Ariadna is made up of the descendents of the first human colonizing ship that disappeared into a worm-hole and was given up for lost. Isolated on a remote and hostile planet, the Ariadnes – Cossacks, Americans, Scots and Frenchmen – have evolved into a hard and technologically less advanced race, which has just made contact with the Human Sphere and is trying to carve out a niche for itself without falling under the control of the other powers.
Caledonian Highlander Army
Years of constant hostilities between the different clans have forged a race of natural-born warriors amongst the inhabitants of the Caledonian lands. People of the clans know, even as children, that they must always be ready to defend their clan, which is their family, their lands, their resources and their honor.
Each and every Caledonian is a true Highlander. Even those with a more urban and civilized appearance have the furious heart of a mountain warrior deep inside. When the bagpipes sound with war songs, no Caledonian can refuse the call. As their parents taught them, and despite the price they may pay, they are Highlanders and must fight for clan and family.
The Caledonian Army is a furious horde, unstoppable and uncontrollable. An army of past, violent days, when it was “All or Nothing” and blood flowed in rivers. An army composed of aggressive and dangerous troops, hardened by their blood and a whole life spent fighting, with an enemy always at the edge of their swords. Troops that fight until the end, for their pride and their honor, to avoid being enslaved by foreigners and to die standing. The Caledonian Highlanders are the worst enemy you can face on the battlefield.
The Caledonian armed forces are roughly broken down into three divisions: 1. The clan regiments, which are loyal to and led by individual clan chiefs. 2. The Caledonian Volunteer Corps, which forms the enlisted core of the army. 3. The Home Guard, which are elite troops usually recruited from either the clan regiments or Volunteer Corps.
Regardless of the army division, individual units are usually comprised entirely of soldiers belonging to the same clan. The Home Guard is primarily made up of the Highlander regiments, including, most famously, the original 45th Highlander “Galwegian” Rifles, but also the 1st Highlander SAS, the 3rd Highlander Grey Rifles, and others. In addition to the Highlander regiments, the Home Guard also fields the Cameronian (or Dogface) regiments and the Wulver regiments. The 2nd Cameronian and 9th Wulver Grenadiers were both notably part of the First Expeditionary Corps on Paradiso. Caledonia has more of these “native-born” soldiers fighting in their armed forces than the other three Ariadnan nations combined.
Also of note are the Mormaers, an elite regiment formed by warriors sponsored by clans willing to pay the Teseum required for their armour and words. The regiment was originally created by the Justiciar as a way of creating a national defence force that would help unify the clans by bringing their second and third sons together.
Merovingian Rapid Response Force
As a powerful mobile force able to deploy from any of the bases camouflaged and spread throughout Merovingian territory, the FRRM is perfectly placed to respond to any threat, to protect Ariadnan interests or neutralize any danger from any point on the planet in a short space of time. Its aerial and ground units, working together perfectly, operating alone or side by side with their Ariadnan comrades, make the FRRM a powerful force. Expertly trained and well-equipped, it has constantly proven its efficiency in recent times.
Merovingian units are usually the first to reach any fight. But the importance is in not only in being the first to engage in combat with the enemy, but also to be able to react rapidly to calls for assistance or help. The FRRM has been designed essentially as a rapid reaction force for those situations where someone gets in trouble, working as primary combat response, immediate reinforcements, or extraction units. Because of this, the FRRM are the firemen of the Ariadnan army, a force in constant service, involved in daily operations over the entirety of Ariadna.
During the Separatist Wars the Grande Armées Merovingienne (GRM), caught in the middle of four warring nations, was repeatedly decimated. Following the war, the broken army was disbanded and reorganised into the Force de Reponse Rapide Merovingienne (FRRM). The FRRM’s new focus on patrol and response allows it to more efficiently provide defence for Merovingia’s commercial interests, but also spreads the army thin. They compensate for this by focusing on mobility and with highly-specialised units adapted to virtually any type of terrain (forest, mountain, urban, and even airborne para-commandos).
During the Commercial Conflicts, the FRRM became the tip of the spear. The Ariadnan Joint Command capitalised on the mobility of the FRRM to deploy rapid response units from camouflaged bases spread throughout Merovingian territory they could instantly react to enemy engagements. These tactics were highly effective against the mercenary units of the hypercorps, and they’re proving invaluable on Paradiso (particularly against Shasvastii infiltrators).
USAriadna Ranger Force
The task of the Ariadnan colonists of American ancestry was to explore and colonize the territories to the East on the planet Dawn.
Faced with a hostile planet and the bloody offensives of the Antipode aliens, the USAriadnans have managed to survive and to found a country based on American ideals and traditions. Now they seek their own path within the Ariadnan coalition, defying the new threats that arrive from the Human Sphere.
Like much of USAriadna society, the Rangers are steeped in the traditions of the old United States of America. Unlike the Caledonian 45th Highlanders, however, this is not an unbroken tradition: The original Rangers units which came to Dawn as part of the Aurora mission actually fell part and were disbanded following the founding of USAriadna. About a decade later, as the story goes, a veteran in Franklin County named Old Man Ross became worried about the increasingly bold Antipode incursions. Old Man Ross went down to the Blockhouse, the busiest bar in the county, and in a famous speech (which exists in a variety of traditional “transcriptions”, ranging from noble ideals to “I can promise you beer, guns, and dead dogs” populism) managed to round up a rowdy bunch. Old Man Ross was looking to do more than just bash heads, however. He shoved the old military code and harsh training program of the Rangers down the throats of his recruits, forming a seed which would eventually grow into the modern USAriadnan Ranger Force (USARF).
Tartary Army Corps
Tartary, the wild and savage western frontier of Ariadna, is one of the most dangerous and hostile territories of the planet Dawn. Any force capable of controlling it would be a formidable adversary for the enemies of Ariadna. The Tartary Army Corps, or TAK, was established as a Kazak force whose abilities would be constantly tested by its operational environment, ensuring that they always remain at their peak, because that is the only guarantor of survival. The TAK is composed only of experienced troops, forged in battles where no quarter was given. After confronting true horror in Tartary, for these units the alternative to victory has always been death, or worse.
None at this time.