The Castellite Millitary is the military organisation responsible for the defence of the Castellan Kingdoms. It consists of three branches; the Castellite Navy, the Castellite Mage Force and the Castellite Army. The Castellite Army further divided into Infantry, Cavalry, and Archers, The Castellite Army and Military is made up of the combined forces of the Castellite nobility. Every noble House contributes banners of soldiers, which are usually 500 men strong, but can be as little as 200 and as much as 2000, which combine into regiments. The soldiers famously wear helmets painted in the colours of the House they belong to, to be easily distinguishable and to present a unified front. The Houses assign a Bannermaster to keep track of their banners, as well as to serve as a line of communication from the front to the House. The Bannermaster is also responsible for conscription, recruitment, as well as informing the family if anyone should die.
ConscriptionEver since the Nerian reform, the Castellan Kingdoms have had partial conscription. All families are required to enlist their eldest child, although some are granted permission to send a younger sibling instead. It is only in exceptional cases families are granted a leave from sending any children at all. However a majority of soldiers enlist on their own volition. The pay is on par with that of an artisan, and the glory of battling for their country appeals to many.
ImperatorThe Imperator is the supreme commander of the Castellite Military. They also serve an important role in the Grand Councilate as advisor to the High King or Queen. They do not necessarily serve in person, in times of war the Imperator will generally send a herald in their place. The current Imperator is Poloma Hapasi, who is often regarded as a savant who came out of nowhere: she hails from a vassal house rather than one of the Twelve.
StrategorsThe Strategors assist the Imperator in divising military strategy. Historically four Strategors serve the Imperator, but the number has shifted throughout history. At the most there were ten, which was swiftly cut to three during the Nerian reforms. Strategors tend to specialize in one aspect of the military. Generally, Strategors are graduates of the Military Academy and thus are formally trained, while Imperators tend to have had experience on the field, as well as great achievements on the frontline. The idea is that Imperators must be able to command the respect of the troops as well as be able to understand matters of morale, whereas Strategors should focus on higher-minded strategy.
Marcher Lords and AdmiralsMarcher Lords command entire regiments, while Admirals command a fleet. There are twelve Marcher Lords and four Admirals, each assisted by a band of Officiers.
Lord Cuirassier • Lord Cavalier
|Lord Archer||Lord Evoker||Fleetmaster|
|Banneret • First Pike • First Sword|
Cuirassier • Cavalier
|Pikemen • Swordsman|
InfantryInfantry, also known as foot soldiers, are the backbone of the Castellite Military. Ever since the infantry reforms during the Nerian Period Castellite infantry has been expected to carry their own supplies.
BannerlordBannerlords are appointed by the Bannermaster of their house. They have the responsibility of managing and running a Banner of soldiers. The Bannerlord outranks the other Lords on the field, with the exception of the Marcher Lord. Bannerlords are usually the elder children of favoured vassal houses, trained at the Military Academy.
PikemenCastellite Pikemen are infamous for their fearlessness and ability to defeat charging cavalry by maintaining a strict formation. They primarily wield shields and pikes. Every Banner of Pikemen is flanked by two First Pikes, veteran soldiers who help the rest maintain formation.
BanneretBannerets assist the Bannerlord with commanding the soldiers in their Banner. They wear tabards in their house colours, and stand out in the field. They are either pikemen or swordmen who have distinguished themselves in battle and earned the honor of becoming Bannerets, or noble-born soldiers who have been granted the position to keep them safe. It is against the terms of war to harm an enemy Banneret.
SwordmenThe Swordmen of the Castellite Infantry are expected to be allrounders. They often break from the Banner and form Gauntlets, smaller troops that leave to scout, skirmish or flank the enemy. Gauntlets are lead by a First Sword.
CavalryServing in the Cavalry is a great honor. It is considered one of the finest professions for young noblemen, and many wealthy families strive to afford a mount and armor so that their children may rub elbows with the powerful. Despite this honor, Lord Cavaliers and Lord Cuirassiers are technically outranked by the Bannerlord, much to their chagrin. There is a lot of overlap between the Castellite Cavalry, and the Knightly Orders. It is not uncommon for the Orders to recruit soldiers, especially those that have gained notoriety.
CavalierCavaliers are lightly armoured cavalry. They are used as scouts and skirmishers much like Swordmen
CuirassierCuirassiers are named for the cuirasses, or even full plate, that they wear. Both the Cuirassier and their horse is heavily armoured. They are shock troops, and highly effective at that.
SquireSquires are of an equal rank to the recruits, aspirants and cadets. They assist the Cavalry, taking care of the horses, and helping the Cavalry armour up before battle. Adolescents as young as 13 are allowed to serve as squires, but may not join the front until they are of age.
ArcheryIf the Cavalry is one of the finest professions for a Nobleborn child, Archery is the pride of the commoners. Many commoners start practicing archery at a very young age. Many claim to be able to see whether someone is an archer merely based on their physique, as the sheer strength required to draw longbows efficiently and accurately warps the body.
Lord ArcherThe Lord Archer is the laughing stock of archers. Lord Archers famously struggle to match the skill level of the Banners they command, as very few nobles would ever put in the sheer amount of work that it takes to become a master marksman.
MarksmenMarksmen are Archers who have distinguished themselves as master marksmen. They help the Lord Archer command the Banner, and are highly respected.
ArchersMost archers who serve in the military wield longbows.
ArtilleryMages serve the Castellite Military as Artillery. Mages are allowed to postpone joining the military until they are further in their studies, an agreement worked out with the Imperial Magisterium. The roles of the Artillery vary significantly, but typically Mages serve in one of four roles.
- Artillery — Artillery mages are spellslingers and warmages who use primarily evocation and abjuration spells against the enemy.
- Support — Healers, Mages who work best in logistics and those who can apply powerful support spells that benefit the army are classified as support.
- Intelligence — Diviners, seers, and those who work on gathering intelligence about the enemy armies through magical means work in Intelligence.
- Ace — Extremely powerful mages capable of devastating armies on their own. Aces are heavily restricted in how they are allowed to operate by the Imperial Magisterium.
Lord EvokerThe Lord Evoker commands squadrons of mages. While they are mages in their own right, the true might of a Lord Evoker comes from their ability to coordinate logistics and manage the needs and wants of their mages, as well as determining their strengths and capabilities.
EvokerEvokers are dedicated mage-soldiers of the Castellan army. They are usually seasoned and powerful, and are trusted to act independently as well as part of a squadron. However, their unique strength tends to make them a priority target on the battlefield, as well.
BattlemageDespite the name, not all Battlemages serve in the battle themselves. Many are classified as support and instead work in logistics. During battle, Artillery Battlemages wear red robes, and Support Battlemages wear white robes. Targetting a white robe is as taboo as targetting a medic.
AspirantAspirants are mages-in-training. They are usually young, fresh and undertrained compared to a standard battlemage, and may not even have more than one or two abilities compared to the veritable battery of options a typical Battlemage or Evoker has. It is rare to see an Aspirant in peace-time, due to the agreement with the Imperial Magisterium -- young mages are instead kept safe at their respective schools and academies and later serve directly as Battlemages.
NavyThe Navy is the newest branch of the Castellite Military, but has it own deep traditions.
FleetmasterA Fleetmaster commands a fleet. The Fleetmaster is usually the Shipmaster of the finest warship in the fleet, which is dubbed the Bannership. After their promotion they often nominate a dedicated Shipmaster.
ShipmastersShipmasters command a single warship. They are also expected to own the ship, which generally excludes non-nobility from being one. Somewhat differently to other branches of the military, shipmasters have absolute authority in terms of how their orders are carried out -- if they determine that an order given by the fleetmaster is impossible or exceedingly dangerous, they are capable of ignoring that order.
MarinerMariners are the general rank-and-file of the navy. They are expected to not only serve as a typical sea-faring crew, but also have proficiency in boarding and fire support. Mariners therefore take much offense if they are referred to as a sailor. Navy ships have first mates, second mates, quartermasters, and all other expected positions of a ship, but they are not considered military ranks, but more like roles. Of course, they are afforded the expected respect.
CadetsCadets are the equivalent of a recruit but applied to the navy. Across the branches of the military, cadets tend to serve the longest amount of time before promotion. Part of this is because of the breadth of roles a mariner is expected to handle, but another part of it is simply (relatively new) tradition. Cadets tend to have some combat training but little seafaring when they are newly recruited, and learn the ropes onboard a ship.
|Castellite||Chamber of Peers • Grand Councilate • The Castellite Millitary • Guild of Accountants|
|Argosian||Imperial Magisterium • Bookwardens|
|Military Age||17+ (13+ for Squires)|
Castellite Infantry by Annie Stein
An illustration of a soldier wearing the characteristic painted helmet worn by the Castellite Infantry. His helmet is painted the colours of House Castellan.
Interesting discussion, and well thought out. I definitely get some Roman vibes from this, from the Nerian reforms (in Roman history, it was the Marian reforms) and the relatively flat command structure (that is to say, having relatively few ranks - the more recent you get, the more you start seeing differing ranks dividing up the ranks. (Consider the modern US army at the opposite end of the spectrum, having Private, PFC, Corporal, Sergeant, Master Sergeant, First Lieutenant, Second Lieutenant, Captain, Major, Lieutenant Colonel, Colonel, and 5 ranks of general (and that's just what comes to mind, there's other positions too). Your choice of command structure would suggest, at least to me, that the army relies largely on formation tactics rather than flexibility. (Which is not a critique at all - the doctrine of flexibility we see in modern armies was largely born from the world wars.) I'd be curious to see how this army would perform in battle, given the likelihood of having 3 branches of service all present at the same battle - Infantry backed by Archers and Artillery. Historically this kind of thing has mixed results - on the one hand, it promotes pride in your unit - blame for any failings between these units gets hashed out in the higher officer levels rather than disputes between soldiers, for instance; on the other hand it can make coordination between the branches difficult, and that lack of coordination can prove a fatal weakness. (For example, the African campaign in World War 2 - compare British and German use of tanks in the Libyan war before the big allied landings in North Africa.) There is one thing I'm curious about, though: Marksman vs Archer. Personally, my expectation would be that Marksman would be a higher rank than Archer, not lower; any soldier with the musculature to support it can shoot a bow, but only the best can hit their mark every time. But then, I have no idea if this is because I played Heroes of Might and Magic III at a formative age (a game in which Marksmen are the direct upgrade to Archers.)
Thank you so much for this thorough feedback! Well spotted on the Marian reforms, that was definitely the inspiration. It seemed a good way to show that this military has it's own history and didn't just spring into existence fully formed. I'm also glad that the flat structure works and helps communicate how the military works. I think it's really interesting to learn what it might be like in practice tough, and especially what the weaknesses of this military might be. A lack of coordination is a great flaw for this Country to have. I actually didn't know there was a precedent for ranking Marksman above Archer! I would actually love to swap them around, because that also makes it a lot smoother when people use 'archer' in a general sense for anyone who's good with a bow or serving in that arm of the military. I'll do that right now, actually! Again, thank you so much, this was educational and I really appreciate your insights.
I just looked up the etymology, and apparetly the term was actually used back in the middle ages for higher tier archers. "Mark" is meant in the sense of a target, which may have been more common back in the day than it is now, so a marksman would be an archer who can readily actually hit a specific target. In military archery tactics, this is actually fairly rare - the most common use of archers for much of their existence was volleys loosed at an angle up over the front line of infantry to fall upon the enemy from the sky. Thus writers talking about the sky being dark with arrows. Often it was just a handful of soldiers who were actually known for hitting specific targets, rather than picking a rough range and scattering as many arrows as possible into that area as possible. There's a fair number of stories that use the trope of the one archer who makes a perfect shot at absolutely absurd range by loosing one arrow above/beyond the target, one below/in front of the target, and then using those two shots to determine exactly how to shoot the third shot. I have no idea where this trope comes from, but I tend to see it in most fantasy that has archery as a major role. It does make for a dramatic moment, even though it can be very recognizable. None of this is to say you can't have archers who aim directly at their enemies - most other projectile weapons (pre-firearm and firearm types) are all much more direct - the arcing shot of a bow and arrow just makes the weapon more versatile than the other options, which is why you see a tool developed for hunting in the stone age being used in combat until firearms took over.
Amélie I. S. Debruyne
This is a great overview article :D It really gives me an idea of what your army is like - and I also like the Roman inspiration. Do you have a separate article on the typical strategy that would be use in a battle? If not, that would be interesting to read, either as a separate article or another section, to see example of how each type of soldiers would be used on the battlefield and what are the strength and weakness of the army.
Thank you so much! I'm glad it gives off the impression that I know enough about soldiers and armies that I could make an article about strategies and strengths and weaknesses, but I was definitely challenging myself just getting this worked out. What I do know is this; the majority of the army are pikemen who are trained to hold a tight formation and use their reach to defeat charging cavalry (or undead). The formations are flanked on each side by a veteran pikeman, known as First Pike. The Archers are typically given the highest ground and are firing volleys of arrows at the enemy with a preference for quantity over precision. You might find Rashkavar's comment interesting though! In it, there's some discussion of what the structure suggests about how it's run, and that a lack of coordination between the branches is pretty likely.