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Vator

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Most land owning families are required to provide soldiers to the military, but not every family has the sons to send or wants their sons to have a life long career in the army.  In these cases, they will find a “vator” to serve in the military on their behalf.  Vator is the modern version of an ancient language, meaning literally:  vato - war and rish - child.  Typically these soldiers are among the best warriors in the battalion, because they are professional soldiers, trained from early on.  They also are desirable because they tend to be more loyal to the unit and the central government and less interested in the desires of the house that hired them.  Despite this, their lack of noble birth often prevents them from becoming high ranking officers.

When a family intends to use a vator, they will often choose a peasant boy from among their servants and begin his military training around the age of nine or ten.  By the time they are 14-16, they are ready to join the army.  During training, these boys are referred to as squibes because they are not full squires.  Upon joining the army, these men become vators.  Squires are the actual sons of the land owning families that join the military unit even though their training is not yet complete.  This is an uncommon occurrence, and typically happens when every son is intended to be in the military for three to five years and the older brothers are training the younger brothers.

Vators most typically come from the servants and farm hands, but they can come from a large number of other sources as well.  When a family has too many sons and risks needing to provide extra soldiers, they may choose instead to send one of the boys away to be a vator.  For a family with 36 acres and five sons, sending one away brings their number at home down to four.  Thus they only need to provide one soldier due to the size of their farm, and not three due to the number of sons.  Vators also come from those sons who are unable to inherit due to the number of older brothers they have.  If splitting the farm will make it too small to support two families, one of the sons will need to move on.  The land owners prefer to have the two biggest young men from their servants go off to fulfill the family’s duty as vators.  The family of vator(s) will receive preferential treatment from the land holder because their son(s) are preserving the family honor.

There certainly are vators who are entirely mercenary and have no relationship with the families that sponsor them, but as the family’s honor is wrapped up in the service of the vator, this is only done by the poorest families required to provide service.  Most vators are trained by the land owners, but a few are sent to military academies.  Academy trained vators are typically attached to the most prestigious families where they have the excess wealth to “properly” train their vator.

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