The Darkpiercers "The threats of evil always threaten our futures, and they never stop thinking of ways to corrupt our societies, to turn us against each other! Why then, are we compelled not to do the same to them?"
-"Darkweaver" Passerl Shanolmine, member of the Darkpiercers.
The Darkpierces are an organization founded by a member of a well-known paladin order, and still maintains connections with that order. The Darkpierces focuses mainly on the acquisition and utilization or destruction of evil items, artifacts, and sometimes individuals.
The founder - "Darklord" Shakel Folorian - realized that, though there were orders of paladins set up to protect the people, to uphold the law, and to vanquish those naturally devoted to evil, there was nothing considering the tools of the evil trade. Items are generally lost to the histories when those bearing them are slain by adventurers or paladins, and many can prove dangerous if unearthed and reused as has often happened in the past.
The Darkpiercers were brought together ten years ago, and has been expanding since, gaining support both from the organization that the paladin had belonged to, and from various governmental figures - usually under-the-table money is handed over, because the Darkpiercers prefers not to keep itself too open as to make itself an obvious target of attack.
A candidate must be an enthusiastic member who is ready to accept any task that is given to them by the organization. There are very little requirements that the guild has set, so anyone can join; there are no real prerequisites. However, the nature of the organization means that evil members are not tolerated in the slightest.
The Darkpiercers warrant potential candidates based on their ability to delve deep into the strongholds and habitats of evil itself, to steal valuable or powerful items from under the noses of the evil, and also sometimes to wield such powers for themselves against those that would threaten the innocent.
The Darkpiercers was founded by the paladins, and remains controlled by the paladins, it is often they that organize the next missions and are the front of any expedition. However, because of the dangers involved in sneaking behind enemy lines, rangers and rogues are the most common active members of the Darkpiercers. arcanists are also common, since they are knowledgeable about the ways that naturally evil creatures operate, and can tell one powerful artifact from a completely mundane object relatively easily. Warlocks especially are favored, because they have usually already been exposed and bred into the powers of evil.
Of the prestige classes available, the most favored of them all is the Malconvoker (Complete Scoundrel). The thrilling irony of turning the minions of evil against each other is something that the Darkpiercers are not lost on.
Prospective members typically buy their way into the Darkpiercers unless they can prove their own merit well enough for the organization to send them an invitation into their next expedition and, following a success in their goal, formal initiation into the organization. Upon initiation, a Darkpiercer is gifted an evil item to serve as his focus throughout his service to the organization (usually an item that has lost most of its power over the millennia), and also a title beginning with 'Dark.' Example titles are Darkstalker, Darkdealer, and Darkmaster. It is not known whether or not there is actually anyone in the organization titled Darkpiercer, however - to them, everyone is a Darkpiercer.
The Darkpiercers, although they are a relatively new organization to pop up, are active enough that they are very well-stocked, and have enough connections that they receive substantial funding from multiple benefactors, such as the paladin order from which they were founded. Members are allowed to keep most of what they find during their expeditions, except for the item of which they were sent to retrieve.
The Darkpiercers are not yet well-enough known to be seen as a threat by the large forces of evil, and that's just the way that the organization would have it. This allows them to send covert members in basically anywhere without fear of discrimination or reprisal.
Criteria (Affiliation Score Modifier)
Character Level (+1/2 per level)
Good Alignment (+1)
Has at least 1 level in Paladin (+2)
Has at least 1 level in Warlock (+1)
Use Magic Device 5 ranks (+1)
Use Magic Device 15 ranks (+3)
Can cast Identify (+1)
Can cast Legend Lore (+2)
Succeeds in a mission for the Darkpiercers (+1)
Donates an item of evil affiliation worth under 5,000gp (+1)
Donates an item of evil affiliation worth between 5,000gp and 20,000gp (+2)
Donates an item of evil affiliation worth over 20,000gp (+3)
Refuses to maintain quota of missions attempted (-3)
Steals from the Darkpiercers (-10)
Gives an item belonging to the Darkpiercers willingly to a creature of evil alignment (-20)
Affiliation Benefits & Duties
Affiliation Score 0-3: Not affiliated directly with the Darkpiercers. May be on a preliminary mission, or simply knows someone in the organization.
Affiliation Score 4-10: Member. Gains a single item worth no more than 2500gp, and a title. May undertake missions for the Darkpiercers, but gains no other benefit.
Affiliation Score 11-20: Favored Member. Gains a +1 bonus to all saves versus spells with the evil descriptor. Must undertake one mission every six months.
Affiliation Score 21-30: Honored Member. Gains a +10 bonus on Use Magic Device checks to emulate an evil alignment. Must undertake one mission every two months.
Affiliation Score 21-30: Honored Master. Can use evil items such as demon armor or unholy weapons without gaining negative levels or suffering any other penalty. No longer needs to undertake missions, but must organize and oversee missions for members constantly.
"Darkweaver" Passerl Shanolmine's father managed to buy him a way into the Darkpiercers, since it seemed like a very good way to get the young elf into the adventuring world to teach him its lessons and how to control the energies of the slaadi that were infused within his own soul from birth.
Darkweaver is currently on a mission with a group of adventurers not affiliated with the Darkpiercers, to collect a group of elemental stones that are rumored to be connected with the destruction of an extremely evil draconic quasi-deity, to prevent them from being acquired by an equally-insidious but secretive organization.
(And he's also a PC in my own homebrew campaign)
"Darkweaver" Passerl Shanolmine (CR 5)
Male Wild Elf Warlock 5th level
Chaotic Good Medium Humanoid (Elf)
Init +2; Senses: Listen +2, Spot +2
Languages: Common, Elven, Draconic
AC 17, touch 12, flat-foot 15 (+5 Armor, +2 Dex)
Hp 20 (5 HD), DR 1/Cold Iron
Immune to Sleep
Fort +1, Ref +3, Will +4
Speed: 30 ft (6 squares)
Melee: Reverie, +1 Quarterstaff +4 (1d6+1/20x2)
Ranged: Eldritch Blast, +6 touch (3d6/20x2, Range 60 ft.)
Base Atk +3; Grp +3
Combat Gear: Least Rod of Eldritch Power (Hammer Blast), Wand of Magic Missile (50 charges)
Invocations Known (CL 5): Eldritch Spear, Sickening Blast (DC 15), Baleful Utterance (DC 15)
Spell-like Abilities: Detect Magic at will
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 15, Con 10, Int 12, Wis 11, Cha 16
Feats: Point-blank shot, Weapon focus (ray)
Skills: Intimidate +7, Concentration +4, Knowledge (planes) +9, Listen +2, Search +3, Spellcraft +5, Spot +2, Use Magic Device +7 (Deceive Item).
Possessions: +1 Spiked Chain shirt, +1 Quarterstaff, Least Rod of Eldritch Power (Hammer Blast), Wand of Magic Missile