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The Company of the Dead is an elite fighting force of marines of the gnomes of the Spire Mountains. The company is formed of approximately 1000 gnomes, who are easily recognised by their skull white face paint, heavy armor and skeletal helmets. The gnomes all wield melee weapons with savage glee, from spiked flails, battle axes, through to jagged bladed swords and fist daggers.

The Company was first formed during The Gnomoi War, as a special unit that was charged with the task of assaulting Chaldar in the final days of the war. The gnomes of the first Company were told that their task was a near suicide mission, but these gnomes eagerly joined and fought on even when most of their comrades were being killed. Crawling over dead bodies, the survivors of the first Company reached Chaldar, and only retreated when specifically ordered to do so. Monstrous casualties meant that only a handful of gnomes survived, however these gnomes were depressed over their failure and ultimately through a special petition were allowed to form the first official Company of the Dead.

Anyone who chooses to join the Company, must first cut all ties with their family and friends, and essentially become 'dead to the world'. Usually when a gnome joins the Company, their family holds a funeral to mark their 'passing'. On joining the Company, the gnome is given a new name to symbolise their rebirth, and has no allegiances or friendships with anyone outside of the Company. When in battle they tend to charge into large groups of enemies and go into killing frenzies, having no fear of casualties or odds in battle. Any Company gnome who falters in battle will likely be cut down by his comrades just as rapidly as they would strike down an enemy. The Company never retreats or takes prisoners unless specifically ordered to do so.

The Company has no real structure or hierarchy. All soldiers take orders from the Knight-Commandant, who in turn reports directly to the King of the Gnomoi. The Company may serve under individual commanders as directed by the king, however at the end of a campaign, will return to serving only the king alone.

References[]

  • Time of the Dragon, p.106-107
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