In an earlier post I told a story about a contractor and a friar. I just stumbled over the original in the teller of amusing stories Franco Saccetti. His version involved John Hawkwood and two Franciscan friars who lived by begging.
The dynamics which Franco Sacceti describes had existed since at least the 12th century, although the exact means by which rootless soldiers made their living off peaceful and productive folks varied. In 12th century Flanders they were more likely to rob or join a private war than take over a city (although King John’s Flemish and Rhineland crossbowmen had made themselves so obnoxious that they are specially called out in Magna Carta as people who have to leave England on the first boat).