The Imperial Navy

Though the concept for the defence of the Empire of Turelion is centred on each of the provinces having their own armed forces dedicated to policing and protecting their own territory and waters, Machestaro I felt that it would be imprudent to decommission the hundreds of warships that had been built to help bring the armies and rule of Turelion to the whole of Kelbonnar, and that it would be equally unwise to disburse the ships amongst the provinces, whose loyalty had yet to be fully tested in the early years of Imperial formation.   Instead, the fleet that had carried Machestaro and his troops many times around the world during the War of Imperial Formation, was instead formed into its own unique unit, the Imperial Navy. Much like the The Imperial Drakes, the Imperial Navy take commands directly from the Emperor of Turelion and Kelbonnar, and are primarily deployed to protect key Imperial installations across Kelbonnar. However, the Imperial Navy also undertake maritime policing activities in areas far beyond the coastal waters of the provinces, protecting key shipping routes and merchant convoys and in the case of Pelenar Province, the Imperial Navy have been handed control over the maritime defence of the province, so that the fight against the Kelrik Pirates can be more effectively spearheaded, in theory at least.

Composition

Vehicles

The Imperial Navy makes use of several different class of warship which are outlined below:  

  • Imperial Class Ship: Up to 100 guns spread out over three gun decks and with a crew of around 800 sailors and marines. Imperial Class ships are the least numerous class in the Imperial Navy, and each of the Imperial Admirals commands one as their flagship.
  • Great Class Ship: Up to 60 guns spread out over two decks and with a crew of around 500 sailors and marines.
  • Middling Class Ship: Up to 40 guns spread out over two decks and with a crew of around 400 sailors and marines.
  • Small Class Ship: Fewer than 30 guns spread out over one deck with a crew of around 200 sailors and marines.
  In addition, there is a fifth class of ship, which incorporates ships from all four of the other classes, The Emperor’s Own. A ship designated as being one of The Emperor’s Own is not a reflection of anything being different about its specifications, but it is instead an honorary title bestowed upon a ship and its crew by the Emperor of Turelion and Kelbonnar to honour and reflect exemplary conduct on the high seas. The only noticeable difference to ships in this class is that they have the title ‘The Emperor’s Own’ added before their name. For example, the Great Class ship, the Restless Seeker, notable for being the only ship under the command of Admiral Bramilo that did not become a founding ship of the Kelrik Pirates is officially known as The Emperor’s Own Restless Seeker.

Structure

Leadership of the Imperial Navy is headed by the Grand Admiral, who is the highest commanding officer in the force, and who answers directly to the Emperor. The Grand Admiral, though based officially in the town of Lisman is a frequent attendee of the Imperial Court and represents the Navy in the Congregation of Lords.   Below the Grand Admiral are five Admirals, each of which is given jurisdiction over a different portion of Kelbonnar as follows:  

Below the Admirals are Commodores, who are given a fleet of ships to command as a smaller unit, with most of the ships under their command being disbursed to tackle multiple different operations, though they occasionally work as larger units when needs be.   Each ship in the Imperial Navy is commanded by a Captain, who is supported by six Lieutenants and anywhere between five and ten Ensigns, trainee officers. Because ships of the Imperial Navy operate in isolation so frequently, the Captain is regarded as the ultimate authority on their ship, with the power to punish or discipline their crew as they see fit.   The rank and file troops of the Imperial Navy are divided into two categories; the much more numerous sailors, who sail and maintain the ships they are assigned to and who operate the guns; and Marines, who are specialist combat troops whose role is primarily to board enemy vessels and protect their own ship from those who would board it.

Tactics

The standard tactics employed by the Imperial Navy vary largely depending upon how many Imperial Navy ships are present, but their standard manoeuvres are based on the same basic principles:  

  • Firstly to try and intimidate their adversaries into surrendering, normally by subjecting them to one or two broadsides.
  • If this fails then Imperial Navy ships will use their cannons to target key areas of the enemy ship, usually the sails to cripple the other vessel.
  • Following this, Captains in the Imperial Navy are offered the choice between continuing to pound their adversaries with their canons until they irreparably cripple or sink the vessel, or to board and capture it. This choice will usually be influenced by the fire power of the enemy ship and how valuable the ship, its cargo or crew are. High value targets are more likely to be boarded.
  Of course, these tactics are idealised versions of what Imperial Naval Officers hope will happen, and all of them are trained to see opportunities that can be exploited and think quickly and creatively in the heat of battle to secure victory, without being beholden to idealised practice.

Training

The levels of training that members of the Imperial Navy receive very much depends upon their rank and their role on an Imperial Naval vessel. New recruits will undergo basic training on the job to do with the sailing and maintenance of the ship they are posted to, whilst more experienced sailors, especially those that are part of gun crews will receive more specialist training to help them enact their assigned duties more efficiently and effectively.   Marines undergo much more rigorous training in ranged and hand to hand combat, and as their duties exempt them from having to help out in the day-to-day running of the ships they will regularly drill and train for long hours to hone their martial skills.   Imperial Naval Officers, however undergo a long and stringent training process, which involves three years of theoretical study in the Imperial Naval College in Lisman, before undergoing a further three year placement as a trainee officer, referred to as an Ensign aboard an Imperial vessel, before they are fully recognised as being a Naval Officer fit to take a proper command position.

Logistics

Logistical Support

Because of the nature of their work on the high seas, individual ships, detachments and fleets that sail under the flag of the Imperial Navy have to be self-sufficient, and they operate without any regular form of logistical support.   Ships in the Imperial navy have the right to make port in any community they come across, and for the duration of their time in harbour there, the local community is expected to act as the support network for the ship, providing them with rations, water and anything else they need that can be sourced from the locality. Theoretically communities that play host to an Imperial Naval vessel are payed for the goods and services they provide, but often this payment will come in the form of a written bond that must be exchanged for actual coin at a registered office of the provincial government the community belongs to. As Imperial Navy ships often run up large bills when resupplying, local provincial authorities are often unable to provide anywhere near the amount of coin needed to reimburse the communities, leaving the people little choice but to abandon their attempts for repayment, or undergo the long and expensive journey to their provincial capital to seek reimbursement from the office of the Satrap. Fortunately for most coastal settlements, Imperial ships only stop for a couple of days to take on necessary supplies, but for those communities that have to play host to a ship that has been more or less permanently stationed there, their unwelcome guests can quickly begin to cripple the local economy.   The Imperial Navy do also have a handful of semi-permanent bases and one permanent base from which they operate. Port Salaz, the provincial capital of Pelenar Province has for many years served as the temporary headquarters of the Imperial Naval force in the region that have been deployed to fight the Kelrik Pirates, though many in the city would debate the ‘semi-permanence’ of the fleet in the region, given that they have been deployed there for hundreds of years now.   The official ‘permanent’ base of the Imperial Navy is the town of Lisman in Ferio Province, whose proximity to the vast and valuable timber resources of the Yimawas forest has made it a hub for ship building well before the foundation of the Empire of Turelion. Such is the importance of the town and its shipyards that Lisman is directly governed by the Imperial Navy, with the whole town being geared to its support, including with it being the location of the Imperial Naval College, where Imperial Naval Officers are trained.

Auxilia

Like officers in the Imperial Drakes, Imperial Naval Officers outrank their counterparts in the provincial navies, which means that wherever they sail, the Imperial Navy is generally able to call upon the ships of the nearest provincial navy to act as auxiliaries for them.

Type
Navy
Overall training Level
Professional
Assumed Veterancy
Experienced

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