Military Forces

The Army

Amber's army is not a unified command of standing professionals, but a collection of forces provided under feudal obligation from the Nobles of the Kingdom. As such it's organisation is not fixed, but is constructed as required when a situation requires the calling up of a large number of soldiers. Command and staff positions are generally filled with the ranks of nobility, with Oberon's children taking many of the top positions by reason of both rank and ability.

While Benedict as Marshal of Amber is the senior military commander of Amber the current Army Chief of Staff is Major General Marquis Edward Percy. The Marquis is the most senior non Family army commander in the Amber armed forces. Although well over 200 years old he is still vigorous. He is well regarded as competent and non partisan, loyal to the Crown, not whoever is wearing it and political enough to have survived that stance. He is said to have considered retirement after not being involved in the Battle at Chaos, but is currently continuing as Army Chief of Staff.

When not required few forces are formally held in readiness. Amber has a standing deployment to Wierheim for purposes of occupation, but hasn't required to use large scale force there for many centuries. Amber forces in Katanga see occasional action against local forces, not to a level regarded as requiring a full scale call up, but occasionally prompting reinforcement with troops from other domains for a larger scale retaliation.

In addition Oberon's children often produce significant armed forces when they require from sources outside the domains of the Kingdom. These forces generally remain under the personal command of their Patron and are used in parallel rather than combined operations with the Kingdom's feudal forces.

The Navy

Amber's Navy is considerably more organised than it's Army, both because of the continuous nature of it's duties and the permanent attention of Gerard and Caine as it's twin chiefs. Under Admiral's Gerard and Caine are Commodores that command squadrons of ships or naval bases and Captains in command of individual ships.

While birth can be a big assistance to a career in the Navy experience and ability also play a part and in that sense the Navy is often seen as more egalitarian than the Army. For many Golden Circle nations the Navy is the constant visible reminder of the power of Amber and it sails under the Royal flag of a white unicorn rampant on a green field.

The Navy patrols the Golden Circle catching pirates, deterring smugglers and assisting ships in trouble. It also maintains the general charts of the Shadow Paths and advises the appropriate authorities of each Golden Circle nation when there are any changes, which is rare, but not unknown.

The Arden Rangers.

The Arden Rangers are military foresters. They patrol the Forest of Arden and guard Amber's landward approach. They also manage the Forest culling populations when necessary, hunting down predators that become a menace to the human population and deterring poachers. They are skirmishing troops wearing light leather or chain armour and using bows and one handed melee weapons (sword and axe being most popular). Almost all are recruited from the population of the Forest.

There are only 3 ranks in the Rangers. Ranger enlisted man, required to be skilled at weapons and woodcraft. Ranger Sargent NCO, has larger practical experience and wider range of skills. Ranger Lieutenant in the literal sense of an officer in lieu of the Commander, requires greater interpersonal skills and "bigger picture" view of things.

Rangers are deployed as required for the job at hand in ones, Teams of 3, Squads of 10 (usually with a Sargent) or Companies of 30 (with at least a Sargent and likely a Lieutenant). Normal forest business would be handled by Teams, something unusual would draw a Squad, mobilisation of a Company is a Def Con 2 response.

Rangers operate from well established camps spread through out the Forest. These camps can comfortably hold up to 50 Rangers for a short period, but the average manning level would be around 20 (2 Squads). Ranger camps are not obvious and are well guarded and the approaches often trapped. Most of a Rangers life is spent away from camp patrolling the Forest or watching approaches and paths. Any settlement in the Forest will provide provisions and accommodation for any reasonable group of Rangers, but most Rangers would regard this a soft option.

The Palace Guard

The Palace Guard are a special force recruited from volunteers. Generally only veterans are accepted. In the past the Guard has numbered up to 1000 men, but with the gradual reduction in defensive fixtures it is currently only 300. The Guard is commanded by a Colonel who has three Captains as his seconds. Usually all of these officers are drawn from noble families. Palace Guards are expected to be able to not embarrass the Kingdom in social occasions and to be able to deal with visiting ambassadors and dignitaries who are use to having their authority respected.

They are equipped as suitable for their duties, generally in medium armour with swords for officers and halberds for soldiers. The Palace Guard arms are a green field with a white bar and a white unicorn's head top right. Soldiers wear the arms as a tabard, Officers generally wear dark green on duty as well as a small shield shaped badge with the arms and use shields bearing the arms when required.

The City Watch

The City Watch is a part of the Sheriff's Office and is responsible for keeping the peace, contributing to the security of the City and Harbour and fighting fires. As Caine has held a near proprietary hold on the office of Sheriff for many years the Watch are as close as a personal armed force that has ever been established in Amber.

Partly civilian as well as military the City Watch is the active arm of the Legal process in Amber and where necessary is responsible for the routine enforcement of the Laws of Amber and commandments of the Court.

It is not a large force, totalling no more than 400, but is well organised and highly efficient, and supported in some duties by a Civil Militia. The Badge of the Watch is a 5 pointed Golden Crown on a Green Field, which are also the Arms of the City of Amber.

Officers of the Watch usually wear light chain mail and use one handed weapons (swords and maces being popular). Enlisted Watchmen wear reinforced leather armour can be issued with one handed weapons (maces or axes), spears and / or crossbows.

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