Alesian Military

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Glossary of Terms

Akrovok: (plural Akrovosok) Falvarniok standard, like a banner. Akrovosok are both holy relics and magic artifacts, and play important roles both in the worship of the war god Hepheran and in Alesian battlefield tactics.

Bavaso: The command for archers and slingers in the Alesian auxilliaries to loose their projectiles.

Cargothoradt: Alesian for "Siege" or "Encirclement". Only seven Cargothoradt battles have ever been fought, the most recent which was in the fight against the Aslarian Army at Dulsi. The fortification process includes the digging of ditches, diverting water and creating trapped, boxed in killing grounds to engage an enemy's relief while the main force is starved out.

Falvarniok: (plural Falvarniosok) The typical professional army formation of the Alesian Imperium, consisting of six thousand trained heavy infantry. Each province of the Imperium ideally has three Falvarniok, two tasked to assault roles and one as a constabulary force.

Forvo dos (lat): Battlefield command to advance (toward something)

Haskatho: A catapult

Hepheran daltoss do: "Hepheran watches you!" A battlefield exhortation.

Hevarnin: (plural Hevarniok) A battle priest of the war god Hepheran. The senior priest of the Falvarniok is called the Ve-Hevarnin and serves on the general's command staff.

Hithos: (plural Hithosok) Alesian general in command of a Falvarniok. The commanding general of a campaign is titled Ve-Hithos.

Kaso lat akrovok: "Raise the standard." A signal to prepare to attack.

Kosoth dos (lat): Battlefield command to fall back (toward something).

Kovarnin: (plural Kovarniok) Martial Wizards of the Falvarniok. At the expense of the ability to cast higher magics, Kovarnin fight with blade and magic and are integrated into a Falvarniok. The senior wizard of the Falvarniok is called the Ve-Kovarnin and serves on the general's command staff.

Lliros: (plural Llirosok) Alesian military unit of 500 men. There are 12 Llirosok in a Falvarniok.

Motos: A message.

School of Arms: Institutions where Varnin are trained, usually for a year, to march in formation, as well as learn other skills of the Falvarniok. Known far and wide for the brutal training meant to train men into units, as opposed to producing individual elite warriors. The primary and best known School of Arms is in Prine, in Terlind.

Tarim: (plural Tarimok) Alesian fortified camp.

Tavarnin: The commander of a Tavros of Varniok. Also generally used as a trainer of Varnin. A Ve-Tavarnin is the second in command of a Falvarniok, while a Li-Tavarnin commands a Lliros (500 men).

Tavros: (plural Tavrosok) Alesian military unit of 100 men. There are five Tavrosok in a Lliros.

Thovaratos: Victory, a common Alesian battle cry; also used as a salutation among soldiers.

Varnin: (plural Varniok) Alesian soldier of the ranks.There are 100 Varniok to a Tavros.

Virsekos: "Beast of War," an orcish abomination that is typically an aggregate creation built up from the bones and sinew of a variety of creatures to the shaman's taste.

Viskatho: An archer


Honed through centuries of combat, the Alesian Falvarniok is an institution whose effectiveness is unrivaled in the field when ably led. Heavy infantry by nature, the Alesian Varnin is a hardened man who has been trained in one of the Imperium's various Schools of Arms, whose quality is uniform due to personal oversight by the Emperor. The School of Arms is a full year of intense, brutal training designed to mold men into the machine by which Alesia lives and thrives.

Under the watch of grizzled Tavarniok, raw recruits are drilled endlessly and mercilessly to give them the physical and mental conditioning required for life in the Falvarniok. In addition to the basic training in arms and tactics all Varnin receive, most receive specialized training to maximize a Falvarniok's autonomy and minimize its need for support staff and other noncombatants.

Two out of every ten men are also trained as archers, equally capable of fighting in the ranks or leaving their shields behind to wield a bow and arrows. Men with knowledge of carpentry, masonry, or mining become engineers, taught how to design and supervise the construction of bridges, roads, ramps, fortifications and siege works. Men with knowledge of smithing or fletching learn the ways of combat armorers to keep the Falvarniok's equipment in fighting trim in the field. Still others are trained as artillerists, scouts, healers, etc.

When a yearling graduates from the School of Arms, he is assigned to one of the Falvarniosok, and is tattooed with the symbol of the legion he enters on his right hand. This ritual consecrates him to the Falvarniok's totemic spirit, and bonds him to his brother Varniok in ways that most Varniok have little awareness of. Training continues for the yearlings in their new Falvarniok to help integrate them into the ranks and further prepare them for combat. During periods of inactivity, Hithosok often have Varniok with specialized training impart their skills to other Varniok. This has a triple benefit: it helps a Falvarniok to continue to function despite casualties, staves off boredom and restlessness among the troops, and provides the men with valuable skills that prove useful in civilian life. A surprising number of Varniok are literate for this reason.


At full strength, a Falvarniok has six thousand Varniok. A Falvarniok breaks down into Llirosok of 500 soldiers, and Tavrosok of 100 soldiers. A Tavros breaks down into 12 octets of eight Varniok each, plus the Tavarnin, Hevarnin, Kovarnin, and a Tavarnin's aide, who acts as a runner and carries orders and messages. There are three Hevarniok and Kovarniok per Tavros in the Silver Arm, which is composed entirely of veterans drawn from the other Falvarniosok. Artillerists, engineers, and archers are mixed in with the ordinary Varniok, and counted in among a Falvarninok's full number. Alesians make little use of cavalry, and cavalry units with Falvarniosok are generally either auxiliary militia units or foreign mercenaries. Constabulary Falvarniosok sometimes make use of chariots.

The Lliros is the smallest tactical unit of the Falvarniok considered capable of functioning with total autonomy in the field. A Lliros breaks down into one Tavros of skirmishers, three Tavrosok of line troops, and one Tavros of reserves. The skirmishers are usually the youngest and fleetest soldiers in the Lliros, a way of giving new Varniok combat experience while leaving the heaviest fighting for the veterans. They often utilize local specialties of the various peoples that make up the Imperium, so the armament and fighting style of skirmishing forces varies from one Falvarniok to the next. Javelins, slings, and throwing axes are typical, though not the only weapons utilized. The reserve Tavros is composed of veteran troops, and frequently operate artillery and siege engines until needed to relieve the line troops.

They are led by veterans on the company level, known as Tavarniok, and by veterans or appointees on higher levels (Tavarniok are identified by the plumes upon their helms). Unfortunately, the higher level command can hamper the effectiveness of a Falvarniok, but most are well maintained on company-to-company level. Tavarniok appoint subordinate officers in their Tavros on an ad-hoc basis, and entirely at their discretion. As a military force, their training emphasizes group tactics and this results in the Varnin individually being stalwart and bolstered in formation. However, personal combat training is not neglected. A Varnin can march farther than the average soldier (upwards of 30 miles a day in good weather and with a 45 pound pack) and fight every bit as hard, if not harder and more fiercely.

In times of peace, the Varniok are set to working on civic projects to keep the commanders of the Falvarniosok from considering the idea of fomenting rebellion, as well as keeping the men in a fighting trim and giving them valuable skills for use when on the march to war. Most of these projects are construction oriented in nature.

Alesian men enlist in the Falvarniosok for five year terms. After the first five years, he becomes eligible to take the civil service entry exams. After twenty years, the Varnin receives a land grant from the Emperor and he and his family receive Grenadorsok status if they do not already hold it. After twenty years, a Varnin is allowed to retire at any time. All former Varniok remain eligible to be conscripted for active reserve duty in emergencies.

An experiment is underway in Elluria, where cavalry has been made an integral part of a Falvarniok for the first time in history. Recognizing the greater role that cavalry plays on the battlefield in the Southlands than it does in the Alesian homeland, Etaudus Paralor structured the Roaring Lions with 4,500 infantry and 1,500 cavalry. The cavalry breaks down into units of 300 called Li-Kavallosok, and further into two units of 150 called Kavallosok, the Alesian rendering of the word cavalry. A Kavallos subdivides into troops of twenty five, and lances of five when the need arises. Li-Kavallosok and Kavallosok are commanded by a Li-Tavarnin and a Tavarnin respectively. Leaders of troops and lances are appointed by the Tavarniok in the same way as the infantry.

The Kavallosok utilize Ellurian chargers, which are known for being both athletic and even tempered. Horsemen are armored in the same manner as infantry Varniok, except that all cavalry wear greaves to protect their shins. They do not yet make use of barding for their mounts. Varniok in a Kavallos are typically armed either with a lance and a medium shield, or with a short recurve bow. They also carry a longer version of the infantry sword and a dagger, and are fully trained to fight on foot if dismounted. Currently, there is at least one experienced horseman of Ellurian, Arangothian, Khalar, Thon, or Bahijan ancestry in each lance within a Kavallos to help train the inexperienced horsemen.


Varniok are typically armed with an open faced helm, a cuirass of segmented armor, a square tower shield, three javelins, a short sword, and sometimes a spear. Some Varnin are also armed with slings and compound bows. Varniok wear a skirt of leather strips that hangs to the knees to protect their legs, sometimes reinforced with metal studs. Varniok wear blood red tunics under their armor, and short or long brown trousers are worn under the skirts depending on the season. Varniok wear sandals in the warm months and boots in the winter. Officers (Tavarniok and higher) also wear greaves to protect their shins, as well as heavy bracers on their wrists. Officers ranked Li-Tavarnin and higher may wear a solid cuirass, and may also have chainmail backing sewn to their leather skirts. Varniok bear the Imperial Seal on their belt buckles and sword hilts, and the symbol of their particular Falvarniok on their shields. In rainy or cold weather, Varniok wear crimson cloaks made from the fleece of a particular breed of sheep from Terlind, known for its waterproof quality because of the dense, oily nature of its wool.

Magical Support

Another aspect of the Falvarniok is the specialized nature of the priests, also known as Hevarnin, who worship Hepheran the Eternal Warrior. The legion totems are aspects of Hepheran. Calling down blessings to their brother Varniok as needed and bolstering their courage, these men are part of the machinery that keeps a Falvarniok operating. A Hevarnin being killed can evoke two reactions: wrath or panic. Hevarnin are identified by the white tabard they wear over their chest plates in addition to the usual trappings of a Varnin. They are easily identifiable by the engraved metal rods that they wield, which also function as maces.

A third addition to the Falvarniok is the Kovarnin. A battle wizard, they are specially trained to hurl their magic and wield the blade in concert with the rest of their brother Varniok. Though the focus of their magic is offensive in nature, they also are able to sometimes work other magical feats against their foes. They are identified by the robe of the Falvarniok's main color they wear over their armor in place of a cloak and their lack of a shield. They are also identifiable by the metal skull-faced masks they wear. Instead of the standard Varnin's gladius, a Kovarnin may be armed with a Mage Spear, which is essentially a slightly modified gladius blade mounted on a six foot shaft.

Tavarniok, Hevarniok and Kovarniok are all drawn from the ranks of veterans. All three are also capable of utilizing the battle standards of the Falvarniosok, blessed artifacts that function differently in the hands of each of the three groups. In the hands of a Tavarnin, the Akrovok can rally demoralized and exhausted troops, utilizing the standard's connection to the totemic tattoo that all Varnin possess. In the hands of a Hevarnin, it can be used to protect Varniok from the terrible magic of orcish shamans and also to destroy the undead monstrosities created by orcish necromancers. Kovarniok can use an Akrovok as a point of focus to allow multiple battle mages to combine their powers, compensating for the limited magical training of individual Kovarniok.

The Silver Arm

The Silver Arm is a special exception due to their status as Imperial guards. It typically has between twelve and fifteen thousand members, all drawn from veterans of other Falvarniosok. The Silver Arm has three Hevarniok and Kovarniok per Tavros. Varniok of the Silver Arm wear Imperial Blue tunics with black trim and silver embroidery and cloaks of Imperial Blue. Half of the Silver Arm's number are stationed in Charnath to protect the capital and the Emperor, while the rest are scattered throughout the Imperium and the world. The Emperor may grant the Ve-Hithos of a campaign a Lliros or two of Silver Arm troops as elite shock troops as a sign of his favor. In addition, the Silver Arm act as bodyguards to the Imperial family, guards of Alesian ambassadors in other countries, and overseers of the Schools of Arms.

Current Falvarniosok

Falvarniok Name Role Home City Province Symbol
1st Silver Arm Imperial Guard Charnath Alesia Mailed arm with clenched fist
2nd Ivory Boar Assault Theno Alesia White boar's head on black field
3rd The Chimera's Claw Constabulary Loros Alesia Chimera's paw with claws extended
4th The Storm's Fury Assault Trith Osk Crossed lightning bolts
5th The Obsidian Pegasus Assault Kristin Osk Black pegasus head and wing in profile
6th Hepheran's Hammer Assault Yor Terlind Warhammer
7th Talons of the Raven Assault Terlind Terlind Diving raven with claws outstretched
8th Tigersharks Assault Sul Granar Shark
9th Blood Peregrines Constabulary Jarvod Hith Falcon's head on crimson field
10th Crimson Fox Assault Arazo Alesia Fox's head
11th Stone Dragons Constabulary Holt Terlind Two dragons rampant
12th Ghosts of Grolliro Constabulary Grolliro Tosco Death's head
13th Dogs of War Assault Corith Hith Mastiff
14th Orca's Teeth Assault Gror Granar Leaping orca
15th Wolves of Winter Assault Ug Hrungarth Silver Wolf's head
16th Blizzard Wind Constabulary Orin Osk Hawk
17th Golden Panther Assault Org Algrarth Panther
18th Serpent's Fangs Assault Alliro Tosco Striking viper
19th Firewalkers Constabulary Thoral Hrungarth Flames
20th Unbreakable Shield Constabulary Loth Algrarth Shield with bull's head
21st Raging Hydra Assault Dornmoth Algrarth Five-headed Hydra
22nd The Blade's Edge Assault Griphos Hith Crossed gladii
23rd Granite Rams Assault Kurvo Hrungarth Ram's head in profile over a mountain
24th Terrors of the Deep Constabulary Feir Granar Kraken
25th Great Bear Assault Rolliro Tosco Dire Bear
26th Roaring Lion Assault Garusk Elluria Golden lion's head on green field