Information and history
The Flame Brothers are an almogaver mercenary band. There are between 450 and 600 active Flame brothers at any given time. They tend to work for Christian armies fighting the Muslims, and tend to be active in both Iberia and the Levant. Their origins and one of the areas where they recruit the most is located near castell Toló, in the County of Perelada, in northern Catalonia, even if they tend to work throughout Christendom, especially in its southern frontier areas.
The Flame brothers specialize in siegecraft, both offensive and defensive. They are especially adept at taking enemy fortresses by escalade. Troops that tend to associate with them have noted that enemy fortresses have a surprising tendency to burn when the Flame Brothers are around.
The Flame Brothers trace their (mythical?) origins to the auxiliary troops that helped Flambeau and his seven champions during their campaign against the Sahirs of Iberia. Acording to their foundation story, they were present in the final battle where Flambeau fell. Delendos took the survivors of the engagement and retreated to the Pyrenees. Here, he decided to teach the leaders of the men a version of fire magic. The objective was for them to continue the war against the Sahirs unrestricted by the code. Some Sahirs were already in negotiations to enter House Ex Miscellanea and continuing to wage war against them (even Wizard’s War) was deemed undesirable politically by the leaders of the Order. The creation of the independent (but likely-minded Flame Brothers) by teaching them a version of Ignem and making them swear an oath to wage a crusade against the Muslim magic wielders was Delendos’ response to his needs under the political mood of the time.
Acting under the guise of a mercenary band, the Flame Brothers brought down some of the killers of Flambeau and ensured that the Sahirs looked more keenly to acquire the Parma Magica and be under the aegis of the Order. By 1230 the attention of the Flame Brothers tends to centre more on Berber magicians than Sahirs, but their general crusade against Moorish and Berber magic wielders continues to this day. They have a long story of animosity with the Iberian and Middle Eastern Sahirs, since they have waged a low intensity war for centuries, and some members of the Flame Brothers still try to bring down a Sahir when they can.
Might and Magic
Most leaders of the company are Firecasters. Firecasting is a mystical ability that allows them to access their Inner Fire and summon and control flames at will, giving them great military power. However, this comes at the cost of them consuming themselves, and they tend to die relatively young. In the mid XIIth century the Flame Brothers learned from a captured folk witch that folk witch magic can be taught in the same way that they initiated Firecasting. With the (not necessary willing) help of a captured coven they developed their own folk witch tradition and now are able to Initiate the full powers of a witch coven. This has increased their power substantially, and they have become bolder in some of their operations ever since. The taking of Tortosa marked the start of them using their capacity for flight as one of their main escalade tools.
Given their expertise with magic users and the supernatural, the Flame Brothers work for the Order of Hermes from time to time. They are commonly contracted to act as Redcap escorts or as auxiliaries for magi during hunts and wizard wars. When contracted by magi, they have learned to bargain for magical resources as well as silver.
The Flame Bothers and Andorra
The Flame Brothers were contracted by the Catalan crown for the conquest of Mallorca. Around 350 of them were available for the campaign. Their high water came when the knights refused to enter the breach in the wall of the capital city (“shame on you, gentlemen, shame on you!” Jaume dixit); the Flame Brothers spearheaded the assault. Ciutat de Mallorca burned. This earned them the gratitude of the king and the contempt of some of the nobles in the campaign since it put them in evidence. The king has kept some of his mercenaries on Mallorca in pacification operations and they are to be used in further Balearic actions. Around 200 mercenaries left for the Levant after the fall of the city, to reinforce the operations that the Phoenix (Grand master) of the company was performing there. This has left around 150 Flame Brothers in Mallorca under the command of Bernat de Ferrofós, one of the 3 Conflagrations (triad of leaders) of the mercenary company. They are doing mop up activities around the island while waiting to attack Eivissa.
Ranks in the Flame Brothers
- Flame (Soldier)
- Torch (Sgt). Commands 4-6 Flames
- Campfire. Commands 3 Torches (Arnau is one of these)
- Bonfire. Commands 3 campfires.
- Combustion. Commands 3 bonfires
- Conflagration. Commands 3 Combustions (Bernat de Ferrofós is in Mallorca)
- Phoenix. Commands all.
- Arnau d'Orfes, a Campfire stationned at Sa Dragonera
- Bernat de Ferrofós (Molten Iron), a Gifted Flame brother that holds the rank of Conflagration, and directs the operations in Mallorca.