The Jackals

(Selected Excerpts from the Jackals section of the Legend of the Burning Sands RPG)

Until the Awakening and their ill-fated alliance with the jinn Kaleel, the Jackals relished their reputation as the terror of Medinaat al-Salaam. A cult originally formed from would-be members of the Order of the Ebon Hand who had failed the Test of the Stone, the Jackals called the sewers of Medinaat al-Salaam their home, emerging to strike at the world above in pursuit of a dark and brooding agenda. The Ebon Stone of the Ebonites was in some ways the center of their existence, for they worshipped the god they believed resided in the Stone, yet also feared it for the horrors it would bring about if it were ever released.

Since the Awakening, the Jackals have fallen into a deep and extended period of decline, crushed by the Celestial Alliance along with the jinn Kaleel during the Awakening, followed by persecution from the Ebonites afterward. With most of their best leaders dead and their followers destroyed or scattered, the Jackals no longer exert the influence they once had. Their name no longer elicits the jump of the heart and the lump in the throat that it once did, except among those who are old enough to remember their heyday, and they are fewer and fewer every year. Their longtime foes the Ebonites still remember them, but the Order of the Ebon Hand has for the most part moved on to other concerns. Even so, the remnant of the Jackals in Medinaat al-Salaam still raises havoc when it can, under the leadership of the legendary Monkey Man. The cult has also begun to look south to revive its fortunes, seeking the favor of Daigotsu, the Champion of The Emerald Empire’s sinister Spider Clan, by offering him intelligence and advice.

Basic Character Class: Necromancer (Sahir)
The practice of magic, at least as it is understood by the other factions of the Burning Sands, has never been a strong suit of the Jackals. However, they do possess dark and powerful knowledge of how to manipulate life and death that is unmatched by anyone except the Qabal. They know how to store life energy captured by the Soul of the Slayer in soul jars, and they know how to create ghuls even without the use of that powerful artifact. Only a few Jackals possess the will and the talent to become Necromancers, but those who do so learn their craft to the utmost, and they are among the cult’s most formidable operatives.

However, Necromancers are unusual among sahir, in that their supernatural abilities are so narrowly focused that their spell mastery might as well be described as School Techniques rather than a list of spells that are available to them. Hence, Jackal Necromancers do not have access to the normal sahir spell list.

In spite of their limitations, the Necromancers hold positions of respect within the cult. They serve as a sort of priestly caste, creating and tending to the soul jars, and attending the Monkey Man and other important Jackal leaders when the occasion dictates. Their presence strikes everyone – even other Jackals – as eerily intimidating, and is useful when Jackal leaders wish to make a point. Even if there is nothing else for them to do except stand and look creepy, their knack at that alone makes them useful to have them around.

Benefit: +1 Intelligence
Integrity: 1.0
Skills: Anatomy, Knives, Lore: Jackal Code, Lore: Undead, Medicine, Poison, Staves
Outfit: Knife, staff, robe and sandals, traveling pack, 2 copper


Rank 1 (of 5): Initiate of Undeath
Even as novices, Jackal Necromancers know how to manipulate life and death to achieve that soulless state between the two. You gain the ability to create soul jars by draining life energy from the Soul of the Slayer and depositing it into containers. When you use the Soul of the Slayer, your target suffers a TN penalty equal to your Willpower to his Raw Willpower Roll to resist the item’s effects. If you attempt to consume the contents of a soul jar, you receive a bonus to the total of your Raw Willpower Roll to resist its negative effect equal to your Stamina + your Necromancer Class Rank.

In addition, you may drain the strength from a single enemy who is no more than ten feet away from you, inflicting a -1 Rank penalty to his Stamina (to a minimum of 1 Rank) for a period of 5 minutes. This requires spending a Complex Action, and you must make a successful roll of Earth/Necromancer Class Rank against a TN of 15. You may use this ability a number of times per day equal to your Earth Ring, and you may use it more than once to stack its effect. A failed attempt still counts against this limit.

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