The Royal Guards are King Curillian’s crack troops, his palace garrison and bodyguards. He chooses an entire cohort of them to accompany him on the Quest of Oron Amular, under the command of Surumo. Piron is his second-in-command, and Andil is one of the guards who befriends Roujeark on the journey. I will add more characters from the cohort later.
Surumo has been waiting so long for this chance. Now it’s here, he’s not going to miss out. It’s not every day that the king himself hand picks you for a special mission. And so soon after being promoted, too! They told him things would happen in the Royal Guards, but he didn’t expect this. Duty with the I Legion in the capital was one thing, but to serve in the palace was quite another. He thanked his lucky stars for the transfer. Here was a chance to be noticed by the king. Curillian the renowned himself. Great things happened when he led armists, or so all the old tales told. Invincible, some said; a charmed life, others declared. Whatever the truth of it, Curillian was a living legend, and neither Surumo nor anyone else who heard was surprised to hear him thirsting for another adventure. Surumo didn’t know what the mission was, all he knew was that it would take them out of the city and away eastward. Who knows what lay ahead, but where Curillian led, he would follow. Whatever comes of this, he vowed, he would do his monarch proud. His king had called, and he would answer.
Piron is an officer in the Third Cohort of the Royal Guards of Mariston, acting as second-in-command to Surumo. He is a capable officer often left in charge in Surumo’s absence. There are finer warriors in the cohort, but few clearer thinkers. Piron is an intellectual solider, having come to the Royal Guards from the Military Academy in Mariston, an institution created by the kings of Maristonia to produce first-rate officers for the legions.
Andil is a member of the Third Cohort of the Royal Guards, ferocious in combat but amiable off the field of battle. He is easy-going and quick to befriend strangers. Andil comes from humble stock in the wine-port of Remiton on Carinen Peninsula. Leaving his father’s civilian job in the harbour he enlisted in the 5th Legion of the Central Army, garrisoned in Remiton. His height and power, as well as his proficiency with both bow and sword, earned him a transfer to the Royal Guards, a posting normally out of reach to labourers from the provinces. Andil is eager for adventure and keen for opportunities to better himself, so accompanying King Curillian on the Quest of Oron Amular comes as a double-blessing.
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.