gvdammerung writes "Furyondy commands the largest and most veteran military force in the Flanaess. No army is larger and no army has faced and won victory from more fiercesome opponents. Furyondy has never started a war but she has won every war into which she has been drawn, defeating Aerdi, Keoland, Iuz, and the Horned Society to name but a few. In the aftermath of the Greyhawk Wars, allied with Veluna and Highfolk, Furyondy is the lone superpower in the Flanaess. It is well for all concerned that Furyondy is for weal, for woe betide all who would challenge the Furyondian military machine. Furyondy doesn't start wars; she finishes them.
The Furyondian Military
by Glenn Vincent Dammerung (aka GVDammerung)
The Origins of Furyondian Military Might
For a peaceful nation, Furyondy has always maintained a strong standing military. This tradition continues.
As a viceroyalty, Ferrond was required to maintain a strong military presence to ensure security on the frontier of Aerdi. The Malachite Throne’s retreat from empire put an even greater premium on self-reliance. On the edge of the eastern Flanaess, threats from beyond the borders of civilization have always been a concern.
With the rise of Iuz and the Horned Society, armed conflict became inevitable and Furyondian liberty was only maintained at the price of constant vigilance and a ready sword. Never was this more true than during the period of the recent Greyhawk Wars and the subsequent Great Northern Crusade. Furyondians rightly see themselves as foremost among the opponents of evil in the Flanaess. As a common aphorism has it, "Furyondy is the sword of justice and Veluna the shield of liberty." Few accuse the Furyondian chivalry of a false modesty.
In addition to a traditional feudal army, Furyondy also maintains arguably the most sophisticated navy of any state in the Flanaess. Lake Whyestil and the Nyr Dyv are joined by the Veng River to form a continuous waterway navigable by sea-going vessels. To protect merchant cargoes, Furyondy maintains a strong naval presence on both lakes.
Lest it be thought, however, that Furyondy is possessed of a too ready altruism, the war-like character of the Oeridian people must be noted. Furyondy was colonized by the same people who founded the Great Kingdom. While Furyondy has acted for weal, her nobles love of battle is genuine. A challenge made is a challenge accepted.
The army of Furyondy now stands at its greatest size in history. King Artur continues the war against Iuz declared by his predecessor, King Belvor. The Royal Army, the Furyondian Guard, the noble levies and the militia comprise Furyondy’s land based forces.
The Royal Army
The Royal Army consists of the following forces:
1000 Heavy Cavalry
1000 Medium Cavalry
1000 Heavy Infantry
2000 Medium Infantry
1000 Royal Archers
500 Royal Engineers (Engineers operate siege machinery)
500 Sappers (assigned with Engineer units)
500 Borderers (Borderers function as scounts)
Units of the Royal Army are scattered throughout the country but with the heaviest concentration in the northern lands under threat from Iuz. Command ultimately rests with the King but operational control is split. Cavalry units are commanded by an officer corps composed of nobles, their sons and daughters. All other units are commanded by a professional officer corps, not restricted to nobility. Conflicts between noble officers and professional soldiers are not uncommon over matters of strategy and tactics.
The Furyondian Guard
Stationed in and near the capital of Chendl, the Furyondian Guard serves as the King’s personal body of troops, a crown guard. It is composed of the following forces:
250 Kozeki Horsemen
250 Perrenland Halberdiers
250 Heavy Cavalry
500 Heavy Infantry
500 Medium Infantry
The Kozeki Horsemen are a mercenary unit that has traditionally served the kings and queens of Furyondy as an honor guard, and as a force capable of any particularly dirty jobs that may need doing. Composed of horse soldiers drawn from Ket, Ekbir and the Tiger Nomads, the Kozeki are an extremely colorful and feared force. A Kozeki sabre charge is a much feared herald of slaughter and has been known to rout much larger forces, particularly humanoids who seem to regard the Kozeki as living avatars of destruction. All Kozeki units are commanded by their own officers who by tradition answer only to the King or Queen.
The Perrenland Halberdiers are another mercenary unit that has traditionally served the kings and queens of Furyondy. Armed with elaborately decorated habreds, the Perrenlanders are posted throughout the Royal Palace in Chendl. Appearing entirely decorative, the skill with which these guards wield their weapons should not be underestimated or taken for granted. The Halbrediers are commanded by their own officers.
When the king or queen travels, unless intentionally left behind, the heavy cavalry of the Furyondian Guard serves as the Royal Escort. To be posted to the Escort is deemed a great honor among the lesser nobility.
The heavy infantry serves a similar purpose within the precincts of the capital. Detachments of heavy infantry are always within a stone’s throw of the person of the king, queen and dauphin. The medium infantry and archers serve more mundane duties as guards within the palace.
Noble Levies and the Militia
Noble levies are those forces placed at the crown’s disposal in satisfaction of feudal obligations. This usually occurs only during times of conflict. These forces vary in number and quality but always consist of cavalry in the largest part. Unit level command is vested in the noble levies themselves. This can on occasion prove problematic when noble levies are placed within the command structure of the standing Royal Army.
Local militia serve as something of a counterpart to the noble levies, providing infantry and archers for the most part. All able bodied men and women in Furyondy are expected to train in weapons that they may serve in the militia as necessary. Unlike other feudal powers, Furyondy has no fear of an armed populace, seeing such as a guarantee of liberty. This reflects the historic frontier mentality of Ferrond and then Furyondy. The fighting strength of "peasant militia" in other nations is often discounted. As the Keolanders learned to their regret during the Short War, Furyondian militia are well drilled and give a good accounting of themselves. Militia units are always attached to some other force and are commanded by officers of those units.
The Furyondian Army in the Field
Taken together, then, Furyondy is easily capable of fielding a force of 20,000 men without disrupting the economy of the nation. Twice this number is reasonably sustainable and three times this number is possible with a full mobilization. Only during the Great Northen Crusade has the entire nation mobilized.
A note must, of course, be made of Furyondy’s traditional allies. Troops from Veluna, particularly clerical forces from religious orders that span the two countries, serve frequently with Furyondian forces, usually when there is open conflict with to Iuz. Highfolk similarly supplies companies of elven archers and rangers which act as scouts and elite borderers. While small in overall number, these bodies of troops provide valuable specialist service that is much respected in Furyondy.
By itself, Furyondy fields perhaps the most capable, and certainly the most battle tested, army in the Flanaess. In combination with Veluna and Highfolk, Furyondy is the preeminent military power in the Flanaess. King Artur’s patronage of independent knightly orders promises to only increase Furyondy’s striking power on the battlefield. Iuz has, no doubt, taken concerned account of his southern neighbor.