Sandbox focusing on the military history, tradition, organization, and capabilities of Vespia.
By the 58th century Ʋ, the Zhautakar had declined dramatically as the paramount military force of a unified Vespian empire. Whereas it remained a potent force within the central regions of Vespia, its influence over the actions of the other households has disappeared, as it was no longer receiving warriors from the other zharuks of the empire. With centralized authority in Zanza having been eroded during the Third Tribulation period, the zharuks felt they owed no further obligations to a weakened Tazen who could no longer enforce his will over them. As such, the Zhautakar had shriveled down to a mere 50,000 warriors by the mid-58th century Ʋ, a mere shadow of the million-(wo)man armies that once blazed the white desert sands of the Tuvada.
Prior to the formation of a ranking system in TBD, all Vespian warriors were organized by age, with the youngest fighting in the front ranks, and the oldest remaining in reserve in the rear lines. The all-female warriors of Vespia were arranged by the length of hair they were permitted to keep. The youngest and least-experienced warriors were required to keep their hair short at all times, with those newly-inducted warriors having fully shaven heads. The eldest of the warrior caste were permitted to have hair as long as they wished, as a sign of their fighting prowess and military experience. Indeed, following a battle, any warriors who had not been killed but were taken into captivity, had their heads shaven completely as a sign of their defeat and eventual sacrifice to and judgement by the gods as a punishment for failure.
A vadiyon (from Vespian vâdīyon, literally meaning "war body", or "the body that makes war"), is a Vespian military formation within the Zhautakar roughly analogous to a division in modern armies. Consisting of about 15,000 military personnel, the vadiyon is the modern-day iteration of the ancient vadiyons which served as the permanent military formations of ancient and imperial Vespia. Most of the existing vadiyons currently in service were established more than four thousand years ago at the time of the Zhautakar's original formation, and have been in an active service since with an unbroken period of combat operation. Traditionally, vadiyon were divided into five 1,000-man units known as uvokin, the first of which was commanded by the leading senior officer of the formation, the TBD.
A kar (Kar) (plural karin) was a Vespian military fortification that served as both a border post and a military headquarters. While the term may be used for any fortified location, such as kara or "city", kar itself is generally understood to mean a large fortified camp or castle stronghold devoted almost exclusively to the needs of war and the warriors residing within. The smaller karkin, or fortlets and border outposts manned by small vakudin detachments.
Within Vespian military doctrine, the construction of a kar to protect Vespian vakoranin during the from enemy forces was mandatory practice for their vadiyon. All of their food, weapons, equipment, and pack animals would be secured within the kar, so as to prevent the army on during resting periods from having to remain exposed to the elements and hostile forces in the region. Regulations within the warrior caste and imperial law itself, required that the armies of Vespia, whether marching or maintaining a stationary location, construct a kar each and every day so as to protect the warriors and their supplies, regardless of the location they were in. Because of these regulations, a vakoranin were well-educated in all aspects of construction and resource gathering for the establishment of a temporary or permanent kar. All of the vakoranin were required to assist in the construction of the camp, ensuring the swift completion of the structure within four or five hours time, complete with all of the necessities the warriors required while resting inside of the walls of the kar. No military action within the surrounding region would even be considered without first properly establishing a kar. According to the warrior manuals of the Zhautakar, a general plan for the layout of the structure is agreed upon by the commanders, the ground for the kar was leveled and gaps filled, the vakoranin warriors assigned their roles by jadon, and work areas established so as to ensure a continuous cycle of construction.
According to the needs of the vadiyon building the structure, and the length of time they would be in the area, the kar would be constructed in line with a series of pre-existing templates varying in size, material, internal layout, and manpower. Karin of permanent construction would have greater resources and manpower levels in mind, and would be designed as such with the surrounding terrain and population taken into account. These structures, known as zakarin, or "mountain strongholds" (invoking the immovable nature of mountains), would serve as permanent garrison camps for thousands of warriors at a time. Construction from more durable materials other than wood and reeds, these variants of karin would consist of material such as stone, brick, and mortar, and possess barracks, aqueducts, markets, foundries and hospitals, so as to provide all of the necessary conveniences of life to the warriors of Vespia. Because of these innovations for the Zhautakar, the Vespians could always keep a standing army in the field of a foreign region at all times, whereas their counterparts lack the means to do the same, and often retreated during the harvest season before re-engaging later in the year. Over the centuries, the larger zakarin came to house the vast armies of Vespia in foreign lands, and give rise to the later shadikarin colonies that came to develop into outposts of Vespian civilization on other continents of the globe.
- Hujivak – The hujivak ("bronze flame") is the annual month-long military drill for all Vespian warriors in active service with their households and the Zhautakar. The drill was the first of its kind developed in the world, with its origins in antiquity during the First Tribulation Period of Vespia. The purpose of the hujivak was to maintain the martial skills of the vakoranin warrior caste during peacetime, as well as ensure that they were both aware and capable of executing complex military maneuvers on the field of battle. As per the laws of the Vespians, 10% of all warriors in every marin of the empire are called up by their lords on a rotating basis, and given the location of that year's hujivak, typically in a remote region of Vespia. They march in formation to the location, and as they get close to the location, are ordered into battle formation as directed by the assigned zhadak. The warriors are drilled in base construction, camp behavior, intelligence, interdiction of "enemy" scouts, night-watches, resource gathering and foraging for food, hunting, preparations for siege warfare, and combat formations, among the many other tasks expected of them during wartime. Households may face off against one another in mock battles with an objective in mind agreed upon by the military leaders, or may divide their own forces up and pit them against one another as an alternative. By the end of the month, all of the forces involved in the hujivak are retired to their places of origin with their skills and capabilities as a fighting force refreshed.
- Rashadak – Rashadak ("to choke/constrict") is perhaps the most infamous Vespian military tactic known to foreign military experts. Based on the Vespian goal of killing and enslaving as many foreigners as possible, the Vespians utilize rashadak to effectively "corral" the inhabitants of any given region into a smaller and smaller zone of control where the Vespian warriors can move and make their final assault. The Vespians burn croplands, kill livestock, raze cities, poison water supplies, and block rivers with the overall mission of making survival outside of the area they have chosen impossible. Any individuals attempting to flee the pre-planned zone of control will ultimately find themselves hunted down and captured by those Vespians assigned to the mission, and either enslaved by the Vespians, or murdered on the spot as a yujakin, or "heathen". Rashadak by its very nature is extremely destructive, as the Vespians pillage nature in their attempt to conquer an enemy, laying waste to entire regions by burning down forests and farmlands, and killing entire populations that refuse to yield to their demands. Consequently, the tactic itself is also very manpower intensive, as it demands that tens of thousands to even hundreds of thousands of warriors to fill a vast region and kill everything within the area to force the population into a densely-packed area. Logistical problems are presented as the warriors cannot forage on lands they have rendered infertile, calling for a vast supply line from whichever region they have spared from the rashadak.
- Vakin – Vakin ("to cleanse") is the Vespian act of genocide against a designated population of yujakin, or "heathens", deemed to be without salvation in the eyes of the Vespians who would make them slaves. As a population of non-Vespians becomes more and more difficult to control, conquer, or enslave, the Vespian warriors resort to the act of vakin to thoroughly erase a land or region of its original occupants; and kill anything else associated with them, such as the croplands and livestock, ensuring all traces of their existence have been removed. Whereas other militaries throughout history had been limited by either a willingness to commit mass genocide, or an inability to carry it out in its totality, the Vespians developed an industry around the concept so as to ensure that an act of vakin is completed. Any individual a warrior encounters within the designated region will be killed on the spot without any civil interaction, and if they had any family, pets, or possessions with them, they to are killed or destroyed. Once the the order has been given for a vakin to take place, it can never be rescinded, as the act is done in the name of the gods, and to renege on its completion would be blasphemous. Vakin is viewed as the final act against a nation that has refused to repent and serve the Vespians in their goal of protecting the universe from malevolent and supernatural forces unimaginable to the mind of a human, and to commit to the act is to ensure that the world is rid of those heathens who would dare make room for such evil on the earth.
- Duhavuk – Duhavuk ("poisoned well") is the deliberate and strategic use of war rape to artificially modify the demographics of a targeted region the Vespians seek to incorporate into their realm as a land for slave breeding. Regarded as one of the most repugnant tactics of the Vespians, duhavuk was historically utilized in lands which had already been subjugated by the armies of Vespia. Due to the difficulties related to ensuring the successful pregnancies of several hundred thousands of female victims, the Vespians generally limit the use of duhavuk to about five to ten percent of the female population, usually under the age of thirty. Names of all of the women utilized for the act of duhavuk are cataloged, along with the names of all family members, and their home towns and cities, so as to ensure that all births are accounted for, and "discrepancies" are dealt with "appropriately".
- Voyavak – Voyavak ("terror campaign") is the act of partaking in so-called "terror missions", where the Vespians will actively send out military units to conduct a brutal form of psychological warfare against a civilian population center. This may be either in the form of destroying crops, burning woodlands, poisoning water supplies, and killing livestock; to more extreme examples such as kidnapping children and the elderly as hostages, murdering local elders or political figures, or even more vile acts such as randomly killing civilians to send a message to opponents of the Vespians. The goal of voyavak is not so much to cow a population into submission, but more to blacken the image of the local authorities, sow dissent in the population toward the ineffective ability of their leaders to protect them, as well as spreading fear and panic throughout the civilian population. Voyavak operations typically take place in the dead of night in small towns and villages, at which point several small Vespian combat units will head in to kill, rape, and pillage anything in their path, before melting away before the rising of the sun. Vespian warriors typically wear fear-inducing armor, typically consisting of the skulls of their victims, masks which invoke the visage of monsters and demons, as well as wielding weapons designed to maim rather than kill outright to draw out the suffering of those who fall prey to them during the operation. Often these terror operations take place in lands currently under subjection to the Vespians, or in those lands where the Vespians believe the inhabitants too prideful and of the belief they could resist Vespian oppression.
- Henodizhon – Henodizhon ("prestigious death") is the Vespian vakoranin concept of dying in such a manner for Vespia that it brings glory to both themselves and their civilization. Dying in battle in the ultimate purpose for all Vespian vakoranin, for which they have trained their entire lives to fulfill in the name of their god Zhautan. Commonplace during times of defeat or overwhelming numbers, Vespian warriors will commit to perform the suicidal act of henodizhon with the intention of bringing as many of the enemy with them as possible before their inevitable loss. For the Vespians, the idea of a Vespian warrior surrendering to the enemy under any circumstances in intolerable, and as such, death for allowing themselves, their people, and their gods to be dishonored by the enemy has been rooted out of the warrior caste of Vespians. Vakoranin who make up Vespia's military forces have had the concept of henodizhon drummed into them since the beginning of their hunitan military training, and are taught that for the benefit of their people, they must die willingly so that Vespia may live. Though a warrior concept, henodizhon is not exclusive to the vakoranin. While every death of a Vespian warrior is automatically considered an act of henodizhon, non-warriors within the Vespian population who die on behalf of Vespia may also qualify for henodizhon status depending on the nature of their death and the results in accomplishes in the process. Through the lesser act of shevashotazoya, a Vespian civilian may die for the glory of Vespia, and in the process render a degree of harm against the enemy that is deemed sufficient enough to have their death praised by their fellow Vespians as on par with the sacrifices of the vakoranin themselves.
- Shevashotazoya – Shevashotazoya ("to achieve tumultuous absolution") is the Vespian concept of dying in a such a manner that the enemy suffers greatly for their defiance. As with the vakoranin, Vespian civilians who are required to complete the martial training and discipline of dukori to qualify for citizenship, have it drilled into them that they must die for their empire to ensure its survival and victory over what they term the "Great Heathenry". However, unlike the more prestigious act of henodizhon, shevashotazoya does not by its very nature alone bring honor and glory to the warrior who dies in the name of their people and gods, nor is it strictly reserved for Vespian warriors themselves. Rather, any Vespian who chooses to die on behalf of Vespia has achieved shevashotazoya. The concept of shevashotazoya lays in the idea of a Vespian from any background laying down their life for their people, and regardless of their prior station in life, achieve "divine absolution" from any sins or shortcomings in their time in the mortal world. Through death in combat or killing a number of the enemy, a Vespian has accomplished their primary purpose in life in cleansing the physical plane of existence of the "unholy blight" that mocks Zhautan and his glorious creation. Depending on the circumstances of one's death in the process of committing an act of shevashotazoya, a Vespian's sacrifice may qualify for the status of henodizhon, should it have been done under extraordinary circumstances, or have brought a major victory to the Vespian people themselves. Even slaves who die for their Vespian masters may find themselves honored with recognition, as by its very nature, committing shevashotazoya is seeking the salvation of the Vespian gods through death, and ultimately, their divine approval for one's sacrifice.
Ranks in order of precedence
Ranks, titles, and occupations
- Adu'dakin – An officer-in-training serving under a high-ranking officer and learning how to command in the field.
- Akzuved – Logistical support personnel with specialized roles and exempt from combat due to rear services responsibilities.
- Audak – Commander of TBD, or a vakudin.
- Dakimar – Auxiliary personnel not officially apart of the warrior caste, who are raised regionally to assist warriors during wartime.
- Dukovak – A disciplinarian officer assigned to a vakudin.
- Emadin – A medic.
- Emadok – Chief medical officer within a vakudin.
- Emazhak – A quartermaster responsible for for the administration of goods, weapons, and supplies in the military camp.
- Hizuvak – A military musician.
- Huzhak – A paymaster responsible for issuing payment to warriors and personnel.
- Ionovak – War priest for the vadiyon, and one of the high-ranking staff officers within the unit.
- Izhonova – The elite warriors and bodyguards to high-ranking commanders, and the core of all vadiyonin forces.
- Izhovak – A member of the elite Izhonova forces.
- Jadakin – Second-in-command to an audak.
- Jazan – Commander of five warriors, or a jadon.
- Jodukir – A spy or informant who typically pose as slaves, merchants, and farmers in foreign lands.
- Karivak – Adjutant or aide-de-camp responsible for assisting with camp or headquarter duties for commanders.
- Mahuzok – An authorized mediator for disputes between warriors and personnel within ranks.
- Marimanok – A surveyor responsible for allotting plots of land to warriors and officers for farming and base construction.
- Muzekin – Any slave in the possession of a Vespian. Serve as auxiliary personnel to the warriors and laborers.
- Muzojimar – Assistants to the muzozhak responsible for keeping the slaves under control within the vadiyon.
- Muzozhak – Slave-master responsible for watching over the slave quarters on base and punishing delinquents.
- Noravak – A Vespian horseman.
- Ovahon – Scout or reconnaissance personnel of a vakudin.
- Ovazhan – Independent political commissar/inquisitor responsible for enforcing the will of the Tazen within the military.
- Oviyon – Enforcer and watchman tasked with breaking up fights and keeping watch over the warriors.
- Sajadon – Commander of ten warriors, or a dakin.
- Ta'Zhadak – Highest ranking warrior of the Zhautakar. Responsible for executing all military activities across the empire in the name of the Tazen.
- Tazoduvak – Elite warrior serving as a member of the personal guard of the Tazen and the imperial household.
- Udokan – A hunter serving with the akzuvedin.
- Udozhan – A sanitation officer.
- Vakiva – A standard-bearer for a vakudin.
- Vakoran – Generic term for a Vespian warrior regardless of rank.
- Voyuzhan – Torturer and interrogator from the priesthood assigned a vakudin to oversee information extraction procedures.
- Yohuzhak – Anti-corruption official tasked with enforcing behavioral standards within the military and catching violators in the act.
- Zhadak – Commander of TBD, or a vadiyon.
This is the structure of the Vespian military units from the mid-Iron period to the late-Silver period in Vespian history. It is typified by the focus on combined arms and support personnel to allow Vespian armies to operate for prolonged periods of time without support from the homeland. A single uvokin could occupy a vast region of land without support, enforcing Vespian power far from the homeland for centuries as Vespia's primary theater-level unit. During times of war, three or more uvokin could be combined into a single force known as a vadiyon, one of which would suffice for the waging of a prolonged campaign in a foreign land without any logistical support from Vespia itself, save during times of total war with a power of equal military strength.
|Vespian unit organization|
- Vadiyon – TBD
- Uvokin – TBD
- Zhidin – A zhidin ("force of a ten") is comprised of ten vakudin, and commanded by a sajadon, who commands the first vakudin in a marching column, and the center vakudin during battle. The sajadon is aided by six other officers in additional to their six other vakudin officers. These are the karivak (aide-de-camp), emadok (camp doctor), mahuzok (mediator), jodukir (spy), and zha'dukovak (unit disciplinarian). A group of thirty slaves, ten wagons, and twenty mules are assigned to the zhidin for the movement of heavier equipment and munitions, as well as any dry food and fresh water the smaller units cannot move themselves. Furthermore, two addition wagons, six slaves, and four mules are assigned for needs of the sajadon and their command staff. As a unit, a zhidin consists of seven staff, 620 warriors, 226 slaves, 114 animals and 22 wagons, for a total of 847 personnel.
- Vakudin – A vakudin ("TBD") is composed of five dakin, or a total of fifty-five warriors, twenty slaves, and ten camels. This force is commanded by an audak, who is supported in their duties by six other officer personnel, with the jadakin and dukovak being the most senior of the group. The role of the jadakin ranges from that of gate-keeper to the audak, to executive officer; while the dukovak is responsible for disciplining the warriors and interrogating prisoners and slaves. The other staff personnel include the vakiva (standard-bearer), emadin (field medic), voyuzhan (interrogator), and hizuvak (battle musician). In total, a vakudin consists of eighty-two personnel and twelve animals (two additional camels for the command staff).
- Dakin – A dakin ("band of mighty ones") is composed of two jadonin and commanded by an aydak, or "first of the mighty". These units consist of eleven warriors in total, four slaves, and two pack camels, and all share the same tent and campfire, while the slaves are required to sleep with and take care of the camels carrying the food, water, and equipment. Because of their size, all dakin are uniform in their mission and composition, and generally have little independence in their operation unless it is apart of a wider scouting mission.
- Jadon – A jadon ("fist" or "five fingers") is the smallest formation of Vespian warriors, consisting of five warriors, two slaves, and a camel for movement of supplies. Each is led by a jazan, or "master of five", who is one of the five warriors within the jadon. Jadonin are always uniform in their composition, and have a dedicated role when it comes to their missions.
Ranks in order of precedence
|Ranks of the vakoranin|
|Ranks of the vakoranin|
The Vespians rely upon an ancient and inherently violent method of rank advancement known as zahun (literally "bloody path"). Due to the rigid and lineal system of ranks used by the vakoranin caste, many warriors will find themselves at the same station for most of their careers, as promotions are difficult to justify in a force that accounts for ten percent of the Vespian population. Since retirement is not a concept readily understood by the Vespians, most positions remain filled by individuals serving within the caste for decades. To ensure that merit and not birth or title governs the actions of the caste, the advancement of all vakoranin are bound to a two-tier system of promotion.
- Modern method: Every five years, vakoranin are grouped by house, region, and year of entry into the caste, and allotted a slot to submit themselves to the zahun. Only those with at least five verified kills, or one live sacrifice of a captured enemy combatant by their own hand, are permitted to submit their names. The leadership and fighting skills of the warrior in question must likewise be attested to by at least two-thirds of their peers or subordinates. The ultimate goal is to ensure only the best-trained and competent individuals within the vakoranin are allowed the privilege of leading the forces of Vespia. It should be noted that not all of the exams listed are relevant to each rank, as not all those seeking a command will be placed over large numbers of warriors. Traditionally, the zahun consists of the following stages:
- Written exam: All warriors seeking to advance in rank must study for and pass a written exam to determine their capabilities as a critical thinker and strategist, and in the past, for literacy. The exam likewise helps to ensure that the warrior is aware of basic information such as unit formations, management of prisoners, the Zheaniic rules of war, and various other information deemed necessary for a command. The warrior must be knowledgeable of their options and the requirements of their rank, as well as the responsibilities of the chain of command both above and below their own rank should they attain it. The written portion of the exam lasts for approximately one month, during which time the warrior is furloughed by the caste, and placed on half-pay during their time away.
- Combat exams: Though all warriors engage in martial training throughout their service, that presented by the zahun involves more aggressive fighting to ensure that the candidate for advancement is physically capable, and able to join their forces in battle if the need arises. Indeed, the Vespians believe that commanders either incapable or unwilling to fight under the same circumstances as their subordinates is unworthy of the role. Likewise, a warrior who attains power over their peers and becomes complacent in their role, is liable to become physically unfit for command, and will be stripped of the rank. Candidates are placed in a gladiatorial setting, and set upon opposing candidates to advance their rank within the exam.
- Team exams: Following the two proceeding exams, all advancing candidates are grouped together, and instructed to accomplish increasingly difficult tasks that require mental finesse rather than physical prowess. The goal of the exam is to test the ability of the teams to work together as a true command staff would, and reach solutions of battlefield engagements against the opposing team. While the methods of judging the two teams are unknown to the candidates at the time they enter, the judges are looking for the solutions that result in the least casualties on the respective teams. Blatant waste of Vespian lives under the simulated conditions of the exam are considered grounds for disqualification following the exams, and discord within the teams is regarded as a poor performance. The team which wins the majority of the war games will advanced to the next set of exams as a group, while the other team is disqualified from the finals.
- Final exams (?): At the end of the zahun, all of the warriors who made it to the end are sent before three higher-ranking warriors to be questioned on various problems they may be faced with, and what they believe would be the best answer to each issue.
- Traditional method: All warriors could attain advancement in the vakoranin caste by capturing a set number of prisoners for sacrifice during battle. For the rank of aydak, approximately twenty enemy combatants would have to be captured alive, and presented to the vakazhan of the warrior's respective unit. Because of the potential to climb the ranks rapidly during wartime, the vakoranin would provoke conflicts to attain power within its internal structure, leading to a glut of slaves the empire could not support, or the depopulation of rich slave stock populations. This method was ultimately deemed to unstable and detrimental to the empire itself, and replaced with a more sustainable system that become the modern zahun.
Titles and honors
By law, each of the twelve households of Vespia are required to provide to the imperial government a portion of their vakoranin population for military duty for a period of five years. These vakoranin spend two years in active duty within the external-facing Shovijedak, and the final three years within the internal-facing Uharajedak. The former force, responsible for all offensive combat operations located beyond the borders of Vespia, receives 2.5% of the warriors within the vakoranin caste, while the latter force, responsible for all security operations within the territories of Vespia proper, receives 5% of the total vakoranin population in the empire. Consequently, 7.5% of the vakoranin caste is handed over into the oversight of the Zhautakar, Vespia's imperial armed forces, at any point in time within the empire's military.
Because of the nature of Vespia's foreign and military policies, the Shovijedak maintains a readiness level of about 80% at all times, while the Uharajedak operates at a semi-mobilized level, with the imperial guard forces known as the Izhonova maintaining a permanent presence within the imperial demesne of Veskan, while the much larger Vajavak serves as Vespia's militarized police force, keeping the peace between the households, and enforcing ceasefires where necessary. When necessary, such as during times of total war, the Uharajedak transfers its units into the three branches of the Shovijedak as needed, while also operating as the primary occupying force in lands captured by the Shovijedak forces. This parallel military system allows Vespia to maintain a degree of flexibility within the armed forces, while likewise ensuring stability back home.
- Shovijedak: 4,332,852
- Marovak: 1,906,455
- Shonavak: 1,083,213
- Iyavak: 1,343,184
- Uharajedak: 8,690,717
- Izhonova: 263,736
- Vajavak: 8,426,981
Structure of hakivakin
The imperial military forces are further supplemented by the warrior hosts of Vespia's twelve great households, the hakivakin, who operate under the banners of their houses and provided assistance to the Zhautakar as needed. By law, all of the households are entitled to their own armies, but these are mandated to render support to the armies of Vespia when ordered to do so. In spite of this, the Tazen and Ta'Zhadak respect the relative independence of these household militaries, which like the military of Vespia, adhere to the same warrior caste structure and promotion system. All members of the Zhautakar are drawn from the ranks of the various hakivakin units, and are cycled between the two divisions of the military – the active Shovijedak forces, and the reservist Uharajedak forces – before they are cycled back into the hakivakin of their household of origin.
So as to ensure that all members of the hakivakin are of similar quality, the imperial government requires that all households equip their warriors with the same equipment and hold to the same training and discipline standards as one another, with some allowances made for their respective traditions. Of note is the fact that the Zhautakar was originally established to serve as the force through which peace between the houses would be enforced; allowing them to address grievances through force of arms, but stopping them before their actions endanger the internal stability and unity of the empire as a whole. Each house is required to contribute a set percentage of their warriors to the service to the Tazen for five years, two active and three reserve, after which they are returned.
The size of the hakivakin and the division of these warriors by household are as follows:
|Division of hakivakin by household|
|Vak||Household||Serving with hakivakin||Serving with Zhautakar||Total vakoranin population|
|File:Vak of Auran.svg||Auran||10,462,668||848,324||11,310,993|
|File:Vak of Dakhan.svg||Dakhan||2,181,974||176,917||2,358,891|
|File:Vak of Dejan.svg||Dejan||2,010,920||163,048||2,173,967|
|File:Vak of Jikan.svg||Jikan||1,024,969||83,106||1,108,075|
|File:Vak of Khajan.svg||Khajan||17,422,519||1,412,637||18,835,155|
|File:Vak of Kharan.svg||Kharan||23,493,533||1,904,881||25,398,414|
|File:Vak of Koran.svg||Koran||2,027,968||164,430||2,192,398|
|File:Vak of Mazhan.svg||Mazhan||4,921,756||399,061||5,320,817|
|File:Vak of Ruzhan.svg||Ruzhan||5,957,310||483,025||6,440,335|
|File:Vak of Vanan.svg||Vanan||7,565,428||613,413||8,178,841|
|File:Vak of Vayan.svg||Vayan||4,242,438||343,981||4,586,419|
|File:Vak of Zharan.svg||Zharan||79,312,533||6,430,746||85,743,279|
Vakoranin caste system
The vakoranin warrior caste is divided into nine internal division, each of which is responsible for a particular aspect of military operations and discipline. Unlike the militaries of non-Vespian states, the vakoranin do not have military branches in the traditional sense, in which one must apply through a branch and then select or train for a role need. Rather, the warriors maintain a "fluid" system, in which roles are not branch-specific, and may be rotated into any of the branches of the Zhautakar as necessary. Indeed, a warrior can train as a seaman, and serve as a pilot if the need calls for it. All warriors are expected to pick a specialization, but are continue cross-training and remain available to changing caste divisions if need be. The seven divisions are ranked from highest to lowest, and their respective tasks within the warrior caste.
- Dakin − Command caste; once a vakoran reaches the highest rank within their division, they are automatically approved for advancement into the dakin division. The dakin are responsible for all major operation commands, and form the pool from which the Vespian equivalent of general or field commander is selected. Dakin are the only members of the vakoranin who are permitted to give orders to any individual of the other divisions without having to go through the caste's byzantine command structure, and have the right to request an audience with the Ta'Zhadak, the overall leader of both the dakin, the vakoranin, and the Zhautakar itself. Membership into this group of the vakoranin is exclusive only to warriors who have served in one of the five combat-oriented divisions of the caste, namely the izhokin, ovahonin, vamarin, iyavakin, and shonakin. The reason for this being the simple idea that only those who serve at the front and kill heathens as their sole mission, are the only ones authorized by Zhautan to lead the physical half of his armies into battle. As such, the three non-combatant divisions of the vakoranin are permanently locked out of the higher levels of the command structure within the caste.
- Izhokin − Special forces caste; comprising the entirety of Vespia's elite forces, the izhokin constitute the single-greatest body of warriors ever produced by Vespia. Considered among the most elite fighting forces on the planet, the izhokin are considered Vespia's best warriors, within a culture where martial excellence is a way of life. The izhokin are the most prestigious group of warrior within the vakoranin caste, and have stringent membership requirements ranging from ten years of active service, a specified number of confirmed kills, approval from at least ten fellow warriors, and sponsorship from current members of the warrior division. By law, only members of the izhokin may join Vespia's imperial guard, known as the Izhonova, or "Deathwatch".
- Ovahonin − Intelligence caste; arguably the most secretive of the warrior divisions, the ovahonin are the warriors tasked with gathering intelligence of all sorts for the vakoranin, and operate well beyond the physical borders of Vespia. Generally feared by the other warriors, the ovahonin gather information on everything that crosses into the gaze of the Tazen and Ta'Zhadak, and likewise operate as the black ops forces of the Zhautakar. They have full authority to kill any individual deemed a threat to the empire's goals, and that includes other Vespians as well. Membership into this secretive group is rare and exclusive; only a handful of individuals are ever permitted access to the ovahonin division, and even fewer know what their prerequisites are.
- Vamarin − Infantry caste; the vamarin are the most numerous division within the vakoranin warrior class, and comprise the most prestigious group of warriors bar the dakin themselves. The vamarin are responsible for all ground-based combat operations within the military, and also comprise the bulk of the Vespian military's marine forces. Unlike the other divisions, the vamarin do not have a great deal of prerequisites on who may join or what specialized training they must accomplish, but due to the division's prestigious reputation and role as the "default" warrior class to aim for, there are few available spots for aspiring members. The vamarin comprise the bulk of the dakin with regards to the number of its members officially accepted into the command division's ranks. Of all the warrior divisions, the vamarin are considered the most-traditional, as they were the first of the warriors established by nature of the manner of warfare as a land-based endeavor at the time of its formation. As such, pride in being a member of the vamarin division is major factor within the Vespian warrior culture.
- Shonakin − Naval caste; the shonakin are the naval branch of the vakoranin, tasked with all seafaring operations conducted by the caste. Sailors, marines, and staff related to the operation of a ship all serve within the shonakin, which is considered a co-equal to the vamarin in terms of age and prestige. Though the shonakin are not as exposed to constant fighting like their land-based brethren, they are widely respected due to their history in helping transfer the warriors of Vespia overseas to the lands where they would cleanse entire regions of non-Vespians and prevent the way for colonization. Likewise, the division of naval warriors was responsible for attaining the numerous victories Vespia required to keep its shores safe from retaliatory raids and invasions by the foreign powers surrounding it.
- Iyavakin − Aerospace caste; the iyavakin are the pilots and navigators of Vespia, fulfilling the aerospace needs of the vakoranin. They are the youngest division within the caste, with their formation only having occurred at during the advent of flight. Compared to the other combat divisions, the iyavakin are the most disliked and derided group of warriors, as their entire creation was deemed redundant and frivolous by the other warriors, who believed that the role the iyavakin fill could have been managed by a pre-existing division. In spite of this, the iyavakin do handle their responsibilities well, and the physical requirements they must fulfill as individuals−namely small frames and below average height−help them to better serve as pilots in high-G, low-oxygen environments the average Vespian warrior would struggle in.
- Emadin − Medical caste; the emadin are the warriors who specialize in medical skills and trauma surgery within the military. Though they are generally regarded as among the lowest ranking members of the vakoranin, all warriors−both haughty and humble−recognize and appreciate the efforts of those assigned the weighty responsibility of saving the lives of fellow warriors. Emadin generally consist of Vespians who entered the military with lower than average scores, but grades high enough to grant them admission into the vakoranin caste. Based on their scores, aspirants are prohibited from applying for a combat role such as with the vamarin or shonakin divisions, but still have access to the support roles of the castes. As with the other non-combat tracks within the vakoranin, emadin are not permitted to join the ranks of the dakin, or the high-level commanders within the warrior caste, as only those who have fought and bled as a member of the combat divisions may join that prestigious group of warriors.
- Onavokin − Technician caste; the ovanokin are the warriors assigned the duty of repairing, maintaining, and producing the weapons, armor, and equipment necessary for the operation of the vakoranin caste's military machine. Because of this one assignment, the onavokin are regarded as indispensable to the needs and survival of the vakoranin. Focusing on the technological and mechanical aspects of the military's industrial needs, the ovanokin are by far some of Vespia's most intellectually-gifted individuals, and help to produce all of the weapons and vehicles the warriors need to continue their ongoing task of purifying the world of heathens and impurity. As with the emadin, ovanokin sit outside of the normal command structure, with its members shut out of the dakin command path as non-combatant members of the vakoranin.
- Savadin − Support caste; the savadin are the lowest-ranked division of the vakoranin, consisting of Vespians who passed the hunitan trials, but whose scores were too low to be accepted into any of the other warrior divisions. Consequently, while completion of the hunitan does not mean automatic enrollment into the warrior caste, it does mean one now has the authorization to submit a request for admission into the lower ranks of the caste. As such, for those who choose to join in spite of their lower grades, they are filtered into the support caste of the vakoranin. Savadin fill the role of laborers, cooks, janitors, and aides, as well any other role that a non-warrior citizen could fulfill, so as to ensure the warrior caste is as self-sufficient as possible. Because of their low status and non-combat mission, savadin are locked out of the command path of the dakin.
- Thin rectangular tassels made of wood, iron, silver, or gold hang from the pauldrons, cloaks, and breastplates of vakoranin armor. They denote rank and status within the warrior caste of Vespia.
- Cloth is dyed black to symbolize purity and separation from the corrupt land of their enemies, as well as to highlight the purity of their cause as blood is not immediately noticeable on the black cloth of the warriors.
- The primary part of Vespian armor consists of a leotard-shaped gambeson with leather trimming; overlaid with iron or leather scales overlapping one another.
- Large woolen or cotton cloak with knotted fringes along the edges, with the color of the warrior division the wearer belongs too; cloak provides cover from the elements during marches in the desert.
Imperial Vespian Air Force (Vespian: Tazeno No-Veskoyano Iyavano Jedako, Tâzeno No-Veskoyâno Īyâvano Jedâko) (TVIJ)...
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