I've been purchasing Scorp's minifigs and decals for years, but have been mostly keeping my collection to myself, aside from the occasional MOC or contest entry. After being inspired by the wonderful world of Wulfgard and Nightstalker's guide to army building, though, I figured it was past time I started showing off the fruits of my beloved labor. A lot of time has passed since I first gleefully opened an envelope with a red scorpion label and shakily put scissors to paper, but in a world of offices, bills, and deadlines, this hobby is still a much-needed source of joy.
For my first entry in this journal of creation and recreation, I bring you not one, but two armies that I have mustered! They're rather small for now, for budget reasons, but I'm still quite happy with the way they are turning out. Hopefully you will feel the same way.
Say hello to The Veritshire Guard, and their ancient foes, The Golden Banner. The former were first created as an NPC faction in a setting I created for Wulfgard's Errant RP, as the military and law enforcement arm of Veritshire, The Haven of the Crossroads. Conversely, The Golden Banner are the antagonists I touched on for my entry to the Earth contest; a force of ruthless bandits seeking to bring ruin upon the ascendant Imperials.
After a squad of retired legionaries brought order to the seedy outpost of Veritshire, the surviving criminals retreated beyond the newly-reshaped borders, out of Imperial reach. They licked their wounds and longed for the power they had once held over the region, and their descendants would plot revenge against the upstart Achaeans, and the burgeoning little town of Veritshire.
History no longer remembers the names of these vengeful conspirators, but scholars have grudgingly narrowed their arguments to two categories of leadership: the former, corrupt Parsanshari officials, and the criminals of various origin they allowed to roam freely. Their disregard for helpless Imperial citizens during their campaign of retribution was horrific in proportion.
There was no small number of Deshreti tribesmen amongst the ranks of The Golden Banner, as well. Some were bribed, some were cajoled, and even more were related to the originators of this vendetta. All were eager to take part in raiding and pillaging the southern lands of the Empire.
And, of course, there was no small portion of regular bandits, along with unscrupulous mercenaries (even of Imperial descent), all seeking their share of plunder.
The Golden Banner wisely split their forces to avoid drawing the attention of the Legions, slipping across the border, past Fort Fire and any Imperial patrols so that they could safely regroup well into the Imperial heartland. A few arrogant columns were discovered and wiped out, but the majority of their force scattered through towns and villages, taking what they wanted and speeding away before any response could be mobilized. All converged on Veritshire, which would be their base of operations for striking at the Imperial heartland.
However, the recently-ordained Baron of Veritshire had not been idle since gaining his position, and he had no intention of merely hiding behind his new walls.
To defend what he and his comrades had built, Baron Onesta formed The Veritshire Guard, a town militia held to the same exacting standards as the Imperial Legions, but equipped for a more mobile form of warfare in the hot, wide southern plains.
To that end, we begin by looking at the Sentries, Veritshire's first line of defense. While more lightly armored than the Legionaries they seek to emulate, they are quick and easy to redeploy, and much cheaper to equip and train. Sentries are issued a spear, shield, and gambeson, but expected to purchase any other arms or armor they wish to use.
The Vigil are The Guard's ranged specialists, keeping a watchful eye on the town and its surroundings. The first Baron Onesta issued a decree that these soldiers must never be less than a hundred in number, so that his people would have sufficient protection in case of a siege. They are more than just passive observers, though, having developed early "fire and maneuver" tactics to thin the ranks of The Golden Banner.
The Veritshire Guard's most prestigious members form The Triarii, always the oldest and most experienced soldiers in the force. They function as senior officers, elite shock troops, and the Baron's personal guard. Their committal at critical moments repeatedly broke The Golden Banner's ranks, as these faceless men of iron shrugged off blows, slaying bandits left and right.
In order to prevent other entities like The Golden Banner from wreaking havoc unopposed behind Imperial borders again, Baron Onesta created a new branch of his military: The Guardians. This rapid response force would hunt down any surviving renegades, and patrol the surrounding countryside almost constantly, protecting caravans, farms, and villages therein.
To create this new force, Veritshire offered loot, armor, and weapons confiscated from The Golden Banner to anyone able to ride and willing to fight. Mercenaries and Knights Errant looking to put down roots, retired Prodromoi and Cataphracti, and even reformed bandits looking to do some good could find a place amongst this elite brotherhood. These days, The Guardians are more limited in number to keep costs down, but the prerequisites to join are still rather loose. All applicants must own and be able to ride and maintain at least two horses, and have someone willing to vouch for their honor and ability to fight on horseback. Horse archers and light lancers are most prevalent, but knights are always welcome to serve.
I hope you enjoyed this look into these two opposing forces! I might arrange them into a battle scene eventually, but don't have a baseplate large enough quite yet. If you noticed Southron arms and armor on the guardsmen, that's intentional. My headcanon was that Veritshire became Imperial territory during their early expansion into lands once held by Parsanshar, and intermarriage between the Imperial newcomers and Southron locals helped create the unique culture that forms the city in its current state. The descendants of the retired Legionaries and the Southron merchant families they married into proudly wear their Imperial citizenship, but mix it with the dress and customs of their neighbors into an identity of their own. Like Palmyra of our own ancient world, Veritshire bridges the gap between nations, standing proudly as a defender of commerce, learning, and culture.
Stay tuned for even more Wulfgard minifigs! I currently have a force of Nordlings gathering (and drinking all my mead), and just need to round them out with my new Frost Ravens. Painting their helmets will be challenging, but I'm looking forward to it. And, if you've RP'd with me before, you know I have no shortage of Inquisitor characters just waiting to form ranks. Heck, I have a whole drawer of minifigs I've assembled from Scorp's shop over the years, and eagerly hope to share them all with you, dear reader. Until then!
Huge credit goes out to Scorp and Maverick for their work in Wulfgard and on these decals. Arms and Armor were acquired separately from Brickwarriors, Brickforge, and Brickarms, along with my favorite Bricklink stores. The parts are too varied to list in full, but if there's something you haven't seen before, feel free to ask, and I'll try to remember where I got it from.