It is the year of 1655 of the Fourth Era, in the world of Feria. Or at least, that is how the civilized nations of the Osor continent see it. For several centuries, they had been the center of scientific, industrial and cultural advancement, their armies welding the most modern of arms, although tactics might be outdated at this point. For years now, their explorers had mapped in the dark interior of the southern continent of Erslya and they have colonised several points along the coast, to bring enlightenment to the dark skinned natives there. Or so they’ve claimed, conditions in the colonies are not, as the intellectual thinkers hoped they would be, although the bankers and colonial governors grow wealthy.
However, their view of the world has changed. For years untold, they thought the world was just Osor and Erslya, with the rest empty ocean. They knew the world was round, thanks to math and the calculations of learned men but since time began, they could not explore the rest, for there was a great natural barrier preventing this. The Doldrum a massive belt stretching vertically around the world, where the wind doesn't blow and waters are choked with thick beds of floating seaweeds, where terribly destructive shipworms breed. No wooden hulled sailing ship could penetrate, to see what lay beyond.
Now though, there is a new kind of ship upon the seas. Launched just four years ago, in the middle of a terrible war with the Kingdom of Tauacia, the Sesal Republic possesses a squadron of ironclad steamships, the first to be armored and the first to be driven by engines, rather than sail. With the end of their war with Wesal, the Naval Department find that they had a great number of bold and daring captains, eager for danger and glory, some of whom, are urging to see what lays beyond The Doldrum, using the new ships.
Three years ago, a fleet of exploration sailed west, bound for The Doldrum. The Ironclads, their keels armored to protect them from enemy torpedoes, should keep the vessels safe from the hordes of shipworms, towed barges of coal behind them. The bottoms of the barges sheathed in copper, in what would hopefully be a cheaper method, of keeping the wood worm-free. Three quarters of a year later, they returned, the first ships from Osor to ever do so and they carried shocking news. Not only were their lands beyond the The Doldrum but they were inhabited, mostly by barbarians but there was at least one great civilization.
The ship’s officers and crews told of tales of vast landmass beyond the windless sea, peaked with cloud covered mountains and forested by strange trees. Odd, warlike people lived there. Some have darker skins and others had fair skin, much like those of the Osorens and many have slanted eyes. Almost everywhere the ships tried to land, groups of men appeared, waving swords, spears and weapons unfamiliar to the sailors or firing arrows at the longboats, forcing the men back to the protection of the armored hulls of their ships. It was as if the whole of this continent was inhabited by savages, until the three ironclads followed a large number of tiny fishing vessels into a large bay, between a pair of mountains.
Behind the shield of the tall mountains and beyound the clear, shallow waters of the bay, was the grand city of Kōzu, the base of power for the Araki Empire. As the Ironclads approached, a boom of iron chain, wrapped with bindles of a strange wood, was raised, as the last of the fishing vessels slipped past. Two of the three Ironclads slowed to a stop but the third, under the command of a young captain named Elie Gohier, steamed ahead, smashing through the boom with her armored hull and into the bay. Sailing across the clear waters, until her keel was rammed into the white sand of the bottom, Captain Gohier climbed to the foredeck and watched, as hundreds of armored clad warriors assembled on the docks and beaches before the city. After an hour, without the natives launching arrows or spears towards his ship, he ordered a small boat lowered and called for enough volunteers to man the oars, to row him ashore.
This tiny party of bold seaman was met in the surf by wary eyed warriors, as the other two Ironclads sailed into the bay. Although words could not be understood, after a time, gifts were given by both sides, leading to a month long stay for the small fleet of exploration. During this time, some translations were made and some dialogue established before the fleet had to head for home, their coal running low and supplies of rum short. Their hulls were stuffed with strange spices, artwork and a wonderful new kind of cloth, called silk.
When the fleet returned to the Sesalian port city of Guirec and word spread of their adventures and what they had found, silk became the most sought after trade good, the nation had ever seen. Sailors from the fleet, who had been given little more then enough to make a single shirt, sudden found themselves rich beyond their dreams. Scores of merchant ships were outfitted with steam engines and sheathed in copper, for the long voyage across the Doldrum, sailing forth from ports all over Sesal, for the nation jealously guarded the route across the sea, eager to acquire whole shiploads of silk and other Arakian goods.
Over the past two years, as trade between Sesal and Araki grows, diplomacy stagnates between the nations. Much of the Imperial Court is opposed to having any interaction with outsiders, other than war. Araka merchants, while happy to make money selling to Sesalians, are rude and distant with them. Any attempt by a Sesalian to see the country beyond the city of Kōzu, is blocked. It would seem, that the whole country wants nothing more to do with those from across the sea, then to quickly swap good and sent them away at once. However, there is one person within the Empire, who is enthralled by them, the Empress Satsuki.
The Ironclad fleet arrived on her eighteenth birthday, on the day she was suppose to ascend the throne, which was put off until the strangers left. As much as the court has attempted to keep her separated from the Sesalians, she has become obsessed with them, sending out her servants to secretly bring Osoren clothing and books back into the palace for her. However her most recent desire, were fueled by one of the rare times she got to meet with the Sesalian ambassador and was given a demonstration of of Sesalian weaponry by a company of marines. She now wants a regiment, equipped and trained in Sesalian style.
The Ambassador, seeing an opportunity but not overly hopeful, sent to the request back to Sesal. To his surprise, the Secretary of the Army responded at once, agreeing to the venture and began organizing a military mission. You see, he had hundreds of thousands of rifled-muskets, uniforms, haversacks, cartridge boxes, belts, tents and all the other equipment of war to spare, along with hundreds of officers and sergeants in need of posts. After the war, the volunteer regiments had disbanded, leaving their equipment in government armories and the regular army officers and NCOs that had trained and then led them on the field of battle, without commands or postings, suited to their ranks, even after they reverted back from breveted promotions.
While the Empress was overjoyed to hear the news, brought by merchant ship, her Court was not so pleased. Not only would this mean more of the outsiders dealing with their folk and polluting their country but it was a direct attack on the power of the nobility. Since time unknown, the great lords of the Arakian people, called Daimyo, had been granted their strength through their ability to wage war. They lived upon the borders, forcing those lesser lords from the safe, protected interior of the country to send them huges taxes of rice and gold, to support their war making. It was their warriors, their armies and their victories, which maintained the nation. If the Empress was adopt the Sesalian model, it would not longer be their warriors but her soldiers, not their armies but her army and their honors and glories, would belong to her.
So they can only hope this experiment in outsider methods, fails. Of course, should they get an opportunity to help it fail, they’ll take it. Already, even before the Empress’s heralds ride from Kōzu, announcing to the whole country, that she is looking for warriors to assemble at the capitol, they have sent out their own messengers, back to their domains. None of their true warriors from the borderlands will come and those lesser lords sworn to them, will not send what few warriors they have to serve. At best, Empress Satsuki may get the dregs from the least powerful of families, whose swords have not been drawn in generations.Alright, well that was a long read and I’m glad to see your still with me. Hopefully, you're wondering about characters and what plot I’m going to take this background setup from, about what kind of adult aspects the story will have, how I was inspired to come up with this and that you want to join.Inspiration
Now in the title, I said said this was a historically inspired story and it is, mostly by the French Military Mission to Japan of 1867-68 and by the Onna-bugeisha.
So, after Commodore Perry opened Japan, the Tokugawa shogunate sent out an emissary to Europe, who requested military missions from the United Kingdom and France, to train modern troops. The United Kingdom refused but Napoléon III agreed, sending over a dozen officers and NCOs to Japan. These men were from the infantry, cavalry, artillery and engineers. When the Boshin War broke out and the Shogunate was defeated, the military mission was ordered by the restored Imperial government, to return back to France. However several men in the mission, lead by Jules Brunet, a lieutenant in the Horse Artillery Regiment of the Guard, promptly resigned from the French Army and joined with several thousand sailors, soldiers and samurai from the defeated Shogunate, who formed the Republic of Ezo, continuing to teach them Western Tactics and leading soldiers into battle. While noted for holding the first election in Japan, the Republic of Ezo was defeated in about six months.
The Onna-bugeisha, are warrior women, from Japanese history. Before even the samurai class was formed and right up to the Edo period, the women of the warrior and rules classes were taught how to weld weapons. This training allowed the women to protect towns, castles and other settlements, whose men were either away waging war or which lacked fighting men. However, with the Edo period and the end of war in Japan, for over two hundred and fifty years, saw the Onna-bugeisha nearly fade away, as even the Samurai changed from warrior to bureaucrat. There was a slight resurgence during the Boshin War, at least in the Aizu Domain. During the Battle of Aizu, Nakano Takeko led a small band of women armed with naginatas. During the same battle, Yamamoto Yaeko defended Aizuwakamatsu Castle with a Spencer Repeating Rifle.Plot
Now for the loose plot. Now nothing is set in stone and it can be changed as the story evolves but my plan at this point is to start the story with the Military Mission arriving in Kōzu, early in the night. When they disembark, they are met by the Sesalian Ambassador, to brings them to his house for the night, while the crates with uniforms, rifles, ect are unloaded into a warehouse. While this is going on, Less than two dozen young nobles answering the call of the Empress arrive in a camp near the city, with retainers and levies from their homes.
In the morning, a few of the Empress’s chosen officials arrive at the Ambassador’s home and led the Mission about to the camp, followed by laborers carrying the crates, while another official arrives at the camp, telling the nobles and their followers to get ready to hear why the Empress as called for them. The Mission arrives and the officials announce that the Empress wants this strangers to teach them how to fight with new weapons and in the stranger’s tactics. Confusion breaks out.
The Sesalians are disappointed to find a little less than six hundred are there to be trained, to them, a newly mustered regiment is at least a thousand strong and they were told to expect more than that. They are then shocked to find out that something like have of the recruits are women.
On the flip side, the Arakians are shocked as well. Being from in the middle of the country, they hadn’t heard of the arrival of the Sesalians and knew nothing about them. The fact that they are to be armed and trained by barbarians (for all outsiders are barbarians) confuses, insults and shames them. Many assume that because their families haven’t been defending the country on the borders, that the Empress no longer has any faith in their skill with sword, spear and bow and feels that they must be taught new ways of war.
Over the next month, maybe a month and a half, the Sesalians are going to have to force these feudal warriors into becoming modern soldiers. The sergeants drilling the levies and retainers in marching, forming formation, shooting and bayonet, while the officers oversee the sergeants and try to teach the nobles in how to led a modern force. Until word reaches the city about a series of raids along the border, many of them coming out a mountainous region, where there is suppose to be a medium sized barbarian fort.
Seeing an opportunity, the noble members of the Imperial Court pressure the Empress to send her barely trained regiment to deal with the fort, promising to send levies of their own to support her new troops. At first it seems like they will keep their word, as the regiment marches out but when they reach the foothills of the mountains, their support melts away in the night, just in time for raiders to find the regiment. A surprise attack in the early morning sends the regiment into panic. The Mission, which came along with the regiment as advisors, rather than to continue training them, knowing that the inexperienced officers will never be able to reorganize the green troops, wade into the fray, to take command and hopefully save the regiment.
Even if they do, there is still the mission to take the fort or they could return in shame and defeat to the Empress.Characters
I will be accepting characters from the Military Mission, the Regiment or as Court officials.
Now, if you want to be part of the Military Mission, your character will be male and an Osoren in the Sesalian Army or one may play was a Seasalian woman with some sort of connection to someone in the mission, perhaps a soldier's wife or mistress. There should be between three and four officers, either Captains or Lieutenants (first or second). The Mission will be commanded by my character, a Major. These men would have moved from Regular Army units during the war and given breveted (temporary) higher ranks to command volunteer regiments and after the war reverted back to their permanent rank in the Regular Army, only to find that there isn’t a place for them in any of their old units.
There should also be between four and six NCOs. These men would have already been sergeants when the war broke out and were moved to volunteer regiments like the officers, to help train them and then to have veteran, senior NCOs in such regiments. Unlike the officers however, their promotions to ranks like Sergeant Major, Colour Sergeant, Ordnance Sergeant and the like, were not breveted but permanent promotions.
The Sesalians would appear the same as western europeans with French sounding names. Mustaches, beards, sideburns and muttonchops are highly encouraged. The Sesalian Army is based off the French Army (1850-1870), so they should be wearing uniforms like them and I will provided examples below and I will make a little list here to help out making up a uniform. Different regiments could have very different uniforms.
Headgear: either a kepi or a shako
Jacket: either a knee length frock coat or a hip length shell coat, both should be single breasted (one row of brass buttons) and have epaulettes. Some shade of blue.
Trousers: Baggy or straight legged, shades of blue, red or black, with a differently colored stripe along the outer seam.
Footwear: Black leather ankle high boots (officers may have thigh high boots), hobnailed and wore with white spats (canvas covers wore over the boot and around the ankle) or gaiters (canvas covers wore over the boot and up to the calf ).
Under the uniform, men would wear shirts (any color or pattern), vests (any color or pattern), drawers (lightweight cloth pants, reaching down to knees or ankles, with a drawstring) and socks.
If you want to play a character that is part of the Regiment, I would ask that you play as either a noble or a retainer. Characters can be of either gender and must be Arakians. Nobles should be young, late teens or early twenties and will become the Regiment’s officers, ten captains, one Major and a Colonel. The retainers on the other hand, can be of any age. Their the few professional warriors serving the lords of the interior of the country and will become the junior officers (lieutenants) and sergeants of the regiments. The levies are farmers called up to fight and will become the enlisted men of the regiment. If you do want to play as such, I would prefer it if your character would be someone who proves themselves during the Regiment’s first action and get promoted.
As to those who might want to play as Court Officials, they can be either gender and any age, as long as their Arakians. They lived in the capital city all their lives and serve the Empress, not a Daimyo. After introducing the Sesalians, they will stick around as translaters and to try and keep the peace between the two groups.
Arakians should looked East Asian. Names and clothing should be heavily influenced by Japanese culture, with an undercurrent of Hans Chinese. I will be honest, I’m not overly familiar with clothing for them but I will try to help with that, with what I have been able to find out. If anyone knows this subject better, feel free to speak up. Now, after the beginning, those in the Regiment, will be issued with Sesalian uniforms but feel free to mix and match those uniform with traditional clothing, like the image at the top.
Kimono: should be the simpler men’s style. Juban, a thin undershirt like garment, inner robe called a nagajuban, outer robe, attachable sleeves and a narrow sash called an obi. They also can be worn with a hakama, a pleted, divided skirt.
Samue: work clothes, waist length robe with loose trousers that tie around the ankle.
Kosode: basic robe, can be worn as undergarment or overgarment. Loose fit, worn with an obi and often with a hakamaWeaponsPattern 1640 Bosc Rifle
Invented fifteen years ago, the Bosc is a muzzle loading rifled musket, using percussion caps. Firing a .58 caliber Bosc ball (this world’s version of the Minié ball), at a rate of 3-4 shots a minute, by a well trained rifleman, this rifle is four feet and ten inches from butt to muzzle. Weighing nine pounds, it has an effective range of one hundred to four hundred yards with a maximum range of a thousand, although hitting anything over five hundred is up to luck. COme equipped with a socket bayonet, with a triangular blade, eighteen inches long. Issued to all Sesalian enlisted and sent with the Military Mission to arm the Empress’s regiment with.Le Hir Revolver
Invented nine years ago, the Le Hir is a five shot, cap and ball revolver. Coming in .44 caliber, they are double action, meaning that it take a single squeeze of the trigger to cock the hammer and fire the weapon. The chamber can be popped out and replaced, allowing those that carry it to quickly reload. Effective at thirty-five yards, the revolver has a maximum range of one hundred yards. They are general issue to all Sesalian officers and flag bearers, although the officers are allowed to purchase their own weapons, so long as they were .44 caliber and a number of these side arms are being shipped with the Military Mission for the officers of the Regiment.Pattern 1630 Infantry Officer’s Saber
Standard issue to all Sesalian officers, although regulations allow for officers to purchases other style of swords. Thirty-two inch, slightly curved blade, with brass guard and wire wrapped leather grip, they come with steel and brass scabbards. These swords are not being sent with the Military Mission, as the native Arakians have their own styles of swords.Pattern 1620 Noncommissioned Officer’s Sword
Issued to sergeants, flag bearers and musicians in the Sesalian Army. Twenty-six inch, straight blade, with cast brass grip, which resembles the more expensive wire wrapped grips of officer’s swords. They come with leather scabbards. These swords are with the Military Mission, as the military minds back in Sesal were unsure if the common people in the Araki Empire are allowed swords.
The men of the Military Mission may also be carrying personally bought weapons, such as knives of various styles and lengths or non-standard revolvers or single shot pistols. Arakian officers are carrying native swords of different types and native polearms, if they choose to, such weapons include but are not limited to katanas, ōdachi, nagamaki, naginata and yari.Adult Aspects
This has been asked of me before in stories before, where the plot isn’t something akin to that of a porn (not that such stories are bad, I love them). This story will contain violence in battle, training or scuffles between characters. There is room for romance and rape in the story, with sex that can be played out in the IC thread but might work better in a separate thread between those players and linked so the rest can know what happenedMoneySesalian Currency
Base unit, Franc, which is divided into 100 centimesCoins
20 Franc, gold coin, weighs 6.4 grams
10 Franc, gold coin, weighs 3.2 grams
5 Franc, gold coin, weighs 1.6 grams
5 Franc, silver coin, weighs 25 grams
2 Franc, silver coin, weighs 10 grams
1 Franc, silver coin weighs 5 grams
Half Franc, silver coin, weighs 2.5 grams
Quarter Franc, silver coin, weighs 1.25 grams
10 centime, bronze coin, weighs 10 grams
5 centime, bronze coin, weighs 10 grams
2 centime, bronze coin, weighs 2 grams
1 centime, bronze coin, weighs 2 gramsArakian Currency
Based on the Ryō, a weight of gold, which is in turn, based on the koku, a unit of rice, weighing about 330 pounds. A koku is enough rice to feed a person for a year. 1 koku is worth 3 RyōCoins
Ōban, gold plate, worth ten Ryō, weighs 180 grams
Koban, oblong gold coin, worth one Ryō, weighs 18 grams
Nibuban, square gold coin, worth half a Ryō, weighs 9 grams
Ichibuban, square gold coin, worth a quarter Ryō, weighs 4.5 grams
Ichibuban, square silver coin, worth a quarter Ryō, weighs 8.6 grams
Isshuban, square silver coin, worth a twentieth of a Ryō, weighs 1.7 grams
Mon, oblong bronze coins with a square hole cut in the middle, 4000 mon is worth a Ryō. Minted by lords across the empire, in different amounts. The only Imperial minted mon is a 100 mon coin, weighing 20 grams
Sesalian and Arakian are equal by weight.
10 centime is worth 100 mon
17.25 silver francs is worth just about 10 ichibuban
55 gold francs is worth just about 1 koban
Pay grades for the Sesalian Army, per month
Private 65 francs
Corporal 65 francs
Sergeant 85 francs
First Sergeant 100 francs
Quartermaster Sergeant 105 francs
Colour Sergeant 105 francs
Sergeant Major 105 francs
Second Lieutenant 527.5 francs
First Lieutenant 527.5 francs
Captain 577.5 francs
Major 845 francs
Lieutenant Colonel 905 francs
Colonel 1,060 francs
Brigadier General 1,575 francs
In the beginning, those serving in the Empress's Own payed monthly as follows,
Levees 350 mon
Retainers 1 isshuban, 130 mon
Nobles 5 isshubanExamples of price, in Francs
A rifle costs 100 francs
A dozen eggs costs 1 franc
A pound of cheese, 65 centimePlayer
: Military MissionName
: Gerard MeresseAge
: MajorHighest Rank Held
: Brevet Brigadier GeneralSocial Standing
: NASexual Preference
: heterosexual, dominant Appearance
Gerard Is a man of decent height, standing at five feet and ten inches tall, with a lean, athletic build, from years of fencing and from serving in a four year war. He is fair skinned and lightly tanned, which is slightly darker on his face. His hair is a soft brown color, cut to a few inches long and combed back. His facial hair matches that on his head and is neatly trimmed into a pair of thick muttonchops, bridged by a mustache. His green-brown eyes command his face, staring over a once straight nose, which has been broken at least once. He carries a scar on his left leg, from where a bullet went right through the muscle and nearly killed him. There is also a scar on his right ribs, from a shallow cut from a bayonet. As he has yet be reassigned, he still wears the uniform of the 5th Carlipa Regiment of Volunteer Infantry, loose but straight legged red trousers, with black stripes on the seams, a deep blue, single breasted shell jacket with gold epaulettes and a red kepi with gold trim. There are several campaign metals or metals for bravery on his right breast, when he is wearing his uniform in parade fashion.Weapons
: Le Hir Revolver and a personally engraved Pattern 1630 Infantry Officer’s SaberExtra Gear
: bruyère wood smoking pipe, pipe tobacco, silver pocket watch, comb and brush, straight razor, extra cylinders for his revolver, a black and tan Shorthaired Shepherd dog called ChasseurHistory
: Born in 1625, Gerard is the son of a successful factory owner and growing up, received a good education. As a young man, he worked for his father, who hoped he would take over but when he came to manhood, he applied and was accepted into the military academy, in the old fortress of Malix. After graduating, roughly in the middle of his class, he was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the 12th Infantry, at the age of twenty-two. Barely a year later, war broke with the Kingdom of Tauacia, after the Tauacian Army opened fire on the border forts. At the battle of Blomard Farm, he took a ball in his left calf, as his regiment advanced through a field of ankle high wheat. Nearly bleeding to death, he was carried off the field, to the regimental surgeons. Luckily, it was a flesh wound and his leg bone wasn’t broken. Recovering, he rejoined the regiment several weeks later, he would survive the Battle of Cornillac, where his regiment suffered heavy casualties and was promoted to captain, to fill the spot of his dead company commander.
A month later, he received a letter, giving him a breveted rank of Major and ordering him to report to the muster of the 5th Carlipa Regiment of Volunteer Infantry. Unknown to him, an uncle of his was serving on the board of staff officers, choosing field officers to train volunteers. Two months later, the 5th marched out, with Gerard as it’s second in command. During the defense of Cauna Hill, he took command of the regiment, when Colonel Antonin Thorel was shot off his horse. Promoted to Major in the Regular Army and breveted to Colonel of Volunteers, he commanded the 5th until the battle of The Old Forest. The Sesalians were trying to drive the Tauacians from an very old forest and the brigade the 5th was in, was assigned to the left flank. The 5th was placed on the end of the line and as the army advanced, easily punched through a light screen of Tauacian skirmishers.
Despite this easy victory, Gerard was uneasy, as he could plainly hear heavy fighting off to his right. Instead of driving the Tauacians before him, he ordered his regiment to wheel right, forcing their way through heavy undergrowth, until they found the battle proper. The rest of the brigade was being slaughtered, as they assaulted a Tauacian position, set in the remains of an abandoned farmhouse, which had collapsed slightly and the tumbling over stone walls around it. Finding that he had flanked the enemy, he ordered his men to pour fire into the rear of the Tauacians, until they routed from their farmhouse. At this point, more Tauacian regiments began to fall back and their flank started to roll up. However the battle would last a further three days, as the thick woods turned maneuvers into quagmires and often prevented orders from arriving in timely manners.
After the battle, it was found out that the brigade command had been killed and Gerard was breveted to Brigadier General. Until the War’s end, a year and half later, he would led the brigade into battle, gaining a reputation for being able to flank through the roughest of terrain, his men nearly always using light infantry formations and tactics, which seemed to work, even with their colorful uniforms, most likely because enemy commanded didn’t believe men could march through the rocky hills or forests on their flanks. His brigade would earn the nickname, The Devil’s Chasseurs.
After the War, he reverted back to his rank of Major, only to find that his regiment (and the rest of the Regular Army regiments) had no need of a Major. He was put on half pay, like many of his fellow officers and assigned to a border fort. When his former regiment, the 5th Carlipa Regiment of Volunteer Infantry, disbanded. The men took a vote and gave the regimental mascot, a one hundred pound shepherd dog, to him as a parting gift. For the past three years, he has slowly going crazy from boredom in the fort, throwing himself into saber fencing to hold off the boredom and playing with Chasseur. He was thrilled, when he was offered the chance to lead the Military Mission to the Araki Empire, which was once again, thanks to his uncle.