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The Barony of the Lesser Ones (2E)

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  • The Barony of the Lesser Ones (2E)

    "I swear to both guard my allies and freehold against possible hobgoblin treachery and to act as both emissary to and champion against the many and various hobgoblins that share the Hedge with our kind."

    The Hedge has its own inhabitants: A host of goblins, hobgoblins and Hedge Beasts who range from small creatures who cringe when changelings pass by, but occasionally dream of feasting on their bones, to strange and inhuman foes and even a few potential allies against the fae. The Barony of the Lesser Ones is charged with dealing with these hobgoblins. Its members negotiate with some, carefully watch the activities of others, and, when necessary, defend changelings from the depredations of the Hedge's hostile inhabitants. Barons of the Lesser Ones regularly go on expeditions into the Hedge to hunt down and slay hostile hobgoblins like border reavers, enticers or vileshrikes, as well as making deals or treaties with potentially non-hostile hobgoblins like hobs, spryghts or drudgemen.

    To most changelings, Barons are both sources of useful information about hobgoblins, especially regarding information about Goblin Markets. They are also the ones that changelings turn to if they have noticed suspicious hobgoblin activity or are having problems with hobgoblins, such as hobgoblins spying on or attempting to break into or destroy their Hollows. The Barons serve as fierce defenders against treachery or attack by dangerous hobgoblins, skilled diplomats who negotiate treaties between individual freeholds and tribes of hobgoblins and scouts who search the Hedge for Goblin Markets and uncover any other hobgoblin activities that might be of interest to their freehold or Court. They also negotiate with the least hostile and treacherous hobgoblins, brokering deals on everything from the location of Goblin Markets or on rare occasions treaties of mutual defense against the fae between a freehold and a hobgoblin settlement. They occasionally even find hobgoblins willing to guard, clean or act as servants in a Hollow. Barons who act for the protection or mutual benefit of their freehold do not expect any payment beyond the gratitude of their fellows. However, they are free to accept payment for individual services.

    Although every changeling recognizes that hobgoblins can be both useful and dangerous, many changelings consider them to be relatively minor foes and allies of limited worth. As a result, the Barony of the Lesser Ones is sometimes regarded as a haven for changelings who wish to look brave and heroic, but also prefer to avoid any sort of serious danger. While usually untrue, this stereotype is moderately widespread. However, even changelings who hold it cannot deny that sometimes Barons of the Lesser Ones are extremely useful.

    Because they spend so much time in the Hedge and understand many of its dangers well, Barons are often asked to serve as guides through the Hedge for changelings less experienced in visiting it. In addition to being unusually skilled at Hedge travel, if they become lost, Barons have a far easier time asking directions or gaining aid from the Hedge's native inhabitants, making them exceptionally valuable traveling companions. (More than one changeling has noted that it must take some definite skill in diplomacy to get hobgoblins to help you when you're insulting them every time you introduce yourself by title.)

    Barons also occasionally serve a judicial function. Hobgoblins that have a treaty with a group of change lings and feel they are being mistreated may approach a local Baron of the Lesser Ones and ask for redress, just as changelings who have been attacked by hobgoblins from a formally allied band can ask a Baron to locate and punish the guilty members. In such cases, Barons do everything from adjudicating a dispute over a deal at a Goblin Market to identifying and apprehending hobgoblins who are murdering changelings or the reverse.

    Barons are also sometimes called upon to act as spies, peacemakers and military leaders. If a freehold or Hollow comes under repeated attack by hobgoblins, the local Barons of the Lesser Ones are expected to venture forth into the hedge and discover the cause of these problems and find some way to stop them. Such solutions range from making treaties, to defending the hobgoblins against the fae lords forcing them to attack the changelings, to leading the forces of the Freehold in battle against the hobgoblin host.

    Titles: Baron or Baroness of the Lesser Ones
    Prerequisites: Wyrd 3, Intimidation and Persuasion 3 (lowered to two dots if initiate has Gentrified Bearing or Hob Kin)

    Joining: Becoming part of the Barony of the Lesser Ones is largely a matter of proving your worthiness to join. In addition to having to demonstrate competence with various forms of negotiation and intimidation, the changeling must also either be able to gain the service or allegiance of a being from the Hedge or have the natural ability to awe and impress all such creatures. Changelings who can accomplish these feats are fairly rare and any who can meet these qualifications are accepted. Because this noble order is small and rarely considered either important or high status, few changelings are interested in joining and there is almost never any problem with having too many prospective members.

    The Barons do not offer any form of apprenticeship or training for changelings who wish to join; instead the Barons tell prospective members that they must gain their own basic competency on their own. Whenever an applicant feels confident in her ability to meet the Barony's standards, she may then seek out whatever representative of the order is nearest. If the changeling meets all of the qualifications and seems both sane and sincere, she is then welcomed into this noble order.

    Once a changeling has joined the order, she is formally considered the equal of all other members. However, novices are not simply sent off to make the best of their duties. Recent members are expected to work with a more experienced partner. Most Barons prefer working with a partner because it minimizes the chances of unexpected betrayal by unfriendly or treacherous hobgoblins. After novices have worked with a partner for between six months or a year, they are considered competent to work on their own, but most either continue working with their original partner or find a new one. However, before this occurs, if they fail to prove themselves, their partner can call for a meeting of the Barons in the region and ask that the novice Baroness be stripped of her rank. This extreme action is only reserved for the most unsuitable novices and occurs quite rarely.

    Because new members are relatively rare, many Barons are somewhat wary of recent inductees. The two best ways for a novice to gain the approval of her fellows is to either sufficiently impress the Barons who initially admitted her that she is taken on by a well-respected partner or by successfully resolving some difficult situation swiftly and sensibly. However, daring heroics can have exactly the opposite effect. Even the most martially inclined Barons have no patience with either pointless slaughter or overconfident daredevils who have no regard for their own safety. Novices who gain a reputation for carelessness or recklessness, but who are not sufficiently incompetent to be thrown out, find that only the least competent and lowliest of their elders are willing to partner with them.

    Approach: A Baron of the Lesser One inevitably makes enemies among the Hedge's denizens. Huntsmen and True Fae who exploit the Barony's Approach attack using Hedgebeasts and hobgoblins as proxies, and seek to break whatever agreements the Lost have with such beings.

    Mien: Their Mien changes so that whatever they wear is decorated with complex knot-work patterns that resemble a stylized version of the Hedge, with various inset designs that resemble the faces or occasionally the entire forms of various sorts of hobgoblins. These patterns range from exceedingly abstract geometric designs to artistically rendered but fairly realistic images. As their Wyrd rises, a few Barons gain a few minor features that somewhat resemble those of some type of hobgoblin, like details of eye shape or color or fingernail shape. Such changes are uncommon and never extreme, but can disturb many other changelings. No one knows why some Barons gain these features and most do not.

    Background: Most Barons are both physically competent and at least moderately charismatic, or at least intimidating. In temperament, they range from physically competent people who enjoy using their strength to protect others and deal with legitimate threats to the occasional bully who seeks safe and not overly powerful targets for his aggressions. Two primary types of changelings join the Barons -- changelings who are fascinated by hobgoblins and the Hedge and changelings who distrust all hobgoblins and believe that they are a constant, but occasionally useful threat that must petually be defended against. The Barons have use for initiates of either persuasion. Overall, the noble order is composed of approximately equally numbers of fierce defenders and skilled diplomats.

    Organization: The Barons of the Lesser Ones have a fairly loose organization. All but the oldest and most experienced Barons are of equal rank; there is no formal hierarchy or power structure beyond the distinction between novices and members that are more experienced. The oldest and most experienced members of the order are known as elders. To become an Elder, a Baron must have belonged to this noble order for at least 30 years and be accepted by the other Elders. Less than half of the long-term Barons become Elders; most who fail to reach this mark die before their thirty years are up rather than leaving the order.

    Barons are expected to keep in contact with one another and to share information about developments in the Hedge, details of information about specific Goblin Markets and any details of new types of hobgoblins or unusual hobgoblin activity. For most of the 20th century, the Barons used a mixture of written notes and an oral tradition based around the Elders. Today, the Barons also operate specially locked websites and message boards for sharing information. Nevertheless, Elders remain an important resource for younger Barons, who regularly call or visit them seeking advice. Elders are expected to provide advice to barons who seek them out, while also keeping in touch with all other Barons in their own and neighboring freeholds, in order to better understand and correlate hobgoblin activity. The oldest or most infirm Elders retire from field duty and serve purely as administrators and record keepers.

    All members are expected to respect and defer to Elders, who wield considerable amounts of influence in this noble order. In addition to giving advice and being in charge of all formal meetings, Elders can also call for a formal tribunal to investigate the behavior of members who are accused or suspected of wrongdoing. A tribunal consists of three Barons, including at least one Elder if at all possible, who all sit in judgment over the accused. These tribunals can levy fines, require that a Baron work with a partner of the tribunal's choice, order the Baron to take a leave of absence or even strip the Baron of his rank. In the case of severe offenses, they usually turn both the accused and all evidence they have accumulated over to his Freehold for further judgment.

    Personal reputation is of paramount importance among the Barony, and members develop significant amounts of informal status based on the performance of their duties. Successful or lucky Barons command a great deal of respect among their fellows. Furthermore, high status Barons are also regularly asked by Elders to be a part of tribunals and usually go on to become Elders themselves.

    Barons prefer to work in pairs when they can. The ideal pair is widely regarded as a strong-arm, a changeling with considerable martial skills who distrusts hobgoblins and wishes to keep a close eye on their activities, and a more diplomatic Baron who likes hobgoblins and has many connections among various types of hobgoblins. The Barons regard this sort of "good cop, bad cop" pairing as an ideal way to handle the challenges of dealing with beings who are both invaluable and potentially deadly.

    However, this sort of pairing also causes problems, since the division between defenders and diplomats is a continuing tension. Defenders regularly criticize diplomats for trusting hobgoblins too much and diplomats often criticize defenders for either being paranoid or for ill-treatment of non-hostile hobgoblins. For both ethical and practical reasons, the Barons of the Lesser Ones have strict rules against wholesale slaughter of non-hostile hobgoblins, since turning hobgoblins against their order or perhaps all changelings would make things very difficult for the Lost as a whole. However, they also regularly hunt down predatory "species" of hobgoblins and punish any hobgoblins known to have either killed changelings or to be voluntarily working with the fae.

    The difference between just punishment and wholesale slaughter is regularly debated at great length. If an individual Baron or particular pair seem to be too lenient or too strict with the hobgoblins they are dealing with, the local Elder investigates. If there seems to be problems, the results can be everything from a loss of status for the guilty to restrictions of punishments doled out by a formal tribunal.

    Privilege: Goblin Envoy
    Barons of the Lesser Ones gain a +1 bonus to all Intimidation and Persuasion rolls. This increases to +3 if such rolls are made towards any form of Hobgoblin or Hedge citizen.

    Rumors of the Barony:
    • A few Barons have "gone native" and have become permanent members of communities of hobgoblins. Over time, they forget ever being human or changelings and transform into hobgoblins themselves. Maybe that's where the hobs came from in the first place.

    • Bridgeburners have infiltrated the Barony in numbers. They sign up and become Barons so they can slaughter hobgoblins and attempt to disrupt the stability of the Hedge in order to help destroy the paths between Arcadia and the mortal world.

    • Some Barons rule entire packs or tribes of hobgoblins, turning them into their personal slaves and hunting hounds. Some of these would-be Hedge kings hunt down mortals or changelings who stray into their territory and may occasionally allow their packs into the mortal world to steal, hunt mortals, and sow chaos. All this acting like the Gentry takes its toll, too; eventually, a few of these Barons transform into True Fae.
    Last edited by Deionscribe; 10-13-2016, 10:49 PM.

    "My Homebrew Hub"
    Age of Azar
    The Kingdom of Yamatai

  • #2
    My second Entitlement conversion, Enjoy

    "My Homebrew Hub"
    Age of Azar
    The Kingdom of Yamatai


    • #3
      I just found my favorite Entitlement, ever! Thank you, surely will use it as NPC or (hopefully) my own PC in some game!

      My stuff for Scion 2E, CoD Contagion, Dark Eras, VtR 2E, WtF 2E, MtAw 2E, MtC 2E & BtP
      LGBT+ through Ages
      LGBT+ in CoD games


      • #4
        Originally posted by wyrdhamster View Post
        I just found my favorite Entitlement, ever! Thank you, surely will use it as NPC or (hopefully) my own PC in some game!
        You're welcome I hope the conversion works out for you.
        Last edited by Deionscribe; 10-10-2016, 07:01 AM.

        "My Homebrew Hub"
        Age of Azar
        The Kingdom of Yamatai