The Younger Militia is one of the integral parts of the educational system in the Free Lands and of Selkie Military History. Cities and towns were granted the right to raise militias by High King Lugh the Fighter, who also decreed, that all those learning how to read and write should be given training as well - and that later extended to school visiting in general.
It is important to note, that today the tasks of the Younger Militias are most ceremonial in nature or as manpower during disaster relief.
In 889, a law proposed by the Elder Council is adopted by the Cities and Towns. It stipulates, that "every child learning the arts of numbers and signs" is to learn how to defend the own city or town with spear, shield and sword. Soon, bow and arrow join that armament. The Younger Militias are formed.
Initially, the Younger Militias organized their units as Céadi, groups of 100,
Today, many of their duties are ceremonial in nature, the Younger Militias for example forming the parade for high guests when there is a state visit in a city of the Free Lands (that on most occasions being explained as Selkie History not being something pleasant). Other duties are more active, for example as manpower pools during disasters, auxiliary police forces during large events (especially mounted crossbows) and other such functions.
The SDF-Army trains the Younger Militias twice a year in two-week courses in NBC-Protection Measures, the Younger Militias having their place in the defensive plans against NBC-Attacks since 1926 (at the time still aimed at the B and the C, not the N - that came later). This was mostly a response to the threat posed by biological and chemical weapons of Lutetii. After the Utica Peace Accords, which ended the Second Vellenge War and forced the Free Lands to disarm all nuclear weapons as well as the Lutetiians to give up all biological weapons, the training program remained in effect.
The Céadi, the groups of 100, were the main formation of the Younger Militias' from their inception in 889 until the Aicme-System, or Class-System, was adopted in 1780. A Céadi, in an ideal world, was composed of:
- Ensign with two men flag escort
- Priest (usually a Servant)
- Two musicians (usually drummers)
- 2 Runners
- 6 ealtai/flocks (singular ealta) -10
- 9 Pikemen
- 3 ealtai/flocks (singular ealta) -10
- 9 Swordsmen
A Céadi usually was the entire school year of a school.
Until 1871, there was an Adult Militia, simply the continuation of the service of the Younger Militia, trainign every second weekend. The Adult Militia was the manpower pool for campaigns and other
The Kids or Younglings
The Young Adults
Of all the troops raised, the young adults, starting with 15 and ending with 18 Springs of age, were the only ones expected to fight outside of their cities and who also did.
Upon entering this age group, boys 'got longer' by default, traded their spears for pikes, while girls becoming women were free to choose to either stay with the boys, choose the bow or crossbow, both mounted and dismounted, or to attend to and teach the Kids. It is worth noting, that most girls chose the crossbow or bow, quite a lot of them also mounted, disregarding the girls staying with the pikes as 'pikegirls'. Depending on the chosen task, the roles on the battlefield changed, pikemen standing their ground, while bows and crossbows provided covering fire for the advance.
- See Main Article: Weapons and Armour of the Selkie.
Kids or Younglings
One of the most important roles in the Younger Militias was filled by the musicians, coordinating the marches by music, the steady cadance of the drums and fifes, relaying signals by fifes and drums, intimidating the enemy by loud sounds and raising the own morale by playing up for song and dance, sometimes with songs of rather questionable content.
The Pikemen are mandatory for all boys and optional for the girls,
Crossbow-GalsThe Crossbow-Gals is the city's answer to the Mounted Archers of the villages and farmsteads, as well as against all heavier armoured threats, for example knights. Themselves, they were only lightly armoured, if at all, the only definate pieces of armour being vambraces, the rest being more or less thick available clothing, heavy boots and a coat.
Oftentimes, Crossbow-Gals would wear faux ears and tails of animals, such as foxes, cats or wolves, both to raise the own morale, incorporating the spirit of the animal in question, and to intimidate the enemy. This custom was also taken up by the Bow-Gals, although it is unknown, who started and who copied whom.
The most famous of all Crossbow-Gals come from Seabhcóir, known for their abilities with the locally produced crossbows and their rather wild appearance, which draws more then the odd tourist to the town.
Bow GalsBow Gals are the towns' answer to the
Especially proud of their Bow Gals is the City of Cuan, as well as the towns of Tipa, Foireann and Calafort.
The command structure of the Younger Militia is kept down and simple, from simple soldiers to Sergeants to Lieutenants to Captains and, in case of larger contingents of Militiamen, Commanders.
Usually, a school class
The Younger Militias have a variety of traditions and
Songs of the Younger Militias are known to every Selkie, evergreens in pubs and inns,