The Fifth Rhyde
The basic social, economic and military unit of the Rapani is the . Each Rhyde raises, trains and fields 12 . The Fifth Rhyde of Selka is unique among the Rhydes because it is tasked with patroling and defending the northern reaches of the Banakur, a forest located where the lands of Selka, the L'npei of D'Mak and the state of Great Road meet. The Fifth Rhyde is also known as the Kalmia Rhyde after its sigil, the Laurel flower. The Rhyde's nickname is the Kurdosim.
The Fifth Rhyde has a structure that is unique among the . Its are made up of nine Prides of bow armed woodsmen and three Prides of swordsmen. Each Pride consists of six Voices instead of the standard three and the Pride has a complement of twelve NCOs instead of the standard six. This enables the Voices to operate independently when on patrol inside the Banakur.
In the early days of Selka, the of the Kalmia Rhyde were indistinguishable from those of the other . It was assigned to the Doberai Hills Training Camp and served its active duty along the southern border, protecting settlements from raiders.
After the Great Revolt, the of Great Road Councilate began to press into the Banakur Forest, clearing lands and introducing their pagan ways. Selka's Rhyde Council realized that they needed a new organization to operate in the Banakur and blunt the advance of the Keshdumah.
Although the Kurdosim recruit from all over Selka at the annual recruiting fair, they prefer men from the farms in and around the Doberai Hills. These southern farm boys have grown up hunting in the forests of the Doberai, are experienced in woodscraft and know which end of a bow is the business end.
The Fifth Rhyde has modified the normal Rapani kit for the rigors of long range patroling and the woodland fighting style of ambush and raid. Like all Rapani, they wear a black leather double breasted cuirass, which straps across the left shoulder and along the left side; and homespun linen pants with black leather fronts. Under the cuirass is a sleeveless homespun linen shirt. The basic kit is completed with black leather knee high boots.
The Woodsmen don't wear a helmet or hat, substituting a colored bandana that can be worn over the hair or as a headband. No color is specified. Every Woodsman is armed with a compound bow, a belted quiver of arrows and an angled short sword.
The Swordsmen augment the protection of the cuirass by sewing thin metal plates to the front. Their pants have pockets over their thighs into which they insert metal plates. They also wear a standard Rapani leather helmet with metal plates sewn to the front and sides. They carry a long oval shield on the right arm and a short stabbing sword.
The Fifth Rhyde's Sigil is the Laurel flower. It is rendered as four large rounded petals pointing to the primary compass directions and four small pointed petals between the large petals. Each places its numeral is in the middle of the Sigil. The flower petals are colored pink.
The Sigil is embossed (but not colored) into the front of the cuirass, painted on the shields of the swordsmen and tattooed onto the right forearm of each soldier. NCO's also have the Sigil tattooed on their left bicep.