Bog's World

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The Brotherhood of the Order of the Black Scabbard

Black Scabbard Founded in Urnst[1] in 2945 for holy wars in Teddin. Their numbers include red priests and clerics of the circle on an honorary basis to give direction to their struggles. The brotherhood is dedicated to combating demons and other hostile entities in the jungles of Teddin. Based in a string of fortress monasteries across Teddin. Many become practitioners of Turantae and their masters become skilled with wards against demons.

The order has a large headquarters in Rel Mord from which policies are promulgated to the warriors in the field. The order is strictly hierarchical and does not refer to it’s members as ilin but as Brūidrūr 'Lān (holy fighters). Ten Brūidrūr 'Lān (holy fighters) are led by a Brūidrūr Arweniol (leading fighter) These are banded together into groups of one hundred commanded by a Brūidrūr Cantrev (hundred fighter). Ten of these are commanded by a Brūidrūr Vaūr (great fighter). Brūidrūr Vaūr (Great fighter) is also the rank of a commander of a fortress monastery. The order is lead by Brūidrūr Arweniol Vaūr (the great leading fighter) who resides in Rel Mord.

Although nominally independent, the Brūidrūr Arweniol Vaūr is aware that the order owes is continued existence to funding from the ruling houses of Urnst and Nyrond. There is only limited scope to play the one off against the other which could mean that the entire order is in danger of becoming a tool of either. So far, the Brūidrūr Arweniol Vaūr’s strategy for avoiding this is to ensure that the maximum number of Brothers are engaged at any one time, fulfilling the aim of the order and reducing spare capacity that could otherwise be re-directed. This also provides a sound justification for continuing to ask for more funding and other resources. The brotherhood receives a modest amount from public subscription and the established church.

The Order’s modus operandi is very much based on foot patrols into the Teddin heartland; the jungle and scrub of the central plateau and rocky arid uplands nearer their fortress monasteries. Being stoic and a little fanatical, they are not beyond wearing heavier armours, despite the pressures of so doing. Their favoured weapon is a plain cross-hilted, double edged greatsword that they wield with both hands. They believe that this weapon is a prerequisite for fighting bugbears. Due to the demands of the terrain, they do not fight in close order, like Jalee, but rather in a extended or skirmish line, akin to ilin on a staffing run.

Of course, archery is ever more practical and the order practice with the Teddin composite bow, the especially practice suppressive fire, either to fix an enemy in place or to disrupt a formation. This is technique beyond the capability of the mounted ilin. The order practices well organised drills in relation to defensive siege warfare and the possible isolation of it’s scattered fortress monasteries. Strategies for relieving besieged locations are constantly under review as they study and learn from their adversaries.

They have not forgotten that their purpose is to defend the empire (as well as just Teddin). As recently as 3101, a Cantref (hundred) set off for Udas to raise their profile in all corners of the empire. Their presence in Nyrond is well established. There are possibly 300 members on active duty in Teddin, as many on the Nyrond border, 400 in their headquarters in Rel Mord and now 100 in Udas as well. These numbers represent the members of the order. They are well supported in their turn by non-combatant supporting staff. With possibly over a thousand fighting men, they are the biggest martial order in the empire.

They are aware that their hierarchy has it’s limitations. However, they also believe that, unlike the ilin-lyio system that maintains the empire’s nobility, the strengths outweigh the weaknesses. They would not seek to overthrow the empire, as that would be counter productive. They would encourage anyone to ensure that his/her successor was the best man for the job rather than their eldest child. Nothing annoys the order more than a hereditary incompetent[2] .

Adherence to ideals of the religions of the Flannaess, both the Dragon God and the Circle of life, ensure that their first priority is to protect the people. However, being independently funded, they are not directly reliant on the people they are protecting.

The Brotherhood in Teddin

The Brotherhood’s activities, unsurprisingly, centre around Diaton. There are two establishments therein, a fortress in the barrier mountains to the north and a large training establishment in the south. The mountain fortress Caell (B. Holy Fortress) is both a defensive stronghold overshadowing the main access route through the mountains and also a base from which to patrol the central plateau region. The lowland fortress, Caplunn (B. Citadel [bathed by] Sunshine) is the brotherhood’s point of entry into Teddin and is long established as both a martial and spiritual training centre. It is also their Headquarters in Teddin.

There are two Brūidrūr Vaūr in Diaton. These two are the highest-ranking brothers in Teddin. Their master has avoided conflict between the two by giving them quite separate and distinct tasks.

Calain is a Gwaithor of noble house from Celene. At the beginning of his career he fought in Celene’s elite infantry (the Royal Guard) at the Dagor Tarsil. He then became ilin to Hurin and owner of great estates in Candau, all of which he lost when Turgon died. At the urging of the king of Urnst, Calain remained in Teddin as a founding participant in his patron’s new military adventure.

Calain is an able commander and highly skilled warrior on a personal level. He is convinced of the righteousness of the brotherhood’s struggle against the obvious evils from the north. However, he is a very hard leader and has a reputation for ruthlessness which perhaps has not been exaggerated too much.

Calain’s base is Caell in the mountains. Here he has eight Brūidrūr Cantrev, not all of these actually still have a hundred brothers. Calain ensures that the strongholds along the frontier are maintained and that patrols do go into the jungle to keep and eye on things there. He is always desperate to both top up the Cantrev he has to full strength and to gain the missing two (preferably more) which would relieve some of the pressure on his forces.

Looarc (he is from Bissel – in Flanne it would be Llywarch) is the Brūidrūr Vaūr of Caplunn. Simply put, his task is to keep Calain in the field. Looarc employs five men with the largely honorary appellation Brūidrūr Cantrev to head up the disparate parts of his organisation. There are Martial trainers, Spiritual mentors, Trainers in field craft and the brotherhood’s organisation and deployment as well as supply arm dedicated to keeping Calain in men and material and lastly, a recruitment and procurement organisation.

Caplunn is a sprawling complex of practice fields, hospitals, refectories, barracks, shrines and armouries. There are about four hundred actual brothers there at any one time, half of whom will be recruits of some description, undergoing different stages of their training. Much of the traffic is of brothers passing both ways from or to the ports, either having newly arrived or about to depart Teddin.

The brotherhood employs about two hundred persons from the surrounding settlements as cooks, cleaners, professionals and trades persons. Also the constant requirement to feed over a thousand mouths every day is a major source of income for Diaton, which is one of the reasons Benes allows the brotherhood to retain their tax-exempt status as a religious institution.

[1] Pall’m’rr O’n’grassė was keen to expand his military might but was already ilin-saturated, when Ganuis Cąma launched the order as retribution for the death of both is sons; the two richest kingdoms in the Eastern Flannaess bankrolled the new army.
[2] This is a little ironic as the death of Turgon Cąma, crown prince of Urnst, following a tactically and strategically naļve (stupid) decision, was the final stimulus for the creation of the order.

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