FACTIONS: THE BLADESWORN
Tin Star State of Mind
When Judge Dredd came out in 1995, I admit, I didn’t know much about the character. PS, I’m also aware that it’s not a good movie. Still, it had a few influential moments. Most notably, the retirement of Chief Justice Fargo and his long walk out into the cursed earth.
It’s a plot-shabby sendoff to be sure, especially after a career of tireless service. Nevertheless, seeing a retiree bring law to a lawless land is pretty hardcore. Like the Man with No Name before him, Fargo is a lone gun-hand, wandering the countryside fighting corruption wherever he finds it. A relentless but soft-spoken do-right who isn’t afraid to solve problems with murderous zeal.
I love that. So, I folded some of those details into the Chosen’s private army, the Bladesworn.
A FORCE WITH NO NAME
For centuries, we Shadowborn struggled to find our purpose. At times, we lost our way. It wasn’t until after the Second War of Ascension that we found our place in the grand scheme, with the rise of the true Chosen. For those few with the courage to give their tribute, a place of honor at his side was secured.
Blood. Honor. Steel. These are the principles that shape a Bladesworn. They are our armor as we face enemies unknown.
They nourish us as we serve others with no promise of glory. Even as we give our flesh to the rite of sacrifice, there are no monuments to our noble dead, no hero’s legacy for those who fail to pass their trials. Only champions are made whole.
What we were, born again in flesh and metal.
Unlike the nine nameless clans of the Quiet or the Warsmiths of the Wrought, we have abandoned our old rivalries, uniting beneath a single banner to become agents of the Chosen’s will. Bearing his sacred mark, we wander the land, serving its people in times of crisis. Until that fateful day when our service has ended, and he calls us home to war with him once more.
A Fist Full of Lyrium
Now, being sworn to a blade forged of purest Lyrium, a metal worth more than ten families could earn in a lifetime, makes any Bladesworn a high-value target.
This only adds to their mystique as a single Bladesworn is often more than a match for any number of threats that come their way.
THE EXCEEDED GRASP
Imagine a force of telekinetic cyborgs roaming the land, answerable to none. Everywhere they go, they’re righting wrongs and settling disputes. Every deed winning the hearts of the people in the Chosen’s name. None but the Hierarch himself holds more sway. For the people, this is a huge win. It encourages local officials to avoid any hint of corruption, putting the crooked on notice. This is especially threatening for non-secular authorities like the Cult of the Coil. Being overridden by their savior’s private army is a threat that cannot stand for long.
Blood. Honor. Steel.