From the East come the unstoppable Legions of Karaash, Inheritors of Sybarra, to bring fire, faith and order to the Riverlands. Led by the whims of inbred aristocrats with the blood of gods and held together by ancient oaths, millenium-old faiths, arcane science and the promise of a place within the Highest Citadel, the Legions are assured of victory, even if it will take until Final Night to achieve it. Of their generals, five shine so bright as to blot out all others.
Kian-Tal-Sobek-Azhadin IX (Clr 5):
Scion of the Blood and blood-relative to the Twin Emperor. Has come from the heartlands of Karaash, bringing court and subjects, to oversee the reconquest of Karaashi ancestral lands. The great city of Orok has been levelled to form the bedrock of his new domain. The blood of its inhabitants served to consecrate the war in the name of the Ten Thousand Gods. Supreme commander.
Albino. Hairless. Violet eyes and stunted right hand. Sibillant whisper audible for miles, listeners overcome with feelings of adoration and horror in equal measure (save to avoid). Always carried by hand-picked Legionairies of the Blood. Suffers migraines and hallucinations frequently. Speech laced with incomprehensible references, metaphors and disturbing imagery (e.g “Like the Spear of Atun itself, a legion’s tip must be always be consecrated in the blood of the newborn before holy battle lest it suffer the fate of the Four-hundred and Sixty-Seven concubines of Maharadh. Let our Dragoons be like the seed of Yolan-Anor and spread out across the fertile domains, to sire upon the Gal’Alorian a thousand children of disfigurement and carrion.”). Immune to normal (non-steel, non-magical) weaponry. 50.000 gp worth of gem-studded jewelry. Holds court for an hour per week to dispense orders. Always attended by 1-20 physicians, 3-30 slaves, 7-42 advisors and sages and exactly 23 Blooded Legionaires. No animal will come within 30 feet. Obeyed without question and looked upon with veneration and awe by other Karaashi.
Host: The Fifth Great Legion That Will Retake the West (25.000 strong). Dragoon Auxillia (2.000) and three Earthshakers. Morale Unbreakable (to flee within sight of the Blooded is to be cast in the fractal pits of Sheol to fall for all eternity). The Purple Guild has managed to infiltrate the court of Kian-Tal. Advance slow because of the weather and terrain. Base well-supplied and farthest from the front. 5 Sorcerers.
Haddon-Tal-Kiret-Osoon (Ftr lvl 14); The First Sword.
The result of a century-long breeding program between the finest sons of the warrior caste elite and the favoured concubines of the Twin Emperor’s Court, Haddon-Tal leads the vanguard of the Karaashi advance. He has been contesting the southern riverlands for 3 years and he nothing but scars, and dead legionaires to show for it.
Right ear shrivelled and right eye violet as only indication of Blooded status. Lanky but inhumanly strong. Series of golden studs in nostrils and eyebrows indicate service record. Determined. Voice like broken glass and left leg shrivelled from Nethrene poisoning. Always mounted atop Kresh steed (unusual plumage, sacred colours of crimson, magenta and purple, magnificent creature). Great stamina and reflexes make for a brilliant duelist but a mediocre commander. Lacks subtlety and cunning but makes up for it in determination. Will only wage war according to the Eighty-Five Sacred Doctrines of Sacred Warfare, a very antiquated, ritualistic and downright erronous treatise hailing from pre-Calamity days. Narrow chin and full lips.
Has killed anyone challenging his position as Supreme Commander of the South-west in honour duels (wears steel torc for each one so slain). Looked upon with admiration by other commanders.
Host: The Second Great Legion that Will Support the Fifth in Retaking the West (8.000 strong). Legionaires (50%), Dragoons (10%) and auxillia (40%). Unique in utilising a company of Laughing Knights (something not explicitly forbidden in the Eighty-Five Doctrines) as shock troops. Morale Poor because of Laughing Knights, starvation and countless defeats. Any subcommander who deviates from the Eighty-Five doctrines is demoted and flogged.
Lebatt-Sol-Quetan (Ftr 10); Servant to the Blooded.
A capable commander of lower caste and status, Lebatt has gained his position by excellence and mastery of strategy. He has been put in charge of securing the supply lines, a task he performs with admirable competence.
Short and stocky. Grey skin indicates low-caste status. Indifferent dualist. Clean shaven and bald. Right eye lost in honour duel against superior (deliberate loss). Right eye replaced with flawless ruby. Sharpened teeth made of gold. Analytic and capable. Efforts to counter Gal’Alorian raids upon supply lines very effective. Attempts to create spy network within Gal’Alorian ranks thus far ineffective. Intends to bring down frontline commanders so he may gain greater status by strategic denial of appropriate resources. Voice oily and purring. Looked upon with contempt by other commanders. Favours dual punching daggers.
(secret) Tzyan Cultist.
Host: The Sixth Humble Auxilliary Legion Whom By its Insignificant Efforts seeks to Contribute to the Inevitable Victory of the Glorious Fifth Legion (3.000 strong). 50% auxillia, 20% Dragoons, 30% legionaries. Garrison and convoy duty. Morale High. Most of the troops loyal to the Blooded first and Lebatt second lamentably lost in unforseen Gal’Alorian raids. Suffer frequent assault by local Riverlander warbands.
Kyrian-Tor-Rekaxi (Ftr 13): The Right Hand of the Twin God
Favoured of the Warrior caste and former captain of the Twin Emperor’s personal legion. Sent to oversee the conquest of the Riverlands and ensure it proceeds according to demands of the empire and its emperors.
Tall and hairless. Skin like alabaster. Will not walk anywhere that is not first consecrated by retinue of priests. Ceremonial armour made of strange, poisonous green ore mined deep from Gyrr. Huge curved khopesh of ancient Karaashi steel. Tongue removed so he may never speak ill of the Twin Emperors even under duress. Forbidden under pain of death to learn universal sign language, must communicate via specifically trained servants that interpret his every gesture and facial expression. Piercing gaze that sees betrayal everywhere. Bronze half-helm hides mouth. Given caste- deference by other commanders (except for the Scion).
Host; The Tashik (500 strong). Cohort of Blooded Imperial guard (2-5th level). Oversees the conquest of the riverlands and reports back to the throne. Morale Elite. Prepared to assasinate any commander considered guilty of treason and loyal to the Twin Emperors alone. Second duty to root out spies, unbelievers and traitors.
(secret) Carry ancient Sybarran artifact (The Relinquary of All Sorrows, ornate stone urn, requires three men to carry) that will unleash a “plague of razors” upon the entire region, killing everything (animals, people, vegetation etc) in the Riverlands if used correctly(takes 1 hour and correct ritual procedures, only Kyrian and his priest-attendants know how to use the artifact, mistakes simply mean death for the ritualists). To be used if Karaash loses, falters or attempts retreat.
Talim-Son-Ilopathek (Ftr 16); Second Sword.
It is a tragic reality of Karaash that blood is often more important then merit. Talim is among the most brilliant commanders of the Legion, having fought in the Riverlands almost since the war’s inception. The traditions will not allow a warrior of less then pure war-caste blood, no matter how experienced or capable, to lord over or even challenge a commander of scion ancestry. Thus the northern flank is given to a man who would in Gal’Alor be a Prince among Princes and unite the hosts themselves.
Face covered with the inked badges of merit, so many that some have been inked over older awards. Kind, fatherly voice can turn to deep, authorative growl. Beloved by troops and despised by commanders. Prefers ornate stone mace. Terrible at speeches. Hideously effective and brutal combatant. Genuinely believes in the superiority of the Blooded. Insightful commander but naive, almost child-like views on matters of faith and morality, despite years on the battlefield. Refusal to take challenges from legionaires of the Blood have spread the rumour that he is a terrible combatant and a coward. Responsible for turning the villages of Eld, Tash and Zuvik into forests of pikes.
Host: The Humble Tenth Legion that Will Clear the Field so the Glorious Fifth may lay waste to the reviled enemies of Karaash (5.000 strong). 70% Legionaires. 5% Dragoons. 25% Auxillia (Gyrrans). Morale Average (the north is a bad place to be when you are outnumbered and cut off from outside aid 3 months out of 12 because of flooding/weather). Have been holding several rivers from numerically superior Gal’Alorian forces. Outbreaks of disease resulting from the corpse-choked mudfields that constitute a battlefield in the north ensure Talim will be ousted soon, which could mean a collapse along the entire northern flank. Veterans for the most part. Renowned for their many prayer-hymns and battle cries.