The Red Sails Military Formation in Spirit of the Age | World Anvil

The Red Sails

"See that one?" The clansman pointed at the halfling at the foot of the gangplank, barking orders to the sailors hustling about on the docks. "He must be sixty or seventy." The officer was a greybeard, but finely groomed. Even with his diminutive size, the halfling carried an aura of command. "Thirty years as an officer in the emirs' navies gets you a townhouse and a pension. Enough to hire a servant while you live out your days. He's set for the rest of his life, but he's here." The clansman turned to his companion. "Why do you think that is?" "I don't know," the other man said. "It's because he sailed the sea as a soldier for thirty or fourty years, he's fought pirates and seen men die under his command. Decades of blood, and he hasn't had enough. He wants more." The halfling officer turned around, walking towards the quarterdeck. "Men like him are why they're called the Bloodsails. Men like him are the most dangerous of them all."
The Red Sails, commonly referred to as "the Bloodsails" in the Tescaries are the military arm of the Condominium. Organized like a professional army, the Red Sails mercenaries are organized into units that in most cases correspond to the crews of warships. A diverse lot, the Red Sails contain Runberi, Tescarana, ex Marching Horde, and everything in between. In some cases, the Condominium integrates existing crews wholesale and installs their captain as a Red Sails officer.   The Red Sails are a notorious outfit, being the enforcement arm of the Condominium. Primarily fighting rebellious Tescarana clans, most Red Sails actions involve hunting down pirates or providing security to Condominium trading vessels or their production facilities (such as the notorious sulfur pits). For the clans, the difference between counter-piracy and invasion is often murky, and the Condominium typically takes surviving Tescarana clansmen from their counter-piracy missions and forces them to work in their sulfur pits. For this, many Tescarana regard them as little more than slavers.   The outfit has fought beside regular emirati navies in the past, but does not have the best of reputations among them either. Regarded as poorly disciplined (in comparison to the regular navies) and bloodthirsty, the common wisdom is that those emirati officers who move on to the Red Sails tend to be the worst of the lot, motivated by coin alone and seeking out war even when their home city no longer needs their services. Nevertheless, the inclusion of these officers lends the Red Sails a lot of institutional experience to fall back on.


Before becoming a formal part of the Condominium hierarchy, the soldiers and mercenaries that would become formalized as the Red Sails were scattered security forces hired out by the crews of merchant marine, or by the Condominium directly for individual jobs to hunt down pirate encampments in the eastern Tescaries. These forces were a motley crew, some ex-emirati navy, some Marching Horde, some Angerlanders, even the odd Valen or Kilthian mercenary. Others were local Tescarana that decided to sail for Runberi coin. The Condominium's security needs grew, and they had little control over the quality and behavior of the mercenaries they hired. Eventually, the board decided to form The Red Sails as a formal military arm. Integrating the various mercenaries into their hierarchy and appointing their own officers to command them gave them more control over the mercenaries' activities, and allowed them to clean house of the worst of the mercenaries they had inadvertently hired in the past.   Many of the independent captains were unhappy, though some were integrated as Condominium officers. However, the average mercenary was happy to accept the guaranteed influx of Confederation dinar in return for their continued service. The Condominium ran a recruitment drive in their home cities to bring in retired emirati navy officers, bringing in a level of professionalism previously absent from most of the force.   Since its formation, the Red Sails have only expanded, and have taken part in many conflicts and security operations. Most notably, they have fought the Duchy of Fahrig alongside the actual emirati navies, as well as captured and bombarded many Tescarana towns and villages. Though ostensibly their primary mission is still countering piracy, their gift has expanded, and they provide all sorts of security services for the Condominium, including in further inland possessions in Grand Tescary. Among other things, they now effectively operate many of the sulfur pits in the Tescaries.
Overall training Level


Please Login in order to comment!
Dec 20, 2020 17:56 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

I really like the quote at the beginning - it really sets the mood for the article. The history of the Red Sails is really interesting.

Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet