So, the Dragon is dead, Tyrstorms are a thing, Rajaat is caught and Dregoth hasn’t ascended. What does Nibenay do?
He’s made peace with the Oba of Gulg (the conflict just seemed more of a convenience for the both of them) and he’s re-entered politics after a long absence. His economy should be booming with less conflict, no Dragon tithe and increased ecological awareness of his people (itself a nice excuse for the rapprochement with Gulg), so he has options.
It’s worth remembering that Galard has plenty of military experience, raising, training and leading armies from his time ending the gnomish menace. A particularly invidious foe.
Refugees/immigrants (slaves or free) from Raam (including Drik) provide resources. Tarandran expats are particularly well placed.
He’s concerned about Dregoth, who’s nearby, powerful and aggressive. Possibly vengeful too.
He’s expanding the army but how exactly?
A first move is to increase the Templarate, including but not limited to the noble classes.
The new citizen militia, including nobles and their own forces helps.
Expansion of the regular army, with citizenship as a recruiting offer. Of note are the cavalry units (inix, mekillot, crodlu, erdlu) sponsored by the nobility which could be increased. Possibly commanded by the prince.
The other main unit to expand are the heavy infantry of half-giants. Currently 1,000 strong this could be usefully expanded
These could be joined by light and heavy charioteers. Perhaps a squadron of sail carts given the proximity of the ivory plain. Even freemen could train in the arena, raising some funds.
An obvious move is to induct a bunch of gladiators (offering freedom or citizenship as inducements) as skirmishers.
A couple of slave units (royal and donated by wealthy citizens) are a renewable expendable resource. A unit of formal slave soldiers, with emancipation (and induction until the regular forces) as a reward for outstanding service and length of service makes sense.
The instigation of a Brute Squad (barbarians) is another obvious move. Not traditionally a Nibeneese unit (being popular in Draaj and Gulg), they’re easy to add using whatever numbers are available.
Encouraging the growth of the two monk orders within the city provides a unique advantage to the military.
Royal psionicists (and citizen phrenics) and defilers are another simple growth area, with many applications beyond the military. Which leads to construction of a golem legion…
Encouraging growth amongst the various priesthood also makes sense.
Whilst it makes sense to increase the number of Royal Necromancers, the undead artillery and war machines is probably an area not to expand right now given the nature of the probable foe (Dead Dreagoth) and its minions. That said, the induction of some high level undead such as kaisharga may be worth the risk.
There are also readily available mercenaries, such as adventurers and elves for hazardous operations or filling in gaps.
Of course, this massive military expansion needs bedding in and seasoning. Harder now with peace with Gulg (though those forces are available for repositioning). But those used to fighting them provide a valuable bedrock to build upon.
The first move is to crack down on banditry and raiding slaves. This can open up trade and more client villages (whether founded, conquered or induced to join).
No real need to take on Salt View at this time though, go after softer more violent targets first and see if they’ll come to the table in peace, trade or vassalage.
Which brings move two, scouring the mountains both Mekillots and Black Spine. Root out bandits and the Gith. This opens up resources for exploitation too.
Thirdly there’s the Salt Meres of Bodach to push back with valuable experience against the unliving.
This provides a juice mix of terrains and opponents to season the troops with and which adds further resources to the city.
Of course, that’s the (relatively) easy stuff…
There’s the harder insurrection by the Veiled Alliance and Order (if known of) to neutralise.
Then House Shom needs shaking up and getting its act together. A simple start would be inducting the Shom princess into the Templarate (or as a straight Royal Defiler)… but it leaves much to do. Perhaps some judicious assassinations and investigations (using undeniable assets such as adventurers) might help start ot to get its act together discretely.
A silt fleet based out of Cromlin (with Shoms willing aid) seems sensible as does improving the defences and presence at Cromlin (as a client village of a kind). Facilities (perhaps peripatetic) at North Ledopolus, Break Shore and Altaruk look to be in order too. These fleets would be mixes of Mercantile, Military and privateersmen. All of this is expensive and slow to instigate though, though it looks to be worth it in the medium term.
Another complicated endeavour would be the introduction of cliff gliders based out the mountains, particularly the Black Spines for reconnaissance and defense (particularly of vulnerable valuable Cromlin). This could necessitate new client villages amongst other things though.
Just a few thoughts, extrapolations and suppositions for consideration.