for our upcoming Saga, we are considering the Hibernian Tribunal. One of the Companion ideas being thrown around is that of an Arrchogad, an Irish "Master of the Hounds". However, I seem to be a bit stumped on how to actually build such a character.
(As an aside, I don't yet have access to the Tribunal book - it should be in the mail any day now. Maybe the solution to my problem is somewhere in that book. Still, you know how eager people can get when discussing a new Saga - we want to build characters now!)
The general idea is of a Companion with a strong focus on wilderness skills who is accompanied by a small pack (3-6) of Irish Wolfhounds. Being a Companion, he's obviously no ordinary dog handler, but shares an unusually strong bond with his dogs.
Animal Ken and Wilderness Sense are, of course, a given, just as good values in Animal Handling, Hunt and Survival. The dog pack is rather central to the character, so should be "hardwired" into the character somehow - however, taking the "Animal Companion" or "Magical Animal Companion" Flaw multiple times just feels like cheating.
I'm drawing a blank here - anybody got good ideas / suggestions on making this concept sing?
You don't always need rules, but for this we have surprising coverage.
Build the dogs as grogs. Since the main guy will be a companion, the dogs will be available to the covenant, so grogs they can be. "Grogs" even has a section about animal grogs.
The companion has many ways to be good with dogs, from FC to Nature Lore to the stuff Chris mentioned, so I won't go into that.
Now give him a positive minor social status that reflects both his ability and right to have a bunch of dogs report to him. Here too, we can adopt your pick of various grog social status virtues. Or, find a minor story flaw (though you might want to reserve that for something else.) Or, there might be a kennel master social status in LoM.
If you want a flaw to represent the companion's connection with his dogs, I'd pick something like "dependent" or "true love" to represent the bond he has with them and how badly he'd feel if something happened to them, if that's the kind of relationship you want the master of hounds to have.