Gold & Glory

by Tim Beach

Chapter 2: Standing Companies

This chapter offers details about several of the better-known standing mercenary corps in the Realms. Standing companies are the "standard," but in the Realms, "standard" can mean many things.

In most cases, standing companies have a single leader; this way, there is no question about who is in charge.

Standing companies generally have a headquarters of some kind, whether it be a castle they have built themselves, or a town where all the members live. Standing companies without permanent headquarters will almost always have a means of transportation, and when they arrive at the location of their job, they usually find lodgings together or set up a large camp.

Standing companies can be worked into an adventuring campaign in several ways. These groups might be recruiting, testing people who want to join by sending them on a mission. Alternately, enemies of a mercenary corps might mislead a group of PCs into raiding the mercenary company's headquarters.

The Companies

Information about many of the companies can be found in other sources. These entries provide updates on status and activities of these mercenary groups.

The map shows where many of the groups operate, while the index lists the groups by region and also lists the other sources where information might be found.

The Blacktalons Mercenary Company

TypeStanding, fixed
BaseBlacktalon Citadel in Iriaebor
Current Sphere(s) of OperationTraderoutes near Iriaebor
LeaderTaurgosz "Tenhammer" Khosann
GovernmentCounciled dictatorship
Number of Members120
General AlignmentNeutral

History: This group formed less than a decade ago, when Taurgosz Khosannearned his "Tenhammer" nickname by slaying 10 people with a single swing of his huge warhammer, thus wresting leadership of his bandit gang from the former leader. Tenhammer has led the Blacktalons to a more legal occupation.

Tenhammer, an 11th-level fighter, stands over 7' tall and weighs about 350 pounds. His size and great strength (18/94) allow him to wield some two-handed weapons with just one hand; his favorite weapon is his great hammer, which causes damage as a battle axe. Tenhammer is an absolute dictator, but has a small council of trusted aides to whom he listens.

The Blacktalons consist of 80 3rd-level fighters, both male and female. In addition, there are 20 1st-level fighters and 20 thieves of levels 3-6. If The Complete Thief's Handbook is used, give the thieves the scout and bandit kits (in approximately equal numbers).

The Blacktalon sigil is a black, three-taloned claw on a blood red field. It is worn on the breast or helmet, but is never flown from a banner.

Strategies and Tactics: This group prefers jobs guarding caravans, but will also raid caravans for a price. True to their bandit heritage, they sometimes raid unguarded caravans to encourage them to seek protection.

They have on occasion hired themselves out as irregular cavalry, and they act as city defenders in times of trouble-which helps maintain good relations with the local government.

Personality: The Blacktalons are relatively unscrupulous, but have never been known to renege on a contract. They are very vengeful when cheated.

The Blacktalons seldom come into conflict with other mercenary corps, though they have earned the enmity of the Sirocco, the Mindulgulph Company, and several adventuring companies.

Logistics: The Blacktalons have their own mounts, mostly medium warhorses. They prefer to use these mounts, but will ride animals appropriate to the caravan they are guarding. Since Iriaebor is known for fine mounts, the Blacktalons always have fine horses.

They wear a variety of armors and carry a variety of weapons. They often darken their armor with mud or paint, so they do not stand out.

The Blacktalons charge 1 gp per person per day for guard duty. A raid costs an employer 300 gp, in advance.

The Bloodaxe Mercenary Company

TypeRecruited veterans, fixed
BaseSundabar, in the North
Current Sphere(s) of OperationThe North
LeaderVelkor "of the Valiant Arm" Minairr
GovernmentMilitary hierarchy
Number of Members60-80
General AlignmentChaotic good

History: The Bloodaxe Mercenary Company was founded by a dwarven adventurer, Deldagg Huldgrym, more than 40 years ago. Most of its original members were dwarven outcasts.

Under Deldagg's leadership, the group fought several bandit bands, an army of orcs, and raiders from Luskan. Many of the original members were slain, and new warriors (mostly humans from the Sword Coast, the North, and the Vilhon Reach) were added to the ranks.

Deldagg died of black lung fever in 1331 DR (1306 by Cormyrian reckoning), and the group's leadership fell to his second in command, Velkor Minairr, a human fighter (11th level). Only four of the original dwarven Bloodaxes remain with the company.

The group - mounted spearmen (30), slingers (10), and axe-men (20)-is largely inactive at present, but occasionally hire themselves out to fight orcish hordes in the North.

To avoid recognition, the Bloodaxes often elect not to display their sigil, a gray axe on a dark red background.

Strategies and Tactics: The Bloodaxes are skilled and versatile, willing to take almost any job, from gladiators to bodyguards. Not overly prideful or crude, their strategies and tactics vary as widely as the types of jobs they take.

Personality: The Bloodaxes are motivated largely by hatred of humanoids, though they do enjoy being paid for killing the creatures. They have few enemies other than humanoids, the Blue Sigil ogres, and the Chill.

Logistics: Their equipment varies widely, though the battle axe is the weapon of choice for most. The group maintains several small bases in the North, where they can replace equipment as needed.

The Bloodaxes may be hired at a cost of but 10 gp per day, since they are currently "down on their luck."

The Company of the Singing Dawn

TypeStanding, fixed
BaseArrabar in Chondath
Current Sphere(s) of OperationThe Vilhon Reach
Number of Members250
General AlignmentNeutral good

Note: The Company of the Singing Dawn and its components are described in I14, Swords of the Iron Legion.

History: This group was formed in Chondath about 15 years ago, and was first known as Solara's Elite. Solara trained her people well, and eventually added more units to the company.

The company consists of five 50-member units: Solara's Elite, handpicked 4th-level fighters from the Fields of Nun; the Spears of Dawn, 1st-level fighters; the Forester Guards of Nun, charismatic and chivalrous 3rd-level warriors from the Chondalwood; the Lightblades, 4th-level paladins mounted on pegasi; and the Sunshafts, 7th-level Pegasus-riding elven archers.

The Elite are led by Taran, 6th-level female human fighter; Randwulf Doorbane, a grizzled 8th-level fighter, leads the Spears; the Foresters are led by a 7th-level elven ranger, Miebhailar; Justin Ironedge, a 9th-level human paladin, leads the Lightblades; and the Sunshafts are led by Lotharius Goldentree, a 9th-level elven fighter. These leaders advise Solara, 10th level ranger and undisputed leader of the Company of the Singing Dawn.

The company's most famous battle was against the forces of Yrkhetep, an arcanaloth who tried to conquer Chondath and Turmish.

The company's symbol is a rose-colored phoenix, with a green key below, to the right, and to the left, all on a field of silver. All members of the company wear some red, pink, or yellow, and many wear sunburst emblems.

Strategies and Tactics: The Singing Dawn prefers to fight evil and is known to do charity work, especially when it involves fighting undead or otherwise promotes worship of the group's patron deity, Lathander. They will not take any job that is antithetical to the worship of the Morninglord.

Solara and her councilors are great tacticians, and they work well together coordinating aerial and ground assaults.

Personality: The Company of the Singing Dawn has a very strict code of honor and chivalry. They are motivated by a wish to do good, though they realize that they need gold to maintain their effectiveness. Their only enemies are the evil and unscrupulous.

Logistics: Each unit has distinctive arms and armor. The Elite uses scale mail, shields with the company's symbol, and long swords with dusky pink stones in the hilt. The Spears wear chain mail and carry silver-tipped spears. The Foresters wear studded leather and carry wooden shields and long swords. The Lightblades wear scale mail and attack with medium lances or long swords +1. The Sunshafts wear scale mail and attack with long bows or long swords. Solara and the unit leaders carry a number of magical items.

The Company of the Singing Dawn is somewhat expensive, requiring 1,000 gp per day, though they will cut that price by 50-75% when asked to fight undead or creatures from the nether planes. They also do some work for free, with council members using personal funds to pay the regular members.

The Flaming Fist

TypeStanding, fixed
BaseBaldur's Gate
Current Sphere(s) of OperationAnchorome, Tethyr Chult, Sword Coast
LeaderDuke Eltan
GovernmentMilitary hierarchy
Number of Members1,600
General AlignmentLawful neutral

Note: The Flaming Fist Mercenary Company is fully described in Flaming Fist page. the FORGOTTEN REALMS(r) Campaign Set. What follows is a summary of statistics and recent history. History: Despite recent setbacks, the Flaming Fist is the largest and most powerful mercenary corps in Faerûn. Eltan, a Duke of Baldur's Gate, founded the group almost 30 years ago, building it into one of the most effective fighting forces in the Realms.

The Flaming Fist has been very active during the last few years. Recently, 300 members were hired with Sembian funds to participate in the Horde Wars. They acquitted themselves well and reported back with some casualties.

At the same time as the Horde Wars, the Flaming Fist took action against the pirates of the Sword Coast (the same "war" in which the Golden Legion destroyed Akbet-Khrul's forces in Amn). The Fist was able to provide the pirates with a setback they will not soon forget.

Also, Duke Eltan noticed an opportunity in leaderless Tethyr. He has been cautiously scouting the region, hiring out small bands for reduced fees in Tethyr. Wise observers speculate that Eltan wishes to be invited into Tethyr, so he may set up a puppet government.

Because of the Horde Wars and the discovery of Maztica, Duke Eltan has been taken by an urge to explore. He has not yet sent an expedition to the Hordelands and Kara-Tur, though he has recently funded expeditions to Chult and the New World.

The founder of Baldur's Gate (home to the Fist) was a sea captain called Balduran. Long ago, he sailed west past Evermeet, to the fabled islands of Anchorome, returning with great wealth that was used to build the wall around what became Baldur's Gate.

The Expedition of The Flaming Fist

Eltan had always been taken by the tale of Balduran, and wondered about the man's final fate. When word reached Eltan that the Golden Legion had discovered and conquered Maztica, Eltan's curiosity was piqued, and he decided to find Anchorome.

Eltan bought a fleet of ships and sent several hundred men and women across the seas. The ships stopped in Lantan, where the company split, three ships heading to Chult.

The Chult expedition (150 people led by Beluarion and Nenon) recruited an experienced group of six elven mercenaries to act as guides in Chult. The expedition lost roughly half of its number (including Beluarion) in Chult, but was somewhat successful.

The Anchorome expedition was not as successful, however. This group consisted of four leaders (Scar, Bellan, Desedrak, and Yulimtul) and more than 500 mercenaries. The ships also carried 200 horses and a great deal of equipment.

After the 20-ship fleet left Lantan, it was beset by problems ranging from disease to storms. The company clerics were able to keep disease from taking more than a handful of lives, but three ships were completely lost to storms with no survivors. Unfortunately, one of those ships had been designated a hospital ship and was carrying most of the priests when it went down.

When the ships finally reached the Maztican port of Helmsport/Ulatos, they recruited to replace some of their losses, hiring 60 Eagle Knights who wished to fight for glory and land.

Again, the expedition split, with 225 heading northwest overland into the desert, hoping to find the fabled City of Gold. This group, led by Desedrak and Yulimtul, has not been heard from since, and all attempts at magical and psionic contact have failed.

The rest of the group (roughly 340 people and 150 horses) took 15 ships up the coast from Maztica to explore the coast of Anchorome. Again, the group met with disaster.

The Flaming Fist discovered Itzcali, Realm of the Sea People, when sahuagin from that undersea nation attacked and wrecked a third of their ships, which lay anchored several yards off shore. Some people were rescued, and a number of horses were seen swimming to shore. Scar led the Fist in a brilliant counterattack, driving the sahuagin forces away so the ships could escape the area.

When the expedition moved farther north, they discovered a lush and fertile land devoid of civilization. Moving along the coast, they eventually came to the ruined remains of a small fort with a wooden palisade. Broken weapons, rusted armor, and an old ship's log indicated that this was the probable final resting place of Balduran and his crew.

The members of the Flaming Fist soon discovered the likely cause of Balduran's death when they were attacked by a tribe of savage elves sporting odd haircuts and wearing feathers and paints. At the same time-possibly a coincidence-large whale-like beasts attacked the company's ships and sank them. The members of the company performed a fighting retreat until they escaped the territory of the savages.

Less than 100 members of the expedition survived the retreat; these set up Fort Flame at the mouth of a river that opens into a large bay, which they have named Balduran's Bay.

Scar and a small group of men and women left the encampment, and miraculously made it back to Helmsport, and thence to Baldur's Gate. Eltan may see fit to send reinforcements to the colony, now under Bellan's leadership, and communications have been established through arcane means.

The Flaming Fist's main base is Baldur's Gate, but the company has established secondary bases in Chult and Anchorome, and has an unspecified number of operatives in Tethyr.

Fort Flame holds its leader Bellan (a 10th-level fighter), two rangers, a wizard, five clerics, three thieves (one an assassin), four 6th-level fighters, 17 5th-level fighters, 53 4th-level fighters, and 13 5th-level Eagle Knights (who can change into eagles at will).

Fort Beluarian, on the northern coast of Chult, is supervised by Nenon; she oversees a garrison of three rangers, three wizards (one an assassin), seven priests, two thieves, and 80 fighters (10 6th-level, 20 5th-level, and 50 4th-level).

The main forces in Baldur's Gate are led by Duke Eltan (a 22nd-level fighter), and his assistants Moruene (a 20th-level wizard) and Scar (a 16th-level fighter). All their lieutenants except Koruelve (a 10th level fighter) are dead or on semipermanent assignment, so they have recruited the following new unit leaders, all 9th-level fighters: Lendali Firehair, Herculus the Hammer, Delandria, Morgan Redwing, Skot-sar of Berdusk, and Kalvistalk the Hunter.

The forces in Baldur's Gate include 10 rangers, 10 wizards, 150 priests, 10 assassins (the best of which are a pair of elven wizard-thieves), 15 thieves, and 1,200 fighters (550 3rd-level, 400 4th-level, 150 5th-level, and 50 6th-level).

The Flaming Fist seldom recruits locals for a battle (they hardly need to!), but sometimes hires advisers or guides.

The company is organized along strict military lines. Their symbol is a flaming red fist; it is worn on a white tabard. Strategies and Tactics: The Flaming Fist always leaves part of its number to defend Baldur's Gate, but will accept almost any job that pays enough. They seldom disappoint their clients.

The Flaming Fist is almost unstoppable on a battlefield, and they should make any would-be conquerors pause and consider. Personality: The Flaming Fist is motivated by both gold and glory, though Duke Eltan does prefer to stem chaos rather than promote it.

The Fist negotiates contracts wisely and adheres to them stringently; woe to the employer who tries to cheat them.

The Flaming Fist has a number of powerful enemies, including other mercenary companies, the Zhentarim, and the Cult of the Dragon. Assassination attempts on Eltan and the other leaders are fairly common.

Logistics: The Flaming Fist has spent years collecting items both magical and mundane. Each member has two heavy warhorses, and the company owns several wagons, thousands of mules, and a plethora of magical items.

Hiring the entire Flaming Fist costs 10,000 gp per day, with smaller divisions costing a proportionate amount. The mobilization of the company can bankrupt an area.

The Golden Legion

TypeStanding, fixed
BaseHelmsport in Maztica
Current Sphere(s) of OperationMaztica
LeaderAlanza DaNosta
GovernmentMilitary hierarchy
Number of Members600
General AlignmentNeutral

Note: The Golden Legion and its exploits are covered in the Maztica Campaign Set; FMA1, Fires of Zatal; and the novels Ironhelm, Viperhand, and Feathered Dragon. What follows is a summary of the company's history.

History: The Golden Legion was formed almost two decades ago by a man named Cordell after the destruction of his previous mercenary corps. Learning from past mistakes, Cordell built slowly, devoting much attention to training.

The Golden Legion, consisting of units of crossbowmen, swordsmen, cavalry, spearmen, and longbowmen, won fame along the Sword Coast. Cordell's legion broke the power of one of the most vicious buccaneers of the Pirate Isles, Akbet-Khrul, who was killed by legion crossbowmen in a great battle in Amn. This earned the gratitude of the Council of Amn, who sponsored the Golden Legion's expedition to Maztica.

Cordell used diplomacy, military strength, and magic to conquer the Nexala, the most powerful political entity in Maztica. Many battles took their toll on the Legion, which was almost destroyed in this campaign.

Cordell became Governor-General of the area, which Amn has claimed as a colony. Alanza DaNosta, a greedy and unsavory sort, has been given command of the Golden Legion, which is now the military garrison in Helmsport, the center of commerce with Faerûn.

The group now consists of 100 cavalry, 250 swordsmen, 100 spearmen, 100 bowmen, and 50 crossbowmen.

The Legion's symbol, which is used on its banners, is a golden eagle outlined in black on a field of gold. Some units, particularly cavalry, also have their own symbols.

Strategies and Tactics: The Golden Legion is rapidly losing the elements that make it a mercenary company, instead becoming the legitimate military force of the government of New Amn. Thus, they have little choice in jobs, as they are required to perform guard duty, keep the natives quiet, and so forth.

Though most of the old veterans are now gone, the company still uses good tactics. They will generally soften the enemy with bows and crossbows, then attack with swordsmen and cavalry. Some magic is used as well.

Personality: Though motivated largely by greed, the old Golden Legion had a sense of family to it. As it stands now, the Legion is motivated primarily by a sense of duty toward New Amn. In general, the leadership of the group is corrupt, but many individuals tend to be honest, serious, and honorable. Most still revere Cordell as a great hero.

Most natives in Helmsport/Ulatos dislike the Legion, though many elsewhere remember the Legion's activities in defending both themselves and the Maztican refugees against the beast hordes of Nexala.

Logistics: The Golden Legion is armed with typical, non-magical weapons and armor. Because the region is warm, most have abandoned any steel armor other than breastplates.

The Legion is on retainer to the colonial government of New Amn and is paid by them. They are usually allowed to plunder when used in the field.

Llandrydd's Steel

TypeStanding/recruits, roaming
BaseThe Vilhon Reach
Current Sphere(s) of OperationThe Vilhon Reach, Sea of Fallen Stars
LeaderLlandrydd Wyvernheart
Number of Members233-300
General AlignmentNeutral

Note: Additional information on Llandrydd's group can be found in I14, Swords of the Iron Legion.

History: Llandrydd began as a recruiter, but formed a standing company after an extended period of action.

Llandrydd's band has two units, the Steel (150 men led by the charismatic Llandrydd, a 6th-level fighter), and the Auxiliary (80 pike wielders led by Lonth, a 4th-level fighter). Llandrydd almost always recruits locals to expand his company's ranks before a battle.

Each squad of 10 elects a sergeant; these form a board that is chaired by Llandrydd (Lonth is vice-chairman). The board discusses prospective jobs.

Like the Singing Dawn, Llandrydd's group fought against Yrkhetep.

The corps' sigil is a sword between draped sleeves on a green field.

Strategies and Tactics: In battle, the Steel often wraps around the Auxiliary, whose pikes can attack from the second or third rank. The group is skilled, but does not adapt well to odd situations.

Personality: This corps chooses jobs by profit and contracts for specific time periods. If the job runs long, they will renegotiate and may refuse to renew.

Llandrydd's band is on good terms with the Company of the Singing Dawn and will not fight against them.

Logistics: The men of the Steel wear green chain mail and use both short sword and dagger. The people of the Auxiliary wear leather and carry pikes. Llandrydd's band charges 500 gp per week, half in advance.

The Mindulgulph Mercenary Company

TypeStanding, fixed
BaseMindulgulph Castle near Priapurl
Current Sphere(s) of OperationThe Eastern Shaar and the Great Rift
LeaderGayrlana "Lady Bloodsword"
GovernmentCounciled dictatorship
Number of MembersAbout 200
General AlignmentNeutral

History: The Mindulgulph Company was formed almost 20 years ago by Gayrlana, "Lady Bloodsword," a 12th-level fighter with psionic talents, including contact and mindlink. She has dusky skin and white hair, and rumors persist that she is part drow.

Gayrlana and her adventuring band raided Mindulgulph Castle in their youth and discovered intelligent monsters inside; rather than wiping them out, they recruited most of the creatures and started a mercenary corps.

Most of the company's non-monstrous members are former adventurers who are specialists of some type. There are currently 80 "normal" members, human and near-human warriors of levels 2-5.

The Mindulgulph Company also has around 120 "monster" members. All have at least low intelligence and are non-evil. None are enslaved in any way, but some unintelligent monsters (notably burbur, golems, and rust monsters) are kept as guards and pets.

The company prefers members who can function in human society with a minimum of disruption, though they also have a number of specialists.

Some notable non-humanoid units include squads of blink dogs, centaurs, giff, grippli, kenku, thri-kreen, and wemics. The Company is known to have members from the following races: beholder, belabra, cave fisher, cildabrin, cloaker, githzerai, hengeyokai, loxo, mimic, plasmoid, q'nidar, shambling mound, shocker, sull, tabaxi, treant, and triton. Many others are possible as well.

Human and near-human members are organized into squads of 10, each with a sergeant; the more monstrous members answer directly to Gayrlana.

The Mindulgulph Company is currently employed by the dwarves of the Great Rift to study the likelihood of a war in the Underdark.

Though most of the company is currently several hundred miles from home, its castle is well-guarded by several of the more monstrous members.

Strategies and Tactics: Gayrlana's company prefers unusual, difficult jobs. They are capable in any environment.

Company tactics vary widely, depending on which members are present, but almost always involve subterfuge and ambush if possible. Gayrlana is a tactical genius as well as a telepath, so is very adept at exploiting the strengths of her troops.

Personality: The corps is trustworthy as a whole. On occasions, individual members have caused problems, but Gayrlana takes pains to set things right when such events transpire.

The Company is friendly with most other mercenary corps, though they consider the Blacktalons enemies.

Logistics: The company possesses and uses a wide array of equipment. They have no standard armor or weapons.

Gayrlana uses a special whipsting sword, which does 1d6 damage and may be used as a whip as well. She has a suit of dress plate, but usually wears lighter armor under a gown or cloak.

A mission performed by the company costs a minimum of 500 gp per day, more if large numbers are required.

The Red Raven Mercenary Company

TypeStanding, fixed
Base>Arabel in Cormyr
Current Sphere(s) of OperationCormyr, the Stonelands, Anauroch
LeaderRayanna the Rose
GovernmentDemocratic council
Number of Members110
General AlignmentLawful neutral

History: The Red Ravens were formed by several people who fought in the Horde Wars. After the wars, a few of those who would eventually lead the group pooled their funds to get a royal charter in Cormyr, then asked several friends to join.

The company operates on a system of "one person, one vote." They meet annually to elect an overall leader, and then to choose sergeants for each group of 10. Rayanna the Rose has been leader for over two years now, and her policies are generally well-received.

The group works mostly for the Cormyrian government or for Cormyrian merchants. They have recently worked to "clean up" the Stonelands, and have seen some action in Anauroch and against the Zhentarim.

The company's symbol is an amulet showing a red raven.

Strategies and Tactics: The Red Ravens prefer government jobs, such as fighting bandits or goblinoids.

Their battlefield tactics are fairly simple and straightforward, though they will engage in an occasional ambush.

Personality: As one of the few groups in Cormyr with a "license to pillage," the Red Ravens are very careful to not do anything to lose their charter. They never cheat clients.

Logistics: Most Red Ravens carry swords and wear studded leather. They charge 200 gp per week.

The Renegades

TypeStanding, roaming
Current Sphere(s) of OperationChessenta
GovernmentMilitary hierarchy
Number of Members200
General AlignmentNeutral (evil)

History: The Renegades are human males from Akanax, city of soldiers. They chose exile from their home so they could earn gold as well as glory.

The Renegades' leader, Helyos, a 14th-level fighter, is considered one of the toughest and meanest fighters in Chessenta. In a recent tournament, he nearly won the throne of Mourktar. The company comprises 70 cavalry (3rd-level fighters led by the 10th-level Pyrimestes), 20 infantry (2nd-level fighters led by the 7th-level Themis), and 90 archers (1st-level fighters led by the 9th-level Hamilcar). There are also six scouts and 10 low-level mages in the company.

Strategies and Tactics: The corps will take any job if the price is right.

On the battlefield, the Renegades will do whatever it takes to win. The mages and archers generally soften the enemy before the infantry engages, which allows the cavalry to sweep in for the kill.

Personality: The Renegades are known for ruthlessness and excessive pillaging. They are unscrupulous and will twist the spirit of agreements with employers. They have many enemies, but are on good terms with several pirate bands.

Logistics: The infantry uses chain mail, shield, and long sword, while the archers use leather armor, long bow, and broadsword. Cavalry uses heavy warhorses, plate mail, lance, and shield. The corps charges 200 gp per week.

The Sailors of the Crimson Sea

TypeStanding, roaming
Current Sphere(s) of OperationChessenta, Chondath
LeaderLhrek Jarsyn
GovernmentMilitary hierarchy
Number of Members185
General AlignmentLawful neutral

History: This group's name is a metaphor: "the crimson sea" is a bloody battlefield, and "sailors" are soldiers.

Formed only a few years ago by a man named Bendix, the Sailors of the Crimson Sea have seen many hardships. In the recent battle of Thurgabanteth in Chondath, the company lost many of its fighters, including Bendix.

After a political fight for leadership between Lhrek Jarsyn (7th-level fighter) and Iurnan Chall (7th-level wizard), Lhrek became leader, Chall his top adviser. They have three lieutenants.

Chard leads the cavalry (60 2nd-level warriors); Masoth leads the infantry (20 2nd-level fighters and 60 4th-level fighters); and Vidad leads the archers (40 1st-level warriors).

Strategies and Tactics: The Sailors prefer to be on the right side of a conflict, but never work for free.

Once in combat, the company employs good tactics, though morale has a tendency to be low because of the politics among the leaders.

Personality: The Sailors always hold up their end of a bargain. They have a few enemies, mostly evil groups. They are careful in forests because of a past encounter with treants in the Chondalwood.

Logistics: Cavalry uses plate mail, shield, and lance; infantry, plate or chain mail, shield, and long sword; and archers, leather armor and long bows. The sailors ask 250 gp per week.

The Society of the Sword

TypeStanding, fixed
BaseCimbar in Chessenta
Current Sphere(s) of OperationChessenta, the Vilhon Reach
GovernmentMilitary hierarchy
Number of Members1,020
General AlignmentLawful neutral

History: The Society of the Sword is the largest and oldest mercenary group in Chessenta. Formed nearly a century ago, the company's leadership has passed through many hands.

The current leader is Stilmus, 15th-level fighter and scarred veteran of many conflicts. His lieutenants are Belvorides, a 12th-level mage, who leads five 5th-level and 10 3rd-level mages; Aronidas, an 8th-level elven fighter/mage, who leads the archer unit (200 2nd-level warriors); Artema, female 9th-level half-elven fighter, who leads the infantry corps (100 4th-level fighters and 500 2nd-level fighters); and Marcellus, 8th-level fighter, who leads the cavalry unit (200 4th-level warriors).

Within each unit, each squad of 10 has a sergeant, and each platoon of five squads has a captain. These leaders are chosen by Stilmus and his lieutenants from the best leaders in each unit. The Society of the Sword has gained fame for its activities in Chessenta and its neighboring areas. They have often been called upon to break the strength of one pirate clan or another.

Strategies and Tactics: The Society prefers high-prestige jobs. They will not fight against weak opponents.

Stilmus and his lieutenants are great tacticians, and the company is deadly on the battlefield. Stilmus is also a fine strategist, and tries to engage the enemy in advantageous situations.

The Society of the Sword never indulges in looting; any individual caught doing so is permanently expelled from the company.

Personality: The Society of the Sword believes that good mercenaries should be worth twice the price they charge. The members of this group are proud warriors, but are less interested in glory than in doing a good job. They practice constantly to hone their skills, and all members specialize in the use of the long sword.

Stilmus is obsessed with honor. Once an agreement is made, he will uphold it, both in letter and in spirit. If another party tries to cheat him or his company, he considers this a challenge to his honor, something he takes very seriously. Stilmus has fought many duels to defend his honor, and on occasion has dragged his company along on a quest for vengeance.

Stilmus hates Helyos, leader of the Renegades, because Helyos tried to kill him to gain control of a mercenary company in which they both served. Stilmus looks forward to a time when the Society of the Sword can eliminate the Renegades and Helyos.

Logistics: All members of the Society carry long swords. Members of the cavalry and infantry units wear plate mail and carry shields. The archers wear studded leather and carry long bows in addition to their long swords. The cavalry unit uses heavy warhorses.

The company charges 1,500 gp per week, or 300 gp per day for shorter jobs. Employers are also expected to pay any expenses for transportation, food, and additional equipment.

The Society keeps wills for its members, paying shares to the beneficiaries of slain members.

The Veterans' Guild of Ravens Bluff

TypeStanding/recruits, fixed
BaseRavens Bluff
Current Sphere(s) of OperationSea of Fallen Stars, the Vast
LeaderGiovanni the Drake
GovernmentMilitary hierarchy
Number of Members300-500
General AlignmentNeutral

History: Giovanni the Drake is a human 5th-level fighter/8th-level bard who started a guild in Ravens Bluff for the veterans of the Horde wars.

Giovanni is assisted by a four-person staff: Borg Doon, his second-in-command; Dag Silverbrow, tactician; Nyssa, strategist; and Mario the Axe, logistics officer. There are also five unit commanders who were chosen by their units.

Standard fighting units are infantry (100 1st-level warriors); archers (100 3rd-level fighters); cavalry (50 2nd-level fighters); wizards (20 mages, levels 2-5). The fifth unit consists of 15 priests (mainly healers) and 10 bards who form a musical corps to inspire the troops before they enter battle.

The Veterans are employed mostly to keep the free cities safe from pirates.

Strategies and Tactics: The Veterans prefer to work for local governments and merchants. While the Drake himself is not an expert in military matters, he has gathered a staff which is.

Personality: This company is motivated primarily by a desire for enough gold to live on. They never betray clients and have not been in existence long enough to make enemies.

Logistics: The Veterans have a variety of arms and equipment, though their standard is scale mail and long sword.

The company charges 1 gp per person per day when on a job.

Organizations of Faerûn
Lands of Faerûn