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The Rohal Guard - Ostland honour guard of Thincol Torionby Jesper Andersen
The Rohal Guard is the emperor of Thyatis' elite bodyguard made up entirely of Ostland warriors. It was formed after a series of particularly bloody border wars and skirmishes on the Isle of Dawn around the mid 980's AC. A small brigade of Ostland mercenaries fought so fiercely against Alphatian troops that Emperor Thincol himself heard of their deeds and rewarded them handsomely for their services.
This lead to the establishment of an Ostland mercenary unit more directly under Thyatian command and when the wars ended in 987 AC, about 100 of the Ostland warriors took up a new posting in Thyatis City directly under the emperors personal command.
Thincol liked these tough fearless warriors, who reminded him of his own northern roots, and in 988 AC the unit was formally designated the Rohal Guard and made to serve the emperor as his personal honour guard and bodyguards.
This greatly upset the emperor's Praetorian Guard - the elite cohorts who had served the empire and the emperor personally for almost a thousand years and a lot of inter-service rivalry sparked more than a few violent clashes, before Thincol put a stop to it under pain of death for those who made a breach of the peace.
Thincol Torion has his reasons for setting up the Rohal Guard. First of all, because they are made up of foreigners, it is impossible for Hattian agents to infiltrate the Rohal Guard (as he suspects they have his Praetorian Guard). Furthermore, they are great for showing off in public - fierce, axe-wielding barbarians with menacing faces and strange customs, but also a testimony to the emperor's ability to forge alliances with other nations against Alphatia. Lastly, they are outside the power structure of the bureaucracy and thus not dependent on anyone but the emperor's good graces. As long as he keeps them well fed, handsomely paid and highly respected they will happily serve him.
Structure of the Rohal Guard
Since 988 AC, the unit has seen many members leave and new ones join. Any Ostland warrior can apply but a verified account of one's bravery and skill in battle is required to join. In D&D game terms, the guard is an elite unit made up of 4th-7th level fighters lead by the 15th level fighter Stein Stormsail.
As long as they serve in the Rohal Guard, members are not allowed to marry but there is no rule against fathering bastard children on the whores of the city. Only men are allowed into the Rohal Guard - something which provokes the Sisterhood of the Sword. Luckily, members of the two groups rarely find themselves in a direct confrontation.
The Rohal Guard are the personal instrument of the emperor and watch over parts of the imperial palace but their duties do not include body-guarding the rest of the imperial family.
Thincol's daughter Stefania, having been married to an Ostland prince (before she killed him on her wedding night) greatly dislikes the Rohal Guard and will often engage in intrigues against them, when she sees an opportunity.