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Common foot soldiers across Esharia are about evenly divided between those who use pikes or halberds and those who use matchlock 1) muskets. Some areas do, however have more of a tendency one way or the other.

Most forces, whether naval or land-based, have cannon. These cannons, whilst sharing the precision limitations of most artillery, are more accurate than one might expect. Some think its the blood shed into them when they are made. Others point at the recent innovations in boring the barrel.

Most common naval soldiers use boarding pikes, as taking matchlocks to sea doesn't help them or you.

The Wetlands inventors are irritated, as they have invented a wheel-lock2) firing mechanism, but can't work out how to mass produce it. This means that only a few people with funds have them, and the rest of their navies have to stick to old-fashioned methods.

Esharia is not involved in any major military campaigns currently, so their forces are currently either peace-keeping or taking part in fairly minor skirmishes.

Military Force Types

There are three broad types of military within Esharia. The national armies, mercenaries, and personal troops.

National Forces

The national armies consist of lots of disparate, conscription forces. The most professional, prestigious of these forces are naval.

The Wetlands has lots of small, primarily naval forces. Their forces tend to be the earliest adopters of the, primarily home-grown, innovations in technology.

The Heights has a number of small armies. They are very good at independent action, but less inclined towards acting with other forces. This is especially true when they need to be transported on Wetland naval ships. They also tend to have quite a lot of muskets, as these are an asset in mountain warfare.

The Plains has one large army. It is sometimes seen as slow and ponderous. Others point out that once it gets moving, it rolls over most things in its way. There aren't that many muskets in the Plains' army, though a number of the officers do use pistols.

Hashat has a single navy. It is Esharia's most prestigious force. It is, however, often more traditionalist and less innovative than the Wetlands navies.

Each of the national armies is controlled by the Great House of the area it is drawn from. In theory and in law, each Great House is only the vessel for the Monarch in this, and should think of their needs primarily. In practice, however, a lot of the highest ranks (with their commensurate pay and privilege) end up being members of the relevant Great House. Minor nobles then hold most of the other officer ranks, with a certain amount of bribery often influencing who holds which rank.


Most mercenaries tend to be part of the Mercenary Guild. This is because the guild ensures that all members, provided they follow the Code, receive a certain amount of protection.

Specifically, the Guild ensures that employers uphold their end of any contract with bonded individuals or companies, and provides for the ransom of any bonded individuals who are captured in battle. The Guild also issues judgements if parties dispute.

The Code is a set of rules and regulations enforced by the Mercenary Guild. It lays out the rights and responsibilities for mercenary companies and the individuals within those companies.

It is common for mercenary companies to be more efficient military forces than many of the national armies, due to having far less entrenched nepotism. The best mercenary companies are diverse, and thus provide their own skirmishers, healers, supply logistics, and so forth.

One of the most renowned mercenary bands are the Skylarks. They have multiple ships, all their officers have wheel-lock pistols, and they are rumored never to have lost a battle. Some say its because they are very careful about which contracts they take. But they never say it in front of a Skylark.

Personal forces

Each noble house can have a small number of guards and armed retainers. Great houses forswear their right to have personal troops in exchange for the power they are granted. In practice, Great Houses tend to have a mercenary company that has been serving family for generations, which breaches the spirit, but importantly not the letter, of their oath. There is a fair amount of historical evidence that the limit on guards/house forces is likely why mercenaries initially proliferated in Esharia.

1) Matchlock is a firing mechanism that is simple to produce, but complex to use and doesn’t work in damp conditions
2) Wheel-lock firing mechanisms are simpler to use than matchlocks and not susceptible to damp, but complex to produce
military.txt · Last modified: 2018/04/11 22:35 by gm_rose