OUT OF CHARACTER INFORMATION
- Intent: Add some flavour to the Aspirants and the Eldorai.
- Image Credit: Image search sends me to Youtube. But the image is from an LOTR mod for Medieval 2 Total War.
- Role: Support unit.
- Links: Eldorai, Kaeshana, Eldorai Exodus from Kaeshana, Shadow Knights, Church of Ashira.
- Unit Name: Blessed Guardians. Short for the Saint Hael's Blessed Defenders and Guardians of the Great Goddess Ashira's Light.
- Affiliation: The Aspirants, Sahome Tyral.
- Classification: Infantry.
- Katarn commando armour.
- Verpine prototype shield.
- Taegis battle shield
- Sarzmigar Mk2
- Blaster pistol, flechette pistol, Cylix Bolt Pistol, Magnetic Revolver or SE-14r.
- Wrist Bolter.
- Vac blade launcher.
- ZX miniature flame projector.
- Knuckle plate vibro blades
- Jet/jump packs.
- Force focusing visor.
- Frag, smoke, sonic, stun, flashbang, plasma grenade, thermal detonators and ion grenades. Dampener aerosol grenades.
- Availability: Unique.
- Deployment: Limited.
Strengths & Weaknesses: The Blessed Guardians are a unit of Force-Sensitive Eldorai. Zeal, bravery and skill are common traits among them. The unit is largely composed of Knights, with some Masters. They are specialists rather than generalists and forego strong offensive Force powers in favour of defensive abilities. They are very proficient in the use of Tutaminis, Force Barrier and Protection Bubble. They are also skilled in the defensive applications of terramancy, such as creating furrows in the ground or raising earthen barriers. They can also utilise Cleanse Mind to protect themselves or allies from mind-affecting Force powers and can use the Force for physical enhancement, boosting their strength and endurance.
They are also able to enter a Force meld to increase unit effectiveness. This is a strong ability, but a double-edged sword. A great disturbance in the Force could overwhelm the melding participants as they received the pain through their enhanced senses. If the pain is caused by the minds the melding participants were touching, it could have very negative repercussions for the participants. If they are in the middle of a mind meld and are suddenly deprived of the Force through say ysalamiri, the sudden loss will not just be very disorientating for them, but also painful. This is something a canny opponent could exploit.
The Guardians are equipped with Sarzmigar polearms and Taegis battle shields for melee. These are good defensive weapons, which is in line with their ethos. The Sarzmigar is good because it's a halberd,which means it is great for keeping an enemy back. When combined with a shield you can break any charge and fight at arms length. However, it is a good deal heavier than a lightsabre and cannot be used to reflect blaster fire. Moreover, a Sarzmigar cannot cut through a blast door such as Qui-Gon did, nor can it be used to melt through a solid wall or vehicle plating. It can only be used for cutting and piercing personal equipment and small items of other material.
Their defensive focus enables them to manifest powerful Force barriers to shield themselves and their comrades from enemy attacks. In that regard one could consider them a Force-based version of a portable shield generator. Of course, prolonged bombardment, especially by heavy ordinance, will breach a barrier, cause them to tire - and in the worst case perish. They can pool their powers to increase the range, strength and duration of a bubble, but this requires focus and is very taxing.
Moreover, they lack offensive Force powers of note. Their purpose is to provide protection to their comrades, not summmon telekinetic blasts, hurl boulders, fireballs or bolts of lightning at the enemy. In keeping with this principle, they do not carry lightsabres, which are rare among Eldorai anyway. They are unsuited for stealthy operations or sniping. Moreover, the unit is very small, which means they risk being overwhelmed by force of numbers. They also lack offensive capabilities at range since they only carry melee weapons, hand grenades and sidearms, foregoing rifles or carbines. They also do not carry heavy weapons such as missile launchers or rotary cannons. As a consequence, while they are very good at protecting, their offensive capabilities are effectively limited to combat in close quarters. In short, they need to get close to actually hit or shoot someone. This also means they are not equipped to fight heavy armour units such as tanks.
They are a support force and should be utilised that way. Thus their offensive abilities are limited to conventional means. The Guardians ascribe their preternatural abilities to Ashira's protection. Their religious zeal gives them high morale and makes them very difficult to scare or manipulate. However, their zeal can also manifest in acts of stubbornness and suicidal bravery. Ysalamiri and voidstone will deprive them of their biggest advantage in combat or weaken it.
The Eldorai are polytheists who accept the existence of several deities. However, all Eldorai Gods and Goddesses are subordinate to the chief of the pantheon, Ashira the Great Goddess. Ashira is the creator of the Eldorai in their religion and is also the one who empowers each Star Queen with her authority. The Star Queen is not just a temporal ruler, but the High Priestess of Ashira. The Angelii, an elite corps of Force-using guards and shock troops who protect the Star Queen, officially regard themselves as the warriors of the Goddess. In days of great strife and discord, such as the Time of Troubles, fiery priestesses raised legions of the faithful to prosecute Holy Wars. As the Star Queens solidified their power, the ability of the Church to do was constrained, but it remained a potent force in Eldorai society.
Of course, power corrupts. The Church built towering cathedrals and its high-ranking prelates lived in opulent mansions. It clamped down on opposition, labelling those that opposed its practices as heretics. The corruption of the Church manifested itself most clearly in the sale of indulgences that promised remission from sin. A charismatic priestess called Sahome Tyral raised her voice in opposition to this ungodly practice, nailing 59 theses onto the door of the Cathedral of Ashira.
Branded a heretic, she went into exile to avoid being executed. Many of her followers joined her. Though it had been her intention to reform the Church from the inside, her actions fomented a spit within the Ashiran community of believers. Believing that the true message of the Goddess had been lost in the orthodox Church, her disciples formed their own. They also denied the authority of the Star Queen. Though Sahome would eventually return from exile after receiving visions that indicated Kaeshana would be in great peril, the Aspirants and the Orthodox Ashirans never reconciled.
Unsurprisingly, the Aspirants experienced their own schisms. Deprived of the protection of the Crown, they had to raise their own forces. As the idealistic Eldorai soon discovered, the Galaxy was a dangerous, bleak place. The need to arm themselves became even more apparent when Sahome and her closest followers elected to remain behind on Kaeshana instead of joining the exodites, after the planet was devastated by a huge asteroid. Today the Aspirants have become a nomadic people, like most Eldorai groups.
The Blessed Guardians were one of the units of holy warriors formed to protect the faithful. The Aspirants are not wealthy and thus lack the means to make bulk purchases of advanced military technology on the market. Moreover, their ideology stresses self-reliance, which makes being dependent on foreign arms dealers unpalatable. Thus the Aspirants have turned to preternatural means. Conveniently Eldorai possess a higher than average Force affinity than humans. Of course, many of their Force-users, called Sciians in the Eldorai language, lack the skills to become warriors, but some do. To the Aspirants, Sciia is not just their word for the Force, but also the soul of an Eldorai. This is a general Ashiran principle. Those who can tap into their inner flame are called Sciians and regarded as blessed by Ashira.
The Blessed Guardians are the product of martyrdom. Post-cataclysm Kaeshana was a dangerous place. Riven factions of warlords and gangs vied for resources, foreign raiders preyed on the Eldorai. Sister Haela was an Aspirant priestess who gave her life to shield Eldorai civilians - many of them orphans - from an Archangel air strike on a village. Her example inspired some of her sisters in the faith and they joined her, letting their strength flow into her. The strain was great, but she refused to falter. She held back the bombardment, allowing civilians to get to safety. However, she gave her own life in the process. Those among her comrades who survived made sure that her story was not forgotten. Sahome Tyral, first among equals in the Aspirant movement, proclaimed her a martyr and a saint. The Blessed Guardians were founded in her honour. They had no body to cremate. Some claim that Haela was incinerated in the bombardment, others that her body vanished into thin air, leaving only her tattered robes. The Guardians preserved her robes and staff, treating them as sacred relics. From their perspective, Haela had entered Ashira's realm and become an angel. Several young Sciians from the village that had been saved by her sacrifice became volunteers, inspired by the example of their saviour. They strive to honour her memory with their own, humble efforts.
The Guardians fought in the Kaeshana Rebellion, where the Aspirants belonged to those Eldorai groups who sided with the Galactic Alliance and the Tygaran Alliance against the First Order. Following the retreat of the Galactic Alliance and the First Order's occupation of Kaeshana, the Aspirants escaped to the stars, seeking out a better future. Necessity forced them into coalition with the Shadow Knights, but the coalition was unstable due to ideological disagreements. Several Aspirants joined Sahome when she announced the creation of a theocratic nomad flotilla for the paragons of faith, distancing herself from the paramilitary survivalist movement, though she sought to avoid strife. Other Aspirants remained full members of the group because they believed in its survivalist philosophy and it endorsed freedom of religion, allowing them to practice their faith.
The Guardians have become a prestige unit for the Aspirants. For this reason, they are expected to be exemplars. Every Guardian is expected to be conscious of the fact that they might one day be called upon to follow in the footsteps of Sister Haela and perform the ultimate sacrifice. They are taught not to dread that moment, for those who die for Ashira and in the defence of the innocent are rewarded with paradise. Unsurprisingly, religious iconography is omnipresent in the unit. Their barracks is not just a military base, but a temple. Tattoos with martial or religious imagery are quite common. Religious-themed hymns such as 'A Mighty Fortress Is Our Goddess' and 'Onward, Ashiran Soldiers' are very popular and often sung at camp or at the eve of battle. They are warrior priestesses, charged with fulfilling a holy mandate and inspiring the faithful. To be a Guardian is a position of great trust, which is why the unit is careful when it comes to selecting its members. The Guardians are trained for endurance, both physical and mental. Thus their training programme is very rigorous.
Edited by Kaida Taldir, 09 November 2018 - 07:53 AM.