"Take my word, after cooks and doctors the most valuable member of any mercenary band, army, royal guard, or thieves guild is a good decoy. Keeps your enemies eyes and swords off you, then, if they are talented or lucky, they survive to do it again." - Jasper Cameron, Leader of the Bronze Ravens
- Be smart
- Be lucky
- Have a talent for improvisation
- Blatant disregard for common sense
- Proficient at disguising one's self
- Proficient at wilderness survival
- Magic (optional)
"There is a very fine line between being a decoy and being bait. Decoys survive." - Army instructorThe running joke among decoys is that there is, in fact, a ranking system, it is as follows:
- Master Decoy
Payment & Reimbursement
While considered a joke amongst the general rank and file of the army, and most bodyguard companies, trained decoys collect some of the highest pay in companies and battalions that choose to employ them. This is in addition to benefits like not being included in the regular watch rotation and any fringe benefits collected from their associates.
Decoys live lives on anonymity by necessity. In armies their successes are attributed to "brilliant generals with a knack for deception" in the royal guard they often are behind the reputation of many a ruler who has been called "un-killable"
In the Royal Guard: take the place of the ruler and their family, while the real royals escape to safety. In armies and mercenary companies: be separate and apart, make everyone believe that where they are, so is the rest of the company. In dire circumstances, cover retreats by any means necessary.
"Our only hope is to take them by surprise, gods only know how will will do that on the plains," General Rholan said with a sigh. "General, sir?" a soldier inquired, poking his head into the tent. "I have your dinner, sir." "Bring it in, set it over there" "Beggin your pardon, sir," the soldier said, setting down the food, "but I couldn't help but overhear. Me and mine might be able to help, sir. Grew up on these here plains." "Spit it out soldier." "Well, sir, its just that its been a bit of a dry year, give me a bunch o' horses, your fastest shooting archers, and the 2 biggest tents in camp, and you gots yourself a right big distraction." After some thorough discussion, General Rholan asked one final question, "And how do you plan on signaling us that your distraction is ready?" "Scouts will hear the thunder, sir."General Rholan later contributed his largest victory to this soldier, who has remained nameless to this day. Recovered reports from the Serpent Order reveal the following. :
Conversation with a soldier, 3 days after the Spring Equinox, 3,114AF
- Equinox+4: Looks like Rholan lost more than half his cavalry to the eastern front, sent some scouts to shadow them, but this bodes well.
- Eq+5: They are managing to stay just ahead of us, we could probably catch them if we were willing to leave the supply wagons behind, but its not worth the risk, yet
- Eq+6: Scouts reported movement on the horizon last night, sent some to investigate but it was probably just a herd of the local beasts, they know to stay well enough away by now, though the army could always use some fresh meat.