Snippets from Calteir: Morensian mercenary traditions

Illustration of warhammerIn Morensia, mercenaries are fairly common. In fact, it is arguable that Morensia was founded by mercenaries. Many large towns will have hundreds of mercenaries headquartered in them, usually in several large or many small companies.

Since the reign of Thardan IV, mercenaries are required to register with the overarching Mercenaries’ Guild. Also, by considerably more ancient tradition, mercenaries in Morensia are required to keep headquarters in one or another town. This has the political effect of preventing them from being completely mobile, and thus of giving them a vested interest in maintaining at least a modicum of loyalty to the local lord. This makes Morensian mercenaries less likely to be trouble-makers rampaging through the countryside and deposing lords when they see fit.

It is quite common that a company of mercenaries has multiple squads or troops out escorting caravans, pilgrims or even low-level lords. In fact, most mercenary headquarters are inadequate to host all their constituent mercenaries at the same time.

Another effect of mercenaries having headquarters is that potential clients often judge them by their buildings. “Oh, this company has a stone palisade!” “Ooh, this one has a stone palisade and a stone tower!” That sort of thing. A small, shoddy mercenary headquarters building is usually considered a sign of a small, poorly trained rabble.

Mercenaries usually recruit in the spring, around the time of the Flower-Dance. It is common for mercenaries to sponsor recruitment fairs, at which all legal comers are allowed to prove their mettle in archery contests, tests of agility, etc. Mercenaries usually band together to do common fairs, to avoid overlap and to spread out expense. Because of the timing of these fairs, “First of the Flower-Dance” is a common way of saying that someone is tops, the pick of the crop, the elite of the bunch.

Categories: Armies, Mercenaries, Professions

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