Military of the Divine Empire

The Armies of the Divine Empire 

The Divine Legions
The once great fighting forces of the Divine Empire, famed for their steadfast nature and professionalism. Beyond petty politics where a man is only limited by his ability not his station in society. The men of the legions were always recruited purely on ability, moral character and dedication to the Divine Empire. Officers were chosen from within the ranks and appointed only after proving themselves in battle.
The first armies of the man who would become the emperor Innocence were made up of volunteers fighting for the paladin against the cruelty and tyranny of the last of the line of Kaegor. Emperor Kaegor XIII had fallen to evil ways and was bringing the lands to ruin. With the victory of Innocence many of his followers returned home but many threats still faced the new Divine Empire. A force had to be founded to protect the physical and moral purity of the Empire.
Men chosen for their goodness and judgment toured the Empire measuring the worth of any volunteer candidate regardless of social status or wealth. The candidates were usually boys between the ages of 10 and 12, who voluntarily left their families and were raised in barrack schools. They were trained in the arts of war and educated to a good standard. Many of the volunteers were from poor backgrounds lacking connections and with no allegiance other than to the Legion and the Empire.
At eighteen the trainees enlisted in the Legions and swore an oath to protect the Divine Empire and its lawful ruler Emperor Innocence. They enlisted for twenty one years with the promise of land and a pension at the end of service or if invalided out due to ill health. While in the Legion men may not marry.
This was a very long time to serve but as many of the enlistees were poor the excellent pensions and care attractive to many. It is also important to remember that the men were chosen for their good character and had been raised for up to eight years in the barrack schools.

Within the first years of service good officer candidates were chosen and sent for further training at the war academy for further training. They formed the highly professional officer core of the Divine Legions.
For a century the Divine Legions were the premier fighting force in the Lands defeating all comers and conquering Harmonas Province and the Savage of Helltenen. Sadly time changes all things.

With the inactivity of the Emperor as he ages there has been degeneration in to ornate internal police forces positioned to garrison and ensure loyalty of the various provinces within the Divine Empire. Terms of service have been loosened and exceptions made and then made again. The sons of nobles have been allowed to gain experience within the ranks then to hold ‘temporary’ commands. Many have become the private army of there commanders. While others under resourced.

The veneer of the excellence of the Divine Legions last till thirty two tears ago when events changed matters. There was the humanoid invasion of Harmonas Province from the underdark and the subsequent assault on the Island of Ipranius by the Old Empire. The Divine Legions proved ineffective in reversing the orcs that spewed out of the depths and over ran Harmoans from beneath her provincial capital Gorgortha. When the Old Empire attacked Ipranius they again proved incapable of firstly defending and then re-capturing the island.

Since then the military of the Divine Empire has continued to stagnate. There are still a few professional units but many are now corrupt and incapable of acting as nothing more than a police force for the Emperor. 

Provincial Forces

Provincial Forces fall in to two categories of full time and part-time (feudal). Not all men want the life time commitment of the Divine Legions and not all are chosen or have the connections to make it so. Some men are full time soldiers in the service of provincial lords and chartered guilds.
Under Divine and Kaegorian law private armies have long been banned with only a limited number of personal household troops allowed. The rulers of a province are licensed and indeed charged with maintaining provincial forces for defence and must promise to be able to provide a number of militia if called upon.
Professional provincial forces have a mix of time served Divine Legion men who wish to settle and the sons of nobles and wealthy traders keen to pursue and military term before going on to a political career.
The provincial militia forces have always had nobles as officer and tenants as the rank and file. The more educated tradesmen fulfilled the administrative roles. They were rarely called upon and quality was always varied but is usually poor. There are of course exceptions. The militaristic Barony of Maelfasan has long held a solid professional Baronial army backed by well drilled and trained militiamen. All families must supply at least one soldier who will serve or they loose property rights.  

Illustration: addroran from The Battle for Wesnoth ( used under General Public License