Through the course of History, warfare has been an integral aspect of virtually all civilizations at one time period or another. For some cultures such as most Goblin tribes, it's the very basis of society, the element that binds members together. For others, notably the Fae and Elven civilizations, it's the cause of their demise or withdrawal from Temuair.
It is my intention, with this document, to describe the particularities
of temuarian warfare, basing myself on historical records, as well as on
direct field observation. I will begin with a separate analysis of the
main civilizations of our lands, their tactics, units employed, past and
present conflicts and any other relevant information; then proceed with
a description of units made obsolete by various changes of circunstances;
and finish with a few speculations about the future of Warfare.
The humans are currently the dominant species of Temuair. Their military
is, by far, the most complex and efficient, with a tendecy for specialized
units that support each other, rather than "all purpose" ones. Our kind
has a long history of hostility with the Dubhaimid, our main enemy, but
a few internal conflicts also occur, of which the most remarkable was certainly
the war between Lord Tenes and the rebels led by Ainmeal. In the past,
the humans were almost conquered by the Dubhaimid, being saved from it
only by the sacrifice of their Goddess, Danaan. The advent of the Aisling
was the final step in securing the human supremacy and determined the decline
of the Dubhaimid forces in this realm.
The warrior is the mainstay of practically all human armies. They are most effective in clear terrain such as plains, specially if supported by priests. Being a melee unit, the warrior is extremely vulnerable to some aerial units, as well as fortifications garrisoned by ranged ones. Difficult terrain can also decrease their efficiency.
The monk is a melee unit that does not require weapons or shields. They are generally employed by factions that do not have access to metals and/or manufactured weapons, as was the case with Undine. Their raw battle power is lower than that of the warrior, but their higher dexterity, harder training and ability to brew potions out of medicinal herbs usually make up for it. Contrary to what is believed, the cost of forming monk legions is as high as that of warrior ones, as what is saved on equipment is spent on training.
A support unit. They do not usually engage in combat and are almost completely defenseless by themselves, but when added to a group of melee units in adequate proportions, they can raise it's overall battle power by over 50%. Experienced commanders find that it's best to have one priest for each two or three warriors or monks, depending on the circunstances. Worthy of note also is the positive effect priests have on the morale of troops, preventing desertions and encouraging them to do battle with their utmost potential. They are also a necessity when epidemics spread among the legions. Even though they can't actually cure some of them, they can ensure most of the soldiers will at least survive and retain their ability to fight for a longer period of time.
A ranged unit. In combat, the wizard is best used to garrison fortifications and defend choke points such as bridges and valleys, as they can make those almost impervious to melee attack. They are not effective in open terrain, since melee units can reach and slay them with ease. Wizards also provide air defense to travelling armies or settlements. Some generals try to avoid using wizards in their armies, as they are particularly prone to insubordination, but those who can successfully command them have a definite advantage.
The rogue is used for scouting, as well as for undercover operations.
Travelling armies usually send a few rogues ahead and around their flanks
to detect ambushes, traps, and enemies. When the army prepares to camp
at nightfall, rogues can be deployed to set a defensive perimeter of traps
that will both alert the encampment and weaken incoming enemy forces, should
they attack during the night. Being proficient at remaining unnoticed,
they are also perfect for more sneaky operations such as assassination
of key enemy personnel, sabotage, poisoning of enemy water supplies and
The key to best using the rogue is being alert to any and all opportunities.
Those include the catapults and ballistas of various designs. Their
range is, by far, the greatest and their raw destructive power is fantastic.
When used against fortifications in considerable numbers, they invariably
force the occupants to either come out and fight, retreat or respond with
their own siege engines (with the notable exception of Dubhaim Castle).
Those devices are very bulky and would slow down troops imensely, so they
are usually built at the very site of the siege (just outside of enemy
range) when employed offensively. Siege Engines are extremely uneffective
against mobile targets in open terrain and are also the most vulnerable
of units if the enemy can reach them (they might even be seized instead)
The origins of the Dubhaimid in Temuair are not yet known, but there
are numerous speculations about it. Some believe human prayers towards
the northern lands of Kadath alerted them about the existence of a new
world to conquer; our world. Others think they are creations of mad wizards,
or the corrupted worshippers of Kadath themselves. Another hypothesis is
that they have always existed within Temuair and were awakened somehow.
The fact is that, in the year 1705 of Danaan, the first Dubhaimid was sighted
and since that fateful day, Temuair has been the theater of a bloody conflict.
The Dubhaimid were responsible for the downfall of the Elven civilization
and almost conquered the humans as well, being stopped cold by Danaan's
sacrifice. Currently, Dubhaimid presence in our world is minimal, consisting
of a single settlement conquered from the elves, in the Isle of Man. It
is possible that more Dubhaimid temples exist in Temuair, but if that's
the case, they were not discovered yet. One of the particularities of Dubhaimid
units is that they don't ever use or wear any kind of combat equipment
nor are able to use magic (or at least they didn't until recently),
relying only on their natural weapons (claws, teeth, fists). Also, they are extremely vulnerable to the sixth element and it's discovery determined their decline in our world. Dubhaimid will always attempt to fight their battles during the night or in dark places. Not depending as much on vision (and knowing their foes do), they can fight with unbelievable skill even in the darkest of places.
A few years after the beginning of the Shadows War, an attempt was made by Danaan's forces to raze Dubhaim Castle. The fortress was bombarded for an entire day by dozens of catapults, suffering only minor damage (What grants it's supernatural resistance is still unknown at this time). It appears that, as soon as night fell, a swarm of Dubhaimid came out of the castle and slaughtered them. All the scouts could find was the diary of general Teran and the destroyed encampment with a huge eight-pointed star drawn in the center. Strangely, no survivors or even corpses were found at all.
Those are not actually combat units, although they will fight if necessary. They are infants and will soon turn into a cocoon, hatching as a ghast after a few days. Recently, hordes of these creatures could be seen assaulting Rucesion, Piet and Loures. It seemed like a desperate last effort and was not successful. Some tacticians believe it was intended to be merely a test of the new magical capabilities the Dubhaimid are somehow developing as of recently.
Not fully grown yet, but considerably more powerful. Although this form has hands apparently capable of handling tools, they do not use any weapons. Their mental capabilities do not seem to follow the same rate of growth their bodies do, thus making them unable to handle them.
The Mainstay of the Dubhaimid forces. Not particularly strong individually, without armor or weapons, those units often make up for that with overwhelming numbers. During the Shadows War, many human cities have fallen to the relentless assaults of these creatures, after the settlements were surveyed by Gargoyles
The only aerial unit currently in existence (or so we believe). People knew that when one of those was spotted flying around the outskirts of a city, a strike was soon to follow and human armies would be rushed to defend that position. It's primarily a scout and numbers of these creatures will sometimes drop boulders at melee divisions with impunity, but most of the times they will just come down and fight, as they do not seem to be very intelligent.
This unit does not appear to be a "true" Dubhaimid, even though they seem to be allied with Chadul. Those creatures enjoy mating with human males, as well as torturing and killing them in the process. Succubi are apparently able to manipulate and contact men in their dreams and Chadul seemed to make great use of this ability. Rumors say Lord Tenes himself was driven to utter obsession by a succubus and fell in love with Dubhreal as soon as his eyes landed on her. Those units also possess imense battle power, being able to cast elemental spells (another fact that makes me believe they are not actual Dubhaimid) and having extraordinary agility. Their wings do not allow flight however (at least not in our realm). The rarity with which Chadul employs them suggests the process of bringing Succubi to this dimension is not a simple one.
This is merelly a rumor, but many people believe there are Dubhaimid
infiltrated among us, assuming our form. Some "humans" such as Dubhreal
were believed to be representatives of such creatures, even though I personally
think those are merelly people serving Chadul of their own, free will,
seduced by his promises of power and extended lifespans. Another possibility
is that Chadul is actually able to possess humans, taking control of their
bodies completely. The existence or not of a shape-shifter Dubhaimid spawn
still requires more investigation.
This species is native to the Eastern Woodlands of Mileth, as well as
to Astrid. The goblins are extremely warlike and are divided into dozens
of enemy clans spread all over the woods. Their life is that of constant
battle and someone dying of old age in their tribes is a very rare event.
Their settlements never last more than a few years before being ravaged
by enemy clans. Due to that, they are unable to maintain an efficient agricultural
basis, having a very small population (even though the birth rate is very
high). Their battles rarely ever involve more than a few hundred people.
Their strict code of "honor" is a major drawback to their efficiency. Thoughts
such as "retreating", "remaining behind the fortifications while the enemy
is taunting" or "surrendering" never ever cross their minds.
Making contact with the humans was, in a sense, beneficial to their organization. Having a new "enemy" in the vicinity convinced some of the clans to merge and stop the relentless internal slaughter. All goblin units are "multi-purpose" ones. Being primarily melee units, their warriors are also able to employ cradh, poison, and even elemental magic against their foes. Unfortunately for them, that also means they are not particularly good at any of those roles...
Finally, if you ever do battle against those creatures, don't consider surrendering as an option. They take no prisoners (and when they do, those are used for sacrifices).
Soldier, Warrior, Guard
In essence, all of those are the same. They are all melee units with limited magic abilities, but those who distinguish themselves in combat get to use and wear the best equipment (i.e. the equipment seized from the humans).
It's said those units are created through artificial means, in an attempt
to counter the negative effects of age on a person's physical attributes
(not that many get to grow old among the goblins). They are even more reckless
than the average goblin, usually charging at the enemy with war cries even
if outnumbered by ten to one.
There are two distinct groups of kobolds. The kobolds of the Mileth
Eastern Woodlands and the kobolds of Astrid. The first have always lived
under the shadow of the goblins, being constantly slaughtered and exploited
by them. Being physically weaker than goblins, the wood kobolds were unable
to develop much and have grown extremely xenophobic from this relation.
The kobolds from Astrid have goblins as their neighbours likewise, but
apparently they settled that territory first and had a definite hold of
it when the goblins arrived. Thus, the latter faction of kobolds was able
to develop remarkably well, and their military reflects that. It appears
to have a rudiment of specialization already in place and the tendecy is
for that to grow more evident as time passes.
A melee unit, with poor equipment and minor elemental capabilities. They can be seen patrolling the borders of Kobold territory alone or in very small groups and will usually engage invaders instead of reporting back to their towns. I suppose it's assumed that if the scouts do not return, there are intruders in the area.
Those are the most impressive kobold units. They are proficient at elemental magic and also possess a curious illusionism skill that allows them to disguise as wolves. Their ability to also summon Dubhaimid suggests worshippers of Sgrios are not exclusive to our species.
This unit is a rudiment of the human rogue. They are able to set traps,
but do not appear to possess the other abilities our rogues do.
Warfare of the past - Units made obsolete
There's no room for inefficiency in Warfare. Those are some of the units that one day have roamed the bloody battlefields, but not anymore.
The human ranged unit of the past. Developments in the quality of armor and shields decreased their efficiency greatly, as the arrows were unable to pierce it, but the final blow was the advent of the wizard, which can fully replace them with many advantages.
This unit was, and still is, devastating against infantry in the open,
but a curious particularity of Temuair prevents their use in considerable
numbers. Along the mountains that split Temuair in
two, numerous griffin make their nests. Those creatures are obsessed with horse flesh and it is believed they can hear their noises when large herds of horses are travelling (stopped horses, as well a small amount of them do not attract Griffin) The fact is, after losing three entire cavalry legions to swarms of flying lions with eagle faces, Loures felt discouraged to employ those costly units anymore.
Necromancer, Skeleton, Zombie
Loures used to employ those units against Ainmeal, but it seems the
secrets were somehow lost after Tenes's defeat (it's not very hard to imagine
why, as the civilians generally abhor necromancy).
Being completely mindless, undead units have the distinct advantage of not being affected by morale changes, never deserting or disobeying orders, but actual battle power is not their strong point. The psychological impact of having to battle decomposing, foul smelling, growling and walking corpses on the enemies is more than enough to make the undead useful, nevertheless.
The Future of Warfare
Those are my speculations as to how Warfare will develop in the following
The Misterious Mineral of Dubhaim Castle
The walls of Dubhaim Castle are pratically impervious to damage. Wether it's some kind of spell or mineral the responsible for that, it shall be discovered and I expect it to be a revolution on fortification techniques.
Some human settlements such as Mileth somehow nullify any magic cast within it. If we can determine what exactly causes that, we may be able to successfully shield our melee units against magic, perhaps even rendering wizards obsolete in battle. Not a pleasant though, might I add...
Dubhaimid Mastering Magic
In recent assaults against human cities, Dubhaimid units could be seen employing various spells. If they can develop this ability further, they might regain some of their dominance over our realm.
The Dracos of Pravat Cave would be an excellent replacement for the horses if their fury can be tamed somehow. The Grimlock people, being extremely peaceful, do not seem to notice the natural resources they have lying right next to them.
Human Flying Units
If we can eliminate the Gargoyles before they can return to their settlements
with the acquired information, we might gain a distinct advantage over
the Dubhaimid. We need an unit to fight them in their domain - the Air.
If Griffin can be domesticated for riding, this role shall be filled.
Although the majority of our people abhor violence in any form, I do not realistically believe warfare will ever come to an end. At least not in a world with limited resources, growing populations and conflicting interests.
Deoch 7, 13th Moon, 2nd Day