No society is ever complete without someone dying in some kind of squabble. Whether on land, in the air, or on the sea, Themblise have in partaking in war for as long as the province has existed.
Magical Themblise cannot touch iron or silver without being burned, or even killed. This affects Themblise warfare in many ways.
Although silver is deadlier than iron, it is a rare soft metal not well suited for warfare. More importantly, though, is that silver is extremely illegal in all of Themble. To use silver in warfare would not only ruin any relationship with any monarchy, and quite possibly ruin any relationship in any nearby provinces. It is the assassin’s weapon, when laws do not stand in the way, and better hidden as another weapon.
The same cannot be said for iron, which is legal and plentiful. Although it does burn something nasty, it is not usually deadly from a simple scratch, unlike silver. It can be difficult to find null blacksmiths, who, lacking magic, can work the metal well. Iron is the best legal material one can use in warfare, being stronger than bronze, wood, and leather. Iron is used primarily for weapons, but it is also used for armor.
For some, weapons are simply reinforced or protected hooves, horns, and teeth. For others, they prefer using their magical abilities to kill. Then, there are those who prefer something material, bludgeoning, or sharp. Wood and leather sections of weapons often have charms for protection, anti-fire, and resistance against the elements. Wards are worn by wealthy individuals, but are also used by the military to protect entire an entire regiment or ship. Here are a list of a few weapons used in Themblise warfare:
- Sword – Preferably in a style that is double-sided and allows for thrusting and slashing.
- Dagger – Good for close combat if you don’t have a sword.
- Axe – A fearsome opponent of armor.
- Hammer – Excellent for a permanent headache and some broken bones.
- Javelin – Can be thrown, can be used to keep others at bay.
- Spear – A versatile weapon excellent for keeping large creatures at bay, especially when a group of soldiers are organized together.
- Trident – More popular on the coast that inland.
- Horse Hoof Casings – Usually sits on top of leather, and encases the hoof wall. Used on front hooves by equines to strike out at enemies.
- Spiked Horse Shoes – Not fun for the getting kicked.
- Arquebus – A fairly inaccurate gun that can pierce through armor. Slow and loud, but frightening. Invented only a few decades ago.
- Long Bow – Excellent for shooting the enemy with arrows from afar.
- Recurve Bow – If you need a more powerful bow but a shorter range, the recurve is a good choice.
- Crossbow – Takes time to reload, but is powerful.
- Sling – If you need to hit the enemy from afar but don’t have a bow.
- Hot Oil, Pitch, or Resin – Poured on top of enemies. Sticks quite terribly to fur, feathers, and skin.
- Sea Fire – A naphtha and quicklime substance that can burn on top of water. Very effective in naval battles.
- Dragon Pots – Pots filled with a combustible substance, such as gunpowder, and iron spikes, broken pottery, or other small, sharp objects. Using slung from catapults or trebuchets, or dropped by the air force’s swoopers.
- Cannon – Either made out of iron or bronze. Growing in popularity and effectiveness as new models are released.
- Battering Ram – Heavily charmed, a battering ram with an iron head can eventually bust through most charmed doors.
- Ballista – Used often against dragon air force.
- Trebuchet – Good for slinging boulders and dragon pots.
- Catapult – Also good for slinging boulders and dragon pots.
Each creature’s armor and uniform changes depending on the specie. Ranks are displayed by colorful knots on each shoulder that become more elaborate with each rank. Armor is typically thick molded or scaled leather placed on top of a light tunic to prevent rubbing. If the soldier is of high rank or wealthy, they may have iron chain mail or the very rare set of plate armor on top of the tunic instead. Leather armor and tunics are charmed to protect the wearer from damage, attack, and even over-heating or freezing. They also serve to keep the armor and tunic in good condition.
In a Themblise, there are many jobs in the army. However, they are usually dedicated by size in the battlefield.
Pipers – These are tiny creatures, like mice, rats, rabbits, hares, terrier-sized dogs, and cats. These civilized creatures have two jobs: infiltration and destruction. Their small size makes them perfect for sneaking into the enemy’s camp, destroying rations, poisoning the water supply, chewing through ropes, and gathering intelligence. Wards can make their lives challenging, but many come with charms or magical abilities of their own.
Anklebiters – Small to medium-sized creatures, like dogs, wolves, goats, pigs, and sheep, are to distract and disorganize enemy troops. An unwise enemy will plan a defense against the footsoldiers and deadly cavalry, but not plan for creatures who are smaller. A surprise attack from anklebiters can quickly cause chaos for the unprepared.
Footsoldiers – These are typically humans and theriomorphics like minotaurs who are capable of holding spears, javelins, swords, and ranged weapons like arquebuses and bows. They provide both attack and defense, and are the most versatile of all of the types of soldiers.
Cavalry – Horses, unicorns, cows, bears, and sometimes sheep and goats make up the cavalry. They use their brute strength to tear down enemy lines and cause chaos. Purely offensive, a good cavalry can cause massive destruction by mowing the enemy down. However, their larger size puts them at a higher risk of injury and death, especially since they are offensive soldiers.
The air force is the most feared branch of the military. Capable of hindering or destroying both the army and the navy, the air force’s habitual use of firepower – both from dragons and from bombs – makes it them very unpopular with the enemy. However, because of the air force’s broad amount of usefulness (from destroying sieges, to wrecking ships, and burning ranks of soldiers) it can easily be spread thin.
Peckers – Birds and bats make up the pecker formations. They swoop in and blind and confuse the enemy by attacking in giant clouds. While rarely deadly, peckers cause chaos and panic, and always aim for eyes. Peckers are also used for messenger duty.
Swoopers – Made of cupidines, griffins, large birds of prey, and Orin dragons, the swoopers fly over enemy troops and drop thin-walled pottery filled with explosives, from sea fire to dragon pots, and the occasional pot of hot pitch.
Spots – Spots are composed of mainly Lambrose dragons, but consisting of foreign dragon species and as well as cupidines and griffins with pyrokinesis. They received their name from the large spots on a Lambrose dragon’s wings. Spots usually have one mission: burn everything to the ground. Rarely they are used to help troops retreat by carrying materials.
The navy sports a wide variety of different types of ships. Iron and bronze cannons have changed the navy considerably over the last few decades, as well as the use of lateen sails. The cannons are much more destructive than sea fire, but sea fire has maintained its popularity over the years. From multiple decked caravels and carracks capable of holding several tons of soldiers, cannons, and gunpowder, to speedy chelandions and dromons, each class has its own specialty. Most of the navy in Themble consists of fishing and transport boats refitted for battle.
The biggest enemy to the navy are the air force, whose fire can easily strand or sink a ship. Cannon balls, catapults, and ballistas can encourage the air force to retreat, but are not always successful.