Among the most common adventurers, fighters come from an innumerable set of backgrounds. Some are knights in the service of a quest or elite foot soldiers whilst others are ambitious would-be overlords or hardened mercenaries. What brings fighters together, however, is their common roots as warriors who put themselves in the thick of battle, between their allies or minions and harm and while many fighters could be called disreputable, few, if any, are true physical cowards.
All fighters draw on a wealth of experience built by others who've come before them, though some are more formal about it than others. Many fighters come to their profession through formal training as members of a militia or army, some having been trained within formal academies. Others are more or less self-educated, their skills hardened through self-experience rather than formal instruction. Some fighters are brought to the ways of martial combat by a threat to their home and others are a part of a long family tradition. Regardless, fighters, while commonly sharing a bond with those whom they've fought beside personally, do not see themselves as a whole to be brothers in arms, at least not typically. Instead, fighters are united by the heat of battle and the skills they carry with them.
Fighters are common in nearly every part of Faerûn and though they are sometimes overlooked due to their widespread nature, truly skilled fighters are well-respected for their abilities. While many fighters operate on their own or as parts of informally organized groups, others hold themselves to a higher ideal and are part of knightly orders. These include such renowned groups as the Purple Dragons of Cormyr, the Knights Kuldar of Barakmordin, or, in the past, the Champions Vigilant of Helm.
Likewise, fighters come from a wide variety of races. Amongst humans, dwarves, eladrin, particularly moon elves, halfling, most often lightfoot or strongheart halflings, and dragonborn, fighters are particularly common, drawing on military traditions and often serving as agents of the ancient kingdoms ruled over by each of these races. Half-orc fighters are also common, though less so, and are typically outcasts of both lineages who've taken their hardships and channeled it into a force for discipline and martial skill. Amongst the goblinoid races, hobgoblins are most commonly fighters, the other races typically lacking the discipline for a strong martial tradition. Drow and duergar fighters are also common.
Fighters of all varieties are skilled in the use of most commonly used weapons and armor, making them highly proficient in the ways of battle. All fighters are adept at both melee and ranged combat, though the training of fighters puts its emphasis on melee. Fighters of most kinds, with the exceptions of the Battlerager and tempest fighters, favor either one-handed or two-handed weapons and are particularly adept with their favored weapon, though they remain skilled in the other style. Most fighters prefer melee to ranged combat, though a few are experts in bows and other ranged weapons, specializing in these, instead of melee weapons, at close range. Fighters also have a high morale and are hardened to take blows that would kill lesser beings, making them archetypically durable during prolonged combat.
As a whole, fighters work best among others and are trained to protect the flanks of allies. When an enemy attacks a friend or ally of a fighter, the fighter is prepared to leap to the ally's defense and distract the foe, decreasing the effectiveness of their attacks. Fighters are also better able to take advantage of flaws in an enemy's defense than warriors of other types.