> > Armies go where they want
> I have to disagree here. Yes, the general may be glory- and
> plunder-seeking people, sometimes psycho, but in general the army
is a a
> disciplined force with strong central command.
Peter's point sounds provocative. But I love how he nails the diverse and individualistic nature of the Imperial host, with its "would-be heroes &c." [and, to take it a stage further, the various Leagues, Associations, families, Houses, Satrapies, cults and temples they often (mis)represent in addition to 'the Lunar Empire'].
People often wonder how such a diverse lot as the Imperial Army works above the level of individual 'regiments'. Behind 'command' is quite simply the recognition of authority (social, religious, what have you) invested in an individual, being inherent to, or delegated from, a commonly respected superior source. That principle has existed throughout the ages.
In the Lunar Empire, with its myriad cults and cultures, there is really only one individual upon whom all these myths and legends somehow mingle; one nexus: the Red Emperor. Whether you're a Lunar citizen, bird-bothering Rinliddi, cruel-bearded Carmanian hazar or rough 'n' ready Durnvoking, he's The Man: be he Moonson, the Paradisal Aviator, Padishah or Big Red Rascal.
[Your Warlord (commanding an army) is his plenipotentiary on campaign and in the field; he commands because the Red Emperor says, basically, "I'm the Big Daddy, and I say follow this Little Daddy's orders as if they were mine." And the Warlord might delegate parts of his authority to a variety of veterans, flunkies and companions as he sees fit. Mechanisms for this already exist in the Empire, from the proxies to imperial mandates. How people react to them will vary.]
So I'd suggest that the nature of the Mask will have a not inconsiderable effect on how the Empire's hosts behave. At an upper level, the army of Voracius would have been of a rather different complexion to that Militaris. And at the moment that Mask is... Argenteus.
I don't suggest that the Imperial Army is a free-for-all; but I would suggest that the current army is more open to the sorts of elements Peter describes than it has been in the past (all generally MGF; and witness the conflicts between Fazzur, Tatius and the like).
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