|Warfare: Brief History and Stratagem|
|Author||Natalie and Zarin Renderra|
|Publication date||28th Bennath, Year 2 of the Sixth Age|
| Preceded by|
| Followed by|
War is abysmal. Nobody should want war, or want to plan for war. But the best wars, and most successful wars, require much more preparation than imaginable. Historically speaking, war and humanity are as intertwined as life and death. We haven't reached a point yet where we can truly have no wars.
This book, is made to protect our family. This book, is a comprehensive book on how to carry out war.
There are five conditions to a battlefield. Loyalty, Weather, Terrain, Discipline, Division.
Loyalty is how devoted a soldier or the group of soldiers are to the cause. Weather is what happens above, the wind and water of the sky swirling the usual chaos we call our surroundings. Terrain is the environment, the flora and fauna, rocks, hills and water. Discipline is how well the soldiers follow orders. Division is how you have personally divided your army.
A Soldier who is loyal is willing to die for the cause. They may seek glory, riches, or home to fight to their best, but they are not beyond death. Religion, Trust, and good treatment will keep a soldier in line.
This applies to light and dark, sun and storm. Weather can be a keen advantage on the battlefield, as rain and darkness help aid stealth, light and sun help aid defense.
There are many forms of terrain, but the best by far is high, dry, with a river to your back and the enemy to your front. With the River behind you, enemies will be loud and slow in approach, as well as in plain sight. With high ground upon a hill, vantage is offered to see your surroundings.
Religion, certain victory, and punishment will unify soldiers and keep them in formation. They need to fear breaking the line, and remain organised. If they are not, punish the officer. The next one will be more willing to keep his soldiers in line.
When you make a law, ensure it is followed. Put the offender to death otherwise.
Divide your soldiers in such a way as to mix them. They need a strong sense of pride not as the soldiers of Sarim or the soldiers of Burthorpe, but as soldiers of a Nation. Keep one of each type of officer under yourself. A wise one, a brave one, a covetous one, and a foolish one.
It is the General who plans longest who will win the fight. Every calculation, every detail must be covered. These five, while basic, have made some of the most fatal errors in warfare to date by being ignored.
How to Start a War
If you have a thousand fast cavalrymen, as many heavy wagons, and a hundred armour-clad soldiers, you should divide them so there are 75 Infantry to the Cavalier, and 25 Infantry to the Wagon. The Cavalry is vital to the attack, and the heavy wagon vital to barricades and defense. The Infantry should move with them, as to have more attackers than defenders. With good ground, this should not matter.
Each group should be divided so a heavy wagon, a Cavalier, and a hundred infantry move with them. There should be food enough to travel around 350 miles when you touch land.
Spending at home and abroad, from large events such as catering to allies who visit to small things such as nails and paint, to care of horses and armour, will cost roughly 1,000 silver ounces a day. This may not seem like much, until you consider how long a war will last. Just the Battle of Lumbridge alone spanned for three months. That is a hundred thousand pieces of silver gone, without considering the rebuilding effort. Let alone the fact that the war is not over. Perhaps a bit more generous than a war between immortals, the Misthalani war lasted for eight years. ((On a 1 month to a year timescale) To fight the war would have cost the Worshippers over 180,000 pounds of silver.
Time is the most valuable resource on the battlefield.
Weapons grow dull with time, and in a seige you will exhaust the troops. When your weapons are blunt, morale low, strength exhausted and money gone, nobody will be able to defend you. You will be helpless and defeated with ease.
So, while you should carefully plan each command you give, do not wait too long either. Once you have the army assembled, every day you waste is gold lost to the Abyss. This is best shown by the quick and sudden actions of the Kandarin Army under Drazker IV. By waiting long enough to form a strategy, but not so long as to devour the resources of the nation, battles may be won in quick succession. Even then, the long and drawn out conflicts and high spending of Vectis Vekon prove the opposite side of the wisdom. If you wait too long, your funds will be drained. It is the spending of Vectis Vekon that led to the economic collapse, which in turn left the Leroux who inherited the debt vulnerable to attack.
There is, however, no instance of an Nation benefitting from prolonged warfare. Only someone aware of how devastating war is to the economy of a nation can understand a profitable way to carry it out.
A Good Commander won't waste time waiting for reinforcements, or return home for more supplies. You must rush to the enemy line as quickly as possible in order to save your nation's coffers. Bring supplies with you from home, but rip your enemies' countryside barren in pursuit of supplies. It is cheaper to give supplies before the army leaves than after, but cheaper so to take them from the enemy. An army will drain the supply wherever it goes, forcing the price of food to go up. Do not linger longer than you must.
A government will likely spend two fifths of their income on war and war supplies, to repair damaged equipment and buy new animals both.
To kill an enemy, your soldiers must be pushed to anger or greed. They must feel there is a reward for killing their enemies, or even that their enemies are not human. When fighting with Religion, again, this can prove a good use of it. However, from the stance of a socially aware Druidess, hatred of your enemy can last for generations in the form of prejudice and racism, neither of which is good if you are ruling them, or if they move onto your land as peaceful and productive citizens. You are far better off to make your soldiers feel the reward will be great.
For every tenth horse you capture, give the one who captured it the first. Treat prisoners well and kindly, so they themselves will recognise you as human. This will make it harder for them to fight you if or when they walk free.
As a commander, it is you who determines whether your people are hungry or full, wealthy or poor. Do not disappoint your people.
How to Fight a War
In war, expenses are already very high, as mentioned prior. As a result, you will not want to damage what you can capture with ease. Again, we will turn to the Worshipper-Misthalani War. The Worshippers had captured Draynor and Lumbridge with little damage, and little blood lost. With Varrock also intact, they did not need to spend time, energy, or resources to rebuild them.
However, when Magus Concendo (though a dear friend to our family) attacked Lumbridge, he flooded it, destroying it in the waters of the Lum. People had to rebuild from damage, and the damage done cost much more money than fighting for the city would have.
Likewise, if you capture enemy soldiers, capture them and try not to kill any. If you are seeking conquest, they will soon be loyal to you and yours, and those are lives you don't want to waste. Because of this, you need to ruin their will to fight.
To ruin enemy morale, you need to consistently, time and time again destroy the plans of the Enemy Command, until they lose the ability to feel sure of themselves. They will grow rowdy and undisciplined, doubting their commander.
First and foremost, you must disconnect your enemy from their allies. This is a large part to any plan, and any way to halt them from uniting is best. This is followed by striking them in the field when they gather supplies, are moving from one locale to another, or otherwise not behind walls.
The last place you want to attack an enemy, is one holed up within a walled city or castle. The preperation of siege weapons of any kind will take time, as much as three months, and manually building a mound of dirt to scale the wall and march over will take three months more.
With this much time away, your officers will likely grow agitated and attack the walls in scattered formations, unprepared. You will likely lose a third of the men present, and not gain your city. Because of this, it is highly recommended to not fight unless you have to, and try to peacefully take the city. Make the people your own. Feed them, clothe them. Only harm the government, and make it your own.
If you outnumber your enemy ten to one, surround them. If you outnumber them five to one, attack them. If you outnumber them two to one, split yourself in half, one to attack them in the front and the other at their rear. If you have the same numbers, offer battle but do not initiate it. And if the enemy outnumbers you, avoid them.
There are three ways a King will ruin his own army. The First is ordering them to advance or retreat when they cannot. A King most focus on ruling from within, but a general needs to be outside of their army, in order to see where they can move. The Second is to show leniency to your troops, as you would your civilians. An army needs discipline, but no matter how loyal your soldiers are they will take advantage of any scrap of leniency you give them. Third and finally, you must be heavily cautious of your officers. They should not be used lightly. The Wise Officer seeks glory for his mind. The Brave Officer seeks to prove his courage. The Greedy Officer will take any opportunity he gets for an advantage, and the Foolish Officer will not fear death.
As a result, there are five more rules that will make or break a battle. 1) The Commander that will win, will know when to fight and when not to. 2) The Commander that will win, will know how to win even with a smaller force, through other advantages. 3) The Army will triumph who has high morale through all ranks, from the lowly camp blacksmith to the General themself. 4) The Commander who is prepared for everything will surely defeat a Commander who was not prepared for your command. 5) The Commander who will win will do so not because of the King's actions from afar, but their own actions at the battle. It is Kings who decide wars, but it is the Commander who has the say as to who will win a battle.
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you will win every battle. If you don't know your enemy, you will lose as often as you win. If you don't know yourselves, you will suffer defeat time and time again.
As a strong commander, you need to recognise that it is not your strategy that defeats your enemy, but your enemies' lack of strategy that will defeat them. Worry about not being defeated, rather than worry about defeating your enemy. If you cannot fight your enemy and win, do not fight them. Wait for them to make themselves weak. Likewise, if the enemy doesn't move they are too weak to attack you or leave their position. A commander skilled with defenses will remain hidden and out of sight. Meanwhile, one who is ready to attack should be sudden, as to not give the enemy time to prepare otherwise.
This was perfected by the Ancient Arrenda, who from high in the mountains of the White Wolf secretly prowled, before charging down a hill with full force, screaming loud and disorientate their foes, giving no time to prepare. A sudden and quick attack from seemingly nowhere is beyond useful.
You have to be sure you will win before you even launch an attack. Equally so, it has to come easily to be a truly great commander. You do not want a reputation as someone wise, or as someone brave. This will bring too much question to any action you do as a Commander.
You also, cannot afford mistakes. A commander who is known to never make an error is one an enemy does not want to fight, and will refuse to fight. Because of this, you need a position that will make it impossible to defeat you, but possible to defeat an enemy should the opportunity rise.
To judge an opportunity, use distance to calculate the size of the enemy. Find out their condition, and discover their numbers. Then, compare this to your own. If the odds are heavily in your favour, strike.
An army that can obtain victory will gain far more morale than an army forced into retreat. But an army that does nothing is trapped qually between both.
There are, at the base of it all, two forms of attacking. There is the direct, and the indirect. Just as colours, tastes, and notes blend, blending you attacks and condition are vital to victory.
Your direct route will always be known and noticed, to lure an enemy to battle or join an enemy in battle. Your indirect attack, however, will be used to win it. By throwing a wrench in the works of your opponents' plans, your indirect attack will cause disorder among the ranks.
Pretending you are in chaos is the peak of being orderly. Pretending to be afraid is the greatest sign of courage. Pretending to be weak is the greatest sign of being strong. Changing how you appear will change your enemy's response, luring them into or deterring them from attack. With true manipulation, your enemy will move entirely based on the signs you willingly allow them to receive.
Bait will help keep you enemy moving in pursuit, so long as it is not obvious this is what you are doing. A good example may be found in the common practice of the Sicarius. Around two or three Sicarius, far less than their opponent and lightly armed, will lure a small group of enemies from their location by attacking, then feigning retreat. After running far enough, other Sicarius emerge from hiding and block escape, outnumbered and surprising their enemy. In this case, the smaller, direct attack had acted as bait for the larger, indirect attack.
The Dance of Formation
I feel it important to restate once more. In battle, time is your best resource. You want to be the first to a battlefield, not by rushing, but by moving at your own pace. This allows the key strategic positions to be either gained, or left as bait and trapped. By having an army not rush to battle, you ensure that the army is well-rested and prepared to fight to the best of their ability.
If your enemy is moving leisurely, much like a horse, whip them with a light lash of your force to make them speed up. If they are well fed, slow them down and force them to linger, wasting time. If they are quietly camped, harass them until they move once more. Move quickly to places they have to defend so they must rush after you, only to lure them out.
The Darkness makes for a good cover while an enemy thinks they are alone. While they march without tension, this is a prime time to strike.
Lash out at their weak places, places that cannot be defended. Places where there are only lightly armoured soldiers compared to heavily armoured ones. The low walls, the broken homes... Here, are places you have a certain advantage. Just as much, leave your weak points only in places where you cannot be attacked. If your enemy does not know how to defend, you are automatically a strong attacker. If they do not know how to attack, you are a strong defender.
You may strike a weak point and flee quickly if your enemy lacks the speed to catch up. You will be well rested by the time they arrive. This is a time where the use of fast, lightweight cavalry on a charge can quickly return back to the defenders, allowing the bulk of the army to lie in wait for the enemy to come out of hiding.
If your enemy is holding down tightly within a fortress, it is as easy as striking elsewhere that they must defend to lure them out. A good example would be their hometown, their superior's city, or their supply of water, food, or communication.
If you yourself are vulnerable, all it takes is something unpredictable and unprecedented to make an enemy confused, confused long enough that they wish not to attack.
Knowing where your enemy is when the opposite is not true is a very vulnerable position for your enemy. Chances are great with the right planning they will split up in such a way that you can strike them down company by company. Faking such a situation, however, is a very powerful bluff for you to use yourself.
Before you leave home to fight a war, you must first be sure all is good at home. If there is already poverty, war is expensive. If there is already disease, your soldiers may be sick. Wait until it is perfect, or the worst may come when you are away.
Appear far away, either through ruining the enemy's spies or through decoys, only to use a way to rush to the scene before an opponent. They will move slow and leisurely, while you have time to rest before their arrival. An army that covers a small distance is still less prepared than an army that is set up and unmoving.
Moving an army is usually advantageous, but moving without careful caution will ruin you. If you move a fully equipped army to snatch an advantage, chances are fairly high you will be too late to make use of it. However, it is equally poor to not send any supplies Researching battle after battle, the best solution is to make your soldiers march day and night if you need to make haste. But never, ever force them to move 30 miles for a slight advantage. Only move this far if it will win you the war.
An unfortunate example can be derived from the Armadylean Caravans of the Bandosian-Armadylean conflict. The Armadyleans had support from the White Knights of Falador. The Knights, while numerous, had to march the distance to reach Draynor. Tired and battered, the soldiers were successfully agitated away from protecting their caravans by the Bandosian-Aligned Kinshra. Though the White Knights routed the Kinshra, they had stopped protecting their caravan and lost the battle. It is said the lack of discipline among his troops in this battle was the main cause Commander Alexander Aerendyl retired from command. Of course, the blame cannot be shifted toward the White Knights; this was also not their war, but the Kinshra were. But by allowing the Kinshra to distract them, the Bandosians rewarded the Kinshra handsomely.
This also allows a perfect transition to the next point of maneuvering, just as you don't make allies of strangers, who motives you do not know, you do not make movements onto land that you do not have mapped. Local Allies, Guides, or scouts can help heavily in this. For our family, Druids are scattered throughout the countryside who know it very well. For about any purpose we would fight, they are prone to help us.
Vital in warfare, is you need to maintain a strong position. Unless there is an advantage to be gained in moving, don't. Wise words come from the ancestors of House Hiroto.
|“||Let your rapidity be like the wind, Your campactness that of the forest, In raiding and plundering be like fire, In immovability like a Mountain.||”|
While it seems like a blessing, it is actually a very well worded piece of advice. The wind is invivisble. It leaves no tracks as it quickly moves from place to place. Tracks, of course, will violate your position. A Forest is made of many trees, tightly held together. March this way, in formation. Stay in formation, unless you are struck by surprise. When you hit a small area, take the village quickly, overrun and surround it before they have a chance to defend. When your enemy is trying to move you from a strong position, do not move. No matter how tempting the bait, it is not worth the loss of advantage.
When you raid a village, ensure all plunder is put into common stock and split amongst the soldiers. Through this, a soldier will be less likely to rob from the Elders or Widows, Orphans or Homeless. If they don't have a chance of getting that shiny ring from someone with nothing, they will think twice about taking it. Equally so, when new lands are conquered be sure to carve up the territory. Station them there, and let them harvest the crops.
On the field of battle, spoken words do not travel far. This is why sounds and signals are vital to any army. From the use of standards and vexillum, to the drums and horns, even magic hurled toward the sky, acts as symbols for commands. It is vital to do so, because when your army is united in signals, the reckless soldier won't rush ahead and the fearful one won't linger behind. With the right signals, running an army of millions is as simple as a group of one hundred.
Attacks of the opponent's mind, are by far your best. Sowing disorder and chaos into enemy ranks will make it difficult for a commander to unify his army. Make use of biological warfare. Make use of fire hurled a long distance. And finally, make use of your own legends.
A soldier's morale is highest at the morning, and lowest at night. A strong general knows when the enemy is weakest, to attack when their morale is already low. Do not attack an enemy who is uphill, and do not attack an enemy coming downhill. Do not attack an enemy who flees without needing to, and do not attack soldiers who have high morale. Do not interfere with an army returning home. With home so close, soldiers will fight to their ends. The allure of their homes and family is stronger than anything you could do to crush their hopes.
When you surround an enemy, leave a single way out, but do not allow them to escape. Use this route as bait and reassurance, because a truly surrounded army will fight to the death. This can lure a weakened opponent out, and give even more of an advantage.
Never face an enemy pushed to extremes. Anyone who destroys their transportation for fortification, melts their pots and pans for crude steel and cannonballs, these are soldiers who will also fight to the death. Essentially, this is a case where it is better not to strike no matter how disorderly they become. Instead simply wait, and they will be forced to resupply or surrender.
The Faults of the General
In war, a general receives command from a King, collects his army, and maintains it. When in hostile land, you have to keep moving. When you find a place where roads cross, merge with allies. Do not linger in a spot you cannot receive help.
When you are being routed, resort to strategy. When you are surrounded, you must fight.
As a General, you are the protector of your people, their economy, and their well-being more than any King. Just as there are roads not to go down, armies not to strike, towns not to raid, and positions that cannot be contested, there are commands from a King you must ignore.
Never march down a road that leads to ruin, a narrow pass where the sides are prone to ambush. An example is the Temple of the Salve, which when taken by the Vampyres during the Corruption, many people had died marching into such a pass. In fact, history has a terrible history of repeating itself. Before our father, Lord Lucius had marched on the Salve was when the Salve was built. Men and Women fought viciously to reach the Paterdomus through the pass. It was initially Lord Lucius' plan to march a large force against the Temple, and a much smaller indirect one around the back to strike a distracted foe. By raising the barrier there, the Vampyres would have to flee.
Instead, the barrier was raised before the battle even started, but his soldiers with no commander had lashed out to attack the Vampyres, a perfect example of an army with no discipline.
As for Kings, a King is too far from the field of battle to know the land you march through. A King, must be aware that while he is virtuous, kind, benevolent, and fatherly, a military is the exact opposite of Civil Order. A military, while a vital part of a country, cannot be run as a country is. Therefore, as the General, you need to do what is best for your army. Not what the King feels is best for your army. Because all you do that is best for your army, is inevitably the best for your King and Country.
Variance of plans, is vital to any General worth his salt. Allow a quick comparison of history. It was a common tactic among the Yanillians under Eden Syvian to make heavy use of fast, lightly armoured and close range archers. This strategy was very unheard of for a time, and initially caught many by surprise. However, constant use of his "Yanille Rangers" as an indirect attack made people expect that they would arrive. Expecting this, his rivals were quick to adapt their buildings and soldiers to watching these men. With the Rangers' existance known globally, the army's strongest point was made null and void, and the lesser trained, lesser funded soldiers of the Yanille infantry were not enough to defeat an opponent.
Now, comparing this to the plans of the Worshippers, once more. The Worshipper army was extremely varied. The use of Dragonwolf Cavalry was unexpected by any outsider, and the harsh fire lines used by their archers led to terror among many they fought. One thing done by Worshipper Prometheans, the closest equivalent to a General, was commands were always different. This horrified people who fought them, as even though the fiery howl of the hounds could be heard in the distance, they would suddenly have to deal with a shield wall approaching. Even as the Prometheans were an elite fighting force, the fact the Worshipper Army could function without them touching a blade is what made them frightening.
It is because of this the advice to be prepared not, for the enemy not to come but for them to strike at any given moment. Take calm not in the fact your enemy is not around, and instead take comfort in knowing they cannot attack your position.
Five traits will lead to a General's doom.
1) Recklessness, which leads to destruction.
A Soldier who fights recklessly will charge into battle without forethought, and not consider that something may be bait or otherwise. This is how a Slayer defeats their much stronger, reckless prey, and how a General will defeat an army.
2) Cowardice, which leads to capture.
A Soldier willing to do anything to live is more prone to surrender without considering the advantages they hold still in their favour.
3) Temper, which can be triggered by insults.
Anger is as powerful a weapon as fear. An angry General is more likely to be reckless.
4) Honour, which can be affected by slander.
A General with too much pride in their Honour will react harshly to any insult upon their character.
5) Charity, which exposes them to worry and trouble.
A General who cares too much for the Soldiers they command will miss an advantage for the sake of their comfort.
Encampment and Terrain
Stay near the valleys. The grass is a must for the horses and oxen, and the rivers necessary for your water. Camp on hills, not mountains or cliffs, but on a hill with a valley between.
Do not climb a mountain just to fight. So much for attacking the Kinshra. After crossing a river, move far away from it. This will lure your enemy to cross in pursuit, a lengthy procedure. When your enemy crosses the river, wait to attack when half the army has crossed. This way it is cut off by the crossing. Always camp upstream of your enemy.
When crossing marshland or swamp, move quickly. It is low, flat, and prone to attack. The water is unclean, and the grass is of poor quality for any animals. If forced to fight in a marsh, have water and grass near you, and cover your back with a clump of trees.
In dry, level country, take up an easily accessible position with rising ground to your right and behind you, so that all danger is focused on the front.
Above all else, armies like land that is high over low, sunny over dark, and dry over wet. If you are careful of your army and their position, you will not be prone to disease. A healthy army, is a victorious army.
When you come to a hill, set up camp on the sunny side of it with the slop on your right rear. This alone will give large benefits of the ground. When there are large amounts of rain near you, and you want to cross a river, you will have to wait until the rain subsides.
Do not approach places that are confined, places with thick undergrowth, places too muddy for horses or wagons, or a pass between cliffs. If you must, push through them as quickly as possible. While you should avoid them, pushing an enemy into them is a very safe way to secure victory.
Cut down long grasses, reeds, or undergrowth near your camp. If on the move, have scouts move through them to look for any enemies hiding, or spies watching.
When an enemy is close at hand and remains quiet, they are using the full advantage of their natural position. When they are aloof and try to provoke a battle, they are trying to lure you to advance. If their encampment is too easy to reach, they are baiting you. Movement amongst the trees of a forest show the enemy is advancing.
Nature is valuable to any General. When birds shoot up to the sky, an ambush lay in wait. When animals are startled, there is an attack on the way. When dust rises high, the Cavalry approaches. When it hangs low and wide, the infantry marches. Dust moving back and forth is a sign of encampment, whereas dust scattering in many directions is a sign or foraging. When the enemy is mild mannered, courteous, and preparing more in their camp, they are preparing for an assault on you. Violent Language and feinting a push forward are signs of retreat.
Cavalry moving toward the wings are a sign of preparation for battle. Peace proposals not made with a sworn oath to death, Gods, or Ancestors indicate a scheme in the works. Being truthful, we live in a world of little honour. Be suspicious of any peace proposal, as putting all of nothing as your word, is worse than giving no word at all.
When some soldiers advance and other retreat, it is a lure. When soldiers lean on their spears, they are tired or hungry. When soldiers sent to fetch water drink some for themselves first, the enemy is dealing with thirst. If an enemy sees an advantage to be gained and does not move for it, their soldiers are exhausted. Anywhere a bird settles, is devoid of human life. (Or Undeath.) Noise at night signals nervousness, and if banners and flags move around the camp, the officers are angry. When the Officers are angry, the Soldiers are weary. When an army feeds its horses with grain, kills their cattle, burns their boats, and leaves cooking pots unwashed, you know they are determined to fight to the death.
Soldiers who speak in small groups and whispers point to a dislike of the rank and file of the army. Lavish rewards are a sign the army has reached its last legs. Too many punishments show a sign of distress. To begin in an honest charge, only to retreat in fear, is a sign of a supreme lack of intelligence. When envoys are sent to flatter, the Enemy seeks a Truce. If the enemy holds position without striking in a combat formation for a length of time, watch your rear and watch your flanks.
If you do not think but only mock your opponent, your opponent will surprise you.
Soldiers must grow attached to you, and trust you, before you can enact punishment on them for minor errors. Treat all of your soldiers as humans, but be swift with justice should they disobey. A General who is confident in their Soldiers, but forces Martial orders to be obeyed is one who will have a strong bond with the army, and not be defeated with ease.
There are also six kinda of Terrain,
Covered in a network of roads and means of communication. Ground that can be traversed by all sides is accessible.
Carefully guard your supply lines, and camp at accessible ground. Do not allow your enemy to fight for your communication. This was a flaw that greatly affected our own armies, when Lord Lucius had marched on the Marcato Keep. Moving that far into the Wilderness and surrounded by Worshippers on one side and enemies on the other, communication could not be used.
Examples include Crossroads, Fields, and Rivers.
Entangling ground can be abandoned but it difficult to recover. This is dangerous, but could be advantageous. Leaving any fortress, rough terrain, or otherwise is considered Entangling ground. It is reccomended only to strike from entangling ground if your enemies are not prepared, because you won't be able to go back.
Ground that will allow you to buy yourself time. This is ground where both sides know whichever moves first is at a disadvantage, resulting in a deadlock. This could be two hills to a valley, What is recommended is to retreat, and lure your enemy out, only to strike down from the advantageous spot.
4) Narrow Passes
Narrow Passes can be a strong force, if strongly garrisoned. Enemies won't be able to pass through. This, however does work both ways. The only time a Narrow Pass can give an advantage is if you have the time to set up defenses there without tiring Soldiers.
5) Great Heights
High and Sunny places are always an advantage to build a camp upon. They are safe from floods, as well as advantageous for fighting.
6) Positions far from the enemy.
Any position far from the enemy is the safest ground for your army. But it is also the safest ground for your Enemy's army. Do not plan to march toward them, instead convince them to move to you.
These Six are vital to understanding Terrain.
There are, six more faults of a general that will ruin an army.
With all other conditions equal, a force fighting 10 to 1 will flee.
When Common Soldiers are too strong and their officers weak, the Soldiers will not obey orders.
When Common Soldiers are too weak and their officers strong, the Soldiers will collapse on their way to a Battlefield.
When a General makes a command, regardless of the Officer's ability to follow through.
When a General is weak and carries no authority, his orders unclear, fixed duties are not given, and ranks are formed poorly, it is a result of disorganization.
When troops who lack high morale are put in front, or fighting a stronger enemy without strategy or advantage, it will result in a Rout.
A general who is admirable is one who can advance without coveting fame and glory, but retreat without fearing shame or defeat. A general who will demand respect from the soldiers, is one who will eat with them, sleep with them, walk with them, and talk with them. These soldiers will follow you to the death.
Magic and Fire
Magic has innumerable uses in warfare. None the least being it can ounch through armour with ease. However, Magic has a noted flaw in it's current use. Magi and used exclusively against other Magi in common warfare, rather than user to full capability.
Magic is a much more versatile artillery. It has raw destructive power to bend steel. Enough Magi could destroy defences, ravage armoured warriors from a distance, or cut off enemy supply lines.
There are five things worth targeting with fire, magical or standard. Soldier's tents are often cloth with wooden frames, making them highly flammable as they sleep. Burning food stores will starve the enemy out, and make them weaker as remaining food is rationed. Arsenals will make arrows useless, and require more time to prepare a handful more. It could destroy spears, bows, and crossbows, limiting the ranged weaponry and longer melee weapons available. Wagons, incoming with food, water, weapons, or reinforcements could be destroyed, leaving the enemy short on supplies. Finally, as many defenses outside cities are made of wood, and not stone, heavy amounts of fire and magic can destroy fortifications.
Runes and other firestarters, of course, are not cheap. You don't want to use them recklessly. Save your magi for times where conditions are perfect for fire to hit a campsite. These are days with high wind, placing the fire so the wind will blow it into the camp.
Speaking from experience, the Raven Vixante class is very strong for stealthy magic operations, travelling heavily enough to not waste a Mage as a resource, but lightly enough to not be detected. With wands, or orbs, magic can be subtly carried to set fire, where the bulk of the army can wait for the enemy to pull out and pick them off with arrows.
To be written.
Armaments are overall, a tricky situation. We are breaking it up into two sections, weapons, and armour.
Overall, you need to determine the difference for your army to use higher quality equipment, or have more equipment to use. The most common solution seems to be to give the elite soldiers the higher quality equipment, but furthermore, you also want a uniform among soldiers so they feel united as a body. Even more obvious, is the fact the world does not have unlimited supplies of iron or steel to make armour. Let alone Mithril.
Weapons are a good place to invest money into. Being the most extended part of the body, they are by far the most likely to be hit. The majority of your soldiers will not be highly trained in sword combat, for a fairly simple reason. Swords are handy for day to day protection, but to use one effectively against a spearman who trained for a month, will take a Sword Expert three years. Swords make a decent sidearm.
The weapon you will want the most for any soldier, is the Spear. For a big few reasons, being that spears are fast, have excellent reach, and are easy to train a soldier to strike and defend with. As an added bonus, the amount of metal going into a spear is low, the quality doesn't need to be high, and any blacksmith's apprentice knows how to make one quickly. Pike Spears, made to disarm cavalry, are very effective overall.
Wooden handles are always in need for weapons, and the best wood for the source is a hard wood, like oak, ash, or maple. These will send very little shock back into the arm, and be far less likely of breaking. Save more flexible wood, such as yew, for bows.
Second to the spear for the common warrior, is the ax. Many commoners chop their own wood, butcher their own cows, and hammer nails or steel. All of these motions build strong muscles necessary for a war ax. Place one in their hands and they will already know how to use it, and since you are using something thicker than a sword you can spare money by using a steel alloy at the edge, and iron toward the center. A war axe can cleave into all forms of armour, wreck some shields, or use the spike potentially put in the other side for grappling. Trust us, though swords look far fancier, it is hard to compete with giving someone a weapon based off a tool they already use.
If an ax isn't your style, a mace is also a good option. As Maces don't need edge retention, just flanges to make armour impact heavier, a mace can be made from very low quality metal, as the point is to just hit them with something heavy enough to make a dent. While a mace lacks distance, this is good if an armoured knight breaks into your infantry lines so the infantry doesn't clobber themselves to death. Essentially, a mace is another easy weapon to learn, as it is based off the clubs used by man before thought was put into warfare. Anyone can figure out how to use it, and unlike the warhammer, all sides are effective enough so edge alignment isn't an issue.
For a more experienced, heavily armoured warrior, there is little wrong with the pollaxe or halberd. While it lacks the reach of a spear, it does have more power against armour and infantry alike. Archers are known to cut the handles off the pollaxe and use it as a short, defensive weapon.
The last thing in a common soldier's toolbox, should be a short, stabbing weapon. The Imperial Guard favours claws, which while flashy are always on hand and protect the hands. Knives are a cheap alternative, which offer plenty of utility use around the camp, and don't cost much to produce. Many people carry knives made from broken swords.
Finally, is a key set or weapons, of which you will need to use without dispute. Crossbows and Longbows are both vital to any military.
Overall, Crossbows are simpler to aim, but take longer to reload. However, they produce far more power. In the amount of time it takes to prepare one crossbow bolt, you can fire three arrows.
Crossbows are not to be underestimated, however. Bowmen need to be trained for a long period of time to develop the muscle required for a war bow, whereas crossbowmen are cheap and replaceable. A good strategy is to make use of both, though not in the same lines. You want to alternate groups of bowmen and crossbowmen, so each group can fire a volley at the same rate as the others around them. Three Crossbowmen for each Bowman, is a good ratio. In this regard the bowmen can continue firing at the same rate, while the groups of crossbowmen reload as the next group fires. In this way, you have a constant steam of quarrels and arrows being fired.
Cost and expense matter with ammunition as well. While it is widely accepted quarrels are the most functional for crossbow bolts, arrows still have a debate between broadheads, and bodkins. It is worth noting neither is made for penetrating plate armour, but bodkins can punch into maille. Broadheads are more functional against lightly armoured soldiers, in leather or cloth. Which, as you are about to find out are the majority. Bodkins are, however, not as fatal as broadheads on lighter armoured soldiers, but easier to make and cheaper to produce.
Throwing spears are a good choice for use in combat. They can make shields useless, if they don't punch straight into their victims. The Fremennik are known to make use of full size spears for throwing, sometimes throwing two in each hand at once. In contrast, some use specialised, lighter Javelins.
For melee weapons, it is important to make your soldiers able to adapt to the situation around them. Anything capable of surviving a stabbing weapon, such as a spear, is likely wearing heavy armour. Anything capable of surving a blunt weapon, like a mace, is likely wearing light armour. As a result, versatility is a must.
If your soldiers have a weapon to fight heavy armour in their mainhand, you want something to fight lighter armour as a side-arm, and vice versa.
When it comes to any weapon, but epsecially spears and halberds, you will have to make a decision between the maneuverability of a shorter spear, or the reach of a longer spear. There is a group of people on Southern Karamja who have made use of a spear they call the Ixwa. The Ixwa is two feet of wood, and one foot of blade. They readily use these in warfare against neighboring groups, leading to my belief they may become extremely relevant soon. In contrast, my own ancestors made use of spears as long as twelve feet long at the handle, to maximize reach. However, these did not move well.
A good size for a spear, is ten feet. For heavier polearms, eight is wiser, as any added distance makes it far heavier.
Swords are by far and large, the perfect weapon for daily use. They have ultility purpose, they are easily carried, and unlike the dagger, can hold their own reach-wise against an axe or mace. However, as Swords are so common, there are dozens of variants of swords, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Straight Swords are swords that carry two edges, both of which are sharp. These swords are designed mostly for thrusting, but are versatile enough to also chop, slice, or smash. The longer the sword, the more it weighs, but the more reach it has. A sword ceases to be functional if it is so long it is too heavy to be carried in the stances needed.
Also known as Arming Swords, Short Swords are a common sidearm for militaries. They are utility weapons that can find use in a kitchen, and wider blade designs even find use as a shovel. A shortsword is a shortsword to the person holding it, as long as they can use it one handed.
Sometimes called the Bastard Sword, the Longsword we use is designed to be used somewhat well in both one hand, and two. This allows it to have reach, and far more versatility. While there is much debate on the exact length of a longsword before it becomes a two handed sword, we will argue that a Longsword is a Longsword, if it can be used with one or both hands effectively.
- Two Handed Sword
The Two Handed sword is the largest sword manageable. It is designed to be used with two hands, and is usually used more for cleaving than for stabbing. A Two handed sword must be used in two hands, and have space for two hands on the pommel, to be a two handed sword.
Curved Swords, are specialized for slashing. These curves allow for more cutting power per inch of metal, as well as slicing through clothing and padding easily, if not stopped. While some can be used to stab, most curved swords are best used for slashing attacks.
A saber is a sword that is curved and protects the hand. Scimitars, Falchions, and many other single-handed weapons with a hand guard are considered sabers.
- Cavalry Saber'
The main difference between a saber and a calvalry saber is the length. A cavalry saber is made to cut from a distance away from the horse, and essentially use the horse to aid the cutting movement. While off a horse, a cavalry saber can be unwieldy, unless there is space to hold it with two hands. In which case, you are dealing with a single edged bastard sword.
Is not mystical whatsoever. We will explain later the mysticism of elite forces, and the Katana is no exception. It is a slashing specialised sword meant for one or two hands, with a small hand guard. It is curved, and used almost exclusively on Wushanko. It does carry spiritual significance there, which is why the Bushi, or Samurai, carry it. It is not the best sword, regardless of what people may claim.
The Katana is heavy for it's length, and does not protect the hand as many other curved swords do. It is good for slashing and decent for stabbing, making it a good weapon for unarmed combat.
The Rapier, likewise, is only good for unarmed combat, and the Swedge is not a decent weapon for any form of combat.
The locations armour is on the body can say a lot about a Commander. As an example, the Sicarius are known for wearing metal over the stomach, whereas the Imperial Guard wears it over the upper chest. We usually give our soldiers the choice.
Midnight Xeros once questioned why I wore it on my stomach, when the upper chest had the heart and lung that would kill me instantly. Admittedly, Midnight answered her own question. To cover the lower chest, which in formations will be protected by the pauldrons and shields on the upper body, would mean I would die quickly if I was hit with a lethal force arrow. This is admittedly cutting costs, however, as a full breastplate would be more functional. But as with any woman or warrior, my weight is a concern to me.
The upper body, where Midnight, the Imperial Guard, and many Void Knights find their protective armour is made to prevent a quick death. A shot through the stomach is fatal, but it matters not to a commander in this situation, who is willing to allow their budget-armoured soldiers to die slowly and painfully just to fight on to the end of the battle.
It is safe to say, you do not want to fight an army aware that their stomach is exposed. However, there are other reasons for this that must also be addressed. The first of which being female soldiers and their breast tissue. Heavier, tighter armour is needed to hold it down and out of the way to fight without them getting in the way. Second, would be soldiers on battlements of behind shields will rarely leave their lower torso exposed enough for an arrow to hit it anyway.
Finally, the ribcage is a powerful source of protection as is for the heart and lungs, and many would rather lightly protect what nature gave us and cover the lower chest more.
Why is this discussion relevant? Simple. Armour is the most expensive thing the military will have, aside from perhaps mounts. Helmets are required by far on a battlefield, some form of chest protection, bracers for archers, and some form of padded jacket is by far the cheap alternative to armour that is also, functional enough to survive. The Imperial Guard of Burthorpe uses this equipment, and notably became a model for Asgarnian Military under the early reign of King Varian Grey.
The more valuable the warrior, the more armour they will need. The closer they are to enemy lines, the more armour they will need. Because of this, highly trained knights and heavily muscled halberdiers are the only ones you will see in heavy armour. Infantry, unfortunately, are usually disposable, so only officers among them will have heavy equipment.
Personally, I'm partial to variant of the barbute helmet. It has decent vision, allowing an archer, crossbowman, or infantry soldier to see what is coming. It isn't expensive, and has an open mouth for officers to shout commands through. It is also protective enough for many halberdiers to be safe, though I usually tend to lean more toward the Void Knight Melee style for knights and halberdiers, for their own protection. They are, after all, the ones getting the most dangerously close to the enemy lines.
The more a soldier is worth, the more you want them to have greaves. These protect the lower leg, meaning you don't have crippled veterans to send home. Additionally, they make it harder for war animals, such as dogs, to bite through the greaves.
Essentially, the further from enemy arrows and bolts your soldier is, the less armour they need. In my army, Artillery Engineers are the least armoured within the military, wearing simple gambesons and very open face helmets with no visual restirction.
Finally, is the decision between platelegs, or a longer maille tunic and cheaper leg armour. Essentially, maille in such a form is more protective, but will hinder travel on horseback. If the soldier wearing the longer tunic is anything but cavalry, it works If they are cavalry, rethink your decision.
When it comes to armour material, you want nothing less than mithril for high nobility and royalty, pure steel for minor nobles, officers, and knights, and either bronze or an iron-steel mix for commoners.
On the basis of protection, Mithril is unparalleled for armour. It is light, so more of it could be used for higher protection than steel by far. For cost, it is not anywhere near perfect due to it's rarirty. In a way, Bronze is the same. Hammered Bronze makes for excellent, long-lasting, easily repaired armour. Bronze fell out of common use when, after decades of full suits of armour made of it for all ranks of infantry, it was exhausted by mining methods of the time. Nowadays, Bronze is viable again for those on a budget, especially since it is quickly repaired.
Elite Soldiers earned their way to the "Elite" status. They can earn their way to purchasing the higher quality armour for the uniform.
Shields are beyond vital for any infantry. Shields can be made en masse, and are transferable between multiple people.
There are three general sizes of shields, three notable designs, and three forms of grip.
Buckler sized shields are maneuverable, making them good for light melee situations. They protect the arm well, and can be used well with any sort of grip. This can be made of any material, usually wood, leather, or metal are common.
Infantry sized shields are made to cover the torso. This protects vital organs, and is used for tightly packed shield walls. These are usually wood with a metal rim, for the sake of weight. Leather is sometimes stretched over the wood for added protection, under the boss of the shield,
Tower sized shields are large, made for lighter armoured infantry moving on their own. These are essentially moving barricades.
Round shaped shields are circular, harder to grab with a grappling weapon, and capable of creating an overlapping shield wall. These are also optimal if the lines need to break.
Square shaped shields are square, and can be packed tighter into formations to protect more soldiers without need of an overlap. The surface is curved to make arrows more like to slide between shields and soldiers.
Kite shaped shields have a blunt point near the base, and are often long and tall enough to protect a soldier on the ground. These allow a sturdy barricade, or can protect a knight's back between a cavalry charges.
Vertical gripped shields have a bar going from head to toe. These can be knocked aside with enough force to left or right, but if you overlap them in a shield wall this is null and void.
Horizontal gripped shields have a bar running left to right. They can't be knocked left to right, but can be knocked up and down. On a round shield, this naturally is the same as a vertical grip.
Strapped grip shields are not gripped at all. Instead, they are strapped to the arm, allowing the hand to be free. This puts the shield closer to the body, but for a person enterring combat out of formation is perfect to allow a secondary, smaller weapon to be held in the shield hand. This isn't good if you need to quickly move a shield or need the distance to absorb some of the shock.
Types of Soldier
Scouts are the part of your army spending the least amount of time near camp. Their job is to map the local area, both intended for the march and where camp is set up to find vantage points. For when they are pushed to formation, gear them as you would infantry. However, this is not something you want to do.
Scouts need to be capable of moving quickly, so you don't want to tie them down with more equipment. It's not likely they will fight, so plain clothes suits them outside of camp, usually browns and greens blend well with the forest. Keep them armed with swords. Yes, you heard me right. Swords and daggers are best. With the travel a Scout must make, anything bigger than a sword will hinder their progress.
- Light Cavalry
Though not as common in temperate climates, in the hot climates of the Kharid, Light Cavalry has a very strong use. Light Cavalry are equipped with some sort of large saber, and some form of lance.
The saber is most effective for them, as the natural curve of the blade will push the enemy in it's path away while also slicing through the weaker armour the climate requires.
The lance, ironically, is your anti-armour with light cavalry. As the purpose is to fight in hotter climates where plate is not practical, a lance can punch clean into the maille that your opponent is likely wearing.
Outside of hot climates, Light Cavalry are faster versions of scouts, though not as subtle. These are good for quick runs of communication, especially as messenger birds can be shot down.
For horses, you want a Gelding. Geldings are easier to control and quieter in movement, while also not being willing to fight Stallions they cross paths with.
- Heavy Cavalry
For armour, you want nothing less than steel plate. This is protective, with arrows unable to punch it easily. You need to take into account that if you are charging on a horse at 25 miles per hour, and an arrow travelling easily seven times that, you now have an arrow flying at you eight times as fast as a charging horse.
The plate should be made carefully in the newest design possible. Weaponry, you almost certainly want a lance or pollaxe, followed by a mace or war hammer, and a longsword. Reason being that a hand and a half mace or hammer is easily carriable by horse, so you can afford to take more than two larger weapons with you. Your lance or polearm is the main weapon, for stabbing or smashing respectively.
In the event the polearm breaks, you switch to the shorter hammer or mace, to smash armour in the area.
In the event you are dismounted from the horse, the longsword is a handy tool Knights are trained to use.
By building up heavy amounts of muscle, a Bowman is trained to draw a warbow, which isn't an easy feat. The likes of Ozan show that hunting bows don't require muscle, but a war bow must be drawn to punch armour, not animal skin. The force is strong enough, my own son had issues with it as a child.
Bowmen are expensive to train. They are a long-term investment, and most bowmen are aware of it. Bowmen are best equipped with the classic, yew longbow. This bow has enough force to prove a threat to armour. Bowmen should carry bodkin arrows and broadheads, using bodkins for volleys and broadheads to strike mounts, war beasts, or Magi.
As a sidearm, a saber with a handguard is best for a bowman. I personally find the Falchion functional, due to it's ability to break maille. This is simply because a bowman needs their fingertips uncovered to use a bow.
Armour wise, a bowman should wear a coif, leather sides and metal top, with boiled leather armour. I usually ensure they also have steel bracers on the arm to protect their skin from the bowstring. Bowmen do not need to travel on horse, so having a long padded jacket is beyond useful.
It is surprising I am considering Crossbowmen their own class, as truthfully it is a job Infantry can be trained for. Their main weapon is the steel crossbow, designed to fire bolts, or quarrels, a long distance. It takes a while to wind a crossbow and fire it, but this is more than made up by raw power. Crossbowmen aren't as expensive to train as bowmen, so it is in the best interest to keep them lightly armoured. Either keep them in infantry gear, or give them just a cowl and a gambeson with some boiled leather padding. A battleaxe or mace is a good secondary for them, and usually as crossbowmen are more dispensible, I give them a large shield, a Tower shield, to get closer to enemy lines. The shield makes a cover position, and when you have three or four crossbowmen all united behind a single shield wall, they can continue to fire from a close distance.
Artillery, much like the Knights, is typically a job taken by Nobility. For us, it is often run by Dwarves. For Artillery, you need lightly armoured Engineers capable of building, maintaining, and using various siege weapons. From massive cannons, to ballistae, to catapults and siege towers, your Engineers have a duty to build and take aim.
Artillery Engineers need to be trained in construction, as well as design, and know how to fire a cannon. They will likely be assisted by a small group of Bowmen, Crossbowmen, or Infantry. A team of three can effectively fire a cannon, with one aiming, one loading, and one cleaning the cannon between shots.
As for equipment, Artillery need a fairly open face helmet. and minimal protective gear. Their main job is to survive arrows should they strike, but there are plenty of eyes around your cannons.
Regardless of this, they are also the most effective unit. As a vast majority of soldiers fight with melee for the sake of cost, their armour is weak to Magi. There is already an entire chapter dedicated to Magi, so re-read it.Magi will almost always be of Noble birth, or from expensive merchant families. They have the money to afford their own equipment, so let them use their own equipment. Armour for Magi is not cheap or easily accessible, and these are resources better put into creating your Elite forces.
For weapons, however, you must be sure Magi are armed with a staff. Staves are invaluable as a defensive tool, as well as a casting aid. Earth and Fire Magi are more functional for artillery and utility use, whereas water and wind are best for fighting armoured warriors and aiding fire.
Orbs and wands are optional. But your Magi must be protected. Until they are ready to deploy, keep Halberdiers nearby, toward the back with artillery and Rangers.
How to Model Elite Forces
Elite Forces are the premier soldiers your military will use. These are the warriors who will come back highly decorated, and these are the warriors parents will brag of raising.
Elite forces are elite for a reason. They are trained because they excel above and beyond the norm. However, when you think of armies, from the Worshippers of the Dragonkin, to the Burthorpe Army under the Sicarius, to the Kandarin army under Vectis, even to the Kandarin army under the Leroux, a few things probably spring to mind. The heavy image of a Promethean, clad in Dragonhide and untouched by weapons. Sicarius, coming from nowhere, attacking, and then leaving as a shadow. The Vectori, who through magic and melee were Vectis Vekon's secret police. And the Ironguard, the last defence of the Leroux of Kandarin, as well as the source of pride of Lothair Leroux.
Each Elite force has something to share, and quite honestly, all of them bear qualities worth emulating.
Equipping your Elite Force is not an easy task, as first you must decide what your Elite Force will do. As many will be members of common background, they simply will not have the money to afford high quality armour. The clear solution is to either pay for it out of pocket, or make gathering the funding for the equipment part of the training.
First and foremost, your Elite Forces should have a uniform. Some sort of facial covering is suggested. This, especially when made of metal for protection, causes the enemy to feel sheer horror and believe they are not fighting a Human. This, above all else, shatters enemy morale.
You want high quality material for your Elite Force. If they do not use magic, ensure their armour is not only magic resistant, but safe from arrows or melee weapons.
A good design to follow is that of War Priest Armour, or Elven Armour. By layering dragonleather, the Prometheans did create something similar.
Weaponry should be based on what the Elite is best suited for. Adamant is a heavy weapon-material that is durable and retains an edge, while simultaneously being mystical in cutting power. Mithril is light enough to increase reach dramatically, adding a half a foot to a scimitar for the same maneuverability. For weapons that are shorter or heavier, such as short swords, claws, maces, daggers, spear heads, or war hammers, Adamant is the best high end metal to use. For lighter, faster weapons with more metal, such as axes, longswords, sabers, two-handed swords, or glaives, use Mithril for the sake of weight.
For anything that can be spared with steel, use steel. Just ensure your force's trademark weapon is high in quality.
The training for Elite Forces should be evident from early on. As many armies and militias start training as young as age seven, this is the desired age to start training Elite Forces. Do not discriminate in selection. There are commoners, such as my dear friend Rolf Rosemond, who could fight most Nobles to the death and then continue on with Lunch. Take the healthy, the intelligent, and the skilled to a different location to begin training.
It is for the best to tell the parent of such a child their child is special, and will be raised by the Crown itself. You will become responsible for raising this child, and not just raising them, but raising them healthily. Pay the parents coin, a Fremennik Weregild for their child, if they comply with your demands, detain them if they do not. If they are Nobles, allow them to hear you speak of the fame and glory this could bring their family. Any loyal Noble would comply.
It is most effective to have your elite force, assuming they can be public, also be the King's personal guard. This means the Royal Family will spare no expense in making sure they are trained.
By beginning the training of Prometheans at age seven, and the military at five, the Warrior Culture of the Worshippers had time to train truly heartless warriors. They took humans (mostly) and made them monsters.
Whatever you determine your elite force will do, start ensuring they grow to the best capacity for it as children.
The first form of training these children will learn, is to tolerate pain. You will need to numb their nerves by teaching them to fight in standard clothing. Oversee their training personally in times of peace, or leave one of the Elite Force to do it in war. Ensure the King visits them often.
When they are done tolerating pain, enough that you feel they can be stabbed and keep moving, you need to train them to fight. Teach them to fight in however you plan for them to fight, and nothing else. If you plan on them carrying a spear or halberd, give them a full size spear and halberd and make sure they grow accustomed to the weight. Ensure they know every position, every stance, every technique.
Turn them toward the Faith of your Monarch. This will unify them, as well as invoke Divine Right.
When they are skilled in the weapons you have given them, you need to ensure they are toned. Keep them in top physical shape, give them high quality food, and begin instructing them on Court Etiquette.
Train them to carry armour, run in armour, and sleep in armour. Train them in maintaining their equipment.
Finally, allow their parents to see their child, and what they have become. This act of reuniting the parent and child will invigorate both.
Should a child fail training, and prove inadaquete for the Elite Force, move them toward the standard army. Do not waste your investment.
- How Others Should View your Elites
Quite honestly, you want them to be afraid of your Elite Soldiers as much as possible. You want them to fear the Elites as the hammer of the King's justice. If your enemy does not fear your Elites, there is a simple way to shock their morale.
Send the Elites, initially, only into fights you are sure they can win. This will give them a reputation as unbeatable. Let myth start to spread of their power.
With the Sicarius, the Sicarius Daggerman was not difficult to dispatch. I say this from my own experience dealing with them, and having beat a few myself well aware there are greater fighters than I. However, the Sicarius made themselves a reputation of being unkillable, capable of fighting off five men at a time, merciless, and disappearing into the shadows from where they came. The Sicarius' presence, decades ago when they were actively engaged with Gielinor, made many people shit their britches.
This is entirely what you want. The more afraid of your Elite forces the enemy is, the more often the presence of them will shatter enemy morale. And the greater it will rally your own soldiers.
This isn't just for dark, merciless Elites either. If you are more inclined to inspire the populace, which is likely a good suggestion, have you Elite Forces embody your God, or the King. This will give them an air of divinity and nobility that the populace will respect. Not only that, but in turn the populace will not fear your Elites, lest they seek to oppose them.
Formations are vital to every military tactic imagineable. Some are more key than others, however, and many have proven useful to other militaries throughout the History of Gielinor.
There are some that have proven especially useful to commanders who favour variation.
Infantry, Cavalry, and Halberdiers
- The Horns of Guthix
The point of the Horns Formation, is to make use of a design as balanced as Guthix himself. You split the Infantry and cavalry into smaller groups, putting the heavier armoured of both in the center, and the faster ones to the outside. The faster ones will work to act as horns, surrounding the enemy with a single escape route so they can retreat. Half of the soldiers in this formation, are freshly waiting reserves ready to resupply any of the three sections, either horns or head, if they are especially battered.
- The Guardian Juna's Trap
With the Trap formation, you form up as if prepared for a phalanx, but keep the weaker soldiers in the center. Many soldiers will fail to notice that the soldiers are retreating faster than the left or right, pushing the enemy right into subtle horns. When they are surrounded, you can kill them much quicker, or force them into a faster retreat.
- The Guardian Cres's Shield
The Classical living fortress, this is otherwise known as the Phalanx. This is perfect to seal a bottleneck pass, and makes use of the strongest soldiers being in the front. Cavalry can either fly outward as wings and attack the enemy from the rear, or carry out reconnaissance while the enemy is distracted with the pass. Arrows fly from behind the phalanx, over the sturdy shield walls and into enemy forced on their way to the Phalanx.
- The Guardian Valluta's Armour
The Valluta formation involves something similar to the Phalanx, but rather than put shields back to back, square shields are put over head to prevent aerial strikes of light magic or arrows. The Soldiers advance, spears outward to stab. The Sides are protected either naturally, with auxillery shield walls, or by the Cavalry.
Archers will find the Valluta formation moving forward, has no place for them. This gives them a brief period to rest, or maintain fire against the enemy from a distance.
- The Guardian Fiara's Fist
This formation makes use of shield walls extensively. When the enemy line breaks away from a shield wall, allow it to open, just fast enough for a rush of Cavalry or Berserker-Halberdiers to charge out. With their moving through the shield wall, this would be an unexpected surprise of further heavy melee fighters lashing out.
When the Berserkers have to leave the battlefield, the shield wall will lock their shields again, and hold steady as the Cavalry or Halberdiers prepare for another strike.
- The Fire Wall
Known for their Brutality, the Worshippers made use of fire lines, maintained by a single mage that acted as a defense for rangers. Rangers would light their arrows in the fire, aware no melee soldiers would get close to the line as long as it had fire in front of it. These flaming arrows are terrifying to the enemy, and will cause chaos in their ranks.
- The Druid's Wall
By attaching branches to tower shields, rangers move through the woods, planting them down into a barrier. Shots are then fired from the shields, which offer enough space to crouch and reload a crossbow.
As chaos is sewn into enemy ranks from the sudden volleys, it is easily followed through with a cavalry charge.
- The Guardian Death's Hounds
This strategy is best embraced with Summoners who have summoned Spirit Wolves, or just dogs of war. The people controlling the Hounds or Wolves force the dogs foreward. The Archers, Rangers, and Magi then fire repeated volleys, far overhead. The Enemy will be forced to raise their shields over their heads or take the arrows and spellfire to the head and shoulders. The Dogs then strike the front lines of the Shield Wall, ripping the lines down. The Spirit Wolves' howl will also, disrupt the ability of the line to maintain morale.
Cavalry will then storm after any who break formation, while the Archers prepare a second volley.
Lighting the arrows on fire is optional, but very much preffered at night to make them more noticeable.
Buildings, and the machines to destroy them both must be a work of engineering.
Permanent Structures (Stone)
Building walls that are perfect for defense is not easy, as there truly isn't such a thing.
Rather than describe the perfect scenario, where the walls are fifty feet of stone and twenty feet thick (not possible, unless it is Keldagrim or Priffdinas in question) we will use the architectural designs of buildings across the Human Realm, as examples of good construction.
Castles for royalty have far more money to spend, especially well established, centuries long Dynasties. Since the Age of the Usurpers, there are rarely families in a position of power for a few decades, let alone a few centuries. As a result, the money needed to build a towering fortress is simply non-existant.
for Nobility, it can be possible to build a small keep of similar style to these designs.
Varrock, overall, has thick walls that archers can be both on top of and within. It can withstand cannonfire on the outside, which has the shortest, thickest walls. The Castle's walls, are thinner but taller, easily mounted by archers. This advantage of height is not to be underestimated. In fact, just the opposite. Varrock takes it a step forward by having the wall marking Castle grounds, not be that of the castle. The Castle's structural walls are also thick, and fully defensible from within. Varrock, as a result, has a series of open fields with height advantage and no need to leave. As you learned from the section on Terrain, this ensures that the defenders will always have the ability to indiscriminately shoot arrows and launch magic from above to below.
These series of walls make the thought of climbing into Varrock more than just horrifying, it makes it crazy. Varrock however, has no source of water to stop siege towers, leaving it open to crossing.
Ardougne as a city has only a single wall, and that's to keep the sick and poor of West Ardougne away from East Ardougne's finery. There is a river, but no moat to the castle. This means an attack from the North or South can reach the castle with ease, in fact, attacks from the North can happen vary quickly by floating down the river. The impressive thing with Ardougne Castle, is that it sports the thickest walls of any other human building, and the strongest gate. But when a siege tower can roll right up, does it matter how high the walls are, or how thick? It doesn't. It just makes it that much easier to strike at the building.
Falador has some of the strongest defences of the cities, for a very simple reason. It has a moat, and this moat is deep and wide. The walls near the moat are too steep to climb, and from within the moat it is impossible to fire a weapon to climb up. If Falador's Knights could store food for a long period of time, which they can, it is possible to destroy the bridge and leave the Castle almost impossible to capture. Any smart warrior would recognise the situation following as either a fight to the death, or a fight to stop reinforcements.
Burthorpe Castle is the last I will write of. It lacks a moat, and it lacks large walls. But, The city walls of Taverthorpe, the perilous cliffs of the Trollheim mountain chain, and the sturdy gate by the Warrior's Guild make the building well defended by Nature. The Castle, is then built on higher land, with steep cliffs to stop people from being able to climb it easily. With the South only truly accessible to Infantry, and then having to march through to Burthorpe, the city is a death trap to any seeking to invade it from outside Taverthorpe itself. You would need living Artillery to stand a chance, which the trolls unfortunately are.
The best defences of all of these are a deep, wide moat, an ability to cut connection to the inside of the building, a high elevation of the castle, natural defences, thick walls, and multiple walls.
These were what I had in mind, when we designed the new Ironwall Keep for the Renderra. The natural position at Sea means that soldiers would have to dock. The walls being against the sea leave no space to do so. The outer walls are thick enough to withstand ocean based cannonfire, and high enough to stop a storm surge. Without towers, it is hard to scale the walls. Even more so during rain when visibility is low. The natural coral and magically raised rocks around the Archipelago also mean that the only way through, is Port Tyrion. Port Tyrion itself would need to be captured, giving plenty of warning to Ironwall to remove the dock.
With Ironwall's fields between walls used for animal grazing and food growth, we can withstand a siege comfortably. It would take a God, or a heavy change in technology, to crack open Ironwall easily. Perhaps the most important thing is the cost. Ironwall doesn't have walls as thick as Varrock's, or even Falador's. It's moat has a natural ability to cross, but no place to land. By being smart and finding ways to cut costs as effectively as possible, Ironwall gives defenses as great as any Royal Palace, for much less cost overall.
Temporary Structures (Wood)
When you build with stone, it takes time and effort to carve each stone to the right size and shape, then move it into place. When you build with wood, a wall can be raised in about three days. But this wall can be destroyed in hours.
Goblin Village is the longest-built Temporary Structure on Gielinor. A few catapult shots and the village crashes down. The next closest is the Ranger's Guild. While sturdier, it could still be burned down in a day with the right supplies.
Clearly, wood has it's advantages. Especially when a trained army is watching it. Wooden barricades are still better than having cannonfire in your tents. Your soldiers have axes and knives for a reason. With some rope and some trees, you can build some walls in a few days to defend a vantage point. Until the walls are raised heavy wagons in a perimeter, right up against eachother, is also effective for defence. This style, called a "Laager" or Wagon-Fort by the Fremennik Rune-Crusaders, is a sturdy fortress that will break cavalry and infantry alike, while using the aupply wagons naturally used to carry food, water, and other equipment for the camp.
Siege Equipment (Wood)
Siege towers, battering rams, catapults, and other heavy siege equipment are going to take a while to build, and are simply too big to carry. Notably, Al Kharid's lack of trees means building said equipment near it is also impractical to account for.
Siege Towers are the most important structure for capturing a defended city by force. Anyone who has built them and brought them has been planning battle for a while. From a Siege tower, as many as 20 soldiers of Infantry and Bowmen classes can be ready to break onto the walls, forming small shield walls as more soldiers climb up the tower.
Second most vital, is ladders. If a city is not well defended, a large ladder can let a few soldiers inside to raise the gate and allow the army to march directly in.
Battering rams are vital for when the gate is impractical to open. Ramming the door enough times will eventually break wood. And yes, only wood will be used for a gate. Stone and metal are too heavy. The porticullis needs to be broken open by heavy denting, or by cutting holes into it with saws. A heavy battering ram can be effective in this.
Catapults and Ballistae should be your last resort to attack a city. This means you will need to repair the walls later, or risk being attacked yourself. This costs time and money that is not worth time in the long-run.
Overall, when attacking a city, you want to use Ladders, Siege Towers, Battering Rams, then Projectile artillery. When defending a city, or a position, these projectile weapons are beyond valuable.
Catapults can destroy enemy siege towers, or battering rams. Ballistae can shoot down any soldier imaginable in a single action, aside from maybe Ogres, large Trolls, and Mahjarrat. Not that Mahjarrat often involve themselves in Human Wars, but it would not kill one regardless.
Note: This section does not go to the Aethyrmont Academy, and is for strict view by Renderra alone. Character bias is very much, present. However, Natalie does attempt to remain honest.
The following is a brief overview of various military forces Zarin, Driez and myself have encountered. Some of these come from many second-hand accounts, but I will trust the sources of these for the sake of arguement and knowledge.
Warriors of the Gods are driven with a unique zeal that separates them from other military forces. These armies are noted not only for a fierce zealotry to their Deity of choice, but for a deeper connection to eachother because of it.
Allegiances: Armadyl, Themselves
Discipline : 7/10
Equipment: Mostly lighter weight armour, meant for attacks from above. Many Rangers employed, less dependence on Melee fighters and more on surprise attacks.
Armadyleans have proven themselves quick to act and loyal to Armadyl over the many years since Armadyl left Gielinor. As their followers dwindled among humans, Armadyl's forces adapted to fight without them. Aviansie, now proven not to be extinct, all have their own sub-species that are built for different tasks. Armadyl's personal army can do severe damage to existing castles. It is fortunate we are not planning to go to war with them.
Armadyl's forces are mostly within Armadyl's own army, though some Kings from Sennis Grey to Alexander Aerendyl are known for being openly and flamboyantly Armadylean.
Allegiances: Bandos, Themselves
Equipment: Depending on the group in question, poor to high quality. Variations are common, and many Goblins care little for maintenance.
Bandosians are an army organized by Bandos so well that no Goblin could be foolish enough to ruin it. Each race in Bandosian ranks has a purpose to carry out, and they do it effectively. They are blindly loyal to Bandos, though are not known to listen to officers easily. Regardless, if Bandos managed to organize more than just Goblins, Ogres, and humans to fight Armadyl in time, there is no doubt in my mind he would have had the resources to win.
The Chosen Battalion is an ever-present threat to the works of a peaceful Asgarnia, which is functional beyond belief for a family trying to build up their own claims for a Kingdom.
- Crux Eqal
Allegiances: Guthix, Balance
Equipment: Various poisons, summoning tools, magic, and other hidden weaponry.
The Crux Eqal is an organization so secretive, only those who the Crux Eqal want to know of their existence will know. They are allies, as we both maintain loyalty to Guthix.
The Crux Eqal will carry out assassinations to keep the global balance in check. Recently, however, they have lost every major conflict they have entered from the arrest of Lucien, to the Death of Guthix. They have not resurfaced publicly in a while, which is disappointing to say the least.
- Death's Horsemen
Allegiances: Harold E. Death Esquire, and Death
Equipment: Shards of Death's Scythe.
The Horsemen of Death are scantily mentioned in any source of information. The only available information to be found is that Death does, in fact, have a small following who carry out the purpose of reaping monster's souls, and aid in maintaining the balance of life and death. They travel realms unseen to human eyes, quickly gathering souls. In addition, Slayers work under service to Death to kill especially powerful monsters that have started to defy the laws of Nature.
It is unheard of any of such beings turning against Death, or failing to carry out orders. These are truly the most elite force on Gielinor, who care only for their own job in the balance.
- Enlightened Order of the Crown Archival
Allegiances: Saradomin, Human Supremacy, Anti-Diversity.
Equipment: Heavily armed. Mithril weapons common, as are magic and ranged. Hybrid armour is also popular. Amulets, similar to the Renderra one, to teleport to an underground base.
It is safe to say the Enlightened Order of the Crown Archival is the worst enemy the Ravens have fought to date. By every measure, the Order is a terrorist organization. Though, they likely viewed us as the same. They have a harsh, extreme stance of HAM added to the mantra against non-traditional couples, something that none of the Order of the Raven enjoyed.
With battles pulling back and forth, we managed to cut them from their allies. They are no longer a threat, as a leadership change removing Alim Abdul'Qadir left them in the hands of his mentally unstable son. Losing direction, we have time to build ourselves stronger before they come again.
It is safe to say if Alim was not taken out of power when he was, we would still be at odds with eachother. They are like looking into a mirror of our Order of the Raven, an example of what any extremism would cause.
- Godless Faction
Allegiances: Anyone against the Gods.
Equipment: Often cheap, budget material and scavanged armour.
The Godless are a ragtag resistance fighting against the Gods on Gielinor. They are not exceptionally well armed, nor are they well organized in their early stages. As time moves on this may change, but for now it is wise not to hold high expectations of them.
In the future, they could prove to be useful allies. But for now, we do not need to risk being dragged into a battle while we, ourselves, are building to become stronger. Beyond this as well is the risk of what will happen if lesser Gods who do not harm Gielinor, such as the Fremennik Hero V, Brassica Prime, or the God of Death Icthlarin fall into the crossfire.
- Temple Knights
Equipment: Varies. Some wear heavy, ornate white plate as Shock Troopers. Others will be equipped to be heavy Rangers, the notorious Sentries of Saradomin. Undeniably, however, Temple Knights do not often use magic as they have Wizards to make tools instead for use.
Temple Knights are undoubtably loyal, have a will that cannot shatter, and serve only Saradomin. The Temple Knights are rarely troubled as to whether their actions are for the Greater Good or not, so long as Saradomin benefits, it is the Greater Good.
Their covert qualities and equipment were the basis for the Lixeiro and Vixiante Ravens, upon the realization as time moved forward that Hayley Spears would not be able to bend the rules for our family forever due to past aid.
- Undead Hordes
Equipment: Varies, usually very little if any.
Undead Hordes are undoubtedly loyal, but also undoubtedly lacking in intelligence. With so many skeletons to order at once, whatever animated the Horde cannot focus on everything at once to focus on individuals. Skeletons and Zombies alike will lack intelligence in a quickly changing battlefield, and often are wearing what they had when they were animated, typically very little.
Undead Hordes are a must to kill. Their very presence upsets the careful balance of life and death. Regardless of their loyalty, undead are not strong and are easily dispatched with strategy.
- Void Knights
Allegiances: Guthix, Balance
Equipment: Hybrid style armour that is made for heavy offense rather than protection.
The Void Knights are Warrior Druids, who act in the name of Guthix to defend Gielinor from foreign invasion. Their training is beyond grueling, taking over a decade to complete, with many Void Knights aware their lives are on the line to keep Pests from coming through the Portals. The Void Knights are disappointingly, specialized for their goal of fighting Pests today, but many attempts have been made to turn them to the God Wars. It is believed that they are still considering joining the fray or not.
The Void Knights and Renderra share loyalty to Guthix and Balance. Though they are very focused on their cause, we maintain good relations through Renderra who have become Void Knights, and through services in crafting some tools such as their maces and squire equipment as donations.
National and Provincal Military Groups
- The Imperial Guard of Burthorpe
Equipment: Budget, but effective armour. Would not hold up against heavily armoured soldiers.
The Imperial Guard had a primary duty in fighting off the Trolls that attacked Burthorpe, though now the Trolls have been pushed back with the death of Bandos and merely patrol the Taverthorpe region. Their newer armour design was copied and reused for guards and infantry across Asgarnia, and under the Irongrey of Port Tyrion, the style has been repeated to feel closer to home for the Nobility under Jean and Diana Irongrey.
The Imperial Guard are overall a fairly average military force.
- Kinshra Knights
Allegiances: Zamorak, "Greater Chaos," Themselves
Equipment: Black coloured, high quality steel armour. Usually worn in full style. Some even more advanced versions have been produced and seen, which we know as "Elite" armour.
The Kinshra are known for their ferocity and unrulyness. Many of them plan to kill others in leadership, still more believe Kinshra are inherently evil and will disobey orders to slaughter people. As a Chivalric Order, the Kinshra are the opposite of the White Knights in just about every way.
We are fortunate, as the Kinshra mostly squabble with the White Knights. By being far from both, we will avoid conflicts with either.
- Order of the Raven
Allegiances: Renderra, Aethyric Druidism, Cultural Preservation, Freedom
Equipment: Hybrid armour designed for lightweight, or heavy situations. Combining medium tier ingredients of various rarity to balance armour without cost to ability of the wearer. Custom, off-grid commorb for short range purposes.
The Order of the Raven is, quite honestly, my child. My father named it after the Raven of the Abdul'Qadir, originally intending to shift it toward the Zarosian Cult. However, he had a change of heart when Drazker Vekon IV changed these plans dramatically.
From then on, the Order of the Raven was a dedicated, Balance oriented organization. It draws upon all my father and I have studied, from the Sicarius, to the Vekon, the Marcato, the Abdul'Qadir, the Ancient Arrenda, and the Void Knights to draw the basis. With time and a pact, sworn at the Soulwood Tree, the Frostshield, Hiroto, and Shawsheen cultures all left an impact as well.
The Order of the Raven isn't made to be a cohesive military. They are made to boast power in the individual, the idea that small groups of powerful people can change the world. Through communication, cultural empowerment, and a devotion to nature and balance, we now accept the other version of the Raven, as a silent sentinel watching over all.
- United Elven Clan Military
Allegiances: Seren, Elven Clan Leaders, notably Iorwerth and Cadarn.
Equipment: Crystal Armour and Weapons. Notably Longbows, Staves, Daggers, Halberds, and various types of shield. Leather and metal may not be as common, but are used.
As Seren as been uninvolved in the current wars, the Military of the Elven lands will be considered a part of Priffdinas, and not Seren's army.
Elves are the chosen people of Seren, and from my own direct experience with them, they are given the extended lifespan to prove it. Elves are not as numerous as Humans or Goblins, but they are undeniably elite.
Members of the Iorwerth, who led in a civil war against the other seven Elven clans proved this with the raw military backbone of their army, holding out the war single-handed from within Priffdinas. The Iorwerth adapted their own Scouts, short range daggermen trained in assassinations and navigation of the dense Elven Lands. Some Iorweth learned to use a bow, with great success. The majority, however, make use of the Crystal Halberd, a weapon with decent reach and proof of success. Quite simply, Elves do not have "Light" infantry. Their force is all Elite, Heavy Infantry barring the Scouts.
Members of the Cadarn are Magi and Bowmen of unparalled caliber. Trained in the mighty crystal bow, strange, disk-like throwing weapons, crystal wands, orbs, and staves, the Cadarn fight from a distince, making the other half of the raw military of the Elves.
This is of course, underplaying the fact they have capable artillery, medics, healers, and weapon crafters at quick hand since the uniting of the clans. We are fortunate that the resentment between the Cadarn and Iorwerth will keep them from being a cohesive military for the near future, but Seren's return could easily change this.
- White Knights
Allegiances: Saradomin, Falador, "Greater Good"
Equipment: Typically white coloured, advanced Steel armour.
The White Knights are some of Saradomin's Elite, at least to the Public. They comprise the open group of the Temple Knights, and easily organize themselves in an orderly fashion. Faith drives them to do so, and many of them will not break oaths of chivalry, even under pressure. White Knights are chastise by tradition, though some recent periods have seen this waived, but are easily ready to jump to Saradomin's aid.
The White Knights are one of the largest political bodies in Asgarnia, and are a pain to deal with if you are not Saradominist. Guthix forbid the Taverleians want rights as Asgarnians in the capital. It's no surprise many in Taverthorpe have distanced themselves from Falador in recent years.
- The Ironguard
Allegiances: The Leroux
Equipment: High quality, high craft "Iron" (More accurately a sort of Steel) Armour. Cheap, and effective.
The Ironguard were created by the Leroux in response to the high expenditures of the Vekon. Lothair Leroux, and many of his smiths, (of which a Renderra was among) crafted a signature design of high quality Iron that was worth the cost of using. The Ironguard were horrifying to fight, because they were fiercely loyal and unwilling to surrounder, even when outnumbered fifteen to one. One Ironguard member had fought ten men at once so the rest could retreat to Ardougne from the Battle of Witchaven.
Beyond this, the Ironguard were not special due to their equipment, from outer appearances. They were special because they truly fought to the top. Higher ranking Ironguard, such as Lothair Leroux, could go toe to toe with Promethean Overseers such as Ataleus of Misthalin. The Ironguard eventually, independently made a far higher ranking set of armour that was made from greater materials, a hybrid form similar to that of Raven Pesado. As close allies, this was very much appreciated and admired.
- The Longclaws
Allegiances: Anyone against the Sicarius, Themselves
Equipment: Mithril Armour of varying amounts.
The Longclaws were a group dedicated to the removal of the Sicarius, due to personal vendettas between the leader of the Longclaws, and Rai Sicarius. What exactly occured is unknown to me, but it is enough that the Longclaws swear an oath to kill Sicarius. Their heavier model of plate armour is in stark contrast to the Sicarius, and their unity in their goals and movements is awe-striking.
The Longclaws have one notable secret. Many of their higher ranking members are Werewolves, and will fight to full ability as such. Though they claim to uphold values of truth and honesty, they've been witnessed to turn on a dime against people when it benefits them, as much as many other mercenaries. They are also easily labelled incompetent in Leadership, as I cannot recall an occurrence of them winning a battle against the Sicarius, and distinctly remember hearing they left Falador castle, to attack Falador Castle rather than do it from within.
Overall, they are not trustworthy, nor any better than the Sicarius. At least the Sicarius know they are evil. With the Sicarius' mark faded from all members, the family had eventually disbanded. The Longclaws without a cause faded into obscurity, believed to have dissolved.
- The Order of the Iron Star
Allegiances: Renderra, Guthix, Greater Good
Equipment: Steel and Leather, often accompanied with cloth. Cheap but functional.
The Order of the Iron Star was founded by Aethyric Druids of the Renderra Family, to act a Warrior branch of the family. The Warrior culture of the days of Tyrion Renderra and before was concentrated within the Iron Star, who maintain a primary presence of helping the weak, defending the populace of Renderra lands, and acting for the greater balance of the world by creating more Good within it.
The Iron Star, is not perfect however. The Iron Star is prone to many flaws of not knowing when to stop fighting, due to the culture of the society. Even as Knights, they are eager to prove themselves as Heroes. It is a major reason why the eager energy needed to be directed elsewhere, in a way that would not shatter the discipline of the army, yet still reward the Eager. With this system now in place, the Iron Star are far more efficient and prove themselves a strong asset to the Renderra.
- The Sicarius
Allegiances: Themselves, more often, nobody.
Equipment: Heavy plate armour on the chest and arms, daggers primary weapon, followed by swords, maces, halberds, and a long confusing robe and cloak. Rare occasions of helmets. Hoods and cowls far more common. Some recent cases show heavier armour, of Fremennik design.
The Sicarius are easily one of the most feared groups of people to touch Gielinor. With their daggers, they shifted Gielinor's political climate near the beginning of the Age of Usurpers. Insane, and only held together by a magical mark, the Sicarius had little comradery in their time on Gielinor, with plagues of infighting only halted when Kel Sicarius, the ruler most associated with them, intervened. They had little in the form of a uniform, sticking mostly to colours and embracing "whatever worked" on top of the dagger.
Wealthy, feared, and ruthless are all words that describe the Sicarius, and from my own personal encounters with them and surviving, much of it is hype. Many Sicarius, especially in lower ranks, can easily be dispatched. The higher ranks, with better equipment and the threat of pain through their cursed tattoo, known as "The Mark" undoubtedly won every occasion they would fight in.
Ironically, the Sicarius held themselves to a standard of refusing monetary payment to kill. The only way to pay them was in nobility, if they were even seeking it. More often than not they killed for pleasure and their own agenda.
- The Worshippers of the Dragonkin - Main Force
Allegiances: The Kronesian
Equipment: Any. Many Worshippers of the main army fought with whatever they could find, make, or scavenge.
The Worshippers of the Dragonkin, being highly complex, need to be broken into three groups. The Main Army, is as wild as the land they come from. While able to hold a formation, many of the lower ranking Worshippers acted of their own accord. They were poorly equipped, though had a powerful kinship with other Worshippers through a hardcore belief of faith. Bands of Worshippers moving on their own could easily be confused as Bandits. Together, in large groups, however, the Worshippers were a force to be reckoned with.
- The Worshippers of the Dragonkin - Prometheans
Allegiances: The Kronesian, the Head Promethean, the Gaiaximus
Equipment: Trademark helmet of steel, dragonbone, and corrupted, shattered dragon metal. Dragonhide and occasional metal armour, made to suit the wearer. Many were heavy, some were lightweight. High quality metal.
Trained from before they hit puberty, Worshipper Prometheans were raised in a society that would foster loyalty and trust amongst eachother in battle, even as they competed to prove superiority for rankings. Prometheans bowed to none, except their Gaiaximus-King, Kronesian-General, and Promethean Commander. Prometheans were bred and born for battle, the harshest qualities of the Wilderness coming from them.
From what both Zarin, myself, and Prathos have seen, Prometheans carry an inhuman air about them. Their helmets never come off except to eat in private. Their armour showed their Draconic kills, a mark of pride among them. Some Prometheans are believed to be invincible by legend, unkillable even, whereas others are hailed as tactical geniuses, or raw physical engines of destruction. Prometheans who grow too old are honourably discharged, and often sent to high ranking positions in the standard military. Many more, however, complete crazed feats of zealotry and die to protect the Worshipper Military. There is a cited example of a Promethean taking an explosion that left nothing but his helmet, to save a strike force of Worshippers in the battle of Lumbridge Swamps.
Overall, Prometheans are horrifying, but do have a code of honour they follow.
- The Worshippers of the Dragonkin - Religious Warriors
Allegiances: The Dragonkin, the Gaiaximus
Equipment: Mostly medium quality gear, steels and leathers. Higher ranks may wear some dragonhide. Facial covering is common.
The Worshippers of the Dragonkin are already known for their Religion. Their Religious Warriors, turn even more zealous. Lacking a code of honour, they are told to spread the faith of the Dragonkin by swordpoint to people. Their other, lesser known job, is to recover Dragonkin relics, from effigies to weaponry. It was the ferocity of searching that brought the Worshippers a couple dozen different Dragon weapons.
Many of the Religious warriors use lighter melee weapons, some fire magic, and ranged attacks. They are a force to be reckoned with, some of their strongest proving to be more powerful than even some Prometheans. Above all else, it gives me relief to know the Worshippers could not return without a strong religious base, which was entirely shattered in the Civil War.