The Silver Dagger
You don't spend time in a Silver Dagger dungeon and come out untouched. I guess I was lucky. I'll always be affected by my time in that hellhole, but I'm still alive, and the Daggers are gone. Even after almost thirty years I still have nightmares and flashbacks which sometimes feel like it's too much, yet there is a small comfort in knowing that it won't happen again.
The Silver Dagger was an organization who saw it as their righteous duty to rid the world of werewolves. Based on an old book spreading misinformation on the nature of werewolves, the organization had chapters all over Kupria. Founded in 1845, the Silver Dagger spread fear in the werewolf population for over 250 years before it was disbanded by the Kuprian military in 2111.
The structure of the Silver Dagger has changed somewhat from their heydays to their decline. This is mainly because a smaller organization needs less roles than a larger one.
Master of Silver
The Master of Silver was the highest ranked person of the Silver Dagger, and ruled over the whole organization. Traditionally having a main office at the northern Kuprian chapter, the Master of Silver tended to travel around a lot to make sure the chapters were working as intended. The rank came with the main responsibility over the organization and all its functions, but most of the day to day functions were delegated to lower ranks.
The Chaptermasters were the leader of each local chapter of the Silver Dagger, and only answered to the Master of Silver. This rank generally had free reign over their chapter, as long as their decisions didn't go against the goals and visions of the organization as a whole. The Chaptermasters usually spent their days by organizing the chapter's activities, but in slow periods they might join in on missions where there were either a high certainty or definite proof of werewolf activity.
In the latter days of the organization the ranks of Chaptermaster and Master of Silver became merged together, since there were only one chapter left.
Whenever the Silver Dagger got their hands on one or more werewolves, the Interrogator's job was to make the werewolves talk, to find out how many they were and where their pack lived. There were no rules on how the Interrogator should get this information. Werewolves were considered monsters with no rights in the Silver Dagger, and several of the Interrogators through the history of the Silver Dagger have had a malicious urge to inflict pain and suffering on others. Being an Interrogator was a legal way for some of these people to live out their urges without getting punished. Every chapter had one or two Interrogators.
The Interrogator only answered to their local Chaptermaster. In some chapters the Interrogator was called Inquisitor.
The local chapters needed gear and food to be functioning, and it was the Quartermasters' job to make sure their chapter was fully stocked with supplies. The Quartermaster's responsibilities also included to make sure that these supplies were distributed in the right amounts to the right personnel, and to keep a running inventory of all the local assets.
The Quartermaster answered directly to the local Chaptermaster.
The Communicator had responsibility over the messenger birds that were used to send messages between the chapters and to the main cities on Shireon, as well as organizing the sending and receiving of these messages. During the decline, however, it was found that there wasn't a need for a rank specifically for this function, since there weren't that many messages being sent and received anymore.
The Communicator answered to the local Chaptermaster.
The Stablekeeper had responsibility over the horses in the local chapter, as well as the horse-related equipment. During the decline the Stablekeeper also inherited the responsibility of the care of the messenger birds after the rank of Communicator was removed.
The Stablekeeper answered to both the Chaptermaster and the Quartermaster.
The Master Hunters were the troop leaders of the Hunters, and led the Hunters on missions and skirmishes. The number of Master Hunters per chapter depended on the number of Hunters in the chapter, which again depended on the werewolf activity in the area. Some chapters had only one Master Hunter, while others had about ten.
The Master Hunter answered directly to the Chaptermaster.
The Hunters were the troops of the Silver Dagger, and the personnel that went out to check out possible werewolf activity. The Hunters were responsible to either kill or bring back werewolves to their chapter, as well as patrolling both the chapter's keep and the areas around it. During the decline and the removal of the Communicator rank, the Hunters who were on guard duty in the keep also watched out for arriving messenger birds.
The Hunters answered directly to their assigned Master Hunter.
In addition to these, there was several important civilian roles in each chapter to keep the buildings clean, cook and serve food, repair gear, and keep the courtyard of the buildings pretty and clean. During the decline, however, there was a cook that made breakfast and dinner for the staff on location. The rest of the tasks were divided between the Hunters when they weren't on missions or patrols.
Do not have pity for these creatures. They are evil, bloodthirsty monsters that know exactly what they're doing. They are known to play with your emotions to make you trust them, to get included into the community. Then, at the most opportune moment, they will show their true nature. By then it is usually too late, and the following blood bath is almost guaranteed to make even the most hardened souls terrified.
The main goal of the Silver Dagger was to rid the world of werewolves. They saw werewolves as unholy pests that needed to be eradicated, and didn't hide their extermination agenda from the public eye. They also helped farmers with hunting down ordinary wolves, since there was a slight chance the supposedly ordinary wolf could be a werewolf in wolf shape.
Visual Representation and Assets
If you know what to look for it's not hard to spot a member of the Silver Dagger. Every single member visibly wears a silver pin in the shape of a dagger, mostly to identify themselves among each other, but also to show the public that they are around. The only downside is that the werewolves are aware of this pin and will avoid anyone wearing one.
The members of the Silver Dagger will also have at least one weapon made of silver or using silver ammunition. These are sometimes polished, especially if the Hunters want to be visible. Newly polished silver has a much lighter color than the more used iron and steel. The Hunters often wear black cloaks to make the pin and weaponry stand out more against the dark fabric, but this isn't mandatory.
The banner of the Silver Dagger is hoisted on every manned keep and camp to clearly show their presence. This is only dropped if there are confirmed werewolves nearby, and the Silver Dagger need to keep a low profile to catch or kill them.
The official colors of the Silver Dagger is black and silver.
Assets of the Silver Dagger
Here follows a list of some of the assets of the Silver Dagger, both when the organization was on its height in 1950 and in 2110, just before it was disbanded.
|Silver Dagger pins||1000||50|
|Silvered crossbow bolts||5000||150|
|Silver swords and rapiers||800||15|
The main headquarters of the Silver Dagger was a keep northwest of The Crossroads in northern Kupria. This was never the most active area considering werewolf activity, but since it was the first Silver Dagger fort and Naivar Drenn had his office there it became the main headquarters. During the decline it was the last remaining active chapter, and the only chapter that was active during the whole life of the Silver Dagger.
The keep itself is a rather plain stone structure with an outer wall surrounding the inner courtyards and the keep's buildings. There is no moat since the local area has no surface water - the keep's water is supplied from a deep well in the middle of the courtyard. There are three buildings inside the walls, which are the birdcote, the stables and the main building.
The birdcote is the building where the messenger birds are kept. It's a two-story tower. The lower floor is a storage for bird feed and other tools needed to keep birds, as well as a small desk with pieces of parchment in the correct size for the small containers on the leg of the birds. The upper floor has cages for keeping birds, and openings in the wall where the birds could fly in and out. These openings has hatches covering parts of the hole, making it possible to resize the openings in case of bad weather.
The stables is large enough to hold thirty horses comfortably. It also has a storeroom for saddles, bridles, horseshoes and various tools for horse caring, as well as a room to store feed.
The main building has one floor above ground and one floor below ground. Above ground there are rooms for all personnel to sleep, as well as a kitchen, a mess hall, a community room where personnel can spend their time when not on duty, the Master of Silver's office, the Chaptermaster's office, and a food storage. Below ground there are several cells built to hold a werewolf in hybrid shape, as well as the Interrogator's chambers. All rooms are connected by a network of corridors, and there are three staircases scattered around the building to go between floors. The building itself has two exits into the courtyard, where one was used solely for food deliveries to the storage and emergency situations.
Most of the eight Silver Dagger forts were built in a similar design, varying slightly in capacity for horses, personnel and captured werewolves.
In addition to the forts there was a chapter in the city of Lenthir which was mostly used for recruitment of new Hunters. This office had no capacity for captured werewolves. It was closed down in the beginning of the decline as an active unit, but was used until the end by Silver Dagger personnel with business in the city.
The Silver Dagger was founded in Kupria in 1845 by Naivar Drenn, who also wrote the book "Werewolves - A Lorebook about Lycantrophy". This was at the point of time where the number of werewolves were at an all-time high, and it was foolish to be outside during the nights of the full moon in some areas.
The organization based its code off of Naivar's book, which takes the stance that a werewolf is an evil, bloodthirsty killing machine that hunts people for sport. During the early days the Silver Dagger played on the fear of the people, spreading its propaganda wherever there were anyone who'd listen. It was very effective, and the folklore about werewolves all over Kupria is heavily based off of this propaganda effort. There was even a law that was passed stating that werewolves should be killed on sight for public safety.
The Silver Age
The Silver Dagger grew. There were many young people with histories of loved ones killed by werewolves, or worse - turned into the monsters. Local chapters were opened everywhere there seemed to be at least one werewolf pack. Both ordinary wolves and confirmed werewolves were downright slaughtered - except when they managed to catch the werewolf alive. The live werewolves usually ended their days in the interrogation rooms with the chapter's Interrogator.
There were no rights for werewolves at this time. Usually the Interrogators were hired from people who wanted to inflict pain on someone with no other way to lawfully do so. The captured werewolves usually died slowly, suffering every second at the hands of the Silver Dagger. Sometimes, if the werewolf survived the Interrogator, the now battered and exhausted creature was used for tests on silver's effect on the werewolf body and other factors to better understand these monsters.
The people of Kupria generally liked having the Silver Dagger around, and if the local chapter needed anything in the way of food and supplies the local people would usually start up donation drives to keep the chapter up and running. It felt safe to have the hunters around, knowing that someone did something about these monsters.
The Silver Dagger was effective, and soon there were only a handful of werewolves left. Most of the local chapters closed down as they had nothing to hunt. Only the chapter patrolling the north of Kupria, led by the current Master of Silver Gerion Drenn, stayed active since the remaining werewolves in that area mostly managed to evade the hunters. The only reason why the organization didn't collapse at this point was the determination of Gerion to keep it afloat, mostly fuelled by his strength of belief in the cause. This belief was most likely strengthened through his family history, since he was a direct descendant of Naivar Drenn himself.
The local werewolves did what they needed to survive - kept their head low, kept away from people during the full moon, never hunted livestock if they could help it. Still, they were spotted often enough that the remaining chapter of the Silver Dagger knew they were still there. They miraculously managed to keep themselves from being captured - until the summer of 2084 when they managed to lose a newly turned werewolf. Rumors say the puppy spent the period between the night he was bitten and the next full moon in a small town, unaware of what he was, until he murdered a girl during his first change. The Silver Dagger kept the boy in captivity for almost two months before he managed to escape.
After this escape, the Silver Dagger were unable to capture any werewolves - but they got their hands on the hunter that had helped the boy to escape. He spent the rest of his life in a cell meant for a werewolf.
King Ilmonar of Kupria abolished the law where being a werewolf was illegal early in 2111.
As lycantrophy wasn't considered a crime in Kupria anymore, and since northern Kupria was the only area where the Silver Dagger was still active, the whole function of the organization was suddenly illegal. In the beginning this didn't stop the Silver Dagger, and the organization kept on hunting the local werewolves. This resulted in the forced closing of the fortress that housed the remaining Silver Dagger chapter by the Kuprian army. The Master of Silver was arrested, but managed to escape some days later.
Later the remnants of the organization was found hidden in an unknown part of the ancient underground complex beneath the city of Vobranas. All the higher ranked people in the Silver Dagger were captured and arrested. The Master of Silver himself, Gerion Drenn, was found dead in his cell the day after. The murderer was a close family of one of the last werewolves the Silver Dagger captured. The Interrogator was visited by a mysterious visitor shortly after, and lost his mind, turning catatonic. No one is sure what happened during that visit.
The few hunters still working for the cause were rounded up during the next year, and the hunters who declared they would live normal lives, obey the law and turn their backs on the Silver Dagger's way would be left alone to carve out new lives.
The Silver Dagger was deemed dismantled in the summer of 2111.
"Through Silver be Cleansed"