Conquest: Previews und Malvideo
Para Bellum zeigen neue Bilder für Conquest und Army Painter malen lila.
Observing the history of the Hundred Kingdoms and their nobles, it is perhaps no surprise that the vast majority of their houses have strong military traditions. When the Long Winter receded and humanity ventured far from the shores of the Bitter Sea, the Orders were stretched too thin to control the nobility. Soon, the paradigm of ‘might is right’ resurfaced among both aspiring and established rulers. To command swords became a matter of survival, to command them effectively promised a long rule and conquest. While the legitimacy of the Divine Right of Kings offered by the Theist Church has swayed many, the old nobility knows that power flows from the edge of the blade.
To this day, the training of a noble’s heirs in all matters military is not just tradition, but standard practice. The source of a noble’s education may vary vastly from one to another and, while theory and strategy are essential parts of their education, this is no pampered or abstract training. Many a present noble lord was once a squire, no different than any other, having spent hours taking care of their sponsor’s horse and equipment and earning their knighthood by blooding their blade. For those whose connections or wealth allow it, this is substituted by years of service as cadets in one of the Imperial Military Academies of Argem, where they undergo vigorous physical training, while also receiving the best possible education on matters of strategy, siege warfare and military logistics.
Whatever the specifics, few question that many a noble’s right to command does not derive simply from the blood coursing through their veins. The prestigious martial tradition of the Hundred Kingdoms demands leaders whose men believe in, whose training and experience foster confidence and whose skill demands admiration. A Noble Lord who issues orders can reasonably expect his men to storm the battlement, one that leads from the front knows his men would brave the gates of hell.
“We’re not some Geronese mercenary filth here, lad. We don’t make coin out of death, we don’t loot the dead or plunder. We are professionals. Seamstresses make clothes, blacksmiths make weapons and tools, carpenters make furniture. We are men-at-arms and our craft is war.”
The bulk of the armed forces in the Hundred Kingdoms today is composed of well-equipped, professional soldiers called men-at-arms. In the early days of the Hundred Kingdoms these men were referred to as sergeants-at-arms and were beholden to their feudal lords. They were granted plots of land in exchange for their services, most commonly as a soldier in the lord’s retinue. This privileged positions allowed them not only to secure quality arms and armor, but also to train in the use of the sword, a weapon hitherto limited to the nobility. This led to the creation of a landed elite, the gentry, whose standing was higher than that the freedmen enjoyed, but still below that of the nobility. These were the soldiers with which Charles Armatellum established his empire.
As time wore on and the Hundred Kingdoms prospered, this old fashioned feudal service was slowly abandoned. The sergeants were tied to their land and the growing military needs of the empire could no longer be met by men who could not travel or establish long term garrisons, because they needed to tend to their fields. Scutage, payment to one’s lord in lieu of military service, became a norm and professional soldiers who fought for coin quickly emerged to fill the void. The old, landed gentry sought to differentiate themselves from these new arrivals and coined the term men-at-arms.
Freed from the need to work and protect their land, men at arms were able to focus exclusively on their martial pursuits, allowing them to march on extended campaigns and travel in search of employment, ensuring that sufficient trained men were available to all commanders with the coin to spend in securing their services. While ranging from ragtag mercenary companies to the well trained and drilled household forces of the major noble houses, constant warfare weeds out the incompetent and duplicitous, making the men-at-arms the backbone of the Hundred Kingdoms war machine.
“Forget their training. Forget their armor, their weapons and the fact your best were trained by their worst. Just remember one thing, dear cousin; when the Steel Legion moves, Kings fall.”
– Duke Anghelus, now King Anghelus I of Munlin
Upon the death of Otto IV, there were six Imperial legions in the field: the Gilded Legion, the Legion of Steel, the Adamantine Legion, the Legion of Ash, the Legion of Smoke and the Argent Legion. In the chaos that followed, all but two of these were disbanded by order of the Imperial Conclave. The only remnants left today of these once mighty institutions are the War Colleges in Argem.
The survival of the Gilded Legion was ensured by their critical role in safeguarding the sovereignty and independence of the Imperial Mint. The Steel Legion, on the other hand, survived by the simple expedient of refusing to disband. They pitched camp within the Klaean Fields of Argem and issued an ultimatum: they answered only to the Emperor. Until an Emperor sat on the Hollow Throne once more, they would serve the Empire. Despite the threats and condemnations by members of the Conclave, none were foolish enough to challenge their position. Before things could escalate, the Conclave agreed to establish the Office of the Imperial Chamberlain and the Steel Legion has since guaranteed the sanctity of Argem, the Imperial Capital, and the Office of the Imperial Chamberlain.
The Steel Legion is one of the oldest fighting forces in the Tellian Empire. Taking its name from the storied legions of the old Dominion and tracing its origins to the very first professional armies the Emperor fielded, only the Orders can claim a more storied or glorious past. When the Steel Legion took upon themselves the role of custodians of the Empire and guarantors of the Chamberlain, they forsook their traditional weaponry and armed themselves with great swords, traditionally the ceremonial weapon of the Adamantine Legion, the Emperors now defunct bodyguard. With this act, the Steel Legion became the last surviving link between the glorious military history of the Armatellum dynasty and the Hundred Kingdoms today.
In the absence of an Emperor, the Steel Legion is the single most prosperous and powerful mercenary company in the Empire. They sell their services widely, but only to those families that are waging war outside the Empire or who have a casus belli recognized by the Imperial Conclave. Their wealth is supplemented by a standing contract with the office of the Imperial Chamberlain to protect Argem from all aggressors. The nobles view this contract as little more than artifice, a mechanism for the Office of the Chamberlain to support one of the strongest and staunchest allies of the Imperial mandate behind a veneer of neutrality. To this day, no Noble House has been willing to directly challenge the Steel Legion on these, or any other, grounds.
Und dann ist da noch das Video hier:
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