See also: Kingdom of the Light.
The Army of the Truthful is a Scarlet Crusade militant faction under the leadership of High Cleric Ostrick the Zealous. Their ranks are mainly composed of converts and refugees from various human kingdoms, along with far-flung pilgrims from the southern regions of Eastern Kingdoms travelling to Lordaeron in efforts to restore the Crusade's strength. However, the leadership still contains veterans of the Scarlet Crusade, or formerly of the Alliance of Lordaeron and Silver Hand.
- 1 Ideology
- 2 Military
- 3 Central Governance
- 4 Provincial Governance
- 5 Current Holdings
- 6 Origins
- 7 The Truthful's Crusade
- 8 Current Status
- 9 Media
|“||Know that the Light's will is absolute, and may not be compromised for the sake of pragmatism or any other earthly concerns for that matter. As servants of Its holy will, it is not our place to alter or change it for any reason, for what kind of servant disobeys their master?||”|
–Ostrick the Zealous
The Truthful are primarily a product of the ideology of the Scarlet Crusade at its height, following the corruption and possession of its Grand Crusader Saidan Dathrohan by the dreadlord Balnazzar. In many ways, the extrapolation and logical progression made on these ideals has, as a result, made the Truthful more extreme than the original Scarlet Crusade itself.
The codified ideology of the Truthful, aptly named Truth, is an outgrowth of the divide in the Scarlet Crusade between two main factions: those that tended towards militarism and nationalism, and those that tended towards religious fanaticism.
Termed Abbendites and Saidanites respectively by the Truthful, they highlight doctrinal differences between the High General and Grand Crusader during the height of the Scarlet Crusade, and the growing tensions between the two.
Truth is the perspective of the Saidanite faction, with the emphasis being more on faith and idealism than pragmatism, generally speaking.
The primary text promulgated by the Truthful is the Codex of Flame.
See also: Military of the Truthful.
The Truthful, much more so than their progenitors, the Scarlet Crusade or fellow splinter factions such as the Scions of Mograine, rely on foreigners to contribute to the bulk of their forces. This is due to a myriad of factors ranging from the severe depletion of the Scarlet Crusade's original ranks (and Lordaeron's living population as a whole) to an evolution of ideology embracing pan-humanism in the name of religion.
The Truthful's military can be divided into two main divisions: those of irregular guerrillas, and those that are a more traditional force similar to the footmen of old.
The irregulars, called militants, comprise the vast majority of the ranks of the Truthful. They are typically under a regional, decentralized command structure.
Unlike the Scarlet Crusade, the Truthful are not able to rely on close-ordered and well armored footmen, nor can they afford it. Instead, warfare has taken the form of insurgencies of attrition, conserving manpower and material.
Militants act as skirmishers, and avoid fair or pitched battles whenever possible. Their effectiveness largely depends on their local commanders' ability to direct them correctly, and pick engagements wisely. However, due to the nature of blindly faithful Saidanite doctrine, this is not always the case.
Kingdom Defenders are more apt to engage in pitched battles, generally armored and armed enough to enable them to do so. However, they deviate from their footmen progenitors in their fighting style, which a more traditional warrior may deem dirty or underhanded.
Nature of the Central Military
The central military of the Truthful does not fight the majority of the battles waged. Instead, they are deployed sparingly and during decisive moments during a campaign, usually in an offensive manner. However, with the Truthful increasingly on the defensive, the Kingdom Defenders are more often used as a stop-gap measure to attempt to hold a line when the more flimsy militant formations fail.
See also: Kingdom of the Light
The Army of the Truthful employs a governance in the territories it controls, going under the name of the Kingdom of the Light. It is led by a High Cleric, under which serves a Council of Truth.
The High Cleric
The position of the High Cleric is the de-facto spiritual and to some extent military leader of the Truthful. His authority is theoretically extreme, but in reality his position is closer to a figurehead rather than an actual supreme leader.
Council of Truth
The Council of Truth is the main governing body of the Truthful, and both keep the High Cleric in check by ensuring his adherence to the Codex of Flame, and control the various daily affairs of the kingdom.
The Council of Truth is presided over by three chairs, each representing one of the three main sects of the Truthful:
- Seat of Justice: Held by the High Inquisitor, Ella Holcomb; it represents the Inquisition of Truth.
- Seat of Wisdom: Held by the High Scholar, Isambard Trask; it represents The Prelacy.
- Seat of Might: Held by the High General, Benaiah IV; it represents the Military of the Truthful.
|Prelacy||High Scholar||The Prelacy is who interprets and promulgates the interpretation of the Truthful's sacred text, the Book of Flame, and codifies it into the Law of Flame. It is led by the Archlector and High Scholar, Isambard Trask, who represents it in the Council of Truth as the Seat of Wisdom.|
|Military||High General||The Kingdom Defenders are the central branch of the Truthful's military. They are led by the High General, Benaiah IV, who represents it in the Council of Truth as the Seat of Might.|
|Inquisition||High Inquisitor||Three main duties fall under the inquisition of Truth: intelligence, law enforcement, and espionage. The inquisition enforces the interpretation of the Law of Flame as dictated by the Prelacy. It is led by the High Inquisitor, Ella Holcomb, who represents it in the Council of Truth as the Seat of Justice.|
|Militancy||Lord Protector||The militancy, while not an official sect of the central government, is represented by the Bureau of Provinces. Most affairs regarding militants and militias are handled by regional governance. The Bureau is led by Dame Lloria, who also leads the Bureau of Soldiery.|
Office of Provinces
Due to the decentralized nature of the Kingdom of the Light, the Office of the Provinces is the body that controls and maintains the affairs of the individual provinces that compose the Kingdom of the Light, and indeed each leader of each province, known as a "Lord-Protector", is a member of the Office of the Provinces.
|Westweald||Lazarus of Andorhal||The Provincial Region of the Westweald, or the Provincial Region of Andorhal, encompasses all territorial ambitions that the Truthful hold in the Westweald as well as former and present territory. It is known for being the most populous of the Truthful's provincial regions.|
|Hillsbrad||Sheamus Elliander||The Provincial Region of Hillsbrad encompasses all territorial ambitions that the Truthful hold in the Hillsbrad Foothills as well as former and present territory. While currently holding only Pyrebane Keep, it is considered the safest of the provincial regions.|
|Agamand||N/A||The Provincial Region of Agamand encompasses all territorial ambitions that the Truthful hold in the region of Agamand as as well as former and present territory. Currently at a stalemate, the Truthful poured resources into the area during Operation: Red Arrow. While a few deserted settlements were captured, prospects are grim.|
The Truthful's foremost theater of expansion is within Lordaeron, where they seek to eradicate every other faction that inhabits it. The primary goal of the group is to establish their own nation; to build a bastion of purity for humanity, of which they have named the Kingdom of the Light.
Within Tirisfal, the primary command of the Truthful was once based in Scarlet Monastery; however, due to a recent siege by the Ebon Blade, most of the leadership had fled, leaving High Commander Goodchilde's forces and the Knights of Dathrohan to defend the Crusader's Chapel. While the defending Scarlet fighters were among the veteran ranks, they were eventually overrun, leaving most forces dead or pinned down within the monastery's military wing.
While the strongest forces of the Truthful were nearly wiped out, a large militia and group of holdouts operate within the Scarlet Palisade, where they oversee and guard a stretch of farmland nearby. The guerrilla Scarlet forces ensure that the farmhands and workers are not infiltrated and compromised by threats with a vigilant watch.
The Plaguelands and Hillsbrad
The territory of the Truthful's expeditionary force that is their Kingdom Defenders are scattered and tenuous, as settlements are often vulnerable or well hidden. The rag-tag forces are often found skirmishing with either Argent patrols, the Forsaken within Hillsbrad, or whatever lingering Scourge they find within the Eastern Plaguelands. What exists primarily of the Truthful's organized forces and relative stronghold within the Western Plaguelands is a provincial region north of the Forsaken territory of the Bulwark, referred colloquially as the Scarlet Encroach, otherwise known as New Andorhal. This region is currently under siege by a coalition lead by the Knights of Solidarity.
The Truthful now use a large settlement of human refugees near the northern shores of Lordamere Lake as their primary recruitment grounds, with their inquisition stationed within Pyrebane Keep.
The Truthful's operation within the garrison of New Hearthglen has dwindled significantly following the combat of the Dragonblight Offensive, and command has since been turned over to the Scarlet Onslaught.
The forces under the command of High General Marvin Hayes lost most, if not of their forward settlements within Dragonblight--Daion's Point being the first to be siezed, following with Fort Akkil and the vital supply line being used known as the Crimson Portcullis.
Starting as a splinter group of the Scarlet Crusade, the following is a relative comprehensive history of the circumstances surrounding the rise of the Truthful.
Remnants of Tirisfal
The Army of the Truthful initially started out as one of the splinter organizations that formed when the leadership of the Scarlet Crusade either left for Northrend, or was destroyed. Without any real central leadership, divisions formed, and with time, so did ideology and convictions. Army of the Truthful was one of these organizations, and one of the larger factions at the time of its founding.Focused heavily on guerrilla warfare and with a uniquely zealous religious message based on the teachings of Chandan Ostrick, it quickly grew from both the novelty of its message, the ability of its warfare to adapt to the changing situation, and by sheer ambition on the part of Chandan and its other leaders such as Marvin Hayes or Derek Truesteel. The group quickly absorbed other brigades like the nationalistic Bastion of Tirisfal, although despite that, did not change or compromise its ideology with the new additions.
It was during this time period that the group ventured to the Scarlet Monastery, then held by an outpost of the Scarlet Salvation, who after a lengthy confrontation allowed the party of militants and crusaders into the sacred library of the Scarlet Crusade. It was there that a few tomes important and relevant to the Truthful's ideology were discovered, the most notable and influential of which being the Book of Flame.
The group focused heavily on propaganda as well, the acquisition of a printing press being one of the first missions of the Army. After this was achieved, Ostrick penned multiple addresses to the Alliance, Stormwind, King Varian Wrynn, the Clergy, and to the Argent Crusade. Unflinchingly ideological and having a view of a singular "Truth", anybody who did not fall in line or followed different teachings were a target - which was most of Azeroth.
Taking advantage of the situation brewing in Hillsbrad between the humans and the Forsaken, Ostrick focused heavily on debasing the Argent Crusade's neutrality, and with that, gained a slew of very zealous converts and recruits from Hillsbrad, who had nothing to lose and had every reason to hate both the Forsaken and the Argents. With this, the Truthful grew and rose in prominence.
However, there was a major setback around this period - the main base of their operations, the Palisade, was taken by a party of Alliance-aligned actors, routing the Truthful to the mountains and hills surrounding Tirisfal. Dwelling in caves and descending down into the lowlands to raid only once in a while, this was an inglorious time for the Army.
It was around this time that the then scholar Erice Mastragonde and Ostrick ventured to Northrend in search of what became of New Hearthglen; the impregnable fortress of the Scarlet Onslaught. They knew what the Truthful needed was glory, and such a fortress would surely provide them that. Upon arriving, they found the citadel empty, left almost as it was when it was deserted. After establishing a connection with the Ley Lines, they got to work with teleportation most of the Truthful's presence to the barren tundra of Dragonblight.Around the same time as the capture of New Hearthglen, a tome known as the Book of Hope was discovered. It detailed the foundation of a "Kingdom of the Light", which the Truthful saw as themselves, and named their polity in Northrend accordingly. Slowly, the insurgent group made a transition to being a sovereign dominion, and with that, attracted various zealots from throughout Azeroth with their message.
This budding "Kingdom of the Light" expanded, gaining parts of Dragonblight and Grizzly Hills, and with these victories, grew in strength and prosperity. A city known as "Ostridan" was founded in the Grizzly Hills, and shortly after, Onslaught Harbor in Icecrown was taken as well, being dubbed "Ormania".
The Truthful's Crusade
The Truthful's history is varied and complicated, ranging from an expedition to Northrend, to civil war, to terrorism. The following is an outline of its forming to present time.
While terrorism against the Alliance was always part of the Truthful's operations, it was now that they could plot it in the relative safety of Dragonblight, due to its isolation. From here, they directed operations in Westfall, which took advantage of the lawlessness and hopelessness of the region and fed on it, brewing further discontent against Stormwind.
The bandit country was used as a base of operations against the Kingdom, and in this time, numerous bombings and other such activities took place, including the assassinations of high-value individuals. During this time was the announcement of Westfall as part of the domain of the Kingdom of the Light, a full-fledged province, although nobody recognized it outside of the Truthful.
To the Truthful, Stormwind was the epitome of what they hated; it was secular, it was ruled by a king, it did not believe in Truth, and it was opposed to the Scarlet Crusade during the time it existed. These major factors, along with some minor ones, like Ostrick's own personal dealings with the city, led them to justify their horrific actions against the city and its populace. Most of what they did was justified by the Book of Flame, particularly in the sections written during Balnazzar's possession of the Crusade.
Split of East and West
During this period of seeming stability and growth, discontent and tensions arose beneath the superficially calm surface. In the city of Ostridan, named after the High Cleric himself, a pretender known as Isabella Mastragonde began to rise, who was the sister of the then High Arcanist, Erice Mastragonde.
Taking advantage of the undercurrent of Lordaeronian nationalism and nostalgia, of which Ostrick was increasingly opposed to, she began to preach against the High Cleric and gained a following for herself, and before long the majority of the Eastern Crusade, most of Grizzly Hills, was in her grasp.
Ostrick saw this as evidence of the harmfulness of petty nationalism, which he saw as divisive and non-conducive to the uniting of humanity under the Kingdom of the Light, of which faith and faith alone was supposed to be the uniting factor. Because of this, he doubled down, and his rhetoric against the "Kingdom of New Lordaeron" began to intensify, further solidifying the divisions between the East and the West crusade.
After multiple attacks and provocations, the Clergy of the Holy Light and its allies had their patience with the Truthful expended. After little deliberation, war was decided on, spearheaded by a declaration by the Stormwind Silver Hand's leader, Lord Ritchard Elric. The Kingdom of the Light was emboldened by this, and eagerly taunted their opponents, awaiting their arrival with baited breath.
Within their holy texts was assurance of victory written in form of prophecy, thus the Army of the Truthful remained without intimidation despite the growing number of organizations and banners that rise against them.
As the Dragonblight Offensive drew to a close, the Truthful licked their wounds, despite achieving victory, and withdrawing the bulk of their forces and leadership to the Scarlet Monastery, where they now protect the legacy of the Scarlet Crusade with their lives.Most, if not all focus was to fortify their positions in Tirisfal, as it was paramount that they remain loyal and true to the Crusade's original dealings. Leadership shifted drastically, to which a new High General was appointed in Benaiah IV, and the rebirth of the inquisition itself, lead by High Inquisitor Ella Holcomb.
In efforts to claim an edge on their enemies, and establish a stronger orthodoxy within the remnant Scarlet Crusade, the Truthful made a bold excursion into the Eastern Plaguelands, seeking the ruins of Stratholme.
A bitter taste lingered in Truthful's mouths after their venture into the Plaguewood. Though mobilizing forces grew difficult, a dire threat was left unaddressed, and it would galvanize the crusaders to take action. Vasil, Brother Baker, along with an emerging Felsworn cult festered under both the Argent and Truthful's noses while they fought over far less pressing matters. Only until the a grim omen revealed itself did the two militant factions turn their attention toward looming apocalypse.
A coalition of Alliance-based forces begun to push forth into the Western Plaguelands, initiating an armed conflict against the Truthful within the region. While the Truthful themselves boasted a significant force in their territories, they were massively outnumbered by the coalition that stormed their holdings.
The Truthful suffered further losses at the hands of their enemies during the Siege of Ardentlocke. The Dawnbringer Brigade aimed to capitalize on the faction's weakened, tenuous state, and drive the Scarlets from the Western Plaguelands for good. First, they sought to destabilize Pyrebane, as it served as the Truthful's primary base of operations in the wake of the monastery's fall.
In efforts to reclaim ground within the Scarlet Monastery, along with liberating the High Protector from the clutches of the Ebon Pact, lead by Calder Blighthallow, the Truthful would need to send daring force back into the now infested halls. Calder did not sit idly while occupying the monastery; he made certain to bring friends...
The Truthful seek to bolster their hold within Tirisfal, expanding from their foothold within Solliden Farms and the Scarlet Palisade in an effort to unite the splintered factions of crusader holdouts within the region to retake the Scarlet Monastery. They currently contend with the Forsaken and remnant Scourge forces within Agamand, as well as attempting to purge the undead remnants within the Scarlet Monastery.
|Army of the Truthful|