The Renaissance Army of Minnesota is a resistance force that arose in rural northern Minnesota in the winter of 2474. Initially dismissed as bandits, the RAM’s campaign against corrupt local lords has proven persistent and difficult to defeat.
One local lord, Count Walker, a foreign officer ennobled as a reward for service, tried to insult the RAM by calling them Mardurers, possibly his own mis-translation of murderer or marauder. The name stuck, and the word Mardurer became the common name, sometimes used insultingly, of the RAM.
Outside of the RAM, little is known about their history. It is generally accepted that their planning and preparation for the rebellion began several years earlier, and managed to avoid being uncovered for that time. Some investigators are beginning to look at events and activities that were ignored or dismissed, in the hopes of uncovering some hidden facts about the RAM. So far, nothing concrete has been uncovered.
The first official notice of them was on Christmas Eve of 2474, when the initial groups eliminated a bandit company that had taken over a village in Walker County for the winter. Word reached Walker Town a few days later, and Walker sent a force to arrest this new band of outlaws. The RAM ambushed the yeomen, and started liberating towns.
The RAM outclassed the yeomen at almost every opportunity, slowly taking village and town away from the count’s control. Count Walker started stockpiling weapons and hiring new yeomen as the RAM continued their offensive.
Giulio Montessori, son of Count Walker, provided the first real set back to the RAM in April. Leaving the county, he financed a mounted company and rode back, causing a number of defeats against the RAM and burning a number of towns. He was successful ambushed after three weeks and the last highway was closed. Walker Town was under siege.
Several nearby counties have noticed armed units in their territory, or noticed the sudden disappearance of young men and women. The Royal Government has not yet taken any notice of the rebellion, but officers are beginning to suspect that county yeomen may not be up to the task of restoring order.
The RAM’s organization is not static, but meant to be fluid and dynamic, changing as necessary. Any element of the RAM can be classified as a Headquarters, Group or Unit.
A Headquarters is an element that functions to command other elements. and their responsibilities lie in coordinating subordinate elements for a specific task or function.
The commander is a general or senior command level officer,
Examples of RAM Headquarters:
General Headquarters, RAM: The overall headquarters of the RAM, commanded by General Prince. The entire campaign is planned from here; every other element is ultimately responsible to the General Headquarters.
Material Headquarters: The headquarters responsible for food, weapons, supplies, and infrastructure.
Combat Headquarters: The headquarters for persecuting specific military operations. Sometimes called the Combat Division, though it technically does not have a formation level assigned to it.
A Group is an element of the RAM that is responsible for a specific aspect or job range of the RAM, roughly equivalent to a branch of a modern army. The group is tasked to trained personnel, either for duties as part of other elements, or as a unit and and of themselves. A group is usually commanded by a Command level officer, but some smaller ones are commanded by majors.
For example, the Medical Group is responsible for training combat medics and regimental surgeons for units, staffing the Holiday Hospital, and training field hospitals for eventual deployment.
Examples of RAM Groups:
Medical Group – Hospitals, surgeons, emergency medics
Supply Group – Food, weapons, transport
Training Group – Basic Training, Combat Training, Drill Instructors
See the RAM Groups page for more information.
A Unit is an element built with a specific mission in mind. This may be a combat mission or a non-combat mission. Some units are prepared to function independently, while others may be organized to work under a headquarters.
Depending on its size it can be commanded by an officer of any level, although it is unlikely to be commanded by a general.
Examples of units operating within the RAM:
First Minnesota Field Regiment: Light combat unit, Operating northwest of Walker and into Bemidji County, working to isolate Walker.
Construction Company: Non-combat unit, building facilities and improving roads across the Liberated towns.
Wolf Training Company: Non-combat unit, training soldiers for deployment to combat units.
The Renaissance Army has built a number of facilities in Walker County. Most take advantage of the sparse communities of Walker County and are secluded in the woods. Others are built next to a town or village, to share protection and resources.
Some known facilities:
Athens – The training camp for staff personnel.
Holiday – The military hospital of the Renaissance Army.
Olympia – The headquarters of the Renaissance Army. Built next to a currently unidentified town.
Sparta – The training camp for basic and combat training.
The RAM does not discriminate when it comes to its personnel. If someone wants to help, the RAM will find them a job, no matter their age, physical handicaps, or metal state. But that is not to say that the RAM is not very careful about who goes fills the important positions.
The RAM is very cautious about who it puts into leadership positions. At the same time, the RAM is aware that it may not always be possible to screen every officer candidate completely. As such, the RAM officers come in two lines.
The first is the Warrant Officer. With five levels, a warrant officer is, simply put, a specialist. Some warrant officers are simply too important and too specially trained to be wasted on other duties (a regimental surgeon, or a construction officer). Others are officers created to help a commander fulfill a need (an extra platoon officer, or a staff officer).
The second is the Commissioned Officer, with eleven levels. A commissioned officer is approved by the generals, and has all the rights and responsibilities of an officer. Some may still be specialists of a sort, but they are expected to go above and beyond the duties of a warrant officer, to show more initiative and drive than a warrant office will.
See Officer Ranks and Insignia for more information.
The vast majority of personnel in the Renaissance Army are enlisted, around 15 for every officer.
Lower ranks are dominated by new recruits, gathered from the liberated counties, or drawn in from surrounding areas, and are predominantly female (as many men of combat age have been conscripted).
Senior NCO’s are mostly Old Guard, former veterans of the Iron Republic Army. Others were attracted into the RAM during their preliminary operations, before going active in Walker County.
Enlisted personnel belong in one of four Disciplines.
- Common Discipline: Combat, non-special training
- Medical Discipline
- Technical Discipline
- Staff Discipline.
For more details, see the Enlisted Ranks and Insigia page.
In any liberated town or village has a militia component, an armed guard that allows the settlement some measure of security regardless of the RAM strength in the region. Volunteers are gathered, elect their officers and noncoms, and armed with simple weapons, often shotguns, target rifles and a few feebler automatics. Quality of the militia can range from serious companies, who invited RAM sergeants to see to their training, to drinking parties.
Without the facilities to keep an entire army dressed in the same fashion, the RAM uniform standards are very lax. Only rank insignia and branch insignia are mandated, and those can even vary from unit to unit.
The uniforms themselves are decided on by individual unit commanders. A vast majority of combat units use greens and browns. Supply units often use greys. Other, smaller units might use black, blue, white or red.
The RAM has a system of awards in place, established by General Prince early in his command. The system is set to award most RAM members throughout their tenure, even for noncombat roles. However, most personnel do not wear their awards, and few even know which ones they have. Some new recruits are not even aware there are awards.
See RAM Awards for more details.
Within the Liberated Counties, the RAM rules as a dictatorship, albeit with several programs that look to be building the foundations for a future democratic government.
General Prince is the de facto dictator of the Liberated Counties. He rules through a series of General and Civil Orders, which define the rules of the military units and their relationship with the civilians in their care. So far, General Prince has avoided any overt authoritarian actions, thought it remains within his power to do so.
The Civil Council is a group that began forming under General Prince’s Direction immediately after (Civil Order 001). The Council was formed as an advisory committee, but at its first meeting General Prince indicated he wanted it to begin working towards self-government. Slowly, the Council has been doing that.
The Council meets once per month, at a different location. The number of councilors grows, as does the train of clerks, bailiffs and guards that appear at every session. More and more civilians are starting to take an interest, as they realized the RAM may not be run out a soon as they thought.
The RAM does not have any official political parties, but that is not to say that certain groups have begun to form.
The big question for those who join the RAM is what they are fighting for. Those fighting for a return to the Republic of Minnesota are known as the Old Guard. Many of them are former veterans of the Republic, even survivors of the Range Riot. They see this as a return to their old government.
Those fighting for a new system are generally called the New Guard, but as of yet they do not make up an official political party. Some leaders have emerged, but differing ideologies lead some to expect a multi-party system to form in the future.
The Renaissance Army works to better the lives of the population. This can be difficult, as the Renaissance Army is waging a war in a resource poor section of the kingdom.
The RAM does not keep civilians from leaving, or from moving into the Liberated Counties. Few people who stay under their care change their mind to leave.
The RAM heavily recruits among the Liberated Counties, and in communities near by. Eager to fill their ranks with young men and women, the RAM will take almost anyone who volunteers. ‘Everyone has a role’ claims one recruiting poster.
One change to liberated life is the appearance of teachers.
Education was not provided to the rural towns and villages of Minnesota, neither under the Iron Republic nor the Kingdom. Their appearance in the Liberated Counties has been met with some suspicion by the adults; many of them view the educators as a threat to their way of life. Younger generations have taken to the chance to learn with great enthusiasm. The teachers themselves are often drawn from the same communities that they then serve.
Law and Order
In the absence of a civilian government and justice system, the Renaissance Army enforces a system of Civil Orders on the county. These orders provide the basis for law and order.
Most mundane crimes are handled totally by the local headmen, the traditional leaders of villages and towns. The three-headmen trial has been a staple of rural life for centuries, and the RAM has so far avoided interfering with the system, despite concerns that it is unfairly biased towards outsiders. Punishments for these crimes include extra work around their town and restrictions from some of the benefits.
Under the rules of the Civil Orders, certain crimes within the Liberated Counties must be resolved with the assistance of the RAM’s Military Justice Group. These include capital crimes, murders, assaults and other crimes where the passions of the population would interfere with following justice.
RAM personnel are all subject to RAM Military Law.
The Liberated Counties survive on a barter and exchange level of economy.
The RAM provides much to the towns and villages of the Liberated Counties. Teachers, access to doctors, engineers and building materials, and security. In exchange they expect the civilian’s industry to make war materiel, individuals to fill their ranks, and food.
Coins and money from the Royal Treasury still float around the territories. The RAM does not issue any money, but does not make a point of securing money from their personnel.
When the RAM began its liberation campaign, it utilized criers and public speakers to begin informing the population of the events of the RAM. As more communities joined, the limited number of speakers became overwhelmed by the number of communities they had to speak to.
The RAM began printing the Renaissance Tribune, a weekly broadsheet of news regarding the war. Each sheet has between three and six small articles and a picture or two. It’s enough information to keep people informed, but the articles read as proclamations and not as journalistic articles.