The military of Anquar is often referred to as the "Black Guard" because of the black iron metal of their armor, black cloaks, black boots and so forth. Even their blades are forged of black iron.
There are several different categories of soldiers that fight in the Black Guard. The common footsoldiers are often referred to as "Troopers". Some of them are placed in command of small 10 man units and these are known as "Enforcers". Those who show great skill and brutality are made bigger and stronger through some dark magic and given specialized weapons and very heavy armor. These brutes are called "Juggernauts". Some who show speed, accuracy and finesse undergo special wilderness training. They are given very specialized equipment, including arcane arrows and magic cloaks. They become "Stalkers". And finally, a rare few are trained at the Tower of High Wizardry and learn magic. Their training program incorporates extreme mental disciplane, brutal martial training, secretive spell lore and powerful enchanted items. These men become what are known as "Infernal Knights". Ruling above all other ranks are the notorious "Dread Lords". Each Dread Lord commands a legion of 1,500 men. The Dread Lords answer to the Lord Marshall, the supreme military commander.
Besides these five types of soldiers, the Black Guard is supported by a vast group of squires, servants, administrators and other support personnel.
Although the Black Guard serves and patrols the entire kingdom and has numerous small forts, their main fortress is the Black Tower in the capital city of Ipotal.
The Troopers are the common footsoldiers of the Kingdom. Most train with chainmail, sword and shield, although some are equiped with bows and trained in archery.
The Enforcers are troopers promoted in rank to command 10 man units. They wear chest plates over chain and wield a long sword and shield. They have plumes on the helmets to distinguish themselves from common troopers.
Those troopers that exhibit particular physical strength and/or brutality are magically enhanced. After the procedure, they are larger and stronger than they were before. Most juggernauts stand more than 2 meters tall and weight more than 125 kg. Juggernauts were half plate armor and wield war hammers. In addition, they have a two shot heavy crossbow and 20 bolts. They typically will begin any combat by firing both bolts from their crossbow at range before dropping the crossbow and closing to melee range with the hammer.
Stalkers receive advanced training in stealth, trickery, camoflauge, alchemy, poisons, tracking and wilderness survival. They are also expert shots with a variety of bows. Stalkers operate independently much of the time. The Black Guard employs them as scouts, assassins and wilderness explorers. They will often go for days at a time, scouting out territory, harassing an enemy, poisoning an enemy camp's water supply and so forth. Stalkers are given special "weave cord" armor which is painstakingly woven from bundled cords of plant fibers. This lightweight, flexible armor protects from slashing and blunt damage and is also somewhat fire resistant. Because of the materials used in its construction, it makes no sound at all when worn. Stalkers use recurved composite bows as their primary weapon and a pair of short falchions for melee combat. In addition to their bows, they carry a variety of arrows, including some enchanted arrows. In particular, 8 scorch head arrows and 1 arcane disruptor arrow is the standard issue for a stalker. Finally, stalkers are granted magical camoflauge cloaks. These cloaks gradually take on the color of their surroundings to help the stalker blend in and remain unseen. Due to their specialized training and equipment, stalkers are relatively rare compared to the troopers and enforcers.
The Infernal Knights
The Infernal Knights are the elite warrior mages of the Black Guard. It is said that King Dalmoran himself considers them one of his greatest achievements and that he favors them above all other servants. Infernal Knights receive magical training at the Tower of High Wizardry and martial training at the Ipotal Garrison. Like Vorrikan battle mages, these skilled men and women combine steel and spells on the battle field. They wear black cloaks over plate armor and metal masks that hide their faces. In addition to offensive and defensive spells, they carry an infernal staff, an enchanted metal quarter staff that can unleash a variety of fire based attacks. Their masks are enchanted and grant the ability to see in the dark, detect magic and communicate telepathically with their commanding Dread Lord. In addition, Infernal Knights have telekinetic ability and their staff grants them a special short range teleport spell. This teleporation involves a fiery vortex at each end and has a range limit off 100 meters. Each Infernal Knight commands a company (160 men). Infernal knights have a reputation for ruthlessness and devotion to the cause. They are the favored of King Dalmoran and they know it. When they walk amongst the soldiers, a palpable aura of fear and respect follows them.
The Dread Lords
The Dread Lords are the highest ranking officers in the Black Guard. Each commands a legion of 1,700 men. The entire Kingdom of Anquar currently has 24 legions and so there are only 24 Dread Lords. Dread Lords rarely enter battle themselves. They coordinate attacks and act as field commanders. However, when they do enter combat, they are quite formidable. They were enchanted heavy plate armor and wield enchanted great swords that can ignite on command. They have elaborate iron masks with horns. They also wield some magic and use enchanted gauntlets that give them additional spell ability. Their enchanted iron masks allow them to communicate telepathically with the Lord Marshall, the supreme military commander. They answer directly to the Lord Marshall who answers to King Dalmoran himself.
A standard Black Guard unit consists of 10 troopers, three juggernauts and one stalker. A unit is led by an enforcer. (15 soldiers total).
A standard Black Guard company consists of 10 units and is led by an infernal knight. (151 soldiers total).
A standard Black Guard legion consists of 10 companies and is led by a Dread Lord. (1511 soldiers total).
The Black Guard also has specialty units of archers, war chariots, heavy cavalry and naval crews.
Sedarik Kurn, Lord Marshall of the Anquaran Army
Lord Marshall Kurn is the supreme military commander overseeing all the armies of Anquar. He is a tall and lean man with long black hair, pale skin and a clean shaven face. He wears gleaming blue-black armor and a billowing black cloak with a grey raven pattern. His helm is fashioned from the same blue-black metal and sports wings and a great black feather plume. He is the second highest ranking person in the nation, answering directly to King Dalmoran. Lord Marshall Kurn is a phenomenal physical specimen. He is a skilled warrior who has mastered every weapon and unarmed combat. He is also a brilliant strategist. He fights primarily with a great two handed sword and a great bow.
This website was last updated October 5, 2021. Copyright 1990-2021 David M. Roomes.