Saga of Jaraah
The Elder Regiment was founded by Baloriskus Umakiel during the reign of Xelem VII. It is an ‘all-elves’ regiment, although a handful of non-elves are known to serve. Rebels attempting to secede from Kermaan sought allies in their fight and enlisted a small band of elves led by Baloriskus. As a race, the elves were disgraced and scattered after the defeat of the Great Alliance and the loss of their homeland. Many flocked to Baloriskus’s banner simply because it was a rallying point that allowed them to recover some amount of martial dignity. The conflict between the humans was a lesser concern to them, thus was born the Elder Regiment. In gratitude for the troop’s assistance, Baloriskus was granted semi-autonomous reign over a small barren piece of land in eastern Masulee. The land there is completely unsuited to any sort of agriculture or beneficial economic activity. It has limited strategic value. In other words, it is neutral territory. The Elder Regiment began to offer its services throughout the region stamping out insurrections, hunting bandits, fighting in wars, as well as more mundane tasks such as guarding caravans and dignitaries.
Besides leading the Elder Regiment to prominence and financial success, Baloriskus saw an opportunity to cooperate with other mercenary bands. He pioneered the formation of the Free Swords association of mercenary companies. His privileged position with the Masulee government allowed him to offer subcontract opportunities to the other mercenaries which enabled him to gain the political support to form the Free Swords and control it as guildmaster. The Free Swords has served as an excellent vehicle for the Elder Regiment to understand the affairs of the Shomaal in order to ensure it enlists with the side most likely to win. It also allows it to diminish rivals by leaving the most dangerous and least profitable work for them.
Despite being a mercenary, Baloriskus was credited with being somewhat of a philanthropist. In addition to running an elven orphanage (from which admittedly he recruited and trained mercenaries), he always maintained a pro-bono company in the south to assist with Claacos suppression. He was sympathetic to the plight of peasants and was known to sack the castles of oppressive lords. Although he asked no payment from the peasants, he of course kept the offending lord’s treasury for himself.
In early 4500, Baloriskus was murdered by one of his mercenaries, an orphan raised by the Elder Regiment named Rum’meadow. Balorian, his son, took over leadership of the Elder Regiment and has put a bounty of 1000 GP on the head of Rum’meadow. Some old hands grumble at the changes Balorian has instituted. Balorian has cut back on many of the philanthropic activities of the Elder Regiment. Orphans deemed to lack mercenary potential are sent on their way at a much younger age than under Baloriskus. The Elder Regiment no longer maintains a company in the south. Balorian has yet to accept a petition from oppressed peasants. Balorian has also been choosing more jobs that have favorable economics, but do not bring glory or esteem to the troop.
The Elder Regiment can currently muster about 1000 fighters (assorted classes).
Other mercenaries have a mixed view of the Elder Regiment which tends towards extremes. When a member of the Elder Regiment encounters another mercenary, any reaction roll of 8 or less is modified 3 down while any reaction roll of 14 or more is modified 3 up. Other mercenaries tend to either be in awe of the Elder Regiment or despise it (perhaps because they were defeated in the field).