Order of the Shield
The real Order of the Shield is a groups of knights that supposedly existed in Doskvol around the time the Cataclysm has struck. They helped to evacuate the outskirts of the city, fought ghosts and looters, maintained order among the refugees. Unable to maintain their numbers, they disbanded. The only proof they ever existed is a memorial plaque on one of the houses in Charterhall.
This changed recently, after a rich nobleman tried to recreate the order to combat crime in the city. He grew bored with playing a vigilante pretty soon, but he had managed to bring enough people that the organization could continue to function in his absence. Minor nobles far enough in the succession order to be virtually penniless, bastards and disinherited, ordinary citizens with delusions of grandeur – they saw a chance to get some recognition and maybe money too. Most of them left after the founder stopped paying, but some were more tenacious.
Type: Bravos (or Vigilantes)
How do they make coin? After their funds dried up, the Order started to operate more like a common gang with each passing day. They take a voluntary tax from the shopkeepers in the territory they protect and are very upset when someone calls this a protection racket. The illicit goods they confiscate used to be delivered to the Bluecoats, now they keep everything except the most dangerous and illegal stuff.
First job: The war in the Crow’s Foot is a blessing in disguise. The Lampblacks and the Red Sashes are vulnerable and, after Roric’s death, the Crows do nothing to stop them from slaughtering each other. Rumor has it that both gangs will battle in a few days… a perfect occasion to either wait in hiding and defeat the victors, taking the credit for eliminating both groups, or go after their assets when they are slaughtering each other.
Cutter: As a fencing instructor for rich fops, they earned some money but very little respect. They joined the Order and discovered they like to be feared. The earnings may be worse, but seeing the face thugs make when they realize they had bitten more than they can chew is a reward in itself.
Hound: A former minder. Their master’s son liked partying a bit too much; they frequently had to find the spoiled brat in a drug den of their choosing and drag him back to his father. After their employer died, they lost their job and decided to use their talents elsewhere. Secretly they hope to once again find their quarry doped just to slit the ungrateful bastard’s throat.
Leech: Used to study medicine, pressured by their parents. They dropped out to join the Order, convinced they have found their true calling. Now it no longer looks like a good idea, but the alternative is facing their parents and admitting their mistake.
Lurk: A nobleman’s bastard, who was mercifully allowed to live with their blood family. Tormented by their blood brothers and disliked by the nobleman’s wife, they learned to be unseen very quickly. The Order is their chance to become independent; the alternative is living with their family forever.
Slide: A child of a butler and a cook who pretends to be an impoverished Skovlan nobleman even to their crew. Being a part of the Order gives them enough legitimacy to pass, at least unless they flaunt their “birthright” too much.
Spider: Joining the Order, when it could still pose as a respectable organization, was their way to avoid being sent to the front. With their patron and funds gone, they assumed leadership. They see the Order becoming just another criminal gang and they don’t mind: you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs, after all.
Whisper: A researcher of the Order’s history and perhaps the last person who believes they still are a force of good. Their problems are a temporary setback; as soon as the city realizes their usefulness, the recruits and funds will start coming again.