The King's Mercenaries was an EITC guild active from November, 2009, until March, 2011. Though relatively unheard of, the King's Mercenaries achieved minor success in the wake of the destruction of the Black Mercenaries. It was the first guild founded by Jeremiah Garland, and one of his few, some others being Black Resistance, the Royal Union, East India Empire, Garland Trade Co., East India Officers, the Empire of Russia, and British Parliament.
After Lord Davy Menace's sudden disappearance when the Black Mercenaries reached their height, the guild quickly and disastrously fell apart. A diaspora occurred amongst the former officers of the guild, several reaching success in their own guild: Ben Costello and Chris McHayes formed the Black Empire (cited as a vital predecessor to the Co. Empire), and Poseidon made history in founding the Co. Guard. One officer, the previous Minister of the Treasury of the Black Mercenaries, Jeremiah Garland, formed the guild the "King's Mercenaries" in mid-November 2009, with the intentions of remodelling and even recreating the legacy of the Black Mercenaries.
The King's Mercenaries, whilst not having as great an impact on the EITC as guilds such as the Black Empire and the Co. Guard, started off weak but soon grew to be quite capable. At their zenith, the King's Mercenaries numbered roughly 430 members, and was highly active. A majority of these members were in the 15-25 level range, and few level 40s (the max level at the time) were in the guild. Therefore, the King's Mercenaries was viewed as an intermediate guild. Nevertheless, the guild proved itself in war. The proudest moment of the King's Mercenaries came in an event called the Hawk Wars, which occurred in January 2010. An EITC turncoat and alumnus of the Black Mercenaries named Edward Hawk had been an officer in the King's Mercenaries, but had defected in favour of a life of piracy, vowing to destroy the company. Several of his followers in the King's Mercenaries joined him, and he quickly assembled a rival guild simply named "Hawk's Guild". It was not long before Hawk and Garland, former friends and veterans of the Black Mercenaries, engaged in a deadly guild war. After weeks of hostilities, EITC spies had devastated Hawk's Guild and the King's Mercenaries had won. This war was one of the first examples of an EITC guild fighting a pirate guild.
Despite his relative success as guildmaster, Garland stepped down in February 2010 to pursue a career offered to him by Benjamin Macmorgan, guildmaster of a small, 20-member fledgling guild called the Co. Empire. Garland abdicated the position of guildmaster of the King's Mercenaries to a trusted friend and officer named Bartholomew O'Hawk, himself a veteran of the Black Mercenaries and (ironically, given his name) Garland's top general in the Hawk Wars. Whilst in the Co. Empire as Macmorgan's second-in-command, Garland heard very little news of the King's Mercenaries. In July 2011, upon his return from the game, Garland learned that O'Hawk too had abdicated to pursue other interests, and through a weak line of guildmasters, the King's Mercenaries had officially been disbanded earlier that year.
Due to their relatively unknown status, the legacy of the King's Mercenaries has not reached as far as the legacy of other guilds. Despite being almost maxed and winning one of the first company wars on piracy, the guild is often omitted from lists expressing the greatest EITC guilds. Perhaps it is due to their short-lived nature: though technically spanning more than a year, Garland was only guildmaster for four months.
The King's Mercenaries tried to pick up where the Black Mercenaries had left off. Founder and guildmaster Jeremiah Garland incorporated several aspects of the latter guild into his own, including a divided military and government, similar ranks and positions, and the continuation of the traditional EITC uniform. Also like Lord Davy Menace, Garland established a sturdy hierarchy of officers, with Bartholomew O'Hawk serving as his second-in-command (later to become guildmaster), and James Blueshot as his third-in-command (the only officer to follow Garland into the Co. Empire). It should also be noted that Cadet, later to become a high-ranking member of the Spanish Empire and devout follower of Carlos Clemente years to come, was a close friend of Garland during these times and served briefly as an officer of the King's Mercenaries.
In his term as second-in-command of the Co. Empire, Garland further incorporated several ideas established in the King's Mercenaries to the Co. Empire's infrastructure, including the establishment of a ministry for the lord marshal (then Benjamin Macmorgan) to act as advisors to the leader of the EITC; Garland himself resumed his post as Minister of the Treasury. The King's Mercenaries was one of the first recorded role-play guilds to establish a guild server, calling Savica home throughout most of its existence. They were also one of the first guilds, as far as evidence goes, to use the well-known "Empty Kingshead" glitch as a home base.
- Garland's choosing of the name "King's Mercenaries" derives from the Black Mercenaries, and Garland's apparent devotion to the King of Britain, even though country role-play had yet to be established and no king existed.
- Though the King's Mercenaries was a recognised EITC guild by then-lord marshal Chris McHayes, Garland refused to submit to his leadership initially, and instead adapted the title "prime minister" – the first known usage of this title in the game.
- Cadet, Garland's close friend and officer, later to find success in Spain, was actually the man who introduced Garland to Benjamin Macmorgan.
- Following the end of the Hawk Wars, Garland and Edward Hawk reconciled and continued to be close friends for several years; Hawk eventually settled in the well-known pirate guild McRaging.
- Though only James Blueshot, Garland's third-in-command, followed him into the Co. Empire, at least two members of King's Mercenaries would resurface years later in the EITC, discovered by Garland in the Co. Black Guard: Isaiah Gunpaine and Solomon Singedmorrigan (not to be confused with the man of the same name who was an officer in the Royal Union).