Colors, Crests, and Uniform.
Orange, Violet quadrants
Magenta 2 Arrows and Sword
The formal uniform consists of a complex, multi-layered dress, which is dyed in various shades of orange, pink and purple. Those of higher ranks are often far more complex than those of lower ranks. This formal uniform also includes the breast harnesses for which the Guard is known. These complex leather abominations are, in addition to exceedingly uncomfortable, worn above the dress on the chest and shoulders, and are designed to emulate a very voluptuous woman's breasts. The harness was designed with the intention of proving Guardsmen were equal to any woman in any way. The formal uniform is not designed for combat, but all recruits and privates are taught to fight in its confines.
The combat uniform is a simpler affair, consisting of a pair of tight hide breeches, a fitted tunic in the staren colors, and a molded vest which allows for much greater freedom of movement than the harness while still vaguely emulating breasts. Depending on the specialty of the guardsmen in question, it may also include dyed leather sheaths for knives, quivers for arrows, etc.
The daily uniform technically requires the use of the breast harness as well, but many guard officers forego this accessory. Unfortunately for guardsmen, such a 'dishonor to the uniform' is grounds for punishment. It consists of loose canvas pants and a loose tunic, all in Staren colors. This tunic is also not ideal for combat, but does include several dozen internal pockets which can be used to carry various implements.
The Wyvern Riders Corps uniform is the only uniform which does not make a brightly colored target of its wearer, on the basis that while ground-troops can almost assuredly defend themselves from any threat, aerial troops require somewhat more stealth. The uniform is widely regarded as the most comfortable and least unpleasant, made of soft, tailored wherhide in varying shades of grey and brown. It is fairly stretchy, and very form fitting. The design is attributed to Dryad Skywise, Corporal of the Wyvern Corps
In 1125, just after the quarantine of the Rupture Plague, a man named Starr decided that something had to be done with the boys in Sapphos who were healthy enough to become candidates. Not everyone had a place to be put, and many mothers were casting out their sons so that they could bear daughters, which could stand a chance at Impressing dragons. This practice was incredibly common in the Weyr. So, deciding he would put the boys to good use, he gathered both young boys and experienced guards alike and formed the Staren Guard, which served another, greater purpose.
As all knew, wild felines and whers made their homes in the South; while felines were a threat to flocks, whers proved to be dangerous to humans. The whers of the South were more intelligent than the Northern whers, due in no small part to better breeding and quality of life, and plenty of people lived in fear of them.
In addition, the justice system of the North, which consisted mostly of violent criminals being sent into exile in the rocky, mountainous wastes to die, was far less effective in the Southern continent, where a skilled person could easily survive off the land for Turns.
Thus, the Staren Guard became the ruling legal and defense force of the Southern Continent. However, their sphere of influence has always and noticeably not extended into the Weyr, which prefers to live by its own rule, and defend itself.
The original guard was no more elite than any common guard troupe, but several generations began to rectify that. Fifty years after Staren's first trainees were taken in, the basic training regiment for modern Staren members was first implemented. This was the beginning of a truly elite class of warrior, and the following generations would only grow in strength and ability.
The Guard exists for several reasons. Their original purpose was to defend villages from wild animals and violent renegades. They originally had no political influence and were easily controlled by the Lady of Sapphos. But while their original purpose still remains, they have vastly expanded their influences.
The Staren Guard exists to keep order and peace not only in Sapphos Hold, but in all the South. Lieutenants adn the General serve as judges for common criminals, and for less dangerous offenders the Guard does run a jail system, handled by teenage recruits and older Guard members.
The Guard serves to rid corruption from the system, as they exist separately from the Holds themselves. Perhaps their most famous interception of a government leader was shortly before before the current Lady of Sapphos was installed. Lady Amarine had been causing her poor to suffer, and encouraging the unfortunate but not uncommon practice of keeping a harem of virile, uninfected boys. General Lovewell's first action as Head of the Guard was to order her execution. Many wondered if the current Lady of Sapphos would require the same treatment, but she has worked relatively well with General Lovewell thus far.
The Guard exists for a prestige and honor factor as well. It is one thing to be a guard. It is another thing entirely to be a Staren Guardsman. The highest order of Guard is every bit as respected as the Riders of high ranking dragons, and disrespect to a Guard member, is frowned upon in any Southern Society. However, no small part of this respect for the guard stems of fear of retribution. Haters of the Guard do exist, but they are far less vocal than the haters of the Riders, considering that the Guard has been known to withdraw support of those that speak ill of them.
And finally, there is the threat factor. Not only is there the threat of the Guard retreating from a cothold and leaving them completely defenseless, but there is fear of the wrath of the Guard. Even the Weyr is careful to not piss off the Guard—with their elite training, a force of less than fifty of specialized Guardsmen could seriously damage a Weyr.
Ranks are listed in top-down order.
The leader of the Staren Guard. His word is law. To the Staren Guard, the General is Weyrleader, Weyrwoman, Lord, and Steward in one tidy package. The current general is the infamous Lucius Lovewell, often called General Lucius Lovewell. His Captains affectionately call him General One-Eye, for obvious reasons. The General before Lovewell was Alecto Trueblade, and it is widely speculated that upon Lovewell's retirement, Captain Harana Trueblade will take his place.
Second to the General. There are usually about five of these, and are appointed by the General himself. They oversee all battle plans, appoint lower ranks, ensure that lower ranks are running well, and advise the General. They can be as young as thirty, but Captains will often be older. Captains are the best of the best; if a Captain were to appear in one's hold proper, feel free to assume that the General is pissed and wants to let you know that if you don't listen well, shit will go down.
Current captains of the guard include
- Irahze Truthseeker
- Alzar Baneblade
- Harana Trueblade (NPC)
The highest rank that can be gained through promotion rather than appointment.
Lieutenants wear many hats: they oversee many groups of corporals and other guards; they are expert tacticians who may or may not have the charisma to lead on the field; or they are personal aides to Captains. The youngest person to ever receive this ranking was Giygas Icethought at nineteen, and it was out of favoritism from a Captain and the Lady of Sapphos. The average lieutenant is about thirty. After Seeranis Wordweaver, the second youngest Lieutenant, was demoted from the position at 24, promotion standards were severely tightened.
Current Lieutenants of the Guard include:
- Patrizia Silvertongue (NPC)
- These characters are available for creation through 'Dude Looks LIke a Lady' Marks Shop tokens
Former Lieutenants of the Guard include:
- Gigas Icethought of Female Spotted Feline Tayith, the Eternal Blizzard
Elite Guardsmen either in charge of training privates and recruits or managing smaller troupes of soldiers. Corporals are usually twenty-two at the youngest. Most are highly specialized in a single form of combat, above and beyond the general training, and lead troupes of guardsmen also trained in that form. In an absence of leadership in any situation, a Corporal is given considerable discretion to act as he deems best. These are effectively field leaders.
Current Corporals of the Guard include:
- Dryad Skywise of the Wyvern Riders Corps
Former Corporals of the Guard include:
Seeranis Wordweaver of the Archery Corps
A full-fledged Guardsmen can be as young as fourteen. To reach this rank is a high honor. At this point, they are allowed to wear signs to show that they belong to the Guard, and they receive a well-crafted sword and crossbow. A guardsmen can be expected to easily match and best any rider in hand to hand combat, though they are probably unlikely to be able to dispatch of a dragon.
Children installed in the guard prior than age six will attain this rank at or around age ten, barring complications. Children and adults installed in the Guard after age seven are not allowed to progress beyond this rank. Children installed at age six will have to prove themselves capable of receiving Guardsman rank. Privates are not allowed to wear Guard colors outside of guard assemblies, and may not represent the Guards interest. They are usually aides to guardsmen, or serve as wardens along with elderly guardsmen at prisons.
Average age of recruit is between two and four Turns. Recruits can be any age, however, including adults. Adults and recruits over age seven will never be allowed to progress beyond 'Private' in rank. Privates may command recruits around as they see fit, and recruits are often subject to very, very harsh hazing designed to remove disobedience and softness from them.
Character Creation Information
Please see the Staren Guardsmen character type page.
Please see the NPC listing
Fear is not weakness. A true man of the Guard knows when he is afraid, but does not let it master him. To be mastered by fear is to be a coward.
Even the mightiest hunter's claws will dull if he does not sharpen them.
Injustice is a crime against humanity.
The perimeter is never safe enough.
Corporal Harana Trueblade
You may be wearing a skirt, but you aren't a bloody dragon rider. Stop bitching when someone insults you.
General Lovewell gets to wear whatever the hell he wants because he's the General. You're not the General. Maybe one day you'll be the General, but you aren't now, so stop whining and wear the harness.
Corporal Harana Trueblade
Shave your legs. Your legs are disgusting.
Corporal Harana Trueblade
Feel like trying out new ways of killing people on innocent civilians? Go right ahead. Just know that I will repeat your experiments to the letter, using you as my test subject.
Captain Lora Altas
No, you are not allowed to tease the Northern men. It's not their fault that they're weaklings who need dragons to keep them safe. Well… Yes it is. But still. We're better than they are. Act like it.
Captain Lora Altas
Complain about my newest lieutenant to me again, and I swear to Starr I will tear your heart out through your ass.
And then this stuffed-shirt looks at me and says, "You'd have to own the entirety of the Southern Continent to do something so brash." Oh, such a silly Northern lordling! If I hadn't been laughing so hard, I would have told him exactly who runs this place. Ha!
General Lucius Lovewell