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Tallard Graham is a supporting character in the Japanese fantasy light novel series Lord Marksman and Vanadis, and a general in the army of Prince Germaine of Asvarre during the Asvarre Civil War, and later king of the country. Tallard is first introduced when Tigrevrmud Vorn is sent as an envoy of the king of Zchted in support of Germaine. During his time in the Asvarri city of Valverde, Germaine is assassinated on the orders of his rival, Prince Elliot.

After Germaine's death, Tallard takes command of the late prince's army and enlisted the support of Tigrevrmud, as well as his travelling companions, including the traveling Vanadis, Olga Tam,m and a former soldier and ship's captain named Matvey. Tallard also hired mercenaries from the nation of Sachstein, led by a man named Simon. Tigre was ntitially reluctant to join the battel, but was convinced after Tallard told him of the capture by Elliot of Zchtedi Vanadis and close friend of Tigre's Sofia Obertas.

Tallard divides his army, some of them crossing a narrow straight between Asvarre's continental territories and the main island which held the capital. Meanwhile, Tigrevrmud is sent to capture the coastal fortress of Fort Lux, whose commander, Leichester recently defected to Elliot's side.

Thanks to Tigre's skilled command of the siege, he took the fortress in spite of being outnumbered by Leichester's soldiers. After taking the fortress, Tigrevrmud and Olga discovered that Leichester was actually a shape-shifting monster named Torbalan. Tigre and Olga only barely manage force Torbalan to flee using the combined magic power of Tigre's Black Bow and Olga's battle axe, as well as Olga's superhuman strength and speed as a Vanadis.

After his capture of Fort Lux, Tigre was assaulted by an army of tens of thousands of men, mostly pirates and mercenaries, but also including a unit of 300 elite longbowmen, led by prince Elliot himself. Tigre weakened their Elliot's army in a series of daring night attacks, as well as (must to Tigre's reluctance) a scorched earth campaign, evacuating and burning villages and poisoning water supplies.

It was then that Tallard sprung his trap. Unbeknownst to Elliot, he had not been heading for the Asvarri capital at all, but rather this was a feint- Tallard turned his ships around and landed back on the mainland, and attacked Elliot's forces with elite cavalry, crossbowmen, and even lured them into the fire zone of several mangonels loaded with multiple smaller stones.

In spite of their sheer numbers, Elliot's pirates, who were mostly lightly armed with cutlasses and hatchets could not challenge Tallard's superior forces. Elliot's elite archer units fell apart when Tigre personally killed Hamish, the leader of the longbowmen.

Elliot fled the battlefield back to a port, where he intended to sell the captured Vanadis Sofia Obertas to slave traders in the kingdom of Muozinel in exchange for their support in supplies and mercenaries he needed to rebuild his army. Tigre, however, used the power of his Black Bow to fire a magic arrow which struck with about the force of modern artillery shell, destroying the ships in harbor. Tallard then personally took Elliot into custody while Tigre rescued Sofia from her captors.

After his victory in the Asvarre Civil War, Tallard married princess Guinevere, the last survivor of the Asvarre royal family, and declared himself king of Asvarre. At the same time, Tallard ordered Prince Elliot executed.

In addition to his skill in military tactics, Tallard is a shrewd politician and charismatic leader, however, he is also more than willing to sacrifice the lives of his people for the good of his nation, or even for personal political gain. Tallard is also a skilled personal combatant, being an expert archer rivaling Tigre himself in skill, and also a competent swordsman. In spite of his fact that he possesses no magical abilities, and has no underlings with such power, Tallard's strategic genius, as well as his ruthlessness and ambition that drove Sofia to predict that he may become the greatest threat to Zchted in the future- and this is in a world where few people possess magic, but both a few superhuman magic users and mysterious "demons" do exist.

In many ways, Tallard can be seen as a darker foil to Tigrevrmud Vorn, who is an expert archer and tactician, but a man who cares little for increasing power and territory, but considers the lives of his people to be of greatest importance. Tallard is also similar in some respects to Oliver Cromwell, as he deposed a tyrannical monarch, only to seize dictatorial power himself.

Battle vs Tywin Lannister (TV Series) (by SPARTAN 119)[]

Faircastle, Fairisle, Westerlands, Westeros

It had been a few weeks since Tallard Graham had sent his fleet to the shores of Fairisle, an island off the coast of Westeros. Right now, his army surrounded the small holdfast of Faircastle, the seat of House Farman, a banner house of the Lannisters.

Initially, they had thought the invading Asvarri fleet were Ironborn, having come to raid the fishing villages on the coast of the isle. That was proven wrong when hundreds of ships carrying thousands of Asvarri soldiers and Sachsteinian mercenaries unloaded, quickly seized the port, and surrounded Faircastle with earthworks and siege engines.

At their head was a blonde-haired man clad in polished plate armor, Tallard Graham, the recently crowned King of Asvarre, having seized power after the death of the last two heirs to the throne, the latter which was slain on his orders. Now, Tallard looked across the sea, to the continent of Westeros, to expand his empire.

At this moment, Tallard observed the battlefield from beyond the earthworks, well beyond the range of the Westerossi archers, giving his a view of the small castle located on top of the island. The castle had a stone foundation, however, the upper part of the castle, like the pallisade that surrounded it, was constructed of timber.

A dozen mangonels of Tallard's army loosed their payloads of large stones, one of the projectiles impacting a tower on the northwest corner of the castle. The stone smashed throguh the timber supports and sent the tower collapsing to the ground. At the same time, several other stones impacted, knocking away pieces of the walls. Finally, one impacted to the right of the gate, collapsing the structure and leaving an opening to the castle.

At that moment, Tallard stood up and raised his sword, rallying his men to around him. Leading the from the front lines, the Asvarri general raised his and led his forces forward with sword his hand.

The soldiers of the house Farman, having numbered no more than a few hundred at the best of times, had run low on arrows, food, and provisions. Not one arrow greeted the Asvarris as they advanced, but rather, a group of about a dozen men all carrying white flags of surrender. Asvarre had claimed the Fairisle, the first step in seizing the Westerlands, and with it, its vast gold reserves.

Three months later, mountain pass on the River Road, west of Golden Tooth, Westerlands

Tallard's forces had taken castles and cities on after another, seizing Feastfires, The Crag, and Ashemark, easily wresting control from the few soldiers that remained at the castles- most had been sent to fight in the Westerossi civil war against the Starks or the Baratheon. Tallard knew all to well how vulnerable a divided kingdom could be. Until not long ago, Asvarre was divided just as Westeros was now.

To the south of Casterly Rock, a second force of Asvarri soldiers and Sachsteinian mercenaries landed, capturing the castle of Clegane's Keep, which presently had no members of its ruling house present, one being in the capital and the other having disappeared after the Battle of the Blackwater.

Having taken the keep, Asvarri armies had blockaded the Sea Road and taken the mountain passes on the Gold Road and the River Road. The flanking maneuver had cut off Casterly Rock and Lannisport from both sides.

Now Tallard himself stood with a company of archers laying in wait on the steep mountain slopes. Some of the archers carried continental shortbows like Tallard, while others favored the longbow of the island territories of Asvarre, or else carried Sachsteinian arbalests like his mercenaries.

Tallard had intricately prepared this ambush, having placed his troops on the flanks of the mountains side to fire arrows and throw stones down on the Lannisters. He had even managed to place two mangonels, which had been dismantled and reassembled atop of a ledge, to fire down on the incoming Lannister forces.

Up ahead, Tywin Lannister's elite cavalry, along with those of his bannermen, House Lefford of Golden Tooth. The plate armor of heavy cavalry and infantry shone in the sun below the golden lion banners of House Lannister and the blue and yellow shields of the Lefford banners. The force, led by Ser Gregor Clegane, was sent by Tywin Lannister to drive the invaders from the Westerlands.

The Lannister forces, expecting to face the enemy in the coastal plains at the foot of the mountains, were expecting to face the enemy on the plains surrounding Casterly Rock. They had no idea of what lay ahead.

At about 150 meters distance from the enemy, Tallard gave the order, "Loose!"

Tallard himself fired the first arrow, which flew down the mountain slope, scoring a hit to the neck of a Lannister knight, going through a gap in the armor. The man fell from his horse, bleeding to death.

The first arrow was followed by hundreds more arrows and crossbow bolts. While the Lannister's armor provided substantial protection, nonetheless, men were cut down by the powerful arbalest bolts and bodkin arrowheads raining from the sky.

With a loud "thud" the mangonels discharged, each launching a payload of about 20-30 stones the size of a man's fist. The rocks rained down on the Lannister forces with enough force to dent helmets and crush the skull of the man beneath it. More stones fell on the Lannister forces, including a boulder rolled down the slope of the mountain, which crushed a dozen men before coming to a halt at the bottom of the narrow canyon which this stretch of the River Road ran through the bottom of.

As more arrows and stones fell like rain, many of the less well armed and armored feudal levies turned an fled back to along the River Road, in spite of the attempts by the Lannister commanders to keep their forces together.

One man who stayed standing was Ser Gregor Clegane. The giant of a man had fallen from his horse after it was killed by a stray arrow, but Ser Gregor himself was not one to flee from a battle, no matter how outmatched he was.

Instead, Ser Gregor stood defiantly with a group of other Lannister knights even as the formation fell apart, arrows and stones falling all around them.

As suddenly as they barrage started, however, it started, replaced by the shouts of charging men. Tallard's heavy infantry had joined the battle, charging up from the opposite end of the pass, into the valley floor. The front ranks made contact with the few remaining Lannisters that remained.

Ser Gregor's blade cut down first one, then two Asvarri soldiers, effortlessly cleaving through their armor. Emboldened by his initial success, the Lannisters advanced into the fray behind the Mountain.

But it was not enough to turn the tide of the Asvarri onslaught. Spears pierced the side of the Mountain from several different directions and, while he took several of his foe with him, even the great Gregor Clegane eventually fell from his wounds.

The Asvarri army advanced over the survivors, losing only a few more of their own, before the few Lannisters that remained has either fled or were laying dead or dying in the narrow mountain pass.

Two weeks later, Clegane's Keep, the Westerlands, Westeros

Simon, the Sachsteinian mercenary in the employ of Tallard sat in the Great Hall of Clegane's Keep, eating breakfast at the moment. It was at that moment that a soldier entered the hall, and walked up to him, a letter clutched in his hand.

"Sir, a raven arrived at the keep over night", The mercenary said.

"A raven?", Simon asked, "That's how the people here send messages, correct?"

"Yes, Sir, it came with a message with the seal of the besieged House, the Lannisters".

Simon was confused. Why would the Lannisters be sending him a messages to him? Surely if they wished to surrender, they would negotiate with Tallard. Nonetheless, the mercenary took the rolled up paper and opened it.

Inside, he found a message that changed his whole outlook on this war...

In a week's time, he would meet with Tallard at the captured city of Ashemark to discuss, the next state of operations, directly laying siege to Lannisport and Casterly Rock.

That night, Simon of Sachstein sent messengers to his most loyal commanders, with secret orders to be opened in one week, on the night of the meeting with Tallard.

One week later, Ashemark, Westeros

Tallard Graham sat at the head of a table in the great hall of the castle of Ashemark, a city captured from the Westerossi, which he had converted into his forward base. To his right were several ranking Asvarri commanders, while the leaders of the Sachsteinian mercenaries sat on the left of the table.

Several guards stood at the entrances of the hall, as more patrolled a balcony above the hall.

"Now that we are all present, let us begin the discussion", Tallard said, "We have the Casterly Rock and Lannisport surrounded on all sides, and the three main roads of the region blocked off. Now, it is time to tighten the noose."

"The blockade forces, commanded by under Wilhelm of the mercenary unit, Order of the Golden Lance, Lord Blackhill, and Sir Yorkton respectively, will remain in place as field fortifications are constructed.", Tallard continued, placing wooden figures representing formations of troops on a the map, "Meanwhile, my forces will join the army under Lord Westscott and Monford, as well as Simon of the Order of the Golden Lance will advance to within 500 alsin (unit of measure in the Vanadis universe, 1 alsin= ~1 meter) of the walls of Lannisport and Casterly Rock. There, they will set up siege lines. The fleet will remain position blockading the harbor of Lannisport. From there, we hold position until such time as they have no choice but to surrender."

As Tallard finished his explanation, Simon raised his mug of ale and said, "Let me propose a toast to King Tallard and to our victory".

"TO TALLARD AND VICTORY!" all of the men in the room exclaimed as they slammed their ale mugs together.

As soon as the mugs were returned to the table, a loud series clacking sounds rang out, followed by screams of pain. The guards on the balcony had loosed their crossbows, propelling bolts down into the ranking nobles of Asvarre. Of their number, half had died instantly, pierced by bolts to the head. Most of the rest of them were wounded, many of them mortally, by bolts to the chest or leg.

The Sachsteinian mercenaries guarding the door lowered their spears and advanced to the downed Asvarri lords, thrusting their weapons into the bodies of their wounded commanders of Tallard's army.

Tallard himself, however, had been wearing his polished breastplate, and has survived the crossbow bolts. The Asvarri king drew his sword and stood to face Simon, as he shouted, "WHAT TREACHERY IS THIS!?"

"Nothing personal", Simon said, "This is simply business".

The Asvarri mercenary advanced with his mace, the close quarters rendering his two-handed sword ineffective at this range. Tallard parried the first swing and retaliated with a thrust.

Simon jumped the the side and swung his mace again, aiming for the Asvarri king's head, only for the head of his mace to meet the blade of Tallard's sword. From this bind, Tallard attempted to run his blade down the handle of Simon's mace and cut his hand.

Simon angled his mace head downward while stepping to the side, moving his hand away from the blade. As Tallards sword slid downwards and struck the the stone floor of the castle, Simon swung his mace downward, the spiked head impacting Tallard's arm, breaking his radius and causing him to drop the sword. Simon then swung his mace horizontally, right into the king's exposed head. The spiked head of the mace caved in Tallard Graham's skull, killing him instantly.

After striking him a second time to make sure he was dead, and ascertaining that the other Asvarri generals were as well, Simon exited the castle gate, to see smoke and flames coming from the Asvarri camp beyond the wall, accompanied by the sounds of hoofbeats, shouting, and blades striking flesh.

The next morning, practically the entire army of Tallard Graham lay dead. Less than a 1000, survivors, mostly of the blockading garrisons fled on the few ships that escaped being burned back to Asvarre, which, with the death of the king, would soon be in turmoil yet again.

Outside the walls of Ashemark, two weeks later

Simon of Sachstein approached the force of soldiers bearing the lion banner outside the gates, flanked his mercenaries. At the head of the Lannister army rode lord Tywin himself, behind him rolled several large wagons.

"You are the have the head of Tallard Graham?", Tywin asked as he rode up to Simon.

"Right here, my lord", Simon said, passing him a sack which contained the severed head of his former commander, "I take it the gold is in these wagons?"

"Five hundred Gold Dragons for you, and 20 for each man", Tywin said, "As promised".

"It is a pleasure doing business with you, Lord Tywin", Simon said, as he opened a chest in the lead cart, revealing the gold coins within.

WINNER: Tywin Lannister

Expert's Opinion[]

While Tallard was more successful in the open battlefield, much like Robb Stark, his military prowess could not save him from Tywin's natural talent for manipulation and his vast wealth. The experts noted that these characteristics would make it very easy for Tywin to turn Tallard's own allies against him, made all the more easier given Tallard's extensive use of mercenaries.

To see the original battle, weapons, and votes, click here.