Thieves & Kings
The Iron RIng
The Iron Ring is a secretive cabal of robbers who control the slave trade throughout the The Border Kingdoms and beyond. It’s interests do not stop at slavery, however, and they are always involved where any scheme or operation that makes it money and increases its influence or power. It is said the Lia-Kavair, watches their secret empire from the shadows of the largest cities in the realms.
Their symbol is a rusted wreath of a barbed iron chain, often on a black field. The flaming brand and the barbed chain (their signature weapon) are also considered their symbols. Each true servant of the Iron Ring is known for the black brand found under their hair-line, while “Masters” of the society bear heavy, rusted-iron rings on their left small finger. Armed bands of active Iron Ring slavers often carry a banner of their society before them, to drive fear into the hearts of their opponents, and they tend to act like typical raiders, pillaging homesteads, caravans and isolated forts of its people, supplies and arms for their own devices.
While they are a criminal organization, their numbers are small, and they generally do not have enough members to run large-scale protection or burglary operations. Rather, assassination, information services and slavery are their usual operations, though this expertise often allows them to operate as the best smugglers in Argoth, though again, they tend to limit these operations to supplies and slaves needed by their other operations.
Soldier of the Iron Ring
Typical agents of the Iron Ring are known as “Reavers”, while common soldiers are known as “Hounds”; the former are fairly independent operatives who provide direction for the local cells, while Hounds are the thugs and slave-soldiers commonly encountered during operations. Most “Masters” are actually highly-skilled wizards or clerics of Agrik, and can prove to be fearsome opponents.
The origins of the Iron Ring in the shattered realms of the eaves of the Forest Kingdom, are cloaked in mystery. That they have long worked with the church of Agrik, the Harbinger goes without question, but more than that, they have often been found serving the other dark powers of the region, and are believed to have their origins in the arms of Blackgate, the western-most kingdom of the Lord’s Alliance. That this ancient realm is a hardened center of worship of the God of Tyranny, does well to support this as the origin of their empire.
Throughout the history of the rise of the Forest Kingdom, The Iron Ring society has become a feared menace to all the isolated villages and steadings of the realm and other places across the the Grandwood. They raid with impunity, often under the guard of priests of Agrik, and their orcish allies. A scourge to the independent people of the region, their banners are feared and despair follows in their wake. and they have become a political power in Blackgate and the northern eaves of the Forest Kingdom. Soldiers of the Iron Ring are known to be attempting to take control over the amber and artifact trade in the Grandwood
In particular, the northern Fellreeves March is rife with their forces, constantly harassing the isolated Ninnellen clanholds. They are also seen, from time to time, along the isolated back forest paths of the central Grandwood, usually engaged in smuggling arms and supplies to their erstwhile bandit allies to further harass Shem’s own citizens.