The Book of Blasphemy
The Caps’ original incarnation was an effort by the gnomish military strategist Hinzelmann to organize and train the militia forces in the townships dotting the Cinerea-Tarmalune region. The structure he provided eventually evolved into a loosely structured regional guard. In the first year of the war, Red Cap divisions supported the Khorvairian regular army in defense of their homes, but it wasn’t long before their numbers were reduced too greatly to be making a real difference. Using his men’s frustration and hatred of the Teshi to motivate them, Hinzelmann consolidated the remaining militiamen who still called themselves Red Caps to help break the Teshi blockade in the Tarmalune port, then mobilized them to follow the navy to the archipelago whose name would become the Sanguine Isles, after the bloody campaign that was fought there.
Hinzelmann died on the Sanguine Isles, and his first Lieutenant, a ruthless but talented tactician named Dougan, took on leadership of the Red Caps. With his direction and guerrilla tactics, the Caps persistently harassed the Teshi through the rest of the conflict. When the war finally ended, a number of the once-militiamen chose to stay together as a unit under Dougan’s leadership, having nothing else to return to. Dougan organized his remaining forces into five squads (though that number has now dwindled to four) and quickly leveraged the reputation he had earned to establish the Red Caps as an elite mercenary and paramilitary force, dividing their forces between the twin cities of Cinerea and Tarmalune.
It is not known how Dougan seems to be so much more efficient at keeping the cities’ organized crime in check than the city guard, but the fact that he is is enough to his mercenaries many lucrative government assignments. The trust he’s earned from city officials provides the Caps an impressive amount of discretion in just how they handle their affairs.