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The Archenriders, also known as the Ridesmen, were the standing military of Archendale, the largest and most powerful of the Dales.[3] They were responsible for defending the Dale, patrolling its territory and enforcing its laws.[3][2]


The army consisted of 10 rides, each of which was made of 60 mounted soldiers. Each ride was under the command of a ridemaster, particularly experienced fighters.[2][3] Only five rides were usually active at a time, and soldiers alternated being on-duty and off-duty every two months (but could be assembled quickly in case of trouble).[3]

The whole organization was led by three officers —the Swords of Archendale— until they lost their positions during the Year of Azuth's Woe, 1440 DR, when they were discovered to be consorting with Sembia.[2]


Ridesmen preferred to engage in mounted combat. However, due to the rough terrain of the Dale, they were often forced to fight on foot.[1]


In addition to defending the Dale's territory, the army was responsible for enforcing its laws. Every officer had the authority to charge and arrest wrongdoers, and commanders of the rides could try and sentence offenders.[3] Law enforcement by the army was known to be harsh, and to favor local Dalefolk over foreigners.[3] As a result, minor disputes were often settled "out of court" without involving the military.[3]

When not patrolling the Dale or attending guard duty, ridesmen spent most of their time honing their skills. As a result, they were amongst the most alert and deadly citizens of Archendale.[4]

Base of Operations[]

The main base of operation of the army was Swordpoint in Archenbridge, a fortified garrison hosting three rides (180 soldiers) at all times.[2][4]

In addition one ride was stationed in White Ford, while a last one was dispersed throughout the territories in 10-man patrols.[3] Villages that hosted patrols were equipped with small barracks to accommodate the soldiers.[3]


The Archenriders were formed, and Swordpoint refurbished, after Archendale's war with Sessrendale when the Swords realized they needed a stronger, regularly maintained army.[1]


The Ridesmen were typically equipped with chainmail, lances, longswords, and composite bows.[1][2]



Referenced only
The Glass Prison