... now they must watch their abundance of luxuries fall away, making room for the tools of survival, and witness this time of relative peace wither into the same fears that harper's ballads had warned them about for generations.
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Join date : 2012-09-20
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Telgar Hold Guard
Each Territory has its own methods of keeping the peace and training their Guard, but here, we will focus on the Hold Guard of Telgar, since that is the main area of our board where the Guard are in play.

To join the guard, a person must have apprenticed somewhere in the craft, usually between the usual ages that apprenticeship begins. Each student is required to take a field exam to test their combat skills and physical fitness level, and then a written exam, testing more academic abilities on the subject, such as law, strategy, theoretical situations, etc. Results to the Hold Guard Exams are posted on a board outside the Guard Hall where they tested, usually by the end of the day, and their overall score will determine what role they play within the Hold Guard's ranks. Students who place higher on academics will be geared in further training with more academic duties and possibly be considered as prospective higher ranking officers. Students who score higher in the physical aspects of combat will be further specializing in specific areas of weaponry. Usually students who struggle to pass or receive scores much lower than the rest of their class will start out with more menial jobs and may never go on to specialize to any great degree in other areas of the craft but rather, it is possible that they continue being given simple and possibly monotonous duties that are less desirable.

In Telgar, women are restricted from being employed in the service of the Guard.

During and after uprisings in Telgar's past, the Lord Holder was given oversight of soldiering forces at all the Holds in Telgar territory in order to maintain security in the region so that another uprising would not happen. Thus, all holdings in the territory now pay a tribute to Telgar Hold itself, for the sake of continuing to maintain the peace in the region. Though each individual major or minor hold will house anywhere from one to three squad divisions which are responsible for protecting the hold from inside and outside threats, as well as assisting in mediating disputes within the hold, the officers at each hold have a chain of command that does not stop at the level of local holder, but also goes as far as the Lord Holder of Telgar himself.
So, though holds maintain their own individual role in maintaining local peace, much of their ability to do so has come out of Telgar Hold's own resources and leadership in that arena.

Since the time of the rebellion then, the Holders of Telgar have found themselves dependent in several aspects on Telgar Hold, though it has proven a positive institution even with the expectations of a little additional tithing. It has kept the holds of Telgar under closer watch to ensure that corruption doesn't spread again, leading to further disaster. The holder's working together in in this aspect has also fostered some very close relationships between the holds of the region -more so perhaps than in others, because they rely more on one another for security.

As the peace-keepers of Pern's Holds, Telgar Hold Guard are rarely allowed to use lethal force. Beyond the use of hand-to-hand combat, the Jutte is the first weapon the Guard of Telgar is allowed to call upon. Typically, this is preferred by the Guard over hand-to-hand for the sake of implying that the Guard are above brawling and employ a more refined method of carrying out their work. The Jutte is a non-lethal stick-like weapon made of iron, used to disarm and disable trouble makers; the cord knotted at its end used to bind their arms to keep them from fighting back when they are arrested. A Guardsman of average skill can have a man disarmed and his arms behind his back and fully bound by the cord in a matter of 8-10 seconds. A Jutte is solely employed for use by the Hold Guard and is viewed as a badge of their authority. Jutte are a sheathed on the same hip as the sword and would appear to be a long-knife in a sheathe to those unfamiliar with the various tools utilized by the Guard.

If the situation calls for any more serious measures however, the longsword is used. It may be used in unison with the Jutte (or even a short sword), but this can only be achieved by the strongest members of the Guard as the level of skill and strength required to do so are significant. In a typical encounter involving the drawing of a blade by a Guard member, the fight is over so quickly that bystanders are probably only vaguely aware that any swords had been drawn at all by the time a victor was determined. Such is the level of skill maintained by the Guard.

Click to view Hold Guard Ranks vs Weyr Ranks:

Guard Training
Begins at one of the Guard Halls around the age of 10-12, the same time of a typical apprenticeship. There is generally one at any given hold in Telgar, though they range in size and capacity, serving purposes in other Guard functions as well. The largest Guard Hall in Telgar is located at Telgar Hold itself and resembles a small crafthall. All apprentices training at one of the halls will eventually take an exam to be tapped into the veritable Journeyman stage of their craft, at which point they begin actually serving in the Hold Guard on patrols and fulfilling other duties.

Based on the strict evaluation of multiple instructors and on an individual basis, levels of skill are taught and tried in the areas of hand-to-hand combat and with other various weapons. Since many of the skills taught may be lethal as a student progresses in training, students are under strict supervision and do not follow the usual pattern of rank-increase or furthering of education that other crafts do. Due to the nature of the craft, evaluation of apprentices is also reliant on various other criteria. Some of these important criteria are: the student's character, good judgement, honesty, fitness, skill in various methods of combat, as well as academic subjects like local and regional laws they must be familiar with in order to uphold.

Subjects Taught

  • Basic physical training exercises (i.e. running, pushups, situps, swimming, etc)
  • Obstacle courses both individual and team oriented
  • Combat pattern drills for hand to hand, as well as for the use of a variety of weapons. (i.e. knife, sword, staff, bow, spear. But these weapons are only generally only touched in the last three turns of apprenticeship and will be specialized in after they take Journeyman's exams, though they may have some small experiences with them prior to that time.)
  • Survival training (i.e. learning to hunt, fish, recognize and use plants for food, basic healing, etc.)
  • Some will learn to ride and fight on runner back, but this is reserved for the guard's stronger members.
  • To a much smaller degree, stealth training. This typically falls under later specialization.
  • Classroom education (i.e. typical education offered by harpers in basic mathematics, history, music, reading and writing, etc. Subjects such as law and mediation in conflict come in later turns of apprenticeship.)

Strictures of the Guard

  • Do not stray from the Code of the Guard (Justice/ Right Conduct, Courage/ Valor/ Confidence, Benevolence/ Mercy, Respect/ Courtesy, Sincerity/ Honesty, Honour/ Earning Respect, Loyalty/ Obedience/ Devotion, Filial Piety/ Respect for Elders, Wisdom/ Resourcefulness)
  • Desertion is not permitted
  • There will be no raising funds without permission
  • There will be no taking up of litigious matters without permission
  • Private conflicts are not permitted
  • Never fail to strike down an enemy. (Either you or he will die.)

Guard Duties

  • Keeping their barracks and bathhouse clean
  • Manning watch towers/ guard towers
  • Patrolling the streets of the hold
  • Patrolling surrounding lands of the hold
  • Assisting hold citizens in matters of dispute unable to be resolved without outside moderation
  • Tracking down, interrogating and carrying out the punishment of criminals
  • Providing overall security for the Hold, the Holder and its citizens
  • Providing the periodic escort for caravans
  • Manning outposts along main roads outside the hold
  • Border outpost security, checking faces for any wanted criminals and checking goods being transported in or out of the territory, etc.

Squad Divisions
::1 & 3: Telgar River Hold
::2, 10, & 16: Southern Telgar Hold
::4, 8 & 15: Telgar Hold
::5 & 14: Hold Balan
::7 & 12:Hilltop Hold
::9 & 13:Miner's Hold
::6 & 18:Campbell's Field Hold
::11 & 17: Greenfield's Hold

Standard Uniform

  • Dark Blue pants
  • Black leather boots about knee-height which the pants are tucked into.
  • Dark Blue wrap-around tunic shirt woven of heavy, durable fabric.
  • Long, dark blue overcoat or jerkin worn as an outer layer that measures a little past the knees and has no closures except for the wide black belt that ties about the waist. This outer coat is tailored with slits up either side for freedom of movement, creating coat tails. The mandarin collar of its design is left open since the coat does not actually close and the lapel of it runs vertically,  tapering down either side of the chest. An embroidery running down the length of the lapel is significant to a Guardsman's rank and of the Hold itself, as are the knots of rank that they may wear, but most Guardsmen do not wear them except on formal occasion because they can get in the way of activities.
  • A sash of some colour, either blue, red or white, is layered under the leather belt worn most visably, being just wide enough to allow for a flash of colour above and below the outer belt.
  • A leather frog for both weapons attached to the belt, so that they may be worn openly at the left hip.
  • Black leather or suede arm guards.

Standard Weapons

  • Jutte and arresting cord (Sheathed on the left hip above the sword)
  • Long Sword (Sheathed on the left hip below the Jutte)
  • Long Knife (Tucked at the back of the belt)

Determining Rank
::The Lapel of the uniform overcoat is embroidered in the colours of the hold as a badge of their service. As a guardsman increases in rank, the embroidery added to the uniform is more finely detailed. The embroidery begins in a deep blue around the neck and then shifts to intermingling of a dark, blood red shade of crimson until the red becomes like stripes down either side of the chest. White begins to dominate the scheme at the lower ends of the lapel for very high ranking officers.

::A Guardsman's sash is just wider than the belt he wears, creating a lining of colour about his midsection that signifies his rank. Blue is of a lower rank and crimson is for Captains and above, the white is for the highest ranking officers.

::There may also be an under-lining to the overcoat part of the uniform that reflects the colour of rank within the guard, but usually, this is used on formal uniforms or for higher ranked officers.

:: HOLD GUARD STRUCTURE, TRAINING & RESPONSIBILITIES :: 93b593a9-6921-426a-8464-6bef57444c9f_zpsa07019a9

[At practice]
:: HOLD GUARD STRUCTURE, TRAINING & RESPONSIBILITIES :: 30686675-ff68-47bd-a832-86bf37793a6f_zps4d9aadc1 :: HOLD GUARD STRUCTURE, TRAINING & RESPONSIBILITIES :: E5801d44-f402-4864-a8b8-907d9fce9adf_zps49a6e861

The Blood Moon Squad
Beginning in 490, Telgar Hold’s Lord Matoi was beginning a campaign in secret to round up eligible boys orphaned by an escalating conflict in order that they could be raised from a young age by the Hold Guard to be molded into future Guardsmen. The project was known to no one except those most privy to the information who were in the Lord Holder’s innermost circle of confidants because it was a daring move and questionable in some eyes, even if it did provide food and shelter and occupation for Telgar's orphaned young.

The boys taken in to the camp of orphan trainees were all around ages 8-10, and were given a choice to join what was called the Blood Moon Squad. They could also leave and go back to the life they lived previously. Even if they chose to join the Blood Moon Squad, the first month of training was exhaustive and their success would determine if they were fit enough mentally and physically to make the cut to join in the real training.  The camp itself was secluded in the mountains of Telgar Hold to the East and was located so deeply therein that even the holdless did not venture there.

The total number of boys in the camp was 50, and they were split into two main teams of 25, each housed in their own barracks. This automatically created competition between some of the boys. The Captain and the few other Guardsmen heading the squad of boys called themselves uncles to each of the boys since they would be the only family the boys would grow up knowing. The Guardsmen responsible for them however, were allowed to bring their own wives and children to the camp to live and work with them, providing staff for the kitchen, infirmary, weavercraft and the like; so these too, became the boys' family. The entire camp functioned much like a cothold in its own right.

It was typical that the boys found their own methods of providing for themselves where there was otherwise no means available. Being as secluded as they were and required to remain in isolation from the rest of the world for the Holder’s purpose, they were not allowed to venture outside of the camp and its vast training grounds until they’d reached the age of 15. At that point, they could be assigned minor missions for the squad and on runnerback, travel to the nearest minor hold in order to purchase and bring back supplies. At the age of 15, the boys were finally entering the beginning stages of their “journeymanship” as far as the Guard was concerned, which was three turns ahead of the normal trainees.

Throughout their growing up, the Commander of the Guard, and once even the Lord Holder himself, came to visit them. It was important that the children understood their efforts were highly regarded and appreciated and they should recognize the man they were serving. It was equally necessary that their progress be evaluated. Training was incredibly rigorous, so expectations were high. The Blood Moon Squad had been given opportunities to prove their survival skills in the wild and was drilled four days a week in combat skills, two days a week were dedicated to classroom learning so that they were not without proper education, and then they received one days break.

As the children have grown into their 'journeymanship' period, they have been given small allowances similar to a Guardsman's starting pay (which isn't much), but they cannot receive higher pay until they have been to one of the Guard Halls to take the Guard entrance examination to determine their abilities.

Blood Moon training uniform:

Loose fitting linen white trousers and wrap-around tunic shirt with long sleeves. The sleeves are wrapped about the forearm to keep them from being in the way of physical activity, similarly as the pants are tucked and wrapped about the shin. An outer layer tunic, which is sleeveless and beige and blue patterned, is also worn, and then belted about the waist by the use of a thick, wide sash that ties at the back.
They are all given black boots and the things they need to train with otherwise.

As of yet, the squad has no uniform for anything other than training. When they attend the Guard Hall training sessions to evaluate their skills before taking the examination, they are given a typical Guard trainee uniform to wear instead.

The orphans are provided with most of their clothes by the camp leaders' wives who make them. Because of the physical activity they face every day, as well as the cooler climate in the mountains, the weight of the fabric is heavy and typically the fabric a bit coarse. Clothing styles vary and each child is in possession of at least three sets of clothing, including two sets of the every day training uniform.

The Blood Moon squad is not issued standard Guard armaments. They are still a bit of a misfit club, being left to lack a bit in that regard concerning their effectiveness as a force is 'not fully tested', even granted the few missions they've formally been assigned. Eventually they will be allowed to take the standard issue Guard weapons, since they are still considered a special, separate force, they are not required to use them. The Hold is still determining how best to utilize the Blood Moon squad.

Common Training Drills:

  • Basic physical training exercises (i.e. running, pushups, situps, etc)
  • Obstacle courses both individual and team oriented
  • Combat pattern drills for hand to hand, as well as for the use of a variety of weapons. (i.e. knife, sword, staff, bow, spear)
  • Survival training (i.e. learning to hunt, fish, recognize and use plants for food, healing and poison, etc.)
  • Be subjected to the intake of various types of poison to toughen their body's response against it in small doses at a time.
  • some Stealth training
  • Classroom education (i.e. typical education offered by harpers in basic mathematics, history, music, reading and writing, etc)

Level of skill:
Being that they are a few turns ahead in their training in comparison to other Guard trainees, they are regarded with higher expectation by their superiors. Their level of ability is typically greater than that of a typical Guard trainee, but they still of course lack the experience of older Guards, even if they are highly skilled. This can create an interesting mix of adolescent insecurities and rashness paired with great capability that is yet fully tested. The orphans of the Blood Moon squad would generally do well one on one against a more experienced Guard member (maybe even against two). If pitted against other trainees, there would be little competition.

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