07 January 2010

Reginald's Regiments of Renown, Issue #7


Saint Sebastian's Regiment
Zoauves of the Holy See


History
The Papal States in central Italy have held secular power over the region as well as their religious authority for hundreds of years. In the last century, increasing tensions and a series of invasions of the Italian Peninsula led the Pope to call for aid from the Catholic faithful around the world. Thousands of young men have answered the Holy Father's call to arms, and enlisted in the Earthly Host of Saint Michael. The strenghtening of the States was one cause of the formation of the Confederation of Italian Nations in 1768.

Of all these young men, probably the most famous regiment is the Saint Sebastian Regiment. Drawn out of their home antions to fight in foreign lands, these romantics naturally favored the dashing uniform of the Zouave. The Saint Sebastian Regiment is made entirely of non-Italian troops, excepting some officers and the regimental chaplain corps.

When the Vatican began sending missionaries to Mars, many were martyred by Martian natives. The Earthly Host dispatched two companies of Zouaves to protect the missionaries. With their lives protected, the missionary work bore fruit, and the ruler of a minor city-state in a remote area converted to the Church of Rome, even going so far as to rename his city Nova Roma. Additional priests, monks and nuns arrived quickly to spread the Faith, and additional soldiers came withthem to help defend the small city from its larger neighbors and attacks by native religion supporters against the Church and the faithful. Eventually, an entire regiment of Zouaves would be assembled on Mars.

Combat History

The Saint Sebastian Regiment of Zouaves are trained as elite light infantry. However, due to the restrictions of their current mission, they have been used primarily as garrison forces at a variety of mission stations in the region of Nova Roma. In this capacity, they have been involved in a number of small skirmishes, but no actions involving more than a single company. Rather, most of these skirmishes stayed at a platoon command level.

The Defense of St. Agnes Parish was fought between a platoon of Zouaves and a force of approximately forty natives. Disciplined rifle fire, superior marksmanship and rapid reaction to the developing crisis saved not only most of the platoon's lives, but also prevented the destruction of the church. Unfortunately, the rectory was destroyed by fire as the vandalizing natives withdrew in confusion. Father Ted Nichols survived the assault unscathed.

The Martian Heresy Crusade began in September of last year. Since then, members of the Holy Order of the Inquisition have been instrumental in suppressing the native cults which claim that "God was a Martian."

Uniforms

Zouaves are well known for thier brightly colored, exotic attire. The Saint Sebastian Zouaves are no different in this regards. Their tunics are purple, with yellow and white trim. Trousers are grey, spats (worn over the lower trouser leg) are white, and boots are black. Leather equipment is usually black. Headgear consists of a kepi, in wool matching the shade of a Zouave's tunic or frock coat.

French gunmakers designed a new weapon for the Zouaves: the 11mm long rifle, more comonly referred to as the Hammer of God, the rifle's massive weight, extreme length and punishing recoil made general issue of the weapon impossible. Officially, the Anti-Material Rifle is used only by superior marksmen in the Zouaves.

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