Fire and Wood (54)

Page 54 is up! Fire and wood aren’t always the best combination.

For the curious: the Hussars are Bereg’s regular cavalry. I based them, very roughly, on the early Central European hussars. Before you ask – no, the Bereghin hussars don’t have wings. At least not until I figure out what the wings of the Polish Winged Hussars were for 🙂

I’m going with the “corsair” etymology of the word here, and the Bereghin hussars have a somewhat similar history. The word was originally used for raiders, then raiders became mercenaries, then standing armies became a thing and the word “hussar” suddenly got applied to all regular cavalry. The hussars are mainly petty nobles. They also pay for their own equipment and training, so there isn’t a whole lot of difference between them and the knights of the traditional noble militia. Except the hussars are more experienced and professional, obviously.

A much bigger gap is between them and the “knights-descrier” (the “descriers” Ivolga mentioned in Educated Rabble). Those are an innovation of the previous gosudar. The descriers are equipped, paid, and where necessary trained by the state. They have a very high proportion of commoners – children of artisans, merchants, even some weird cases like Molchan.

They still have a fair number of nobles, though. And not just petty nobles driven by poverty, either – quite a few support the strengthening of the central authority, enlightened-despot style. For the census and tax purposes, even the commoner descriers are considered equal to knights. The old nobility isn’t always happy about that, as you can imagine 🙂

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  1. Pingback: Fire and Wood (54) | History Muse

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