While it is easier to some, especially in the Throne, to think of war as a knightly, glorious campaign for righteous cause of king and country, but there are those who would attest that the world has never been so pretty as that. In the lands these virtuous knights come to conquer, the role of the Warlord reigns supreme, and these warmasters of the old world have no such compunctions about virtue and sovereignty to cloud their aims.
Warlords fulfill a similar role to Knights, but for cultures that do not have a concept of Knighthood. The Branded men of Njordr, the Amir of the Shariqyn desert, the Highlanders of Dunland are all common examples of Warlords who raid the others for resources, for freedom, or for their masters. Warlords can also be found in the Warriors of Kuarl, Necromancers, Orc Chieftains, and even condottieri and other dogs of war who sell their swords throughout the Throne.
The tribal or clan societies to which Warlords often belong do not have an organizing government to draft farmers and millers into battle. Instead, word arrives that some mighty hero is gathering a force to throw out the invaders, or to claim great glory, or to vanquish a hated foe, and those who hear the call make their way to join them. These armies tend to be ferocious and vigorous, yet lack the staying power and cohesion of professional or levied armies. Their power comes in their belief of victory – the belief in the exceptionalism and greatness of their Warlord – and their ability to raid supplies from the enemy that they themselves cannot produce without baggage trains, supply lines, and all the other strategic logistics that mark the armies of kingdoms. Warlords go to war for many reasons, but they do so on the back and merit of their own reputations – their Claim – which is their most precious asset.
Declaration of Claim
Once per Scene the Warlord may introduce themselves with their full name and titles, accompanied by some kind of threat, such as “I am Rangvald Bloodaxe, the Conqueror of Ice Hawk, and the Breaker of Shields. You’ve come before me to die.” Doing so makes the Warlord Inspired.
Declaration of Triumph
The Warlords gain Warriors, their greater Units, whenever they successfully Attack or Ambush in Warfare, defeating a defending army on the field. They gain Minions, their lesser Units, whenever they successfully Raid an enemy Supply Line, City, or Village during Warfare. These new additions arrive after the Chapter ends, and embed themselves into the bottom of an existing Force’s Formation.
Warlords lose part of their forces for every Chapter that they take neither of these actions, starting with Minions, unable to keep the momentum alive. This effect is army wide within the same Theater. The army’s successes and failures apply equally across the local Forces.
Warlords do not need supplies. Their warriors bring supplies with them, and refresh themselves through their attacks and raids.
the Claim of the Warlord
First Claim: 0 Warriors
Second Claim: 5 Warriors
Third Claim: 10 Warriors
Fourth Claim: 25 Warriors
Fifth Claim: 50 Warriors
The Hordes of War
Each kind of Warlord uses different Warriors and Minions, specific to their style of warfare. A Warlord always earns their specific type when performing the actions described under Warmongering. Minions begin with no Battle Experience, while Warriors arrive with at least 1 unless stated otherwise.
Move: 3 Strength: 2 Resilience: 5
Traits: Stalwart, Veteran, Driving
Move: 3 Strength: 2 Resilience 5
Traits: Veteran, Rally, Lock-Up
Move: 4 Strength: 1 Resilience: 4
Traits: Selective Targeting
Move: 4 Strength: 2 Resilience 4
Traits: Veteran, Flanking, Ghost
Move: 4 Strength: 1 Resilience: 3
Dogs of War
Move: 3 Strength: 2 Resilience 7
Traits: Veteran, Lock-Up, Armor
Move: 4 Strength: 1 Resilience: 4
Warlords make Boasts in order to increase their legend. Each Boast that the Warlord takes adds a Belief to their character, as indicated in bold for each Boast. So long as they do not violate that Belief, the Warlord gains the listed benefit of the Oath. Boasts can be taken in any order, but a Warlord can only perform a Boast that matches their current Claim or below. The Boasts must be performed in public at some kind of Function, such as a Feast.
Boast of the Duelist
During a declared duel, the Warlord may ignore negative conditions they enter with such as Trauma, Misery, Despair or Battered, though not Injuries and they may still be Downed.
Boast of the Avenger
Whenever a Warlord takes vengeance on someone, they may loudly declare the slight that they were dealt and what they will do in return. For the rest of the Scene, the Warlord may take the Devoted condition to take their revenge.
Boast of Irongut
During an official drinking contest, the Warlord may Exert to call Toughness against Blackout.
Boast of Freedom
In addition to this Belief, the Warlord gains one Discipline against Obey per person per Conversation.
Boast of Mettle
The Warlord boasts that they need no armor to protect them, that they are no coward to hide behind walls – that they shall never wear Armor or use a Shield.
The Warlord gains one use of Toughness per Rest.
Boast of Brotherhood
The Warlord boasts that they shall never betray any of their Followers.
Any Followers the Warlord has through the Morale Skill also become Inspired whenever the Warlord performs the Declaration of Claim.
Boast of the Scourge
When the Warlord performs a Death Blow, they may call Fear on all around them.
THE Red Boast
In addition to the above Belief, the Warlord may cut their own chest with their weapon, taking Bleed. If they do this, they may immediately gain a Discipline vs Fear. This can be done immediately as a response to a Fear call. The Discipline fades if not used by the end of the Combat Scene.
Boast of the Weapon
When using their weapon, the Warlord may add one extra Perk of their choice to it, determined at the time of the Boast.
Boast of the Wary
Whenever the Warlord bellows aloud a challenge for any who hear to come out and face them in the open, they may become Alert.
This Boast is broken if the Warlord suffers a successful Hit or Condition with the Stealth Quality.
Boast of Pride
Whenever someone insults the Warlord or laughs at them derisively, the Warlord may immediately verbally threaten them and call Fear. If the Warlord fails to do so, they have failed their Boast.
Boast of Conquest
The Warlord boasts that they shall never be defeated in Warfare.
The Warlord gains twice as many Warriors and Minions from Warmongering, but if they fail their Boast by losing a battle, they lose enough Warriors to drop them to the next lowest Claim.
Boast of the Hunter
The Warlord boasts that they are a mighty hunter, that they shall never refuse or be bested in a contest of Archery.
Once per Chapter, the Warlord may add the Ranged Perk when they add Warriors to their Army.
The Warlord may not decline contests without failing their Boast, but may demand high stakes.
Boast of the Slayer
The Warlord boasts that they are unrivaled with the blade, that they shall never be Downed in a battle.
Once per Chapter, the Warlord may add the Driving Perk when they add Warriors to their Army.
Boast of the Tactician
Boast of Bloodlust
Boast of the Enforcer
Boast of the Usurper
The Boast of the Blood Price
The Warlord gains 5 extra Supply Units when they raid a City.
Wealth may be given away to Followers, but the Warlord may not request they purchase things on their behalf.