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In Felarya, Mercenaries groups are playing an important role in various security domains, from fighting local threats, to protecting a convoy, or do treasure hunting. Some are only in it for the cash, and some for principle. Some mercenaries are veteran adventurers, some are mutinous regular forces who abandoned their original masters, some of them are little more than pirates or ruthless thugs, others are tied to a single employer through long-time contracts, and occasionally become regular forces of that employer. Whatever their reasons, mercenary forces run the gamut, from some of the most disreputable to the most elite troops around. Many mercenary companies, or their constituents, do not survive their first steps on Felaryan soil, but dozens have gone on to become successful, trusted units that form key parts of their employers' Interest.
===The mercenary business===
The Magiocrats personal security force and fighting arm, The Isolon fist, originally used to regulate mercenary contracts through the Mercenary guild. However this was later replaced by the Negav Mercenary review board ( NMRB ), which is jointly administered by the Vishmitals , other city factions and mercenary representatives after its establishment in 2032 AU. Registration with and regulation through that board is mandatory for any mercenary group in order to be considered legitimate, otherwise they'll just be regarded as bandits or pirates, and dealt with as such. This gives the NMRB and its rating system an uncontested monopoly over establishing the reputation of a group, and the power to arbitrate alleged breaches of contract and even declare a mercenary unit rogue. It also serves as a court of arbitration in contract disputes for both employers and mercenaries. Needless to say that the distinction between regular armed forces, mercenaries, private security forces, privateers and outright pirates is often blurred, and the interpretation of some of the NMRB's members is said to sometimes vary after some.. incentive. Conversely, rogue elements are occasionally hired out as mercenary troops, though this is seen as officiay illegal.
Quite a few among the vast number of mercenary groups of Felarya stand out, owing to their special history, outlook or connections. For example, the Kensha Hussars, are well recognized as the biggest group and a solid and reliable one, that can demand virtually any price they wish for their services. FOOD stand out for their strange practices, C’tal Irregulars, have their own agenda besides their mercenary business. Some units such as the Battle Magics are not truly independent, but are affiliated with one particular party or faction; others are tied to a specific landhold, like Jason’s horde, often seen patrolling The Tolmeshal forest.
An uncommon and dangerous practice of some groups of mercenaries is to try and to recruit local Predators or other creatures to add to their ranks, sending the most socially adept and charismatic member to try and negotiate. Off course, most often it ends up with the negotiators being eaten, but some groups have been successful. Those groups would use the predators to scout around the area they are working in, and to greatly increase their power. Some groups would even try to steal a predator egg or wager goods to expecting mothers to try and raise the infants as their own; most often as killing machines or to act as an ambassador with that specific race for future dealings. Although this makes some employers uneasy and skeptical to hire a unit actively practicing such activity.
The market place of the Galaxiea Bizarre with its numerous Hiring centers became the "Mercenary's Hall", the greatest center of the mercenary trade in the City where mercenaries could train, rest, repair and negotiate their contracts. It was gradually eclipsed in this role by The Kensha Hussars' new head establishment "Fortunes Keep" after 2005, until it was devastated by a huge fire which passed through the area, causing it to be demolished. The cause of the fire remains uncertain but some say it was related to mercenary business.
=== History ===
Formed not long after the Magiocrats's ascension to power, the Mercenary guild was established as a way to allow trusted Isolon fist commanders to serve as brokers for all mercenaries and their employers in Negav, and to monitor and control this massive presence of people armed to the teeth in the streets of the city. This move proved a valuable safeguard as any mercenary unit failing to perform contracted services, breaching a contract, or causing troubles would find itself unable to evade the Magiocrat's almost universal reach over Negav. The Isolon Fists with the assistance of the Investigators would inform other potential employers of a rogue unit's actions and had the power to threaten an interdiction against any faction or group employing such a unit.
However, the existence of the Mercenary guild basicay created a Magiocrat controlled monopoly on mercenary organizations and activities. As the Vishmitals became a more prominant political force within Negav, their need for mercenaries grew as their forces grew increasingly stretched due to near constant covert attacks by the Investigator's Metropolitian Security Division who saw the Vishmitals as a threat to the Magiocrats. The Vishmitals were in a no win situation, as their efforts to hire legal mercenary groups were constantly blocked, and the use of illegal groups gave the ISD all the more reasons to attack them. Yet the mercenaries were also unhappy at the situation; they were losing valuable business under the Magiocrat monopoly, while the Guild's rules prevented them from doing otherwise. This general discontent felt around Negav eventually led to political change and concessions of power; the Magiocrats ending their total control of Negav's security, including the Mercenary guild. The influential Kensha Hussars group announced the Mercenary Guild dissolved and, for a brief moment, became the main authority concerning mercenaries.
To replace the defunct Mercenary Guild, the major factions within the city agreed to have it reform as a board jointly administered by a committee made up of representatives from each major influential factions. The Magiocrats, through the Isolon Fists, and the Vishmitals both maintain a permanent seat; another seat was granted to Kensha Hussars, arguably the most famous mercenary unit on the continent. Fortunes Keep, the permanent headquarters of the Kensha Hussars and premier Hiring Center, was chosen as the official home of the new Negav Mercenary review board ( NMRB ) which formed in 2032 AU. Following the massive destruction inflicted on Fortunes Keep in a mysterious fire, the NMRB moved back to the market place of the Galaxiea Bizarre, where they had previously only maintained a subsidiary bureau. The NMRB now essentially continues the guild's business. In reference to Kensha Hussars, who represent the mercenary trade, the quality ratings for mercenary units established by the NMRB became colloquially known as "Hussar Rating".
Known groups of mercenaries
- Credits to Ravaging-Vixens for many ideas to develop mercenaries.