Title: Edatan Red Riders
12 companies of 30 riders. Further divided into teams of 6 riders. The rest consist of support staff,. Blacksmiths, farriers, physicians for both men and animals, as well as their assistants, shamans, baggage train, etc etc,
4 of the companies are junior riders often wearing little to no armour save what is provided by the regiment. Long daggers are provided, but swords/axes/maces are often purchased.
6 companies of veteran soldiers who have proven themselves over several campaigns and earned themselves spoils of battle. Wearing the namesake bright red cloth tunics.
The last two companies are the most senior riders. Well blooded and near unshakable in resolve, but also physically older and often held in reserve until absolutely needed. Each rider is in their fifties at least and to mark their relative wealth and status, often sport elaborate carvings on their helmets, shields, and equipment as they can afford.
All senior riders and most veterans have their own personally owned weapons but also have the right of first pick amongst the regimental stock, and most importantly right of first pick from from regiments stable, if due to losses there are too few horses to go around it is the junior companies that must continue on foot.
Specialization: The Red Riders specialize in light unit tactics. Skirmish, reconnasiance, ambush, harassment. Both on horseback (which is preferred) or on foot. Slings, spears and javelins are inexpensive weapons used by the riders in most situations. While more veteran riders are often self trained with more skilled weapons such as swords and axes for if and when circumstances demand.
Description: The Riders are composed of all humans from the city-kingdom of Edata, Within the Bastetani confederation. They take their name from their adoption of an unofficial but strict uniform of red and white tunics all riders wear, and that most of their steeds are chestnut or reddish brown in colour.
In terms of armour, there is less uniformity, And is often based on what the individual rider can afford. A simple helmet, small round wooden shield, javelins and a sling are provided by the regiment upon enlistment, But that is all that is provided. The rest is based off the riders personal wealth from their private lives, or what can be purchased with their plunder and wages. Those that can afford armour typically purchase bronze greaves and bracers, Protection of the chest is limited to a circular plate of tempered bronze for the chest and/or back, and held in place by a sturdy leather harness.
A sturdier shield, custom engravings on armour, trappings for their steed are all luxuries an individual rider can choose to purchase for themselves to show off their skill and the wealth born from their success as a warrior. But as a rule the Red riders are light cavalry unit and do not believe in burdening themselves or their steeds with too much weight.
History: The Red riders as a unit have existed for nearly two hundred years. While they are pledged to the officially to the protection of Edata, they are in reality the personal warriors of Korribilo's family. Outfitted by and having their wages paid for by the family, not by the Edatan Crown. This is an understandably heavy burden on even a noble family but... also politically invaluable.
Going back several generations to it's original founding during the calamity that was the beastial invasion that swept the Vasconte plains during the reign of king Arbiskar, and burned the city of Numentia to ash. One of many such private regiments raised in a time of great crisis. Not an uncommon occurance for wealthy Bastentani nobles and chieftains to 'lead the charge' with their own resources. Of course the great concerns of this cultural practice have never been about arming men during a time of crisis, but disarming them once that crisis has passed.
Many of these private regiments are forcibly disbanded by jealous (and nervous) kings. While others manage to linger on in a reduced capacity. Their deeds of valour and glory galvanizing support from the public and thereby making any attempts to disband them politically dangerous.
Indeed the size of the Red Riders has waxed and waned over the years. Which has been key to it's continuous survival. Often barely numbering a hundred souls in times of peace, while once numbering (very briefly) just shy of a thousand during the Castelli rebellions. But the Riders always volunteer for any major conflict Edata finds itself in, and is always led from the front by a son of the Korribilo family.
Since it's inception the riders have performed duties as simple as guarding the trade caravans of their noble sponsors, light raids against the lands of rival tribes and families. To participating in all out war alongside the Royal Edatan army in broader conflicts. The ambush at Ildulta Pass, the Burning of Tarbantu, the routing of the Sakarbik army and the subsequent capture of it's king. All these are all accomplishments of the Red Riders. The Korribilo family drives the unit hard during times of war. For it's only the incredible success and reputation of the Red riders that keeps them from being permantently disbanded. And of course, their success reflects well on the family that sponsors them... and the rich spoils they earn have helped the family stave off hard times.
Country: The Bastetani confederation is a loose coalition of tribes, petty kingdoms and a handful of proper city states united by a shared language, religion, and social structures. This confederation once dominated a large portion of the western peninsula. The riders themselves specifically hail from the city-kingdom of Edata in the southern horn of the peninsula. One of the Largerst cities in the confederation though the confederation had few true cities as most Basteni peoples prefer an agrarian lifestyle. Scattered villages amongst the plains while some tribes were entirely nomadic. Most Basteni peoples, even those in the cities revere a pantheon of Gods and shamanistic spirits, and hold certain animals especially horses and bulls as unquestionably sacred.
But as of now, over two thirds of the confederation land has been swallowed by the darkness. To say this has been a strain on the collective resources of the confederation is an understatement and morale in the civilian and warrior classes of society is cripplingly low. And the weight of expectations for security and hope placed upon the noble and priestly classes are daunting.