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Old 11-12-2015, 01:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: [Mass Combat] Discipline, Law, Order and Preventing Atrocities

Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
What is their opinion of the category that the occupied enemy citizens belongs to? In terms of culture or religion (not race, because that'd be anachronistic)? If it's same culture and same religion, there'll be a lot fewer problems than if it's different culture and different religion. Even worse if it's different cultural type and different religious family.
The long-serving Chondathan soldiers of the PCs' own professional mercenary force regard them as the exact same ethnic and religious people as their current employers, i.e. the people who live in the city where they've been stationed the past months and the people serving in the armies allied to them. Of course, individuals might have various views as to the cultural values, religious practices, linguistic quirks and other peculiarities of the Untheri, but for all practical purposes, the foreign mercenaries will not be able to tell Untheri from Shussel from Untheri from Messemprar.

Shussel is 200 miles away from Messemprar. For the past three millenia, the two cities have belonged to the same empire, worshipped the same gods and had the same culture.* They also belong to the same general geographic area within that empire, the Methtir plains, with one of them being situated at the northern border of these plains** and the other being situated at the southern border of them.***

There is a major problem, however, in that a lot of the civilians who are present are not necessarily Shussel-born. They are slaves from all over Unther, confiscated by the conquerors and put to work on military projects. Fortunately, a lot of the less disciplined troops on the PCs' side also happen to be Fanatic anti-slavers, which ought to make them predisposed to treat newly liberated slaves gently. On the other hand, Fanatics are rarely warm and fuzzy.

There are potential conflicts between Untheri slaves who were happy to serve their new and kinder masters and Untheri fanatical anti-slavers who believe that not only pride, but patriotism, ought to have prevented anyone, slave or free, from aiding the invasion of the Mulhorandi.

And some of the troops on the side of the PCs amount to gansters, murderers, street fighters and even pirates. All in all, about 500 of their men are 'disciplined' pirates under a powerful pirate 'admiral' who can impose fairly good order (for pirates), 200 of them are the chosen elite of a pirate admiral not interested in good order or avoiding atrocities and 200 of them are criminals and street fighters motivated to volunteer for a Forlorn Hope of sort by either patriotism or hatred of the Mulhorandi.****

*At least as far as any outsider would judge. According to the Untheri themselves, however, there are enormously significant differences in art, cuisine, dialect, industry, literature, religion and about a thousand other fields. Charitably, it might be said that some of these are real in that there are diverging trends in minority religions in each city, but given that most of the last millenia was spent under a theocracy which enforced a lot of religious uniformity among those who aspired to political significance, these differences are minor.
**Messemprar has for a century or two marked the northern border of the empire proper. The lands to the north of Messemprar are now former provinces, populated with rebellious and barbarous provincials.
***Shussel would argue that they are the northernmost part of the actual Heartlands, the most civilised area in the world (according to Untheri). Anyone actually from the capital of Unthalass knows that Shussel is the first outpost of the yokels of the northern plains, located near the civilised lands, but not in them.
****Or a perception that life as a mercenary, if they survive this battle, sure beats living as a TL2 ganster/streetfighter.

Originally Posted by Peter Knutsen View Post
There's also the barbarian/civilized divide. Barbarians have disdain for decadent city-dwellers and may well be inclined to look upon them as wolves look upon sheep. Likewise, soldiers from civilized lands may be inclined to look upon barbarians as being barely Human.
In this particular army, everyone is 'civilised'. There are tribal scouts and various ethnic auxiliaries fighting on the side of the PCs, but they are located in another theatre of the war. Everyone on the PCs' side who is there in Shussel now was transported by ship, from Messemprar, and tends to be urban.

The major divide, other than foreign (mostly Chondanthan) mercenaries and Free Untheri soldiers, is between voluteers that come from highly organised street gangs that have developed a sort of quasi-government in some parts of Messemprar and those who regard themselves as middle-class and upward traditional members of the traditional military elite.
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