The Company of the Black Boar
Based: Barony of Norhault (in
the County of Lincoln and the Duchy
Heraldry: A black boar’s head over vertical red and white bars.
Leader: Piers Audeley, Earl Lincoln
A Brief History
Formed in 1081 by Sir Henry Audeley, The Company of the Black Boar is an Albione mercenary unit returned late 1100 from service in the Italijan wars.
The son of Sir William Audeley and Catherine of House Karlennon, Henry married Elinor of House Hulce and found it necessary to leave Albion as the predations of the demoness Roxanne became more apparent. Fleeing his Netherbourne seat, Audeley took his family and those members of his milita that might be trusted to the relative safety of Italija. All but bereft of land and property he turned that levy into the basis of a mercenary unit – The Company of the Black Boar – in the hope of forging a place for himself in his self-imposed exile.
The company fought for nearly 20 years – serving a number of different factions in the Italijan wars of unification. During this time they adopted the Italijan crossbow in preferance over traditional Albione longbows, and gained a reputation for a certain ruthless efficiency. In particular The Company came to the attention of the men who would go on to be High Sheriff and Earl Marshall of Albion; ties which would hold the unit in good stead in later years.
Over the years recruiters and suttlers were sent back to Albion to replace both men and equipment. Since Netherbourne was no longer a viable source of manpower Audeley began to turn other potential sources and all but rebuilt The company by buying men from the courts or from other regiments. Over time the unit’s original identity began to fade; replaced by its newer, harsher repuatation and an almost religious devotion from its soldiery.
Henry Audeley died in the last months of 1099, towards the end of a battle against Gasharim forces in southern Italija – before he could take advantage of the change in his family’s fortunes back home. With his passing, command of the company fell to his older son Piers. In late 1100 Piers Audeley brought his men home to Albion – the country which he had scarce seen since childhood, yet always sworn to serve.
The Company Today
Essentially The Company of the Black Boar is an archery regiment, although in the interests of self-sufficiency it does it contains a number of specialists (physician, chaplain, etc). Since their return to Albion the unit has seen a marked return to the more traditional longbow, however crossbows remain the weapon of choice for the majority of its members.
Membership is flexible; some are born into it, for some it comes after a period of wandering, some join in battle, whilst for others Audeley’s money was the easiest option given them by a magistrate. General Audeley describes his troops as "good Albione yeomen" … which suggests to some more cynical observers that he’s never actually met them! The thing that unites each man and woman is their oath of commitment, to serve both The Company and Albion beyond even life itself.
The unit register shows name, date of joining, and the date that each man becomes one of The Company’s ancestors. Most of the soldiery are incantors, drawing their strength from their own fallen comrades. True to their oath, those soldiers who no longer march beside them physically still lend their comrades support in the fray.