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We will be attending the 2010 Renewal event as part of the Algaia faction.
Old habits die hard though and there are frictions as the men and women of the company struggle withlife as soldiers. So it’s no surprise that the rank & file are a tough. What about ‘Honor’? Sod that. Its chief principles are loyalty. Like the Foreign Legion. that everyone in the BC hold dear. their behavior tempered only by a few decent men."-Algaian High Command. you leave your past behind you when you get accepted into the BC. Honor is a luxury of the rich. not mercenaries! Kicking your enemy in the nuts and nicking his provisions is the BC way. See how ready he is to break our shield wall after marching all day with aching plums and an empty stomach. no-hopers and dregs into the disciplined and respected unit they are today.."They are vicious & violent bastards. 2 . scrappy bunch.. always getting drunk (role-play drunk) & starting brawls. The Black Company (are very far from a parade ground spit and polish brigade. not of fortune. For 400 years the unit has survived alone after the destruction of the Free Companies of Khatovar. strength and the highest belief that they are the most capable troops for the job. It is an organised military force made up primarily of medium to heavy infantry with a few auxiliaries in support. The Black Company will next be out in force in August 2010 at Curious Pastimes Renewal Event. but of a nation. ‘Pride’ and ‘Loyalty’ are the watchwords. It’s the BC officers who have turned this frightening bunch of criminals. The Black Company is a former mercenary unit now in the full service of the Algaian faction. where will be supporting our allies the Algaia faction.
with its many main characters. the Company songs (there are a few) and of course if you’re unlucky get your fortune hilariously read with Black Company’s most dubious magical item. the best LRP tavern in the UK. Cook places his characters not in a world of good and evil. then this is very much for you. You betcha! ‘The Crimson Moon’. We endeavor to stay in character until Time Out and part of the pleasure of role playing in the Company is just talking about ordinary things from a soldier’s point of view. the officers will usual find some duties for us to perform. There is a lot to get involved with and the group is adept at making its own fun. Guarding and patrolling are duties we excel at and are often filled with sudden moments of danger and excitement. with sorcery added for flavor. yet having little control of their ultimate fate. Here we get to have some serious R&R. In this way. is pleasant change. 3 . Spot on! Glen Cook’s 'Black Company' novels are about a unit of hard-bitten Mercenaries in a gritty fantasy novel. When things are getting a little slow. still in character of course.We are bunch of mature (older) role-players who enjoy playing together as a military group. Shed-loads of plot going on. is the unofficial Company HQ. trying to "make a living" by doing what they do best and not "taking sides". although ad hoc and spin off events have been known. The ‘Captain’ hates idlers and will have you doing Drill if he sees you sitting around chatting. That grim ‘hard done by’ feeling sums up the Soldiers lot. night time raids and other covert ops are certainly something we do. So if you want to be a hero. and playing the ‘third spear carrier on the left’ rather than the heroes who shape the world. that a) we don’t understand b) might get us killed c) ends up with us being ordered into doing something nasty. It is in fact the very same experience we have when we play at the big LRP events. seemed the perfect inspiration for a LRP group. The perception of good and evil in many cases depends upon the viewpoint of the observer. This is of course great fun. The group has been around for about seven years in one form or another and generally tends only to do Renewal. they are portraying the human dilemma of feeling a part of the world they live in. Your get to learn the Company toasts. Considering the style of role-play the group wanted to do. serves as the unwilling pawn of the powers that be. this seemed ideal. It’s run by Vollsanger the Bard. If you want to find out what it is like being the ordinary guy. an honoree Black Company member. There is plenty of intrigue and investigation and quite a bit of fighting. Black Company is not for you. but in a world where good and evil is not absolute. ‘The Cards of Sexual Destiny’. The Company. Spying. The books draw you into a world much like ours.
The Annals are records that go back centuries. escaping through a portal to the world we now inhabit. that once you are in. they elected him Captain. one of the factions of the realm. though the first century of our history has been lost and the last 10 years on this world are very sketchy indeed. players have come and gone and so these days not everyone in the group knows each other. 4 . Please don’t be late. the surgeon Carver. So they set up headquarters in an active Brothel on the water-front and have been hustling to survive ever since. run the Mercenary camp and set up its charter. If you have an out of character question. But the Company ethos is such. Just don’t do it in the middle of scene where everyone is role-playing. Fleeing to the coast under the only officer left. and sailed to Dover. It doesn't matter what your character did before you joined the Company. Gryphons. There will be times when we need to be all together or have to undertake a duty. our Black Company knows little of its own origin.. as the magic-using Trolls of The Caladin tribe wreaked havoc.. In summary the last ten years are as follows: The Company fights its way to a place called the Glittering Plane. what’s known is recorded in the Company Annals and tells how ‘The Black Company’ is the last survivor of the Free Companies of Khatovar (a land on a different world. which the then King of Albion asked them to administer in his name.. If you’re out of character. just move off from the others and do your thing.only 26 escaping from 600 troops. and we now retain lands in Frankonia as Al'Gaians. long lost) and crossed to this world through a place called the ‘Glittering Plane’ some 10 years ago. In brief. They also elected a cavalryman they had picked up along the way. you as much part of the group as any of the veterans. The sergeants will make sure you know when these times are. The books also stress the fellowship between the characters. feel free to pull someone quietly to one-side and ask them. Carver got them some body-guarding work and some assault troop contracts before he fell in battle defending the Al'gaian king. As mercenaries the surviving BC members found work almost immediately with The Gryphons. we have worked various for The Fir Cruthen. once you have been initiated you’re one of the family no matter what. Some seven years ago The Empire invaded Estragles and almost the entire Company was wiped out defending the castle of Bayonne.It’s your event. No! The books are a great read but our incarnation of the Black Company starts way after the books end and on a different plane. Reaching the coast they were picked up by Admiral Gunner in the Gryphons flagship The Vigilant. by the name of Marshal. the Unit is their family and everyone is a brother or sister. you do what you feel best. Marshal became captain. Its history. If you sneak off ‘In Character’ you’re absent without leave and will get a whole world of pain heaped upon you. Vipers.. In between you can go ‘off-duty’ and do your own out of character thing. The College. to be Lieutenant. As the years have passed. Just like soldiers in the real world ‘Foreign Legion’.
otherwise return it at the end. 5 . Try and incorporate black into your costume. we have Scouts and Rangers who form our Skirmisher unit. with sword and shield and lots of armor. Stick together and you will survive. only humans are recruited into the Company. it’s yours to keep if you pay £5. Specialist: . Well first off. Heavy Infantry: . sword. black belt with skull buckle. green or purple. Everyone whatever their role starts off as a ‘Private’. Well unsurprisingly everyone’s base costume is black. but great if you are. We are not sexist and women are welcome to play any role. Not yellow. you’re there to support your Company comrades. Skirmisher: . studded leather or ring mail. Mages don’t wear metal armor. Everyone should bring EATING UTENSILS: . metal or fiberglass plate or heavy scale mail. Armor should be Light or Medium.. Shamans. furs. so it’s really up to you. our skirmishers are on our flanks stopping the enemy getting round behind us and our magical and medical support are in our centre with our Banner. Usually there is discussion thread going on the Black Company Face book Group where you can make a borrow request or ask for tips on where and what to buy. or both. we do encourage you to play Heavy Infantry if you can. Our heavy infantry is at the front.a bowl and a tankard and something to eat with. Unlike other groups we fight as unit. If you haven’t got any of the above you can buy most of it there at the event. such as Specialists.00.Any weapon that will allow you to move swiftly. one handed weapon (e. Alternatively. We encourage everyone who joins Black Company to play Heavy Infantry.Well you are probably a medical orderly or a magic user. ask to borrow some off your friends or from others going to the event.. black shirt and trousers (suede or leather is best). We don’t tend to do our own Rituals. Helmet and Armor. However. Light/soft leather. Alchemists and Corporealists. are also good but make sure you have a hand to hand weapon as bows and crossbows are not much good out there in a Battle. you may get promoted.e. the Company has room for medical and magical specialists.No.black! For preference a black hood or cloak. Projectile Weapons (we have some crossbows to lend out). which include Mages. latex/foam plate or scale mail Extra Heavy Armor i.g. That doesn’t mean the Company is vehemently racist it is just the way it has always been. especially if you are wearing robes. but not simple cloth Medium Armor i. This is the quintessential medieval ‘Men at Arms’. ● ● Light Armor i. mace). so Ritualist characters aren’t really needed. through play and your actions. You will be given a Company Badge. more the better. Chainmail. Heavy chainmail (metal only). If fighting really isn’t your thing. However we do have other roles in the Company.You need shield. Heavy/rigid leather. The highlight of Renewal is the Battle. ● ● Heavy Armor i. This means you don’t need to be a sword master to survive as you are not there to go one on one.e. For the lighter of foot. quilted or padded material.e.e.
Tries to stab us in the back Any of the above. the Company is only really held from becoming evil by the few good men who currently lead the Unit. these laws or the good of the Algaia No one shall take without permission that which belongs to another except in circumstances where to not do so would cause serious harm or danger to Algaians or their allies Those welcomed within the boundaries of our lands will be afforded the protection of our people. Unless of course the Employer: 1. Lord Hart for Company crimes (this is deadly serious – Lord Hart is no pussy cat) however it means that the commanding officer present’s head is in the noose for any funny business. Anything taken from the land should be renewed Undead are an abomination and every measure must be taken to lay their souls to rest Public highways must be kept clear of obstruction and free passage preserved No one may hinder or fail to aid an official of the Algaia when carrying out their duties No one may plot or act against the best interests of the Algaia or their allies. it keeps us working together as a unit and ruthlessly effective. Willful damage beyond that which needs to be done is forbidden.Not at all. So that sort of makes us Lawful Neutral as a group. means there will be hell to pay. Our current Employer is the rather goody two shoes Algaia faction. a declared enemy of the Algaia Reasonable action in defence of one’s self and allies is permitted No person may take possession of the mind of another No person is the possession of another Everyone is entitled to the freedom of their own action. unless that other is. ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● No Algaian may harm another. Personal morality often conflicts with the Company’s 'honor' system of ALWAYS holding true to their employer. Individually the Company members can recognize true evil when they see it. and have the right to challenge them for leadership of the Algaia 6 . Breaks the contract 2. To do so is treason No disrespect may be shown towards the name of the Gryphons or the Algaians past or present The leader of the Algaia bears responsibility for all the peoples and lands of the Algaia and as such all Algaia are duty bound to accept the authority of their decrees All Algaia have the right to petition their leader. or allied with. it’s very much shades of grey and at the end of the day we do what we are ordered. Fails to pay us 3. Following orders is very important. and are bound by our laws whilst within said lands The land and those upon it must be afforded respect. these are the set of laws that if broken can give our commanding officers a headache. The Officer Commanding answers to the Algaia’s ruler. However as most of the rank and file are pretty much scum anyway. We have signed a contract with the Algaia– as such Company members are exempt from Algaian law & answer only to the Company Officer Commanding – Company punishments are more severe than Algaian and usually start at flogging with summary execution depending on the Officers discretion. and often they try to manipulate the situation and interpret their orders to mitigate the worst outcomes. So although the Algaia’s laws don’t apply to us individually. insofar as it does not impinge upon the freedoms of others.
As this is a military unit there will be shouting and some swearing however we try to keep it all very much in the milieu and the Corporals and Sergeants will appreciate being told out of character in advance if you have any health issues that will prevent them ‘Beasting’ you (Beasting is where a Corporal or Sergeant will shout a lot in your face and make you do physical exercise-very funny to watch and great fun to roleplay for both participants) In rank Order the officers of The Black Company are:Captain Marshall. A harsh disciplinarian. One thing you will never be asked to do is role-play an order that will put you into real danger of committing a real world criminal offense or put you at real world risk of harm or abuse. definitely cunning and would be followed into the jaws of hell and back by the men. or resigns. Lieutenant Crow. Played by Erol Kentli Played by Mark Dollar Played by Paul Turner Played by Lee Maxwell 7 . until incapable. He is unlikely to give a battle order but on matters of fitness. don’t be surprised. He is also the Standard Bearer and takes a very dim view if Company traditions aren’t followed. Mister Ward (Richard) 2nd Lieutenant and Medical Officer. Years of hard campaigning & exposure to vicious magic’s. Unquestionable brave. voted in democratically for life. He is the Company Physician well Surgeon really and if he gets out his gloves and asks you to stand in a line and cough. health and cleanliness his word is final. Sergeant Major Dread. there is an immense amount of fun to be had in interpreting orders. Bear in mind. He is in charge of recording the unit’s exploits in the Annals.second in command and also the Company Annalist. but his leadership has got the Company through the past 7 years. As Sergeant Major the Sergeants report to him directly.Overall leader.Our group has a hierarchy and if you don’t enjoy playing characters that have to do what they are told then role-playing in a military unit is not for you.Has responsibility for the security of the Pay-chest and other Company Treasures. has left the Lt with few friends except the bottle of hard liquor that he keeps never too far from hand.
To give you some idea of the intellectual level involved. Corporal Jack. but trouble has a way of finding him. Played by Shaunee Dollar Sergeant Snatch. Not a troublemaker by nature.. who likes nothing better than breaking the knee caps of those who reckon a little lad with a mace ain’t any threat. Probably because he knows every dodge there is. with seating etc.Corporals are the backbone of the command structure and are expected to show independent thought. but as a rule no. An expert skirmisher. ‘Specialist’ officers. or you get given one. and we will find another but try and play along if possible.like the officers above him is a veteran of the Company and after a career of avoiding responsibility and shirking any duties he has somehow ended up a Sergeant. No-one uses their character’s real name in The Black Company. Private Swift – a fleet footed little bastard.a scout with a mean eye for spotting a good place to lay an ambush. We will provide The Black Company Standard and the Lance it is mounted on. Played by Adrian Davis Played by James ‘Bear’ Padget Played by Daniel ‘Krash’ Doherty Played by Simon Batt Your choice. Merc outfits are tough. Company superstition has that names have power and if an enemy magic user knows your name then they can curse you or worse. We will arrange a Company tent. the previous surgeons name was Carver! If we give you a nickname that you really don't like. open to all Company members. running their section efficiently. Snatch also holds the honor of holding one of the Company’s more dubious magical items ‘The Cards Of Sexual Destiny’. Corporal Jack is a no nonsense soldier and if you listen to him and do what he says he will keep you alive. rough and ready.And the Veterans attending Renewal 2010 are. sit outside the chain of command and unless you are a magic user you are unlikely to be issued with an order from her. Private Branch. and names don't hurt as much as arrows. tell us Out of Character quickly. such as M’Lady.. Therefore you either arrive with a nick name that’s fitting. 8 .
pointless drill. Here are a few common complaints. and all soldiers are grumblers and complainers. You may never share it with anyone but it makes it more fun when you are role-playing your character.e. mad or those too old to do anything but rot. Drink. that the only way out of the Company is death. o Poor Rations o Standard issue kit never fits/works/arrives on time (hence why most of us are wearing mismatched stuff looted from the battle field or stolen). don’t fit in anywhere else. they work for a living. Lost love That’s just a selection. War junky Too stupid and violent to be anywhere else. for which the reply is "Lovely Beach!” Sayings (which tend to be when we are marching or about to engage). o "What don't we like?" to which the shouted response is "Wrong-uns!" o "How are we tooled?" to which the shouted response is "To the Nines!” The Company are soldiers remember. station or gender rules of own society. They are NOT officers. o Pay is late. Always salute the Officers and stand to attention when they enter. or too buy your way out (very rare). The Black Company toasts are as follows . Never call a Sergeant or Corporal. Addiction i. Bear in mind. the dreaded medical! 9 . Rebelling against class. Common reasons are: Running from the law Defeated soldier with nowhere left to serve Running from family Escaping prostitution Psychological issues i. to which you should immediately stand and shout ‘The Black Company’ at the top of your voice. for which the reply is "I wish I was there!” o "Gallipoli". Retirement is only an option for the disabled. o "To The Regiment". o "The Black Company".e. These are sort of a short hand role-playing really. when of course in a lot of circumstances we have only just met in real life. Gambling. have given some thought to what led to your character joining The Black Company. They are there to helps us feel more like a unit that has lived and trained together for years. try and come up with a story for your character. Sir.You should however. o Long marches.
but they are our bastards & believe me when I say our punishments are far harsher than anything meted out by you. Beastings. duties etc. If you have any real life conditions that would prohibit being shouted at or some physical condition. just let us know in advance and we will role-play around it. 4. Volsanger the bard will teach you at Company HQ. It is great fun for at least one Private to be the cheeky one who always gets into trouble.The soldiers who general end up in the BC are usually scum and as a consequence insubordination is not unfamiliar. So you won’t get rich and you won’t get powerful in the BC that’s for sure. The ‘simple’ rules to Tonk can be found at http://www. Now the BC is not a parade ground unit so the NCO’s are fairly pragmatic but there are standards. this money will be raised in the form of taxes from the lands that we police in your name.html. They may be bastards. The Company will fight your battles. It’s common to gamble for money. Just be prepared to join in. 10 . Knife fights or brawls add a nice touch. police the lands granted us. The Company Commander will hold the title of a lesser noble within your kingdom. Songs. The Company Commander shall also hold a seat on your war council.we cannot fight for you if we are dead & my men are not expendable. it’s a bit like Poker and it’s called ‘Tonk’. the Company has its own songs. The Company has always dealt with its own. 2. Therefore the Corporals and the Sergeants WILL come down hard on anyone who disobeys an order or acts un-soldierly. Playing Tonk in moments when it’s quiet is encouraged. 1. based on the number & rank of troops we field for you. Well we aren’t really in it for the money (we are with the Algaia after all) and not really into gathering up uber Magic items either. rations. The Company will draw pay at the standard daily rates. 3. The treasures we hold dear are actually of little use to anyone else but ourselves.com/rules/Tonk. guard your war-camps & train your forces in the arts of organised warfare. any matters of discipline involving serving members will be handled by the Company. 5. don’t worry about learning them in advance. But these things we would ALL fight to the last for. A ‘Beasting’ usually involves a lot of shouting and something physical. The Company has its own card game. Enthusiasm is valued more than holding a note. enforce your laws. At no point should a Beasting be mistaken for anything but role-play.gamecabinet. 6. just so the Corporals and Sergeants can ‘Beast’ them. The men of Company will be treated with equal respect & urgency when it comes to the healing of the wounded .
bearing the Company symbol. formerly that of a very powerful Sorceress called Soulcatcher. The books written by Glen Cook are in the form of the early Annals. a circle of gold surrounding a silver human skull with large canine teeth and no lower jaw. Given that most soldiers can't read. allows access to the plain of Glittering Stones and in days gone by was deadly against sorcerers. Knights of Dorn –Nearly all former BC members. (bloody pansies) nice to have on your flank. The secret of releasing this power has been unfortunately lost. Newer brothers have to earn them. always too far away to be reached during the course of the event. The rest of the Company is therefore. It is a 4 inch wide embroidered disc. The End Hope you have enjoyed this brief.The Annals.-No fighting. Lucky he likes us. the Annalist is held in similar awe. Algaia faction The Eored . It was then that her symbol was adopted. robbing or killing in there lads it’ll get you barred! Brother Joseph an Arch mage of The Hia Ravni (high elves).-They are a written history of The Company. never mind write. Only veterans have these expensive baubles. one hit would magically poison them and lead to an almost inevitable hideous prolonged agonizing death. so Company members treat the Annals with almost religious awe and deference. the members. The Annals say. 11 .Always up for a pint. Adrian Davis aka Sergeant Snatch. It was almost destroyed when it was involved in destroying a 'Goddess' called Kina some centuries ago. Black Company Standard. The eyes are an evil red. .The Black Company Standard has two parts. It has never been lost in Battle. Players who can’t make an event are deemed to be on patrol or on maneuvers. They are good lads who found religion. Mercenaries. The Lance of Passion: It is the oldest surviving Company Artifact. As it stands there are approximately 100 serving Company soldiers. and the banner reflects the fear The Black Company instilled when it worked for her. Black Company Badge: The Black Company Badge is a grim piece of jewelry indeed. according to the Annals. its exploits. any inaccuracies are mine alone. The Death's Head Banner: The Banner is the adopted Company symbol.Hard as you like skirmishers. Gold and bronze "flames" come down from the mouth. Its magic. one of an evil group of warlocks called ‘The Ten Who Were Taken’. Algaia Faction The Crimson Moon Tavern. Lions Azure. their lives and deaths. believed to have been with The Company when it marched from Khatovar. All this is set on sable cloth. Soul Catcher employed the Company several centuries ago. It is the ONLY epitaph most of them / us are likely to have as characters. Turn you into a frog soon as look at you.
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