Supreme Kommandant Gurvaldt Irusk is the greatest military mind in recent memory. He has strived to modernize the Khadoran army, and at the same time led the army in its conquest of the south.
Irusk was born to a prominent military family and trained in the arts of warfare since birth. His mother died when he was young, leaving his father to raise him. The retired soldier imparted to his son his knowledge of battle, his martial skill, and his ruthless persistence. Irusk spent his childhood studying Khadoran military doctrine. He enlisted in the Winter Guard several years before he could be conscripted and was already an accomplished soldier when his superiors realized his arcane potential. He graduated from the Druzhina military academy with high marks and was recognized as a full warcaster soon thereafter. It was the start of a long and prestigious military career.
Kommandant Irusk Edit
The invasion of Llael starting in the last weeks of 604 AR cemented Irusk’s reputation as one of the greatest military minds in history. He began the campaign with a series of lightning attacks in the heart of winter. Irusk’s attack on Laedry was the first real-world test of his experimental strategy of annihilation. Irusk flawlessly coordinated artillery, heavy infantry, and cavalry to unravel the city defenders.
This devastatingly rapid siege and similarly successful strikes on Redwall Fortress and Elsinberg—all part of Irusk’s master plan—led to the collapse of the kingdom’s western defenses. The Khadoran invaders swept into central Llael and seized a large portion of the kingdom almost uncontested. This offensive is now considered a landmark in modern warfare.
Attentive to a fault, Irusk is an unrelenting perfectionist whose stern demeanor carries an air of undeniable authority. He despises political machinations, yet he has the subtle pragmatism to cultivate friendships and alliances within the High Kommand and even with the kayazy merchant princes who control the purse strings of the empire. Irusk stands ready to redraw the old maps and lead his legions to boundless victory.
Supreme Kommandant Irusk Edit
The High Kommand has spoken of Gurvaldt Irusk as “the empire’s perfect officer,” and his accomplishments have impressed warriors of all creeds and nations. He exercises absolute control over his soldiers even in the chaos of battle. However, his promotion to supreme kommandant came on the heels of defeat, which served to strengthen his resolve to redeem himself in his sovereign’s eyes.
Irusk’s successes have never satisfied him; he remains critical of any plan and constantly seeks to perfect his approach to war. Yet even this habit of frank selfappraisal did not prepare him for the scathing words of his empress after his initial failure to capture Northguard in late 606 AR, during the Second Thornwood War. Her indictment shamed him more than any other setback in his lengthy military career. During a short leave at his neglected family home, he realized it was her accusation that he had wasted the lives of his soldiers that troubled him most. As an officer, he had come to measure lives as a resource, reducing his compatriots to abstract quantities of force and valuing them too little.
Uncertain how best to reclaim his honor, Gurvaldt Irusk considered falling on his sword, an act still considered a brave death for a disgraced soldier. He found a well-worn cavalry saber among the neglected relics of his father’s military career, and it brought to mind forgotten lessons from his gruff sire. A summons from the empress stayed Irusk’s hand, but when he appeared before her, the last thing he expected was that she would promote him to the rank of supreme kommandant. All through the ceremony, her eyes bored into his with a message that required no words. His promotion was a challenge, and the empress would accept nothing less than total victory.
Before his march back to Ravensgard, Irusk took up his father’s old saber, Endgame, and had the mechaniks at the Rigevnya Complex set the fine blade into a worthy mechanikal housing. Irusk wields this weapon as a reminder of his family honor and his promise to deliver victory to his empress. On his return, he gathered his soldiers to a spot where he stood illuminated atop the inner ramparts and told them of the battle to come. The ringing tones of his voice echoed from the sky and quickened the blood in the veins of every listener. A ripple of revitalized enthusiasm spread through the army like a shock wave.
When Irusk marched on Northguard for the second time, he did so with the finest force ever assembled by the Khadoran Empire. He led this army with the meticulousness of an artisan. In a single day the greatest Cygnaran fortress in the north fell, and with it, the Thornwood. Irusk personally raised the Khadoran flag in Northguard, an act that sealed his reputation as the greatest military commander alive. This event stands as one of the high points of his career, one still untarnished by certain unavoidable setbacks in subsequent forays into the Thornwood.
During battle, Irusk coordinates the assets in his forces to move with absolute precision, like thousands of interlocking gears. He has demonstrated time and again his ability to think one step ahead of his foes and to make unconventional and unexpected decisions that place his soldiers in a position of strength. By his commands, even the worst terrain becomes an advantage. Nonetheless, he must persevere in honing his skills for the wars ahead, since he can never rest until all enemies of the empire lie broken and submit to the empress.