Warlords

Warlords

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 the Rimelands, the Amir of the Shariqyn desert, the Highlanders of Dunland are all common examples of Warlords who raid the Throne 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.

The Claim

Unlike Knights, Warlords do not have Sovereigns that they serve as champions for.  They invest in themselves and their own reputation to convince others to follow them.  The deeds they have done and the Boasts they have made form the basis of their Claim – their overall greatness of title, prestige and legend, that makes others believe enough in their prowess to commit to fight, which earns the Warlord yet more victories, which in turn gathers more support.  The power of the Warlord’s great Claim gives them the momentum to continue to conquer.  Warlords of each culture have their own names for these Claims, and their own ceremonies for claiming a greater legend, though the concept is the same.  
 
Warlord status is usually granted by some cultural acknowledgement that the Warlord is not just anyone.  In some cultures this is through a ceremony, such as the Njordic Branding, or the Shariqyn’s proclamation by a Magus’tariq of the status of Amir.   Regardless of their culture, Warlords gain the following abilities:

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 grants the Warlord Hope.

Declaration of Triumph

The Warlord may boast of an upcoming major accomplishment, and if they fulfill the terms of their boast before witnesses, further the prestige and renown of their Claim.
 
In order to qualify as a Triumph, the Warlord must publicly boast their intent to accomplish some great feat, which must be life-threatening or dangerous in some way.  If the act is to be performed fairly immediately, such as within the same hour, such as “Hear me, for today I declare that I shall destroy my hated foe, Thulgra One-Eye, in single combat in the trial pit!” then the Warlord may simply make the declaration before a sizable crowd.  If it is something that will take longer, the Warlord must do so at an official assembly of their people, such as a Feast, Party or other Function.  These can be longer term, such as “Hear me! I declare that I shall gather my warriors and take to sea! I shall make war upon the invaders, raid their fishing villages, and return with treasure enough to fill this chest!”
 
Once the deed is done, a public boast must be made of the success, at some kind of Function, with the Warlord given the sole credit.  For Warlords this is often the victory celebration of their own conquests, provided by themselves for their elites and loyalists, though it can also be in the form of a rumor spread by Streetwise or a ballad written and sung publicly as a Dedicated Performance.  A Warlord also earns a triumphs when they use the Wage War Downtime action and defeat a foe in Warfare.
 
The triumphant Warlord earns a Warlord Achievement.  A Warlord Achievement may be spent as Experience Points on any Boast, used to purchase Mighty Boasts, or may be spent to attract a Military Unit of their Warriors.

Warmongering

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.  

(Read more about Warfare Battles)

Warlords increase their Claim when their total army reaches a certain amount of Warriors.  For each Claim they should add another title of renown to their name.  Upon achieving the higher degree of greatness, they may make greater Boasts.  If the size of their army falls below the threshold necessary to maintain a given Claim, the benefits of the Boasts are lost, though they reactivate automatically if their Claim improves again, unless the Boast is actually broken.

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.

Branded Men

WARRIORS
Minions

Karls 

(Infantry, Heavy)
Move: 3  Strength: 2  Resilience: 5
Traits: Stalwart, Veteran, Driving

Thralls 

(Infantry, Light)

Move: 4  Strength: 1  Resilience: 4
Traits: Lock-Up

Highlander

WARRIORS
Minions

Freedom Fighters

(Infantry, Heavy)
Move: Strength: 2 Resilience 5
Traits: Veteran, Rally, Lock-Up

Radicals

(Infantry, Light)
Move: 4  Strength: 1  Resilience: 4
Traits: Selective Targeting

Amir

WARRIORS
Minions

Altariq

(Infantry, Light)
Move: 4 Strength: 2 Resilience 4
Traits: Veteran, Flanking, Ghost

Jharad

(Infantry, Light)
Move: 4  Strength: 1  Resilience: 3
Traits: Ghost

Mercenary

WARRIORS
Minions

Dogs of War

(Infantry, Light)
Move: 3 Strength: 2 Resilience 7
Traits: Veteran, Lock-Up, Armor

Press gang

(Infantry, Light)
Move: 4  Strength: 1  Resilience: 4
Traits: Rally

Boasts

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.

First Claim

Boast of the Duelist

The Warlord boasts that they shall never lose an official duel of single combat.
During a declared duel, the Warlord may ignore negative conditions they enter with such as Trauma, Misery, Despair or Battered, though not Injuries and may still be Downed. 

Boast of the Avenger

The Warlord boasts that coin for coin, tooth for tooth, life for life, they shall always take revenge or repayment for those who have wronged them.
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

The Warlord boasts that there isn’t any man or woman alive that can outdrink them, boasting that they shall never lose a drinking contest.
During an official drinking contest, the Warlord may spend Hope to call Toughness against Blackout.

Boast of Freedom

The Warlord boasts that they shall never kneel before another or swear any kind of fealty.

The Warlord gains one Discipline against Obey per Rest.

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 gain Hope whenever the Warlord performs the Declaration of Claim.

Boast of the Scourge

The Warlord boasts that they shall never allow a defeated foe to live.
 

When the Warlord performs a Death Blow, they may call Fear on all around them.

THE Red Boast

Mighty Boast
The Warlord boasts that they shall never succumb to Fear.

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

The Warlord boasts they shall only ever do battle with their named, personal signature weapon.
 

When using their weapon, the Warlord may add one extra Perk of their choice to it, determined at the time of the Boast.

Second Claim 

 
Boast of the Wary
The Warlord boasts that they are cleverer than those who hunt them and shall never be taken unawares.

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 an Hit or Condition with the Stealth Quality.

Boast of Pride

The Warlord boasts that they shall never permit someone to insult them to their face.

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

Mighty Boast

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

The cunning Warlord uses their foe’s own tactics against them.  They boast they shall always Scout the Province before Ordering an Attack.
 
The Warlord gains a Scout as an Ally.  If the Warlord receives the results a Scout action within one Chapter of an Attack, they may name one Perk.  The enemy Force loses access to this Perk for the duration of the Conflict.

Boast of Bloodlust

The Warlord boasts that nothing can sate their hunger for death, that they shall Attack an enemy Force or raid a settlement every Chapter.  
 
The Warlord’s forces gain the Fast condition.
 

Boast of the Enforcer

The Warlord swears to serve under the guidance and direction of another Warlord, of at least as high of a Claim, boasting that they shall never fail their new master.
 
For as long as they are in that master’s service, they earn Minions whenever their Master earns Warriors.  If they are with their Master during Events, they count as their Master’s Follower per Morale.
 

Boast of the Usurper

The Warlord Boasts openly that they shall betray the Warlord to whom they have sworn their loyalty.  This must be done at least one Chapter before the betrayal.
 
If the Warlord kills their old master, they gain half of their Warriors and all of their Minions.
 
If the Warlord fails to kill their master within three Chapters, the Boast is failed.
 

Third Claim

The Boast of the Blood Price

The Warlord boasts that they shall never pay for any good or service. 

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.

Boast of the Titan

The Warlord boasts that they shall always loudly announce themselves in battle.
 
The Warlord may call Obey: Fight me! once per opponent per Combat Scene.   This may be used to initiate a battle.
 

Boast of the Bloodied

Mighty Boast
The Warlord boasts that they take pride in their old maims, proof of a warrior’s life well-lived.  The Warlord must have at least one severe Maim.
 
The Warlord does not suffer the Battered Condition.
 

Boast of the Mad

Mighty Boast
The Warlord boasts that their madness has only made them stronger, cleverer, and more dangerous.  The Warlord must have at least one Severe Insanity.
 
The Warlord does not suffer the Trauma Condition.
 

Boast of the Fiend

Mighty Boast
The Warlord boasts that there is no act depraved enough to be taboo, that they are above the morals of lesser men and women, as a human is above a beast.  The Warlord must have at least 7 Depravity.
 
The Warlord does not suffer from Despair.
 

Boast of the Trophy Taker

The Warlord boasts that they shall take a trophy from anyone who they threaten using Declaration of Claim.
 
The trophy taken, which can be a body part or a precious and noteworthy belonging, is added to the Warlord’s armor, clothes, or otherwise becomes a decoration in their garments.  For each of these that the Warlord is wearing, they may declare them formally during the Declaration of Claim, taking an extra Hope for each one claimed.
 

Boast of Unleashing

The Warlord boasts that they shall never admonish one of their Followers from taking what they please.
 
The Warlord  releases a number of Warriors and Minions from their army into local Cities and Villages to take up residence and exploit the population for support.  Unleashed units do not leave when there is no Warmongering, but increase the Reich Corruption of the area where they reside by 1 every Chapter for each Warrior or Minion they hold.
 

Boast of the Overlord

The Warlord boasts that they shall never turn away another Warlord who wishes to swear their loyalty.  
 
The Warlord may demand that their follower claim all of their Boasts before them.  From each Warlord Follower who shows service and calls them Master, the Warlord may take the upside of one Boast until they learn that their servant has broken them. 
 
 

Fourth Claim

Boast of the Tormentor

The Warlord Boasts that they shall be a scourge upon the land, that they shall never allow travel through their land without their say so.
 
The Warlord may spend Minions to affect Travel throughout a region.  Every Minion sent to the purpose increases travel Risk for 1 Season.  If they stop any caravans, merchants, travelers or other business, it counts as a victory for the Warlord’s Warmongering.  Specific people, such as those bearing the Warlord’s mark, can be excluded from the additional Risk.
 

Boast of Supremacy 

The Warlord boasts that they shall always make slaves of foes that they let live, and use their power against the Warlord’s enemies.
 
The Warlord can willingly give up an Edge in battle in order to capture an enemy Unit instead of kill them.  If the battle is successful, whatever unit would be lost is instead enslaved and joins the Warlord.  If they capture a unit with Valor, such as a Knight’s Special Forces, the captured unit confers the Valor’s Combat Doctrine to the Force that they are in.

Fifth Claim

Boast of the Tyrant

The Warlord boasts that they shall always Raid any city in the Theater that their army is in that does not pay them tribute within one Season.
 
The Warlord’s Army does not lose Warriors or Minions for any Chapter in which they have received tribute in the form of Supplies or wealth of at least 5 Gold in value.
 

Boast of the Warmaster

The Warlord boasts that they shall always be at war until all the world is theirs.
 
The Warlord may spend 10 Warriors and 10 Minions from their Army to create a Great Army, suitable to influence events in the Global Theater.