Cult of the Zenith
The study of combat is a many-levelled thing.
You must consider the sword, the axe, the spear, the shield, and the hammer, the bow, the gun, the spell cast for injury, the spell cast for support. The spell cast for the control or restriction of another. The spell cast for the healing of another.
In the mastery of these things, one must choose their way. My own is not the purpose of this teaching, as are many others. This is the mastery of this study. The form by which we may know ourselves,and the level of our progress in combative arts.
To this aid I have enlisted my own forces, the Order of the Zenith, known by some as the “Cult of the Zenith”, to forgo their normal concerns, to the practice of these things where they may be seen. The banners of the Horde have been brought forth for this also; the tauren and troll tribes, orc clans, houses of the elves, and the guilds and societies of the forsaken. All have been considered.
A warrior is a thing simple to define. Whatever their weapon, be it esoteric or mundane, a warrior is one who wields for war. For defence, for ideals, for vengeance, for monetary gain, it matters not. A warrior may be one for any of these things, without difference.
An army, however, is more than a single warrior.
When a group of warriors is together, their number should be no more than five. This band shall be known as a “squad”. They shall be a single unit in combat, working to defend each other, beneath the guidance of a centurion who shall be marked on the shoulder with a blade.
When a group of five squads is formed, this shall be a “platoon” the centurions still manage their squads, but shall have amongst them a “champion”, who shall be as their leader should orders above be disrupted. In times of order, all centurions will be given to the command of a general, who may promote champions as needed. Champions should be marked, a sword-and-shield in place of the mark of a centurion. A general, however, should mark with a closed fist in this place.
When a group of five platoons if formed, this is a “legion” the generals shall all listen to a warlord, who in turn will obey as the warchief commands. The warlord should mark with a horned helm in honour of the Horde, and by those unfamiliar to their command be known by this.
In this manner, can the order of the Horde military be defined.
A legion is not a mob the flow of a legion is like that of the beating of a heart. If the heart is strong and keeps good time, the arm is strong and quick. If the heart is weak and moves as it wishes, the arm is sluggish, blood spilling freely whenever it is wished.
A legion is the make of a body the head guides to the arm, which wields the sword.
A mob is the make of an ooze there is no definition, and the form falls apart when order is breached.
This order, this “strength of heart” is found in the core of discipline, a warrior’s only method of being true in one’s service.
Many things are needed for a warrior of the Horde. They must be strong, fast, steady, full of health, focused, courageous, and holding to their duty. These are measured, and may be called the “milestones”.
In duty, a warrior must forsake all other things. When sworn to a goal, nothing must sway them no coin, or lust of the flesh, no unchecked ambition, no drunkenness, no laziness, no rage, no boredom, no conflicting ideals. These things may be allowed, only so long as they do not distract from the warrior’s duty.
Moreso than this, the warrior must consider themselves in the light of their duty at all times. A warrior is prepared for sacrifice the sacrifice of their safe home, their family, any hope of peace.
A warrior is prepared to sacrifice health and comfort, blood and even their life. All these things a warrior puts aside, whether to the call of coin, glory, loyalty, or even the defence of those things they consider important. In all these aims, the warrior gains a reason of duty, and this is a thing the warrior must never forget.
In valour, a warrior must be prepared to face against any ordeal, be it the loss of their life or very soul. The merits of this valour is in the trust given by their leadership, but it begins in each legionnaire, each warrior, in their heart. To this aim, they may be feeling of fear, but cannot let it seize their limbs to freezing, nor their fleeing in the face of their duty.
To improve on valour, a warrior must practice what they must do, the formations and tactics, the skills that they carry, in drill and training, over and over, until they merge with their soul. A warrior who carries their training as though part of themselves will never react with confusion nor hesitation, and only supernatural fear will clench about them. A warrior must remember to train often.
In focus, a warrior must be ready to devote themselves to a cause without distraction. It is of no benefit if a squad is to lose attention mid-fight, turning to their immediate danger, and ignoring the closing of their escape. A warrior must keep their mind orderly, and maintain their goals at all times.
To improve on their focus, a warrior must learn the commands they may give and be given, the appropriate response, and must meditate on the tasks common to them. A clean mind, quick to response, is a benefit to any warrior.
In strength, a warrior must be capable of striking with force, measured against wood and wound, the wood being of oak or teak. In these measurements, this must be with one attempt; any peon may strike again and again with a saw. Care must be taken, as some spells work as a poison in the veins slowly, building to a culmination.
- With the sword or axe, a warrior must be capable of a strike leaving mark at least two inches deep, across the grain.
- With the mace, staff, or hammer, a warrior must be capable of placing a dent the measurement of the head one inch in depth.
- With a dagger or claw, a warrior must be capable of striking one inch deep, two inches long, across the grain.
- With arrow, bullet, or spear, a warrior must be capable of penetrating two inches into the wood across the grain.
- With flame or corruption, a warrior must be capable of eroding two inches depth and one inch thickness within the one burn. Auxiliary flames may not be counted to this measure the strike shall be on wood treated with water.
- With frost or arcane, a warrior must be capable of eroding that same two inches. To prevent the frost from spreading too far, the wood must be dried.
- With nature or holy magics, a warrior must strike away at least one inch by one inch, with spells alone.
- If to heal, regardless of their source, a warrior must close a straight wound three inches deep and two long in a single cast.
In their testing, a warrior may choose to specialise in these paths no judgement is upon them, as their strengths are tools wielded in different fashions. In only two regards may a warrior not strike as above, but claim they are strong and that is in the art of the shield, and the art of the word.
In health, a warrior must sustain themselves against all forces that may be thrown. Disease can spread as wildfire amongst the sickly and slight. To this measure;
- A warrior must be capable of going for a day’s fast without fainting.
- They must be able to, with no armour and weapons, cover a distance of one mile within ten minutes.
- With full armour and weapons, they must cover that same ground in twenty minutes.
- Without armour or weapons, a warrior must be able to run for an hour without pause for water.
- With armour or weapons, a warrior must be able to run for that full twenty minutes.
- A warrior must be capable of sustaining their own weight from a bar, lifting to the chest and returning.
- For casting, a warrior must be capable of sustaining their magics at any cost, for a total of two minutes without pausing for drink or recovery.
- If trained to do so, they must be able to lift their shield, and hold it in at chest height for an hour without strain.
- Those warriors of the shield must sustain further they must hold their own weight in lead on such, over their heads, without strain, for five minutes.
In each of these things, a warrior may claim they have health.
To improve on their health, a warrior must be prepared to eat foods better for their bodies, to exercise regularly, to cleanse themselves of alcohol and other intoxicants, to engage in pursuits that invigorate their energies without spending them. Enchantments and magics may also be employed if the centurion is approving.
Additionally, a warrior must be efficient with their health should the tide of battle turn against them personally, but they survive, they must be prepared to take steps to recover if given to a moment of peace. Disinfecting and binding of open wounds quickly is a task required of all warriors regardless of their field, both for themselves and for those about them. This assistance, often the first aid a fallen warrior may receive, is of vital import.
In speed, a warrior must be ready to strike without warning, as a viper catching the rat unaware, or the wolf diving on the rabbit. To this aim;
- A bow, gun, or thrown blade may not be fired any less than thirty times in one minute, and must land true each time.
- An offensive spell must be capable of being fired thirty times in one minute and land each time.
- A healing spell must be capable of being used sixty times within one minute.
- A weapon of two-handed weight must be swung twenty times within one minute it must strike each time to count.
- A weapon of one-handed weight, or a weapon forged of natural strength, must strike thirty times within one minute and must land each time to count.
In these measurements, a warrior is able to take opportunity if it is presented to them.
To gain these strengths and maintain them, a warrior must maintain at least five hours of their day with the practice of their arts. Leaders should test those under them for these standards once a month. In this manner, these standards may be kept to.
There is wisdom needed in a warrior a brawler has none. A legion is not a mob, and in turn neither is a warrior a ‘brawler’. A warrior must learn to discern between scenarios, to moderate themselves against foolish words and actions.
This is because in all things power may be found.
- Thoughts are the base of all your life.
- Words are the pronouncing of thoughts.
- Actions are the creations of thoughts.
- If your words are empty, you reveal an empty mind.
- If your actions are foolish, you reveal a foolish mind.
Because of these things, you must always consider your words and actions.
Meditation aids with this, by giving control to one’s thoughts, the origin of words and actions. To meditate, a warrior must be capable of staying stable, and free of thought altogether, for a time no less than one hour.
Should this meditation come daily, the difference will be noticed as wisdom will flow from this synergy of discipline in thought and deed.
Without meditation, wisdom may still be found such a trait should be encouraged.
Because of the nature of wisdom, it is of merit to use it on one’s self. Learn of your strengths, and your weaknesses. Learn if tempers rule you, if you can be led astray with promises of pleasure or wealth. Be honest with your self, no matter the time and in that mastery, you can grow from your present milestones.
It is impossible for a warrior to say “I cannot grow”. There is no boundary that the warrior may reach to prevent improvement whether this is in the field, the histories, with their weapon, the improvement of the tools of their trade. The greatest of all would learn the advantages between weapons, choosing to master them as though part of themselves.
From this, we can see that a warrior improves as a tree grows. There are many ways to develop, but in the end the branches may always be seen the same from all perspectives.
A warrior must be prepared to measure themselves in wisdom.
- Greatest is the warrior who can learn to protect their weaknesses.
- Great still is the warrior who can learn to improve on their strengths.
- Honour is piled on the warrior who improves on their versatility.
Within this, three areas must be focused within. The warrior must be prepared to improve their use of the tools of their warfare be this a weapon, spells, anything. They must be prepared to study themselves. They must be prepared to study tactics, strategy. They must be prepared to study politics and alliances. From all these things a warrior may count themselves as “growing”.
Not all warriors will be leaders. But for the wisdom of recognising such a choice, there can be no disrespect to those that refuse the mantle. A warrior is in honour, whether as servant or master such is the way of things. No debate will be necessary a warrior will know if they are fit to lead, by merit of their wisdom, tempered by their discipline.
In this, a wise warrior may find they are capable of leading others. In this strength, a warrior’s gains are many they may have others to perform for them, as an arm to their thought. A leader however, has responsibility. They must accept the actions of their subordinates as their own they cannot say their arm worked without their knowledge.
Likewise, a warrior cannot have an injured arm and claim it not a part of them their arm cut with a sword is an injury to themselves. In this manner, a leader and their subordinates are part of the same being, the one body.
A leader may lead by one of three methods.
- A leader may rule by example, by respect given freely and earned well. This is the best form of leadership as trust comes naturally to bonds formed from this mutual respect.
- A leader may rule by promise of coin and gain, by the prizes their subordinates may earn in their service. This is a lesser form of leadership and the prizes must be regular to maintain such a bond.
- A leader may rule by coercion and fear. This is the least form of leadership for the leader must maintain their hold or lose to those under them.
In all forms, however, it is the leader’s responsibility to maintain their subordinates as strong. As a parent to a child, they must teach those under them in the merits of a warrior, of the movements and tactics of a legion, of being a squad. They must maintain the equipment of all under them, whether by their own hand or by purchase of skilled craftsmen. They must feed for them, water them, take strength and give it in the chaos of battle.
When a warrior accepts the leadership of another, they must be prepared to listen to their orders in all things. They must trust the wisdom of such, and strive to obey. To fail in doing so is a flaw, a failure of duty and a denial of being a warrior. This same respect must be given to all that rank higher than them. This is a solemn need of the warrior in a legion.
When a warrior accepts another as subordinate, they must be prepared to respect their wisdom and challenges, their strengths and weaknesses, their faiths and ideals, their fears and aspirations. In these things, a leader may accept the servant, taking to them as a tutor and parent, master and guide. This same pattern must be held to all of lower rank than the warrior, and this is a solemn need of the warrior in a legion.
A leader is expected to give firm and precise orders, to stand resolute as a beacon that their subordinates may look to for strength, to minimise the loss of life for their force, to provide food and equipment for their subordinates, to provide pay as required. Failing in these tasks is merit for the legion to disband, as the leader has failed those that would serve them.
Two warriors within the same force, in alliance with one another, must remember their loyalties and duties foremost, putting aside all differences to defer to the judgement of one in higher rank.
This judgement shall be obeyed, regardless of personal cost. This is a solemn need of a warrior in a legion.
When a warrior must address one of higher rank from warrior to warlord one must show the – respect that they have earned by service. In this matter, a lower-ranking member must refer to the superior by rank and family, house, clan, or tribal name. In response, the subordinate must be referred to by rank alone, or rank and family, house, clan, or tribal name should rank alone cause confusion.
The proper order of battle should also be maintained within and without combat. Barring fatality or loss of number to distance, a warrior should pass information, orders, or message only one rank at a time a warrior to centurion or champion, a centurion or champion to general, a general to warlord, and the same in reverse. Should the information, order, or message be by a warrior in regards to their direct superior, then the next direct superior in turn is appropriate.
Should the solemn needs of the legion be neglected, should a warrior lack or slip in discipline, a leader should tend to the disciplinary action of that warrior below them. Should the warrior be further in station than essential commander and warrior, such as a warlord to a centurion, the commander before the accused should be informed of the breach, and carry out the punishment needed.
The merits of this disciplinary action are quick to see as without such, the discipline of all the legion will fall behind, from warlord to warrior. Without that discipline, the legion will soften, and fall.
For best result, a leader must do the opposite to what is expected.
A warrior that barely tends to their standards should be praised when they exceed the expectations even slightly. Their heart has not been spoken to, their pride not yet kindled to service. By tending to them as one would a flower planted, a leader can then coax growth from them.
By contrast, if a warrior routinely surpasses all expectations, do not give them praise, for this is their new standard. Rather, if their discipline should slip, should they neglect the solemn needs of the legion, punish them severely. Their pride has been built, but their discipline must be maintained for wisdom to grow. As with a rose bush, their beauty is only aided by such trauma.
At no time should a leader give praise or punishment to a warrior when it is not needed, such is a failure of leadership beyond the scale of all other things, a betrayal of the trust given and accepted between master and servant, and a failure of one of the solemn needs of a warrior in the legion.
At no time should a leader fail to praise a subordinate for exceeding their expectations unexpectedly. Such is a merit of extraordinary effort or fortune, and should be recognised as such.
At no time should a leader fail to punish a subordinate for grossly neglecting their discipline, nor for gross breaches of the expectations of the legion. Such is a sign of severe issue, and should be recognised as such.
At all times, any superior warrior of the same legion may tend to this praise or punishment of any subordinate rank.
The things of great note that a leader must keep check on for their subordinates are:
- The failure to maintain their equipment,
- The failure to maintain their training,
- Leaving one’s post,
- The inability to follow orders to acceptable standards,
- Wilful disregard of orders,
- Wilful disrespect of superior ranking warriors,
- Indulgence in pursuits forbidden due to imminent attack,
- Bearing false testimony when called on by a superior,
- Lying, breaking oath, and other failures of conduct,
- Passing of information or assistance to a known enemy,
- The failure to maintain their own subordinates if any,
- Violence given between allied warriors,
- Theft, including the sale of equipment or supplies owned by the legion,
- Extortion of allied forces, non-combatant or otherwise,
- Or the threats or planning of any listed before.
If the leader should find these things, it is imperative that they act to punish such breaches.
Those guilty of the above may expect:
- Dressing down and shaming.
- Additional manual labour duties.
- Reduction of pay, to and including full withholding of all pay.
- Reduction of rations, to and including full withhold of ration.
- Transfer to unpleasant or unfavoured duties.
- A period of incarceration in the stocks.
- A mark of shame to be levied on their weapons or armour.
- A mark of shame to be branded on their flesh.
- Discharge by court martial.
- Execution by court martial.
When in the field of duty, the punishments may be applied as required at the time, regardless of severity, and marked on the registry required for such. At all other times, where summary punishment is not obvious and called for, a court martial should be held.
A court martial literally, a “military court” shall be held publicly at daybreak, no sooner than one week following the offence is recorded on the official registry for such. The accused should be held in custody for this period.
The court martial shall be overseen by the Lord of the Court a commander of the same legion two or higher ranks than the offender. If the Lord of the Court should be related to the accused by fewer than three degrees of familial separation, they must disqualify themselves for the post. Should no further commanders remain within the legion, the duty of the warlord is to call on the office of civil justice relevant a Shaman or Chieftain for those of orcish blood, a Voudun or Chieftain for the trollish kinds, an Elder, Seer, or Chieftain for the Taurahe, an Executor, Magistrate, or Deathstalker for the Forsaken, and a Justicar or Magister for blood elves. The civil justice must qualify within the same criteria as given the Lord of the Court.
During this court martial, the commander with complaint will present what was spoken, with all and any evidence towards such, including statements and testimony from witnesses allied to the forces of the legion.
The accused may speak on their own defence or call on an advocate of equal or greater rank for this purpose.
When the Lord of the Court is satisfied with the testimonies, the verdict shall be entered in the record and punishment dictated. The court martial is final, and may not be appealed.
Should the Lord of the Court be unable to find verdict, the accused shall be considered innocent, but made subject to a compulsory discharge.
It will be acceptable for a Lord of the Court to find the accused guilty, but assign no punishment for the verdict.
In the event that an execution be required, the Lord of the Court must dictate the method by which the accused shall die. Honour should be held to with a clean, quick kill in such events beheading, the severing or snapping of the neck by blade, rope, or weight, and death by firing are all acceptable.
When a legion, squad, or platoon is to move, it is important that a leader uses orders that the legionnaires may understand. The leader otherwise leaves hesitation in the command, which then leads to chaos.
When on the field, a legion should take one of four formations. These formations do not announce the position of the legion to their enemy this is the purview of the leader’s wisdom. The formation is from one warrior to another, within the squads that make the heart of the legion.
These formations are the “unordered” formation, and the three proper formations that a warrior should know the scattered formation, the skirmish formation, and the shock formation. In these formations, it is important that all warriors within a squad be of equal balance in size, or a hole shall appear to the enemy.
The first is the formation of the mob broken. The broken formation is one formed without discipline or skill in mind, those within moving as they see fit. The greater the number of those that shall arrive, the greater this lack of coordination shall be. Those within will have no clue to their movements, and have only the method of greater numbers to see to it’s defence.
A warrior should at all times avoid taking the broken formation. It reflects that no other tactics are available; and the only time a true warrior should be broken is when they themselves are all that stands.
The first proper form of a squad is the scattered formation. The warriors stand, a spear’s distance from each other, keeping the merit of their positioning within their mindset. The scattered formation is strongest when your enemy uses wide-spread or ranged attacks; it is weakest when your enemy favours close combat. In the scattered formation, the warriors within may lose sight of their positioning, but have full movement from each other, the better to avoid projectiles that can be seen.
The second proper form of a squad is the skirmish formation. The warriors stand two arm’s lengths from the other one length to the left, one to the right. This is the standard formation that a legion should take.
The third proper form of a squad is the shock formation. The warriors stand shoulder to shoulder.
In this formation, a warrior should not have the ability to move more than required to lift a shield, swing a weapon, fire a weapon, or cast a spell. This formation is best used against close-quarters fighting, but will weaken your legion’s defence against ranged or wide attacks.
When the leader wishes their subordinates to assume a formation, simple orders must be given.
- When they wish the broken formation, they must say “break ranks”.
- When they wish the scattered formation, they must order “scatter”.
- When they wish the skirmish formation, they must order “skirmish”.
- When they wish the shock formation, they must order “shock”.
These formations are not the tactics used by war leaders to the benefit of the terrain; these are the formations that must be taken to heart by all warriors, as these give their discipline in turn to the squad. The legion then grows, from mob, to a fighting force worthy of the Horde.
When paying mind to a legion’s composition, a leader should give thought to the support. Amongst the main force may be swordsmen, axemen, mace-wielders, shieldsmen, ambushers, shape-shifters, and spearmen. The auxiliary should not be given to melee, however, and care should be kept for their protection.
The auxiliary should be made of those that do not fit the ranks above; the frost-casters, fire-wielders, benders of the arcane, shadow-twisters, shape shifters and shaman that wield the powers of nature both offensively and defensively, blood knights given to the healing of others, and priests of all callings, archers and gunners, quartermasters, signallers, fletchers, blacksmiths, cooks, drovers, teamsters, bombardiers and sappers, physicians and cavalry of all forms.
Care should be given to the composition of a legion rare is the wisdom in allowing more than half a given force to stay in it’s auxiliary.
Should captured, allied, or liberated forces be given to a command, they should be kept independent of the main force; in all ways they will not react as part of the same legion, and as such to avoid friction, they should be kept with those others in their class. If possible, such should be maintained to the defence of the auxiliary, to better avoid clashes.
When a leader wishes to have their subordinates move at marching speed, they must order “advance”. This speed is careful and will avoid tripfalls or traps, but will expose the squads to ranged attacks longer.
When a leader wishes to have their subordinates move at their fastest pace, they must order “charge”.
This speed will close the distance between forces rapidly, but will leave the squads vulnerable to traps and hazards of the ground. When moving as this, a warrior should remain with their squad the pace should be as the slowest amongst their number.
When a leader wishes to have their forces stay as they are without moving, despite any events that may befall them, they must order “steady”. A warrior given this order must hold their position, tending to their attacks, defence, or support as required.
When a leader wishes to have their subordinates leave from an enemy, they must order “disengage”.
The warriors given such an order must pull back from their foes, taking care to their steps. In this fashion, it is an advance away from the enemy.
When a leader wishes to have their subordinates leave rapidly from an enemy, they must order “retreat”. The warriors given such an order must put their effort to flight, rather than fighting. In this fashion, it is a charge away from the enemy.
When a leader wishes to have their forces gather once more at predetermined places, they must order “regroup”. The warriors given such an order should seek their commanders directly, and align with them as they had been ordered at the beginning of their conflict.
If a leader wishes depleted squads to join their surviving members to a new squad, they must order “merge ranks”. In this fashion, the centurions must then reassign the squads to their best ability. This will change the structure of the platoons, but will ensure that those alive may work as coherent squads still.
When a leader wishes their forces to march at length, they must order “forward”. In this pace, the warrior must move with their squad, their squad with their platoon, the platoon with the remainder of the legion. At this pace, they must cover terrain at a pace of one mile in twenty minutes.
If a leader however wishes their forces to move rapidly, they must order “double pace”. In this pace, the warrior must move twice as fast as when ordered forward.
If the leader requires that the forces turn to the left or right, they must order “face left” or “face right” respectively. If ordered such, the warrior must turn immediately to their left, or to their right.
If the leader requires an adjustment to the march, they must order “bank”, and indicate the direction. This should be heeded by the warriors given the command, as they should then turn their movement half the distance they would for a “face left” or “face right”.
Should the leader need their forces to turn, they must order “about face”. This order should tell a warrior to immediately turn on the spot, resuming their speed but now in the opposite direction.
If a leader should wish their forces to stay ready to march, but cease forward movement, they must order “hold”. The warrior must cease movement when given such an order, but prepare to move again at short notice.
If the leader should wish their forces to stop for any reason, and does not anticipate movement further, they must order “cease”. The warrior given this order must cease movement and prepare for new orders this may be to take an attack formation, begin making camp, or any further task.
When sending out scouts before or after the legion, the leader of the legion must take care to send no more than a single squad forward, a single squad back per legion at any one time.
The centurion appointed for the forward scout squad must take pains to ensure that the scouts do not range further than one mile to either side of the legion’s path, nor two miles ahead of the legion.
If they do, there is no guarantee that the scouts will be supported by the legion, and no guarantee that the information gathered will be of use.
The centurion appointed for the rear scout squad must take pains to ensure that the scouts do not range further than one mile to either side of the legion’s path, nor one mile behind the legion. If they do, there is no guarantee that the scouts will be supported by the legion, and no guarantee that the information gathered will be of use.
When marching forward, the centurion of a squad must lead their subordinates, the remainder of their squad following in single file. Each further squad of a platoon must then march alongside the first, so that the forward rank of a marching legion will be the centurions of the first platoon, with the remainder of the platoon in pursuit.
In this fashion, a platoon at march should be five warriors abreast, five deep.
Each further platoon of the legion should follow suit, taking step behind the platoon before them.
This formation of the march is known as the “hunting pack procession”.
Should during their motions, the auxiliary units be needed to separate from the legion at mass, the commander of that unit should cease the movement of their squad or platoon, arranging their warriors to defend those less capable of fighting, in a ring to surround them.
This formation is known as the “den mother procession”.
Should the auxiliary units of a legion be called back to the wolf’s teeth procession, they are to resume their march as part of the legion proper.
The commander of a legion should take care to assign no more than one fifth of their forces to the defence of their auxiliary. The commander of a legion should take care to assign no less than one fifth of their forces to the defence of their auxiliary.
When making use of roads, a legion must take care to clear the road ahead for those that follow. In this light, scouts must indicate threats coming in, and the commander of the forward platoon must prepare for conflict.
If possible, a legion should not be pushed to march further than fifteen miles in one day. If circumstances are dire, this may be extended to thirty. A leader must be prepared to assign no less than five hours of rest to their subordinates, to prevent fatigue from eating at the focus and discipline of their forces.
When given an order to “make camp”, a warrior must tend to their bedding and tenting. It is imperative that a leader choose a level, defensible terrain for such a camp, as to do otherwise will allow an enemy great advantage.
When making a tent, a squad should maintain the same position they kept in the march in this fashion, all squads should be alongside the others they march with, one tent per squad. Each platoon should be arranged at right angles to the last; in this fashion, the second platoon should be at right angles, right facing to the first. The third should be at right angles again, now facing opposite to the first. In this method, the fifth platoon should be banked alongside the first, the legion’s camp slowly forming an equal-sided cross.
Each platoon shall make use of their structure to divide two thoroughfares between them two squad tents, then a thoroughfare, then another squad tent, a thoroughfare, and then two squad tents. In this fashion, the thoroughfares given this way shall allow easy formation should it be required; one entrance shall be ahead of the legion’s march, another entrance shall be behind, one to either side of the camp left and right. In the centre, the commander of the legion shall be tented.
The forces given to a legion must work to it’s defence at camp a shallow wall of earth should surround the camp, no lower than ten feet, and a ditch outside of that no shallower than ten feet, using the earth from the ditch to build the wall. Should forest be sufficient nearby, this wall is to be topped by a wooden palisade, and short towers are to be built at each of the four corners of the camp.
Each corner of the camp shall be guarded by no less than one squad at any time, and there should be three shifts of this guard per night, three per day. No squad should occupy more than one shift per day. During all times, archers, spell casters, and scouts should be prepared for emergency these forces may be brought to bear rapidly in the event of attack.
Latrines should be dug behind the march of the legion, to prevent illness. They should be dug alongside the wall. Should graves be permitted for the burial of the dead, these should be placed outside the wall.
In each of the four courtyards left between the angled platoons, fires shall be lit. These are the areas that the legion shall use for the making of food, and relaxing. By this measure, a platoon should make use of the courtyard to their right to prepare food and recreation within.
Recreation may include feeding on the meals prepared for them, learning of these arts penned in this work, training, repair and crafting of equipment, friendly competition between warriors, exercise of the body or mind, or meditation. Sexual congress, drunkenness, and the use of drugs is forbidden should there be anticipation of attack during the night, or the following morning.
Gambling is acceptable, so long as such does not debt any warrior to another.
During the dawn and dusk, one squad of scouts are expected to work in the areas nearby, to forage foods to aid with supplies. Hunters should be expected to aid with such, as their tracking skills can ease the procurement of meats for the army’s forces. In this method, no warriors should be assigned to a shift of gathering more than once per two days. No hunt or gathering should venture further than one mile from the wall.
Should non-hostile forces be nearby, such as a village of persons neutral to the legion, the leader is encouraged to allow no more than one fifth their forces to trade with them per day. In this fashion, the legion may trade with the town without damage to the town’s economy, and the legion will not be overextended should attack come.
When making use of scouts, one must take care that these know what they search for. A scout should in wisdom look to the hazards of the terrain, to the tracks and positions of enemy forces, to the tracks and positions of beasts both hostile and benign, to locations of strategic note, and to traps left by an enemy. Scouts may also leave traps for the enemy to encounter, though it is advised to do this with caution. Many forces have been felled by improper wisdom with the placement of traps.
Amongst those features of terrain, a scout must be prepared to mark roads, passes, and routes, rivers, cliffs and mountains, tunnels and caverns, forests and lakes, ocean lines and swamps, marsh grasses and islands, walls and ruins, cities and villages, camps both fresh and old, the tracks and nests of all beasts, and other obstacles that may impede progress of the legion.
In this regard, a scout may be given the contacts of loose spies known to the leader, that the two may exchange. In this, the scout may learn of the terrain, movements of beasts and armies, and in an hour, learn as a month’s study. A wise scout pays good counsel to the wisdom of locals.
Few leaders can overlook the power that intelligence gives. To defeat an enemy, a warrior must know them. To avoid defeat, a warrior must betray any attempts by enemies to know them. To know the enemy that one cannot observe, or to hide one’s self from one’s enemies, one must employ spies of any of the five fashions.
The fashions are: loose spies, corrupt spies, captured spies, false spies, and true spies.
A loose spy is not in a position of importance. For coin or favour, they may tell you of the lay of the land, the foods that may be found nearby, the movement of troops they have seen or heard, and the politics of the land and their leaders. They may be used to spread discontent amongst the common folk of the enemy’s nation, to encourage the common folk of the enemy’s nation to assist your forces, to stir resentment against their forces, or even instigate outright rebellion or sabotage.
A corrupt spy is in a position of importance, be they in the faiths, army, or rulership of the enemy.
These may for coin or favour reveal the strategy of the enemy, the policies of the rulership, or the motions of their churches. If used, they may turn the signs of the gods against the enemy’s movements, prophesy of doom and conquest, give government condemnation to the enemy, or even disrupt the strategy used to your advantage.
A captured spy is one obtained from the enemy though hostile to begin with, they may be converted by temptation of wealth or favour, or tortured, into betraying their employer. They may reveal what the enemy is intent on learning, what they consider to be a threat, and from such strategy may be surmised. If converted, a captured spy may plant false information to the enemy, or otherwise inform you of the enemy’s intentions. As such, if converted, a captured spy may be considered a false spy or a corrupt spy.
A false spy is one that you intend to plant falsehoods about your forces to the enemy. They do not gather information on their own, but rather spread information you wish for the enemy to learn.
These may be left for the enemy to collect, or sent as a trick that the enemy may fall for by capturing.
A true spy is one that you have paid, or encouraged, to enter an enemy’s camp or nation, and gather information to send back to you. Such can be considered to pass information that you have requested, or if it is your wish, to commit sabotage directly.
This way two runs of information can be made.
The harvest of intelligence is started by the hiring of a true spy. These enter the enemy’s influence, and gather to their side loose spies. When they have the information they need, they then gather corrupt spies. When they have what they need as information, they then return to the one who hired them with that information in tow.
The seeding of intelligence is started by the capture of an enemy spy. When you learn of their intentions, or better still convert them to your cause, you may then use false spies, loose spies, and corrupt spies (including the original captured spy) to pass information you wish to your enemy.
From these two sources, you may seed and harvest information from your foes as a farmer levies grain from the soil. And intelligence is just as important to your forces as feeding them. Without proper intelligence, your forces will be vulnerable to those enemies more prudent with their gathering.
By these measures, a wise leader knows that an enemy will target at his allies as well. Wisdom comes for a warrior from knowing one’s weaknesses in this light, you must know the weakness of those you will fight with as well. Just as prudently, remember that an ally may become an enemy swiftly in the games of politics. If you should find that you face your brother because of an enemy’s machinations, the better that you know how to defeat them swiftly with the least loss of life possible.
Many may shy from the court and it’s motions, but only a fool ignores the influence that such motions can hold. Within any environment from the simplest tribe to the most complex bureaucracy, politics may change the course of battles before the lines have been drawn.
The warrior who studies the way of the word must attend to politics in three fashions. The intelligence gained, the intelligence given, and the terrain that is drawn in diplomatic ink.
Intelligence may be gained from politics by learning the methods that allies and enemies may be distracted, by their strengths, and their weaknesses. These things are of import for a foe may be discouraged by careful words and alignment of alliances before any force has even left their barracks. Such a victory comes without a drop spilled, and carries the greatest mark of all.
Intelligence may be given by the attendance of functions and social events. Remember that as you observe, so to do your enemies and in this light you must present what you wish them to know. If you wish them to think you wise, you must hold your tongue, keep counsel to yourself. To seem helpful, you must offer advise when presented to do so. Hostile, you must hold your aid when you may otherwise give it. To seem foolish, allow your tongue to slip, judgements to be made in public that seem weak minded. By this method, you may tell your foes more than a thousand false spies of what you wish them to think of you and by that give them or take from them confidence of victory before they put pen to paper.
In the terrain of diplomacy, you must be careful and observant in this field you may see who your enemy has as allies. You may also learn who they know as foes, and even should you both share the same you may still learn of who may be called; to your aid in case of battle or who your enemy may do the same with.
When paying mind to a force in their control, a warrior must tend thought to the plans of such. A wise leader makes sure that those serving them may be fed, clothed, armed, and medicated . They must prepare in mind the journey they must take on the march, the wear that their armour and weapons may take, arrows and shots needed by their archers and gunners, components needed for their casters, the grain needed for any beasts of burden, and if there are anticipated injuries, medicines to tend to them.
Wiser still is the leader that understands the way of the land that these things may be gathered on the way. By this merit, scouts are of vital importance not only in the search, but also that at dusk and dawn, they may aid the legion to be fed and healed.
No warrior but for the Scourge may fight without feeding, no warrior may be able to fire a bow that carries no arrows. In this regard, a legion must not be deployed longer any longer than they can be supplied for.
If the things a legion needs are not able to be found on the march, and cannot be carried with the legion itself, then the leader must consider the paths taken to get to the battle. Should the supplies of these things be difficult, the legion will suffer. Should the supplies of these things be severed, the legion will falter.
Because of this, a wise leader must keep eye on the supplies of their enemy should the enemy not keep prudent control of their own supplies, you may use this truth to your advantage. A fast battle may then be kept, as the soldiers your enemy holds will be unwilling to fight to their starvation.
The Scourge do not lose this truth for they too require components, corpses, and the supplies that are nominal to them, saronite for weapons. Deny them these things, and they shall quickly fall.
The equipment of a legion should be of the highest quality. Because of the limitations of gold available to all but the wealthiest merchant prince, a leader must often purchase the cheapest they can for their warriors. Because of these contradictions, a leader will often purchase the best that they can afford to supply their forces.
A wise leader will tend to surplus, buying one fifth again what they require, to provide for accident and wear. Ignoring this may have the legion they command being forced to make do with improper armour, without weapons, lacking shoes or going unfed. These things bring weakness into the camp.
Should a warrior purchase or bring better than their given kit, a wise leader will allow the difference. Such a motion is not denial of the legion that the warrior serves, but a statement of pride in it. A warrior will only invest of themselves when they feel a connection to the force that they belong to. In this light, as long as the warrior does not allow pride to overcome their duty.
It is important, however, that a centurion wear at least the best that is available for the warriors they command, for a champion to at least match the centurions, the generals to match the champions, and the warlord to match the generals. Regardless of the actual items or artefacts, it is important that the leaders match those below them for the difficulty in obtaining such things.
There will at times be caches found that were not intended by the leader for the purpose of use included in these will be food left behind by defeated foes at camp, weapons discovered or captured, gold being smuggled to or from battle sites, and ruins containing items of value, artefacts long forgotten.
Should this be the case, the commander of that unit be it a squad, platoon, or legion should decide – the merit of this, with mind to those higher in command. Offence can be caused by this division, which will cause friction in the ranks. Should tribute be impossible, or permission given prior, then a centurion, champion, or general may divide between those under them the treasures that have come to their possession.
All food and items that are to be confiscated, however, should be checked and if necessary, cleansed.
The grain of Lordaeron aside and the effect that it brought, poisons, enchantments, curses, bindings, even the whispers of the old gods buried in the soil. All these things can be transmitted through food, caches of equipment, and even treasures. Care must be given to those things, lest your forces and even your very will be taken from you.
When a leader takes to the field, they must be warned to know the outcome of the battle before it begins. A wise warrior knows the victory before it arrives. A fool travels to battle not knowing the outcome.
Because of the intelligence they should make use of, a leader must know the size of the force he faces, the level that they have in training, the gradient of their equipment. They must know of the terrain the fight will take place within, and the temperament of the commanders they face. They must know how well the force will be provided for, and how easily the supplies can be defended.
In this matter, the leader can then look to their own forces, and in wisdom and honesty, see if the battle is easily won, contested, or easily lost. Then the battle can be joined by merit of these choices.
A leader should only join battle knowing of defeat if the defeat of their legion is valuable in a greater objective such as if they stand before a greater armada that threatens the home nation of that legion. Better, otherwise, to avoid battle and spare the lives of their subordinates for the wisdom of that choice brings greater honour than that lost by lowering head in submission.
If you have gauged your enemy and learned of them, you can follow the following mandates, to know the method by which your victory can be assured.
In these following, the word “attack” shall be used. Only a fool and charlatan will not accept that victory can often be gained without bloodshed or the death of a foe. The better method by far is to remove the will to fight from your foe. The lesser method is to shed their blood with your weapons.
The best leaders then can be said to know the actions of their enemies before they are made even though their own tactics are shrouded until after they have occurred. Their forces will be met without resistance despite their enemies finding pitfalls at every manoeuvre. They know to strike where the enemy is weakest, while being protected where the enemy strikes. The best leaders reflect order and focus in their troops, even as their foes fall into chaos and disarray. They work as a single unit despite attempts at division, and their tactics will be flexible even as their foes find their rigidity fails them.
As such, you must learn of your foe’s objective. You must then learn of the forces your foe controls.
You must then learn of the capacity of your foe. You must then learn the terrain that you will face them within. You must then form your overall strategy to defeat them. You must then form your tactics. You must then organise your logistics. You must then select the leaders you will have under your guidance. You must then gather your forces.
When these things are done, you march to the outcomes already aware. If you can do such, you have stolen destiny and made it your own.
With the victory, five things must be met. Your sub-commanders must know when they can fight and when they cannot. They must know the nuances of tactics, and how to make best use of units of any size against enemy units of any size. The warriors at your command must be ready to work in line with your goals and your sub-commanders. Your sub-commanders must be prepared for their roles and ready to strike should your enemy be unprepared. The civil persons you march to defend or gain for must not work against your making war.
If the nine stages of planning, and the five requirements of victory are met, the battle is decided in full, the destiny of victory has passed from your hands as a gift to those generals and centurions under you. In this manner do you control the fates.
The outcome of any conflict should always be the peace that follows, not the destruction that comes between. A leader must plan for the express goal of capturing, rather than overpowering. In this matter, many times with the enemy’s soldiers leave to join your own, should you give them just cause.
In this matter, with the working and planning of any battle:
- You must strive to occupy an enemy capital.
- You must strive to capture an enemy’s lords.
- You must strive to learn from those things you take.
- You must take the enemy’s supplies and resources.
- You must then work with your captured lords as though the capital were your own.
In this matter, a captured nation, city, or force will fold swiftly into your rulership.
As with a warrior, a leader must be aware of their blood the warriors that they command. Like with any other warrior, a leader must be prepared to shed one or two drops of their life to the blades of an enemy but only if it cannot be avoided. A leader should remember to prevent shedding their blood wantonly. They should not fear the shedding of even fatal blood if it should achieve the ultimate goal they seek but neither should they do so pointlessly.
When ordering the placement of troops, consider the risk of the blood that may be shed. If speed is paramount, fewer warriors will allow faster motion. If strength is required, reinforce them with greater number. By this measure, a leader may give speed when needed, or strength when needed, and thus preserve their blood wisely.
Likewise as with a warrior, you will find the greatest honour comes from defeat of a foe with the least effort taken; should you crush all that you face, you will only earn dishonour, as legion intent on expansion without adding to it’s own growth will be brittle. A brittle legion is easily crushed and broken. The legion is the blood of the Horde, and if the legion should be brittle, then so too does the.
Horde fall the same. At all times a warrior must seek the peace rather than bloodshed and best is the warrior who has their foes join with them on a single task.
With this in mind, there are four directions that a leader may have their forces strike. They may attack, refrain from attack, retreat, or surrender.
- If your foe is weak, and you are strong, you should attack.
- If your foe is strong, and you are strong, you should refrain unless attacked.
- If your foe is strong, and you are weak, you should retreat.
- If retreat is impossible, you should surrender.
If the choice is to surrender, then no honour is lost so long as the balance is true. A difficult challenge in combat should be taken. If a leader surrenders when the outcome is in the balance, or when the victory would be easy, then there is only dishonour gained.
A leader must be prepared before the battle starts to do otherwise is to force uncertainty to a given situation. A leader must be ready for the chance of a surprise attack, for an ambush, the chance of an ally falling to their foe or joining them, the weather turning for or against their forces. All these things and more a leader must consider, and the weight that these actions will take onto and from their strikes.
Armed with this consideration, with the blades of discipline and intelligence, armoured with their foresight and planning, a leader is as much a warrior on the field as those they lead, their blood being that of their forces.
Knowing from intelligence the mind of your foe will give you insight to their tactics and how to defeat them. In all of these things, you must work in the order given; the faster a victory, the better honour gained.
- If your foe is arrogant, they will be hasty in tactics.
- If your foe is raging, they will be zealous in opposing you.
- If your foe insults you, they seek your hasty action.
- If your foe is cruel, he will press before his troops lose spirit.
- If your foe is desperate, he will never quit the field.
- If your foe is watchful, hide your movements in mundane activity.
- If your foe is inattentive, move with stealth.
- If your foe is indulgent, wait for them to grow hungry for vice once more.
- If your foe is greedy, use a prize as lure to distract them.
- If your foe is righteous, deny him cause to fight you.
- If your foe is hesitant, distract them with feints while you attack from hiding.
- If your foe hides their plans well, pretend to attack and watch their reaction.
- If your foe is confident, draw him from his safety.
- If your foe is a powerful leader, focus your attacks on them alone.
- If your foe has good supplies, you must remove those supplies.
- If your foe holds a secure post, you must seek to starve him out.
- If your foe is prone to make enemies, incite one to attack for you.
- If your foe has many allies, you must turn them against him.
- If your foe is quick to break oath, his foes will turn quickly on him.
- If your foe is a weak leader, wait for chaos to consume their forces for you.
- If your foe is easy to tire, wait for them to do so.
- If your foe is slow to act, be the first to the field.
- If your foe is fearful, convince him you have stronger forces than you control.
- If your foe is weak-willed, convince them to lower their defences to you.
- If your foe is trusting, lie to them openly.
- If your foes is vengeful, lead them to drive that rage at another.
In all of these situations, your foe will tell you of how to defeat them.
From there, the leader may take some wisdom from the mandates of battle.
- Do not attack where your foe is strongest. Rather, find and strike at their weakness.
- If you cannot find them, then weaken your foe, then strike hard as they falter.
- Do not let your foe see your movements. Deceive them whenever you can.
Your foe will feel all the poisons of the mind fear, doubt, sorrow, boredom. Use these poisons against him, and his strategy will suffer.
Across all forms of battleground, you may have many forms of terrain. Some may be advantageous to your legion or your enemy, some may be disadvantageous, and some may be neither. Never settle for terrain that favours your foe, nor even mutually helpful terrain. Always seek to take the advantage and if such terrain does not exist, make it, using magics and engineering.
Within all landscapes, terrain comes in many forms.
The first form is featureless terrain. Whether hill-covered or level, featureless terrain is just that; filled with no obstacle and given to only one force against another. Featureless terrain gives advantage to forces that work on mobility or range, and disadvantage to forces that work slowly, or at close range. Ambush is impossible in such terrain, and aerial support gives and takes no advantage or penalty from this form of terrain. Bombardment is of middling benefit here, as ground forces may easily avoid incoming strikes.
The next form is broken terrain. Debris, shattered ruins, boulders, even fences and pickets may line the ground, but none come to the level over an adult orc’s waist. Such terrain favours the ranged, and those who work by ambush tactics. Such terrain is a disadvantage to those who work at close range, or those who require mobility to their benefit. Flying foes will suffer no issue here, giving free reign to those forces with plentiful aerial support. Bombardiers will be of great benefit in this terrain.
The next form is covering terrain. Forests, full ruins, pillared deserts, and city streets are able to hide the body of a full tauren should they require it. Covering terrain is advantageous to close- quarters combat, and disadvantageous to ranged combat. Ambushers gain great bonus here, though forces that require mobility may only benefit if sufficient laneways or streets exist for their use.
Aerial forces, and bombardiers, will be of disadvantage here,
The next form is enclosing terrain. Tunnels, narrow streets, and similar terrain is of great advantage to close-combat forces, especially those that are adept at defensive combat. Such locations are of extreme disadvantage for ranged units, but ambush tactics are of limited effectiveness. Forces that rely on mobility will find their choices restricted. Aerial or bombardment support will be a great disadvantage here, unless it is a force capable of flattening the terrain itself.
The final form is the hollow terrain. Islands separated by each other, whether by water, lava, the nether itself, or more exotic substance. These are of exceptional disadvantage to close-quarters combatants unless they face forces on the same islands. Ranged combat is at increased capacity, but in this terrain bombardment and aerial support excel.
Hazards compound on terrains, causing issues where previously there had been none, and advantages where previously there may have been seldom. Each hazard changes the nature of a terrain to give it.
The first are entrapping hazards. Swamps, thick underbrush, shallow water, marshlands, heavy sand, fungal caves, heavy snow, and other similar locations may be capable of slowing a walking person down. Lighter forces do better than heavy in such terrain, as they can easier escape the confines of their entanglement. Forces that rely on mobility will suffer here.
Next are the slipping hazards. Ice, grease, sludge, moving platforms, small ball bearings, all of these may unsettle the feet and give unsteady balance to those who rely on it. Though close-quarters combat will suffer, it will be lesser than the troubles given to ranged combatants.
Following are burning hazards. Whether because of toxicity or flame, burning cold or corroding shadow magics, both static and sporadic, burning hazards are of most menace to those who cannot move quickly. Mobility, however, is an advantage, giving fast moving forces the ability to remove themselves from such locales quickly.
Next is are crushing hazards. Moving gears, unstable tunnel roofs, unstable buildings, and similar traps can crush those caught within. These hazards provide advantage to those who know of them, disadvantage to those who do not. Scouts should be quick to note these hazards.
Then comes barrier hazards. Whether cliff faces, narrow walkways, rivers, or literal walls, these are not obvious in their danger, until an enemy uses them to cut off retreat options. These terrains are of advantage to whoever faces them disadvantage to those who stand back to them. Aerial barriers may include wind tunnels, storm fronts, and other incentives to avoid taking flight.
Last is the obvious the height hazard. When one force holds higher ground to the other, the advantage is held to those above. Their range is further, those lower suffer to their defence.
Whenever possible, a terrain should be made to the advantage of your force. If the terrain favours your foe, deny them that advantage. Barriers can be bridged, or tunnelled through, or climbed over. Burning hazards can be capped, trees and buildings flattened or burned. Whatever does not suit your force, change.
When blades must meet, spells must find their targets, it is important for the leader to know as much as the warriors they command, the orders that must be assigned to each formation, each attack.
- When a leader wishes to have their subordinates begin or resume attack, they must simply order “attack”. It will be assumed that the forces at their command know their role, and have been placed in the best position for such.
- When a leader wishes their forces to cease attacking, and focus to their defence, they must order “cover”. In this fashion, a warrior given such an order must pay attention to their survival without breaking their formation.
- When a leader wishes to have their forces attack an enemy from every side, they must order “envelope”. The warriors given such an order must put their efforts to surrounding their foes.
- When a leader wishes to have their forces attack an enemy from two sides, the order must be “flank”.
The warriors given such an order must put their time to approaching from opposite sides of their enemy.
- When a leader wishes their forces to split an enemy force, they must order “divide”. A warrior being given that command must work with their squad to press into the midst of the enemy force, so that their foes will be forced to move in opposite ways.
- When given to having their forces strike from speed, before pulling away, the leader must order “strike”. Such an order tells a warrior that they must attack, then retreat a distance, forcing a foe to follow if they wish to press their own attack. If the terrain gives protection from ranged attacks, the warrior should make use of it this is only as an advantage at these times.
- When a leader wishes their forces to surround their enemy on the front, to press them back, they must order “drive”. This order tells a warrior that they must ready to block a foe with all their might, pressing with the strength of any behind them in support, to drive a foe back whether from a strategically important locale, or into hostile terrain. Certain magics can aid with this, noticeably those of the shamanic or druidic paths.
- When a leader wishes their forces to hinder a foe, and prevent them from proper retreat, they must order “harry”. When given this order, a warrior must aim to prevent their foe from moving magics, hamstringing attacks, stunning blows, and other forms of inhibiting motion should be brought to bear.
When placing the forces they control, a leader must incorporate what they know of terrain, taking the most advantageous for themselves and then working to force their enemy into disadvantageous terrain.
With this regard, a leader must remember:
- That their auxiliary units must stay away from close combat.
- That their supplies must stay away from combat.
- That despite instinct, the leader must stay away from combat.
- That their forces must work to prevent their enemy from taking better ground.
- The leader may then align the forces they have to achieve these goals at all times.
At the end of the combat, the leader must direct their forces to the defensive, expecting attack from forces yet undetected, or forces in the pay of the enemy that may not listen to the defeat or surrender of their main fold. Reinforcements may come, and in politics your erstwhile allies may have planned that in your legion’s weaker state they would be capable of conquering you.
At the ending of combat, a wise leader will fortify themselves within an intact stronghold or city. If this is not possible, then a wise leader will have such a stronghold built, if magics and sufficient materials are present. If this is not possible, then a wise leader will have the legion make camp as though they had ceased march, at all times selecting the best terrain for their defence. In this way, a legion may hold what they have won.
When the combat itself has been completed, the leader is not finished with the battle. They must decide the fate of prisoners within their hold, the fate of those fallen in battle, the fate of any goods and chattel captured, and the risk of further attack. In this matter, the fate of the battle has been decided, and now the leader must take the mantle of destiny once more.
The taking of prisoners, if the order is given, is not the same as accepting surrender. When an enemy surrenders, they give themselves to you that the combat may be finished. In this regard, your enemy ceases combat, and your enemy’s leader is your guest, but also your only prisoner.
The taking of prisoners is the process through which your foe’s forces may yield to your warriors in the field, laying down their arms in recognition of defeat. There is no loss of honour for this as the wise know when defeat is on them, before death makes the matter obvious.
Prisoners may be taken during the process of the battle, if the leader has given orders for such. The reasons and advantages of such are many. The holding of prisoners however is an arduous task, requiring warriors to watch them, food to sustain them, and often medicines to treat them. The leaders of your enemy may have been taken also, and with all prisoners is the risk that they may have committed gross crimes, and be willing to do so in future.
If a leader has supplies secured for their use, the supplies of their area secured for their use, and potentially the supplies of their enemy secured for their own use, then the prisoners should be fed at all times.
If the leader finds that supplies will be sparse, their forces must be given word for limited ration, and the prisoners fed as best able.
If the leader cannot do so, then it is by duty that they must thin the ranks of the prisoners taken by the blade of execution, beginning with the injured, the sickly, and the melancholy. This process must continue until the prisoners can be fed with the supplies you now carry.
Because of this, a leader should know before the order is given for prisoners, if they may be fed.
Because of this, if a warrior is to be taken prisoner, they must respect that although fate has gifted them with further life than they had prior to their yielding, they are owed no assurance of life while bound in their enemy’s mercy.
A leader must decide who the prisoners may speak to. Barring the prisoners from speaking to your warriors prevents espionage from occurring within the prisons of your own camp. Barring prisoners from speaking to each other prevents the potential for uprising. But in both these cases, the leader must keep in mind they cannot guarantee the discipline of their enemy’s force.
As such, the prisoners must then be instructed as the leader’s own troops in the merits of discipline, and must be given to exercise, meditation, and training. In this way, they will grow to accept the prison with minimum fuss, and if they have discipline, you can assure they will keep such.
A leader may decide that any prisoners taken may be given to the manual labour of the victorious legion. If this is such, then the prisoners may be given to tasks they are hale to take. In this light, the shift that would tend to the cutting of wood, to the digging of ditches, the building of walls, the digging of latrines, the digging of graves if any, the carrying and polishing of weaponry, the repair and construction of tents, clothes, armour, and shoes, may instead be given to the role of the guard the prisoners instead shall take the labour in turn as penance for their actions against your forces.
A warrior given to the role of guarding prisoners must be watchful. They may not allow the prisoners to speak with any that the leader has not allowed them to. They must remember that they now stand as ‘commander’ over the prison, and must ensure that disciplinary action is taken should it be required.
A warrior given to the role of guarding prisoners that are undertaking manual labour must also watch that the tasks are being seen to sufficiently by the prisoners under their watch. Should the prisoners seek to sabotage their tasks, to avoid their duties, or to perform their tasks with insufficient effort, then the warrior should report such to their superior. A leader that receives word of such should consider the prisoner to instead be an agent still working in the employ of an enemy whether such enemy is known or not, assumed or not. Such prisoners should be dealt with as such saboteurs, spies, and enemies that have broken oath of surrender to try bringing poison to the midst of the camp.
At no times should a warrior accept casual neglect or abuse by those about them. As though the commander of the prisoners, the warrior must put aside any slight they may have, and take action against others they see performing such. In this way, the warrior sustains their honour. If the warrior was to do otherwise, they dishonour themselves by allowing forces under them to suffer needlessly.
If a prisoner should be injured or sickly, it is the duty of the warriors watching them to report this, that the illness or wound may be seen to. If this condition is life-threatening, the warrior is expected to administer first aid as required. Warriors are cautioned to keep in mind that disease is a foe that cares not for political boundaries left untreated, sickly prisoners may infect those that guard them.
Should there be prisoners that have committed crimes even should the commander of the force be captured then a leader should bear in mind the time that would be required for a civil justice to oversee a trial.
If the process of transport of any prisoners should be simple, then the leader should have them escorted to undergo trial by civil justice. This is the best result by far, as then none can claim the leader acted from bias or dishonourable intention.
If the process of transport of any prisoners should not be simple, then the leader should make report of such, and then fashion a court martial for all prisoners that may be required for trial.
Should all Lords of the Court be disqualified, or should the presiding Lord of the Court be unable to find verdict, then the prisoner must be held until such time that their transport shall be made easier.
Should in the process of battle the leader wish their forces to take their pay from looting and ransacking, they must give permission prior to the battle commencing. All warriors must bear in mind the caution given regarding diseases, curses, poisons, malign magics, and traps that may be left amongst innocuous items.
The division of loot however, once looting has been concluded, should be handled by the highest officer amongst the force. To this aim, all coin, items of wealth, items of power, slaves captured, beasts or steeds captured, and land deeds captured should be distributed by warriors to their centurion, by centurions to their general, by generals to their warlord, by warlords to the warchief.
In this matter, the highest ranking officer is the end result; tribute should not be carried without division should a a general, warlord, or the warchief not be present.
In this manner may a tribute be given to the officer who oversaw the victory.
Once the tribute has been made, the leader should instruct that the items be evaluated, cleansed of poisons, diseases, curses, traps, and any or all malign magics, and then levied by effort imparted by all forces beneath the leader.
- If the leader should be a centurion, they should take into account the effort that was needed by particular warriors beneath them.
- If the leader should be a general, they should take into account the effort that was needed by particular squads beneath them.
- If the leader should be a warlord, they should take into account the effort that was needed by particular platoons beneath them.
In this method, the warlord should then pass a platoon’s share to that general, the general should pass a squad’s share to that centurion, and then the centurion should divide each warrior’s share by each warrior. In this manner all are rewarded.
It is the responsibility of a warrior to tend for the slaves, beasts of burden, and mounts that have been awarded to them as such, when tendered as a reward, such should be taken by the warlord first if they wish, if not then by a general if it should be wished, if not then by a centurion, if not then the warriors may exchange their payment of items and coin for such.
It is expected that in the line of battle, a legion may shed it’s very blood the lives of the warriors that comprise of their number. This is an unfortunate necessity, for the life of a warrior is one of sacrifice, and to those who pay this sacrifice in full, glory and honour await their names.
At the ceasing of combat, a leader must give orders that the fallen both of their own and their enemy be collected by those given to this task. No more than two fifths of the remaining force should be given to this role.
- To those that live, physicians, and healers of the magical arts should tend.
- To those that do not live, that are of the Forsaken, physicians, healers of the magical arts, and engineers skilled in binding should tend.
- To those that do not live, that are not of the Forsaken, should be collected for immediate tending by those gifted by merits of magic or engineering sciences to the restoration of life. Should this not be possible, then the body should be tended aside, for identification.
The warlord should then order that all generals take count of their platoons. All generals should order the centurions to take count of their squads. All centurions should then report of warriors that do not still stand. All generals should then know of who does not still stand in their platoons. The warlord then knows of all who do not stand in their legion.
If the enemy was defeated by surrender, the captured commander should do the same giving order to their sub-commanders to take stock of their fallen.
A leader should then have two allotments for the fallen and dead. One for their own and allies, and another for their enemy and allies. After those that live, and those who do not live that still have will to move, have been seen to, then no more than one fifth of the forces under the leader’s command shall see to the identification of those dead, beginning with their own force, and ending with the enemy’s force.
These shall be recorded, once for those of their own force, once for allied forces, once for all allied enemies. Should identification be impossible on a given body, but the full roster of warriors commanded is known, those given to attempt identification should match those who cannot be found on roster against the number of dead in that same force. In this way, a body that cannot be identified by features or official mark may instead be identified by merit of lost force. When doing such, a notice should be left in the records that the identity is assumed, not guaranteed.
It is important that once identification is completed as swiftly as possible, that the process of proper disposal be tended to. All forces, hostile or friendly, are given to their dead the hostile whilst under watch, that they do not make use of mourning to attempt dishonourable action.
It is proper that the bodies be given to respect and mourning for a period of no longer than until the dawn following the combat ending. Then, they should be interred by burning, that their ashes do not carry the plagues that spread with battle. The priests, blood knights, shaman, and druids of different faiths should undertake this rite as possible. If impossible, the centurion, general, or warlord that was the direct superior to the fallen should oversee this task instead.
It is understood that faiths may differ on the treatment of the restful dead. Though respect may be given to such, the burning of the corpse prevents blight from spreading, which may happen to those handling such. If the leader feels that such is not a risk, they may choose to allow those who pay respect to tend to the fallen in the manner of their choice.
A wise leader will keep watch on the Forsaken and those of Troll blood that the corpse is cleansed if they should feel need to consume the body.
By these methods a warrior may know victory. This is the compilation of what a warrior must know to perform their art this art being war.
Blood Master Zenithas Tho’renias.
Justicar of Silvermoon,
Lord of Thandol Span,
Champion of Orgrimmar,
Master of the Order of the Zenith