Mercenaries of Bitter Peak
|Mercenaries of Bitter Peak|
|Aurum pro Sanguis.|
|Date||1 DY (Sept 6 '11)|
|Colors||Black and Red|
|Capital||Bitter Peak, Hex 2402|
|Racial Makeup||Human and Elf Majority; Minority of Goblins and Dwarves.|
The Mercenaries of Bitter Peak is the militaristic kingdom controlling the large mountain where they get their name, Bitter Peak, as well as several smaller islands throughout Dargarth.
View a list of Bitter Peak members here.
It has long been forgotten when dwarves first came to the First Kingdom of Dargarth, but one of their largest and most impressive cities was built beneath the tallest mountain in the land, now called Bitter Peak, for reasons of the frosty weather.
For hundreds of years, the dwarves under the mountain ruled their lands, but, for reasons unknown, they eventually left. Scholars speculate that they suffered famine due to the encroaching cold from the north, and migrated south to more hospitable lands.
The city beneath the mountain was never fully deserted, however. Criminals and vagrants remained in dark corners of their own, and, over hundreds of years, a new township blossomed again. The once great city of the dwarves was now a ramshackle shanty town full of bandits, cutthroats, exiles, and mercenaries. It was not a happy place.
The Lords of Bitter Peak
The powerful naturally subvert the weak. Several individuals with superb skills of combat, influence, and mysticism came to hold onto positions of authority. They accepted the titles of lords, and agreed to keep peace between each other, though the land remained divided. The woodland elves were very isolationist, the mercenaries in the city fought among themselves constantly, a rogue mage held a rich port town, and the council was weak and ineffective.
One lord, however, saw the inherent weakness of a divided nation, and started pulling strings and twisting his webs of influence. The twisting lord, Lucian, used his small group of spies to abduct prominent heroes from the surrounding nations, prompting the Lords of Bitter Peak event, where adventurers from all over the First Kingdom slew the other Lords, leaving Lucian the sole ruler.
The black flag of Bitter Peak became infamous on the island in the north over the next year.
After encountering the other people of the country, the ragtag military - held together by fear and bribes - started offering their battle expertise for money, and called themselves the Mercenaries of Bitter Peak. This sword-for-hire work has brought wealth into the tundra land that this group call home, and they used it to expand. They captured the lands to the east of the mountains, scattered the isolationist elves, opened up trade routes to the south, and claimed The Wooded Isle to the west.
The ranger, Uulmshar, suggested expanding beyond the immediate area. His spies reported that the Knights of Solaris - the nobles ruling the Isles of Langerhausen - were weak and did not return any diplomatic attempts. With Lucian's approval, Uulmshar gladly lead the rally to gather their men for war, which led to the events of the Day of Two Sieges, where Bitter Peak's forces were torn apart from within.
Betrayal at the battle for the Langerhausen Capital triggered an investigation, which led back to the Bitter Peak council of elders. They were dealt with, and replaced, by Lucian's leading military advisers, Savalis, Uulmshar, and Varador.
Having left to rule Sanctuary, Sir Lucian no longer ruled the mercenaries, so the council of generals ruled in his stead.
The council adopted the old tradition of lordly titles. Savalis stepped forward as the new Lord of Steel, leading the military; Uulmshar looked to his religion for guidance, becoming the Lord of Blood; and Varador accepted responsibility of the left-overs, calling himself Lord of the Lost, shortly before he left on pilgrimage. Savalis and Uulmshar jokingly call him the Lost Lord for this.
Gold for Blood
The fall of Langerhausen seems to have spurred the mercenaries into new activity, as they moved quickly to secure claim on the island they once before invaded. After rebuilding the Langer capital city, they moved outwards, securing the ancient lighthouse in the west and finding an old castle in the south.
In secret, Uulmshar hired a body double to lead battles in his stead, so he could devote his time to his religion. When he returned to Bitter Peak, Varador had returned from pilgrimage as well, and the newly reunited council went to The Blighted Forest, at the urging of Savalis. During an impromptu council meeting during the adventure, Savalis revealed Uulmshar's double and expressed that he did not want the other lords there, and, to avoid conflict, Uulmshar and Varador left on their pilgrimages again, to leave the Steel Lord to rule. In their absence, Savalis crowned himself king, taking absolute rule for himself, promoting Jabari to General, and hiring Uulmshar's old body-double, Conrich, as a spy.
The new Steel King of Bitter Peak started the most aggressive military expansions the small frozen country had ever seen, annexing parts of Sanctuary, sending scout ships to all corners of the known world, as well as increasing troop recruiting and training. Few can tell if this is the start of dark times, or the beginning of a golden age...