Campaign of the Month: February 2014
The Shirn of Sussuria have two halves to their militia. They have the common soldiers, or Heishi, and the officers, or Shikan. It is highly unusual for a Heishi to ever become Shikan as it usually requires noble birth or at the very least patronage.
In general, your rank defines on how many soldiers you command. This is no different between Heishi and Shikan, however even the lowest ranked Shikan always outranks even the highest ranked Heishi. However, veteran Heishi, may gain their commander’s ear to prevent green Shikan from dishonoring their families.
The Shirn have two halves to their militia. They have the common soldiers, or Heishi, and the officers, or Shikan. It is highly unusual for a Heishi to ever become Shikan as it usually requires noble birth or at the very least patronage.
In general, your rank defines on how many soldiers you command. This is no different between Heishi and Shikan, however even the lowest ranked Shikan always outranks even the highest ranked Heishi. However, veteran Heishi, may gain their commander’s ear to prevent green Shikan from dishonoring their families. Having the respect of your soldiers is one of the major steps toward gaining advancement. Soldiers are organized into groups for ease of command. These groups, in order of size from smallest to largest, are:
- Ken – 5 Nitohei soldiers, 1 Jotohei superior; the name refers to hand or fist.
- Niken – 10 soldiers; name refers to two fists.
- Daiken – 15 soldiers 12 Nitohei, 2 Jotohei and 1 Gocho; name refers to Great Fist
- Kaze – 30 soldiers; name refers to a wind.
- Sankaze – 60 soldiers; name refers to a three winds.
- Nami – 300 soldiers; comprised of 5 Rozen-sen; the name refers to a wave.
- Daikaze – 3000 soldiers; comprised of 10 Nami; the name refers to great wind.
- Ronami – 6000 soldiers; comprised of 2 Kaze; the name refers to six waves.
- Sekara – 30,000 soldiers; name refers to the concept of force.
Heishi ranks from lowest to highest: Nitohei, Jotohei, Gocho, Socho. Heishi often start service between the ages of 20 and 30 years of age (the age that they pick a trade), but this is not a hard or fast rule.
- Nitohei command themselves. They are either the newest of the new green recruits or the perpetual screw ups who can’t ever seem to stay in command. It is a saying among retired Shirn military that someone is ‘acting like a Nitohei’. It has connotations of idiot or fool in this context.
- Jotohei command one or two Ken. Often he is part of a Daiken and under the command of Gocho.
- Gocho command the men of the Daiken and is considered to be a low rank adjunct for an officer’s staff.
- Socho commands the men of a Kaze. This is the highest conventional enlisted rank. Socho are used in the command staff for higher ranks of Shikan (officers) and may not be in direct command of a unit.
Shikan ranks from lowest to highest: Shoi, Taii, Shosa, Taisa, Shosho, Taisho and Yama. Many shikan of noble and well to do families often begin military service at 16, which is considered quite young for a Sussurian Officer. Because a shikan (officer) must not only command, but be more competent than the men he commands, they feel the four extra years will give the young Shikan the presence necessary.
- Shoi start out commanding one group of five Nitohei (lowest rank soldier), a Ken (a five man squad). Over the next few years the Shoi Shikan will have to earn more men by proving his or her worth. This is the first step in command for a Sussurian Officer, or Shikan. It is here you rise to lead your fellow Shirn or get sent to the Heishi – non officers.
- Taii command a Sankaze. The Shikan is only promoted to Taii from Shoi after proving command ability over two Kaze. This is more of a test of perseverance than pure ability.
- Shosa command a Nami. When they have spent at least three years as Taii and have received a letter of commendation from at least one officer of higher than their command rank can they be promoted to Shosa.
- Taisa is the first of the real ‘command’ ranks as they command the might of a Daikaze. This rank is reserved for command staff. They tend not to go out in the field any more and would be considered ‘desk jockeys’ in a conventional police force. Taisa vary in command structure based on the needs of the Shosho above them. To be promoted to this rank the Shikan must go through a number of classes in leadership from their superiors.
- Shosho are in overall command of a city, lesser region or town. The number of Ronami under their command depends upon the size and importance of the municipality.
- Taisho command a region, or a number of towns and cities. They will have a large staff of Taisa and Shosho. The minimum unit size under their command is a Sekara in size.
- Yama: out of all the Taisho one will be chosen by their peers to be Shinsei-Yama (divine mountain) or more simply Yama. A Yama has no direct command of any units on a continual basis, but he can ask for select Heishi and Shikan for any mission he feels is necessary. He is rarely denied, typically civil war would fit this. There is never more than one Yama at a time.