Rhyde

The economic and social life of the Rapani countryside is dominated by military organizations known as Rhydes. The basic purpose of the Rhyde is to raise, equip and train soldiers for the defense of the Elirapa.  All of its ancillary economic and social functions are directed to that end.

All land outside of the towns is owned by the Rhydes.  The land owned by a particular Rhyde is not contiguous but consists of farms spread throughout the March.  The Master of the Rhyde assigns farms to members of his Rhyde who have completed military service.  The proprietor has tenure to the land for life.  The Rhyde assigns young men who have finished their military training to assist proprietors in working their farms.  In return, the proprietors provide the Rhyde with food and agricultural products to support the Rhyde’s military obligations.

The basic operational unit of the Rhyde is called a Battle.  Each Battle is further subdivided into 12 Prides which, while capable of being detached, do not typically operate independently.  Each Pride is further subdivided into three Voices.  Each Rhyde raises one Battle each year.  The Battle serves together for 10 years and then it is disbanded.  A small proportion of the men will be identified as officer candidates and, depending upon their success and skill, will serve for up to 27 years.

Each year in the fall, all 18 year old males gather outside the capital for a recruiting fair held by the Rhydes.  Each Rhyde is obliged to fill a 1,200 man Battle and any 18 year old who wishes to have a future must either join a Rhyde or seek his fortune in a town.

Each Rhyde has adopted a wildflower as its insignia.  Each Battle is designated by a number that is assigned to its NCO group.  Each Battle within a Rhyde has a stylized version of the Rhyde’s Flower Sigil and the Battle’s number as its Battle insignia.  The insignia is painted on shields, embroidered into tunics, and tattooed on the right forearm of each member of the Battle.  NCOs tattoo the insignia on their left bicep.  As a mark of honor, soldiers who perform with distinction in combat are permitted to tattoo the Battle’s insignia on their right bicep.

Long-time gamer, amateur cartographer, living in a world of my own making.

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