Freeguild

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Freeguild
Freeguild 01.png
Freeguild fighting Chaos
Grand alliance Order
Associated factions Cities of Sigmar
Main grouping Regiment
Races Predominantly Human
Mounts Demigryph
Griffon
Steed
Warhorse

The Freeguilds are the brave mortal defenders of the Free Peoples and the Cities of Sigmar. [1e]

The Cities of Sigmar are defended by many different forces such as the Stormcast Eternals, the Ironweld Arsenal and the Collegiate Arcane but much fighting and sacrifice falls to the mere mortals of the many Freeguild Regiments. All such regiments were originally created from twelve tribes that fought alongside Sigmar in the Age of Chaos and followed him when he retreated to the Realm of Azyr where they retained their training, skills and discipline.[1e]

However as the reclamation of the Mortal Realms progressed more and more regiments were created from those cultures that had survived the onslaught of Chaos - although tensions often run high between the original Azyrites and the Reclaimed. All free cities have several Freeguilds, organised into regiments for battle and acting as city watchmen in times of peace. Each are different and have their own customs, cultures, colours and traditions differing greatly from Realm to Realm and city to city. [1e]

Heraldry is equally varied with the oldest designs harking back to the twelve tribes - the Crowned Skull of Penumbra, the Iron Bull of Tarsus and the Sanguine Lady of Flames.[1e]

Heraldry

Some of the Freeguild heraldry known are:

  • Crowned Skull of Penumbra[1]
  • Sanguine Lady of Flames[1]
  • Stonehearted Blood Bull[1]

Structure of the Freeguilds

All of the Free Cities of the God-King's empire boasts a handful of Freeguilds, each organized into distinct regiments under the command of a Freeguild General. Freeguilders always operate as both a standing army and as city watch, sometimes regiments will alternate between active military service and guard service[4a][4b]. These regiments will often develop their own unique styles of combat, based on the environments and surroundings of the cities that employ them.[1e] For example the coastal city of Anvilgard has a number of marine regiments in their employ[1g].

Many Freeguilds develop unique traditions and will outfit themselves in colors unique to their regiments and companies, though there are some cities where all the regiments and companies operate under a single, unified banner and so bear the same colors. The tactics of the Freeguilds vary from realm to realm, kingdom to kingdom, city to city.[1e] For instance the Sons of the Black Bear, who hail from the northern baronies of the Realm of Heavens, operate as a lance of knights[5a], while companies like the Ironsides and Iron Bulls of Tarsus make extensive use of firearms or artillery.[5a][4]

Oftentimes a Freeguild regiment on campaign or expedition will carry a Great Hogshead, an armored barrel full of Aqua Ghyranis, with them. Usually these are carried in wagons that are guarded at all times.[18a]

The bulk of the Freeguilds' forces come in the form of the Freeguild Guard. These Guard companies, who are most often employed as city watchmen and frontline troops, are typically composed of citizens from all walks of life men and women, Azyrite colonists and Reclaimed settlers, old veterans and young greenhorns, volunteers and conscripts, militiamen and career soldiers, noble sons and gutter snipes. All of these varied folk and more are forced to fight side by side within the Guard. The only thing as diverse as the recruits within the regiments are the weapons they carry into battle. Spears, halberds, and swords are commonly found in abundance among the better equipped regiments, but less influential and renowned regiments will have to make due with whatever is at hand. These scrounged together armaments are known as 'militia weapons' and can consist of anything from clubs and simple blades, to wheel-lock handguns.[1e]

The Guard is often supplemented with specialized units of Handgunners and Crossbowmen. Even the worst of horde of Khornate berserkers can be put down by well-placed volleys of leaden shot or bolts.[1e] The Greatswords formations are prestiguous all across the Free Cities of Sigmar's empire and are renowned as some of the best soldiers in the Freeguilds. In fact the Greatswords are recruited from the biggest and strongest veterans within the regiments. These warriors are clad in plate armor and wield massive zweihanders in battle. They are elite shock troops of the armies of the Freeguilds.[1e] But if these brave soldiers are the anvil of the Freeguilds, than the elite cavalry of the Fre Cities are the hammer. These cavalry units often consist of valiant Pistoliers and steadfast Outriders. The Pistoliers are typically young and brash popinjays who go into battle with a brace of pistols and long-barreled firearms, they are often seen patrolling the borders of their home cities in search of new foes to fight. The Outriders are an older, more grizzled class of soldier who are used extensively for reconnaissance missions and other vital duties.[1e]

But the finest warriors of the Freeguilds are the Demigryph Knights. These are noble scions of the noble bloodlines of Azyr, they have been raised since birth in the arts of cavalry combat. These venerable riders wade into battle with Sigmarite tipped greatswords and lances, whilst always rising atop their fierce Demigryphs which are themselves a devastating tool upon the battlefield.[1e]

Recruitment

Some of those who join are volunteers, part of a long family history of service, others see it as path to glory or riches whilst others are conscripted for all city districts are required to provide recruits to replenish the ranks for their regiments. [1e]

The Freeguilds of the Azyrite cities of Nordrath, Grimpeak, and Hallowstar actively recruit the fen-dwellers of the Smoak Fens, for the clansmen are renowned famed as gunsmiths and marksmen. Many of these skilled warriors have risen to fame and glory within the Freeguilds.[19a]

Hierarchy of the Freeguilds

The Freeguilds of the Cities of Sigmar are largely organized into semi-autonomous regiments, often divided into companies. These regiments are employed by the Conclaves and councils for a myriad of tasks, usually policing their cities, traderoutes, and holdings or as the primary fighting force defending the urban centers of Sigmar's empire.[6a][1e]

The command structure of the Freeguilds is inconsistent and seems to vary from city to city, regiment to regiment, company to company. In many cases a Freeguild will be structured as a regiment and commanded by a General, such as the ones in the city of Excelsis[4b], or Captain-Generals, as is the case of the regiments from Nordrath and Glymmsforge.[12][3a].

Below the regimental commanders are Captains and Lieutenants who act as commanders of the various divisions, usually called companies, of a Freeguild[3d][8a]

Occasionally Captains will serve as commanders of an independent Freeguild companies.[11a]

Sergeants are non-commisioned officers ranked below lieutenants and have myriad duties, usually acting as the leaders of squads or similar units. These non-commissioned officers are often placed in command of patrols[4a] and community outreach programs, such as the Bright Wardens initiative to train the citizenry of the districts they patrol in methods to defend themselves.[8a]

Many Freeguild companies and regiments have specialized sergeant ranks. These include Lance-Sergeants, Line Sergeants, and Gunnery Sergeants . Gunnery Sergeants, such as those within the Lady's Justice and similar companies, command artillery units within a company. Line Sergeants play a vital role in relaying orders in the midst of combat.[5a][11a][15a][15c][15d]

Some regiments have unique structures and ranks, such as the Sons of the Black Bear who have officers with the rank of Boyr.[5a]

Equipment

Within many of the Free Cities every Freeguild regiment and company maintains it's own traditions, colors, and uniforms. While in other Free Cities the Freeguilds are unified under the same banners and wear the same uniform no matter how many companies the city has. In either case these soldiers are sporadically equipped with whatever arms and armor is readily available, with those recruits who hail from more affluent backgrounds supplying their own.[1e] The following is a list of strange and unique equipment used by the Freeguilds:

  • Trident Dagger: A mechanical dagger developed by the Ironweld Arsenal, a simple press of a button hidden on the guard of this weapon causes it's blade to split into three.[20a]

Roles of Freeguild

The Freeguild Regiments serve as one of the primary military forces of any given City of Sigmar and more often than not they also serve those same cities as mercenary guards, city watchmen, patrolmen on trade routes, and even garrisons for outlying farmsteads. But the Freeguilds have a myriad of duties, both extraordinary and mundane, beyond the typical work of footsloggers. Below is a list of several of the roles and duties assigned to freeguilds across Sigmar's empire.

  • City Watch: Many a Freeguild will be employed to serve a Free City as their city watch. Many of these are given extensive garrisons or barracks to call their own.[6a][8a]
  • Standing Army: The most common use of the companies and regiments of the Freeguilds, is as a city's professional standing army. These military forces will often be supplemented by artillery from the Ironweld, mages of the Collegiate, and any other forces the city can muster.[6a]
  • Marine Regiments: Freeguild regiments trained to fight both on land and at sea, the most notable marine regiments are those of Anvilgard, such as the Rumrunners. Such units often employ Freeguild steam-galleons.[1g]
  • Underjacks: Often pulled from the ranks of sellswords and convicts, Underjack regiments serve as one of the first lines of defense against those forces that would assail a Free City from below. They typically clear out, or attempt to at least, infestations of grots and skaven in the lowest sections of the city.[6a]
  • Pyre-Gangs: Tasked with quarantining and eliminating the deadwalker epidemics that began in the wake of the Necroquake.[6a]
  • Freeguild Fire Marshals: These civic servants are responsible for putting out any fires in their cities, before they become too big of an issue to combat.[8a]
  • Freeguild Prison Guards: Many regiments and companies of the Freeguilds are directly assigned to guard, maintain, and operate the prisons of a City of Sigmar.[8a][9a]
  • Freeguild Palace Guards: Some regiments and companies have the honor of being assigned the duty of guarding the palaces and government buildings where the Conclaves and ruling councils of a Free City hold government assemblies. Such companies are held in high regard and are given extra privileges.[8a]
  • Outpost Garrisons: The Free Cities maintain many outposts, garrisons, forts, watchtowerts, and waystations across their territories and more often than not companies of the Freeguilds will be tasked with maintaining and defending these outposts. Fort Foothold in the Flamescar Plateau and the watchtowers of the Emerald Line in Verdia are among some of the most notable of these fortresses.[11a][16b]

Known Freeguilds

Images

Sources

Freeguild
Units DemigryphDemigryph KnightFreeguild ArcherFreeguild CrossbowmanFreeguild GeneralFreeguild GreatswordFreeguild GuardFreeguild HandgunnerFreeguild OutriderFreeguild PistolierGriffonSteedWarhorse
Characters Armand CallisPoppa ChownChutehkCreelJon CrusoRena DashosHamuz el-ShaahHakhartyByrun HessAlbain LorcusSuhla MorguinOtto NimyardOlfrenSeguin Reynar
Regiments & Companies Blackshore GuardBlacktalonsBone Desert Bow and FootBright WardensBronze ClawsCharrwind RangersColdguardCrimson ShieldsFaithful BladesFirewolvesFootmenGallowsmenGlymmsmenGold GryphonsGoldjacketsGreycapsGriffon SpearsHoldashi IrregularsIron Bulls of TarsusIronsidesJerech Blue SkiesLady's JusticeLeatherbacksLiving City RangersMyrmiditesNighthaunt GuardNordrathi Red and BlacksOrder of the FurrowPenultiman OutridersRed MachetesRevenant SpearsRumrunnersSilver CompanySons of the Black BearSons of BretonStormblessedTurnkeysZephyr Spears
ArmouryArtworkMiniatures
Cities of Sigmar
Founding Cities Anvilgard (Har Kuron) • ExcelsisHallowheartHammerhalTempest's EyeVindicarum
Seeds of Hope Greywater FastnessLiving CityPhoenicium
Free Cities AlshimeAnvilheimArbitriumBlackwallBrighthallBrightspearCatransaCelestriusColostrumDarkdelveDraconiumGlymmsforgeGravewildGreenfireGreyspireHelmgardIzalendKurnotheaLethisMatarkaMhurghstMisthåvnSeven WordsSettler's GainSkythaneTabernaThraeshUmbramoxVandium
Scion Cities Phoenicium: HoldashHoundsgate
Cities of Sigmar
Factions
Collegiate ArcaneDarkling CovensDevoted of SigmarDispossessedFreeguildIronweld ArsenalOrder SerpentisPhoenix TempleScourge PrivateersShadowbladesWanderers
Associated Factions Eldritch CouncilDaughters of KhaineFyreslayersKharadron OverlordsLion RangersOrder DraconisStormcast EternalsSwifthawk AgentsSylvaneth
Artwork
Grand Alliances and factions
OrderChaosDestructionDeath
Collegiate ArcaneCities of Sigmar (Darkling CovensDevoted of SigmarDispossessedFreeguildIronweld ArsenalOrder SerpentisPhoenix TempleScourge PrivateersShadowbladesWanderers) • Daughters of KhaineEldritch CouncilFyreslayersIdoneth DeepkinKharadron OverlordsLion RangersLumineth Realm-lordsMonsters of OrderOrder DraconisSeraphonStormcast EternalsSwifthawk AgentsSylvaneth