Military Structure of the Starlit Court

From Beacon Space

Due to their feudalistic origins and the undeniable influence of the Knightly Orders on the culture and structure of the Starlit Court the structure of the Sihian military can be hard to discern for outsiders. Rather than maintaining a more traditional army and navy structure where commands are divided by their roles, each of the major Knightly Orders is a complete combined arms force of their own.

As a result of this fragmented command structure the military requirements of the Sihian state are assigned to orders in a rotation providing the needed protection while allowing each order time for rest and relaxation and for knights to pursue individual mercenary contracts and quests as has been their primary reason for existence since the beginning. This also results in large military action often requiring the cooperation of multiple knightly orders.

What is not immediately apparent to external observers is that not every combat role within the Starlit Court’s military is filled by those who have achieved a knightly title, most of the soldiers that make up their forces are in fact what the Court refers to as Men-at-Arms. The level of integration between the knights and the men-at-arms differs greatly depending on the order, in some of the larger orders they are almost entirely separate mimicking somewhat a more typical military structure on a smaller scale. Some of the smaller more specialized orders instead have their more limited cadres of men-at-arms specifically attached to their lances of Knights as dedicated these dedicated units are sometimes referred to as a Knight’s Entourage.

While knights and men-at-arms are typically deployed as separate units due to the difference in both the scale and intended purpose of their effects, sometimes their theaters of engagement overlap. In the event of this happening it is generally understood that the ranking knight present during the encounter has overall command, this is true even in the case that the men-at-arms and the knights in question are from separate orders.

King’s Guard

The major exception to the Knightly Orders’ control of the military forces of Sihi is the King’s Guard. Nominally the honor guard of the Castellan in the absence of the High King, this force comprises several divisions of elite men-at-arms commanded by the Castellan and a handpicked force of knights that have been surrendered from their original orders for the duty.