The Dam Legion
Type: Mercenary group
Location: The Wood Fort, Missouri
Strength: 450 soldier-engineers, in three companies of 150 troops each.
Total Population, including support staff: 30,000.
Rates: High. Legionnaires are typically hired on the company or platoon level.
Reputation: Excellent, both on a professional and ethical level.
The ‘Wood Fort’ isn’t actually wood: it was known as Fort Leonard Wood prior to the Serpentfall, and specialized in training US infantry and military engineers. Having this particular skill set widely distributed helped the base survive the chaos of Ragnarok; having a number of German and Italian POWs on hand helped even more. Unlike many other situations involving Axis prisoners, the ones in Missouri were not notably difficult to integrate into local post-Ragnarok power structures. The Italians in particular eagerly volunteered to act first as auxiliaries to Fort Wood’s soldiers, and then formally join up, once it became clear that the USA was going to be absent from Missouri for a while. Or quite possibly, forever.
The ongoing Italian presence usually gets blamed for the way the Fort’s soldiers increasingly organized themselves on a Roman legionary model. But the truth of it is that as bullets and gasoline get more and more expensive more and more mercenary groups are looking at classic infantry and cavalry units — and they don’t get more classic than the Imperial Roman legions. Legionnaires are still trained as both soldiers and military engineers (hence the name ‘the Dam Legion’); there are a lot of places in the Poisoned Lands where a hundred or so qualified engineers can make a big difference.
The Legion takes jobs all over Missouri, with a few actions in Kansas City and one near-disastrous one in Little Rock which almost got an entire company slaughtered. Since then the Legion is leery of doing jobs in Arkansas, although they probably wouldn’t mind one which involved hanging the Governor down there from a tree limb. Currently the best way to hire the Legion is in Rolla: it maintains an agent there, and there’s usually a few platoons fulfilling merchant escort contracts in the area. The Legion costs a lot, but they’re generally considered to be worth it.
Note: it’s usually worth it to be on good terms with the Dam Legion. Or even just have the Legion owe you a favor. It also makes for a starkly dangerous, if somewhat local enemy, but surely that was obvious already.