BC: Setting Information

Convicted Murderers, Thieves, and pirates. They all have a propensity towards violence. Something that the Empire of Khodar needs in its struggle against the Thelmor Dominion. As a convicted criminal, you are given the choice. Serve in the army for a chance at freedom or go to headsman. Wanting to live, you choose the former and enter the world of the Black Company.

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BC: Setting Information

Postby Herzog » Sat Aug 22, 2015 3:47 pm

The Choice

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Uthgar hurt. It had been a long time since he had taken a beating such as the one he found himself in. Fighting back had apparently only made it worse. The guards at this prison had tempers and didn’t take kindly to those deemed as traitors. Even on Uthgar’s execution day, they hadn’t made an exception.

The guards had hauled him out of his cell after they administered their beating. Now the prisoner sat in an hard wooden chair, his hands bound behind his back. He wasn’t alone either. The prison warden sat across from him behind a rough hewn table. Two prison guards remained in the room as well.

The warden was an older man. White hair crowned his skull, sharp hooked nose and dark eyes. Uthgar had never met the man before, and figured this was an honor.

The warden tapped a parchment that lay on the table with his finger.

“Former Sergeant Uthgar Redarm. Convicted of murdering a superior officer and treason. Sentenced to death.”

Uthgar wouldn’t have glared if his eyes were swollen from his beating. It didn’t matter to the army or the law that the superior officer had been an idiot and deserved what he got.

“The asshole deserved it” spat Uthgar.

The warden looked up and narrowed his eyes. Uthgar was beginning to suspect something was afoot. You don’t drag someone on death row into an interview. You just send them to the block

“Rather or not that was true, assaulting the office in question is paramount to treason, let alone beating him to death.”

“Then get on with it. The headsman must be busy if we’re having this discussion.”

The warden frowned. He then sighed heavily and interlocked his hands in front of him.

“Straight and to the point. Almost like you rather see the headsman. Very well…”

The warden unfurled a scroll and began to read:

“By the high order of Emperor Tullius the First, of House Blackwell do hereby issue Imperial Edict XXVII on the year 942 FE. the reinstatement and reformation of the Prisoner Assignment and Reformation program to be given to select convicted parties. If convicted parties agree to terms, there sentences will be commuted into military service under the banner of the Black Company. They will submit to the Brand, and once their term of service is sufficiently served, the convicted parties will be pardoned of current crimes. If convicted parties refuse, then their sentence is carried out as normal.”

The Black Company. That would explain the guards displeasure thought Uthgar.

“Considering your service, someone thinks you are better off with your head attached. Personally, I send the lot of you to the block.”

The warden nodded to the guards behind Uthgar. A few swords were drawn and a moment late, the bindings holding the ex-soldiers arms were loosened. Meanwhile, the warden produced a form, pen and quill, and sled them across the table to towards Uthgar.

“Your reenlistment terms if you should so choose. Otherwise the headsman is waiting.”

Uthgar glanced left and right, noting the guards were grim faced. They looked ready to cut him down if he tried anything foolish. While flexing his sore wrists, he took a moment to reflect. The Black Company he had heard of. It was always spoken with disdain and such by some of the older veterans. Always comprising the worst of the worse, they were used in the those near impossible situations without regard to causality rates. The companies were a death sentence in their own right. Yet...there was some glory in it.

The ex-soldier looked over the parchment. It was more of the same of what had been read out loud. But it had a place to sign. It was the contract and pledge of the Black Company. Uthgar took the quill.

“Who wants to live forever, “ he murmured as he signed his name.

“Indeed, “ replied the warden. He nodded to the guards. One quickly advanced and before Uthgar had a chance to react, he was clubbed unconscious by the pummel of the sword.

The warden took the signed parchment to file away and sighed. It was going to be a long day and very few would probably see the headsman.

“Take him to the barge, and bring the next prisoner.”
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Re: BC: Setting Information

Postby Herzog » Sat Aug 22, 2015 4:05 pm

Thelmor Dominion

The Thelmor Dominion is a religious theocracy that follows the Church of the God Awaiting. The Bishops are appointed by the religious order and they in turn elect a small five person council from their peers. As a member of the council, they represent the Church in both secular and religious matters. In short, they have absolute control of the government and wield it with an iron fist. Speaking out against them is akin to heresy.

The Church itself has several orders. But the most known and feared is the Schularite order. It is the Order that holds responsibility for seeking out the traitors to the faith and such. It is more commonly known as the Inquisition.

One of the tenants of the Church of the God Awaiting is to convert the populace of the world to their faith. In the beginning, this was to be through rather pacifist methods such as preaching the faith, helping the sick, the poor, etc. However, in recent times, the faithful have resorted to the sword as a more preferred method. It has a been a source of much tension in this section of the world as many of smaller, surrounding countries have become 'protectorates' of the Thelmor Dominion rather against their will.

It should be noted that there is no shortage of the Faithful. Many of those that following the religion will do so into the depths of hell itself.

The capital of the Thelmor Dominion resides at Temple City. It servers as both the political and religions heart of the nation.

The Church of God Awaiting is mainly a human religion. However, it has gained popularity with elves for some odd reason. Perhaps it is because some see the god the religion as one of their own. As such, the Dominion is mostly human and elf. Other races are considered inferior and treated without right contempt, if not second class citizens. During conquest, those not human or elf when conquered become little more than slaves, if they are not outright executed.
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Re: BC: Setting Information

Postby Herzog » Sat Aug 22, 2015 4:23 pm

Empire of Khodar

The Empire of Khodar is a secular empire that has a long and bloody history. The first Emperor was nothing more than a warlord, forged the then fledgling nation out of several warring city states. It set the stage for the growth and evolution of the nation. Over generations of Emperors it grew through conquest, from a small nation, to a large Empire that was not to be trifled with.

While there have been several dynasties since the First Emperor, they all worked towards cementing and retaining all control of the government and thus the nation. A divide grew between the noble class, the peasants and the Emperor himself that eventually lead to all out civil war. This civil war nearly tore the country apart. If it wasn't for the Thelmor Dominion scenting blood, the country probably would have fractured and been carved up by it's neighbors. As it was, the various sides of the civil war united under a single banner to fight a common enemy.

Today, the government of the Empire is rather complicated. After the disastrous civil war against the near total rule of the Emperor, a rather unique government came about. While the Emperor retained some imperial control of the nation, a parliament was formed to keep him in check. This parliament was the only legal entity in the nation allowed to control taxes and it was made up members of the noble class. The parliamentary emperor government was scoffed by political heads in other countries, but some how it did the job of balancing out the two. The Emperor couldn't bring the Parliament to heel if he couldn't pay his army. And the Parliament couldn't exactly depose the Emperor because of the people. It is a system that has been successful for nearly a century.

Human's make up a majority of the population of the Empire. The Emperor and all of the nobles that make up Parliament are all human. That is not to say there isn't any non-humans in positions of power. The head of the Mage Order itself is an elf that has been in the position for the last few Emperor's. Many non-humans have also built successful business's among the middle class. They do have to some prejudice, but no more than in any other kingdom. The army doesn't care about race, as long as you swear allegiance to the Emperor. The Black Company, likewise could care less.
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Re: BC: Setting Information

Postby Herzog » Mon Aug 24, 2015 11:26 am

The Brand

So what stops a Black Company convict from deserting and otherwise running amok. Well, a couple of things. The first is that their life is no longer their own. Members of the Black Company tend to look after their own. Their sense of justice is not something one would want to be on the receiving end.

Then there is the Brand. You see, each “volunteer” is branded with a runic B. It is what marks them as a Black Company member and is widely known throughout the Empire. Considering that the Black Company is restricted in their movements when off duty, guards and such know to report those found wandering where they are not suppose to be. If found and returned in such a manner to the Black Company, the unlucky member had best have a good excuse. If not, he is strung up as an example to others.

The other is that the brand allows any member of the Empire’s Mage order to scry and track the volunteer. Once found in that manner, the Black Company sends their own enforcers to return the wayward soldier. Alive is optional.

If the wayward volunteer is truly a problem, a mage of sufficient skill can use the brand to end their life. However, this is not resorted to often. The Black Company prides itself in taking care of their own problems.

If a volunteer reaches his the end of service term, as slash is branded over top of the runic B. This signifies that the volunteer is now a free man and pardon of his crimes. Rather or not, it breaks the scrying ability is debatable.
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Re: BC: Setting Information

Postby Herzog » Mon Aug 31, 2015 10:53 am

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Ivanstead Barracks

Ivanstead Barrack's is one of two training barracks dedicated to the Black Company. It resides in the Eastmarsh province, located in the eastern half of the Empire. The barracks is outside the town of Ivanstead, a small rural hamlet that centered around a large mill on the Whiterun River. As such, the barracks is rather remote, with the nearest sizable villages at least a half-day's ride or by barge up the river. Most of the surrounding country side is farmland, dotted by other small hamlets.

The old converted fort was originally built to control part of the Whiterun River during one of the expansions of the early empire. Since the borders have been expanded long past, it has been regulated to a local garrison with token force to control bandits and largely unused. It's re-purpose for the Black Company has been meet with mixed feelings.

The fort is on the river as well, enabling easy transport of supplies and new recruits via barge. The barracks itself has capacity of about 100-150 recruits, training officers and support staff. Recruits come from the three major prison's in the eastern half of the Empire.
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