AAARGAHGAHA!! ABARARAGHAHHAHAHAH!! RAAAAAAAAAAWRRGHAHAHAH!!!!!
Something between a mercenary company and a religious cult, the Madcap Berserkers are a roving band of warriors who are infamous for their fury and the carnage they bring to the battlefield. Some say that just a single berserker is a match for more then a dozen warriors, and then there are those who have faced them.
Shroom of Doom
The Madcaps Berserkers are fanatical zealots who go into battle in a mind-altering haze brought on by a myriad of mushrooms and fungi that turn them into juggernauts of destruction. They feel no pain, know no fear and preform feats of strength many times what a regular person could muster. The Madcaps sell their service to anyone and seem to seek conflict for its own sake. Some whisper that the true goal of the Madcaps is a dark and blasphemous one, but just as many doubt the Madcaps have any plan beyond their next charge and the next swing of sawtoothed blades.
The Madcaps fill their ranks with the desperate and the crazed. Initiation is a brutal affair and joining the war-band is for life. Every new recruit branded with their mark and infected with virulent fungi, cultivated and pruned by the Madcap's chaplains. A mix of potent hallucinogenic mushrooms feature prominently in the Madcaps initiation and training, with a near-constant narcotic haze shrouding their indoctrination.
No one is quite sure what the Berserkers do with their pay and none have been to keen to ask the quiet theurg that puppeteer the berserkers. But when the Madcaps have filled their packs with plunder and payment, they venture off on pilgrimage to a place unknown.
Madcaps use a variety of heavy weapons and heavy armor, but their most important equipment are the mushrooms they ingest or allow to grow in their flesh. Veterans of the Madcaps are barely human, with carefully ministered infections twisting them into monstrosities. Some are even capable of emitting clouds of dangerous spores, while others are so far removed from human vulnerabilities that they fight through dismemberment that would cripple others.
There are only really three ranks in the Madcap warband: the warlord, the warrior and the Shroomomancers who tend to the fungal-infections and crop of battle-drug mushrooms.
For a band of drug-fueled maniacs, the Madcaps are remarkably untroubled by internal strife. Suspiciously so, in fact... So much so that some wonder what else those fungal infections are groomed for.
While it is rare, some Madcaps do leave the cult. Most die quickly without the necessarily tools or knowledge to keep their fungal infections in check, but some make it. These warriors belong to a rare, battle-hardened breed who have tasted madness like few others.
Meetings between these renegades and the Madcap cultists always result in bloody, vicious battle with no quarters given or asked.
The Madcaps have one tactic: attack. Madcaps are not soldiers and do not fight in formation. The war-band often breaks up into individual battles after their first charge smashes through the enemy lines as each warrior rampages around until exhausted, slain or victorious. Skilled tacticians use this against them to minimize the damage or envelop the Madcaps, but with their heavy armor and mushroom-induced stupor, Madcaps are legendarily difficult to put down.
For the most part, the Madcaps seek to overwhelm their opposition with sheer brutality.
Battle of Liar's Road
What began as a minor dispute about banditry and trade between Alazeta and Mhajari escalated to a state of open war after Mhajari's council grew unusually incensed after Slaver's Gate fawning praise without action became a mocking joke on among other city-states. Alazeta praised and promised, but did nothing about any of the issued raised until it was becoming a matter of honor and prestige. When Mhajari mounted its punitive expedition, the Madcap Berserkers were promptly hired and sent towards the front.
Their most decisive contribution came in a stretch of tunnels since called Liar's Road when the Berserkers stumbled upon a major foraging party from Alazeta. The Berserkers ordered an immediate charge and and butchered many of the surprised warriors before they could organize a defense. The initial carnage turned into a pitched battle as Alazetan forces raced to rescue their own and the supplies they had gathering, with Mhajari committing in equal parts to exploit this sudden breach.
The Berserkers are infamous for having been active throughout the week-long battle without rest. After that, Alazeta would never regain any offensive monument and were eventually forced to pay a heavy tribute for peace.