The City Battalions were the military forces garrisoned within the city of Taglios. They were first mentioned during Water Sleeps and participated in significant combat during Soldiers Live. Though Taglios was a majority Gunni population, the Battalions were comprised mostly of Vehdna and Shadar. Their primary role was the defense of the capital, but, their first battle as recorded in the Annals actually took place in and near the Grove of Doom, located outside the city just north of the Main river.
The City Battalions were distinct from both the Royal Guards and the city's law enforcement group known as the Greys – although they worked together when required. During Soulcatcher's regime (the Protectorate) they were under the command of Aridatha Singh. Although Aridatha kept the City Battalions well-drilled and respectable, they initially had little or none of the combat experience of the Taglian armies which operated outside the city's borders, like the elite Second Territorial under the direct command of the Great General, Mogaba. This changed during Soldiers Live, when the City Battalions fought side-by-side with the Second Territorial and the Greys against the Black Company.
Battle at the Shadowlander cemeteryEdit
Their first major combat experience was at the Battle at the Shadowlander cemetery. There, the City Battalions passed through the Grove of Doom, ambushed and executed all the Stranglers they found there, and captured the Daughter of Night and the Khadidas. Despite their combat inexperience, they were organized and loyal. They even used arrows that were marked to identify the individual archer. After Mogaba and his Second Territorial fell into a trap set by Sleepy, Aridatha and his Battalions left the Grove, went around the flanks, screened the withdrawal of the Second Territorial. This turned what would have been a major victory for the Black Company into a less decisive, bloody melee, where both sides suffered heavy casualties. The City Battalions had the distinction of maintaining unit cohesion in the face of the Black Company, whereas the veteran but exhausted Second Territorial broke in retreat.
Siege of TagliosEdit
The City Battalions then participated in the defense of the capital city proper during the Siege of Taglios. Croaker noted that "Even during the worst fighting Aridatha had used volunteers from the City Battalions to keep sifting the ruins for survivors to rescue and bodies to deliver to distraught relatives."
Then, after Aridatha ordered all Taglians to stand down, the City Battalions quietly accepted a large number of Shadar men from the Greys into their ranks. Whereas the City Battalions were relatively apolitical, the Greys were much more closely associated with Soulcatcher and the Protectorate regime, and they feared reprisals. This sudden influx of Shadar men in the Battalions fooled no one, but, the Company allowed them to save face, and committed no reprisals against them.
Poorly-trained musicians from the Battalions attempted to provide some pageantry for the return of the Prahbrindrah Drah after the siege ended. Very shortly afterward, the Battalions participated in the grand ceremonies when the Prahbrindrah was unexpectedly killed. The force presumably continued in its role after the Radisha Drah was returned as rightful princess, and Aridatha became the new Great General.