The Free Swords are a loose association of mercenary troops based in eastern Masulee. The association is styled as a guild, but focuses on only a few services for its members, the most important of which is enforcement of payment. Association members pay into a mutual pool to fund collection campaigns in the event a member is not paid in full for services or if there is some other breach of contract. The association also arbitrates disputes among its members to avoid having mercenaries kill each other for free. Finally, the guild archives the exploits (and foibles) of its members. For a fee, clients can research the archives to better understand the strengths, weaknesses, and loyalty of mercenary companies under consideration. Obviously these records are only valuable for the larger companies that are not subject to rapid turnover in leadership and personnel. The guild master is currently Balorian of the Elder Regiment.
Mercenaries are used extensively in the western Shomaal. The young kingdom of Masulee relied heavily on mercenaries (especially the Elder Regiment) in its fight for independence. As a consequence, the regulatory climate is favorable for mercenary companies to establish a permanent presence. The general lawlessness from the many wars in this part of the Shomaal ensures there are ample grievances and limited central authority power to keep things in order. The mercenaries also perform more mundane chores such as guarding caravans and the like.
Notable mercenary troops