Author Topic: Correspondance On the Brethren of the Black Flag  (Read 820 times)

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Offline The Dark Lily/ML

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Correspondance On the Brethren of the Black Flag
« on: November 02, 2013, 04:31:30 AM »
    To His Emminance Master Harlan Lyaness , Professor Emeritus of  History in the Most Noble and Ancient Halls of Learning  in Tariene, greetings and prayers for continued good health.

    I thank you most heartily for your letter of fourteenth Deismar last and for your interest in the happenings of our small Realm. In answer to your query regarding the Brethren of the Black Flag, I propose to give here a brief explanation of the officers and Companies of the famed Regiment, including a description of the ranks and make up of each of the Companies therein.

    First, however, if you will allow me to correct your usage, I wish to clarify that the Brethren are not properly termed a Brigade which in the  military terminology of Brechtur is a temporary grouping of units, and as the Brethren are a permanent association, they are properly termed a Regiment.  This may seem a small thing to you and I, but it is a matter of some import to those in the military profession, of which I am constantly surrounded and thus I have come to accept that it simply is so.

    I will start with the explanation of the make-up of the Companies, which follows the common Brecht practice. Each Company is divided into four Banners, each of sixty men. These Banners are generally the smallest unit which are detached to operate independently, and are analogous to the platoons and squadrons into which Anuirean companies are commonly subdivided. Each of these Banners is further divided into groups of twenty men, called Drittel, which is the Brecht word for “third”, these are roughly equivalent to the Anuirean section. Each of these groups consists of two subdivisions known as Lagers, which is a contraction from the full Brecht term Lagerfeuergruppen , which means a campfire group. They are called this because the men of each Lager are expected to share a campfire, and are issued rations as a group and so on. As this term does not translate easily, it is common practice to refer to them a Group. Each Lager, or Group, is further divided into two five-man units known as Rihe, or Ranks. This term is used because it is traditional for each Lager to deploy two deep, thus in ranks of five. This is also why, when on the march, a Brecht Company normally marches in a column five wide.

    Now I will describe the various titles are held by the men of the Companies, and I will start at the bottom this time. The basic soldiers are called by different names depending on the type of soldier they are. Basic infantrymen are called Footman, a cavalryman is a Horseman, and an archer of anysort is known as a Bowman, which titles are, in the Brecht tongue Fussmann, Pferdmann, and Bogenmann respectively. One member of each Rank is designated as the senior soldier in that Rank and holds the title of Senior Footman, Horseman, or Bowman, or in Brecht Oberfussmann, Oberpferdmann, or Oberbogenmann, as is appropriate.

    The first level of command is the Leaders, or Führung as they are termed in Brechtur. These men are responsible for looking after the welfare of the men under them, passing on orders, ensuring that those under them do as they are told, and for representing their men to those higher in the chain of command. Each Group has a designated leader, known as a Lagerführung in Brecht, generally translated as Group Leader. In addition, one man in each Third is named as the senior soldier and is known as the Third Leader, or Drittelführung in the Brecht language, who acts as the spokesman for the common soldiers of that Third. As they are often far more experienced than the officers placed over them, these Third Leaders often act as advisers to their officers.

    Above this level there are officers, known as Militars in Brecht. The lowest of which is the Fahnenträger or Standard Bearer, who are basically officers-in-training, who act as assistants and understudies to the officer of the unit to which they are assigned. In battle they carry the unit standard. Each Third has one Fahnenträger, as does each Banner. At the Company level, there are two, one to carry the Company standard and one to carry the Black Flag under which each Company fights. One of them, the one who carries the Company standard is designated as the Senior Standard Bearer, Oberfahnenträger in the anguage of Brechtur. At the level of the Third, there is an officer, known as a Junior Bannerman, Unterbannermann in Brechtish parlance, and each banner is commanded by a Bannerman. One of the Bannermen is designated as the Senior Bannerman or Oberbannermann and acts as the Company’s second in command and is expected to take over should the Captain be killed or disabled. And finally, commanding the Company itself is, of course, the Captain, which in the Brecht tongue is written as Kapitän.

    Between the Leaders and Officers, there exists a group collectively known as Under Officers, or Untermilitars as they are named in Brecht. These men act as aides or adjutants to the officers of the unit to which they are assigned. They are titled, according to the unit they are assigned to, as follows: the Third Adjutant, or Dritellhelfer, the Banner Adjutant or Bannerhelfer, and the Company Adjutant or Kompaniehelfer to use the Brechtish term. It is worth noting here that some mounted Companies term themselves a Troop rather than a Company, in which case the Adjutant would be termed the Troop Adjutant, or Truppehelfer in Brecht.

    Thus, it can be seen that a Company in the Brecht style such as those of the Brethren should have, were it to be possessed of its full compliment, a total of two hundred and ninety two souls, and is thus somewhat larger than the usual for Anuirean Companies.

    Above the Companies comes the Regimental Commanders who are called collectively the Kommandeure in Brecht, specifically the Captain-General, which we call Generalkapitän, who is the supreme commander of the Brethren, and the Senior Captain or Oberkapitän, who acts as second in command of the Brethren. Also, as well, each is provided with an aide, who are titled Befentragers, which means Command Bearers. Though they are not formally differentiated, it is common practice to refer to the Captain-General’s aide as Number One (Erste) and the Senior Captain’s aide as Number Two (Zweite). The Commanders are also accompanied by a special group know as the fahnengruppe, or Flag Group, a ten-man body that carries and protects the great Black Banner, The Captain-General is also provided with a twenty man bodyguard known the Escort, which  being Geleit in Brecht, commanded by the Bodyguard, or Leibwachter as it is in Brecht.

    It is of note that both the Captain-General and the Senior Captain remain Captains of their respective Companies, but direct battlefield command of those units is generally exercised by a Deputy Captain or Vizekapitän appointed by the Captain.

    In addition to this, there is a non-command staff to assist the Captain-General in running the regiment. At present this consists of the Sutler-in-Chief or Hauptsuteler, the Sapper-in-Chief or Hauptpionier, and the finally the Lagermutter or Camp Mother.

    At the current time the Brethren consist of seven Companies.  One Company of rustwächters, the Third Wierech Company of Foot, known as the Glorious Third, under the Captain-General himself and his Deputy Captain Wilma von Adler. Two Companies of hallebardiers, Malkapf's Hallebardiers, known as the Black Sun, under Otto Dunkelsterne and the Grand Talbehr Company of Foot, known as the Howling Wolves, under Ulfer Talbehr. Two Companies of armbrustiers, the Loyal Company of Armbrustiers, known as the Yellows, under Ilse Hanlander and the Honourable Company of the Phoenix, known as the Red Birds, under the Senior captain Johan von Wulfhautem and his Deputy Captain Uller Kanzbach. And two Companies of ausritteres, the Klessberg Free Riders, known as the BlackHorse, under Ruel Gauren and the Nodarch Free Rangers, known as the Twins, under Katrein Logikopf.

    I hope that this information satisfies your curiosity in this matter and I remain at your disposal should you have any further queries. I remain, as always, your devoted servant.

    Written by my own hand on this, the first day of Emmanir in the one thousand five hundred and twenty third year since the divine ascension of the Great Lord Haelyn, may he look kindly upon us.

« Last Edit: November 02, 2013, 04:42:28 AM by The Dark Lily/ML »
Matilda Lilja, minstrel and teller of tales in the household of Otmar Messer, Lord Commander and Governor-General of the Realm Regained in Thurazor.