The Oronai Phalanx Military Formation in Yeia | World Anvil

The Oronai Phalanx

Never in my life I've faced such a terrible sight as when the Oronai extend their pikes and start advancing towards us shouting their war cry   Danilandes, Crorai general in the battle of the Oronai Gates (733 AP)
If you imagine another type of unit or formation aside from the Blatian legions who really frightened their enemies and has the power to power to conquer the continent, thats the Oronai pike Phalanx. With it, the Oronai rose from being a bunch of highlanders, distantly related to the Ikarians (and by them to the modern Blatians), to the masters of half of the continent.
Nowadays its days of glory are far from gone as enemies are still around. Although now, the phalanx is used mainly for fight against other oronai phalanxes as war between the successors of king Magas still ravage the land.



Each phalanx is composed of a block of at least 400 soldiers distributed in 20 files ( called Logos) of 20 soldiers each. They are commanded by a Logarch.
The supply chain is composed of around 350 people for each regiment. 


Each Oronai pikemen is equiped with a helmet ( they are over 5 styles of helmets). A cuirass which can be made of metal, usually bronce or steel or a leather armor. They have their legs protected with greeves while a small shield called Talma is suspended from the shoulder and then attatched to the hand.


The main weapon of the phalangite or pikeman is the 7 m long pike Parssa in the Oronai language which is of course handle with two hands. In case the spear point is broken, the other half has a metal tip that can be used for thrusting the same way . If the phalangite has to fight in close combat, he can use his sword to defend himself (although its better for him to avoid reaching this point in battle)


Each battalion or phalanx block is commanded by a Logarch ( who commands 400 men). And who is located in the first rank of the formation. Usually on the extreme right.
Six blocks (2.400 men) formed a Taxis comanded by a Taxiarch and finally, 5 taxis (12.000) formed a Group or Synon commanded by a Synarch or general.


The oronai phalanx can be used offensively or defensively. In their first role his main objective is to kill as many enemies as possible and make them rout, or push them to create gaps in the enemy formations that can be exploided by the cavalry or the more flexible swordmen or spearmen.  Meanwhile, in their deffensive role the main goal of the oronai phalanx is to slow down the enemy or to entertain it in order for the cavalry to attack from behind. 
Usually they are located in the center of the oronai battle line, behind the missile troops (mostly archers and slingers)  supported by more flexible formations of swordsmen and spearmen on the flanks that can be used to prevent a flanking manouver that could potentially envolve the phalanx or they can envolve the enemy while the phalanx resist the attack.


Each Phalangite is a professional soldier. They have other people (usually slaves or serfs) who work in their farms when they are outside campaigning or training. The average phalangite is expected to train at least 6 days a week, while the seventh is reserved for resting and being with their families. 
The basic training consist on marching, practising formations and training with the Parssa, the long pike, as well as training with their swords in case they are forced to fight in close combat. This training is also useful for improving their physsical strength and for learning the orders which are given by trumpets. 
One day in a month, the whole army with their support units is expected to perform what is called "General Training", in which the whole phalanx formations and the other units train as a cohesive army and doing battle simmulations. 
In terms of discipline, it is harsh. Each logarch can punish either an individual soldier or a entire unit if the exercises are not perform correctly at the end of the training session. Punishment can go from simple reductions of salary to whipping.  


Logistical Support

The Theletes, are  the soldiers in charge of the logistics and supply for the phalanx. There are around 300 for each phalanx, and in case of need, they can act as light infantry, either to support the phalanx or to protect the supply charts.
There are also the medics (daimoloi), each phalanx block  has around 50 to 65 medics that accompany the army.


As said before, there are two types of regiments that can support the phalanx formation. Those are the so called "Peltenai", or spearmen, and the "Maxanai" or swordsmen. 
They are usually located on the flanks of the phalanx in order to avoid being flanked by the enemies and also for attack trough the gaps that the phalanx might cause in the enemy lines.  


It is estimated that around 85% of the state income of the Oronai Realms is destined to mantain and recruit this kind of units, that are very expensive. Their weapons and armor are provided mainly by the state. Also the state provides supplies for the first 3 months of campaign, but after that date the army has to replenish itself sacking colecting food from the surrounding areas. Also the state provides the land for the soldiers and their families to live. Most of them live in the city while slaves and serfs work their land. They have to pay 10% of what they produce in a year to the state in exchange for those lands. 


Most of the recruits are of Oronai ethnicity, as they are Oronai Kings find them more reliable than other peoples. The exception with that is the Oronai Phalanx fielded by the Elvish-Oronai Kingdoms in the South that can be composed of either pure blooded Oronai, half elves or full blooded Elves. Their requirements are very simple, they must be strong enough for wielding the long pike. They must have good stamina and they age must be between 18 to 45 years old.  Although writing is not a requirement, it is advisable if one wishes to ascend in the military, but one that is absolutely necessary is to know the Oronai language as no other language is used in the army.  This is not a problem for, of course the native Oronai people, their half elf offspring and the Elves who live in their conquered territories. 


Founded in an unkown moment in the 4th or 5th centuries AP in the so called "Oronai Dark Ages" which lasted from 310 AP to 420 AP. At the end of the 5th century a new king ascended to the Throne, Magas, called "The Great". Under his command the oronai phalanx rose to prominence in the battlefields of Theria, conquering much of the center of the continent during a period of 25 years  in which Oronia reached the Southern Rivers  in the extreme south of Theria.  Defeating it its epic conquest nomads, indigenous tribes and kingdoms and even the toughest of the Elves.  It shaped the center of Theria as we know it and helped spread the Oronai culture and language.
Who doesn't know  about the glorious charge of the phalanx in the woods  and plains of Stormitia or how the Blue Kardunite nomads  and their famous lancers where stopped by thousands of Oronai pikes?.  But the most famous battle of them all was the 3rd battle of Carusis in which 8.500 Oronai were surprised by the local Faruni tribes in the south of the Thysalis Sea and they defended their camp against 60.000 enemies?.
After those conquests most of the veterans settled in the conquered lands with their families or marrying local women (humans or elves), usually in the new founded cities, thus as we said spreading their culture, language and beliefs.  
Without any doubt these men, alongside the Blatian legions had been the toughest and more succesfull military forces in Therya. A reputation that still lives as  the Oronai phalangites are still one of the most feared units known in Geia. So if you ever encounted an oronai phalanx advancing towards you leveling their pikes and shouting  their two war cries: "Alalalalai" and "For Oronia", you may run or think twice before fighting them head on. 

Historical loyalties

Historically since its foundation the Oronai Phalanx has been loyal to the Kings of Oronia. After the death of King Magas the Great and the division of his Empire, the Oronai Phalanxes were recruited by the Succesor States of Magas's Empire.  They often switched allegiances between the different realms. But nowadays they can also be found as high quality mercenaries in the Elvish and Blatian armies and even in the Seris armies on the other side of the Sea, more precisely, around 10.000 serve in the Seris Imperial armies. And another 2.000 serve directly the Emperor as the so called "Oronai Imperial Regiment", also known as the Bronze Shields. 
around 4-5th centuries AP
Overall training Level
Assumed Veterancy

Cover image: by Peter Connolly


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