The Lorknir Company
The Lorknir Company is an organisation that exists throughout Leng, though it is concentrated most heavily in Lorknir and Kharolis. Each individual Guildhouse of the Lorknir Company is an indendependent organisation that oversees its own profits. In order to call itself a member of the Lorknir Company, a Guildhouse must donate 5% of its profits to their superiors at Antioch, but in return they have the prestige and reputation of the Lorknir Company behind them. They also receive regular inspections from the Headquarters at Antioch and investigations to ensure that their quality of service has not fallen below the standards expected of the Lorknir Company; in short, they are one of the first franchises.
Guildhouses of the Lorknir Company deal in mercenaries. In order to become an accredited member of the Guildhouse, a mercenary must be willing to undertake jobs for free to gauge their skill. They will be assigned to a job with several other mercenaries from the Lorknir Company, who will observe them carefully. If they are deemed worthy, they will be accepted into the Company, with all the incumbent benefits of membership. Prospective members must prove themselves to be loyal, level-headed and willing to follow orders, as well as being competent and experienced in their chosen field. Being a member of the Lorknir Company gives many advantages; members have free room and board at the local Guildhouse of any settlement that has one, and can have their weapons and armour repaired and maintained by the smtihs there at no cost. Contracts with the Lorknir Company are also of a signficantly higher price than other freelance mercenaries, meaning they can expect better pay. The Lorknir Company demands a fee of 100 gold before hiring one of their mercenaries, but thereafter the money goes directly to the individual mercenary. When hiring a mercenary from the Lorknir Company, high loyalty and morale is assured, but there will usually be a very specific contract detailing what orders the mercenaries are and are not obligated to follow.
Although they can vary, the general fees of the Lorknir Company are given here. Note that while the examples given are all fighters, the Company also lets out the services of rangers and rogues under the same guidelines. Priests and magic-users tend to fall outside of the purvey of the Company.
Run of the mill fighters can be obtained from the Lorknir Company at 5 gp per week. While they are no veterans, being 1st-level fighters, they can handle their weapons, usually being well-equipped. They are also well-trained and loyal and thus start with a morale of 16.
More experienced warriors are rarer, as many die before they reach that level. Nevertheless, they can be found in every Guildhouse, though they may be more discriminating in what jobs they pick. 2nd-level fighters will usually charge from 20 gp per week depending on their specific skills and equipment.
Veterans of combat are much rarer, those that have survived numerous battles, but they can be found at the Guildhouses in large towns and cities, where they can find those willing to pay extra for their considerable skill and guarantee of protection. A 3rd-level fighter will command a price of at least 50 gp a week, but this can climb to 100 gp per week or even more for a 4th-level fighter. It is unlikely that more than a handful will be found at even a large town or city.
While there are mercenaries above 4th level who are members of the Company, their skills allow them to name their own price. They are typically very discrimnating about what jobs they take and will often travel around from Guildhouse to Guildhouse adventuring in their spare time. It is common for 5th-level members of the Company to demand a share of treasure or a large payment in a lump sum.
Terms of the Contract
These are the terms of the general contract for a Lorknir Company mercenary. Individual mercenaries may alter this, and it may be possible to negotiate terms in and out of it with the mercenary or the Company, but most mercenaries are fine to leave it as it is. Note that the contract is drawn up by a scribe and must be signed by the party before the mercenary's term of service begins, and is a legally binding contract.
The mercenary, ______ agrees to enter into the service of the party of ______. The contract is signed in the name of _______, and in any divisions, fractures, or splits of the party, the term of service of _______ continues with ________, with whom the nominal signature has been given. The term of service is legally bound to 30 days, at the end of which continuation of the term of service is at the discretion of both employer and employed whether they continue. Termination of the term of service before 30 days by ________ is grounds for immediate disqualification from membership of the Lorknir company. Termination of the term of service before 30 days ________ is grounds for blacklisting from future business until a fine of no less than 600 gold pieces have been paid to the Lorknir Company.
The mercenary, _______, will accompany the party, namely the nominal signator of this contract, until the contract is ended, for a minimum of 30 days, at which point the continuation of service is disrectionary upon both parties. Note that desertion on the employee's side and failure to pay on the employer's side are both considered to be termination of the term of service, and will incur the full penalties if performed before the 30 days is up. While travelling with the party of ________, the mercenary _________ is entitled to a wage of _______ to be paid each week, starting from the beginning of the first week of service.
During the term of service _______'s duties include the protection of the employers through the use of their own equipment when doing so does not gravely endanger the life of the mercenary, and the following of all orders given by the employer party to the best of their ability. In the case of conflict of orders given, the precedence goes to the one who has signed this contract. The employee is NOT obligated to expend limited magical items at the order of the employer, to perform any task which is considered by the employee to be unreasonably dangerous, to perform any act that would result in disqualification of the employee from the Lorknir Company or that would damage the reputation and social standing of either the employee or the Company itself, or to perform any act that severely contradicts the ethical position of the employee. The employee is also not required to perform any task which would prevent them from receiving their weekly pay, even if the weekly pay for following weeks is paid to them in advance. As stated above, the mercenary is not obligated to follow orders that are unreasonably dangerous. This extends to combat, and the mercenary is given the right to ignore orders to fight under thr following circumstances: the party is outnumbered by 3-to-1 or more by foes of reasonably approximate fighting strength; more than 50% of the party is slain or otherwise incapacitated; the signator of this contract is dead or otherwise incapacitated, in which case the focus of the mercenary should be upon their safe recovery; or if the opposition is judged by the mercenary to be impossible to defeat under current circumstances. Finally, any task which would be considered a crime in either: the current locale; the locale from which the mercenary was hired; the locale of Antioch, Lorknir; is prohibited under the terms of this contract.
In the unfortunate event of the death of an employee, it is the signator's responsibility to ensure that their corpse and personal effects are returned to the nearest Guildhouse. Furthermore, the death of an employee requires a payment of 300 gold pieces for funeral arrangement and compensation to the family of the deceased; failure to pay this sum within 1 week of the return of the corpse will lead to blacklisting until a sum of no less than 1,000 gold pieces has been paid to the Company.
I, __________, Signator of the Guildhouse of __________ of the Lorknir Company, confirm that this contract is correct and valid, and that the requisite commencement fee of 100 gold pieces has been paid. I confirm that three copies of this contract have been produced, one of which has been given to the employers, one of which has been kept at the local Guildhouse, and one of which will be sent to the Headquarters at Antioch at the nearest oppurtunity.
I, __________, confirm my willing acceptance of this term of service for no less than 30 days, during which time I will serve my employer to the best of my ability within the stipulations of this contract.
I, __________, confirm that I have paid and have the means to pay for the above employees for at least the stipulated period of time, and that I accept the terms of this contract.