Black Sheep Military Formation in Manifold Sky | World Anvil

Black Sheep

The Black Sheep are a specialized group of Island Rangers who work to protect the interests of the Native Ovinex in circumstances where finesse is more important than brute force or when other sentient species are involved. Deceptively clever when compared to other Ovinex, the Black Sheep are the closest thing that the Ovinex Island Tribes have to an intelligence agency.   The name 'Black Sheep' itself is a form of deception, as members of the group have various wool colors and sometimes even dye or bleach their wool to better blend into local populations.



There have never been more than 100 Black Sheep in service at any given time. In previous eras, every Black Sheep was familiar with every other Black Sheep. In modern times, however, the reach and brutal efficiency of intelligence agents such as Voxelia's Bards-Recursant have forced the Black Sheep to adopt more pseudonymous connections with one another in the interest of maintaining operational security. Black Sheep often inscribe a unique pattern of scars into keratinous joints of their left-hand hoof-fingers - difficult for discern from marks and folds due to regular wear - to identify themselves to one another.


Black Sheep will sometimes create hidden compartments in their horns for small items which might be useful in their exploits (such as lockpicks). Similarly, Black Sheep who are expecting combat are known to undergo procedures whereby their horns, knuckles, and hooves are infused with resins or metal bands, making these already sturdy natural features into more devastating weapons. Naturally, these procedures are excruciatingly painful and require the aid of trained Ovinex doctors, but the Black Sheep endure these discomforts out of a sense of patriotic duty.


Like other Island Rangers, Black Sheep largely operate independently or in cells, either taking action themselves or coordinating with groups of Island Rangers to fulfill the remits of their code. A cadre of normal Island Rangers will often either seek out the services of Black Sheep (or may already have one in their midst without knowing it) to extend their own intelligence gathering abilities; in this case, the Black Sheep studiously avoid commanding roles so as to not stand out from the rest.


Unlike other Island Rangers, Black Sheep rely on stealth, disguise, and sabotage to deal with threats to the Ovinex Island Tribes rather than open force. Furthermore, Black Sheep will proactively seek out threats to the Native Ovinex way of life, meaning that they will often travel deep into foreign territory to investigate such threats. For example, a Black Sheep will often infiltrate a Rostran group (such as the Avarix Corps) under the guise of being a normal, 'dumb' Ovinex retainer - only to sabotage that group's equipment and assassinate their leader via surprise attack. As the Rostran Archipelago Confederacy has peace treaties with the Ovinex Island Tribes now that the Rostran-Ovinex War is concluded, the RAC is generally not a direct target of these actions, though dangerous Rostran fugitives will sometimes suffer 'accidents' at the horns of the Black Sheep.


Black Sheep are different from other Island Rangers in that they are educated in the arts of stealth and deception in lieu of continued training in the art of Gam Pfa'a. Black Sheep Moots carry deep institutional knowledge of humanoid psychology and perception which exceeds that of other Ovinex, and this knowledge is passed down to the Black Sheep trainees so that they can use it to make the Manifold a safer place for Ovinex. During the training process, Black Sheep in training are also indoctrinated with a code of ethics that formalizes a particularly Ovinex perception of justice, allowing individual Black Sheep to make better decisions about what missions to undertake in the service of the Native Ovinex people.



Members of the Moot regularly travel to interact with various Island Rangers active in the vicinity of the Ovinex Island Tribes. Rangers noted by the veterans to be particularly gifted in stealth or social skills are invited to attend training at the Moot's hidden cavern base.
Covert Ops
Overall training Level
Assumed Veterancy

Cover image: by Filip Filipov


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