Lore & Stories - Submissions

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Lore & Stories - Submissions

Post  Quixoticus on Tue May 29, 2012 6:57 pm

This thread is a drop-off for any and all stories and lore additions. Submit completed materials only - this is not an idea board, brainstorming, or "what-if" thread. If you have an idea you'd like to pose, rather than material you'd like to submit, post it on the idea thread. Submissions that are approved here will be copied into the official Lore & Stories section. This thread will be cleared of old material periodically, so make sure you save your work!
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The Servants of Aviat

Post  Mormosi on Tue Sep 11, 2012 5:06 pm

((Don't worry, this is the last religion I'm coming with. May add other organizations in the future, but I'm done with religions for the moment. I think we've got enough friction in fighting over one another's gods.))

Overview

Also called “The Sword of Aviat,” the Servants are, roughly, a multi-racial religious group based in the eastern yeti mountains. Their swath of influence arcs down into the northern reaches of the Chevaari desert, ending at the regions of Old Koleinate and Wündlandt. Though not prominent enough to be involved in international politics, the Servants’ uncertain status has made diplomacy troublesome, for the organization possesses land, has a visible hierarchy, and can field a sizable private army. As a whole, the Servants are often regarded with disdain by the rest of the world, frequently referred to as “Snuffers” or “Noxies” by the average citizen behind closed doors. They number two hundred thousands, with one hundred thousand alone residing in the eastern mountains.

Historical Background

None of the Servants’ deacons would acknowledge it, but the order of Aviat originated in the Chevaari desert, amongst tribal bands of polytheistic humans that lined and northern and eastern reaches. Aviat, who is commonly depicted as a raging phoenix, was a god of victory and strife. Otherwise, his exact role in the tribal pantheon remains largely unclear. Caren scholars have gathered only glimmers of details, such as his position as the last son of a long patriarchal line and his ever-present message of suffering and panic before a brighter future, one of the few tribal principles to survive to this day. Many current historians also believe that Aviat’s role in the pantheon was largely minor, limited to rites enacted during times of war.

The tribal bands, along with much of the native Chevaar, were swept into the Avoca war machine when Gabroth’s host began their Conquests, assimilated into the massive slave armies that trailed behind their Avocan masters. Opposite to what one would expect, the slaves were rather docile after their initial struggles. Through their rigorous chains, the humans and Chevaar were exposed to ideas that had been wholesomely unknown to them in tribal life. Philosophy, advanced technology and weaponry, styles of life that had been previously impossible, and other aspects that are fundamental to the civilized world today were only introduced by the Avoca. When not dying for their masters on the battlefield, the slaves almost worshipped their avian masters as harbingers of, paradoxically, both utter destruction and blissful utopia.

Some fell upon the Avoca religion to handle this giant influx of material, but the majority of the desert humans returned to a god that held much in common with their glorious masters: Aviat. Under the guidance of a slave war-hero by the name of Arland, a collective group of humans and Chevaar slowly reformed the old religion into one centered around Aviat. Arland’s death cemented the newly founded Servants’ belief, which persisted for centuries before the Avoca’s rule finally began to collapse. Unlike the rest of the world, the Servants, numbering now in the thousands, simply withdrew from Gabrothian society and captured the fortress-city of Gabrothia in the eastern mountains, where they remain today. In the years following the empire’s collapse, the Servants have seen fit to spread through the Chevaari desert, unmitigated by any worldly powers.

Recently, friction has sparked between the Servants and the Chevaar that follow the majority, sun-and-wind-guided faith. Whether or not the governments will come to blows is uncertain.

Beliefs

In the eyes of the deacons of the Servants, no person can understand true perfection without first understanding its antithesis. Should a man wish to create a society free of war and death, he must first embrace war and death to understand their properties, in order to avoid them and strive for a better future.

Aviat is the single, dominant deity in the Servants’ theology. His colors are red and gray, and he is usually depicted as a burning phoenix. He acts not as a bearer of understanding or salvation, but as a guide to it, a word in the ears of mortals to keep them on the right path. Akin to a phoenix, he cyclically descends to the earth of Calmargur to personally lead the Servants for a mortal lifetime, dying only when his points are made. Once deceased, he returns to the heavens, but his corpse is burned to a fine ash, through which Aviat imparts a final, vital message for his followers. Divined by the Archdeacon in an extensive ritual, these messages are known as the Ashen Decrees, and form the largest religious text of the Servants. Each recording has remained unchanged since its creation. The philosophical interpretation may vary from Servant to Servant, but none have acknowledged the Decrees as anything but the unmitigated word of Aviat.

To date, three official “incarnations” of Aviat have been recorded:

• Gabroth, founder of the Gabrothian Empire: Despite the fact that Gabroth, historically, had absolutely nothing to do with the Servants, the followers of Aviat still revere him, along with the Avoca themselves, as holy harbingers of Aviat’s will. This notion is not considered seriously outside of the Servants.

• Mertias Arland, human slave and war-hero: Better known as the first Archdeacon of the Servants, Arland’s influence on his organization was awe-inspiring.

• Jer’tiad, Chevaar, fifth Archdeacon: Jer’tiad’s rule saw the Servants spread throughout a decent amount of the Chevaari desert.

Self-inflicted suffering, the justification of typically deplorable acts, and martyrdom are key components of the Aviat philosophy. In it, every person is born “ignorant”, even if they were conceived within the clergy. A member cannot take another’s word for the nature of sin. The deacons and Ashen Decrees are there as guidelines, but every initiate must undertake some form of voluntary sacrifice, so that they may experience their own revelations and truly understand Aviat’s message firsthand. Forgery and fraud are grievous crimes to the Servants, always punishable by exile. However, rumors of corruption and undeserved promotions are cropping up in the religion’s hierarchy.

Upon joining, every initiate or follower must shed his or her luxuries, which are typically destroyed in a massive bonfire or donated to the Archdeacon. Anybody seeking to join the official clergy must claw their way up from poverty. The higher the rank, the more possessions a person is allowed. Deacons, the Servants’ official theological practitioners, rarely conduct sermons, and instead consult followers on a personal basis to track their progress, or to keep the less pious on the right path. They also act as missionaries, which the Servants send very frequently. Unlike the Librans, the Servants’ distant cousins, the Servants are extremely aggressive preachers and almost never travel alone. Every missionary is accompanied by a retinue of anywhere from five to twenty-five guardsmen, making attempts at forced removal messy.

The Archdeacon is the dictator of the Servants. He not only organizes all standardized theological affairs, but also handles economical and judicial matters. No woman has ever held the seat, and his rule is absolute.

Many followers are mere laborers, such as miners, woodcutters, and farmers. The most common practice is Wafting, the smoking of guachi or Shrirein tobacco in a brazier or cigar. In this, the practitioner willfully ingests smoke to know the value of air. This has led to non-Servants using the derogatory terms “Snuffer” and “Noxy”. Brothels, fistfights, pilgrimages, traveling, and hunting are promoted yet regulated.

Those who wish to become deacons must start as mercenaries. In this, the Servants truly earn their other name: the Sword of Aviat, for they can field a large and impressive army whenever they please. Soldiers fight for their own cause, rather than the promise of pay or the will of a general, making them an unreliable force in the end. All received funds cycle back to the Archdeacon. Soldiering is considered the epitome of Aviat worship, true devotion to witnessing the horrors of the world in their entirety. Soldiers also act entirely outside of sanctioned military expeditions, however, in horrific events called “Scarrings”, the destruction of other religious temples and the slaughter of any priests found. As the Servants are highly intolerant of other philosophies, especially the Librans and Meni’driad (who receive the brunt of their attacks), they believe that Aviat’s doctrines are the only doctrines to follow. In burning out other faiths, they bring Calmargur closer to universal understanding, and thus utopia, a notion they refer to as “The Kingdom of Caisara”.

When a Servant dies, his body is burned and his ashes used to fertilize garden plants.

A Nation or Not?

One of the most prominent problems among today’s rulers is the legitimacy of the Sword as a faith and nothing else. The organization owns land, has a notable, albeit barely, economy, has a strict hierarchy, an identifiable ruler, and can field a privatized army. Essentially, they are a functioning theocracy, only a very poor one. Thus, talk has emerged of taking action against the religion as a nation, rather than a matter of faith.
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Re: Lore & Stories - Submissions

Post  Quixoticus on Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:48 pm

A Survey of the Caren Military

The Caren economy is maintained, to a considerable degree, by their world-wide trade. As a result of having such an expansive “territory,” the Caren employ the majority of their population between workers and soldiers. While the workers maintain the mechanical aspects of their economy, the soldiers ensure internal and external soundness, protecting Caren assets wherever they may be in the world.

History

The military was initially established to keep the peace among the tribes and establish a martial force that would reinforce unity among the humans. Caren soldiers never belonged to any single tribe (though their origins may be considered as such); they were Caren soldiers, and swore allegiance to the Caren as a whole. Over time, the solidarity of the military’s oath helped to strengthen the tribes’ unity and effectively solidify the Caren people. As the Caren population grew, their military maintained an equal percentage of the population, growing to accommodate the expanding trade routes and web of small villages that began to sprout all over the northern regions of the continent.


Hierarchy

Officers maintain a chain of command in the Caren military. Each city-state has its own particular chain of command that ultimately answers to the Commonwealth Generals of the Sublivar High Command.

Soldier Responsibility

Soldiers are trained to fight in three “disciplines:” spear, sword-and-shield, and long-bow. The Caren believe these three disciplines allow for the most versatility in a wide variety of battle scenarios. Every Caren is armed with these weapons and expected to maintain moderate skill with each of them; mastery is encouraged but not focused.

There is very little digression from the main roles in the Caren military as soldier and officer. The “other” minority division is the mystic healer, which is distinguished from soldier-medics by their employ of magic. The Caren’s general wariness of magic is also present in the military. There might barely be fifteen mystic healers among five hundred Caren soldiers.

The Murkwood Legion

The Caren devote a minority company of their military to a specialty task force trained to operate in extreme combat conditions. This minority, known as the Murkwood Legion, is composed of Caren soldiers who have survived the trials of The Murkwood, the legion’s namesake.

The Murkwood is a large forest in the southwestern quadrant of the Commonwealth. The Murkwood is an extremely hostile environment that remains largely uninhabitable due to a number of factors. As its name suggests, visibility is minimal at most hours of the day in the Murkwood, a result of the forest’s expansive canopy growth. The frequent twilight puts most intelligent races at a disadvantage, which in turn puts most of the Murkwood’s natural predators at an advantage.

Murkwood Legionnaire training primarily consists of being able to survive the month-long training in and around the Murkwood. Soldiers learn to contend with vicious predators like the brush serpents and bark climbers, poisonous vegetation, and perilous terrain.

Murkwood Legionnaires stray from the Caren three-weapon convention; they wield longbows, throwing axes, and the signature Murkwood Longblade, a thirteen-inch broad-faced dagger. As suggested by their arsenal, Murkwood Legionnaires specialize in hand-to-hand combat and excel in micro-encounters, often engaging in guerilla warfare and skirmishes/ambushes. When accompanying a war column, Murkwood Legionnaires are often assigned specialty roles as flanks, wedges, and the like.

Unlike conventional Caren military ranks, Murkwood Legionnaires are encouraged to take specialty roles. Where the Caren military is expected to maintain a general battle-readiness, Murkwood Legionnaires are expected to excel in unconventional, difficult situations. Marksmenship, assassination, espionage, and demolition are among the most popular roles that Legionnaires are commonly geared toward, and every unit is often composed of a variety of these specialties so they are prepared to excel in most situations.
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The Lotus Corsairs (Pirates)

Post  Mercutio on Fri Sep 21, 2012 12:31 pm

Overview
Not all Hele’Dai share the peaceful standard common among their kind. Some are prone to wanderlust and greed, traits that drive them out to sea. They are often seen in the Sea of Calm and Storms, but have extensions to the Biting Sea, able to raid ships of many cultures and nations and loot a wide variety of goods. Since members of the pirates include former members of the Silver Lions and Navy, some of their combatants are fairly skilled at over-seas combat.

The Hele’Dai are not the sole race of this band of pirates. Over the years, other races have been brought into their fold, some willingly and others captured at sea and eventually recruited. Humans, Dessiens, Ghalians, and even some Chevaar make up the Lotus ranks aside from the Hele’Dai. Crews themselves are fairly mixed, bringing diversity to many ships, usually in their favor if the crews cooperate and don’t brawl.

The hierarchy is quite simple but efficient. Basic crews follow captains, and a number of these captains correspond to a commodore, who in turn obeys the Empress herself. The Lotus Corsairs are something of an aristocracy, rewarding ambitious captains and mates so long as they prove loyal to the Empress and Corsairs as a whole. When crews go rogue, they are often hunted down relentlessly.


Historical Background
The Lotus Corsairs started out as a single crew of Hele’Dai sailing away on a stolen junk belonging to the navy. They were a couple of Silver Lions gone rogue after disgracing themselves in their people’s eyes, and narrowly escaped an execution ordained by the League. Unrepentant, they sought to make their fortune on the seas away off of the merchant trade ships going to and from their homeland.

Calling themselves the Lotus Corsairs, they quickly made a name for themselves on the Sunlit Expanse, the ocean between the mainland and the Heledaine land. As they became gray in hair, they each began a crew of their own, remaining united though and organized. Before long, the Lotus Corsairs became a veritable army of their own.

Of the original crew, six remained. One of them, Junlong, finally wished to retire and settle down with his family, having had enough of the life of adventure and crime. However, his companions saw in him weakness, and a threat if he was ever caught by their enemies or even working with them. So in the dead of the night, they sabotaged his sails and weapons, and then besieged him on all sides. Junlong’s ship did not last long. That night, the leaders of the Lotus broke one of their oldest bonds, and killed their former compatriot. However, they neglected to take care of a spare row boat sailing away from the massacre.

Years later, they had grown complacent. One of them, Tenshin, even grew fat and simply did not wish to sail out anymore, content to lavish in their city. However, all too quickly did reports of the remaining Lotus members meeting ends at sea, but no one could report decisively who was responsible. Soon, Tenshin was the sole member left, and the city became not his retreat but his only defense. And so he awaited his would-be assailant, confident that his defenses would hold. But it was not his defenses he needed to worry about.

One day a young but strong woman, Hele’Dai, stormed into his room. When she boldly announced that Tenshin’s life was about to end, the pirate warlord laughed uncontrollably, and even praised the lass for her guts. However, when he gave the order to kill her, his smug grin quickly waned away when no one did as he told. Everyone had sided with the girl. It was then that he realized that from the start, the reason no one could report the murderer of his comrades was that they worked with the murderer.

The woman standing before him issued a duel, and that whoever won would become the new leader of the Lotus Corsairs. With little choice, Tenshin accepted, for all the good that it did him. For years he had wallowed away behind his walls, not setting foot on a ship at sea nor even exercising his blade or martial arts. She, on the other hand, was clearly strong for a woman, and keenly skilled in combat. It was no contest. Tenshin was killed with ease. His successor dubbed herself the Empress, and henceforth ruled the Lotus Corsairs, with fear, respect, and strength, and boldly expanding it where her predecessors could not.

Recently they’ve been stepping up their raids on ships trying to bring foreign goods to the land of the Hele’Dai. Even ships with new travel routes can become easy prey for a Lotus Corsair crew, suggesting that they may have someone on the inside, though many find that notion preposterous. Regardless, the Corsairs have done a good job at making it a risky business traversing the Sunlit Expanse. However, there are people who believe that the profit of the ventures make the risks worth it.


Ships
Most Lotus ships are of a Hele’Dai design, mostly junks. However, since they in fact have other races and have commandeered ships of Caren, Hander, and Ghalian designs. On board these ships, they make frequent use of harpoons to pull ships into boarding distance.


Leng Bay
The Empress makes her home in a ruined city carved into the mountains, bordered by a bay on one of the isles bridging the mainland to where the Veran live. Rumor has it that this is one of the Gali cities of old, reinforced by the sheer scale of the place. It also has a small number of remarkably intact buildings, including an ancient temple where the Empress personally resides. The vast majority of the city though has been drowned beneath the frigid waters.

The city is sheltered by mountains and accessible to sea only through the breach in a dam built by the previous inhabitants before it was broken by some unknown catastrophe. A normal sized ship can squeeze on through, assuming the ice is cleared out. This is the location the pirates go to for strategic meetings, as well as to give their tribute to their ruler.


The Empress
The Empress, is an amazon of a woman, taller than almost all men and women in her employ, and skilled enough to make use of that strength to deadly effect. The Corsairs do not bow to her because they love her. In a den of vipers and fiends, she fought tooth and nail for the top, and has earned the fear and respect of many of her cohorts. Those who fancy that they could overthrow her often find their coups brutally snuffed out.

In addition to her own profiteering and looting, she receives a tribute from her fledgling crews whenever they port, often a cut of their spoils. Some try to hide the true extent of their treasure so they may pay less, but far too many know that its fools play to try to trick her like that. The Empress keeps her treasure in two places. One is the hidden hoard within the ruined city she resides. The other is on hand to purchase ships, weapons, mercenaries, and other benefits for the Corsairs as a whole.



Last edited by Mercutio on Mon Nov 19, 2012 1:31 am; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : The Servants, Revision)
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Re: Lore & Stories - Submissions

Post  AWizardDidIt on Sun Sep 23, 2012 5:52 pm

A Survey of the Hander Military

While many of the denizens of the Ten Hand Commonwealth are not trained in the slightest for warfare, the country's tumultuous history of social upheaval has seen the development of a number of elite martial forces. In addition, the Commonwealth's unique demographics have helped create a cross-provincial coalition military formed of many individual parts, a number of which are entirely autonomous. Although the Handers are not thought of as a militarized people, they are a force to be reckoned with during wartime, if for no reason other than their immense numbers.

History

In the centuries before the arrival of the Avoca, and even predating the rule of the Black Dragons, nomadic clans of Hander raiders roamed the countryside, preying on all those who dared stray into their lands. Forays into Ghalian, Caren, and even Shrira territory were quite common, and the nomads eventually became known for even raiding one another if given the opportunity. Despite this, the many clans of proto-Handers were poorly trained, poorly armed, and frequently broken by any organized forces sent to disperse them.

With the coming of the Black Dragons and the movement to an agricultural society, the nature of combat in the Hands changed rapidly. Where once guerrilla tactics and raiding were at the core of its doctrine, they were replaced by line warfare and standing militias. Lords imposed wide-reaching drafts on their subjects, resulting in the creation of a military lacking in both skilled warriors and proficient officers. The pre-Gabrothian period, however, was a peaceful era, and saw little need for organized armies on national levels. The invasion of the Avoca shattered the Hander notion of safety in numbers alone. Following their expulsion during the War of the Grey and White, the new ruling class focused on cultivating a fearful and intimidating military that retained the most important features of the pre-Gabrothian one but also incorporated lessons learned during the conflict. The most direct result of these changes was the transformation of the once solely aristocratic ritter class into a highly-trained pool of elite officers.

The events of the Shrira Incursion lead to further reforms. After narrowly avoiding defeat at the hands of Lorkato Keho, the same thinkers and revisionists who once believed the Royal Army to be invincible now came to understand that a civilian force, even when led by a well-equipped and well-trained elite, was not enough to stand against a professional army. For the first time in Hander history, military administrators began to institute radical reforms that not only expanded the draft and lengthened basic training, but drew on the country's many ethnic minorities, both increasing the size of the army and leading the creation of even more specialized martial circles.

Today, the Royal Army of the Commonwealth is widely considered to be the most powerful armed force in the world. It is impossible to know if this assumption is actually correct, since the Hands have not entered a full-fledged war since the Incursion of several decades ago. As tensions continue to mount with the Shrirein of the plains, however, it is appearing more and more likely that the Royal Army will have its mettle tested very soon...

Tactics and Hierarchy

At its core, the Royal Army is a civilian force. Its ranks are primarily composed of swaths of untrained and poorly-equipped peasants, often wearing nothing but boiled leathers as armor and armed with re-purposed farming tools and old iron blades. Peasants soldiers, or schwerters, as they are known within the Hands, are organized into companies known as rookers. Each rooker consists of approximately a hundred men, and is led by several aristocratic officers known as ritters. Ritters are usually the youngest sons of noble families, but have also been known to come from artisan or merchant households. They are trained in the arts of swordplay, riding, and archery from a young age with a lifetime of military service in mind. Every rooker contains between five and ten ritters. Ten rookers come together to form a truppe, which most often consists of a thousand men. Individual truppes are led by senior ritters. All in all, a truppe contains nearly one hundred mounted officers in the form of ritters and nine hundred footmen (most often armed with crossbows or spears) in the form of schwerters. All recognized Hander cities are required to maintain a garrison of at least one truppe.

In battle, Hander soldiers organize themselves into thick, dense rows of men and utilize their great numbers to their advantage. They press down on enemy forces, pouring on truppe after truppe until the adversaries are routed. Cavalry are used as shock troops, and to ride down fleeing enemies. The Royal Army is known for rarely taking prisoners, instead preferring to execute enemies on the spot. Perhaps the greatest strength of the Hander military, numbers disregarded, is its immense supply train. The train stretches from the forests of Vurmberg, through the fertile plains of Rotenerde, and down into the barracks of Old Koleinate. It is said that no man in the Hander army ever goes hungry due to the efficiency with which the train is managed and the sheer profusity of the supplies it contains.

Special Forces

Asrolian battlemages, while few in number, are an important component of any large Hander force. Typically numbering less than fifty even in sizeable engagements, battlemages stand on the same level as ranged schwerters and utilize destructive magics to harass enemies from afar. They may also create ethereal shields with which to protect Hander forces from oncoming charges or arrow volleys. Off the battlefield, they serve as advisors to senior ritters and healers who supplement regular surgeons.

The Sons of the Tenets are a force of rogue Libran paladins numbering about 10,000. They represent the nation's most feared and famed special force. Most surpass average ritters in their combat expertise, and many utilize twisted forms of holy magic to unleash righteous wrath on their enemies. They are spread across the Hands at any given time, but if a large conflict were to begin in a specific area, it is likely that they would mass there.

The Rukharat Tribe is a small but renowned group of Shrira living in the southern Hands of Frachten and Old Koleinate. Many were displaced by the callous activities of their own nation's military during the Shrira Incursion; this has, in part, led to their seething hate for all things born of the nation now calling itself Shrireia. They utilize guerrilla tactics, making excellent use of ambushes and hit-and-run assaults on a prospective enemy's weak points. Although poorly armed and not officially acknowledged by the Hander crown, their ventures are funded and fully supported by a number of southern officials.
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A Survey of the Shrirein Military

Post  Mormosi on Tue Sep 25, 2012 11:58 pm

Overview

Having been core components of human tribal life for eons, warfare and military pursuits are not only necessities for Shrireia, but actively and openly promoted sources of pride and glory. While the majority of the nation’s economic wealth comes from their hold over metal, furs, and tobacco, the most important Shrirein acquisitions have resulted from open battle. The entire province of Wündlandt was captured after a war with the Ten Hand Commonwealth. Not many can boast of victories against the famed Royal Army. In many ways, Shrireia’s attitude towards conquest is the area’s most defining quality to outsiders.

History

Unlike their distant Caren cousins, the Shrira plainsmen privatized their armies via tribe. As feuds were very common prior to Avoca occupation, each Shrira tribe sought its own loyal band of warriors. When the Kolein migrated to their lands, however, the tribes grouped together out of a mutual dislike for outsiders. Similarly, the Avoca forced them to stay close to one another for fear of losing their culture to the Gabrothian Empire, with the side effect of developing a fraternity between Shrira and Kolein. Thus, when the time came for rebellion, the nation was relatively unified beyond their confusion over leadership. Passing years have only seen more consolidation within the military, especially with tribal barriers steadily breaking down.

The Kolein, on the other hand, possessed a heavily developed military until their diaspora. Though they hold their own branch within the Shrirein Horde, the former Handers have been fully integrated otherwise. Many of the standard rank-and-file techniques are kept among themselves, but the Kolein, nonetheless, exert a sizable influence over military prospects.

Hierarchy

Shrirein hierarchy is very flexible compared to most other chains of command. Soldiers are mostly promoted based upon worth and skill, albeit with a few exceptions among the Kolein. Leaders are entrusted to manage their unit as best they see fit, leading to smoother operations and greater mobility, which is a key factor of the Shrirein military overall. Soldiers may challenge, or even depose, their commanding officers, but the very nature of Shrirein warfare allows every soldier to make their own mark. Because of this, and because of the fact that most generals are already well suited to their positions, the act of challenging becoming a problem is somewhat uncommon, though not unheard of. Soldiers may make transfers as a situation allows.

Women and men are treated equally in all regards. Most of these statements apply to both the Shrira and the Kolein, yet the Kolein tend to keep towards more conventional forms of military leadership.

Soldier Responsibility and Equipment

The large Shrirein military is split into two branches for the Kolein and the Shrira.

For the native plainsmen, horses are the absolute body and soul of their warpath. Over sixty-five percent of Shrira soldiers are cavalry, each owning anywhere from three to five horses. As a horse grows tired, their owner switches them out for another, effectively keeping a steady speed without exhausting a single horse. The rest of the units act as foot soldiers, though they ride alongside their allies until deployed upon the battlefield. As the Shrira have largely removed the need for a baggage train, each soldier is drilled in the management of horses and how to live off the land, specifically by foraging, scavenging, utilizing their horses, fishing, and hunting. Most of these skills are already developed among areas outside the Shrirein cities as common practices, and so the military only needs to teach one how to use them in a war environment.

Armor is relatively light compared to most armies’ standards, wearing only reinforced leather and often leaving the head bare of any substantial coverings. Almost all weapons are constructed to be used from both on foot and on horseback, often resulting in curved designs. The primary weapons of the Shrira Horde are the recurve bow and varying types of axes. Typically, warriors use heavy-bladed axes for use in close combat, even wielding two at a time, and bear lighter tomahawks for throwing. Lances are also common within cavalry. Swords, however, are relatively uncommon despite being almost universally staple tools elsewhere. Within Shrireia, only mavericks and elites tend to own such blades. Mastery of one’s chosen weapon, like mastery of any art in Shrireia, is highly encouraged.

The Kolein are very similar to their Hander counterparts. They are divided into three groups: heavy lancers, siege specialists, and heavy infantry. Heavy lancers typically ride with the Shrira branch of the Horde, while siege specialists and heavy infantry are used almost exclusively in city-taking. Unlike the Handers, Kolein engineers construct war machines on the battlefield itself, disassembling and reassembling trebuchets and ballistae to fit a given situation. Even in comparison to their battle-ready Shrira brethren, the Kolein armed forces are very well-trained and well-equipped. However, they are a smaller branch of the Shrirein Horde overall. Swords and proper suits of armor are more common among the Kolein.

Tactics

When on the warpath, the Shrirein field a very mobile force. Their emphasis on horsemen allows them to maintain an unmatched speed, very thick levels of communication, and almost constant scouting affairs. Because of their ability to live off the land, the Shrira forces often plunge deep into enemy territory and remain there for months, if not years on end, while the Kolein forces trudge behind as a buffer and supplementary force.

Guerilla and psychological tactics are the mainstays of Shrirein battlefield maneuvers. As masters of ambushes and deception, the Horde utilizes feints, misdirection, and other underhanded moves to divide and conquer. The Horde’s loose formations allow them to attack from any direction they choose, and they are often in control of an enemy’s movements and position just as much as their own. Furthermore, the Shrirein can afford very frequent raids against baggage trains, townships, farms, and other important centers of income.

Whether on horse or on foot, seven out of every ten Shrira soldiers are archers. Instead of the mass volleys used by their Hander rivals, Shrirein archers typically fire from secluded positions or while on the move, steadily whittling away at an opponent rather than dealing heavy blows. Delivering fatal strikes to an enemy is left to the Kolein heavy lancers and Shrira braves (axemen and swordsmen). Overall, the Shrirein war machine is very adaptable.

Magic

As the shamanistic faith of the Shrirein grows, so too does its role in warfare. The amount of seers upon a given battlefield continues to rise, and now there may be as many as twenty seers for every three hundred soldiers. Their exact duties are determined on a situation-by-situation basis.

In addition to healing wounded soldiers and curing fatigue, seers alter battlefields to suit their needs. Most of the time, seers do not use magic as a physical weapon, and would rather facilitate it through a battle’s participants. Temporarily granting soldiers supernatural speed and strength and turning pockets of men or women invisible are very common uses of magic. In more extreme predicaments, a collection of seers can conduct a ritual to summon a storm of their choosing, to better confuse or harm the enemy.

Most prevailing of all, however, is their ability to peer across vast distances and through solid objects. Because of this enhanced method of scouting, the Shrirein are very rarely caught entirely unawares.

Special Forces

The Shrirein have no real special forces to speak of. Most Warlords prefer a well-rounded army over several groups typed into niches.
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The Heledaine Military

Post  Mercutio on Sat Sep 29, 2012 10:35 pm

Overview

The forces composing of the Hele’Dailen military are the Silver Lions and their Shining Naga. The Silver Lions are an order of monastic martial artists training in four distinct disciplines, each with strengths to call their own. These warriors operate on land in many aspects. They operate as observers for wrongdoings and treasonous activity, a police force to keep the peace, and of course a defense for the Hele’Dai should invaders make their presence known. Compared to some of the mainlanders’ armies, the Silver Lions are relatively small, but undeniably skilled and more than a match for the average foot-soldier.

The Naga on the other hand excel at overseas combat, with ranged combatants favoring bows and arrows, and close combatants glaives. A number of them are Silver Lions who have opted to join them, and their Spring Style fighting is ideal at sea because of the balance it provides. In addition to all these, the Naga are equipped with devices on their ships to help combat others. For instance, many of their ships have a harpoon or several on deck that is used to either pull in enemy ships, or provide a line which nimble operators can cross and engage the enemy crew directly.

Historical Overview of the Silver Lions

The warriors of the Silver Lions were part of the Hele’Dai way before their order was founded. Back in the day, the Hele’Dai were part of a violent people, living in a hostile and volcanic land. Eventually, a faction of the people grew tired of this and looked out to the sea for a new more peaceful home. Among these were even warriors, some of the eldest who had grown tired of the constant and pointless battles, and the youngest, who were horrified by the grim reality of war. However, these warriors still had a stigma attached to their professions, and it was not easy to shake it off.

Years later, the emperor Amo had grown distraught of this unfair treatment, and deemed that the Silver Lions should be celebrated. Not only had they cast aside the thirst for war, they eagerly wished for their gifts to be used for the good of the people. And so the emperor forged the Silver Lions, celebrating their strength and wisdom. The Silver Lions thus honed their skills, meditating on them. Silver Lions were even actively performed in rituals celebrating the seasons, honoring the wisdom of the spirits. Eventually, the Silver Lions took it upon themselves to retell of great battles of the past, either to celebrate the honor of a great warrior, or to remind the people of the grim tragedy that such conflicts brought.

When the Avocan invaders arrived, eager to subjugate the Hele’Dai, the Silver Lions were eager to protect their peoples’ way of life and defend their homes.
However, the then emperor disagreed. Weakly, he surrendered his land in the hopes of parlaying with the invaders, and he managed to strike up a truce. He would retain rulership of the land, but he would answer to the Gabrothian kings. Among their demands was the immediate disbanding of the Silver Lions, as the Avoca saw in them a potential threat to their authority. The Silver Lions scattered to the winds, going underground in their own society to avoid detection.

However, they were soon given their chance to reclaim their land. Contacted by the Eternal League and enticed into rising up against their rulers, the Silver Lions executed their new masters’ plans when the Avoca were at their weakest, in the midst of political turmoil as a result of Astragoth’s horrible rule and demise as well as the revolts across the mainland. Under the circumstances, the revolt had been quick, brutal, and eerily silent.

As a reward, the Silver Lions were given rights under the Eternal League that placed them well above the common Hele’Dai populace. They were also reorganized into a more proper military force, though they kpt many of their philosophies and practices from before the Gabrothian occupation, including their training methods and code of honor. However, this code of honor has lost some of its strength in the face of what the Lions have faced, and their new position in society, and the Eternal League would be happier if it was abolished and they received entirely willing servants.

Hierarchy of the Silver Lions

For each school of the four styles, styled as seasons in a similar vein to their religions, there is a Grand Master who commands great respect. Should the need arise, these four warriors serve as the lead generals of the Hele’Dai war and defense efforts and command them.

Magic

Sometimes a priest may lose faith and flee to the Silver Lions. Other times the Silver Lions will add spiritual contemplation to their meditations. One way or the other, the Silver Lions have a very small force of magic users who implement their magical talents with their fighting styles, which blend surprisingly well. However, doing so is seen as violating the spirit of what these arts stand for. Regardless, these Silver Lions often rise to prominence, but their gifts do not always ensure victories over other members.


Historical Overview of the Shining Naga

During the time of the Gabrothian occupation, the Eternal League had many factors they took into consideration when planning their rise to power. One of them was dealing with the navy the Avoca possessed. They had ships anchored in a path from the mainland coast to the land of the Hele’Dai, allowing reinforcements to fly from ship to ship rather than shore to shore, allowing newly arrived Avoca to be ready and fit for battle. This was something that needed to be taken care of.

For the purpose of this, they commandeered a series of civilian ships from the people, claiming that many of them were not safe or fit for sea, and secretly re-purposed them for combat. When the time came, the Avoca were unprepared for the fleet that emerged from seemingly nowhere and began routing and capturing their ships. Their operation went off perfectly, and after their oppressors were beaten, the Eternal League decided that this navy would be an excellent weapon against invaders by sea. Thus the Shining Naga were born.

When they could, they were expanded, with the crews receiving training to make them nar peerless in overseas combat. They were equipped with several devices like harpoons to enable an edge in ship to ship combat and allowing them to create lines to enemies or catch fleeing ships. They were even given alchemical weapons, like Eternal Fire, proving to be an excellent weapon against enemy ships as water only sustained it (however, it is a very dangerous weapon for the unprepared, and there have been incidents where some ships were burned into the seas because of this).

Most recently, the Naga have been providing escorts for Hele’Dailen trading ships. This I mostly because of the boldness of the Lotus Corsairs, pirates who roam the Sunlit Expanse and often raiding trading ships between the Hele’Dailen lands and the mainland. The Naga are a suitable enough deterrent against the rogues that their presence is enough reason for the less bold crews to attack.

Hierarchy of the Shining Naga

Unlike the Silver Lions, the Shining Naga follow a more traditional style of the chain of command. Admirals, rear admirals, commodores, and captains make up the commanding officers. However, Silver Lions do receive special treatment and respect when they are part of these crews, even if they aren’t a commanding officer.

Tactics

Among their tactics, harpoons and Eternal fire have already been mentioned. However, they are in no short supply of alternatives. Should the priests find the omens in favor of such action, Spring priests may accompany ships and provide a cover of mist to conceal an attack. Alternatively, Silver Lions with these arts in mind will also suffice. In addition to this, the Naga make use of the natural terrain, both above sea and below, to their advantage, having detailed maps of the sea floor around their home.
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The Shrirein Incursion (Historical Event)

Post  Mormosi on Sun Oct 14, 2012 6:43 pm

Overview

The Shrirein Incursion, as coined by Hander scholars, was an armed conflict between Shrireia and the Ten Hand Commonwealth. The war was surprisingly brief, spanning from 30-32 TA, but the effects are felt even today. The former Hander province of Wündlandt became a Shrirein territory, the fighting saw the rise and fall of several notable figures, and Shrireia became a nation recognized by the rest of Calmargur. Much of the animosity between the Handers and Shrirein is a direct result of the war. In Shrireia, the events are glorified in popular culture, but the period is generally looked upon with distaste in the Commonwealth.

Background

Though the Handers had very few reasons to participate in open war, Shrireia appeared to dwindle without conflict. Prior to the Incursion, Shrireia was a very fledgling nation. Due to their geographical position and lack of a proper navy, only the western Chevaari and the Ten Hand Commonwealth acknowledged the area as a legitimate nation, and both limited their contact to very constricted trade routes. Shrireia was a lodestone of furs, crafts, and metals, yet the Warlord had no avenues to export his goods to. With much of the strife between the Shrira and Kolein settled, criticisms were now leveled at the direction their nation was going in; would the Warlord let his people dawdle? Would he accept what was given and pursue no higher aims? He had supplies and willing men, it was whispered, so why did he restrict them to the plains?

The Warlord, Lorkato Keho, evaluated these qualms greatly, but even the council seemed poised for aggression. Furthermore, the Kolein Königs Johannes Neiden and Themach Schulherr, rightful lords of Old Koleinate and Wündlandt respectively, yearned to have their homelands in their control, as did their subjects. Initially, both laid their claims before the Commonwealth, as Hander custom dictates. The Kaiser never officially acknowledged the proclamations, and Koleinate and Wündlandt's lords rejected them, stating that, by Hander law, Johannes and Themach had disrupted Commonwealth integrity by allying themselves with Shrireia. Their bloodlines were no longer accepted as legitimate.

Keho took these issues into consideration and weighed the possibilities. After a much-romanticized week-long trip to Sirekeha, where the Warlord reportedly communed with the spirits and was blessed with visions, he made the decision to embark on the warpath. He returned to a capital already prepared to shed blood.

The War

Keho never openly declared war. Instead, he secretly gathered a small force of Shrira warriors, trekked across the Wündlandt desert, and stormed the walls of Liebenhal in a frenzy. The attack was a disaster. Keho's force fled before Rudfold Schulherr's battlemages and regrouped in the desert.

Absolutely terrified, Schulherr sent over a dozen messengers in every direction, asking for any and all aid to defend his province against the invaders. The Commonwealth, having just regained much of the territory lost to the Avoca, did not respond well to his claims. Schulherr had also developed a poor reputation as a bastard, panderer, and otherwise unreliable administrative figure. The Kaiser, Wilhelm II Dieter, notably sent a message ordering him to deal with the issue himself. North of Furststadt, the situation was seen as a sign of Schulherr's incompetence. The Königs of Frachten and Rotenerde denied him aid, citing concerns with reconstruction, which occupied much of the Commonwealth's attention, and assaults performed by the Meni'Driad, who had reformed following the Avoca's fall. Only one of the Hands took Schulherr's dismay with any degree of seriousness.

Gunther Neiden of Old Koleinate had foreseen the Shrirein advance. In an almost paranoid fashion, he had had dozens of fortifications constructed along Old Koleinate's perimeter to prevent an Avocan resurgence in the area. Though mostly rabble, his army was geared, trained, and eager to defend their nation against the threat their lord had preached about. With crop production steadily decreasing, life as a conscript was looking more and more profitable. Furthermore, Gunther Neiden was regarded as being obsessive when it came to administration. He saw the very existence of his cousin Johannes as a fatal flaw that needed to be stamped out, and as soon as possible. Thus, when Schulherr sent out his warnings, Gunther Neiden rallied his army and began a march within two months, intending to take New Weissburg, yet another affront against Hander order, and execute his cousin as soon as possible.

Keho, however, was one step ahead of him. Having utilized his scouts to the best possible extent, Keho knew that confronting Gunther Neiden's force, while entirely possible, could not have the effect he wanted. He needed to devastate the Handers, and what better way to demoralize the nation than by tricking it? After gathering up several thousand Shrira and Kolein warriors, Keho's army seemingly made for a mad collision with Neiden's.

Gunther stood shocked as the Shrirein army clipped his and surged over the Bloody Crossing into Frachten, absolutely nothing holding them back. Compared to Gunther's marching regiments, the Shrira were like horses themselves. They pillaged town after town, razing structures, slaying those who put up a fight, yet letting non-participants live to tell the tale. Frachten's König was assassinated by a band of scouts, and soon the capital itself was in danger. By the time word reached the Kaiser, some of the Shrirein were flowing right into Rotenerde.

However, Gunther Neiden could do nothing for Frachten or Rotenerde, and refused to meet the Shrirein on their own terms. Leaving a sizable garrison behind to defend his own Old Koleinate, he met with Rudfold Schulherr as planned and the two began a long march to New Weissburg, dust storms and dangerous winds lashing at them the entire way. Shrira skirmishers made raids against their outlying camps and baggage trains, but Neiden and Schulherr brushed these off as mere nuances. As much as they were growing in strength, the duo had eyes for New Weissburg. Once the city was taken and their respective cousins disposed, the Shrirein would have to do much to remove them from the area, especially with their center of metalworks and siege production out of commission. The city soon loomed before them in the mountain range known as the Warlord's Wall, and Neiden immediately ordered a siege after a night of wariness against the skirmishers.

Neiden realized that he had underestimated the Shrirein's Kolein far too late. As soon as the Handers had their entire force within the passes, the Kolein descended upon them in a hailstorm of arrows and charging cavalry. From behind, the Shrira skirmishers massed and eviscerated the Handers from behind. Almost the entire force perished in the fighting, including Themach Schulherr. Rudfold Schulherr surrendered, so the Shrirein, adhering to their codes of honor, were forced to accept his submission.

Miraculously, Gunther Neiden managed to escape the fighting on his lonesome. Hander legend states that he pushed his horse until the creature died of exhaustion, killed a Shrirein scout with his dagger, then rode that man's horse back to Old Weissburg. Once there, he drove palisades into the ground and planned not to march, but to defend against the coming storm. He added more messages to the Kaiser's ever-growing mountain, beseeching him for aid.

Meanwhile, Lorkato Keho was continuing to carve swaths of terror through Rotenerde. Frachten was entirely under his control, yet Rotenerde's König had learned, unlike Frachten's, and holed up in his capital. Keho simply decided to terrorize the rich farms that surrounded the area instead, driving thousands to take refuge alongside their König. Seeing as he could either rot in his city or see the lifeblood of his province destroyed, the König of Rotenerde challenged Keho to a duel. Keho accepted, and the world watched as the Shrira Warlord decapitated the lord in front of thousands of onlookers. The rest of Rotenerde submitted without protest.

For the Kaiser, the situation had become much more than fighting a wayward band of Shrira savages. The Shrirein had forced Wündlandt to surrender, placing Rudfold Schulherr back in power (under their own rule) and were proceeded right into Old Koleinate's fortifications. Frachten and Rotenerde were lost. Furstadt's people stood terrified as the neighboring Ghalian Cartel watched on with interest. This Incursion, as it was beginning to be called, would be the ruin of his nation, unless he took decisive action. For the first time in decades, the Kaiser himself donned his gilded suit of armor. The hearts of every Hander leapt with joy at the sight of their king, in all his splendor, boarding ten ships with the best the Commonwealth had to offer at his back, off to crush the Shrira beneath his heel.

Once again, Keho was but a step ahead of his enemies, his shamans having foreseen the Hander ships with their mystical visions. He did not wait for them to deploy the soldiers within their hulls. Upon Keho's order, the shamans put all their efforts into summoning a maelstrom from the spirits, which ravaged the galleys at sea. Yet, it only destroyed five of the ten ships, and not the one which contained Kaiser Wilhelm. Keho's army, joined by reinforcements from Shrireia, prepared to meet the king of the Commonwealth on the sloping coasts of Frachten.

What ensued was one of the goriest battles in Calmargur's history, the "Clash of Two Gales". The Shrirein won, but it could hardly be considered a victory, for both sides suffered an immense amount of life, so much that a memorial has been erected in Furststadt to commemorate the men that died. Keho and Wilhelm Dieter fought personally, Dieter dealing a blow that took the Warlord's right eye, though Keho beat Dieter into submission. Again adhering to the Shrirein code of honor, he was forced to take Dieter into his confines as a prisoner. The Commonwealth gaped with horror and rage of equal measure.

Though he had made countless victories against his enemies, Keho's momentum was finally dwindling. His advances into Old Koleinate were repelled time and time again, and Furstadt would not fall unless he brought appropriate siege weaponry. Moreover, his men were succumbing to fatigue after over a year and a half of constant fighting and warfare. In addition, his own health was worsening, with some gossiping that the Warlord was seeing things and coughing more often. To make things worse, Knechtenberg and Furstadt threatened to unleash their armies. No matter how many men the Shrirein slaughtered, the Commonwealth seemingly had thousands more to spare. Keho grew uncertain over his future prospects.

Thankfully, Keho had the perfect bargaining chip. Though he was bereft of Godspeak, the Kaiser was not only a cultural icon, but a holy figure as well. The Commonwealth was hesitant to engage Keho if it meant endangering Kaiser Wilhelm's life in the process. Thus, when Keho demanded a meeting at Rotenerde's capital, they agreed. Before negotiations degraded to the point of further warfare, the "Treaty of Farbeint", named so for Rotenerde's capital, was signed. It decreed that, in return for the Kaiser and the secession of Frachten and Rotenerde, the Commonwealth would stop warring and allow them to retain Wündlandt. Keho agreed posthaste, and spent weeks gathering his raiders up on his return trip.

Kaiser Wilhelm II Dieter's reputation never recovered after his capture. He spent the remainder of his life a detached and frustrated man, desperate to regain the support of his people while fending off the advances of House Blau around every corner. He is generally regarded as one of the most inefficient Kaisers of the time period, despite the fact that the initial years of his rule were laden with several massive advances in construction and economical pursuits. Personally surviving two assassination attempts, Dieter reigned over the Commonwealth for over sixty years, until his death in 62 TA.

Keho, in contrast, is now considered a cultural hero of Shrireia. He returned to Shrireia, greeted by a massive flock of revelers from both the Kolein and the Shrira. Sadly, his reign lasted much shorter, because of the strange illness he developed during his warpath. Delirious, he spent almost half a year bedridden, as much as his weakness went against the Shrirein Warlord customs. He ultimately died in 34 TA, leaving Shrireia, including its new province, to his largely inferior son.

Aftermath

The Incursion's effect on international politics, particularly in the southern stretches of Calmargur, was profound. Shrireia developed a number of new land-based trade routes to the Ghalian Cartel and the Chevaari Desert through Wündlandt, along with water-based routes to the Caren city-states and Dessia. Previously not considered as a major power, Shrireia was no longer excluded from political considerations. The period stretching from the Incursion has mostly been one of progression for the new nation.

Though the Commonwealth lost a region, and technically the war, it consolidated the Hander sense of culture. Things had become more and more factional in the time after the Avoca regime, but the SHrirein provided unity in the form of a new enemy to fight. Fear may have gripped the industrial areas to the north, but wartime also saw immense amounts of production from Vurmberg, Weinwig, and Bles. After the Incursion ended, Hander construction levels elevated to almost unheard-of speeds. The Incursion was, however, a severe blow against the Commonwealth's standing and sense of pride. Social unrest against the Dieter regime increased after the return of Wilhelm II, and Dieter rule was ousted entirely decades later.
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Re: Lore & Stories - Submissions

Post  Izdazi on Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:05 pm

A Survey of the Dessien Military

Other cultures often blame greed as the reason the Dessien's refuse to trade refined pure quick-gold to their neighboring cultures. What they fail to understand is that as a collective, no other mindset is more prevalent then that of security. Having a history that includes two brutal instances of slavery and servitude will do that to a culture.

Quick-gold was one of the greatest miracles that allowed the Dessiens to shake of the yoke of their Krenem enslavers. It again came to their aid against the Avoca when Gabrothians invaders held Dessien hatcheries hostage.

More then any other culture in Calmargur, the Dessiens, godspeaking or not, understand and respect the power that quick-gold provides. To them, it's a gift from the gods. In fact, the crater where the mineral is extracted is called Myah, which in their language, means 'gift.'

It's this understanding that keeps Dessiens from giving away that which was a gift meant for them. The gift was given to protect them and their young from outsiders. If they give that gift away, what's to stop others from using it against them?

For this reason, the Dessien military is geared toward protecting the small kingdom, as much as protecting this gift.


History

Little is known of the Dessiens before they overthrew the Krenem during the 'Great Rebellion.' There are some hints state that were tribal and possibly nomadic. Others state that there were many small kingdoms.

When the Krenem came, none of that mattered. The Krenem saw them as little more then an expendable workforce. Worse, they saw Dessien eggs as a delicacy.

After the rebellion, the single flag of unity that flew during the fighting remained. The leader who inspired the rebellion was made leader and the Dessiens quickly fell into a loose kingdom-form of government. The priority of the royalty was to protect the future of Dessia, and in this a military was formed, with many veterans attaining officer status in order to help train future generations.

Dessiens are very much creatures of reactionary instinct. Training requires that soldiers be capable of thinking past fight and flight, and to maintaining strict adherence to orders. There are some who aren't capable of thinking past such responses.

As Dessiens currently have no expansionist intentions, their army is designed to be strictly defensive.


Hierarchy

The military is divided into several subunits. With the exception of Peacekeepers, all units of the military answer to the royal government.

Peacekeepers - Military soldiers dedicated to protecting inter-kingdom security and citizen interests. Peacekeepers report to the regional or district townships.

Fa-Krenem - The Dessien regular soldiers. These are the soldiers whose duties are to protect Dessia from external conflicts. Their name is a derivative of the phrase "Death to the Krenem."

Coast Guard - The bulk of the Dessien navy is tied into this branch. They patrol the waters surrounding Dessia for any pirates, smugglers or unauthorized trade. They also maintain control of all trade that occurs in the port of Serria. As Serria is the only port in which outsiders may dock at, any ships seen near the coasts of Dessia are typically challenged.


Soldier Responsibility

Fa-Krenem soldiers are trained with spears and crossbows. The preferred weapon of Dessien soldiers are their claws and forearm spars. They typically wear plated armor that has been strengthened with quick-gold.

Since Dessiens are naturally nearsighted, the use of the crossbows have slowly fallen out of favor. They were useful weapons in fighting the Krenem, since the creatures were typically out of reach of spears and were so large and slow, it was rather easy to hit one with a crossbow bolt. However, with the Krenem threat fading into history, so to goes this weapon.

Some temple healers, both godspeaking and alchemical, have undergone training as soldiers to serve as medics and are usually highly sought after.

Soldiers of the Coast Guard are armed with spears as well. They also learn to use slings in order to aid in boarding practice. Because of the risk of drowning, metallic armor isn't used.

A Dessien Coast Guard ship is actually an interesting vessel to behold. They are trimarans with outriggers that can sometimes extended as far 25 feet from the main hull. Such vessels are very similar to the countless fishing ships used by the coastal towns around Dessia.

Unlike many ocean-going vessels, including the fishing boats, the hull of a Dessien outrigger (as Coast Guard ships are often called by other cultures) is actually made of metal. This is only possible because the metal is bonded with quick-gold, which makes it far more lightweight and stronger. This gives the ship's hull a golden sheen when see in the sunlight.

These ships have five masts. Three are on the main hull, and one on each outrigger. Their sails are triangular and highly adjustable. Since their draft is low, these ships can sail in waters as shallow as ten feet.

They are fast, maneuverable and strong, but quickly lose their benefits in rough seas.

The primary use of these boats is to quickly allow soldiers to board another's vessel. There are three small catapults that can launch burning pitch if it comes to that.

Because the outriggers are short-range vessels and fair poorly in inclement weather, they're usually relegated to coastal patrols and harbor duty. A few have been rigged for long-range duty, though.

The Coast Guard is in the works to purchase vessels of war from other countries.


Nevees Regiment

This is the specialty force of the Dessien military. They often consist of the very best of the Coast Guard and the Fa-Krenem. Their orders are delivered directly from the monarchy's lips, typically after consultation from the military generals. They are Dessia's spies, infiltrators, and at extremes, even assassins.

Clad in dark clothing and armed with short thin knives, a dozen Nevees can be deployed from an outrigger, swim underwater for nearly half a mile with only two surface breaths, scale the side of an intruder's ship and seize control of a vessel in near absolute silence. They can be deployed almost anywhere in the world and excel at gathering intelligence.

Their primary focus of duty is in intercepting contraband trade goods, such as the narcotic guachi or in stopping a someone from making off with a supply of refined pure quick-gold. They have occasionally been utilized for espionage in far off lands.

These soldiers train for years in some of the harshest regions of Dessia, from the frigid high altitude mountains to the dismal southern swamps, to the deserts north of Myah. They learn to maintain their strength in different climates, a skill that's very crucial due to their cold-blooded nature. Many also learn to perform other tasks to develop a cover for their civilian lives.
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