What is the Blackwheel Company?
In the world of high political and economic intrigue that is Eberron, there is a thriving market for individuals who can be counted on to do any job with precision and discretion. Countries, kings, organizations, churches, and even economic powers often require the services of an independent, reliable organization that can be counted upon to carry out the assigned task uninfluenced by the manipulations of the competing world. There is always something “interesting” that needs to get done; when the powers that be can’t do it, won't do it, don’t want to be associated with it, or can’t afford to get caught doing it, they contact the Blackwheel Company.
In 996 YK, in the gaping hole in military service created by the Treaty of Thronehold, a small corporation emerged that sought to put to work all the military expertise and discipline now lying fallow. A dwarven entrepreneur, rumored to have served in the Last War, formed a transportation and security firm to contract out to the highest bidder. Under his charismatic influence, Mackinnon Maceck, known as “Mace” to his friends, brought together soldiers, adventurers, and support personnel from every corner of Khorvaire. Joining together this hodgepodge of skill, aggression, and conflicting loyalties was a difficult task. Macek, ever the shrewd businessman, quickly learned however that discipline and order are universal. Aligning these various loyalties under a combined purpose with unwavering attention to discipline and order and the promise of significant financial gain created a potently unified organization.
The Blackwheel Company began by taking the jobs that no other organization would - including the Dragonmarked houses. Clandestine smuggling missions into areas deemed too dangerous to risk valuable House or national resources became the Company’s calling card. With tensions still simmering just under the thin social and political skin of Khorvaire, the Company quickly found a market for engaging in security and reconnaissance as a neutral presence under the anonymous hire of some organization or country. Some fighting and light skirmishing would be inevitable after the war, but most countries were terrified of provoking lingering hostility. The Blackwheel Company carved a niche for itself in this area.
The Company was small enough to remain anonymous in the eyes of the population of Khorvaire, but those in power quickly took notice of the Company’s growing reputation for efficiency and discretion. While individual countries found the Company’s services to be useful, an organization that was expressly forbidden from engaging in military recruitment and training found it invaluable. The Dragonmarked Houses quickly learned that they could enlist the Blackwheel Company’s services to circumvent some rather ancient and aggravating constraints. Having an organization at their disposal that could be counted on to stay loyal to the mission, no matter what the job, and without asking questions, was a resource too valuable for the combined Houses to let pass.
Legend has it that at a clandestine meeting of the Houses, spurned on by urging of the shrewd and highly influential Irin d’Jorasco, the Dragonmarked Houses made the Blackwheel Company an offer they could not refuse. What became clear to those seeking the Blackwheel Company’s services was that they were no longer entertaining offers from outside contractors. Apparently, the Blackwheel Company was now under permanent contract from an organization wealthy and powerful enough to command their undivided loyalty and attention. All parties, of course, vehemently deny this direct, exclusive association between the Blackwheel Company and the Dragonmarked houses. The Blackwheel Company is nothing more than a simple transport and security firm.
Who joins the Blackwheel Company?
Everyone and anyone capable of withstanding the rigorous training and maintaining the personal discipline required can join the Company. Fortunately, business is good for the Company, so recruit offers are no longer just openly accepted. You don’t ask to join the Blackwheel Company, the Blackwheel Company asks you. Of course, many individuals seek out employ within the Company, but Company officials now carefully review each and every potential recruit before extending anyone an offer of employment. Service in the Company carries with it a great deal of personal satisfaction, prestige, and—of course—a substantial paycheck. It is understandable, then, that many seek out the Company, but few are ultimately chosen as “hires” to undergo recruit training.
Those with knowledge of the Blackwheel Company have observed that their dedication to discipline and efficiency has led to a very eclectic composition of employees. The Blackwheel Company apparently cares nothing for who you are, so long as you can get the job done. It is not unusual to see goblins, gnolls, minotaurs, warforged, and other races standing side by side with noble Dragonmarked heirs in the Company ranks. In fact, very little importance seems to be given to birth, status, or wealth as it relates to the potential for advancement within the Company.
It is no secret that many individuals seek out the Blackwheel Company to erase any record of their past. New hires to the Company, regardless of their past, have a chance to start life anew as a part of disciplined and structured family. Rumors abound that even the worst criminals from the deepest depths of Dreadhold have been given a second chance within the ranks of the Company. Loyalty, discipline, and efficiency are the determinants of success and rank within the Blackwheel Company, regardless of a recruits race, past, or upbringing.
Where is the Company?
The Company is everywhere… and nowhere. As an organization with no public face and no interest in public scrutiny, the Blackwheel Company is always on the move. Their current base of operation is a massive airship, perhaps one of the largest ever seen on the face of Eberron. The Glory Road is rumored to be a project funded by the combined resources of the Dragonmarked Houses, and is a sight to behold. The leviathan of a ship provides a mobile base of operations that keeps the Blackwheel Company nerve center from being tied down to any one location.
More recently, the Glory Road was seen berthed in Stormreach for a considerable amount of time. Company operatives, clad in the sharp black uniforms of their station, have been seen throughout the jungles of Xen’drik and almost everywhere in Stormreach. It is clear, that for reasons unknown, the attention of the Blackwheel Company, and likely the Dragonmarked Houses, has turned toward Xen’drik.
Continue to the Recruit Primer