Monday, March 2, 2015

Army of the Midlands: The King's Rangers

Few men now inhabit the forests and plains that were once the heartland of the ancient kingdom of Valdur. Wars and waves of invaders have turned it into a wilderness battleground. The very site of the Royal Seat, a fortress perched high on a hill, has been lost but Dunklerne is not forgotten  and the lands along the river, reaching from the mountain to the sea are not called the "Northern Border" but "the King's Hold" and it is guarded not by levies but by troops of the King's Household.
King's Rangers of the Hold Guard or the Green Jacks as they are known in the taverns.
Garrison 25mm.


It says something about history and perceived threats that while the primary responsibility for the Eastern and Western borders of the Midlands lies with the feudal lords and their retainers and tenants,  the Northern Borders are guarded by full time, paid, garrisons even though it has been a generation since the last incursion by the Riders of the Northern Federation.

The lands to the West were once the founding nations of the Great Kingdom of Valdur and the descendants of those ancients may boast of the past in from their wild strongholds but they pose no real threat to the Midlands. To the East there have always been enemies and while the fortunes of war have ebbed and flowed over the centuries, invasions from the East have always drained away in the end.

To the North however, there once stood the Kingdom of Dale. Here the ancestors of the Midland nobles first set foot on the Continent and carved a home for themselves. From there they first fought against and then for the Valdurian Queen and then became more and more apart of that Kingdom until in the end, they made it their own. It was long years thereafter that a new wave of invaders came over land from the East and joining with rebellious Valdurian tribes and Nobles who resented still the Dalish newcomers. Together with the men of the west they tore the Kingdom apart.

In times of plenty relations are good between the Midlands and the North and trade flows across the mountains but when the winters grow cold, the summers dry and the harvest fails, then raiders cross the border again instead of merchant caravans and so the King has tasked Sir John and his Black Company to hold the Great Pass and along the North West frontier he has built posts and filled them with soldiers. The posts themselves are held largely by infantry but horsemen are needed to patrol the lands between the posts. At first these were lancers, sometimes accompanied by a few archers mounted on old nags but as the crossbow evolved and was imported from the Empire, a new soldier appeared. This is the Mounted Crossbowmen trained to shoot from horse back or to charge sword in hand when the situation calls for it, In peace they patrol the borders, in times of war they act as scouts and flankers supporting the Knights, spearmen and foot archers of the main battle line.

2 comments:

  1. Splendid fellows and background too.
    Alan

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  2. Hard men on stout garçons who know their business. They look like they've ridden straight out of a Nigel Tranter novel. Very fine.

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