The Silver Crescents
Defenders of Arylon

by Clay Simmons and Jeff Bray

Officers of the Company:

Caelith Ferranor, Commander
Daeth Thaowin, Captain of Infantry
Trendil Narem, Captain of Infantry
Gunnar Joriander, Captain of Cavalry
Brace, Lieutenant
Dealer, Lieutenant

History:

In 1121 DR, the mercenary company known as Seraba's Silver Crescents contracted with the nation of Amn to provide security for an obscure outpost city named Arylon. Originally from Zakhara, The Silver Crescents were a free mercenary company formed almost 200 years previously in Huzuz, the City of Delights. Over the years, the Crescents had served many employers and moved northward with each one before signing on with Amn.

Their assigned task was to protect the city from bandits and undead from the Fields of the Dead, and to ensure the safe passage of mercantile traffic. The Silver Crescents performed their job admirably, and their contract was extended time and time again. Eventually, due to the loss of original personnel and replacement by local recruits, the Crescents became intimately connected to the city. While technically a mercenary company, they acted more as a combination city guard and city watch. By 1230 DR, the Silver Crescents were controlled and paid by the city, thus completing the company's transformation into a local military unit.

Currently, the Crescents, as they are commonly referred to, muster more than 350 troops. Their tasks are to: guard the city and its population from attack; safeguard trade to and from Arylon; patrol the streets; and maintain order within the city. The uniform of the Crescents is a black tabard worn over chainmail. The tabard bears a small silver crescent embroidered on the left breast. They are equipped with chainmail, scimitars, and helms. Signal whistles are also a uniform standard. When trouble is expected, shields are issued to all units.

The Crescents are normally divided into three companies of 80 infantry and 20 cavalry each, with three additional patrols of 10 cavalrymen patrolling the lands north of Arylon at all times. When the Crescents take the field as an army, their configuration changes to two companies of 120 infantry each and one of 90 cavalry. Captain Daeth Thaowin and Captain Trendil Narem each command one of the Crescents' infantry companies, and serve as watch commanders in 12 hour shifts. Captain Gunnar Joriander acts as the cavalry commander and often leads patrols into the Fields of the Dead. The senior officer of the Crescents is Commander Caelith Ferranor. Each Captain has a 5-man command staff while the Commander has a 10-man staff.

The Crescents also count two half-elven wizards among their numbers. Brace (a 6th lvl illusionist) and Dealer (a 7th lvl MU) have been with the unit for more than 20 years, and each has the nominal rank of lieutenant. They are assigned to the Commander's staff, but are notoriously lax about showing up when they have duty. When they can be found, usually in a bar or a brothel, they are assigned to lend magical assistance to any Crescent unit requiring such aid.

Street patrols are on foot and consist of three-man teams, two troopers (2-4th lvl fighters) led by a corporal or sergeant (4-5th lvl fighters). If a squad encounters more trouble than it can handle, coded blasts on whistles summon help from all patrols within an earshot. Four five-man squads of archers (crossbows) and three mounted platoons {seven mounted troopers led by two noncommissioned officers and a lieutenant (6th lvl fighter)} are on duty in central locations to help beleaguered patrols. The remaining men guard the Crescents' headquarters at Mahdanae Sangh or the alternate headquarters in the Dock Ward known as the River Station.

Patrolling the boundaries of the Fields of the Dead is one of the Crescent's most important responsibilities. Any undead encountered are summarily destroyed. These mounted patrols are 10 men strong and led by a lieutenant. They are always accompanied by at least one cleric from the Order of the Sphinx.

The watch is on an 8-hour duty rotation. For example: 'A' Company patrols for eight hours. For the next eight hours, 50% of the men are released from duty, while the other 50% are placed on standby. The last eight hours, the entire company is off duty. Each company uses this schedule, though starting at different times. Therefore, while 'A' Company is on patrol, 'B' Company is on 50% watch, and 'C' Company is off duty.

The Crescents are a military unit. Military discipline is strictly enforced and they undergo intensive field maneuvers at regular intervals. This training, coupled with extensive drill, results in the iron discipline and the high esprit de corps which characterizes the Crescents. No matter what the situation, no Crescent unit has ever been routed. This doesn't mean the Crescent troopers are automatons. Street patrols are very helpful and offer directions and assistance to any who ask, while mounted patrols have broken patrols to escort travelers and caravans into the city. Patrols attempt to solve problems they encounter without resorting to violence. However, if violence is unavoidable and the Crescents are forced to draw steel, they do not hesitate to kill any who offer resistance.

Major NPC's:

Caelith Ferranor (hm, 4 lvl Fighter, LN, Commander, Silver Crescents )

Like most organizations, the Crescents have had good leaders and bad. Their present commander, Caelith Ferranor, is one of the best. Caelith, approaching 60 years of age, is a man of medium height and build, though he is starting to thicken as age creeps up on him. He has short grey hair and a well-trimmed grey beard. Caelith possesses quiet dignity, backed up by his blue eyes, which see and note everything going on around him. He dresses in the same city-issued uniform as the troops, with only his insignia to mark him as an officer. His most distinguishing feature is his left leg, which is off below the knee, but this handicap doesn't slow the feisty warrior. Using a wooden peg leg, he is often found on the drill field outside the Keep exhorting his men to train harder. The remainder of his time is spent in his offices overseeing the Silver Crescents.

Caelith is a lifelong member of the Crescents who ascended to command 15 years ago. He joined the Crescents at the tender age of 15, becoming the fifth generation of Ferranor's to don the black tunic. Caelith was an excellent soldier, and by the time he was 23, was recognized as officer material. However, his fast track status was upset two weeks after being promoted to lieutenant. While leading a raid on a suspected smuggler's warehouse, his left leg was severed at the knee by a falling crate.

It appeared his career was over, but no one counted on his perseverance. Caelith was certain he could overcome this handicap. He called in all the favors owed to him and a parade of officers and enlisted men, testifying to his brilliant leadership, passed before the Commander. This support persuaded the Commander to allow Caelith to continue his service as a lieutenant.

Since he could no longer physically act in battle, he relied on his tactical knowledge and ability to inspire his troops to remain productive. He was a great success, leading his men to victory each time they were called into battle. Following exemplary service as a lieutenant and then as captain, he was promoted to Commander by the city council upon the recommendation of his predecessor. He immediately began a modernization program which improved the Crescents' organization and training. Under his leadership, they have become more efficient and effective. Caelith has a genius for organization and tactics, and a fanatical belief in training, which shows in the Crescents' lightning-quick reactions and model discipline.

Caelith is aggressive and daring in battle. He is able to create tactics instantaneously and takes advantage of fleeting enemy weaknesses. He deploys his captains in a manner which allows them to employ their strengths while keeping resentment and infighting to a minimum. Caelith's men respect him with a fervency bordering on worship. (For example, in one battle against orcs to the north of the city, the Crescents refused to advance, shouting "Commander to the rear!" until Caelith had removed himself from the front line.) Their love of their commander is tempered by respect for him. He is known to his troops as "The Commander", and is always spoken to and of in the third person. If harm is ever done to Caelith in battle, it will be because every Crescent near is dead.

Daeth Thaowin (hm, 10th lvl fighter, LN, Captain of Infantry, Silver Crescents)

Caelith's second in command is Captain Daeth Thaowin. Daeth's father was a former member of the Crescents' who had left the company and moved to Baldur's Gate. At the age of 18, Daeth returned to his father's former home, even traveling on foot part of the way. Upon reaching Arylon, the recruiting sergeant was impressed with the young man's determination and immediately accepted him into the ranks.

Daeth served as a trooper for only seven years before being meritoriously promoted to lieutenant. He continued his meteoric rise, advancing to the rank of captain just 10 years later. Since then, he has distinguished himself time and again in patrols, skirmishes and full-blown battles.

Daeth is a tall (6'), angular man with brown hair and beard. He has a high forehead described as that of a poet, and thin lips which are often turned down in a frown. The first things anyone notices of Daeth are his eyes. They are blue, direct and penetrating. In any conflict, they seem to glow with an inner light, which has led his men to nickname him "Old Blue Light". He is soft-voiced and retiring, and his uniform is often mussed and/or dirty, especially when he is patrolling or campaigning.

Daeth is an eccentric, although his detractors refer to him as insane. He is highly religious, venerating Tyr above all others. He attends religious services every week without fail. He discusses theology with anyone who offers and believes that Tyr has specially blessed him. In battle, his men have often seen his thin lips moving in prayer.

Daeth's belief in drill and discipline surpasses even that of Commander Caelith. He insists his men obey all commands immediately and without question. He often leads his infantry on forced marches to keep them fit and reinforce discipline. These marches, sometimes reaching thirty miles in a day, have led the men to term themselves "Thaowin's Foot Cavalry". The men respect Daeth more than they love him. But will do anything he asks, because they know following his orders will get them through trouble alive.

Trendil Narem (hm, 7th lvl fighter, NG, Captain of Infantry, Silver Crescents)

Narem was formerly a Lieutenant in the Purple Dragons of Cormyr. He spent three years under this commission when he realized he had reached the pinnacle of his possible advancement. His rawboned, country appearance and uncultured upbringing doomed his hopes of promotion in the political environment prevalent in the Dragons. Wanting to have more responsibility, he resigned his commission and moved to the obscure city of Arylon. He was eagerly signed up and assigned the rank of Lieutenant. His excellent military performance soon earned him advancement to Captain.

Trendil is tall (6'2") with a powerful chest and huge shoulders. He has brown hair and beard which are often tangled. He has expressive, kindly blue eyes and a booming, almost musical, voice. He looks somewhat unsophisticated, as if he is a backwoodsman playing soldier. His appearance, however, conceals a competent military mind.

Trendil is very brave, usually leading from the front. He is vigorous and ambitious, and his experiences in the Purple Dragons have given him a great base of leadership knowledge. He believes the esprit of the Crescents is its most valuable weapon, and promotes its development at every opportunity. Whenever he speaks to his troops, he praises them and fills their hearts with pride. He impresses upon them that no unit in the Realms is more valorous or dedicated, and any offense committed by a Crescent trooper will reflect badly on the entire organization. As a result, any trooper who goes over the line can expect to be harshly dealt with by his own comrades before any legal penalties are brought to bear.

Gunnar Joriander (hm, 7th lvl cavalier, NG, Captain of Cavalry, Silver Crescents)

Gunnar Joriander is captain of the Crescent's cavalry units. He was born in Arylon and joined the Crescents at the age of 20, much to the chagrin of his wealthy parents. He learned to ride early in life, and the cavalry fit him like a glove. He displayed a brilliant grasp of cavalry tactics early on and some of his actions were textbook examples of the uses cavalry could be put to: reconnaissance, screening, harassment of the enemy, and pursuit. He attracted Commander Caelith's attention early in his career, as a sergeant in Captain Caelith's cavalry detachment. As Caelith rose through the ranks, he promoted Gunnar into positions under him. When Caelith was appointed to command, he gave Gunnar command of the Crescents' cavalry.

Gunnar is a short (5'6"), trim, and youthful man. He sports a full, well-groomed beard. He has laughing green eyes and a bold, friendly manner. He has a spectacular personality, delighting in gaudy trappings. His uniform is accented by a scarlet-lined cloak, a long, yellow sash, tall leather cavalry boots, and a plumed hat. He loves to host and attend parties, and can often be found at galas dancing and flirting outrageously with attractive women.

Gunnar became a city favorite following a battle against a small tribe of orcs, who had moved into the area north of the city. His dashing figure and successes in leading raids and slicing attacks into enemy ranks endeared him to commoners and nobles alike. His men follow him because he is considered an equal. They regard him more as a big brother than an authority figure (they often go to him with their problems and ideas). Gunnar knows the small number of his troops forces them to adopt different tactics than those used by more numerous units. He fosters a sense of comradeship and invincibility in his men, believing esprit de corps must compensate for lack of numbers.

Brace (hem, 6th lvl M(enchanter), N, Lieutenant, Silver Crescents)

Dealer (hem, 7th lvl M, NG, Lieutenant, Silver Crescents)

The mages, Brace and Dealer, are twenty-year veterans of the Silver Crescents. They provide the magical might the Crescents need to manage many threats to Arylon. Nominally lieutenants, both are notoriously lax in commission of their duties. Often, when they are on duty, they can be found in one of Arylon's brothels, taverns, or gambling dens. They are always there when off duty. Their indolence is overlooked by Ferranor, since they are part of the family, and few mages wish to be tied to long-term guard duty. He also knows he can keep an eye on them when they are under his command, whereas they might get into serious trouble if they were simply turned loose on the city.

The two half-elves are second cousins descended from some of the original members of the Silver Crescents, the al-Hamals. Their elven forebearers were from Muluk, City of Kings, who were mighty warriors in that martially inclined city. In Zakhara, tolerance between races is the norm; it matters not whether you are elf or orc, but whether you are enlightened. Normal elven curiosity caused the elf brothers to sign on for the trek northward to the heathen and barbarous lands of Faerun. The marriages to humans from this lineage produced Brace and Dealer, both natives of Arylon.

The cousins share many of the same traits. They are both lax and prone to the vices that Arylon offers. They can be bribed, which is something that is nigh impossible with any other seargent or officer. They spend most of their time in each other's company. Although they seem much alike, they have strikingly different views.

Brace (hem, 6th lvl M(enchanter), N, Lieutenant, Silver Crescents)

Stats: Str:8 Dex:12 Con:11 Int:17 Wis:10 Cha:16 hp:13 AC:10* MV:12
Magic items: potion of gaseous form, ring of waterwalking
spells: change self, friends, charm person, sleep, detect undead; bind, forget, ray of enfeeblement; dispel magic, hold person, suggestion
Notes: armor spell cast for AC6*, worships Selan (aspect of Selune)

Bracalas Elamal, known as Brace, is a handsome man with gold flecked eyes and auburn hair. He dresses with care and is well-groomed. He prefers to dress in greens and blues to off-set his coloring and is a favorite among the hard currency ladies. He cares little for material wealth, except for how it might purchase more wine, women and song. He has an aptitude for magic, but not the desire to improve his skills.

Brace learned at an early age that his physique was not typical for his family. He had not inherited the abilities that would make him a warrior like many of his ancestors. Avoiding work didn't improve his hardiness or strength. He was tested and found to have a talent for the Art. He spent his apprenticeship with Minean Longlash, an enchantress of moderate skill and exceptional beauty. From her, he learned more than spells. Brace joined the Crescents as soon as his apprenticeship was finished as it was expected for members of his family to serve. He didn't want to, but the threat of being cut off from any inheritance was all the impetus he needed. He figured he would bide his time until he gained his inheritance. That was 20 years ago!

Brace is vain and somewhat lazy. He presents himself very well, and has convinced many people he is a hard worker. Ferranor, however, is not one of them. He complains about how hard he works as if saying it will make it come true. When he does do something, he lets everyone know about it. When he does make it on patrol, he performs well. He gets along with everyone and is a good moderator for disputes. He enjoys these interaction, but dislikes leaving his other distractions. He can be bribed if the situation, and the money, is right. However, he will never accept a bribe to look the other way when the crime is serious. He does overlook lesser offenses, such as theft or disorderly conduct, for a suitable donation to the Crescents. He needs these "stipends" to keep up his lifestyle since his pay doesn't keep him well and his family won't provide him with any more. They heartily disapprove of his carousing, and would be even more upset if they realized the extent of his corruption.

Dealer (hem, 7th lvl M, NG, Lieutenant, Silver Crescents)

Stats: Str:10 Dex:15 Con:10 Int:15 Wis:12 Cha:10 hp:17 AC:8 MV:12
Magic items: ring of +1 protection, wand of negation
Spells: color spray, magic missile, shield, sleep; ESP, knock, web; fly, hold person; Evard's black tentacles

Dealer is colored similarly to Brace, but doesn't share Braces's good looks. Besides this, he constantly has a furrowed brow and wears looks of either worry, resignation, or despair. All of these things make him appear gloomy. He wears a Crescent tabard even when off-duty, disdaining the affectations of his cousin. Dealer, like his cousin, tends towards laziness and laxity. He frequents the same places as his cousin, but for different reasons. He has become addicted to gambling and drink. He never hurries to take his shift and always seeks to dodge his responsibilities.

Dealanthar Elamal was born to the wife of Brace's father's cousin. He had an older brother, Fellathar, who excelled at many things. Dealer admired and tried to emulate his older sibling. Unfortunately, Dealer was an indifferent warrior and could not follow that path. He apprenticed to a mage from Baldur's Gate named Girad Whitelock. Girad was crafty and specialized in tomb robbing and second story work to finance his research. He also knew his way around the seedier sides of the Gate. Dealer picked up many of these things when accompanying his master on "research expeditions". When he returned to Arylon, he learned Fellathar had been slain while battling a tanar'ri on the Fields of the Dead. He joined the Crescents in memory of his brother. He joined almost exactly at the same time as his wayward cousin, Bracalas. Ferranor liked Dealer's enthusiasm to work for the good of Arylon and the fact that he knew many of the habits of the underworld. Dealer's magical skill was a huge bonus.

Dealer saw the troubles and problems of Brace's life and decided to help him off his self-destructive path. He accompanied his cousin to many of the seedier locales of Arylon, protecting Brace from any misadventures. While he waited, he began to pass his time at the gambling tables using the skills Girad taught him long ago. He succeeded at first, but when he drank while playing, he lost all his coins. To gain them back, he played more. Now, he is a willing participant in the debauches Brace enjoys. He spends his off time gaming and drinking in the dens. This makes it hard for him to truly perform his tasks. He also loses many coins. In desperation, he has stooped to selling bits of information to underworld elements in exchange for relieving his gambling debts. This information isn't the best quality or most sensitive. Ferranor suspects Dealer may be on the take and no longer trusts him. The information Dealer sells is readily available to any Crescent. The criminals are aware of this and are thinking long term.

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