The Cymerian Guard is Cymeria’s main military organization. It is a multi-purpose militia. Guardsmen are cross-trained in all aspects of military work. They are then assigned to a specialization based on their strengths and aptitude. The Light and Heavy Cavalry units are the Guard’s backbone. Since the Battle of D’hassa in 3539, they have added more training to strengthen infantry skills so if unhorsed or if a standing infantry unit is needed, they are better prepared.
The Cymerian Guard (aka the Guard) is a highly efficient military organization. They pride themselves on their speed and strength of their strikes. The Guard has existed in some form since the early settlement of Cymeria.
Guard units are allotted to the various Marches and distributed across Cymeria in garrisons, keeps, and watchtowers. The senior officer of a unit stationed within a march is the Marshal of the March. The Marshal’s actual rank is 2nd Marshal.
Guardsmen are fiercely loyal to Cymeria, their unit, and one another. This is exemplified in the extremes they will go to not leave a fallen comrade behind. When a fellow warrior falls in battle or dies far from home, their companions will take extreme measures to see the dead returned to their home March. The exception is when the fallen comrade is a member of the Cymry as they do not leave a physical body behind when they DIE.
Ranks are very streamlined in the Cymerian Guard.
The High Lord is the commander-in-chief of the Cymerian Guard (or the High Lady if she is acting as regent). He/she can, in fact, override the orders of the Seneschal. If the orders of the Seneschal and High Lord conflict, the High Lord’s orders prevail.
The Seneschal is the equivalent of a five-star general. All command staff answers to him/her.
First Marshal is the equivalent of a full colonel. There are rarely more than a handful in service at any given time with the Heir of Cymeria normally holding the most senior of these ranks and positions. This is assuming, of course, that the Heir is of age to do so. If the Heir is under legal age, then this rank is usually given to a highly qualified officer who is then assigned to command the ruling House’s garrison.
This rank may be given to a senior aide to the Seneschal as well, such as an aide that might be in training and likely to succeed the Seneschal. Typically, the Marshal of the home garrison is given the rank of First Marshal and is considered an adjunct to the Seneschal.
Retired Seneschals are given the rank of First Marshal as they often continue to serve as advisors to the current Seneschal or as training officers.
2nd Marshals are the highest field ranks and usually command a garrison. All Marshals of the March are 2nd Marshalls. A Marshall of the March coordinates with the Warder of the March but only takes actual military orders from the Seneschal, High Lord, or High Lady (when she is acting regent). Orders may be relayed by Courier, but they must carry the correct authorization codes.
The senior commander of the Engineer and Courier Corps is a 2nd Marshall.
The Marshal may take some direction and requests from the Warder of his March, but the Warder cannot order him to deploy his men in an offensive military action against Cymerian residents or other guard units. There are, of course, exceptions depending on exigent circumstances. In general, however, orders must come from the Seneschal or High Lord.
A Captain commands smaller units and report to the 2nd Marshall over their division.
Guardsman is the unisex rank and designation for all non-command service men and women. This is the first rank attained after taking the permanent Oath of Service.
This is the rank given to the Guard’s men and women during their two and half years of mandatory service.
Engineer, Courier, Medic
These ranks are given to the staff that reports to these Corps.
Recruitment and Training
Training Commander: First Marshal Thoreson Windwalker
Cymeria requires all citizens to serve a two and a half year period in the Cymerian Guard. At the age of sixteen, all able-bodied men and women must report to Harkanus Gaer (Fort Harkanus, Harkania March) to begin training. The training lasts for six months after which time the Recruit will be transferred to begin their two years of active service. Ideally, they will serve a period of time at each March’s garrison. At the end of their term, Recruits can elect to remain in the Guard. In most cases, those that remain in the Guard are assigned to their home March although they can request assignments to other regions.
During the first six months, recruits will train with each Guard unit: Light Cavalry, Heavy Cavalry, and Dragoons. They are also cross-trained on all weapons, tools, and war machines. When they complete training, they will begin rotating through each of the Guard’s Corps: Cymerian Guard, Corps of Engineers, Courier Corps, Medical Corps, Civil Corps (similar to military police), Logistics and Support Corps. The final six months of active service is spent in the unit and corps that they demonstrated the most aptitude for during their training period.
When the training starts, each recruit is given uniforms, an older, already trained war horse and other gear. These items are theirs for life, replaced as needed by the Guard. As they are trained on each weapon, they are given that weapon to keep. Guardsmen are expected to attend the mustering of the Dikaya to choose a colt or filly that they will train. This animal also is theirs for life. If it is killed or injured and cannot continue, they can choose another colt or filly.
At the end of their mandatory service or end of their career, a Guardsman leaves the service with their horses, all their gear, and a monthly stipend. They are considered reserve Guard from then on and, as long as health permits, are expected to answer if a Call to Arms goes out. Mitigating circumstances are considered, such as being an only child or the family’s only provider.
Exception to Service
Exceptions to mandatory service are given by the Seneschal on a case-by-case basis. A petition must be submitted in writing stating why the exception is being sought. It must be signed by three adults stating they agree and support the request for an Exception to Service. Issues and mitigating circumstances that qualify for an exemption are being the only child, only provider for a family, a chronic debilitating illness or injury, etc. Although exemptions to service will be granted if there is a true need, Cymerians are still encouraged to do their two years, but in a non-combatant role.
Each Recruit goes through arduous physical training that includes building muscle and endurance. Any of the physical training methods are occasionally used as punishment for demerits earned. They are used sparingly and in conjunction with other disciplinary measures such as standing for long periods, cleaning latrines, kitchen duty, etc. The goal is to teach discipline not fear.
A bavin is a heavy wooden sword used both for training swordsmanship and to start honing forearm and wrist muscles. Most bavins are considerably heavier than their real counterpart. The average bavin’s weight ranges from five to ten pounds. Trainees with a much larger physique (such as Mikhael Stormdanovich) would have to have one custom made.
All trainees are made to run with and without packs and must be able to complete a manmade obstacle course as well as a natural cross-country course before graduating and taking their oath.
Wheel of Pain
The Wheel of Pain (usually just called the Wheel) is used as an endurance training device and, on occasion, punishment for demerits earned. There is a massive hub with varying weights of stones that can be selected and is a variation on massive grinding wheels. The spokes are long, are open at the end and can accommodate three to four guardsmen per each spoke.
Its primary use is for physical and cardio conditioning. Secondarily, it teaches units to work together to accomplish a goal or task. The Wheel is also used as a contest between sparring units.
The Guard is made up of units and service branches called Corps. The backbone of the Cymerian Guard is the cavalry. The war trained Dikaya fight almost as an extension of their riders and handlers. The other mainstay of the Guard is that everyone is trained to do everything. Not every Guardsman excels at everything, and ultimately they do have a primary assignment based on their skills, but all can step into almost every role as needed.
Lighter armed and armored, the Light Cavalry consists of mounted swordsmen and archers. This unit usually wears very light armor designed for ease of movement. The horses are also lighter in weight and far faster and agiler than the great warhorses of the Heavy Cavalry.
Scouts: The Light Cavalry serve as scouts in advance of the main troop.
Screening: Size up and accurately reports on an enemy’s size, deployment (i.e., size of cavalry, infantry, position, etc.), the rate of advancement, direction, etc.
Harassment: It is rare that the Light Cavalry will take part in direct charge. They are normally deployed to flank and harass the enemy with the archers raining arrows down on the troops.
Support: Companies of Light Cavalry are often deployed on the flanks of the Heavy Cavalry to act as support and protect their flanks.
Serve and Protect: The Light Cavalry are where the police force units and guard units are drawn from (such as the four-horse units that accompany Couriers).
The Heavy Cavalry is the main body of the Cymerian Guard troops. They are heavier armed, wear heavier armor, their horses are larger, stronger and also armored. All Heavy Cavalry guardsmen can, if needed, dismount and engage the enemy on foot.
Shock Troops: The Heavy Cavalry are designed and selected with shock and awe in mind as well as being a major deadly force. Few armies can withstand the charge of the Cymerian Guard’s Heavy Cavalry.
Guard Units: Members of the Heavy Cavalry may be selected for special mounted guard duties.
The Dragoons are the Guard’s mounted infantry. Because of Cymeria’s vast size, it is not feasible to have permanent foot soldiers marching to and from engagements. Speed is essential, therefore the infantry ride to battle where they dismount and engage the enemy.
Dragoons are generally not mounted on warhorses. Instead, they ride specially trained light cavalry horses.
The Cymerian Guard includes five service branches. Guard units are assigned across all of the Corps.
The Guard Corps
Primary combat branch of the Cymerian Guard.
Support and Logistics Corps
This is the branch that handles and manages support for the other Corps. They specialize in seeing that each Corps and unit has everything they need including, but not limited to, food, clothing, uniforms, gear, horses, wagons, weapons, etc.
This branch acts as military police and Cymeria’s police force.
Corps of Engineers
The Corps of Engineers is the elite mobile unit that serves Cymeria in many capacities. They handle duties that range from repairing dams and levees to the rapid deployment of floating bridges for troop movement. The Engineers are broken into two main units that likely have sub-specialties within them.
Design: These are the men and women that can, literally on the fly, take a request from a military commander or other personnel with the rank and authority to make such requests and design the tool, war machine, or other needed technology.
Production: These are the men and women that carry out building the designs.
Field: The Field Engineers travel with troops and handle everything from the set-up and striking of camps to the fast construction of entrenchments, bridges, war machines (that have been broken down for transport), etc.
Civil: The Corps of Engineers constantly work to improve life in Cymeria. Their duties can include the construction of new and better dams, water wheels, hydraulic systems, finding new sources of geothermal heat and hot water, etc.
The Courier Corps are trained in self-defense but do not participate in a battle, although they may be deployed as messengers between commanders. Their primary purpose is the rapid relay of information.
Chief Battle Surgeon: 2nd Marshal Kieran MacCeàrda
The Medical Corps is the only unit that is often commanded by a rank lower than a Marshal because medical skill and knowledge are more vital than actual rank. The Medical Corps is under the command of the Chief Battle Surgeon, but each unit deployed to the marches and forts around Cymeria have their own local commanding officer as well.
Like the Courier Corps, the Medical Corps are non-combatants although they have all completed the required six months of training and two years of basic service. The Medical Corps also take older recruits as well as being the only unit to have civilians on staff.
The standard uniform of the Cymerian Guard consists of well-made form-fitting breeches and tunic worn over heavy silk undergarments (quilted or flat depending on need). A very fine mesh chainmail can be worn between the leathers and the Sidan silk undershirts. The leathers’ shoulders, chest strapping, and arm bracers are studded to add another layer of protection. Tunics are worn over supple breeches. Footgear ranges from calf-high boots worn with bracers over the knees or over the knee boots (studded). The leathers are black, and the studs are silver or black depending on need, the silk undershirts are gray or black.
Non-Combatant standard uniforms (Couriers, Medics, Engineers) lack the full arm bracer. Instead, there is an upper arm protector and a forearm protector, designed to allow easier movement of the arms.
In addition to the standard issue uniforms, there is a heavier, fur-trimmed version for winter wear that includes an optional woolen kilt.
Headgear is available for the uniforms but is rarely utilized as most of the Guard feel it is too restrictive. The helms are black leather covered metal caps with matching nose guard.
Traditionally, all Guardsmen wear their clan or house colors in the form of a beautiful tartan sash gathered at the shoulder by a heavy pewter brooch enameled with the image of the Cymerian Crest, the rearing black winged Dikaya on a background depicting lightning. The enamel bears the colors of the ruling House which is currently the muted grays and blues of House Stormdanovich. If for some reason, the Guardsmen are not wearing their tartan sashes and brooch, the uniforms themselves are embossed with the Cymerian Crest are picked out in silver and blue threads. The emblem appears on the breast of the leather tunics and the right shoulder.
Most Guardsmen will also wear their House, or Clan badge clipped somewhere on their person as an additional means of identification.
The Cymerian crest is embossed on the left and right breast of the uniform (winged Dikaya Rampant with lightning intertwined with the mane and tail), both facing inward toward each other. The non-combatant divisions have the same crests, but they overlay a symbol of their division.
Guard of the House
Guard of the House, the Guardsmen units assigned directly to the House Stormdanovich family, wear the Stormdanovich tartan sash instead of their clan tartan, which is clasped by their clan badge rather than the Guardsmen’s general badge.
The uniform known as the incognito uniform is designed for use when the wearer must not be recognized as a member of the Cymeria Guard. This uniform can be painted in various colors and is designed for covert operations. It is most often utilized by scouts and trackers, but also has been utilized by the Ravens as needed.
Weapons (Standard Issue)
Along with standard and dress uniforms, each Guardsman is issued standard weapons and shields. They may choose to keep their originally issued weapons or, if they have the coin, they may later upgrade or customize their gear to suit themselves.
Oath of Service
Members of the Cymerian Guard may not take an oath to a Warder of the March. Their loyalty and oaths are to Cymeria itself, to the land, its people and the Seneschal.
From this day forward, I, insert name, swear honor, fealty, allegiance, and service to the land of Cymeria and all her peoples. I serve, not one man nor one woman, but all of Cymeria. I serve to protect and in so protecting, nourish the land for the good of all. I serve to defend Cymeria and her people from all manner of foes, foreign or domestic.
I swear to maintain myself ready to answer a Call to Arms until I can no longer serve.
I swear that no comrade shall be forgotten.
I stand between the candle and the stars, between the darkness and the light.
From this day forward, I, insert title and/or rank and name, swear honor, fealty, allegiance, and service to those that defend Cymeria and her peoples. I serve, not one man nor one woman, but all of Cymeria. I swear to not ask anything of any man or woman that I would not ask of myself. I swear to lead with care and wisdom, to follow with honor and valor.
I swear that no comrade shall be forgotten.
I stand between the candle and the stars, between the darkness and the light.
Footnote: Oath is derived from the Gray Council in Babylon.
RELATED DOCUMENTS TO BE ADDED
Uniforms and weapons gallery.