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The Caretakers are a lawful and good organization dedicated to preserving, protecting and chronicling human artifacts, especially in the Trollbane family.
The Caretakers have humble roots, starting with Yernim Weltom, a human servant of the Trollbane family in the Arathi Highlands. He had the task of tending the Trollbane family’s rarer artifacts — back when they were merely kept in a locked room and not in the crypt. When the family manor was hit with a surprise bandit raid while much of the house guard was out fighting the Horde, Yernim hid the artifacts in the kitchen, filling the priceless chalice of opal voices with gravy, tossing the ancient sword Trol'kalar into the pile of pig offal and putting the cloak of elemental protection on himself and jumping into the massive kitchen fire to hide.
Prince Liam, grandfather of Galen Trollbane, was so impressed with his servant’s ingenuity that he appointed him Caretaker of Artifacts with a staff of two, and commanded the young servant to come up with a better plan to protect the artifacts. Yernim had stonemasons carve another room out of the rock of the Trollbane Family Crypt for the artifacts, wisely allowing room for more artifacts as time went on. He took his underlings and taught them how to care for the artifacts properly, what each of them could do in case they needed to know for their own safety or if the artifacts were in danger (like he knew to hide in the fire with the cloak), and preservation methods.
When nobles of Lordaeron, Khaz Modan and Azeroth would visit Prince Liam, he would proudly tell the story of how Yernim had protected the family heirlooms while the guard was away. The other nobles were so much impressed with the system he had built that they asked to borrow Yernim for designing similar setups for their artifacts. Yernim, perhaps showing himself wiser than these great lords and ladies, mentioned they probably wouldn’t want him knowing all of their secrets. He instructed them, with Prince Liam’s approval, to send five trusted servants to him for training. Thus the continentwide training of the Caretakers began.
Others may view the Caretakers as glorified servants doing a job anyone with two hands would be capable of. And it is true, the Caretakers are all skilled on how best to remove stains from magical cloaks, and tarnish and blood from ancient swords. Yet those who have seen these clever designers at work know that they are as crafty as rogues and as clever as tinkers with their designs, and the lengths they will go to in order to protect their charges. Some are even trained as close-combat experts, able to fight in halls and divert and lead thieves and invaders away from the rooms with the more precious artifacts.
A recent specialty the Caretakers demand of their members is thorough knowledge of their enemies. Previously, the only threat the Caretakers had to worry about were robbers and the Horde, but now they have added the Syndicate, the Scourge and the Burning Legion to the list, groups all eager to get their hands on powerful magical items. Thus, the Caretakers have employed explorers and soldiers to inform them of the likely movements, mannerisms and motivations of these enemies, the better to protect their charges.
Caretakers have few enemies, but some have thought they would be easy to kidnap and torture for information, underestimating the Caretakers’ dedication to their jobs and their employers — and sometimes their fighting prowess. While aware they’re not as great as the nobles they serve nor as powerful as many who fight evil face-to-face, the Caretakers know the consequences if the artifacts fall to the other side, and therefore the importance of their jobs.
The Caretakers are always led by the head Caretaker of the Trollbane Family Crypt. He is the only Caretaker not chosen by his employer; rather, he is selected by the board of advisors, individuals who master one or more of the many skills Caretakers must have. The head Caretaker in turn replaces members of the board when needed.
Caretakers come to Stromgarde to learn their craft, but also for infrequent meetings. Regional leaders (Caretakers of the Chalice) meet with those under them and then report to Stromgarde at least once a year. They do little more than take reports from their fellow Caretakers and deliver them to Stromgarde. Regional Caretakers vote for their regional leader. Before the Third War, this was considered a choice job; now, however, it is a dreaded position that requires wandering through undead-riddled Lordaeron.
Caretakers are also expected to keep their employer’s secrets, and none of the reports include inventories. Reports include enemy movement, if a recent acquisition requires aid from the Caretaker of the Sword or the board of advisors (for instance, if a family acquired a cursed item that froze anything that touched it, like the Cursed Ring of Momar, currently in the Proudmoore estate under Caretaker of the Chalice Raknahama Pi'Lenda), whether their employer wishes a new Caretaker to be trained, new births or deaths within the Caretakers, and so forth.
The leadership is based in Stromgarde in the Arathi Highlands, but factions are spread throughout Lordaeron and even a bit in Khaz Modan and Stormwind.
Yernim Weltom is dead now, but the Trollbane family that so proudly employed him still uses its manor as the base of operations for The Caretakers. New members are still trained there, and they still have the best of all Caretakers looking after their Crypt and the formerly rubbish-bound Trol’Kalar. Caretakers in regions around Azeroth often meet at the largest manor they serve.
Titles and ResponsibilitiesEdit
Caretakers are trained in many skills, but often they will gravitate toward their strong points. Named after the artifacts in the Trollbane vault, the hierarchy of the Caretakers goes as follows:
- Caretaker of the Sword: Also known as “the Sword,” he is the leader of all Caretakers. Always based in Stromgarde, this position is currently held by Logan Palimore. The sword refers, of course, to Trol’Kalar, and is the only artifact commonly named in the hierarchy of the Caretakers. Logan keeps his employer’s secrets, as all Caretakers do. The Sword is identified by a white cloak with a black sword embroidered on the back.
- Caretakers of the Chalice: The regional leaders, the Chalices are in charge of assembling and taking reports from all the region’s Caretakers. They are sometimes leaders of many, as in Kul Tiras, and sometimes only one of a handful in a poorer region, such as the Plaguelands. They are identified by a white cloak with a jewel-encrusted cup embroidered on the back.
- Caretakers of the Ring: In charge of concealment, this title is given to those who specialize in designing clever ways to hide artifacts, often under the noses of invaders. Anything goes with the Rings: from weaving smaller artifacts (such as rings) into a tapestry in plain sight to designing an underground garage for a favored siege engine an employer doesn’t want the neighbors to know about. There can be any number of Rings in a region. They are identified by a white cloak with a gold ring bearing a blue stone embroidered on the back.
- Caretakers of the Crown: In charge of room construction, this title is given to those who specialize in building rooms or special holding items for artifacts. Crowns often work in tandem with Rings, one designing and the other building. There can be any number of Crowns in a region. They are identified by a white cloak with a silver crown embroidered on the back.
- Caretakers of the Coin: In charge of traps, this title is given to those who specialize in trapping either a room or the item itself. Coins sometimes work with Rings and Crowns, but not always. There can be any number of Coins in a region. They are identified by a white cloak with a gold coin embroidered on the back.
- Caretakers of the Gauntlet: The only martial Caretakers, Gauntlets are trained in close combat by many experts of both armed and unarmed fighting. Often posing as a dozing guard, this warrior is always alert, knows all the ways into and out of a protected room and has prepared for all eventualities. This is the only obviously dangerous Caretaker position. Gauntlets are identified by a white cloak with a black fist embroidered on the back (although they often do not wear this while working, lest they get tangled).
- Caretakers of the Cloak: All general Caretakers fall under this category. Still skilled in design, building, trapping, protecting, cleaning and inventory, Cloaks simply have not specialized and perhaps never will. They are identified by a plain white cloak.
Even though they view themselves as more important than mere servants, the Caretakers are still the brass ring that servants leap for. Getting sent to the Arathi Highlands for training is considered the last, best job a servant will ever take, as there is nowhere better to go. It is also an organization with more middle-aged and older new recruits than any other. Nobles rarely will send servants to be trained to guard their secrets and their precious artifacts unless they have known them and trusted them for years.
It is rare that servants will be denied entrance into the Caretakers once they are sent. This organization serves individual interests, not the group as a whole, and if a noble wishes a servant trained, the Caretakers won’t argue unless the servant in question is quite inept. However, if the group finds a member has betrayed his employers and thus broken the group’s rules, the member in question will be cast out and shunned, never to be admitted again.
Although mostly consisting of human servants, the Caretakers also have a core group of advisors including Ironforge dwarves, high elves and half-elves. There are members who are also tinkers, stonemasons, mages and rogues. If a person has a skill that can aid the upkeep, protection or concealment of an object, the Caretakers want her knowledge.
Individual Caretakers are worth three times as much a normal servant’s salary, and the employer considers it money well spent. The Caretakers then send in dues of 1/5 of their salary to Stromgarde so the Caretaker of the Sword can afford to train new students and to employ teachers of different specialties.
Known Members (including former members)Edit
|Logan Palimore||Stromgarde||Arathi Highlands (RPG)||Sword|
|Raknahama Pi'Lenda||Kul Tiras (RPG)||Chalice and Coin|
|Irk Gaffestone||Badlands (RPG)|
|Ran Tilwood||Deceased (RPG)||Arathi Highlands (RPG)|
|Caretaker Alaric||Stromgarde||Arathi Highlands|
|Caretaker Weston||Stromgarde||Arathi Highlands|
|Caretaker Nevlin||Stromgarde||Arathi Highlands|