I'm creating a series of factions inspired by the class options in Xanathar's Guide to Everything. Today I'm looking at the cavalier from the fighter class.

The people of the Arvak Plains make their living by culling the large herds of wild horses that roam and feed there. They've established a stable balance by only capturing about one in five horses per year.

As their wealth grew, so did the dozen villages, spreading outwards and upwards into walled towns. So, too, did their need grow for defense against bandits and monsters.

So the people of Arvak established the Wildriders, a force of mounted cavaliers that protect the trade roads and towns of the gently rolling plains. The lord of each town pays for his town's group of Wildriders (collectively called a patrol), at a ratio of one rider per hundred residents, creating patrols of a few dozen individuals in size. Each patrol is led by a commander chosen by the lord from recommendations by patrol members. Commanders are distinguished by a plume of owlbear feathers they wear on their helmets.

Somewhere... by MeWannaLearn

The town of Holdgate (three thousand residents) fields a typical patrol of 30 riders. The patrol's led by Einar, an intense, middle-aged elven man with a musical voice.

As a friendly faction, the Wildriders operate a bit like a city Watch, patrolling their territory for bandits and monsters. They're quite friendly to wandering adventurers who can dispatch threats that the Wildriders would otherwise have to deal with.

As a foe faction, the Wildriders have grown fierce and harsh in their dispensation of justice. They throw their weight around, insisting on free lodging and provisions. Recently, they've begun insisting that they decide if a rancher has culled too much of the wild herd.

Plot hooks:

  • (Friend) A group of bandits has been stealing horses from ranches near the towns of Holdgate and Ashwood. They operate out of a crumbling, abandoned watch tower near an old barrow almost exactly equidistant from both towns, making a difficult target for either town's patrol. Einar asks the PCs to defeat them, in return for gold and supplies.
  • (Foe) Upon approaching a town, the PCs stumble upon a dispute between a rancher and a patrol. The patrol seems to be basically giving the rancher a shakedown, but it's clear that the patrol is the local law. If the PCs side with the rancher, they'll make a powerful enemy; if they side with the patrol, the local townsfolk will turn against them.

View the art for this faction here

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