Court Of The Rogue

The Court of the Rogue is an international thieves guild that spans the entirety of the Three Nations (Galla, Miristan, and Attica). It is possibly the largest collection of thieves in the world, with only the Bloody Hand of Carthak competing for the title. The Court naturally splits itself into three distinct sections, one for each country, and the different Courts have little interaction with each other. However, they are bound by a series of rules and laws that govern all thieves in the Court. The sections will support each other in times of need, but otherwise leave each other alone. Each individual Court is lead by their own monarch (considered the King or Queen of the Court), to which all rogues answer to. These monarchs command absolute authority from their followers until another steps up to seek the throne, in which case loyalties may be divided on the issue.

The Court of the Rogue is generally regarded as any thieves guild would be: with general derision. That being said, the Courts are smart enough to not destroy themselves with their actions. The monarch approves all activities of the rouges and is responsible for making sure that the crime doesn't get so bad that the countries will be willing to expend the resources to wipe out their Courts. Additionally, straight thefts are usually done rarely and always at the expense of the individual thief, not the entire Court. Instead, these groups tend to focus on smuggling, prostitution, forgery, gambling (and cheating), and political or economic espionage. Assassination and other crimes that attract too much negative attention are unheard of. In fact, the Courts generally take care of any individual that goes too far with crimes, affiliated with the Court or not, in order to keep the heat off of their own lairs. They are so vigilant in keeping crime at manageable levels that the Provosts actually prefer the Court's operations to the swath of murders that would be the result of wiping out the Court. That being said, they do investigate into crimes and punish individuals that break the law.

The first rule of the Court is to never sell out a fellow to the Provost (effectively a city police chief). Even if the monarch decides that a rouge's actions are deserving of punishment, all justice happens internally. The loss of fingers is a particularly common punishment, although attention-attracting crimes are usually punished with an addition of exile and threats of death if the offender ever commits a crime in their territory. Another fairly staple law is that 10% of proceeds from any job gets paid to the monarch, who pockets the money as his earnings. Otherwise, as long as members clear major jobs with the monarch and respect the internal hierarchy of the Court, there aren't many rules.

The Gallan Court
Unlike the other branches of the Court of the Rogue, the Gallan Court has a presence in multiple cities throughout the country. The Gallan Court is based out of Corus, the country's capital. There, an inn known as the Golden Crown serves as the base of operations for the national organization. The business in Corus is mostly whorehouses and illegal gambling houses. The Provost of this town is stricter than most, but King Cooper's relationship with King Jonathan has eased the restraints on their movements. Most of the income for this branch of the Court comes from their outfit in Port Cain however. As the largest port in all of Galla and a key trading city, the Court loses no opportunity to smuggle goods in and out of the country, and some of the less savory members have even partaken in slave trading. Their control doesn't extend to any other cities throughout the country, and there are several, less savory, thieves guilds in those cities.

Cooper Malvin: Cooper is the King of the Gallan Court, and has been for seven years. At 23 years old, Cooper has been involved with the Court almost since his birth. His mother is a healer, straight as a line, but he quickly wandered out of her sphere of influence and found a love of pickpocketing. As he was growing up, he made unlikely friends with Prince Jonathan and his noble friends. As Cooper and Jonathan's friend groups merged into one, the two became extremely close, but also extremely competitive. Cooper envied Jon's influence in the country and began to hone his skills, sights set on his own crown. At the age of 16, he challenged the former King to a duel, and won. Since then, Cooper has been a shrewd and careful King. He's used his connections in high places to ease the pressure on his people, and in exchange he has come down on many unsavory activities in Corus, limiting the Court's actions to relatively moral activities. He has also begun to turn the Court towards information brokering for the Crown, which has proved extremely lucrative.

Cooper is a King of varying popularity. His people tend to be divided on their opinion on him. On one hand, nobody likes the limitations placed on them, and many lockpicks and cat burglars have suffered from his new policies. However, those who specialize in cheating, prostitution, and other such activities find their business not only increased, but also extremely safer. There has been talk of trying to find a fighter to challenge Cooper for the crown, but nobody is willing to face his twin daggers, nor the ninjask and weaville that he uses in battle. It's no fluke that Cooper obtained the crown at 16 and has kept it for close to a decade; his skills are legendary, and he was a good thief before he was a good fighter. That being said, he is currently trying to figure out how to cater to those of his people angry with him. He is considering espionage jobs for the government but isn't sure how to introduce the idea.

Cooper continues to be extremely close to Jonathan. The two are the best of friends, and he pays regular visits to the palace. Additionally, Cooper has a good amount of influence among the other Courts. He will pay the other monarchs well for information relating to their military, and they, who have much less positive interaction with their governments, are more than willing to hand the information over for a healthy profit. However, they are careful to ensure that Cooper doesn't gain too much control over their activities, so his successes have been mixed.

Jehosh: Jehosh is a bit of an oddball. He's an ex-noble, disowned as a teenager. He generally works as a bodyguard to nobles or works intimidation or kidnapping jobs. However, the fourty year old's business has fallen by the wayside with Cooper's ascension to the throne. He's considered challenging Cooper for the throne, and he would have a good chance of winning with his formal swordsmanship training. However, he's refrained mostly out of respect and the knowledge that he only has a few more years of fighting left in him. He is quite vocal about his disagreements with Cooper, and many use him as a rallying point against the monarch.

Tianna: Tianna is one of Coopers best prostitutes and an essential member of his support group. As a lady who works only with the rich and famous, Tianna uses her Gaventian looks to hike up prices and gain entry into the highest noble's houses. She will then proceed to use sleeping spores harvested from her parsect to lull the men into sleep so she can find information or hidden valuables to steal. Of course, she usually doesn't do so, but Cooper will oftentimes target nobles that he thinks can be exploited or manipulated (or that he just doesn't like), and Tianna gives him access to the highest sources. She keeps an expensive townhouse open for herself and some of her other prostitute friends, and she spends a significant amount of time teaching knife fighting to city women who have been beaten by men, especially if the men were nobles.

The Attican Court
The Attican Court and the Gallan Court could not be more different. While Cooper's connections to the true monarchy have led to a scaling back of violent crimes and a closer relationship with the nation's government, the Attican court's attitude towards the government is abrasive, and often hostile. While part of this attitude has always been attributed to the Court of the Rogue's distance from the capital, it has recently escalated to unprecedented levels. This branch of the Rogue is not based in Fairbale, but instead the flourishing port city of Gillea. As the largest commerce center of the nation, and possibly of all three nations, Gillea presents the most opportunity for expansion and advancement, but it resulted in a distant relationship between the true government and the shadow government. However, the current Queen has taken this one step further for personal reasons, and has been encouraging crimes that are more likely to attract the government's ire. This shift has put some of the members of the Court on edge, but nobody has challenged the Queen yet. The rogues are on very good terms with the city guard and local government, and have all important figures (and many unimportant ones) in their pockets. They may have more thefts, muggings, and other crimes than the other two branches, but these are often made against individuals who support policies that the Court disagrees with. Cross the Court of the Rogue in Gillea, and they will cross you.

However, the Attican Court also has a few other areas of expertise, namely underground pokemon breeding and smuggling. The Court has a few breeders with the ability to create warbred pokemon, and they have a small stock of these pokemon ready to sell at any time. The pokemon are property of the Court (the breeders have already been paid) and are kept in a safe location. They are often used as a bargaining chip with the government, either as bribe or blackmail. They will use them to pay off a particularly ambitious officer to look the other way for several years, or they will threaten to sell these powerful pokemon to Galla or Miristan unless the government agrees with their demands and conditions. They also breed normal pokemon and sell them to the populace, the majority of whom can't afford pokemon bred and sold legally under the hefty tax imposed by the government.

Kyanna Jendrassi: The Queen of the Attican Court is an impressive and imposing figure. Standing at 6'4", Kyanna towers over most people - men and women. In addition to her height, her coppery skin tone given to her by her Sassnid upbringing gives her a mysterious and fearsome feeling. Finally, her shoulders, which are often bared for all to see, bare the slave brandings of three different families. Born and raised in Carthak, Kyanna lived as a slave for the first 15 years of her life, not knowing or identifying with her people, family, or religion. Finally she escaped by stowing away on a boat to Attica. She carved out a place for herself in the Attican Court with quick thinking and sharp wits, an instinct for survival that is overwhelming, an ability to read and manipulate people better even than psychics, and, of course, the greatsword on her back. Kyanna started out as an enforcer before rising up the ranks. Three years ago she challenged for the Crown, and won it from a man who had established his authority only one month prior.

As a former slave of the Carthaki Empire, Kyanna naturally has an aversion to the country, and targets their trade boats whenever she possibly can. Through manipulation and a little violence, she goes out of their way to ruin stocks, ensure the worst living conditions for visiting merchants, and even planting evidence of treachery for the government to discover. If any of the traders bring slaves along, Kyanna kills the merchants, burns the ships, abducts the cargo, and adopts the slaves into the Court. Until recently, this has been enough for her. However, the Attican government recently signed a military and trade alliance with the foreign superpower, and Kyanna is not pleased. She has taken many more risks against the government in retaliation, making her reasons clear. She attacks federal tax vessels outside of the city, sells warbred pokemon to Attica's enemies, and has completely destroyed some of the nobles key to making the decision. Additionally, she makes moral appeals to the people of Attica, saying that a government endorsing slavery is morally abhorrent, even worse than a thieves guild. After several live appearances and a host of escaped slaves revealing their horrendous markings, Kyanna's position is beginning to gain ground. More and more, Gillea is becoming her city instead of Attica's.

Pitral the Flame: Pitral is currently the lead enforcer, who organizes the Court's various violent activities. As a powerful psychic and fire ace, Pitral is an invaluable asset in these efforts. He is an extremely feared figure among merchants, and is a large motivation to not double cross the court. Pitral doesn't commit arson often, but when he does, he always makes an example of people. His philosophy is unique: he refuses to kill, choosing to strike when houses are empty, but he is willing to completely rip apart a person's life. Recently, Kyanna has been using him to intercept tax wagons travelling from Gillea to the Royal Treasury in the capital city.

The Miristani Court
The Miristani Court is the farthest detached of all the Courts of the Rogue, and, as such, there is little communication between it and its sister organizations. Additionally, it also focuses its energies outside of its country instead of inside of it. Located in Thespin, the bustling port city on the Sea of Falling Stars, members of the Miristani Court will oftentimes hop on a boat and travel to another country to do a job before returning on the same sailing vessel a week or so later. They are expert smugglers and work with several master shipwrights to smuggle weapons, drugs, money, pokemon, and other commodities across international borders without paying tariffs. They also have several cat buglers high up in the ranks, and foreign theft is one of this Court's most profitable crimes. It also keeps the government out of their hair, as they aren't stealing from any citizens of Miristan.

Theo Aleato: King Theo Aleato is perhaps the most skilled thief in the world. Before he came to Miristan and established complete dominance over the proceedings there, Theo Aleato performed major crimes in Sarn, the Achaemian Empire, and the Syreni Islands. Known in his past life as the Shadowdancer, Theo Aleato is a powerful Psychic, Fire Breather, and Air Adept. He has shed that title publicly, and nobody in the Court except K knows his true identity. Theo took the title because he was bored, not because he had any particular attachment to the group. In fact, there are only three or so members in the entire Court that he respects as competent. To Theo, his position as King is merely a stepping stone for larger goals, although he keeps this well hidden. Theo will often take week long vacations to perform heists of his own all around the world, something that the other monarchs refuse to do. For these jobs, he reclaims his title of Shadowdancer, and leaves a honchcrow feather at the scene of every crime, his calling card. Currently, he is using his position to plan the largest job of his life: he plans to steal the royal crowns and scepters of Galla, Miristan, and Attica, forge exact replicas, and leave these replicas in the bedrooms of the wrong kings. After he accomplishes this, he plans to leave the area with K, most likely to return to Sarn. He has only ever failed one job, robbing one of the international Sarran banks, and he plans to fix his near-perfect track record.

Of course, his private motivations haven't affected his ability to triple the revenue of the Court. Theo has initiated the extremely profitable habit of performing high profile jobs in foreign countries. These results, combined with his generally pleasant personality and habit of growing the talents of promising young criminals, have made Theo one of the most popular Kings that the Miristani Court has seen. Of course, he doesn't plan on sticking around forever, but his followers don't need to know that. Instead, he is content to increase the Court's influence and, by extension, his own. A Sarran true to the bone, Theo's top priority is himself, and he makes sure that his own interests are realized before considering anything else.

K: Nobody is quite sure what K's real name is, K's true gender, or even K's actual face. Most people know K as Siren Kyle and refer to K as a female. K is a bodysnatcher that Theo met in Sarn and worked with for several years. The two met up again when Theo was en route to Miristan, and the two joined forces once more. The two have (nearly) unconditional trust in each other, and both are aware of the other's secrets. K generally doesn't personally take on any jobs, but instead keeps the Court running smoothly, especially when Theo is off doing his own thing. What she does do is field work to steal the crown jewels. K oftentimes takes trips throughout the three nations to gather faces for later use. She also has some of her own personal goals, but she realizes that Theo's potential for success is higher than hers, so she helps him to increase her own ability. K is unconditionally recognized as Theo's right hand woman, and everybody listens to her orders without question.

The Court in Your Campaign
The Court of the Rogue can fill many roles in any campaign. It's most common use for the majority of campaigns will be as a force that steals from or cons the players when they are in Attica, Miristan, or Galla. They might also be involved in any number of plot arcs throughout campaigns in any of these three nations. Outside of the Three Nations however, players probably won't encounter any representatives of the Court. Miristani rogues travel abroad for jobs, but there are generally more interesting and unique things to include in other nations than a foreign thief. However, this sort of encounter could be used if you are trying to encourage your players to travel west towards the Three Nations.

Ideally, The Court will find a home in the morally grey area of your players' hearts. While the group consists of thieves, ruffians, and lawbreakers, the vast majority are quite likable and easy to befriend. Their sense of loyalty is quite strong as well, and they make wonderful allies and companions. That being said, the few bad apples in the bunch can be quite violent. Unless players are also thieves, or if you intentionally decide to make them a malevolent force, there should never be a 'right' answer when dealing with them.

Another role that the Court could play in a campaign is that of a benefactor or employer. Any PCs (or parties for that matter) operating beneath the law in the Three Nations should consider becoming part of the Court. This provides a wealth of opportunities as a GM, and it facilitates a place for characters beneath the law to thrive. However, for a party similar to that of a 'Team Rocket' game, the Court of the Rogue is probably not the best option, since the Court tends to avoid needless violence, assassination, and other such activities. Instead, evil campaigns should look towards the Ring of Shadows or Bloody Hand for groups with morals more aligned with their own (see Organizations for more information on these groups).

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