Stamus Contra Malum: 1013 YE
Thracian Weapons and Warfare
For over 700 hundred years, the Thracian Army has been the known world’s best fighting force. Its legionary infantry are the unbreakable anvil upon which barbarian hordes are shattered; its cataphract cavalry are the unstoppable hammer with which the breaking blow is swung.The Armies of Thrace consist of three different types that serve unique roles in the Empire. The empire also has a powerful navy that is only rivaled by the ships of the Sea Lords.
The Praetorian Guard – (Comitatus Praesentales)
They are the personal troops of the Emperor and the Senate. They serve as bodyguards and a police force in the heart of the Empire.
Some of the more famous units are:
- X Legio Alae, The Purple Dragons – Cavalry Legion consisting of 500 Cataphractarii
- VII Legio, The Black Lions – Milites Legion consisting of 1,000 Elite Legionnaires
- II Legio Auxillia, the White Eagles – Auxillia Legion consisting of 200 Elite Legionnaires
- * 2nd Cohort – 60 legionnaires special trained to ride the Giant Eagles
The Regional Armies – (Comitatus)
These armies are the mobile strike forces of the Empire. There are three regional armies, The Army of the West, The Eastern Guard and the Army of the Sea of Dread.
Legion Ranks & Structure
|Army Ranks||Command Authority|
|Imperator||Commander of all Army and Naval Forces in a Theater of War|
|Magister Militum||Commander of an Army and/or Naval Armada|
|Legate||Commander of an Legion|
|Tribune||Sub-Commander of an Legion|
|Centurion||Officer, Commander of an Cohort|
|Decurion||Sub-Commander of an Cohort|
|Primus Pilus||Senior Soldier of an Legion|
|Signifer||Senior Soldier of an Cohort|
|Naval Ranks||Command Authority|
|Navarch||Commander of a Classis (Fleet)|
|Trierarch||Commander of a Ship|
|Centurion||Commander of a Ship’s Crew|
|Decurion||Sub-Commander of Ship’s Crew|
Often the most heavily-armored infantrymen on the field, Thracian legionaries wear banded plate cuirasses and spaulders with steel vambraces, steel greaves, and studded leather aprons. Their primary weapons are 10’ ash-wood spears with steel leaf-shaped heads and bronze butt-spikes. The legionaries’ secondary weapons are imperial long swords – 36” double-edged straight blades of Thracian steel, used for slashing and thrusting. These weapons are used one-handed in conjunction with curved oval shields, 4’ x 2’6” in size, made of leather-wrapped hardwood with bronze bosses. By tradition, legionary shields are painted red and emblazoned with the golden winged sun of Ammonar. Helmets are commonly worn by all legionaries, and are generally open-faced and utilitarian. Subalterns and centurions have more ornate helms featuring horse-hair plumage or metal crests.
Cataphract are even more heavily armored than legionaries, with steel muscle cuirasses over mail on their torsos, studded leather war-skirts over their hips, segmented steel plates over mail on their arms and legs, and steel helms with horse-hair plumage and sculpted face masks on their heads. This armor is typically lacquered gold and supplemented by round, leather-wrapped hardwood shields with bronze bosses. Their horses are equally armored with lamellar barding from head to hoof. The cataphract’ weapons include 12’ lances with wooden shafts and steel spearheads at either end; composite reflex bows featuring unbendable horn grips with reinforced wooden bow staffs slung in reverse of the bows’ natural flex; and imperial long swords of similar make to the legionaries’, albeit more ornately decorated.
Distinct from the legions, but no less deadly, are the Bladedancers of Ianna, goddess of love and war. In single combat or loose formations, Bladedancers fight with dual 30” single-edged curved blades designed for cutting and slashing, known as warblades.
The best warblades are made of folded steel using secret techniques known only to the master smiths of the Temple of the Blade. Ancient warblades may have been in families for generations. In close-order formation, bladedancers fight with glaives: Long, sleek single-edged blades with thrusting tips attached to extremely long hilt. Glaives allow for tremendously powerful attacks from horseback or afoot, and are light enough for use both cutting and slashing.
In total, the Thracian Army numbers about 270,000 troops, of which about 100,000 are stationed on the frontier, 150,000 are stationed within its borders, and 20,000 are stationed in Thrace itself.