A Sahkierite monastery which acts as a religious house, home to many monks and nuns, a hospital, and a base of operations for a small military unit of the Zufluchtorden (a knightly order) to protect the region, as well as an administrative centre for a Komturei, alternatively called a Commandry or a Preceptory. It serves the local population as a place of learning and medicine in addition to performing religious services, and as a courthouse for official justice.
Nesting Abbey is responsible for 4 villages, which the Abbot holds as lands in much the same way as conventional governors hold land from Verre Zon. The difference is that the office of Abbot holds the lands rather than the man holding the office, since the leadership of the clergy is what earned the land grant from the Conclave.
Another 2 villages are co-held with independent secular governors, so both have a claim to the land. The abbey has influence in those areas but normally must negotiate with the governors to avoid working at cross-purposes. If there is an impasse the Conclave can rule one way or the other depending on what decision most benefits them according to their expectations from the settlements, and probably according to spite at the governors who failed to reach an agreement.
Nesting Abbey serves the mission of the Zufluchtorden, to provide a support network granting shelter and protection to Imperial citizens of the Teutaic Kaisertum seeking to settle the New World (the main language of Verre Zon is Therosic, and many Imperial citizens cannot access the city’s support networks). Officially their mission is to support Imperial citizens, but they are not exclusive, and will grant their aid to anyone in need, and take their responsibilities towards native tenants very seriously.
Services provided for free are education (particularly in local languages), medicine, and shelter for pilgrims. The Order of Sanctuary does believe the Ameyatl capitol city is the site of the battle between Sahkier and Ouroboros (although being happy about it is another matter entirely), and encourages pilgrimages on this route.
For the community the abbey provides similar services, but also collects tithes and distributes them to the poor. Normally the local poor. Abbey-owned fields are offered for public use. In addition, monks will often offer their labours to assist a struggling family. A number of buildings are made of adobe and were built by the abbey, either civilian buildings made by the monks, or fortifications built by the soldiers.
This mission of charity helps endear the abbey to the local population, and is an attempt to convert them to Sahkier through example. It has had limited success so far, as the pre-existing Telpochcallis provide similar functions (although on a smaller scale).
The aesthetic lifestyle of the monks is performed with the aim of theosis, or union with Sahkier through embracing his selflessness through self-denial. Diendebrudern or those in military service are not expected to embrace this practise, although they are expected to live disciplined lives.
Abbot Eckart von Bothmer is the leader of the abbey, in his youth he helped run his family estates but was given a church education which attracted him to church life. He is a kind man, who believes that self-denial without charity fails to achieve the selflessness that is essential to theosis. Therefore he encourages the abbey to get involved in the concerns of the local community.
Commander of the military forces is Komtur (alternatively called Preceptor) Karsimir von Greyssen, who is responsible for the defence of the region and provision of military forces. A young and unproven commander who effectively bought his position with troops loyal to him from previous campaigns, made Komtur because the troops he commanded were enough for a Komturei,
The partnership between the Abbot and Komtur is strong. Preceptor von Greyssen sees himself as a servant to the abbey and the Order, while the Abbot von Bothmer places no needless restrictions on the troops. Both are devout Sahkierites who work towards the good of their tenants and assist each other rather than engaging in power struggles.
Upkeep for the abbey is largely self-sufficient, having plenty of land within the abbey complex. Production includes a dairy farm, vegetable gardens, bakeries, eggs and fowl, moderate fishing and chinampas on the river. The abbey is able to feed its own monks, nuns, soldiers and animals (of which there are many, this is an Imperially founded monastery after all), including the horses of the cavalry.
Money is raised using water-powered paper mills and scribing services, apothecary labs producing gunpowder, and charters levying modest tolls during certain events and festivals. Tax records are organised by the abbey although they do not collect the taxes themselves, instead bringing in Imperial taxmen from Adlerstadt. Wages for the soldiers are paid largely from outside by the central headquarters of the Zufluchtorden.
Roughly 80 clergy dwell within the walls of the abbey.
Another 4-6 clergy tend the spiritual needs of each abbey-held village (24 total).
Overseeing the others are 6 higher ordained clergy within the abbey, although who regularly travel to the villagers to assist and oversee.
Another 27 laity live in the abbey as either skilled labourers employed by the abbey or tradesmen and craftsmen who rely on the abbey to sell their goods elsewhere.
Higher ordained clergy all have access to divine blessings such as exorcisms, holy water, divinations and healing. Lesser clergy may have some of these abilities, but only some of them have them and none has all the blessings that the higher clergy do.
Chief duty of a Komtur (Preceptor) is to provide 100 fighting men for the Order and to ensure their military readiness (training and equipment). These may be brethren, militia, or mercenaries. Normally these are raised from the district under their control, although Karsimir brought his men with him upon joining the Order, who served with him in previous campaigns.
Those from the Reie campaign first met Karsimir from opposing sides in battle. They were troops of robber barons (lords committing banditry from castles), Karsimir was a squire in the Imperial army that captured them. After, Karsimir found them and offered them the chance to regain a soldiers wage, equipment and redemption if they would use their military skills in service to the Kaisertum. Not all accepted the offer, but these are the ones who did. They are deeply loyal, feeling they owe the state of their lives to Karsimir.
Others were at the Sack of Tejecote in the Adventurers’ Crusade, and did what they could to stop the massacre of civilians. Afterwards they deserted and Karsimir arranged new employers for them. They are grateful and respect the Preceptor, although their loyalty is not the same extent of personal devotion as those from the Reie.
A new group came from the Telpochcalli, the Preceptor trying to raise a fully professional troops from the local warrior-cultures (still work-in-progress for reasons outlined under Yaobrudern). Reactions in this group are positive, they recognise that he intends better things for them than many other commanders, although further loyalty has not been built up yet.
While a Komtur is responsible for providing 100 fighting men for the Order, he does not command them all directly on the battlefield. In battle he normally leads a squadron called a Banner of 20-40 lancers (Diendebrudern), while the remainder of his troops join up with other archers and artillery when he joins a larger army (in other situations he usually only brings the Banner).
The banner itself is divided into four squares (quartered). Two squares (in opposite corners) show a white lion on a blue background, while the other two show a black chevron on a white background. In the centre of the banner where the squares meet is a black shield showing a yellow eagle.
Troops must wear company colours (blue, grey & yellow) and badges of the Order’s Chevron and the Imperial Eagle. Grey is replaced by black for specialists and white for sub-officers.
Full armour (lancers): overtunic, combination of blue and grey (/white/black) with large badges of the Order Chevron & Imperial Eagle on the chest & shoulders.
Part-armoured: blue slashed clothing cut to show grey (/white/black) and yellow lining.
Native: blue tlahuiztli bodysuit with yellow and grey (/white/black) patterns.
Special (full armour non-lancer): blue & yellow sashes, ribbons, cloth wreathes or helmet mantles.
Customised uniforms are acceptable, provided the soldier and his tactical role can be immediately identified at a glance. Helmet crests must be blue & grey (/white/black for officers/specialists).
“Serving Brothers”. These are almost-knights without the status or backgrounds associated with it, meaning they have not begun their military training from childhood, although they have typically served as warriors for years and have considerable skills to go with it.
Skilled and experienced fighters, only marginally behind knights but with more discipline.
Transitional armour (coats-of-plates, splint, partial plate, mail elsewhere, extra padded armour).
Helmet with faceguard, heater shield & arming sword.
Lance and cavalry-length axe/spiked mace on horseback. Throwing axe & spear/halberd on foot.
Courser warhorses (smaller than destriers) barded in hard padded armour.
Located in each Abbey-governed village is one war wagon with crew. An additional war wagon and crew are located at the Abbey. Each wagon carries food, ammunition and other important supplies for campaign. Among the supplies are cooking equipment, entrenching tools and stakes called sudes to raise a temporary fence with.
In battle it acts as a fortification, the horses are detached and driven inside an enclosure made of other wagons or a fence made from sudes. The crew shoot from the wagon, particularly with an artillery weapon mounted on.
Drawn by 4 horses.
Crew of 6 men (3 halberdiers, 3 crossbows or firearms).
Hoarding of hinged planks provide cover for crew.
Field artillery (either small cannon, ballista, or multi-barrel ‘organ gun’).
Decent fighters, reliable against even odds. Excellent discipline, reasonable combat skill.
Body armour (breastplate/brigandine) & helmet (brimmed steel hat or open sallet), sword (katzbalger/dussack/messer).
Either halberd, crossbow or firearm.
30% Reiebrudern, 70% Tejecote.
A hybrid word meaning ‘war brothers’, combining the Ameyatl word for war with the Imperial word for brother. This is loosely modelled on the warrior-cults and societies found in local cultures, an attempt to incorporate their cultural identity into the forces of his Komturei. They wear Tlahuiztli bodysuits, and the Preceptor equips them with steel at his own expense.
Skilled fighters, regular training. Will do well in skirmishes but poor fighting a battle-line.
Hard padded armour including coif, steel scale vest with leather strip skirt & shoulders, steel skullcap. Longbow with various arrows, messer sword & small chimalli shield.
Forming this unit remains work-in-progress due to economic and a religious obstacles. Economic is the Preceptor’s wish to supply them with steel weapons and armour, for which he (rightly) does not expect Conclave support, so he must gradually gather the supplies over time. Religious is that Yaobruder are considered soldiers of the Zufluchtorden, and must be at least nominally Sahkierite, although are welcome to still practise the faith of their ancestors.
Non-members of the Banner can also be called upon in emergencies. These are not full-time warriors, but the monks, workers and others trained and equipped as militia so they can defend their homes if Karsimir and his men are absent. Since these are essentially civilians any casualties from battle will have other consequences, among which it will be a failure of the Preceptor in his duties.
A lawman-magistrate and his deputies, 3-5 per village.
More skill than most civilians, less than most professional soldiers.
Metal helmets, mail shirts, swords (usually grosse messers), either flails or crossbows or billhooks.
From the native population, 25-40 per village (1 man in 20).
Basic skill, able to fight but best fighting at range or outnumbering the enemy.
Wooden body armour, padded vests, bows or spear & shield (with javelins), bronze axes as backup weapons.
Monks from the abbey capable of fighting, roughly 50 at the abbey.
Given some training by Preceptor, but best fighting at range or with large numbers advantage.
Padded armour, backup small axes, and either crossbows or flails or billhooks.
Patrols of the roads between settlements, bands of 6-7.
Professional soldier quality (mostly ex-soldiers), skilled in scouting and wilderness.
Brigandines and open-faced helmets, carry wheellock pistols and long cavalry axes or swords.
Ride barded horses (hard padding).
90% Tejecote (disillusioned by the massacre, so choosing peacekeeping duties), 10% any other.
My faith protects me, my kevlar helps.