NPCs – Riklun’s Raiders

I made these models a while back and thought I’d bring them up as another example of a group of mercenaries for a game encounter. I’ve nothing particularly made up for them, but I like the designs and thought I’d share them

These mercenaries are led by Riklun Steelfist – a duergar psionicist who lost his right arm in a skirmish and had it replaced with a darksteel prosthetic. With his original warband destroyed in the encounter, he sought out and slew the leader of a small orc mercenary group, offering new direction and more profitable work. He rounded out the group by recruiting two ogres and an ogrillon as extra muscle and worked up a number of simple but effective ambush routines with simple labels.

The Raiders have a small but growing reputation for tracking down bandit groups and for retrieving goods stolen from merchant trains. These jobs are often undertaken away from civilised eyes and are brutal and sudden strikes bolstered by Riklun’s stealth and psionic powers.

The two ogres – Farrd and Barrgh – defer to the ogrillon half-ogre Lamech when it comes to plans, and so those three are sometimes split off from the main force to act as reserves or a nasty surprise to close a trap. Riklun sometimes joins his orc mercenaries as obvious guards for merchants and has the ogres take a parallel path, ready to rush in when summoned in the event of an attack

So there you go – a ready made mercenary band that can be allies or enemies as your game needs – feel free to grab the tokens and have some fun!

Lore Drop – The Sons of Alice

We’ve covered Deadeye Alice and her husbands, the Chainmates, and now it is time for her sons – a set of mighty warriors who protect hearth and home, and occasionally go on a rowdy hunt through the Blackcap Mountains. The Sons of Alice, also described in tales as the Alicespawn, largely wear red and black clothing and armour. They were not seen much during the Last War, though some speculate that just means there were no survivors of encounters – or that they retreated into the mountains to ride it out whenever armies ventured onto their territory.

Jotin, Makkar, Ruthek, Goor, and Kher are all half-ogres with hag blood in their veins. They form a barbarian clan devoted to Alice that exists on the threshold of rage, fuelled by the contrast between their fathers and their fey lineage. Jotin in particular is feared for the symbiont spear that he took from a daelkyr cultist and had enchanted by his mother. He often leads the warband into battle, flanked by Makkar and Ruthek who are brutal close-quarters fighters. Goor and Kher are brighter than their brothers, and tend to fight more strategically – though with equal relish.

Tales are told of hulking warriors who patrol the lands claimed by Alice – leaving the dismembered remains of those who trespass as warnings for others. Roars from the horizon may be bears or yetis – but are just as likely to be attributed to the Sons. They stayed out of the battle between the trolls and the dwarves over the years, but their mother’s antipathy towards trolls no doubt informs their actions. Tales of burned out caves and bonfires with distorted bones are whispered by trappers and hunters alike along the north of the Blackcaps – but if these are warnings left by the Sons, they’re vague enough for most people to shudder and move on.

Lore Drop – The Chainmates of Deadeye Alice

The Annis Hag known as Deadeye Alice is a solitary being, at least as far as others of her kind go. She does not live alone however. Over the many years of her existence she has formed a family of her own choosing – and the first part of that was taming the so-called Chainmates.

Hurrek and Dhellis are ogres, native to the Blackcap mountains, who were captured by slavers and forced to fight. At first they were confined to arenas but as their prowess and experience grew they became trusted enough to act on behalf of the owners of the arena. Bound together by their chains, they fought as a unit to make the most of their strengths despite their shackles. Then, one day, they saw an opportunity to break their chains and slay their captors. They did so and then struck off on their own to make their own way through the world.

Hurrek and Dhellis reworked the chains of their slavery into savage weapons to sweep opponents away, while the bonds of their time together led them to a deep and passionate relationship. In time they entered lands claimed by Deadeye Alice – and she aided them – seeing fellow outcasts. The two ogres crushed her enemies, and she provided for them – and then took them as husbands. Devoted to her as much as to each other, the ogres sired five sons with her and taught those sons how to fight.

The ogres are never too far from their wife – they are wily and surprisingly stealthy for such large beings – but at the same time they also know not to question her or get in the way of her schemes. Deadeye Alice is absolutely in charge, even if that control is sometimes masked in honeyed words. There is a brutal directness and honesty between the three of them and their sons that can be mistaken for a lack of awareness by outsiders, but do not be fooled. This may not be a traditional hag’s coven, but their knowledge and understanding of each other means that they are a greater threat together than apart.

A foolish bard once opined that the Chainmates had swapped slavery in the arena for a different kind of ownership. His remains were found on several spikes a week later.