Pat's Rotters Organization in Bloodmarsh Classic | World Anvil
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Pat's Rotters

Formerly known as Roy's Rotters, these "Mercenaries" hold client convenience as their most valued principal. They humbly accept payment from whoever they've just ransacked without even the bother of an invoice. They accept payment after protecting potentates who didn't even know they were in danger before peacefully returning them, mostly clothed, to their overwrought families. They even approach people who may not have known they needed the Rotters' service, and take payment in cash to decorously not slaughter anyone. Service and convenience - that's what makes the Rotters a force to be respected.   The Rotters are the only major organization which operates on the move in Bloodmarsh, because travelling incurs not only the dangers of conflict with the native Immortals, but also the instant suspicion of the well-armed peasants in their fortress towns. The Rotters' ability to stay mobile is a defense against censure by proper legal armies, but it forces them to travel the deadly passes and byways for which the land earns its reputation. Using mobile fortresses and an alarming number of rolling wagons, you'd think the circus had come to town when the Rotters roll up. You would be wrong. And probably robbed, too.


The Rotters are unequivocally run by High Lord Captain Pat Kilroy, who earned the position as the due successor of Roy by virtue of killing him. In a personal statement, Pat vouchsafed that he'd always known he'd had to do it. It was in his blood or family or something, he said. He is at the top of the chain of command while he remains alive. The force is composed of the following:  
  • 10 Chief Muckers
  • 35 Field Officers
  • 342 Petty Officers
  • ~380 Pencilnecks
  • ~3000 Able Killsmen
  Chief Muckers are selected personally by the High Lord Captain, and their value as fighters is prioritized second to their capabilities in logistics and management. These select officers and trusted advisers are often former merchants, landlords, or innkeeps whose former careers gave them the experience which really counts at the top of a smoothly-run military organization. Muckers lead from the rear, arranging camps, corresponding with the High Lord Captain, and acting as quartermaster and accountant. These even outrank the Field Officers who nominally lead each raiding company, though they have no authority regarding tactics once an actual battle is joined. Each Chief Mucker usually has two to five Field Officers under his or her loose command.   Field Officers are responsible for planning and leading raids when the Rotters are in the off season, each acting in concert with a Chief Mucker, but posturing to his troops as the glory-clad de facto boss of his or her company. Officers have the training to plan maneuvers and to arrange payment for raiding parties' services, such as protecting vulnerable travelling gentry and not attacking towns. During campaign season, the corps of officers maintain some autonomy in maneuvers but ultimately are directly commanded by the High Lord Captain. Each field officer has command of one company composed of eight to twelve petty officers and their troops, together with at least 10 Pencilnecks.   Petty Officers are selected for one-year terms, starting at the end of a campaign season so that each man has almost a year's experience in the role come the next campaign. They are subordinate to field officers and essentially maintain discipline and lead squads or small raiding bands on missions of duration less than one week. Each petty officer has around ten able killsmen under his command.   Pencilnecks are recruits or volunteers with spellcasting skills. These are rare, to the tune of maybe 1 in 50 recruits. They tend to be focus-fired and killed off quickly by any half-organized opponent, but they still arrive because hey, double standard starting pay doesn't lie. Pencilnecks are usually put to use by Muckers for brainwork, especially those with a C.W. (Certified Wiz) status; their formal education is not undervalued in this organization. If a difficult (not overwhelmingly easy) fight is expected and cannot be avoided, pencilnecks are placed carefully to keep them alive and casting throughout the fight, employing them however their personal aptitude dictates. They are still outranked by petty officers and are assigned as needed to existing squads by their field officers.   Able Killsmen are the basic soldiers of the Rotters. They come from all sorts of former lifestyles after hearing a very special calling in their hearts, to the tune of "I can't protect myself and my people and also earn a living, so how about I go earn a living protecting myself?" Each killsman is expected to sign up with a weapon of choice in hand, generally falling into the broad categories of pike, bow, horse (yes, horse is a weapon, never doubt it), or axe. This cuts down on training and arming costs for the Rotters. They are then sorted by armament with a few mixed-arms squads interspersed, and assigned in groups of ten or twelve to petty officers.

Public Agenda

The Rotters overtly offer their "Not-killing-or-kidnapping-anybody" services, and frequently wind up on a battlefield to offer their services to battered survivors and disorganized refugees. Now, this normally adds to the downward spiral of those multitudes of Bloodmarshians who once lose their defensible home, further impacting the quality of life for all Crotch-dwellers. On rare occasions, however, the calculus of the High Lord Captain puts the Rotters in another role entirely.   Six times, most recently just 10 years ago, the Rotters have been observed to suffer losses on behalf of Humanity, if not completely due to a altruistic impulse. The Rotters were seen to fast march all the way from Sutyr to The City in response to a disturbance in the refugee field about ten years ago. They arrived two days after the Archers' Day City-Razing Event of 2277, but noticeably not due to lack of haste. They immediately rolled into town along the southeast bank. The archers' squads were placed forward, and unusual move, but as the dragon contingent began to stoop upon them to employ their deadly breath, the benefits of Archer's Day allowed the Rotters to blind several and repel all dragons who came at them. The foot and cavalry, sweeping in after the archers had drawn the ire of the flying enemy, began to hunt through the ruins quarter by quarter, recovering goods and valuables which would have otherwise fallen into the clutches of the ever-greedy dragons which had wrought that great destruction. Then, as was only reasonable, they sold the real estate of the city back to its remaining prior inhabitants at a very low rate, completely clear of dragons or kobold hangers-on. In this way it is considered that the Rotters and other, similar bands fulfil a definite niche for the Human cause in the Crotch, and so no measures to curtail their activities has been openly considered even if any were practical to implement.


Here are the estimated solid assets of the Rotters, as calculated from probable plunder-to-expense curves.
  • Approx. 7,500 lb Au distributed among the Travelling Forts.
  • 10 Travelling Forts, each commanded by 1 Chief Mucker.
  • 50 heavy crossbows and 10 hardened carts per company.
  • Various camp and medical paraphernalia.
  • Balls.


Roy formed the Rotters from the detritus of several failing (i.e. mostly killed-off) bands of marauding bandits which he found lacking in the fundamentals of good military doctrine. By focusing on the steady inflow and outflow of cash and food resources, he managed to build a logistical base which could be arbitrarily expanded into a well-organized, disciplined, and reliable force of bloody-handed thugs and highwaymen which the terrible threat of the local Immortals and belligerent peasants couldn't break. If Bloodmarsh was to have organized crime, Roy often said, it would have to be the most organized damn crime which the world had ever seen, or it would just get picked apart by random elves and crossbow-carrying school children within a few months. Travelling is too damn dangerous to do willy-nilly.   Pat Kilroy killed Roy in 2284, and command passed surprisingly smoothly into his hands. A former field officer, Pat has surpassing tactical and combat experience, and his veteran status and conspicuous deeds of badassery had earned him a strong reputation. It is known that many mourn Roy's passing among the Rotters, but he had grown old and sentimental by the Archers' Day Raising, and all knew it was time for new blood on the carpet. Or old blood. New blood?

Yours to the last, or theirs until renewed payment!

by Oogalook
Rotters' badge, with five seasons' gold baubles. Keeping these traditional end-of-campaign's bonus is a sign of opulence and thus of success. Cashing them in, however, is worth a whole bunch of booze.
by Oogalook
Roy the Really Bad, Founder and first High Lord Captain (Deceased)
Guild, Fighter / Mercenary
Alternative Names
Roy's Rotters

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Cover image: by Oogalook


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