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The Flaming Fist, or Flaming Fists, was a mercenary company based in the city of Baldur's Gate on the Sword Coast, where its members served as city guards.[2] They were one of the most powerful and expensive fighting forces in all the Realms during the 14th century DR,[3] motivated primarily by the promise of riches and the glory of victory, though they edged on the side of promoting order throughout the Realms.[4]

While the Fist's base of operations was in the city of Baldur's Gate, they had other forts and establishments in Anchorome, Chult and Tethyr.[4] The latter of which proved to be a source for recent hires by Duke Eltan during their decades-long civil war.[5] They also worked outside the city and their forts; their sphere of influence extending just south of Beregost but stopping before Nashkel.[6]

Members[]

Ulder Ravengard, Marshal of the Flaming Fist

Leadership[]

During the 1300s, the company was led by 10 senior officers which included the master-tactician Scar, the powerful mage Moruene and the company's founder and leader, Grand Duke Eltan.[3][7]

The other leaders included Beluarion, Kulurauk, Bellan, Nenon, Koruelve, Desedrak and Yulimtul. These high-ranking Flaming Fist officers served as commanders on the battlefield, bodyguards during intense, high-risk negotiations and often as a protective bulwark for Eltan and Moruene when they forayed into combat.[7]

Following the near-disastrous expeditions to Maztica and Anchorome during the early 1360's DR, over half of the senior officers were either killed, went missing or were absent from Baldur's Gate due to new posts from which they served. Along with the surviving Koruelve, A new generation of officers were inducted into the Flaming Fist including Lendali Firehair, Herculus the Hammer, Skot-sar, Delandria Kalvistalk the Huner and Morgan Redwing.[4]

During the mid-15th century DR, Grand Duke Abdel Adrian served as the Marshal of the Flaming Fist until his death in the Year of the Ageless One, 1479 DR.[8] He was succeeded by Ulder Ravengard, who also ascended to the office of Grand Duke of Baldur's Gate within a decade.[9][10]

Organization[]

The Flaming Fist operated under a strict military hierarchy. They seldom recruited locals to aid in their missions, except in the cases of advisers or wilderness guides.[4]

Ranks

As of the late 15th century DR, the Flaming Fist comprised six hierarchical ranks. In descending order of authority they were:[11]

  • Marshal, the Fist's general
  • Blaze, equivalent to a major
  • Flame, an officer that served as lieutenant
  • Manip, a Flaming Fist sergeant
  • Gauntlet, comparable to a corporal
  • Fist, the rank given to private soldiers

Some high ranking members of the Flaming Fist were known to have served on the Baldurian Council of Four.[12][13]

Forces[]

As of the year 1358 DR, the Flaming Fist consisted of:[3]

In addition to their fighting force, the Flaming Fist kept 4,000 horses, over 3,000 pack mules to carry their equipment and haul away looted treasure. They typically brought along 9 wagons, packed with weapons, food and drink, medical supplies and siege weaponry. The wagons were well-armored, lined with dragonhide to offer protection from fire, offering a protective barrier from which the Fist's archers could fire their arrows.[3] They had gathered a great cache of useful items throughout their operations, including both mundane and magical items.[4]

Notable locations[]

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Possessions[]

One notable piece of siege weaponry known as the Boiler was gifted to the Flaming Fists by a noble family of one of Baldur's Gate's Dukes. However, the machine was imperfect became feared as much by the Fists as the subjects of the Boiler's sizzling hot oil streams. When the cauldron was emptied, the Boiler caused a dangerous backsplash as it was returned to the default position, often scalding its operators. Several unsuccessful attempts were made to repair it. However, replacing the Boiler meant offending the noble family, which was completely out of the question.[14]

Relationships[]

A great many adversarial organizations openly opposed the Flaming Fist, including rival mercenary companies, the Zhentarim and the Cult of the Dragon.[4]

History[]

A shield adorned with the Flaming Fist insignia.

The Flaming Fist Mercenary Company, as it was then called, was founded in the 1330s DR[note 1] by Eltan, a formidable fighter and Grand Duke of Baldur's Gate.[15]

During the Horde Wars, 300 members were hired out by Sembia to combat the overwhelming Tuigan forces.[5]

While Tethyr was leaderless during the Tethyrian Interregnum, Duke Eltan hired out small squads of the Fist at a greatly discounted rate. It was believed that he did so in hopes of being invited to the Tethyrian Court, and sought to establish a dependent state over which he would have control.[5]

Exploration[]

Guided by his fascination with the explorer Balduran, Eltan arranged for an 150-strong expedition into the jungles of Chult led by the officers Beluarion and Nenon. When he got word of the discoveries of Maztica by the Amnian Golden Legion in after the year 1361 DR, he arranged for a Fist-led expedition to the "New World" in 1364 DR, in the hopes of discovering the final resting place of Balduran, in the unknown continent of Anchorome.[5]

Not content with the lands that had been settled by the southern neighbors to Baldur's Gate, the Flaming Fist had four of their leading officers, Bellan, Desedrak, Yulimtul and Scar lead 500 of the Flaming Fist, along with 200 horses and a great deal of cargo, set out from the island of Lantan. They immediately encountered troubles in the form of disease and storms. While the Fist clerics limited the spread of disease, they lost three vessels, one of which had been designated as the infirmary for the sea-faring explorers which contained most of the divine healers.[5]

The remaining Fist explorers landed in Helmsport,[5] resupplied and hired on 60 Maztican Eagle Knights to replenish their numbers. The Flaming Fist explorers split their forces, with Desedrak, Yulimtul and just over 200 mercenaries venturing northwest across the newly-discovered continent to find the legendary City of Gold, while the remaining 300-plus continued sailing north in search of the fabled Anchorome. The former group was never heard from again, while the latter lost a third of their ships fighting off the Sahuagin from the undersea city of Itzcali, but were led by Scar further north.[16]

Arriving in the mouth of a bay, which they would name the Bay of Balduran, the remaining Fist mercenaries discovered a lush land inhabited by wild elves, unlike any they knew on Faerûn. While they ventured inland, the remaining Fist ships were sunk by massive whale-like sea beasts. The elves they encountered were extremely hostile, and the Flaming Fist were forced to make a fighting retreat out of their territory towards the coast. The remaining hundred explorers, led by Scar and Bellan, established Fort Flame at the mouth of the bay. With Bellan maintaining lead at Fort Flame, the keen-minded Scar led a small band south to Helmsport, sailed back to Baldur's Gate,[16] and petitioned for reinforcements for the isolated fortress, which arrived in the year 1366 DR.[17]

14th Century[]

Ellywick, Nadaar, Hama, and Varis being approached by members of the Flaming Fist in Baldur's Gate.

Sometime before 1372 DR, Flaming Fist mercenaries were involved in defending the city of Baldur's Gate from an invading orc horde. The Fists used one piece of notoriously dangerous siege equipment, the Boiler, to defend the walls from orcs crawling up rickety ladders. When the defenders ran out of bubbling hot oil, Sergeant Lukas Oteril made a discussion to toss the Boiler off the wall on the heads of climbing orcs. Even though that actions meant little to the battle's outcome, the Flaming Fists were happy to get rid of the accursed device. The battle was eventually won with the horde's chieftain fleeing with his life and the Boiler.[14]

15th Century[]

By the late 15th century DR, the Flaming Fists had changed from a mercenary group to the police and military force of Baldur's Gate.[2]

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Appendix[]

Appearances[]

Adventures
Murder in Baldur's GateBaldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus
Novels
Spawn of DragonspearCrucible: The Trial of Cyric the MadBaldur's Gate
Video Games
Baldur's GateBaldur's Gate: Siege of DragonspearBaldur's Gate III
Referenced only
Neverwinter Nights: Darkness over Daggerford

Notes[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Gold & Glory states the Flaming Fist was founded "almost 30 years ago". It then goes on to describe the Amnian discovery of Maztica (1361 DR) and the Fist's founding of Fort Flame (1364 DR) as "recent events" (both dated in The Grand History of the Realms). This indicates that the Flaming Fist was founded in 1332 DR at the earliest, and 1335 DR at the latest. It is assumed this is an inconsistency between Gold & Glory and The Grand History, and that the newer Field Report is correct.

References[]

  1. Dee Pennyway (2016-04-01). Siege of Dragonspear: Field Report (PDF). Beamdog. Archived from the original on 2017-10-22. Retrieved on 2017-10-22.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Bruce R. Cordell, Ed Greenwood, Chris Sims (August 2008). Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide. Edited by Jennifer Clarke Wilkes, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), pp. 94–95. ISBN 978-0-7869-4924-3.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (DM's Sourcebook of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 34. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 Tim Beach (1992). Gold & Glory. (TSR, Inc), p. 11. ISBN 1-56076-334-5.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Tim Beach (1992). Gold & Glory. (TSR, Inc), p. 9. ISBN 1-56076-334-5.
  6. BioWare (December 1998). Designed by James Ohlen. Baldur's Gate. Black Isle Studios.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (DM's Sourcebook of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 35. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  8. Ed Greenwood, Matt Sernett, Steve Winter (August 20, 2013). “Murder in Baldur's Gate”. In Dawn J. Geluso ed. Murder in Baldur's Gate (Wizards of the Coast), p. 4. ISBN 0-7869-6463-4.
  9. Steve Winter, Alexander Winter, Wolfgang Baur (November 2014). The Rise of Tiamat. Edited by Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 15. ISBN 978-0786965656.
  10. Steve Kenson, et al. (November 2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. Edited by Kim Mohan. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 45. ISBN 978-0-7869-6580-9.
  11. Christopher Perkins, Will Doyle, Steve Winter (September 19, 2017). Tomb of Annihilation. Edited by Michele Carter, Scott Fitzgerald Gray. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 30. ISBN 978-0-7869-6610-3.
  12. Adam Lee, et al. (September 2019). Baldur's Gate: Descent into Avernus. Edited by Michele Carter, et al. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 161. ISBN 978-0-7869-6687-5.
  13. Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 27. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Ossian Studios (June 2018). Neverwinter Nights: Darkness over Daggerford. Beamdog.
  15. Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 225. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Tim Beach (1992). Gold & Glory. (TSR, Inc), p. 10. ISBN 1-56076-334-5.
  17. Brian R. James, Ed Greenwood (September 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. Edited by Kim Mohan, Penny Williams. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 147. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.
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