Their beginning is fairly
easy to summarize as the Kyranian men were born on
the ashes of a military campaign, and throughout the years their kingdom and
lifestyle was held up on the shoulders of the various men, and sometimes women,
that offered their lives in service. The Kyranian Military was known for the
six distinct branches it was divided into, though many believe that the Royal
Guard should not be counted as its own branch, but should rather be considered
a small part of the other five branches.
Throughout the various branches, whether there are five or six, there seemed to be a general agreement on the various age limits for the different ranks. Fourteen is the age at which a boy was considered eligible to join up. In the case of a parent enlisting their son before his fourteenth birthday, they would start as a page, cabin boy, or messenger boy, depending on the branch of military.
Army. The Kyranian army was the only branch that did not really specialize in a certain area of weaponry, but allowed those to use a weapon other than standard types if they showed potential. They were essentially the guardians and protectors of the kingdom, protecting it from both internal and external threats within throughout their land. It wasn't uncommon for the army to board the navy's ships to help settle troubles with pirates or other such threats of the sea if that was what the King ordered them to do. They were also called in to break up trouble within the cities if it got to be too much for the city guard to handle. Where the King ordered them, they went and with their variety of training and weapon specialties they tended to be successful.
For the most part there were four basic units in the army with each unit having a different number of people per unit and weapon specialties. Sword Units were the most common and were lettered 'S'. A unit would be named '#S' going up from one to as many units as there were. When a lower number unit was destroyed in combat or disbanded, the number would open up and the next unit would take on that open number, although the numbers of some units that were killed in combat were retired. However this was rare and only if that unit's record was impressive. The reuse of numbers made it to where lower units didn't have seniority rights. Instead, for each year of service, a solider would receive a black strip that would be sewn into all their uniforms, starting under their arm, with another strip added beneath that the next year. (This was the same for all other units of the army, with the exception of the wargriders. See below.)
Each Sword Unit was made up of fifteen men with one corporal for each unit. A sergeant had control over two corporals and a captain controlled two sergeants. Unlike other units, the sword unit had mixed ranks. The soldiers that had skill with another weapon were also put into these units or made up units of their own from time to time if there were enough with one particular unit. It wasn't unusual to see a man wielding an axe among swords or a sword, with throwing knives sitting in holders, crossing their chest and ready for use. When looking at the range of weapons used by Kyranians in general, a majority of those used for close combat of them could be seen in the army's ranks (spear-like weapons excluded).
Spear Units were a bit bigger with twenty men per unit and a corporal for each unit. Sergeants still had control over two corporals, but captains of Spear Units were in charge of three sergeants instead of the two that the captain of a Sword Unit controlled. The Spear Units were lettered 'L' with the same nomenclature as the Sword with the 'S' replaced by an 'L'. A number of spear units made up the vanguard of the Kyranian army when they went into battle, but were kept back during a siege while swordsmen were included in the front line for both.
Those that were trained with bows were split into two sections. There was the Mounted Archer Unit that was put into groups of fifteen and the Foot Archer Units that were arranged in groups of twenty. Mounted archers had one corporal and a sergeant for two corporals, with a captain for every three sergeants. Mounted archers were numbered '#MA', taking up the lower numbers for destroyed units and calculating seniority like that of the Sword Unit.
Foot Archer Units, with twenty men, had two corporals for each unit. A sergeant had control of four corporals and a captain had control of two sergeants. Foot Archers were numbered '#FA'.
The final regular units were that of the cavalry. Like those that used the bow, the cavalry was divided into two groups. The first was the Lance Unit which was numbered '#LC' while the second unit, the Sword Unit, was numbered '#SC'. Lance units had twenty-five men per units with two corporals and a sergeant in control of a unit and a captain in control of two sergeants.
The Sword Units, in the cavalry, had twenty men per unit with two corporals and a sergeant in charge of each unit and a captain in charge of four sergeants. For the most part there were very few cavalry units in the army as the Knights (privileged nobility) were made up of mostly mounted forces so the army downplayed their cavalry, allowing those trained from a young age for mounted attacks to take control there.
The last unit was an irregular unit that was the only one of its kind and only saw combat once. The Warg Unit was made up of sixty men with four corporals, two sergeants, and a captain. The sixty-seven men that made up the unit were all volunteers that risked their lives and their careers on an attempt to introduce a new mount into the army. The captain, Garawn 'Gar' Drett, was forced into the King's Army at twelve years of age. He had served as a page for the Commander of the Army and was nineteen when he volunteered to be part of the Warg Unit and was selected captain by the Commander.
The unit lasted fifteen years before the downfall of the 'domestic' rast warg began and proved victorious during their only battle. The unit, simply known as the Wargriders, was forced to surrender the creatures they had raised from pups because the creatures trained and used by the nobility to hunt had become unreliable. Garawn had chosen to put his own warg down mercifully instead of surrendering it to the King's executioner and the other sixty-six men followed his example, resulting in a dishonorable discharge for disobeying orders and refusing to surrender the property of the Kingdom. Garawn, having led his men, was sentenced to live in exile for the rest of his life, as an example for others.
A youth younger than fourteen that was given or forced into the King's Army. Most were between age eleven and thirteen and were youths either conscripted into the army due to their size or given by parents, who in most cases had too many children to care for, or the boy hadn't taken to a craft. They spent their days serving the officer they worked for while practicing with various weapons on the side.
A man between fourteen and fifty that enlisted into the King's Army. These low ranked fighters fought and died for the kingdom in times of need. Many stayed at this rank throughout their time serving the kingdom.
A man between eighteen and fifty that enlisted into the King's Army. At a rank above the common soldier, a corporal commanded between ten and twenty men depending on the unit and sometimes shared command with another corporal.
A man between eighteen and fifty that enlisted into the King's Army. A sergeant is two ranks above the common soldier and was usually in command of one or two units and two or four corporals. They always served under a captain with one or more other sergeants and their units.
A man between eighteen and fifty that enlisted into the King's Army. Captains could control between one and six units of men and their officers and sometimes more if a fellow officer fell during battle.
- Commander's Captain
A man between eighteen and fifty that enlisted into the King's Army. The Commander of the Army kept eight qualified men, Commander's Captains, that were in charge of leading multiple units and captains into battle depending on the circumstances. One of these men always went to command when twelve or more units were deployed. They were often referred to as the 'Leader's Lackeys' by the common soldiers and lower ranked officers as they were kept from battle for the most part and just oversaw the troop movements, leaving the fighting to the others.
- Commander of the Army
A man between thirty and fifty that enlisted into the King's Army. The Commander of the Army made all the final decision of the position of dispatched units, number of units to send, and on the type of units. The King would make the order and the Commander was charged with making everything run smoothly and have the most change of being successful. The Commander also held a seat on the King's Council and the King's Military Council in times of need.
Other than armour, the uniform of the various ranks of the army was pretty much the same with some subtle differences. Two pairs of simple black leggings, two light grey short-sleeved shirts, two dark green, sleeveless tunics with the Kyranian coat of arms, the black stag head on a dark green field with a gem shaped like a star between the antlers, embroidered into the front, seven pairs of socks and undergarments, a black leather belt, and calf-high, black leather boots was standard uniform. All the cloth items were made from Kanroan, or Forest Cotton, from the Roan Forest in the northern part of the Kyranian territory.
In the winter thick woolen cloaks would be given out. Many would also buy pelts from the hunters who put their part of the castle intake up for sale in the winter. These pelts would be made into jackets and pants that would last for a few years and keep the men warm. For the cold months, these jackets and pants would be accepted as part of the uniform but once spring came they would have to be put into trunks until the next year.
Finally, the armour was the last part of their uniform. A majority of the troops wore a short-sleeve, chainmail shirt, boiled leather greaves, and sometimes a helmet, depending on the unit. Sword Units commonly carried a wooden shield (with metal edges) with the Kyranian coat of arms painted on the front. Archers might have a similar shield or one made of metal strapped to their backs so that they might duck and an enemy archer had fewer openings to hit them.
Throughout the life of the kingdom, the army was the only branch of the military that conscripted untrained youths. In times of need the navy had been known to pick up unemployed Kyranian sailors while in port, but they were paid, given the chance to work, and released after the trouble had passed. On the other hand, they army gathered up all the boys of twelve and thirteen years of age if they showed signs of having a larger build than was normal for their people. If those boys had already been promised to a craftsman, who was considered a master of their trade, they were allowed a year after their fourteenth birthday to work with their new master. If they showed signs of promise at their trade then they were allowed to stay with their master, but if they didn't have the talent, they were forced into the King's Army.
Those that hadn't been promised to a craftsman were taken to the city/castle, in their area where they were put to work as pages for officers of the army until they turned fourteen. During that time they were tested with various weapons to select the one they showed the most promise with while they tended to the needs of the officer they worked for. On their fourteenth birthday they were assigned a unit. The officer and men of their unit would take the place of their father, uncles, grandfather, and the other men of their family when they got they got the Kyranian stag head and star shaped gem tattooed onto their backs as a sign that they have reached manhood. After that they would train with the other youths between fourteen and eighteen years of age each day, learning their weapon and craft.
Navy. Having the smallest coastline of the Ancient Kingdoms, the Kingdom of Kyrania never had a very impressive navy, but they managed to keep a good watch over their port cities and coastal villages. Over the years they held their own when needed and answered the summons of the King. They were mostly called on to carry soldiers to certain destinations, defend their shores from pirates, and ward off ships carrying troops from other kingdoms, and they did a good job of it over the years.
In the Kyranian Navy they had shifts or groups rather than actual units. There was the day shift which was overseen by the First Mate and sometimes the Captain and the night shift that worked under the eyes of the Second and Third Mate. The number of men on the shifts depended on how large the ship was and could change depending on casualities and recruits, though a single shift never had more than one extra man since that left the task load heavier for one shift and presented opportunity for idleness on the other.
Those that worked the day shift were required to be on duty when the sun began to peek over the horizon, so they would need to wake while it was still dark out to get ready and eat a quick meal before going to relieve those on the night shift. Those that worked nights had to be up a half hour before the sun went down for the same reason before they began their tasks with the setting sun.
The fighters that were often aboard ship were a different matter entirely. While the sailors had some training with cutlass, bow, or a long knife before being assigned to a ship, those that specialized in a certain weapon were often needed. During the training, those that showed more ability with weapons than the tasks aboard ship were moved into another area where they trained with cutlass, bow, knife, and some even learned the sword, for almost twice as long as the other recruits. Fighters were usually divided into groups of ten to twenty depending on the size of the ship they were set to board after training and worked together with those they would serve with.
Aboard ship the fighters were under the direct control of the Captain, but in times of need the heads of the watches (First and Second Mate) were allowed to give orders. During the days they were to spend time practicing aboard ship, out of the way of the workers on the day shift while they slept in the forecastle or on the hold where hammocks were hung (or sometimes bunks were built). Every now and then the Captain would give orders to fighters aboard the ship when extra strength was needed for a task or one of the shifts needed to replace a sick worker for the time. Other than that they generally stuck to their daily training and normal sleeping hours while aboard ship until they were needed to overcome trouble.
- Cabin Boy
A youth younger than fourteen that was signed off by their parents. Their job was to help the crew in any way they could and serve the captain of the vessel they worked on. They might be found coiling ropes, helping in the kitchen, serving the Captain's meals, and more. They were also often the target of their shipmates' jokes and pranks (when they could get away with it).
A man between fourteen and forty-five that enlisted into the King's Navy. They saw to the daily running of their ship and were split into two shifts. The day shift ran under the watch of the First Mate while the night shift was the territory of the Second and Third. Depending on size, ability, and knowledge a man would be given a set of tasks that need to be done during their shift along with other orders that might be given. Also, the specialty workers such as carpenters, fighters, trainers, and more were classified as sailors, but not given the same tasks as others were.
- Third Mate
A man between eighteen and forty-five that enlisted into the King's Navy. The Third was set to help the Second Mate during the night shift and they were also put in charge of the medical stores aboard ship and deal with injuries and illnesses. To reach the first acknowledged rank aboard a ship a sailor needed to demonstrate a basic knowledge of the medical stores on the ship and how to treat various injuries that might occur aboard ship. Before being assigned a ship and when docked after being assigned these things were reviewed to allow equal opportunity to move up and keep things from getting out of control during dangerous conditions/situations.
- Second Mate
A man between eighteen and forty-five that enlisted into the King's Navy. The Second Mate was in charge of the night shift, with the assistance of the Third Mate. They were in control of matching men on the night shift with the tasks that needed to be done during ideal conditions while having the ability to give orders when things turned bad quickly.
- First Mate
A man between eighteen and forty-five that enlisted into the King's Navy. The First is in charge of making sure the day shift runs smoothly and is often backed up by the Captain should trouble occur both aboard ship and with the weather or approaching ships. When trouble breaks out aboard ship, the blame falls on the First Mate where as on the night shift, the Third Mate usually takes the fall for both their mistakes and those of the Second.
A man between twenty and fifty-five that enlisted into the King's Navy. Captains ran the ships in the kingdom's navy and were in charge of keeping their ship looking and running to the standard of the Navy. Keeping order on their ships and making sure that as few injuries and casualties as possible happened during good and troubled times. Those that rose to the rank of Captain were allowed to continue serving into their mid-fifties while those that didn't have this privilege were honorably discharged at forty-five years of age. This was installed when Captain Talash 'Lash' Gawesk requested permission to serve until he died aboard his ship in 9482 b.S. when he turned forty-four. Eleven years later he died aboard his ship and that event set the retirement age for Captains and Commanders.
- Commander of the Navy
A man between thirty and fifty-five that enlisted into the King's Navy. The Commander of the Navy had control of where the ships went, how many sailors and fighters were needed aboard and how to run the Navy, but they made moves by the King's orders. The Commander was also in control of a ship of his own, which was the Flag-ship of the Kyranian Navy during their reign over that branch of military. A seat on the King's Council and King's Military Council (in times of need) was also reserved for the Commander of the Navy.
Aboard ship there was little that could distinguish a navy crew from a merchant crew as they moved with the same fluid efficiency as any seaman would and the formal uniform that identified them as men of the Kyranian Navy was stuffed into trunks once the ship had left port. At sea they would wear clothing that allowed them to move around easily. Loose pants of dark green, often cut off mid-shin, were often faded, ragged, stained, and patched from the life of a sailor and the short-sleeve, rough white shirt that when worn with it tended to look the same if not worse. In the winter, longer pants and long-sleeve shirts coated in oils so that rain would slide off would be pulled out of trunks and worn over the shirt and pants of warmer material that they would wear.
When at port full-length, straight legged pants of dark green would be worn along with a variety of other clothing items that were better kept locked in a trunk in the sailor's opinions. A black shirt would be worn beneath an open-front, collared shirt of the same dark green as the pants (either long-sleeved or short-sleeved depending on the weather). The worst part for the usually barefoot seamen had to be the addition of black leather boots that had to be worn when they went ashore.
With that they wore a leather belt, commonly holding a long knife or cutlass. When on the ship, this item would be brought up on deck before the sailors shift and hung on a catch on the outer wall of the forecastle, so that it would be within reach of the crew should trouble occur and it wouldn't bother them as they went about their tasks.
Knights. In the eyes of many, the Knights of the Kyranian Kingdom were just a glorified version of the Army. Based in the capital of the kingdom, they specialized in mounted attacks and were made up only of those of noble birth. Many during the years and to this day disapproved of the 'selective membership' that was often enforced. Some men remained squires until they were thirty and forced to give up because those that were higher ranked than them didn't approve of their style, their trainer wasn't very good, or other ridiculous reasons. In the later years, many of the noblemen that were serious about protecting their kingdom joined the military instead and made a difference in many areas.
Depending on the opinion of the knight spoken to, there were two or three different units. Some considered Cavalry that specialized in the use of the sword to be a different unit from the group that specialized in the lance while others called it the same unit. Either way, the various units were grouped according to weapon of choice. The sword, lance, and bow were the three most commonly used among the knights, as the sengren, a double-bladed axe used to disable rider's horses and dispatch the rider, was a specialty weapon and was too large to use effectively on horseback.
The Sword Unit of the cavalry was grouped into units of twenty men under a corporal with three units under a sergeant and two sergeants under a captain. Many believed to be this too big for the officers to handle and many were right as they tended to break up in battle. Before it had been twenty-five to thirty men per unit, but when that failed they reduced their numbers and refused to reduce numbers again, leaving a weakness in the Noble Cavalry. This was until one Commander voiced his own opinions, though this was near the fall of the Kyranian Kingdom. At that time the numbers were decreased to ten per unit, but that couldn't change the way things were going. The Sword Unit was identified by two swords embroidered onto a patch with the gemstone of the Kyranian coat of arms settled where they crossed and the unit number in the back. That patch was sewn onto the sleeve of the tunic of each knight in that unit.
The Lance Unit was similar in some ways, but they started and ended with fifteen men per unit, as the General of the King's Forces at the time of the founding of the knights had a few good plans. A captain commanded two sergeants who in turn commanded two corporals each, who each commanded a single unit. This seemed to work a bit better than the Sword and bragging occurred, causing trouble between the Lance and Sword units over the years. The Lance unit was identified by a similar badge to that of the Swords, except that instead of crossed swords it was crossed lances with the number in the back and the gem sitting where the two weapons crossed.
The badge of the Bow Unit was similar to the others, with the weapon changed again. Two arrows were crossed with the unit number in the back and the gem sitting where they crossed. The difference was that one arrow tip pointed down while the other pointed up for some reason no-one living or dead understood. It is believed to be a design flaw or a bit of the seamstresses own touch to the same old patches. The Bow Units were put into groups of twenty with two corporals per unit. A sergeant controlled two units each and a captain controlled two sergeants, or four units.
youth younger than fourteen, of noble birth, that was sent by his parents to Caleum, the capital, of the Kyranian Kingdom. These boys were put to work as runners for the various lords while they were trained in the ways of court by a relative or friend of their parents.
A man between fourteen and thirty, of noble birth, that was training to be a knight. At this rank, the person was in charge of seeing to the needs of the knight they served and responding to the training they required without question. These is never any assurance that a squire will be come a knight and a few have been recorded to have held the position until they were thirty and dismissed by the knight that was in charge of their training. It is believed that some have the makings of a knight and others don't. This was the only branch of the military where a man might never move up to the next level. A knight of this branch is close to the rank of a soldier or sailor in the army and navy branches, though they are of much higher birth. Some noblemen have been known to bypass the knights and join the army or navy because they didn't believe in 'selective membership'.
A man between sixteen and fifty, of noble birth, who was knighted by the King. The status of a knight is higher than that of Captains in the previous two branches, but it is the lowest level of fighting unit in this branch. There are some that never reach this rank and many more than never rise any higher.
A man between eighteen and fifty, of noble birth, who was knighted by the King. It was considered an honor to reach this rank even though there are still many ranks above, but the nobility made a fuss over the rank. As a corporal, the knight was in charge of a unit and was to see that it ran smoothly.
A man between twenty and fifty, of noble birth, who was knighted by the King. Sergeants of the knights were often in command of two to three units and two to three corporals depending on the units. They served as a second in command and often worked with another of their rank under their captain.
A man between twenty-two and fifty, of noble birth, who was knighted by the King. Any that reached this rank were either very privileged, had connections in court, or was very good at what they did. A captain was in charge of various units depending on the type and size and a group of officers that saw to the minor details that went with the lower ranked knights.
A man between twenty-five and fifty, of noble birth, who was knighted by the King, selected by the Commander of the Knights, and approved by the General of the King's Forces. There were ten of these men that served as part of the council that governed the knights. While the King gave the orders, the council debated on the way to carry out those orders. They were also in charge of discipline among their branch and even the most minor offenses came before the full council (ten councilors, plus the Commander of the Knights).
Commander of the Knights
A man between thirty and fifty, of noble birth, who was knighted by the King, selected by the previous commander, and approved by both the General of the King's Forces and the King. The Commander of the Knights was often related to one of the three officials that had part in the selection. It was an honorary title for the longest time and sometime was used as a way to remove or silence people. While the Commander had the most influence in the Knights Council, there was written evidence that this position was often the voice of the General of the King's Forces among the noble military branch.
The knights only had a set uniform when riding to battle or during formal presentation. The rest of the time they were allowed to wear whatever they wanted, and staying true to their daily life-style, they wore simple clothing that allowed them to move and do what they needed to without worrying about ripping something new or expensive. It wasn't until the evenings that the more outrageous court styles came out of hiding.
During battle the knights had a choice of plate mail or chainmail depending on what their family could afford. Most had enough coin by the time they were knighted to purchase suitable armor even if they were born to a family noble by name only. If the newly knighted person couldn't buy their own armour, their former mentor usually found serviceable pieces for them as a gift. In order to 'save the King from embarrassment' the council of knights commonly voted to have those with plate armor groups with others of the same armor and those with chainmail likewise grouped so there was some uniformity among the ranks. Other than whatever armour they could buy, there was little more to their uniform. A black tabard with the Kyranian goat of arms embroidered on a shield in the middle was always worn to identify them and their badge with their unit emblem and number was required to be worn on all uniforms. Lastly, a shield was required with the coat of arms on it. Depending on preference the shield was held, strapped to the knight's back, or strapped to their saddle.
For formal presentation, they were required to wear a fitted dress shirt with way too many difficult buttons and way too much decoration. The coat of arms of the Kyranians, a commonly seen mark, was fancifully embroidered onto the front of the dark green, long-sleeve shirt with button cuffs and collar. On the right sleeve of each knight's shirt was their badge with unit emblem and number while on the other sleeve, their rank was shown in an emblem on a shield like badge of dark green.
A silver helm with black plume was the emblem for a knight. Three stars over the weapon of choice (bow, lance, and sword) was the sign of a corporal. A banded battle horn was for the sergeants and wings for the captains. The Knight Councilors had scrolls embroidered onto their badge while the Commander had a single star in the middle.
With the dress shirt was a pair of straight black pants, shiny, black leather boots and a belt of the same material and color. The knights, corporals, and sergeants wore a plain or decorated knife on their belts while captains, councilors and the Commander wore decorative or plain swords. The events were mostly planned by the Commander who was more often than not into court presentations and showing of his men. The rest of the knights had to suffer through the event without a word. Other than formal presentations planed by the Commander, the uniform was also required for a knight to attend the General Council to the men's dismay.
Guard. The guard was rather well liked and well organized throughout the years of the Kyranian Kingdom. They kept the people happy and feeling safe within their homes without stirring up the inevitable string of petty thieves and underhanded dealings that happened within any city. The Commanders knew they were there throughout the years, but it worked to their advantage to work around the little things and keep the heads on the bodies of the young guards. Some think it odd that the guard practically walked side by side with the criminals of the city, but letting a few thefts and smuggled goods get by helped keep people alive and the leaders of the guard thought that lives were more important than a few possessions.
The guard is separated into two shifts (day and night) instead of groups. The amount of people on each shift depends on the size of the city and various parts. For example, a small city might have needed the same amount of guards, if not more than a city slightly larger due to the fact that there tended to be more trouble and dangerous location. The day shift is often less hazardous because it is rather rare for someone who doesnít have a death wish to try and take out someone with witnesses around, but during the night shift, guardsmen have been known to never report back in and bodies are found in an alleyway or the harbor (if itís a port, lakeside, or riverside city) the next morning.
Along with the two shifts there were four groups of guards. The first group worked Washday and Ploughday, scheduled to arrive before the sun (even those on the nightshift) on the first day and they werenít released until Bakeday when the second group came in. Group two had to arrive before the sun (like the first group) on Bakeday and they worked that day and Brewday, not leaving until the third group arrived the next morning. Group three was in charge of protecting the city on Scrubday and Fastday and they werenít released until group four showed up. The fourth group was considered to be part-time workers and was only paid half the weekly pay if a guard. They worked only on Prayday and got off the next day when group one reported in again.
- Messenger Boy
A youth younger than fourteen that was signed off to the guard by their parents. They were in charge of running important papers such as: orders, schedules, notes, hour sheets, reports, and more to and from the castle. It was also their job to wake the men thirty-minutes before their shift, help out in the kitchen, and fetch the officer on duty if needed. These boys worked in shifts as well and those taking their turn to rest, would wake the others before seeking their beds.
A man between fourteen and fifty that enlisted into the guard. Guards were grouped in either pairs or units (containing three to five men) depending on their routes and shift. In the richer quarter of the city the guards would work in pairs patrolling their area, while those that drew the docks would work in groups of four or five men. Their job was to pretty much keep the peace in their assigned areas and see to anything odd or out of the ordinary.
- Gate Guard
A man between fourteen and fifty that enlisted into the guard. This is not a rank, but one of the tasks a guard performs. The gates were one of the areas that were watched during all the shifts and when drawing shifts at the beginning of the week, a few pairs on each shift always got Gate duty (the number depending on how many gates the city had). It wasn't a bad position and it was just another part of the job to many.
A man between sixteen and fifty that enlisted into the guard. This is not really a rank either, but rather a task that any guard between the ages mentioned are selected for and assigned to for two weeks. Some enjoy the task as they get to sit in the shade and relax; only having to get up to move every hour or so to check on prisoners. Others despise it because of the almost constant inactivity.
- Watcher (Night and Day)
A man between sixteen and fifty that enlisted into the guard. There were two watchers per shift, who were in charge of making sure everything ran smoothly. The two night watchers and two day watchers were supposed to make the rounds through the city during their shift and check up on each of their pairs/units to be sure nothing out of the ordinary was happening. This was also to make sure the guards showed up and to ensure that any who might have gone missing hadn't been gone for long and thus had a chance of turning up alive.
- Captain (Night and Day)
A man between eighteen and fifty that enlisted into the guard. Each watch had a captain. It was their job to stay at the base, fill out reports on the progress for the shift and prepare sheet for the returning guards to write weekly reports on what happened during the shifts that week. They were also stationed at the base with the guards on the next shift in case trouble broke out and they were needed.
- Guard Captain
A man between twenty and fifty that enlisted into the guard. These men were the commanders of the various city guards throughout the Kingdom. They were in charge of keeping the peace within their city and sending off the weekly reports from the guards and daily reports from the captains at the end of each month. Each week the commander would meet with their captains and watchers to assure that things were working well and all complaints were addressed, keeping problems from occurring too often.
- Commander of the Guard
A man between twenty-five and fifty that enlisted into the guard. The Commander of the Guard often ran things from their office at the castle, which is why the Messenger Boys were rather helpful. Unlike some of the other branches, the commander kept things running smoothly within the cities and among the guard for many years as each commander was a captain who was raised up to the higher position by the previous leader.
The uniform that was to be worn on duty was fairly simple. While making their rounds they were required to wear plain black pants tucked into soft, calf-high, black leather boots. A plain white shirt went under a short-sleeved chain shirt that went under a dark green tunic with the stag head and gem over the guard's heart.
The sleeve of each shirt showed the guards rank. A boy in a guard tunic with a scroll on each of his shoulders was easily recognized as a messenger boy. The shoulders of the guards where bare, while the gate guard had one black stripe sewn into the fabric and a jailor had two. Watchers had three slender stripes, half the size of the guard stripe sewn into their shirt, white for the day watch and black for the night, while Captains had two stars with similar colors for night and day. Finally, the Guard Captains were recognized by two gold stripes and a gold star on the shoulders of their tunics. The Commanders had their own distinct uniform, but swords, point away from their neck, with a single star at the hilt, was the sign of rank for them.
A black leather belt with the guard's weapon of choice was strapped around their waist (commonly a sword). During the winter months, a thick cloak of dark green would be added to the uniform. A shield with the coat of arms and iron helm was optional though those usually on gate watch had to carry one or the other with them.
Around the guardhouse they were allowed to shed the mail and tunic and sleep, lounge around, or practice with their weapon in the back in their black pants and white shirts. At that time they were the closest to out of uniform as they could be while on duty, but in the early years the commander had conceded that wearing the dark green tunic when in the guard house was pointless as it required that they remove that to put on their chainmail and then put it back on.
Pathfinders. This group was based out of the capital city of Ancient Kyrania, Caelum. While most the other branches of military worked together, this was the odd one out in many ways. Made up of mostly loners, they were possibly the hardest of the five branches as potential Pathfinders had to go through a four or six year apprenticeship and pass the test at the end of those years to gain approval. While they were the hardest 'fair' unit, the knights still beat them in the eyes of many with their 'selective membership'. Over the years, the various sects within the Pathfinders played important roles in the improvement of the kingdom, though some also place the blame on them for the downfall as they abandoned the kingdom when the descendent of Narinos, Jalttren Dereswungen, was crowned King of Kyrania
The Pathfinders made up the majority of this branch of the Military. Young men seemed to flock to this sect with boyish admiration in their eyes. Kyranians were hunters and the thought of living one's life in the woods with the trees and open skies surrounding them appealed to many. Though it wasn't always that way, those that made it past the apprenticeship stage never regretted their choice. As with the rest of this branch they weren't really units as these people tended to be the loners and worked best on their own. This group was known and easily spotted by the earthen colors they always wore when in or out of uniform.
Scouts were much the same and they were the second most popular group. They were the most helpful when the King needed to know what was going on within his kingdom and many young men that wanted to see more than the four walls of their city often joined with these men. Again scouts usually worked alone or in pairs, allowing them to move swiftly and quietly when need be. This also worked when they were following an enemy unit, allowing one to run back to their people and tell them what they found while the other continued to watch for more secrets. They were commonly known from the uniform which will be described below.
While few knew of the spies they were more common than the Wargriders, who seemed the favorite of wide-eyed little boys, because their training wasn't near impossible. They were never really recognized as any part of the Kyranian Military and even they were taught to 'forget' their employer. They were often shipped off to different parts of the continent to be the eyes and ears of the king in the different courts. They worked on their own always and never knew where any of their sect's people were stationed in case they were unmasked and questioned. All precautions were taken to keep word from spreading even though most knew that each King had their connections.
Wargriders were perhaps the closest thing that comes to actual units because they were often dispatched in groups of three or four to certain areas for a time. They would travel to that area together before breaking up to go on to do their own tasks that had been given to them separately before they left. Some believe that this was to keep people from suspecting their true missions and throw off those that might have their own spies among the King's men. Others think that they always believed the wargs to be dangerous and had them ride in groups for a time to give their men a fighting chance. Whatever the reason, the Wargriders would ride together for a majority of the way and meet up on the way back.
Wargs were used throughout the Pathfinders from 1,406 b.S. when Rastaar 'Rast' Lawett trained the first warg pup, until about 1,224 b.S. when the number of people savaged by wargs rose too high for the King to overlook. The Pathfinders tried to prevent attacks by only using wargs born in captivity to parents that had been 'trained' after the five attacks during the first year that these beasts used. Ironically, Rastaar was killed during one of the first attacks by a warg one of his friends managed to raise and train.
- Hunter Apprentice
A man between fourteen and eighteen that were enlisted into the Kyranian Pathfinders. Four years as an apprentice required and only those between the ages mentioned were accepted. Those that wished to serve the kingdom as hunters were passed into the hands of a seasoned hunter and trained until they reached eighteen years of age. On their eighteenth birthday they were tested by their mentor. If they passed the test they were considered a hunter and were allowed to take on an apprentice of their own in a year. Those that didn't pass were dismissed.
A man between eighteen and fifty that enlisted into the Kyranian Pathfinders and was approved by their mentor. Hunters had a variety of jobs they performed for the kingdom though the most commonly known was hunting for the King's table and military unit's meals. The other widely known job was hunting rogue or troublesome animals in the kingdom. The less commonly known jobs included bounty hunting, assassinations (though the King and Commander never commanded but asked each individual), trapping (both humans and animals), and more.
- Scout Apprentice
A man between fourteen and eighteen that enlisted into the Kyranian Pathfinders. Four years as an apprentice were required and only those between the ages mentioned were accepted. Like hunters, scouts had to go through the same apprentice stage, where they learned everything their mentor could teach them about the job they had signed up for before they were tested. Those that passed were considered scouts and could take on apprentices after about a year while those that didnít were dismissed.
A man between eighteen and fifty that enlisted into the Kyranian Pathfinders and was approved by his mentor. The main jobs of a scout were to survey enemy units and report their findings back to their superiors. During peace times they were mainly sent out once a month to inspect certain areas of the kingdom (areas where rumors of trouble were brewing) and check their borders. While at war, they played a more crucial part and the well trained scouts often helped a good deal.
- Spy Apprentice
A man between fourteen and twenty-two that enlisted into the Kyranian Pathfinders. Four years as an apprentice were required and only those between the ages mentioned were accepted. This area is somewhat similar to those above, but it has its differences. This sect of the pathfinders wasn't widely known, but when youths of fourteen came the day after the Manhood Ceremony, the leader of this branch was their to survey them as well. Some were forced out of their chosen sect and into this apprenticeship. The age range here is larger than with the others because those that didn't pass the other tests were sometimes offered an apprenticeship with one of the veteran spies. The down side of this part was that should a youth not pass they were forced into another branch of service and incidentally put in harm's way as soon as possible. Those that passed were allowed to take their own apprentices a year after they ended their own apprenticeship.
A man between eighteen and fifty that enlisted into the Kyranian Pathfinders and was approved by his mentor. The rest of the sects despised these men, but had to admit that they did their job nicely. Only a handful of these people were left in the city so that they could take on apprentices, but other than that handful and their rank leader, the rest were often spread throughout the kingdom, weaving a web of intelligence for the King and General of the King's Forces.
- Wargrider Apprentice
A man between fourteen and eighteen that enlisted into the Kyranian Pathfinders. Six years as an apprentice were required and only those between the ages mentioned were accepted. The wargriding unit only lasted for a couple hundred years before falling, but during that time they made use of the creatures. It was also the most difficult apprenticeship to pass through. The first test was to be accepted by a warg pup. When the pups were two months old the possible apprentices were introduced to the pups and if one of them approached them, they would be taken by one of the experienced riders, if not they were dismissed. The pups seemed to have a sense of the people around them as a third or a fourth of the potential riders were turned away each year. While they were trained they were expected to take good care of the pup, any signs of neglect or bad training would lead to the dismissal of that apprentice. If the pup wasn't trained well enough the apprentice would be dismissed.
If the pupil made it through the four years they would be tested. If they passed they would be put under a hunter, scout, or spy (rarely though) for two years so that they could learn the things they needed to know to complete those jobs. At the end of those two years they would be tested again. If they passed they would go on to their job and be able to take an apprentice of their own in two years. If they failed the first or second test they were dismissed.
A man between twenty and fifty that enlisted into the Kyranian Pathfinders and was approved by his mentor. These beast riders were valuable to the Kyranians for a time as they were able to cover a good deal of land in a day and they were overly protective of their owners, which kept more hunters, scouts, and some spies alive throughout the years. Wargrider was somewhat of a heavy title to bear and they were the best trained among the Pathfinders.
- Rank Leaders
A man between twenty and fifty that enlisted into the Kyranian Pathfinders and was approved by their mentor. Each of the four sects had their rank leader. These people had to have passed their training and had trained one or two successful new additions to their sect. The rank leaders were those that were, hands down, the best at their job. In areas that had more than one of those men, the eldest would have seniority and would serve as the leader of their sect until their death, discharge, or retirement. The council formed by the rank leaders was in charge of discipline, new recruits, and setting up a deployment schedule for the Commander to look over.
A man between twenty-five and fifty that enlisted into the Kyranian Pathfinders, was approved by their mentor, had trained a handful of Pathfinders, and had been a rank leader. The Grand-Rider was chosen from those that were rank leaders before the previous commander's death. They were in charge of keeping the Pathfinders operating, keeping track of their hunters, scouts, and Wargriders, and passing on intelligence gained by the spies of the kingdom onto the king. Unlike the highest position among from of the other branches of the military, they were chosen for their skill, rather than their standing within the court.
The hunters didn't really have a set uniform as they tended to wear dark greens, browns, blacks, and greys on their own and when the Pathfinders were established the Commander set those colors down as their uniform. As long as they are wearing the colors mentioned they are considered 'in uniform'. Deep hooded cloaks would often accompany these men even in the warmer months and were usually the darkest material on them. However, they were required to wear certain armor, though to them it didn't seem like much of a requirement as the armor proved to help instead of hinder.
Their armour was a thick leather with small 'scales' of boiled leather, black and grey iron, steel, some stones, and the hides of some animals both native to their area and imported (such as: the stone bear, Rimmerin bear, rast wargs, wolves, drakes, and any other animal pelts tough enough that they can get their hands on). The underside of the metal and stone 'scales' were padded with deer hide to keep them from making noise as the wearer walked. They were also often covered with a dark greenish-brown paint so the metal wouldn't give them away if the light hit it.
The same armour was also used for the scouts as they needed something to protect them, though they were more partial to metal scales rather than hide whereas it was the other way for hunters. Unlike the hunters however, the scouts had a set uniform while within the city. They were required to wear brown leggings with a dark green shirt that had the Kyranian coat of arms over their heart. They were also required to carry a bow and sword or knife with them at all times so that they might be ready to leave at a moment's notice.
It wasn't unusual for a messenger to approach an off-duty scout with the man's bag (they always had a pre-packed bag in their trunk or by their bunk for such reasons) in one hand and food supplies and orders in the other. During the winter months, a waist length jacket, open front jacket of black (sometimes with a fur-lined inside if they were friends with a hunter) was used in place of a cloak.
There is not much to say for the spies other than they had no set uniform or set armour as they would try their best to blend in with those around them and would adapt the clothing style of the people they were watching. Wargriders on the other had looked almost like the scouts and hunters. The same 'scale' armor was required for each rider while out on the land.
While in the city the Wargriders wore something similar to the scouts with the exception of the shirt. Instead of the Kyranian coat of arms over their heart, it was embroidered across the front of the dark green shirt, and a shield shaped patch with a passable image of a warg was sewed onto the left shoulder. The same waist length jacket was of better quality. The riders that took the time to collect the soft undercoat that their warg would shed in the spring, could use this fur to make jackets that provided just the right amount of warmth.
Royal Guard. The Kyranian Royal guard was made up of a group of hand-picked men from the various branches to patrol the palace and accompany the king when he ventured outside the palace walls. For the most part, the Royal Guard is and isn't considered a branch of the military. Throughout the record found, there have been mentions of five branches and six branches by commanders of the other branches, even before the departure of the Pathfinders, leaving them with only four, or five, branches. Those that claimed only five branches, displayed clear dislike of this branch as they Royal Guard was made up of the best from the other groups. They didn't have to train their men from raw recruits, but rather removed the Army, Navy, Guard, Pathfinders, and sometimes the Knight's (though rarely as hatred for the King ran deep in the veins of some nobility) best fighters and claiming them as their own.
Like the city Guard, the Royal Guard was split into shifts rather than units, though instead of being stationed around the city, they were stationed within the various halls of the king's home. They would patrol in groups of two to four men and each month those groups would be evaluated, sometimes split up, and reassigned to a different portion of the castle and grounds. While they were being evaluated for their actions and abilities, their skill was also tested. Any found lacking were sent back to their original branch of the military and then tested once again. If they failed that second test they would be discharged, but if they passed they were returned to their original rank, or the highest open position and often times put back with their original unit if circumstances allowed.
Those that remained with the Royal Guard were given a post to watch and a shift to work. They were split up into four shifts. The first shift started at Firstflame and end at Sunreign, at which point the second shift would start and run until the end of Lastflame and beginning of Starrise. The third shift last until Darkreign, while the fourth would work from that point until Firstflame, when the schedule reset.
The six hours on duty and eighteen hours off duty was installed to keep those that protected the king and others within the palace from being too tired to do their job well on their shifts, but their says where not entirely free. They were allowed to sleep for one or two of those shifts, but the rest of the time they were training with the keeps Swordsmaster and on their own so they wouldn't be discharged when the end of the month came around.
This way of selecting and removing members of the guard made it easy for those that didn't wish to serve to return to their original posting, though the mandatory test upon their return caused them to find other ways. However, they soon learned that those that took to obsessive drinking, fighting, and drug use to return often found themselves dishonorably discharged from the Royal Guard and their previous post.
- Royal Guard
A man between twenty and fifty that had distinguished himself in another branch of the military through his abilities and was selected to be part of the Royal Guard. While this was the lowest ranking of this branch, it was still considered a high position and an honor to hold and serve the king. This group was mostly made up of distinguished commoners and low-ranked nobles, which were new noble families and common folk given small plots of land or just fancy titles for small deeds of merit.
- Corridor Caretaker
A man between twenty-one and fifty that had distinguished himself in the Royal Guard. The Corridor Caretaker, or Caretaker for short, was in charge of watching anywhere from a few insignificant halls to a whole wing in the place. All the guards in those areas reported to the Caretaker, who was responsible for working one shift five days and then two shifts on two days. The second shift was filled with the paperwork on the various guards and reports of any activity.
- Ground Keeper
A man between twenty-one and fifty that had distinguished himself in the Royal Guard. The Ground Keeper was on the same level as they Caretaker and the duties and other things were the same except for the territory. The Keeper was in charge of a certain part of the castle grounds, the walls, and the underground. Those that worked in the area of a keep reported to them. The hours worked were the same as that of the Caretaker, five days of one shift and two days of two shifts.
- Hidden Guard
A man between twenty-one and fifty that had distinguished himself in the Royal Guard. These men generally came from the Pathfinders branch in the military and were used by the king and his men to monitor the things that happen within his city and sometimes other cities. Many times, spies were bumped up to the Royal Guard to replace a member of the Hidden Guard. According to all official reports this rank never existed, but unearthed documents declare that there was indeed a Hidden Guard, that was in charge of monitoring the city in the clothes of the common folk.
- King's Guard
A man between twenty-one and fifty that had distinguished himself in the Royal Guard and was hand-picked by the Captain of the Royal Guard and approved by the King's Council and the King himself at the beginning of a new king's reign. Possible candidates for this position were investigated and their living family members located before being selected as one of the King's Guard. There were eight of these guards whose job it was to protect the king. At least two of them were with him at all times. They were set on six hour shifts and those not on the shift would sleep in a room near the king's own or be practicing in the yard. However, when the king left the castle he was surrounded by his eight personal guards along with a good part of the Royal Guard.
- Area Leader
A man between thirty and fifty that had distinguished himself in the Royal Guard, reached a higher rank, and was selected by the Captain to represent that rank. There were four of these men, one for each of the four ranks above the rank of Royal Guardsman. The Area Leaders were in charge of representing their group. They were referred to as Captain of the 'blank' (Insert rank such as King's Guard, Hidden Guard, etc.). They were also in charge of the paperwork for their group and were supposed to take care of issues that were too big for one of the lower ranking officers.
- Captain of the Royal Guard
A man between thirty and fifty that had distinguished himself in the Royal Guard, had at least ten years of service on his record, five of which were with the guard, had been an Area Leader, and was hand-picked by the King and his Council. The Captain of the Royal Guard was in charge of the King and his family's safety. Aside from that the paperwork and proper running of the Royal Guard would fall heavily on him and should something happen to the Royal Family it was his neck on the line.
The required uniform of the Royal Guard tended to change with the rank. The original rank of the branch itself was the Royal Guardsman. Their uniform consisted of a black shirt, a dark green tunic and pants of the same color, all trimmed in silver, with a black leather belt around their waist and black leather boots on their feet. The front of the tunic displayed the star-shaped gem and the stag's head on the front. The only difference to the Coat of Arms was the silver crown sitting on the animal's head. Aside from the above mentioned they were also issued a thick, black cloak for winter and a thin, black one for all other times among with changes of clothing and other necessary items.
The Caretakers and Keepers switched to a uniform, almost the complete opposite of the one that had worn so that ranking guardsman could be found easily. They wore silver-trimmed shirts, tunics, and pants of black that caused their belt and boots to blend in with the rest of their outfit. Often times they looked like they were about to sneak off into the darkness and attack their monarch themselves. On the front of their tunics were large shields of dark green with the crowned stag's head and star gem. Along with this, patches were sewn into the tunic, above their heart, that marked them as a Keeper or Caretaker so that when off-duty, soldiers wouldn't get confused. They were also given the same as the pervious rank, when it came to necessary items, though their cloaks were dark green.
The rest seem to fall under rather simple categories. The Hidden Guards didn't have a uniform as they were always seen in peoples clothing and when they had to report or return to the keep to spent their two day break every other week, they would go to the guardhouse first and speak to the Guard Captain of the King's City. There they would slip into the set of guard clothing set aside from them and put on a helm and deep hooded clothing and go to the castle.
When it came to the King's Guard, there were little changes from the uniform the Caretakers and Keepers wore. However, the little difference made a bit impact. Instead of silver trimming to their clothing, the King's Guard's uniform was trimmed in gold and they wore long, thin or thick, golden cloaks at all times, and the stag's head on their tunics had a golden crown instead of silver.
Area Leaders typically wore what their rank wore, though the finer material, gold trimming, and gold crown set them apart as much as they patch on their breast. Though, the change made little difference as Area Leaders were rarely seen in the halls and grounds of that castle, as they remained in their offices until they were needed and walked their territory only once or twice a day if that.
Short-sleeved chainmail shirts were required under the tunics of all of the guard, no matter which rank. With this, those working the grounds were often required to wear bits of plate armor, specifically made to cover the various vital points so that they could not be taken out overly easily. They were also required to wear helms while on duty. For the others however, this was a bit more lax. They wore certain bits of armor while on duty, but not as much as those on the ground and helms in the hallways were completely optional. According to most records, the Hidden Guard only wore leather or hide armor beneath their commoner's clothing as it wouldn't do for them to be parading around in mail.
When it came to the King's Guard the equipment upped a bit again. They were forced to wear special bits of plate, put together from multiple pieces from bits of chain, with easy access straps. This was so that they could deflect attacks aimed at their backs, which could easily kill them or make them useless to the king, while giving them enough movement to bend and move their arms in tough situations.
Discharge. There were various reasons for being discharged, mainly disobedience and endangerment, in the Kyranian Military. There were two main factors that led to an honorable discharge.
Between the age of forty-five and fifty-five, depending on the branch and rank, a man was honorably discharged from service and given the coin earned from his work, which was set aside for him each time he was paid, if he lasted that long. Age, slowing reflexes, and disabilities tended to weed out most men by that time, though if a lower ranked man around that age could prove that he was still fit for the work, his commanding officer might forget about the paperwork for a long as possible. Records have been found of a seventy-one year old man dying in battle. Also, scattered throughout the ranks were age-limits/time-limits on advancement as some branches eliminated those that didn't show promise or ability to move up in the ranks.
Disabilities also proved to be a bane for the various branches of military. Those that were disabled after time of service were released with their pay, plus a bonus depending on their service record. From time to time, staff jobs within' the military and local keeps would often come up around the same time as a disability. If the disabled man had a good record and his disability didn't prevent him from doing the tasks of the open position, he would be suggested to the person in-charge of filling the position with their commanding officers signature. These jobs were mostly things like organizing records, tending to tasks in the stables, cleaning and protecting gear. They weren't the best or most sought after jobs, but they paid good coin and kept the disabled person from burdening their family or living on the streets.
Aside from conscription, few men were forced into the military, unless they were desperately in need of warriors. Those that were conscripted due to their size were tested between the age of twelve and fourteen. If they showed a disability that would prohibit them from performing well or endangered their companions, they were dismissed. Any man that enlisted was also tested and trained before being put in the field or on duty and if anything prohibited them from doing their job they were dismissed. However, only those showing crippling disabilities were looked over.