The Seventh Battalion

Seventh Battalion

The foes of duergar are many. Besieged throughout history as they have been, it is inevitable that from time to time, despite the best of defenses, a duergar clan is wiped out and its few survivors scattered. Rather than be subsumed by a neighboring kingdom, many survivors instead choose to find a new home in the Seventh Battalion, an inter-clan of disenfranchised warriors dedicated to the stalwart defense of Nar-Voth’s remaining duergar enclaves. Whenever one of duergarkind’s innumerable enemies threatens a clan home, the Seventh Battalion will soon be there, answering their fellow kinsmen’s call for aid.

Goal: Defend Duergarkind

A military force without borders, the Seventh Battalion seeks to bolster its threatened brethren whenever and wherever needed. When not directly involved in ongoing combat operations, the dwarves of the Seventh Battalion focus on forging the ultimate in armor and weapons, ensuring their members are equipped with the very best the Seventh Battalion has to offer. Military drills are commonplace, as are the legendary celebrations in the Seventh Battalion’s feast halls that frequently follow.

Alignment: LN

The Seventh Battalion strives to exemplify the duergar traditions of toil and trade; its warriors would rather have the forces of drow and dwarves kill every last one of them than deviate from their traditions. Experience in the field teaches the battalion’s members that they can accomplish much more as a cohesive unit than as individuals—and that their greatest edge in combat will always be the truth of their cause.

Leader

The Seventh Battalion was founded and is still led by High King Kurindey Orgukagen (LE male duergar warpriest 20). The High King traces his lineage to Gruenak Helmrunner, a dwarven hero who served under General (and later King) Taargick during the Quest for Sky. When most of Charak’s clan was wiped out by giants allied with a dragon, he found a second life as the leader of a new, mixed clan of duergar traditionalists. He is the determined tactical genius behind the many victories of the Seventh Battalion, and it was he who coined the Battalion’s oft-repeated battle phrase, “We cede not one more inch of rock.”

Good Class Choices: Bard, Cavalier, Cleric, Fighter, Ranger, Rogue

Challenging Class Choices: Barbarian, Sorcerer

Headquarters

While the Seventh Battalion maintains several small, hidden forts across Nar-Voth, its primary command center is Diepkamer, a massive and secretive city that is home to the Seven Patriarchs. The Seventh Battalion has repeatedly shown its willingness to support besieged duergar, whether on the surface or underground.

Joining

The Seventh Battalion allows any duergar to join as long as he doesn’t disrupt the chain of command or the faction’s activities. Therefore, there are a few good members, loners, and criminals in the group, although they are tolerated only so long as they don’t cause too much trouble. Non-dwarves may become allies of the Seventh Battalion but cannot rise above 10 TPA with the faction.

Gaining Prestige

Most characters gain prestige by defending duergar strongholds, clearing monsters from abandoned duergar settlements so they can be resettled, slaying infamous duergar-killers, and salvaging protective duergar artifacts.

Resources

The military life of the Seventh Battalion provides several benefits of which its members may take advantage.

5 CPA

Learn the battle song “To the Front, to the Front!” When a bard sings this, he and his allies gain a +5 bonus to speed. This bonus increases to +10 at bard level 11.

7 CPA

Learn the battle song “And the Line Was Held.” When a bard sings this, he and his allies gain a +1 dodge bonus to AC as long as the bard maintains the performance. This bonus increases to +2 at bard level 5, +3 at level 11, and +4 at level 17.

7 CPA

Learn the battle song “The Summer Axe of Kotzranj Yar.” When a bard sings this, he and his allies increase the critical threat range of their melee weapons by 1 (from 20 to 19–20, from 19–20 to 18–20, and so on). At bard level 11, the critical threat range increases by 2. This effect does not stack other effects that increase a weapon’s critical threat range.

9 CPA

Learn the battle song “Taargick and the Quest for Sky.” When a bard sings this, he and his allies gain 1 temporary hit point per level of the bard. These temporary hit points vanish when the bard stops singing.

11 CPA

Learn the battle song “The Grave Dance.” When a bard sings this, he and his allies gain the benefit of the Diehard feat, but only if they are conscious when the bard begins singing (in other words, the song has no effect on unconscious allies).

5 TPA, 1 CPA

Gain a +5 bonus on any duergar-appropriate Profession or Craft check representing a week of work. This requires daily access to the Diepkamer or other Seventh Battalion stronghold for an hour each day for the week the check occurs.

10 TPA

Purchase or upgrade weapons at a Battalion stronghold from the following list at a 10% discount: defending, dwarven thrower, elf-bane, flaming, mighty cleaving, dwarf-bane, returning, throwing, and thundering.

10 TPA, 3 CPA

Gain the service of a junior member of the faction (a duergar cleric, fighter, or warpriest with a class level equal to half the PC’s level) for 1 week.

15 TPA

Purchase duergar-forged adamantine and mithral items from the faction at a 10% discount. This only applies to the metal cost of the item, not the cost of any magical properties.

15 TPA, 10 CPA

Undergo a day-long ritual that increases a duergar character’s darkvision range from 120 to 130 feet.

15 TPA, 10 CPA

Undergo a day-long ritual that increases a duergar character’s stability bonus from +4 to +5.

20 TPA, 15 CPA

Undergo a daylong ritual that increases a duergar character’s immunity bonus against spells, and spell-like abilities from +2 to +3.

25 TPA, 1 CPA

Become eligible to select the Let Them Come feat (this benefit requires the character to have an available feat slot).

20 TPA

Purchase or upgrade magical armor or shields from a Battalion stronghold from the following list at a 10% discount: adamantine breastplate, dwarven plate, energy resistance (acid, fire, or cold), fortification (all), mithral full plate of speed, mithral shirt.

25 TPA, 1 CPA

Gain the rank “Captain” and a loyal team of 4–6 “earthers” (2nd-level duergar fighters). These earthers are willing to accompany the character on any faction-related mission, defending him and even fighting to the death if necessary.

30 TPA, 1 CPA, Captain

Gain the rank “commander” and a loyal team of 1 war captain (5th-level duergar fighter, cleric, or warpriest) and 5–8 “expeditionaries” (3rd-level duergar fighters). These troops are willing to accompany the character on any faction-related mission, defending him and even fighting to the death if necessary. These followers are not replaced if slain. A character can only purchase this benefit once.

40 TPA, 1 CPA, Commander

Gain the Leadership feat. If the duergar character already has the Leadership feat, add his wisdom modifier (in addition to his charisma modifier) to his leadership score.


Duergar Battle Songs

Passed down through the generations and preserved by Seventh Battalion bards, these heroic songs are forms of bardic performance. Battle songs always have an audible component, never a visual component (though many performers include visual components with their singing, they are not the key to the magic). A bard of any level can learn these songs from the faction.

Any duergar who can carry a tune can use one to bolster himself in combat. Anyone with at least 1 rank in Perform (sing) may begin singing a battle song as a standard action and maintain it each round as a free action; he gains the minimum benefit described for the song, which does not advance with the singer’s level. The singing is otherwise like bardic performance by a novice bard (requiring a standard action to start a new performance, ending if the singer is unconscious, and so on). A non-bard in range of a bard singing the same battle song only gains the benefit of the highest bonus from that song (typically the bard’s).

For example, a non-bard singing “And the Line Was Held” gains a +1 dodge bonus to AC (no matter what his level is), but if in range of a bard whose version of the song grants a +2 dodge bonus, he only gets the bard’s +2 (not his own +1 and the bard’s +2). Of course, a bard who has used all his bardic performance rounds for the day can sing for his own benefit as long as he has at least 1 rank in Perform (sing).

The Seventh Battalion

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