Hirschberg’s tradition of uniformed service runs deep. It is so ingrained that the locals boast that the bedclothes of its first soldier, Praeter Yohanis, are as stiff as his starch-pressed dress reds.
But even the elfmarked castellan of Castle Reln recognizes that a life of strict military discipline is not for everyone. The defense of the realm also depends on those who serve the city’s lawful authorities in civilian garb. Yohanis has been instrumental in establishing three units, his “irregulars” as he likes to call them, eager to apply their martial training outside the regular command structure.
Many adventurers see joining the irregulars as a gateway into Hirschberg society. This is especially true of non-elves and foreigners whose aim is ultimately to gain stewardship of a barony of their own. But natives also volunteer out of a sense of patriotism.
What follows is a short description of these groups.
Rava’s Smelting Crew
This is a counter-intelligence unit that protects the city’s advancements in military technology. Quick-thinking rogues and spellcasters are especially valued as members.
The RSC has an old smelter’s factory as its base. Its agents are watchful for covetous inquiries about advances in arms, armor, and the machines of war. They also try to entice and entrap spies from rival Dornig houses and other nations, but from Grisal and Kakova especially, employing rumor and running elaborate sting operations.
The RSC also tries to monitor misuse of the Shadow Roads by forces trying to probe Hirschberg’s military for secrets. These agents are sometimes the most courageous—and reckless—yet also vulnerable to the sinister influence of the fey roads’ residents.
The riders are deputized highway marshals based in Tomierau, which dedicates the upstairs portion of a road house for its headquarters. Riders act as guides through the forest (not just along the main road), as bounty hunters, as escorts, and as defenders of the common folk.
Their reputation for horsemanship is well-deserved, but does not preclude its members choosing other mounts, such as pegasi and griffons.
Woodcraft, wilderness lore, and dungeoneering are required training for the portion of the riders’ job they don’t publicize—exploring the interior of the forest, seeking out ruins, and obtaining relics that can be used to strengthen Hirsh-Dammag’s position.
This special unit attached to the Coastal Patrol works to maintain a balance between Aldous-Donners relic-hunters and the territorial ambitions of the Twinned Cathedral.
The Beachcombers aid in search and rescue, remain watchful for Northlander raiders from out of the Nieder Strait, and police smuggling. But they also have clandestine duties, to which they answer to Hirschberg alone.
Using Hirschberg-financed lighthouses near Donnermark, Thorn, and the ruins of Thorn as bases of operation, the Beachcombers go into action whenever they learn of official (and unofficial) expeditions by either Aldous-Donners or the Twinned Cathedral. Their orders to aid, deter, outrace, or simply observe one side or the other depends on the politics of the moment. The orders of a given mission can be interpreted as contradictory when compared with others.