Mark of Vengeance
The Blackwheel Company
The Blackwheel was created as a mercenary contracting corporation primarily operating in Xen’drik. Originally, they were the Company that would take the jobs no one else would. Jobs to hazardous or legally questionable for any other company.
Seeing the potential in this, Merrix d’Cannith convinced the Twelve to put the Blackwheel Company on permanent retainer. Now they are the Twelve’s private army, used for tasks for which no one House is suited. Until recently they were primarily used to seek out relics in Xen’drik, but since the fall of the Tower of the Twelve, their mission has changed. Their new task is to hunt down those responsible and deliver the vengeance of the Houses.
PLAYING A BLACKWHEEL OPERATIVE
There’s a saying among Blackwheel veterans: “No one ever leaves the company.” You know the truth in this, in more ways than one. Blackwheel is the only choice for discerning professionals looking for work in Stormreach. The pay is good, the support and equipment unmatched, and the organization as a whole strong and effi cient. In the lawlessness
of Stormreach, the company provides structure and security—especially for the new recruit. You know how good you have it. Why would anyone leave?
You’re also aware of another meaning to that wellworn saying, one that tends to apply higher up the Blackwheel hierarchy. Stick around the company long enough,
and you will be privy to valuable secrets and information. In many ways, information is a commodity more valuable than gold. Officially, Blackwheel maintains its policy that operatives are free to leave at any time. Unofficially, it’s understood that the company has ways to ensure silence among those who leave service.
As long as you remain loyal, diligent, and effective, significant advancement opportunities in the Blackwheel Company are all but assured. In constantly expanding its range of operations, the company needs skilled operatives to participate in and eventually lead the various expeditions mandated by the Twelve. Whatever else it might be, the company is a well-organized operation that fairly rewards initiative and achievement.
For all practical purposes, the Blackwheel Company functions as a paramilitary force within Xen’drik. The company puts a heavy premium on time-tested martial disciplines, which is refl ected in the regular training you receive as a company operative. As such, you rely on conservative, by-the-book military thinking. Advance strategy is always the key, whether preparing for a minor skirmish or outlining a prolonged expedition to the interior. Tactically, you are trained to function within a unit on the battlefield. The company favors small, efficient strike teams in which professionalism and discipline are used to
undermine the enemy’s superior numbers or the brute force of Xen’drik’s natural predators. In combat, you are always mindful of being part of a team.
Structure within the Blackwheel Company is militaristic, with clearly defi ned roles and a chain of command. However, these roles are often mission-specific — depending on the nature and needs of a particular expedition, individual members will sometimes take
on different ranks in the chain of command. Blackwheel’s ultimate commander-in-chief is Mace, who values discipline and order above all else.
Blackwheel members who wish to be publicly identified as such typically wear a brooch or pendant with the company’s thirteen-pointed symbol. Because the company is commonly known to be well connected and well funded, members are afforded due respect by merchants and legitimate citizens. On the other hand, petty thieves and thugs might target lone members or small groups for the same reason, hoping to muscle some free coin and worry about the repercussions later.