Ser Duncan the Proud
The Bonded Braves are one of the most notable and numerous sell-sword organizations in not only The Arcadian Empire but the entire world of Titania. Lead by their Captain, Duncan the Proud, the Braves lend their steel to most any reputable client – barring the coin is right.
Typically serving as body guards and escorts, the Braves pride a reputation of integrity and many caravans find comfort under their watch.
The Bonded Braves found their beginning as slave soldiers during the final years of The Severance wars. Collected from the around the world and brought back to the Demonlands for indoctrination and training.
Use of the slave army proved effective at enforcing occupied lands and as shock troops. However, when the slaves were sent as the initial force against the City of Glass they faced the full force of The Red King. Those not instantly incinerated were soundly routed back to the Demonlands.
Upon their return to the sparse fortifications of the slave camps, they met with the arrival of the Arcadian Alliance led by Clarion Lowdenhardt. The sight of The Last Paladin was enough to cause the broken army to surrender despite the indoctrination from the demonic torture, and pledge loyalty to Clarion and Arcadia.
Clarion accepted their surrender and their pledge. In return he gave them their freedom to return to their homes, or to stay and fight back the darkness. Within a fort night the slaves were fed, healed, armed and ready to fight alongside their King. It was then that they took the name "The Bonded Legion" not in reverence to their past as slaves — but in their new pledge to protect the ones that showed them mercy and gave them a second chance.
After the war the Bonded remained in the area of The Chalice, eventually establishing the town of Goblet and its surrounding areas. Over time they begain to openly recruit those of common status and built their organization, established themselves as sell-swords and became The Bonded Braves.
Battlemaster's Shackled Gauntlets
By their nature, the Braves are a widely varied group. With members from all backgrounds of common folk.
However, one notable feature is the way they are organized and signify rank. When a new recruit joins the ranks as a trainee they are given a shackled bracer of wood and leather on their dominate arm, this shackle signifies their bond to one another, and the bond made with Clarion Lowdenhart (which the Braves still hold to this day — In service to the Arcadians if needed).
When they finish their training and become a full member this shackle is burned away during the initiation rights. This burning symbolizes the sacrifice the original Legion made against their will at the Battle of the Shard, where the Red King incenerate thousands as they approached the Glass City.
Lastly the shackle is replaced by one of iron, which is hammer riveted in place by an officer, usually Duncan himself. This iron shackle is hot when attached, and leaves a permanent scar. The iron shackle will remain for the entire career of the Brave, and can only be removed upon death, or exile from the Brotherhood. A Brave does not lose their shackle upon retirement, which is typically after 25 years of service, as even the eldest of the order remain active in some capacity and/or are available if called upon.
Along with the shackle the Braves have a vast and detailed system of awards and ranks that are associated to chain-links that are applied to the shackle. The links vary is size, shape and material and each one symbolizes a different award or rank. Outside of link ranks – officers are noted by gold studs that are welded to the surface of the shackle. Other ranks, titles, and roles can change the nature of the shackles from a simple bangle for honorary menbership to full gauntlets for Battlemasters and Field Commanders. One example of a rank link is a triangle of platinum given upon retirement from normal service.
The current Captain of the Braves wears the Shackles of Command an ornate, yet simple, set of Dwarven crafted Starlyte bracers that are said to be magically enchanted – however the nature this enchantment is highly theorized and debated, and held dearly secret by the Braves themselves.