|This article is about the current version of DF.|
|This page contains information only relevant to DF v0.42.01 and newer. Most or all of this information will not apply to saves from v0.40.24 or before, although those saves can still be used.|
A Mercenary is a type of visitor, and can be of any race that can be found in a nearby civilization. If you offer rented rooms through your tavern, they may try to petition for residence in your fort for the purpose of soldiering.
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 fort (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.