Alaundo's Library

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The Red Knights

By Paul Westermeyer

Soldiers of Fortune

Ceregund the Brave looked up from the maps with tired eyes "No matter how you look at it we simply lack enough warriors.  The orcs will pour around our flanks like water around a boulder.  Eventually they will wear us down and destroy us.  Can your Art help at all Kelthanus?"  The young mage frowned in concentration as he considered his friend's words.  Then he smiled slowly "My Art cannot help,  but I have an idea.  We must hire mercenaries from the south.".

When a situation like this comes before a DM he usually creates a unit of heavy infantry or archers.  The mercenaries receive no details beyond their combat statistics and quickly become mindless cannon fodder for the players to use as they see fit.  The mercenaries have no goals or values and less personality than a rock.

Most Dungeon Masters simply don't have the time to detail every mercenary unit in their campaigns,  they are too busy detailing the major villains and NPCs.  The Gold and Glory accessory provided some detail for units in the Realms but most of the units described had already been seen in previous products. This article presents three mercenary units in detail for Dungeon Masters to use either as they are or as examples for developing their own units.  The units are written for the Forgotten Realms but should easily transfer to other campaigns.

These units can be used as more than just units in Battlesystem scenarios,  next time the party enters a bar,  instead of nameless mercenaries use a squad of the Bondswords or a couple of Battering Rams. The Gondsmen are desperately in search of an employer,  characters who need troops but are short of funds may find themselves on the cutting edge of military technology.  The wandering encounter table says that the party encounters a caravan guarded by horsemen?  Why not use the Battering Rams and their unique mounts instead.

These units can become long term foes or allies of the players, running into them at every turn.  Single villains are easily handled by most parties,  after all the party outnumbers them.  A feud with a mercenary unit is a very different matter,  tailor made for nemesis NPC status.  The players may even form their own mercenary units,  designing them from the most effective features of the ones detailed below.


The Bondswords

Type: Standing,  fixed
Base: Sword's Sheath, in hills to the east of Leilon
Sphere(s) of Operation: The North
Leader: Gildor Inglorion
Government: Military hierarchy
Number of Members: 400-520
General Alignment: Lawful neutral



In the year 1357,  Gildor Inglorion recruited thirty experienced mercenaries to form the Bondswords.  These thirty were from various races and backgrounds;  Uthgardt barbarians,  elves, and a Cormyrean knight were just a few of the warriors represented.  Under Gildor's leadership,  and supported by his magic,  they worked as caravan guards throughout the Heartlands and the North.  When they were not guarding caravans Gildor would carefully research rumors of ancient treasure and then lead the band in discovering these troves.

In 1359 the Bondswords slew the wrym Kauralithgos,  a black dragon which had been terrorizing the road from Wheloon to Daerlun.  After sacking the dragons lair in the Vast Swamp,  Gildor led the twenty remaining original Bondswords to Waterdeep.  Using the gold from Kauralithgos' hoard, Gildor purchased a small farm on the road from Waterdeep to Amphail and opened an office in Waterdeep to recruit new members and screen potential jobs.

Over the next four years Gildor slowly built the Bondswords in numbers and skill.  The farm was used as a training ground and the original members became a training cadre.  The company worked on jobs both large and small.  The Lords of Waterdeep hired the Bondswords several times to clear out portions of Undermountain that had become too dangerous.  Gildor also sent small bands of promising recruits on adventuring forays into Undermountain in order to test their abilities.

The Bondswords fought several large scale actions at this time. They were hired by the Lords' Alliance to defend the small hamlet of Briarhold twice,  each time against a small horde of goblinoids.  They performed well in actions against the forces of Hellgate Keep as well, serving a summer in the garrison at Turnstone Pass.  The Bondswords secured victory in all of these battles,  but not without losses.

Tired of losing men due to a lack of clerical magic,  Gildor petitioned the  temple of Tempus in Waterdeep for an official Battle Chaplin for the Bondswords.  The request was granted,  and the War-Priest Daemond Thresk joined the band.  The Bondswords at this time had increased their numbers to almost 200 well trained troops.  The best soldiers were formed in a unit of two handed swordsmen and longbowmen which Gildor had been training in a mixed line formation.

Gildor's trust in this tactic was well placed,  as the Battle of Port Llast in 1362 showed.  Here Gildor lead the Bondswords and  the town's militia in battle against a force of over 500 Northmen pirates from Lusken (All knowledge of this attack has been denied by Lusken).  The mixed line formation devastated the Northmen with longbow fire,  then held firm in the center when the Northmen berserkers finally closed.  As the Northmen struggled to break through the Bondswords line,  Gildor led the militia, previously concealed by a Massmorph spell,  in an attack on the flanks and rear of the Northmen forces.  Barely fifty of the Northmen survived to reach their ships,  and only one of their seven ships returned to sea.

This battle brought Gildor to the attention of the rulers of the Waterdeep as a thoughtful commander,  and led to the band being hired directly by the city for the Battle of Daggerford in 1363.  For its part in this victory,  Gildor requested and received title to a grant of land for the Bondswords from the Lords' Alliance.  A castle in the hills east of Leilon was chosen,  partly because it was held by a half-ogre bandit chieftain.  The Bondswords hired extra troops for the assault,  and managed to capture the castle without major losses to themselves or major damage to the castle.  The Bondswords christened the castle Sword's Sheath.

On the eve of the Battle of Port Llast,  a young priest of the southern war god Anhur received a vision.  In that vision Anhur informed him that he was no longer to worship Anhur,  but rather the Red Knight,  a lesser power of planning and strategy in the service of Tempus.  He was instructed to inform Gildor that the Red Knight would become the patron deity of the Bondswords provided that a permanent temple was founded in her name.  Gildor found the teachings of the Red Knight personally appealing, and has established such a temple within Sword's Sheath.  The young priest, Turuko,  has begun to train the first warrior priests of the Red Knight.

General Inglorion is the overall commander of the Bondswords,  his second in command is Captain Bran Ravenswing.  Daemond Thresk (CN hm P6 of Tempus) and Turuko are the spiritual leaders.  The final individual Bondsword is Athovul,  an assassin and spy who handles any covert operations the Bondswords undertake.

At the present time the Bondswords consist of six "regular" companies and two "auxiliary" companies.  Each "regular"company has 60 members,  and is divided into six squads of 10 men each.  Each squad is led by a sergeant of 3rd level and each company is led by a captain.  Unless otherwise noted all Bondswords use the myrmidon kit .  The "regular" companies run as follows:

Sword Company is made up of two-handed swordsmen in plate mail. All are 2nd level fighters specialized in both two-handed sword and two-handed weapon style.  Each carries a short sword as secondary weapon, in addition to the standard Bondsword equipment.  This company's captain is Romul (LN em F5),  who leads Arrow Company as well when the two companies are employed in a mixed line formation.

Arrow Company is made up of longbowmen in a plate breast plate. Each of these men are 2nd level fighters specialized in longbow and possessing  dexterity scores of 15+.  They carry 40 sheaf and 20 flight arrows,  as well as a long sword.  They are led by Kellin (N hem F3/T3) when employed separately from Sword Company.

Bolt Company is composed of crossbowmen in chainmail.  They are all 2nd level fighters specialized in heavy crossbow.  Longswords are carried as secondary weapons,  along with 30 bolts for their heavy crossbows.  Their captain is Gelmark (LN hm F4),  who carries a Longsword +2 Giantslayer he calls "Jacques".

Scout Company is a skirmisher company,  its members are all 2nd and 3rd level thieves,  all with either the scout or bandit kit.  Scout company carries shortswords,  shortbows,  and slings.  They wear leather armor under camouflaged cloaks.  The scouts are led by Rodro (N hem T5).

Lance Company is the cavalry company.  Its troops wear plate breastplates and ride medium warhorses into battle.  As one of the newest "regular" companies,  its members are all 1st level warriors.  They carry shields,  lances,  and longswords into battle.  Lance Company is led by Arborious (LN hm F4).

Sapper Company is the artillery of the Bondswords.  The troops are all 1st level fighters with the artillerists proficiency.  They wear leather armor and carry shortswords.  They crew three ballistas,  which are light weight and break down into six component parts.  They can be assembled or disassembled in one turn.  The company has thirty mules which carry the ballistas,  the ballista ammunition,  and the large mantelets used to cover the company once it is in position.  These mantelets provide an AR adjustment of -2 to missile attacks from the front of the unit. Mylor (LN hm F4)  is the commander of Sapper Company.

The auxiliary companies provide support for the regular companies. Each is organized in response to its peculiar needs.  They are as follows:

Recruit company is made up of new members.  It varies in size from 60 to 120 members and is organized into squads of ten men like the regular units.  The recruits wear chain and are armed with spear and long sword. Roughly half also use either longbow or crossbow.  The recruits are all 0 level men-at-arms,  in training to become full members of the Bondswords. They are led by Sergeant Major Gres (LN hm F5),  who possesses a +1 Bastard sword and a loud,  leathery voice.  Sergeant Major Gres is in charge of training and discipline for all the Bondswords.

Spell Company consists of the new priests of the Red Knight and Gildor's apprentice mages.  There are 10 1st level and  2 2nd level priests,  each of the priests carries a mace and wears plate armor.  Gildor has 10 apprentice mages,  they carry longswords and are protected by Armor spells.  All are 1st level and possess the militant wizard kit.  Spell Company never operates as a unit,  its members are assigned individually as support to other companies.

The Bondswords have an ongoing contract with the Lord's Alliance to patrol the lands between Leilon and Triboar.  This contract does not prevent them from taking other jobs,  however.


Strategy and Tactics:

The Bondswords will take virtually any job,  as long as it will not harm their relationship with their two primary employers,  the Lord's Alliance and Waterdeep.  They generally prefer to be on the side they perceive as the "legitimate" government in the region.

The Bondswords use tactics appropriate to the job.  In large scale battles Bolt company and Sapper company take up strong positions where they can sweep the field with fire.  Arrow and Sword companies assume the mixed line formation in the center,  and Lance company will wait on the flanks, awaiting an opportunity to charge.  The Scout company will act either as skirmishers,  or use their stealth abilities to ambush the enemy.

Gildor assigns priests and mages to companies according to need, units facing undead would have several priests assigned with Courage and Morale   spells ready,  for instance.  The mages use Wall of Fog and Phantasmal Force spells to confuse the enemy and block their view.  They also act as magical artillery,  casting Flaming Sphere,  Fireball,  and Wall of Fire spells at the enemy from scrolls.

If acting as overall commander,  or hired to use his spells, Gildor acts as close air support.  He circles the battlefield on his Asperii Windblade  ,  casting his spells.  His initial targets are usually enemy mages or monsters.  If there is an enemy unit that is exceptionally strong,  such as a unit of hill giants or trolls,  Gildor will cast Cloudkill or Wall of Fire on them as soon as possible.

If he is not acting as overall commander Gildor remains with the Bondswords,  using his spells on the units that threaten the Bondswords directly.  A favorite strategy in this circumstance is to allow a charging enemy to suffer the fire of Arrow company,   then cast Wall of Fire immediately in their path.  After Sword company has moved to the front, Gildor drops the Wall and allows Sword company to mop up any enemy troops who survived both the arrows and crashing into a Wall of Fire at full charge.

The Bondswords are often hired to patrol or clear out large areas, such as their contract with the Lord's Alliance to clear the area between Leilon and Triboar.  In these cases they usually hire adventuring parties to supplement Bondsword patrols of the area.  Major lairs and concentrations are assaulted by the full strength of Bondswords,  supported by additional mercenaries if necessary.  The most recent large scale operation of the Bondswords was an assault of this type against a hobgoblin tribe which was raiding caravans out of Triboar.

The Bondswords will not accept any job that Gildor considers militarily or politically stupid,  such as assaulting Hellgate Keep on their own.  They are very confident in their skills,  however,  and consider three times their numbers in humanoids or militia an even match.



The Bondswords are extremely trustworthy,  if they accept a job they will do everything in their power to see that it is successfully carried out.  They will only loot bandits and the like,  enemy civilians are treated humanely.  If cheated the Bondswords will take revenge,  though possibly not immediately.  As followers of the Red Knight they are willing to postpone revenge till the most opportune moment.

The Bondswords have several allies,  whose support they can usually call on.  Dorn the Minotaur (LN  mm W(f)11  ) and Elrohir Amroth (CN em T12) are two of the company's most powerful allies.  Dorn is a powerful merchant and former Bondsword.  His skills as a battlemage are used by the Bondswords when the power of their opponents justify the expense of hiring him.  Elrohir Amroth is the captain of the spelljamming ship Hanali's Sword.  He has hired small groups of the Bondswords in the past to provide marines for his vessel,  and has in turn been hired by the Bondswords to provide both reconnaissance and high speed transport.

The Bondswords have good relations with the military leaders of both Silverymoon and Waterdeep.  They consider the company as trustworthy as it is possible for a mercenary unit to be.

The city of Luskan and its ruling Arcane Brotherhood has not forgotten the role the Bondswords played at the Battle of Port Llast.  They have been financially supporting Abdul the Butcher,  the warlord who held Sword's Sheath before the Bondswords drove him out.  He remains in the area,  trying to raise enough troops to retake the castle that he considers his.

Relations with Church of Tempus have cooled since the Bondswords have taken the Red Knight as their patron power.  Many of the old priests consider the Red Knight's teachings of strategy and discipline as heresy to the martial spirit of Tempus.  This has been exasperated by Daemond Thresk's loss of influence within the Bondsword leadership.  The support of Tempus (and the Mulhurondi war god Anhur) for the Red Knights new church has prevented any open hostilities,  for now the traditionalists content themselves with belittling the Bondswords prowess to potential employers. The company is unlikely to be recommended by any of the Tempurian temples in the North.

The final group that the Bondswords have strained relationships with is the Uthgardt barbarians.  Several tribes consider the area the Bondswords patrol as a free hunting ground,  and the caravans fair game. Several inconclusive skirmishes have shown them that the Bondswords are worthy foes.  Gildor is now attempting to convince them to turn their raiding against humanoid foes.  It is unlikely that he will be able to do so without defeating the Uthgardt in a major battle first.



Each unit carries the individual equipment listed in their description,  in addition there is a standard pack which every Bondsword carries:

4 vials holy water
2 3ft long sharpened stakes
2 flasks Greek fire
4 days dry rations
2 blankets
2 woundwort poultices

All Bondsword weapons are silvered,  with archery units carrying two volleys each of silver and cold iron arrows.  Each sergeant carries a stone with a Continual Light spell placed on it and a signal whistle.  Large amounts of other equipment is stored at Sword's Sheath,  including items like rope and swimming bladders.  These are issued out according to the needs of the individual mission.

The farm outside of Waterdeep is run by Uoku,  Stoutly,  and Ewric (all LN hm F4),  a trio of original Bondswords who have retired here to raise families.  They raise and train warhorses for the Bondswords, selling surplus animals for a profit.  Bondswords traveling to the Waterdeep office make it a point to stop here and pass a night telling war stories.

All Bondsword logistical and pay matters are handled by Tarus of the Crimson Edge (LN hm W(C)5).  This conjurer has scrolls detailing the location of all Bondsword equipment,  and its condition.  Within the storerooms of Sword's Sheath he and his monkey familiar reign supreme, even Gildor bows to his expertise on matters of supply.  Tarus prepares both the woundwort poultices and the Continual Light stones used by the Bondswords.

Tarus also manages the Bondswords accounts and properties.  The company has acquired title to nearly a dozen buildings within Waterdeep and Silverymoon;  the rents from these properties support the Bondswords retirement fund.  Each Bondsword is entitled to a pension from this fund after ten years of service.  This pension is only 5 gp a month,  but it increases by 5 sp a year for each year of service beyond ten.  A portion of all income is set aside for Tarus to invest in support of this pension.

Individual Bondswords are paid according to the following scale:

Recruit 1gp/month
Bondsword  5gp/month +1 share booty
Sergeant 20gp/month +2 shares booty
Spellcaster 20gp/month +5 shares booty
Captain 50gp/month +10 shares booty

The Bondswords cost 1000 gp a "ride"(ten days) for the entire company.  If Gildor is hired to act as the overall commander for an army that cost an additional 500 gp a ride.  If only one or two of the companies are needed they cost 300gp a ride.  Long term jobs can usually get a discount,  especially if food and lodging are provided.


Battering Rams

Type: Standing,  roaming
Base: Waterdeep

Sphere(s) of Operation:

The Sword Coast
Leader: Isinghar Bucklebar
Government: Elected Dictatorship
Number of Members: 60
General Alignment: Lawful Neutral (strong good tendencies)



The Battering rams are a group of Shield dwarves   who wander the North and Sword Coast,  selling their services as a unique type of cavalry. They ride giant rams into battle,  allowing them to gain the benefits of mounted warfare without losing the advantages that they gain within their favored terrain or against the giant-kin.

The Battering Rams are all younger dwarves,  with no clan responsibilities.  When a member comes into such responsibility,  most often through a death in the family,  he or she leaves the Battering Rams to fulfill it.  This process has led to several dwarf holds being ruled by former members of the company,  which are often used by the company as safe havens and rest areas.

The Battering Rams elect a new leader every time an old one dies or retires.  Once elected the leaders word is law.  The current leader, Isinghar Bucklebar (LN dm F10),  is a tough, old dwarf with the cunning of a dragon.  He has led the Battering Rams for almost four decades and is likely to lead them for four more.


Strategies and Tactics:

The Battering Rams prefer to have non-dwarves pay them to slaughter humanoids.  They will fight against other races,  but never on the side of humanoids and never against dwarves.  They also are very selective of the jobs they take,  insuring that they are unlikely to harm dwarves in any way.

In battle they prefer a straight up the middle approach,  but they are very disciplined and can follow complex orders.  They attempt to use their natural advantages against giant sized opponents and in rough/rocky terrain to their best benefit.


The Battering Rams are dwarves through and through.  They are greedy and grasping,  always trying to gain more from an employer than they have gotten.  On the other hand,  they will never betray a contract once it is made and have a fierce professional and racial pride.  They would rather die to the man than dishonor themselves in battle;  a fact they have proven on the fields of Turnstone Pass and Trollclaw Ford.


Each Battering Ram rides a specially trained giant ram.  These animals are raised and trained in secret dwarf holds throughout the north. They receive the typical dwarven armor class bonuses against giant class creatures,   having been trained by the dwarves since birth.

Each Battering Ram wears chain and carries a shield,  spear, battle axe,  and war hammer.  The company charges 20gp per week per member.


Giant Rams:  Int 2-4; AL N; AC 6; MV 15; HD 4; THACO 17; #AT 1; Dmg 2-8; SA Charge (Dmgx2); SD -4 AC versus giants,  ogres,  giant-kin; MR nil; Sz L; ML elite (14)

The Gondsmen

Type: Standing,  roaming
Base: Lantan

Sphere(s) of Operation:

Tethyr,  the Sword Coast
Leader: Fritz Firelock
Government: Oligarchic military hierarchy
Number of Members: 360
General Alignment: Neutral



The Gondsmen are a new mercenary unit,  they have yet to actually see battle as a unit.  They have come into being as a result of the Time of Troubles and its consequences for the Island of Lantan.

During the Time of Troubles the power Gond landed on the shores of Lantan in the shape of a gnome.  The Lantanna apparently recognized him immediately,  a fact that Gond rewarded by showing them the secrets of smokepowder and firearms.  The Lantanna have been producing these new weapons ever since,  but have been disappointed by the lack of demand for the new weapons.  Most rulers bought one or two and experimented with them to determine their battlefield utility.  The results of these tests was that not one nation other than that of Lantan was willing to equip even one unit with arquebuses or muskets.  The universal opinion was that they were too dangerous to their own users and not dangerous enough to their targets.

The Lantanna,  being an island nation that has been at peace for a very long time,  decided to prove to themselves that firearms were not a waste of time.  They then commissioned and trained a picked body of Lantanna soldiers to prove that the artifices of Gond could meet and defeat opponents on the field of battle.

The theory was sound but the Gondsmen have failed to find anyone willing to hire them,  even as dispensable mercenaries.  They have tried without success throughout Tethyr and the Sword Coast.  The only upside is that they have used almost none of their precious smokepowder.  They are determined to prove their worth on the battlefield,  so much so that they are considering taking a job for half price.  They are convinced that once their superior technology is shown they will be in demand throughout Faerun.

The Gondsmen are made up of four units.  There are 100 arquebusiers,  100 musketeers,  100 cavalry carrying cavilers,  and sixty men crewing their two ribalds  .  They are led by Fritz Firelock (N hm F7). Fritz was one of the first officers in the Lantannan army to try the new weapons.  He volunteered to led the new unit in part to prove that his faith in them was not poorly placed.  He is specialized in the use of the arquebus,  and wields a specially made model that will never misfire and does additional damage on a 9 or 10.


Strategies and Tactics:

The Gondsmen believe that all they must do is form a line and fire their weapons at the enemy.  They plan to have their cavalry harass their opponent's infantry and hope that they can convince their opponent's cavalry to charge their infantry.  Once this occurs they are sure that the battle will be over.


The Gondsmen are very smug and condescending to other soldiers, they are sure that they will soon be clamoring for training in the new weapons.  They will fulfill any contracts they make to avoid casting any doubt on the effectiveness of their weapons.  They are quick learners and will quickly pick up on tactics that they believe can make them more effective.  They will also remedy any flaws they find in their tactical system as soon as possible.



Each Gondsmen carries a sword in addition to their firearms. All carry enough smokepowder and shot for 12 shots.  They possess a small caravan of wagons that carry additional powder and shot,  but they would run into ammunition difficulties in  even a medium length campaign.  They charge 1,000gp a week in theory,  but are likely to accept a job for as little as 250 gp.  They are uninterested in caravan duty,  they want to face and defeat an army in the field.

Note: The Gondsmen were designed using the firearms given in FRA.  They're weapon stats may change if you allow them better firearms,  like from "A Mighty Fortress" Historical accessory.


Gildor Inglorion

Male half-elf
9th-level warrior/mage

Armor Class:      -8 (Scales of Flagerious ((Red dragon armor,  provides AC -5 and complete fire resistance)) and Shield +2)
Move:             12
Hit Points:        51
No. of Attacks:        3/2 or 2/1
Attack Bonuses:        +2 for strength;  other bonus according to weapon used
Damage/Attack:    By weapon type (+4 strength bonus)
Special Abilities:Standard half-elf abilities;  Spells: 4-1st (commonly Burning Hands(x2),  Detect Magic,  Mount),  3-2nd (Web,   Melf's Acid Arrow,Invisibility),  3-3rd (Fireball,  Vampiric Touch,  Dispel Magic),  2-4th(Wall of Fire,  Massmorph),  1-5th (Teleport or Cloudkill);  Stoneskin on self at all times, negates 6 attacks
Magic Resistance: 30% resistant to sleep and charm spells,  see magical items for immunities
Alignment:        Lawful Neutral
Psionic Ability:       nil

Long blades tight group,  dagger,  handaxe, longbow,  flail, battle axe; 
Nonweapon:        Riding (horse),  weaponsmithy, tracking,  spellcraft,  ancient  history,  herbalism,  swimming,  military science
Languages known:  Common,  elven

S:18/90     D:12    C:14          Battlesystem Stats: AR2 Hits5 CD10
MV12/21 MC D
I:18        W:10    Ch:13        Longsword AD12 Flail AD12  Battleaxe AD12
Age:  50       Size:  M
Ht:  5'9"      Wt:  170 lbs
Hair:  Black   Eyes:  Green

Possessions:  Arbane's Sword of Agility  (immunity to Hold and Slow spells while in use,  jump 2xday,  Haste 2rds/day),  Flail +1,  Battleaxe +3, Ring of Waterbreathing,  Ring of Mind Shielding,  Medallion of ESP,  30', 2 potions of Extra-Healing, spell components,  spell book Treasure:  10pp,  30gp,  10 gems(50gp value,  random types),  access to the entire Bondsword treasury

Gildor Inglorion is the bastard son of  a moon-elven adventurer and a Westhavian dancing girl.  Both his father and mother disappeared, leaving him with only his name.  Raised by the girls in the dance hall until he was twelve,  he was then apprenticed to a captain of the Westgate city Watch.  This man trained Gildor in battle skills,  so that in his 17th year Gildor joined the city Watch.  After five years of seeing how under appreciated the watch was in Westgate,  Gildor left to sell his services where they could earn what they were worth.

He soon purchased an apprenticeship with a crusty old wizard, thinking to gain an edge in battle.  He found that edge in magic and put it to good use,  serving as an adventurer and mercenary through the Heartlands and Sword Coast.  After acquiring the treasure of a slavery ring based in Baldur's Gate,  Gildor set out to establish his own band.

He began slowly,  calling the group the Bondswords and working to establish the trust that name implied.  He still adventured on his own though,  usually on missions where a large body of fighters could be expected to suffer large casualties and accomplish little.  On these occasions Gildor most often worked with Dorn the Minotaur,  Elrohir Amroth (both described earlier),  Corin Angelwell (CN hf W(I)11 witch kit),  and Hannibal (NE hm F9).  Gildor still adventures with this group on occasion, though Hannibal is forming a rival mercenary group that may come into conflict with the Bondswords someday.

Gildor is a cold,  calculating individual.  He makes decisions based on hard military logic,  and never allows his emotions to interfere. He is usually quiet,  observing others actions and statements carefully. He has a flair for tactics,  and on this subject he is talkative,  happily discussing the flanking maneuvers of the Netherese army or the ambush expertise of elves for hours.  He keeps himself aware of all the major military and political events in the Sword Coast and the North,  as well as interesting new tactics and troops encountered throughout Faerun.  He followed both the Horde Wars and the discovery of Maztica closely.  He maintains records on the personalities and suspected strengths of all the major military units and their leaders in the North,  including mercenary units.

To his troops he is fair and decent,  always giving them the squarest deal possible.  His magical powers,  tactical skill,  and reserved air have made him somewhat untouchable by them,  however.  They call him "General" out of respect,  not fear.

In battle Gildor rides an Asperii named Windblade,  he always casts a Stoneskin on Windblade before battle.  Windblade is Gildor's friend and has been known to cast Featherfall on Gildor and a companion,  in order to bring them safely and silently down from the air.

It is important to note that Sword's Sheath belongs to the Bondswords not Gildor.  He is the highest ranking Bondsword not a feudal lord.  Should he die the second in command,  Bran Ravenswing,  would take over as overall commander.


Bran Ravenswing

Male Human
6th-level Peasant Hero   Fighter

Armor Class:              2 (Elven Chain and +2 Shield)
Move:                   12
Hit Points:              55
No. Of Attacks:          1 or 3/2 or 2/1
Attack Bonuses:          +1 with longsword,  specialized;  others by weapon
Damage/Attack:          By weapon type (+2 with longsword,specialized)
Special Abilities:       Gain help from peasants in village of Deganwy
Magic Resistance:        nil,  but see items for immunities
Alignment:              Neutral Good
Psionic Ability:        Nil,  but see items

longsword (specialized),  shortbow,  lance, artillerist, dagger
Nonweapon:        riding(horse),  animal training(horse),ancient history,  local history,  hunting,  agriculture,  weather sense, military science
Languages Known:        Common,  dwarven,  orcish

S:15     D:9     C:15       Battlesystem Stats:   AR6  Hits3  CD14  MV12 or 24
I:14     W:13    Ch:18      Slayer AD10 Lance AD8  +2 ML
Age: 21    Size: M
Ht: 5'10"    Wt: 175 lbs
Hair: Black   Eyes: Gray
Possessions:  shortbow,  20 arrows,  lance,  silvered dagger,  signet ring (50gp),  longsword of fine quality (+1 damage, family heirloom),  Slayer: Longsword +2,  +4 v/s mind flayers (I13,  E13,  PWS 13,  PSP 35,  psionic devotion telekinesis  ,  bearer immune to all Psionic telepathy attacks and magical mind control)
Treasure:  1-10 cp,  2-20 sp,  10-100 gp

Bran Ravenswing is the heir to the Principality of Deganwy,  a small village north of Lorkh.  When the Zhentarim overcame Lorkh they also took over Deganwy,  killing Bran's father and mother in the process.  Bran was playing in the fields with some farmers sons when the attack occurred. The Zhents searched for Bran but he was hidden and raised by the local farmers,  who remained loyal to the family of the "Raven",  as Bran's father and grandfather before him were known.   When he came of age he left Deganwy,  vowing to gain enough might and gold to free it from the Zhentish oppression.

Bran joined the Bondswords in Waterdeep,  and has quickly rose to second in command.  He is a dashing cavalryman,  well loved by the men and approachable where Gildor is not.  He has a great amount of respect for Gildor and would never betray him.  He still visits Deganwy incognito,  and takes an occasional leave of absence from the Bondswords for solo adventuring.  He hopes to earn enough to hire the company to aid him in over throwing the Zhentish rule in Deganwy,  until then he bides his time.



Male Human
6th-level Priest of The Red Knight

Armor Class:              3 (Bracers of Defense AC 4,  -1 for dexterity)
Move:                   12
Hit Points:              32
No. Of Attacks:          1 or 2/1
Attack Bonuses:          +1 for strength or +3 with ring;  +2 with wrestling
Damage/Attack:          By weapon type +1 for strength or +6 with ring;  +2 with wrestling
Special Abilities:       Turn Undead,  cast War sphere   spells as two levels higher,  Spells:  5-1st (usually Cure Light Wounds x2,  Courage,  Morale, Detect Magic),  5-2nd (Flame Blade,  Find Traps,  Produce Flame x2, Spiritual Hammer),  2-3rd (Dispel Magic,  Caltrops)
Magic Resistance:        nil
Alignment:              Lawful Neutral
Psionic Ability:        nil

Longsword,  light crossbow,  single weapon style, specialist  ,  wrestling specialist
Nonweapon:        Military science, tumbling,  blindfighting,  riding (horse),  engineering
Languages known:        Common,  Mulani

S:17  D:15  C:11            Battlesystem Stats:  AR6  Hits2  CD3  MV12
I:15    W:15  Ch:12         Longsword AD8
Age:25  Size:m
Ht: 6'2"  Wt:170lbs
Hair:  Black   Eyes:  Black
Possessions:  Ring of Strength (18/00),  Bracers of Defense AC 4, longsword,  light crossbow,  20 bolts,  gold holy symbol (200gp),  6 vials of holy water,  scroll (Flame strike),  2 potions of healing
Treasure:  10-100gp,  5-20 pp

Turuko was a promising young priest of Anhur in Mulhurond.  He seemed destined for great things until he was caught in the middle of a political game between the Priesthood of Horus-Re and Anhur.  The result was that the priesthood of Horus-Re was able to exile he and several other of the more promising young Anhurites.

Turuko was advised by his seniors to make use of the exile to learn all he could of foreign ways in battle.  He had just set foot on the dock of Selgaunt when he encountered Gildor,  recruiting for the original Bondswords.  Reasoning that by joining a mercenary unit he could learn the most,  Turuko joined the Bondswords.

He was one of Gildor's most trusted advisors when he received the order to transfer his allegiance to the Red Knight.  Though he felt hurt and betrayed by the order at first,  he has discovered that he feels a deep spiritual bond with the Red Knight.  He still has a fondness for Anhur, but his loyalty now lies with the Red Knight.

Turuko has no fondness for the followers of Tempus.  He considers them to be bumbling idiots who would rather spill blood than win wars.  He is diplomatic enough to keep these thoughts to himself for now,  but as the Red Knight gains power he could begin to let these thoughts be known.



Male Human
6th-level Thief,  assassin kit

Armor Class:              7 (dexterity bonus of -1 and leather armor)
Move:                   12
Hit Points:              24
No. Of Attacks:          2/1
Attack Bonuses:          +1 for strength,  +4 with backstab, also see items
Damage/Attack:          By weapon type +1 for strength,  x3 for backstab
Special Abilities:        Chance to identify poison,  Pick Pockets 30%,  Open Locks 40%,  Find/Remove Traps 35%,  Move Silently 45%,  Hide in Shadows 40%,  Climb Walls 60%,  Hear Noise 15%,  Read Languages 15%
Magic Resistance:        nil
Alignment:              Neutral
Psionic Ability:        nil

shortsword,  shortbow,  dagger,  garrote, two weapon style specialists;  Nonweapon:  Disguise,   voice mimicry, herbalism,  healing,  trailing,  information gathering
Languages Known:        Common,  Orcish,  Thieves Cant

S:17  D:15  C:13        Battlesystem Stats:  AR8  Hits2  CDnil  MV12
I:15  W:17  Ch:16       Shortswords AD8  Always has Melee Advantage
Age:  32   Size:  M
Ht:  5'8"     Wt:  168lbs
Hair:  Brown  Eyes:  Brown
Possessions:  Ring of Invisibility,  Shortsword of Quickness +2,  Dagger of Resource +4,  8 Arrows +1,  2 vials poison,  herbalism kit,  disguise kit, shortbow,  thieves tools,  grappling hook,  50' silk rope,  garrote,  vial of acid,  bag of marbles
Treasure:  1-10sp,  1-10 gp,  1-10 pp,  2 rubies (500gp value each, emergency funds,  hidden in hollow heel of left boot)

Athovul was one of the original Bondswords,  hired by Gildor in Westgate on the condition that no questions be asked about his background and that he never be asked to return to Westgate.  Gildor accepted this proposal on the condition that Athovul  submit himself to a Know Alignment spell at a reputable temple.  Athovul agreed and the Bondswords had acquired an assassin.

Athovul is used to spy on enemy intentions and follow opponents into the cities where the Scout company would be too conspicuous.  He perform these functions well,  so well that the Bondswords have yet to be surprised by any mundane foe (Athovul was not stupid enough to try to penetrate either Hellgate Keep or Dragonspear Castle).

Athovul spends most of his time away from Sword's Sheath, circulating about the North  checking his contracts.  He has often informed Gildor that the Bondswords were to be hired before they had been approached,  enabling Gildor to drive a better bargain for the company's services.

In large scale battle Athovul uses his ring to travel about the field at will,  backstabbing enemy unit commanders at critical moments, then moving away invisibly.


The Red Knight (Our Lady of Strategy)

Lesser Power of Nirvana,  LN

Portfolio:              Planning,  strategy,  skill in battle
Requirements:           Intelligence 15,  Wisdom 15
Weapons Allowed:        All swords except bastard and two-handed,  lance, halberd,  pike,  all bows.
Armor Allowed:          Any
Major Spheres:          Combat,  Divination,  Elemental,  Healing,  Numbers, Protection, Sun,  War,  Weather
Minor Spheres:          All,  Guardian,  Time,  Plant
Magical Items Allowed:  As cleric,  but magical versions only of weapons permitted.

Granted Powers:

Other Notes:

The Red Knight has just recently acquired a priesthood through an unknown deal with both Tempus and Anhur.  It is unclear exactly what the two male War Powers got out of the deal but a handful of their low-level priests and priestess found themselves dedicating themselves to a new power at their old Powers request.

The Red Knight has been unusually attentive to these priests, attempting to insure that she retains their loyalty.  The main goals of her church seem to be establishing a hierarchy and promoting the study of the art of war.  To this end generals who devise a particularly clever stratagem for use against an enemy often receive small,  unasked for boons from the power.  These boons often take the form of a temporary plus on a weapon or a light spell that appears just at the proper time.  The recipient is always informed,  by a soft feminine whisper in his or her ear,  who the boon came from.

The priesthood of the Red Knight is small and young. One hand suffices to count the number of priest over 3rd-level in power,  and the Bondswords are currently the largest concentration of the priesthood in the Realms.  All this is likely to change as the young 1st and 2nd level priests scattered throughout the Realms begin to make their presence felt.


Adventure Ideas:

  1. Down on their luck or beginning adventurers hear that the Bondswords are hiring adventuring bands to supplement their regular patrols in the hills between Leilon and Triboar.  The adventurers are paid 2 gp each per week and receive free healing and lodging at Sword's Sheath.  The patrols involve battling local groups of humanoids and brigands,  as well as exploring local ruins.  If the adventurers do well they could gain a commission in the Bondswords,  as well keeping any treasure they happen upon along the way.

  2. The northern town of Nesme fears that a horde of Uthgardt barbarians will soon attack the town.  The party is commissioned to travel south and recruit mercenaries to defend the town.  the party is given a fixed budget,  but considerable leeway in who they hire.  Any of the units could be hired for this,  the catch is that the horde strikes soon after the party departs.  The adventurers must lead the mercenaries north through increasing barbarian attacks to lift the siege.

  3. Some followers of Tempus have decided that his support of the Red Knight is a test of their loyalty.  They plan to arrange a series of "accidents" that implicate the priests of the Red Knight in a conspiracy to assassinate the leaders of the major Tempurian Temples in the North.  If they succeed the temples will likely declare a crusade against the Red Knight heretics.  Such a crusade would undoubtably involve several attacks on the Bondswords.  The party could become involved by being duped into arranging one of the incidents or could stop one in progress.  A worshiper of Tempus could be a member of the radicals who want to destroy the Red Knight's followers or a moderate who believes that the Red Knight's appearance can only strengthen the overall power of Tempus.


Battlesystem Statistics:


        -Sword Company AR6  Hits2  ML16  MV 9

          Two handedswords AD10 (AD12 vs Lg)

        -Arrow Company AR 6  Hits2  ML16  MV 9

           Longsword AD8 (AD10 vs Lg),  Longbow AD8 R 7/14/21

Arrow and Sword Companies may form a mixed line formation together

        -Bolt Company AR7  Hits2  ML16  MV 12

           Longsword AD8 (AD10 vs Lg),  Heavy Crossbow AD8 R 8/16/24

        -Lance Company AR7  Hits2  ML17  MV18

           Lance AD8[10](AD10[12] vs Lg),  Longsword AD 8 (AD10 vs Lg)

        -Scout Company AR8  Hits1  ML16  MV12

            Shortsword AD8,  Shortbows AD6  R5/10/15,  Sling AD6 R5/10/20

            Stealth Attack 5,  Stealth Move 4,  Climbing 9  ,  Swim 1" cost 3"

            May skirmish,Favored Terrain: woods, rough/rocky, scrub/brush

        -Sapper Company AR8  Hits1  ML14  MV12

            Shortsword AD6

            Lt. Ballistas AD10  Hits6  R 1"/20"

            Crew2  Rate1  MV6  Scatter15%, 1d2"

            Mantelets Hits3,  provide -2 AR bonus

        -Recruit Company AR7  Hits1  ML12  MV9

            Spears AD6 R1/2/3,Longbow AD6 R7/14/21,  Crossbow AD6 R8/16/24

        -Spell Company:  All individual figures

            Priests AD4 AR6 Hits1 MLn/a MV9 Spells(2-1st or 3-1st), Turn undead

            Mages AD4 AR7 Hits1 MLn/a MV12 Spells(1-1st),  scrolls variable


Name AD AR Hits CD MV Special
Romul 8 6 3 7 9 AD 8 R7/14/21 w/Longbow
Kellin 8 6 2 5 12 SA7  SM6  CW9
Gelmark 10 5 3 10 12 ADx2 vs. Giants, Crossbow AD6 R8/16/24
Rodro 8 6 2 3 12 SA7  SM6  CW9
Arborious 8 6 3 8 12 ML,  MV18 w/mount
Mylor 8 6 3 8 12 Scatter % halved when in cmd, +1 ML
Gres 10 6 3 5 12 +1 ML
Tarus 4 7 2 3 12 Spells,  +1 ML
D.Thresk 10 6 2 4 12 Spells,  Incite berserk 1 fig x2AD


Battering Rams

        AD10  AR6  Hits3  ML18  MV15

        Favored Terrain: Rough/rocky

        Hated Foes: Goblins,  orcs,  hobgoblins;  hated foes +1 AR penalty

        -2 AR bonus vs Giants,  Trolls,  Ogres

        Isinghar Bucklebar

        AD10  AR3  Hits5  CD10  MV15  +2 ML


Musketteers  AR9  Hits1  ML12  MV12

        Swords AD6

        Muskets AD10  R6/18/24  Rate1/2 AR penalty +10 S Rng,  +5 M Rng

Arquebusiers  AR9  Hits1  ML12  MV12

        Swords AD6

        Arquebuses AD8 R5/15/21  Rate1/2  AR penalty +4 S Rng,  +2 M Rng

Ribald AD10  Hits6  Rng9  Crew3  Rate1/2  MV6

        Area of effect:  cone 9" long,  2" wide at end,  AR checks allowed

Ribald Crew  AD4  AR9  Hits1  ML11  MV12

Cavalier Cavalry  AR7  Hits2  ML13  MV18

        Cavalier AD6  R4/8/14  Rate 1/2  AR penalty +2 S Rng,  +1 M Rng

        Sabre  AD6

Fritz Firelock  AR6  Hits4  CD8  MV12

        Arquebus  AD6  R5/15/21 Rate1 AR penalty +4 S Rng,  +2 M Rng,  No misfire

Note:  All Gondsmen firearms misfire on a 1 on an AD,  causing 1 hit to the firing unit with no AR checks.

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