Militaries

The effective military of the Empire itself consists of four loose categories: The militias, the feudal armies, the knightly orders, and the professional state troops.

Militias

The militias of the Empire share little in common save that they are almost universally amateur self-defence forces marshalled together on a local level. In general, they are conscripted citizens and peasantry, although a few wealthy cities maintain more prestigious militias. Most militiamen tend to be little more than fire watchmen and ad hoc police. Nevertheless, in times of crisis the militias can be called up to serve as infantry, although the quality thereof varies wildly.

Feudal Armies

Much of the Empire outside of the central regions relies upon a feudal power structure to function, and the military reflects this. Without the centralized power of the Imperial Throne to back a professional force, it falls to local lords and regional nobility to assemble standing armies. Many times these formations are ad hoc and quite varied, but most regions can afford to maintain at least some semblance of a regular army. Since training and equipment depends upon both the liege-lord and the individual soldier’s own personal finances, the quality of these forces lacks much in the way of standardization.

Nominally, however, the feudal armies of the Empire do make more of an attempt at uniformity than mere militias. A company of pikemen or longbowmen from one region is usually more or less interchangeable with one from a neighbouring region. The rank-and-file are also supplemented by a healthy supply of knights, although in this capacity they are likewise self-financed and generally considered to be of a lower standing than those in an official knightly order.

Knightly Orders

The Empire actively maintains several dozen knightly orders, alongside many more which operate without official support from the state. Together, these knightly orders serve in a wide variety of roles both within the Empire and outside of it. Although some knightly orders are focused purely on tasks that take place off of the battlefield, most orders are capable of fielding a considerable military force in wartime. Many are considered the social and military elite of the Empire’s citizenry, although not all orders are created equal.

State Troops

The state troops of the Empire are its official standing army. Generally only seen in the central and southern regions, as well as on campaign on the frontier, these are professional warriors drawn from the citizens who inhabit the heart of the Empire. Most of these troops are organized into the Imperial Legion, and can trace their unit traditions and histories back to the forces that conquered and united the Empire centuries ago.

Aside from the Legion, numerous special and elite units exist, each with their own proud history. The Empress’ Guard, the Praetorian Guard, Imperial Rangers, and Imperial Battlemages are all considered to be in this category.

Militaries

Empire Chronicles BCGaius