You were paid by both armies... To fight neither?!

Monza Murcatto to Nicomo Cosca, Best Served Cold

The Thousand Swords is one of the greatest mercenary companies in Styria, now consisting of over ten thousand men. It has an ugly reputation for robbery and plunder, arson and pillage, rape and extortion, as well as for frequently betraying employers for higher offers. The company is led by a Captain General.

Captain Generals Edit

Members Edit

History Edit

The company was founded by a man named Sazine, who supposedly stole a chair from the Duke of Cesale's dining room for the captain general's chair. He established the company rules including:

  • The Rule of Quarters; a quarter of any loot goes to the man that finds it, quarter for his captain, quarter for the captain general, and quarter for the employer.
  • The Rule of Sieges: if the walls fall, a thousand scales to the first man on the battlements, a hundred each to the next ten who follow him.

Some years later, a young orphan called Monza Murcatto joined the company with her brother Benna. One of Sazine’s captains, Nicomo Cosca, took the pair under his wing, and taught her swordplay and them both to read. When Sazine took an arrow in the arm, he lost the arm, then died, and Cosca was voted to the captain general’s chair. Cosca was prone to frequent heavy episodic drinking, and Monza took more and more active role in commanding the company. In time, Cosca spread rumours that he and Monza had fallen out, and split the brigade between them. For two years, each brigade fought for rival employers, or more accurately pretended to fight while still gaining money from both.

Eventually, Monza's latest employer Grand Duke Orso of Talins found out about this, and together with her ruthlessly ambitious brother Benna, convinced the other captains to betray Nicomo and make Monza the new Captain General. Although, Monza was against the idea because of all they owed Cosca, she was given no choice but to relented.  

For eight years, the company continued to fight for Duke Orso against The League of Eight, and won many victories, including capturing the cities of Caprile, Borletta, and Musselia. Monza's reputation grew as a hero of Talins and a coldly ruthless murderer of innocents elsewhere, winning her many names; The Snake of Talins and The Butcher of Caprile. Now, The League of Eight is on the verge of defeat, with Visserine next under threat, then Puranti and Ospria.

Best Served Cold Edit

Grand Duke Orso is a suspicious man, and fears that Monza's popularity in Talins, may tempt her to usurp him, as his great-grandfather had done. He orders her and her brother killed. However, Monza survives and sets off to wreak revenge against the seven men responsible.

In the meantime, Faithful Carpi becomes the new Captain General of The Thousand Swords. Some time later, a man called Caul Shivers walks into The Thousand Swords’ encampment, claiming a desire to betray Monza for the money on her head. Shivers leads Carpi and a dozen men to the farmhouse where Monza is hiding out. However, Shivers has led Carpi into a trap, and dozens of Osprian soldiers appear having been provided by Duke Rogont. Faithful flees, but Monza rides him down, and in the end he drowns in a river.. Monza had intended to take over the mercenary company herself, however Nicomo Cosca appears, miraculously alive, and settles himself into the Captain General’s seat.

At the decisive battle between Duke Orso and Duke Rogont near Ospria, The Thousand Swords fail to support Orso's attack; Cosca having been paid off by the Gurkish. The battle ends in a crushing defeat for Duke Orso, thanks to the sudden appearance of the Sipanese army, and Monza heroic cavalry charge.

Meanwhile, Cosca has learned from his previous betrayal. Every captain general since Sazine has been deposed by his captains, so he begins offing his senior captains. Captain Andiche is killed by Cosca during the battle near Ospria, although Cosca claim that Andiche gave his life to save him from Colonel Rigrat. Captain Sesaria is killed during the siege of the fortress of Fontezarmo, when he's trying to light the fuse for the Gurkish gunpowder. Finally, Captain Victus ends up in a stand-off with Cosca, having realised that he has offed the other captains, but is inadvertently poisoned by Castor Morveer who has been trying to kill Cosca.

After the siege and sack of Fontezarmo, many of the mercenaries either retire on the plunder of Talins or find new employment with Grand Duchess Monza. Cosca takes the remainder to Visserine, where he intends to press his claim for the Duchy of the city-state.

Red Country Edit

By the time of Red Country, Cosca is leading a smaller mercenary company called The Gracious Hand in Starikland. What has happened to the Thousand Swords is unknown.