Razing the Dead
Factions of the Empress
• The Harriers – Primarily made up of goblinoid races, the Harriers assist the undead regiments of the Endless Night of the Empress as cheaper fodder and errand runners. The beliefs of the Empress is that the goblinoid races breed like rats and are easy to cower. The usual leaders of these rabble are higher, more intelligent and powerful goblinoids, and while the kobolds formerly worshipped draconic figures, they unwillingly attach themselves to the Harriers, waiting for a time when the dragons return to free them from what they see as indentured servitude. If given reason to believe someone could lead them to another draconic leader, they may even be turned against the Empire.
• The Dark Tide – A seemingly endless wave of lower undead, primarily zombies and skeletons, controlled by a necromancer lieutenant. Each necromancer has, at least, two bodyguards, typically higher undead. Each necromancer is known to have a “bloodhound” which searches out individual living creatures, so that only one remains anytime the Tide spills through an area. Only through merit does the necromancer “earn” the right to join the ranks of the higher undead, as all necromancers seek to join the ranks of the liches’ circle. These individual groups are akin to locusts – they descend on an area and snuff out any life that is sensed there.
• The Night Watch – A group of twisted “scientists” that seek to perfect and create new necromantic arts. Their works include crafting bodies upon bodies, limbs from one creature to another and animating undead flesh and bone golems for use in the front lines.
• The Black Iron Gate – Sorcerers, dark clerics and summoners that harness powers of demons and devils to act as gatekeepers between the realms. Constantly searching for ways to bring about the ascension of the Empress to godhood. Constantly looking to broker deals with outsiders so that they can increase their own power base and rise closer to joining the Empress’s side.
• Immortal March – Stronger, armored undead, still composed of skeletons, zombies, ghouls and other scavenging undead, but are more sophisticated in their bonding and preservation. Within this single battalion their ranks are maintained and refilled between each battle, so that their appearance is that no undead within the Immortal March ever die, and in truth, they seldom have ever fallen in battle. Often the very bodies destroyed in battle will be repaired and redressed before being placed again in their former position. It has a full staff of necromancers and dark priests to tend to the “polish” and maintenance of the army.
- The front lines are heavily armored dwarves, their ancient dwarven battle plate having been augmented in a mockery of its original dwarven style. Each carries a specifically tailored axe and shield.
- Elven skeletal archers line the back rows with longbows of bone and leather armor made from the very skin taken from their own bodies before being animated.
- The flanks are composed of Halfling zombie cavalry, riding skeletal wardogs, each armed with a skeletal spear as a lance. The hounds move silently, and even while carrying the lightly armored Halfling zombies make little noise in combat and are rarely heard before they bear down on their targets in a pack harassment.
- Human infantry compose the center, with spears and short swords of dark steel and chainmail armor that refuses to shine even in the brightest light.
- In the very rear, surrounding the necromancers that tend the army, are the generals – these three vampires were warlords in their previous lives, granted immortality at the opportunity to serve their Empress. These heavily armored knights fight from horseback, massive Nightmares as their steeds and being granted the most potent magical arms and armor for their use as they require. Each of them strives to prove themselves the true leader of the Immortal March, and only by their dedication to and fear of the Empress have they not entirely turned on one another. They may, however, seize opportunities to remove the other generals if given the chance.
• The Cleansing Storm – Having a strict minotaur membership, the Cleansing Storm is a fast-striking mass specializing in assaulting unprotected, “soft” targets. The minotaurs that make up this branch of the army vowed to serve the Empress as long as they were not forced to allow undead within their ranks. Over the years, they have retained only a fraction of their former honor, but still try hiding their fall from grace behind the trappings of former traditions and an abundance of violence.