Gold & Glory

by Tim Beach

Chapter 5: Specialists

This chapter details several mercenary bands that specialize in some way, either by task or by weapon. These companies sometimes form when units split off from armies or larger corps. Others are created by charismatic individuals who are expert at some task. Whatever the case, there are several specialist companies in the Realms.

Certain corps can be found on maneuvers with larger bands that require their services; specialists are sometimes hired by other mercenary corps for a given task. Some operate only independently.

Like other groups, the specialist companies can be used in adventures. The PCs will run across a group or one of its members, or a group might try to recruit one of the PCs.

The Companies

Some of the entries in this section appear in abbreviated format.

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 Company of Hunnar

TypeStanding, fixed
BaseRiatavin in Amn
Current Sphere(s) of OperationTethyr
Number of Members200
General AlignmentNeutral

History: At the market in Riatavin, where almost anything can be bought and sold, there is a small booth where the wealthy can purchase a way past the walls of cities and castles.

The Company of Hunnar specializes in sieges and almost always works in concert with an army or other mercenary group. Its members are split into three units: 100 0-level men-at-arms to operate siege weaponry, such as catapults, ballistae, rams, and bores; 50 1st-level fighters and thieves adept at getting over castle walls, with ladders, siege towers, and other means; and 50 0-level sappers who dig underneath.

The company charges by the type of job: 200 gp for a keep, 500 gp for a castle, and 1,000-2,000 gp for a city. For a consulting fee of 500 gp, one or two company experts will advise castle owners and city councils on ways to protect themselves from siege warfare.

The Dark Watch

TypeStanding, fixed
BaseThe Orsraun Mountains
Current Sphere(s) of OperationThe Sea of Fallen Stars
LeaderLothar Pelamar
GovernmentMilitary hierarchy
Number of Members20
General AlignmentNeutral evil

History: The Dark Watch is a group of human archers mounted on hippogriffs. They participated on the losing side in the wars of Yrkhetep detailed in I14, Swords of the Iron Legion. The original leader of the group, Lothar's brother Thurindar, was slain in the Battle of Five Crowns by a member of the Sunshafts (see the Company of the Singing Dawn).

The Dark Watch is an unscrupulous corps that earns 100 gp per day attacking pirate bands at the behest of rival pirates.

The Destroyers

TypeStanding, roaming
BaseHalabar in Halruaa
Current Sphere(s) of OperationTethyr
LeaderDaltim Flamefist
GovernmentOligarchic council
Number of Members50
General AlignmentLawful neutral

History: The Destroyers are an artillery company that uses magic as well as normal weaponry.

There are 30 wizards and psionicists (levels 2-9) in the corps, each specialized in destructive disciplines. The company's leader, Daltim Flamefist, is a 14th level fire mage with wild psionic talents.

The remaining 20 members of the Destroyers are 1st-level fighters who man catapults and other large weapons. Strategies and Tactics: This corps usually acts as artillery support for other armies. They take some jobs as besiegers, but prefer to be in the field.

The mages and psionicists of the Destroyers use their extranatural abilities to eliminate their foes from a distance, or to soften them for the attacks of the main body.

Personality: The Destroyers will honor any contract they have made. However, once the contract has expired, they have been known to accept contracts calling for them to attack former employers. The Destroyers have a special hatred for the Red Wizards of Thay, though the reasons are not known to the public. The Destroyers will accept any contract against Thay for as low as half-price.

Logistics: The Destroyers are armed with a variety of weapons, including catapults and ballistae. Most of their elite carry magical or psionically endowed items as well.

The company charges 750 gp per day.

The Masquerade

TypeStanding, fixed
Current Sphere(s) of OperationAll of Faerûn
LeaderAquila Gerallin
GovernmentCell structure (each member knows only two others and the immediate superior)
Number of Members? (100 +)
General AlignmentNeutral

History: The Masquerade is a company of professional spies and infiltrators. It employs a large number of informants who remain isolated from the rest of the company; the true members of the Masquerade work undercover. All are prevented from accidental exposure by mental blocks implanted by a high-level psionicist.

Their leader is a doppelganger who seldom wears the same face twice.

Little is known about this shady group. Their workings were first uncovered about 25 years ago. The company's true numbers are unknown, but they have a hand in many major events in Faerûn.

Most company members are human thieves and wizards, but there is a fair mix of every character class and race.

The members of the Masquerade have a universal set of five (or more?) signs by which they may recognize one another while on jobs.

Strategies and Tactics: This corps takes only missions that require infiltration and spying. Many poisonings are attributed to the Masquerade.

The only time they are involved in battle is to break sieges; they are expert at opening castles.

The members of the Masquerade go to great lengths to protect their identities, using poison or stun gas when cornered.

Personality: The Masquerade are primarily information gatherers, and will record any knowledge gained. They are perhaps the best spy ring on Toril, and will not betray any contract, unless they themselves are betrayed.

The Masquerade are reasonably honorable and seem to have no dark, hidden motives. They have few enemies, only those who have started hostilities with them.

The Masquerade has apparently infiltrated many governments and several other mercenary companies in preparation for potential future jobs.

Logistics: The services of the Masquerade cost 100 gp per day, adjusted for the difficulty of the mission, and are well worth the price.

The Order of the Silver Lance

TypeStanding, fixed
BaseOrmath in the Shining Plains
Current Sphere(s) of OperationThe Shining Plains, Amn, Tethyr
LeaderThorivald the Grey
GovernmentMilitary hierarchy
Number of Members100
General AlignmentLawful neutral

History: The Order of the Silver Lance is a corps of medium cavalry. They carry distinctive, silver-tipped lance and fly a silver banner with a black charger on it.

The company acts independently or with other mercenary companies, generally guarding trade routes in and around Amn.

The Order's leader, Thorivald, is a 10th level paladin, and most of his riders are 5th-level fighters, rangers, and paladins. They are very trustworthy and will not work for evil employers. They prefer jobs with honor and glory.

The Order charges 100 gp per day.

The Sisterhood of the Oaks

TypeStanding, fixed
BaseThe Chondalwood
Current Sphere(s) of OperationThe Chondalwood, the Vilhon Reach
LeaderAdriennedar Valgarien
Number of Members60
General AlignmentNeutral good

History: The Sisterhood is a group of 5th-level female rangers that participated in the Yrkhetep wars detailed in I14, Swords of the Iron Legion. These humans, elves, and half-elves are all expert trackers, scouts, and archers. They use long bows and long swords, and all carry amethyst dragon scales, or teyastones, for luck and to symbolize their love for one another.

The Sisters are vegetarians who refuse to harm fish, birds, and other "children of nature."

Adriennedar is a 7th-level ranger, as are her closest assistants, Rebecca, Jacinda, Aleesa, and Anwyn. The group lives in tents in the Chondalwood. For 1 gp per person per week, the Sisters will hire themselves out as escorts, scouts, or a special attack force.

The Windriders

TypeStanding, fixed
BaseArrabar in Chondath
Current Sphere(s) of OperationNone
LeaderBren Wingblade
GovernmentMilitary hierarchy
Number of Members20
General AlignmentLawful good

History: This group of griffon-mounted cavalry has all but retired after traveling to Hades to fight the forces of the arcanaloth Yrkhetep. They are a distinguished group, proud and honorable. They now fight only for glory.

The Wraith of the Inner Sea

TypeStanding, roaming
BaseThe Sea of Fallen Stars
Current Sphere(s) of OperationThe Sea of Fallen Stars
LeaderKreodo the "Sea Queen"
GovernmentNaval hierarchy
Number of Members751
General AlignmentNeutral

Note: The Wraith and its leader are described in FR10, Old Empires. What follows is an update of statistics and recent history.

History: The Wraith of the Inner Sea is a long-standing fleet of privateers. They ply the Sea of Fallen Stars in their huge dromonds, fighting pirates or raiding shipping for the highest bidder.

The Wraith fleet consists of three ships: the Sea Queen, the Sea Horse, and the SeaQuest. A fourth ship, the Sea Jewel, was scuttled with the loss of all hands by the former mercenary unit now known as the Agency. Each ship holds 200 crew members, 50 marines, and seven wizards (levels 3-9). The Sea Queen is Kreodo's flagship.

Kreodo is a half-orc 9th-level fighter, 6th-level thief. Her officers include several mid- to high-level fighters and thieves. If kits are used, the pirate and swashbuckler kits are most appropriate.

Kreodo is a vicious opponent, but if foes surrender, she treats them with courtesy until they can be returned home (hopefully in exchange for a good ransom). Her officers are generally unscrupulous, but are devoted to Kreodo and follow her orders to the letter.

The Wraith charges 250 gp per ship per week of activity and expects her employers to repair any damage. She is still waiting for Turmish to replace her lost ship.

Zahara's Krakens

TypeStanding, roaming
BaseThe Sword Coast
Current Sphere(s) of OperationThe Sword Coast
LeaderZahara the Shark
GovernmentNaval hierarchy
Number of Members250
General AlignmentChaotic good

History: Zahara's Krakens have a lucrative business protecting shipping along the Sword Coast, attacking pirate bands, and occasionally raiding a port in Tethyr. They ask 500 gp per week or any portion thereof, half in advance, and they demand land-based assistance when attacking a port.

When raiding a port, the Krakens keep destruction and killing to a minimum, and they will not even loot unless they are convinced they are somehow serving a good purpose, such as ending the reign of an evil lord.

The Krakens have a fleet of five small, fast ships. Each has a crew of 15 and carries 30 marines (3rd-level fighters or fighter-thieves) and five spellcasters (wizards or priests of level 3-8). If kits are used in the game, all Zahara's crew use the swashbuckler kit.

One of Zahara's ships is equipped with a spelljamming helm, a fact not known to the general public. If the Krakens get into trouble, the ship will launch into the air, allowing an aerial assault or a quick escape, at least for a few of the mercenaries.

The Krakens are mercenaries for glory, travel, and the thrill of adventure. They enjoy high-risk missions because of the stories they can tell later.

Many members of Zahara's crew are considered folk heroes by the people in the port cities of the Sword Coast, a reputation the crew goes to great lengths to protect.

Organizations of Faerûn
Lands of Faerûn