The army is comprised of footmen, archers, battle-mages, clerics, spies, infiltrators and assassins. The exact number of active soldiers in service remains a royal secret only known to the avernite Crown. Unlike its' imperial counterpart, the modern avernite army tends to keep its' platoons mixed concerning their capabilities in combat. A typical avernite platoon comprises of ten to fifteen soldiers, five to ten archers, a captain and often either a mage or a priest. The hostility of the caverns ensure that even normal road-patrols might encounter a pack of monsters. In such cases, the magical aid might be the only thing keeping the platoon alive.
From the first days of the Exile, the military of Avernum fought hard to give the free people a chance to live. Their enemies included demons, darklings and nepharim. Since metal was rare in Avernum, most of the quality iron was reserved for military use. Remote forts and more peaceful regions had to make do with weapons and arrows made from stone, flint and obsidian.
During First Slith War
The savage slithzerikai leader Sss-Thsss waged war against the kingdom on multiple fronts. At least forts Emerald and Dranlon suffered heavy battering from the slith mages, priests and siegers. The entirety of Eastern Gallery was considered a war-zone. A group of adventurers reported to have encountered a lone slith even as far inland as north of Fort Duvno. The militia of Almaria experienced their share of the war, and actually employed aforementioned mercenaries to hunt down a slith assassin afflicting the city.
One of the more surprising losses of the war happened after the Hawthorne's Assassins had killed Sss-Thsss in the Central Islands, when Grah-Hoth's demonic forces decimated Fort Remote. Despite being dealt a grievous injury, the army was witheld on the defensive, and a contigent of adventurers was employed to retaliate, instead.
During Empire-Avernum War
Due to its' lower standard of weapons and armor as opposed to the Empire's troops, Avernum's military was forced to employ guerrilla tactics against the invaders. One such example was recorded by the captain of Fort Ganrick, where two groups of avernite soldiers, complemented by battle-mages, sealed a tunnel from both ends by magical blasts and trapped a platoon of Empire's soldiers inside.
The sudden destruction of the port city of Cotra was a major blow to Avernum. From a strategic point of view, supply lines to Fort Dranlon had to be maintained all the way from Silvar, which made protecting the forefront of the war considerably more difficult. The high command learned of its' mistakes, however, and recruited a number of mages from the Tower to serve within the army. The mages' efforts weren't restricted to only destructive purposes, but some mages were tasked to magically scry the caverns for intruders, like Kosdad north of Fort Duvno or the mages near Silvar-Cotra checkpoint.
In addition to forcing the leaders of the army to come up with new tactics against the cunning invaders, the war effort also forced the army to draft a lot of soldiers from the remote regions, like Motrax's Cavern, and replace the garrisons with golems, maintained by a handful of mages. On the other hand, Almaria saw a large change in its' role and turned from a checkpoint between the Eastern Gallery and the Great Cave into a supply hub for the entire avernite army.
Because of the large numbers of the Empire soldiers present within the caverns and their ability to keep reinforcing their troops, the avernite high command decided to withhold its' own army on a defensive role, and relied on surgical strikes against key targets by employing a relatively well recognized group of soldiers. The avernite army held the bulk of the imperial legion at bay mostly north of Fort Emerald and Dharmon, with Almaria, Fort Dranlon and Fort Draco keeping the invasion from spreading farther.
The number of casualties are estimated to have been tremendous, but the avernite Crown has seen fit to detain any specific numbers.
Life in the avernite army was relatively peaceful, if nervebreaking, during the Reconciliation. The only disaster that affected Avernum directly was the Tower of Magi Disaster, when Linda attempted to summon Grah-Hoth. During this time, the local guard, presumably from Mertis, banded together with the surviving members of the Tower Guard and erected a massive obstruction to keep the demons from spreading any farther into the caverns. The Tower Disaster caused a flood of refugees to leave the immediate vicinity of the area. Silvar and Almaria are known to have accepted the majority of the refugees owing to the disaster.
Any other incidents are hardly noteworthy, and may be summed up to banditry, recovery of the Orb of Thralni from the Cult of the Sacred Item, hostile nephil clans, splinter groups of darklings and other common monster infestations.
During Second Slith War
(Work in progress.)
(Work in progress.)
Ranks and clearances
Everyone enlisted within the avernite army receives a Soldier Clearance. This allows them to pass checkpoints that might be otherwise off-limits to citizens. Performing extraordinary deeds or receiving commendations from mayors and commanders within the kingdom may earn a soldier the privilege to visit the Castle for a promotion, thus earning a Magi Clearance. The highest level, a Crown Clearance, is the hardest to obtain but grants the broadest amount of freedom and privileges.
Clearances in the army of Avernum
- Soldier Clearance.
- Magi Clearance.
- Crown Clearance.
It is worth mentioning that the clearances are different from ranks. A group of wandering soldiers, such as the Empire War Heroes, might bear the Crown Clearance but not command a rank higher than a ward, and therefore be subject to the chain of command, receiving quests from commanders of various forts and cities.
- Private, Grunt.
- King. (Not obtainable via promotion, but is still a part of the hierarchy. The king commands the highest and final authority in the military matters.)
(Work in progress.)
- Johnson, commander of Fort Duvno (First Slith War, Empire-Avernum War), commander of Fort Emergence (interim, Reconciliation).
- Mairwen, commander of Fort Dranlon (First and Second Slith Wars, Empire-Avernum War).
- Arlen, commander of Silvar (Empire-Avernum War), mayor of Silvar (interim, Empire-Avernum War).