Close ranks of grim, professional spearmen, the Troops are renowned for their discipline, their courage, and their peculiar green skin. There are many rumors about their origins. Some say the Troops are a reclusive tribe of lizard-men which secretly pledged allegiance to the Dukes; some say they’re the result of a magical experiment attempting to cross humans with cacti; some say they’re actually a band of mossy, putrescent undead.
The Troops themselves encourage all of these rumors, but the truth is somewhat more mundane. Opportunities for advancement in the armies of an evil Duke are strictly limited for regular humans. Except for wizards packing serious magical mojo, the career track for most ordinary people is mired in the depths of the Menacing Horde. The Troops of Terror started as an ambitious band of ordinary professional soldiers with a bit of background in musical theater who painted their faces green and presented themselves en masse at the Court of Five Shadows, giving no explanation for their mysterious provenance and responding to aggressively pointed questions with aggressively pointed spears. They were hired on the spot.
Since their origins, the Troops of Terror have quietly opened their ranks to a few others who can carry a spear and follow orders while sporting an unhealthy emerald complexion. Consequently there now actually are a few Troops who are lizard-men, some whose odor suggests they are among the lesser undead, and one sergeant whose father was a mutant head of broccoli. The exact composition of the Troops today, however, remains a mystery. For the most part, people don’t ask questions when the Troops of Terror show up and start stabbing people and/or singing.