|The Regalian Marshalry, City of Regalia
Note: this article focuses mostly on the history and background of the Regalian Military for usage in roleplay.
The Regalian Military was created during the Five Family Rebellion, but to call it a formal military, or even Regalian, would be an overstatement. During the Rebellion, the Five Families pulled together their feudal levy armies, as well as bands of Anglian peasantry, Breizh mercenaries and many others to fight against the Royal Army of the Regalian Kingdom. When the kingdom was overthrown and the Regalian Empire was established in its stead, the task of military oversight fell to Lord Jonas Cadar, one of the leaders of the Five Families. Despite Cadar’s undisputed authority at the top of the military, the Empire at the time solely relied on the feudal levies of its vassals, making his duties revolve around campaign planning and little more. It was this absence of a more professional military base that saw the formation of the Viridian Order, which quickly began training the knights to serve as battle commanders over the levy forces. Together, both Cadar and the Viridians led Regalian levies in battles of conquest against their regional neighbors, such as the Hecarian Kingdom, and had some success due to the elite training of the knights which was otherwise absent in other Ailor states in the Regalian Archipelago.
For the next several decades, the Regalian Military continued to rely on a Cadar overarching campaign planner and a Viridian core of commander-knights. However, as the Empire continued to wage wars of conquest, it became clear that a levy ground army would never be able to project full control over the entire Archipelago, especially against seafaring nations such as the Bergerland Republic. As a result, the first military reform took place under Emperor Henri I, a Viridian Knight who had previously fought in wars as the Crown Prince. His efforts would see the creation of the Regalian Navy, an organization that would be able to transport large numbers of troops across the Archipelago in record time and take control of these seafaring nations which had previously escaped subjugation. Before long, nations such as the Bergerland Republic fell to the Regalians, allowing the Empire to progress further in their conquest efforts.
The next notable change to the military came in the aftermath of the Viridian Coup Attempt. Convinced that the Viridian Order had lost touch of its mission over the past century, and instead opting for power gains at the expense of others, Emperor Henri III stripped the knights of their military command over the feudal levies in wartime and delegated these duties to the newly incorporated Wirtem commanders, under the oversight of Hector Cadar, a brilliant tactician. Over the next few decades, it became clear that the military required a more hierarchical chain of command in order to make military campaigns more effective. These concerns would see the second notable reform of the Regalian Military under Emperor Allamaria I, who was raised by Hector Cadar as a ward in his youth. Together, the two men created the Regalian Marshalry, with Cadar serving as its first Grand Marshal. Unlike the old era of knights leading troops into battle, the Marshalry created an officer corps of tacticians which would oversee the battlefield from the back lines, issuing commands to front-line commanders and officers as the battle changed in real-time.
As time went on, the Regalian Military succeeded in conquering the Regalian Archipelago and soon incorporated foreign nations into the Regalian Empire. The Cadar Marshalry would continue to spearhead these operations until the death of Grand Marshal Rianne Cadar, and command passed to the House von Treppewitz, who continued to carry the legacy of Cadar into the future. It was under the Treppewitz Marshalry that saw the final major reform of the Regalian Military. During the Chrysant War, commanders noted a stark difference in quality between the soldiers of the Regalian Navy and the levy troops commanded by the ground commanders. Following the conflict, Emperor Justinian II would rectify this issue by creating the Tenpenny Armies, which would form the backbone of a professional Regalian Army. With their creation, the Tenpennies gradually saw to the end of the levy-based ground forces that had been the staple of the Regalian Empire for three centuries, allowing the Regalian Military to become a truly modern military force by 310AC.
Joining the Regalian Military varies based on the career path someone wishes to pursue. Soldiers often enlist in the Tenpenny Armies to become professional soldiers, but it is not uncommon for warriors from other military organizations to join the Regalian Military as auxiliary troops. Prospective tacticians (which include both Admirals and Generals) are sent to one of several military academies across the Regalian Empire to study to become military commanders, and then later apply to join the Board of Generals or Admirals based on their academic discipline.
In either case, joining the Regalian Military is a decision that is made for life. As a professional organization responsible for enforcing the Regalian Empire’s power across wider Aloria, discipline and respect to the hierarchy are absolute. Disobedient soldiers and officers alike can face court-martials for neglecting their duties or by acting in a manner that would disgrace the Emperor’s military forces, with severe punishments such as forced labor and expulsion being commonplace (and even executions for the most egregious of offenses). As a result, the Regalian Military is seen as one of the most disciplined of organizations in the Regalian Empire, only outperformed in rigidness by Knightly Orders and their strict codes of honor.
It is possible for foreign soldiers and tacticians to join the Regalian Military after obtaining citizenship, though soldiers and officers alike often view these individuals as lesser quality due to the nationalism that the Regalian Marslary places on its members. Despite this, foreign officers have proven instrumental in recent battles, with the most capable earning the respect of their peers as if they were native Regalians.
Additionally, women have certain problems joining and participating in the Regalian Military. While common soldiers can be women, the percentage who join and make it through training is rather low, while female tacticians and officers are almost unheard of. When they are heard of, they are often the result of extraordinary circumstances, or are simply examples of the curtain slipping, revealing their role in helping command troops through their husband, partner, or other more accepted authority figure. Female noblewomen most commonly fall into this category. Efforts to change this state of affairs have been ongoing for years, and it is thus more common for women to join as retainers to male officers and generals.
At the top of the military hierarchy is the Regalian Emperor, who appoints several Marksmarshals, or Marshals for short, to oversee military movements in His name. Below the Marshals are the Admirals and Generals of their respective Boards, followed by the front-line commanders, officers, and soldiers.
Admirals are the main naval tacticians of the Regalian Navy who oversee divisions of ships known as Fleets or Armadas. Due to their need to oversee the entire Fleet’s movements as tacticians, Admirals do not command their own flagship, but instead delegate command to their captains.
The Board of Admirals
The Board of Admirals is a general group where Admirals of any distinction can be a member of, from recent academy graduates to seasoned veterans. Members of the Board are able to receive naval commissions from the Marksmarshals, which puts them on active duty in one of the Fleets.
Captains (or Naval Commanders) are the chief officers of a single ship in a fleet. They are responsible for guiding the crew during battle and issuing commands to the officers from the helm. Captains also tend to have some combat training, as it is possible to see hand-to-hand combat when boarding enemy ships.
Naval Officers, shortened to Officers in the field, are responsible for delivering the orders of a captain to the crew and soldiers on board the ship. Officers often specialize in a certain duty, of which some notable ones are listed below:
- Gunnery Officers oversee the operation of a ship’s cannons.
- Boarding Officers oversee ship-to-ship boarding parties.
- Landing Officers command Naval Marines to establish a beachhead (as the Regalian Navy is responsible for creating a landing for the Regalian Army to deploy).
Generals are the main army tacticians of the Regalian Army who oversee divisions of soldiers known as Field Armies, or just Armies. Due to their need to oversee the entire Field Army’s movements as tacticians, Generals do not actually command their own troops, but instead issue orders from a command tent at the rear.
The Board of Generals
The Board of Generals is a general group where Generals of any distinction can be a member of, from recent academy graduates to seasoned veterans. Members of the Board are able to receive army commissions from the Marksmarshals, which puts them on active duty in one of the Field Armies
Field Commanders, or Army Commanders, are the chief officers of a single regiment in a Field Army. They are responsible for guiding the troops during battle, issuing commands to their officers. Field Commanders tend to have some minor tactical education to better understand their Generals, often attending an army academy after serving as a Field Officer for a few years.
Field Officers, or Army Officers, shortened to Officers in the field, are responsible for delivering the orders of a Field Commander to the soldiers in their squads. Officers often specialize in a certain duty, of which some notable ones are listed below:
- Artillery Officers oversee a row of land-based cannons and mortars.
- Siege Officers oversee the fortifications of a battlefield.
Auxiliary Units are soldiers within the Regalian Military that did not enlist in the Tenpenny Armies or attend the Marshalry academies. While many of these units have their own internal hierarchies, they ultimately fall under the Regalian chain of command when on deployment. Leaders of these groups are often given the rank of Commander, while those under them are known as Officers. This is to ensure harmonization with the Tenpenny Model of rankings, which helps the individual soldiers understand who outranks who, and who to follow in battle.
The Regalian Military has several smaller officers and recruitment centers in every major urban center within the Regalian Empire, though the main headquarters is found on the Crown Isle within the City of Regalia. Known as the Regalian Marshalry, the headquarters features the offices of senior military officials, the Boards of Admirals and Generals, as well as the two chief tactical academies: the Imperial Naval Academy and the Imperial Marshal Academy. The Marshalry Building itself was once a castle fortification from the Regalian Kingdom’s era, which used to be controlled by the Viridian Order as a chapter house. However, three centuries of reforms and expansions have seen much of the original building replaced by modern facilities, and it is expected that the headquarters will continue to grow as more territories are incorporated into the Regalian Empire.
- The Regalian Military is often called an “old man’s club” due to many of the senior leadership positions held by decorated veterans who have risen through the ranks through decades of service and has strong conservative views in its societal outlook.
- The Regalian Military is represented by mostly Wirtem officers and Leutz-Vixe instructors, though recent times have seen a growing preference towards the Regal Culture, especially among the Tenpenny Officers who have proven its effectiveness in unit cohesion. Still, many of the traditions of the military are borrowed from the Wirtem, as they were chiefly responsible for creating the functions of the military.
- Since Emperor Alexander I’s Decree on the Magi, there has been heavy debate over how Mages should be used in the Regalian Military. Purists believe that Mages should be banned entirely from serving and advocate for the creation of new anti-magic weapons, while more pragmatic officers believe that the arcane enemies of Regalia do not show leniency to the mundane population, and thus advocate for specialist squads of Mages to maintain the military’s edge against adversaries such as the magically-attuned Elves.
- There was once an attempt to invest into the use of Puretek on the frontlines, but it was rebuffed both by military conservatives, as well as the impracticality and cost of the weapons. The Belliard Guild also refuses to mass-produce weapons for common soldiers and to have their weapon become an "ordinary tool for the military to use." However, the debate has reopened regarding the broader category of Firearms.