Named for the god of courage, the Coiryn Riders are horsemen that act as individual messengers (heralds), scouts, or groups of lightweight cavalry. They’re based in a settlement, for whom they work; heralds do not normally carry messages for hire. When traveling, they freely exchange information about encountered dangers.
Only humans and karelia are usually Coiryn Riders. Kryll feel that efforts to reduce nefarious threats near settlements infringes on their pacifist stance and only become heralds, their weapons skills a great aid to themselves. Morkais sometimes work with the cavalry by scouting from the sky or acting as messengers.
Most Coiryn Riders can speak but maybe not read languages that are spoken within 25 miles of a settlement, but not necessarily those spoken within the settlement; the goal is to communicate with neighbors, friendly or not.
In most cultures, a tattoo of the Coiryn Riders symbol is placed on the right shoulder, deltoid muscle. This often includes an indication of the settlement or sovereign power where they became a rider. This mark is one worn with great pride. However, there are times when a rider has been cast out of the group, usually for a crime, and this tattoo is altered and defaced in some way, to indicate their shame. The only weapon given upon acceptance to the Coiryn Riders is a knife with the Coiryn Rider symbol upon either the hilt or blade. All Coiryn Riders are typically outfitted with chainmail. However, the cavalry might receive plate mail and heralds and the like may instead receive leather armor.
The heralds are either in the field, or acting as officers in the settlement. Royal Heralds exist in most kingdoms, and Imperial Heralds exist during empires. Both carry messages only for the royalty (the King’s Heralds do so only for the king, whereas the Emperor’s Heralds only do so for the emperor). Each of the heralds and scouts is given a baldric decorated with their city colors, perhaps the city symbol, and their rank.
A number of different herald types exist. In many places, heralds are protected from crimes. Also known as “local heralds,” all heralds begin service as a Valend Herald, so named for being just out of training. Valend Heralds are those who carry messages up to three days travel from the settlement. Way Heralds carry messages farther than three days travel. They can command a Valend Herald.
A Scout is one of the most versatile positions and can act on his own, with a Herald, or with a group, tracking threats. War Herald is a temporary rank during war, carrying messages between military groups and places.
The Lieutenant Herald is the lowest officer rank and spends less time in the field, as do Captain Heralds. Cavalier Heralds are second only to Brigadier Heralds, the highest rank in a settlement.
In a kingdom, the Brigadier Herald of each city reports to the kingdom’s Herald Commander, who reports to the king. During an empire, each kingdom’s Herald Commander also reports to the empire’s Imperial Herald Commander.
Commander of the Royal Heralds is the most powerful herald in a kingdom, and is the second most powerful position during an empire (the Commander of the Imperial Heralds outranks him)
Imperial and Royal Heralds
In most kingdoms, there is a group of elite heralds known as Royal Heralds. During an empire, another group called Imperial Heralds also exists. Their responsibilities are the same, as are their ranks, though an Imperial Herald outranks a Royal Herald. Both groups carry messages for their king, emperor, or other royalty so that virtually all royal families have at least one royal herald. Not having one is considered an embarrassment. They must be an officer (for issuing commands). It is one of the safer jobs and carries many privileges.
The highest standing Royal Heralds are those who only carry the messages of the king, and are subsequently known as the King’s Heralds. The same is true for an emperor with the Imperial Heralds. Each of them is required to have been at some point in their career a Valend herald, a Way Herald, a Scout, a War Herald, a Captain Herald (which implied a Lieutenant Herald as well), and a Royal or Imperial Herald.
Most cavalry wear chainmail, while some and the officers wear plate mail. They solve what problems they can throughout the territory maintained by their settlement. Rankings among the officers are very similar to those of the heralds: Lieutenant, Captain, Cavalier, Brigadier, Commander, and General. Each of these individuals outranks the heralds of the same level.