|KINCAID'S CREW:BASTARDS ONE AND ALL|
The Kingdom of Kain Tuck is a fairly organized place. There are rules, there are traditions, and there are expectations of everyone who is born there.
Jericho Kincaid managed to break them all.
The highborn son of one of Lerville’s most prestigious Colonels, Kincaid was a hell-raiser in his youth. He fought and killed no less than four other gentlemen in duels by the time he was sixteen, never once using a stand-in champion, and there are rumors that his unofficial killings (IE, murders and fights inflicted upon the common folk of his holding,) tripled that number.
Kincaid was a charismatic and driven young man, who wanted nothing more than everything his homeland had to offer. He grew up into a cunning and greedy man who set his sites on the one office that could give him all of that; He vowed that one day, he would sit upon the king’s throne.
Unfortunately for Kincaid, he was a talented amateur in a field of experienced professionals. He managed to outmaneuver two of the leading monarchy candidates using intrigue, but failed to cover his tracks. Thus presented as an obvious threat to the other contenders, they joined together to drive him out. Soon he found politics turning against him, his name dragged through mud, and all manner of false and real crimes being laid at his doorstep.
The final straw came when King Hiram took the opportunity to seize most of his lands, and give them to a favored nephew. He had the choice of standing on his rights and forever killing his shot at the throne, or quietly taking it, and resuming the game from a nearly unwinnable position. He did neither. He drove the freemen of his estate away, killing those who would not leave. He slew his bonded servants to the last child, swearing they’d serve no one but him. And finally, he set fire to the fields before riding north as fast as his horse could take him. Now an outlaw, Kincaid swore one day to return with an army, and take the throne that those corrupt bastards had denied him.
Now Colonel Kincaid is a bandit, known and cursed throughout much of Southern Hio. Unlike most of the other robbers out there, Kincaid is educated, and has a bit of military training… Just enough to be dangerous. He’s good at gaining and keeping loyalty, and has quite a few like-minded ne’er-do-wells gathered around him… His band’s at about a hundred men and an equal amount of camp followers, at any given time, give or take. That sets Colonel Kincaid apart from most other bandits, is his twisted code of honor. Kincaid deems certain behaviors ‘uncivilized’, and executes any man he catches breaking his band’s rules. There is no tolerance of any kind of rape within Kincaid’s crew, and slavery is strictly forbidden. While they might buy and sell slaves to other people, they never use or keep them for themselves. Murder among the band is not tolerated, disputes are settled through formal duels. Murder of outsiders is okay, unless the Colonel has extended his protection to the outsider in question.
The Colonel is a cheerful, friendly man who enjoys meeting new people, and doing business with them. He’s quite polite, and almost never swears… He considers foul words uncivilized. All that aside, he’ll quite cheerfully open your belly if you disrespect him, or he decides that you need to die. Or if you have something he needs.
Colonel Kincaid’s business model is to hit small settlements hard, grabbing everything that isn’t tied down, and leaving at high speed before the battered townsfolk can call in help. He’ll hold his folks back from hitting travelers, usually sending a few scouts up to demand a toll. If the toll is paid, the travelers pass without further trouble. If it’s not paid, Kincaid’s Crew does their level best to wipe them out. Kincaid doesn’t take prisoners, but he doesn’t particularly care if the targets of his raid live or die. His crew is only permitted to take slaves as loot if they were slaves to begin with… In the rare cases where they loot a slaver caravan, then the slaves are either sold as quickly as possible, or given the chance to join Kincaid’s Crew.
The band is ruled by Colonel Kincaid. What he says goes, period. He has a few advisors which he’ll listen to before he makes big decisions, but they are not allowed to publicly disagree with him. He also has several lieutenants, who keep the band in line. Any disrespect to the Colonel is swiftly punished, and any rules broken are enforced with fists, broken bottles, and bullets.
The band’s technology level is fairly low, except in the case of weaponry. They keep the best firearms they can find, and usually sell every other high-tech item they steal to the highest bidder. Allin dollars and bullets are interchangeable as currency, here. Medical facilities are quite limited, and the band has no compunctions about leaving a deathly ill member to sicken and die. If you’re too weak to stand up for yourself, you’re of no use for Kincaid’s Crew.
Colonel Kincaid, like many southerners, has a slight prejudice against orcs and trolls. Though he won’t break his manners to display it openly most times, everyone knows that you won’t get far in his band if you have horns or green skin. None of his lieutenants are orcs or trolls, and none will ever be. He doesn’t mind other metahumans, though, and other things don’t phase him so much. He even goes so far as to tolerate a few smart ghouls, and for that he gets free passage through several normally dangerous parts of ghoul-infested territory.
Kincaid looks upon the Corporations with scorn. In his view, most of them are trying to domesticate humanity, take the ‘Man’ out of Human… That never works well in the long run. The strong prosper, the weak scrape by, and them as has, gets. In his view, getting rid of the bureaucracy of the old age and making room for the strong men to rise to the top once more was the biggest benefit of the apocalypse… Why try to undo that? That said, Corporate money spends well, and they’re great customers, sometimes. Colonel Kincaid’s tried renting his band out as mercenaries before, with mixed results. The ones that dealt squarely with him and properly stroked his ego got good value for their money. The ones that annoyed him, betrayed him or bored him found his band breaking contract, raiding their own side, and fleeing before they could be punished.
Magic is a valuable resource in Kincaid’s band, and many of his lieutenants are adepts or mages. Though the Colonel is not known as a practitioner of any sort, it is rumored that he has access to supernatural powers and allies.
About once or twice a year, Kincaid chooses a site, and declares “Goblin Market”. For the next few days, that site is neutral territory. Kincaid’s Crew squats on the land, guarding it against all comers, and welcoming anyone who abides by the rules. ANYTHING may be traded at a Goblin Market, and it even draws folks who would normally shun anything to do with these shameless bandits. Even Lund is reputed to send a few agents to buy rare things at Goblin Markets, a claim which the Lundsmen hotly deny. There are no taxes, there are no fees, there are no restrictions at a Goblin Market. However, you must be ready to protect yourself and your property… Kincaid’s Crew guarantees that they will not steal from you or attack you unless you break the rules, but they don’t care what other people or factions do. If you are jumped while setting up your shop, they’re likely to stand around and laugh, or place bets. If you’re not strong, or don’t have strong friends, a Goblin Market is a dangerous place.
The biggest concern that Kincaid’s Crew has right now, is the continued leadership of the Colonel. They’ve been going a few years now, and it’s been pretty good… But Colonel Kincaid doesn’t have an heir, or a favored lieutenant, or any real plans to hand things off should anything happen to him. If he dies, no one knows how things will turn out, but odds are it’ll be an ugly and bloody power struggle. And so, everyone watches the Colonel, some with concern, some with acceptance, and a few with ambition.
The Colonel fucking loves it. He’s that kind of guy.
If you grew up in Kincaid’s Crew, you likely started as one of the camp followers, one of the folks who prepare meals, clean up, or otherwise tend the bandits of the Crew. You lived off of their largesse and goodwill, and suffered when times were lean, or they needed someone to take out their displeasure upon. You may or may not have been a bandit yourself, once you were old enough to hold a gun. You grew up in an atmosphere where strength was respected above all, and the weak were considered sub-human. All that aside, you learned to hold your tongue and perhaps even picked up some manners, if for no other reason than to make Colonel Kincaid and his lieutenants happy.
For whatever reason, you’re not with the Crew now. Perhaps that was of your own volition, or perhaps they kicked you out. You’re on your own, now, and it may be best if you keep your past to yourself. The Colonel’s gotten himself a lot of enemies, and those who serve him are NOT well-regarded in the Hio land…