We have already met some of the Royal Guards who accompanied King Curillian on the first stages of the Quest of Oron Amular. Yet as the quest proceeds and new characters step forward into prominent roles, it is overdue to properly introduce more of the king’s companions.
Under the trees of Tol Ankil in the Wood-elven kingdom the quest takes a sudden twist as Curillian announces his intention to attempt a desperate rescue mission in the Black Mountains. The thought of facing the dreaded harracks in their own domain fills most of the Royal Guards with fear, but a few brave souls volunteer to go on the mission. Among them are several of the guards who set out from Mariston, together with two trackers who joined the quest from the legions of the Eastern Army.
The names of these volunteers are Andil, Aleinus, Haroth, Cyron, Edrist, Norscinde, Utarion, Antaya, Findor, Manrion, Caréysin and Lionenn, valiant armists all. Yet though they all set forth with Curillian, Roujeark, Lancoir and Sin-Serin to rescue the elven princess Carea, not all of them fared alike, and only a few of them will be considered here. For those who don’t know, Andil has already been introduced.
Antaya is a guardsman in the Third Cohort of the Royal Guards. He set out in the original company from Mariston, and in Tol Ankil volunteered to go further. As capable in arms as any, he is rock-solid in his loyalty. A thoughtful, quiet armist, he is the son of a city priest and from his upbringing possesses a strong, sincere faith. Compared to his less spiritual comrades, he is quick to pray in the face of danger or tragedy. Born and bred in the capital, Antaya opted against a career in the church and instead enlisted in the I Legion, the senior most formation in the Maristonian Army. After a stint of service in the garrison of Mariston, Antaya earned a coveted transfer to the Royal Guards who protect the palace itself.
Like Antaya, Aleinus is a guardsman in the Third Cohort of the Royal Guards. Born and bred in Mariston, he served in the II Legion – the second of the capital’s two garrison legions – before earning his transfer into the palace guard. He is light-hearted and carefree in his speech and mannerisms, an armist who makes others smile and who is apt to mischief. He is brave but rash, and very fond of his ale.
Findor is also of the Third Cohort of the Royal Guards, where he has served longer than either Antaya or Aleinus, being somewhat older than both. He comes from a military family whose sons have served garrison duty in the capital for several generations, but he is the first to rise to the Royal Guards. He is matter-of-fact and pragmatic, dependable and hard-working.
Caréysin hails from the Arken Hills on the far eastern frontier of Maristonia. These hills separate the Phirmar from Swordhilt Peninsula beyond, a restless region of roving tribes who regularly raid the armist border forts. Caréysin learned archery from his gamekeeper father, but enlisted in the army to avenge his younger sister, who was taken in a barbarian raid and never came back. Serving with the XVIII Legion in Staedion, he further honed his archery and tracking skills in a special unit that patrolled the border ridge and its valleys. Strong and slender (apart from shoulders made huge by constant archery), his real name is Tellian, Caréysin being just an epithet that stuck, meaning ‘skill with bow’. He is one of the greatest marksmen in the Eastern Army, and of such armists Curillian will have need.
Lionenn comes from a different part of the East-fold, from the fringes of Arkania, a vast forest occupying much of the far north of Maristonia. This is wild frontier country, and Lionenn’s upbringing was rough as a result. His father was a forester in service to the Earl of Markest, but Lionenn opted for the military life, joining the XIV Legion stationed at Markest, the only city in this remote part of the East-fold. It was there that he discovered the Konenaire Order, an ancient military society dating from the early days of armist civilisation, and undertook the rites to become initiated into it. Among other things, this led to him having mysterious designs inked on his face, markings which distinguished him as a Konenaire, someone others respected but mis-trusted. With the XIVth he saw service on the Vanri frontier, and gained much experience in tracking bandits both in the deep woods and the trackless White Hills. While Caréysin prefers the bow, Lionnen is most proficient with the axe. He is stocky and thickly muscled, able to wield this weapon tirelessly, even after long chases.
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