In the Classical Period, an elite tagma, formed, trained, paid, and led by Jasper of Suvein. The Melankreuthes are equipped with extra-large oblong shields, hard leather cuirasses, steel helmets, greaves, xifoi, and two javelins per man. Their armour, tunics, shields, and other gear are black (see colours). The Melankreuthes fight in semi-open order, using innovative tactics which exploit their superior manœuvrability, iron discipline, and relative advantage in terrain which disorders phalanxes. They have acquired a terrible reputation, and are feared to the point of panic by other Gehennese troops.

The Melankreuthes were instrumental in the victory of Regikhord IV in the Civil War, and carried out the purges of the imperial family which ensued from his victory. Fear of the Melankreuthes and their commander is what prevents renewed Civil War and the overthrow by force of Regikhord’s unpopular regime. The Melankreuthes are utterly loyal to Jasper of Suvein.

In the Decadent Period, the greatly-feared secret police with which the polemarkh controls the dynastai, the governments of the cities, and (especially) the episkopoi. They are organised as a tagma, and are equipped for ceremonial purposes as the Classical Period unit from which they are derived, but they do not take the field in battle. They are fanatically loyal to the polemarkh, and worship Jasper of Suvein as a hero.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.