It would be ill-advised to mistake Atzel’s Bandits for another band of ill-equipped outlaws hiding in the hills and menacing remote regions.

This army is made from the warlords of the Border Kingdoms combined with the worst fugitives, marauders and brigands from every corner of Hyboria. Now they gather under Atzel’s black bull banner.

Atzel’s troops number in the thousands with a cellular and distributed command system. It is made up of hardened mercenaries and brutally trained conscripts and slaves; well equipped, well armed and well-drilled. They are a formidable force, a mix of specialist tacticians and bloodthirsty fighters and whoever commands them is a master strategist.

Against Cimmeria in west they carry on a war of attrition while trying to out maneuver the Cimmerians. The Cimmerian retaliations have been effective but their impact has been limited by the dispersed nature of Atzel’s forces.

To the south Atzel’s forces carry out a guerilla war against the Aquilonia, raiding and plundering across the northern border and fading back into the mountains. Aquilonia’s mighty army is ill-equipped for such warfare and its numerical and material advantage is ineffective against the countless small roaming bands that make forays seemingly at random.

Atzel’s mercenaries are well paid and currently enjoy rich plunder, but it is obvious to any outsider that this cannot be sustained. Little wonder that the bands are brutally controlled and any discontent is suppressed swiftly and mercilessly.

The campaign has worked brilliantly so far but this does not seem a like a long-term strategy. Are they led by a madman or warlord mastermind?

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