Orders and Guilds

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Note - The organizations on this page may only exist during certain periods in Eradain history.

Mercenary Companies

Mercenaries Guild

Add notes about the Mercenaries Guild, organization, contracts, standard practices.

Black Legion Mercenaries

The Black Legion mercenary company was inspired by the Black Company books by Glen Cook.

Symbol: A Black Rose.

The Black Legion is a mercenary company that is primarily composed of 'adventurer party' teams. They are a brotherhood of adventurers with a common code of honoring their contracts. Membership provides reputational benefits and some accorded protections granted under the code of laws governing the mercenary business. They also provide training, training facilities, labs, infirmaries, banking arrangements, legal representation, etc. They also will have negotiated contract prices with certain guilds, or have established agreements to provide services at inns, etc. Each adventuring company will typically call itself a 'squad' and may also have its own name.

Members of the Black Legion learn a set of codes using words and hand gestures that they can use to communicate basic information to other members. This code is called "Battle Cant" and is similar in theory to Thieves Cant, but is oriented more towards battle tactics than thievery. This can be used to give silent commands, indicate danger or treachery, give secret greetings and identifications, or help cause confusion among foes (such as shouting "retreat" and actually giving a code for the reverse to "charge"). Only very basic one, two or three word codes are possible.

Structure

The Black Legion is ruled by a three person council each called "Captain" and representing a branch of the mercenary company, the Warriors (fighters), the Saboteurs (rogues, bards, etc.), and Savants (spell casters).

There are three general levels of membership or ranks within the organization. These ranks are informal and the organization is loose. In any contract where multiple adventuring companies are in operation the command structure is haggled out among the members before signing the contract. Initiates are the lowest ranked members and might not be part of an adventuring company. They typically fill the support roles and contracts of more traditional mercenaries while looking to join or form adventuring companies. Journeymen are the backbone of the Black Legion. All Journeymen obtain a magical tattoo (a variation of a Mark spell) with the black rose symbol of The Black Legion. They are usually part of established and successful adventuring parties and may give orders to Initiates. Legionnaire is the title given to the most senior and successful within the organization. Frequently the Legionnaires will establish new enclaves and become leaders of other Journeymen groups. For example, a Black Legion Enclave may take the form of a fortified inn with 4-5 Legionnaires, 5-20 Journeyman and 5-20 Initiates, any number of which may be away working on contracts or independent endeavors.

The Tale of the Black Legion

Long ago, the Danrae Empire conquered the Angharad clans in the lands of Eradain. The Legion of the Rose occupied the city of Medrius as one of the southern most outposts of the Empire in Eradain. Decades after the Legion first came to Medrius, forces of corruption and decadence within the Danrae Empire, fermenting for centuries, spilled out into a civil war of succession. Quickly the civil war was followed by uprisings in other captured territories which had long chafed under the yoke of the Empire. By this time, many of the Legionnaires had established families in Medrius and the Legion had come to be grudgingly respected by the local Angharad people due to the wise and just Rulership of the Legion's Commander/Governors. In the wake of the chaos caused by the civil war within the Empire, bureaucrats within the Empire, already skimming funds for years began wholesale embezzlement of monies and supplies meant to support the Legions stationed in foreign territories.

For over a year the Legion of the Rose hung on in Medrius with no pay or re-supply, in the face of hostile Angharad clansmen, grown bold with the news of the Empire's internal conflicts. Finally after months with no word from home, or any response to the Legion Commanders many requests for support, a messenger arrived with orders that the Legion of the Rose immediately quit the city of Medrius and march for Danrae. Though the hardiness and discipline of the Legion was legendary, the Commander was not going to march through mountain passes with winter approaching and no guarantee of supplies available along the way. The Commander penned a note for the messenger to take back indicating that the Rose Legion would take the pay of a local Angharad clan ally in an upcoming conflict and use the funds to finance the march home.

In the spring, as the Legion of the Rose made ready to leave the place it had called home for so long, the Commanders message was returned with a reply that any Legionnaires taking pay from any source other than the Empire would be branded traitors or a 'black legion'. The Commander of the Legion of the Rose, infuriated by the hardships they were expected to endure, invoked an ancient military code of actions that soldiers may take when betrayed by their superiors. In a unanimous vote among the Legionnaires they officially broke ties with the Empire. Instead of being shamed by the title 'black legion', they took it as their new name in an act of rebellious pride.

The Black Legion, now a mercenary company, was hired by the Angharad clan they had long been allied with. The Black Legion survived for many years during the Shattering of the Empire and the dark age that followed until the Plague of Shadow struck the lands during a time called The Cold Years. Hordes of shadow creatures lay siege to Medrius, and The Black Legion mercenaries stood side by side with a band of local legendary heroes defending the city. During final battle of the Plague of Shadow the Legion was decimated, only one quarter survived and the Commander of The Black Legion lay dead. The remaining survivors of the Legion once again voted as had become tradition and the leader of the cadre of heroes that had fought with them was elected as their new Commander.

From that time till now The Black Legion has slowly evolved into a brotherhood of adventurers more than just a military force. Although still officially a mercenary company, and bound by the codes of the Mercenary's Guild, The Black Legion members now pursue their own goals as much as hiring out their services.

The Black Legion

Silver Daggers

Skybolts

Angharad Militant Organization The Fianna

The Fianna is a loosely organized Angharad militia force dedicated to the defense of the Angharad people. The Fianna, as individuals or small bands, travel the land and act as both a roving police force and as military first responders. Many seek to join their ranks as a way to earn a reputation or fame. Becoming a member of the Fianna is an honor that must be earned by winning the top spots in an competition designed to test the skills and mettle of the participants. Those who win the competition and wish to become Fianna will be given a bronze armband as a symbol of their membership.

Fianna are generally ranked by the armbands that they wear. Normal members wear the bronze or copper armbands and leaders wear silver or gold. The ranking is awarded by existing Fianna leadership based on accomplishments and leadership ability. Those seeking higher rank in the organization must be strong and exhibit qualities such as bravery, they must have leadership ability (other Fianna are willing to follow their lead), they must have another skill or craft, and they must be able to cite significant amounts of Fianna Lore.

Fianna lore is filled with exploits and adventures, about small groups beating the odds, heroic accomplishments, sacrifice and standing up for justice. Many tales are just good hero stories about members (real or fictional), others are metaphors for proper behavior and others are situational or illustrate tactics and strategies.

Fianna Pledge

  • Defend the Angharad people.
  • Support the Angharad Way of Life and the laws and precepts of the Circle.
  • Be the first to answer the call to arms to defend from external threats.
  • Remain neutral in conflicts between clans, but do not stand aside to injustice.
  • Fianna may hold no lands or titles

Fianna Advantages and Bonuses

Being a member of the Fianna provides a certain amount of prestige and general autonomy (even if you belong to an opposing clan you will generally be given safe passage through enemy territory). A member of the Fianna “on duty” can generally count on a night’s free room and board wherever they travel.The Fianna are famed for their physical and martial prowess. They known to be able to cover long distances on foot over any terrain in very quick time. They use a technique called "Fianna Pace" which is a combination of walking and hustling and using forced marches (while in light armor/light encumbrance only). Members of the Fianna receive a bonus on any constitution based endurance checks related to long distance movement on foot. Experienced members of the Fianna also receive a bonus to any skill or ability checks associated with finding the shortest path/best route from one location to another in lands they are familiar with (bonuses are typically +2 to +5 depending on rank and experience).

Estimated Numbers

There are roughly 1,000 active Fianna and approximately 50 new members are added annually. About 75% of the ranks are Bronze Armband, 20% are Silver Armband and 5% are Golden Armband.

Angharad Religious Militant Orders

Hunters of Arawn

Militant Order dedicated to Arawn. See Arawn under Angharad Pantheon.

Symbol: Antlered Head of Arawn

The Hunters of Arawn are headquartered at the Sanctuary of Arawn. They consist of some of the best forest rangers in the world and offer militant training to its membership. Typical members are rangers but also include fighters, rogues and druids, particularly those who specialize in stealth or scouting. The Hunters are forest "special forces" that may be called upon by the Circle or important/respected priests of Arawn.

Many Hunters are focused as monster slayers defending the Angharad people in general or Sanctuary of Arawn in particular and roaming the land pursuing their favored enemies. Some Hunters are more dedicated to the justice or retribution and vengeance aspects of Arawn. Those who feel wronged may petition Arawn for justice and the priest receiving the petition may decide to send a Hunter to right a wrong or bring justice. If approved by Arawn (according to the priest interpreting the signs), then the Hunters may take on the cause. A Hunter may seek out those who have committed crimes and evaded justice, or who (due to their personal power or influence) may be beyond normal justice. They sometimes act as bounty hunters or assassins (as long as they see the cause as just in Arawn's eyes).

Hunters of Arawn Advantages and Bonuses

The Hunters of Arawn have an informal network of agents and contacts, typically persons who have been aided by a Hunter in the past (either saved or were able to obtain justice or vengeance through a Hunter's efforts). At just about any rural location there is likely to be an agent or contact with local knowledge who will have a friendly reaction to a Hunter and be able to provide information. A number of these agents provide regular information and updates to the network.

Danrae Religious Militant Orders

Knights of the Horn

Militant Order dedicated to Heimdal. See Heimdal under the Danrae Pantheon.

Symbol: A Curved Horn

Structure The Knights of the Horn are a religious order of paladins and clerics of Heimdal. The order was founded when... (under construction). The Knights often act as protectors of important religious leaders or holy relics. As clerics of Heimdal they are steadfast and imposing guardians who will defend their charges with their lives.

In addition to any powers granted to priests of Heimdal, a Knight of the Horn gain the following abilities and penalties:

  • Knights are rarely surprised (are given bonuses to spot or other abilities relevant to the RPG system being used), but because of their gleaming white plate mail and up front credo of battle, a Knight will rarely surprise a foe (are given penalties to stealth or other abilities relevant to the RPG system being used).
  • Knights of the Horn, due to many long hours singing the praises of Heimdal while at weapons practice, also have access to the unique ability Battle Chant (granted a combat bonus while chanting, similar to D&D xth edition 2nd level cleric spell Chant, except that a Knight of the Horn may use this while in combat).
  • A Knight, while invoking the special protection bonus granted to regular clerics also temporarily gain (a feat or ability granting multiple attacks of opportunity).

The Knights are an entirely male order, and the few priestesses of Heimdal have not sought entry. The Knights however are allied with the Order of Sif, an all female warrior and clerical order and both organizations have an intense rivalry with the Tempus Knights. Many of its members are of the lower nobility and the upper merchant class, but all must be truly devout to Heimdal in order to gain entry. The Knights also hold to a little known tradition that if a Knight dies while defending a charge that is of selection age, that charge would be sponsored into the Knights. More than one young commoner has gained entry into the knights this way and many have been ranked among the Knights greatest heroes.

Currently the Knights are not what they once were. In the past administrative positions were filled with Knights that were wounded in battle and needed extended time to recover from their injuries. Often older veterans, who were not ready to seek death in battle but were to old to stay in the field for extended periods also filled these positions. Over time however, many of these key positions have been filled permanently by Knights from wealthy families. There is even a movement within the Order to have new non-combatant members, and pressure to elevate leaders who tend to "oversee" battles from the rear. These changes are causing a widening gap within the ranks of the Order. Some see this change as a huge benefit as the Order has been prospering with the connections brought by the upper class administrators. Others view these changes as a betrayal of the core values which founded the Order and worry that they may lose favor with Heimdal. Some have even claimed that this has already happened, and that fallen clerics even now are within the Order, but no formal accusations or inquiries have been made.

Tenets The Knights hold to the common belief among the Danrae that they must die in combat to enter Valhalla. However, the Knights also seek to be among those chosen to stand at Heimdal's side at Ragnorok. In order to earn that honor they believe they must complete a series of goals or quests, which are selected by each individual when they are elevated to Knighthood. Called the Life Quest by the Knights, and called the Death Quest by others (because so many knights die attempting to complete them), two of the goals commonly chosen by Knights are slaying a giant in single combat and obtaining or creating a unique horn which is the symbol of both the Order and of Heimdal. Knights of the Horn are particularly reverent of the horn's that were carried by past Knights. They believe that the spirit of the previous owner will watch over the Knight in life and will be the first to greet him upon entering Valhalla. Often as part of their Quests, Knights will enhance the horns that they carry, adding new engravings, inlays and even magical enchantments. It is not uncommon for an old horn to hold strong magical powers, but the knowledge of how to use them has been lost upon the deaths of the previous owners.

The Knights also believe that they will be armed and armored in Valhalla with the equipment gathered during the course of their lives. Whenever possible a Knight is interred with all of their equipment, save their horn which is usually passed on to another Knight. Generally, reverent members of the Danrae religion respect this belief and will not loot and will even help to protect the belongings of a fallen Knight. Those who view the Knights as enemies and know about this belief will actively strip a dead Knight naked in order to deprive them of arms in the afterlife.

Tempus Knights

Militant Order dedicated to Tempus. See Tempus under the Danrae Pantheon.

Symbol: A Flaming Axe

Order of Sif

Militant Order dedicated to Sif. See Sif under the Danrae Pantheon.

Symbol: A Winged Sword

Justicars of Tyr

Militant Order dedicated to Sif. See Tyr under the Danrae Pantheon.

Symbol: The Sword and Scale of Tyr

Harad Fire Mages

Iron Tower Mages