Grey Horde Organization in The Wheel | World Anvil

Grey Horde

In the year 1835 AP Asha breached the upper levels of the Underdark to find exotic resources and to locate the rumoured lost deep cities of Hazrad. Unfortunately, they found more than they wished, and unleashed the Grey Horde upon the world. For 9 months Asha was ravaged by the undead until the greatest nation on Autumna was reduced to ashes and grey wastelands.   Many assume the Grey Horde is a mindless mass of the undead, and they are partially correct. The lowest echelons of the horde are indeed mindless husks controlled by their masters, but the Horde has a well-established hierarchy. Creatures higher up in this chain retain the intelligence and autonomy they had in life, though all creatures so far encountered seem to be beholden to yet higher creatures.      

Horde Structure

  Most of the collected knowledge on the structure and operation of the Grey Horde is speculation and supposition based on observed battlefield behaviours. No captured Grey Horde commander has ever survived long enough for questioning, all spontaneously dying with no identifiable cause.  
Foot Soldiers
  The vast bulk of the Grey Horde is comprised of lower undead creatures - the endless variations of mindless skeletons, zombies, ghouls, and other such creatures. These creatures do not appear to possess intelligence of their own, instead following the will of their superior commanders. A wedge of skeletons will march in lockstep across the central deserts exactly mimicking the movements of the commander in their midst. Should that commander be removed or killed, the foot soldier creatures will revert to their base instincts, randomly flocking and attacking anything edible they come across. When operating on such instinctive behaviour, the foot soldiers will attempt to consume any creature they can catch as if suffering from insatiable hunger, despite not having a functioning digestive system, or in the case of skeletons, any organs at all. This often results in undead creatures goring themselves on their victims before moving on, dripping with blood and viscera.  
Lower Commanders
  The lower commanders are comprised of intelligent creatures such as Vampires, Mummy Lords, Boneclaws, and sometimes, bizarrely, the Qhuss. These appear to act as command-and-control nodes amongst the Horde, relaying the psionic and arcane commands of their higher commanders. The lower commanders are essential to the battlefield operation of the Horde, as without them the foot soldiers are little more than mindless animals. Each lower commander controls between 50 and 100 foot soldiers, and are prime targets for the sharpshooters of their enemies.  
Higher Commanders
  The most powerful commanders of the Grey Horde recorded to date are Dracoliches and Alhoons. Each is an immensely powerful spellcaster in their own right, and usually commands up to 100 lower commanders. These higher commanders often operate armies individually, with up to 100,000 undead creatures under their command. However, when a higher purpose must be achieved, such as assaults upon Moord, many such groups will come together, often resulting in armies numbering in the millions. In such vast hordes the Dracoliches and Alhoons appear to take psionic or arcane commands from some yet unknown higher being.  

Operational Limitations

  The Grey Horde's power appears to originate at a point within central Fallen Asha, with its commander’s ability to control foot soldiers reducing linearly with distance from this unknown central point. Fortunately for the surviving outer nations, the Grey Horde is unable to operate in great numbers at their borders, which has enabled them to fortify and hold out against the Grey Horde for over 300 years. At the outer edge of their operational range, whatever force links the commanders with their foot soldiers breaks down completely and even the lower commanders of the Grey Horde breaking away and establishing enclaves in the mountains and dark places of the world, hidden from the eyes of civilisation and the control of the Grey Horde.  

Recruitment into the Horde

  It is a common misconception that undeath is a disease spread by contact with an undead being. Of the known undead creatures it is believed that only the Vampyr creates 'offspring' in this manner. The vast majority of undead creatures cannot infect or create offspring. However, in the wake of the Grey Horde are often seen Death Tyrants and Liches using their arcane powers to raise new forces from the victims of the horde, and reanimating fallen undead creatures.


Please Login in order to comment!