The Wittenberg Musketeers Military Formation in Adhonaglamar | World Anvil
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The Wittenberg Musketeers

Written by Errandir

Composition

Manpower

The Wittenberg Musketeer regiment is made up of 16 members, including its captain.

Equipment

Being musketeers, the Wittenberg Musketeers carry muskets as well as long, thin swords. Living in the harsher, colder part of the Empire, they wear warm clothing in brown/muddy colours. When not at war, they wear very recognisable headwear; a woolen dark grey cap with a long brown goose feather (Wittenberg is known in the Empire for its geese). During war these usually are replaced by steel helmets.

Structure

Being only a small local milititia force, the regiment has only got 2 ranks: the captain, and the regimental soldiers. The captain answers to the Commander of West-Volhynia.

Training

As the regiment is composed of local volunteers, their training is less rigourous than that of the usual rank-and-file soldier of Volhynia. But Wittenberg prides itself on its musketeer regiment, and so they maintain a relatively strict training regimen, making them able to compete with most professional millitary units in terms of millitary fitness and prowess.

History

The Wittenberg Musketeer regiment, while only being a local militia, gained renown throughout the Empire after the battle of the Wittenberg Woods. In 1624, in the middle of a particularly harsh and cold winter, rumours were going around the north-western parts of Volhynia that ships of Hardrå barbarians had been spotted sailing along the southern shores of the Northern Sea. The Tribes of Hardrå hadn't set foot in the Empire for well over a dozen years, so these rumours were met with some scepticism, and the military command of West-Volhynia didn't see the need to take any action. They would later rue this decision, and had it not been for the Wittenberg Musketeers, their mistake would have cost West-Volhynia dearly.

On a dark night in December, while a snowstorm blazed across the fields and through the streets, the guards at the northernmost gate of Wittenberg stopped a fisherman trying to enter the town. His head bleeding from a wound, he informed the guards that a large raiding party of Hardrå barbarians had landed on the shore and had ransacked the small fishermen's village nearby. He had barely managed to escape, leaving behind his dead wife and son. According to his account, the raiding party was at least 50 strong. The little village never stood a chance against such a large number of trained warriors.
The captain of the Musketeer regiment was woken up and, realising there was little time left before they would reach the town, he quickly roused his men and set out to meet them head on. Word was also sent to the nearest army camp asking for reinforcements, but the captain knew they wouldn't be able to reach him before noon the next day, longer still if the snowstorm held. He and his fifteen men were all that stood between the raiders and the town.

Ploughing their way through the snow, they marched north towards the shore. When they passed through the Wittenberg Woods they caught their first glimpse of the invading barbarians. They had sent ahead a scout; a broad, fearsome looking man moving through the snow like a northern snowcat. Both parties were caught by surprise, and the scout being alone, the musketeers disposed of him quickly before he could warn the other raiders. Not wanting to risk running into these hardened warriors unprepared while blinded by the snow, and realising he would be outnumbered 3-to-1, the captain ordered his men to dig in and build up ramparts of snow to protect their position. With the winds howling about them and drifts of snow building up around their position, they waited.

It wasn't long until they could hear their enemy approach, their crude voices laughing and singing above the howling of the wind. The captain steadied his men, ordering them to hold their fire until the vanguard of the raiders would be nearly on top of them.
The first thing the raiders saw of the musketeers' ambush were the flashes of gunpowder igniting, spewing forth a deadly hail of bullets. Several raiders went down in that first volley, while the others jumped for cover behind trees and large drifts of snow. Not being able to see their enemy through the blizzard, except for the flashes of their guns each time they fired, the enemy chief ordered his men to encircle the Musketeers' position. Soon the regiment was completely surrounded, and the musketeers knew it would be a fight to the death.

For hours they fought, the barbarians trying multiple times to overwhelm the Musketeers. Each time they were pushed back, yet still they kept coming at them. The Musketeers themselves suffered casualties as well, losing a few men each attack. Every time they prayed it was the last, but the snow kept blowing through the trees, obscuring their enemy from view.
After what seemed like ages, with the men lying shivering next to their dead and frozen brothers-in-arm on the cold ground, focused on repelling the next attack, the snow storm finally started to let up. As the morning light began peering through the trees, the captain and his last remaining soldiers rose slowly from their dug-out, ready for a final push to victory, or defeat. Yet all was silent around them. The forest floor was littered with dead warriors, now covered by snow. The enemy chief, a large man with bright war paint on his face, lay dying against a tree, clutching his axe. All his men were dead. He growled a few menacing words at the captain, which none of them understood, and then he closed his eyes. The battle was over, the town was safe.

Exhausted and cold the Musketeers walked back to town, where they were greeted by a large contingent of soldiers sent out by the West-Volhynia army. Once it became clear that this small band of brave Musketeers had held off a large party of Hardrå barbarians, in the middle of a nightly blizzard, and had thus saved the town, they were hailed as heroes.
Ever since then the Wittenberg Musketeer regiment is offered a place of honour during the annual military parade in the capital of Volhynia, and it's members are held in high regard throughout the Empire for their bravery.


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Cover image: courtesy of Highlands Miniatures. Side-bar images are public domain, see individual image for details.
Wittenburg Musketeer

Portrait of captain Honingsman, the captain who led the Wittenburg Musketeer regiment during the battle of the Wittenburg Woods.
Type
Infantry
Overall training Level
Semi-professional
Assumed Veterancy
Decorated/Honored

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