For nearly 500 years the Guardians have been the savior of countless seafarers that found themselves in trouble while sailing off of the coast of Aeragos Province. Brave and vigilant, the Guardians are always ready to provide aid to those in need. Yet search-and-rescue is only one of the many roles that the Guardians fulfill. During peacetime, the Empire charters the Guardian Order to enforce the Imperial maritimes laws and to ensure that anyone who wishes to trade with the Empire have access to crucial sea lanes. In addition to search-and-rescue, the Guardians often on patrol for pirates, privateers, and criminals. During wartime, the Guardians are absorbed into the Imperial Navy and given the tasks of securing the eastern coast of the Empire.
Asadis, the Lions of the Sky
It is easy spot a Guardian. When on patrol they ride on top of their majestic Asadis, the feathered dragons native to this region of the world. In the wild, the Asadis are tough predators that dine mainly on fish and other marine animals. Their large eyes give them excellent vision and allows them to spot fish even at great distances. Wild Asadis also forage on the various fruits and vegetables that dot the coastline. They like to nest on the numerous ledges and caves scattered along the Aeragosian coastline. They are paired for life and often have one or two hatchlings at a time. A hatchling takes about 8 years to mature to a young Asadis and during that time it is under the constant care of its parents. An adult Asadi have very few natural enemies owing to their large size and a very nasty bite. Young Asadi often rely on their swiftness in the air and wit to escape danger. However, all Asadis are cautious around an animal known as Furies. Although significantly smaller than an Asadi, the Fury is a flying reptilian-like animal that hunts in pairs and prefer to use ambush tactics to take down large prey. They are highly adaptable and found along coast and heavily wooded regions. There is a healthy black market for captured Furies and many wealthy merchants and flamboyant individuals like to keep these untamable animals as “pets.” It is against Imperial law to keep these animals in captivity due to their aggressiveness and unpredictability.
The Guardians have a health stock of captive Asadis that are specially bred for their role in the Guardian Order, however, from time-to-time the Guardians accept wild Asadis into their ranks. When people find injured Asadis, they usually bring the dragons to the Guardians for care. The Asadi handlers and healers try to nurse the dragon back to health. Most of the time they release these animals back into the wild, occasionally, the Guardians may choose to keep exceptional Asadis or very young dragons that have been orphaned. One quirkiness of the Guardian Asadis is that that they developed a taste for roasted chicken and cucumbers. It is a fact that Guardians use to motivate some of their more stubborn dragons.
From Recruit to Guardian
The Guardian Order operate out of two fortresses in Aeragos Province, Northern and Southern Citadel. Each Citadel serve as a lighthouse, fortress, forge, Asadi stable, hospital, library, training center, and, most importantly, home for the thousands of Guardians in the order. Each year young men and women of all backgrounds are welcomed to compete in the Guardian Trials for the privilege to become a Guardian recruit. Only the exceptional and the determined are accepted into the Order. The weeklong trials are famous for its grueling physical and mental tests and, most importantly, its fairness. Wealth and privilege are of little value, for the Guardians ones abilities and a tenacious spirit matters much more. This a tradition long established by the first Guardians and has never been broken in its 500 years of existence.
Once accepted into the Order, the Guardian recruits are given a well rounded education from reading, writing, and arithmetic to the arts and craftsmanship. Everyone is given martial training from hand-to-hand combat and weapons training to basic seamanship. Those that distinguish themselves with exceptional leadership skills are given additional training in tactics and advance seamanship. It has been a belief among the Guardians that all individual have the potential for greatness but one must constantly cultivate a strong mind, a strong body, and a strong heart in order to unleash that potential. Upon completion of their second year of training each recuit must recite “The Guardian’s Oath” before becoming a full fledge Guardian.
The Guardian’s Oath
Duty, honor, vigilance.
My duty is to the people I serve and to provide aid to all those in need.
I honor those that came before me by conducting myself in a manner befitting of a Guardian.
I will continually cultivate a strong mind, a strong body, and a strong heart,
and remain vigilant against the corruptions that will undo who I am.
Duty, honor, vigilance.
I am a person shaped by my past but it no longer define who I am.
Today I set forth into the world as a Guardian.
The Guardian Spark Ore Armor
One of greatest thrills for a Guardian recruit is the first time they put on their armor and helmet. Made from an alloy of spark ore and various metals, it is lightweight yet strong and resilient. Each armor is handcrafted by master armorers and their army of apprentices inside Citadel forges. The mysterious spark ore also has a unique property of causing certain gemstones and metals to glow when combined in the right portions. The Guardians use this property ot great effect. The Southern Citadel’s green Spark Gem is a enormous emerald sitting on top of a base made from an unknown alloy of spark ore and various metals. The Northern Citadel has an enormous saphhire glowing bright blue day and night. In between the Northern and Southern Citadels, the Guardians erected four beacon towers with glowing amber helping seafarers and Guardians alike navigate the treacherous Aeragos coastline. The Guardians embed all their armor and helmet with spark gems and use them for signalling and illumination. Many seafarers say that the most comforting thing to see in stormy skies is the glow of the Guardian’s helmet and armor. Should they get in trouble they know that help is nearby. Each helmet and armor are custom fitted to the Guardians recuits upon completion of their training and personalized to the uniqueness of each recruit.
Over the years, several squadrons formed within the Guardian Order each with specialized skills and distinguished by their differing colored armor. Two of the best known squadrons with the Northern Guardians are the Crimson Lion and Pathfinder. Within the Southern Guardians the two of the best known squadrons are the Hammer Fist and Wave Rider. There are other squadrons with proud history of service within the Order and new squadrons are formed regularly when the need arises.
Southern Guardian Squadrons
Yoshiko is the daughter of a wealthy merchant family in the city of Asamar and the second of three children. During her childhood she gained a reputation amongst neighbors and friends as an intrepid child often leading her friends on wild adventures into the dark alleyways or abandon builds of the city. Her little adventures was a major source of headache for her parents, as they spend countless nights with other parents scouring the city for her expedition party. Her parents knew early on that she was unsuited for the quiet calm of running the family business but instead needed to channel her restlessness into a more venturesome profession. Through a friend, her father was able to arrange a tour of the Southern Citadel and expose her to the wonders of the Guardian Order. From that day on, Yoshiko wanted nothing more than become a full fledge Guardian.
Yoshiko is a wing leader with five other Wave Rider Guardians under her command. Her exceptional leadership skills and charisma make her a standout amongst others in Wave Rider squadron. Like all others in her squadron she is an expert at executing the Wave Skimming manuver which allows her and her Asadi to glide only a wingspan above the waters. She is an agile fighter skilled with the sword and uses her shield to create openings for her to exploit. Yoshiko and her Asadi, Rhett, share the same adventurous personality. Rhett is at his happiest when he is on patrol especially with Yoshiko riding on his back. She and Rhett seem fated for each other and periodically spend their leisure time fishing together with Yoshiko guiding Rhett to rich fishing grounds and Rhett catching fishes with his talons.
Bako is a son of a village blacksmith. He often helped his father around his workshop and training from a young age to eventually take it over. To Bako the Guardians’ exploits and very the idea of riding flying beasts were as fantastical as any legends told by visiting minstrels. His fate changed when one day his father decided to take him on a trip to the city of Asamar in southern Aeragos to sell their iron wares. There he witnessed the Guardians in their exotic armor riding on majestic Asadis rescue four humble fishermen from their sinking vessel. The experience forever changed what he thought he wanted to do with his life. Although initially disappointed by his son‘s decision to pursue a life as a Southern Guardian, Bako’s father soon became his biggest supporter. Still a tinkerer at heart, Bako continue to improve his metalsmithing skills and is often found in the Southern Citadel working with the forage masters making intricate metalcraft.
Bako exemplifies the what it means to be a member of the Hammer Fist squadron. He is gifted with natural athleticism and possesses great strength built up from the years spent working in his father’s blacksmith shop. His strength allows him to wield his favorite weapon, the battle axe, as fluidly as a master chef wielding a kitchen knife. Despite his large size, Bako is a master metalsmith and often asked by his friends to repair kitchen ware, trinkets, and even Guardian armor. His Asadi, Kaiko, is a brutish beast that is larger than most dragons. Stocky and muscular, Kaiko can lift significantly heavier loads than other dragons, a fact that other Guardians would love to exploit if it weren’t for Bako’s determined efforts to not let Kaiko become the squadron’s “pack mule.”
Northern Guardian Squadrons
Arianna’s life was full of hardship and struggle. Orphaned at a young age and left to fend for herself on the streets of Cora, the grand city in northern Aeragos province. She was an easy target for criminals who promised food and comfort if she stole for them. As often is the case with criminals their promises proved to be fantasies and, once in their grasps, she continually lived on the edge of starvation. This was the darkest time in her young life and it appeared to Arianna that she was destined to wither away, alone and forgotten. Until one day her luck changed. She was caught stealing from a magistrate who happened to be a former Guardian. He took pity on her wretched existence and decided, as punishment, to sentence her to work in the kitchens of the Northern Citadel far away from her crime bosses and the unforgiving city streets. She was given food and shelter and in return she was expected to clean and help the master cooks prepare the Guardians’ daily meals. The kitchen staff soon grew fond of her and encouraged her to seek a better life for herself and enter the Guardian Trials. Although she didn’t make it on her first attempt, with encouragement from her friends she never gave up and tried again and again and again. She finally passed the trials on her fifth attempt.
The Crimson Lion’s motto is “First In Last Out” and its members are characterized by their keen situational awareness and tenacious fighting spirit. Arianna best exemplifies the essence of the squadron with her never-say-die attitude and her agile mind. She has an uncanny ability to quickly assess a situation and position herself to maximize her advantage. Although petite in stature she is one of the few Guardians that mastered the art of hand-to-hand combat and generally prefers to avoid a fight. However, as many have found out to their chagrin, if she choose to, she can knock you flat onto your back before you take your next breathe. Unaccustomed, at first, to taking care of a living being other than herself, she had trouble bonding with her Asadi, Avi. As time passed, Avi and Arianna grew fond of each other and became inseparable friends.
Maximus was found onboard a crumbling old boat with his parents and two little sisters along with fifty other refugees bobbing in the waters near Aeragos. He was rescued by the Guardians and put in a refugee camp with the other survivors. Guarded by a garrison of Imperial troops, the walled camp was cramped and its residents were not allowed out. For three years the refugees were prisoners trusting their fate to powerful strangers thousands of miles away in the Imperial Court. Although everyone hoped for the best they knew they would be lucky if they were not forgotten. Fortunately for Maximus and his family, the refugees were allowed to settle on a patch land north of Cora. Growing up in the refugee camp, boredom was the number one enemy to the young inquisitive child. Maximus, a keen observer of nature, often entertained himself by making detailed notes of the terrain and weather patterns of the surrounding area. Once in their new settlement Maximus loved exploring the nearby forests and hills and gets excited when he discover a new location. Soon he gained a reputation as an expert navigator and many would ask for his to help in routing their trips out of the village.
As a member of the Pathfinder squadron, Maximus puts his navigation skills to good use. Pathfinders are expert scouts often counted on by other Guardians to find a way to their objectives no matter the terrain or weather. Maximus is one of the best Pathfinders in this squadron. He spend a lot of time with his Asadi, Yumi, fly around the region studying the terrain and mapping out important features.
Let’s Stay in Touch
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