Alsara: The Dragon's Legacy
Not everyone in Vokaya is a mage. It takes years of training, as well as a sharp mind and considerable cash investment to become even mildly competent. While the results are generally considered worth the trade, the truth remains that a mage trained for ten years can be killed by a thug trained for ten minutes. Vokaya is not blind to the logistical limitations of the Magos, and so there is another, much larger branch of the military: the Stratos.
The Stratos is Vokaya’s conventional branch of the military. They train with swords and shields, they build with brick and mortar, and they fight with skill and steel. Magical expertise is not required to reach the lower ranks of the Stratos, and only the lofty tops of the Dionkitae demand knowledge of the art.
Overall, of the three branches of the military, the Stratos is the most troubled, and least effective. During the Neverwar, the Stratos displayed its complacency on the battlefield on numerous occasions, making tactical blunders and failing to retreat in good order on every possible occasion: inexperienced soldiers and officers ensured that Stratosi units sent into battle never returned from it. After the Battle of Cascade Fortress, the Stratos was fighting at a fraction of its previous strength.
The reasons for this were complicated, but overall, their root cause was the Rampart Line. Vokaya had not fought a serious land war in hundreds of years, and their military had become stuffed with the fruits of nepotism and cronyism. Retreats turned to routs, formations were disorganized, and the camps set were a disgrace. Simply put, they were unable to fight effectively, and outdated training and lack of experience were to blame.
Under the orders of the Serendi Rex, newly-appointed Grand General Dorian Lykus reorganized the Stratos into its current form, and enacted an emergency draft policy that remains in place today. He also has been tirelessly pushing to improve the quality of the equipment, and the duration of basic training required. Through these and a few other policies, the Stratos has begun to catch up to the other branches of the Vokayan military.
It is this equipment that so separates the Stratos from another band of misfit levies from the Falcon Empire. Unlike lesser warriors, Stratosi soldiers are issued state-constructed swords, shields, and a suit of heavy mail, all above the standard quality. While they are left to their own devices for the rest of their kit, this simple uniform ensures that the basic quality of their soldiery is a cut above the rest; magical chainmail, swords, and shields make an incredible difference in the field.
Motto: “We are the armor that girds Vokaya. With oath and steel we will keep her from harm.”
- If a man or woman wishes to be safe, they must fight for their safety. All of Vokaya must stand ready to fight, even if they cannot step onto the field.
- Whether on the battlefield or off it, a soldier is never far from their duty. Never forget who you are, or who is relying on you.
- Never step away from an opportunity to learn. Our skill is what makes us superior to our enemies, and an untested soldier is unskilled.
Protect the Vokayagora Zemla. Obey the orders of the Serendi Rex. Build the infrastructure of Vokaya. Improve the skills and capability of the Stratos.
Active service: 110,000
Draft Pool: 6,000,000
- Stratosi 1st Army (Stratosi Rust)
- 15,000, in 4 brigades
- Stratosi 2nd Army (Stratosi Brittlestone)
- 20,000, in 5 brigades
- Stratosi 3rd Army (Stratosi River)
- 20,000, in 5 brigades
- Stratosi 4th Army (Stratosi Everlight)
- 30,000, in 7 brigades
- Stratosi 5th Army (Stratosi Everwinter)
- 15,000, in 3 brigades
- Stratosi 6th Army (Stratosi Frostfells)
- 10,000, in 3 brigades
Like all branches of the Vokayan military, the Stratos is separated into officers and enlisted; Dionkitae and Lonkitae. However, there are no Epikitae specifically designated a part of the Stratos, as they use many of the same people and facilities as the Magos.
The officers of the Stratos, expected to lead their forces into battle and confer to determine their army’s strategy. While they are not required to have any personal magical ability, they are expected to possess a fluent knowledge of its capabilities. All are required to undergo testing to ensure they have a sufficiently advanced schooling in tactics and command; in the past the schooling itself was a requirement, but the demands of the Neverwar forced the Stratos to relax the restriction.
While they are a political branch and are answerable to the Contests, in reality they have been heavily influenced by the reign of Merik Serendi Rex and the only roles commonly voted on are Generals. Below that, promotion is handled internally.
|Grand General||The supreme commander of the Vokayan Military, second only to the Serendi Rex herself. Elected during the Contests, though usually selected from among the Dionkitae of either the Magos or the Stratos.|
|Major General||Commands a single army. Vokaya currently possesses five armies, each assigned to a region of the homeland: Rust, Brittlestone, River, Everlight, and Everwinter. They are varying in size, but the areas they must cover are large enough to warrant individual command.|
|Brigadier General||Each of those army groups has a number of brigades, depending on the number of forces controlling them. A Brigadier General heads up each of them, controlling a force of roughly 4,000 soldiers.|
|Colonel||One of the most important roles for skilled tacticians, Colonels command individual regiments under their General, between 700 and 1,000 soldiers. Colonels must make a large number of battlefield decisions, and are always with their troops on the field.|
|Captain||Commander of a single company each, approximately 100 to 250 soldiers. This is usually an entire formation of soldiers on the field, including support units; thus, the Captain is entirely absorbed in trying to place his formation in an optimal position on the line, and keep it in place once it’s there.|
|Lieutenant||Commander of a single unit of soldiers, about 30 or 50 men and women. These units are the smallest divisions that exist in the field, as individual squads are meaningless on a military scale. Nevertheless, there are occasionally actions that require the individual attention of 30 soldiers, such as scouting, foraging, and skirmishing, so such division exists.|
|Strike Lieutenant||These are almost identical to regular Lieutenants, but are in charge of leading units of Rangers in the field. As auxiliaries, they are also lower rank than their frontline counterparts.|
The enlisted men and women of the Stratos. They usually possess little magical talent, and some are barely trained. Nevertheless, as a whole they are a remarkably effective fighting force.
|Sergeant||Almost an officer, but requiring little more than experience, and no knowledge of magic beyond the purely practical. Usually veterans of great capability, Sergeants command around 10 to 12 soldiers.|
|First Ranger||An auxiliary Sergeant. First Rangers lead their units of tribesmen into battle, and usually have a greater degree of autonomy than the officers that outrank them. Still, in a crisis they are subject to the more rigid Stratosi chain of command, and each First Ranger must answer to a Sergeant if they disagree on a tactical choice. Most First Rangers command between 10 and 15 Rangers in the field.|
|Corporal||An extension of the Sergeant, and a replacement for when they’re not around. In large Armies, squads have 2 Corporals, each in command of 6 or 8 soldiers. In smaller ones, they command as many, but squads will have only a single Corporal.|
|Ranger||These are highly skilled auxiliaries, acting as scouts and skirmishers in battle, and saboteurs when off the field. Rangers are almost exclusively recruited from the tribes of the Everwinter Crest, Mistwood Gap, and Brittlestone Loch. Rangers are equipped separately from the rest of the Stratos, lacking the standard sword and chainmail that has come to define the rest of the force. They make up for it with a strong warrior tradition in archery, honed from a young age.|
|Private||The standard soldier of the Vokayagora Zemla. When a man or woman becomes a private, they are issued their sword, shield, and armor. It is an event of some ceremony.|
|Recruit||Volunteers who have joined the Stratos from the citizenry of Vokaya, but have not completed their training. Volunteers are expected to serve for five years before being offered pension, and while they serve their pay is either held in part or sent to their families back home, upon request.|
|Levy||Drafted citizens of Vokaya. Their service is for two years, compulsory, and the punishment for abandoning their duty is prison. They are trained, yes, but many are unwilling to serve. All levy soldiers, regardless of experience or capability, are referred to as Levy-(rank); so a Levy Corporal or a Levy Sergeant. There is a difference in pay scale between volunteers and levies, and to transition to the volunteer pay the levy must sign on for three years beyond their compulsory service.|