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The Viamontian Knight
Posted By Ibn on 25-Oct-2004
by Elgenia Montani, Grand Mother of Silyun
The Viamontian Knights serve as the heart of the fearsome army that King Varicci II has assembled on the Halaetan Islands. The twelve-foot-tall armor-clad behemoths are an imposing sight on any battlefield, and even more so when accompanied by the ravenous Eaters.
The Viamontian Knights are a new creation. There were no such altered soldiers in the service of King Varicci I on Ispar. The elite troops of the Viamontian army on their home world were the Ferran Knights. Soldiers who displayed exceptional skill and courage were recruited out of the Viamontian army, trained in all the arts of battle at the prestigious war academies of Viamont, equipped with the finest steel, and placed in the Ferran Knight legions. Ferran Knights accompanied the great warlords of Viamont on their diverse campaigns across Ispar. They shattered the center of the Roulean imperial phalanxes and crushed the loosely organized Aluvian militias on the Plain of Ayrifal.
When Prince Varicci came to Dereth and proclaimed himself King Varicci II, however, he was unable to rely on a steady supply of recruits from the larger army and had no war academies to train his elite soldiers. Furthermore, the new challenges presented by their hostile and inhospitable new home demanded shock troops of greater fortitude and raw power than what was available from even the most elite of "normal" humans. Varicci II lacked the time to develop a proper system of army and academy to train his elite warriors. He needed shock troops, and quickly.
It was at this time that a mysterious visitor approached the construction site of the new Royal Hall. This visitor spent most of a night in conversation with the King. No one knows what words passed between monarch and guest during those critical hours, because the King will answer no questions about the incident or even the name of the visitor. What is known is that the next morning, Varicci II sent his most trusted commanders far and wide throughout the five islands, with vague and mysterious orders to search all the ruins they could locate, and bring back "anything interesting."
It only took a few weeks for the King's cousin, General Corcima, to come back with something that greatly excited the King. It was a book written in an unfamiliar script, which the King gave over to his council of arcane scholars to decipher. It is suspected that the mysterious visitor returned during this period, and soon enough, the royal researchers had achieved a breakthrough: they learned of a dangerous magical technique by which a human might be twisted and transmuted into a twelve-foot-tall beast of prodigious strength and toughness.
Without hesitation, Varicci ordered his soldiers into the chamber where his mages made ready to enact their rituals. One by one, his soldiers were transformed into towering brutes, engines of terror and destruction. In the process of the change, most soldiers lost their minds and their higher mental functions. Certainly none of them were capable of the kind of focus and concentration that was required to work magic. Fortunately for the King, they retained the ability to accept and follow commands.
The monstrous army worked well for a time, and with their might, coupled with that of the newly discovered Eaters, Varicci was able to establish a new realm by driving out the huge insects that plagued these lands prior to their arrival. As the royal domain expanded, however, the Viamontians encountered other foes, such as the Ruschk and the Fiun. These creatures posed a more significant challenge because they employed magic in their battles with the King's forces. After an encounter in which his army of giants took heavy casualties from crafty, spellcasting Ruschk, Varicci realized his army needed to add a dimension of magical skill. He finally realized that on this new world, brute force would not be enough that a mixture of arcane and physical power would be the best way to ensure the success of his new army.
With that in mind, he soon developed a system for the recruitment and genesis of the Viamontian Warcasters. The soldiers with the brightest and most promising minds were spared the transformation process. Instead, they learned to augment their weapon training with fearsome spell-casting abilities. These mage-soldiers would accompany their mutated brethren into battle and support them with magic. Ensuing battles against the Ruschk and Fiun validated Varicci's new strategy. With his islands secure, Varicci was able to turn his ambitions outward, across the water...