Mercenaries & Adventurers – Heroic and Less So…

Braxis is a kingdom that is trying to safeguard her borders and eliminate threats from all sorts of beast and men who would seek to profit by incursion or invasion. Braxis is also a young kingdom, only just now 300 years old… and only just. The land she occupies holds the remnants of other’s attempts at taming. Ruins and caves pock-mark the land here and there. Orcs and goblins infest the wilderness.

But where there are dangers and mysteries, there are those who would seek to quell them. Fighting men form mercenary companies, trading in conflict and resolution, aiding the local nobility in times of crisis with forces the lords couldn’t hope to maintain through the taxing of their people. Traveling as they need to pay for their services, beholden to their lords only as long as the contract terms dictate.

Success in these endeavors bring fabulous riches and great renown… success nearly never happens. Wretched death and ignominy are far more likely ends.

Most banditry is the result of what happens when a mercenary company or an adventuring crew are unsuccessful at plying the trades.

Mercenary companies are supposed to carry letters of marque with them, authorizations from their Count or Duke (and rarely, the King) to work in the county or duchy of the issuing personage. Of course when the populace is predominantly illiterate, forgery is commonplace, and bandits often declare their right to rob travelers under the color of “taxable authority” from the count or duke.

Adventurers are seen as people who have given up on society with its protections and rules and set out to make their fortunes their own. In most human civilizations, adventurers are socially lower than beggars because at least beggars stay within the system. Part of the issue is that adventurers tend to flaunt their “freedom” and their ability to go where they please in search of treasure and mystery which makes them ostensibly and effectively scofflaws, and they are treated as such until they prove, sufficiently, that they are not.

Adventurers are usually asked to pay in advance of any services for the well earned reason that most adventurers don’t have the money to pay their keep, nor do they tend to have any tradable skills… or the desire to actually work off debts.

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