Article written by Uziel
The Minotaur Fleet is the elite naval force of the Imperial League, and is considered to be the single most skilled armed force of sailors anywhere on Krynn. The fleet is filled with skilled sailors and officers, and each ship operates under a singular commander. All ships fall under the sway of any admiral in the immediate area, and in the case where several admirals are present, then under the senior most admiral.
The sailors of the Minotaur Fleet are expected to keep the waters around the Imperial League clear of any unauthorised vessels, and are under orders to board, search and destroy any such vessels found within their realm. In many cases, the sailors will merely escort peaceful vessels to the port at Kristophan, where they may register to operate in League waters. Authorised vessels are inscribed with a Signature Sigil, which allows the Ministry of War to track vessels.
The Fleet also frequently make raids into the realm of Thenol, as well as police the waters around Southern Hosk, the innermost reaches of the Western Ocean and the fringes of the Indanalis Sea. The sailors of the Minotaur Fleet are greatly feared, and few ships in Taladas will ever dare stand against a Fleet vessel. The ships of the Fleet are dromond style, possessing the speed of elven craft, and the power of Minotaur ships. Each ship has a large amount of cargo and storage space, allowing vessels to remain out at sea for long periods of time. The average ship of the Fleet holds around 200 sailors, and every sailor (except for the captain) takes a turn at the oars. The Minotaur Fleet do not use slaves to move their ships, believing it inefficient and a waste of resources to have them on board. Instead almost every sailor mans the oars, which is also considered a good form of exercise.
Joining the Minotaur Fleet
Joining the ranks of the Minotaur Fleet is by no means as easy as joining the Legions of Eragas. Individuals wishing to join must either speak to a recruiter at the Ministry of War and Defense in Kristophan, or at the Secondary Department of the Navy in Morgad. Hopefuls are lodged in nearby hotels until the testing session takes place, which occurs every three weeks. At this time, the recruit is brought to the base of Luminari, where the Fleet maintains its proving ground.
Recruits must then choose a partner and navigate through dangerous shoals and reefs in two-man crafts. These tests last for three days and see many recruits drowned in the deadly waters, which is an effective means of weeding out the weak. All surviving recruits are then returned to Kristophan, where they are put through a week's worth of oral and written exams, and those successful are then put through a two-day physical test, involving running twenty miles, swimming two miles, and then fighting a fully armored minotaur opponent. Those who complete the final test in less than five hours are accepted into the Fleet, and those who fail and survive are encouraged to try again, since they possess considerable skill to even make it to this point.
Finally the successful candidates are sent to Morgad, where they swear an oath of service and undergo a year's worth of training, which involves physical and mental training, as well as schooling in strategies of the Fleet. In the final month of training, candidates are split into groups where they are expected to crew boats with almost no sleep, operating under even the worst of conditions. With the conclusion of their training, the candidates are finally accepted into Fleet as sailors.
All recruits that join the Minotaur Fleet enter at the rank of Sailor Fourth Class. Promotions are never awarded to those who have simply served for long periods of time, and only awarded to those who truly earn them through exemplary service.
The ranks are as follows:
The admirals possess the highest normal rank in the Minotaur Fleet, and are collectively considered the High Command. The High Command has full authority over the fleet, although they are majorly influenced by the Minister of War and ultimately report to the Emperor of the Imperial League.
It should be noted that on any vessel, the captain has the absolute and final say on all matters, unless someone of admiral rank is within the vicinity. The captain of a vessel can be a sailor of lieutenant rank or higher, and they appoint two sailors to serve as their mates. The mate of a ship is responsible for ensuring the captain's orders are followed to the letter, and is considered almost of the same authority as the captain themselves. Other than the captain and two mates on a vessel, there is no other hierarchy, and the three officers are generally obeyed without question. Those who do not obey an officer run the risk of being court-marshalled.
A Sailor's Pay
Sailors of the Fleet are paid better than their counterparts in the Legions of Eragas, as they are considered a more elite force. A sailor fourth class receives 15 steel a month, with an increase of 3 steel per additional class, ensigns receive 30 steel a month, with the same 3 steel increase per class. In the upper echelons of the navy, the pay increases dramatically, with lieutenant junior grades' receiving 60 steel a month, lieutenants get 80 steel a month, lieutenant commanders get 110 steel a month, commanders earn 160 steel a month, captains get 200 steel a month, and commodores earn 240 steel a month. Vice admirals are paid 275 steel a month, and each class of admiral above this are paid a further 40 steel a month.
Similarly to the soldiers in the army, sailors can receive bonuses to their pay, based on exceptional service, and are also allowed to keep plunder and booty from successful raids and battles. All sailors are offered health benefits when at home, and are also awarded a pension when their services are no longer required by the League, and they have served long and honorably.
This article has been viewed 2,847 times. It was added on December 28, 2008, and was last modified on December 28, 2008.
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