MerricB writes "The overall commander of the County of Ulek's armies is Knight-Marshal Lachlan, who rose to prominence defending the County during the Greyhawk Wars. This article examines his position in the Court of Ulek, as well as giving some notes on the composition of Ulek's defenders.
In the Court of the Count of Ulek - Knight-Marshal Lachlan
by Merric Blackman (email@example.com)
Within the County of Ulek, Knight-Marshal Lachlan (LN human Ftr 7) is the overall commander of all troops of the County. Knight-Marshall Lachlan rose to prominence during the Greyhawk Wars, when the previous commander of the combined forces of the County was slain in combat with the forces of Vecna, far to the north.
The Knight-Marshal is a practical man, a widower with one child, and extremely unidealistic. He sees the commitment of forces to the Furyondian war against Iuz as having been the greatest folly, and he lives by the following motto: "See that Ulek is safe, first and last!"
The Knight-Marshal is a permanent member of the Count's council, and one the Count gives much weight to, as the Count is very mindful of the heroic deeds that his commander did during the invasion from the Pomarj. Often, the Knight-Marshall finds himself in disagreement with the representatives from the clergy on the council board, especially with Huldil, a druid of Berei, or with the nobles who wish Ulek to be more open to trade, and thus, less secure.
Strangely enough, the Knight-Marshal gets along quite well with Lady Caitlin of Greyhawk (NG human Wiz8), even though her views are often opposed to his own: this is because Lady Caitlin proved herself to the Knight Marshall during the War, as she rallied the Ulekian people.
The Knight-Marshal's relationship with his son, Elmo, is a complicated one. Elmo's mother, whom the Knight Marshal loved dearly, died in childbirth, and Elmo has been raised by his stern father. Lachlan cannot look at his son without being reminded of his loss. In raising his son, Lachlan has rarely had a good word for him, seeking an unattainable perfection from his son.
In addition to his duties as the commander of Ulek's forces, the Knight-Marshal Lachlan is also the chief representative of the Count's Justice. Twice a year, he makes a tour around the County to assure himself that no aspect of the Count's Law is being misused, and to collect petitions for redress.
The Troops of Ulek
It should be emphasised that, in the main, the commanders of the various Ulekian troops rarely work together in a wholly unified fashion, as they are of varied sorts. Making up Ulek's armies are the following forces:
The Rangers of the East are led by Captain Lloyd (N human Ranger 6). Lloyd is independent as his troops are, though he does reluctantly submit to the Knight-Marshall's orders when he thinks they make sense (as they often do). The Rangers, primarily of human stock, though a few elves and half-elves may also be found amongst their number, are trained woodsmen and hunters. Their writ is to protect the east of Ulek from incursions from the Wild Coast and from the Pomarj.
They do this by using ambushes, traps and snares where possible. Each of the rangers is typically attired in leather or studded leather armour, armed with short or long bows, and a sword and dagger. Their number is primarily made up of actual Rangers and also a number of Rogues and Fighter/Rogues specialising in woodland skills.
Knight-Marshal Lachlan is the commander of the County Cavalry, a small group of light and medium cavalry which patrols the western borders and heartland of the County. The medium cavalry is primarily made up of those humans of noble birth in the County; the light cavalry is commanded by nobles but its numbers are made up much more of those of the middle classes.
Although the County Cavalry is relatively small in numbers (perhaps no more than 300 riders), they have a disproportionate effect on the morale and reputation of the County's defenders, due to their high level of training, their speed, and their dedication in battle.
Apart from these two bodies, the County of Ulek has no standing armies. However, during a time of war, the following bodies are formed:
* Light and Medium Human Infantry. The commanders of these forces come from various population centres around the county, or are assigned by Knight-Marshal Lachlan.
* Halfling Slingers and Shortbowmen. One company of such comes from Jurnre itself, others are formed as required from the halfling villages. The commander of the Jurnre Slingers, Master Proodfae, (LN halfling Ftr6/Rog1) is a permanent member of the Count's Council, and also represents many of the halflings in Jurnre.
* Gnome Crossbowmen and Light Infantry. The gnomes are much more concentrated towards the east of the County; their commander Hylae Corrinan, (CG gnome Ftr2/Rog4) only rarely attends Council meetings, as she prefers to see to the security of her small settlements in the foothills.
It should probably be emphasised that by no means are the combined forces of the County a formidible force. They are trained primarily in repelling minor humanoid incursions from the Pomarj and Wild Coast.
During the early stages of the Greyhawk Wars, much of the army was sent north to aid in the defense of Furyondy, Veluna and the Shield Lands from the invading Vecna. When Turmosh Mak led his army from the Pomarj, the County was ill-prepared to defend itself: in addition to the army being out of position, its commander had been slain, and the Court Wizard of Ulek, Meliander the Mage, had disappeared. It was only by the dint of much diplomacy and rallying by Knight-Marshal Lachlan with help from Lady Caitlin of Greyhawk that the County was prepared in time.
Note: Greyhawk Wars, County of Ulek"