|This article is about the current version of DF.|
|This page contains information only relevant to DF 0.42.01 and newer. Most or all of this information does not apply to previous versions. Older saves from previous versions in the DF2014 release cycle are still compatible with this version.|
A Mercenary is a historical figure who has decided to sell their services as a soldier. Mercenaries are found in fort mode as visitors, hired by civilizations in legends mode. You cannot actively hire mercenaries in fort mode; instead, they come on their own and sometimes they will petition for residency.
Historical figures will sometimes decide to become mercenaries, operating out of a town. Once they have enough money, they may improve their equipment. Mercenaries can be hired as scouts, for defense or for attack, as they sometimes may be hired for assassination and theft.
Sometimes, mercenaries will start mercenary orders, a type of formal group that dedicates themselves to certain weapons, which the members train in, and receive titles based on their skills and accomplishments.
Mercenary orders are hired by civilizations for attacking or defence of a site. Once they have enough money, they will either upgrade the equipment of their members, or build a fort. Mercenary orders either dedicated to a specific deity or, perhaps, linked to its religion, may also build a temple in said fort. Mercenary companies usually only have a leader position, but sometimes will assign a position for record keeping as well.
You can visit the forts of mercenary orders in adventure mode, and adventurers can join them the same way bandits can be joined. (this requires a certain reputation, like all joining requests) After joining, you will then be able to receive quests (it is unknown if you can receive titles this way).
Sometimes enemy civilizations will employ mercenaries to bolster their forces, throwing a dangerous element into what would normally be a much less dangerous force.
If you accept their residency request, they will essentially become members of your fort, appearing on your fort's civilian list as though they were new migrants. However, they will refuse to accept any assigned labors. Their only purpose is to be enlisted into your military by adding them to a squad, and they will then adhere to any orders the squad receives.
Because visitors cannot be made nobles, you cannot have a mercenary be the leader of a squad. They will not arrive with their own armor, so you'll need to provide such equipment from your own supplies (they will bring their own regular clothing, at least). To forge equipment sized for non-dwarves, go to the workshop producing armor (this works for clothing, leather armor, and metal armor), move the cursor to the job producing armor, press etails and select the race involved. You can find the desired race more easily by using the ilter. This will change the produced armor's size to the selected creature's size.
Mercenaries of a larger race than dwarves, like the typical human, can more effectively use larger weapons such as pikes or mauls. Also note that since only dwarves suffer from cave adaptation, non-dwarven mercenaries are better suited to fighting outside. Be aware, however, that non-dwarves also possess much smaller livers, and are more susceptible to drunkenness.