Red Riders of the Realms
Lord Byron Stephens III
The leader of the Riders with Red Capes. His group of fighting men protect the settlements, towns, and roads in the Western Heartlands between Scornubel, Iriaebor, and the Far Hills. His stronghold is Penhaligon which sits east of the city of Asbravn.
Lord Stephens is an ex-adventurer that hails from the Kingdom of Cormyr. A skilled man-at-arms, he found that he was well suited as a guard for caravans that traveled overland from Cormyr. He quickly became a skilled leader as he began to hire other men and form a company for these services. He learned how important it was for merchants to have protection across the wild Western Heartlands. These were miles and miles of untamed territory. As his company grew and Stephens sought a place to build a stronghold he realized that his skills could serve in a much greater capacity than merely guarding caravans. He arranged a meeting of the independent leaders of the Heartland towns that bordered Cormyr. Through much negotiation, Stephens gained a writ and the title of a Lord in return for his protective services for all citizens of this region of the Heartlands. He assured them that he was not interested in ruling anyone or in any of the affairs of the merchants. He merely wanted to keep the populace safe from monsters, bandits of any kind, and the enslavement of groups such as the Zhentarim (Black Network). The Red Riders would be kept compensated by a small fraction of the local taxes. The towns would still keep and maintain their local militias and their own legal systems. All areas between towns would be the jurisdiction of the Red Riders. Due to the good nature of Lord Stephens, all have benefited from this arrangement for several years.