The Empire is one of five major factions in Prophesy of Pendor. It is ruled by Marius Imperator. (A.K.A. Baccus Empire.)
For Empire troop overviews, see the Empire Troop Tree.
The Empire has a relatively short history in Pendorian terms. Their background, however, reaches further back, before their incursion into Pendor. First, there was the Baccus Empire, which proudly held place as a regional power equal to Pendor and Barclay. Those three nations created a balance of power which remained unbroken for decades, as all three nations enjoyed relative peace. Circumstances changed when Pendor collapsed following the Red Plague. Barclay and the Baccus Empire soon found themselves at odds over which of them would fill the power vacuum left by the fall of Pendor. Their war raged for five years, with neither side giving an inch of territory. The war eventually petered out in a stalemate.
Once Barclay and the Baccus Empire concluded a truce, the Emperor unleashed his armies upon a ravaged Pendor. The Year 203 saw the full invasion launched under the command of General Oasar. The campaign went very well; towns and cities fell before the military might of the Baccus Empire. Then, Lord Alfred, Duke of Sarleon, managed to unite Pendor once again under a single banner, which held off the baying Baccus Empire hordes. A year later Oasar received word that his Emperor had been assasinated. The Baccus Empire itself was in the throes of a bloody civil war. Lacking resupply and reinforcement, General Oasar set about consolidating his gains in Pendor and began to forge a new nation.
Now Marius I holds the Empire throne as Imperator, but he is faced with a new foe. The Snake Cult, which was victorious in the old Baccus Empire, arrived on the shores of Pendor and have begun to infiltrate the circles of power within Empire society. Determined to avoid a similar fate to that of his predecessors, Marius launched a massive crusade against the Snake Cult, both militarily and culturally. As a result of the so called "Marius Reforms," the Empire is enjoying a golden age, making great advances in philosophy, mathematics and strategy. The question is whether the Empire will be able to harness their creative force and overcome the obstacles they face, or be relegated to just another footnote in the history of the Snake Cult...
Commentary on the EmpireEdit
"We came to Pendor in order to spread enlightenment to a backward society. Now that Pendor is our home, we find that our ancestral lands have been corrupted. It is we who must guard against the decadence of superstition." -Marius Imperator, Emperor of the New Empire
"I've heard that even the men in the Empire drink wine. I would never touch that stuff, how can anyone like the seepage of rotting grapes? Barkeep! Give me another ale!" -Ravenstern Kierguard
"I like fighting the Empire. They don't need a horse to do their fighting for them. They stand and fight eye to eye." -Fierdsvain Huscarl
"They say that blood sports are a manner of entertainment in the Empire. I quite agree; fighting their armies always leaves me holding my sides with laughter." -D'Shar Windrider
"$£%&. Don't even get me started on those invading barbarians." -Sarleon Halberdier
"Mariuss iss a fool who dancess for the godss. Azi Dahaka will sshow him that sscience will not keep the Sserpent Cult from our rightful heritage in Pendor." -Attributed to an unknown Snake Priestess
Unit Tactical OverviewEdit
Infantry: The Empire fields a wide variety of foot soldiers. Their top-tier infantry includes the steadfast Legionnaires, the disciplined Armored Pikemen and their iron-willed Gladiators. While they may be good soldiers individually, the Empire infantry functions at its peak in a formation.
Any sane commander will try to avoid sending his forces straight into a solid Empire infantry formation, as they are likely to be slaughtered. Even Hero Adventurers on Netherworld Chargers are likely to be eliminated before taking down any Empire infantry. Such is the effectiveness of an Empire shieldwall.
A typical Empire infantry battalion consists largely of the spear-wielding Light Infantry and Heavy Infantry armed with broadswords. Complementing them are pikemen, Legionnaires and Gladiators. This formation allows them to destroy anything that stands in their way. Cavalry will easily be halted by their halberds, pikes and spears before being slaughtered by the swords and halberds of the Gladiators. The Legionnaires and Heavy infantry will hold off enemy infantry with their broadhead throwing spears and if their enemies get too close for comfort, the broadswords are then unleashed on those foolish enough to stand in their way. Even archers face difficulty trying to disrupt their formations due to the shields that most of their soldiers carry.
The Immortals march together with the Empire infantry, carrying the signature Empire Broadswords and Broadhead Throwing Spears as well as a frightening new addition, the Zweihander. These deadly fighters are a force worthy of respect and fear, renowned for winning battles with odds stacked against them. The presence of these noblemen on the battlefield can turn the tide of a battle completely around. They are adaptable soldiers and can easily face off against cavalry, archer or infantry forces. Any Empire lords will field a few of these killing machines to strengthen their infantry force.
Empire infantry can perform their roles extremely well, but individually, they fare poorly against enemies. Empire Legionnaires are not the most powerful fighters, and fare poorly against Fierdsvain Huscarls and D'Shar Blademasters. However, complement them with Gladiators and it's a completely different scenario. Adding pikemen allows them to halt cavalry forces. Their shields can allow them to march safely against an archer firing line. Thus, the phrase "United we stand, divided we fall" holds extremely true for Empire foot soldiers. Keep the Empire infantry together and watch them rip apart enemy after enemy.
Crossbowmen: The Empire is an extremely advanced kingdom, perhaps nearly or even as advanced as Barclay in the art of war. Unlike the simple bow that the rest of the Pendor kingdoms use, the Empire's armories are well-stocked with powerful crossbows. Even their lightest crossbows are capable of felling a fully-armored knight. This allows even their fresh recruits to slay heavily armored foes that they might have trouble with in melee combat. The Empire fields extremely powerful crossbowmen in their ranks, and unlike most archers, their equipment makes them more suited for melee combat, although they should still be kept out of hand-to-hand combat if possible.
The crossbows are excellent tools for sieging, due to the devastating power of each volley, and their accuracy even in the hands of less-experienced sharpshooters. Moreover, crossbowmen are able to consistently fire volleys into the enemy's stronghold, while archers have usually ran out of arrows by then. They are not to be underestimated when used against enemy cavalry as well. The bolts can easily pierce through the heavy armor of both men and mounts. The drawback is an extremely long reload duration, that can make the crossbowmen extremely vulnerable. Despite that, crossbows are still useful even on the field, shattering shields and turning even militias into deadly killers.
Veteran Empire crossbowmen carry large wooden board shields. These towering shields are extremely cumbersome to carry about and use in melee, but allows its users to take plenty of punishment, especially against ranged attacks from enemy rangers. They use the cross-hilt sword and Empire Broadswords as defensive melee weapons. Overall, they can defend themselves pretty decently, and with the aid of their heavy armor, they can last longer in a battle. However, poweful warriors like Fierdsvain Huscarls and Sarleon Knights have no problem taking them down, so be sure to keep them well defended with infantry and cavalry. A wise commander should only use the crossbowmen in melee if the enemy is on the verge of being overwhelmed and use them as a supplement for the infantry to take down exhausted foes.
You can't go wrong using them. Place them behind your infantry and watch them mow down ranks after ranks of enemies. If a player is looking for well-trained and efficient sharpshooters, one should always head to the south of Pendor and train a few of these versatile sharpshooters.
Cavalry: Horses are a luxury that only the nobles can afford. Any commander with half a brain can easily distinguish between the nobles and the commoners, and usually try to take them alive for hefty ransom. It comes to no surprise that the cavalry force of the Empire is smaller as compared to their neighbours, the D'Shar Principalities. Another reason for their smaller cavalry force could also be attributed to the Empire's use of Jatu mercenaries when they first invaded Pendor. The use of the Jatu mercenaries allowed the Empire to train more of their troops into much efficient foot soldiers.
The Empire fields both light and heavy cavalry. They can only be trained from noblemen, which may initially be expensive to field. Their light Horsemen carry broadswords and lances, but are also equipped with light crossbows for ranged superiority. While their ranged prowess is lacking as compared to the Ravenstern Mounted Rangers or the D'Shar Dervish Raiders, their bolts can pack a punch, and this allows them to kill lightly armored troops and occasionally, even Sarleon Knights without risking a close quarter confrontation, which the Empire Horsemen would very likely be slaughtered if such a scenario occured. The Empire Horsemen ride on hunter mounts, which are fast and rather durable horses, allowing them to outrun heavy cavalry and infantry, as well as using their swords and lances for hit-and-run attacks. Never send them riding into an infantry formation, especially not one lined with pikes and halberds.
Empire Knights ride on heavier mounts, the Imperial Dark Stallion, although a fair few still utilize the lighter Empire Hunters. They use Broadswords and Broadhead Throwing Spears. Like the Valkyries, this allows the Empire Knights to use their throwing spears against an enemy formation, before charging straight into the fray, allowing them to deal some damage before putting themselves in harm's way. Their spears also allow them to take down routing cavalry, by slaying their foe's mounts before coming back for the finishing blow or allowing one of their allies to catch up and prevent their escape. Despite their skill and valor, Empire Knights aren't as efficient as the Sarleon Knights in smashing apart enemy formations and they also lack the staying power of the Sarleon Knights. Try not to send the Knights into dense infantry formations or they will be ripped apart before they can deal any substantial damage. Let the crossbowmen disrupt the enemies and send your infantry to distract them, while using your cavalry to flank and hammer them in. Guardian Empire Knights, decked in white armor are basically souped up Empire Knights who also arm themselves with broadswords and spears, both the melee and throwing variants. They are slightly tougher heavy cavalry, but still lack the punch of a Sarleon Knight. They aren't too shabby when it comes to melee combat, although you shouldn't count on them to disperse an enemy infantry shieldwall with a single charge.
The truly dangerous mounted warriors that the Empire fields is the elusive and well-trained Shadow Legion Centurions. You can't miss them. They ride on Ironbred Stallions and don a distinguishable Shadow Legion armor. Their offensive weapons are almost the same as the Knights, but they also use lances and are equipped with stronger shields. The Centurions are to be feared when they charge towards you. Leave yourself vulnerable for just a second and a spear can find its way to your head. The Centurions are the most powerful honor troops one can find, being able to take on Knights of the Dawn and Eventide with ease. Converting them to your cause would be beneficial to your rise to kinghood. Unlike Empire Knights, the Centurions can literally plow their way through a heavy infantry formation and survive the charge. Having a large group of Centurions charging into an enemy formation can leave many of the enemy dead, and the surviving ones running for their lives. If a player is carrying Empire Knights, it is recommended to induct them into the Order. Having a small squadron of these centurions can ensure an easy victory. Despite their superiority, they do face difficulty when combating Vanskerry Jarls, which several Fierdsvain lords field. Keep in mind that these powerful noblemen are extremely reliable, but not invincible. Do not send them against impossible odds unless it's a last stand. These men can change the tide of a battle, so it remains essential to keep them alive for as long as possible. Kyros Dux fields Shadow Legion Centurions in great numbers.