Monday, July 11, 2016

Army of Mareten

Men like to boast that Mareten needs no army. That's not entirely true; in times of trouble, Mareten has called upon its people to take up arms. Every man willing to fight for his king is given an equal share of any treasure collected. It could be argued that an army of volunteers is no army at all when not at war, which is probably true. However, there is one other group of soldiers that stand ready to fight and die for their king and country, paid members of the oldest army in all of Mor-Thir: the Guards of the Mareten Wall.

The wall itself is a long, straight, flat wall, 100 feet tall and a mile wide, and stretches 270 miles long. There is but one gate; a mile of doors, with walkways high over head equipped with oil and stones. Along the entire wall, every 200 yards, there is a wooden tower - 2350 towers along the entirety of the wall. Inside each tower is space for a dozen men, as well as dry wood and hay for a signal fire. Each tower is manned by four guards, who are required to watch the forest for 8 hours a day; the fourth man works on any maintenance the tower, weapons, and other resources require. Every six miles along the wall is a larger building, a garrison of 250 men, as well as weapons and armor. Each week, the men in the watch towers trade out with others from their garrison, and spend the next week maintaining the armory, going on supply runs, as well as any other tasks required.

There are five locations on the wall where larger garrisons are kept; three of these are the cities Wallace, Wallton, and Wallend. Wallace holds 2200 guards, Wallton has 2000, and Wallend has 1800; the other two locations hold 1500 each, for a total of 9000 soldiers, or nearly 30,000 men. Of those, roughly half are trained longbowmen, and the other half are heavy infantry. For the most part, only Guards of the Wall maintain and patrol it; however, there are a few civilians who are given various tasks, usually delivering supplies.

Each city has its own guards to patrol the streets and protect its citizens; these are paid soldiers, well-versed in the law. Unlike the cities outside the wall, the cities of Mareten train their city guards to uphold the law of the land, rather than their own version of justice. Even the tiny hamlets that dot the landscape have their own city guard, in the pay of the King.

The roads, too, are kept safe by the guardsmen; every six mile stretch of the main roads are patrolled by groups of four mounted guards, while the paths are patrolled by groups of two. Few bandits choose to attack travelers on the main roads, and risk being apprehended!

In the north, hardy soldiers with keen eyes watch from the mountain towers; though most of the mountains are impassable, there are still a few places where goblins slip through, or dragons fly over. Rather than a warm, dry, paved wall to patrol, the Northern Guard brave winter storms and summer downpours, patrolling on foot as often as they watch from their towers. As on the wall, every tower keeps a supply of dry hay and wood to start signal fires. One tower every six miles (one per hex) has a magical device to send messages to more central command locations; as long as the device is active, a light shines on the map of Mareten, alerting distant garrisons to danger.

Last but not least is the Coast Guard; a fleet of fast ships that patrol the eastern coast, searching out pirates and smugglers. Braving the rough seas and inclement weather, the seafaring guards keep the fishermen and merchants safe.

The Guards of the Mareten Wall, the Northern Guard, the City Guard, the Highway Guard, and the Coast Guard may have different roles, but all play a part in protecting the great nation of Mareten; land and sea, mountain and valley, day and night, Human, Dwarf, Elf, Gnome, and Lizardman stand side by side at watch, ever vigilant.