|Leader||Commander Hannah Lexen|
|Headquarters||The Imperial Palace|
|Affiliation||The Regalian Emperor|
Note: It is not possible to become an Imperial Guard by any means, IC or OOC. This page exists to provide background information on the Emperor’s elite guard force.
The Imperial Guard refers simply to being Guards of the Imperials. Historically, the Imperial Guard used to be referred to as the Tyrian Order, a name given due to the color of the cloth used to decorate the official Imperial Guard armor. However, the name went out of style after a few decades, as the Imperial Guard considered themselves infinitely better than the Violet Order and wanted to dissociate with the “low caste” soldiers of Regalia.
Before the Viridian Coup Attempt, the guarding of the Imperial Family of the Regalian Empire fell to the Viridian Order, which they did rather poorly in the last years before their effort to usurp control over the Regalian Empire. In the wake of this effort, Emperor Henri III sought out a new group to replace their role in his household. He ultimately settled on the Duke of Castor, Duke Harald II Kade-Schwarz, to lead this effort. For most of Imperial Guard history, Harald’s descendants have been the Imperial Guard Commanders, serving with honor and distinction. Harald was given free reign in determining the way that he would form the Royal Guard and was drawn to the idea of overwhelming force being used to defeat an enemy before they became a threat to a person of Imperial blood. As a result, he first sought out the most able-bodied and accomplished physical mercenaries of Anglia to take into the service of the Imperial house. He then relentlessly drilled them, maintaining their perfect physique, and developed other custom aspects for the Order to make them distinct. Rumor has it that he even had an alchemical creation, known as the Castor Serum, developed and injected into his first batch of recruits to ensure their peak muscularity, reaching the very limits of what was possible for Ailor. Regardless of the truth of this, his vision for the Imperial Guard proved fruitful, as two assassination efforts were foiled by his men within their first four years of service.
This first iteration of the Imperial Guard was highly successful and remained so, but under Reginald III Kade-Schwarz during the tenure of Morgann I as Chancellor, it grew far darker and became directly corrupted by the man’s influence. Reginald III actively courted the extreme Hermann von Toberwolleberg, an inquisitor of fame from Wirtem lands, to come and remake his “knight-slayers” into beasts of endless determination and loyalty. To this end, von Toberwolleberg perfected an oppressive process of indoctrination borne out of a combination of torture, experimental drugs, and psychological stress. The main idea behind the practice was to break the psyche of a prospective recruit and then to rebuild him in the self-glorifying image of the Imperial Guard. The Castor Serum, if it did exist earlier, was refined with the aid of Allar alchemists and was used within this second version of the Imperial Guard. This practice continued and, for a few years after the Chrysant War, was even accelerated from looting Allar alchemical secrets. This saw the birth of the Nellon Serum, a potion that remade the musculature of the individual who took it, and created unnaturally physical Ailor, while also unnaturally boosting the few other Races allowed into the Imperial Guard at this time. However, the overall program came under intense scrutiny after the collapse of the Regalian Senate and the deeper involvement of House Kade into the cadet branch that had been in charge of the order since its inception. The entire Serum program was ultimately discontinued, devastating much of the guard force which had become addicted to the drug, but allowed the new commander Reginald IV to form a wholly natural order with new recruits.
This rejection of the Serum took place under the brief reign of Emperor Cedromar I, who also put an end to the intense indoctrination practices that had broken the will of the recruits who had been selected for it and consequently turned them into dispassionate machines of duty. Cedromar’s rejection of the extremes endured by the guard force normalized them, and while they certainly lost some of their superhuman features, the Imperial Guard experienced social warmth from the Palace for the first time. Emperor Cedromar routinely treated the Imperial Guards as a family, sleeping in the same barracks and eating food with them in the mess hall, and even playing cards during leisure hours. The Emperor always showed great personal care to each individual Imperial Guard, changing the Imperial Guards from a hyper-aggressive, antisocial Warband into a group of extremely loyal, tightly knit protectors who are loyal to the Imperial Family due to Cedromar’s care of them, and no longer because they have no choice. Alexander I has not continued this practice himself, but Cedromar does still visit the barracks, and other Imperial family members retain close friendships with the Imperial Guard’s members.
Joining the Imperial Guard is perhaps the most difficult thing to do in the Regalian Empire. Imperial Guards are either personally recruited by the Emperor himself, or from recommendations by Palace scouts across the Empire. Introduction into the Imperial Guard starts with several years of drilling, indoctrination, and worship. Imperial Guards are subjected to constant holy service, mental fortitude testing, and work akin to physical torture to ensure they are absolutely loyal to the Empire and the Emperor, and have no evil thoughts of treason or doubt about the Emperor or Unionism. When they do succeed, they are admitted to the Imperial Guard. Those who are rejected simply return to their previous life and they and their entire family will be banned from future entry into the Imperial Guard. After these years of indoctrination, the Imperial Guards are expected to be mindlessly obedient and assigned to their duties. The Imperial Guards are usually rigid and emotionally numb when they become Imperials, though this tends to relax as time goes by due to the extended privileges of the Imperial Guards.
The Imperial Guards take their orders directly from the Emperor, though more often than not mostly from his brothers. The Imperial Guard is always controlled by one central Imperial Guard Commander (though in some rare occasions the Imperial Guard has known a dual commander position when the present Commander was an Imperial Family member). The Imperial Guard Commander always controls 298 Imperial guards, meaning the total size of the Tyrian Order is always 298 plus one (or in rare cases, two). The Order itself is flat in theory, but older Imperial Guards (who are called Silvermanes in the Palace) tend to have a higher authority than the younger Imperial Guards. Imperial Guards tend not to retire until they are well into their sixties or sometimes even seventies.
- The Imperial Guard has had a track record of exactly 0 dismissals and 0 treason cases. This means in its many years of existence, not a single guard has betrayed or otherwise failed the Emperor.
- Imperial Guards are replaced only on death or retirement. Retired Imperial Guards are often given a barony and are ennobled, but they usually do not marry or produce children after that.
- It is often thought that the only real weakness of Imperial Guards is archery. However, those who intend to use bows against the Imperial Guards often forget how thick their armor is, and how well crafted their chainmail is. It is easy to forget that the Imperial guards carry such colossal weight due to their unnatural strength that makes them nearly almost immune to arrow fire when in their full armor.