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Martial Society

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History and Overview

Zeltiva has long been a hub of trade in the Post-Valterrian world of Mizahar. Even before the Valterrian, the city saw an influx of traffic from the seas. Its status as a harbor for all walks of life has fostered in it a more tolerant attitude toward outsiders than one would find in most parts of the world. In recent times however that tolerance has been stretched to its limit. Nevertheless, where people gather there is conflict. Where there is a conflict there will always be those who strive to capitalize on that conflict. The Martial Society was established by citizens who wanted to make use of that philosophy and it has trudged on ever since.

Those who care to delve into the Archive’s Building would find that the Martial Society was first convened on the 18th of Winter, 187 AV. Initially, it was nothing more than a group of brawlers who did not entirely agree with the rigid duty of the Wave Guard and refused to sign up for life in the Zeltivan military. Indeed the original name of the Martial Society is listed as “The Voracious”. As The Voracious, this group of mercenaries did little to make a name for themselves. They accepted odd jobs of questionable nature that involved a great deal of risk for very little reward. The political mindset of the city at the time allowed for the exploitation of many small mercenary and military factions, one of which grew into the Wave Guard, which attempted to rise in the early days after the Valterrian.

It was not until the arrival of Marshal Ulrich Sevellun that the Voracious began to make a name for themselves. In the Fall of 313 AV, Marshal Sevellun assumed command of the ragtag group determined to change things for the ailing group of fighters. Having previously served in the Zeltivan Navy he was a man with prior military experience, but he left after a career of distinguished service. Not satisfied with life as a civilian, he signed up with The Voracious and quickly made a name for himself. Under Marshal Sevellun’s leadership, the Voracious began a strict regime of training ranging from weapons training, strategy, sailing and even some basics in law and how to work political systems. Within ten years the Voracious lived up to its name and essentially gobbled up the competition either through tactful political maneuvering or simply absorbing the members of opposing mercenary factions.

In 327 AV Marshal Sevellun officially changed the name of the mercenary group to the Martial Society of Zeltiva feeling that a new beginning was on the horizon for the private mercenaries. From among his subordinates, he chose his successor and after drafting the Society Charter he stepped down passing command on to another. From there the Martial Society has prospered becoming the only real sellsword presence in the city. Their chokehold on issuing freelance contracts to mercenaries in the city of Zeltiva remains unchallenged to this day. Although the Martial Society is arguably older than the Wave Guard, the Wave Guard is the official Zeltivan force of law. Thus the two factions exist in a precarious balance of acceptance without trust, but for the most part, the Wave Guard does not interfere with private hire Mercenaries working for the Martial Society.


The Martial Society of Zeltiva prides itself on being the model for mercenary work in and around the city. While membership with the actual society is not required for anyone seeking mercenary work in the city it is highly frowned upon to attempt to forge contracts not funneled through their office. It is well known that a majority of the private Guards in the Ancient Quarter and University come from the Martial Society. The Martial Society accepts people from all walks of life whether they are a disciplined warrior or a hot-headed brawler. If you can fight, if you’ve got the strength and skill to see a task through to completion then they will see that you’re hired. Still, there are a few things that they tend to enforce around the city.

  1. Harassment of upstanding citizens of Zeltiva is expressly forbidden.
  2. Stealing from those who petition the Society is not tolerated.
  3. A modicum of professionalism is expected from all affiliates of the Society.
  4. Members will receive payment from the Society and the Society alone. They shall not seek further compensation from petitioners.
  5. Members of the Society are expected to perform their duties in a timely and efficient manner.
  6. Members are expected to comply with and show respect to the Wave Guard.

Beyond that, members of the Martial Society are expected to obey the chain of command and pay a due each season to maintain Society facilities. While there have been times in Zeltiva’s history when city authorities became nervous about the power the mercenaries might possess this is always allayed simply because the Martial Society offers its loyalty to the highest bidder. Beyond that, the Society has no political agenda.

Organization & Joining

The Martial Society does not have an exhaustive chain of command. Mostly the leadership of the Society is left in the hands of the Marshal with a few close and competent individuals assisting him. It is rare for the Society to be called upon in full force to the point where a rigid hierarchy is needed. Largely the pecking order is established based on merit and the skill of the individual. However, there are a few ranks that one can achieve if only to have a title on a piece of paper. Without fail though, all members are expected to obey the Marshal or face punitive action.

Marshal (40 gm/day): The Marshal of the Society is the field commander, administrator, and facilitator of the Martial Society of Zeltiva. They are charged with maintaining the Society’s reputation, enforcing Society bylaws, and keeping the Society in tip-top shape. The responsibilities of the Marshal are many to the point where it is uncommon for the Marshal to accept contracts themselves. While these responsibilities can be delegated it is not a common occurrence. Marshals do not pay dues.
Primary Offensive Weapon (Choice): Master
Secondary Offensive Weapon (Choice) or Unarmed Combat: Expert
Leadership: Expert
Miscellaneous Skills (Tactics, Politics, Law, Intelligence, Organization – pick two): Competent
Captain (20 gm/day): Captains are put in place to lead advanced missions requiring a group of mercenaries. There is typically only a handful of these in the whole of the Society. When not on missions their duties often involve assisting the Marshal in the administrative tasks of ensuring the Society is well maintained. It is not common for there to be more than three or four Captains in place at any given time. Dues are 100 gm/season.
Primary Weapon Skill (Choice): Expert
Secondary Weapon Skill (Choice) or Unarmed Combat: Expert
Teaching: Competent

There exists no definitive hierarchy beyond that within the Society as the rest of the association decides its pecking order based entirely on skill and merit. The more capable the mercenary, the more respect they command.

The Martial Society does not require exclusive membership for those wishing to enter a contract with petitioners. Membership does have its perks though. Members of the Society are granted access to the Martial training facility, a forge where repairs can be made free of charge, discounted weapons and armor and the guarantee that upon accepting a contract with the Society that payment will always be made in full. These benefits come at a cost, however. Members are required to pay dues to the Society on top of their Living Expenses. The dues are arranged based on the capabilities of each mercenary. The more capable the member, the more advanced missions they can accept, the higher their dues. Additionally, the Martial Society mandates that all of its members maintain a certain standard of living. It pays its members well and it will have them maintain their skills, their bodies and their minds in pique condition so that its reputation is maintained.

Mercenary, Advanced (7 gm/day): Distinguished in the Martial Society, advanced mercenaries are typically on track to acquire a leadership position as they are acquiring the skill and experience to train and direct other mercenaries. The jobs these individuals are called upon to do are often dangerous and potentially life-threatening, and at this level mercenaries may also be called out to travel for jobs, representing the Martial Society outside of Zeltiva.
Base pay is 7 gm/day, must possess two Weapon skills and the Tactics skill, or one Weapon skill, Unarmed Combat, and the Tactics skill. Dues are 75 gm/season.
Mercenary, Intermediate (5 gm/day): Intermediate mercenaries are beginning to get better perks for being a part of the Martial society. Jobs here are more widely available and the Society pays a little better for their completion. Most mercenaries reach this level and do not progress into leadership positions. In exchange, intermediate mercenaries are meant to show greater skill and adaptability to working in groups to complete missions.
Base pay is 5 gm/day, must possess two Weapon skills, or one Weapon skill and Unarmed Combat. Dues are 50 gm/season.
Mercenary, Basic (3 gm/day): Basic mercenaries have the hardest time finding jobs. The Martial society prides itself on quality work and is often hired by some of the more wealthier denizens of Zeltiva, so members who do not have the skill to match the Society’s reputation are often left without. Such missions do not pay much and are hard to acquire, making a very competitive atmosphere among basic mercenaries.
Base pay is 3 gm/day, must possess a Weapon skill. Dues are 25 gm/season.

Members who fail to pay their dues will find that their wages are garnished to make up the difference. Continued failure to pay dues results in expulsion from the Society and re-entry is completely at the determination of the Marshal (PM an ST). If re-entry is granted then the mercenary starts from scratch all over again sitting on probation for no less than a year before full reinstatement is granted.