The Sable Armed Forces

The military arm of Sable is a volunteer force of very highly trained men, operating cross-Shadow in the war against the Reich. Within Sable City itself and the Commonwealth, most of its functions are defensive. Once outside the ‘safe’ Commonwealth area, however, the Sable Armed Forces are on active service.The overall Sable military was originally set up by Field Marshal William O’Connor. He also established the Sable Military Academy at Sandhurst, the Riversend Naval Academy and the Sable College of Military Magic, all of which have been going from strength to strength. Since the forces have become established, O’Connor has taken more of a backseat role, and he now considers himself to be in well-earned semi-retirement. However, he is still the best military commander in Sable, remains on the Sable Staff Council, and will answer the call when needed.

Operational command of the Sable forces was handed over to Field Marshal Prince William, who was given the title of Lord Protector and the rank of Commander in Chief, some years ago, while Prince Francis, his deputy, is the commander of the Sable Army.

The Sable Forces are split into three operational divisions – Home Defence, Commonwealth and External – all under the overall control of the Sable Staff Council.

The Sable Staff Council

The Sable Staff Council is chaired by the Lord Protector, and comprises Field Marshal Lord William, Field Marshal Prince Francis, General Celia Wallis, General Lord Graham, General Alexandra Beaumont of the Royal Commonwealth Army, Generals Duke Heinemann, Marne and Fitzwilliam and General Duchess Shaw from the Commonwealth Defence Pact Shadows, First Sea Lord/Admiral of the Fleet Nicholas Bonner, Admiral Richard Greer of the Royal Commonwealth Navy, and Air Chief Marshal Prince Christopher. Those members of the Royal Family who sit on the council have proven themselves over many years of fighting with the Reich, rather than being honorary appointees to the Staff Council.

Other officers who occasionally report to the Staff Council, or are consulted on specific issues, include Field Marshal Prince Andrew and his son Adam (Sable’s Master at Arms), Colonels Lovell and Patterson (Chancellors of the Military Academy and SCMM), Rear-Admiral Baxter (for the Naval Academy) plus the operational commanders of the three Military Regions and the Commonwealth, and other field commanders from specific theatres of war.

Riversend Naval Base

The naval port of Riversend is guarded by both a land-based garrison, and its own small naval fleet, and fighting ships regularly sail in and out of the base, towards the sea. These two forces form a coordinated, semi-autonomous unit specially trained in the terrain issues (and generally weird geography) that characterise Riversend, as compared with the rest of either the Kingdom of Sable, or Magica Superior as a whole. Riversend Naval Base is also the home port of the Royal Commonwealth Navy, which otherwise operates exclusively in the Commonwealth, rather than on Magica Superior.

Jansen Caldwell, commander of Riversend Naval Base, is a highly experienced naval officer, who began his career in the Commonwealth, and later served extensively with the Sable External Forces. His first command was a minesweeper, with later vessels including destroyers and ultimately one of the Sable Navy’s flagship battleships. He is also a qualified naval pilot (in those Shadows where helicopters and other aircraft are operational). He was given command of the RNB about ten years ago.

Marion Collins, commander of the Riversend Garrison, is the daughter of Aldous Collins, Duke of Farview. Little is known of her early career, except that when she finally went to the Sable College of Military Magic, she already held the rank of Major. She graduated top of her class from SCMM, and was posted to the External forces, where she quickly made a reputation for herself as a clever and daring officer, leading several raids against specific Reich targets in the war in Shadow. She spent several years working closely with Duke Calen of Cadel, and was then on the general staff of Field Marshal Prince Francis for many more, before finally being appointed commander of the Riversend Garrison in SY145.

The Armed Forces of the Kingdom of Sable

The AFKS is the branch of the Sable armed forces which specifically deals with defence of Sable’s lands and interests on Magica Superior, both on land and at sea. It has a number of bases around the Kingdom of Sable, including a large garrison at Riversend, and also has outposts in the other countries of Magica Superior, including Espanero and the unoccupied regions of Schweiz and Franca. These act as something of a police force and deterrent to Reich aggression on the home world. There have been occasional outbreaks of hostilities between the two forces on Magica Superior, but these have always been limited to the allied countries outside of Sable itself.

The Home Defence Force is specifically concerned with the security of the Kingdom of Sable and its surrounding lands. It comprises a number of military units and the Riversend Navy, and operates exclusively on Magica Superior and at Riversend.

As well as being the key defence force for Sable itself, it is also the umbrella organisation co-ordinating a number of smaller, Sable-specific specialist forces. There is also a small naval detachment assigned to Magica Superior – the Home Patrol Force – under Commodore Patrick Gunn, which reports to General Wallis.

General Celia Wallis, KG

Celia Wallis is a career soldier, having joined officer training school immediately after graduating from Sable Mage College. After completing officer training, she initially served with the Sable Army where her potential was noted by her superior officers, and she was encouraged to stretch herself and worked both with the AFKS and the Commonwealth Forces. After she studied for her Masters, this time at SCMM, she accepted the opportunity to serve an attachment with the Royal Marines, thus also giving her experience of a different kind of warfare. She took command of the AFKS about forty years ago when her predecessor, Admiral Walter Conran, retired from active service.

She is married and has twin sons, who were born while she was at SCMM, and her younger sister, Peggy, teaches at SMC. General Wallis reports directly to Lord Protector Prince William, as overall commander of the Sable Armed Forces.

Specialist Units

Under the rough umbrella of the KoS Army are a number of specialist units:

The Home Patrol Force: Commodore Patrick Gunn

The Home Patrol Force patrols the seas around Riversend and further out onto Magica Superior. It comprises fast patrol boats and a variety of larger craft up to destroyers and cruisers size. Its purpose is to keep an eye on the waters around Sable’s allies, stopping drug trafficking, piracy, etc, and watching out for Reich naval movements on the home world. It has occasionally been in combat with the Reich forces, although most major naval battles take place off Magica Superior.

Patrick Gunn is career navy, who cut his teeth on fast patrol boats in a variety of Shadows and technologies. He was given command of the small KoS patrol force about ten years ago.

The Sable Guard: Colonel Richard Seaton

The Sable Guard is the land-based equivalent of the Home Patrol Force. It primarily watches and patrols the approaches to the Kingdom, both in the Sable Mountains and out into the nearby Shadows, rather than operating in the Kingdom itself, although they also act as the internal air force on the rare occasions it is needed. In addition, members of the Guard are also occasionally attached to the forces outside the Kingdom for specific missions – especially members of the Corps of Spotters. The Guard operate both on the ground and in the air, and know their home territory backwards. When in the air they are dragon-mounted: the dragons are Western in style, rather than Eastern, and vary in length from about 30ft to 50ft in length. They are scaled and they do breath fire, although they don’t have a taste for gold. Colours are usually dark: black, brown, and darker hues of blue, green and red. There are about 200 dragons in all, which are quartered in the caldera of a dormant volcano in the mountains to the east of the Kingdom of Sable.

There is a small squad of advance spotters attached to the Guard, many of whom are accompanied on their duties by some form of winged familiar to assist them. The spotters train together, but then one or two individuals will be assigned to any given theatre, and often end up liaising with Military Intelligence.

Prince Christopher, former Head of the Guard was appointed on the recommendation of his predecessor, Stephen Galbraith, when the latter had to be invalided out. However, the additional threat from the Reich Luftwaffe in open Shadow over the last twenty years has led to Christopher’s appointment to the Sable Air Force. He has been replaced by the young but talented Richard Seaton, who is willing to accept advice from both his predecessors if he needs it.

The Guard is one of the more prestigious arms of the Sable forces, although it is not unknown for Guard members to be transferred out to the Royal Guard by way of promotion. The new Colonel looks to be around thirty-five years old, with dark hair and brown eyes, and has risen through the ranks quite quickly since his graduation from Sable College of Military Magic.

The Royal Guard: Colonel Jules Manet

The Royal Guard has responsibility for the majority Royal Family’s security (ex the King and Queen) when they aren’t in the palace, as well as for some aspects of security outside of the Palace. They also act as the Diplomatic Protection Service for Sable missions outside of the Kingdom. Often, members of the Royal Guard have served elsewhere in the forces before joining this force, and to be asked to join it is considered to be an honour. Manet is loved and respected by his men, and takes his duties very seriously. He looks to be in his mid-forties, is fairly well built and has light brown hair and green eyes. He speaks English with a slight French accent.

The Palace Guard: Colonel Sir Auguste de Lyon, KG

The Palace Guard is responsible for the security of the Royal Family within Sable Palace, and also act as the personal bodyguard to the King and Queen. They are highly trained troops, who seem to have been in the business for an awfully long time, and their loyalty to the King is unswerving and unquestioning. Auguste seems to be in his early-fifties. He is about 6’0″ in height and quite lean, with pale blue eyes. His hair and beard are brown, but peppered with grey, and he looks as if he has spent quite a lot of his life in the sun.

The Corps of Royal Messengers, Colonel Sir Dafydd Pryce, OM

The Corps of Royal Messengers – more informally known as the King’s Messengers – are a group of specialist couriers who fall nominally under the Army, but in practise work directly for the Royal Family, and most notably for King Robert himself. Their headquarters is within Sable Palace.

King’s Messengers are usually taken from within the ranks of the Royal Guard or the Sable Guard, and act as military and civilian couriers. They carry message pouches or cases which have been magically linked to the Messenger him/herself, and while the cases can obviously be stolen, they can only be opened by the living individual to whom the case has been keyed. As a secondary precaution, the Messengers themselves carry ID keyed both to themselves, and to the messages they carry, so even if both ID and message are intercepted, they cannot be opened without the Messenger alive and well and able to deliver them.

Messages may take the form of a standard document on paper or parchment, or they may be a vocal message from the sender, which the Messenger will deliver exactly as he or she received it, in the sender’s own voice. Sending such a vocal message involves a great deal of trust between sender and Messenger, as it is magically placed in the mind of the courier, without the latter even knowing what it is. On delivery all memory, of the message and what it contains is erased from the mind of the Messenger, and should someone not authorised to receive it attempt to retrieve it, the effect on the Messenger can be devastating, up to and including serious brain damage or death. All members of the Corps have freely agreed to accept this risk to perform this unique task for the Royal Family.

Dafydd Pryce is a relatively young man, who is a specialist in investigative, security and mech-tech magic. Indeed, he is the one who developed the system of identity keying which makes messages delivered by a member of the Corps so unique and thus far secure. He is fanatically loyal to His Majesty, and encourages those under his command to feel likewise. He was knighted by the King for services rendered.

Other KOS-Based Military NPCs

General Sir Ryan Lovell (Retired), KG, Principal of Sable Military Academy

The Sable Military Academy (which for some reason lost in antiquity, has always been known as ‘Sandhurst’) was set up shortly after O’Connor’s arrival in Sable, although it took two decades to become established. Lovell is its second principal, having been General of the Army before the current incumbent. He took over about forty years ago, and while not hugely impressed by his move from active service, he knuckled down to his new task with dedication, and has overseen the continued improvement of the facility.

Lovell is a native of Bazan, another of the Commonwealth Shadows. He looks to be in his early-forties, with thinning red hair and blue eyes.

Rear-Admiral Sir Jeremy Baxter (Retired), KG, Principal of Riversend Naval Academy

Riversend Naval Academy is the primary training institution for officers of the Sable Royal Navy. It was set up a little later than the Military Academy, as the navy became more important and the Sable Staff Council realised that it’s officers deserved a professional training establishment equal in stature to the Military Academy.

Baxter is a native of Cadel, who served with distinction for many years before retiring from active service. He is a thin man, clean shaven with thinning brown hair and blue eyes.

Brigadier-General Sir Richard Patterson, GCM, Principal of Sable College of Military Magic

SCMM is attached to the Sable Military Academy. As with Sable Mage College, it is aimed at the Talented, although the range of magic taught is more narrow than in the civilian college, as a course at SCMM also involves standard officer training as well. After four years (instead of the five at SMC), a student will leave the SCMM with a basic knowledge of combat/battle magic, defensive magic, healing, mech-tech, structural and transport/comms magic and probably the rank of lieutenant (although there are exceptions to this). Another year within the SCMM will allow specialisation in one or two of these, and possibly also the teaching of basic skills in illusory magic, for its obvious military applications. SCMM graduates are registered with the Sable Magical Oversight Council and are bound by their rules.

Patterson is a native of the security-pact Shadow of Cadel. He looks to be in late-forties, with a shock of dark brown hair and hazel eyes, and became principal of SCMM about fifteen years ago, after a distinguished career in the Royal Engineers.

Brigadier General Elizabeth Edgar, Director of the Sable Military Institute for Techno-Magical Research

The Institute is a relatively new organisation, having only been set up as an independent entity in the last decade. Prior to that, its functions were covered under the SCMM, but the analysis of new weaponry has gained in importance as the war has continued, and the Reich has made various technological advancements in the waging of war. It was given independence and its own charter by the Lord Protector in February SY155. It’s main purpose is to study weaponry captured in the field and then reverse engineer it or discover means of combating it another way, as well as developing new weapons for Sable’s own forces to use.

Edgar is Sable native who originally studied at Sable Mage College. However, after her brother was killed in the war, she joined the Army Mage Corps, and rose rapidly through the ranks. Her magical specialities are investigative and mech-tech, the ideal combination for the work the Institute has to undertake. She appears to be in her early-forties, with light brown, short hair, and hazel eyes. She is one of the foremost experts at reverse engineering in Sable.

Colonel Stephen Galbraith, Former Commander of the Sable Guard

Galbraith was a good soldier, and an efficient commander for the Sable Guard. However, about thirty years ago he had a serious riding accident, and while he survived, his injuries never fully healed – despite the better efforts of the best healers in Sable. He recommended Prince Christopher as his replacement, and now advises Christopher’s successor when asked. He also teaches at Sandhurst.

Galbraith looks to be in his early-forties, with a medium build, bright blue eyes and uncontrollable black hair. However, he now walks with a bad limp which seriously cuts down his manoeuvrability. When he is not advising the Sable Guard, he is teaching at the Academy.

The Lord High Executioner

Officially, there is no-one occupying this position in Sable. After all, it is a very civilised society. However, mothers tell their children stories that if they are bad, or evil, they will be handed over to The Herzog. Make of that what you will.

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