This article is about the mercenary company. For the streaming show, see The Chain (Stream).
The Chain of Acheron are a mercenary company currently based in the world of Orden. Their contracts have taken them through many different worlds across the timescape, including the elemental plane of Quintessence and the World Below. At its height, the Chain numbered over 10,000 but now has fewer than 100 members, most of which are scattered across Orden following the fall of Blackbottom.
- 1 Members
- 2 History
- 3 Streamed History
- 4 Behind the Scenes
- 5 References
The Chain's ranks are mostly made up of humans, although they are known to recruit from many races, having Goblins and Tieflings within their senior ranks. At one point the Chain even had an Illithid amongst them.
Since the events of Alloy, the Chain's numbers had dwindled from thousands to approximately 365. Less than a hundred members escaped Blackbottom on the Rosso Cielo in “Red Sky at Morning” (Episode 1), and around 27 arrived at Capital with the officers and the Chronicle. Later a unit of rangers (Elite Scout Unit), led by Corporal Mud, reunited with the Chain in the capital, bolstering their numbers.
A list of items carried by the Chain can be found here.
- Judge – Commander and the Weapon Master
- Boots – Lieutenant
- King – Chronicler
- Copper – Standard Bearer
- Slim – Pilot
- Leech – Ship Surgeon
- Main article: List of Junior Officers
Junior officers are members of the Chain of Acheron that serve the senior officers and fulfill their requests when necessary. Despite this, some of the junior officers have unique roles of their own:
- Buts – Staff Sorcerer and Judge's retainer
- Two-Shoes – Treasurer and Judge's retainer
- Corporal Mud – Leader of the Chain's scout unit, the Advancers
Some members are also retainers of their respective senior officer, acting as their second-in-command and will often take up their role if they are killed or leave the company:
- Angel – King's retainer
- Cook – Judge's retainer
- Flea – Judge's retainer
- Ox – Boots' retainer
- Roach – Boots' retainer
- Toad – Judge's retainer
- Worm – Boots' retainer
Finally, there are rankers, irregular members, and allies:
- Blue – A Water Genasi rescued from the Somnium Tenebris when the Chain took it.
- Grumbles – A courier rescued from the Library in the Columns.
- Spy Network – A group outside the usual command structure, recruited by Angel and directed by Boots.
- Red – Commander, formerly Standard Bearer (deceased)
- Sweet – Commander (deceased)
- Trip – Commander (deceased)
- Nails – Staff Sorcerer (deceased)
- Zerok – rank-and-file soldier (deceased)
The Chain of Acheron's early history is unclear. They are named after one of the seven cities of Hell, and legends claim they are one of the Seven Legions of Hell, the Helltroopers. There were six other mercenary companies also named after cities in Hell and considered to be Helltroopers, but the others have since died out.
In service to the Satrap of Adros
In service to the Empress of Higara
The vizier of the Empress of Higara hired the chain to kill a necromancer and destroy his tower. The Chain drew out the necromancer's army by having the Empress' soldiers lure them away, and the Chain besieged the tower. The Battle at the Tower of Death took three days but the Chain was ultimately successful.
In service to the Lady of Brass
The Lady of Brass, ruler of Alloy, hired the Chain and took them to Quintessence to depose her general, Xorn, who had betrayed her and seized power. The Chain, and their allies the Knights of Alloy and the High Templar defeated Xorn in the three-day Battle at the Doors of Morning. In the battle, the then-Commander of the Chain was killed. Red, who was at the time the Chain's standard bearer, took up Trip's sword and became the new Commander.
While the Chain and Lady were in the World Below helping her gnome allies defend Xanxarite, Alloy was taken by the Fire Dwarf Yxmic. Yxmic commenced a pogrom against all residents of Alloy who were not native to Quintessence and by the time the Chain returned to Alloy, its population had been reduced from 3 million to a few hundred thousand.
The Lady believed that she could not retake Alloy without causing even more civilian deaths. The Chain and the Lady each blamed the other for what had happened, and the Lady of Brass released the Chain from her service.
In service to the Lord Marshall of Farrow
Returning to the Mundane World, The Chain was hired by the Lord Marshall of Farrow, which is a region of Vasloria southeast of Corwell, to defend his borders against Wild Elves. The Chain lost several hundred soldiers in fighting against the elves' guerilla forces before they were able to rout the elves at the Battle of the Gætingwode.
Afterward, the Chain learned that the elves were attacking because the Lord Marshall had granted serfs the right to chop down the wode's trees, settle its lands, and murder any elves they found in the process. This was a violation of Ajax's peace between men and elves. The Chain demanded to be released early from their contract, but the Lord Marshall refused.
The Castellan of Tynes, the high city of Farrow, proposed to the Chain that they allow a group of wild elves to sneak into Tynes and assassinate the Lord Marshall. This was not against the terms of the contract, which only required them to defend farmland, not the city, and the Commander agreed to stand the Chain down.
After the elves assassinated the Lord Marshall, the Castellan declared herself the new Lord Marshall and declared his land grants in the wode illegal. The Lord Marshall's guard led a riot against her, but they were subdued. The Castellan paid the Chain from the city's coffers and their contract was complete.
In service to Lady Sariel
The Chain planned the assassination to take place at the Cathedral of St Clement the Journeyman in Blackbottom. Their assassination attempt was unsuccessful, as what appeared to be Mortum was actually Mandrake the Betrayer in magical disguise. Ajax the Invincible arrived with his floating sky-elf fortress-city The Chrysopolis and deployed his Hawklords and a force of demons against the Chain and the town. After the demon Relg attacked the Chain's senior officers, killing the Commander, the remaining Chain fled to the docks and secured passage aboard the Rosso Cielo for themselves.
The Chain defeated the War Breed that had been chartering the boat and negotiated to buy passage to Capital to regroup. Capital is the capital city of Rioja, and it's where the Rosso Cielo is heading. They enjoyed the hospitality of the Rosso Cielo's crew until they realized they were being pursued by Dragonflies, a type of magical hovercraft in service to Ajax. They took a detour into the World Between Worlds, by heading towards the Maelstrom, a huge whirlpool, and using the powers of the Seer to transport to the Astral plane.
In the World Between Worlds (Episodes 4-6)
While sailing on the Astral Sea, the Chain were beset once again by Ajax's forces, this time in the form of the Somnium Tenebris, a Mind Flayer dreadnought in which Ajax had fomented a Gith uprising. The Chain dispatched the Duergar boarding party and boarded the alien-looking ship themselves, storming the lower and upper decks simultaneously.
Around this time, Nails began to act strangely. His wild magic was triggering more often and more powerfully, and since being on the Astral Sea, his eyes had been a reflective silver color. His power and arrogance grew exponentially as the Chain cleared out the Somnium Tenebris, even attempting to bring Commander Red back from the dead. This alarming behavior led Commander Sweet to use Nails' true name and a remaining red arrow to kill Nails. The ensuing explosion killed Sweet as well.
The Chain sized up the prisoners on their new ship; a Water Genasi, a Mind Flayer, and a Githyanki. The Gith was recruited to the chain and nicknamed Slim, the Genasi was freed and named Blue, and the Mind Flayer was summarily executed. The Chain then piloted the alien vessel to Capital.
Arriving in Capital (Episodes 7-9)
The Chain were waved through customs with relatively little fanfare, an attempt by House Vorona to indicate that the Chain work for them, they would later discover. Learning that only knights bound to noble houses may carry weapons in the city proper, the Chain resolved to find lodgings and knighthoods on the island neighboring the main city, called The Stays. They have run-ins with a Captain Cinzia and Nero, a reporter for the Broadsheets Guild, the Balance Spring, a gang of clockwork boys.
Around this time, Slim was inducted formally into the Chain and Boots was made Lieutenant.
The Chain found three contracts they can choose from; clearing out pirates from the Citadel for a church, finding a document in a library for the Royal Heraldric Society, or retrieving a crown from the World Below for the undead lawyer Reginald Orpheo in service to some noble house.
The Underdark Job (Episodes 10-13)
They chose the latter, made their preparations, and boarded their ship once more. So as to give their soldiers a break, this mission only consisted of the senior officers and Leech, a Drow junior officer with knowledge of the Underdark.
The mission was to retrieve the Crown of House Valetta from the Temple of Antisanity, where an Old One called the Lord of Madness resided. The Lord of Madness' lair was completely under his control, and he loved nothing more than to drive intruders mad with riddles and puzzles.
After some trouble navigating correctly, the team found their way to the Isle of Madness. This was formerly the Isle of Magic, thousands of years old. With Leech's imp familiar Odie serving as an advance scout, the team entered the Temple at the center of the isle. Once inside, the Chain faced mad Derro and fiendish puzzles, before coming to a room containing what they sought: An undead Riojan man wearing the crown. After another tough fight and nearly drawing the personal attention of the Old One, the group narrowly escaped the temple and sped back to Capital.
Capital and Politics (Episodes 13-15)
The team returned to their lodgings; senior officers at the opulent Pharaoh's Dream, the rest of the staff at the serviceable Prince's Footstool, but with Boots and Leech switched. In the night, shadows attacked the Footstool and Boots had to help fight them off, stopping only to put on his boots and nothing else. The Chain, Captain Cinzia, Nero, and Commander Donegal all made their inquiries of this incident, and the Chain promised to guard the inn for the immediate future.
Angel then arrived and explained what he had learned about the political situation in Capital. The senior officers resolved to set up a spy network so as to learn what other factions are up to. The Chain then traveled to the Permanent Transient, a magic items curator affiliated with the undead lawyer, and collected their rewards.
The next day they met with representatives of the Fulcrum, the Military Academy, their spy network, and the Royal Heraldric Society, before planning their next mission: Retrieving documents supporting a noble lineage claim from the mausoleum beneath a library on the Pellet, after the previous courier had failed to return.
The Library Job (Episodes 15-17 )
Traveling to the Pellet by ferry rather than their ship, the Chain bluffed their way onto the island using courier passes passed off as knighthoods, allowing them to illegally keep their weapons. The Pellet is an island of two districts in the Prince's Demesne, and it was guarded by the Red Falcons, relatively inactive now the Prince was dead. The Chain made their way to the library and down into the crypt below to find the scroll they sought.
Down in the catacombs, the Chain used serial numbers on documents to find their way and fought their way past many monsters and crypt guardians that the librarian had neglected to mention. Finally, they found the frightened and starving courier, quickly dubbed Grumbles, as well as the scroll they were looking for.
At this point, Angel contacted the group through King's Diplomat's Bag, explaining that the scroll proves that House Brunadetti owns the Pellet. This had serious ramifications, and Angel reported that House Alvaro interprets this as House Vorona using the Chain to begin the forthcoming conflict, and sent the Order of Twelve Dragons to invent a pretext on which to kill the senior officers.
A tense standoff occurred between the Chain, the Order of Twelve Dragons, and the Red Falcons. The standoff was broken when Corporal Mud arrived with the Advancers, the Chain's scouts. The Chain managed to get away unscathed and having earned knighthoods and the trust of the Red Falcons' leader, Captain Antonia.
Behind the Scenes
In terms of Followers, the Chain currently comprises 1 unit of Regular Medium Infantry, thanks in part to the stolen gear from Commander Vordokov's War Breed battalion, and 1 unit of Super-Elite Light Infantry, the Advancers. The Chain's Infantry unit size is 1d6, due to the heavy losses from the Battle of Blackbottom. The ancestry and experience of the Chain Units are unknown.