The military of Metamor Keep
Metamor Keep itself: Around 1500 full time soldiers of all types (but excluding knights). 5000 reserves but only in the most dire emergency would all of them be called up at one time. Usually only around 500 to 1000 reserves are on active duty at any one time.
Allies and MK nobles outside the Valley: Several towns outside the valley are either allies or owe feudal obligations to the Duke. Roughly 2000 full time infantry and knights. 6000 feudal levies and reserves but rarely are all called up at once.
During the counter strike following the Yule attack Metamor mustered 412 Knights and other cavalry, 1600 infantry, 200 scouts, 3 dragons and 45 flyers. The allies brought 847 knights and 2,415 infantry - a mix of full time soldiers and feudal levie. A pretty good showing concidering the short time involved.
Metamor possesses something rare in the Midlands; a large, standing (full time), professional army. Most of the northern Midlands is feudal. Metamor Keep has for centuries faced the constant onslaught of hostile armies of Lutins, giants, ogres sweeping down from the north periodically. The feudal system just doesn’t work in the face of such press constant pressure.
Metamor’s armies are well trained well equipped and very well organized. This does not come easily or cheaply but the Duke has little choice if he wants to defeat the latest evil in the north Nasoj.
Metamor is involved in almost constant raids and harrassment from the lutins and Nasoj's armies. This has led to almost constant otrinca or guerilla warfare in the northern part of the valley. Metamors scouts are in the forefront of such fighting waging a nasty and bitter war amidst the trees and farms of northern part of the valley.
Weapons and armor
The Keep maintains a very large and well stocked armory. Being a magical place Kyia herself seems to make sure that no Keeper ever lacks for weapon or armor. Or anything else like boots, gloves or clothes. Any weapon or armor ever made can usually be found somewhere in one of the Keeps armories, although the more exotic types might take considerable effort to locate. Also many of these are magical in nature, some quite powerful although the armorer keeps those under close guard.
Armor: Any type of armor to fit any size, sex or species is available. With the curse changing so many keepers into animal morphs getting armor to fit has become a challenge. Kyia has helped by creating armor to fit the various species but often locating armor for one of the rarer species (like a spider or aardvark) can take time. The Keepers have found a way around that with a special magical armor which changes it’s shape to fit whoever wears it. The armor could fit any size or shape keeper no matter how big or small.
The simplest of armor is padded cloth. Made of cloth padded out with wool, cotton, rags or whatever else is laying about. Not completely worthless and it is good against blunt weapons like clubs and rocks. It’s main benefit is it is easy to make and maintain. A person can literally make it out of rags.
Weapons: A broad category that covers everything from broadswords and longbows to clubs and slings.
There are enough weapons in the Keeps armories to equip every Keeper several times over.
One fact to bear in mind. Most people at the Keep carry some sort of knife or dagger as a tool the same way a modern person might carry a pocket knife or Swiss army knife. Also with the constant threat of a lutin attacks everyone has some sort of weapon handy at all times. Even the humblest of peasants has a sling, spear or club handy in case of a raid.
The duties of citizens:
Metaor Keep is a country that is perpetually at war with Nasoj and the Lutins to the north. Every able bodied citizens of Metamor Keep, male or female; adult, animal, or AR, are required to put in at least one or two weeks per year in active support of the Keep's military. Most are relegated to actually going on patrol or standing gaurd, unless their profession gives them certain other abilities (Such as cooking for or teaching members of military how to cook, which is how the baker Brennar serves).
Additionally, they are required to twice monthly spend a day in training to keep their skills usable in defense of Metamor Keep in the event of an attack. Every six months these skills are tested and any weaknesses are given stronger training. Most purchase or make some manner of weapon (though they are trained using stock from the armory) for their own protection when off duty. Or they choose a peasant weapon that suits their desired skills if they cannot afford a conventional weapon. (Yes, the farmers around Metamor are devastating with pitchforks and scythes). Armour, typically boiled leather or laminated wood or simple padded cloth is supplied for patrolling and training and is offered relatively inexpensively to those who have learned to maintain it. Most citizens have their own armor even if it’s just a padded cloth tunic. Those assigned to reserve units are equipped by the unit from the Keeps vast armories.
Those who are physically unable to train and patrol are urged to learn some manner of craft that works to support the soldiery of Metamor keep, be that watching over their children, fashioning camouflage clothing, or what ever their skills might have to offer.
Most of the lower nobles don't maintain a large standing army. Usually they have a small force of knights and soldiers backed up by a local militia or levy. Usually this is six to 20 knights and thirty to one hundred infantry of various types and quality.
The military at Metamor Keep is one of the few professional standing armies in the region and it is divided into several different parts.
This is the mainstay of the Keeps fighting force. These are long term professional soldiers and are the heart of the Duke's army.
All types of soldiers, who are usually called to service at least two days a month and a week or two each year. Equivalent to the national guard or the army reserve. Usually people who have left regular service for a less regulated job. Very well trained. Every able bodied person at the Keep that isn't a regular soldier is assigned to some reserve unit.
Sometimes called the Levy or Peasant Levy. These are the people who are too young, too old, physically handicapped, or possess no combat skills. Committing these people to battle would be an act of desperation. The level of skill and equipment of the militia vary wildly from unit to unit. Some are barely better than a mob wielding pitchforks and clubs. Others are a well trained, well equipped fighting machine. Most lie somewhere in between but are usually not too high.
Those three types are divided on the battlefield into different units.
- Archers - They use Long or short bows (depending on the archers size), and a sword. They rarely wear armor.
- Sword - Long or short sword (depending on persons size),wears chain mail or plate mail armor and a shield.
- Pike - Wield a pike or a halberd, No armor or just leather. They fight in close formation. with their weapon points bristling in all directions like a hedgehog.
- Spear - Same as pike.
- Archers - They use Long or short bows (depending on the archers size), and a sword. They wear no armor or light armor like leather or studded leather.
- Peltast - They specialize in the javelin (usually carrying three or four) along with a short sword or hand axe. They wear no armor or light along with a small shield (called a pelta).
Divided into Ground and airborne units.
Cavalry consists of any mounted troops, whether they be on horse, 'taur, or dire wolves. All cavalry units try to form themselves around particular weapon sets and spend a great deal of time training. This all cavalry units are considered regulars, there are no irregular cavalry soldiers. (Eventual training techniques will focus on the ability of certain keepers to assume a 'taur shape, working in pairs so that if one is dismounted they can shift to taur and their mount can swiftly assume the role of rider. Current training techniques capitalize on the ability of larger Keepers to assume a ride-able form such as deer, moose, horse, etc).
Not just limited to horses, there is an ongoing effort to capture and retrain the lutin dire wolves.
- Horse Archers - Horse bow, sword, and leather or studded leather armor.
- Light - Sword, light lance and leather or studded leather. They are the skirmishers.
- Heavy - Heavy Lance, Long sword, and plate mail armor and shield.
The Keep has long had a resident dragon and after the curse has several more. In addition there are numerous avian forms that include (but aren't limited to) eagle, hawk, falcon, gryphon.
Air is something almost entirely unique to Metamor Keep, which supports the greatest number of professional airborne warriors in all of the known lands. The dragons to the far east and the flying minions of Lilith lack the organization to be considered a true air corps.
Since the curse Metamor has become the home to a great many avian creatures and dragons, far more dragons in one small area than almost anywhere else in the known world. A small force of airborne cavalry has also begun to form from the ranks of Metamor's soldiery, but it is still quite small, and its unit sizes are defined by the aerial unit structures as defined in one of the many books of the library.
All airborne units are considered reservists, as there is yet any strong, focused training regimen to put them through.
These people crew the castles trebuchets, catapults, ballista’s onagers and such.
They are divided between fixed and mobile. Artillery unit strengths are based upon the number of 'pieces' in the unit, not manpower. Artillery pieces are manned by anywhere from four (light) to twelve (heavy) soldiers. Fixed artillery pieces can even have crews as high as twenty men!
'Mobile' artillery is any piece that can be moved by horse or manpower, or a stationary piece that is built on-site. Fixed artillery consists of those pieces built into a Keep for defense.
The armorer, weaponsmith, cooks, and supply officers. They keep the soldiers fed, armed and armored. The importance of this group can't be overstated; wars have been lost because of the neglect of support.
- Medics – Also known as the Capsarii (The Suielman empire name) or commonly as battlefield healers. Symbol – A gray tabard or dress with the mortar and pestle in gold on the chest or shoulder.
The emblem of the scouts is a Gold bow on a green background on noncombat uniforms. In combat the bow is black instead of gold.
- Regular - Bow, long or short (depending on size) or 3 or 4 javelins, sword, axe or what ever is preferred. Leather or studded leather armor. These people are the eyes and ears of Metamor Keep. They usually patrol in small groups of 3 or 4. Their job is to find the enemy and report back to the Keep so that the regulars can destroy the lutins before they cause death and damages. Their greatest weapons are stealth and the ability to move light and fast. Under the control of George, the patrol master.
- long-scouts - The elite scouts at the Keep. They are assigned the most difficult and dangerous patrols and missions. Metamor Keep's equivalent to the Rangers or commandos.