"Apologies, nobles from The Northlands don't have the habit of leaving their fates in the hands of others. We come from the wilds and it is in our nature to battle. Dying on the battlefield is a source of pride for us. House Norton asks not the numbers of the enemy, only where they are!"
Lorist’s knights paid quite a heavy price to liberate the 700 slaves from the grasps of the slave traders at Port Nupite along with their family members to join us on the journey to the Northlands and promised their freedom when they reached there. However, what he didn’t expect was for them to run into the assault of these Sloph slaver traders. Before Lorist could send reinforcements to their side, they managed to fend of the attack of the slavers despite being not properly equipped and managed to keep the camp secure before his arrival. After that, they had also successfully swarmed the camp of the slavers and even occupied this bastide, which is their main base. During the whole process, they all managed to fulfill their responsibilities and obey the regulations that they had set up and completed the tasks they had assigned them. Their performance had truly won his heartfelt respect, as well as earned them the freedom they deserved. Henceforth, they were no longer slaves and were instead proud and noble soldiers of the Norton Family.
The house had 700 official members in the family’s armed forces. The slaves they had managed to liberate from Sloph’s camp and bastide numbered around 3000 and many of them were more than happy to join the armed forces. Other than a few who yearned to return to their homelands, all the youths and their family members had decided to join the convoy on the journey. The total number of Iron ranks including the soldiers they had bought at Port Nupite was around 900 with 400 more being of the Bronze rank. Lorist's armed forces now numbered 2300 people with 3000 others being the family members of the soldiers.
The convoy was divided into three battalions, namely, the vanguard battalion, the main battalion and the rearguard battalion. The vanguard battalion had up to 100 carriages with Yuriy’s scout cavalry squad and a company of pikemen traveling ahead of them. Their task was to ensure the safety of the area in front of the convoy and notify the ones behind them about the best road to take or where to set up camp as well as prepare the appropriate measures for the defense and safety of the convoy.
The main battalion had 600 four-wheeled horse carriages that transported the convoy’s provisions, weapons and equipment as well as the family members of the soldiers. It was guarded by Terman’s knight brigade, a company of crossbowmen, the heavy-armored battalion, a company of pikemen as well as 160 other guards.
The rearguard battalion had up to 100 carriages with only Dulles’s carroballista unit and a company of pikemen guarding it. The main reason for that was the condition of the muddy road they traveled on. To prevent any damage to the carroballistas, such as having their wheels stuck in a pit, the former two battalions served to stamp the roads flat and sturdy by traveling ahead of the rearguard battalion. The main role of the rearguard battalion was to provide support for the carriages that needed maintenance and transport some miscellaneous baggage.
The military distribution of the various powers on Grindia were mainly organized as armies. Each army would have multiple divisions with each division containing a few regiments. A regiment on the other hand would contain a few companies which in turn was made out of a few squads. The various units would also be classified according to the types of soldiers within, such as a longbow regiment, a heavy-armored company and a pike infantry squad, etc.
A squad usually consisted of 80 to 150 people and the squad leader was the most basic commanding officer who was aided by a few vice squad leaders who would each be put in charge of tens of other soldiers.
Lorist was quite dissatisfied with this arrangement as whenever a squad leader and his aides fell on the battlefield, the whole squad would fall into disorder. However, Lorist did not want to overhaul the organization completely and instead divide each squad into smaller teams.
As a solution to that, Lorist devised a new, more discrete organizational structure with ten people for one squad of mixed types of soldiers unlike the former structure which had soldiers of the same training and equipment in the same unit. Each squad would have sword and shield infantry, pikemen and longbowmen so they can better adapt during times of battle.
Lorist hoped that his troops would one day be able to form the 'mandarin duck formation' of the 'Qi Family Troops' he had heard of from his previous life. Even though he wasn't too well-versed in the military tactics of old and didn't understand the specifics, he felt that he could slowly experiment around with trial and error until he found the perfect balance. In the era of cold arms, only with coordination and tactics can a unit be effective in combat as well as survive the chaotic situation of the battlefield.
Potterfang and the other family knights on the other hand felt that Lorist was trying to incorporate the tactics of smaller mercenary groups into the family forces, which was not a completely foreign thing to them. It was a known fact that a small group of elite mercenaries were more effective and versatile than huge numbers of family soldiers.
Above the newly-revamped squads of ten men were companies. Each company would include ten squads, totaling at a member count of 100. Five companies would form a battalion of 500 men and five combat battalions and one logistics battalion would form a brigade of 3000 men. Lorist made it so that a brigade would be a singular, full-functioning unit capable of acting independently.
With the aim of completely reorganizing the military of the family, Lorist first disbanded the three garrison divisions. Each of the 80 plus villages within Felicitas Settlement would have a company of garrison soldiers of 100 men formed and each of the central towns of the seven sectors in addition to the industrial city at Bladedge Mountains would have a garrison battalion of 500 men stationed there. Similarly, Maplewoods Bastide and Firmrock Castle each had a battalion of 500 garrison troops stationed there.
These garrison troops were mainly responsible for the security and stability of the towns and the areas surrounding it. The task of restructuring the garrison force was handed to Gold ranked knight Freiyar to be completed within the year.
Lorist then ordered Gold ranked knight Malek to form a patrol company of 100 men at each town that will be responsible for solving civil disputes, maintaining order as well as hygiene of the towns. The members of these patrol companies would be picked from the ranks of the retired family soldiers and the disbanded garrison troops.
So far, the military trend at the moment was for legions to be formed. Even the Kenmays Family formed a legion of 30000 soldiers, not to mention the Second Prince's Iblia Kingdom's First Legion that he recently formed with around 56000 soldiers. My plan is for five brigades of 15000 men be put under a division, with five divisions of 75000 men forming a legion. So far, the point of the reorganization is to cement this new structure into our forces so that future expansions will be much more convenient.
Not including the garrison troops of the villages and towns, the family forces had a total of 16 brigades with almost 50000 troops in total. To Lorist, that was only barely satisfactory with the ratio of soldiers to citizens at around 1 to 10, and even then, that ratio was obtained by including the garrison and patrol troops as part of the family forces. Even if Lorist disregarded those two units, the family still had to spend quite a bit on the salary of those soldiers.
The house’s military recruited the 50 thousand captives, those who had previously worked on the embankment and were about to complete their term as indentured servants. Despite comments to the contrary Lorist had made in the past, the second highness' 300 thousand strong army had unsettled him. It was anyone's guess whether the second highness would leave the north in peace, or return to wipe it clean after he finished with the Iblia kingdom. It was better to be prepared than not.
Potterfang's heavy-armored troops and Loze's pike cavalry troops were expanded to two divisions each. Dulles was also put in charge of forming another carroballista division.
Terman, was left in charge of the security of Firmrock, Salus, Redriver and the grazing plains at the western Northlands.
Of the 60 thousand laborers whose term of service was ending, 50 thousand had already chosen to remain within the dominion. Some even wanted to return home and fetch their families. Even though the house had already begun to develop Redriver, they would only be able to settle a portion of their new subjects. Even so, there were far too many youths among the laborers that fit the criteria to join the army. Apart from the expansion of the heavy-armor and spear-cavalry divisions over the last six months, there were still more than ten thousand youths who wanted a place in the army. Those who were accustomed to water had been transferred to the marine training camp while the rest were stuffed into the local defense division.
The house focuses on raising elite soldiers. Before the invasion of Hanayabarta, while they seem to have quite a huge number of troops, the actual land forces we have capable of participating in open field battles number only around 80 thousand.
Only two divisions of spear cavalry and one carroballista division, along with our knight brigade, were left behind to protect the dominion when the expedition departed.
Other than that, the mounted archers stationed at Hidebull Mound were there to resist any barbarian invasions. The other two local defense brigades were stationed at Tortoise Hill and Firmrock Castle respectively. As for their three police brigades, they oversaw guarding the warehouses, prisons, labor camps, factories, and much more. The only ones remaining were the garrison squads of the various towns which were also responsible for the people's safety.
Having benefited from the wealth upon exterminating the Hanayabarta kingdom, Lorist had more than enough funds to reorganize his army. Not only did he form the local defense legion, he also intended to form two open-field battle assault legions. Firmrock Legion would be infantry focused while Tigersoar Legion would serve as a shock troop unit comprising mainly of cavalry.
Time flew during the course of the busy days. During the 3rd month of the next year, Lorist hosted a new year's knight festival at Firmrock Castle within the dominion and announced his decision to reform their military. The formation of the Firmrock Legion would involve two heavy-armored divisions, one wheelbarrow-ballista division, and another division formed from the combination of the two scout brigades that were consolidated from the ranks of the mounted archers and light cavalry scout brigades, the Thunderbolt Brigade, and three other logistics brigades, with a total number of 60 thousand men spread across four different divisions. It would be headed by Gold-ranked Knight Potterfang with Gold-ranked Knights Malek and the newly-joined Messen as his aides.
The Tigersoar Legion would be headed by Gold-ranked Knight Fiercetiger Loze, with Gold-ranked Knight Yuriy and Divine Marksman Josk serving as his aides. Tigersoar Legion would comprise of two spear cavalry divisions, one carroballista division, another division formed from the combination of a scout brigade, the female brigade, and three other logistics brigades. It would also have a total number of 60 thousand troops.
Finally, the local defense legion comprises 25 brigades, numbering 75 thousand men in total, with Gold-ranked Knight Freiyar as the commander, with two gold-ranked knights, Belnick and former slave fighter Jades, as his aides.
Apart from the three legions, Terman would continue his post as the commander of the three Norton Knight Brigade numbering nine thousand men. Lorist himself on the other hand would control his own personal guard brigade of three thousand men. Other than that, the Oceanic Legion Senbaud commanded had 18 thousand men. In other words, the total number of troops the House of Norton had was 225 thousand, and that did not include the police brigades, garrison legion, and town and village guards that had more than 100 thousand people in total.
The combined expenditure of the Tigersoar, Firmrock, and local defense legions amounted to more than three million gold Fordes.
Rum served to raise the soldiers' body heat so they didn't get affected too much by the cold. Norton troops don't coop up in their camps during the winter. Instead, they would undertake all sorts of training exercises thanks to the need to exterminate the magic beast wave years earlier. It was already a common practice and served to improve their knowledge on staving off cold.
The standard rations of a Norton soldier included a small leather sack of rum. Drinking some rum and circulating one's battleforce would increase the body's temperature and help maintain it for a time, which would prevent one from being chilled numb by the cold.
Known Personnel Edit
Silver-Ranked Knights Edit
- Donowan†: regiment leader of the third local defense brigade.
- Jim: Vice leader of Lorist's personal guard.
- Mort†: regiment leader of the guards.
- Nors†: vice leader of the Oceanic Legion.
- Norton Molocinque: division commander of Hanayabarta Archipelago Garrison Division.
- Norton Wellickson: vice-commander of Hanayabarta Archipelago Garrison Division.
- Ollison†: regiment leader of the sixth logistics regiment.
- Patt: leader of the third local defense brigade.
- Andrea Pesha: commander of the Female Garrison.
- Peake Pulliste: vice-commander of the Mounted Archer Squad.
- Polant: regiment leader.
- Reidy Gezeizidorf: temporary leader of the guard brigade.
Gold-Ranked Knights Edit
The 16 gold-ranked knights under Lorist's command. Their reputation had yet to truly become widespread, and they had no way of knowing that they would eventually come to be known as the Raging-Bear King’s 16 Wings. With the growing might of House Norton, the Raging Bear sharpened its claws. Eventually, the time when their reputation spread far across the whole of Grindia would come.
- Charade: chief knight
- Grei Potterfang: commander of the Firmrock Legion.
- Loze Wales: commander of the Tigersoar Legion.
- Mons Malek: vice-commander of the Firmrock Legion.
- Josk: commander of the Jaeger Legion.
- Chino Freiyar: commander of the Local Defense Legion.
- Belnick: vice-commander of the Local Defense Legion.
- Brennan Evanport
- Waprey Terman: commander of the three Norton Knight Brigade numbering nine thousand men.
- Yuwen Ridest: vice-commander of the Jaeger Legion.
- Pajik: officer in the Firmrock Legion.
- Senbaud: commander of the Oceanic Legion.
- Jades: vice-commander of the Local Defense Legion.
- Messen: vice-commander of the Firmrock Legion.
- Zelan Ovidis: commander of the Thunderbolt Brigade.
Gold-Ranked Knights Edit
Lorist announced that Potterfang, Fiercetiger Loze, Josk, Freiyar, Belnick, Malek, Terman, and Yuriy would each receive their own hereditary manor. The manor and its surrounding lands were to remain in the family even if their descendants didn't become household knights.
The knight’s badge of the blademasters differs from the ones given to gold-ranked knights, it has a star-shaped diamond embedded in its surface. It gathered and radiated the light from the surroundings in such a way that it looked like a shining, twinkling star.
Lorist’s grandfather and great-grandfather had always hoped that the household would be guarded by a blademaster. Even though they could never afford to hire one, they still had a blademaster badge forged and hoped that it would encourage the members of the house to train hard and become a blademaster one day.
The salary for rank 1 blademasters of the household is five thousand gold Fordes annually, eight thousand for rank 2, whereas the pay for a rank 3 blademaster is ten thousand. The average blademasters only get paid three thousand gold Fordes annually.