The Sable External Military
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The External Forces are comprised of the Sable Army, the Royal Navy and the Royal Air Force, operating outside the Commonwealth, often in deep Shadow, engaged in the wider war against enemies near and far. The external operations within the first twenty-five Veils are organised into four Military Regions.
Three of these are of long standing, dating from the early days of the war with the Reich, and have their headquarters in large military reservations (around 12,000 acres) on the Shadows of Lothian, Ceredigion and Uaithen, all in the Seventh Veil from Sable and equidistant around the Sable sphere. These three Shadows have tech levels of around the 1950s, with gunpowder, automatic weaponry and the internal combustion engine all functional, as well as magic. Each Military Region has control of the land, sea and, where relevant, air forces operational in their spheres of influence, as well as having detachments of the White Guard (see Sable Security Services) assigned to them, if not directly under their command.
The most recent addition is Abbeville, in Veil 21, which was the forward base for operations against the Weimar Republik, along with its Technocracy counterpart on the Veil 23 Shadow of Yamanau. The Sable Commander on Abbeville is Prince James, who has been working closely with Prince Andrew’s men from Yamanau.
The Sable Army is a multi-Shadow organisation, with operational commanders in each theatre of the war against the Reich. Forces are normally a combination of Sable and Commonwealth nationals, and locals from the Shadows where combat is taking place who wish to join the fight against the oppressor. Due to the inconsistency of tech levels across Shadow, the officer corps of the Sable Army are all cross-trained to fight in a variety of styles and with a lot of different kinds of equipment, from Dark Ages and Medieval to early-21st century tech. There are very few worlds in Sable Shadow that exceed 21st century tech, as by far the majority of those lands became incorporated into the Technocracy Band when the Nexus was created, although a small high-tech force is maintained under the personal command of Field Marshal Prince Andrew, who is the Sable expert in high-tech warfare.
Prince Francis tries to split his time equally between the Military Regions and Army Headquarters in Sable City, itself, although he has in place a number of deputies and operational commanders who look to the day to day running of matters in their Regions when he is not personally present.
Specialist Army Units
The Black Panthers, Lieutenant-General Alyse Krieg
The ‘Black Panthers’ is the catchall nickname of the land and air corps of the Sable Special Forces (more formally, the Paratroop Regiment and the Special Air Service). There are detachments of Black Panthers assigned to all three Military Regions, plus within the Commonwealth itself (based at Riversend), each with their own regional commander, with General Krieg maintaining overall control from her base in Uaithen. They work with the White Guard, but the two regiments are distinctly separate, with different reporting lines.
Krieg is a tall, blond woman who looks to be in her early-fifties, who has been a career soldier within Sable’s forces for several decades. She takes no nonsense from her subordinates, but maintains their respect by making she is fit enough and competent enough to perform any task or action she asks them to.
The Royal Engineers, Mage Brigadier General Anthony Blake
The Royal Engineers are a regiment of battle trained mages. All are graduates either of Sable Mage College, or the Sable College of Military Magic. Their magical specialisms are usually towards trans/comms, combat/battle (including siege and explosives), structural (including demolitions) and defensive, although some are also healers. In addition to their magical abilities, the Engineers are highly trained in the more mundane areas of combat engineering, and many are expert map makers who occasionally work behind the lines to bring home military intelligence both for the army and for the security services.
Anthony Blake is the youngest son of James, Duke of Richmond. He took active command of the Engineers when his father finally retired from military service, about fifty years ago. He is a specialist in defensive and structural magic. He looks to be in his mid-thirties, with dark brown hair and slate-grey eyes.
King Robert has close links with the Royal Engineers, and is its Colonel-in-Chief for ceremonial purposes.
The Royal Navy
The Royal Navy has been in operation for well over a hundred and twenty years. Initially it needed a lot of shipbuilding and shaking down, especially as ships needed to be designed and built for a variety of tech levels, but it is now a well-equipped, professional service, second to none on the Sable and Commonwealth seas. Under the admiral’s watchful eye, its further development and expansion is going on apace. It is engaged in operations on Magica Superior, in the Commonwealth, and beyond, as well as on the Gateway world of Murray.
It is split into five main fleets: one for each of the three Military Regions, and one for the Commonwealth itself, which is based out of Riversend, although operations on Magica Superior itself are undertaken by the Home Patrol Force. It also works closely with the navies of the Defence-Pact Shadows of Lowell and Cadel.
Bonner himself is a solidly built man who appears to be in his mid-fifties. He was born at Riversend, the son of David Bonner, a former Head of the Royal Commonwealth Navy, and his wife Silke, also a Naval Captain, and always knew that he wanted to serve on the High Seas. He was discovered to be Talented at a young age and studied at SMCC, before becoming an officer cadet at the Riversend Naval College. He then had a successful career within the navy itself, serving with honour in a variety of theatres. He was assigned as Admiral of the Fleet and First Sea Lord about fifteen years ago. He is an archetypal sailor, and those who don’t know him well would consider him rather bluff: he is definitely quite willing to call a spade a spade and to stand his ground if it needs to be stood. However, he is an excellent Admiral and very well respected by his captains. He is married and has one daughter.
The Royal Marine Corps, Major-General Rick Longman
The Royal Marine Corps are a highly trained special forces regiment, under the auspices of the Royal Navy. Its speciality is seaborne actions and amphibious landings (no surprises there), although its personnel are efficient and competent in all areas of special forces actions, and have been known to co-ordinate operations with the Black Panthers. The Royal Marines follow the same rank structure as the Sable Army.
Longman has been in command of the Corps for about forty years, having been personally given the position by Field Marshal O’Connor, who found him a particularly promising student. He is a strongly built man who looks to be in his mid-thirties. He has white blond hair and light grey eyes, and is definitely something of a ladies man.
The Royal Air Force was the third branch of the Sable Armed Forces to be formed, having been created in response to the growing threat from the Reich Luftwaffe, as air combat has gained prominence in Reich military planning. The RAF has been a separate entity for about forty years, having grown out of the earlier Royal Army Air Corp, and as an independent organisation, it is still under development to a certain degree. It has both mechanised and non-mechanised (e.g. dragons, griffins, etc) units, centred around the three Military Regions, but available for deployment out to various theatres of warfare against the Reich at short or limited notice. The rank structure is based on Army ranks.
Christopher is its second commander, his predecessor having been killed when his fighter-plane was shot down about five years ago. His experience in the Sable Guard has served him in good stead, although he is taking the time to become more familiar with both mechanised flying and the differing combat techniques that airplanes and helicopters use relative to non-powered flight.
The Corps of Royal Observers, Colonel Kira Strauss
The Royal Observation Corps are a sub-unit of the Royal Air Force, specialising in aerial reconnaissance, intelligence gathering and analysis, in both mechanised and non-mechanised arenas. They are not formally assigned to front line combat, although inevitably their duties bring them into combat situations, so ROC pilots are very well trained. Colonel Strauss took command of the unit in SY153.
The Sable High-Tech Forces
This is the newest branch of the Sable military, formed in response to the growing threat from the Machine. Although technically attached to the Sable Military, the High-Tech forces are based in the Technocracy lands, as their operational areas are towards the Technocracy Band, rather than closer in to Sable. They have been built and trained by Field Marshal Prince Andrew and Field Marshall Lord William within the last decade, and comprise a small space force with associated army and marines. Prince Andrew maintains overall command of the force, although he is assisted by Admiral of the Fleet Regis Carlyle and General Raymond Barratt.