The Light Blue Ribbons was a mercenary house that was Known to be active in the Negeémi Drow capital city of Negeémiliel during the early 25th Century a.a.H. It was an often used organization but of little regard as the quality of its fighters was considered fairly poor.
Types of MercenariesEdit
There are a range of mercenary organizations in Negeémiliel. Some are military grade, with members fully able to act as disciplined soldiers, others have more specialized fighters good for specific missions but less capable of line fighting. Other mercenaries are less capable in both areas and fall into the realm of expendable armed bodies, or else are just armed toughs used as private enforcers, guards or even little better than 'bouncers'.
Light Blue Ribbons as Low Level FightersEdit
The Light Blue Ribbons fell towards the bottom end of the scale, whereas, for example, the Black Widows were near the top. Doubtlessly there were a range in skills of the Light Blue Ribbon fighters, but typically they were considered inferior to being military grade warriors in fighting skills and discipline. They were essentially hirelings for urban use, as private enforcement muscle or simple guards, sometimes put to work for illegal purposes.
Equipment and skillsEdit
Even so, the typical Light Blue Ribbon fighter came equipped with a weapon that she--or sometimes he--would have some degree of skill using, and they generally even wore light armor. While they were poorly regarded, these mercenaries probably were somewhat above the very bottom of toughs for hire. They were probably the most common, low ranking, but still--professional--mercenaries available.
So the group might be regarded as being composed of trained fighters of rough skill, with some talented males in the group. They could at least be expected to have some proficiency with their chosen weapon, and to possess rudimentary hand to hand martial arts skills. They did allow males into the organization despite the sexual barriers of the Negeémi culture, with the expectation that they could fight. Although the presence of males might represent a detriment to discipline as much as any sense of inclusiveness. These mercenaries weren't people that regular civilians might care to cross, and they had a reputation as bullies.
History of Negeémi Drow MercenariesEdit
Unlike other Drow civilizations, usually limited to a single city-state, where large private houses also had private armies, that often were liable to war against each other tearing the fabric of a city-state apart, the Negeémi Drow had outlawed private armies, and the family houses were subordinate to the State in the form of a theocratic republic. This development in the city's reformation led to a more stable governance and considerably less violence as clan warfare was limited to poison or an assassin's blade. Even these actions were less common for various reasons.
However, despite this, mercenary houses did indeed exist in the city state, particularly as it expanded towards becoming a true empire. The Acolyte system served the city well in its early reformed period, but the system was still inherently made for a city-state, and served increasingly less well as many colonies were founded, and other cities, of differing Drow cultures, were incorporated into the Negeémi State.
In the often savage underworld of Kazrrad, where the Negeémi Drow did not have Acolytes stationed, there would often be militias or professional mercenaries. Also, the acolytes were often spread too thin, too far away, to defend the whole of the empire, requiring armies of mercenaries to either fight in their place, or fill out the ranks. Ironically, the status of the acolytes as elite, highly trained warriors also meant that they were too valuable to risk losing in certain situations--hence a need for more expendable soldiers.
Mercenaries as a Regular Part of the MilitaryEdit
So, while the acolytes remained the backbone of the Negeémi military, and the State was loathe to call upon commoner levees as ill trained soldiers were almost completely discounted, mercenaries became very commonly seen. The numbers of professionals of various degrees of expertise, but having at least some reasonable training and experience freely available nearly numbering as many as the acolytes. Many more fighters of poor training also existed, usually as private forces.
The acolytes were also the police of the Negeémi drow. As the acolytes came to spend much time marching through tunnels from one point to another, and being based out of central city areas, crime became more common. Those acolytes that remained were most often newer acolytes given city patrol duties as it was 'easy duty'. Detection and investigations of crimes were often lacking. The despite the anti-private armies law, it seemed that hiring fighters for protection was allowed or at least tolerated. Illegal use of hired toughs as enforcement took place.
The Light Blue RibbonsEdit
In this background, many low level fighters were organized to be hired for various private concerns. The Light Blue Ribbons were a noted mercenary house amongst these questionable fighters.
They've been seen in the Maylara Maltree story as hired guards for the hobgoblin merchant Gaveo who wanted protection--and vengeance--against the so called 'Fake Priestess'. They would indeed fight Maylara Maltree, who would prove herself capable of defeating four armed Light Blue Ribbon fighters with her martial arts skills and defensive magic. While not the best warriors, this was seen as such a feat of skill that the 'Fake Priestess' urban legend was given new life as the word of the fight spread.