Born and raised in the River Kingdoms, like many of his followers, Nemas Ricasso saw that people without a way to defend themselves were constantly being subsumed or destroyed by more aggressive forces. The River Kingdoms are rife with temporary causes, flash-in-the-pan territorial conflicts, and leaders who temporarily have more money than warriors to back them up. As such, the area is a prime breeding ground and destination for mercenary groups of all persuasions. The Bloodstone Swords are well known not only for their battle prowess, but also for their benevolent treatment of the noncombatants they move among. As such, they are highly sought after by settlements who seek protection but don’t want to risk becoming the target of those they hire.
The Bloodstone Swords see examples of failed authoritarian governments all around them; they have ample reason to treasure the freedom of the River Kingdoms lifestyle and want to maintain it. At the same time, they’ve seen the destruction and desolation lawlessness can bring. They provide a service and expect to be paid for it, but consider themselves several steps above the common bandits who prey on travelers. They do not hold slaves, obstruct travel, or break an oath freely given. They understand that the strong prey on the weak, but while they don’t make themselves predators, their protection comes at a price.
DC 10 Knowledge (Local): Ricasso’s sun-weathered features surround merry eyes and a ready grin, and the years of conflict do not seem to have added any cynicism or fatalism to his countenance. Captain Ricasso is beloved by his men as much for his optimistic outlook as for his logistical and tactical expertise.
DC 15 Knowledge (Local): Ricasso’s greatest challenge involves mediating between the grizzled veterans that make up the core of the Swords and the newer, more diverse rookies that have begun to swell the ranks as the Swords’ reputation expands. New Bloodstone Swords are much more likely to favor flashy stunts and grandiose, aggressive plans of attack, while veterans insist on caution and contingency plans. So far Captain Ricasso has managed to walk the line between experience and enthusiasm fairly well, preserving the time-tested traditions of the Bloodstone Swords while allowing useful innovations to trickle up through the ranks.
DC 20 Knowledge (Local): His own village was nearly bled dry by bandits until the villagers called upon the newly formed Bloodstone Swords. After seeing the Swords defeat the bandits, Nemas joined them when they left. For 20 years Nemas worked his way up through the ranks and has finally become their captain.