Silent Company – History
We are the Silent Company, we are professional soldiers, not military, not like the rabble that is the so called best that vaunts its skill across the land. Compared to us their finest soldier is a dullard with a wooden sword, they are as nothing. During the battles that followed the darkness after the Sarkith Wars, as the peoples of the land struggled for dominion of their resources, Duchies were pressed on all sides by battling factions of warlords, pockets of Undead and Daemons led by power hungry Necromancers and Sourcerers. It was in 740 that the merchant councils and local land Barons lost faith with the Crown and the Armed Forces that they controlled and began forming their own military bands. The Crimson Order were pulled back defending the Capitol and keeping control of land belonging to the nobility. The Battered Shield and the Vormearn of the Tao were struggling to patrol the scattered townships of the Royal Basin and the Outriders were held in check by the Costas of the Wealthy. The army suffered from poor leadership, discipline and morale; most of the rank and file were from the villages and towns that were suffering and dissension was rife.
It was Frostmelt of 741 when the villages of Groleth, Wellsent and Oldengrass in the Golden Lands were attacked by the Warlord Zaphydd Trones. The winter had been harsh and all of the surrounding land suffered; the villages were barely able to sustain themselves withdraw on their crop coming from the Shadowmanes of the local area. The Warlord and his followers were also suffering and came in search of plunder; food and slaves were their targets and the unprotected villages meant for easy pickings. The villagers sent word to the keeps of the Lords asking for help and protection but the Lordlings had closed their gates and kept their protectors within the walls. The troops had little to do but hear the sounds of their families crying out in fear and pain beyond the crenulations of their castles. Dissent began to spread like wildfire across the battalions of the armed forces and the nobles were in danger of dying in their protected sleep.
Walking like a ghost through this insanity was a Captain of the 7th Light Infantry; Aidan Horsefield. The Captain was a quiet man, thoughtful and introspective but at the same time, he understood the men in his command and how to talk to and inspire them. He was strategically gifted, a fine swordsman and an excellent rider in truth, there were few things that he had turned his interest to that he was not or did not become gifted in. Among the 7th were people he trusted, that had been with him since the first days of his early command in 720. In those days the rot was just beginning to set in and Horsefield and his people had seen the future in which he found himself now.
Other trusted people had been transferred to other units across the forces of the Royal Basin and believed in the teachings of Horsefield – The Armed forces of the Royal Basin were failing, poorly trained, led by cowards and traitors and ready to run though, of course, they could not speak of it, such words would lead to execution through treason. Instead, they waited as Horsefields own personal company, silently.
The waiting was over, On the fifth day of Frostmelt Captain Aidan Horsefield gathered his men in the cold light of Dawn in the frosted courtyard of the Wentforth Keep. One hundred and thirty three of the Silent Company all told, came to ride with the Captain although only a hundred or so horses could be found. When questioned by those not loyal to him at the gate he refused to kill them and the gates were opened, the Company rode forth. Within three weeks the warriors of Trones were a distant memory, their bodies left on spikes outside the Wentforth Keep. Whoever had killed them had left them in the colours of the Shadowmanes a chilling message for the nobles of the Golden Lands. Rumours of a Silent Company circulated for the next decade or so; a hundred cavalry, growing each year, available to the highest bidder, if you could but find their leadership. They became legendary, the Captain the watchword for heroic, the smallfolk largely unaware of the monies that were passing hands.
In 788 the Silent Company surprised the Royal Basin as a whole by petitioning for Guildic status and a position on the Guildic table, the surprise came due to the support amongst the nobility of the land. To this day the noble families stand by the fact that the values of Silent Company and the example that they set to the actual military alongside the revival that they inspired. Many consider that the Silent Company were involved in the development of the Royal Basin in a different way, a way that coincided with the deaths of a number of tyrannical nobles who were considered dangerous to the validity of the Basins future. Regardless of the reasons, the Guild were accepted and swiftly became an iconic part of the Guildic community, as though they had been there, since its inception. Ironically the number of nobility joining the guild was much higher than any influx of commoners as could be found in the Battered Shield or the Crimson Order.
From the moment of its creation as a guild, the Silent Company has firmly maintained the standards that Aidan Horsefield laid down all those years ago. Corruption and poor leadership are enemies of the state as are weakening morale and inadequate training. Time and again the Royal Basin’s leaders called upon the Silent Company as they struggled to rebuild the society that they had lost. For several centuries they worked alongside the Battered Shield and the Crimson Order, bringing the enemies of order to their knees and striking up an excellent working relationship with the Order particularly. Indeed it was from the Order that they adopted the protocols that led to the official alliance with the Crimson folk and their assimilation into their own Battalions. These final changes have tied the Company very heavily to the Royal Basin and its military conducts and protocols; to be the best of the best, loyal citizens of the Royal Basin and to serve with honour and integrity.
Whilst the Company is allied to the Crimson Order and are working within the same battalions to keep the borders of the lands safe they are certainly not the same breed. Very few of them are rank and file and they certainly step away from the idea of gruntwork. Instead, they are the specialists, often loners or used to working in small groups. Extremely capable trackers, masters at moving unseen and capable skirmishers the Silent Company appear from the darkness, complete their mission and melt back into the shadows. With the majority of them coming from nobility it is no surprise to find that the regiments of the two great guilds are commanded in the majority by members of the Silent Company. Those that follow a more mundane path through the guild as Spells, Skirmishers or Scouts all perform their tasks to the exceptionally high standards that the Guild sets before them.
Then came the Shadow War throwing all things that both guilds had known into contention – The Torakaylins complete betrayal of their words was revealed.