Hýransweord (Hired Swords)
The Hýransweord are foreign warriors: Friscans and Wildlings, or warriors from other kingdoms who serve in expectation of generous gifts. A sign of a powerful warlord is one who can attract warriors, yet lose few of his own.
Some choose to leave their homeland because of what they consider the meekness, or meanness of their own lord. Others because they have feuded with, or plotted against their lord. Some can never be trusted, others eventually earn a place of honour in service, a few enjoy wondering from court to court seeking service and adventure in new lands.
As the name Hýransweord suggests these are not lowly spearmen, but men with names and swords, even if they own little else.
Hýransweord: Armour Class: 3; Hit Dice:4+1 ; Attacks:1 Brádsweord (1d6+2); Special: Sword Men; Move: 10; HDE/XP: 5/500.
Gear: Leðeren Cæppe, Leðeren Serc, Plegscield, Brádsweord, 1d6 gold rings, 3 wooden gaming die.
These men are particularly good individual fighters and gain +2 to hit and an AC bonus of -1[+1] when not fighting in formation.
Héafodbryceas (Skull Crushers)
The Skull Crushers are a band of fearsome (some say rabid) Geatish mercenaries. Originally there were twenty of them, but now only twelve remain. They earned their name fighting with hand axes, and leaving a trail of crushed and cloven skulls in their wake. Individuals gain status within the band by trying to cleave more skulls than their comrades.
They cause as much trouble as they solve, and no lord would ever hire them to serve in his own lands, but for pitched battles, or as raiders they are worth every coin and ring.
Héafodbryceas: Armour Class: 6; Hit Dice:3+1 ; Attacks: 2 Gebyrdæx (1d6-1); Special: Rabid Rep, Axe Attack, Sly Speed; Move: 12; HDE/XP: 4/475.
Gear: Gebyrdæx, Scield, Bag of skull fragments.
The Skull Crushers are armed only with axe and shield, and go into battle bare-chested. They consider anyone wearing armour to be cowards, and never miss an opportunity to tell them so. Their reputation is such that their foes suffer a -2 penalty to morale.
Lightly armed they are fast and have two attacks per combat round and move and fight as skirmishers rather than melee fighters in the combat sequence which often takes enemy warriors by surprise. They are also single-minded in their brutality: once they pick a foe they won’t cease their attack until they’ve crushed his skull or have died trying.