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Shoulder to shoulder.jpg
A well drilled fighting force is a fearsome sight


The Empire is defended by its armies. Each army is a large force, capable of acting independently and supported by their own logistics with baggage trains, siege engines, and foragers. They are therefore able to venture beyond the boundaries of the Empire and, so long as their casualties are low, remain fully capable despite being engaged in prolonged campaigns.

The typical member of an Imperial army is fed and billeted by the civil service but is not paid in coin. These volunteers have signed up for two years Imperial Service - they are trained and equipped and then assigned to an Imperial army. if they choose to leave the army at the end of that period they receive payment in land from the Empire (equivalent to a level one farm).

Although the lure of land is what draws most citizens to Imperial Service, the training and equipment received can be valuable. Most members of the many independent military units spread across the empire are former soldiers.

Each Imperial army is commended by a general. While generals are chosen by Senators, once appointed the general has sole authority to order the army to move or attack as they choose. Traditionally the generals of one nation will cooperate but it is not a requirement and a general is within their rights to give orders as they see fit.

Army Size

A fully rested and supplied Imperial Army consists of around 5,000 trained soldiers. The civil service monitors the fighting force of each Imperial army using Day magic, providing this IC information to the Imperial generals, so that they can make effective strategic decisions. The military strength of a full strength army is measured at 5,000 strength - roughly one point of military strength for each soldier.

Barbarian armies tend to be much larger - though most have a similar military strength. Day magic rituals such as Eyes of the Sun and Moon, or the intelligence reports received by scouting armies provide good estimations of the military strength of a barbarian army using the same scale used for the Imperial armies.

Shoulder to Shoulder.jpg
The soldiers of the Marches make terrible foes when they fight shoulder to shoulder.

The majority of campaign armies have a maximum strength of 5,000 fighting force. A large army, however, has a maximum fighting strength of 7,500 but still counts as a single campaign army. As an army takes casualties its fighting strength drops. An army whose fighting strength falls below 1,000 will immediately disband (or, if they are a large army, if their fighting strength falls below 1,500).

Special Quality

Each Imperial army has a unique quality that is permanently fixed at the time the army is created and which reflects the character and flavour of the army.

When a new army is being created it will automatically develop a quality dependent on the nation raising the army. In many cases the quality will depend on events at the time and be influenced by decisions taken by the characters involved in raising the army.

Some nations have special orders that only their generals can issue (such has the Marchers' Shoulder to Shoulder) or have special rules that apply to them (such as the special rules that apply when Wintermark is fighting the Jotun). These are generally detailed on the military concerns page for each nation.

Senate Commissions

The Imperial Senate can pass a motion of commission to recruit a new Imperial army, or to resupply, or enlarge an existing army.


  • Materials: 200 wains of mithril and 75 thrones
  • Time: 1 year to raise
The Cullach march.

When the army is complete a new Imperial title of general is created in the Imperial Military Council. Appointment follows the normal constitutional process (generals are selected by the senators of the nation) and re-appointed each year after that.

A newly created Imperial army is at its maximum strength of 5,000. It begins play mustered in one of the Imperial controlled territories belonging to the nation where it was raised.

All Imperial armies must use recruits drawn from a single nation, and the army must be raised in a territory within that nation. Each nation can only physically support a limited number of forces at one time; this number cannot be exceeded.


The Senate can contribute resources to increase the strength of an existing army, making it large. It takes three seasons and costs 50 wains of mithril and 150 crowns each season until complete (for a total cost of 150 wains of mithril and 450 crowns). The army can continue to operate, moving and fighting as normal, while it is upgraded. The additional fighting strength is added to the army when the enlargement is complete.


The strength of an Imperial army declines as it suffers casualties. While an army will slowly resupply and reinforce itself over time, the Senate can pass a motion to provide the army with additional resupply. The army to be resupplied must be in a friendly territory, and may not be engaged with any enemies.

Further details of how an Imperial army can be resupplied by the Senate can be found here.


Although the soldiers in an Imperial army are not paid for their service, an army still costs a huge amount of money to operate. Each Imperial army costs 50 thrones per season, paid for from the Imperial Senate budget. Each large army costs 75 thrones per season.

Maximum numbers of Imperial Forces

The Empire cannot sustain an unlimited number of armies and navies. In addition to the significant drain on the treasury of the Imperial Senate, each individual nation can only provide so many soldiers. The supply number for each nation represents the maximum number of Imperial forces (armies and navies) that a nation can sustain at any given time. The Senate cannot raise a new Imperial army or navy from that nation if it would take the nation over its supply number.

As of the start of the Winter Solstice 385YE, the maximum number of forces a nation can support are as follows:

A nation cannot contribute its support to maintain a force from another nation. The only way for players to increase the number of armies and navies a nation can support is to conquer additional territory. Likewise, the loss of territory to the barbarians may reduce the supply number for that nation.

Insufficient Supply

If a nation ever has more armies and navies than it can support, all that nation's forces suffer significant penalties until this imbalance is rectified.

Each army and navy controlled by that nation suffers automatic losses of 500 force (or 750 force for a Large army) each season. In addition, no army or navy controlled by that nation gets natural resupply (nor can it take advantage of any benefits that rely on natural supply such as the ritual Brotherhood of Tian).

The Senate may pass a motion to disband an army.

Military Units

Some wealthy or powerful citizens maintain their own independent military unit. These units can be attached to an army to increase its effective fighting strength. This is done by the orders of the military unit’s commander (submitted using the personal resource downtime system).

The experienced and capable troops in a starting military unit provide an advantage out of proportion to their numbers, adding the equivalent of 100 soldiers to the strength of the army they support.

Current Armies

At present there are twenty-nine Imperial armies. This information was last updated following the Spring Equinox 386YE.

ArmyNationQualityCurrent LocationElectionGeneral
Autumn HammersImperial OrcsHahnmarkAutumnVana
Black ThornsNavarrFastAstolatSummerRhisiart Dancewalker
BloodcloaksWintermarkPhysickMitwoldSpringLofyn Blood-cloak
BoundersThe MarchesWatchfulUpwoldAutumnMary Birchsmith
Burning FalconThe Brass CoastGloriousMadrugaWinterAracelis I Erigo
Citadel GuardUrizenHighest DisciplineMareaveSummerNicassia Avicia of Phoenix Reach
DrakesThe MarchesResourcefulMadrugaSummerTancred of Meade
Eastern SkyDawnFavouredMadrugaAutumnDame Aurum De Castellan
Fire of the SouthThe Brass CoastFastMadrugaAutumnVincente i Zayden i Guerra
Fist of the MountainsWintermarkFarsightedKahramanSummerIvar Dunning
Golden AxeVarushkaDrivenMareaveWinterBelakov Zakharovich Prochnost
Golden SunDawnResilientThe BarrensSummerZoran De Orzel
Granite PillarHighguardDisciplinedHahnmarkSummerAsenath
Green ShieldWintermarkHeroicUpwoldWinterIron Osric
Gryphon's PrideDawnConqueringThe BarrensSpringArchavion Wolfborne
Iron HelmsVarushkaCruelOssiumSpringAlderei the Fair
Isaella's DanceNavarrThornboundKahramanSpringCadwell Waystone
Narwhal's SpearWintermarkQuick-WittedMadrugaAutumnKaisa
Northern EagleVarushkaGuerillaOssiumSummerJaromir Ostrovyn Kostka
Quiet StepNavarrCunningMiarenAutumnFarenthar Shattersong
Red Wind CorsairsThe Brass CoastDaringMadrugaSummerDelora i Sol-Devorador i Erigo
Seventh WaveHighguardScoutingMareaveAutumnMelkior of Balthazar’s Vineyard
Strong ReedsThe MarchesSecretiveMitwoldWinterAmberlain P. Black
Summer StormImperial OrcsRelentlessHahnmarkSummerIrontide Skorr
TowerjacksThe LeagueEngineerMorrowAt the next summitVacant
TusksThe MarchesDisciplinedKahramanSpringStanley Of Chalkdown
Valiant PegasusHighguardPhysickKahramanSpringZadok
Winter SunImperial OrcsFreedom FightersMareaveWinterSkywise Rykana
Wolves of WarThe LeagueMercenaryMadrugaAutumnMarcus Barossa Di Tassato

Former Armies

These are armies that are no longer active. This happens automatically if an army is abrogated by the Imperial Senate but in most cases it is because the army has been destroyed in battle against the barbarians.

ArmyNationQualityFinal Location
Hounds of GloryDawnIndomitable GloryThe Barrens


The table below shows a list of the rituals in both Imperial lore and Urizen lore which can affect an Imperial army.

Ritual Effect Realm Magnitude
Bound by Common Cause The army gains additional strength for the purpose of determining victory from up to 75 military units that are assigned to support it for the next season Autumn 80
Brotherhood of Tian If the army benefits from natural resupply over the next season it recovers an additional 250 strength Autumn 120
Clarity of the Master Strategist The army's effective strength is increased by 2,000 for the purpose of determining victory for the next season Day 80
Eyes of the Hills(1) Replaces the army's quality with Hillwise for the next season Autumn 80
Find the Best Path Replaces the army's quality with Fast for the next season Autumn 135
Fire on the Water Replaces the army's quality with Seawatch for the next season Autumn 120
Knights of Glory The army's effective strength is increased by 2,000 Summer 120
Machines of Destruction(2) Replaces the army's quality with Siege for the next season Autumn 135
Quickening Cold Meat The army's effective strength is increased by 1,000 for the next year Winter 150
Swords in the Noonday Sun(1)(3) Replaces the army's quality with Relentless for the next season Summer 80
Why Sulemaine Walked Away From The Baker The effectiveness of the Fire in the Blood order used by an opposing army in the same campaign is halved against the army for the next season Winter 80
Loosen the Shackles(1)(3) Enchants a campaign army with Agramant's aid, changing its quality and filling soldiers with murderous intent Winter 80

  1. This ritual is in Urizen lore
  2. This ritual is a mystic scroll of Estavus
  3. This ritual is interdicted

Further Reading

Core Brief

Additional Information