The Cymerian Courier Corps is one of the branches of the Cymerian Guard. They provide a vital service to the country. They carry news, information, and mail throughout Cymeria and even beyond its borders.
Couriers, also often casually referred to as Riders, are stationed with garrisons, and Warder holds throughout Cymeria. There are couriers stationed in foreign embassies as well. They also have their own relay stations where they change horses and can rest, depending on the nature of the dispatches they are carrying.
The Couriers wear the standard issue uniform emblazoned with the courier badge.
Couriers carry more than information and mail. If it is light enough and small enough to fit in the pouches, they can carry it. It might be a special medicine or ingredients for a medicine that is urgently needed by a physician or hospital.
There are special requirements for couriers.
Couriers should be of medium height (5’6″) or less and petite or light in build. Like a jockey on a racehorse, they need to keep body fat to the bare minimum. For this reason, the majority of couriers are either teenagers or women with very trim and athletic figures.
A courier needs to have an exceptional memory for the spoken word and the ability to rapidly memorize text. In many cases, the person sending the dispatch will not know how to read or write and will be verbally giving the message to the courier who then needs to repeat it verbatim (either to the next courier in the relay or to the recipient). In some cases, they are given written text that they must memorize as the document will be destroyed to keep the information from falling into the wrong hands. Either aural or visual eidetic memory is a plus, but as a person can be trained to rapidly memorize information and retain it, eidetic memory is not an actual requirement.
Couriers have to pass background checks. They must be above reproach and dedicated to Cymeria. They have to be willing to die to protect the information they carry.
A courier is expected to be able to converse easily and intelligibly with the various persons, some of them high-ranking, that they encounter. Not only are they carrying the mail, so to speak, they might also be the only resource for news in some regions. Couriers should be self-assured and confident, not introverted (not saying they have to be boisterous, etc., but a courier that is too shy or introverted is useless). A courier should be noted for their manners and courtesy to others.
The Couriers’ job is as demanding as any other position in the military. They must be able to withstand hours in the saddle and days on the road with little rest.
A courier must excel in all aspects of horsemanship. Unlike the regular Guard, Couriers only receive basic training on war horses. Those selected for the Courier Corps are sent for training on the smaller Courier horses and taught other equestrian skills.
The Courier Corps have relay stations associated with all garrisons in Cymeria and in various areas outside the immediate range of the local garrisons. The Relay Station’s permanent personnel consist of serving staff for cooking and cleaning, a physician, a Horsemaster, grooms, farriers, etc. The Station is laid out with a barracks for the Couriers, stables and paddocks, a central building for meals, and a bathhouse.
The Dikaya horses used by the Courier Corps are the smallest, lightest, fastest and considered to have the highest stamina of the breed. They are rarely taller than 15.2 hands. Their gear consists of a thick saddle pad, a very light-weight saddle and bridle with a snaffle style bit.
Couriers do not own their service animals as they must change horses regularly during a ride. On flat, fairly level terrain, they change horses every eight to ten miles. Where the terrain is significantly more hilly, mountainous, or rough, they will change horses every five to eight miles.
Most couriers are accompanied by specially trained light cavalry units whose sole job is to make certain the courier makes their final destination and, failing that, that their dispatches arrive.
These couriers handle the highest levels and most sensitive information. High-Level Couriers are usually assigned to specific members of the ruling house (such as the High Lord and High Lady), command staff of the Cymerian Guard, or emissaries and ambassadors that would often handle delicate information. A large number of the Ravens use the cover of being a High-Level Courier giving them unquestioned access to the High Lord as needed.
Cysefin (Chief Aide)
The Cysefin is a special class of High-Level Courier who is assigned to the High Lord and High Lady. They function as that person’s chief courier and handle a level of sensitive material even higher than that handled by the average High-Level Couriers, even those assigned to the High Lord’s detail.
This level of the Courier Corps handles all general dispatches within the borders of Cymeria be it internal to the Cymerian Guard or via the various Marches.
The Mail Courier does not have to follow the tight and fast schedule of the other two levels. They often spend a night at the Relay Station and resume their journey on the same horse providing it is in good shape after a night’s rest. They carry news, letters, and messages from the general public to one another.