In the Elemental Chaos, merchants must transport valuable goods between cities in order to make a profit, and where there is trade, there are pirates who stand ready to acquire those goods. Stormraiders are a specialized class of pirates who strike the trade lanes of the Elemental Chaos aboard their fast lightning skiffs.
Known for the suddenness and ferocity of their attacks, stormraiders lack any formalized structure. Instead, they have a loose fraternity built around a few common guidelines: “Help a raider crew in need,” “Share in the plunder,” and “Never betray a comrade before the mast” serve as the only laws of stormraider society. Petty disputes are resolved in bloody duels on the deck of a lightning skiff, usually surrounded by a cheering crew betting on the outcome. It is a hard and uncertain life, knowing no home but one’s ship, with no safe port of call. Death can come quickly at the end of a sword, or slowly at the talons of a demon that is tired of losing its treasures to stormraider crews. The only havens known to stormraider ships are a few small pirate ports built on twirling earthmotes, where lighting skiffs can rest their crews, resupply, and repair their vessels. Still, many are willing to fight beneath the thunderhead-black flag of piracy. Escaped slaves from the City of Brass revel in the freedom they find in the stormraider’s life, and pirates from the Riverweb seeking new adventures can readily find it on the deck of a lightning skiff. No matter the background of the individual, the life of a raider is one of constant momentum, quickly transitioning from one adventure to the next.
Stormraider heroes regularly command the respect of the crews they serve alongside, often seeming to be marked for greatness. Aboard a lightning skiff commanded by a particularly bloodthirsty captain, these heroes are often the sole voice of reason, able to keep the captain from bouts of wanton and pointless slaughter. It is not unheard of for communities in the Elemental Chaos to hire adventuring stormraiders as privateers, or for lords to employ crews to raid the ships of personal enemies. The Elemental Chaos is full of opportunities, and clever stormraiders stand poised to claim them all. Stormraider Starting Feature (1st level)
: You gain the storm the deck power. Stormraider Level 5 Feature (5th level)
: You gain a +2 power bonus to initiative checks. If your initiative is higher than any enemy’s initiative, during your first turn of the encounter you can reroll any melee attack damage dice that come up as 1. Stormraider Level 10 Feature (10th level)
: If you and one or more allies are adjacent to an enemy, you and those allies are considered to be flanking that enemy.
Stormraider Attack Storm the Deck
You charge a foe and send it stumbling over the nearest gunwale.
No Action Special
Trigger: You hit a creature with a charge attack.
Effect: You can push the creature 1 square. On a natural attack roll of 20, the creature also falls prone.
Stormraider Utility 2Storm Legs
You ride with the attack’s momentum, letting it carry you where you want to be.
Immediate Interrupt Personal
Trigger: You are subjected to a push, a pull, or a slide from an attack.
Effect: You negate the forced movement against yourself, and you can shift 1 square. If you end the shift adjacent to an enemy, you gain a +2 power bonus to your next melee attack roll against that enemy.
Stormraider Utility 6Blitz Rush
You sprint into combat, twisting away from enemy blades with the vicious grace of a thunderbolt.
Move Action Personal
Effect: You shift up to half your speed, ending the shift adjacent to an enemy. Until the end of your next turn, you gain a +2 power bonus to AC and Reflex.
Stormraider Utility 10Blood and Thunder
Witnessing your injuries, nearby allies go mad with rage and rush the enemy.
Move Action Close burst 2
Requirement: You must be bloodied.
Target: Each ally in the burst
Effect: Each target shifts up to half his or her speed as a free action, ending the shift closer to an enemy. Until the start of your next turn, each target is considered to be flanking an enemy as long as he or she and at least one ally are adjacent to that enemy.
Published in Dragon Magazine 408.