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The Mindulgulph Mercenary Company was a mercenary company based in Mindulgulph Castle outside Priapurl on the Dragon Coast, and operated throughout the Heartlands and the southern lands of Faerûn. It was famous for its many monstrous and otherwise non-humanoid members, and was commanded by Gayrlana, nicknamed "Lady Bloodsword". [note 1]
In the early 1340s DR, an adventuring company including Gayrlana raided Mindulgulph Castle near Priapurl and discovered a number of intelligent, "monstrous", creatures dwelling inside. However, rather than slaying them as many adventurers would, they instead recruited the majority of them to their side. Gayrlana soon reformed the group into the Mindulgulph Mercenary Company, and they took the castle as their base.
In the 1360s DR, Gayrlana led much of her company hundreds of miles from home to the Eastern Shaar, where they took an extended contract with the gold dwarves of the Great Rift. Their purpose was to study the chances of war in the local Underdark. They were still here at the end of 1367 DR. The remainder of the company remained in Priapurl and guarded Mindulgulph Castle.
The Mindulgulph Mercenary Company kept a standing army. As a group noted for its strange membership, the Mindulgulph Company preferentially recruited those who could best interact with human society, with minimum difficulties. However, they did hire a number of specialists who were not so capable. All members were non-evil in alignment and had at least a semblance of intelligence, and were not enslaved or controlled by any means. Nevertheless, some were creatures that were not normally known to be intelligent. All were seasoned fighters.
Broadly, they were classified as aberrations, monstrous humanoids, and magical beasts. At some point or another, the Company's members included a beholder, a belabra, blink dogs, cave fishers, centaurs, a cildabrin, a cloaker, dragonkin, giff, a githzerai, grippli, a hengeyokai, kenku, a loxo, mimics, a plasmoid, a q'nidar, a shambling mound, a shocker, a sull, a tabaxi, thri-kreen, treants, a triton, and wemics.
The exact number of soldiers in the company and the list of species included in their ranks were unknown to outsiders. Furthermore, these numbers were always in flux owing to new recruits, attrition (including being eaten), and retirement. Around 1357 DR, the company had 70 normal humanoids and an estimated 110 monstrous creatures, for a total of about 180. In the 1360s DR, this swelled to 80 humanoids and 120 monstrous creatures, totaling around 200.
The human and humanoid members formed a unit of armored, mounted men-at-arms. These were divided into 10-man squads, each commanded by a sergeant. The blink dogs, centaurs, giff, grippli, kenku, thri-kreen, and wemics were formed into their own squads. The more monstrous creatures in the company were commanded directly by Gayrlana.
Gayrlana was amazingly charismatic and a tactical genius, so she was able to make full use of the abilities and talents of even her most unusual followers. Her telepathic powers aided her tactical and leadership abilities. The company's tactics varied greatly according to which members were available, but ambush and subterfuge were adopted whenever possible. Given the widely varied nature of its members, the company could be capable in any environment and any conditions.
Many of its members specialized in a particular task or tactic. For example, the giff members all carried arquebuses and worked with each other to rotate fire, to ensure that one-third of them could continue attacking while the others reloaded.
The Mindulgulph Mercenary Company utilized a wide variety of equipment, and in general had no standard weaponry or armor, as befitted the range of membership.
Contracts with the Mindulgulph Company were worth 500 gold pieces per day of service, but this cost increased if large numbers of its membership were required. The company preferred to take unusual and difficult contracts to make the best use of its unusual membership and special skills.
The Mindulgulphs typically operated in the Heartlands and in the lands south of the Inner Sea. In the 1360s DR, the majority of the company was on an extended contract with the gold dwarves of the Great Rift, investigating the possibility of war with the dwarves' Underdark neighbors.
The Mindulgulph Company was led by Gayrlana, a woman known more commonly as "Lady Bloodsword". As a warrior of some repute, many rumors surrounded her, such as that she had some drow blood and that she possessed some psionic abilities. She was highly charismatic and led ably for many years, however, striving to maintain a good reputation. While Gayrlana was advised by a council, she had final say in any decision that needed making. She directly led the more "monstrous" elements of the company. 
The company was based in a large keep called Mindulgulph Castle in the hills south of Priapurl on the Dragon Coast. It sat atop a pinnacle that overlooked the town. It was well guarded by a number of the company's more monstrous members.
The Mindulgulphs were on the whole quite trustworthy. When problems erupted with individual members of the company, Gayrlana went to great efforts to set things right. They remained on good terms with many other mercenary companies, but regarded the Blacktalons as enemies. They were not alone in this; the former and still-current bandits attracted the ire of several other companies. The Agency, an adventuring/mercenary company with a similarly exotic membership, often worked with the Mindulgulphs.
The famed warlord-for-hire, Brandon, "Battlemaster", also based in Priapurl, once served alongside Gayrlana in the Mindulgulph Company. While he greatly respected her, he did not enjoy the company of her non-human soldiers.
- ↑ The Rand's Travelogue article "More Lake of Steam and Dragon Coast!" mistakenly names the company the "Mindgulph" Mercenary Company. This is presumed to be an error.
- ↑ Jeff Grubb and Ed Greenwood (1990). Forgotten Realms Adventures. (TSR, Inc), p. 122. ISBN 0-8803-8828-5.
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (Cyclopedia of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 61. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
- ↑ 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 3.13 3.14 3.15 3.16 3.17 3.18 3.19 3.20 3.21 3.22 3.23 3.24 3.25 Tim Beach (1992). Gold & Glory. (TSR, Inc), p. 14–15. ISBN 1-56076-334-5.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 4.7 Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), A Grand Tour of the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 81. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Rand Sharpsword (2001-11-14). More Lake of Steam and Dragon Coast!. Rand's Travelogue. Wizards of the Coast. Retrieved on 2010-10-13.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Tim Beach (1992). Gold & Glory. (TSR, Inc), p. 62–63. ISBN 1-56076-334-5.
- ↑ Tim Beach (1992). Gold & Glory. (TSR, Inc), p. 64. ISBN 1-56076-334-5.
- ↑ Tim Beach (1992). Gold & Glory. (TSR, Inc), p. 7. ISBN 1-56076-334-5.
- ↑ Tim Beach (1992). Gold & Glory. (TSR, Inc), p. 59. ISBN 1-56076-334-5.
- ↑ Jeff Grubb, Ed Greenwood and Karen S. Martin (1987). Forgotten Realms Campaign Set (DM's Sourcebook of the Realms). (TSR, Inc), p. 19. ISBN 0-8803-8472-7.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Julia Martin, Jeff Grubb (1993). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 2nd edition (revised), Running the Realms. (TSR, Inc), p. 32. ISBN 1-5607-6617-4.