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 9: Current Events
Throughout the Realms, time marches on and things constantly change. This section offers an update of recent events in the Realms, specifically in reference to mercenaries.
Several special groups in the Realms interact with mercenaries. Some are subtle manipulators, while others will blatantly hire mercenary corps to do their bidding. The Realms Campaign Set and the Adventures hardcover provide details on several of the groups mentioned in the following text.
The Harpers, the Cult of the Dragon, and the Lords of Waterdeep all are careful to not expose themselves. They seldom hire mercenary bands to do their bidding and never do so directly. Mercenary bands hired by members of these groups will seldom be aware of their true masters.
The Zhentarim often acts in subtle ways using individual operatives, but agents have been known to hire large groups of mercenaries for large jobs.
Similarly, the Red Wizards of Thay sometimes hire mercenary corps for specific purposes. More often, however, they dominate humanoids or monsters, or raise an army of undead, to do their bidding in large scale action.
Other, less influential groups, like the Shadowcloaks of Calaunt or Twilight Hall in Berdusk, might hire mercenary groups to perform tasks that would endanger their operation.
Each group has its own interests, which will create unique experiences for mercenaries and adventurers.
Many opportunities for the adventuresome have come with the opening of the Hordelands, Kara-Tur, and Maztica to the people of Faerûn. There is currently a drain on the fighting forces of Faerûn as people succumb to the urge to travel and explore. As other exotic areas are discovered by travelers from Faerûn, this trend will continue, with individuals and governments exploring or trying to establish colonies.
There is also an influx of veterans from these areas. These people have explored the strange lands and fought in the wars, and are now ready for adventure in Faerûn.
In Faerûn itself, there are a number of "hot spots." There are many minor powers in these areas, and they may have trouble paying mercenaries.
In the North, orcs are building hordes, while barbarians are fighting or leaving their tribes to make their ways in civilization. In Tethyr, the loss of the royal family has thrown things into chaos. In Chessenta and along the Vilhon Reach, political instability causes almost constant warfare.
Because of the Pirate Isles off the Sword Coast and in the Sea of Fallen Stars, coastal powers will always need protection, or wish to "end the pirate menace once and for all."
Chult is being explored; there are rumors of a coming war in the Underdark gates to the nether planes allow invasions; and there are petty merchant wars throughout the Realms.
All these events, plus the existence of ruined keeps and lost treasures throughout the Realms, should provide enough excitement to keep mercenaries and adventurers quite busy.