Merochasan Military

Merochas' military can be divided into five general groups:
1     Armata (navy)
2     Marinos Civicos (Civic Marines)
3     Mercenarios (mercenaries)
4     Tropas te Casas (House Troops)
5     Milicia (citizen militia)

The command structure of the Merochasan military is typically Merochasan - which is to say, convoluted.   Technically, there are two chief commanders: the Capitane-Cenerale tel Armata, and the Capitane-Cenerale tel Ejercito.  The Capitane-Cenerale tel Armata is the senior of the two, but technically does not have direct command of any of the land-based forces.  Both the Capitane-Major tel Rontaria and the Capitane-Major tel Marinos Civicos do report to him, but some of the forces of the Marinos Civicos actually are commanded by the Comantante-Cenerale tel Ejercito (most notably, the Vricata te Cuartanos). 
The Comantante-Cenerale tel Ejercito commands the Ejercito - all of the land-based forces, including some of the Marinos Civicos, all of the Mercenarios, and the Milicia.   Technically, he would also command any of the Tropas te Casas in battle, although that technicality would never prevent the Tropas from doing whatever they really wanted to do.  The command structure of the Mercenarios is irregular, but all of the units do report eventually to the Comantante-Cenerale.   The Milicia, while it does technically report to the Comantante-Cenerale, seldom does so in practice, lacking much military value.  Repairs to fortifications and construction of field works are sometimes performed by Milicia, and in such instances they actively report to an officer of the Ejercito.
The general rank structure of officers in the Armata (in descending order):
Capitane-Cenerale tel Armata
Capitane-Major tel Rontaria, tel Marinos Civicos, tel Escuatra
Capitane Commands a torreonaves or vricate.
Capitane-Corveta Commands a vucuecueros or other ship.
Teniente Might command a courier or other small ship.
The general rank structure of officers in the Ejercito (in descending order):
Comantante-Cenerale tel Ejercito
Comantante-Major Commands a vatayon (battalion) or vricata (brigade)
Comantante Commands a compania (company - 50 to 100 soldiers)
Alvereso Leads a peloton (platoon - 10 to 20 soldiers)
Avanterato Standard bearer - usually second in command to the Alvereso
Officers in Merochasan service are usually younger sons of one of the Casas Menoras, or of a distaff branch of a Casa Cranta.  A few officers come from prosperous unlanded families, or are foreigners who have adopted Merochas as their home.  Sons of Casas Crantas normally serve in the Armata, although some do choose the Marinos Civicos (especially those from the Casas Campas).  Officer assignments are always made in consideration of the Casa affiliation of the officer - a Teniente of Casa Laertes, for example, would never serve aboard a ship commanded by a Capitane of Casa Vincentio.  The Casa rivalries would interfere with the smooth execution of their duties.  This pragmatic approach often results in the advancement of officers who lack such affiliation, and has served to partially counter-balance the normal prejudice against officers who lack a Casa affiliation.


The Merochasan Armata is the most competent and advanced of its military forces.  Merochasan shipbuilding and sailing expertise rival any in the known world, and the Armata takes full advantage of that expertise.
Technically, the Armata has two separate components: the Armata, or oceanic navy, and the Rontaria, or riverine navy.  As might be expected, the oceanic navy has the greater prestige, but the Rontaria is seldom slighted when it comes to resources.  In concert with the Tunicos Asules (Blue Robes), the Rontaria is the main defense against incursions from the Jermo, the Wastes.
The Armata itself is comprised of eight escuatras (squadrons) of warships, plus several dozen other craft (couriers, barges, transports, galleys, etc.).  Each escuatra contains ten to twelve warships of various types.  Merochasan warships are generally of three types: large, three-masted torreonaves (tower ships - heavily armed galleons); slimmer, faster vricates (frigates - not as heavily armed, but with more sail- to -mass than their heavier cousins); and lighter two-masted vucuecueros (armed sloops).
Merochasan ships are armed with sarpasatores ("talons" - ballistas) and lansatores ("hurlers" - catapults), which can throw a variety of missiles at opponents.  The standard sarpasator ammunition is a large wooden bolt about four feet long, with stiffined leather fins and an iron-shod point.  Such missiles may be temporarily enchanted before a large battle, to improve their range or burst into intense flame upon striking an enemy ship.   Lansatores hurl a variety of spherical missiles, ranging from simple stones (often banded with iron) to hollow ceramic balls filled with flammable oils or enchantments, called hovas ("eggs").  One recent development is the grouping of dozens of smaller hovas, no larger than two fists, which are gathered inside a spherical bag made of several smaller pieces of netting, called a cayina ("hen").  The netting is held togethor by a fine braided thread with a long tail, which has been intentionally weakened in several key places.  The end of this thread is tied to the brace of the lansator, and when the bag is launched, it plays out for a short distance, then breaks (hopefully in a couple of places).  The pieces of netting separate and fall away from the hovas, which then spread out in flight and strike the target (hopefully) in a wide pattern, spreading flaming oil or nasty enchanted effects over the deck of the target.  This attack has a shorter range than other lansator missiles, but has become popular with the crews of torreonaves in a couple of escuatras.
Note:  Unlike pre-gunpowder navies of historical Earth, Merochasan warships mount sarpasatores and lansatores both in the bows of their ships, and aligned in rows down their sides.  The larger torreonaves also add portals below decks through which sarpasatores can fire their bolts.   Thus, the most advanced oceanic navies of Geoza may use tactics similar to those of early gunpowder navies of historical Earth, aiming "broadsides" at enemy ships.   So far, only a single deck of sarpasator portals has been added to warships - most weapons are still mounted above-decks (and some types of lansatores must be).  Ramming is still used in some situations (in areas with less room for maneuver, such as narrow waterways, bays, or ports), but is not generally practiced, and most ships are constructed without "beaks."
Merochas makes use of enchanted missiles, as do all advanced navies.  The Armata is truly notable, however, for the number of sortilejiotores (sorcerers) assigned to its vessels.  Every warship has at least one sorcerer permanently assigned to it, and larger ships may have half a dozen or more.  These sorcerers are often recruited from Tunicos Asules who have fulfilled their period of service to the city, and whose skills are focused on combat and related activities.  Sortilejiotores are a powerful addition to the Armata, protecting their warships and delivering arcane destruction to their enemies.
All Merochasan warships also have a complement of Marinos Civicos, ranging from 4-8 on a vucuecuero, to as many as 60 aboard a torreonaves.  These troops include trained vayestatores (crossbowmen) armed with the vayesta torno (windlass crossbow) or vayesta cruaso (cranequin crossbow), as well as marinos armed with espata j'escuto (sword and shield).  The vayestatores' job is to target officers and key crewman of the opposing ship, and to clear enemy marines from a section of deck so that the marinos can board and take the enemy ship.  The marinos also have the duty to protect the sortilejiotor(es) from attack (and for the small complement on a vucuecuero, that may be all they are capable of doing).
Escuatras of the Armata: Base Location Ships
Arrevato Merochas 3 torreonaves, 5 vricates, 2 vucuecueros
Ventava Merochas 5 torreonaves, 4 vricates, 3 vucuecueros
Tempesta Merochas 4 torreonaves, 5 vricates, 2 vucuecueros
Vorrasca Merochas 4 torreonaves, 4 vricates, 3 vucuecueros
Tormenta Merochas 3 torreonaves, 6 vricates, 3 vucuecueros
Vrenesi Merochas 5 torreonaves, 4 vricates, 2 vucuecueros
Ultramarino Isle of Neto (Karatasan) 3 vricates, 4 vucuecueros
Remaja Remaj 6 vricates, 7 vucuecueros
Note:  at any given time, at least two of the escuatras based at Merochas are out to sea - one patrolling the approaches to the city, and the other sailing between Merochas and Ixtas, or patrolling just off the coast of Zur.  These duties are rotated through the escuatras equally, with the exception that the Ventava escuatra never patrols toward Zur - only the approaches to Merochas.  This escuatra is led by the flagship of the Armata, the Vurioso tel Mar (Fury of the Sea).  Other escuatras may also be out to sea, whether "showing the flag" off the Mekystani or Ixtasan coasts, or practicing maneuvers with their counterparts on patrol, but at least one escuatra will be in port at all times, and another will generally have ships laid up for overhauls (cleaning barnacles from the hull, painting and caulking, etc.).

The Rontaria is technically a component of the Armata - the Capitane-Major of the Rontaria reports to the Capitane-Cenerale of the Armata, but in practice is a completely separate organization.  The patruyatos of the Rontaria are both sailors and marines.  Each man can sail, row, and fight.  They are river sailors, experienced in handling the chalupas and varcos (riverboats, either with sail and oars, or oars alone) in the strong currents and hazardous channels of the Pelou and Modrita rivers.
Merochasan riverboats are similar to those found anywhere in the region.  They are generally long and shallow drafted, with rounded bows and sterns, and fairly flat decks.  Each is crewed by 12-50 patruyatos.   There are two general varieties: the chalupa, and the varco.   The chalupa is generally larger than the varco, and has a single mast, which can be raised to hoist a sail, or lowered and lashed to the decks.  Both have long oars and poles for the crew to use when the wind or currents aren't going in the same direction the boat needs to go.  The varco lacks a mast, and is generally somewhat narrower and lighter than the chalupa.  A varco can often out-maneuver a chalupa for short periods of time - longer if the winds do not favor the chalupa.  These styles of boats are used for both war and trade on all the major rivers in the region.
As with the Armata, the Rontaria arms their boats with sarpasatores, although generally only one or at most two per chalupaVarcos, if they mount a large weapon, will only have a single sarpasator each.  The Rontaria also have adepts assigned to them - members of the Tunicos Asules.  Most of these adepts are sortilejiotores (sorcerers), but some are vrujos (mystics - users of Mana) or heciceres (spiritists).  Some may also be psicuicos (psychics), especially among the heciceres
The Rontaria has few officers, that function being performed most often by the Tunicos Asules.  Navigational command of a boat is performed by a cavo pilota (pilot corporal), while leadership within the ranks of the patruyatos is the responsibility of cavos tieste, generally one per ten patruyatos.
As with the Marinos Civicos, patruyatos are armed with espata j'escuto and vayestas (generally the lighter vayesta cerrojo, or latch crossbow), although a special unit of the Rontaria is armed with arceocruses, enormous crossbows which have great range.  Arceocrusators are often given enchanted missiles for battles against espectros te Jermo (corrupted spirits from the Wastes).  Some patruyatos also train with jalvartes (halberds).  Generally, about one-third of a given crew will be armed with jalvartes, and another third with vayestas, in addition to the standard espata j'escuto.   Patruyatos, like most marinos, wear steel jelmos (helmets) and cuirasses and kilts of stiffened linen called tavlinayas (most have cotton backing or padding underneath as well).
The major enemy of the Rontaria is the Jermo and all that comes out of that unnatural desolation.  It also patrols the northern borders of Merochas, and may act in concert with the Ejercito in protecting Merochas from attack by its neighbors (or in enforcing Merochasan policy in the region).  The patruyatos of the Rontaria are generally the most experienced fighters in the Merochasan military forces, because of their frequent battling of Jermo incursions.  They also take frequent casualties, and must always recruit new members.  They will take almost anyone - criminals fleeing the law (even Merochasan law), travellers down on their luck, despairing suitors, whoever.  They do insist on some training or ability to learn martial skills, and all recruits are checked for signs of spiritual corruption (or signs of a weak will - those whose minds are too easily swayed are rejected).  Sailors in the Armata who cause repeated problems for their officers are often transferred "up the river" to the Rontaria, as are marines who cause problems.  Mercenarios who violate Merochasan law may be sentenced to serve in the Rontaria as well.
Escuatriyos of the Rontaria: Base Location Boats
Tulccasa Tulccas 4 chalupas, 3 varcos
Alvoras Vuert'e Jermo 3 chalupas, 4 varcos
Vriyante Vuert'e Jermo 3 chalupas, 3 varcos
Solana Vuert'e Jermo 4 chalupas, 4 varcos
Remajita Remaj 2 chalupas, 3 varcos
Timisote Timisoara 3 chalupas, 3 varcos
Pelosa Cotavilla 4 chalupas, 4 varcos
Chasecas Brailas 3 chalupas, 3 varcos
Motrita Brailas 3 chalupas, 4 varcos


Marinos Civicos
The Civic Marines are the core of the Merochasan army, in addition to performing duties aboard the ships of the Armata.   This small but well-trained group represent the finest professional military that Merochas can recruit from among its citizens.
The majority of the marinos are based in the Vortalesa Marina, on the rocky seaward island at the mouth of the Modrita River.  From there, they can be quickly transported by ship or boat to anywhere in Merochas, or the neighboring region.  Many are assigned to duty aboard the warships of the Armata, while others man the Vortalesa or other fortifications througout Merochas (with the exception of the Vuert'e Jermo, which is entirely manned by the Rontaria and Tunicos Asules).
The marinos also provide liaison officers and messengers to the various mercenary companies, and provide the Vricata te Cuartanos (Brigade of Guards) for the Comantante-Cenerale tel Ejercito - the largest single unit, over 500 marinos, which are normally billeted near Brailas, in the north of Merochas.
The overall strength of the Marinos Civicos is around 3,000 men.  About 2,000 marinos are assigned to ship duty with the Armata, although several hundred of those are actually at the Vortalesa at any time, their assigned ships being in port.  Another 500 or so are assigned to the Vricata te Cuartanos, and about 200 more are permanently assigned to the Vortalesa.   The remainder are scattered throughout Merochas, serving as cadre for various fortifications, or acting as liaison officers or messengers for the various mercenary companies in the north.
All marinos are trained with espata j'escuto (sword and shield), and most are also proficient vayestatores (crossbowmen) as well, although only about half of all marinos are armed with crossbows.  A small minority of Marinos officers have some degree of arcane ability (sorcery, mana, etc.).  Most marinos wear the tavlinayas (stiffened linen cuirass and kilt) and steel jelmo (helmet), although officers may wear heavier armor, and marinos on liaison or messenger duty may adopt the style of armor of the mercenaries to which they are assigned.  The colors of the Marinos Civicos are white striped with red, except for the Vricata te Cuartanos, which wears white striped with corded red and yellow (like a red and yellow barber pole).


A wide variety of units have been hired by Merochas, from Telrakan pikemen to Malyki cavalry.  Most companias mercenariosa are billeted in the north of the country, along the Jyvelan and Telrakan borders.  A few special units are stationed at points closer to the city, or even in the Vortalesa Marina.
Various companias are grouped together into vatayons (for smaller companias) or vricatas (for larger companias, or a larger group).  Each vricata or vatayon is commanded by a Comantante-Major, an officer who is either detached from the Civicos Marinos or a mercenary leader who has proven military expertise, and who has served Merochas loyally  over a period of time.  Generally, only similar companias are grouped into a vatayon (i.e. pikemen, or light cavalry, etc.), but vricatas often contain mixed types of units.  For battle, several vricatas and vatayons will be grouped to form an ala, or wing.
Vatayons and vricatas are named after towns or locations in Merochas.  This is a relic of the time when citizens of Merochas actually fought in units raised from a given area.  Thus, the Vricata Timisoarase (currently billeted north of Rinaltoviya near the border with Telrak) is composed of mercenary units that may not have even seen Timisoara.
A partial listing of companias mercenariosa in the service of Merochas:
Name Type Strength Unit Location
Crivolatores Gryphon riders 50 Vricata Merochasos Vortalesa Marina
Vatitores Stacaso Staka scouts 80 Vatayon Cotaviyase Cotavilla and points west and south
Malicios Malyki cavalry 250 Vricata Houestese Remaj and Vortine Joeste
Pica Sancresa Telrakan Pikemen 170 Vatayon Pisalutos Jyvelan border
Alanceataros Relampacos Pikemen (various) 140 Vatayon Consaloviyase Jyvelan border
Vayestatores Livresos Free Crossbows (various, mostly Merochasan) 90 Vricata Vrailasos Brailas
Cuartavoscos Belaquini Archers 60 Vatayon Jeraniosos Lysantrovilla
Cuartanos Estranjeros Foreign Guards - Polearms 110 Vricata Vrailasos Brailas
Jinetes Crisos Gray Cavalry 125 Vricata Vrailasos Brailas


Every able-bodied adult male in Merochas technically belongs to this body of citizen soldiers.  In practice, however, only those who cannot afford to pay the precio espata (a special avoidance tax) must appear for the "regular drills."  Such drills usually occur about once every season, and mostly consist of drinking and bragging by those in labor or marginal occupations.  The milicia are no longer issued weapons, but are used on occasion to help with large fires or to shore up levies during flooding.  The milicia have their own "officers" who report to the nearest tower of the Cuartia Civil at the beginning of each month, with a tally of the men in their "units."  These "officers" are chosen by the local heads of the Cuartia Civil, and usually function as informants in addition to their official "duties."  In the countryside, the milicia "officers" report to the nearest Casa.
If an adult male fails to appear for the seasonal "drill," he (and his family) are subjected to regular abuse by the Cuartia Civil until the next "drill."  For this reason, any man who is physically capable of showing up does so.  Labor assignments are sometimes given out to milicia members at this time, or they may be called out in time of emergency.   Members who draw labor details are paid a low wage by the civic government for their time.  In general, no man is ever given duty lasting more than a week except in cases of dire emergency.
Occasionally, the Cuartia Civil will decide to call out the milicia to clean up the canalsides and walks in a section of the city.  This happens more rarely in ele Hetionto, but does occasionally occur.  Normally, the nicer neighborhoods get the most attention, usually by laborers from poorer neighborhoods (since the residents of nicer neighborhoods can usually afford the precio espata).
No commander in his right mind would ever consider basing his battle plans on the participation of the milicia.