The Concord of Ashes
You have a force of armed men at your disposal. Their loyalty, whether bought with coin, fine words or even the occasional draught of blood, belongs to you but they are not so devoted, nor as skilled, as Retainers. They can serve in a pinch as Herd as well, although this will make them less effective in their duties and may breed resentment that will eventually lead to a reduction in this background (ie. Death or desertion). They are generally tied to an area, such as a town (in the case of a militia or town guard) or a stretch of road (in the case of bandits). Alternatively, they can be bound through your character as a Free Company in the service of a noble or even a monarch. Also, unlike Retainers, your military force requires upkeep in the form of lodgings, equipment, entertainment and, most importantly, pay. You may never have a military force at your personal disposal higher than your Resources background. Also, note that a character with a high Influence background could also raise an army of equal or greater or size to these forces, but they would be strictly loyal to someone else (or, far more likely, several someone’s).
i. Up to a 20 person mob, quite disorganised and poorly trained: village mob, led by a thug or tough. Alternatively you could have a smaller group with slightly better training and arms.
ii. 20-40 person platoon, generally with some combat training: levies or town guardsmen, led by a constable or sergeant. Alternatively you could have a smaller group with slightly better training and arms.
iii. 40-90 person troop, all combat trained: hardened levies or experienced warriors, led by several constables/sergeants and commanded by an officer with training equivalent to that of a knight. Alternatively you could have a smaller group with slightly better training and arms.
iv. 90-180 person company, all veterans: professional soldiers led by up to 6 sergeants and commanded by 3 officers with training equivalent to that of a knight. Alternatively you could have a smaller group with slightly better training and arms.
v. 180-350 person army, elite troops: superbly armed and armoured professional soldiers led by up to 16 sergeants and a squadron of 8 knights, or their equivalent in training and equipment.
vi. Several companies with a mix of weapons and tactics such as archers, footmen and cavalry.
vii Division or provincial army, consisting of thousands of troops.
viii. Strong army, consisting of several divisions and equal to the army of a small state or Crusade.
ix. The army of a strong nation or coalition of smaller nations, such as England, France or the Holy Roman Empire is at your personal command.
x. You could raise every army in the West or the East if you so chose.
NOTE: This background has been adapted from Elysium: the Elder Wars. It is not yet play-tested and subject to change at the Storyteller’s Discretion.