The Freebooters' Guild

The Freebooters' Guild

So long as there have been wars there have been mercenaries, and so long as there have been mercenaries there have been unpaid bills.

Some considerable time before the Harrowing, likely a century or two ago, a number of the grandest and most successful mercenary companies held a grand moot. The Bleakstone Company, the Oaken Boars, the Sanguine Hounds—these and many others threw their lots together and forged what came to be called the Blank Shields’ Union. While membership in the Union was by no means compulsory (for purely practical reasons, as mandatory, universal membership of sellswords would have been entirely unenforceable), members enjoyed a reputation for reasonable skill, reasonable loyalty, and reasonable accountability. Patrons refusing to pay a decent mercenary company suddenly found themselves unable to hire any decent mercenary company, and quite often lost their battles, if not their heads, soon after. Companies could, and often were, hired to fight one another, most prominently in the Demesnes. Indeed, the rivalries and hatreds that grew up during the civil war in Kraekirk still burn hotly today. Nonetheless, the Blank Shields’ Union offered a stable framework within which to operate, and unpaid violence between members decreased markedly. Like everything else, the Harrowing forced great changes. Most of the grand companies have dissolved for lack of payment, members, or both. The institution survived, however, and has even prospered after a fashion. By turning its attention to interested individuals and small crews, those who prefer to style themselves as “adventurers” rather than “cutthroats”, the Blank Shields’ Union became the Freebooters’ Guild.

Anyone who might want an object retrieved from an abandoned tower or forgotten crypt can turn to the Guild. If a patron has a cellar full of rats but can’t afford a ratcatcher’s rates? They call for the Freebooter’s Guild. Terrible monster destroying farms? Guildwork. Indeed, the Guild is so prominent in some areas that would-be employers can simply head to the local tavern and make their plight known in a general sort of way, and inside of an hour a motley selection of… itinerant heroes… will step up to perform whatever task may be at hand in exchange for a modest fee, a letter of recommendation, and all the treasure they can loot off of whatever they murder along way.

Prominent Members

Joxara the Magnificent: “And so, upon the slaying of the Fiend, Joxara raised her flagon from off the bench, and opined that perhaps it was light, and that the townsfolk could refill it as thanks for the fulfillment of the Quest and their deliverance from Evil. And lo, the townsfolk agreed, and fetched wine in barrels, and they filled the hero’s cup. But in this they were not successful, for no sooner had they filled the vessel than Joxara drained it straight off. And so, seeing their savior still thirsty, the townsfolk fetched forth mead in great store, to similar effect, and then on to spirits and liquors and akavit, and for all, Joxara remained upright and was not drunk, and instead asked for no more than her due. The townsfolk began to forget the great debt they owed to Joxara, and offered complaint. They were, however, saved from their own foolishness and the cataclysmic wrath of Joxara the Inestimable by dint of a fortuitous attack by Bandits, and so Joxara’s ire was spent creating a mountain of corpses, and if some few were of townsfolk as well as Bandits, so much was their just desserts for their ingratitude.” From Ye Superlative Lyfe and Endeavors Most Glorious of Joxara, Hero Without Equal and Exemplar to All, as Witnessed and Recorded by Whitley, Scribe and Historian, Without Falsity, Omission, or Embellishment of Any Kinde, Volume 2

Whitley, Scribe: An unassuming, somewhat melancholy man, Whitley follows in Joxara the Magnificent’s wake, apparently cataloguing her deeds as some form of recompense (or, perhaps, penance) for a past favor, debt, or indiscretion.

Lord Archibald Sledgeloch: An explorer and merchant out of Kraekirk, Lord Archibald Slegdeloch is seeking to rebuild his family’s fortunes by the creation of an incomparable menagerie and collection of curiosities. He sails, rides, and even occasionally walks the length and breadth of the continent in his pursuit of suitable creatures, objects, and tales.