|This article is about the current version of DF.|
A hearthperson is a soldier that has pledged allegiance to a local ruler. In Adventure mode, you can become a hearthperson, or invite people to become your hearthpersons. The equivalent of a hearthperson for criminal organisations is called a lieutenant.
Becoming a hearthperson
In adventure mode, you may either start the game as a hearthperson, or become one by talking to a lord or lady of your choosing and asking to become one. If you have sufficient fame, they will accept.
Being a hearthperson has a number of effects, the most notable one being that you may request any number of quests from your leader, allowing you to easily build up reputation in that leader's site. In addition to the normal reputation you'd gain as a bandit or beast slayer, you will also build up the reputation of a loyal soldier to your superior. Being a hearthperson also means your loyalty lies with that of your leader, i.e. any insurrections against them are also against you, since you are effectively one of the leader's guards.
You may have several hearthpersons yourself by becoming a leader. In order to do so, you must first claim a site with no conflicting dispute. The easiest way is to build your own site, designate a mead hall and claim it for yourself. Since you are the only claimant, the game will automatically award you full control of the site and you will gain the title of "lord" or "lady". You may then start hiring guards by inviting them to become hearthpersons. They will patrol your site, or hang out wherever you've assigned them. Note that your hearthpersons are not your companions, and shouldn't be (they won't patrol if they are your companions already, since they'll prefer to come with you). As such, they won't build for you.