Baldur's Gate: Vice
The Flaming Fist
The Flaming Fist was founded in Baldur’s Gate and
has ever since been headquartered in the city. Since its inception under Grand Duke Eltan, the mercenary company has been tightly entwined with the city’s rulers, a connection that has become stronger in recent years.
The Flaming Fist has prospered as the guardians of the city. The Council of Four pays the group, and the Fist also receives a share of the taxes collected on goods and ships that enter the harbor and from people who use the Basilisk Gate or travel along Wyrm’s Crossing.
While the Watch polices the Upper City. the Flam ing Fist watches over the Lower City. The Fist has nominal authority over the Outer City, too, but its patrols are already hard-pressed to fulfill their duties in the Lower City and on Wyrm’s Rock, much less regulate the sprawl beyond the walls. Even though the organization hasn’t grown as swiftly as the city’s population, the number of Fist mercenaries has tripled to six thousand since the company’s founding. Of that number, fewer than half are in the city at any time. The rest are stationed in fortifications elsewhere or are out on active campaign.
Even though the Flaming Fist acts as the city’s army and Lower City police force, Baldur’s Gate remains stolidly neutral in external conflicts in which the Fist participates as one side’s hired muscle. Many people believe this stance is a ridiculous fiction, pointing out that the highest-ranking Flaming Fist officer is usually also a duke on the Council of Four, and that patriars earn profits from their mercenary-contract investments. But most Baldurian commoners view the separation of army and government with pride, and much ceremony is made when the city renews its contract with the Flaming Fist.
The Flaming Fist’s hierarchy is relatively simple. Only six ranks are recognized, including fist (private), gauntlet (corporal), manip (sergeant), flame (lieutenant), blaze (major), and marshal (general). Ranks often have an attached title that describes a duty, such as fist sapper – a private who has expertise in siege demolition; blaze captain, a major who is also a ship’s captain; and flame jailer- a lieutenant who serves as captain of the guard in the Seatower’s dungeons.