Mercenaries are unaligned soldiers that can be hired by various factions to fight in their armies. The term “mercenary” was once used as a slur among fighting men. In certain kingdoms, notably Khador, the term is still used as a disdainful appellation for those who have no attachment to their homeland. Nevertheless, where war and wages thrive mercenaries inevitably follow. As the nations of the Iron Kingdoms war on each other, there are great profits to be made by those willing to risk life and limb in pursuit of coin. The mercenaries of Immoren are as diverse in appearance and approach to combat as they are in motivation. Many of them operate almost as businesses and utilize official charters detailing their conduct and under what circumstances they will sell their bloody services. Other mercenaries have more dubious reputations as bandits, assassins, traitors, and pirates. All find their services in demand by the commanders of Immoren. However not every mercenary is solely motivated by wealth or adventure as some sell their services to fund their own private agendas or personal wars. Although mercenary forces are not as well supplied as the standing armies of the Iron Kingdoms, their inherent diversity is their strength. Groups of highly trained specialists form armies of incredible flexibility.[1]

Some leaders hire mercenaries as political and fiscal displays of power to intimidate their enemies. Battles have been won by the mere presence of an overwhelming force, and mercenaries can help pad a weak army. A mercenary force can turn a rich man into a dangerous one. Conversely, mercenaries make for expensive friends. Unpopular dictators gladly pay for fighting men they feel they can trust. Since mercenaries have no political affiliation, they are viewed by some as the ultimate neutral force and a means of “fighting bitterly while keeping the peace”. It goes without saying that this parasitic relationship can quickly turn predatory if an employer fails to keep his mercenaries well paid.[1]

Mercenaries of the Iron Kingdoms Edit

Mercenaries have been fighting in Immoren since ancient times. During the Thousand Cities Era many of the traditions and rules governing mercenaries were debated, established, and codified in writing. By this time mercenary outfits had grown into true companies with generations of traditions and history behind them. The constant employment of sell-swords in the constant conflicts of the Thousand Cities era led to a set of guidelines governing the use of mercenary soldiers that eventually came to be known as “the Charter.” Though it has been modified over the centuries, the long-standing code of conduct defines the rules and strictures under which mercenaries operate. The Charter was adopted in its modern form around the same time as the Corvis Treaties. The Charter clarifies how mercenaries are expected to treat employers, civilians, opposing and allied militaries, prisoners, and other mercenary companies. It offers rules for claiming territory, dividing loot, and ransoming prisoners and lays out what constitutes open rebellion and what orders a company-for-hire can lawfully disobey. Possession of this contract represents ownership of the company and can be passed down to successors. When the contract is burned or otherwise destroyed, the company is disbanded. [2]

A company can never take action against the authority that approved their founding charter, however many older companies have outlasted the sovereign or power that signed their charter and feel justified in serving any kingdom indiscriminately, while more honorable companies follow the old rule and refuse contracts against their sponsoring nobles or kingdom, or their successors. Every company is obliged to state its allegiance to the Charter in order to solicit employment. Companies or individuals deemed in egregious breach of the rules of Charter can suffer legal and even military retaliation and be reduced to little more than a band of brigands or outlaws. The bounties offered for these criminals can serve as an incentive for other, once-competing companies to hunt them, if the matter does not rise to the level of warranting direct military intervention. The Charter is supplemented by the specific codes and oaths sworn by individual mercenaries and companies. These lesser charters define the specific kinds of contracts a company will accept and the types of warfare they are willing to engage in. However there are always renegade mercenary companies who refuse to follow the old codes. These contain already wanted criminals with no respect for the rule of law. Without a charter, many of these companies are really just groups of organized bandits. Respected mercenary companies often hold such hired brigands in disdain, but the vagaries of war may require some tolerance for working alongside them if hired by the same employer.[2]

Notable Mercenary Groups and Organisations Edit

Other Groups Edit

Some organisations such as the Church of Morrow send their forces to fight alongside national armies however they are not "mercenaries" with a charter and do not fight for pay. Some Cephalyx hives have alliances with Cryx and fight alongside the armies of Cryx similar to mercenaries for a share of victims.

Mercenary Forces Edit

Warcasters Edit

Warjacks Edit

Light Warjacks Edit

Heavy Warjacks Edit

Colossal Edit

Monstrosity Edit

Battle Engines Edit

Units Edit

References Edit

  1. 1.0 1.1 Warmachine Prime MK2
  2. 2.0 2.1 Forces of Warmachine: Mercenaries MK2

External Links Edit

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