Atlas   Rules   Resources   Adventures   Stories       FAQ   Search   Links

General Organisation of the Order -- 11. The Garrisons

by Bruce Heard


There are two types of garrisons, the commanderies which hold a military function, and the abbeys which fulfil all other functions.

Commanderies: They include anything from a fortified house to a large castle. They dot the lands of the Heldannic Territories, guarding borders, roads, and other strategic points against incursions and banditry. A small commanderie detachment typically includes a Commander (Knight Bachelor), two brother knights, three squires, two sergeants, six men-at-arms, twelve archers or crossbowmen, one ballista and its crew of three, one Chaplain, and four Serving Brethren to handle menial tasks inside the commanderie. Another twenty-five hired peasants who do not reside on site tend to some thirty acres of farmland and the commanderie's livestock of one bull, two oxen, four cows, twelve pigs, twenty goats and sheep, and scores of poultry and fowl (and so on).Other assets include two ploughs and two supply wagons including the one for the ballista unit. The House, as the knights call it, provides several dormitories, stables for the knights' eighteen horses and four mules, a mess hall, a chapel, a few individual rooms including the Commander's own quarters, and a kitchen which form the fortified dwelling. A barn and other wooden structures used for farming stand outside the commanderie.

Abbeys: In settled and pacified lands abbeys endeavour to develop the region's agricultural potential in addition to the exploitation of their own estate. They provide religious services to common folk in the area, medical, and educational services. They also collect taxes, handle local recruitment, and conduct any police duties in the absence of the military. Taxes are then shipped the closest main garrison to be entrusted to the Voice of Vanya. These abbeys also provide peaceful retirement to elderly brothers who have become incapable of handling their duties. All three clerical branches reside in these abbeys, but the Heart often directs daily business.

In recently acquired lands fortified abbeys have the crucial responsibility of suppressing desires and means for armed resistance. They work to reduce the influence of other faiths, slowly converting local population to the Ways of Vanya. These abbeys follow a much harsher lifestyle and discipline than any other garrison in the Order. They are often used as a place for unruly brethren to expiate crimes and learn the Ways of Vanya the hard way. The Hammer of Vanya runs all these outposts. Depending on the need, a military detachment such as the one described for a Commanderie, may be garrisoned at the abbey. An average abbey includes an Abbot, up to twenty Priors or Chaplains, and up to two hundred Serving Brethren.