual enemies of the Motherland. Roza is stand-offish and more than a little intimidating, as Widowmakers are also assigned the duty of preventing valuable Khadorans from being captured; as a valuable Khadoran herself by several measures Irina has eyed Roza’s rifle with trepidation several times during mission briefings. Kovnik Meshik is proving Irina with a much more traditional journeyman tour, often lecturing on the sacred duties of Khadoran officers to their men and the Motherland. He is the only one on the team that Irina feels she actually knows.
The needs of the Motherland are great, and the tasks of the Greylords Covenant are many. Magziev Descra and his team may find themselves fighting Cryxians amidst Orgoth ruins, assassinating Cygnaran researchers on the streets of Caspia, or hunting treasonous Khadorans through the alleys of Korsk itself. Will they bring glory to the Motherland, or shame to their families? That’s for you (and your dice) to determine!
Originally posted 6/5/15 on the Mad Adventurers Society!