The Belvitz Brigade
We come as crows.
The brigade of the Duke of Adria has had many daring commanders at its helm, and many stout and brave soldiers in its ranks. First founded in the early 1400s by the Houses Sarkozic de Montfort and Vladovic, the Duchy of Adria and its military have acted as the core of the Karovic dynasty’s foothold in the realm of man for centuries.
With origins in the Karovic streltsy of the First Empire in the 1200s and 1300s, the forerunner of the Belvitz Brigade was responsible for installing a Karovic emperor for the first time in the history of Oren, and then for making that dynasty one of history’s most successful and militant.
The years that have past have only seen the men of Ruska, who later coalesced in the first Duchy of Adria on the continent of Athera, grow in honor, learning, and bravery. The Duchy of Adria is now the cultural and historical heartland of the Ruskan peoples and the Empire that they uphold. Where her bravest and strongest men gather under His Grace’s Commandant, this is The Belvitz Brigade.
‘The Charge of the Carovic streltsy’, The Siege of the Dreadfort, Cirta. 1399
“GOD bless the poor ******* Infantry.” - Jon Renalt de Savoie, Circa. 1542
Commander-in-Chief: The Duke of Adria is the traditional “Commander-in-Chief of the Belvitz Brigade. His Grace is afforded the full respect and loyalty of the Belvitz Brigade, and has the right to lead his forces in parade or battle. This office is currently held by His Grace, Duke Ratibor R. Carrion.
Commandant: The Commandant of the Belvitz Brigade, tasked with the maintenance of a well-regulated and well-trained brigade for the defense of the Duchy of Adria, her Lord, and her interests. Appointed directly by His Grace, the Duke of Adria. This office is currently held by the Right Honorable, Chacellor-Commandant Alaric M. Vladovic.
Knight Palatine: The Knight Palatine of the Belvitz Brigade is responsible for maintaining and training the knightly vanguard of Adria, which rides outfront of the rest of the brigade as shock troops, astride warhorses and bedecked in the Hussar-finery of Adria’s knightly tradition. The Knight Palatine reports only to the Commandant. This office is currently held by Ser Darius Ault.
Captain: The Captains of the Belvitz Brigade are the highest ranking officers outside of high command. The most experienced soldiers and leaders, Captains lead battalions into the fray and are responsible for leading training exercises and patrol and defense missions.
Knight Lieutenant: Of equivalent rank to an ignoble Lieutenant but of greater prestige, the Knight Lieutenants are warriors given special honor by His Imperial Majesty. Thus, they are set apart in their own battalion, the Hussar Vanguard, and report directly to the Grand Knight of Adria.
Lieutenant: The first commissioned officer position, which reflects the soldier’s entrance into Command. Entitled to participation in officer meetings, the wearing of the officer’s uniform, and tasked with the execution of priority tasks for the brigade and the leadership of missions.
Knight: All knights of His Imperial Majesty who seek to join the Belvitz Brigade will be conferred this rank and will be considered a junior officer on account of his prior service to the realm. Knights report directly to Knight Lieutenants and the Knight Palatine, and form Adria’s historic and fearsome Hussar Vanguard.
Serjeant: The rank of Serjeant is awarded to those men-at-arms who have proven their mettle in battle as leaders of the brigade. Serjeants are expected to run drills and lead recruitment drives for new soldiers.
Man-At-Arms: Footmen are promoted to Men-at-Arms once they have been blooded by slaying an enemy in battle, or after a Saint’s month of service.
Footman: Conscripts are promoted to footmen and allowed to take the Ducal oath after two Saint’s weeks of loyal service to the realm.
Conscript: Conscripts are fresh recruits, ready to make a name for themselves in defense of the duchy and her interests.
Standard-Bearer: The standard-bearer is an accomplished enlisted soldier entrusted with carrying the Adrian standard into battle. This is not just an honorary rank, as the brigade places great importance in the protection of their banner in battle. The standard-bearer is considered a Serjeant by rank.
Chaplain: The chaplain is a clergyman of the True Faith, who bolsters the spirits of the brigade by blessing the brigade before battle, leading the brigade in paeans to the Creator, and growing the faith of the Duke’s men.
Physician: The physicians of the Belvitz Brigade are responsible for the well being of the soldiery. After battle, physicians collect the wounded and treat to their illnesses, and manage a medical tent behind friendly lines in times of war.
Quartermaster: The quartermaster of the Belvitz Brigade is tasked with the collection and distribution of funds- for wages and the purchase of supplies and arms- as well as weapons, armor, and managing the barracks.
The Hussars: The Hussar battalion is formed from the knights of Adria, and commanded by the Knight Palatine. The Hussars are a small, elite force that upholds the standards of military preparation and knightly chivalry in Adria. The Knight Palatine of the Hussar battalion is Ser Darius Ault.
The Cossacks: The Cossacks are the mounted men of the Belvitz Brigade. A light cavalry battalion, the Cossacks specialize in lightning-fast attacks and counter-attacks that devastate the enemy before speedily returning to augment friendly battle-lines. The Cossack battalion is commanded by Captain Marguan Goldhand. The Streltsy: The traditional fighting force of the duchy of Adria, the Streltsy is formed from the enlisted infantrymen of the Duchy. Particularly tasked with the defense of Belvitz, whenever the warning bells of Belvitz’s cathedral ring the Streltsy pours out of homes and taverns to answer the call. The Streltsy battalion is commanded by former Maer, Captain Bruce Roger.
Honors & Awards:
“I’m an eggshell, protecting the yolk of Felsen.”- Halberdier Nathan Hawthorne, circa 1544, upon joining the Citizen’s Militia.
The Grand Crow of Sigmund- The highest honour available to members of His Grace’s Belvitz Brigade. Only officers are eligible to receive it. The Grand Crow is a golden medallion, affixed to the uniform of the honored man by the Duke himself. If not already a Knight, the reception of the Grand Crow will coincide with a recommendation to the Emperor of knighthood.
The Gold Cross of St. Emma- The highest honour available to enlisted-men of His Grace’s Belvitz Brigade. Affixed to the uniform of the honored man by the Duke himself, and each awarded cross contains a minor relic cast into the gold. If not already a Knight, the reception of the Grand Crow will coincide with a recommendation to the Emperor of knighthood.
The Silver Cross of Adria- The Silver Cross of Adria is awarded to members of the brigade responsible for saving the life of a member of the ducal family, a noble vassal family, or one of his duke’s councilors. The Silver Cross is blessed by the Pontiff, and affixed to the uniform of the honored man by His Grace the Duke himself.
The Bronze Cross of Adria- Given for valorous service in battle, the Bronze Cross is blessed by the Pontiff, and affixed to the uniform of the honored man by His Grace the Duke himself.
The Crow’s Shield- Given for saving the life of a citizen of Adria from threats at home or abroad. In the form of a bronze shield embossed with the arms of the Ducal family, given to the honored man by the Duke himself.
“If only…. I’d paid them more…” - Vibius de Sola whilst being stabbed to death by his own men, circa 1469
Wages are paid weekly by the quartermaster. The starting salary for Conscripts is 300, and increases by an interval of 50 minas for each rank promotion (Conscript 300, Footman 350, Man-At-Arms 400, Serjeant/Knight 450, Lieutenant 500, Captain 550). High Command is not salaried.
Soldiers are also eligible for bonuses for participating in missions. Soldiers are eligible for a 150 minas bonus for an offensive or defensive mission, 500 minas after a Saint’s month of service, 200 minas for the apprehension dead or alive of a fugitive of Ducal law, and 200 minas for the recruitment of new soldiers to the brigade.
Customs & Regulations:
“Sometimes when I close my eyes I can not see.”- Recruit Asgoslav of Felsen, circa 1523, after being struck in the head by an orc.
Adrian Salute- The right fist clasped, placed over heart, and held there until the salute is returned.
Church- The brigade’s uniform should always be worn, clean and pressed, to service. No sins against the Creator are to be permitted in the House of God, under threat of corporal punishment.
Nobles- Nobles of the realm should be addressed politely according to their rank and station. If you are not sure how to address a noble, at least use the courtesy address of “Sir” or “Ma’am”.
Superiors- Any soldier or officer of higher rank than oneself should be addressed as “Sir”.
Uniform regulations- The regulation helm is optional, but otherwise the regulation Belvitz Brigade uniform is required to be worn at all times in public spaces in the Empire unless instructed otherwise. Criminal activity is of course prohibited for members of the brigade, but guardsmen caught committing crimes against the duchy or empire in their uniform will, at least, lose a hand and be expelled from the guard.
IRP/PVP Combat Experience: