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General Adventuring Company Names and What They Are Up To

Jeremy E Grenemyer

Feisty
Supporter
Let’s make some more adventuring company names:

1. The Swordmaidens of Skull Gorge

2. The Friends of the Merchant

3. The Eight from Esparin

4. The Wyvern Riders

5. The Company of the Rusted Blade

6. The Company of the Finch

7. The Cliffjumpers of Skullwatch

8. The Shadows of the Reaching Wood

9. Tilver’s Readyblades

10. The Tankardtrolls of Fendarl’s Gate
 

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Jeremy E Grenemyer

Feisty
Supporter
I just can’t let the list from the previous post stand as is.

Let’s give five lines or so of description to each of those adventuring bands. I might improve on the names too.

Oh, and before I forget: Most of the places mentioned in the descriptions that follow are found in the left hand third of the awesome Realms map included in the following free download from Wizards of the Coast (this is a direct download link to the pdf file): https://www.wizards.com/files/365_Backdrop_Cormyr.pdf


1. The Swordmaidens of Skull Gorge
“Mind the swords in the sky,” are watchwords used by merchants that make the Skull Gorge and its environs part of their route. Grim rumor claims these blades—longswords all—float overhead, point down, before plunging into unsuspecting victims, and that each blade is a Swordmaiden transformed. That the Swordmaidens exist is not in doubt, as this all-female group of adventurers make at least one visit a year to Skullwatch, there to trade treasures and ancient coins found in the many caverns that riddle the steep walls of the gorge. Because lore among adventurers holds that the Swordmaidens are active along the north side of the gorge, most treasure seekers will not camp within a mile of its northern edge for fear of being impaled by night.

2. The Merchant Friends of the High Road (name change)
A goodly band of adventurers that avoid dungeons and ruins in favor of battling highwaymen, brigands and monsters that sometimes plague the merchants and travelers that journey along the High Road between Proskur and Easting. The Merchant Friends are welcome among the campfires of all but the most despicable of merchants. They count at least three priests among their ranks along with a dozen experienced warriors. Lore among merchants states that the Friends have no declared leader, and that it is wisest to address the Battlepriest of Tempus among their ranks as her opinion is held in high regard by her fellow Friends. The Merchant Friends fight from horseback.

3. Eight from Espar (name change)
The Eight claim to hail from Espar, in Cormyr. They wander a vast region bordered by the Skull Gorge to the north, the Stormhorns to the east, the Reaching Woods to the west and the Trader’s Road to the south. All are veteran adventurers as well as cutthroat killers. The Eight are led by a zealous priest of Bhall, Lord of Murder, that has perfected a curse that she now bestows on individuals that beg for mercy.[1] When they are not busy plotting the deaths of priests of goodly faiths—particularly if such are members of adventuring companies active in the region the Eight have claimed for themselves—each member of the Eight strives to slay at least one person per day in the name of Bhaal. The Eight are on good terms with the leaders of Darkhold.

4. The Wyvern Knights (name change)
The fang-shaped crags and steep mountains that comprise the Stormhorns are home to winged beasts of many kinds, including bad-tempered wyverns sporting venom so potent that it does not poison so much as melt, thus turning its victims into a flesh puddle the wyvern eagerly laps up before winging away to find another meal. These are the wyverns that the members of the Wyvern Knights intend to tame by any means necessary, and make into potent mounts. The Knights are comprised of hill-dwelling natives that have all grown up in the shadow of the western face of the Stormhorns, with the exception of a pair of sorcerers that call the fortress city of Greatgaunt home. The Knights count one Druid of Silvanus and a quartet of rangers faithful to the Forest Queen (Mielikki) among their ranks.

5. The Rusted Blades
The Rusted Blades were a typical example of the sort of impoverished farmers that are “hired” (read: conscripted against their will) by agents from Darkhold, given rudimentary training and weapons, and made to march to the southern edge of Skull Gorge where dangerous paths lead down to the River Reaching. The Rusted Blades are one of a handful of such adventuring companies that have survived the decent, explored the caves that pockmark the gorge, and emerged with treasure that was promptly claimed by their Zhentarim handlers. The Zhentarim of Darkhold have long used this method to root out dangers in Skull Gorge, and to keep the population of farmers and ranchers to its west small and docile—the better to prevent them from rising up in revolt.

6. The Company of the Lucky Finch (name change)
This band of Cormyrean adventurers wander The Far Hills, and have spent the last two winters in Asbravn. They judged Hluthvar to the north to be too dangerous after repeated attempts on their lives by assassins in the employ of Darkhold. Despite their name, good fortune has yet to find the members of the Lucky Finch since their departure from Cormyr some four years ago; they’ve managed to find meager caches of coins and baubles sufficient to pay for food and shelter, but little else. If the story of their origin is true, then the Company of the Lucky Finch took their name from a bird native to Cormyr that makes a habit of adorning its nest with shiny baubles (the better to attract a mate). One such nest produced gems sufficient to purchase gear and equipment to outfit the Company, and finance their journey west of Cormyr in pursuit of treasure.

7. The Cliffjumpers of Skullwatch
Among the residents of Skullwatch one can find foolhardy individuals that make a sport out of leaping from the edge of the steep cliffs that mark the eastern end of Skull Gorge down to flat, barely-there strips of level rock that jut out from the cliff face. Provided they survive the leap, such persons then climb back up using only their bare hands and feet, and then do it all over again—this time aiming for landing sites further down. The Cliffjumpers long ago mastered the art of leaping, and have since journeyed west to explore both sides of the Skull Gorge. They are all expert climbers, and they make use of rope, a little magic, guile and acrobatic skill to access the hardest-to-reach caves in the gorge (as well as to make surprise attacks on the many foes and monsters to be found there).

8. The Shadows of the Reaching Woods
The Reaching Woods bends to the northeast, where it is flanked to the north and south by trails that run to Corm Orp and Hluthvar. Residents of both towns are well aware of the Shadows of the Reaching Woods, for the later have conducted a brutal campaign of trap-laying, misdirection and slaughter. The Shadows do not harass the handful of farmers that live within sight of the Woods; instead they target prospectors, rival adventurers, agents of the independent cities to the south, of Cormyr, and of Darkhold, and woodcutters that fell trees without a care for tending to the woodland. Rumor holds that rangers and druids fill the ranks of the Shadows. The Masters of Darkhold believe this too, but they also know that priests of Malar lead the Shadows. The activities of the Shadows are of concern to Cormyr’s leaders as well, for fear that whatever the Shadows seek in the heart of the Reaching Woods will give them undue influence over Malar’s priesthood in Cormyr proper.

9. Tilver’s Readyblades
A former mercenary captain-turned-adventurer leads this band of swords swinging warriors. Lore among adventurers states that the Readyblades are always keen to draw steel, fight fair (if not exactly honorably), and never leave a corpse without enough coins for a proper burial. The Readyblades are known in Cormyr, where they have been active in the vicinity of Griffon Hill and Halfhap. The expiration of their Cormyrean adventuring charter has led the Readyblades far to the west, and the High Road has seen them safely as far as Old Axe. They have decided to make for Maloren’s Rest, there to pursue rumors of armored warriors that melt in and out of the shadows. [2]

10. The Tankard Trolls of Fendarl’s Gate
The waystop-town of Fendarl’s Gate—itself located halfway between Berdusk and Iriaebor—straddles the trade road that connects the two independent city states. Common among its few permanent residents are narrow, lidded tankards made of copper and brass that are embossed with repeating patterns depicting monsters of various types. The most popular of these depict lanky trolls with disproportionately large claws, fangs and noses that are as tall as the tankard from bottom to top. One such tankard served as inspiration for an adventuring company name, and so the newly minted Tankard Trolls cheered to eachother’s long life and future wealth before setting off to the Sunset Mountains to the north and east in search of adventure.


[1] This curse is a form of geas that requires the target to murder someone important to them—a family member, for example, or a trusted friend or acquaintance—within one year. If the cursed individual fails to perform the dread deed within the time allotted then their soul is torn from their body and is forced to linger silently near the priest, where it remains under his control and must do as he commands. These souls are used as silent, nigh-invisible spies by the leader of the Eight.

[2] These rumors are false, having been planted by priests of Velsharoon in the hopes of acquiring the fresh, vigorous blood of adventurers for use in rituals meant to free the vampire lords trapped in the mists that appear every full moon over the Tun River.
 
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Caliban

Rules Monkey
Hardstone and Company. "Taking Care of Business" is their motto.

A pair of unruly dwarven cousins from Clan Hardstone and their halfling companion, this rowdy bunch is making a reputation for themselves as both effective and bloodthirsty. They pride themselves on killing everyone and everything when clearing a monster infested dungeon - or a brigand stronghold. When asked who the leader is, both Jasper Hardstone (Life Cleric of Moradin) and Flynt Hardstone (Barbarian Battlerager) will lay claim to the title, while Odo the halfling Thief considers himself the "power behind the throne" as he plays the bickering dwarven cousins against each other. Short on brains but skilled in violence, they pride themselves on completing their missions with the highest possible body count. Somehow they have managed to avoid killing any actual innocents in their adventurers, which is the only thing keeping them out of jail (so far).
 

Jeremy E Grenemyer

Feisty
Supporter
The Company of the Angry Chamber Pot

To this day, whatever power animated a communal brass chamber pot that sat at one end of a long hallway running the length of the upper floor of the Black Banner Inn—before the chamber pot went careening through the air, bashing into heads and ricocheting off of knees before it landed upside down on the noble head of a Cormyrean who’d recently escaped from the prison castle of Irlingstar, in Cormyr—remains unknown to the members of the Company of the Angry Chamber Pot.

Said members of the Angry Chamber Pot did not hesitate in the presence of good fortune, and so they followed the chamber pot’s route, kicking at the faces of the fallen and delivering punches to the guts of those who’d dared stand back up. The nobleman, doubly furious for being soaked to the bone with the commingled waters of his hired guards—all of whom lay unconscious on the floor or doubled over in pain—failed to remove the chamber pot from his head before the leader of the Company rapped his mace hard against the ‘pot’s brass side, rendering the wayward noble unconscious.

Some say the members of the Angry Chamber Pot used magic to animate the heavy brass chamber pot—itself something that can no longer be found at the Black Banner Inn, nor anywhere in Daerlun where the Inn stands—but the Company counted no wizards or sorcerers among its ranks when they apprehended Lathlance.

In truth, they hadn’t taken to calling themselves The Company of the Angry Chamber Pot just yet; at the time they were hireswords short on paycoins who’d traveled to Daerlun on the promise of employment that was never kept, for the nobleman judged his count of blades sufficient and refused to hire more protectors. Were it not for the fact that one of the hireswords recognized the nobleman and knew of the bounty on his head, the noble may well have escaped.

The nobleman was made to wear the chamber pot atop his head “for his protection” during the brief trip home, but also to conceal his identity; the reward offered by the Crown for the noble’s safe return was substantial, and the hireswords were not about to lose their quarry to bounty hunters or anyone else.

And so it was that Lathlance “Lackluster” Vorlsummer was apprehended and brought back to Azoun’s Hold in Cormyr, there to be “reembraced” by the Crown of Cormyr and eventually reinstalled at his prison cell within Irlingstar, where he is destined to remain for a length of time now double that of his previous sentence.

For their part the hireswords chose to embrace a life of adventure, and with their reward purchased an adventuring charter and a name--one that’s known equally well on either side of the Thunder Peaks.

********

Today the Company of the Angry Chamber Pot ranges up and down Cormyr’s eastern border, frequently dipping into Sembia and north into Semberholme and the Dales. They’ve traveled to Westgate twice, and have no intentions of returning unless the expected reward is significant.

The Chamber Pot have been given leave by the Crown of Cormyr to return noble escapees directly to Castle Irlingstar, and to hunt male and female nobles that are wanted by the Crown. War Wizards and Crownsworn spies tasked with covertly watching the members of the Chamber Pot have observed them to refuse all bribes offered, as they are frequent targets for such by nobles eager to see their sons and daughters quietly returned home in lieu of a stay in prison.

The Chamber Pot spend more time within the bounds of civilization than they do in ruins or forgotten mines infested with monsters (of which there are countless dotting the landscape that makes up the Thunder Peaks), though they will travel nearly anywhere in pursuit of their prey.

Their reputation has spread sufficiently that the sight of a dented brass chamber pot before a door or in front of a hiding place is usually enough to spook their prey into turning themselves over without a fight.

The Chamber Pot do not limit themselves to wayward nobles, however, but also hunt rogue wizards, charterless adventurers, and anyone else Cormyr deems a threat to its interests. They turn over captured prey within the confines of Castle Crag and Castle Nacacia in the north, Azoun’s Hold in the east, and on occasion to High Horn in the west.
 
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CydKnight

Explorer
The Independent Legion - Most are grizzled veterans. Those who are not spend years training and doing remedial security contracts before being allowed to participate in hired missions or war. Led by a battle hardened ex-general of a well-known kingdom of the DM's choosing, Idris Ides expects only the best from his mercenaries and likewise he also pays the best. If you have a job that other mercenaries won't touch, The Independent Legion will perform it if you have the coin.
 

Brandegoris

First Post
One that I recycle in my games is :
1.) Clenched Fist: Symbol is a Raven being crushed by a Mailed Fist.
Leader is: Gregor Turban ( in his 50's Still a stout warrior) High Level Paladin or fighter depending.
I change the flavor of the group and the membership at my whim :)
 

Jeremy E Grenemyer

Feisty
Supporter
Velahoondelar's Wagontamers

Velahoondelar hails from far away Turmish. He spends as much time cleaning his ornate breastplate as he spends on necessities like taking care of his horse, eating, mending and washing his clothes, and taking baths. Every morning he carefully applies two horizontal marks on his forehead with chalk, in keeping with the traditions of his homeland.

To his adventuring companions, Velahoondelar is a beacon of trouble; his armor is too bright—it can be seen for a mile or more over flat ground—and he cares not for bad weather. Indeed, Velahoondelar welcomes the thundering storms of the North for the chance it affords him to stand naked under the sky and bathe, no matter how cold the wind or how freezing the rain.

Worse still, he will bury found treasure at least once a tenday. Velahoondelar states such burials are offerings to Chauntea, and that doing so will sow the seeds for greater wealth and prosperity in the future. He claims it was this habit that brought wealth to himself and his adventuring companions, in the days when he was a proper wagon tamer in service to merchants plying their wares along The Trade Way and The High Road.

On the Sword Coast, the term “wagon tamer” is understood to mean an outrider that serves a traveling merchants in two additional ways. The first is to keep watch for oncoming threats and inclement weather. The second is to ride at a moment’s notice to catch and bring under control any wagon whose draft animals have become spooked. Merchants all over Faerûn fear the loss of goods, animals and helpers when their wagons go barreling off the road into places dangerous for the terrain, brigands or monsters. Thus, Wagon Tamers are expert riders, have the ability to calm panicked animals, and if all else fails have the strength at the reigns to guide draft animals running wild through difficult terrain until the beasts calm and eventually stop.

Velahoondelar could not keep a pair of frightened horses pulling a wagon from falling nose first into a sinkhole, but fate kept him alive after he slipped in between the cart and the hole in which it was stuck and found himself face to face with an Umber Hulk that was making for the horses dangling by their harness. The horrified shout of fear Velahoondelar gave as the beast charged him sounded like a battle cry to the outriders who’d given chase, and these same outriders gave shouts of surprise after they’d attached ropes to the back of the wagon and hauled it and the horses out of the hole.

The scene below revealed Velahoondelar on his back, a hand’s-length of steel protruding from the back of the Umber Hulk’s squat head, and the bulk of the beast atop him. None but Velahoondelar know the Umber Hulk tripped in its haste to eat him, and that the Wagon Tamer’s instinct to squat low and extend his sword in a final act of defiance resulted in the beast impaling itself on his blade.

From that day until now, whenever an unexpected success occurs or is observed, Velahoondelar can be heard to say, “The gods grant victory how they will.”

The merchant caravan spent the night off the road and not far from the sinkhole. Emboldened by his success, Velahoondelar convinced his fellows to follow him back into the sinkhole by telling them the horses were likely spooked by the Umber Hulk tunneling near the road, and surely more beasts will follow to harass other travelers. Velahoondelar and his companions did not return to the surface until the next morning, but they carried their fresh wounds and newly-won treasure with pride. As well their stories of battle with the creatures of the Underdark and the discovery of lairs filled with the half-eaten corpses of dead travelers.

The caravan arrived in Neverwinter without further incident but did not move on to Luskan as planned until after new outriders could be hired. Velahoondelar and his companions left the City of Skilled Hands a tenday after arriving—this time equipped with torches and gear common to adventurers—and rode straight for the Umber Hulk tunnels.

Velahoondelar’s Wagontamers number ten men and six women. All are human save for a pair of half-elves from Highmoon beyond the fabled land of Cormyr. Of the humans, all except Velahoondelar are natives of the Sword Coast.

The Wagontamers are forever on the move in search of adventure. In the cold months they travel south as far as Baldur’s Gate, while the warm months see them further north on The High Road as far as Neverwinter. (Never onward to Luskan. Velahoondelar sees Luskan as a place of illiterate thieves, selfish wizards and swindlers lacking in tradition and honor, and unworthy of the Wagontamers.)
 
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Jeremy E Grenemyer

Feisty
Supporter
As a thank you to EN World, and to the members who've participated in this thread and left kind comments, I thought I would post an image of some of the adventuring companies that first appeared in this thread, but have since been ported over to the in-progress-with-updates-and-revisions version of my Cormyr sourcebook for the DMs Guild.

Thanks to everyone!

Screen Shot 2018-05-01 at 9.20.35 AM.png
 


Jeremy E Grenemyer

Feisty
Supporter
Let’s get some more adventuring company names down. 13 of them, to be exact.

1. The Whiteshields

2. The Boldstags of Stonebolt Fields

3. Avrauntra’s Disciples

4. The Dragon Chasers

5. The Oakshields

6. Thiraphel’s Band

7. The Ferocious Five

8. The Chase

9. Shasslan’s Swords

10. The Maids of Misfortune

11. The Men of the Black Hand

12. Darrambur’s Devils

13. The Bluestars
 
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Jeremy E Grenemyer

Feisty
Supporter
Let’s flesh a few of the adventuring company names from the list of thirteen, above.

OK, same rules as before: at least four lines of text for a general description. I reserve the right to change up the adventuring company names, so you might see some minor differences between the names in the list and the names as they appear in the posts that follow.

(Oh, and you might need a map of Cormyr. Try the Mike Schley-drawn map on page three from Wizard’s of the Coast’s free download of “Backdrop: Cormyr” by Brian R. James.)

1. The Whiteshields
A band of adventurers from Amn who carry, as their name suggest, shields painted purest white. The Whiteshields journeyed through Cormyr on their way to explore the northern Thunder Peaks, and were last seen traveling on the East Way towards the crescent shaped valley formed by the Thunder Gap. None yet realize the Whiteshields are on a mission to assassinate Calathra Hargentle, onetime Doombringer favored by Beshaba, Goddess of Misfortune. Calathra’s fall from grace made her a target for other Doombringers (the handful of attempts to slay her have thus far ended only the lives of her attackers), who are guided by visions from the Goddess and eager to do her bidding.

2. The Bold Stags of Stonebolt Fields
In Cormyr, however much nobles or the latest persons to come into possession of new properties try to give their holdings new names, the old, commonly-used-by-locals names of places stick. The farmlands north of Espar are no exception: Stonebolt Fields is known as “Spurbright Steads” to members of the Spurbright noble family, the later name used during formal negotiations made by Spurbrights and their representatives, as well as on legal documents. There is no love lost between the members of the Bold Stags and the Spurbrights, as most of the adventurers grew up on farms watched over by the nobles, who were never kind and oft flouted Crown law when it suited them. The Bold Stags braved long forgotten mines in the Stormhorns and returned with ancient coins sufficient to purchase an adventuring charter that spelled out for all who the Bold Stags are and the place they come from: Stonebolt Fields.

3. Avrauntra’s Disciples
Not a few mages have chosen to merge themselves body and soul with the Weave of All Magic. The mighty Avrauntra, greatest of all Netherese Arcanists, did just such a thing after centuries of teaching and uplifting any Netherese citizen that showed a talent for spellcasting. The adventurers known as Avrauntra’s Disciples uncovered proof of Avrauntra’s existence while staying in Myth Drannor, but fled that city when the mercenary armies of Shade overwhelmed the newly risen City of Song. The Disciples regrouped in Semberholme, then set out on horseback for the combined ruins of Myth Drannor and Shade—the later city having crashed to the ground atop the former—intent on discovering more Words of Awakening and Words of Power made permanent in the Weave by Avrauntra.
 
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Jeremy E Grenemyer

Feisty
Supporter
More fleshed out adventuring company names:

4. The Dragon Chasers
A favorite activity of elder Buckfast Lords is to tell stories to Thunderstone children of their adventures in the Thunder Peaks and Hullack Forest. These tales are embroidered by the imaginations of the Buckfast storytellers, so old Lord Ravance might claim to have jumped from one mountaintop to another without so much as stopping his brave steed Thunderlance while charging headlong into the mouth of a fire breathing dragon, during which the lord lost his arm in battle with the horrible beast. There is always an element of truth to the stories, which is to say Lord Ravance Buckfast did lose his arm to a dragon of modest size after falling head over horse down a mountainside when the beast awakened inside its cave lair and gave a mighty roar. Lord Buckfast landed hard on his backside, the dragon darted out of its lair and greeted the unfortunate lordling by snatching him up in its jaws by his sword arm, and then Thunderlance came crashing down into the dragon, thereby releasing the now one-armed Buckfast. Horse and wounded rider did not wait to see how quickly dragons recover after being crashed into by horses half their size. A band of youthful adventurers that all grew up in Thunderstone on the stories of wyverns and dragons and the lurking perils that devour the unwary traveler in the Thunder Peaks, the Dragon Chasers hunt that same red dragon today.

5. The Oak Shields
All victims of a Teleport spell gone awry. The Oak Shields adventured in Damara and Vaasa, and traded a hefty bag of coins to a hiremage to be magically transported from Heliogabalus to within sight of the Pillar of Fire within the Galena Mountains. Hiremage and adventurers arrived in the Thunder Peaks, realized they had no idea where they were, then fell to arguing. The hiremage stomped his foot to make a point, the snow-covered ground gave way, and the hiremage discovered too late that he'd been standing on snow-covered ice. The Oak Shields spread out with all the haste of ripples running from a rock freshly landed in water as the lake ice beneath them groaned, cracked and split apart. The hiremage sank quickly in the freezing water, but not fast enough to avoid the wyvern that crashed half in the water, slapped its wings against ice and water to regain the air, then stabbed the poor mage repeatedly with its stinging tail as it flew off with its meal. The Oak Shields made it as far as the Hullack Forest, thanked the gods for the cover the trees provided against the hungry wyverns plaguing their journey out of the mountains, and have decided to wait out the winter before traveling any further.

6. Thiraphel’s Band
Thiraphel has yet to tire of the majestic sight of Cormyr from his prison high up in the sky. His adventuring companions have plenty of food, plenty of water, and enough gold to build a small keep out of the stuff--if only they could find a way back down. Their jailer lay dead, the giant's corpse measuring fifty feet from head to toe, the body resting atop cloud as hard as rock. The giant's killer lay equally dead, a short sword as long as a wagon buried to the hilt in its enormous chest. Thiraphel's Band were meant to be a meal for the giant, but mealtime was cut short when the second giant sprang its trap. The secret of whatever magic the giant used to make its way into the clouds disappeared when the mind keeping it passed away. The view of Cormyr, however, remains incredible.
 
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Jeremy E Grenemyer

Feisty
Supporter
Next on from the list of thirteen are:

7. The Ferocious Five
A quintet of sword-wielding Thunderlans that evince all the stereotypical behaviors Cormyreans ascribe to the people of Thunderstone, in eastern Cormyr. The four men and one woman that comprise the Five hunt from the saddle, brew ales made from grains grown on their own farms, find mates for the night among the local populace, and share with each other their homemade remedies for hangovers. The Five have ridden deep into the Hullack, navigated the treacherous pass to either side of the Thunderflow and discovered at least one long-abandoned keep belonging to the all but forgotten Drauthglas noble family. ("Longest gone and least remembered," as the saying goes in Thunderstone.) They have recovered coins enough to see them all safely through the next several winters, but their lust for adventure has yet to be sated despite their most recent brush with death. (By rights the Ferocious Five should all be dead, their corpses coughed up and spat out as owlbear pellets. They owe their lives to another band of adventurers—The Chase—that slew the owlbears threatening to devour the Ferocious Five.)

8. The Chase
A band of Ranger Sorcerers—mostly half elves—from Deepingdale. Swift attackers that don’t battle face to face. The Chase move in like silent shadows, slice or stab their foes, then flit away on the ground and through the trees. Experience has taught the members of the Chase how to blend their magic with their fighting tactics with deadly effect. There is no love lost between the Chase and the Dragon of The Bloodhorn; all have lost family to the dragon’s unpredictable rampages. The Chase have found work escorting caravans into and out of Cormyr. Their route follows the East Way through the Thunder Peaks and Hullack Forest as far as Masoner’s Bridge. They journey south and east through the Hullack to the Thunderflow, hunting for pleasure and to feed themselves, then take a barge across the Thunderflow to Hultail where they sell meat and pelts from their kills along with monster parts sought after by local alchemists and mages from any creatures they encountered. After a short stay, the adventurers find another caravan headed into the mountains on the Thunder Way. The Chase turn north after crossing through the Thunder Peaks, and journey onward through Archendale to their homes in Deepingdale. One member of the Chase is rumored to be a priest. (This rumor is true: The Half-Elf Maharanthalas is both a Luckpriest of Tymora and an accomplished Ranger.)
 
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Jeremy E Grenemyer

Feisty
Supporter
Starting at #9 on the list of thirteen, we have:

9. Shasslan’s Swords
The adventurer Shasslan leads this band of cold hearted crafters-turned-thieves. Shasslan’s Swords are skilled at sabotaging things (e.g., a shutter made to fall apart when closed; a door made to fall off its hinges when opened for the fifth time; a drinking cup made to disintegrate when liquid is poured into it; etc.). The Swords operate by covertly “afflicting” an inn or rooming house with accidents that befall guests and tenants, and quietly spreading rumors about hauntings or curses afflicting the business. Shasslan steps in with an offer to see the business freed of whatever blight has fallen upon it, then she and her fellow adventurers—having surveilled the residents that keep to themselves and are most likely to be holding objects of value—murder their targets and take their belongings under the guise of battling spirits or monsters lurking in the walls. The victims are dressed in the clothes of the adventurers, their bodies left to burn after the building is set afire. Shasslan alone “survives” such battles, her eyes pouring with liar’s tears and her wails of grief covering the departure of her disguised adventuring companions (whom Shasslan rejoins soon after, at a predetermined location).

10. The Maids of Misfortune
An unusual name for a band of adventurers, the Maids of Misfortune are priests and adherents of Beshaba, Lady Doom. The Maids have spent half a decade adventuring in the Lightning Steppes (a triangle-shaped area of land with borders formed by The High Road, the Overmoor Trail and the Trader’s Road). Today, the Maids of Misfortune are one of several groups of disciples that have heeded Beshaba’s call to make their way to the Forest Kingdom, there to invoke her name and teach the complacent people of Cormyr to fear her properly, and to be of some practical use to the common people (by publicly thwarting the minor treacheries by nobles, merchants and the handful of guilds operating in Suzail, for example, so as to show the common people that coin wealth is no shield against misfortune). The goddess desires for her faith to become established and accepted in Cormyr just as the faith of Malar the Beaslord’s has. Only then can her faithful engage in the slow, steady destruction of Tymora’s faith in Arabel and Suzail.
 
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Jeremy E Grenemyer

Feisty
Supporter
Moving on to #11 on the list of thirteen:


11. The Men of the Black Hand
The eleven members of the Black Hand speak in clipped sentences and radiate quiet confidence. Their leader, the mercenary-turned-adventuring-warlord Grimmun Bloodtower, survived the destruction of Myth Drannor when the city of Shade came crashing down on top of it, then escaped the monstrous terrors that had been unleashed to defend the City of Song against the mercenary legions that had marched on it. Today, the Men of the Black Hand are organized into two banners of five adventurers each, each banner led by a lieutenant that answers to Grimmun. The Men are not priests, but they make no secret of their veneration of Bane; each wears or displays his symbol openly. This exhibit of faith has led to tense confrontations as the adventurers move through Cormyr, yet the Men have remained on the right side of Cormyr’s law keepers by not rising to petty taunts and by following Cormyr’s laws and the edicts of its Kings to the letter. In fact, the Men know Cormyr’s laws better than most Purple Dragons.

The handful of Harpers present in Cormyr know of the Men, and have crossed swords with them once. Grimmun faced the mountainous Harper Malthar Bearslayer in single combat atop Masoner’s Bridge, north of Sunset Hill. Malthar was severely wounded in a confrontation that saw plenty of swordplay and no magic, his life sparred by Grimmun that the Harper could serve as a reminder to all of the natural order of things. Though dogged by rumors, the Men are not agents of the Zhentarim and no Dark Hands—members of Bane’s Clergy—are present in their ranks. (Long ago Grimmun came to hate the self-serving, backstabbing wars among Bane’s Dark Hands, seeing it as a betrayal of all Bane stands for. He yearns for a church like the one of old: “A coldly correct hierarchy of obedience,” as the former Sage of Shadowdale put it.)

Grimmun intends to become Barron of the Stonelands. Unlike others who have tried and failed to erect, fortify and hold a castle within the bleak territory and so fail to earn the title of Barron, Grimmun will build waystop fortifications running from Gnoll Pass east along the border between the northern range of the Stormhorns and the Stonelands, and recruit mercenaries and former Purple Dragons to man them. He expects to leave each of his adventuring companions in charge of a waystop. But first the Men must recover coin and treasure enough to fund Grimmun’s enterprise.
 
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Jeremy E Grenemyer

Feisty
Supporter
Happy Holidays to you and yours, Dear Reader.

Here we have #12 from the list of 13 adventuring company names.

12. Darrambur’s Devils

Unlike other adventuring companies named after their leader, the elder Lord Darrambur Sultlue does not ride with the band of adventuring dearkhearts that obey his commands. Darrambur communicates with the Devils by means of magic from within his family home in the City of Splendors, where he gives instructions and hears reports of the Devils' activities on a near-daily basis. Operating in the guise of adventurers, the Devils enact Darrambur’s will up and down the Sword Coast, among the many islands on the Sea of Swords, and in the nations of Tethyr, Amn and Calimshan. Darrambur’s business is the slave trade, his style is one of depravity and lawlessness, and he never hesitates to pay good coin to his Devils when they return from a particularly difficult task, such as the kidnapping of a noble heir or the theft of a potent magic item. Lord Sultlue has personally murdered rivals kidnapped in this manner, then had them replaced with slaves magically transformed to look like his latest victim. His Devils have delivered such magically disguised slaves back to family eager to receive their lost kin, collected any reward offered, then rode off before the slave exploded in an angry blast of magic. For all his wickedness, Lord Darramber considers himself not nearly as debauched as his older brother Lord Pelmaer, who limits his interests to slaves obtained from Waterdeep.
 

Jeremy E Grenemyer

Feisty
Supporter
Happy New Year, Dear Reader.

Our inaugural post for 2019 is a description for adventuring company #13 on this list.

13. The Bluestars

A roaming band of half-orcs and humans. Each member of the Bluestars was born into savagery and tribal life in the shadow of the Great Glacier. The eight barbarians, three fighters, one druid and one warlock that make up the Bluestars live to explore the wild places of the world. They establish a campsite, then walk, run, spelunk, swim, jump, climb and hunt to their heart’s content. If the spirits smile, the Bluestars find adventure and battle along the way. After a few seasons, they seek guidance from the spirits, count their coins and make plans to move on.

Every Bluestar speaks Common and Orcish. Rumor describes them as simple savages with a taste for wine, feasting and lovemaking, and no respect for law and order. Despite their origins, the Bluestars have come to embrace civilization to the extent it helps them learn about the wild places of Faerun and gives them access to the means of long distance travel. The adventurers do better than might be expected in heavily populated cities that see lots of trade and outlander visitors.

Their adventuring company name is borrowed from the name for an expensive perfume (“Bluestars,” as you might expect; 220 gp per pint in most Heartlands and Sword Coast marketplaces), which the adventurers learned to apply liberally to their bodies before entering any encampment that smelled of civilization.[1]

The Bluestars have no aversions to body odor. To them, what a person smells like says a lot about their health, where they have been and what they eat—it’s like a greeting. They would never dream of hiding their own body odor, just as they would never plug their ears when important words are being spoken, or refuse to talk when it was their turn to speak. However, the Bluestars have learned to consider the delicate sensibilities of the “civilized” people they encounter, and wear their perfume.

On the half-orcs, Bluestars dries quickly and smells of bread fresh from the oven (on the most pungent half-orc in the group it smells like sweet bread). On the humans it smells like the wind before a storm blows in. The perfume rids their bodies of all natural, unpleasant odors for a full day, whether it be body odor or food-derived odors (e.g., onions, asparagus, etc.). Given the cost of the perfume, the Bluestars never stay long in any city they visit.

Current Clack in the Heartlands places the Bluestars in Suzail, after a long voyage south from the Moonsea. The Clack has it that the Bluestars have heard of a place called The Stonelands, and that it is nigh impossible to travel through, much less survive in. They intend to tame it.

[1] From the cultural viewpoint of the Bluestars, any gathering of humanoids larger than one tent is an encampment, be it a short-lived roadside gathering of merchants or a fixed location such as mighty Waterdeep.
 
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Jeremy E Grenemyer

Feisty
Supporter
From this list of 40 adventuring company names on page 1, I present:

THE BLADE HERALDS OF ORMPUR

Led by Countess Tamshalarean Kallowsar of Cormyr, the Blade Heralds are a far-travelled band of adventurers turned diplomatic couriers for the city of Ormpur on the Shining Sea. Each Blade Herald wields a longsword or saber crafted by Aldemos Prunchaerl (of Crimmorn), the blade hilts and pommels thicker than usual and made to be turned and unlatched. Messages from Ormpur’s ruler (the High Sulkh) and members of the Torch Court, as well as saffron samples and gemstones, have been transported inside the hollow blade hilts carried by the Countess (“Shala,” to those who know her) and her companions on behalf of Ormpur, and delivered to the rulers of the coastal cities of Sammarash, Ithmong, Lushpool, Sheirtalar and Yallasch. Attempts by merchant cabals, nests of yuan-ti, and at least one hive of beholders to subvert the Blade Heralds have thus far met with disaster.
 
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Jeremy E Grenemyer

Feisty
Supporter
From this list of 40 adventuring company names on page 1, I present:

THE COMPANY OF THE DEAD SEMBIAN

A quintet of upland Sembians cursed early in their adventuring careers after slaying a murderous buyer of farmland and claimer of abandoned holds that hired mercenaries to butcher anyone that didn’t agree to her lower than market offers. Among the magic she had acquired from one of the Dales-edge keeps she’d plundered was a ring that drank the life force of anyone who struck her with physical blows, healing her instantly (this the means by which she dared operate with impunity). The adventurers tried to dispel her ring before striking her down, but plunged their blades before their magic had fully taken hold.

Today, the Company of the Dead Sembian is six in number, the sixth member of their band not necessarily alive—she does not speak, move or talk—but not entirely dead, the state of her body depending on how close the other five members are to her (the further away she is, the sicker the five become). The Dead Sembians busy themselves with hunting for magic capable of reversing the magic that binds them to their former prey, and with finding ever more useful ways of transporting and posing a body incapable of moving itself.

(Tip of the hat to Weekend at Bernie's.)
 

Jeremy E Grenemyer

Feisty
Supporter
From this list of 40 adventuring company names on page 1, I present:

HORNSHULDER’S LOYAL BLADES

Six dwarves—all from House Helmhorn, a clan barely 50 years old—comprise Hornshulder's Loyal Blades. They do not hold to the old ways: of the males some wear beards shorn short, two are wizards trained in Scornubel, four are of mixed blood (dwarf-halfling and dwarf-human parings), and all have spent more time above ground than below. Hornshulder and his companions take no umbrage when called “thaelwi” (lit. “non-dwarf”) by the tradition-minded dwarves they cross paths with, the latest insults coming from dwarves that live and trade in the vicinity of Thunderstone on Cormyr’s eastern border. Hornshulder formed his band at the encouragement of his elder brother, Tathgurd, and chose to strike eastward from their shared home in (and under) Secomber. Finding and exploring the abandoned holds of extinct Cormyrean noble families in the Stormhorns is their first priority, observing how the dwarf and gnome clans of Thunderstone that do so much of the fine smithing, sewer digging, plumbing and wire making manage to live and trade among humans without causing alarm (that is, alarm at the true numbers of each race) is the second, and the third is finding husbands and wives to bring home to House Helmhorn.

(Tip of the hat to "Forging the Realms: Outcast House" by Ed Greenwood.)
 
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