Gold & Glory
by Tim Beach
- Chapter 1: Mercenaries in the Realms
- Chapter 2: Standing Companies
- Chapter 3: Nonhuman Companies
- Chapter 4: Regional Companies
- Chapter 5: Specialists
- Chapter 6: Retired Companies
- Chapter 7: Recruiters
- Chapter 8: Adventuring Companies
- Chapter 9: Current Events
- Index of Mercenary Companies by Region
Chapter 8: Adventuring Companies
As mentioned earlier, adventuring companies often interact with mercenary companies. Many are actually smaller versions of true mercenary groups, the real difference being that mercenary companies tend to be larger and better organized.
Large mercenary forces might sometimes recruit smaller adventuring bands for special missions, perhaps even keeping them on retainer for an extended period of time.
In addition, adventuring groups can serve as "seeds" for mercenary companies, either growing by adding permanent members, or recruiting temporary forces.
In order to provide examples for DMs, a few special cases are covered briefly in this chapter.
Companies in Other Sources
Many other products in the FORGOTTEN REALMS(r) game line describe adventuring companies. Especially notable are the Campaign Set, the Adventures hardcover, and this book's predecessors in the "FR" line. If DMs wish to use those companies with mercenary groups, or as allies or adversaries for the PCs in a campaign, those sources should be consulted.
Where Are They Now?
The adventuring groups of the Realms are constantly growing, changing, moving, and ceasing to exist. DMs should feel free to use adventuring groups anywhere they fit.
There are a few companies in the Realms that are in a transitional state, not quite mercenary corps, and not quite adventuring companies. A few samples are offered here.
This adventuring group consists of eight rather unique members: three elves, including a blade bard, a bladesinger fighter/mage, and a wilderness ranger; a tabaxi, an aarakocra, and a hengeyokai cat; a gnomish priest with mechanical parts; and a human militant wizard.
Most of the members worked with mercenary companies, primarily the Mindulgulph corps. Because they understand the operations of mercenary units, they are trusted by several corps and often hired for special missions.
The Knights of Myth Drannor
This famous group is described in the FORGOTTEN REALMS(r) Campaign Set and in FR7, Hall of Heroes.
Though still known for their adventuring, the Knights of Myth Drannor have produced two very skilled mercenary recruiters in priests Jelde Asturien and Doust Sulwood.
Doust lives in Arabel and has a Cormyrian royal charter for a mercenary corps. He usually recruits individuals for special missions, rather than for full companies. He prefers not to take the field, but would possibly do so in case of a great emergency.
Jelde is a prominent member of the clergy of Lathander in Eveningstar. On occasion, however, he has been known to work with the Company of the Singing Dawn, or to gather a band himself and venture into the Stonelands.
The Knights of the Unicorn
This group, headquartered in Baldur's Gate (see the FORGOTTEN REALMS Adventures hardcover) has recently begun leading a mercenary corps.
The Knights recently had the opportunity to ferret out a group of bandits that operated along the Sword Coast. When the time came for the final assault on the bandit stronghold, the Knights gathered a small corps of mercenary infantry, including a number of rangers and rogues. After the successful raid, the Knights kept much of the band together (perhaps 50 people).
Like the adventuring group for which it is named, the Knights of the Unicorn mercenary company is dedicated to helping the needy and rescuing all in need of aid. Most worship, or at least revere, Lurae, queen of talking beasts and intelligent creatures.
Though the group continues to do good deeds, the wanderlust, desire for adventure, and whimsical nature of the original Knights may cause the corps to fragment before too long.
The Purple Flame
This company, described in the FORGOTTEN REALMS Campaign Set, seems to be growing into a mercenary company.
The Purple Flame, based near Soubar, which is between Scornubel and Waterdeep, has made a living for several seasons by guarding caravans. The group has always been primarily warriors, with some magical support.
They have recruited new members recently, and they now number more than 100 mounted warriors. They are on the verge of creating a mercenary charter, because the group has outgrown its previous form of government.