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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]

MembersEdit

Ulder Ravengard disc

Ulder Ravengard, Marshal of the Flaming Fist

LeadershipEdit

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 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]

OrganizationEdit

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]

By the late 1480s or early 1490s DR, only six ranks were recognized within the Flaming Fist: fist (private), gauntlet (corporal), manip (sergeant), flame (lieutenant), blaze (major), and marshal (general).[11]

ForcesEdit

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 locationsEdit

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RelationshipsEdit

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

HistoryEdit

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.[12]

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]

ExplorationEdit

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.[13]

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 suck 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,[13] and petitioned for reinforcements for the isolated fortress, which arrived in the year 1366 DR.[14]

15th centuryEdit

By 1479 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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AppendixEdit

AppearancesEdit

Novels
Games

NotesEdit

  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.

ReferencesEdit

  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. (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 (1998). James Ohlen, Ray Muzyka. Baldur's GateBlack 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 (Adventure). (Wizards of the Coast), p. 4. ISBN 0-7869-6463-4.
  9. Wizards RPG Team (2014). The Rise of Tiamat. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 15. ISBN 978-0786965657.
  10. Kim Mohan ed. (2015). Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 45. ISBN 978-0786965809.
  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. 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.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Tim Beach (1992). Gold & Glory. (TSR, Inc), p. 10. ISBN 1-56076-334-5.
  14. Brian R. James and Ed Greenwood (September, 2007). The Grand History of the Realms. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 147. ISBN 978-0-7869-4731-7.