Rampant Lions Company
They stood on the crest of the rise, three men deep. Their banners, Golden Lions Rampant on a split field of red and blue, fluttering on long poles in the wind. They were silent. By some signal, they all began to rush forward screaming their battle roar. Halberd and blade coming open on the move. The enemy line broke under the power of the Lion's signature charge.
Major Advarete, Memoirs of the Twin Rose Wars 1320 Greenfield Presses
The Rampant Lions are a mixed company of five medium and light foot infantry supported by two cavalry units. Their trademark weapons are halberds, with secondary weapons of bastard swords. The two companies of light foot are have metal breast plates with leather buff coats. The three companies of medium foot have plate and mail combinations. Each member of the unit has a golden paint (or gleaming brass coating) on their breast plate.
They are a daring bunch, known for bravado and more courage than a courageous man. The leaders of each unit (and the company itself) are all trained at the Academy or have time in Royal Service. The unit is well drilled, highly disciplined, and has high morale as well. They see themselves as 'the last noble unit', the heroic survivors of the previous noble age.
The drill and discipline allows them to be fearless, hence trust in their officers and courage in their performance. This allows them to perform their signature tactic, a powerful full charge accompanied by a battle roar. Once the Lions Rampant are on the charge, few units can withstand their aggressive onslaught. The leaders will only charge once they have found the weak point in the opposition line or their is, what they perceive as, a noble unit (one honorable unit) as opposition.
The unit is selective about accepting new recruits. It has a reputation to maintain. It also has a long and chivalrous history, since the unit comes from long noble roots.
It, like many mercenary companies, has a winter camp that includes a keep. The company receives a small stipend each year to maintain a guard over the Northern borders and to hunt down the wild men who occasionally cross it. In campaigning season, the militia (near retired lions, green recruits, and any soldiers not on campaign this season) will continue to defend the border.
The Rampant Lions company emerged from the banner men of House Ryant and Lord Marcus Ryant. Though successful in the field, their side had lost the war. Lord Ryant was stripped of his titles, most of his properties and lands, but as terms of the crown surrender, kept his personal land, as long as he and his heir swore allegiance to the new crown (which he did).
His loyal followers continued to follow their leader which had protected them in peace against the Barbarians and during the two Rose Wars. The Armed forces camped upon Ryanthold, hesitant to return to their homes. He wished to keep the force together, but had no way to pay them without his tenant rents. Since he was no longer a true lord, he could be a merchant, a merchant of war.
He sent a notice to the registrar of Pieldon that a new company, a mercenary company, was formed.
The unit was vastly more successful than many of the rag tagged mercenary units registered. This company had been well blooded in the wars and maintained its cohesions after the rebellion. Its discipline makes it a popular garrison unit, but they are best used in open field combat.
Note: This piece can be completely free of the Magenta Rose saga. I simply used names and places from the Magenta Rose saga as they were convenient.
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? Responses (8)
Great for a gaming world.
A well made mercenary company. I salute your inventiveness.
An excellent mercenary company with good detail to the fighting men, though I wouldn't mind a little more detail on the cavalry units. The backstory is top notch, setting these men apart from the filthy mercenary stereotype. During the late middle ages and renaissance, almost all of the units that fought in the various wars were mercenaries, the beginings of the modern army emerging from the feudal vangards of the dark ages.
I have been readling 1632 series recently. It renewed me of my interest in the period. The first book included a great deal about mercenary armies in the Thirty Year War.
If your world is not deeply Feudal, but edging towards renaissance or even pre-modern (1500-1750), then mercenaries are there for you. So we should all build a company or two, and a couple NPCs.
They are mercenaries only on a technicality. I can easily see the Rampant Lions being only a ceremonial organisation in later years--first with the retired members, then as a more general 'gentlemen of fortune' group, with the emphasis on 'gentlemen'. Old men sitting about, smoking, sipping brandy, and going on about how things aren't as glorious as they once were. The poignancy of this makes me want to include them in a campaign, even if I know that this will likely be lost on everyone else.
Updated: Updated for free-text, addition of the 'it is, but it isn't a magenta rose piece' section, and one small correction in sentence structure.
Obviously they would need to be selective about their contracts, as it seems they could not sustain much loss without losing their distinctive nature.
A good unit.
Copy what AG said.
Short, with all the detail that is needed to field them immediately.