"Discipline feels good! Haha!"
- --White Knight Leo
Althena's Guard is the name given to the personal armed forces of the Goddess Althena. Composed of volunteers selected from the faithful who have flocked to the Holy City of Pentagulia, they are charged with protecting the Holy City and its environs...and through them, the Goddess herself.
This file is intended to provide a guide for playing members of Althena's Guard on the game; as one of the major antagonist groups at the start of the MUSH, they require a central source of information. The file covers information that would be known by all members of the Guard, and most of it is publicly available as well. It does not cover information known only to the Four Heroes... and even they are not privy to all the Goddess's secrets.
History of Althena's Guard
Throughout most of Lunar’s history, the protection of the Goddess Althena was the primary and sole responsibility of the Dragonmaster. Empowered by the Four Dragons, the Dragonmaster is a physical and magical force to be reckoned with, outmatched by only the Goddess herself.
In modern-day Lunar, however, things have changed. The Goddess has only recently emerged from her Tower following a millennium of seclusion, and her Dragonmaster is new to his power. With Glenwood on the verge of open war and even Meribus beset by rampant lawlessness, peace and security were forgotten concepts... until Althena chose to act.
The Guard began as a small volunteer force of retired soldiers and able youths who set out to crack down on bandits and outlaws who were attacking the faithful making pilgrimage to the Holy City. The first few sojourns had significant casualties until the young Beastfolk Leo began to train volunteers in the disciplines he had learned under General Georg Heldalf of the Rolance Empire.
Leo's charisma, dedication, and personal skill made him extremely popular among the volunteer forces, and before long he was serving as their commander in all but name. His success soon attracted the attention of Dragonmaster Ghaleon, who made a personal appeal to the Goddess. Shortly thereafter, the Guard was reorganized as an armed force, and granted permission to use the Divine's name as their own. Leo was granted the title of White Knight, and raised to take his place among Althena's Four Heroes.
Althena's Guard is composed of seven battalions, each containing approximately 500 soldiers. Of these, four are permanently assigned to serve in the Holy City of Pentagulia, their role to safeguard its environs and assist the Dragonmaster in protecting the Goddess. The remaining three have been broken into smaller units and are scattered across the Meribus continent, either serving to protect large cities or keep the roads clear of bandits.
At fewer than four thousand troops, Althena's Guard is the smallest military force operating in Lunar; it is dwarfed by the standing armies of both Hyland and Rolance. But it is growing rapidly -- as the faithful of Althena flock to Pentagulia, promising volunteers are being funneled into a training regime that has become the best on the planet. As a result, White Knight Leo has been able to leave the task of raising new guardsmen to his trainers, and is more frequently seen in the field.
While only the regular military forces are technically considered Althena's Guard, their numbers are frequently bolstered by black magicians from Neo-Vane and priests or priestesses of Althena. Some of these arrangements are more permanent in nature, particularly for units operating outside of Pentagulia, and these long-serving mages are considered Guards in all but name.
Basic swordplay is taught through the Waning Crescent school, and sword, shield, and chainmail armour are standard-issue equipment. Guards who are proficient in other weapons are allowed to continue to use them, so it is not unusual to see Guards wielding bows, hammers, or more exotic weapons (but no ARMs of any kind).
Chain of Command
The commander-in-chief of Althena's Guard is the Goddess herself, with the Dragonmaster providing day-to-day strategic guidance. Below them is White Knight Leo, who serves as field commander, with cascading subordinate commanders all the way down to the patrol level:
- Commander: Battalion-level, approx. 500 troops
- Captain: Company-level, approx. 100 troops
- Ensign: Platoon-level, approx. 20 troops
- Patrol leader: Squad-level, approx. 5 troops
The other members of the Four Heroes do not have formal authority over the Guard, and primarily deal directly with Leo when they need something done. The Church of Althena also does not technically command Guards, but in practice the suggestions of senior clerics are typically obeyed at the local level. Disagreements are few, as everyone involved in the discussion serves the Goddess.
Notes for OCs
The creation of OC antagonists from Althena's Guard is highly encouraged; the following notes are designed to help potential players with their applications.
- OC Guards need a reason to be on Filgaia at the start of Chapter 1. White Knight Leo is currently on the planet with a large number of his soldiers, having been teleported there while in pursuit of the Lord of Calamity, Lucia the Destroyer. Most OCs can have been part of that initial troop with no difficulty.
- OC Guards can be black magic-users or priests of Althena. Leo deployed with some of each, and the Blessing of Althena appears to function far from the Goddess's seat of power. It should be noted that native Filgaians -- particularly those familiar with local branches of sorcery -- will recognize Lunar's magic as being something weird or different unless effort is made to disguise it.
- OC Guards can operate independently... Leo is (despite appearances) not an idiot, and knows that tracking Lucia down will be easier if he splits the party.
- ...but must recognize their leaders and follow orders. If you stop taking orders from your commander, you stop being part of a military. They may also try to kill you. This is fine if it's intentional -- many a good plot arc has this sort of decision at its source -- but this can have OOC implications with regard to your Antagonist and Drifter slots.
- OC Guards should not be proficient with ARMs at the start of play. With only a few exceptions (the Armatus, Neo-Vane, the Dragonship Destiny), ARMs are not present on Lunar, so there is no way for characters from that origin to be initially familiar with their use. If characters choose to develop proficiency through their roleplay, then that is fine; this restriction will be lifted for new applications roughly six months after the game opens.
- OC Guards should not be high-ranking officers. Leo did not come to Filgaia accompanied by his high-ranking officers, he came with the people who were aboard the Dragonship Destiny when he left Pentagulia. A single OC application will be accepted at the rank of captain, and that character will serve as Leo's second-in-command on Filgaia; these and other officer applications will be heavily scrutinized for quality. Characters may rise in the ranks of the Guard, if their story leads them there.